Question #3 – Where do you see the Calgary Flames in terms of competing for the Presidents Trophy as the top team in the regular season?
Jonathan Boulanger – On paper, the Flames look to be in the upper echelon and an elite team. However, that is on paper. Reality is often a much different thing. If they can convert the potential in that locker room into success, I believe they can be within the top 5 teams in the league.
Tomas Oppolzer – I don’t think they’re quite in that conversation yet when you consider teams like Washington, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, and Nashville but I can definitely see Calgary finishing in the top 10. That said, I wouldn’t be shocked if Calgary could find themselves in that Top 5 conversation if everything goes right.
Benjamin Prokopy – Top 7 in the league. If 46 wins is the magic number to lead the Pacific division, then you need to add 10 to that for the President’s Trophy. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think the Flames are there.
First off, I’m not convinced the goaltending issue has been solved. I’m not even sure the Flames have improved dramatically over the Elliott/Johnson tandem. President’s Trophy winners have great goaltending. Smith/Lack may only just be good.
Then there is the rest of the field. As I mentioned, the Pacific may very well be the weakest division in the league. Last year, Anaheim topped the division, but that was only good enough for 6th overall. Out of the Central, I expect Dallas to drastically improve. Along with Nashville and St. Louis, any or all could be President’s Trophy worthy.
Mix in Eastern Conference favorites such as Washington, Pittsburgh and Columbus, and one can see the Flames are in tight for top spot.
Ian Gustafson – In all honesty I don’t see them competing for the Presidents trophy and I don’t want them to. Every team that wins the trophy is completely worn out come playoff time. It all depends how all the new players settle in and if Troy Brouwer and Sam Bennett have comeback seasons. Mike Smith would have to have a career season for them to contend for top team in the regular season.
Ramina Shlah – I don’t think they’ll finish as the top team overall. But for the Flames, it’ll be better if they don’t. President Trophy winners rarely win the Stanley Cup in the end. That way, they won’t go into the playoffs with their egos too high. The Flames almost didn’t even make the playoffs this past season. While they did do some great work in the off-season, I don’t think they’ll jump to being the top team in the NHL.
Dan Raicevich – The Presidents Trophy might be a stretch, no doubt. Calgary is a team in the upper third in the National Hockey League. For them to win the Presidents Trophy this year, they would need to get the consistent goaltending for a calendar year. I think they are a much better team, but they are not there in terms of a Presidents Trophy team…yet.