February 09 2016 05:08PM
Pop quiz. You're a rebuilding team coming down from the high of an unexpected playoffs appearance. You had a good off-season, and that, combined with the prior playoff victory, raised expectations. Perhaps unfairly - but they were raised.
Your new year started with so much hope, only to promptly crash and burn from the get-go. It's at the point where you're just waiting for the shoe to drop and all the upcoming unrestricted free agents to be shipped out for future assets, because you aren't going anywhere this season, as much as you may be desperate to deny it.
It's also at the point where pretty much the only reason worth watching your team is its young talent. So what do you do? You scratch them. For "disciplinary reasons".
Welcome to Calgary Flames hockey!
February 09 2016 02:00PM
The hockey world was abuzz today with Dion Phaneuf trade news, but a really interesting piece of information came from our friend Wes Gilbertson of Postmedia following the Calgary Flames morning skate.
#Flames RW and pending UFA Jiri Hudler confirmed today he has not had any extension talks. “I like Calgary … So we’ll see how it works out.”— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) February 9, 2016
Hudler is in the fourth and final year of a deal that carries a $4 million cap hit annually. He was eighth in the entire NHL in points last season - potentially a byproduct of a strong season alongside Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau - but sits roughly 140th as of this writing.
February 09 2016 12:00PM
(Candice Ward / USA Today Sports)
After beating the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, the Calgary Flames hope to keep their momentum going tonight in the confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome when they host Canada's Team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It's always a little special when the Maple Leafs come to town, if only for the loud, voracious boos towards Dion Phaneuf. (Until now...) Oh, and I guess a good ol' fashioned Canadian team showdown. Neither team is amazing good this season; the Leafs are better fundamentally but the Flames have gotten slightly less bad goaltending and have the scoring machine known as Johnny Gaudreau to push them slightly over the top lately.
This is the last "easy" game for the Flames for awhile, as after this game they face San Jose, Arizona, Anaheim and Minnesota. (And then Vancouver again.) So if the Flames have any notions of making the playoffs, they need to grab these points and then go on a roll against some good teams.
The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
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!