The Pacific War Room

Nation World HQ
February 02 2016 07:00AM


In an effort to keep fans aware of the comings and goings of the other teams in the Smythe Pacific Division… The fine folks at The Royal Half have created the Pacific War Room… a wrap-up of the past week in the Pacific from some of the best and brightest bloggers who cover Pacific Division teams. In order of the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room!

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Keegan Kanzig is making the most of his WHL return

Ryan Pike
February 01 2016 02:00PM

It's easy to be cynical about Calgary Flames prospect Keegan Kanzig.

The third-round selection of the club in the 2013 NHL Draft was selected after first rounders Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier and Morgan Klimchuk, all of whom are playing professional hockey right now. He was selected before guys like Anthony Duclair and Anton Slepyshev, who have both played in the NHL already.

Kanzig? After an all-too-brief sojourn into the professional ranks in the fall, he's back in a familiar spot: on the Calgary Hitmen blueline. But given the organization's log-jam of young defenders and where he is in his development, it might not necessarily be a bad thing for him in the long run.

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The Heat Index: Granting Wishes

Taylor McKee
February 01 2016 12:00PM

Is this the face of a future 50 goal scorer? Given the recent sample of games, I can only conclude that yes. I've checked the math, it's a near statistical certainty. Only a fool would bet against this.

The Heat had another successful couple of games last week, defeating the Pacific Division-leading Ontario Reign and the farm team of the NHL's living monument to hockey ineptitude, the Bakersfield Condors. The two games featured great goaltending, strong defense, and opportunistic scoring. Come see how it all went down after the jump!

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Determining the Flames lineup for the rest of the season

Ari Yanover
February 01 2016 10:00AM

We're now 48 games into the season, and with the All-Star Break over, just starting to round the corner on the final stretch. This is when we may see line shuffling come to an end, and we're far enough into the season to know just who works together and how well.

For example, it was about this time last year Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Jiri Hudler became a regular trio; the same can be said for Lance Bouma, Mikael Backlund, and David Jones on a line of their own.

Granted, injuries play a role in this, such as Backlund missing out on two months of the 2014-15 season due to an abdominal strain. And this season, the Flames have yet to be fully healthy, with players consistently getting injured throughout the year - a major factor in Head Coach Bob Hartley being unable to maintain definitive lines.

But now, with no new injuries before the All-Star Break, and with Micheal Ferland's anticipated return right after, the Flames may finally be healthy: and they may finally be able to put together a consistent lineup.

Here's how what we've had this season looks so far.

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FN Mailbag - February 1, 2016

Kent Wilson
February 01 2016 08:00AM


There's about a month left to the trade deadline. That means the Flames have a month, or 13 games, to do one of two things: put themselves firmly back into the playoff race or drum up as much interest as possible in their key UFA assets. 

The former goal is a long shot. Unless Calgary becomes the hottest team in the league over the next dozen or so matches, their dreams of repeating last year's unlikely playoff berth are done.

The second objective will depend on how a handful of players perform - in particular Jiri Hudler, who has the next 30 days to make himself into a hot rental commodity and potentially revive his value as an unrestricted free agent to boot. 

The deadline and the draft dominate this week's edition of the mailbag. We'll talk about the draft lottery, potential trade partners and the potential for moving some of the Flames' less notable trade pieces.

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