39 Days Until the Start of the 2011-2012 NHL Season!

Daymond Langkow of the Calgary Flames

Daymond Langkow - Calgary Flames

 The 2011-2012 NHL season is quickly approaching and I am counting down the days until hockey takes over my life. Yes I said it…I have a hard time avoiding procrastination upon the start of the NHL season. There is something about the game of hockey that fills this empty void in my life that nothing else can fill and I’m sure many fans feel the same way I do. 

Over the course of the last couple weeks, I was contemplating the topic of today’s discussion. I was ecstatic to hear that the Calgary Flames had once again made a HUGE move to improve this team although it did somewhat come at a cost. A little over a month ago, the Flames shook up the core of their team by trading defenceman Robyn Regehr and right winger Ales Kotalik to the Buffalo Sabres for centre Paul Byron and defenceman Chris Butler. The key move here was Ales Kotalik as he failed to live up to expectations last season with the Flames. Another benefit to this trade was the fact that the Flames got a little bit younger as well. I personally thought the Flames were done until the start of the season but I was mistaken. Just yesterday, the Flames requested that Daymond Langkow waive his NTC/NMC clause and accept a trade to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Lee Stempniak. Although I am deeply saddened that Langkow is no longer a member of the Calgary Flames, this was an extremely important move for the Flames. We have now injected our team with youthfulness, skill, and most importantly, have allowed more flexibility when it comes to cap space.

As fans, it is sometimes difficult to look at the bigger picture and realize what is best for a team. Every year, our veteran players get a little bit older and there comes a point where it is difficult to move a player  because they have exhausted their ability to play at a high level on a consistent basis or they succumb to injury. The NHL has progressed so much since the lockout and even since I was a kid growing up watching hockey. The game of hockey is faster and more skilled than it was yesterday. If the Flames are to keep up pace with the rest of the League, then changes are needed. I congratulate Jay Feaster for doing what many people were afraid to do and I very much look forward to this upcoming season for this reason. If the Flames can perform the way they did the second half of last season or rather exceed that, Flames fans may just be surprised at what this team is capable of!

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