Four big questions facing the 2016-17 Calgary Flames

Kent Wilson
August 10 2016 12:00PM

For all intents and purposes, the Flames roster for 2017-18 is set. The club has come a long way since the inception of the rebuild back in 2012, but there's still a lot of room to grow. The young core seems to be set and the team is moving forward with a fresh, younger coaching staff. 

Calgary is exiting the lower expectations of the early rebuild phase and is entering its window for contention. While no one expects the Flames to suddenly jump up to the top of Western Conference this year, the club should be making clear, demonstrable strides given their cap situation and growing maturity (and resultant expense) of their younger assets. 

The Flames are still a work in progress. Here are the four major questions facing them this year as they strive to break out of the Western Conference basement: the RW, the defense, the "other" kids and, the new coaching staff.

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FlamesNation Prospect Profile: #18 Morgan Klimchuk

Ryan Pike
August 10 2016 08:00AM

FN18

Compared to other recent first round picks, Morgan Klimchuk had a rather low-key, quiet pro debut.

Fellow 2013 picks Sean Monahan and Emile Poirier spent time in the National Hockey League in their first pro seasons. So did Sam Bennett. But Klimchuk played four American Hockey League games and got injured early in the season, missed about a month, and spent the bulk of the year in a complementary role in the minors.

Is there a risk that Klimchuk – the last organizational piece left from the decades-long Kent Nilsson-Joe Nieuwendyk-Jarome Iginla transaction chain and the 18th-ranked prospect in this year's FlamesNation Prospect Rankings – could fall by the wayside? He was our fifth-ranked player last season.

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Eetu Tuulola is officially joining Everett this season

Ryan Pike
August 09 2016 05:48PM

It took a bit of time to cross the Ts and dot the Is, but now the paperwork has been filed: 2016 Calgary Flames draft pick Eetu Tuulola is going to be playing in North America for the 2016-17 season.

The Finnish winger was drafted by the Flames in the sixth round (156th overall) of June's NHL Draft and chosen in the first round (40th overall) by the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft a week later. Word leaked out of Finland in mid-July that Tuulola had gotten out of his Finnish contract and was headed over to the WHL.

Apparently nothing unforeseen happened, as the Silvertips announced his signing today.

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FlamesNation Prospect Profile: #19 Linus Lindstrom

Ari Yanover
August 09 2016 08:00AM

FN19

The Flames entered the 2016 NHL Draft with all of their own picks, plus a few extras. Just one was traded away for a roster player; the rest, they simply used. That included their fourth round pick, which came in at 96th overall.

The fourth round has garnered somewhat of a mythos in Calgary. T.J. Brodie came out of it. So did Johnny Gaudreau. And in 2016, the latest player to be selected in the fourth round was Linus Lindstrom, who comes in at #19 in FlamesNation's Top 20 Prospects series.

This is his first year on the list, obviously - though we're hoping he can rise up the ranks.

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Stockton Heat sign Mike Angelidis; possible next captain?

Taylor McKee
August 08 2016 04:45PM

The Stockton Heat bolstered their veteran/tough forward quota today by signing the former captain of the Syracuse Crunch Mike Angelidis, a 2016 AHL All-Star and member of the 2011-12 Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.

If this is a sign that the Flames are moving away from stocking their AHL roster with "character guys" like Colton Orr, then I am all for it. Angelidis was widely loved in Syracuse and has at least some ability to score. Let's meet Mike Angelidis after the jump!

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