August 27 2016 01:00PM
As we sit around anxiously awaiting the onset of the 2016-17 hockey season, thoughts will naturally drift towards the 2017-18 season and the debut of the new Las Vegas NHL expansion franchise. Much like Vegas will next summer, the Calgary Flames franchise went through the expansion draft process way, way back in 1972 (when they were setting up shop in Atlanta).
So let's set the Wayback Machine for the summer of 1972 and see just how drab the expansion-drafted Atlanta Flames ended up being.
August 27 2016 10:00AM
The reaction seemed to be mostly positive when the Calgary Flames hired Glen Gulutzan as head coach in the middle of June. Gulutzan made a good first impression and addressed a number of things Flames fans had become frustrated with under Bob Hartley's regime, namely possession and blocked shots. Now in his second job as an NHL head coach, let's delve into what we might expect from Gulutzan, specifically in the early going.
August 26 2016 01:00PM
Your pals at Sportsnet announced their national National Hockey League broadcast schedule this week, as well as the regional schedule for the Calgary Flames broadcasts. Aside from a few personnel tweaks – the unfortunate departure of Leah Hextall from the network being the most prominent – this year's television set-up appears to be business as usual, though the press releases were a bit light on details about the various broadcast crews for the national games. Ron MacLean hosts the early games and David Amber hosts the late games, so expect to see a ton of Amber this season given Calgary's time-zone and Pacific-heavy schedule.
The regional broadcasts will continue to be handled by Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey. The games will be hosted by Roger Millions, and it appears that intermissions will largely be Millions (joined by Eric Francis for home broadcasts, as he was last season). All 82 games will be broadcast on the radio as they typically are by Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias on Sportsnet 960 The Fan, predominantly with our pal Pat Steinberg as host.
August 26 2016 10:00AM
The Flames are entering 2016-17 with different coaching, maturing youngsters and much better goaltending. It's not unrealistic to expect the team to take a very real step forward.
But Calgary improving over last year's roster isn't enough. They also have to improve relative to the rest of the Western Conference in order to have a real shot at the playoffs. Last season, the Flames finished with 77 points, good for 12th in the West and 10 points back of the final Wild Card spot (Minnesota). That means they will probably have to leapfrog at least four teams and improve by 10 points to have a real shot.
With that in mind, here's how things are shaping up in the West heading into the new season.
August 26 2016 08:00AM
Coming in at #6 in FN's annual Top 20 Prospects is 2015 sixth round pick Andrew Mangiapane of the OHL's Barrie Colts. Drafted only last year, the dynamic and highly skilled Mangiapane jumped up six spots from our rankings last year, where he found himself in the 12 hole.