January 08 2013 09:27AM
(This article was originally published in August. However, rather than just re-linking to it I think it makes sense simply to re-publish it now. It has been updated in places to reflect what has happened with some players in the interim)
Despite missing the playoffs in each of the prior two seasons, last year began with a glimmer of hope for Flames fans - the club went on to be one of the hottest teams in the league in the wake of Darryl Sutter's ouster in 2011-12. So although new GM Jay Feaster only made a few nominal changes to the line-up in the summer of 2012, the feeling was the organization would bloom now that it wasn't operating under the dour cloud of Sutter's baleful glare.
Unfortunately, the second half run in 2012 was mostly a mirage. The Flames were (and remain) a fundamentally flawed club who are good enough to compete for a playoff spot, but several steps behind the true contenders in the league. The current construction of the team also makes a real step forward in the near future unlikely; in fact, with an aging core and a lackluster collection of players in or near their prime, the Flames will probably continue to trend downwards.
January 07 2013 12:41PM
Just some things rolling around my head as we transition from interpreting legalese and negotiating strategy to discussing roster depth and line combinations. Of course, FlamesNation is going to re-do some of our previous season previews as well as cover Calgary's truncated training camp as thoroughly as possible. But for now, some bullets -
January 07 2013 08:36AM
The lockout is over! Training camp for the abbreviated 2013 NHL campaign will begin some time this week.
Approximately 30 to 33 players will be invited to training camp, according to Jay Feaster on The Fan960 recently. Breaking it down, however, it's patently obvious that there won't be a lot of true roster battles.
January 06 2013 05:04PM
What's that thing called when you break up with someone, both see other people and then decide you are going to get back together and have to pretend like the last 6 months never happened? Yeah. It's time for about 1000cc of that.
January 06 2013 12:35PM
With the lock-out finally winding down and training camp set to start in about a week, we can finally start talking actual hockey again. Huzzah!
The long lay-off, new CBA rules plus the development of players and a shortened NHL season will all have an impact on how this season shapes up for the Flames. Here are some primary issues and questions the Flames will face: