- Last year’s record: 35-40-7 77 points
- Didn’t qualify for the playoffs
- Key losses: None
- Key additions: Brian Elliot, Troy Brouwer, Chad Johnson
Outlook: The Calgary Flames didn’t have the most exciting summer when it came to free agency, but they filled their needs. The Flames added both Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson via free agency to shore up their forward depth and goaltending. Brouwer, who spent last season with the Blues, registered eighteen goals and twenty-one assists and a plus two rating. Brouwer brings a much-needed skilled physicality to the Flames. What’s that you ask? Basically Brouwer brings the physical element of a lower line player, but he pairs it with decent hands and a good shot making him a sought after commodity. Brouwer brings skill and grit to a forward group lacking just that. With Monahan, Bennett, Backlund, Frolik, and hopefully Gaudreau the Flames should have a pretty solid top six.
Calgary’s blue line didn’t live up to their expectations last season. With the likes of Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, and now Jyrki Jokipakka, the defense should be greatly improved. The Flames could still use another D-man to give them a solid top four or five. Kris Russell could be an option for the Flames to sign. Russell, who spent most of last season with the Flames, could sign a one year deal since he didn’t receive as much attention as he would’ve liked this free agency.
Before the Flames go out and sign another defenseman lets talk about the elephant in the room shall we. Flames superstar Johnny Gaudreau is still without a contract. The restricted free agent(RFA) had an electrifying world cup performance demonstrating to the Flames, as well as the rest of the league that he deserves to be paid every nickel that’s coming his way. Flames General Manager Brad Treliving spoke with the Calgary Sun about a week ago on Gaudreau’s contract negotiations saying, “We hope it’s going to get done and going to get done soon. Time will tell.” Treliving is right about one thing, only time will tell.
Adding a starting caliber goalie was the Flames top priority this offseason and they did just that with the acquisition of Brian Elliot. Last season with the Blues Elliot posted a 23-8 record with a goals against average of 2.07 and a save percentage of .930. The Flames are hoping that Elliot can post similar numbers this season and help the Flames reach the postseason once again.
Even with the acquisition of Brian Elliot Calgary’s playoff chances are looking pretty slim. The Flames have a solid top six up front, three to four good defensemen, and a pretty good goaltender. In the Western Conference that isn’t a recipe for success. The Flames are on the right track, but will need to add a few more pieces before they can start thinking postseason.