July 29 2014 09:00AM
A lot. Probably.
I suppose that needs more explanation.
There's three main reasons the Flames were a bottom-5 team last year (besides, you know, not having a ton of talent):
1.) The first half of the season. A period during which Hartley spent experimenting with his roster and tactics, resulting in a precipitous drop down the standings. Calgary's second half of the year was actually quite respectable from a record and underlying numbers stand point.
2.) A lot of injuries to key members of a thin roster (only 3 Flames played 80 or more games and one of them was Chris Butler).
3.) Worse than average goaltending.
We're here to talk about the third thing.
July 19 2014 02:48PM
The Calgary Flames has a lot of kids battling for jobs at both levels of the organization this upcoming season. While more than a few are going to get a cup of coffee with the big team at some point due to injury and such, the truth there is probably only one or two FT jobs available for the hopefuls. That means an interest roster for the Adirondack Flames.
Calgary's AHL club has lost a few veterans but is also getting an infusion of youngsters, including Bill Arnold, Ryan Culkin, Brett Kulak, Emile Poirier and (maybe) a full season of Patrick Sieloff to boot. Add in sophomores like Corban Knight, Ben Hanowski and John Ramage and you have a pretty decent (but pretty young) roster to work with.
July 17 2014 08:51PM
In this series we've already noted the Flames need to up their functional toughness and improve their blueline depth behind Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie in order to climb out of the Western Conference basement. This final part is more focused on the "when" than the "how". Although I'm sure the team's executives and fans would prefer sooner rather than later, the more realistic deadline for the club to be a threat again is two seasons from now: 2016-17.
Relative to some other rebuilds we've been witness to (ahem, Oilers), 2016 is a fairly aggressive and optimistic expectation. But it's grounded in reality.
July 09 2014 11:30AM
It only took three signings for Brad Treliving to accomplish his primary goal this summer - get over the NHL's salary floor. That seems like an entirely trivial and underwhelming objective to celebrate, but it's one that had the possibility of causing all sorts of self inflicted wounds. Take, for example, Dale Tallon's orgy of spending from a few summers ago when he signed half of the league's mediocre UFA's to long, bloated contracts. The Flames, conversely, escaped relatively intact. None of the deals were longer than three years and or for a dollar amount that may hamper them in the future. Mission accomplished.
So is there anything left for the club to do this summer?
July 01 2014 01:30PM
After a couple of solid signings in Raymond and Hiller, the Flames add their first eyebrow raiser in Dereyk Engelland for 3 years at $2.9M per year.