Here are four big questions looming for the Calgary Flames in 2020-2021.
After a rather productive offseason, the Calgary Flames look to break the Playoff funk they seem to have found themselves in. They have missed the Playoffs twice in the last six seasons and had first-round exits in four of those appearances. Whether it be a lack of production or bad puck luck, the Flames are their own worst enemy.
The Flames had a very productive offseason. They signed goaltender Jacob Markstrom to a six-year, $36 million deal. This finally gives the goaltending edge they’ve desperately craved for years. With David Rittich taking the backseat, Markstrom comes in and takes the reigns, distinguishing himself as the starter.
Defenseman Chris Tanev also joined the Flames during free agency. The former Vancouver Canuck will be killing penalties with captain Mark Giordano. The 31-year-old veteran adds a voice of leadership to a relatively young team.
Much to the surprise of many fans’ postseason prediction, General Manager Brad Treliving did not trade key players like Sean Monahan or Johnny Gaudreau. Is there a clock ticking before it’s time to move on and start centering this team around the heartbeat of the team, Matthew Tkachuk?
4. Is Andrew Mangiapane Ready To Take The Next Step?
Andrew Mangiapane inked himself a new contract this offseason, bringing him back to Calgary for another two years. His 32 point campaign and strong playoff performance have caused everyone to keep their eyes on Mangiapane. Is he ready for a promotion? Could we see him playing with Monahan?
Ward has been tinkering with the lines and trying new combinations, giving players the opportunity to find a temporary home. There might be a chance we see him on the second line as we’ve seen in practice. The shortened season might play to his benefit. It might play to everyone’s benefit, really.
If there’s one player that I fully expect to blossom and perform this season, it is Andrew Mangiapane.