The Bg Gainers: Part 2 - New York Islanders

Kent Wilson
May 25 2015 01:00PM

In part 1, we looked at the Chicago Blackhawks, the team with perhaps the most extreme improvement of any modern NHL club since 2005. The Hawks transformation from basement dwellers to favourites occurred over three seasons, starting in 2006 and culminating in 2009. 

The New York Islanders might be in the middle of a similar transformation, depending on how they do next year. A below average possession club in 2013-14, Islanders GM Garth Snow transformed them into the third best corsi club in the entire league this year with a flurry of off-season activity. If NYI can take another step forward next year, they'll enter elite territory. 

Here's how it happened.

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Do the Flames need to get bigger?

May 25 2015 11:00AM

Johnny Gaudreau never should have been taken in the fourth round. He had first round talent, but his size - listed as 5'6", 137 lbs. at the time of his draft - was a concern. And to be fair, someone that tiny is concerning, even if they aren't done growing yet.

Gaudreau is now listed as 5'9, 150 lbs. Not a whole lot bigger, but big enough to be an NHL All-Star and be among the top-30 point scorers, not to mention lead his team in playoff scoring.

Tyler Johnson never should have been undrafted. He's leading the NHL in playoff scoring. Martin St. Louis never should have been undrafted. Mats Zuccarello never should have been undrafted. 

When you're big, you have to prove you can't play. When you're small, you have to prove you can.

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Happy Anniversary: Flames Cup Win Turns 26

Ryan Pike
May 25 2015 09:00AM

On this date in 1989, the Calgary Flames joined an elite group!

By virtue of their 4-2 win in Game 6 of the 1989 Stanley Cup Final, the Flames captured their first - and so far, only - Stanley Cup.

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #23 Sean Monahan

Ryan Pike
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.

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Sunday Open Thread: What's The Next Number Honoured?

Ryan Pike
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?

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