October 13 2016 11:39AM
The only thing that made less sense than starting Nicklas Grossmann in the Calgary Flames’ first game of the regular season in Edmonton last night was signing the brick-footed defenceman altogether.
But, as Brad Treliving explained hours after inking Grossmann on Tuesday, there was a definite method to his madness. Ladislav Smid won’t play for the Calgary Flames this season, but they’re still on the hook for his $4 million salary and $3.5 million cap hit. On the surface, there’s a simple solution to this: throw him on long term injured reserve and redeem the $3.5 million in cap space to spend on a new shiny toy!
Not so fast.
October 13 2016 08:00AM
Snow shower pics are cool.
As I watched the Oilers pull away from the Flames via a couple of Connor McDavid goals, the game kind of started reminding me of the first game of the 2010-11 season. In it, the Flames came out impressively flat and lost 4-0. There was even a defenceman on the team who very much proved he didn't belong in the NHL at that time.
Back then, that defenceman was T.J. Brodie. He was ready a year later. I'm... truly not sure what to say about Nicklas Grossmann.
October 13 2016 12:07AM
(Perry Nelson / USA Today Sports)
The Calgary Flames went into Edmonton this evening hoping to spoil the Oilers' big party on the first regular season National Hockey League contest at the shiny new Rogers Place. However, the visitors did more harm than good to their own hopes and via some wonky defense, shaky goaltending and general sloppiness dropped a disappointing 7-4 decision to their most hated rivals.
Here's how it happened.
October 12 2016 03:00PM
It's really easy to like Mikael Backlund as a hockey player.
The Calgary Flames drafted Backlund way back in 2007, and since then he's quietly become the gift that keeps on giving. He quietly developed into a reliable two-way player as a youngster, quickly adjusting to the North American pro game. Then he became a really good two-way player who could protect and elevate more limited players. More recently, he's added a bit of grit and offensive confidence – he scored 20 goals for the first time in his NHL career in 2015-16 – and become a fairly consistent difference-maker in his mid-20s.
What should we expect from Backlund this season?
October 12 2016 02:00PM
Well, it's finally Hockey Day. The Flames are heading north to Edmonton to remind the Oilers that their history is a flat circle. It's a new season, and there's plenty to be excited about.
For the Flames, the biggest story tonight and probably for the rest of the season will be Matthew Tkachuk. The sixth overall selection at the draft has turned many heads at the Young Stars classic and during the preseason. He'll make his big debut tonight.