The Calgary Flames are now in full blown rebuilding mode. The Flames traded away star players Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline to Pittsburgh and St. Louis. And now it looks as if Miikka Kiprusoff willl be leaving the organization and retiring. Kipper hasn’t made a final decision yet, but team mates say it looks as though he may be done.
The Flames are losing a star player at forward, defense, and now goaltending. The upside however, the Flames have three first round draft picks this year to use in the draft at the end of June. Calgary actually attempted to trade all three to the Colorado Avalanche for the number one pick in the draft, in an effort to secure, who I would assume to be, Seth Jones. Colorado said no thanks, and shut the door in the Flames face. But hey, all can’t be too bad in Calgary, you do have three first round draft picks, and if you pick correctly that’s a solid group of prospects to start turning into NHL players.
The Flames season wasn’t a good one by any means. They ended the season 19-25-4 with 42 points in 13th place in the Western Conference. Forward Curtis Glencross had 15 goals to lead the team, and Lee Stempniak grabbed 23 assists to lead the team in helpers.
Calgary gave up 160 goals this season, tied for the worst in the league with the Carolina Hurricanes. And on top of that the offense in Calgary is almost as bad as the defense. A 6-16-2 road record didn’t do the Flames much good this year, and they cannot expect to go anywhere with that kind of play away from home. Mediocre, middle of the road special teams have to get better.
Calgary is a work in progress, and they have taken good steps in rebuilding the team. Three first round draft picks is enough to help them get started, and it’s probably better for them that Colorado didn’t take the offer Calgary sent them a few weeks ago.
Chris Butler and Anton Babchuk are both free agents, and Babchuk signed a contract to play in the KHL next season. Not too many offseason moves may come out of Calgary. They need to build their prospects and get back to playing hockey like they did before. That number 6 spot in the draft is going to be a big pick, and if they can get it right, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t be on the track to success. Everything starts on June 30th for the Flames.