July 14 2011 11:17AM
July 14 2011 10:51AM
In April, I wrote about the primary dilemma facing Flames fans and management - persistent mediocrity:
The Flames have exhausted all efforts to escape the NHL's growing middle class since the lock-out, trying desperately to leverage the peak years of Jarome Iginla, Robyn Regehr and Miikka Kiprusoff, without success. "Solidly middling!" is the hypothetical critical reception of Darryl Sutter's tenure - consistently able to beat up the lesser lights, never good enough to challenge the heavy weights. And now fans no doubt see the bright future promised by the 2003-04 cup run inexorably fading, the final step between their team and the venerated elite class of the league becoming insurmountable as their core stars age.
As such, a different kind of hopelessness grips the modern Flame fan relative to those in the late-'90's: the possibility of a never-ending cycle of mid-range finishes, mid-range draft picks and scrambles to make the post-season just to "see what happens". A gray, perpetual purgatory where ultimate success is denied but tantalizingly close enough to avoid sweeping away the vestiges of failed dreams to start anew.
July 13 2011 02:44PM
The Fan960 via twitter reported today that the Calgary Flames have inked 27-year old defender Derek Smith, formerly of the Ottawa Senators organization. Smith appeared in nine games for the Sens last year, garnering one assist. The deal is reportedly two-way, with an NHL salary of $700k.
July 13 2011 11:49AM
Hockey Prospectus' writer Corey Pronman recently released his Flames top-10 prospects list. Pronman concentrates almost completely on the issues of prospects and amateur player procurement, so rather than simply post the list I decided to supplement his ranking with an interview discussing his methods and some of the particulars about the Flames system.
July 12 2011 05:32PM
With free agency mostly behind us, the unofficial next order of business for Jay Feaster is finding a way to rid the club of Niklas Hagman's contract. The former Leaf has struggled as a Flame and is now firmly behind Glencross and Tanguay on the Flames depth chart. Brent Sutter dropped Hagman into the bottom-six rotation by the end of the season and Feaster eventually put him on waivers.