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Team Reset

Flames make big moves following disappointing postseason

Acquire goalie Smith, defenseman Hamonic in trades after being swept in first round

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Calgary Flames:

The Calgary Flames returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2017 after a one-year absence, but getting swept by the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference First Round clearly left a bad taste in their mouth.

The Flames had the third-best record in the West from Jan. 25 through the end of the regular season (21-9-1), allowing them to win the first wild card into the playoffs, but that momentum didn't carry into the postseason.

 

[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]

 

Calgary made its first big move of the offseason on June 17, acquiring goalie Mike Smith in a trade from the Arizona Coyotes. One week later, it sent a package of NHL Draft picks to the New York Islanders for defenseman Travis Hamonic.

Here is what the Flames look like today:

 

Key arrivals

Mike Smith, G: The 35-year-old should help shore up Calgary's most glaring weakness in recent seasons. Smith was 19-26-9 with a 2.92 goals-against average and .914 save percentage with Arizona last season, but the Flames expect his numbers will improve playing behind a better defense and a more experienced team. … Travis Hamonic, D: The 26-year-old came at a high price (a first-round pick and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, and a second-round pick in 2019 or 2020 to the Islanders), but adding him to Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton and TJ Brodie gives the Flames as solid a top four as there is in the Western Conference. … Eddie Lack, G: Acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on June 29, the 29-year-old will be Smith's backup after going 20-21-9 with a 2.75 GAA and .902 save percentage in two seasons with Carolina.

Video: ARI@NSH: M. Smith shuts down C. Smith on a breakaway

 

Key departures

Brian Elliott, G: Like the Flames, Elliott was shaky in the first half of the season, near brilliant in the second and disappointing in the playoffs. He was 26-18-3 with a 2.55 GAA and .910 save percentage in his only season in Calgary but 0-3 with a 3.89 GAA and .880 save percentage in the playoffs. An unrestricted free agent, the 32-year-old signed a two-year contract reportedly worth $5.5 million with the Philadelphia Flyers. … Chad Johnson, G: With Elliott struggling the first two months of the season, Johnson's 13 wins through Dec. 10 were essential to Calgary's playoff berth. After being traded to Arizona in the Smith trade, the 31-year-old became an unrestricted free agent and signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres. … Deryk Engelland, D: The 35-year-old was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights after being left unprotected for the NHL Expansion Draft. Engelland's compete level was unquestioned, but that and the 18:19 of ice time he averaged last season will be more than made up by Hamonic. … Lance Bouma, F: On June 30, the Flames bought out the final season of the three-year contract Bouma signed on July 23, 2015. The 27-year-old signed a one-year contract reportedly worth $1 million with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1.

Video: CGY@ANA, Gm2: Elliott stops Getzlaf on the doorstep

 

On the cusp

Spencer Foo, F: The 2017 Hobey Baker Award finalist chose to sign with the Flames after he had 62 points (26 goals, 36 assists) in 38 games as a junior at Union College. It will be tough for Foo to crack Calgary's top six forwards, so there's a strong chance the 23-year-old will spend some time with Stockton of the American Hockey League this season. But his offensive ability suggests he'll be playing in the NHL at some point in 2017-18. … Rasmus Andersson, D: The No. 53 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft spent the final month of last season on recall from Stockton and played his first NHL game on April 8. Andersson, 20, has ability as a puck-mover and is viewed by many as the player from the Calgary system with the best chance of moving up this season. … Brett Kulak, D: The 23-year-old played 21 games with the Flames last season. That may give the 105th pick from the 2012 NHL Draft a leg up in the competition for the spot the Flames may have up for grabs on the third defense pair.

 

What they still need

To take care of contract business, to figure out the bottom of the defenseman depth chart. Forwards Micheal Ferland, who had 15 goals last season, Curtis Lazar and Sam Bennett each remains a restricted free agent. Signing the three of them would bring the roster to 12 forwards who have played NHL games. … General manager Brad Treliving also needs to figure out who will be Calgary's sixth and seventh defensemen. Right now, the competition for the two spots appears to be between Andersson, Kulak, Matt Bartkowski and Tyler Wotherspoon, but it could end up being someone else in the system.

Video: COL@CGY: Ferland buries a rebound past Pickard

 

Pete Jensen's fantasy focus

The Flames have one of the best groups of top-four defensemen in the NHL after adding Hamonic to Giordano, Hamilton and Brodie. Which begs the question: Can Smith, at 35 years old, return to form as a top 15 fantasy goalie? He didn't have much help through the years with the Coyotes, but fantasy owners should not forget he had 38 wins with a .930 save percentage and eight shutouts in 2011-12. Smith could have plenty more goal support this season, so consider him a bounce-back candidate if available in the 21-25 range at his position.

 

Projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Kris Versteeg

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Micheal Ferland -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Freddie Hamilton -- Matt Stajan -- Curtis Lazar

Spencer Foo

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Dougie Hamilton -- Travis Hamonic

Michael Stone -- Matt Bartkowski

Rasmus Andersson 

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

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