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The Calgary Flames are quite possibly one of the most frustrating teams to cheer for, just ask any fan. Why? Well, since their cup win in 1989, this team has been on a downward spiral, with bad coaches, bad GM’s and nearly zero playoff success outside of their miraculous run to the cup in 2004 which saw them lose in game 7 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and a trip to the second round in 2015 before being eliminated by Anaheim. So, after another disappointing season in which the Flames missed the playoffs, what was the plan for this season exactly?

According to GM Brad Treliving there would be changes to the core, that much was clear. And at the expansion draft in June, a change happened. The Flames neglected to protect Giordano, not wanting to give up assets that could hurt their future, and lost the former Norris trophy winner to the Kraken. Now, this has turned out poorly, strictly for the fact that the Flames, who should be heading for a major retool or rebuild, instead hardly changed. They added an unproven Vladar as the backup and signed a bunch of vets, rough customers that will adapt to Sutter-style-hockey. On forward they’re not bad, but on defense this team is loaded with questions and what ifs.

Can Tanev stay healthy and play just as good as last season? Will Hanafin take another step forward, or was last year the exception not the rule? Can Andersson have a bounce back year or will be continue a downward spiral? Is Valimaki ready for the next step? Or is he turning into a bust? Can Zadorov and Gudbranson fill in the lost piece of Giordano?

The answer to the last one is a big fat NO...
Anyways!

Looking at the expansion draft again, I feel like the Flames should have let the Kraken have their first-round pick. If the Flames had made REAL significant changes for a retool or rebuild, it makes sense to lose Gio. If the plan is to keep competing, losing Gio makes no sense, especially if you’re not going to replace him properly or you’re relying on GREAT years from everyone, which I’m not convinced will happen.

Looking back, I think it’s very clear they should have just kept Gio. I think it makes way more sense especially with where the team is headed.


Thanks for Reading!
Filed Under:   calgary flames  
September 21, 2021 11:31 AM ET | Delete
I have a small feeling this year is a tank job and they wont say it out loud, the plan is to have johnny scored 30 and monny 20 and trade them both to pick in the first round 3 or 4 times....to me is very sad but its not set up for success and letting gio go like this was a disgrace to him and the team but with him they wouldnt be able to tank it away.
September 22, 2021 10:30 PM ET | Delete
Letting Gio go is a huge POSITIVE step for this organization. Under his time as captain the Flames continually underperformed. His complete and total lack of leadership was on full display when a teammate gets a puck flipped at him after the final buzzer and while a skirmish is going on Gio turns his back on a teammate and leaves the ice. You can debate whether Chucky should have stirred up crap at that point but once it starts a legit captain leads the charge to back a teammate then address the crap off the ice. A true leader never turns his back on a teammate...Gio is a JOKE.
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With hindsight, I believe they should have just kept Gio. It makes a lot more sense to me, especially given where the team is going. io games
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Ship sailed my friend. Were there not an expansion draft, Gio retires a Flame with a cap friendly contract. Hell maybe he still does. To give up a first round pick pick to protect an asset that is in the twilight of his career would have been irresponsible. Huge fan of Gio's game but it was the only real choice for the organization. It wasn't a disgrace, it was just good business, something fans tend to forget.
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Seems to me the Flames are doing just fine... I really enjoyed watching Gio for many years, but at that salary, and at least a 2nd round pick, it wasn't worth it. Unfortunately Treliving didn't do much better with that cap space, but he'll need it next year to sign Mangi and Tkachuk.
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You couldn’t have been more wrong. Gio is a great guy but let’s face it as a captain the Flames won 1 playoff round and he was injured for it.
November 29, 2021 9:13 PM ET | Delete
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