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2017-18 Calgary Flames Writer Line Up Projections

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We take a look at how we think or would like the lines to play out to start the year.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Training camp is around the corner. Before all the action kicks off, we are taking a stab at how we believe the lines will play out for opening night, along with a look at how we may like things to play out.

Samwell9

Predicted Line Up

Johnny Gaudreau- Sean Monahan- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg - Sam Bennett - Curt Lazar

Matt Stajan - Mark Jankowski - Troy Brouwer

Extra: Freddie Hamilton

Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton

T.J. Brodie - Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak - Michael Stone

Extra: Matt Bartkowski

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

  • This just seems like the most likely outcome in my opinion, with the only matter I am really debating being whether they choose to put Brouwer back with Bennett or keep him on the 4th line. We know for a fact that Bennett and Versteeg do not play well with Brouwer so hopefully we do not have to watch that happen again.
  • It just seems like Jankowski will make the team from everything we hear, but is he really best served on the 4th line, or would it be better to way for an injury and call him into a top-9 role?

My Ideal Line Up

Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland

Poirier/Shinkaruk-Backlund-Frolik

Tkachuk-Bennett-Versteeg

Stajan-Jankowski-Lazar

Extra: Brouwer

Giordano-Hamilton

Brodie-Hamonic

Kulak-Stone

Extra: Wotherspoon

Smith

Lack

  • There is no reason to break up the top line unless they are struggling to the point that something needs to happen, or if a right-winger like Spencer Foo can force his way onto the line.
  • Backlund and Frolik are so good that they made Joe Colborne amazing. Hunter Shinkaruk and Emile Poirier both need to clear waivers for one of them to be sent down to the AHL. They are both prospects that were highly touted in the past and have offensive ability, the Flames should give them every opportunity in camp to make the team.
  • By dropping Tkachuk off Backlund and Frolik’s line, Sam Bennett and Kris Versteeg end up with a play driving and offensively skilled line mate, which should help the Flames roll out 3 competent scoring lines. Plus, those 3 players are probably the best agitators in the line up, so it would be fun to watch them all out together
  • The 4th line keeps veteran Matt Stajan on to play with 2 young players with potential, all of whom are natural centres, which could allow Gulutzan to shuffle them around if necessary.
  • I’d rather Wotherspoon be the 7th D over Bartkowski. We already know Bartkowski is not a very good NHLer, lets give Wotherspoon a chance to prove he is a better option.
  • Of course, if the Flames sign Jagr, everything changes. For the better, too.

FlamesMM

Projected Lineup

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Micheal Ferland

Mark Jankowski - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Matthew Tkachuk - Sam Bennett - Kris Versteeg

Emile Poirier - Matt Stajan - Troy Brouwer

Scratches: Freddie Hamilton, Curtis Lazar

Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton

T.J. Brodie - Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak - Michael Stone

Scratch: Matt Bartkowski

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

  • I’ve talked about it for a lot of the offseason and I think that unlike Joe Colborne or Lance Bouma, Matthew Tkachuk is fully able to elevate his and his linemates play even if it isn’t with Backlund and Frolik anymore. This gives Jankowski the ability to play at the NHL level in a position more suited to his skillset rather than being stuck on the fourth line.
  • I ultimately think Spencer Foo will spend the start of next year in the AHL but wouldn’t be surprised to see him be an early injury callup and even get in the lineup ahead of Hrivik or Hamilton.
  • Based on how training camp goes, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Flames keep one of Tyler Parsons or Jon Gillies at the NHL level to start the year and roll with three goalies as an extended tryout. To do this I assume they’d just keep Freddie Hamilton in the minors. However this shouldn’t be a permanent solution but it would be interesting to see the young goalies in meaningful regular season action and who knows, maybe they force the Flames hand with stellar play.
  • Looking at this lineup I really don’t see any room for a player like Jaromir Jagr, no matter how badly I want him, because at the end of the day the Flames are still trying to develop some of these young players and only NHL game action will really do that.

MarkParkinson14

Projected Lineup

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Kris Versteeg

Emile Poirier - Matt Stajan - Troy Brouwer

Scratches: Freddie Hamilton, Curtis Lazar

Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton

T.J. Brodie - Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak - Michael Stone

Scratch: Matt Bartkowski

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

  • Micheal Ferland needs to keep getting top line minutes, plain and simple. He showed last season what we’ve all been hoping to see from him in regards to offence. He’s a fast skater with a very solid shot. He adds grit to that top line and he will also keep other teams honest by not allowing them to solely key on Gaudreau.
  • It’s the “in thing” to talk about breaking up the 3M Line to move Tkachuk down to add punch to the third line and then giving a younger player a chance to shine like Chucky did last season with Backlund and Frolik. I’m not a fan of this. I think you keep that line rolling together and only adjust if the Flames really start slow and the 3M Line is struggling.
  • As for the rest, I think we are all fairly similar. While a line of Janko/Bennett/Versteeg is mostly young, it could be a wild card. It’s time for Bennett to step up and show what talent he really has. I want to see him help carry a line like this early in the season. Maybe if he starts out slow, as has been his pattern, then you move him up to try and jump start him, but I want to see the #4 overall pick actually create on his own and carry a line. Moving him to the wing and letting Jankowski handle the centre duties could help. Then again, it could fail spectacularly.
  • As for the defence, we all know it’s the Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton show. The second pairing of T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic should provide the Flames with a VERY solid top 4. Everyone saw how Brodie’s game flourished after being unshackled from Dennis Wideman’s game, so there’s hope he continues to play at that level. That final pairing will always be a crapshoot. Stone wasn’t great, but he also isn’t the nightmare he’s made out to be. I like the idea of giving Kulak a shot, but I’m not opposed to a short leash depending on what Tyler Wotherspoon is doing down on the farm.
  • Goaltending, this is a roll of the dice. I think it’s “he who plays well, plays,” similar to last season. In reality it’s just a matter of holding down the fort until one of Calgary’s many goaltending prospects are ready. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw David Rittich or Jon Gillies in Calgary at somepoint this season.