5 Ways the Flames Can Win the Cup This Year

Calgary Flames management has been consistent and up front about the club’s current goals: no rebuild and no retool. The roster is built to compete and win now, dammit! Here at FN, we have analyzed the team and its various components and prospects to death during this extended off-season.

So with the benefit of all that research and knowledge, I humbly present the five main ways I think the Flames could win the cup in 2012-13…

#1 Find a time machine

 This is actually a solution with multiple avenues of success. The first, and easiest, would be to go back to 1989 and simply re-live the season when Calgary placed first in the league and then beat Canadiens in the playoffs to win it all. Gilmour, Loob, Nieuwendyk, Fleury, MacInnis, Suter, Otto, Roberts, Pepper, Lanny, Mullen, MaCoun…actually this one might be too painful to return from. Scratch that.

If it’s a second championship you’re looking for, then there’s the option of going back to prevent the Flames multiple early-90’s first round choke jobs. Knee-cap Pavel Bure so he can’t score the decisive game-7 OT winner in ’94, for instance. Or maybe kidnap Ray Whitney so he can’t beat Trevor Kidd in ’95. For that matter…return, become the head of Flames scouting and convince the team to take Martin Brodeur instead of Kidd in the 1990 entry draft (maybe also warn them about Daniel Tkaczuk and Rico Fata while you’re at it).

Of course, if you want to see THIS version of the Flames win it all, you’ll need to find a way to rewind things about five-to-seven years, but keep the same roster. Kipper, Iginla, Tanguay and Cammalleri in their prime. See if you can get Lanks back too. F’ yea! Also, upstart punks like Toews, Crosby, Kane, Malkin wouldn’t be mega stars yet.

As an added bonus, it would be nice to see a 21-23 year old Jay Bouwmeester as well – so full of hope and promise before the weight of the world crushed his spirit. Matt Stajan would probably still suck though.

#2 Simulate a bunch of seasons with NHL 13

The bad thing about each NHL season is you only have one shot to try to get things right. Thankfully, modern home gaming machines have made it possible to run an endless number of iterations for each season so that one doesn’t have to settle for harsh, stupid, boring reality.

The other option is play the game in GM mode, acquire every star possible, adjust all the sliders to favor yourself over the computer and set the difficulty to "rookie". Then just let the awards and cups roll in.

#3 Trade for Sidney Crosby

As Darryl Katz and the Gary Bettman have ably shown us over and over again recently, convincing others to do what we want even if it isn’t even remotely in their interest is all about FRAMING. Or, in marketer speak SELLING THE VISION. Or in con man speak DRAGGING IN THE MARK. 

Anyhoo, it may seem like acquiring Crosby in a trade is impossible, but it’s really all about how Jay Feaster could frame the potential swap with Ray Shero:

"Hi Ray. It’s Jay. Jay Feaster. That’s right, Calgary Flames.

Listen Ray, I’m calling about that concussion prone kid you have over there. What’s his name again? Cosby? Oh right, Crosby. I hear he’s always hurt. And didn’t you guys get worse when he finally got back into game action last year? And he costs what? $9 million per year. And he’s signed forever? Yeesh. Albatross there Ray. Just a boat anchor.

Listen, the fans in town keep yelling about us needing to get younger for some reason. He’s, what, 25 or something right? You know NHL forwards peak at 25 and then it’s all downhill, right? Anyways, I figure I can take Crosby off your hands and do both of us a favor. 

Here’s what I got – a couple of first rounders, and that’s just to start. Yup, first round picks…uh-huh…Nemisz and Irving. Listen, we’ve poured a lot of time and money into these guys and we feel they’re big, big parts of the future, but I know you gotta give to get. Listen, you’re trying to win now too, I get that, so I can probably throw in Matt Stajan as well. Established NHLer. He was the KEY PIECE of our Phaneuf trade a few years back. He’s damn near essential, but I gotta make room at center if I’m adding Crosby right?

To seal the deal, I’ll throw in this Anton Babchuk fellow. He’s a defender and he’s huge. Six foot five or something. A strapping young lad, so I hate to do it. He can splinter the boards from center with his shot too. Yeah, that’s right, an absolute cannon. PK guys will throw their wives and mistresses in front of the puck rather than block it themselves. Uh-huh. No, no he’s great in his own end, it’s just that I have too many defensemen anyways.

You’re robbing me blind if you take this one Ray. Just one of those moves I gotta make to shut up the hoi polloi, you understand. Yeah. Listen, before calling you I tried this on one of those video games and it went through right away so you know it’s gold…"

#4 Hide under some coats. Hope somehow everything will work out.

Also called "the Homer Simpson Solution to Project Management"

#5 End the lock-out

In the end, the Flames will have to actually play hockey in order to even have a chance at the cup.

This one seems the least likely, unfortunately.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    It worries me that with a shortened season it is more likely that a tail event occurs.

    This is all well and good for this team’s needs going forward if it is a left tail event, and we get McKinnon, Jones, or another high ranking prospect.

    I’m worried about the right tail. This team finishes third and/or buys big at the deadline, and gets bounced out of the playoffs quickly.

    I’d prefer to take my chances with 3 balls in a Mckinnon draft lottery.

  • My five would have been:

    1) Steal it
    2) Hope the 29 other teams go out of business
    3) High-speed car chase leading to a hijacking of the car carrying the Cup
    4) Hope the 29 other teams have plane crashes
    5) A Sarich/Babchuk home-made Cup out of bubblegum wrappers and Skoal cans from all the time they spent sitting in the press box

    Much more exciting, and equally as likely as actually winning it or having an NHL season.

  • aloudoun

    whats really getting me through this lockout is playing be a pro on NHL 13 and starting in the WHL with Portland and being center on the first line with SVEN and Rattie.

    Also these KHL highlights and Flamesnation are helping.

  • Stockley

    I’ve been playing NHL 13 as the Heat, using the roster mostly as it is in reality. Since I don’t care much about the NHL right now I can hold on to Sven and Brodie and try to win a Calder cup.

    Of course the temptation is there to offload most veterans off the NHL roster for draft picks. Improved computer intelligence is one of their claims; so far I’m not seeing it. I unloaded Babs to the Wings for a 2nd round draft pick and swindled the Ducks by getting a 3rd rounder for Mitch Wahl. Then the Bruins traded me their first and 2nd round picks for a package of Stajan, Karlsson and a 3rd. Any of that sound realistic or intelligent to anyone else?

      • Stockley

        Henrik. Hence my confusion.

        If I (or the Flames for that matter) had Erik Karlsson I don’t think I’d be dealing him. He’s bound to take a step or 2 back from last year’s Norris season, but he’s a hell of a talent.

        Forgot to mention acquiring a 1st round pick for Tanguay (Buffalo) and 1st and 2nd rounders from the Jackets for JayBo.

        The computer in NHL 13 really doesn’t put much value on draft picks, at least not as much as real life general managers do. I had 9 picks in the first 3 rounds of the ’13 draft without dealing Iggy, Kipper, Gio or Camm. If this was reality I’d be suggesting the Flames hire me for real so I can rebuild this bunch in two years.

  • RexLibris

    One little problem. For scenario #1, how to harness the 1.21 Gigawatts (incorrectly pronounced Ji-ga-watts, for comedic effect)? Will it be via some illicitly obtained radioactive material? They’re kind of picky about that nowadays. You could power it off of the Tesla coils they installed at the Lightning’s rink for special effects and just go back to 2004.

    Unless you are giving yourself the luxury of a Mr. Fusion, which is just cheating in my books.

    Great article, btw!

    • RexLibris

      no, you get the 1.21 gigawatts by stealing an anti-matter reactor from the set of StarTrek, then giving it to the guy from Paycheck (played by Ben Affleck :P) so he can reverse-engineer it and make it better (ie. real).

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    You’ve got it all wrong Kent. They just need to play a shortened season around 40 games so Iginla and the rest of the 35+ crowd are fresh.

    Then you trade Backlund, Baertschi and our 2013 1st for Derek Roy cuz he’s good in the locker room and a veteran guy who can be the # 1 center we’ve always wanted and will be that final missing piece to get over the hump.

    That should be enough to squeeze into 8th place. And Jay says if you get into 8th – “anything can happen”. “we have Kipper” and “if he gets hot” then the cup is surely ours.

    • Matty Franchise Jr

      Careful what you “wish” for. Feast might be reading FN (what else does he have to do right now?), see your comment and think it’s a great idea.

  • I just realized this, looking at the header pic for this post…

    Sven Baertschi was born in 1992. That means he wasn’t even born when the Flames won the cup. In fact, that means the team has made it past the first round just once during his entire lifetime (and the last time they did that, he was 12).

  • RKD

    Hey, Kipper won the Vezina and Williams Jennings and set a post modern NHL lowest GAA playing in only 38 games.

    The Flames can get a head start now that they can avoid the doldrums of Oct., Nov., and soon enough December.

    EA Sports has the Flames at 7-0 before tonight’s contest against the 8-0 Habs. Yeah right, the Flames would be more like 3-4.

    We will just have to clone Sven many times over.

  • Mike Vernon's ghost

    Juat a thought……..maybe if the NHL can start the season just after Xmas and finish up in March the Flames would finish 1st overall. Maybe the can fire Darryl again. If there last 2 seasons are anything to go by. End the season just before the Flames start their end of season swan dive.