August 01 2015 01:00PM
The Calgary Flames' roster appears to be mostly set. If anything, they now have to cut down players, rather than add more; particularly in the forward department.
Defence, on the other hand? The Flames may have fixed their top four woes by adding Dougie Hamilton, but there's more that can be done, and some high profile, quality defencemen still left on the open market for the taking.
But here's a pretty big problem to adding another high profile defenceman (i.e., not David Schlemko, although he'd be great, too): the salary cap.
It's not July 1 anymore, though. Mike Green and especially Andrej Sekera generated huge deals. Can the same happen for remaining free agents on the market, or does history say they'll have to sign for less?
August 01 2015 11:00AM
The 2005-06 Calgary Flames were a really good regular season team that collapsed in the playoffs. The 2006-07 Calgary Flames were, in many ways, a team that was lucky to make the post-season dance.
Whether it was some new additions or their brand-new head coach, the Calgary Flames began their gradual post-2004 descent in 2006-07 - a process that continued largely unabated until the team was finally blown up in the spring of 2013.
July 31 2015 01:00PM
The Calgary Flames captured the imagination of the hockey world in 2003-04. They had a season where everything went right, seemingly - until the end - and the franchise finally had some momentum after being a league-wide afterthought since the early 1990s.
And then they missed an entire season due to the lockout.
When the NHL resumed played in the fall of 2005, the game was much different. But Darryl Sutter had time to reshape his motley crew into a more polished, veteran-laden group that really should've performed better in the playoffs than they actually did. The 2005-06 Calgary Flames were a great team on paper. Unfortunately, they didn't play the post-season on paper.
July 31 2015 11:08AM
As free agency enters it's second month, one of the small mysteries for me has been the future of defenceman David Schlemko. Claimed on waivers late in the season by the Flames, I thought the serviceable blueliner more than held his own in the role he was given. Is this high priority stuff for Calgary? No, it's not. But I do think you can make a compelling case why bringing him back makes sense.
July 31 2015 10:00AM
When the AHL announced its new western outposts, you knew right off the hop it was going to be an exciting season.
Perhaps the most exciting part about the new division is that in so many ways it’s going to wind up breeding career-long team and personal rivalries in the NHL with the Flames, Oilers, Kings, Ducks and Sharks all having footholds out west.
With that in mind, here is a 2015/16 Pacific Division primer, with brief team summaries, which players you should watch, notable new additions to each team and who the first call-up is likely to be on each team.