March 28 2014 10:05AM
It's a game day today, as the Calgary Flames prepare to finish off their current homestand with a visit from the New York Rangers. Here's a quick skim of what's been making new lately.
First off, congratulations to Mikael Backlund on winning the team's Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award. Given since 1987, "the Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award is presented annually to the Flames player who best exemplifies perseverance, determination and leadership on the ice, combined with dedication to community service off the ice."
Similarly, the club announced that Matt Stajan (and Flames employee Marc Leost) are this year's recipients of the J.R. McCaig Memorial Award. Given each year since 2006, "the award honours two Calgary Flames personnel, a player and staff member, who best exemplify Mr. McCaig’s enduring virtues of respect, courtesy and compassion for all individuals he encountered both in his professional and everyday life."
Two very deserving players being honoured here. And I'm sure the employee is top-notch as well (I just don't know his work enough to judge personally).
Last week, the team signed Brett Kulak - 2012's 4th round selection - to a three-year deal worth $816,667 annually at the NHL level. Yesterday, the team announced the signing of 2012 5th round pick Ryan Culkin to a three-year deal worth $816,700 at the NHL level. Both deals kick in next season, but both players could always appear in Abbotsford on try-out deals after their teams are out of the playoffs.
Both signings weren't wholly unexpected, as we discussed here a couple months ago.
Of the remaining 2012 draft picks, only Coda Gordon remains unsigned. The other three - Mark Jankowski, Jon Gillies and Matthew Deblouw - are college kids.
The Flames have been on fire lately with fourth rounders, producing guys like T.J. Brodie (2008), Bill Arnold (2010), Johnny Gaudreau (2011) and now Kulak, who was a strong junior player.
Advanced: Emile Poirier (Gatineau) in a 4-0 sweep; Keegan Kanzig (Victoria) in a 4-0 sweep
Eliminated: Brett Kulak (Vancouver) in a 4-0 sweep; Matthew Deblouw (Michigan State) didn't make NCAA tourney, nor did Kenny Agostino (Yale)
Pending: Johnny Gaudreau & Bill Arnold (Boston College) play Denver on Saturday; Tim Harrison (Colgate) plays Ferris State on Saturday; Mark Jankowski, Jon Gillies & John Gilmour (Providence College) play Quinnipiac tonight; Ryan Culkin (Drummondville) is up 3-1; Eric Roy (Brandon) is up 3-0 on Morgan Klimchuk (Regina); Coda Gordon (Swift Current) is tied 2-2.