May 21 2015 01:00PM
Matt Stajan may be the most underrated player on the Calgary Flames.
The team's most veteran center, Stajan emerged as a bottom-six staple last season as well as a very effective penalty kill specialist. He was used as a shut-down pivot in the post-season - to great success against Vancouver and varying success against Anaheim, when his wingers seemed to get banged up and become less effective as a result.
After several seasons of fans and analysts alike maligning his old contract, Stajan's found a niche as a leader in the room and a a very useful player for the team's third and fourth lines.
May 21 2015 11:18AM
The Calgary Flames need more organizational depth on their blueline. Not only do you and I know that, but so does General Manager Brad Treliving who admitted as such last week in his season ending news conference. This week's signing of Czech product Jakub Nakladal has already started to address the issue in what I believe is the proper way. Wax on: low risk moves that have minimal immediate impact on the salary cap. Wax off: making a big splash in unrestricted free agency come July.
May 21 2015 11:00AM
1. You know what the problem is
So the Calgary Flames enter the summer months by first turning their attentions to getting guys already under contract or on expiring deals re-signed, and that's the sort of due diligence any smart NHL team does well in advance of July 1. The sooner deals can be made, the easier it will be for Brad Treliving to determine what he has to do once unrestricted free agency begins.
The problem is that once all that work is done, there might not be a lot of room left.
May 21 2015 09:00AM
The Calgary Flames had so much cap space heading into 2013-14 they were actively looking for ways to acquire other club's bad deals in return for assets. This coming year, even with raises to a bunch of pending RFA's and a free agent signing or two, the org will still be south of the cap ceiling.
The sense is that the Flames have a lot of budget to work with, but the truth is more complicated than that if we look two years down the road. We're reading tea leaves a bit, but it's possible for the Calgary's cap situation goes from casual to dire in the space of a couple of the seasons. That's relevant now because implications may well stretch backwards to influence their decision making this summer.
May 20 2015 01:00PM
As we rapidly approach the 2015 NHL Draft, most every hockey site and blog on the internet will post rankings, previews and mock drafts to get its readers geared up for the events that will take place this June in sunny Florida.
Each of their writers has read up on the prospects to some extent or even watched a few in action, but fact is: the draft isn’t most people’s bread and butter – isn't their main course, if you will. It’s more of a side dish, ordered once a year.
There are those, however, who eat up junior hockey all year long and make their name scouting these draft eligible kids in miserably cold rinks day-in and day-out as we focus on our local National Hockey League team or whatever else is notable around the league, September through April (or May, or June depending on how far your local hockey heroes go in the playoffs).
Absolutely will we be doing the profiles and the mock drafts and the dissections but – as we introduced last year – I’ll be interviewing real scouts to get the inside scoops and expert opinions on the prospects that could be drafted out of their jurisdictions, at this year's National Hockey League draft.
That means WHL, OHL, QMJHL, USHL/NCAA and Europe will all be covered over the course of the next couple months, in very similar fashion to last year. It was a great success last season and I’m hoping it’ll be even better now.
Today, we kick off the 2015 edition of the Scout Series with a look at the WHL courtesy of Future Considerations' Head Western Scout, Zenon Herasymiuk.