Ortio’s Long Road to The NHL Paved With Bumps and Believers

Steve Macfarlane
January 22 2015 01:30PM

His successful and headline-grabbing recent stint in Calgary might have taken some people by surprise, but a couple of the first Flames coaches to work directly with Joni Ortio could see signs of this as a possible outcome years ago.

Jamie McLennan was director of goaltender development for the Flames in 2008 when he first crossed paths with a young and talented Finnish netminder during a trip overseas to work with Miikka Kiprusoff in the offseason. On the ice with legendary goalie coach Uri Ylonen, Kiprusoff, Saku and Mikko Koivu and some other NHLers was a 17-year-old Ortio.

Read Article | 18 Comments

Flames Brass Facing Risk Management Decisions

Steve Macfarlane
January 20 2015 09:15AM

They’re not quite there yet, but the Calgary Flames are heading toward a pivotal point in this confounding season.

During a well-publicized rebuilding phase that officially started with the unloading of former captain Jarome Iginla less than two years ago, the Flames are actually in contention for a playoff spot.

Read Article | 57 Comments

Bob the Builder Is The Right Man For the Job - For Now

Steve Macfarlane
December 18 2014 11:30AM

The timing of the announcement couldn’t have been more perfect.

If ever there was a time to make a statement as to the absolute certainty of the Calgary Flames’ feeling they have the right man for the job, it’s to extend the head coach of a rebuilding franchise during a six-game losing streak.

It serves as a reminder to the fans that the team’s brass knows there will be plenty of growing pains to come and that the early-season exceeding of all expectations did nothing to change their short or long-term plans.

Read Article | 22 Comments

Everybody Loves Raymond: Cochrane Product Enjoying Life With Team He Grew Up Cheering For

Steve Macfarlane
October 30 2014 03:30PM

#457391034 / gettyimages.com

There’s never a good time to be injured as an NHLer, but if there was, now would probably be it for Flames winger Mason Raymond.

He’s still in the midst of moving into a new Calgary home with wife Megan and two-and-a-half-year-old son Max. After spending much of early part of the season on the road, the 29-year-old Cochrane product is looking forward to getting settled off the ice after looking very comfortable on the ice with the Flames in the early part of the season before a shoulder injury temporarily put him on the shelf this week.

Read Article | 11 Comments

Dynamite Night for Calder Trophy Candidates

Steve Macfarlane
October 22 2014 11:04AM

#457637342 / gettyimages.com

The odds-on favourite for the Calder Trophy is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Jonathan Drouin.

Calgary Flames darkhorse Johnny Gaudreau, though, won’t be an underdog for long if he keeps getting on the nightly highlight reel.

The way Gaudreau is progressing, it’s just a matter of time before those who omitted him in their preseason Calder predictions add him to their list of frontrunners and give the Flames hope for their first rookie of the year since Sergei Makarov in 1990.

Read Article | 25 Comments