Apr 17, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley and bench during timeout during the third period at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

2013-14 Season Preview: Calgary Flames

LAST SEASON

Regular Season:  Out of the playoff race early, the Flames cleaned house, dealing Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline.  They went on to finish 13th in the West, 13 points out of the playoffs.

Playoffs:  n/a

 

CHANGES

Out:  F Alex Tanguay, D Cory Sarich, D Anton Babchuk, G Miikka Kiprusoff

In:  F David Jones, F TJ Galiardi, D Shane O’Brien, D Kris Russell

Ready To Make The Jump: C Sean Monahan

 

BIG 3 FACTORS

1.  How low is rock bottom?:  The rebuild in Calgary was initiated with the trade of Iginla to the Penguins. Some would argue that it came a year or two too late, and now they are without arguably their biggest name forward, defenseman and goalie from the past few years.

2. Monahan for Calder?: The Flames haven’t had a legitimate #1 centre since they traded Joe Nieuwendyk for Iginla.  Monahan could be that player, and it could start right away.  His circumstances could lead him to be in contention for the rookie of the year, and in my mind becomes the instant top pivot on the roster.

3.  Fear the Feaster:  GM Jay Feaster fumbled a lot of things during the past season – The Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet, the Iginla to Boston Pittsburgh trade.  Does he have enough respect among his bosses as well as his fellow GMs to properly rebuild the franchise from the ground up, or are his days in Cow-town numbered?

 

PROGNOSIS:  While Feaster has been quoted saying the Flames upper management expects a return to the playoffs, I hope it didn’t mean anytime soon.  The Flames are likely to get worse before they get better, especially with a very inexperienced goalie (Karri Ramo) backed up by a career backup (Joey MacDonald) manning the crease.

PREDICTION:  The Flames will be out of it early.  7th in the Pacific Division.

 

We will be previewing every NHL team ahead of Training Camp which for most teams will begin on Sept 11th.  As a twist, we will be unveiling our teams in reverse order to how I predict they will finish in the standings.  Here is the schedule (you can click on a team name to see the preview for that team):

Predicted Finish Atlantic Metropolitan Central Pacific
1 Sept 9 Sept 8 Sept 7 Sept 6
2 Sept 5 Sept 4 Sept 3 Sept 2
3 Sept 1 Aug 31 Aug 30 Aug 29
4 Aug 28 Aug 27 Aug 26 Aug 25
5 Aug 24 Aug 23 Aug 22 Aug 21
6 Aug 20 Aug 19 Aug 18 Aug 17
7 Aug 16 Aug 15 Aug 14 Flames
8 Panthers Devils

Tags: 2013-14 Season Preview Calgary Flames Jarome Iginla Miikka Kiprusoff Sean Monahan

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