2008/09 – 46-30-6 -98 points (2nd in Northwest, 5th in West)
Arrived – Nigel Dawes (PHX), Jason Jaffray (VAN), Brian McGrattan, Garth Murray (PHX), Fred Sjostrom (NYR), Colin Stuart (TOR), Jay Bouwmeester (FLA), Staffan Kronwall (WSH), Anton Stralman (TOR)
Departed – Mike Cammalleri (MTL), Adrian Aucoin (PHX), Todd Bertuzzi (DET), Jim Vandermeer (PHX), Andre Roy,Wayne Primeau (TOR), Jordan Leopold (FLA), Rhett Warrener
The Calgary Flames went through a mass overhaul in the offseason losing some offensive firepower in Todd Bertuzzi and Mike Cammalleri, but stand to significantly strengthen their defensive prowess and hopefully take some of the pressure off of Dion Phaneuf with the addition of Jay Bouwmeester. The team now has some question marks on the offensive front. Can Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen create the necessary chemistry to make themselves one of the most threatening goal scoring tandems in the league? Or can some of the young guns like Frederik Sjostrom, Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross or David Moss breakout and become a much needed piece of the goal scoring puzzle? These aren’t the only question marks on the current Flames roster. Mikka Kiprusoff has seen a significant decline in his GAA and SV % over the last couple years and although his win totals are still respectable I’m sure that coach Brent Sutter would love to see his numbers come back to the brilliant 05/06 numbers or somewhere close to take the pressure off the offense. With all these question marks we know that Calgary will still be a competitive team in arguably the most competitive division in hockey and with the Sutters at the helm the team is sure to compete night in and night out.
FANTASY WORTHY FORWARDS
Jarome Iginla(RW) – The fearless, stereotypical, and all knowing leader owned by few, man-crushed by many. If I really need to explain the fantasy significance of this guy then I must ask what fantasy sport you have been watching for the last 5 years. The guy is a machine and barring any injury he is sure to put up 85-90 points, 30 goals and a bunch of PIMs, it’s more of a lock than crying girls at a Jonas Brothers concert.
Olli Jokinen(C)- Not quite as much of a lock, this big Fin has shown glimpses of his brilliance but consistency has been a bit of an issue. Playing with Iggy should cure that fairly quickly and with the PP opportunities he’s sure to get, Jokinen could be staring into an 80 point season, though his ceiling isn’t that high, his floor isn’t that low. He’ll also put up plenty of PIMs for the tough guy lovers out there.
Daymond Langkow (C) – With Cammalleri and Bertuzzi out of the picture someone else will have to step up for the Flames offense. The most likely candidate is Langkow. Although last year’s injury-filled season limited him to only 49 points in 73 games, Langkow has proven himself as offensive threat in the NHL with 30 goal seasons in 06/07 and 07/08. He compiled 77 and 65 points in those seasons. Langkow is 3rd center at best on your fantasy team but could surprise if he ends up centering Jerome Iginla’s line.
Keep An Eye On: Rene Bourque, Frederik Sjostrom – one of them is due for a breakout year on the top line. Bourque showed signs of his goal scoring touch last year but was not offered the opportunity long enough. Brent Sutter loves Sjostrom and the one time 11th overall pick has a great opportunity to show why the Flames wanted him.
FANTASY WORTHY DEFENCEMEN
Dion Phaneuf – I know you’re thinking that after last year’s extremely disappointing season there’s still that sour taste left in your mouth, but take a swig of mouth wash my friend and look close at the numbers, Phaneuf was playing injured as most know and now has some serious insurance behind him. Look for a bounce back year for Phaneuf, expect 60+points and a ton of PIMs. I can pretty much guarantee he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder and with some defensive pressure off with the backend acquisitions he will be free to take aim and let opponents feel the wrath of Dion.
Jay Boumeester – Some have labelled him the smoothest skating defensemen in the league he’ll really have a chance to showcase his skills while presumably playing with a stay at home defensemen I’m predicting this is Jay’s coming out party and will be looking at 50-60 points. His smooth skating will be a great addition to the PP on this Flames team
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Mikka Kiprusoff – The question isn’t if he’ll get 35+ wins or if he’ll play 75 games. He will. The question is whether he’ll put up elite numbers like we’ve seen before. Part of this will obviously depend on how the defense plays but it will also depend on how he plays individually as last year there were a lot of weak goals allowed at inopportune times. It’s something that’s sure to be worked on in the offseason but we’ll all have to wait and see how it pans out. With the wins he’ll be putting up there’s little risk in having this guy.