2010–11 Calgary Flames season

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2010–11 Calgary Flames
Division 2nd Northwest
Conference 10th Western
2010–11 record 41–29–12
Home record 23–13–5
Road record 18–16–7
Goals for 250
Goals against 237
Team information
General Manager Darryl Sutter (Oct-Dec)
Jay Feaster (Dec-Apr) interim
Coach Brent Sutter
Captain Jarome Iginla
Alternate captains Jay Bouwmeester
Robyn Regehr
Arena Scotiabank Saddledome
Average attendance 19,819
Team leaders
Goals Jarome Iginla (43)
Assists Alex Tanguay (47)
Points Jarome Iginla (86)
Penalties in minutes Tim Jackman (86)
Plus/minus Anton Babchuk (+18)
Wins Miikka Kiprusoff (37)
Goals against average Henrik Karlsson (2.58)
<2009–10 2011–12>

The 2010–11 Calgary Flames season was the 31st season in Calgary and 39th for the Flames franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Flames finished second in the Northwest Division but failed to qualify for the playoffs after finishing 10th in the Western Conference. It was the second consecutive season that the Flames missed the playoffs.

The franchise reached two milestones during the season: In November, Curtis Glencross scored the 10,000th goal in franchise history dating back to the founding of the Atlanta Flames in 1972, and in January, the Flames played their 3,000th game. Calgary hosted the 2011 Heritage Classic, an outdoor game against the Montreal Canadiens. The Flames won the game 4–0 as goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff became the first goaltender to record a shutout in an NHL outdoor game.

Individually, forward Craig Conroy played his 1,000th game before retiring mid season. Team captain Jarome Iginla scored his 500th career assist in January, then recorded his 1,000th point in March en route to leading the team in scoring with 86 points. Former owner Doc Seaman was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The season marked a turning point for the organization, as General Manager Darryl Sutter announced in December that he was stepping down from the position after eight years with the Flames. Assistant General Manager Jay Feaster assumed full responsibility for the team on an interim basis.

Pre-season

Josh Gorges, Gary Bettman and Steve Staios unveil the uniforms to be worn for the 2011 Heritage Classic.

Failure to qualify for the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs resulted in changes to the team's management and evaluation structure. Former Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Jay Feaster was hired to serve as an assistant to Darryl Sutter,1 while three scouts were released by the organization as it planned to take a new direction in its amateur scouting.2

The organization participated in a five-team prospects tournament held in Penticton, British Columbia that included the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks. Calgary's prospects played three games, defeating the Ducks 8–4 before losing to the Oilers and Canucks by 5–3 and 5–4 scores respectively.3

The Flames played seven games as part of their exhibition schedule, including split-squad games on September 21 against the Vancouver Canucks, with each city hosting one of the match-ups. Calgary faced the New York Islanders in Saskatoon for the second consecutive season.4 They went unbeaten in the pre-season, recording seven consecutive victories.5

Calgary ended the exhibition season with several injuries to key players. Centre Daymond Langkow remained sidelined following a neck injury suffered the previous season, while Ryan Stone (knee) was also out. Matt Stajan suffered a shoulder separation, David Moss also suffered a shoulder injury and Ales Kotalik was lost to a knee injury.6 As a result of the injuries, the Flames signed centre Brendan Morrison to a contract; Morrison had been in training camp with the Canucks before being released.7 Rookie defenceman T. J. Brodie proved the surprise player of training camp. Expected to start the year with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL), Brodie impressed the Flames' coaching staff and earned a position on the team to begin the NHL season.8

Regular season

October – December

The Flames endured a disastrous start to the season, suffering two shutout losses in their first three games. The second, a 3–0 loss to the Florida Panthers, ended with Flames fans loudly booing the team as it left the ice.9 Three more players were lost to injury, Raitis Ivanans and Rene Bourque (head injuries) and Adam Pardy (shoulder),10 while the team's top scoring line of Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay was held pointless.9 The team's early struggles resulted in a lengthy meeting between the players and coaches about the team's need to compete harder.11 The team responded to the meeting with a stronger effort in a 5–3 victory over the Oilers in which Iginla and Tanguay scored their first goals of the season alongside Matt Stajan, who took Jokinen's spot on the top line.12

The win over Edmonton began a streak where Calgary won five of six games, ending with another victory over the Oilers, 5–4 in a shootout, on October 26.13 The Flames ended October with consecutive home losses, to the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals, in which they surrendered two-goal leads in both.14 The team entered November in the midst of a streak where they lost six of seven games.15 During the slump, rookie forward Brett Sutter was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona on charges he punched a cab driver. Sutter apologized for the incident and his teammates issued a release expressing support, but he was demoted to Abbotsford a few days later.16 He was subsequently traded to the Carolina Hurricanes along with Ian White in exchange for defenceman Anton Babchuk and forward Tom Kostopoulos in a deal that was being discussed by the two teams prior to Sutter's legal troubles.17

The Flames defend their net against the Los Angeles Kings

Calgary struggled to a 4–7–2 record in November, losing six of their last seven road games during the month.18 However, the team ended the month with its star players playing their best games of the season. Kiprusoff recorded his third shutout of the season in a 3–0 win against the Minnesota Wild while Iginla scored eight goals and twelve points in the final nine games of the month.19 Though they sat in 14th place in the 15-team Western Conference, the Flames ended November only five points out of a playoff spot.20 The organization reached a milestone during the month, as Curtis Glencross scored the 10,000th goal in the history of the Flames franchise during a 3–2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on November 26.21

The team's struggles continued into December, where the Flames lost four of six games to begin the month. Back-to-back victories over the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs on December 13 and 16 marked the first time the team won consecutive games since late October. The latter victory also spoiled Dion Phaneuf's first return to Calgary following his trade the previous season.22 The Flames followed the victories with three consecutive losses,23 but entered the Christmas break on a positive note with a 3–2 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars.24

Despite a victory over the Buffalo Sabres after Christmas, and with the team still mired in 14th place in the Western Conference, General Manager and Executive Vice President Darryl Sutter announced his resignation from both positions on December 28, exactly eight years after he was hired by the team to become its coach in 2002. The move was not entirely Sutter's decision, as he was asked by the organization to step aside.25 The decision came as a shock to many fans, even as it was believed to be inevitable following the team's decline in recent seasons.26 Jay Feaster assumed control of the team, serving as Acting General Manager.27

January – April

Calgary ended 2010 with three consecutive wins, and won their first game in 2011 for a season-high four-game winning streak.28 The streak came to an end at the hands of the New York Islanders on January 3, a contest that marked the Flames franchise's 3,000th game in its history.29 Losses to Vancouver, Detroit and Carolina followed, the latter two in overtime, but the Flames' four-game eastern road trip that began in Carolina ended with the team registering two wins and six points. The last game of the trip, against the Montreal Canadiens, saw the team come back from a 4–0 deficit to force the contest into overtime before Montreal prevailed.30 Kiprusoff struggled throughout the road trip, and was jeered by the fans on the team's first game home, a 6–0 loss to Minnesota.31

The team rebounded from the loss, as backup goaltender Henrik Karlsson led the Flames to a 7–4 victory over the Dallas Stars on January 21. Kiprusoff then showed a return to form by making 41 saves to lead the Flames to a 4–3 shootout win over Vancouver the following night.32 Victories over the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues allowed the Flames to enter the All-Star break on a four-game winning streak.33 Posting a 10–3–3 record in the 16 games leading up to the break, the Flames had pulled themselves to within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, and stood six points shy of fourth in the conference.34

The Flames and Canadiens line up for a faceoff at the Heritage Classic

Exactly 100 days after the Flames last held a playoff position, they climbed back into the top eight with a 7–0–1 run that culminated in a 3–1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.35 Jokinen tied a franchise record for points in a period during a February 14 game against the Colorado Avalanche when he scored four points in the first period of a 9–1 win. The last Flame to accomplish the feat was Al MacInnis in 1991.36 The victory also marked Kiprusoff's 250th win as a member of the Flames.37

The Flames hosted the Montreal Canadiens at McMahon Stadium in February for the 2011 Heritage Classic.38 The game was played before 41,022 fans who braved a windchill as cold as −21 °C (−6 °F).39 Calgary won the game, 4–0, on the strength of Bourque's two goals, including the 100th of his career.40 Kiprusoff became the first goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout at an outdoor game,41 and his play remained strong following the Heritage Classic, as he shut the Blues out in back-to-back games on February 27 and March 1.42 He then became the first goaltender in 25 years to stop two penalty shots in one game to lead the Flames to a 4–3 win over the Blue Jackets on March 4 as the Flames moved into 5th place in the West.43 Two nights later, Iginla scored his 30th goal of the season on a penalty shot against Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. In doing so, he became the 10th player in NHL history to score at least 30 goals in ten consecutive seasons.44

Jay Bouwmeester, the NHL's active "ironman" leader, broke Karlis Skrastins' league record for consecutive games played by a defenceman when he appeared in his 496th consecutive game on March 15 against the Phoenix Coyotes. Bouwmeester last missed a game in the 2003–04 season when he suffered a broken foot.45 He remained 400 games behind Garry Unger's overall record of 914 consecutive games played.46

A period of struggle through the middle part of March saw the Flames drop back out of a playoff spot. A 5–4 shootout victory over the Oilers on March 26 represented only their second win in eight games. While they ended that night just one point behind the eighth place Blackhawks, Chicago had played three fewer games at that point.47 A controversial loss to the Ducks on March 30 left Calgary three points behind Chicago with four games to play. The Flames had an apparent tying goal disallowed after Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf appeared to pull the puck out of the net in a game the Ducks went on to win 4–2.48

The Flames gained a boost when it was announced that injured forward Daymond Langkow had been cleared to return to action on April 1 against the Blues. It was Langkow's first game in over a year after suffering cracked vertibrae in his neck late in the 2009–10 season.49 Langkow recorded an assist in that game, a 3–2 victory. Iginla was involved in all three goals for Calgary; his second goal of the night, and game winner, was the 1,000th point of his NHL career.50

Post season

Though the Flames won their third consecutive game in April with a 6–1 victory over Edmonton, victories the same night by the Ducks and Blackhawks officially eliminated Calgary from playoff contention.51 Individually, Iginla recorded his 12th career hat trick to reach the 40 goal mark for the fourth time in his career while Kiprusoff tied Mike Vernon's franchise record of 262 wins.51 The Flames ended their season with an overtime loss to the Canucks. Though they ended the year second in the Northwest Division, the Flames finished tenth in the Western Conference, three points behind the eighth place Blackhawks.52

Several coaches were released by the organization at the conclusion of the season. Goaltender coach Jamie McLennan and video coach Rob Cookson were the first to be let go. McLennan had joined the coaching staff in 2009 after retiring as a player, while Cookson had been a member of the Flames' staff for nine years.53 Assistant Ryan McGill was later relieved of his position, while assistant Dave Lowry was the only member of Brent Sutter's staff who was retained by the Flames.54

While several players were invited to participate in the 2011 IIHF World Championship, Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Curtis Glencross and Alex Tanguay all turned down invitations to play for Team Canada for various reasons.55 Mikael Backlund and prospect Tim Erixon both played for Sweden.56 The pair won silver medals after the Swedes were defeated by Finland in the championship final.57

Schedule and results

Pre-season

Regular season

2010–11 Game log

Legend:       Win (2 points)       Loss (0 points)       Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)

Player statistics

Skaters

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; +/− = Plus/Minus; PIM = Penalty Minutes

Goaltenders

Note: GP = Games Played; TOI = Time On Ice (minutes); W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime Losses; GA = Goals Against; GAA= Goals Against Average; SA= Shots Against; SV= Saves; Sv% = Save Percentage; SO= Shutouts

Regular season
Player GP TOI W L OT GA GAA SA Sv% SO G A PIM
Kiprusoff, MiikkaMiikka Kiprusoff 71 4156 37 24 6 182 2.63 1935 .906 6 0 1 2
Karlsson, HenrikHenrik Karlsson 17 838 4 5 6 36 2.58 391 .908 0 0 0 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Flames. Stats reflect time with the Flames only.
Traded mid-season
Bold/italics denotes franchise record

Awards and honours

Conroy, pictured with his family, is honoured prior to playing his 1,000th career game

The NHL announced on June 22, 2010, that late owner Doc Seaman had been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder's category.58 Seaman was one of the original owners who brought the team to the city, played a key role in the construction of the Olympic Saddledome and in bringing the 1988 Winter Olympics to Calgary.59

Several players reached major games played milestones in October. Rookie defenceman T. J. Brodie and goaltender Henrik Karlsson both played their first NHL games, while Karlsson earned his first win at the same time.6061 Meanwhile, veteran defencemen Robyn Regehr and Cory Sarich each played their 800th games.

39-year-old Craig Conroy became the second oldest player in NHL history to play 1,000 games on October 28.62 The talkative forward began his NHL career in 1995 with the Montreal Canadiens and after playing with the St. Louis Blues for several seasons, was acquired by Calgary in 2001 in a trade that was initially unpopular in Calgary.63 Conroy has since become one of the Flames' most popular players.64 He played only nine more games before announcing his retirement as a player to join the Flames' front office as an assistant to General Manager Jay Feaster.65

Daymond Langkow was named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey". He was nominated after making his return to the Flames lineup one year after a slapshot to the neck left him with broken vertebrae. Ray Emery of the Anaheim Ducks and Ian Laperriere of the Philadelphia Flyers were also named finalists for the award.66

Awards

Player Award
League awards
Rene Bourque First Star of the Week (October 18–24) 67
Jarome Iginla First Star of the Week (February 28-March 6) 68
Jarome Iginla Second Star of the Week (March 28–April 3) 69
Team awards
Jarome Iginla Molson Cup 70
Cory Sarich Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award 71
Tim Jackman J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award 72

Milestones

Player Milestone Reached
T. J. Brodie 1st career NHL game October 7, 2010 60
Curtis Glencross 100th NHL point October 10, 2010 73
Brett Sutter 1st NHL assist October 10, 2010 74
Steve Staios 900th NHL game October 19, 2010 75
Henrik Karlsson 1st NHL game
1st NHL win
October 22, 2010 61
Stefan Meyer 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point
October 24, 2010 76
Craig Conroy 1,000th NHL game October 28, 2010 77
10,000th goal in franchise history November 26, 2010 21
Olli Jokinen 900th NHL game November 26, 2010 78
Rene Bourque 100th NHL assist December 3, 2010 78
Miikka Kiprusoff 250th NHL win December 13, 2010 78
Matt Stajan 500th NHL game December 20, 2010 79
3,000th game in franchise history January 3, 2011 29
Tom Kostopoulos 500th NHL game January 7, 2011 80
Jarome Iginla 500th NHL assist January 11, 2011 81
Jay Bouwmeester 600th NHL game January 19, 2011 81
Rene Bourque 200th NHL point January 14, 2011 81
David Moss 100th NHL point January 21, 2011 82
Miikka Kiprusoff 500th NHL game January 26, 2011 33
Lance Bouma 1st NHL game February 5, 2011 83
Lance Bouma 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point
February 7, 2011 84
Olli Jokinen 600th NHL point February 7, 2011 84
Robyn Regehr 800th NHL game February 9, 2011 85
Cory Sarich 800th NHL game February 11, 2011 85
Rene Bourque 100th NHL goal February 21, 2011 40
Alex Tanguay 800th NHL game February 27, 2011 86
Mark Giordano 100th NHL point March 23, 2011 73
Greg Nemisz 1st NHL game March 23, 2011 87
Jarome Iginla 1,000th NHL point April 1, 2011 50
Greg Nemisz 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point
April 6, 2011 51

Transactions

Tom Kostopoulos was acquired by the Flames in a mid-November trade

Two former Flames were brought back into the fold on the first day of the free agent signing period. Calgary first signed Alex Tanguay to a one-year, $1.7 million contract and then generated considerable debate by signing Olli Jokinen to a two-year, $6 million deal.88 The re-acquisition of Jokinen was especially surprising to fans and media alike as the centre was shipped to the New York Rangers in a controversial trade only four months previous after a disappointing 2009–10 season in Calgary. The signing was sharply criticized by local and national media,899091 though reaction amongst fans was mixed as polls suggested only a minority opposed the moves.9293

Trades

June 26, 201094
To Calgary Flames
Henrik Karlsson
To San Jose Sharks
Sixth round pick in 2010
(163rd overall)
June 30, 201095
To Calgary Flames
Logan MacMillan
To Anaheim Ducks
Jason Jaffray
November 17, 201017 To Calgary Flames
Anton Babchuk
Tom Kostopoulos
To Carolina Hurricanes
Ian White
Brett Sutter
February 28, 201196 To Calgary Flames
Fredrik Modin
To Atlanta Thrashers
7th round pick in 2011

Additions and subtractions

Additions
Player Former team Via
Alex Tanguay Tampa Bay Lightning Free agency
Olli Jokinen New York Rangers Free agency
Raitis Ivanans Los Angeles Kings Free agency
Tim Jackman New York Islanders Free agency
Ryan Stone Edmonton Oilers Free agency
Stefan Meyer Phoenix Coyotes Free agency
Brendan Morrison Washington Capitals Free agency
Brendan Mikkelson Anaheim Ducks Waivers
Brett Carson Carolina Hurricanes Waivers
Subtractions
Player New team Via
Eric Nystrom Minnesota Wild Free agency
Nigel Dawes Atlanta Thrashers Buy out
Christopher Higgins Florida Panthers Free agency
David Van der Gulik Colorado Avalanche Free agency
Brett Palin Nashville Predators Free agency
Jamal Mayers San Jose Sharks Free agency
Craig Conroy N/A Retirement

Draft picks

The Flames entered the 2010 NHL Entry Draft without a selection in the first two rounds. They would have picked 13th overall, however that pick was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes as part of a 2009 trade for Olli Jokinen.97 Their second round pick went to the Chicago Blackhawks as part of a 2008 deal in which Calgary acquired Rene Bourque.98 The Flames' first selection was early in the third round, a pick acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Anton Stralman.99 They selected Maxwell Reinhart with that pick. His father Paul was also a former Flames draft pick.100 Calgary made one trade at the draft, sending their sixth round pick (163rd overall) to the Sharks in exchange for goaltender Henrik Karlsson.94

Rnd Pick Player Nat Pos Team (league) NHL statistics
GP G A Pts PIM
3 64 Maxwell Reinhart  Canada C Kootenay Ice (WHL) 19 1 4 5 6
3 73 Joey Leach  Canada D Kootenay Ice (WHL)
4 103 John Ramage  Canada D Wisconsin (WCHA)
4 108 Bill Arnold  United States C USNTDP (USHL) 1 0 0 0 0
5 133 Michael Ferland  Canada LW Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
7 193 Patrick Holland  Canada RW Tri-City Americans (WHL) 5 0 0 0 0
Statistics are updated to the end of the 2013–14 NHL season. denotes player was on an NHL roster in 2013–14.

Abbotsford Heat

For the second year, the Flames' top affiliate was the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL). The Heat finished the 2010–11 AHL season with a 38–32–4–6 record, fourth in the North Division, but failed to qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs.101 The Heat struggled offensively for much of the season; Matt Keith was the team's leading scorer at just 35 points, while T. J. Brodie and Jon Rheault had 34 points each.102 Brodie, a rookie, was the team's lone representative at the 2011 AHL All-Star Game.103 Leland Irving established himself as the team's top goaltender early in the year.102 His 30 wins was second in the AHL,104 and he led the league in shutouts with eight.105

The uncertainty surrounding the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes and a possible relocation to Winnipeg resulted in speculation that the Heat would also be relocating. Vancouver radio station CKNW reported that if the Coyotes relocated, the Manitoba Moose would move to Abbotsford, and the Heat to the nearby community of Chilliwack. Flames president Ken King refuted the argument, noting that the Heat were in only their second year of a ten-year agreement with the City of Abbotsford.106

See also

References

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