May 01 2016 08:00AM
And so, the lottery has decreed: barring a trade, the Calgary Flames will be picking sixth overall in the 2016 NHL draft. It's a position they're familiar with, as recently as just three years ago; it's also a position they've only once picked above, when they selected Sam Bennett fourth overall in 2014.
It varies from draft to draft, but this year, it's the top three picks that are the big names. Last year it was the big two; the years before, the big four. Rarely do we see it stretch out to the big six.
But some pretty good players have gone sixth overall, and if the Flames do their due diligence, they'll get a good player at sixth overall. Here's who's gone there in recent years.
April 30 2016 07:33PM
Sigh. Well that was unfortunate.
After 60 minutes of Damien Cox, the draft lottery finally got underway in Toronto. Things fell in favour of the host city, with the Maple Leafs winning the 1st overall pick after a season designed, and surgically executed to complete that exact task. The result of the second and third lotteries, for those numbered picks respectively, is where a sour taste sets into the mouths of Flames fans.
April 30 2016 06:25PM
After enduring a 2015-16 season where the hockey gods rarely smiled upon them, the Calgary Flames hoped to beat the odds and win one of the three NHL Draft lotteries. They did not. While they didn't get bumped all the way down to 8th overall, they'll draft in the spot they were most likely to draft: 6th overall (which they had a 35.5% chance of getting).
The lottery draws were won by Toronto (1st overall), Winnipeg (2nd overall) and Columbus (3rd overall).
April 30 2016 02:00PM
Thirty years ago today, Steve Smith scored on his own net in Game 7 of the Smythe Division finals. The goal stood as the series clinching marker, sending the Flames to their first ever Stanley Cup Final.
These facts, laid bare, don't adequately capture the enormity of that moment for Flames fans at the time. The Oilers in 1986 were an (almost) unstoppable juggernaut. Their roster boasted half a done future hall of famers. They had won two cups in a row and were considered the next dynastic franchise after the early 80's NY Islanders and 70's Montreal Canadians.
April 30 2016 12:00PM
Did anybody have a more up-and-down season than Joni Ortio? Part of a three-goalie conundrum, he spent extensive time sitting in the pressbox. When he got a chance, he got shelled. When the Flames finally realized they had no choice but to demote him, he posted bad numbers in the AHL.
But when Karri Ramo's season ended early. When Ortio was brought back up into the NHL, he started showing signs of being capable of playing at this level. By the end of the season, he was the Flames' best available goalie - not that the bar was set particularly high. And as it stands right now, it appears he's the only goalie we know should be playing in Calgary next season.
The 2015-16 season alone was a wild ride, and his career is still just getting started.