February 09 2016 08:00AM
This past off-season, the Calgary Flames extended Mark Giordano to a six-year, $6.75 AAV contract. He'll be 33 years old when it kicks in, and will carry a relatively high cap hit - with the cap limit's future, tied to the Canadian dollar, uncertain - until he's 38.
Following suit, just weeks before the trade deadline the Winnipeg Jets extended Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year, $7.6 AAV contract. He'll be 31 years old when it kicks in, and it'll last until his 35-year-old season (he'll turn 36 at its end, though).
These are two high-scoring All-Star defencemen on the wrong side of 30 signed to pretty big deals without even testing the open market. When Giordano was extended, there wasn't much to compare him to: it's not that often that truly elite defencemen break out as late as he did. His past cap hit was $4.02 million; Byfuglien's, $5.2 million: both over five years.
How do their new contracts compare?
Nation World HQ
February 09 2016 07:23AM
In an effort to keep fans aware of the comings and goings of the other teams in the
Smythe Pacific Division… The fine folks at The Royal Half have created the Pacific War Room… a wrap-up of the past week in the Pacific from some of the best and brightest bloggers who cover Pacific Division teams. In order of the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room!
February 08 2016 12:00PM
There was a lot of optimism surrounding this road trip after the Heat had strung together seven straight home wins, including a win against Pacific Division-leading Ontario. However, the Heat came out flat in both games this weekend, dropping a pair of games against teams near them in the standings.
Again, the Heat struggled to generate offence with one exception: Derek Grant, who is almost certainly the greatest goal scorer since Mike Bossy. In both games this weekend, Grant scored flukey goals because he cannot stop scoring. It may be a medical condition...
Come and read about the weekend after the jump!
February 08 2016 10:00AM
With the trade deadline three weeks away, the Calgary Flames face four decisions with pending unrestricted free agent players. In each situation, the Flames need to decide whether to make a move prior to the deadline or to keep the player beyond February 29th with the eye to potentially re-signing him. Each case is different which is why we'll take a look at all four players.
We'll start with Karri Ramo, because I think he presents the most interesting case. There are compelling cases on each side, so what makes the most sense for Ramo's future?
February 08 2016 08:00AM
The big topic for Flames fans remains the trade deadline. Calgary's players and management are still solely focused on an unlikely playoff drive (chances at about 16% after the win over the Canucks), but pragmatism has begun to sink in for just about everyone else.
I've actually liked how the Flames have played post-All Star Game. If the team can continue to play at this level, it should result in one of two positive outcomes: either they go on a fantastical run and make the post-season or they fall short and their collection of sellable assets grows in value.
After this season, Calgary is entering into the "get competitive" phase of any competent rebuild. As such, it may be their final chance to leverage a mass "selloff" at the trade deadline. Here's hoping if the playoff bid falls short they'll be able to collect some noteworthy pieces instead - something they too often failed to do at the onset of the current restructuring project.
This week in the mailbag we look at what the Flames should be selling and targeting at the deadline.