September 08 2015 12:37PM
After a shorter absence than usual around these parts - the byproduct of a two-round Stanley Cup Playoff run by the Calgary Flames - hockey will officially return later this week! The Flames begin their prospect camp on Thursday and then head over to Penticton, BC for the annual Young Stars Classic tournament starting on Friday.
Here's what you need to know about the next week or so.
September 08 2015 12:00PM
Last year, the Calgary Flames were thought to be one of the worst teams in the NHL before the season began. And if you take a look at the national television schedule, the team's national games were really front-loaded.
But after 2014-15's impressive performance, the surge in interest in the Calgary Flames has been reflected in the national television schedule for this coming season. Now that we've had time to sift through everything, here's what you need to know about the national television schedule for the Flames in 2015-16.
September 07 2015 02:00PM
Based on what he'd accomplished when he was signed with the Calgary Flames, I was somewhat excited when the team locked up Mason Raymond for a three-year deal last summer. He had speed. He had shown himself to be a pretty capable offensive player. And he's about the same age as I am, for whatever that's worth.
So you can imagine my immense disappointment when Mason Raymond's first season in Calgary came and went largely without fanfare. Not only did it unfold without "fanfare," but Raymond engaged in a virtual free-fall down the team's depth chart throughout the season, eventually spending the playoffs on the fourth line with Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris. (And that was because Lance Bouma was hurt, because Raymond had been a healthy scratch down the stretch.)
Now that the Flames have added Michael Frolik in the off-season, and that they have to juggle the waiver statuses of Micheal Ferland and Drew Shore (and the emergence of Sam Bennett), where does Mason Raymond fit in on the roster?
September 07 2015 10:00AM
Some big news rocked the Western Hockey League earlier this week, as 18-year-old National Hockey League draft pick and Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pilon didn't report to camp. In an article on the team's website, coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon related that Pilon told him that he had lost his passion for hockey and was leaving the team.
The departure of Pilon, a fifth round pick of the New York Islanders from June's draft, leaves a big hole on the blueline of a Wheat Kings team that may (including myself) thought could contend for a Memorial Cup Championship this season.
But his departure may create a big opportunity for Calgary Flames second round pick Oliver Kylington.
September 06 2015 03:48PM
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did the media rounds this week, including an appearance on Sportsnet 960 The Fan's morning show with Dean "Boomer" Molberg and Ryan Pinder. He covered a number of topics in the 20+ minute interview, which you can listen to on the station's website in its entirety.
The biggest news item? Probably where Sam Bennett is going to start the season: up the middle.