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It’s a hard year for Calgarian Sports fans.

Kyle Denu Avatar
WHL Calgary Hitmen miss the 2023/24 playoffs via @WHLHitmen on X

This is just the beginning. Calgary’s WHL team was eliminated from a possible playoff berth on Saturday, March 23. This marks the second time missing the playoffs in three years for an otherwise contentious Eastern Division squad. A two-time winner of the Ed Chynoweth Cup (WHL’s Stanley Cup equivalent), the Hitmen have a strong resume of good teams, but this year isn’t it. The final straw came Saturday, in a heartbreaking 2-1 Overtime loss to their rival, the Red Deer Rebels. Luckily, of all the pro-sports teams in Calgary, the Hitman draw the lowest attention. Surely the other teams are giving their fans their moneys worth. Right? Right?


It’s all bad now. Johnny Gaudreau toppled good sports in this city. We know NHL is my forte, so I’ll leave that traitor for the end.

The National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks aren’t having a very good year themselves. After 14GP, they have only six wins. For a team with three NLL Championships since their inception in 2002, they seem to have fallen a bit since their last championship in 2019. With the pace the Roughnecks are currently on, they’ll miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017 (Covid-19 Season N/A). They’ll need to win a few games, and hope the teams above them lose a couple in order to sneak in to playoffs this year. Not ideal.

Calgary Roughnecks loss to Panther City with the rest of the Week 16 scores via @NLL on X

Six months after the Flames’ star left for Ohio, so too did the Calgary Stampeders’ star quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell. Bo was traded away, but with the Stamps having two other QBs they’ve had to rely on through numerous Mitchell injuries, a departure felt inevitable should his contract expire in 2023. He has now signed on with the Hamilton Tiger Cats, but the two-time CFL MVP and Grey Cup MVP took Stampeders’ success with him. The Stamps went from a decent 12-6 with Bo in the 2022 season (good for 3rd in the Western Conference), to a daunting 6-12 the following year (good for 3rd in the Western Conference..?). The Stampeders were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in both years, but drastically dwindling numbers showed a clear change in the room when Bo left.

Bo Levi Mitchell signs a 3 year deal with Hamilton Tiger Cats via @BroadheadRJ on X

If there’s one team to pour a bit of hope on, it would have to be the American Hockey League’s Calgary Wranglers. The team won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (AHL’s President’s Trophy equivalent) in it’s inaugural season last year. Similar to the season before, then Stockton Heat, made it to the conference finals for two straight years. Both years, despite being in separate cities, saw Calgary’s AHL affiliate top the Pacific Division as well. This year is without then head coach, Mitch Love, now replaced by Trent Cull. It hasn’t been the same, and the Wranglers find themselves holding onto decent playoff chances for dear life. If the playoffs were to begin tomorrow, the Wranglers would enter as the 6th seed in the Pacific division. They would play 3rd seed Colorado Eagles, which would be the best-case-scenario for the Wranglers, who won the eight game series, 5-2-1-0, against the Eagles this season. There’s still hope, but losing 7-3 to the Coachella Valley Firebirds doesn’t inspire much confidence (since writing, we beat the same team 2-0, which helps a bit).

Wranglers beat the Firebirds 2-0 via @AHLWranglers on X

JOHNNY HOCKEY is fine. I’m an adult, and I get over things. He made a decision that he felt was best for him, and while it absolutely hindered the future of the Calgary Flames, it’s also the first time he had to make a decision like that. It’s not easy to make a decision that uproots everything you know in the NHL so far, and that impacts the next near-decade of your professional career. He’s still my favourite active NHL player, but Johnny was the first domino of what is now a pile. Gaudreau leaving Calgary started our second domino, Brad Treliving who had to save his own General Management career, now that he had been betrayed by his top star. Brad panicked, and signed newly traded Huberdeau to a $10.5 million x 8 year contract. Ech. That’s at least two million dollars above his play through these two seasons thus far. Drastic improvement this year is nice to see, but it still feels like we’re paying a Brad Incompetency Tax (BIT), as Huby wasn’t sure he wanted to sign, and that would have made this rebuild an easier pill to swallow.

As the dominos continue to fall, how much darker can sports in this city get?

Kyle Denu Avatar

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