Calgary Flames

Flames Sunday Census: Predicting Calgary’s 2023–24 MVP

We are just 10 days away from the start of the regular season for the Calgary Flames, and all eyes will be on the team to bounce back from last season’s disappointment. Many players had a down year last season, and some of those players should theoretically be some of the most valuable pieces of the roster. Fans expected more from the team, but especially from their star players. This begs the question, in a season where an overall bounce back is expected, which Flames player will be the team’s MVP for the season? We asked, you answered.

The Win Column - Sunday Census Featured Image - Graphical design showing a Calgary Flames branded laptop with poll results.

Want to take part in Sunday Census polls? We send them out every week on our Twitter at @wincolumnCGY. Follow along or send in ideas for the next poll!

Who will be the Flames’ MVP?

We presented the below poll to our readers.

Jonathan Huberdeau

If anyone on this team needs to be an MVP, it is Jonathan Huberdeau. As one of the best playmakers in the league, Huberdeau had a horrendous season last year. He knows it, fans know it, and the whole hockey world knows it. Huberdeau is capable of putting up over a point per game in a season—it is practically the norm for him. However, there are doubts about what he can do after he only produced 55 points last year. Huberdeau’s massive $10.5M contract kicks in this season, and it is time that he produces like a $10.5M player. Look for a very motivated and energized Huberdeau to bounce back in a big way this year.

Jacob Markstrom

Markstrom is another candidate for a player who needs a bounce back in the biggest way. He’s a Vezina calibre goaltender who couldn’t produce a save percentage above 0.900. The Flames will need Markstrom to be at his best next year if they plan to not only make the playoffs but also make a run. Markstrom knows he can be one of the top goalies in the league, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back on that list after this year.

Nazem Kadri

Make that three candidates for someone who needs a bounce back. Luckily for Kadri however, he isn’t looked at as a main option for offensive production on the team. Despite that, he is a key secondary option, and Kadri should get back to his 60+ point ability. Only 6% of readers voted for Kadri to be an MVP for the team, and it makes sense. An MVP needs to be a main contributor, and it would be unfair to expect Kadri to put up 87 points again as he did with Colorado. Though if that does end up happening, I know Flames fans would not complain at all.

Rasmus Andersson

21% voted for the Flames #1 defenceman to be the team’s MVP next year. Andersson is one of the best-kept secrets in the league, and it seems like he gets better and better every year. A potential future captain for the team after Backlund, Andersson is a player who many fans have come to love. It seems like there is some untapped offensive potential with Andersson, as he has shown glimpses that he is capable of being a defenceman who can put up 60+ points. Is this the year he does it? His career high is 50, however, the team looks rejuvenated, and the new coaching system will allow players to be more creative. Seems like a great situation for Andersson to be in if he is going to be the team’s MVP.

Many candidates

There are multiple players who may be looked at as the MVP for the year. Part of that can be due to big expectations for bouncebacks from many of the players, but another part of that can be due to the quality of players that are on the Flames roster. On paper, this team is at minimum a playoff team, there is no denying that. However, will they be a playoff team in reality? If they are, they will need an MVP-level performance from their key players.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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