Realistic Expectations: Matthew Tkachuk

christian tiberi
October 12 2016 02:00PM

Well, it's finally Hockey Day. The Flames are heading north to Edmonton to remind the Oilers that their history is a flat circle. It's a new season, and there's plenty to be excited about.

For the Flames, the biggest story tonight and probably for the rest of the season will be Matthew Tkachuk. The sixth overall selection at the draft has turned many heads at the Young Stars classic and during the preseason. He'll make his big debut tonight.

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Report: Flames sign Nicklas Grossmann

christian tiberi
October 11 2016 01:14PM

Gross, mann.

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Realistic Expectations: Dennis Wideman

christian tiberi
October 08 2016 08:00AM

As the Flames reemerge from their rebuilding years, a lot has been made about their defensive corps. The team has three of the best locked up long term, and considerable depth in both the NHL and the AHL. The Flames built around their blueline, and are going to reap the benefits for some time.

Until last season, those discussions also included Dennis Wideman, who was coming off a 50+ point year. Even if he regressed in 2015-16, many thought that he would still be a 30-point player at the very least. After last season, some aren't sure he'll crack the top six.

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Realistic Expectations: Sam Bennett

christian tiberi
October 07 2016 08:00AM

What's his age again?

This roster has seen a lot of turnover and replacement, but a lot is still the same, specifically with regards to lines and pairings. Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will still be on the first line, and Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund will still be pals on the shutdown line. Matt Stajan and Lance Bouma will be united on the fourth line again. No one is really changing their roles.

Except for Sam Bennett, the Flames' highest ever draft pick. This year will be the first he will play at his natural position of centre. He'll also have two unfamiliar linemates in Troy Brouwer and Matthew Tkachuk. All these new roles and scenarios are going to be quite the ask, but they're something that Bennett is poised to conquer.

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Realistic Expectations: Mark Giordano

christian tiberi
October 06 2016 08:00AM

Mark Giordano already has a ton of weight on his shoulders. He's the longest tenured Calgary Flame, the captain of the franchise, and the de facto #1 defenceman on one of the league's best defensive units.  

This upcoming season, there will be another bar set. Gio will also be the highest paid (as of this writing, but hopefully not for long) player on the roster. Regardless of what happens with Johnny Gaudreau's extension, Giordano will be making $2.75M more than he was making last year, and should be within a million dollars of the highest paid player on the team.

With that comes a new set of expectations. The franchise obviously wanted to reward Gio for his service with his extension, but you don't give out that much money to someone who doesn't deserve it. What does Gio have to do to justify his price tag?

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