Because It's The Cap: Calgary Flames Offseason Preview

Ryan Pike
June 08 2017 10:26AM

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PHOTO CREDIT: SERGEI BELSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Calgary Flames had an eventful 2016-17 season. Armed with a new head coach in Glen Gulutzan, new contracts for Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, and a pair of new goaltenders in Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson, they seemed poised for a big year. They stumbled out of the gate, boasting the league's worst record through the first month of the season – leading many observers to write them off.

But the Flames managed to turn things around, going on a few really strong runs and adapting over time to Gulutzan's puck possession system. They managed to make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and while they were swept in four games by Anaheim, they turned a lot of heads for the way they went toe-to-toe with the Ducks.

This offseason, it's up to general manager Brad Treliving to make enough tweaks that the Flames can actually beat the Ducks the next time they face them in the playoffs. The team has a few holes due to some expiring contracts, but they also have a good amount of cap space to utilize to fill them.

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What might the Flames do at the trade deadline?

Ryan Pike
February 06 2017 03:00PM


(Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports)

In just over three weeks, the Calgary Flames are going to take part in one of the most unpredictable National Hockey League trade deadlines in recent memory. Due to a combination of league parity, a flat salary cap for next season and the impending addition of the Vegas Golden Knights via an expansion draft, we could see few big trades. Or because of the parity, a team or two might make a big swing to try to break away from the pack.

In terms of the local sports club, it's hard to tell exactly what the Flames will do on March 1. But here's what we can decipher as of right now.

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Looking at the Flames' cap for 2017-18

Ryan Pike
February 02 2017 12:00PM

Here's what we're reasonably sure of right now: the salary cap probably isn't budging next season. That means the Calgary Flames will have $73 million to spend on their roster for the 2017-18 season.

But, as always, there are some holes and some complications moving forward.

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Are the Flames too reliant on special teams for scoring?

Ryan Pike
January 31 2017 10:00AM

This season, Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan has a common refrain in post-game press conferences. Whether his club wins or loses, Gulutzan frequently notes that the key to winning in the National Hockey League is winning the special teams battle.

It's probably no coincidence then that the Flames began their resurgence (and their climb up the Western Conference standings) when their power play began scoring and their penalty kill became more adept at avoiding goals against. It's nice to see, because the Flames have been one of the least potent offensive clubs in the NHL when playing at even strength.

But are the Flames too reliant on special teams for scoring? And which players aren't pulling their weight offensively?

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Handicapping the Flames' awards chances

Ryan Pike
January 30 2017 02:00PM

The National Hockey League's All-Star Break is upon us and as we wait patiently for meaningful hockey to return, we turn our attention to other things. While we've dug into the numbers on a few other things, today we're going to take a quick look at something where numbers may or may not matter: the races for NHL year-end trophies.

More specifically, the three trophies voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association that Calgary Flames players have shots at winning this season.

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