August 23 2016 02:00PM
Darryl Sutter was simultaneously one of the best and worst general managers of the Calgary Flames. During his tenure, he took the team out of the Young Guns era and into their most successful spell since the 1980s. On the other hand, he also ignored the looming spectre of old age and unsustainability and sent the team crashing into rebuild mode.
The latter is mostly due to his drafting. If he wasn't trading draft picks away ("fun" fact! Sutter only drafted in the second round twice during his eight years), he was wasting them. There's the infamous 2005 and 2006 drafts, where the best selection he made was his own son (who played all of 60 NHL games). Of the 59 players he selected, only ten have player more than 100 games, and most of those ten are depth players. TJ Brodie, Dion Phaneuf, and Mikael Backlund are pretty much his only impact picks through his whole career.
It's absolutely stunning that a man who pretty much excelled at every other aspect of his job could fail so completely at drafting. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, we can look back and say he should've picked this player and this other player instead of this guy or Matt Pelech. That criticism can apply to every GM though. If given the chance to repick, everyone would grab certain NHLers.
The more interesting, and more fun, way to judge the quality of Darryl Sutter's picks is to put someone else in the exact same spot, but without any hockey knowledge, previous experience, scouting reports, statistical data, or what have you. Someone who is equally likely to take a seventh rounder in the first round as they would take a first rounder. Someone who could use all their picks on goalies. That someone is a hat.
August 23 2016 10:00AM
Most fans of the Calgary Flames are just happy any uncertainty surrounding Sean Monahan's contract extension has been put to bed. The Flames and Monahan agreed to a seven year, $44.625 million pact on Friday, leaving the team with just one remaining high profile extension to get done. Monahan signing long term is definitely a good thing, but it still leaves me with a couple lingering questions.
August 23 2016 08:00AM
There are pretty much three categories a free agent European signing can fit into. The ideal is they turn into a star player, but it's more likely they'll either flare out or turn into a respectable, if average, guy.
We don't yet know just what category Daniel Pribyl will fall into, but there's reason to have hope for the 23-year-old who was first drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round, 168th overall, of the 2011 draft.
It's that hope that sees Pribyl, in his first summer as a member of the Flames organization, come in at number nine on our list.
August 22 2016 12:00PM
This off-season has brought a lot of change for the Calgary Flames, as the organization has swapped a lot of bodies in and out – both on and off the ice. In addition to the on-ice acquisitions of Brian Elliott, Chad Johnson, Troy Brouwer and Matthew Tkachuk, the club has also added a new head coach in Glen Gulutzan and a pair of new assistant coaches in Paul Jerrard and Dave Cameron.
One of the big criticisms that many observers had of former Flames coach Bob Hartley was his special teams performance and deployments. Now that there's a new bench boss, it's likely a good time to take a look at what the Flames have available to kick off 2016-17 in terms of special teams – as they were among the worst in the entire NHL in that realm. Who should be on the power play and the penalty kill this season? And, anticipating how the roster might shake out, what's the best way to balance out ice-time and high-pressure, high-leverage minutes?
August 22 2016 08:00AM
One of the most interesting Flames prospects in the pool, Brandon Hickey came out of the gates earning comparisons to T.J. Brodie. This year, we tempered our expectations, placing him at #10, three spots down from #7 last year.
What happened? Let's find out after the jump.