Calgary Flames preview

Overview: The Calgary Flames are in for a tough season. They haven’t improved their team from last year, when they missed the playoffs. They made the worst signing in the offseason (see below) of any NHL team. And they count too much on two guys to do everything. Something is going to snap soon.

The Flames are one Miika Kiprusoff-groin injury away from being the worst team in the league. And Kipper is now 33, but in the past five years has played a whopping 373 regular season games, an average of almost 75 a year. That’s just ludicrous. His body must be getting worn down, especially as he gets older.

The Flames don’t manage the cap well, can’t find a lot of help for Jarome Iginla, and has an albatross of a contract from Jay Bouwmeester. It doesn’t add up to a good season.

Best offseason move: Signing Alex Tanguay. He had some chemistry with Jarome Iginla a few years back, and was still good with the Montreal Canadiens two seasons ago. Last year, he had a poor time with Tampa Bay, but I think he can rebound.

Worst offseason move: Signing Olli Jokinen. What happened to Jokinen to see his stock fall so quickly? In Florida, he was a consistent 80-point guy with no help. Everyone kept saying that if he went to a good team, he would be great. But that hasn’t been the case. He’s slow, doesn’t dominate, and doesn’t make his linemates better.

Dark horse trophy candidate: Ian White for the Norris.

Pool pick: Rene Bourque. His numbers improve every year, and he hit a career high 58 points last season. Look for him to break 60 this year. Who to stay away from: Daymond Langkow. His numbers had taken a hit every season. He should soon be demoted to third-line status, except for the fact he makes $4.5 million a year and there’s no one to take his spot.

Sporcle quiz: Can you name the Flames top scorers for each season from 1980 to now?

Best hall of fame choice: Jarome Iginla. Slam dunk to make it in, and should be a first-ballot guy. Has led the league in goals twice. Has scored 50 in a season twice, and should hit 500 in a career. Has won several awards, and was runner-up for the Hart trophy in 2002. He’s been the best played on the Flames for more than a decade, and one of the top five right-wingers of the past 15 years.

Blog to follow: FlamesNation

My Prediction: Fifth in the Pacific, 15th in the Western conference.

Famous celebrity from that city: Elisha Cuthbert


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