November 26 2015 03:00PM
Four seasons ago, the Calgary Flames were in trouble.
They had an aging core, the majority of which had seen their best seasons already. Their key assets were depreciating in value rapidly, notably Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester. Miikka Kiprusoff had seen his best years and was readying for retirement. The bottom was about to fall out on the team's dreams of playoff contention.
Flames management finally threw in the towel and began their rebuild. Here we are, roughly 185 games into the rebuild, and Calgary's struggles (at times) this season have led to questions regarding the team's progression since hitting the magical reset button.
So where are the Flames relative to where they started in the rebuild, and relative to last season's season of wild bounces and magical comebacks and playoff games?
November 26 2015 01:00PM
Now that Joni Ortio is officially in Stockton, and Jonas Hiller activated, the three-goalie conundrum that has plagued the Flames since July 1 has finally been put to rest. The two veterans, Hiller and Karri Ramo, should split starts, while the prospect, Ortio, should get development time in the AHL.
The proper destination has been reached. The problem is the journey to get there was riddled with completely avoidable errors, and errors that very well may have contributed to one of the worst starts in franchise history.
Goaltending is a very mental position, and three goalies is an unusual situation. It's no surprise things didn't work out.
November 26 2015 10:03AM
A rash of recent goaltending injuries throughout the NHL made the prospect of finally waiving Joni Ortio even scarier than it already was. Having started just two of the Flames’ first 22 games of the season, though, and with Jonas Hiller set to return, it was finally time to execute the obvious solution to the Flames’ three-goalie conundrum.
It turns out those fears that plagued the Flames all season long were ultimately unfounded, as 29 teams took a pass, and Ortio cleared waivers. He’ll likely be assigned to the Stockton Heat who, after injuries to both Jon Gillies and Kevin Poulin, are in desperate need of a goalie.
Ortio is in desperate need of playing time, so it’s a fit.
November 25 2015 05:21PM
The netminding situation in Calgary just got more clear, as veterans Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller appear to have successfully defended their jobs by playing well (Ramo) and getting injured (Hiller). The waiving of third-stringer Joni Ortio has both clarified Calgary's situation and further muddled an already bizarre situation in Stockton, home of the Flames' American Hockey League affiliate.
Per the Calgary Sun's Randy Sportak:
#Flames AHL goalie situation from GM Treliving Decision regarding Gillies (hip) will be made this week. Possible surgery. 1/2— Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) November 25, 2015
As for G Kevin Poulin, he had surgery today for a dislocated knee cap and out 4-6 weeks. #Flames— Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) November 25, 2015
November 25 2015 03:00PM
Most Calgarians have at least some familiarity with the name Father David Bauer. For most, it's that cold, oddly shaped rink near the University of Calgary and for others it is where one goes to gawk at would-be Olympians and World Junior hopefuls (though it seems Winsport has taken over most of those activities in recent years). There are seemingly a zillion rinks in Calgary, named after many different people from various walks of life so I am not here to lecture the reader for not knowing every fact about each arena's namesake.
However, one of Calgary's arenas is named after a man who had an enormous impact on Canadian hockey as both a coach and an ambassador of the game on the international stage. Father David Bauer was responsible for coaching numerous Hall of Famers, numerous Canadian Olympic Hockey teams, and was a pretty darn good player in his own right. But it's the story of something he didn't do that I want to get into today after the jump.