May 21 2015 01:00PM
Matt Stajan may be the most underrated player on the Calgary Flames.
The team's most veteran center, Stajan emerged as a bottom-six staple last season as well as a very effective penalty kill specialist. He was used as a shut-down pivot in the post-season - to great success against Vancouver and varying success against Anaheim, when his wingers seemed to get banged up and become less effective as a result.
After several seasons of fans and analysts alike maligning his old contract, Stajan's found a niche as a leader in the room and a a very useful player for the team's third and fourth lines.
May 20 2015 11:00AM
Lance Bouma is another personal favourite of mine, if only because he seems hell-bent on doing whatever he can do to help the Calgary Flames win games.
He's not what you would traditionally define as a franchise player, but you could argue that his intangibles - his willingness to sacrifice his body for his team, and his knack for clutch goals - make up for his lack of talent. And thank goodness, because his underlying numbers are not particularly good.
May 20 2015 09:00AM
The National Hockey League's annual entry draft is a wonderful time of year. It's a time of hope, of renewal, and one where every team is allocated the same number of picks, with each team having equal opportunities to make hay or absolutely biff it in terms of managing their assets.
With that in mind, let's prepare for the Calgary Flames' 2015 Draft by looking at their asset management over the previous five drafts.
May 19 2015 04:26PM
Once again, it appears that Brad Treliving has gotten his man.
The Calgary Flames continue to bolster their group of right-handed defenders, signing Czech native Jakub Nakladal to an entry-level contract. Because of Nakladal's age (27), it's a one-year, two-way deal.
He joins Kenney Morrison and Dennis Wideman (and Deryk Engelland) as right-handed defenders with valid contracts for 2015-16.
May 19 2015 01:00PM
When I played ice hockey, way back when, I began as a stay-at-home defenseman before graduating to playing the left wing beside the more talented players. It was the era that the left-wing lock was in vogue, and I developed an appreciation for the finer points of ice hockey.
It also helped that my shot wasn't very good, but I could stick-check and pass fairly well for a youngster. (Sadly, my on-ice skills topped out when I was 12.)
But my background in the defensive end probably explains my appreciation for Ladislav Smid. You probably forgot that Smid was on this team, what with his injury troubles this season, but Smid ate up a bunch of minutes on the third pairing until he went down. His absence with a neck injury coincided with Bob Hartley having to play mix-and-match with his blueliners, and a whirlwind of new faces, new pairings, and general chaos.