Dec 18, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff (34) makes a save against Chicago Blackhawks right wing Michael Frolik (67) during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Flames 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Conference Call Wednesday- Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames

2013 Record- 19-25-4 (4th place Northwest Division)

Team Leaders

Goal Scorer- Curtis Glencross (15)

Assists- Lee Stempniak (23)

Points- Mike Cammalleri (32)

+/-  Matt Stajun (+7)

Penalty Minutes- Tim Jackman (76)

Season Series- Blackhawks won all three meetings

Chicago-3 Calgary-2 Shootout February 2 at Calgary

Chicago-2 Calgary-0 March 22 at Chicago

Chicago-3 Calgary-1 April 26 at Chicago

Summary

The Flames biggest story of the regular season wasn’t what happened on the ice, but the trade of longtime star Jarome Iginla at the trading deadline. At first it looked like it would be to the Boston Bruins, but in the end the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Igninla sweepstakes which in the end didn’t pay off for the Penguins.  The Flames purged their veterans to collect first round picks and they ended up with 3 picks in the first round.  The long term plan is rebuilding which never sits well with impatient fans especially when their hero will be playing in Boston starting the 2013-2014 season.

The Flames had a chance to end the Hawks streak early in the season, but Marian Hossa tied it late with seconds on the clock. The real story of that game was Ray Emery and him stopping over 40 shots to hold on for the Hossa heroics.  That game proved that the Flames though young are still talented enough on home ice at least to compete with any team in the NHL.

The 2013-2014 season more than likely will be a long season with a lot of lessons, but it could be the foundation for better things to come in a few years.

I caught up with Joey Eben of the Calgary Flames Fansided Site  Flame For Thought for a Q & A about the Flames and the upcoming season.  Here is how the interview went this past week.

BU-1) Who needs to step up next season as leader of this team now that Iginla is gone?

F4T-There’s going to be a lot of guys that need to and are going to step up. One of the guys that really stood out last season after Iginla left for Pittsburgh was defenceman Mark Giordano. He’s one of the guys in the running to be the next captain of the Flames are certainly a great leader and team player. Another player who loves to be a leader is forward Curtis Glencross. He’s 30-years old and has been in Calgary since 2008 so he’s definitely qualified to be a veteran

BU-2) How does the Flames goalie depth looking going into next season, and do they have anyone up and comers?

F4T-Last season, Joey MacDonald and Kipprusoff split the majority of the season while both were very inconsistent to say the least. MacDonald should be the starter next season but the back-up position will have some competition. Calgary has five goalies in their prospect pool but we can rule out Laurent Brossoit and Jon Gillies as they are 20 and 19 respectively. Reto Berra, Joni Ortio and Karri Ramo are all in the running for the secondary goalie position. The Flames have a lot of depth in the goaltender position and the battle should get intense during the main camp.

BU-3) How long do you think Feaster has until he is fired, or is he still pretty safe?

F4T-A lot of people want Feaster out of here but he’s doing a great job drafting, signing and trading. In a few years, Calgary will have Baertschi, Monahan, Gaudreau, Jankowski, Klimchuk, Sieloff and a lot more highly-rated prospects all cracking the NHL at the same time. You can’t tell me that Calgary won’t be a playoff team in 2 years. Jay Feaster is pretty safe and doing a great job building for the future.

BU-4) Who will be the surprise offensive spark this next season for the Flames?

F4T-I’m not sure if there will be any 30 goal scorers next season but there will be a lot of 25-30 point players. Some guys that will find the scoresheet a lot will be Mikael Backlund, Sven Baertschi, Matt Stajan, Jiri Hudler, Mike Cammalleri and Curtis Glencross. On the back-end, T.J. Brodie could rack up two dozen assists along with Giordano and Wideman.

BU-5. Jarome Iginla is gone, but not forgotten. What do you expect the atmosphere to be like the game he returns as a Bruin?

F4T-December 10, 2013, is a date every Calgarian has circled on their calendar. It’s the day Jarome Iginla returns to the city of Calgary for this first time since March 24. It will be an emotional game, fans will cheer for Iginla and definitely if he scores. The Flames may already be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs at this time anyway so perhaps fans will be cheering for Iginla to find the net a couple of times

BU-6. Rate your goaltending situation out or 1-10 following Miikka Kipprusoff’s retirement, and why?

F4T-Obviously, Kipprusoff’s departure will hurt the Flames next season. With Calgary’s current goaltender situation, it would have to be given a 4 out of 10. Joey MacDonald and a European backup could be the worst duo in all of the NHL

BU-7.The Flames were 2 seconds away from winning against the Blackhawks last season. Do they have a chance to surprise a few teams and make a run for the playoffs? Or is it too early in the rebuild

F4T-The good thing about being bad is that teams take you very lightly whether they want to or not. May I remind you that the Calgary Flames swept the Detroit Red Wings last season 3-0. If teams don’t show up to play the Flames, they will get beaten. Calgary’s roster is full of young, gritty players who are eager for more playing time. The Flames will probably not make the playoffs but will compete with every team from top to bottom.

BU-8. How many if any 2013 draft picks will play this season and how did you grade your draft

F4T-Most likely, 6th-overall pick Sean Monahan will be the only player that will test his 9 game limit. If the Flames do go out and pursue free-agent Mikhail Grabovski, Monahan will be returned the junior, but if not Sean Monahan should spend the whole season in the NHL. The 2013 Draft was fantastic for the Flames. Feaster kept all 3 1st-round picks and selected 3 very talented players. I would give the draft a solid A as there wasn’t much else Feaster could have done. Picture-perfect for Flames fans.

BU-9. What’s your thought of the new Pacific division? In 5 years will there be a new rival out of realignment?

F4T- With the new alignment, Calgary will face San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Phoenix more often. Most of the times the Flames played the Pacific Division the games would get pretty physical. I could see the Flames becoming rivals with the Los Angeles Kings the same was Calgary is with Edmonton. Darryl Sutter is the coach of the Kings and was  with Calgary year ago. But any team is in the running to be a new rival.

BU-10. Finally, What’s your expectations heading into 2013-2014 season and what will Flames fan see as a successful season

F4T- The expectations for the 2013-14 season would just be competitive and get a high draft-pick. The Flames have the slimmest odds to win the Stanley Cup in the NHL so a championship is nearly impossible. Let’s get this horrendously-bad season out of the way and get back into the playoffs for the 2014-15 season.

What do you think about the Calgary Flames in 2013-2014? Thanks again goes to Joe for taking the time to answer our question, and if you need a Calgary Flames fix stop by Flame For Thought!

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