There is no easy way to say this, but the 2022–23 Calgary Flames are simply cursed. Just a pure, good old fashioned, run of the mill curse has been bestowed upon this team this season and I am here to provide irrefutable evidence that this is the case.
In fact, it is my belief that we the fan base are to blame for this curse.
In the wise words of Louis Sachar, from what should be everyone’s favorite novel “Holes”:
A lot of people don’t believe in curses.
A lot of people don’t believe in yellow-spotted lizards either, but if one bites you, it doesn’t make a difference whether you believe in it or not.– Louis Sachar, “Holes”
There is no denying that these words ring true with the Calgary Flames. Deny it or not, the team has some paranormal activity surrounding them that just won’t go away.
Where did this all begin? What has it caused? How does the team exorcize these vibes far away from the organization? Let’s take a look:
The origin of Calgary’s curse
The origin of this curse has varying degrees of accuracy.
Some say it originated when Murray Edwards became the majority owner of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Company, others may point to the 2004 “It Was In” goal that should have counted.
Both are strong candidates, but sources of The Win Column are able to confirm that two instances led to what we as fans are now experiencing.
The first was when the Flames started to dabble in the dark arts, by bringing in both Jobu and Mike Smith to the organization’s breaking of the Honda Center curse in 2017. Photo evidence confirming those night’s events can be seen below:
Although this use was used with the best of intentions, breaking a 29-game road losing streak to Anaheim, this would simply send the team down a path of darkness leading up to its next big reveal.
As you probably know by now, the main cause for this season’s tribulations came at the hands of fans last season looking to break whatever powerful magic Jake Oettinger was thriving on in the first round of the 2021–22 playoffs.
Through the use of both written and verbal messages, a group of Flames fans were able to conjure up just enough juju to allow the Flames to score in overtime of Game 7 to lead the Flames to the second round.
But, at what cost?
What came next for Calgary
Proceeding the final placement of the “Oettinger Curse” as it shall hence be referred to, the Flames entered a period of 10 months and counting referred to henceforth as “The Burning”. Don’t believe us? Here is just a small sample size of the events that have struck this team:
- Lost in five games to the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after going “all-in”
- Jacob Markstrom went from a Vezina-calibre 2021–22 regular season to a 0.852 SV%, 5.12 GAA goalie in the second round, to now being a replacement level goaltender in the 2022–23 regular season
- Johnny Gaudreau decided to leave after a historic season, leaving the Flames hanging until the final hours before free agency only to then sign in Columbus for less money
- Matthew Tkachuk, just a few days after Gaudreau’s decision, informed the team he would not be signing with them and “requested” to be traded
- Decided to sign Kevin Rooney to a two-year, $1.3M AAV contract in the opening minutes of free agency, only to have him play in the AHL for most of this season
- Had to give up a future first-round pick to move Sean Monahan’s contract, only to see him go on and produce at a better rate than some Flames players (get well soon, Mony <3)
- Lost Oliver Kylington for what looks to be the whole season due to personal reasons
- Finally snapped their season opener losing streak, only to then end up losing seven straight games less than a month later
- Went from being one of the best teams in the league during extra time, to losing 11 games in extra time and counting
- Darryl Sutter went from coach of the year to having hockey insiders ponder whether his days behind the Flames’ bench are numbered
- Had their prize offseason acquisition in Jonathan Huberdeau on pace to set an NHL record for the largest drop in points in consecutive seasons
- Rasmus Andersson was hit by a car in Detroit
The evidence is staggering. This team is simply cursed.
How do the Flames beat the curse?
I am no expert, but when it comes to serious issues like this there is only one place I go: WikiHow
According to their how to reverse a curse guidance, the Flames need to try one of these four options:
- Take a Salt Bath
- Smudge Their Energy
- Cast a Simple Candle Spell
- Make a Mirror Box
What is key to note here is that although these methods have proven to be effective, research shows that a curse may not be able to be fully broken, but the effects can be reduced.
For the love of all things on this planet, the Flames need to at least try them for our sanity’s sake. This season isn’t going well, but by taking action now to reverse the Oettinger Curse’s impacts, The Burning could end sooner rather than later.
Editor’s note: You shouldn’t take any of this seriously. Or should you…?