So… What’s there to hope for as a Flames Fan?

Kyle Denu Avatar

The way the season ended? Not much.

The Flames clung on to Wildcard dreams far too long, and in their dying breaths, they collapsed to Chicago, Vancouver and Nashville. Out of a playoff position, and a shot at a top Draft Pick, the Flames are finding themselves in a very familiar position this off-season; at least, maybe for Mikael Backlund, who has been with the team since the 2008-09 season and has seen the Flames miss the playoffs 9 times in that 15 season span. His exit interview this year was filled with discontent.

Mikael Backlund’s Exit Interview via @auddiejames

Backlund has been an important piece for the Calgary Flames for years, and it would be crushing for the team to lose him. Another big Flames player seemingly on the outs, is Elias Lindholm, who eclipsed the 40-goal-mark in the 2021-2022 season.

Elias Lindholm’s Exit Interview via @RingOfFireCGY

Two big players are seemingly looking elsewhere, and to top things off, Brad Treliving (Calgary Flames General Manager) announced he would not be renewing his contract.

Don Maloney and John Bean Press Conference va @RingOfFireCGY

Things aren’t looking too great for the Flames right now. Brad Treliving did everything he could to make the Flames a competitive team every year. Now we have a major hole to fill while still hoping to remove Darryl Sutter from his coaching duties. Darryl made awful coaching decisions all throughout the past season, and is at least partially to blame for the Flames missing the playoffs this season.

The culture of the Calgary Flames organization is in jeopardy, but fortunately, there have been some silver linings coming out of this season as well.

Yesterday, the Calgary Flames announced a new arena deal, replacing the NHL’s second oldest arena. The Scotiabank Saddledome was built in 1983, and only Madison Square Garden was built before it. This new arena would be a massive improvement for the City of Calgary, and the Calgary Flames.

Calgary Event Centre Announcement via @NHLFlames

On top of that, The Flames signed Forward, Walker Duehr (personal favourite) to a 2-year, 1-way contract. He was an invaluable add to the Flames roster in the ’22-23 season, and he seems to have impressed Flames management too. Hopefully his numbers continue to grow as he gets set to be a regular NHLer.

Walker Duehr Signing via @NHLFlames

Finally, the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate, the Calgary Wranglers begin the playoffs tonight. The Wranglers placed 1st in the AHL league standings this year, winning the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy in their inaugural season. Wrangler’s lead goaltender, Dustin Wolf amazed this season, achieving the Hap Holmes award for fewest goals against, the Aldege ‘Baz’ Bastien award for AHL’s top goaltender, and the Les Cunningham Award for AHL’s most valuable player. Coach of the Wranglers, Mitch Love also won the top coach prize for the second straight year, the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award.

So at least there’s severance to this massive Flames dilemma. Hopefully there’s more to be optimistic about by the end of this off-season.

Kyle Denu Avatar

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