The Calgary Flames are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The Calgary Flames play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference with four other teams: the Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche, the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks. Flames tickets will be a hot item during the 2009-2010 NHL hockey schedule.
Calgary Flames 2009-2010 Outlook
The Calgary Flames have high hopes for the 2009-2010 NHL season. The Flames have been a competitive NHL team since they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 7th game of the 2003-2004 Stanley Cup finals. The Flames have qualified for the playoffs each of the last 4 seasons following the 2004-2005 NHL lockout when no professional hockey was played, but they have bowed out early in the Quarterfinals round each time. The Flames are hoping that new Head Coach Brent Sutter (older brother Darryl is the club's general manager; brother Duane is the team's director of player personnel and brother Ron is one of the team's pro scouts) with be able to easily transition his "fundamentals-first" style of hockey to a team of players that was used to former Head Coach Mike Keenan's "free style" system of hockey during the 2008-2009 NHL season. If Sutter can earn the players respect early and often, and if the team buys into his defensive style of play, good things should be on the horizon for the talented Flames.
The Flames have 2 of the best defenders in the league with Dion Phaneuf (Norris Trophy runner-up 2 years ago) and Robyn Regehr, and they added arguably the best defender in the league with 2-way stud Jay Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester is a tough defender in his own end, but he also has a canny ability to create excellent scoring chances for his wingers and centers on a consistent basis. Jarome Iginla is one of the best points-producers in the game today and he will lead a talented group of goal scorers like wingers Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross and Nigel Dawes and centers Olli Jokinen and Daymond Langkow. The key to success for the Flames could come down to the goal-tending of Mikka Kiprusoff who will see the bulk of the time in front of the net for Calgary. Kiprusoff's goals-against average has fallen each of the last 4 years since he took over as the Flames starting goalie during the 2005-2006 NHL season. If he can turn things around and lower that average by at least a half goal to three quarters of a goal, that should help keep the Flames in a lot of games in 2009-2010. If the Flames avoid any serious injuries, and if the team gels quickly under the leadership of Sutter, the Flames should qualify for post-season play for a 5th consecutive season. How far they go in the 2009-2010 playoffs will depend on how well Kipsuroff plays in net and the new style of coaching by Sutter that could have the Flames playing excellent, well-disciplined hockey night in and night out. Get your Flames hockey tickets at the Pengrowth Saddledome before it's too late.
The Calgary Flames franchise was originally founded in 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Flames. In 1971, the NHL granted a franchise to the New York Islanders to keep the World Hockey Association’s New York Raiders out of the brand new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. In order to balance the conferences, the NHL awarded a franchise to an Atlanta-based group (headed by Atlanta real estate developer Tom Cousins) that owned the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. The Atlanta Flames advanced to the playoffs in 6 of the 8 years that the team played in Atlanta, but the team never advanced further than the Conference Quarterfinals. Tom Cousins’ financial group was never on solid footing and in 1980, the group had to sell the Atlanta Flames franchise in order to avoid bankruptcy. Cousins’ group sold the team to a Calgary-based investment group headed by Canadian entrepreneur Nelson Skalbania and the team moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The city of Calgary immediately embraced the franchise, and the team has been known as the Calgary Flames ever since. From 1980 through 1991, the team advanced to the NHL playoffs each and every year. The Calgary Flames won 40 games in 1986 and made a spirited run to the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup Finals with upset 7-game victories over the Edmonton Oilers in the Division Finals and the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Finals. The Calgary Flames lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Finals, winning only 1 game in the series. The Calgary Flames won their first and only Stanley Cup title in 1989 with a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
The Calgary Flames have retired the following players’ numbers: Lanny McDonald’s #9; Mike Vernon’s #30; and Wayne Gretzky's #99 (retired league-wide by the NHL on February 6, 2000).
Calgary Flames TV/Radio
All Calgary Flames hockey games can be seen on the Rogers Sportsnet West television network in the greater Calgary, Alberta area. ESPN has television rights to Calgary Flames hockey games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into the Calgary Flames flagship station FAN 960 on your AM dial to catch each Calgary Flames hockey game on the radio.