Anything could happen, but the Calgary Flames are expected to be bad this season. They have young and new players and while that gives them hope for the future, it might not make the fanbase feel much better in the short term.
Still, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thinks it’s important for those fans to let this process play out.
“Folks in Calgary have to understand that in order for this to build, patience in the fan base is going to have to be great because it’s going to be frustrating at times,” Hitchcock said, according to the Calgary Sun. “But when it gets built, it can stay built for a long time. Look at Chicago or L.A. – teams built for a cause that will be championship-caliber teams for at least the next five or six years.”
Of course, not every rebuild leads to a Stanley Cup championship, but Hitchcock sees promise in Calgary. He thinks highly of Flames bench boss Bob Hartley. Finding a player that the Flames can rally around will be a key part of the process, but he sees the Flames being a very competitive team in three years.
That might be a tough pill for fans that have already endured four straight seasons of futility, but the team’s focus has shifted and their future may be brighter for it.