Craig Button: Jon Gillies the Flames' top prospect

Ari Yanover
February 11 2016 04:46PM

Craig Button has released his top 50 list of all NHL-drafted prospects, and... there isn't a single Flame to be found among them.

Granted, you always have to take these lists with a handful of salt. It's one person's opinion covering an insane talent pool that spreads across 30 NHL teams, which is incredibly difficult to make an entire list out of - especially when they're prospects, and offer much fewer viewing opportunities.

That said, the other teams without a single prospect to appear on the list are Buffalo, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, and New Jersey. (Sam Bennett is one of the youngest in the Flames organization, so he's acknowledged, but he's actually in the NHL, so not a prospect.)

Not to leave all the Canadians teams out, though, Button has also provided a sub-list of each of their top five prospects, and Jon Gillies tops the Flames' list.

Could a healthy Gillies have cracked the top 50? There are only four goalies on the list, but there's no reason to think he couldn't hang with any of them.

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FGD #53: (Shark) Tank Battle

Ryan Pike
February 11 2016 12:00PM

After an eventful few days on the home front - full of Super Bowl parties, abruptly short practices, healthy scratches and a seven-hour appeals hearing for Dennis Wideman at the NHL offices in New York - the Calgary Flames are now on the road for a few days and have a wonderful distraction from all the tumult at home: a pair of really important divisional clashes.

First up? A trip to Silicon Valley, where they visit the illustrious Shark Tank and the San Jose Sharks. San Jose is one of many, many teams ahead of the Flames in the NHL standings and they haven't fared too well against them thus far in 2015-16. But with the Flames hopefully rejuvenated with some fresh, motivated legs, perhaps the Flames can grind one out tonight.

The puck drops at 8:30pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

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The Hitmen Report: Road Rash

Ryan Pike
February 11 2016 08:00AM

The Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen hit the road this week, hoping to maintain some momentum and keep a healthy distance between themselves and the Eastern Conference's wild-card playoff teams.

The good news is they have that distance, but the bad news is their roadie could've gone a lot better than it did.

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McKenzie: Kris Russell will look for 'at least' 5-years, $27.5 million on next contract

Ari Yanover
February 10 2016 04:00PM

February is behind only July when it comes to the best months to follow free agents. July, of course, is when unrestricted free agents get signed, but February is the last month before the trade deadline: a time most prime to trade those expiring contracts, whether you're trying to acquire assets for the future or build up for a playoff run.

In lieu of the impending frenzy of trades hopefully coming our way, Bob McKenzie has chimed in with some thoughts on a couple of impending UFA defencemen, including the Flames' very own Kris Russell.

The main takeaway? Russell is going to cash in. Big.

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Hartley was damned if he did, damned if he didn't

Ryan Pike
February 10 2016 02:00PM

On Tuesday night, Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley ignited a proverbial firestorm when he scratched Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma for disciplinary reasons. The reigning Jack Adams winner has drawn both praise and criticism for the move, which we all first learned about mid-afternoon on Tuesday and which became official shortly before the team took the ice for the pre-game warm-up.

Praise Hartley for his gumption or criticize him for a potentially rash move, but keep one thing in mind: once it was reported that those players had been late for practice on Monday morning, he was basically painted into a corner.

He was damned if he did, and damned if he didn't.

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