Post-Game: We're (sorta kinda) back!

christian tiberi
September 16 2016 09:19PM

Welcome back to hockey! Well, it's meaningless hockey, but it's meaningless hockey you care about.

Tonight, the Flames kicked off the Young Stars tournament in Penticton with a dominant and chippy 4-1 victory against the Winnipeg Jets. It marked the unofficial debut of 2016 Draft prize Matthew Tkachuk. The picture above should give you a good hint of what he did tonight.

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The Flames in Japan

christian tiberi
September 13 2016 08:00AM

Here's some good news: hockey is upon us. Sure, it's the World Cup of Hockey preliminary games, but it's still some sort of hockey. If that doesn't satisfy you, rookie camp should be opening sometime in the next week and full camp will be the week after. In between those, you have the Young Stars tournament. And I guess the World Cup of Hockey. We have a choice between is meaningless hockey, and meaningless hockey we actually care about.

But that's still so far away! To fill the void in the meantime, let's blend both international hockey and Calgary Flames hockey and talk about the time they went to Japan to start the season.

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FlamesNation Prospect Profile: #1 Matthew Tkachuk

christian tiberi
September 02 2016 08:00AM

FN1

We're finally here: the end of our prospect profiles for this summer. Before we begin, let's give a quick shout-out to the under-appreciated hero of this series: Jim Benning. Through his wondrous deeds, he has either directly (Hunter Shinkaruk via trade) or indirectly (Rasmus Andersson through a traded pick) provided the Flames with three prospects we ranked in the top four.

His most recent act of kindness, the first of the 2016-17 season, was strutting up to the NHL Draft podium and announcing "Vancouver selects, from the London Knights," and following it up with anything other than "Matthew Tkachuk." As many of you correctly guessed, Tkachuk is our #1 prospect for the 2016 season. 

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Flames bring in Chris Higgins on a PTO

christian tiberi
August 30 2016 10:36AM

Embed from Getty Images

Another fine beard in the collection

This morning, the Flames announced that they will be bringing in veteran left winger Chris Higgins to training camp on a PTO. This will be Higgins' second stint with the team, having been previously acquired in the trade that sent Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to the Rangers. This is the Flames' second PTO of the year, the first having been used on Jamie Devane

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Who's better at drafting: Darryl Sutter, or a hat?

christian tiberi
August 23 2016 02:00PM

Darryl Sutter was simultaneously one of the best and worst general managers of the Calgary Flames. During his tenure, he took the team out of the Young Guns era and into their most successful spell since the 1980s. On the other hand, he also ignored the looming spectre of old age and unsustainability and sent the team crashing into rebuild mode.

The latter is mostly due to his drafting. If he wasn't trading draft picks away ("fun" fact! Sutter only drafted in the second round twice during his eight years), he was wasting them. There's the infamous 2005 and 2006 drafts, where the best selection he made was his own son (who played all of 60 NHL games). Of the 59 players he selected, only ten have player more than 100 games, and most of those ten are depth players. TJ Brodie, Dion Phaneuf, and Mikael Backlund are pretty much his only impact picks through his whole career.

It's absolutely stunning that a man who pretty much excelled at every other aspect of his job could fail so completely at drafting. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, we can look back and say he should've picked this player and this other player instead of this guy or Matt Pelech. That criticism can apply to every GM though. If given the chance to repick, everyone would grab certain NHLers.

The more interesting, and more fun, way to judge the quality of Darryl Sutter's picks is to put someone else in the exact same spot, but without any hockey knowledge, previous experience, scouting reports, statistical data, or what have you. Someone who is equally likely to take a seventh rounder in the first round as they would take a first rounder. Someone who could use all their picks on goalies. That someone is a hat.

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