This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.
The Calgary Flames are a team that can be charitably called in transition. It might be more accurate to call them quietly chaotic. Previous management left the larder bare of high end prospects and sprayed success retardant contracts that have threatened to snuff the spark. Last year they missed the playoffs by three points and spent a good amount of time spinning their wheels.
Jarome Iginla, I can’t think of any scenario for the Flames making the playoffs that doesn’t involve the Calgary captain having (another) exceptional season. In the past ten season he’s scored at least thirty goals. Two of those seasons were forty goal seasons, two more were fifty goal seasons. Mr. Not-In-October may not have the luxury the slow starts he’s credited with this year. Without at least 35 goals, and probably closer to fifty its likely that ice quality in May won’t be anything in Calgary is worried about.
George R.R. Martin couldn’t write a more epic collapse than what Jay Bouwmeester has experienced in Calagary, when his contract was expiring he was exchanged for Jordan Leopold when the Panthers knew they couldn’t keep him. Since the trade it’s been dismal. Two years and just seven goals without even the sniff of the playoffs that were instantly expected when he was acquired. In his last year in Sunrise he potted fifteen goals. If the Flames are going to burn bright into the spring, Jay-Bo needs to return to form. In the season after the trade the frequently injured Leopold scored 13 goals in just 61 games playing on Florida’s defense while the NHL’s current iron man netted just three.