San Jose Sharks
Outlook: On paper, there aren't a whole lot of positives coming into 2013-14. The Flames traded away longtime leader Jarome Iginla last season and saw longtime goalie Miikka Kiprusoff retire this summer. The floods in Alberta in June and July were even more devastating, bringing extensive damage to the Saddledome and ravaging the city. But perhaps it all signals a time of rebirth for Calgary. Brian Burke, former GM of the Maple Leafs, was hired last month to oversee hockey operations, and he'll bring with him a wealth of experience in turning around a moribund franchise. (Jay Feaster remains the GM.) But this will take some time. The Flames don't really have the assets to improve right away; and as it stands, will need upgrades everywhere to make themselves a part of any conversation about playoff contenders. Most notable is the hole in goal, where they have Karri Ramo, who hasn't played in the NHL since 2009 and Joey MacDonald, whose 3.01 career GAA is the highest among active goalies with at least 70 games played. Reto Berra, a 26-year-old Swiss netminder with no NHL experience, also remained a possibility through preseason. The goalie situation is but one of the myriad question marks for the Flames this season. And if they don't get answered quickly, Calgary is in for a long season.