Goal number one for the Flames this season will have to be making the playoffs again, after missing out in 2010. There is a slight mix of new names and old faces from the roster that finished the regular season in April and I think the jury is out as to whether or not they actually improved.
For the most part, the Summer roster that you see on the top half of the table should pan out to be the opening night roster, likely with only small tweaks left to do. There isn't too much for bubble players at first glance, as everyone on the roster should have a role in the Sutter system, but there are going to be some cap concerns that will necessitate some change.
|Jarome Iginla||Ian White||Miikka Kiprusoff|
|Rene Bourque||Marc Giordano||Henrik Karlsson|
|Matt Stajan||Jay Bouwmeester|
|Olli Jokinen||Robyn Regehr|
|Niklas Hagman||Steve Staios|
|Daymond Langkow||Adam Pardy|
|Alex Tanguay||Cory Sarich|
|John Armstrong||Gord Baldwin||Leland Irving|
|Mikael Backlund||Chris Breen||Matt Keetley|
|Carter Bancks||T.J. Brodie||Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux|
|Lance Bouma||Staffan Kronwall|
|Bryan Cameron||Josh Meyers|
|Hugo Carpentier||John Negrin|
|Kris Chucko||Giffen Nyren|
|Cam Cunning||Matt Pelech|
|Ryley Grantham||Keith Seabrook|
How much change, you ask? Well, the Summer roster, plus one buyout, comes in over the salary cap ceiling at $61.5 million, which is a shade over $2 million over the ceiling. The Flames have been known in the past to carry less players on their roster in order to save money on cap space and that could be just as likely, possibly even losing guys through waivers when they choose to demote them. That will probably be just as good. I could see the Flames waiving players like Cory Sarich and Ales Kotalik, just to test the waters before actually sending them down to the minors for cap relief.
Well, my personal preference, being a Canucks fan and all, is that I just don't pick Flames players. I like to cheer for the players that are on my hockey pool team and by cheering on a single Flames player, I would feel dirty and ashamed. Yes, I'm telling you how I really feel.
Nevertheless, the Flames are generally a popular team in my pool anyways, since I'm based in Calgary and well, that is the hometown team for many who participate. Yes, most people here do cheer for the Flames, which has been the downfall of some of the participants of this pool, picking their favourite players way too early and giving up a lot of potential points in the process.
From a strictly professional view, I think the addition of Alex Tanguay back into the fold is going to be a good thing for both himself and Jarome Iginla and that could make both of them pretty big steals this year. I'm looking to see Jay Bouwmeester bounce back and Niklas Hagman to find a bit more touch, now that he's back in the Western Conference full-time.