With yesterday’s announcement that the Calgary Flames and former General Manager Brad Treliving deciding to mutually part ways, there is only one mood that exists within the C of Red:
To put it plain and simple, it has been excruciatingly painful, down right disrespectful, utterly depressing to be a fan of the Flames over the last 12 months. There really hasn’t been anything that has gone the organization’s way during that time period, so much so that one could say the Flames franchise is cursed.
If you take a step back and look at just Treliving’s departure as one single event, it’s utterly painful to see him step away. Combine that with everything else that has gone on in the last few months and you start to really want to think about starting a new hobby.
A timeline of pain
Thinking we are exaggerating? Take a look at the timeline of the last 12 months and try to convince us of any other reaction:
- Went through an extremely close seven game series with the Dallas Stars where they were nearly ousted by a miraculous Jake Oettinger performance
- Gave up many multiple goal leads against the Edmonton Oilers to eventually lose the series in five games. Included in which a Blake Coleman goal was disallowed due to a “distinct kicking motion” that could have shifted momentum.
- Watched Jacob Markstrom go from a Vezina-calibre 2021–22 regular season goaltender, and a key difference during the first round, to losing his game completely over the course of the next 12 months.
- Saw Andrew Mangiapane finally get his pay day after being the Flames’ underdog for many seasons, only to see him completely disappear off of the scoresheet, and now finding out he’s undergone shoulder surgery per Eric Francis.
- Watched the team finally end their opening night losing streak, only to then have a subsequent seven-game losing streak and only one season-long winning streak of just four games which came during the last two weeks of the season.
- Went from being one of the best teams in the league during extra time, to losing a total of 17 games in extra time which was one off of the NHL record.
- Huberdeau set an NHL record for the biggest season to season point drop in history with him losing exactly 60 points between seasons
- Watched Johnny Gaudreau nearly commit to a new contract, decide to go for a drive, and then say he wasn’t re-signing. Then proceeded to have him both re-engage in contract talks at the start of free agency only to then see him go to Columbus on a deal that paid him less.
- Just a few days after losing Gaudreau, the team was informed that Matthew Tkachuk would not be re-signing with the team after strategically putting himself in a position to leverage his restricted free agent status. Had to then watch Tkachuk get traded to the Florida Panthers for a package of players that at the time appeared to be a clear victory. Tkachuk would then go on to have a Hart-calibre season, scoring well over 100 points. A total that not even Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar could manage together.
- 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. Seriously, the Flames will be paying Kevin Rooney $1.3M next season. He is still on this team.
- 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 until his season yet again was ended by injuries. Losing both Monahan and then watching him suffer again was too much pain for some to endure.
- After re-signing a new contract later in the offseason, the Flames ended up not having Oliver Kylington play the entire season due to personal reasons. Outside of hockey, the C of Red was more concerned for him as a human being.
- Darryl Sutter went from coach of the year to having the entire C of Red calling for his immediate firing just a few months after signing a new two year contract extension
- Rasmus Andersson was hit by a car in Detroit and ended up rushing back to play too soon, resulting in both physical and emotional pain to end his season.
- The Flames finished with 93 points on the season, which was more than the Panthers and the same as the New York Islanders, but ended up missing the postseason in the Western Conference by two points.
- As a result of their place in the standings, the team will draft 16th overall in the 2023 NHL Draft which is too far out of the lottery to earn a chance at Connor Bedard
- Had nearly every potential 2024 UFA cast doubt on their willingness to re-sign new contracts this offseason, including should-be-Captain Mikael Backlund.
- Witnessed Brad Treliving, General Manager for the past nine season, virtually walk away from his position due to a clear disconnect between multiple layers of the organization.
It can only get… better?
If we missed anything, that is just further proof of the pain that exists in the Flames fan base over the last 12 months. It’s been nothing short of unfair, and makes it extremely difficult to remain positive about the upcoming months and next season.
There are undoubtedly going to be more changes within the organization, but for now it’s time to pour yourself a drink, say a prayer, and wish that there are only better things to come for the franchise and its fans.