How good is TJ Brodie?

Kent Wilson
July 28 2016 11:00AM

It's arguable which Flames youngster is considered the first pillar of the post-Iginla rebuild. Most probably consider it to be Sean Monahan or Johnny Gaudreau. Maybe some are waiting for Sam Bennett or Matthew  Tkachuk to become the icon of a new era. 

I contend it's T.J. Brodie. The 26-year-old defender's rise from obscurity was one of the first indications that the team might have a future beyond Iginla and the old guard. In fact, it was the Jay Bouwmeester trade in 2012 that gave us a hint of how good Brodie was going to be.

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Flames 2016 Offseason: What would you have done?

Kent Wilson
July 26 2016 12:00PM

The Flames aren't done, but they are. Once Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau are signed, Brad Treliving will only have a few, minor bits of housekeeping left to do before the season starts. Sure, maybe he finds a way to trade Dennis Wideman, but in all actuality it will likely come down to re-inking guys like Freddie Hamilton and Tyler Wotherspoon. 

So what you see is more or less what you get. Are you satisfied? For the heck of it, let's play armchair GM to see what different paths the Flames could have taken. 

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Four destinations for Dennis Wideman

Kent Wilson
July 20 2016 02:00PM

Brad Treliving has accomplished a lot this summer, but the one thing left on the to-do list (aside from sign the wonder kids) is get some bad money off the roster. Specifically the blueline, where the bottom of the rotation is cluttered with expensive, aging NHLers Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman and Ladislav Smid. 

Smid might be destined for LTIR, but that still leaves Wideman and Engelland as the probable third pairing. That's bad news: both are RH shots, neither is particularly fleet of foot and both tend to give up a lot of shots and scoring chances against. 

Engelland isn't going anywhere with his deal (plus the team still seems to like him), but is it possible to trade Wideman? If the Flames agree to eat some salary, there might be a few teams willing to take the plunge: the Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.

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Flames 2016-17 Build-a-Roster

Kent Wilson
July 15 2016 11:00AM

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It's the middle of July and for all intents and purposes the Flames' roster for 2016-17 is set. Brad Treliving has two major items on his to-do list left: re-sign Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Re-inking the kids is an inevitability, so that's just a question of what the numbers end up being. 

After that, it will be a minor tweak here and there. Likely, Treliving will opt to re-sign some of the club's lingering RFAs and UFAs to fill in the depth. Unless he get scooped up by another team in the meantime, it Jakub Nakladal come back on one-year deal for instance. 

So what is the roster going to look like? Let's take a guess.

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Don't give up on Micheal Ferland

Kent Wilson
July 12 2016 02:00PM

This is a big season for Micheal Ferland. 

Ferland's coming off a superficially disappointing year: just four goals and 18 points in 71 games (and an ugly -15 rating on top of it). He has just one more year left on his contract, meaning this might be his last chance to make a lasting impression in the Flames organization.

The 24-year-old LW has all the tools to be a useful NHLer: size, grit, smarts and decently soft hands. The problem is, outside of the first round series against the Canucks a year ago, he hasn't been able to put it all together yet. At least, that's what his counting numbers suggest. If we peer beneath the surface, however, we see a player who might be ready to break out. 

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