Weekend Open Thread: Pre-Season Dread or Optimism?

Ryan Pike
August 23 2014 11:45AM

We're roughly a month from the beginning of the NHL's pre-season schedule and six weeks or so before the regular season. The off-season is winding down.

This week's Weekend Open Thread poses a simple question: Based on the moves the Calgary Flames have made, are you full of dread or optimism about the upcoming season?

Reasons for dread include: the departures of Lee Stempniak and Mike Cammalleri, the acquisition of Deryk Engelland, and the general sense that the team may struggle to score goals.

Reasons for optimism include: the continued emergence of the young prospects, the acquisitions of Mason Raymond and Jonas Hiller (giving the team a big upgrade in net), and the prospect of getting a really good draft choice such as Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid or Noah Hanifin.

What dominates for you? Dread or optimism?

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#1 ngthagg
August 23 2014, 12:11PM
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Optimism. Last year's team attitude combined with decent goaltending combined with steady improvements in our younger players will result in the team outperforming expectations.

(If I were the sort to favour tanking for McDavid/Eichel, it would be dread, for the same reasons.)

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#2 coachedpotatoe
August 23 2014, 12:14PM
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I'm optimistic because my expectations are relatively low. I don't expect them to make the playoffs but I actually expect them to improve over last year and this might not mean in the standings. I am one of the few that is not concerned with goal scoring i think it might be even higher; here's my reasoning while we lost Cammi and Stemp we added Raymond who I think will have a better season than Stemp did last year and I believe that between Backs improved play, a healthier GlenX and the skill of the kids we will score Cammi's 26. Also having better goaltending may allow the team to counter attack effectively.

I'm also optimistic because the following prospects will get a better look this: Johnny, Sven, Granlund, Ferland, and Spoon and I think by the end of the year unless they are traded will be emerging NHL regulars, that are better than BStreet,Bjones, and DSmith. If Hartley and company can keep them playing like last year and develop the kids along the way then this be a successful year.

So I'm optimistic and excited about the season.(Note I also think the depth of the organization will show itself in Addy)

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#3 MichaelD
August 23 2014, 01:00PM
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Just saw Flames signed Setoguchi. Don't mind it, now it's not just Jones on the RW

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#4 PrairieStew
August 23 2014, 01:00PM
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Optimism.

1. Goaltending - last year at this time Joey MacDonald was the starter. We knew Ramo and Berra might take some time to acclimatize and sort out who was #1. Ramo's second half was good. Combined with Hiller we are light years ahead of this time last year.

2. Injuries - While not a cataclysmic year for injuries - last year was a tough one for the Flames. Key veterans Giordano, Wideman, Cammalleri, Stajan, Glencross and Jones all missed significant time. Organizational depth could not make up for it.

3. Four B's and a C. Brodie, Backlund, Bouma, Byron and Colborne - all under 25 all with big question marks to begin last year - all showed progress and should be key contributors going forward.

4. Monahan - turns 20 in the fall - still developing !

5. Org depth & development. WE found out that Ortio, Reinhart and Wotherspoon can spot play. The growth of Granlund throughout the year(slow start - strong post Olympic play) puts him on a strong upward curve. The addition of Agostino, Van Brabant, Arnold, Wolf creates a ton of competition among mostly young guys.

6. Gaudreau

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#5 CTibs
August 23 2014, 01:01PM
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Just a bit of news: the Flames signed Devin Setoguchi to a one year deal.

I guess that makes me a bit more optimistic considering that now David Jones is not our #1 right winger anymore.

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#6 redhot1
August 23 2014, 01:03PM
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Optimism, to see the young players play each night. Specifically JG.

But, since this is an important draft, dread at the thought of not getting a top 3 pick.

Its kind of funny, every win will be good, but every loss might be more important

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#7 RKD
August 23 2014, 01:04PM
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Calgary Flames sign Devin Setoguchi, 1 year $750,000. I like it's a low risk signing, but we need some more RW. Hope he can find some of his scoring touch again. He was one of the guys I was hoping the Flames would be targeting. Maybe he can be a resurrection project.

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#8 PrairieStew
August 23 2014, 01:26PM
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So 10 guys on one way deals - plus Monahan and Johnny - and Bouma when he signs. The other kids will have to prove dominance at the AHL level before getting a shot.

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#9 beloch
August 23 2014, 01:39PM
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Winning is great, but I also enjoy entertaining hockey, and the Flames seem to promise a lot of that this season.

  • The upgrade in net and possible downgrade in scoring means this team is likely going to be in even more 1 goal games than they were last season. That's always fun.
  • Gaudreau was a real treat to watch at the World Cup, so I'm looking forward to an entire season of him with the Flames. He isn't merely good at playing the kind of hockey we're used to seeing. This kid regularly pulls off moves that I've never seen before. He's got a legitmate shot at the Calder too.
  • While the top of the roster, except perhaps right wing, is now relatively set, there's very little that's completely certain about who plays in the bottom lines, especially once there are a few injuries. It's going to be a rookie battle royale for every open roster slot this season, and the Flames have some very exciting rookies.
  • The Flames are probably going to finish above where they did last season (that's my prediction at least), but the new "Oiler rule" lottery system means that's not as big a loss as it was previously. The worst teams' odds of winning have been reduced and the top three slots are all up for grabs instead of just the first. The worst team in the league could pick fourth.
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#10 Jeff In Lethbridge
August 24 2014, 07:31AM
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Optimism

Gaudreau - can't help but be excited

beating the oiler's, year in and year out

Seeing Mr bean & Giordano in the same room at the same time, proving once and for all they are not actually the same person

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#11 Koolmoedee
August 24 2014, 12:59PM
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beloch wrote:

Winning is great, but I also enjoy entertaining hockey, and the Flames seem to promise a lot of that this season.

  • The upgrade in net and possible downgrade in scoring means this team is likely going to be in even more 1 goal games than they were last season. That's always fun.
  • Gaudreau was a real treat to watch at the World Cup, so I'm looking forward to an entire season of him with the Flames. He isn't merely good at playing the kind of hockey we're used to seeing. This kid regularly pulls off moves that I've never seen before. He's got a legitmate shot at the Calder too.
  • While the top of the roster, except perhaps right wing, is now relatively set, there's very little that's completely certain about who plays in the bottom lines, especially once there are a few injuries. It's going to be a rookie battle royale for every open roster slot this season, and the Flames have some very exciting rookies.
  • The Flames are probably going to finish above where they did last season (that's my prediction at least), but the new "Oiler rule" lottery system means that's not as big a loss as it was previously. The worst teams' odds of winning have been reduced and the top three slots are all up for grabs instead of just the first. The worst team in the league could pick fourth.

The new draft lottery rules don't apply until the 2016 draft. For this year, only the top pick is in play for the lottery. The change for this year is that the odds of winning have been decreased for the worst teams and improved for the better teams.

The 30th-placed team now has a 20% chance of winning, down from 25%.

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#12 Trevy
August 24 2014, 01:56PM
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It makes me laugh how you can say the acquisition of Engelland is dreadful. Even though he is more or less a parallel move from Butler, I doubt he really is going to hurt the team. We definitely didn't improve our defense and I'm sure that's still an area that Treliving will address in the future. As for scoring, having Raymond, the recently acquired Setogouchi, Gaudreau and the rest of the rookies being a year older, should at least alleviate some of those lost goals. Throw in Hiller in net and I think we have slightly improved and therefore a bit more optimistic this season. It's easier said than done to just rebuild a team in a couple of years. If we can land one of the big fish at the draft as well, then we're moving in the right direction. As long as we don't fall into the Oilers blueprint of an 8yr rebuild!

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#13 ianberg1
August 24 2014, 02:38PM
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optimism!

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#14 exsanguinator
August 24 2014, 09:04PM
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@beloch

Have the Flames ever had a Calder winner before?

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#15 Jibmeister
August 24 2014, 09:24PM
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Both. Excited of course, mostly for Gaudreau, but worrying about the possibility of all the young players getting buried and not getting their chance.

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#16 EugeneV
August 24 2014, 09:47PM
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exsanguinator wrote:

Have the Flames ever had a Calder winner before?

Seriously? Calgary has 3 Calder Trophy winners, and if you include Atlantas 2 Calders that gives the Franchise 5.

Not sure if you're an Oilers or Nucks troll, but since you brought it up...... The totals are: Cgy 3 or 5 since Atl & Van joined the NHL Van 1 Edm 0

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#17 Baalzamon
August 24 2014, 10:59PM
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exsanguinator wrote:

Have the Flames ever had a Calder winner before?

Off the top of my head, Ryan Suter, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Sergei Makarov.

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#18 Baalzamon
August 24 2014, 10:59PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Off the top of my head, Ryan Suter, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Sergei Makarov.

Holy crap the shame! That should say Gary Suter.

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#19 exsanguinator
August 25 2014, 12:29AM
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@EugeneV

Well thanks for the rude reply to an innocent question. I apologize for not having as vast a Flames knowledge as you do.

The internet really shows people's true colors, doesn't it?

Thank you Baalzamon for not being a dick about it :)

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#20 Stack Pad Save
August 25 2014, 09:32AM
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EugeneV wrote:

Seriously? Calgary has 3 Calder Trophy winners, and if you include Atlantas 2 Calders that gives the Franchise 5.

Not sure if you're an Oilers or Nucks troll, but since you brought it up...... The totals are: Cgy 3 or 5 since Atl & Van joined the NHL Van 1 Edm 0

Since you seem to be an expert on history:

Who has more cups, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver?

Which team as produced more Hall of Fame players?

Which team is currently being built by a man who looks like a troll and destroyed Toronto's hopes of winning a cup?

Which team is currently being built by a silver fox who has all of his followers drinking the kool-aid?

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#21 Jeff In Lethbridge
August 25 2014, 10:37AM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

Since you seem to be an expert on history:

Who has more cups, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver?

Which team as produced more Hall of Fame players?

Which team is currently being built by a man who looks like a troll and destroyed Toronto's hopes of winning a cup?

Which team is currently being built by a silver fox who has all of his followers drinking the kool-aid?

i must concede that way back before helmets, in the day of leather pads, during the expansion crazed days of usleses hockey teams and zero parity, and when goalies stood up... before most of us were born, the oilers won a few cups...

So, hang on to that, and try not to twitch so noticeably whenever someone reminds you that the Flames have owned the oilers for so many years now that it's actually hard to keep track... Yes, we know - the Oiler USED to be good, and will be the best again SOON... just next year (which you've been saying for 4 years now)

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