July 01 2015 10:23AM
Chicago, Tampa and Calgary all in the running for Viktor Tikhonov— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) July 1, 2015
Calgary is popping up in a lot of rumours today. Clearly the Flames brass has decided to be extremely aggressive this season, in contrast to their relatively passive summer last year. Amazing what a little success can do.
The latest target seems to be KHL forward Viktor Tikhonov.
July 01 2015 09:35AM
1 yr,$3.8 mil for Ramo in Calgary.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2015
Earlier this month many of the rumours suggested the Flames would be overhauling their entire goaltending rotation. Not only would they not sign Ramo, they would trade Jonas Hiller and have a totally new tandem going into next year.
A few weeks later and it doesn't look like that's going to happen for whatever reason. Reports are today that the Flames have re-signed Ramo to a one year deal worth almost $4M. That seems a bit rich, but at least the term is right.
Ramo is a perfectly capable NHL back-up. Bob Hartley seemed to prefer him to Hiller by the end of the year, but the truth is the 28 year old probably doesn't have a much higher ceiling than a #1B or #2 puck stopper in the league. As such, it's good that the Flames limited his signing to a single season.
July 01 2015 08:00AM
It's been a wild week. The draft, big trades, buy-outs, terminations, threats of offer sheets. All possible scenarios have seemingly played outside since the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
One of the reasons GMs have been so busy is due to the relatively shallow UFA pool this year. Quality options are in short supply, so teams have been scrambling in advance of free agency in an effort to improve their teams. Further pressure is also being applied by the stagnate salary cap - many clubs are struggling to retain their own noteworthy free agents, let alone anything else. The two issues are why the threat of offer sheets has been so prevalent recently, thus leading to the Dougie Hamilton, Brandon Saad and Martin Jones deals prior to the July 1 deadline.
June 30 2015 01:00PM
It's an indication of the strength of this particular UFA crop that Justin Williams comes in number 1 on our list. That's not to take anything away from the 33 year old, who has been a high-end winger for years. But his age and the fact that he's only scored in the 40-point range the last two seasons goes to show there isn't a lot of franchise changing players available to sign this summer.
Despite those concerns, Williams remains a very useful player, in part because his value doesn't merely come from his offense. As one of the few wingers who has proven he can push possession over the years, Williams is a guy who can play up and down the line-up and provide quality minutes to whoever inks him.
June 30 2015 11:00AM
The draft is done and the Flames added no less than three excellent young blue liners to their organizational depth, a group obviously headlined by erstwhile Bruin Dougie Hamilton. The former 9th overall pick instantly firms up what was previously the clubs biggest weakness (blueline depth after Brodie and Giordano).
Brad Treliving has the opportunity to further add to the Flames depth with free agency season right around the corner. We'll talk about this stuff as well as Calgary's other draft additions in the mailbag today.