The Calgary Flames open their season on the road against the Vancouver Canucks. Eight players from last season are no longer a part of the organization, and seven players will make their official Flames debut.
Ryan Pike of FlamesNation wrote an article about how the opening roster has changed from previous years, and this season boasts arguably one of the most exciting opening rosters in recent memory.
This new-look team hopes to play a strong season with meaningful hockey deep into the spring months of 2019. What went into the composition of this iteration of the Flames, and where did the ex-players go?
- Calgary acquired Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin from the Carolina Hurricanes, sending Micheal Ferland, Dougie Hamilton, and Adam Fox to Carolina. Both Lindholm and Hanifin signed contracts with the Flames through the 2023-24 season.
- Dillon Dube played with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL last year before joining the Stockton Heat for the conclusion of their season. He earned a roster spot from his stellar pre-season performance.
- Derek Ryan signed a three-year contract with the Flames as a free agent, previously playing for Bill Peters as a member of the Hurricanes.
- James Neal signed a five-year contract with the Flames, after choosing to depart from the Vegas Golden Knights to test the free-agent market.
- Austin Czarnik opted to join the Flames after two years with the Boston Bruins. His speed and tenacity on the puck earned him an opening night roster spot.
- Juuso Valimaki earned a roster spot after three seasons with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. A strong pre-season showing made him a lock to start on the third pairing.
- The aforementioned Ferland and Hamilton are now with the Hurricanes. Ferland is signed through this season, and Hamilton is signed through to 2020-21.
- Kris Versteeg signed a one-year deal with the Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
- Tanner Glass signed with Bordeaux Boxers in France. He’s already racked up 31 PIMs in six games played, not to mention one goal and one assist.
- Matt Stajan landed a one-year contract in Germany with the Munich Red Bulls of the DEL. Six games into the season, Stajan has one goal and one assist to his name.
- Troy Brouwer, after being bought out by the Flames, was sought out by the Florida Panthers. He signed a one-year contract to play in the Sunshine state.
- Matt Bartkowski signed a one-year two-way contract with the Minnesota Wild, and will start his year out on the Iowa Wild roster, playing in the AHL.
- Eddie Lack continues his role as the New Jersey Devils‘ third goalie. With Cory Schneider still on the IR, Lack will backup Keith Kinkaid to start the season.
The puck drops at 8 pm MT. It is definitely October and hockey is definitely back.
Header photo courtesy of Derek Wills.