Restoring the Rosters: Calgary Flames

Based on Matthew Pouliot’s series on Circling the Bases, I have decided restore the rosters for every NHL team. Like Pouliot, I have established some ground rules for my selections.

  1. Each team contains players they originally drafted or signed before any other NHL team. This includes players drafted and not signed, as well as European free agents coming over at an older age.
  2. I have chosen to leave retired players off the list, and lean toward players in the AHL rather than those deported (KHL, SEL, DEL, etc.).

Essentially I am choosing the best available players for a team to succeed in the current NHL season. All 30 teams will be covered, with grades assigned to forwards, defense and goal-tending. After all 30 articles are written, they will be ranked in order. This series’ intent is to reward or shame NHL scouts.

This Flames team features a legitimate NHL player in every slot, not something I can say for every team.  Their strength seems to be in drafting and developing solid grinding type forwards and defensemen.  The roster lacks star power but makes up for it with solid depth.

The lineup for the Calgary Flames is as follows.

Forwards:

If you look at the current roster, most of the star players were developed elsewhere. Meaning Jerome Iginla, Daymond Langkow, Olli Jokinen were all a product of excellent personnel moves.  Despite their lack of star power, the team rounds out a decent roster with honest hard-working players.

Cory Stillman – Dustin Boyd – Martin St.Louis

Travis Moen – Jared Stoll – Chuck Kobasew

Eric Nystrom – Steve Begin – Chris Clark

Brandon Prust – Blair Betts – Brandon Moss

Extra: Kris Chucko

These players lack finish and there is a glaring hole down the middle.  Neither Stoll nor Boyd would be confused with a first-liner.  Stillman remains a viable option on a top line but is better suited for second line duties.  Although a great free agent signing, giving up on St. Louis clearly is their biggest blunder.  A third line of Moen-Stoll-Clark would be considered one of the best in the league but this team is forced to used them outside their roles.  Betts when healthy is an elite fourth line center.

Grade: B-

Defense:

Although the top 4 is solid, the bottom pairing may add undue pressure by not managing enough minutes.  Similar to the forward group, the current Flames star defensemen were drafted and developed elsewhere.  Robyn Regehr, Jay Bouwmeester and the rugged Cory Sarich all made other stops before landing in Calgary.

Dion Phaneuf – Derek Morris

Toni Lydman – Mark Giordano

Adam Pardy – Kurtis Foster

Extra: Jonas Frogren, Denis Gauthier

Led by Phaneuf, the defense is an upgrade to the offense.  The 24 year old paired with Morris make a legitimate top unit.  Currently D-Mo plays with Zdeno Chara on a good Boston team, so I am sure he could manage these minutes back in Calgary.  Lydman is a solid two-way defender fully capable of a second pairing but he is accompanied by Giordano who has never played a full season.  The unit as a whole looks better if the bottom pairing can play enough to keep added pressure off the top 4.  If they can succeed so will this team.

Grade: B

Goaltenders:

The wild card of the team, these two goalies have the potential to be very good or just mediocre.

Craig Anderson

Dwayne Roloson

So far Anderson looks like a legitimate all-star goalie.  If he can keep this up, he will show not only the Flames but the Blackhawks and Panthers how much of a mistake they made.  Roloson a solid journeyman tender could fill in admirably for the Illinois native.

Grade: B+

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-Alexander Monaghan
NHLHS Founder
thehotstove@gmail.com