FlamesNation Mailbag: The early excitement of pre-season hockey

Photo credit:Mike Gould
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
It’s training camp time, friends, and the Calgary Flames have just begun their pre-season schedule (with a pair of wins over Vancouver). As we continue to ramp up the anticipation towards the upcoming regular season, we once again delve into the weekly mailbag.
Honestly, I’m not sure if they’d try to swing a trade:
  1. The club was very adamant about accumulating more defensive depth after their playoff experience, so I’d imagine they’d rather have more defensive depth than less. (If you trade a good defenceman, suddenly you’re more vulnerable to an injury making your team spotty on the blueline.)
  2. I don’t think they have the cap space to cover a top six forward, which is why Sonny Milano is here in the first place.
I think their preference is to hold on to everybody, if they can.
Bold standings predictions:
  1. Calgary
  2. Edmonton
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Vegas
  5. Vancouver
  6. Anaheim
  7. San Jose
  8. Seattle
The gap between Calgary and Edmonton will be almost non-existent, and the gap between the last divisional team (LA) and missing the playoffs entirely will be pretty slim.
You need to modulate your pre-season win excitement to the quality of the opposition that was beaten. The Flames beat an AHL-esque Canucks team in Calgary, so the celebration should be muted. But the Flames sent their AHL crew (and a few NHL bodies) to Vancouver and beat most of Vancouver’s regulars, which is itself fairly impressive, even when you consider how rusty the NHL regulars tend to be at this time of the year.
As noted prior, my gut says probably nobody. If anybody gets moved, it might just be Juuso Valimaki (so the Flames can avoid losing him on waivers for nothing and avoid having the $425,000 cap penalty they would have if they bury him in the AHL).

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