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April 30, 2013 | 8:58pm ET
Era ends, rebuild begins for Flames
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Calgary Flames' 2013 season ended early but for them, this was nothing new.

"Obviously, we're disappointed with how this season went," Flames GM Jay Feaster told the Calgary Herald. "It's not acceptable to miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season."

For Calgary, it is more than simply the end of a season. It is the end of an era.

It is expected that goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff will retire before the start of the 2013-14 season, rather than play out the final year of his contract.

Although nothing is definite, Flames fans gave the goaltender, arguably the best in the club's history, a standing ovation at his final home game. For Calgary fans, this wasn't the only goodbye they had to say this year.

Earlier in the season, the Flames traded defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues but more notably, parted ways with their long-time captain and star player, Jarome Iginla, who went to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With these moves, Calgary has made it clear that they are entering a period of rebuilding, and Feaster is ready to add much needed size and grit to the team.

"It's something I failed to get done last summer," Feaster said. "We are a small team. We are a team that is not as hard to play against as we need to be. And that's a function of getting the right personnel."

This year, Calgary has the assets to do so with three first round picks at June's NHL Draft. The Flames also have plenty of cap space, which will allow them to explore the free agent market.

Feaster hopes that with that he will be able to meet Calgary's "desperate need" at center, as well as add some meat to the blue line.

While it may be the end of an era, perhaps it will be the start of something much greater for Calgary.


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