CALGARY FLAMES 2012-2013 SEASON PREVIEW:
The Calgary Flames have missed the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the last three seasons, but the team showed marked improvement during the 2011-12 campaign when they finished with a 37-29-16 record and a ninth place finish in the Western Conference. With the departure of head coach Brent Sutter, the Flames brought in Bob Hartley, who won a Stanley Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche. The Flames fanbase has been hungry for playoff success over the past several years, and the team's management hopes that Hartley's experience can pay dividends with a roster that is top heavy with veterans and hurting for some young talent.
The Flames' blue line features Alex Tanguay, Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammelleri, the latter of which will be expected to pick up the production for the departed Olli Jokinen, who put up 61 points during the 2011-12 season. Iginla and Tanguay have been stalwarts on the first line, but they are getting on in years and the Flames hope that some of their younger players can step up and give quality playing time. The Flames managed to lure Jiri Hudler away from the Red Wings during the free agency period, and he will join Mikael Backlund and Sven Baertschi on the second line.
On the defensive side of the ice, the Flames made the most changes to their starting lineup, as the team signed defenseman Dennis Wideman to a long-term contract. Wideman should provide solid depth and occasional starting experience to the team's defensive formations, and he will join a talented group of veterans like Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano and Chris Butler. In the goaltending spot, Miikka Kiprusoff had a bounce back year and posted an impressive .921 save percentage throughout the season. The backup goalie spot has been a trouble spot for the Flames over the past several seasons, so the team is hoping that Leland Irving can give the team quality ice time throughout the year.
For the Flames to end their playoff drought, they'll have to get off to a good start and stay consistent throughout the year to ensure a postseason berth. The 2012-13 season will certainly will start off with a bang on Thursday, October 11th with a showdown against the rival Vancouver Canucks. The following Monday, the Flames will play host to the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, so fans will find out very quickly if their team has the chips in place to make serious playoff run this year.
CALGARY FLAMES EXPERIENCE:
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Stadium: Scotiabank Saddledome
Conference: Western Conference
Division: Northwest Division
Calgary Flames Stanley Cup Titles: 1: 1988-1989
Calgary Flames Conference Championships: 3
Notable Players: Lanny McDonald, Joe Mullen
The Calgary Flames play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Calgary Flames were founded in 1972 as the Atlanta Flames. The team spent 8 seasons in Atlanta and after making the playoffs in 6 of those seasons still found itself on shaky financial ground. The late 1980's in Calgary saw the Flames improve every year until they finally managed to win the Stanley Cup in 1989. In spite of the fantastic play of NHL star Theoren Fleury the Calgary Flames would struggle for the next 10 years. It wasn't until 2004 that Calgary made a strong push and reached the finals as the first Canadian team to do so in 10 years by beating three division champions. The Calgary Flames remain a strong contender for the Stanley Cup.
The Calgary Flames play their home games at the Scotiabank Saddledome in breathtaking Calgary, Alberta. The arena is a key part of the Calgary skyline. The hyperbolic paraboloid design allows more seats to be along the side of the ice, making every seat a great vantage point for a game. Buy Calgary Flames tickets and watch Canada's best team fight for another trip to the Stanley Cup Finals!
Calgary Flames Season Preview History