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.
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:
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.
April 11 2016 08:00AM
So that's all she wrote. The Flames ended the 2015-16 season better than they began it, but the team's decision makers will be on the hunt for some answers this offseason nevertheless.
Despite the disappointing year, the org has some nice things to build on, from the Gaudreau and Monahan duo to the dynamic backend featuring Giordano, Brodie and Hamilton. The club's holes are still significant, but obvious - the way forward includes a legitimate starting goaltender, at least one more top-6 winger and (maybe) a new coach.
Even under ideal circumstances, the Flames may face at least one more year of desert wandering thanks to the restrictive cap situation Brad Treliving finds himself in. After next year, things open up significantly with the end of a lot of undesirable contracts (Mason Raymond, Brandon Bollig, Ladislav Smid, Deryk Engelland, Denni Wideman). So while the goal this summer will be to take another step forward, the Flames executive team may be forced to institute a holding pattern for 2017-18, when they will have legitimate budget flexibility.
April 04 2016 08:00AM
There's just a few games left in the year and I've already moved on from watching the games to thinking about the offseason. The next step is the post-mortems and after that a reckoning of assets, priorities and obstacles. The Flames have a plenty of each in what promises to be the most interesting - or at least the most challenging - offseason in Brad Treliving's brief career as the org's GM.
While the Flames' roster has clear areas of need, what's unknown is just how the club will fill those holes given their problematic cap situation. How will they afford the raises to Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and still find a way to solve their RW depth and net issues? There're no obvious solutions from where we stand today.
In this edition of the mailbag we look at surprises and disappointments this year as well as the chances of the Flames challenging for a playoff spot next year.