The Calgary Flames were put in a very tough spot a couple of off-seasons ago. They had to find a way to move on from Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk.
Gaudreau walked in free agency but they were at least able to get a return for Tkachuk. It is admirable that they tried to continue as a good team with their two stars leaving but it isn't working.
Their 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon was proof that they need to begin their rebuild now. It was nice to see them try but it is over.
The Blackhawks were in danger of losing their 6th straight game and they were missing Connor Bedard, Taylor Hall, Nick Foligno, Andreas Athanasiou, and a few others. It was inexcusable for the Flames to drop that game.
The Calgary Flames are in a bad spot after losing to the Chicago Blackhawks
Calgary's loss dropped them to 17-18-5 which is only good for 6th place in the Pacific Division. Only the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks have worse records and they are amongst the lottery favorites in the whole league.
If they had beaten the Blackhawks, they'd have 41 standings points which would have tied them with the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, and Seattle Kraken who are all right there looking for the playoffs in the West.
Instead, they have 38 points and you can add the Arizona Coyotes to one of the teams ahead of them as well with 40 points.
The bad thing is that they have already played 40 games. That is four more than the Edmonton Oilers who have two more points and currently hold the final Wild Card position. They have two more games played than the Arizona Coyotes and St. Louis Blues while having one more than the Seattle Kraken.
They have also played two more games than the Minnesota Wild who are behind them by one point. The math is not on Calgary's side.
That is why they need to tear it down. Being a part of the Macklin Celebrini sweepstakes would be better for them long term. It might be too late to be that bad but going for good draft picks in the next handful of years is smart. Building back up from scratch would be better than whatever this is.
Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich each have just one more season on their deal. Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, and Dan Vladar all are up after this season is over. These are some very valuable trade assets that can land them good assets for the future.
A rebuild doesn't have to last forever. If they are smart, they can be a good team again quickly. It doesn't look like they are going to be a playoff team so going that direction makes more sense. Losing to the Blackhawks should be the final straw.