Previewing the Flames 1991 Season
Previewing the Flames 1991 season is like previewing what a Category 5 Hurricane will do to a coastal US town i.e. I’s gonna be bad. Question is how bad?
On the plus side, the team is fully entrenched in its rebuild, drafting interesting prospects like Scott Niedermayer, Glen Murray and Sergei Zholtok, who had an excellent camp. In fact, he wasn’t the only prospect with a great camp. Fedorov improved his sharp shooting skills and several other individuals really worked hard in multiple individual training camps which should bode well for their future. And the Flames now also own three 1st round picks in the 1992 draft, which should also put them in a great spot for future seasons.
On another plus side, the Flames have improved behind the bench as well with Ken Hitchcock ready to turn these kids into the next generation Rockies or Oilers.
On the downside, well…everything else is the downside. The Flames have two minor league goalies playing at the NFHL level. They have jettisoned most of their veterans out of Calgary either through trade or to the farm team in Mississauga. In fact, out of 50 players in the organization, 30 have never played a single NHL game. Apart from Mike McPhee, their current named captains/alternate aren’t necessarily natural born leaders. In fact, they seem to have gotten the roles by default, and one could wonder whether the Flames wouldn’t have been best served by leaving the captaincy empty until one of the kids rises to the occasion.
Despite the expansion in CP Rail Arena, one must wonder how many empty seats we will see every night with the lack of stars playing for the team and the fact the Flames are likely to match or worsen last year’s mediocrity. In fact, Vegas odds for next season have them at single digit wins. Single Digit And with a new rule set for the 1992 entry draft lottery, one must wonder whether the Flames can really benefit from this season’s projected mediocrity.
So perhaps comparing next season to what a Category 5 Hurricane will do to a coastal US town is not quite the right comparison. Perhaps, the 1991 season will be remembered as the season the same town was hit with Category 5 hurricanes for 5 long months in a row. We know it’s going to happen, question is do the younger “vets” like Linden and Fedorov have the maturity to stick it out or will they be looking for greener pastures as early as this season? Only time will tell.
-The Calgary Herald