Another excruciatingly long summer is over. Actual hockey games are on the horizon. Because this is the 265th most widely read hockey blog on the internets, MYFO felt a deep obligation to our dozens of readers to prepare this series of previews telling you about every single team in the NHL. By “prepare” we mean, we found other people to write many of them for us. We were looking for people who (unlike us) might have an actual clue about these teams, but were also eager/willing/dumb/not self-respecting enough to work for free. Within those constraints, we think we did an admirable job.
Your preview of the Calgary Flames is brought to you by Leanne from Open Ice Hits. Enjoy.
Calgary Flames 2008-09 Season Preview
We’ll see a ton of headlines about the Flames this year, no doubt about it. Most of them will involve a lame, fire-themed pun. So screw all that. Let’s take a look at the headlines we don’t expect to see this year…
Bertuzzi is the Best Offseason Pickup in the Entire League
Easily the most controversial move by Flames GM Darryl Sutter this summer, the Bertuzzi signing is the one most Flames fans will have the most difficulty with, from an emotional perspective. Intellectually, the signing is easy to understand, given the much vaunted loyalty Sutter and Keenan have towards players who have a history with them, and given Bertuzzi’s relatively low cap hit. Intellectually, we also know that Bertuzzi is not the player he used to be, and as he ages, he is unlikely to get any of that back. Although Bertuzzi and his teammates are saying all the right things about how this has been the most anticipated lineup since Pink Floyd got back together… remember that even Pink Floyd only managed one gig before things fell apart. Again.
Iginla…What the Hell Happened?
Iginla is the face of the Flames(TM), Calgary’s franchise player(TM), The Man(TM). Don’t expect that to change. He will once again carry this franchise on his back. His zillion-watt smile will only be out-dazzled by the shine of the goal light when he throws a one timer on the net. His training this summer has again emphasized more speed and agility over bulk and muscle. The only question will be, who are his linemates (expect this to change 6 times a game, with “Mixmaster” Mike Keenan), and can they step up and match what Jarome Iginla brings every night?
Phaneuf Beats Lidstrom for Norris, Other Honours
The guy is good. He’s getting better. Hopefully he won’t get distracted by the Hollywood hottie and can keep his eye on the game. But except for the cover of NHL ’09, don’t expect him to upstage Lidstrom any time soon. He’s only 23 years old, fercryinoutloud. He will, however, remain a thorn in the side to the opposition, blah blah blah, and oh yeah, he’ll hit somebody hard. We guarantee it.
Beset by injuries, Flames Recruit Male Strippers and Figure Skaters
Well…it worked for us last year. Stranger things have happened, I guess.