December 17 2014 12:00PM
Ladislav Smid is painfully slow on his skates. He wasn't always, but he has been the last couple of seasons. Every stride he takes on the ice looks painful. It seems like, every game, there's at least one hit that he barely manages to get up from. When he does get up, he often limps to the bench as though he were a hundred years old. He grimaces. He bleeds. We can only watch, sharing his pain. Ladislav Smid should not be a NHL player, but he is, seemingly by force of will alone. One gets the sense that Smid would gladly trade a kidney (or other vital organ) for a win, and that's even before the playoffs start! Is such primal will, even when accompanied by a total lack of competence, worth $3.5M a season? Craig MacTavish answered that the season before last. His answer was, "No.". Meanwhile, Taylor Hall is making $6M per season and, rumour has it, he's being shopped around for a king's ransom. Should the Flames be interested?
August 13 2014 10:30AM
My initial reaction to the signing of Mason Raymond was undoubtedly tinted by the departure of Michael Cammalleri. The squid left big shoes to fill and the timing made Raymond the obvious man to step into them. The fact that Raymond was drafted by the Canucks and has been their property for most of his career didn't exactly help either. However, reviled opponents often become beloved allies. Is Raymond likely to win over devoted Canuck-haters such as myself?
July 05 2014 10:37AM
When the deadline to tender qualifying offers to RFA's passed last week, many of us were disappointed that Paul Byron was not among those given offers by the Flames. That mistake has been rectified.
June 27 2014 11:00AM
We all know first round picks are worth more than second round picks and that a #1 pick is worth more than a #4 pick, but by how much? I'm far from the first person who has tried to answer this question. In this post we'll take a look at a few different methods people have tried and the corresponding results. Will there be a consensus?
June 12 2014 11:00AM
(Regular readers of FN should recognize long-time quality commenter beloch. We're giving him a chance to contribute beyond the comment section for a change. Here is his first article...welcome beloch!)
In terms of goal production, the Flames corps of forwards didn't get it done this year. Yes, they outscored Edmonton, Vancouver, and even L.A., but they were still 23rd in the league in terms of goals per game. Part of the reason for this is that the Flames had just three established NHL left wingers and one of them, Curtis Glencross, missed more than half the season due to injury. A lot of left-wing minutes were played by rookies, centers, and even right wingers! To make matters worse, Mike Cammalleri may leave as a free agent this summer. There is hope though. The Flames' farm system is bursting at the seams with quality left wing prospects, many of whom will be ready for NHL minutes next season. Some might be a few years from being useful NHLers but others seem almost certain to be valuable next season.