Calgary Flames odds to win the Stanley Cup
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Calgary Flames odds to win the Stanley Cup

Ahead of the new NHL season, we’re taking an early look at the Calgary Flames odds to win the Stanley Cup to see how they are expected to fare next term.

Calgary enjoyed a strong season during 2021-22, as they won the Pacific Division with a 50-win 111-point campaign, so hopes are high for more success.

Their success was largely carried by an elite top line that was as good as any in the league, with Elias Lindholm centering wingers Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau.

Gaudreau had the best season of his nine-year NHL stint with career-highs in goals, assists and points with 40, 75 and 115.

On the other side of Lindholm, captain Tkachuk also broke through the 100-point barrier. His 42 goals, 62 assists and 104 points were career highs for the 24-year-old as well.

Not to be outdone, centre Lindholm also set highs with 42 goals and 82 points. The trio combined for a plus/minus rating of 182.

Calgary’s impressive season was also founded on strong performances from the back end.

The defensive core of Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington, Christopher Tanev, Nikita Zadorov and Erik Gudbranson helped the Flames to the third best defensive record in the league.

Starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom’s 37 wins was tied for fourth best in the league and his .922 save percentage was third best among goalies making at least 40 starts.

The Flames will have been disappointed their play-off hopes were ended in the second round, as they came up against a hot Edmonton Oilers outfit and their provincial rivals sent them crashing out with a 4-1 series victory.

It will be interesting to see how the Flames fare with two thirds of their top line playing elsewhere in the 2022-23 season, but they have plugged the gaps with quality additions.

All change up front at the Saddledome

Gaudreau signed a seven-year $68.25million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent.

And after Tkachuk indicated he would not sign a new deal to remain with the club, the Flames swung a huge trade with the Florida Panthers to send Tkachuk to the Sunshine State in exchange for left wing Jonathan Huberdeau, defenceman MacKenzie Weegar and a first-round pick.

Huberdeau had a league-leading 85 assists with the Panthers last season and finished second in scoring with 115 points, so he can replace the production of Gaudreau.

Weegar, who had 44 points in 80 games with Florida, is a top-pairing defenceman who will add to an already stellar backend in Calgary.

Calgary completed their remodelling with the free agent signing of winger Nazem Kadri.

Kadri signed a seven-year $49m contract with the Flames after the most productive season of his career to date as he helped the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup with 87 regular-season points and a further 15 points in 16 play-off contests.

Sutter has Stanley Cup pedigree

Darryl Sutter is an experienced head coach in Calgary who is well equipped to get the best out of his team.

Sutter led the Los Angeles Kings to Stanley Cup titles in 2012 and 2014 and with a talented roster at his disposal he can lead the Flames to another successful season.

Huberdeau, who has signed an eight-year $84m deal with the Flames, is one of the NHL’s elite passers and will bring a dynamic element to Calgary.

Although not as defensively aware as Tkachuk, his effectiveness up front and prowess on the powerplay can excite Flames fans.

There is no reason Calgary cannot repeat the heroics of last season and retain the Pacific Division title, although that particular pool should be more competitive this season.

That is reflected in the Calgary Flames odds to make the playoffs and they will hope to see a stronger post-season performance.

Despite losing two of their elite scorers, they have replaced them more than adequately.

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