Updated: Oct 4, 2022
Additions: Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Mackenzie Weegar, Kevin Rooney, Nicolas Meloche
Subtractions: Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan, Erik Gudbranson, Michael Stone, Brett Ritchie, Brad Richardson, Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Carpenter
There was no shortage of news this offseason coming from Calgary. The Flames saw perhaps their two best players leave the team in Gaudreau and Tkachuk, but GM Brad Treliving did his best to recoup - and perhaps improve upon - his roster this season by adding Huberdeau and Weegar from Florida and Kadri from free agency after he walked away from the defending Cup champs.
Probable For Opener: Milan Lucic (Shoulder), Nikita Zadorov (Ribs), Andrew Mangiapane (Wrist), Oliver Kylington (Shoulder)
Questionable For Opener: Chris Tanev (Shoulder)
Out To Begin Season: -None-
Out For Season: -None-
After battling last season, the Flames have a few players with some dings. They hope to have everyone ready to begin the season but Chris Tanev's shoulder surgery recovery might require a little more rest and rehab before full contact.
(league ranks in parentheses)
Jonathan Huberdeau - Elias Lindholm - Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube - Nazem Kadri - Andrew Mangiapane
Adam Ruzicka - Mikael Backlund - Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic - Kevin Rooney - Trevor Lewis
Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson
Mackenzie Weegar - Chris Tanev
Oliver Kylington - Nikita Zadorov
A new-look lineup that added another top-six center to its fold makes the Flames' projected forward lines a little more balanced and less reliant on one line to carry them. The only spot up for grabs seems to be a bottom-six wing role, where Ruzicka's performance last season with the big club probably gives him the initial edge. Jakob Pelletier and Cole Schwindt also expect to compete for that spot in camp.
Weegar swaps in for Gudbranson and instantly improves the defense, and Markstrom should be relied upon heavily this season to backstop Calgary in net.
Snipers: Adam Ruzicka
Playmakers: Jonathan Huberdeau | Nazem Kadri
Volume Shooters: Nazem Kadri | Tyler Toffoli | Blake Coleman
Play-Drivers: Andrew Mangiapane
Shutdown Defenders: Chris Tanev
Shot Blockers: -None-
Hitters: Milan Lucic
Enforcers: Milan Lucic
Penalty Drawers: Nazem Kadri
PP Specialists: Elias Lindholm | Nazem Kadri | Rasmus Andersson
PK Specialists: Rasmus Andersson
Faceoff Specialists: Elias Lindholm | Mikael Backlund
Studs: Jonathan Huberdeau, Jacob Markstrom, Elias Lindholm, Nazem Kadri
Duds: Rasmus Andersson
Sleepers: Mackenzie Weegar
Other Roster Worthy: Tyler Toffoli, Andrew Mangiapane, Noah Hanifin
The Flames have some fantasy powerhouses here at key positions with Lindholm, Kadri, and Markstrom. Not to mention one of the highest project scorers from the wing in Huberdeau.
The question marks really begin on defense, where Andersson was successful as the primary pointman on the powerplay last season, but may cede powerplay time and value now not only to Noah Hanifin, but Weegar as well. If Weegar can capture the top powerplay spot, his value should skyrocket as he's expected to play a key role at even-strength and on the penalty kill too.
2022-2023 PuckLuck Projections
PuckLuck Projection: 102 points
Floor: 86 points Ceiling: 111 points
Projection Data Confidence: 85%
(League Average: 70%)
Stanley Cup: +550
President's Trophy: +700
DraftKings Sportsbook Lines:
Stanley Cup: +1800
President's Trophy: +1500
The one futures advantage we see here is the Flames to win the Western Conference, if you're looking for a team to ride besides the heavy favorite Avalanche. They're of course also good bets to repeat as the Pacific Division champs, although it might take a little bit for an overhauled roster to mesh.
There's plenty of player data to support our projection here for the Flames, which means you can role with our betting and fantasy advice with confidence early in the season. It should be noted that this team may give up a little more goals than you might expect from a Darryl Sutter-coached team, simply based on the history of defensive play of the key newcomers and players in bigger roles.
Division Projection: 3rd
Conference Projection: 5th
League Projection: 11th
Third in the division might raise the question of who we have projected to finish higher, but we'll get to that later. The Flames should be pretty safe bets to lock down a playoff spot however. With a more balanced attack, improved blueline, and continued solid goaltending from Markstrom, there's no reason to believe a huge drop-off is in order. Full marks to Treliving for keeping this roster competitive when it looked to be doom and gloom early on in the offseason.