Rob Anders draws flak in renewed hunt for Conservative nomination

September 01 2014 05:09PM


CALGARY—Controversial Conservative MP Rob Anders may not find the welcome mat out as he attempts to make the move from a big-city riding where he lost his nomination to a brand new rural one.

Earlier this year, Anders lost a bitterly fought nomination battle in Calgary Signal Hill, which takes in a large part of the constituency that he has represented in Ottawa for 17 years.

He is now seeking the Conservative nomination in the riding of Bow River east of Calgary. It covers a large swath of southern Alberta, including the communities of Strathmore, Brooks, Taber and Vauxhall.

Anders’s entry into the race has residents talking and is causing some resentment, says Brooks Mayor Martin Shields, who is one of three other candidates seeking the nomination.

“I was not happy and not pleased,” Shields said in a recent interview. “If you lose your own nomination in your own riding, I think it’s a message that maybe running somewhere else, where you’re not from, is not something you should do.

“When there was a drop-in candidate, it became more apparent that we really need to have somebody local run.”

Rolly Ashdown, a reeve in Rocky View County, is also seeking the nomination in a vote expected the third week of September.

“I’ve heard that from a lot of people. I think the basics are they’d like to see someone local,” he said. “It does make a difference being from here. It gives you familiarity, that’s for sure.”

Candidate Gerard Lucyshyn, a former Mount Royal University economics professor, agrees.

“If he wants to try his hand again, I guess that’s up to him. Most people that I’ve spoken to in the riding have indicated they want somebody local and somebody that is in the community and lives here and shares the same interest,” said Lucyshyn, who lives in Langdon.

Anders has not responded to four requests for comment from The Canadian Press, but in a news release announcing his plan to run, he said he shares many of the same views as his potential constituents. Anders said he now lives in Chestermere, a town just east of Calgary that is within the new riding.

“There is a lot of work to do in Ottawa: personal-property and gun rights that need protecting; taxes that need cutting; and family values that need to be fought for,” he said. “The new riding of Bow River shares these values and I would be honoured to represent it in Ottawa.”

When Anders appeared at a fair in Brooks last month, it did not go unnoticed by one of his Conservative caucus colleagues.

“Just heard that Rob Anders MP-Calgary told a crowd on Saturday in Brooks, he was the MP for this area. FYI — Rob I am still the MP,” Medicine Hat MP LaVar Payne said on Twitter at the time.

A waiver from the Conservative party is required when a candidate has been defeated in one nomination race and wants to run again. The party did not respond to a request for an interview on whether Anders has been granted the waiver. The party also hasn’t responded to a request for a list of candidates.

That issue hasn’t stopped the campaigning.

Recently, the Wildrose party, Alberta’s right-leaning official Opposition, received a number of complaints after robocalls went out from a former Wildrose leader endorsing Anders.

“He has openly supported me and the Wildrose party for years on the provincial scene,” Paul Hinman said in the call.

It prompted current leader, Danielle Smith, to issue a statement clarifying that the Wildrose is not endorsing Anders. One of her members of the legislature from the area did the same.

Conservative party officials chastised Anders during the Calgary race last March for what they said were misleading phone calls that might have left the impression they had come from his rival Ron Liepert. Liepert ended up winning the nomination.

Anders is known for his strong social conservative views and gained attention for his sometimes inflammatory statements, including his opposition to granting honorary citizenship to Nelson Mandela, branding the South African leader a communist and a terrorist.

Anders once compared the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Berlin Games, which were held when Germany was under the control of Adolf Hitler.

He faces an uphill battle, suggested David Taras, a political scientist from Mount Royal University.

“The problem is he’s not a local and, if there is a strong local candidate that has profile, then he really becomes the outsider,” said Taras. “He’s bringing the baggage of his defeat. He’s been defeated, he was defeated by a lot of the people who presumably knew him best.

“Once you have the image of someone who has lost and can’t hold your own riding — and then you say, ‘OK, elect me’ — I think that’s really hard.”

Ryan Johansen and finding comparable talent (What We Learned) (Puck Daddy)

September 01 2014 12:20PM

(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) The Ryan Johansen saga stretches on and on in Columbus and neither side seems willing to budge especially far from their dug-in positions on the matter of the young center's new contract. Everyone agrees a two-year term seems wise, but when it comes to the money, not so much. Johansen wants $7 million per. The Jackets would prefer that number be $4 million per. You can see the issue. Anyone not directly involved with Johansen professionally or personally likely recognizes that $7 million is a big ask, but that the Jackets' number is probably not enough to be commensurate with a kid who just turned 22 a month ago and already has a 33-goal season under his belt. So it was a little surprising for Columbus to come out over the weekend and say, basically, that they're not unwilling to go into the season without Johansen signed, and would likely just bump every center on the depth chart up a spot. This would, of course, be detrimental to Columbus's chances of winning. That gets to the issue of what Johansen is really worth, and specifically, what would be a fair price to pay him for the next two years. It must be said that $7 million per is not a reasonable ask for Johansen's camp considering what we know of the NHL's newly rediscovered penchant for dishing out “bridge contracts” to guys whose entry-level deals are expiring; if elite players like P.K. Subban can take much shorter money than that, so too should Johansen. That's a semi-reasonable argument. But you gotta pay your talent, and Johansen's camp could contend that their client is very demonstrably the biggest talent on the team, as long as you ignore that troubled first-107-games-of-his-career stretch, in which he only scored 14 goals and 19 assists. So the question that needs to be hashed out is simple: Is Johansen actually this 33-goal guy? He is pretty clearly not the six-to-nine-goals guy of the first two years of his career, which were troubled to say the least (and not always through any fault of his own, though the AHL healthy-scratches can't be that far from his memory). But if you're paying someone $7 million, you better be damn sure that's the kind of production you're getting. Otherwise, it's all acrimony. There is no sure way to know the future, of course, and every player develops differently, but you can start to construct a pretty reasonable expectation for what Johansen might be able to bring in his age-22 season based on statistical looks at other 21-year-old players who put up similar numbers to him. Pretty simple, really. For one thing, you have to keep in mind that players' shot and point production tends to increase steadily from ages 18 to 24 or 25, so the likelihood that Johansen takes a step back in that regard doesn't seem particularly large. The good news is that the comparables for players who produced similar to Johansen in their age-21 seasons since the 2005-06 lockout (when goaltending was at a level similar to today's numbers, and with players who are mostly still in the league) are of a good quality. Among the six players who put up similar shots per game (2.89 in Johansen's case) and a high shooting percentage (13.3) when they were 21, Johansen was fifth in points (63) and tied for fifth in goals (33, deadlocked with some kid named Sidney Crosby). The rest of the company looks pretty good too: Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Eric Staal, Phil Kessel. That alone tells you how rare a season Johansen enjoyed last year. All five of those guys went on to significant success as point producers, obviously, and are for the most part very deservedly among the highest-paid players in the game. Speaks very well for Johansen's ability to claim he's elite. However, it's worth noting that while those six guys were the only ones in the nine seasons to put up at least 2.8 shots per game and shoot at least 13 percent, Johansen trailed dramatically in both those categories. None of the other players put up fewer than 3.09 shots per game, some 7 percent more than Johansen. That's a number which is not insignificant. Further, lots of guys can put up high shooting percentages, and thus score a lot of goals, in one- or even two-season bursts. So is that success sustainable? In short, no. All those guys — save for Crosby, with whom Johansen was tied — posted higher shooting percentages as 21-year-olds, and all of them — save for Crosby, again — also saw their scoring efficiency take a big hit in their age-22 seasons. Even when accounting for Crosby's huge jump forward in shooting percentage, the average decline in shooting percentage among this elite group was 2.88 points (or a drop of 16.8 percent of their total shooting percentages). Most also saw their shots per game increase significantly (an extra .28 shots per game, or an increase of 9.08 percent), though, which helped to even out the goalscoring issue.  But again, they were shooting at truly stratospheric levels to begin with, meaning that their shot volumes and percentages were both miles ahead of Johansen's, so any kind of dropoff for them wouldn't be nearly as noticeable as one for a player whose numbers were not quite so sterling.  That is, if Johansen regresses in terms of shooting percentage and still increases his shots per game in ways that are more or less in line with these other averages, he should still see a decline in goal production even as his shots go up. This is by no means scientific, because again, every player is different, but it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Johansen bump his shots per game up to the 3.1 or 3.2 range (up about 9 percent), but his goal number overall still drop because his shooting percentage could drop by something like 2.3 points to the 11.6 percent area. And wouldn't you know it, that's right in the area of his career shooting percentage of 11.2. If those numbers hold up, that puts his goal total at about 30 goals or so on about 260 shots. Which, finally, brings us to the question of who shoots in the area of at least 11.6 percent in their age-22 seasons and scores 30-plus goals? You're looking at elite company for Johansen: Crosby and Malkin both make the list again, but most of the others get bumped off. In favor of Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, Tyler Seguin, Bobby Ryan, and Anze Kopitar. Here, too, we see very strong company. And while Johansen would, once again, be at the lower end of this list in terms of production (his theoretical shot and goal totals would scrape the bottom), there's no arguing that these are legitimately excellent players. It seems that those banking on a big step back for a player of Johansen's caliber probably won't end up making money on such a beat. Even if you build some serious wiggle room into the comparables (just 3 shots per game instead of 3.15, and a shooting percentage of 10 instead of 11.6), you're still coming up with a small list of guys who are almost exclusively first-line players forwards. There's one outlier on that new list, and it's Devin Setoguchi; Johansen doesn't play with a distributor of Joe Thornton's caliber, and probably never will. So no, Johansen's probably not worth $7 million per season. Yet. At least, last season is not something for which you give him $7 million and hope he justifies it. But he probably will be within the next two seasons. He obviously isn't on the level of Crosby or Malkin or Ovechkin or Stamkos or Kessel or Kopitar or Kovalchuk or most of the other guys mentioned above (he's better than Setoguchi, it goes without saying), but if your name keeps popping up on statistical lists with them, then that has to mean something. Johansen's breakout was last season, and it's one that it would frankly be surprising to see him repeat this year. With that having been said, betting considerable success, even if there is a slight step back, would be a mistake. You take 30ish goals from just about anyone.  This kid is going places, but he needs to realize he hasn't arrived quite yet. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : Who's the starting goalie for the Ducks next year? Don't ask Bruce Boudreau, because he doesn't know yet . Arizona Coyotes : Expansion would help the Coyotes because all the fees from it would help keep them afloat . Know what else would help? Moving to a real market. See ya. Boston Bruins : Former Bruins first-round pick Zach Hamill, who hasn't been in the NHL since he got 16 games in 2011-12, signed with a Finnish team this weekend. The Bruins took him one pick before the Sharks selected Logan Couture. Buffalo Sabres : The Rochester Americans will play a game in Buffalo on Oct. 29. So many NHL games at First Niagara next season, eh? Calgary Flames : That Tyler Dellow saying about “You don't become the Chicago Blackhawks by loading up on their rejects?” Someone might want to let the Flames know . Carolina Hurricanes : Eric Staal has been dealing with a lot of injuries the last few years, but now he thinks he's good and healthy again. I think the term here is “cautious optimism.” Chicago Blackhawks : If Jeremy Morin doesn't get anything done this season , he probably won't get anything done in Chicago ever. Colorado Avalanche : Avs prospect Tomas Vincour may or may not be coming over to play in the bigs next season. Even his Czech league team, though, seems a bit iffy on it. Columbus Blue Jackets : Columbus prospect Markus Soberg might become a very, very good junior player this season. Because what the Jackets need is more high-quality prospects coming in. Don't have enough of those yet. Dallas Stars : This summer has led to almost unbridled enthusiasm for the Stars' chances in the coming season. So here's a list of lingering concerns to let all the air out of things. Detroit Red Wings : An associate economics professor at the University of Michigan Flint argues that the Red Wings' new arena would be a bad investment for both the city and state . You don't say. Edmonton Oilers : Craig MacTavish says Justin Schultz has “ Norris Trophy potential ” for some reason. He almost certainly does not. Florida Panthers : P.K. Subban practicing at the Panthers' practice rink is the biggest Panthers news of the weekend. Great. Los Angeles Kings : Marian Gaborik will lead the Kings in goals this season? That's a prediction I wonder about. But him scoring 40, I think, is doubtful. Minnesota Wild : Mike Yeo doesn't know who his starter is yet, but this might just be the first time in NHL history a returning playoff team has a three-way battle for the spot . Montreal Canadiens : Carey Price was recently named an ambassador for First Nations people . This is a really nice story.  Nashville Predators, America's Favorite Hockey Team : The Preds probably won't be too affected by NHL expansion. Take all the guys at the bottom of their roster. They dare you. New Jersey Devils : Before he got the invite to Devils training camp, Scott Gomez was thinking about retirement . This is basically the exact opposite of surprising news. Dude's made almost $63 million in his career. New York Islanders : Ryan Strome is going to have a “breakout” season ? Just another reason to bet on the Isles doing very well in the East. New York Rangers : Glad that's settled . Ottawa Senators : Looks like the Senators might re-extend their affiliation deal with Binghamton soon. Hey, great. Philadelphia Flyers : Ron Hextall says he likes to look at all the analytics before making decisions about his team, but also will keep Steve Mason as his starter despite the high risk of regression to garbage numbers. Hmmm. Pittsburgh Penguins : The Pens say Derrick Pouliot will be ready to start the season , and having his former junior coach behind the bench likely means that he can expect a pretty big role. San Jose Sharks : The Sharks might still trade those Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau guys? No kidding. St. Louis Blues : A Blues fan giving Brian Elliott's new contract a better grade than Paul Stastny's is shocking. I'm not sure about that one at all. Well, I am sure about it: It's crazy. Tampa Bay Lightning : Andrei Vasilievsky is probably going to play in the AHL this season , and that'll be good for Syracuse's chances. Dude's career save percentage in the comparable KHL is .923. Which is pretty good. Toronto Maple Leafs : William Nylander might be the most exciting rookie with a chance of making the Leafs in a long time. I'd be really excited to be able to watch this kid 82 times a year. Vancouver Canucks : Jim Benning maintains his own personal depth chart for every team in the league , made out of felt. See, he's just as big a nerd as you are. Washington Capitals : Barry Trotz says he'll still keep a close eye on the Preds next season. What a nice fellow. Winnipeg Jets : Yeah, no kidding . Gold Star Award

Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Here are the rookies you need to draft (Puck Daddy)

August 30 2014 11:18AM

Here's the final edition of our fantasy hockey primer. Thanks to Dobber Hockey for the insight! The sleeper pick is the ultimate fantasy owner move. Grab a player late in the draft who nobody else was even considering and he does great? Well that could win your league. And the ultimate sleeper pick is a rookie. Other than the top three or four picks in the latest NHL Draft plus a couple of the 'hyped' favorites, the average poolie has very little idea as to which rookies are close to landing a spot, let alone wasting a draft pick on them. Luckily, I'm here to break it all down for you. The Favorites Even Johnny Casual knows about these fellas… Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues - Brian Elliott has his hot weeks and even hot months. But he always hits that inevitable wall. If that happens early enough in the season, Allen well have a Calder-type campaign. Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning - He's not going to be playing with Steven Stamkos, at least not to start. But he's good enough on his own to have a 55-point rookie season. Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers - The only 2014 draftee practically assured of an NHL roster spot, Ekblad is by far the best defenseman in this year's rookie class. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks - Frederick Andersen will likely take the starting role in October, but if he misses time with another injury, Gibson will take over and it may be tough to get him to let go. On a strong Anaheim team, that's potentially a ton of W's. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals - Mature, responsible at both ends, can hold his own playing with weaker linemates or he can hold his own playing with the likes of Alex Ovechkin. The 2014 Draftees Besides Ekblad (above), there are several other quality picks from the recent draft who will make a splash this season if they made their respective NHL teams. But therein lies the risk. Sam Bennett, Calgary Flames - The Flames just had Sean Monahan make the team as an 18-year-old, so the precedent has been set. If Bennett does make the squad, look for a similar impact. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers - The Oilers were pretty quick to move Sam Gagner after drafting Draisaitl. On the other hand I get the sense that this team will be patient with their teenagers going forward. Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres - Two words: Mikhail Grigorenko. The Sabres won't bring another teenager into that mess again. Will they? The Goalies While Allen and Gibson are the obvious ones with legitimate shots at seizing the No.1 role by Christmas, there are others who warrant consideration as they are just a key roster injury away from making the jump… Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets - Welp, he's behind Ondrej Pavelec (aka "the train wreck"). So…yeah. Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick is still recovering from wrist surgery, again. If those problems persist, you know Jones is going to fill the void with some kickass numbers. Antti Raanta, Chicago Blackhawks - If Corey Crawford struggles with inconsistency and injuries again this season, Raanta will pile up the W's by default. The Next Wave Whether they make a splash this year or not, their time is coming. These prospects are safe bets to have a bright NHL future sooner rather than later Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators - The Preds will be pushing offense a little more this year and Forsberg is probably in the top three among forwards in the organization when it comes to offensive skill. Kevin Hayes, New York Rangers - Hayes was a superstar at the college level and he has the size, strength and skill that few other players boast - all at the age of 22. Calle Järnkrok, Nashville Predators - After Nashville acquired him from the Red Wings, Jarnkrok put up nine points in 12 games. The team rewarded him by loading up at center (Olli Jokinen, Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy). If he's not pushed out of the mix, he'll make his mark. Anders Lee, New York Islanders - Lee has 10 goals in 24 career NHL games. He's 6-2, 225 pounds and at 24 he's more than ready for the NHL. He's on the shortlist to play with John Tavares and if that happens, watch out. Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings - Pearson is a staple on the second line with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. Assuming that line picks up where they left off in the postseason, Pearson will be a 45-point guy at the very least. Ryan Spooner, Boston Bruins - With Carl Soderberg having moved back to center, Spooner could be in tough to make the team. But if somebody is moved to the wing (perhaps Spooner himself), then the 22-year-old could make a splash. Sooner or Later … Here are a few potential stars who may not make the team this year but when they finally do - wow. Most of these guys are sure to appear on this list next  year and if they don't it's because they were already nominated for the Calder Trophy. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames - Small (5-9, 150) and immensely talented, Gaudreau is coming off a tremendous season with Boston College where he tallied 80 points in 40 games playing on a line with Hayes (noted above). The performance won him last year's Hobey Baker Award as the top player in the NCAA. Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers - Laughton nearly made the Flyers as an 18-year-old and is coming off of a 40-goal season with Oshawa (OHL). Now AHL-eligible, he'll probably be back and forth between the Flyers and Lehigh Valley. Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings - Good or bad, the Red Wings have a policy of holding prospects in the minors for a long, long time. Gustav Nyquist, for example, would have been on most pro rosters two years ago. So even though Mantha led the QMJHL with 120 points last year, he's still in tough. But if he makes it, it won't be as a penalty killer. Derrick Pouliot, Pittsburgh Penguins - Pouliot underwent shoulder surgery early in the off-season and was expected to be out until December. He seems to think he'll be ready for October and if that's the case he makes a great dark horse. His vision and puck-moving talent rate through the roof. Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators - An underrated winger throughout his career (drafted 178th overall in 2010), Stone continues producing at whatever level he plays. His problem since turning pro has been staying healthy. Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks - A future star who could force his way onto a deep roster whether the Blackhawks like it or not. The team is afraid that with his slight frame he'll be susceptible to injury, but he may be too good to hold down. Vince Trocheck, Florida Panthers - Trocheck didn't play his first NHL game until March 7, but he impressed so much that he quickly became a regular on the top line and ended up averaging 18:53 per game. The Panthers rewarded him by signing what seemed like two dozen forwards in the offseason and his two-way contract sticks out amongst a sea of one-way deals like a sore thumb. Pick up the 9th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Guide and Draft List right here .  

Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Here are the rookies you need to draft (Puck Daddy)

August 30 2014 11:18AM

Here's the final edition of our fantasy hockey primer. Thanks to Dobber Hockey for the insight! The sleeper pick is the ultimate fantasy owner move. Grab a player late in the draft who nobody else was even considering and he does great? Well that could win your league. And the ultimate sleeper pick is a rookie. Other than the top three or four picks in the latest NHL Draft plus a couple of the 'hyped' favorites, the average poolie has very little idea as to which rookies are close to landing a spot, let alone wasting a draft pick on them. Luckily, I'm here to break it all down for you. The Favorites Even Johnny Casual knows about these fellas… Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues - Brian Elliott has his hot weeks and even hot months. But he always hits that inevitable wall. If that happens early enough in the season, Allen well have a Calder-type campaign. Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning - He's not going to be playing with Steven Stamkos, at least not to start. But he's good enough on his own to have a 55-point rookie season. Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers - The only 2014 draftee practically assured of an NHL roster spot, Ekblad is by far the best defenseman in this year's rookie class. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks - Frederick Andersen will likely take the starting role in October, but if he misses time with another injury, Gibson will take over and it may be tough to get him to let go. On a strong Anaheim team, that's potentially a ton of W's. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals - Mature, responsible at both ends, can hold his own playing with weaker linemates or he can hold his own playing with the likes of Alex Ovechkin. The 2014 Draftees Besides Ekblad (above), there are several other quality picks from the recent draft who will make a splash this season if they made their respective NHL teams. But therein lies the risk. Sam Bennett, Calgary Flames - The Flames just had Sean Monahan make the team as an 18-year-old, so the precedent has been set. If Bennett does make the squad, look for a similar impact. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers - The Oilers were pretty quick to move Sam Gagner after drafting Draisaitl. On the other hand I get the sense that this team will be patient with their teenagers going forward. Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres - Two words: Mikhail Grigorenko. The Sabres won't bring another teenager into that mess again. Will they? The Goalies While Allen and Gibson are the obvious ones with legitimate shots at seizing the No.1 role by Christmas, there are others who warrant consideration as they are just a key roster injury away from making the jump… Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets - Welp, he's behind Ondrej Pavelec (aka "the train wreck"). So…yeah. Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick is still recovering from wrist surgery, again. If those problems persist, you know Jones is going to fill the void with some kickass numbers. Antti Raanta, Chicago Blackhawks - If Corey Crawford struggles with inconsistency and injuries again this season, Raanta will pile up the W's by default. The Next Wave Whether they make a splash this year or not, their time is coming. These prospects are safe bets to have a bright NHL future sooner rather than later Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators - The Preds will be pushing offense a little more this year and Forsberg is probably in the top three among forwards in the organization when it comes to offensive skill. Kevin Hayes, New York Rangers - Hayes was a superstar at the college level and he has the size, strength and skill that few other players boast - all at the age of 22. Calle Järnkrok, Nashville Predators - After Nashville acquired him from the Red Wings, Jarnkrok put up nine points in 12 games. The team rewarded him by loading up at center (Olli Jokinen, Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy). If he's not pushed out of the mix, he'll make his mark. Anders Lee, New York Islanders - Lee has 10 goals in 24 career NHL games. He's 6-2, 225 pounds and at 24 he's more than ready for the NHL. He's on the shortlist to play with John Tavares and if that happens, watch out. Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings - Pearson is a staple on the second line with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. Assuming that line picks up where they left off in the postseason, Pearson will be a 45-point guy at the very least. Ryan Spooner, Boston Bruins - With Carl Soderberg having moved back to center, Spooner could be in tough to make the team. But if somebody is moved to the wing (perhaps Spooner himself), then the 22-year-old could make a splash. Sooner or Later … Here are a few potential stars who may not make the team this year but when they finally do - wow. Most of these guys are sure to appear on this list next  year and if they don't it's because they were already nominated for the Calder Trophy. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames - Small (5-9, 150) and immensely talented, Gaudreau is coming off a tremendous season with Boston College where he tallied 80 points in 40 games playing on a line with Hayes (noted above). The performance won him last year's Hobey Baker Award as the top player in the NCAA. Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers - Laughton nearly made the Flyers as an 18-year-old and is coming off of a 40-goal season with Oshawa (OHL). Now AHL-eligible, he'll probably be back and forth between the Flyers and Lehigh Valley. Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings - Good or bad, the Red Wings have a policy of holding prospects in the minors for a long, long time. Gustav Nyquist, for example, would have been on most pro rosters two years ago. So even though Mantha led the QMJHL with 120 points last year, he's still in tough. But if he makes it, it won't be as a penalty killer. Derrick Pouliot, Pittsburgh Penguins - Pouliot underwent shoulder surgery early in the off-season and was expected to be out until December. He seems to think he'll be ready for October and if that's the case he makes a great dark horse. His vision and puck-moving talent rate through the roof. Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators - An underrated winger throughout his career (drafted 178th overall in 2010), Stone continues producing at whatever level he plays. His problem since turning pro has been staying healthy. Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks - A future star who could force his way onto a deep roster whether the Blackhawks like it or not. The team is afraid that with his slight frame he'll be susceptible to injury, but he may be too good to hold down. Vince Trocheck, Florida Panthers - Trocheck didn't play his first NHL game until March 7, but he impressed so much that he quickly became a regular on the top line and ended up averaging 18:53 per game. The Panthers rewarded him by signing what seemed like two dozen forwards in the offseason and his two-way contract sticks out amongst a sea of one-way deals like a sore thumb. Pick up the 9th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Guide and Draft List right here .  

Last surviving crew member of Hindenburg dies

August 29 2014 07:15PM


BERLIN—Werner Franz, believed to be the last surviving crew member of the German airship Hindenburg that crashed 77 years ago, has died. He was 92.

Franz was a 14-year-old cabin boy when the hydrogen-filled Zeppelin caught fire and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1937, killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a U.S. navy crewman on the ground. The disaster was captured by waiting photographers, film crews and a radio broadcaster on the ground, making it one of history’s most iconic air accidents.

Luck and quick thinking meant Franz was able to jump out of the Hindenburg as it fell burning to the ground, said historian John Provan, a long-time friend.

“Werner survived the crash without a scratch on him,” Provan said.

Franz served as an aircraft technician in Germany during the Second World War and was a skating coach in later life. A German news report said he died of heart failure on Aug. 13 in Frankfurt.

Provan said Franz came to be on the Hindenburg by chance. “His older brother worked at a fancy hotel in Frankfurt where the passengers and the captain stayed overnight before the airship took off early in the morning,” he said. “One of the captains said they were looking for a cabin boy and (the brother) heard about it.”

Franz completed three journeys to South America and one to North America in the Hindenburg before the disaster.

The loss of the huge airship — 15 storeys high and as long as three football fields — was widely attributed to static electricity igniting leaking hydrogen.

“Werner was most fortunate because he was in the officers mess cleaning up,” said Provan. “Above him was a large tank of water that burst open and drenched him, which protected him a bit from the flames and the heat.”

Franz was able to jump out of a cloth supply hatch onto the ground below and made the wise decision to run into the wind.

“He didn’t make the mistake of going in the other direction or the flames would have caught him,” Provan said.

Three other survivors of the disaster are believed to be still alive today: two passengers and one ground crew.

Two more Canadians may have joined Islamic State fighters

August 28 2014 08:22PM

Two more Canadians may have joined the growing ranks of foreign fighters trying to establish an Islamic state in Syria and Iraq, according to CBC News.

Family and friends in Calgary said brothers, Gregory and Collin Gordon, recently converted to Islam and became known to members of Calgary’s Muslim community as Abdul Malik and Khalid.

According to the national broadcaster, both were active on social media expressing their strong support for the Islamic State terrorist group — formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — which continues to brutally murder civilians and capture territory across Syria and northern Iraq.

In one Twitter post, Collin, who reportedly uses the name Abu Ibrahim Canadi, described the recent execution of U.S. journalist James Foley as “the perfection of terrorism.”

In another Twitter post on Aug. 23 a photo shows a number of men sitting on a rug with several automatic weapons and clips with the caption “M16 training.”

Sources told the CBC that the brothers disappeared in late 2012, around the same time as their former roommates Damian Clairmont and Salman Ashrafi, who are also believed to have travelled to Syria.

Ashrafi was identified as a suicide bomber in an Islamic State operation in Iraq that killed 46 people last November, while Clairmont was killed fighting in Syria earlier this year.

It’s not clear why the brothers decided to convert to radical Islam and join fighters in the Middle East.

Canadian authorities estimate there are about 130 Canadians that have joined terrorist groups in Syria, Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.

More:

How a Canadian boy next door becomes an extremist

James Foley, 3 other hostages waterboarded during Syrian captivity

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation to participate in Pride parade

August 28 2014 02:15PM

CALGARY, AB -- On Sunday August 31st, the Canadian Olympic Team will join thousands of fans and spectators celebrating Calgary Pride 2014 festivities. Olympians will be proudly marching with athletes and representatives from various sport organiza...

Sportsnet and Rogers to broadcast all 82 Flames games

August 28 2014 02:13PM

TORONTO, ON -- Calgary hockey fans are getting the best seat in the house all NHL season long, as Sportsnet and Rogers deliver exclusive coverage of all 82 Flames games on television and on radio on Sportsnet 960 The FAN. The first puck drops on S...

Flames 2014-15 Sportsnet broadcast teams announced

August 28 2014 01:01PM

CALGARY, AB -- Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey make their NHL on Sportsnet debut this season, calling play-by-play and providing game analysis, respectively, for Flames games. Host Roger Millions returns to provide updates from rinkside.

Hrudey, a G...

Numerology: Lance Bouma

August 27 2014 09:15AM

78 - Gritty forward Lance Bouma suited up for 78 games for the Flames last season. In total, he has played in 121 NHL games over the last four seasons.

15 - The Provost, AB native registered 15 points last season, a career-high. He scored fiv...

Flames sign Lance Bouma

August 27 2014 09:14AM

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed centre Lance Bouma to a one-year contract.

Bouma, a native of Provost, Alberta, played 78 games with the Flames last season netting five goals and 10 assists for 15 point...

Adirondack Flames 2014-15 schedule announced

August 27 2014 09:10AM

GLENS FALLS, NY -- The Adirondack Flames announced today their American Hockey League regular season schedule for the 2014-15 season, presented by Bud Light. The Flames will open their inaugural season on the road, when they face off against the R...

Ticketing information for Flames-Coyotes Kraft Hockeyville game in Sylvan Lake

August 27 2014 08:43AM

TORONTO, ON -- After months of anticipation, the Sylvan Lake Local Organizing Committee today announce the ticketing information for the Kraft Hockeyville 2014 NHL pre-season game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Calgary Flames that will be pla...

CHAMPIONS - Shaw Charity Classic Preview

August 26 2014 01:16PM

<div id="GolfPreview"> <div class="Dates"> <p class="Dates">Friday, August 29th through Sunday, August 31st</p> </div> <div class="CourseInfo"> <h3>Course Info</h3> <p class="Site"> <span class="label">Site:</span> <span class="value">Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club, Calgary, Alberta, Canada</span> </p> <p class="CourseArchitect"> <span class="label">Course Architect:</span> <span class="value">Otto Anderson (1957), Olson Beatty Golf (redesign, 2007),</span> </p> <p class="Par"> <span class="label">Par:</span> <span class="value">71</span> </p> <p class="Yardage"> <span class="label">Yardage:</span> <span class="value">7,117</span> </p> </div> <div class="HoleByHole"> <h3>Hole by Hole</h3> <div class="FrontNine"> <p class="TotalYards"> <span class="label">Front Nine:</span> <span class="value">35 3,543 Yds</span> </p> <p class="Hole">1 - Par 4 468 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">2 - Par 4 442 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">3 - Par 4 370 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">4 - Par 5 600 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">5 - Par 3 165 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">6 - Par 4 384 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">7 - Par 4 469 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">8 - Par 4 440 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">9 - Par 3 205 Yds</p> </div> <div class="BackNine"> <p class="TotalYards"> <span class="label">Back Nine:</span> <span class="value">36 3,574 Yds</span> </p> <p class="Hole">10 - Par 4 421 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">11 - Par 5 532 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">12 - Par 3 206 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">13 - Par 4 454 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">14 - Par 3 163 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">15 - Par 5 523 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">16 - Par 3 210 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">17 - Par 4 480 Yds</p> <p class="Hole">18 - Par 5 585 Yds</p> </div> </div> <div class="TournamentInfo"> <h3>Tournament Info</h3> <p class="Year"> <span class="label">Year:</span> <span class="value">2nd</span> </p> <p class="Television"> <span class="label">Television:</span> <span class="value">Golf Channel - Friday/Saturday -- 9:30-11:30 p.m. (et) - taped, - Sunday -- 9-11 p.m. (et) - taped</span> </p> <p class="DefendingChampion"> <span class="label">Champion:</span> <span class="value">Rocco Mediate</span> </p> <p class="RunnerUp"> <span class="label">Runner Up:</span> <span class="value">Tom Byrum</span> </p> <p class="TournamentRecord"> <span class="label">Tournament Record:</span> <span class="value">191 (Rocco Mediate, 2013)</span> </p> <p class="54HoleRecord"> <span class="label">54-Hole Record:</span> <span class="value" /> </p> <p class="36HoleRecord"> <span class="label">36-Hole Record:</span> <span class="value">127 (Rocco Mediate, 2013)</span> </p> <p class="CourseRecord"> <span class="label">Course Record:</span> <span class="value">62 (Bill Glasson, 2013)</span> </p> <p class="TotalPurse"> <span class="label">Total Purse:</span> <span class="value">$2,250,000</span> </p> <p class="Shares"> <span class="label">Shares:</span> <span class="value">1st Place - $337,500; 2nd Place - $206,400; 3rd Place - $158,600</span> </p> </div> <div class="TournamentFinishes"> <h3>2013 Final Leaderboard</h3> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Rocco Mediate</span> <span class="score">191</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Tom Byrum</span> <span class="score">198</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Kirk Triplett</span> <span class="score">199</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Duffy Waldorf</span> <span class="score">199</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Michael Allen</span> <span class="score">200</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Bobby Clampett</span> <span class="score">200</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Jeff Freeman</span> <span class="score">200</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Scott Hoch</span> <span class="score">200</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Tom Pernice Jr.</span> <span class="score">200</span> </p> <p class="finisher"> <span class="player">Five players at</span> <span class="score">201</span> </p> </div> <div class="PastWinners"> <h3>Past Winners</h3> <p class="finisher"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="winner">Rocco Mediate (191).</span> <span class="runnerup"> <span class="label">Runner up:</span> <span class="value">Tom Byrum</span> </span> </p> <div class="Legend" /> <div class="Notes" /> </div> <div class="TopContenders"> <h3>Top Contenders</h3> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Rocco Mediate</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">Won</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Tom Byrum</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">2nd</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Kirk Triplett</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-3</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Duffy Waldorf</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-3</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Michael Allen</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-5</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Tom Pernice Jr.</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-5</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Fred Couples</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-10</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Jeff Sluman</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-15</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Mark Brooks</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-29</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Jay Haas</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result">T-42</span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Scott Dunlap</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result"></span> </p> </div> <div class="player"> <p class="name">Bernhard Langer</p> <p class="result"> <span class="year">2013:</span> <span class="result"></span> </p> </div> <div class="TournamentNotes">NOTES: The Champions Tour travels to Canada this week for the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta. Seven of the top-10 players on the money list are in the field, including money leader Bernhard Langer.

Bennett heads NHL.com's list of top 10 Flames prospects

August 25 2014 06:48AM

Not since Craig Conroy was scoring in bunches have the Calgary Flames had a legitimate top center in the organization.

Solid drafting and a deep pool of prospects have certainly changed that.

"I am clearly biased so I don't like talking abou...