Weekend Open Thread: Progression or Excellence?

Ryan Pike
May 30 2015 01:00PM

So, tomorrow is the end of the amateur hockey year. It's the Memorial Cup Final, pitting the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League against the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.

The fun part? Hunter Smith, one of Calgary's second round picks in last year's draft, will be competing for junior hockey's richest prize in perhaps his final junior game.

It's Smith's season that has gotten me thinking about something: How do we measure success in draft picks?

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #60 Markus Granlund

Ryan Pike
May 30 2015 11:00AM

We're now firmly in the NASCAR numbers in our annual review, as Markus Granlund is next up.

Did you know that Markus Granlund played 48 games in the regular season with Calgary? He even suited up for the playoffs. For a second-year pro of just 22 years of age, that's a pretty big year for his development. He was originally chosen by the Flames in the second round of the 2011 Draft.

The challenge for his third pro year? Getting good at the NHL level, because he was a bit limited in his effectiveness in the big league.

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On Brian McGrattan, and why losing character guys doesn't hurt

May 29 2015 01:00PM

There's a tendency to want to interact with people you actually like throughout your day-to-day life. Family, friends, co-workers: all are people you're probably going to have to see a lot. It's that third group that can really cause issues, because there's no blood obligation and you didn't necessarily choose to spend time with them.

The NHL isn't the average workplace, but it's still a workplace. They get to play a game for a living, but it's still a job, and teammates are co-workers. Hopefully they're actually friends, too.

Brian McGrattan seems like a pretty swell dude: the kind of guy who'd be everyone's friend.

There's just one problem: he's not really great at hockey. And that takes priority.

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #33 Raphael Diaz

Ryan Pike
May 29 2015 11:00AM

I'll admit that I had no strong opinions of Raphael Diaz when the Calgary Flames signed him following training camp. I believe my initial reaction was, "Well, I bet he signed cheap."

He did, likely as insurance so that the Flames didn't have to (a) rush Tyler Wotherspoon back into the NHL after shoulder surgery or (b) have to rely on Corey Potter in the NHL, also recovering from shoulder surgery. As it turns out, injuries meant that Diaz eventually became a regular part of the line-up and Potter inherited his spot as the number-seven defender.

A right-handed defender with decent instincts and a pretty good shot, Diaz more or less performed up to expectations. He occasionally helped the team, probably more often than he hurt them.

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Who Can The Flames Trade Dennis Wideman To?

Kent Wilson
May 29 2015 09:00AM

Just as the Flames may have some trade targets in their sites this off-season, the club may well have some players they want to auction off as well. I personally identified Dennis Wideman as a good trade candidate in my recent look at the Flames cap situation over the next three years owing to his price tag, age and likelihood to fall back down to earth moving forward.   

At the time of writing, Dennis Wideman was the runaway favourite in the FN poll as a trade candidate as well. The question remains, should the Flames even trade Wideman and are there any teams who could potentially be interested?

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