Partly by design, partly by the hand he was dealt, the Flames are a team built on skill, puck movement and finish under the guidance of GM Brad Treliving. Only Tampa Bay scored more than the 3.52 goals per game that Calgary averaged in 2018-19. So it will be interesting to see if the lack of toughness up front or nastiness on the blueline will hurt the team come playoff time, when the hockey gets heavier, and necessitate some off-season fine-tuning.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS: With the Flames surely moving on from 37-year-old UFA Mike Smith this summer, the door is open for Treliving to decide what goalie he wants. The cap room isn’t there for a big-ticket UFA starter such as Sergei Bobrovsky or Semyon Varlamov to join the ranks. So it’s likely he seeks a “project” stopper who will push David Ritt...
About the Author
Brian Costello joined The Hockey News in 1990 when the likes of Bruce Boudreau, Randy Carlyle and Joel Quenneville were players, not coaches. Costello covered major junior hockey for five seasons before getting called up to THN. He likes to focus his attention on pre- and post-NHL careers, following closely the progress of the draft, up-and-coming prospects and fancying himself a Hall of Fame expert.