NHL Season Recap – Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames

2016-17 season: 45-33-4, 94 pints

Lost to Anaheim 4-0 in the Western Conference Quarterfinals

Head Coach: Glen Gulutzan (2016)
4th Place Pacific Division General Manager: Brad Teliving (2014)
7th Place Western Conference AHL Affiliate: Stockton Heat

ECHL Affiliate: Adirondack Thunder

Draft Position: Will have the 16th pick in the draft

Top Forwards

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
LW 23 Johnny Gaudreau 72 61 18 43 -7 51.8
C 22 Sean Monahan 82 58 27 31 -1 50.3
C 27 Mikael Backlund 81 53 22 31 9 55.0
LW 19 Matthew Tkachuk 76 48 13 35 14 55.9
RW 28 Michael Frolik 82 44 17 27 13 55.9
RW 30 Kris Versteeg 69 37 15 22 -3 47.8
C 20 Sam Bennett 81 26 13 13 -16 48.6
LW 24 Michael Ferland 76 25 10 15 -1 49.5
RW 31 Troy Brouwer 74 25 13 12 -11 44.4
RW 26 Alex Chiasson 81 24 12 12 -6 52.0

Top Defensemen

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
D 23 Dougie Hamilton 81 50 13 37 12 55.0
D 33 Mark Giordano 8 39 12 27 22 53.6
D 26 T.J. Brodie 82 36 6 30 -16 50.0
D 33 Dennis Wideman 57 18 5 13 -6 50.2
D 34 Deryk Engelland 81 16 4 12 2 46.6

Top Goaltenders

POS Age Name Games Started W/L Record Shutouts GAA Save %
G 31 Brian Elliott 45 26-18-3 2 2.55 .910
G 30 Chad Johnson 36 18-15-1 3 2.59 .910
G 23 Jon Gillies 1 1-0-0 0 1.00 .964

Trades Made During the Season

What They Acquired Team They Traded With In Exchange For
F Curtis Lazar

D Mike Kostka

Ottawa Senators D Jyrki Jokipakka

2017 2nd RD Pick

D Michael Stone Arizona Coyotes 2018 3rd RD Pick

Conditional 2018 5th RD Pick

Impending Free Agents

POS Age Name 2016-17 Cap Hit
D 34 Dennis Wideman $5,250,000
D 26 Michael Stone $4,000,000
D 31 Ladislav Smid $3,500,000
D 35 Deryk Engelland $2,916,668
G 32 Brian Elliott $2,500,000
G 30 Chad Johnson $1,700,000
LW 30 Brandon Bollig $1,250,000
LW 30 Kris Versteeg $950,000
D 31 Mike Kostka $800,000
RW 26 Danny Kristo $575,000

Draft Needs

  • The Flames have just five picks in the upcoming draft, including no picks in the second or third rounds.  They have done a good job at drafting in recent seasons as they have hit on a number of their picks.  Their roster is now built quite well with a majority of their forward core under the age of 30.  They also have more forward prospects waiting in the minors and should get production from them in the future.  What they need now is to address their defense which is their biggest weakness in terms of talent and depth.  Three of their current regular defensemen are free agents this summer and don’t have a lot of depth in the minors to replace said free agents.  I would like to see them pursue a solid puck-moving defenseman in the draft who has the potential to slot into a top four pairing in a few seasons.  

What I Said About Them Before the Season

  • Prior to the season, I devoted a lot of attention to the goaltending situation in Calgary.  I was encouraged by the acquisition of Brian Elliott as well as the signing of Chad Johnson.  Both of these goaltenders had experience as starters in their careers and both were better than the goalies Calgary used last season.  I was adamant that the Flames needed to sign Johnny Gaudreau to a contract for this season as he has been the team’s main source of offense since he came into the league.  I also touched on their decision to draft Matthew Tkachuk, loving the move and believed that if any team could convert his potential into reality it is the Flames.  I actually thought that he would be sent back to his junior team this season before becoming a full-time NHLer next season.  I projected that Calgary would be a borderline playoff team that could get in as a result of how much easier the Western Conference has become.

Success/Failure

  • Success – The Flames got back to the playoffs this season after missing them last year.  The team’s front office fired head coach Bob Hartley and hired Glen Gulutzan to replace him. Gulutzan has done a very good job in his first season behind the bench.  He made the team into an above average team in nearly every category, even if one of these is not in puck possession. He also helped to develop one of the strongest puck controlling lines in all of hockey featuring Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund, and Michael Frolik.  The Flames were also to somewhat fix their issues in net this season with Elliott and Johnson but neither are long-term solutions. The Flames didn’t reach their ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup but making the playoffs again after missing them last season is still success.  They have a young roster that should only continue to get better as players develop and the front office will have the chance to add pieces to the edges of a strong core.  They may have gotten swept in the first round but most eventual championship teams have to lose to a veteran team before finding success in the playoffs.

Offseason Needs

  • The Flames need to make two decisions regarding their goaltending situation: whether they keep one of, both, or neither Elliott or Johnson, and who is going to be their starter beginning next season.  I think that they should attempt to acquire Marc-Andre Fleury from Pittsburgh or sign Ben Bishop and then sign Johnson to a multi-year deal to be their backup. They also have just four of their NHL defensemen signed for next season and will need to spend some time and effort addressing this situation.  I think that they will make a significant push to re-sign Michael Stone who has worked to create a solid top four and could be really useful going forward if on the roster.  Regardless of what they decide to do, the Flames will have plenty of cap space available to make the moves possible.  

*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*

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