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FlamesNation 2023 off-season fan survey results

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Photo credit:@NHLFlames on Twitter
Robert Munnich
8 months ago
Last week we posted our first ever FlamesNation fan survey. Nearly 1,000 fans answered the most pressing questions surrounding their favourite team.
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. We really appreciate it!

The Results

92.3% of Flames fans are excited to have Conroy leading the Flames hockey operations department. His excellent performance at his introductory press conference went a long way in solidifying himself as the right person for the job. This hire is quite the PR win for the Flames organization.
Conroy has won the acceptance of the fanbase, which is great. But he is now entering a time where he has to make a lot of key decisions about the future of the Flames franchise. Let’s see if the fans are still on board after those decisions are made.
 
Similar to Conroy, Huska received an overwhelming amount of support from the Flames fan base. 78.90% of the fans who filled out the survey are in favour of the Huska hire. Huska did a great job letting the fans get to know him through several media interviews, including his one hour sit down on Barn Burner. Huska is very likeable, outgoing, and thoughtful. All characteristics of a coach the fans can get behind. But once again the proof will be in the pudding. Let’s see the on ice results before we crown him as the next great coach of the Calgary Flames.
 
 
The fans want Elias Lindholm back in red and white next season and beyond. 63.3% of fans want Conroy to sign Lindholm to a long term extension. It’s hard to argue against that as Lindholm has been one of the Flames best forwards since coming over in a trade in 2018. He is good for 60 points a year. He is a great defensive player. And he plays on the first unit of both special teams. The only issue is that he will be 30 years old on Dec. 2, 2024, which will be in the first year of his potential eight year extension. That’s a lot of money to be paying someone well into their 30s.
54.8% of Flames fans want to see Noah Hanifin traded this off-season. Elliotte Friedman, Pierre LeBrun, Pat Steinberg and other NHL insiders and reporters have all indicated that it is looking more likely than not that Hanifin will be traded this summer. And over half the fan base would be OK with that happening. The Flames should be able to receive a large return in a Hanifin trade. 26 year old, top four defencemen are rare commodities in today’s NHL.
 
We have our first split among the fan base. 42.7% of the fans want to see Toffoli signed to an extension. He is coming off an incredible season where he put up a career high in goals and points. He has also openly discussed how he wants to stay in Calgary and wants to sign an extension.
Then there is the 41% who want to see him traded. This crowd most likely thinks that it would be smart for the Flames to cash in on a career year by a 32 year old winger.
This will be one of Conroy’s toughest decisions to make this off-season.
 
54.8% of the fan base wants to see Mikael Backlund retire as a Calgary Flame. If the Flames were to sign him to an extension, it would likely come with the captaincy. Having someone play their entire career would be pretty cool as it is something that hasn’t happened since the early 1990s when Jim Peplinski played his entire career in Calgary.
 
Chris Tanev has been a fantastic addition to the Calgary Flames since arriving as a free agent in October 2020. He has done nothing but give his heart and soul to the Flames. And because of that, 52% of Flames fans want to see him stick around either for just next season or a few years beyond that. Tanev has been key in the development of Hanifin and Oliver Kylington. And guys like Tanev are not easy to replace.
But 48% the fan base thinks that it might be time to move on from the 33 year old defenceman. Tanev has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career including last season with the Flames. It might be time to get some assets for the veteran.
 
Nikita Zadorov has become a fan favourite in Calgary for reasons both on and off the ice.
On the ice Zadorov brings a physical, intimidating presence to the Flames blueline. You always have to keep your head up as an opposing player when Zadorov is out there. Off the ice, Zadorov has a great, no nonsense type of personality. He gives some of the best interviews on the team. And he is incredibly stylish. He brings some much needed swagger to this Flames team.
Only 22% of the voters want to see him traded. Paying $3.75 million is a lot for a third pairing defenceman.
The fans want to see Kylington back with the Flames. And for good reason. In the 2021-22 season, Kylington was one of the most exciting players on the team. He is an incredible skater and has a great offensive mind for the game. He made watching Flames hockey a lot of fun and was sorely missed in the 2022-23 season.
The most likely outcome is for the Flames to go into next season without an extension in place for Kylington. Let’s see if he is able to get back to the level he was in 2021 after taking more than a year off from the game.
This was one of the most interesting results from the survey. 93.4% of you want to see Dustin Wolf on the Flames roster next season. Based on the reaction from the fans, it would be a failure for the Flames to go into next season with both Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar on the roster.
Let’s see if the Flames front office listens to the fans and moves out one of Vladar or Markstrom in a trade this summer.
 
No surprise to see Mikael Backlund get a significant portion of the vote to become the next captain. We have heard Flames players in the media say that Backlund is their leader. he has been with the team the longest and has worn an A for a long time. Now is the time to give him the captaincy according to 44.1% of the voters.
But Backlund has some competition in Rasmus Andersson and MacKenzie Weegar both doing well in this vote. All three would be strong choices to become the next captain.
Flames fans were impressed by the play of Troy Stecher during his limited time with the team. He is a heart and soul player who gives you his all every night. Fans love those kinds of players.
No surprise to see Matthew Phillips get some love. The Calgary kid deserves a chance to play in the NHL, and the fans hope it’s with the Flames.
 
The Flames don’t have the deepest prospect system. One of Conroy’s biggest jobs is to replenish that group of players and the best way to do that is to pick in the first round. 90% of the voters want to see the Flames either make the pick at 16, or try to trade up to draft a better player.
 
The Flames are going to have a lot of players to choose from at pick 16. The winner in our poll is Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets.
 
As we saw in the goaltending tandem question, fans are pumped to see Dustin Wolf with the Flames next year. And for good reason. Wolf has won the goaltender of the year award four years in a row. Two in the WHL and two in the AHL. He is arguably the best goaltending prospect in the NHL.
Just behind him was Matthew Coronato and Jakob Pelletier. Both looked very good in the final game of the regular season and showed glimpses of what they’re capable of at the NHL level.
That’s it for the FlamesNation fan survey. Thanks again to everyone who took the time to answer these questions!

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