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Flames 2020 - 2021 Outlook

2020-08-29

A new year and..... another new coach. Rick Bowness has taken the reigns and the fans have new found hope that a playoff spot might be in the cards for the Flames this upcoming season with a flurry of free agent signings. 

With so many holes to fill and not wanting to spend to much cash it was a tough go and the team continues to have gaping hole on the wing on the top line which will hopefully be filled by the time the season begins. The biggest need was a star goaltender and Pekka Rinne fits the bill. "If anyone can steal us some points this year its Rinne." Finding a good backup was also on the books with Thatcher Demko still trying to make his mark. Enter Jack Cambell, "He's a guy who has taken a while to find his place but he's really coming into his own and getting him on a low value contract over the next 5 years works quite well for us." 

With the issues in net solved, next up was on the blueline. With Hughes and McAvoy half of the top 4 solved itself, still needing a pair of dmen who can play top 4, the Flames went back to an old friend and picked up Chara. "One year on a $6M deal is a no brainer." To fill out the top 4, the team got ahold of the son of a former Flame favourite. "Gary was great for us back in the day and Ryan is a fantastic veteran all round top guy. He still has a couple years in him and bringing him for 2 years on a $9M deal fits our needs and our cap for a couple years." The team was also wanting to find a bottom pairing player who could help on the power play and be able to play next to either Andersson or Dermott whom will be fighting for the last spot. "One of the guys who we really wanted from the get go was Bouwmeester. He's a leader, very sound defensively and in a pinch could help us out top 4 in the case of injuries. At just over $3M for one season we got our guy at a price that worked for us. The team also picked up Stephen Johns for 6 years on a hair over $2M contract. "Anyone one who knows much about Johns, his injury, his epic couple game stint in the AHL and the potential promise he has will say its a fantastic signing. Someone who doesn't know much about him will say its a bad contract for a potential fringe guy. We had to roll the dice on at least one player this year and feel good doing so on Johns."

The team still has a glaring top line winger issue and the teams top 6 isn't exactly elite as its filled with future stars and aging veterans but FA definitely has filled out the defence and goaltending and with a defensive minded coach like Bowness at the helm, anything is possible.

"We came out of this years free agency with players who can help us contend this year and who's contracts are very tradeable when you factor in retention. Either we contend or can get future assets and we didn't break the bank." 

The team sits top 3 in cash with over $73M, have a great prospect pool, 4 top 16 picks in this draft including Mr. Lafrenierre and four 1sts in the 21 and 22 drafts combined including Chicago's 21 which is only getting more valuable every minute that Brian Elliott sits as their starting Goalie.