Realistic Expectations: Matthew Tkachuk

christian tiberi
October 12 2016 02:00PM

Well, it's finally Hockey Day. The Flames are heading north to Edmonton to remind the Oilers that their history is a flat circle. It's a new season, and there's plenty to be excited about.

For the Flames, the biggest story tonight and probably for the rest of the season will be Matthew Tkachuk. The sixth overall selection at the draft has turned many heads at the Young Stars classic and during the preseason. He'll make his big debut tonight.

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Realistic Expectations: Jyrki Jokipakka

October 12 2016 01:00PM

Lost in a lot of the discussion on the blueline is Jyrki Jokipakka, one of the pieces acquired in the Kris Russell deal with Dallas at the 2016 trade deadline. He's 25 - in the right age group - and that should put him in the discussion of players who should breathe optimism into the fanbase.

The biggest question in this is whether or not Jokipakka can produce results of a second pairing guy, or if he's destined for depth territory.

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FGD 1: A new era for the Battle of Alberta (8pm MT, SN)

Ryan Pike
October 12 2016 12:00PM

(Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports)

We love HOME games; have Liquor Depot deliver in under an hour. Click, pick, sit back and watch the game.

Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016-17 Calgary Flames season here at On behalf of everybody at the site, we're really excited to have you aboard for the next 82 games (and perhaps...more?) of hockey action. And as fate may have it, we have a pretty fun game to start the regular season off.

The Flames start the season off in style, hitting the road to scenic Edmonton, Alberta to take on their most storied rival, the Edmonton Oilers. In an added twist, tonight's contest will be the first official National Hockey League contest at the Oilers shiny new barn, Rogers Place. That means that a Flames victory tonight wouldn't just put a tick in the loss column for the Oilers, but would also forever sully the history of the expensive little bauble they've built in their downtown area.

The puck is expected to drop well after 8 p.m. MT, likely closer to 8:45,(as we presume the Oilers will open their barn with a great deal of pomp and circumstance) and you can check it out on Sportsnet's national feed (with Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson) or on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias)!

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Who plays with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan this season?

Ryan Pike
October 12 2016 10:00AM

(Candice Ward / USA Today Sports)

Now that the contractual mess is over with and the games are finally set to begin, we can finally address a burning question: who the heck lines up alongside Johnny Gaudreau and center Sean Monahan on the Flames' top line?

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Calgary Flames 2016-17 Season Preview: The end of lowered expectations

Kent Wilson
October 12 2016 08:00AM

The beginning is always the easy part.

It's easy to sell hope at the onset of a rebuild. It's easy to be excited about the new GM, the new coach, the new direction of a team. It's fun to watch the organization pick blue chip prospects at the top of the draft. The hard stuff comes after.

The Brad Treliving regime is exiting the lowered expectations phase of the current rebuild. The kids are getting expensive, the core is starting to coalesce and the club is rubbing uncomfortably against the cap ceiling. Treliving was able to pick his own coaching staff this offseason and by next summer the budget will be clear of the prior regime's last few mistakes (Dennis Wideman and Ladislav Smid). 

Which means it's time to start crawling back up the Western Conference standings rather than hoping for a top five draft pick. While it's unrealistic to expect the Flames to instantly jump to contender status this season, the objective has to be real, substantial improvement. 

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