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Flames By Position - Wingers

By Aakash Gulati
One game into the season. Hockey is back and the Flames are here.
Having previously looked at the flames centre depth, it is time to look at who will be flanking the Flames centres. A consistent theme with all the flames wingers is their consistency issues.


With over 900 points and flames top leading scorer for the last 11 seasons, Iginla has been the one consistent star for the flames franchise. A notoriously slow starter, Iginla had one of his usual starts last season. With only 3 goals in his first 17 games, people started doubting if the captain still had it in him to play at an elite level. Many fans were even thinking that it might be better to trade him before his stock fell. And as a phoenix rises from the ashes, Iginla blew the gates wide open and finished with a mad dash ending the season 3rd in the league for goals and 6th for points almost leading the flames to a playoff spot.

Now, Iginla was able to bounce back last season, but at the age of 34, there is a likelihood a time will come wherein he will not be able to score at a point a game clip. I still think that season is a couple of years away and Iggy will continue his play from last season. He missed all of the preseason games and it will take him a few to get game ready. He was physically active last night which is always a good sign for the captain. Having his preferred player on the opposite wing, my prediction for Iginla will be that he ends the season with 46 goals to have a 93 point campaign in the year 2011-12


Signed by Sutter to a one year 1.5 million contract last summer, Tanguay was out to prove he is still a premier passer after a failed year playing on the lightning. And prove it, he did. With a successful comeback campaign Tanguay earned himself a contract extension with Calgary. He finished 25th overall league wide in points last year. 2010-11 was no fluke and Tanguay will still be the linemate that our captain needs. Every team needs at least two top forwards and Tanguay is the second to Iginla on the depth of the Flames for skill. He was making plays against Pittsburgh last night, both on the powerplay and five on five which hopefully promises to a big season from No. 40 . I see him having a 21 goal season to go with 52 points to get him to 73 points.


An issue with the flames wingers is the lack of consistency and a perfect example of that is Bourque. When on his game Bourque is a pretty darn good power forward muscling his way through opposing defense and finding the spots to shoot from (as can be seen by his back to back 27 goal seasons), but when off his game (which can be for quite some time) he can seem like a lazy disinterested player taking unnecessary penalties. A highly capable PKer Bourque should see some time on penalty kill once again. He kicked off his new campaign with a goal last night but his lack of control on his anger was pretty apparent when he took a roughing penalty against Letang in the last minute of play. Bourque plays well with a chip on his shoulder but also ends up taking completely avoidable penalties upon losing his temper. I see another 25 goal season in the cards. I will go ahead and predict a 29 goal and 30 assist season to end the year with 59 points.


The breakout player for the flames last year, Glencross was awarded with a significant increase in his salary in the off-season. So far he seems to be continuing his style of physical and motivated play going on the pre-season games as well as the home-opener. He scored the goal to open the season and the flames faithful hope that there are many more to come. A common trend with most flames wingers is their inconsistent and streaky play. When Glencross is on his game (as he was for a decent part of last season) he is unstoppable, scoring goals, hitting bodies, making plays. But when he is off his game, he is just like Bourque. Takes lazy penalties and appears disenchanted. Everyone is hoping to see a more consistent Scoreface this year. I predict a 23 goal season to go with 21 assists for 44 points spread out more consistently throughout the year. Depending on what sort of minutes Glencross sees, there is a potential for him to cross 50 points this year, but with Glencross, being conservative is a better idea.


Newest wingers among the flames ranks, Stempniak has found himself playing on a line with Jokinen and Glencross to start the season. A player with a good shot, Lee Stempniak is another winger with consistency issues. Scoring 14 goals in 18 games when traded to Phoenix in 2008-09, he went on to score only 19 goals last season. I have a more indepth look of Stempniak in my column with regards to the flames trade with Phoenix which can be seen here


One of the whipping boys last year, Hagman saw the waiver wire close to the end of the season last year and had no takers. Following three years scoring 20 plus goals, Hagman saw his goal total dip to just 11 and spent some time on the bottom line. Coming into the season, there was a lot of trade speculation but either no team was interested or Flames weren't seeing the return they wanted. Hagman continued to be Flames property. Having a phenomenal pre-season, Hagman was much faster, and his speed definitely was beneficial into him cementing a spot on the third line (the way Sutter works his lines, this might as well be a 2-b line) opposite Bourque. Now what has to be seen is if he can maintain his level of play throughout the season. Being his contract year, Hagman will have added motivation, which might bode well for the flames, either for trading come the deadline or for the final push into the postseason. By the way, his pass on Saturday that led to the third goal was a beauty. I believe he gets close to his 20 goal seasons by scoring 19 goals and 18 assists to end the season with 37 points.


When signed last off-season, no one knew what they were getting with Jackman. Being paid close to minimum salary, he seemed like a gritty player with minimal skill. That is until he went to score 10 goals last season. A player, who many believed could be waived prior to the beginning of last season, even enjoyed some time on the powerplay in front of the net. One cannot expect 20 goals from Tim Jackman but he brings a nice sand-paper mix to the flames fourth line. This gritty winger is capable of handling quality minutes as well as dropping the gloves when situation warrants it. Will he be able to replicate his season from last year remains to be see but he should be good for 6-7 goals and 15 odd points as well as giving the flames the proto-typical fourth liner they need.


One of the returning commodities in the flames trade with Carolina last season, Kostopolous fit right in with the flames. A leader as well as a decent two-way player, Kostopolous does more than enough in a defensive role to live up to his almost one million dollar salary. A gritty winger, he should see minutes playing on the fourth line and again can be counted on 15-20 points by the end of the season.


  1. Not sure why Tanguay struggled in Tampa, worked out well for you guys though!

  2. He was just missing home. With Iginla he fits in. Darn good tandem, those two are.