The Calgary Flames had a rough offseason after losing two 100-point scorers, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. They also lost Calle Janrkrok and Erik Gudbranson.
On paper, you would think there’s no way a team lost this much and still kept it together in the following year and be a factor on the NHL betting odds.
However, the Flames made impressive maneuvers in the offseason to acquire major talent in order to keep themselves roughly in the same spot.
Will they be able to make another playoff run, or will we see the Flames bow out early? Let’s take a look at their futures.
Calgary Flames Odds
- To win Stanley Cup +1800
- To win Western Conference +700
- To win Pacific Division +225
- To make playoffs Yes -800/ No +500
Player to Watch
It’s not just one player on this squad; there’s a pair: Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau. The Flames lost Gaudreau and Tkachuk, and this tandem will be viewed as the replacement in many ways.
Kadri might be the guy to keep a closer eye on this season as he tries to fill part of the role that Matthew Tkachuk leaves behind.
He has the potential not only to be a strong offensive contributor but a complete pest and agitator that opponents hate to face.
The eighth-best scoring center last season, he can also alleviate tremendous pressure off that opening line if he can be as impactful as expected. He could even find himself moved to the top of the power play unit with how he’s been performing lately.
As for Huberdeau, he’ll be tasked with replacing Gaudreau. Johnny Hockey is a cut above but a small one. If Huberdeau replaces his production, this team will still be nearly as good – or maybe even better – in terms of the NHL odds.
- Player to Watch: Nazem Kadri
Dillon Dube can become the team’s breakout player, and they’ll need him. Dube put up 32 points, including 18 goals, at just 24 years old last year.
There is a growing chance that he could see more ice time moving forward, giving him an opportunity to reach 30 goals – if he continues to improve.
Calgary already considers him one of their most versatile options on the roster, so an increase in playing time could see him get that much better in 2022 and beyond.
This team needs some scoring depth, and Dube will be one of the players counted upon to deliver.
- Breakout Watch: Dillon Dube
Calgary fans were shocked when Gaudreau and Tkachuk left the team in the offseason, but they were able to make up for it by bringing in Huberdeau and Kadri.
Calgary has good depth at every position and added top-tier talent to prevent decline after losing key pieces. The concern is that chemistry was strong before, and teams can’t always just swap out talent for talent.
And for all the talk of the offensive moves, goaltender Jacob Markstrom is the linchpin of this team. He posted a career-best 2.22 GAA, and a near-career-best .1822 save percentage.
If he delivers similar numbers, this team is primed for contention. If not, it won’t matter what Huberdeau, Kadri, or anyone else delivers.
The Flames are a good choice for your NHL picks in terms of regular season win totals for the over or a flier to win the division. However, pass on them to win the Stanley Cup in the sportsbook as there are too many moving parts.