What went wrong with CalgaryNEXT?

Kent Wilson
April 25 2016 08:00AM

With the City of Calgary officially calling the CalgaryNEXT proposal untenable, the Flames sports district project as it is currently envisioned seems dead in the water. What's more, this outcome seemed inevitable given how completely CSEC had lost the PR war in the period between their campaign launch and the city's rebuttal.

Regular readers here know I am fundamentally opposed to the public subsidizing major arena projects like this one, because the economics and risk associated them always overtly favour the team and not the taxpayer. Aside from flagrantly transgressing the principle of public dollars for public benefit, the CalgaryNEXT pitch had three fatal flaws that ultimately doomed it:

  1. It didn't properly consider the city's perspective.
  2. It didn't sell a comprehensive or inspiring vision.
  3. It suffered from bad timing and poor political optics.

Let's investigate each of these in more depth.

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How good is Mark Giordano?

Kent Wilson
April 23 2016 02:00PM

Few NHL players have taken a longer and more winding road than Mark Giordano. The Flames captain was undrafted in junior, undrafted in the NHL and played a year in Russia as a 25-year-old. That's the resume of untold numbers of failed pro hockey players - guys who dominated their house and high school leagues but could never quite make it over the hump. Indeed when Gio fled for Europe during his contract dispute, many figured it was the last any of us would see of him on NHL ice.

Not so much. 

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FN Offseason Plans

Kent Wilson
April 22 2016 02:00PM

Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames no doubt have some big summer plans: find a goalie, get rid of some deadweight and draft in the top three (fingers crossed) to say the least. FlamesNation plans to be there when all that happens, of course, but we have a collection of other series and projects up our sleeves as well. 

Here's an overview of what we're planning. Take a look and let us know what you think. 

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FlamesNation Draft Simulation

Kent Wilson
April 17 2016 12:00PM


The NHL Draft lottery is just two weeks away. The Calgary Flames finished the season 26th overall this year, ahead only of the Toronto Maple Leafs (30th), Edmonton Oilers (29th), Vancouver Canucks (28th) and Columbus Blue Jackets (27th). 

That gives Calgary an 8.5% chance at the first overall pick under the new draft lottery rules. The team with the best chance is the Leafs, at 20%. Those aren't good odds for either team, frankly, which means there is a very wide spread of potential outcomes, probabilistically speaking. 

Enter the Draft Lottery Simulator! In advance of the real thing, the FN team decide to each take a spin with the simulator and run a mini mock draft to see how things may turn out. Here's how things turned out for each of us:

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How good is Johnny Gaudreau?

Kent Wilson
April 15 2016 11:00AM

I was lucky enough to be in Minnesota in the summer of 2011, covering the NHL entry draft for the Nations. I was with now-retired contributor Robert Cleave somewhere deep in the Xcel Center concourse when Johnny Gaudreau was drafted by the Calgary Flames. We were looking for a power outlet to recharge our laptops and figured the important work had been done by the team already anyways.

Man were we wrong.

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