Adirondack Might Be Really Good This Season

Ryan Pike
September 05 2014 08:30AM

Friends, to this point of the off-season, your buddies here at FlamesNation have broken down what's likely going to happen for your Calgary Flames in 2014-15. And it's been a bit depressing, because more than likely the Flames are going to miss out on participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight season. And perhaps things have been a bit doom and gloom around here because we've been talking about how bad this team is going to be - and they will be - all summer.

But chin up, folks. Because the Flames do have a lot of prospects in their system. And a lot of them range from good to excellent in several aspects of their games. And a lot of those good prospects will be on the same team this year - Calgary's new AHL affiliate in Adirondack.

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Reasonable Expectations: Sven Baertschi

Ryan Pike
September 04 2014 02:30PM

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It can be easy to forget something - Sven Baertschi turns 22 in the first week of the season. He's lived in North America for just four years, arriving in the summer of 2010 to join the Portland Winterhawks.

In a bit of a contrast from Max Reinhart, Baertschi's a flashy player. He's got immense offensive talent. He's got, as the kids say, swagger. He's hit a few stumbling blocks over the past few years, yo-yoing between Calgary and Abbotsford, and at times struggling to stay healthy.

But even though the Calgary Flames have added Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, Sean Monahan and Emile Poirier (among others) since Baertschi was drafted in the 2011 Draft, he remains one of the team's most entertaining and exciting offensive talents.

Is this the season he puts it all together?

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Reasonable Expectations: Max Reinhart

Ryan Pike
September 03 2014 08:30AM

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Paul Reinhart and his wife had three children, all boys. The youngest, Samson, is arguably the most gifted with natural hockey talents. The middle child, Griffin, is arguably the most physically gifted in terms of size and strength. But the eldest child, Maxwell, may be the smartest in terms of hockey IQ.

Max, as he is more commonly called, isn't big by hockey standards, and he's not the fastest skater, strongest shooter or passer, nor is he particularly exceptional at any one thing. Except for the fact that he's whip-smart in terms of the game of hockey. He's just got a knack for being in the right place and the right time, and for working his tail off to get where he needs to be.

Calgary's first selection - in the third round - in the 2010 Draft, Reinhart has two professional seasons under his belt following a pretty good junior career. Can he make the jump to full-time NHL work?

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Reasonable Expectations: Tyler Wotherspoon

Ryan Pike
September 02 2014 08:30AM

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Calgary has really worked hard to improve its prospect base over the past three or four years, with a pretty big degree of success. The goaltending prospect base now includes Mason McDonald and college standout Jon Gillies. The forward ranks swelled due to five first round picks over the past three years, all spent on different types of forwards in Mark Jankowski, Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier, Morgan Klimchuk and Sam Bennett. Monahan played a full NHL season last year, and Poirier and Klimchuk both impressed in brief appearances for Abbotsford.

The obvious big hole here is on defense.

Last season, the Flames had three blueliners turn pro - Tyler Wotherspoon, John Ramage and Patrick Sieloff. Only one of them played significant time in the AHL, and that player saw significant time in the NHL, too. Tyler Wotherspoon may also spend time in the NHL this year.

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Weekend Open Thread: Two Weeks Out

Ryan Pike
August 30 2014 09:15AM

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Well, as the expected date of the beginning of rookie camp - September 11 - inches closer and closer, the Calgary Flames have continued to add older bodies, inviting defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to training camp.

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