The Calgary Flames entered the 2023-24 NHL season hoping to rebound. Calgary fell short of expectations a season ago and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, there was reason to believe that players such as Jonathan Huberdeau could rebound after rough performances. Unfortunately, it just didn't happen.

The Flames have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again. Calgary was in the race to some extent throughout the season. However, they have officially fallen short. And they head into a very crucial summer with a ton of tough decisions to work through. Those decisions begin around the 2024 NHL Draft in June.

New seasons always bring optimism and hope to every fanbase. However, Flames fans should be concerned about their franchise heading into 2024-25. With that in mind, here are two reasons for Calgary fans to be cautious with their expectations before the offseason gets underway.

Jonathan Huberdeau continues to struggle

Calgary Flames center Jonathan Huberdeau (10) controls the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames had to make a tough decision during the summer of 2022. Star winger Matthew Tkachuk refused to sign a long-term contract in Calgary. As a result, he was traded to the Florida Panthers. In that deal, Calgary landed Panthers icon Jonathan Huberdeau. It seemed like a phenomenal pick-up at the time, but things haven't worked out.

Huberdeau saw his production drop off a cliff in 2022-23. He scored just 15 goals and 55 points during his first season with the Flames. And to this point, he has 11 goals and 48 points in 2023-24. These totals follow up a remarkable 2021-22 season that saw him score 30 goals and 115 points with the Panthers.

Huberdeau's totals aren't necessarily bad, mind you. Scoring 45-50 points a season can be extremely valuable to a franchise. That said, it's disappointing when considering what he did in Florida. And it becomes especially disappointing when you consider the eight-year, $84 million contract he signed with the Flames after joining the team.

Jonathan Huberdeau could certainly still find his stride in Calgary. However, it feels unlikely to happen anytime soon, if it ever happens. Calgary will put their all into getting the veteran winger back on track. That said, his play as of late is a major concern for the team moving forward.

Major roster turnover

The Flames entered the 2023-24 NHL season with a ton of uncertainty. Many players were entering the final years of their contract. Rumors suggested that many of those players had little interest in sticking around long-term. Calgary had to trade veteran winger Tyler Toffoli ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft because of this.

Calgary did sign captain Mikael Backlund to a two-year contract extension in September. However, that didn't stop significant roster turnover during the season. Nikita Zadorov, Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev, and Elias Lindholm all went to other teams ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline this season.

That is four major contributors to this team out the door midseason. And the Flames appear likely to experience even more turnover. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom heard his name in the rumor mill around the NHL Trade Deadline. There should be a robust market for his services this summer. Defenseman Rasmus Andersson could also be had via trade this offseason.

The Flames may not necessarily embrace a full rebuild. It's hard to do so when players such as Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri are signed long-term. However, a retooling of sorts certainly seems likely. And while the long-term effects could certainly be positive, the short-term impact may be hard for Calgary fans to watch.