May 24 2015 01:00PM
Last season, Sean Monahan introduced himself to the National Hockey League. He was a perfectly adequate center, as long as he was sheltered with lots of offensive zone starts, minutes against other team's lesser lights, and some good line-mates. He scored many goals, and had a sky-high shooting percentage.
This season? He was thrust into the spotlight as the Flames lost Mikael Backlund and Matt Stajan to injuries right after the season began. In the second year of his entry-level contract, just around his 20th birthday, he became Calgary's de facto #1 center.
And he didn't look terribly out of place.
May 24 2015 11:00AM
One of the coolest things about covering the Calgary Flames is that it's a team with a sense of history.
When you wander into the Saddledome and amble past the Flames locker room, they have a giant wall with a picture of the 1989 Stanley Cup team and listing the names of not only that championship team, but everybody who has ever been honoured by the NHL while playing for the Flames - even dating back to the Atlanta version of the team.
The team's history is what leads to the return of the Sunday open thread: What number will be honoured next by the Calgary Flames?
May 23 2015 01:57PM
For those still hoping for some Calgary Flames action on TV this year, you are in luck.
Hunter Smith and the Oshawa Generals open their 2015 Memorial Cup schedule this afternoon at 2:30pm MT on Sportsnet's national feed against the Rimouski Oceanic.
May 23 2015 01:00PM
There's nothing particularly majestic about Calgary. It's not a New York or a Los Angeles; there's no giant population or year-round warmth. It's a nice city of a little over a million where just about everyone loves hockey, located in the midst of the Canadian prairies-turning-foothills and often subject to cold weather (and the occasional May snowstorm).
So when you're trying to sell a free agent on Calgary, there are much stronger contenders. Sure, it'll have an appeal to the hometown farm boys, but that isn't everyone.
What it really comes down to is the quality of hockey.
Last season, the Flames were not a particularly great hockey team.
But... they did make it to the second round of the playoffs. And that could say a lot.
May 23 2015 11:00AM
I can understand why Brad Treliving wanted to bring in Mason Raymond over the summer. The Flames wanted to augment their roster with some speed and veteran leadership, in case some of their young players didn't turn out too well.
Unfortunately for Raymond, Josh Jooris really played well (as did Lance Bouma), who both gradually leaped up the depth charts. And Johnny Gaudreau turned out pretty okay, too. Unfortunately for the Flames, Raymond got hurt early in the season and never really was all that effective afterwards. Only late in the season did he start using his speed to create chances, and by that point he was on the fourth line.
When you factor in that he's making over $3 million per season, I think everyone's hoping he rebounds in 2015-16.