Did Pavel Karnaukhov make the wrong move?

Ryan Pike
August 25 2016 01:00PM

The Kontinental Hockey League began their 2016-17 season on Monday, as CKSA Moscow faced Metallurg Magnitogorsk. If CSKA Moscow sounds familiar, that's because that's the club that Calgary Flames prospect (and former Calgary Hitmen forward) Pavel Karnaukhov signed with this summer.

So how did Karnaukhov do in CSKA's season debut?

Well... He didn't play, as he's not listed on the club's roster. And his absence from the opening night KHL roster makes us wonder if he didn't make a poor move heading back to Europe during such a crucial developmental phase for a young hockey player.

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Why Mark Giordano is (still) not going to the World Cup

Ryan Pike
August 25 2016 10:00AM

On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith won't suit up for Team Canada at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey due to an injury. His replacement? Surprisingly to many, St. Louis Blues (and former Calgary Flames) blueliner Jay Bouwmeester.

Hockey Twitter threw up their hands and shrugged collectively. Many pointed to other left-shot defenders that could have taken the spot instead, notably Flames captain Mark Giordano.

So how come Team Canada tapped Bouwmeester instead of Giordano? The answer may reside in a single word: familiarity.

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Breaking down the 2016-17 Stockton Heat schedule

Ryan Pike
August 24 2016 02:00PM

The American Hockey League announced its 2016-17 regular season schedule on Monday, providing a glimpse of what the season will be like for the National Hockey League's 30 affiliate clubs. More importantly for those that follow the Calgary Flames, it's a chance to see what the season will be like for the Stockton Heat.

Here's how the second season in Stockton looks.

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A short-term Gaudreau deal may be the best bet for all involved

Ryan Pike
August 24 2016 10:00AM

The single most common question we're hearing in regards to the Calgary Flames is "When's Johnny Gaudreau going to sign?" The second-most common question is "And for how long?"

The challenge in forecasting Gaudreau's deal is that there are a lot of different variables in play. What does the team want? What does the player want? Will their wants and needs change over the course of a long deal? What are the risks involved to each side?

After weighing as many variables as I could drum up, I'm beginning to believe that a shorter-term deal, something in the vicinity of three years, may be the best bet for everybody involved.

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How should the Flames special teams groups be structured?

Ryan Pike
August 22 2016 12:00PM

This off-season has brought a lot of change for the Calgary Flames, as the organization has swapped a lot of bodies in and out – both on and off the ice. In addition to the on-ice acquisitions of Brian Elliott, Chad Johnson, Troy Brouwer and Matthew Tkachuk, the club has also added a new head coach in Glen Gulutzan and a pair of new assistant coaches in Paul Jerrard and Dave Cameron.

One of the big criticisms that many observers had of former Flames coach Bob Hartley was his special teams performance and deployments. Now that there's a new bench boss, it's likely a good time to take a look at what the Flames have available to kick off 2016-17 in terms of special teams – as they were among the worst in the entire NHL in that realm. Who should be on the power play and the penalty kill this season? And, anticipating how the roster might shake out, what's the best way to balance out ice-time and high-pressure, high-leverage minutes?

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