• Vintage Hockey League

S16 - Flames offseason Pt1 [WB1]


The Flames had high hopes going into their round two matchup with the KC Scouts, but it was not to be. The Scouts swept the Flames, including 3 straight one goal games. The Flames scoring dried up, and after scoring 21 goals in their 6 game series against Saskatoon, the Flames only managed to score 5 goals in the 4 games against KC.

Heading into the off season, The Flames management had a lot of work to do. Two of their top four scorers were on their way out, alone with their cornerstone on defence. Leading goal scorer Greg Hawgood is heading off into retirement, leaving the Flames without number one left winger. Eerily similar to Kirk Muller’s retirement the previous season which robbed the team of their number one center. The Flames were also unable to close the deal with top right winger Teemu Selanne. The Flames had hopes of maybe bringing him back form the Ufa market, but could not come up with the required cash as Selanne signed a $10,970,000 two year contract with the Blues. Luke Richardson came off a career year as the Flames Captain, and walked to division rival Saskatoon on a 1 year $6,384,000 contract.

The Flames also lost 4 other part time Pro players to UFA which left the roster pretty bare. Defensively the Flames had a lot of depth they could tap into, but up front was looking like a mess. With only 7 returning forwards, and not a lot of forward depth in the farm, the Flames had put a lot of their hopes on striking gold in the UFA market. With so many names available, the law of averages says they would get one or two talented forwards, and maybe a few depth guys to fill out the roster. Sadly it was not to be. The only luck the Flames had was to make a few upgrades on the back end with the signings of Joe Corvo and Kyle McLaren. Corvo is a solid top 4 defender who can help the team improve at both ends of the ice. He may even jump in on the top pair to start the season. Corvo will also be a key on the power play and penalty killing squads. He is a different type of player, but will really hale fille the void left by Richardson. McLaren is more of a bottom pairing guy who is a hard hitting defensive player. He will be leaving his mark on opposing forwards all season long.

After the disappointing UFA signing period, the flames started looking to the trade market to bolster their front end. With only 7 pro forwards and 8 defensemen, the Flames management decided they would put their best players on the ice. So as they prepared for the pre-season, the played all 8 d-men instead of the customary 6, and double shifted 2 of their top forwards on their 4th line. Only time will tell if it is a workable plan.

Up next, the Flames make a few key trades to bolster their lineup…


Wc 515