Connect with us

Calgary Flames

3 Calgary Flames Hot Takes For The 2024-25 NHL Season

Here are 3 hot takes or predictions regarding the Calgary Flames in 2024-2025. Some of these may be more realistic than others.

It’s been a rough last few years for fans of the Calgary Flames. The team has missed the playoffs for a second straight season and is now entering the early stages of a retool. Rookie GM Craig Conroy has done a solid job in paving a clear direction for the team, trading away a huge majority of pending UFAs such as Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin. Youth is also a priority as many young players in Calgary got looks with the team this season. For years, the Flames were the definition of mediocre, and are now finally giving their fans a somewhat clear picture of what the future could look like.

However, being a Flames fan right now is about expecting the unexpected. Whether it’s good or bad, a lot can happen between now and when the season starts in October. With that being said, here are three hot takes for the Flames regarding next season and beyond. Feel free to agree or disagree!

1: More Veterans Want Out Of Calgary

Veteran leadership is important during a rebuild. Young players need mentors to look up to and to learn from in order to become successful NHLers.

For the Flames it’s no different. They have veteran players in Nazem Kadri, Blake Coleman, and Mackenzie Weegar who have all had career seasons this year. While it seems like these players are embracing a leadership role, winning is always on a player’s mind.

It’s certainly a possibility that we see more roster turnover in Calgary, specifically involving veteran players. Would these players be interested in riding this through? Or do they want to have the chance to win another cup? It’s something to think about, as these players signed in Calgary with the idea that this team would be a playoff contender for a while.

Nazem Kadri Jacob Markstrom Flames

Earlier reports suggested that Kadri wouldn’t be willing to stay in Calgary if the team were to go into a rebuild. While the Flames aren’t going to fully tear it down, they also aren’t going to be serious playoff contenders either. It therefore raises questions on the future of these players as winning is still a priority for them. If it gets to the stage where more players want out, the Flames have the chance to trade for even more assets to help them for the future.

2: Dustin Wolf Is A Calder Trophy Candidate

There’s a good possibility that Dustin Wolf gets a full-time roster spot with the Flames next season, with Jacob Markstrom being on the trade block. The 23-year-old is the future in net for Calgary and has impressed at every level he’s played in. The only thing left to do is to become a full-time NHL starter with the Flames.

Wolf was drafted in the 7th round in the 2019 NHL Draft and has surpassed expectations. In 2020, Wolf was the CHL Goaltender of the Year with the Everett Silvertips and has achieved multiple accolades during his time in the AHL. In 2023, he won the AHL’s MVP award with the Calgary Wranglers and also made the AHL’s First-All-Star Team that year as well as in 2022.

Wolf has been defying all the odds at every level so far, and the NHL is the only level left to dominate. Despite being on the smaller side, Wolf has all the tools to be a starter in this league and needs all the playing time he can get. Wolf will still be eligible for the Calder Trophy next season, an award that goes to the NHL’s best rookie. This season, fans got to see more of Wolf in the NHL as in 15 starts, he put up a 7-7-1 record with a .893 save percentage.

There was a period this season where Wolf had his struggles, but all young players go through a learning phase. In a larger role, Wolf will get the opportunity to start more games and to find out more about his game at the NHL level. Depending on how much growth is seen from his game, there’s a chance that Wolf could solidify himself into the Calder conversation next season.

3: The Flames Make A “Splash” Through Free Agency Or Trade

The Flames will have about $20 million in cap space this offseason, and the potential for more if trades take place. It’s a lot of money to work with and fans wonder how management will utilize it.

The talk in Calgary is the idea of being competitive while still being in a retooling phase. The Flames would like to make the playoffs sooner rather than later and aren’t interested in a full teardown. If that’s the case, free agency and trades are obvious routes in order to improve the team.

With this much cap space, there is a chance that management will decide to pull the trigger on a major move to bring this team closer to contention. It’s not clear on what this could be, but it could include making a big signing or trade to bring in a player to help them win now.

Craig Conroy Flames GM

Although many fans think the opposite, the idea of building through the draft by acquiring draft picks and prospects is much more appealing to most Flames fans. If the Flames do decide to be active in free agency, the realistic scenario is that they bring in players on shorter-term deals. This allows the team to acquire players to be competitive but also gives management the option to flip them for assets down the road.

Regardless, it’ll be fascinating to see where Conroy steers the direction of the Flames moving forward. With a plethora of cap space, they have many options to work with. Last season, the Flames didn’t have the ability to make their mark in the free agency market given their lack of cap space. But this year could be different.

Next: Oilers Talk Mindset Heading Into Game 5 vs Panthers

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News

Discover more from NHL Trade Talk

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading