It could be a long offseason for the Calgary Flames with many needs facing this team going forward. Along with the probable retirement of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, the team could use some more goal scorers after trading away Jarome Iginla. The Flames also need to get younger as most of their top scorers this season were in their 30s.
If you take a look at who the available free agents are, you don’t see a ton of young talent out there. The top three players who are in their 20s and play forward would be Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Mason Raymond and Nathan Horton. I’m not sure if any of those players fit the plan for the Flames though. There is always the potential that the team re-signs their own young center in Roman Cervenka who should be better after a full season in the NHL.
There’s also a chance that Calgary wants more veteran talent with players like Mike Ribeiro and Tim Connolly floating around free agency. I would believe that the best thing for this team would be to get a bunch of young players in there now and start over from the bottom up. It’s not a popular idea, but for a team that went 19-25-4 this season, something needs to be done. I want to see if Calgary also explores the idea of trades because the salary cap will fall $6 million next year, and there are going to be teams who need to shed high salary to get under the cap. If it isn’t a start-over scenario, then this is probably the way the team is heading in order to get better.