CHICAGO - The most disappointing Calgary Flames season in recent memory is finally over.
In a best-of-times-worst-of-times way, the 2012-13 campaign is exactly what this organization needed.
Now that the books have been closed with Friday's 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, the Flames now ready for a key summer in the club's future.
The team's record (19-25-4) is only worth a fourth consecutive season without the playoffs, which shouldn't be acceptable considering the Flames were big spenders in each of those years and constantly loading up on veteran players.
The good news, though, is the long-needed realization it's time for a new era.
By plummeting down the league standings, the realization a rebuild or retool or reload or whatever you want to call it finally took place.
Now, the Sea of Red can await one of the most interesting off-seasons in an eternity as ownership and management begin to plot the next steps.