The Calgary Flames are now officially eliminated from playoff contention

Daniil Miromanov, Calgary Flames
Daniil Miromanov, Calgary Flames / James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Some fans came into the 2023-24 season expecting and hoping that the Calgary Flames would simply move off their Unrestricted Free Agents, while others were looking for the team to bounce back in many ways and make a playoff run.

Unfortunately for people hoping for success, the team have now officially been eliminated from playoff contention after a dreadful performance in a 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on the road, finally putting the team out of their misery. There's been plenty of positives for this team, with the emergence of players like Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil, but ultimately, even with the positives, this team has highly underachieved at this stage.

What makes this even more disappointing for the fans that held out hope is that the ownership group nixed a deal for Jacob Markstrom that would have returned them at very least Alexander Holtz, as they were looking for the team to make a playoff run. It was unlikely at the time, and with injuries, rookies hitting the wall and some struggles, the team have proven over the past month that they are exactly what we thought; a mediocre team that desperately needs elite young talent to compete.

This summer now becomes even more important for the Flames, as they will likely have a pick in the top-10, and with other assets, they may look to move back into the top of the draft for a second pick, and if they can hit on those, the future begins to look bright. If the ownership group can get out of the front office's way, they appear ready to build a winner for the future rather than going through a quick fix, and while that means the Flames will lose plenty over the next two years, that's not much different to what we've seen in the past decade.

On top of that, the team have several veterans that could be looking to move on with the likes of Rasmus Andersson, Jacob Markstrom and Nazem Kadri all potential trade candidates, so one way or another, this summer may define the Calgary Flames franchise for decades to come. We will talk more about the season that was in the coming days and weeks, but ultimately, it was a highly uneventful year on the ice for a team that played well in stretches but not often enough, and while the GM moved plenty of contracts, he's got much more work to do if the team want to be successful in the long-term.