Random Thoughts: The 2015 Blueline

Kent Wilson
September 16 2015 09:00AM

Training camp has finally arrived and we can start talking about the Flames depth chart for the season. Calgary's blueline got a big infusion of talent with the Dougie Hamilton acquisition, but took a couple of (extremely) minor hits with the loss of depth guys David Schlemko and Raphael Diaz. That means there are a few ways the defensive pairings could shake out. 

Here's how I think things will shake out. Or would, if I was Bob Hartley. 

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FN's All-Time Greatest Flames Team: Craig Conroy

Kent Wilson
September 07 2015 12:00PM

Of all the Flames players listed in this series, Craig Conroy will likely draw the most controversy. That's because he might be one of the most under-appreciated Flames in recent memory. 

During his time in Calgary, the Flames were always criticized as an organization unable to "find Jarome Iginla a center," an insult to Conroy and symptom of how underrated he was. It's true that Conroy was never a Stamkos, Getzlaf or Crosby during his heyday, but he nevertheless was one of the most effective two-way forwards this team has ever seen. 

It's just his bad luck that his career was ending just as the metrics that would more fully capture his on-ice value were coming into general use.

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FN's All-Time Greatest Flames Team: Mark Giordano

Kent Wilson
September 04 2015 03:00PM


In 2002, Mark Giordano's draft year, eight defensemen were chosen in the first round, including guys named Steve Eminger and Anton Babchuk. Today, only one of those players is still a regular skater in the NHL - Jay Bouwmeester - chosen third overall by the Florida Panthers. And, unlike Giordano, none of them were in line for a major NHL award last season.

The Flames current captain is the most unlikely inductee into our All-time Flames team. His rise to greatness might be the most compelling the organization has ever seen. 

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FN Mailbag - Aug 27, 2015

Kent Wilson
August 29 2015 11:00AM

Mailbag

In the wake of the CalgaryNext and Giordano contract announcements, we decided to rouse the FN mailbag feature from its off-season hibernation.

Ironically, nobody asked any questions about the arena project, so most of today's inquires tackle Calgary's blueline and contract situation moving forward.

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How to Think Critically About CalgaryNext

Kent Wilson
August 23 2015 09:29PM


(This is a lengthy post look at the economics and politics surrounding the Flames arena proposal. Fair warning.)

After years of whispers and innuendo, the Calgary Flames finally announced their proposed arena plans last week. The CalgaryNext project is, unfortunately, drawn from the same playbook as the Edmonton Ice District and dozens of other North American arena projects over the last decade: stick the public with most of the cost while keeping most of the profits. 

Of course, that reality isn't made explicit in any of the presentations or PR materials you will see as this debate ramps up. In order to make an informed decision here are ways you can bust through the marketing buzz words and purposeful obfuscation around the arena project moving forward.

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