The Flames had high expectations for 2016 after a surprising playoff run in 2015 for Calgary. Unfortunately for the Flames, they came up well short of those expectations. Even so, their young roster shows much promise. From Johnny Hockey to Sean Monahan and Dougie Hamilton, they have a bright future in spite of last season’s results.
They drafted Matt Tkachuk in this year’s draft. From what I’ve seen, he has high hockey IQ and awareness. He makes the smart and safe play. His stick handling is impressive, and he has a great playmaking ability. One area he needs improvement in is foot speed and quickness. Other than that, he has a very bright future. He and the three players I mentioned will make a great core.
On draft day, they acquired Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues. This was a very solid move for them, as the Hiller-Ramo tandem did not deliver last season. Elliott had a .930 sv% and a 2.07 GAA last season. In the 26 games Hiller played last year, he had a .874 sv% and a 3.51 GAA. Ramo had a 2.63 GAA and a .909 sv%. That’s not bad, but not great, either.
In free agency, the Flames acquired Troy Brouwer. He brings experience to the team as a veteran with a Stanley Cup on his resume. He’s someone who can provide 20 goals and 40 points in a season. In this year’s playoffs, he score 8 goals and tallied 5 assists in 20 games, including the game-winner in game 7 vs Chicago.
Calgary had a very good offseason, and I think they will be back in playoff contention this season, but I can’t promise they’ll make it.