Update on the Calgary Flames potential draft positioning

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Whether you are on Team Tank or you want the Calgary Flames to continue playing to win, one thing is for certain; the team aren't making the playoffs in 2023-24, and the smartest move right now is to play for the best possible draft pick. Unless they find some draft lottery luck that has never been seen before in franchise history, the Flames are in line for a top-10 draft pick, with the likeliest outcome being that they pick in the 7-10 range.

Currently, Calgary sit with the 8th worst record in the NHL with eight games to go on the season, with four games to go against playoff teams and the other four against teams below them in the standings. If you are Team Tank, the next eight games could be a major play for the Flames to push their odds higher to land a top-five draft pick. Knowing these Flames, that will mean a 4-0 or 3-1 mark against the tough opponents with a potential 0-4 mark against the other teams, so what exactly does their schedule look like?

Road Games

Home Games

@San Jose
@Los Angeles

vs. Edmonton
vs. Arizona
vs. San Jose

It may seem like a small sample size, but the next eight games could ultimately be the difference between the Flames landing one of the top players in the draft or having all their options taken away and being forced to take best player available in the 10-12 range. While Flames fans may not like losing, it's a necessary step in the process right now, and if going 0-8 down the stretch is the difference between a top pick and the 10th overall pick, it may be painful but it would be preferable for the front office.

So what are the chances of the Flames moving up in the draft?

Right now, the Flames sit with the eighth worst record in the NHL with 73 points on the season, and both the Ottawa Senators (5-1-0 last 6) and Montreal Canadiens (4-1-0 last 5) right on their tails with 70 points. Sure, no teams are going out there to lose, as hockey players simply won't take that mindset onto the ice, but with two teams right behind them that have momentum on their side, the Flames need to make this sacrifice to give themselves a better shot at a top draft pick.

Ultimately, the Flames have several potential targets from every draft spot in the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft if they are picking in the top 10, but to get the best possible option of a potential trade, their choice of players at several different positions it is simple; they need to lose. That may be hard for many to accept, but the next eight games could define the next eight years for the Calgary Flames, and while winning would be a fun way to end the year with a fun squad to watch, it's not beneficial to anyone.