It was the best of times, it was… well that actually pretty much sums up the Calgary Flames dream season of 2014/15. Projected to be in the running for the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, the Flames turned their pundits into believers as they scraped and scrapped their way back into the playoffs for the first time in six long years.
The wild ride was punctuated by a tale of two cities headed in opposite directions. The Flames would take out the rival Vancouver Canucks in an exhilarating six-game series, complete with one more legendary comeback that defined their season long find-a-way-Flames legacy.
For a team that had seemed destined for their worst season in franchise history, not even Charles Dickens himself could have woven together such a fantastical story.
But with great success comes great expectations.
The Flames knew they would have a league-wide target on their collective backs headed into a fresh season. And to his credit, General Manager Brad Treliving went to work in the summer solidifying his team. It started with the larcenous acquisition of Dougie Hamilton at the draft, and the signing of coveted free agent and fancy stat specialist Michael Frolik. He brought back Karri Ramo to create competition in crease, instilling a four-headed goaltending monster featuring Ramo, Jonas Hiller, Joni Ortio, and Kris Russell. And not done yet, he inked Mark Giordano to a favorable long term extension, locking up the captain and face of the franchise to anchor a ridiculously talented defensive core.
Add in the expected growth and maturation of the young crop of exciting forwards, the Flames certainly appear to be headed in the right direction as the 2015-2016 NHL season got underway Wednesday night in Calgary.
So what the heck happened?
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