Calgary Flames 2018-2019 Opening Roster Set – Let the Games Begin

Calgary Flames 2018-2019 Opening Roster Set – Let the Games Begin

Puck drop on Wednesday to open the new season of hockey. Calgary has the dubious distinction of the longest active losing streak on opening night at 8. They have a chance to turn their fate with back-to-back games vs the lowly Vancouver Canucks. Despite an underwhelming pre-season, the new look Calgary Flames will excite, if for no other reason that fans will finally get a look at the new roster.

Speaking of opening night rosters, here’s what the Flames look like.


FORWARDS

10 – Derek Ryan

11 – Mikael Backlund

13 – Johnny Gaudreau

18 – James Neal

19 – Matthew Tkachuk

20 – Curtis Lazar

21 – Garnet Hathaway

23 – Sean Monahan

27 – Austin Czarnik

28 – Elias Lindholm

29 – Dillon Dube

67 – Michael Frolik

77 – Mark Jankowski

93 – Sam Bennett

DEFENCE

5 – Mark Giordano

6 – Dalton Prout

7 – TJ Brodie

8 – Juuso Valimaki

24 – Travis Hamonic

26 – Michael Stone

55 – Noah Hanifin

GOALTENDERS

33 – David Rittich

41 – Mike Smith

Of note, no Brett Kulak. He was traded yesterday to Montreal for two prospects, or essentially two bodies to fill space in the AHL. Why? Because Juuso Valimaki played his way onto the team and into the starting lineup. The same could be said about Andersson, but he’s a right shot defenceman, and apparently we’d prefer 3.5 million dollar man Mike Stone to play over Andersson. Consider Stone the new Stajan whipping boy. Winning out the back up goalie role is Rittich, which isn’t a surprise to anybody since neither he nor Gillies stood-out in the pre-season. The latter being waiver exempt which likely contributed to his demotion.

Making the team out of camp also includes Dillon Dube, the Cochrane native beat out the likes of Lazar and Mangiapane to claim a spot on the 4th (or maybe 3rd) line. Lazar still remains with the team despite clearing waivers. Expect him to head down to the AHL soon, and perhaps Mangiapane coming up if Dube doesn’t work out. The idea seems to be the club would rather Mangiapane and Andersson play good minutes in the AHL rather than sit as a spare part. That would be Dalton Prout’s role who will play this year’s Bartkowski (and he doesn’t look any better by the way which is scary.) There is a noticeable lack of size with the team again, so let’s hope their speed will compensate.

The new look offence is the other question mark. Actually, let’s just say the whole roster is a question mark. It certainly has upgraded, but at this point more wins is the name of the game, and until puck drop on opening night, we can’t be sure whta we have. One can be sure fans will be impatient with results, this despite 7 new faces in the lineup and a new coaching staff. A short leash for sure, so hopefully the team comes out of the gate flying.

A lot of ‘let’s hope’ might be a way to describe the start of this season. let’s hope Smith doesn’t get hurt. Let’s hope Rittich doesn’t implode. Let’s hope Brodie returns to form. Let’s hope Hanifin is Dougie-light. Let’s hope Neal scores some goals. Let’s hope Lindholm is an upgrade. Let’s hope Ryan is a Stajan upgrade. Let’s hope Bennett has a bounce back year. And the list goes on.

But let’s forget about all of this. There’s more optimism with the club this year than year’s past. It’s going to be a fun season.

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