We are less than two weeks away from the beginning of September, and, outside of the Tyler Toffoli trade, overall the Calgary Flames have been extremely quiet. In what was once a very active organization, where news headlines were coming from all sorts of directions about potential 2024 unrestricted free agents and their intentions of staying or leaving. Now just weeks away from the 2023–24 preseason, it is now an organization where you could hear a pin drop.
This has many fans really questioning what the plan is. On one hand, the Flames have bought into making the playoffs, but many of their key players reportedly want out. Conroy preached asset management, but how will the Flames be able to make the playoffs if they trade away their key pieces? Will they run it back one more year and let them walk away for nothing?
There is a lot of confusion about this team right now, from not just the fanbase, but the hockey community as a whole. So this begs the question, how frustrated are you with the lack of Flames moves so far? We asked, you answered.
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Are fans frustrated by the forbearing Flames?
We presented the below poll:
Responses were extremely spread out in this edition of Sunday Census.
22% of voters stated that they are extremely frustrated with the approach so far, and frankly, who can blame them? These are the same fans that just saw Johnny Gaudreau walk for nothing, Matthew Tkachuk force his way out, and have overall watched a team be stuck in mediocrity practically since 2000. The last thing they want to see again is a situation where a former Selke finalist first-line centre, and a very reliable two-way centre just walk away for nothing. Especially after how the 2021-22 season went. Mikael Backlund is just one example.
These fans just want the team to pick a direction. Rebuild, or contend. However, so far in their eyes, it seems like the Flames can’t even figure out which goalies they will be relying on come next season.
A little bit frustrated
To be technical, there is still time left before the start of training camp. And, technically, Elias Lindholm and Backlund haven’t said that they are not staying yet. Do they just need some more time to think about it? The team went through some massive changes during this offseason by replacing their head coach and general manager. Is it fair to ask the two players to commit to the team before they see how the team performs? Both players want to be on a competing team that can fight for a Stanley Cup, and right now, it is tough to see what this team is capable of. We will only know once next season starts.
Either the voters here are just extremely confident that the players will re-sign at a reasonable price, or they are confident that a trade will happen. I personally do not know many individuals who connect with this option, but I would really want to hear from those that voted for this option as to why they aren’t frustrated. Are these voters just hoping for the players to re-sign, and worst case scenario, at least the team has one last chance to make a run for the Cup? It’s an interesting dilemma, and it seems like it’s a dilemma that practically only the Flames are in. Usually, a team isn’t deciding between the two extremes of rebuilding and competing for the Cup.
Too early to tell
Again, training camp has not started yet. It is still August. Who is to say that moves won’t be made by then? Maybe some re-signings or trades will occur by the start of training camp. It is natural for fans to expect instant changes, however, maybe that just isn’t the reality of the business. Patience is a virtue, and the voters for this option seem to be big believers in this.
All sorts of feelings
Overall, if this poll taught us anything, it’s that every fan is feeling something different about this offseason. And when it comes to the team, it looks like the exact same thing might be happening in the front office. Arrows are pointing in all sorts of directions. However, at some point, the team will have to pick an arrow to follow.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire