Christmas wishes for all

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It’s about as self explanatory as it gets! Christmas wishes to the Calgary Flames on this Christmas Eve of 2015. Merry Christmas to all in Flames Nation…be safe and healthy and all that jazz. And now without further ado, in no particular order…

Johnny Gaudreau

There is only one wish that is truly appropriate for Calgary’s sophomore phenom: a new contract, and soon. The more Gaudreau authors highlight reel moments, goals, and games, the more expensive I fear he becomes. Right now, I’m not going to lose much sleep if Gaudreau signs something close to the Vladimir Tarasenko comparable we talked about earlier this month. Gaudreau is this team’s MVP so far this season, he’s 22 years old, and the team cannot afford to let him walk. Pay that man!

Josh Jooris

It’s tough to understand why Jooris has had so much trouble getting in the lineup over the last month or so. For me, my Christmas wish to Jooris is more playing time, because the guy deserves it. Jooris has been nothing but consistent as a bottom six forward and I believe has been more effective than others playing more regular roles. At 51.2%, his possession rate is number one on the team among regular players, so I say…play that man!

Jiri Hudler

I wish for a much more productive remainder of the season for Hudler, so we can remember him fondly. There is next to no chance we see Hudler back next season, so if he crank his game up a little bit, that would be wonderful. Hudler playing better will boost his trade value if that’s in the cards, and it will also help his current team on the ice, because they could use him.

In terms of what he’s capable of compared to what he’s been, Hudler has likely been Calgary’s biggest disappointment this season. His 64.6% offensive zone start ratio is second highest on the team, yet his 47.6% Corsi rating is still near the bottom for the group. He’s been better of late, so let’s wish for that being a trend in the right direction.

TJ Brodie

It may be slightly ambitious, but it really isn’t all that far fetched at all. I’m hoping Calgary’s best defenceman can be in the mix when Canada announces their World Cup of Hockey roster in the spring. The first 16 players must be named to the team before March 1st while the remainder of the team can wait until June 1st of 2016. If Brodie keeps on playing the way he has, I think he’ll be in the mix at the very least.

Dougie Hamilton

I’m just wishing for continued improvement for one of Calgary’s brightest young stars. No one is going to deny Hamilton had his struggles to start the season. But it’s also impossible to deny that Hamilton has gotten significantly better in recent weeks. Hamilton is a core piece on this team going forward and the potential that exists with him and Brodie on this blueline for years to come is pretty exciting.

Sam Bennett

It’s a wish I know I can’t have, but I just wish Bennett’s 20th birthday was earlier than June. That way, we can stop hearing him referred to as “19-year-old Sam Bennett” once and for all. In related news, Bennett is just 19 years old. Also, Joe Colborne is from Calgary.

Markus Granlund

It’s simple, it’s not groundbreaking, and it’s not original…but we need more face-off wins from Granlund this Christmas. The Flames challenged the 2011 second round pick to improve in this area during the offseason, as he won just 36.8% of his draws last season. This year, he’s bumped that to 37.8% through 13 games. That’s not really going to get the job done.

Deryk Engelland

I wish only good things for Engelland because of his perfect beard. The picture above is from early December, and it’s a beard that has gotten even more miraculous as the month has progressed. It is impossible not to wish good things for someone with a beard of this quality.

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Have a Merry Christmas, let’s all be safe and friendly and let’s not be mean in the comments until at least Boxing Day.