Flames' lineup will have a different look this season
For the third consecutive season, the Calgary Flames just missed out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They also haven't won a playoff series since reaching the Cup Final in 2004.
General manager Jay Feaster has stated the franchise remains committed to competing in the present, and isn't interested in a full-scale rebuild like the one up the Queen Elizabeth II Highway in Edmonton. While Feaster was hamstrung a bit when he first took over as GM, he had more flexibility this offseason and wasn't shy about spending to try to get the Flames back in the postseason party.
2012-13 Flames Fantasy Team Preview
Under-valued: Roman Cervenka - Could be listed as the sleeper, but either way, he'll be a sneaky-good late-round pick on draft day. After posting 100 points in 105 KHL games over the last two years, Cervenka will likely center Calgary's second line with fellow Czech, Jiri Hudler, and has the potential to be a valuable fantasy commodity.
Over-valued: Alex Tanguay - Despite playing most of his minutes on a line with Jarome Iginla, Tanguay will disappoint his owners in every category other than assists. Finished last season with just 13 goals, 28 PIMs and 84 SOG in 64 games -- don't be fooled by his points total.
Sleeper: Sven Baertschi - Could emerge as third member of second line and if that's the case, there's a lot to like. Scored three goals in just five games for Flames last season and had 33 goals and 94 points in 47 games in WHL -- has plenty of talent, just needs playing time.
Toss in a January trade for Michael Cammalleri, and it is possible that four-sixths of the team's top two forward lines on opening night weren't with the Flames in December. There is a lot of depth, and new coach Bob Hartley, as the Flames try to get back into the playoffs.
NOTES: Baertschi set Red Mile hearts aflutter in a five-game emergency call-up, and he'll have a chance to earn a permanent spot in training camp. Calgary is pretty deep up front, with Comeau, Backlund and Jones trying to hold off challenges for roster spots from Akim Aliu, Lance Bouma and Roman Horak, who played 61 games for the Flames last season. Glencross has scored 50 goals in the past two seasons, and he could easily move into the top six if Baertschi isn't ready.
Calgary has eight defensemen on one-way contracts plus Brodie, so he could end up in the minors. Derek Smith and Brett Carson are not listed -- Smith is just starting a two-year, one-way deal. There is a lot of depth, and just like with the forwards there should be plenty of competition during camp.