For the Calgary Flames
, the 2010-11 season was a tale of two teams. By the end of November, their 10-12-2 record was inciting calls for a roster shakeup and speculation that franchise cornerstone Jarome Iginla
might be traded. But things turned around drastically when Jay Feaster took over as general manager.
When Darryl Sutter
stepped down as the team's GM on Dec. 28, the Flames were 14th in the Western Conference with a 16-18-3 record. But from Jan. 11 to the end of the season, the team went 23-9-7, a wonderful run, but one that wasn't enough to get them into the postseason. After finishing just three points out of the eighth playoff spot, the team comes into the 2010-11 season looking to avoid the sluggish start that hurt it last season.
"We really want to build off the second half we had," forward Brendan Morrison
told NHL.com. "We gained a lot of momentum in the second half and had a good push but came up short. It was a real positive to finish that way. Now the challenge is to start the season the way we finished (last season)."
Their opening-day roster likely will be nearly identical to the one that finished last season, which means the Flames again will be a veteran-laden squad. Last season's second-oldest team with an average age of 29.35, the Flames' top three scorers were at least 30, and of the 19 players who had at least 10 points, only one was younger than 27. So the Flames will remain dependent on their veterans, but might look to one or two prospects to make their imprint on the team.