Mar 14, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; The key to the Calgary Flames replacing left wing Mike Cammalleri's production will be improved goaltending. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames Hot Start to the Morning Vol 20

Good morning Calgary Flames fans.

Over the weekend, Flame For Thought re-introduced Captain Mark Giordano and former Chicago Blackhawk Brandon Bollig to the family.

Also over the weekend, Bleacher Report released two articles in which the respective authors gazed into their crystal ball and foretold the future.  I will post their Calgary Flames segments but first…here’s what my crystal ball foresees!!

1 bold prediction for our Calgary Flames: Flames goaltending will finish between 14th and 16th in league goals against average.

Calgary finished 24th overall last season in goals against average (2.90).  Jonas Hiller will play to his career 2.51 goals against average and Karri Ramo will have a career year besting his 2.65 goals against from last season.  So much focus is being put on the offense the club lost in Mike Cammalleri.  The Calgary Flames goaltending will help bridge that gap.

1 Calgary Flame most likely to be traded in 2014-15: Karri Ramo.

Karri Ramo becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 season.  Joni Ortio is knocking on the door.  Mason McDonald and Jon Gillies are in the system.  Come trade deadline day, one of the cravings of playoff contending teams is to shore up goaltending depth.

As promised, here are the Bleacher Report segments.  From the article by Dave Lozo “1 Bold Prediction For Every NHL Team

Johnny Gaudreau will win the Calder Trophy

Johnny Gaudreau had one goal in one game last season, arriving with the Calgary Flames after winning the Hobey Baker Award as he led the NCAA in goals (35), assists (42) and points (77) in 39 games with Boston College. The 21-year-old is listed at 5’9″ and 150 pounds, although one would think he had to put on weight this summer.

The Salem, New Jersey, native has a lot of skill, sure, but he also has a lot working against him when it comes to winning the Calder Trophy.

The last Calder winner to play in the NCAA was Dany Heatley in 2001. Since then, the award has been won strictly by players who cut their teeth either in junior hockey or overseas.

Gaudreau was a fourth-round pick of the Flames in 2011; of the past 10 winners, only Andrew Raycroft of the Boston Bruins in 2004 was drafted later than Gaudreau. 

History shows it will be an uphill path to the Calder for Gaudreau, but the Flames will likely deploy him as a top-six forward, giving him every chance to rack up impressive numbers for voters.

From Bleacher Report’s Lyle Richardson “The Player on Each NHL Team Most Likely to be Traded in 2014-15

Curtis Glencross

Why he’s likely to be traded: Curtis Glencross will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. NBC Sports’ Mike Halford cited an interview Glencross gave in July to Sportsnet Fan 960 radio claiming he’d like to re-sign with the Flames. However, he won’t accept a hometown discount as he did on his current deal.

His current annual cap hit is $2.55 million. If he proves too expensive to re-sign, the Flames could peddle him near the March trade deadline.

Potential asking price: The Flames are a rebuilding club. They could seek a young player and either a pick or prospect in return.

Possible trade partners: Glencross is a physical two-way forward whose experience and leadership would be highly prized. His no-movement clause, however, gives him final say over where the Flames could ship him. The Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks lack depth among their top-six forwards and could be among the suitors.

Any bold predictions anyone in the Flame For Thought family wishes to share?  I’ve been called crazy before, have I just furthered proved it?

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Tags: Brandon Bollig Calgary Flames Curtis Glencross Johnny Gaudreau Jonas Hiller Karri Ramo Mark Giordano NHL

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