**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Calgary Flames
2010-11: 94 points, #10 in Western Conference
Returning: Miikka Kiprusoff, Henrik Karlsson
Arrivals: N / A
Departures: N / A
No changes between the pipes for the Flames, although an aging Kipper means they will soon have to start thinking about a long term solution in goal.
Returning: Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Cory Sarich, Anton Babchuk, Brett Carson
Arrivals: Chris Butler, TJ Brodie or Brendan Mikkelson
Departures: Roby Regehr, Adam Pardy, Steve Staios
I almost gave this a -3, but the potential of Chris Butler and the possibility of prospect TJ Brodie making the team resulted in a grade of -2. Calgary will struggle on the backend this season, which will ultimately cost them a playoff spot.
Returning: Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen, Matt Stajan, Curtis Glencross, Rene Bourque, David Moss, Mikael Backlund, Brendan Morrison, Niklas Hagman, Tim Jackman, Tom Kostopoulos
Arrivals: Daymond Langkow (return from injury), PL Leblond or Raitis Ivanans
Departures: Ales Kotalik, Freddy Modin
Calgary finished with a surprisingly high goal total last year, and are bringing back virtually the same group of forwards for the 2011-12 season. The return of Daymond Langkow from injury is definitely an upgrade that will give the Flames a lot of balance and depth on their top 3 lines.
OVERALL RATING: -1
2011-12 Prediction: #10-#13 in Western Conference
An aging goalie, a weak defense and the lack of a true number one center will keep Calagry out of the playoff again. Unfortunately, their core is getting old while most teams below them are improving with the addition and development of young prospects.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.