2012–13 Calgary Flames season

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2012–13 Calgary Flames
Division 4th Northwest
Conference 13th Western
2012–13 record 19–25–4
Home record 13–9–2
Road record 6–16–2
Goals for 128
Goals against 160
Team information
General Manager Jay Feaster
Coach Bob Hartley
Captain Jarome Iginla (Oct–Mar)
Vacant (Mar–Apr)
Alternate captains Jay Bouwmeester (Oct–Apr)
Mike Cammalleri
Mark Giordano
Curtis Glencross
Arena Scotiabank Saddledome
Average attendance 19,289 (100%)
Team leaders
Goals Curtis Glencross (15)
Assists Lee Stempniak (22)
Points Lee Stempniak (32)
Mike Cammalleri (32)
Penalties in minutes Tim Jackman (76)
Plus/minus Matt Stajan (+7)
Wins Joey MacDonald (8)
Miikka Kiprusoff (8)
Goals against average Joey MacDonald (2.87)
<2011–12 2013–14>

The 2012–13 Calgary Flames season was the 33rd season in Calgary and the 41st for the Flames franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL). The regular season was reduced from its usual 82 games to 48 due to a labour dispute. Calgary recorded a 19–25–4 record under new head coach Bob Hartley that included a franchise record 13 game losing streak on the road. The Flames finished 4th in the Northwest Division, 13th in the Western Conference and failed to qualify for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was the fourth consecutive season that team did not reach the post-season.

It was a transitional season for the Flames. The trade of team captain Jarome Iginla, who is the franchise's all-time leader in games played, goals and points, marked the start of a rebuilding phase as the team brought in younger players. Defensive leader Jay Bouwmeester was also traded while it was widely speculated in the media that it would also be goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff's final season in the NHL. By virtue of the trades, the Flames ended the season with three first round selections in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Off-season[edit]

The Flames began the off-season searching for a new head coach after announcing they would not renew Brent Sutter's contract.[1] As his replacement, the Flames hired Bob Hartley as the team's new head coach on May 31, 2012. Hartley had spend the 2011–12 season coaching the ZSC Lions to the Swiss National League A championship. At the time Hartley was hired, he had 658 career NHL games coached and led the Colorado Avalanche to the 2001 Stanley Cup championship.[2] The hiring of Hartley brought additional changes to the team's coaching staff. Jacques Cloutier was brought in as an associate coach and Martin Gelinas was hired as an assistant coach.[3] Assistant Craig Hartsburg was released by the organization.[4]

2012–13 lockout[edit]

As the NHL's collective bargaining agreement (CBA) neared its expiry, a lockout appeared inevitable. The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) called a meeting for all players in New York for September 12 and 13, a date that coincided with the Flames' annual charity golf tournament, of which the players were featured participants. While fewer than half of the team's players were planning to attend the New York meeting, the players chose en masse to withdraw from the charity event.[5] The decision resulted in widespread outrage by the team's fans, though Flames' management diplomatically expressed only regret that the players could not attend. The team offered to refund all participants' $2,500 entry fee as a result. Only one sponsor accepted, and was replaced by another.[6] The backlash led the players to reverse their position within a day. Ten players, from the Flames active roster along with prospects, chose to attend the event.[7]

The NHL locked out its players when the CBA expired at 10 PM Mountain Time on September 15.[8] Flames captain Jarome Iginla expressed regret that negotiations failed to resolve the impasse, and suggested that he would have been willing to miss an entire season if that was what it would have taken for the union to receive a "fair deal".[9] At the same time, several members of the Flames, along with their counterparts of the Edmonton Oilers, challenged the NHL's right to lock the players out, filing a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB).[10] The board, however, rejected the players' application. The ALRB described the petition as an "unhelpful distraction" from the negotiating efforts of the league and its union.[11]

While they waited for a resolution to the dispute, several Flames chose to play in Europe. Mikael Backlund returned to his hometown of Västerås, signing with VIK Västerås HK of the Swedish second division. He appeared in 23 games with the team and scored 30 points.[12] Newcomer Roman Cervenka played first with HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Extraliga, and later HC Lev Praha of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), but left both teams due to injury.[13] Two other players also went to the KHL: Anton Babchuk skated for HC Donbass while Jiri Hudler also played with Lev Praha.[14]

The league and the players' union reached an agreement on January 7, 2013, that allowed for a shortened 48-game season. Both management and players expressed their regret to the fans for the length of the dispute. Team president Ken King and the team's union representative Matt Stajan apologized to the fans,[15] while Iginla stated that "a simple apology doesn't cut it", and expressed his hope that the team could give the fans an exciting and entertaining product.[16]

Regular season[edit]

Twenty hockey players in red uniforms stand at centre ice with their sticks raised in salute to the crowd around them.
The Flames salute the crowd following a win over the Minnesota Wild.

The abbreviated season opened with five games in January and four of them on home ice. The Flames struggled during the month, posting only one victory against three losses in regulation and a shootout defeat that left the team in last place in the Western Conference entering February.[17] The homestand ended with further frustration for the Flames as they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, 3–2 in a shootout, despite outshooting their opponent 47–19.[18] Chicago goaltender Ray Emery's performance was described as "criminal" by his coach Joel Quenneville: "They've got to call the cops after that performance. (Emery) stole two points. He was spectacular."[19] The Flames defeated the Detroit Red Wings on February 5 for their second win, but the victory came at a cost as starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff suffered an injury to his Medial collateral ligament.[20] Injuries continued to impact the Flames' roster, as centre Mikael Backlund suffered a sprained knee in the following game, a 4–3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, and was expected to miss at least four weeks. Both Backlund and Kiprusoff were placed on injured reserve, joining Sven Baertschi (hip pointer).[21]

The Flames spent the majority of February trying to move their record above .500. They evened their number of wins and losses on four occasions but lost their next game the first three times before making a fourth attempt against the Minnesota Wild at the end of the month.[22] As the Flames lost close games, Jarome Iginla's goal scoring struggles resulted in criticism directed at the Flames' captain. Notably from former teammate turned radio host Rhett Warrener, who argued that Iginla had lost the ability to out-battle his opposition. Iginla brushed off the criticism while acknowledging he wasn't scoring as he had hoped with only one goal in the first month of the season.[23] He had only two goals in 28 games dating back to the end of the 2011–12 season, but scored two to lead the Flames to a 5–4 come-from-behind victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on February 24 that evened Calgary's record at 7–7–3.[24]

Having failed to complete a trade with the Colorado Avalanche for centre Ryan O'Reilly, a restricted free agent who was embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with Colorado, General Manager Jay Feaster signed O'Reilly to an offer sheet worth $10 million over two years on February 28. The Avalanche immediately exercised their right to match the contract and retained the player.[25] Colorado's decision to match turned out to be a blessing for the Flames as it was revealed the next day that since O'Reilly had played in Europe after the NHL season began, the Flames would have been required to place him on waivers upon signing him. It would have allowed any team to claim him without compensation while the Flames would still have lost their 2013 first and third round draft picks to Colorado for signing him away. The Flames disagreed with the NHL's interpretation, arguing the language in the memorandum of understanding the league and union were operating under would have allowed for the signing, but conceded the argument was moot since Colorado matched the offer.[26]

Kiprusoff returned from his injury on March 6 to lead Calgary to a 4–1 victory over the San Jose Sharks that was his 300th career victory with the Flames. The win also moved the Flames' above .500 for the first time with a 9–8–4 record.[27] However, the Flames lost their next three games, all on a California road trip, leaving the team in last place in the Western Conference.[28] As the losses mounted, the media renewed speculation about Iginla's future in Calgary given his contract was set to expire at season's end and the NHL's April 3 trade deadline was rapidly approaching.[29] A pair of home victories over the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators – extending the team's home winning streak to six games – allowed the Flames to move back to an even record at 11–11–4.[30]

Trade of Jarome Iginla[edit]

Upper body of a man looking to his right.  He is in a black jersey with a stylized penguin logo on his chest and is wearing a white helmet with a visor.
Iginla as a member of the Penguins

The Flames simultaneously had two extended streaks in the middle part of the season, as they won eight consecutive games at home,[31] but suffered their ninth consecutive road loss in a 5–2 defeat at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 22 and fell out of playoff contention.[32] As the trade deadline approached, national media outlets reported that Iginla, who had a clause in his contract preventing the Flames from moving him to another team without his permission, had given the organization a list of four teams to which he would accept a trade: the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins or Pittsburgh Penguins.[33] Amidst the trade rumours, Iginla scored the game-winning goal in what was ultimately his last home game as a Flame, a 3–2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on March 24.[34]

The Flames held Iginla out of their March 27 game against the Colorado Avalanche as a trade appeared imminent.[35] Aaron Ward, an analyst for The Sports Network (TSN) reported via "multiple-sources" that Iginla had been dealt to the Bruins,[36] however the Flames revealed following the game that he had instead been dealt to the Penguins in exchange for Pittsburgh's first round selection at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and college prospects Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski.[37] Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli was left disappointed as he believed he had completed a deal earlier in the day. However, Feaster later told Chiarelli that Iginla preferred Pittsburgh, and that the team honoured his wishes.[38] Iginla stated that the opportunity to play alongside Sidney Crosby, with whom he teamed up to score the gold-medal winning goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics, was too important to pass up.[39]

The deal marked the end of an era for the Flames. In his 17 years in Calgary, Iginla became the face of the franchise, and was considered the greatest player in the team's history.[37] Iginla left Calgary as the franchise leader in games played (1,219), goals (525), points (1,095), multi-goal games (95) and game-winning goals (83).[40]

Late season[edit]

Trade rumours followed Kiprusoff as well, despite his reluctance to leave Calgary following the birth of his second child. The Flames gave the Toronto Maple Leafs permission to speak with Kiprusoff's agent to see if the team could convince the goaltender to accept a trade. According to Feaster however, Kiprusoff told Toronto that "Miikka was clear that he didn't want to lead Toronto on, that he didn't want to go there if his heart wasn't 100 per cent set on it and committed to it", therefore the Flames agreed to honour Kiprusoff's request to remain in Calgary.[41]

Without Iginla and top defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who was dealt to the St. Louis Blues,[42] the team continued to struggle, particularly on the road. The Flames set a franchise record for consecutive losses,[43] enduring 13 consecutive defeats away from the Saddledome before ending the streak against the Colorado Avalanche with a 3–1 victory on April 8.[44]

Following an embarrassing 8–2 loss on home ice to the Edmonton Oilers, the Flames' younger prospects asserted themselves in an April 13 game in Edmonton in which Sven Baertschi scored his first goal of the season and Max Reinhart the first of his NHL career to hand their provincial rivals a 4–1 defeat that practically eliminated the Oilers from playoff contention.[45] Ben Hanowski, one of the players acquired in the Iginla trade, made his NHL debut late in the season following the conclusion of his college season, scoring a goal in his first game.[46]

Kiprusoff's future was a late-season storyline, and while the goaltender himself refused to confirm or deny speculation it would be his last season in the NHL, his final home game of the season was viewed by the fans as a celebration of his career. The crowd chanted his name and gave him a long standing ovation following a 32-save performance in a 3–1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.[47]

A three game road losing streak to end the season left the Flames with the sixth-worst record in the league.[48] Finishing with a 19–25–4 record, the Flames placed 4th in the Northwest Division, 13th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.[49][50]

Three Flames players joined the roster of their respective countries at the 2013 World Championship. Defenceman T. J. Brodie, who was praised by coach Hartley as one of the team's top performers during the NHL season, joined Team Canada.[51] Fellow defenceman Chris Butler played for Team USA,[52] and forward Jiri Hudler played with the Czech Republic.[53] Mikael Backlund, whose performance during the season was also praised, hoped to join the Swedish roster, but after playing the final games of the season despite a fractured foot, was not medically cleared to play in the World Championship.[54]

Post-Season[edit]

The Saddledome was flooded as part of the 2013 Alberta floods in mid June 2013, at the tail end of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Standings[edit]

Northwest Division[55]
GP W L OTL ROW GF GA Pts
1 y – Vancouver Canucks 48 26 15 7 21 127 121 59
2 Minnesota Wild 48 26 19 3 22 122 127 55
3 Edmonton Oilers 48 19 22 7 17 125 134 45
4 Calgary Flames 48 19 25 4 19 128 160 42
5 Colorado Avalanche 48 16 25 7 14 116 152 39
Western Conference[56]
R Div GP W L OTL ROW GF GA Pts
1 p – Chicago Blackhawks CE 48 36 7 5 30 155 102 77
2 y – Anaheim Ducks PA 48 30 12 6 24 140 118 66
3 y – Vancouver Canucks NW 48 26 15 7 21 127 121 59
4 St. Louis Blues CE 48 29 17 2 24 129 115 60
5 Los Angeles Kings PA 48 27 16 5 25 133 118 59
6 San Jose Sharks PA 48 25 16 7 17 124 116 57
7 Detroit Red Wings CE 48 24 16 8 22 124 115 56
8 Minnesota Wild NW 48 26 19 3 22 122 127 55
9 Columbus Blue Jackets CE 48 24 17 7 19 120 119 55
10 Phoenix Coyotes PA 48 21 18 9 17 125 131 51
11 Dallas Stars PA 48 22 22 4 20 130 142 48
12 Edmonton Oilers NW 48 19 22 7 17 125 134 45
13 Calgary Flames NW 48 19 25 4 19 128 160 42
14 Nashville Predators CE 48 16 23 9 14 111 139 41
15 Colorado Avalanche NW 48 16 25 7 14 116 152 39

Divisions: CE – Central, NW – Northwest, PA – Pacific

bold – Qualified for playoffs, y – Won division, p – Won Presidents' Trophy (best record in NHL)


Schedule and results[edit]

Regular season[edit]

2012–13 Game log

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

Player statistics[edit]

  • Final stats *

Skaters[edit]

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

Goaltenders[edit]

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 24 1344:05 8 14 2 77 3.44 650 .882 0 0 1 0
MacDonald, JoeyJoey MacDonald 21 1148:28 8 9 1 55 2.87 507 .902 0 0 0 0
Irving, LelandLeland Irving 6 270:04 2 1 1 15 3.33 128 .883 0 0 1 0
Taylor, DanielDaniel Taylor 2 120:00 1 1 0 6 3.00 68 .912 0 0 0 0

Denotes player spent time with another organization before joining Flames. Stats reflect time with the Flames only.
Traded mid-season

Awards and honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

Player Award
Team awards
Molson Cup
Matt Stajan Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award [57]
Lee Stempniak J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award [58]

Milestones[edit]

Player Milestone Reached
Miikka Kiprusoff 600th NHL game January 20, 2013 [59]
Roman Cervenka 1st NHL game January 26, 2013 [60]
Roman Cervenka 1st NHL point (assist) January 31, 2013 [61]
Alex Tanguay 500th NHL assist February 2, 2013 [19]
Roman Cervenka 1st NHL goal February 7, 2013 [62]
Leland Irving 1st NHL point (assist) February 7, 2013 [63]
Ben Street 1st NHL game February 9, 2013 [64]
Mark Giordano 100th NHL assist February 13, 2013 [65]
Michael Cammalleri 200th NHL goal February 13, 2013 [65]
Jarome Iginla 1,200th NHL game February 15, 2013 [66]
Curtis Glencross 100th NHL goal February 15, 2013 [66]
Steve Begin 500th NHL game February 24, 2013 [67]
Curtis Glencross 100th NHL assist
200th NHL point
February 24, 2013 [68]
Danny Taylor 1st NHL win March 3, 2013 [69]
Max Reinhart 1st NHL game April 6, 2013 [70]
Max Reinhart 1st NHL point (assist) April 10, 2013 [71]
Max Reinhart 1st NHL goal April 13, 2013 [72]
Ben Hanowski 1st NHL game
1st NHL goal
April 15, 2013 [46]
Mark Cundari 1st NHL game
1st NHL goal
April 21, 2013 [73]
Ben Street 1st NHL point (assist) April 25, 2013 [74]

Transactions[edit]

A player in a red uniform with yellow and white stripes at the waist looks into the distance.
The Flames acquired Dennis Wideman in a trade with the Washington Capitals.

Player re-signings[edit]

Player Date Contract terms
(in US dollars)
Blake Comeau June 27, 2012 One year, $1.25 million[75]
Blair Jones June 29, 2012 Two year, $1.3 million [76]
Lee Stempniak June 29, 2012 Two year, $5 million [77]
Cory Sarich June 29, 2012 Two year, $4 million [77]
Akim Aliu July 4, 2012 One year, $695,000 (two-way) [78]
Paul Byron July 4, 2012 One year, $585,000 (two-way) [79]
Mikael Backlund July 5, 2012 One year, $725,000[80]
Leland Irving July 27, 2012 One year, $687,500 (two-way)[81]

Trades[edit]

A hockey player in a red uniform with white and yellow stripes at the waist skates forward.  His uniform has a white, stylized C logo on the chest and the number 24 on his arms.
Jiri Hudler was signed as a free agent from Detroit
June 22, 2012[82] To Calgary Flames
NSH's 1st round pick in 2012 (#21)
2nd round pick in 2012 (#42)
To Buffalo Sabres
1st round pick in 2012 (#14)
June 27, 2012[83] To Calgary Flames
Dennis Wideman
To Washington Capitals
Jordan Henry
5th round pick in 2013
January 21, 2013[84] To Calgary Flames
OTT's 7th round pick in 2013
To Chicago Blackhawks
Henrik Karlsson
February 25, 2013[85] To Calgary Flames
Mike Testwuide
To Philadelphia Flyers
Mitch Wahl
February 28, 2013[86] To Calgary Flames
Brian McGrattan
To Nashville Predators
Joe Piskula
March 27, 2013[37] To Calgary Flames
Kenneth Agostino
Ben Hanowski
1st round pick in 2013
To Pittsburgh Penguins
Jarome Iginla
April 1, 2013[42] To Calgary Flames
Mark Cundari
Reto Berra
1st round pick in 2013
To St. Louis Blues
Jay Bouwmeester
April 3, 2013[87] To Calgary Flames
5th round pick in 2013
To Columbus Blue Jackets
Blake Comeau

Additions and subtractions[edit]

Additions
Player Former team Via
Roman Cervenka Avangard Omsk (KHL) Free agency[88]
Jiri Hudler Detroit Red Wings Free agency[89]
Danny Taylor Abbotsford Heat Free agency[20]
Joey MacDonald Detroit Red Wings Waivers[90]
Subtractions
Player New team Via
Raitis Ivanans Dinamo Riga (KHL) Free agency[91]
David Moss Phoenix Coyotes Free agency[92]
Olli Jokinen Winnipeg Jets Free agency[93]
Guillaume Desbiens Vancouver Canucks Free agency[94]
Clay Wilson HC Donbass (KHL) Contract terminated[95]
Scott Hannan Nashville Predators Free agency[96]

Draft picks[edit]

The Flames entered the 2012 NHL Entry Draft with the 14th overall pick.[97] They did not use it, instead trading the pick to the Buffalo Sabres for their first round selection, 21st overall, and a second round selection, 42nd overall.[82] With the 21st overall pick, the Flames chose centre Mark Jankowski from Stanstead College, in Quebec's high school program. The pick was considered "off the board", as Calgary selected Jankowski much higher than scouts predicted.[98] Jankowksi's rating by scouting services had been rising however, and the Flames were convinced that he would not be available to them when they made their second round selection. Assistant General Manager John Weisbrod, who made the pick, said Jankowski was the most physically talented player available in the draft, while General Manager Jay Feaster predicted that he could become the best player taken in the draft.[82]

Rnd Pick Player Nat Pos Team (league) NHL statistics
GP G A Pts PIM
1 21[a] Mark Jankowski  Canada C Stanstead College (HS-QUE)
2 42[b] Patrick Sieloff  United States D USNTDP (USHL)
3 75 Jon Gillies  United States G Indiana Ice (USHL)
4 105 Brett Kulak  Canada D Vancouver Giants (WHL)
5 124[c] Ryan Culkin  Canada D Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
6 165 Coda Gordon  Canada LW Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
7 186[d] Matthew Deblouw  United States C Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

Abbotsford Heat[edit]

The Flames' top minor league affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League (AHL) finished the 2012–13 season with a 34–32–4–6 record and failed to qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs.[99] Goaltender Barry Brust set an AHL record by playing 268 minutes, 17 seconds without allowing a goal, breaking the previous mark of 249:51 set in 1957 by Johnny Bower.[100]

The future of the franchise in Abbotsford was the subject of speculation during the season as the Heat lost $1.9 million during the season and finished 28th of 30 teams in attendance. The losses by the team reached nearly $5.5 million in the four years of the Heat's existence.[101] Efforts, driven by the Vancouver Canucks, were made to see the Canucks purchase an AHL affiliate and move it into Abbotsford, while the Flames' affiliate would relocate to Utica, New York.[102] The City of Abbotsford, however, was unable to complete a deal with the Canucks that would allow for the switch in time for the 2013–14 AHL season. As a consequence, the Flames' affiliation was left unchanged.[103]

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