2. Figure out goaltending
I hate talking about goaltending, but here we are. Every year, for some reason, the topic of goaltending is a big one surrounding the Calgary Flames. Luckily for the Flames, this is the last season with Mike Smith‘s contract. Unlucky for the Flames, they also won’t quite have a starting goaltender and will only have maybe about $4 million to sign a goaltender, if that.
However, luckily (again) for the Flames, David Rittich has been a star this season and has somewhat taken the reigns from Smith as the starting goalie. The only issue is that Rittich was a great backup last season, but when Smith got injured, that’s when he crumbled when he was dependent on as the starter. So it may be a mental thing for him knowing there’s an experienced goaltender there to back him up if needed, but without it, he falls under the pressure.
Jon Gillies will be on a one-way contract next season, but that won’t matter too much. Rittich will need to be re-signed this year as well and seeing how the year is going, the Flames will most likely keep him around. But they’ll need to get someone else. Gillies isn’t dependent right now and neither is Tyler Parsons — who’s supposed to be the Flames goaltender of the future.
Figuring out the goaltending situation should be the biggest priority of this offseason. I think Rittich will stay, but they need to find someone else. Who they’ll find, that’s also hard to say. The issue is that they won’t really be able to afford a high-level calibre goalie.