Since losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in game seven of the
2003-04 Stanley Cup Finals, the Calgary Flames have not made it out of the
first round and they have not qualified for the playoffs in the last five
Jonas Hiller – G Mike
Cammalleri – C/LW
Mason Raymond – LW/RW Chris Butler – D
Deryk Engelland – D Blair Jones – C
Ben Street –
MacDonald – G
In 2013-14 the Flames edged out their Alberta rivals from
Edmonton for second last in the Western Conference, leading to them getting the
fourth overall pick in the NHL Draft.
They used that selection to get Sam Bennett of the Kingston
Frontenacs. Bennett is ultra-talented and a feisty competitor. He had 36 goals,
55 assists (91 points) and 118 penalty minutes in 57 games. He mirrors his game
after his OHL head coach Doug Gilmour. The Flames can only hope that they just
picked the next Doug Gilmour–Dougie scored 450 goals and 964 assists (1414
points) in 1474 games, so Bennett has some big shoes to fill.
At this point there is no telling whether Bennett can make
the jump to the big club like Sean Monahan did last season. Monahan finished
fourth among NHL rookies in goals with 22, which was only two less than the
Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon. Expect the 19-year-old to take a step
forward this season making him a real 25-goal, 50-point candidate in his second
The Flames biggest offseason move was signing veteran
goaltender Jonas Hiller to a two-year deal worth $9 million. The 32-year-old
Switzerland native has a career 2.51 GAA and .916 SV% and should stabilize
Calgary’s crease. He will be challenged for playing time by Karri Ramo, who
finished the season 6-5-0 with a 2.63 GAA and .919 SV% in his final 11 starts.
On the blueline, the Flames basically look the same, other
than adding toughness in the form of Deryk Engelland. They are anchored by
their 30-year-old captain Mark Giordano, who had a career-year with 14 goals
and 47 points. He ranked sixth among NHL D-men in goals and 11th in points.
Calgary has an abundance of youth including the 2014 Hobey
Baker Award winner Johnny Gaudreau and his Boston College linemate Bill Arnold.
Sven Baertschi, 21 and Markus Granlund, 21, join Gaudreau as 2011 NHL Draft
Picks and will also compete for roster spots this season. Baertschi has bounced
around from NHL to AHL, never being able to stick around with the Flames. He
has eight goals and 16 assists (24 points) in 51 career games.
Mixed in with all the young talent, they have some solid NHL
veterans. Jiri Hudler led the Flames with 54 points (17G / 37A) while both MattStajan and Curtis Glencross missed time with injuries and personal issues, but
still turned in strong offensive campaigns.
Regular Season – Calgary Flames – Skater – Summary – Points
Season prediction: The Flames finish sixth in the Pacific
Division for the second straight season.
View the Calgary Flames roster and cap space heading into
the 2014 – 2015 season.