2022–23 was a disappointing season for the Flames, with the team failing to reach the playoffs despite ending the season with a +8 point differential. At the beginning of the season, many people had predicted the Flames could at least reach the playoffs and even be a Stanley Cup contender. While fans may have been disappointed, they’re at least able to check out online casino reviews and play some exciting games during the offseason. Over the summer, fans will be hoping that the Flames make some big changes to have a chance of being competitive in the postseason in 2023-24. While it’s unlikely this team will be lifting the Stanley Cup next season, there are still ways that the team can improve and at least build toward the future. In this article, we’ll explore some of the changes the Flames can make in order to improve for next season.
The offence was perhaps the biggest weakness for the Flames last season, and it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed. They scored just 260 points for the season, lower than the Vancouver Canucks, who were placed below them in the Pacific Division. While they weren’t the lowest-scoring team in the Western Conference by any means, there’s still a great deal of room for improvement.
Tyler Toffoli was the one player who stood out for the Flames, surpassing all expectations and achieving the team’s MVP award while scoring 34 goals and 73 points in 82 games. Unfortunately, he was traded to the New Jersey Devils as it was clear he wouldn’t sign a new contract. The Tofolli trade was another blow for Flames Fans, but it at least secured the 80th overall draft pick as well as Yegor Sharangovich, who scored 30 points in 75 games for the Devils last season.
The draft presented another opportunity to find new offensive talent, with fans hoping that new GM Craig Conroy knew what to look for. From the draft, it seems that the Flames could have a gem in Samuel Hounzek, who was picked in the first round. The responsibility of the GM was to pick someone who has the right size and skill to make a difference in the team. However, fans will have to wait to see him as he continues his development in the Western Hockey League for the Vancouver Giants.
The goaltending last season for the Calgary Flames was one of the few areas that the team excelled in. While many other positions on the ice were lacking in quality and depth, the Flames have some serious talent in terms of goaltending. Winning teams are built on the back of a great defence, and you always need a strong goalie in front of a capable defence if you want to win and reach the postseason. Therefore, it makes sense for the team to maximize this current advantage and find ways to utilize the talent that they have.
Daniel Vladar is currently the odd one out in the goal-tending position, with Markstrom and Wolf being the preferred duo for most fans. However, GM Craig Conroy apparently has no intention of moving Vladar on, preferring to keep him as part of the roster for now. It’s unlikely that there will be any advantage to be gained from playing all three goaltenders across the season, but holding onto Vladar may not be the worst idea. It means that the Flames will have a backup goaltender, potentially allowing him to be traded to another team if they suddenly need an experienced NHL goalie. In the meantime, Wolf can continue getting experience while also playing in the AHL.