My expectation for this season are that we have got to be a playoff team, there are no excuses now, Tre has done HIS job this offseason to put together a solid product. Beyond the playoffs it's so hard to predict cause you don't know who you might play, but I think the pieces are there to win a round or two....and beyond that...you never know!
We haven't had the forward depth we have now in possibly decades, the late 2000's we had some decent depth but our bottom 6 would still be plagued with older veterans, we don't really have any dead weight anymore with Brouwer gone, closest to dead weight we have now might be Lazar type player but we have guys ready to take his spot. The fact that our top 6 has Johnny, Mony, Neal, Tkachuk, Backlund, Lindholm, and our bottom 6 having Jankowski, Bennett, Frolik, Czarnik, Ryan, Hathaway/Lazar is very promising.
Defense is still very solid even with Hamilton leaving, and most importantly could be the locker room issues that were rumored leaving with him.
The only question mark that remains is goaltending, I don't know if Tre can work out a deal for a backup, even if it had to include Stone, but it would be extremely sad to see such a promising season go to waste because Smith goes down and we didn't shore up our backup position and Rittich and Parsons just can't get the job done again.
What has me excited is hearing Neal talk....the man is dead set on winning a cup and came to Calgary cause he thinks we have the pieces, it can't be stated enough how important this mindset could be and could rub off on his teammates.
We have some guys who will thrive in a playoff setting...Tkachuk is bred for the playoffs, Neal has been to the big show numerous times and will know how to lead the younger guys through the intensity of the playoffs, guys like Bennett are also gritty and thrive in a playoff environment, I still get nervous with Johnny, he seems to disappear when things start to get super intense and physical so the coaching staff is going to have to work with him to learn how to play with his size in that environment and get the job done.....guys like Marty St Louis have done it.
Overall there is LOTS to be excited for this season and I can't wait for the puck to drop!