FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Hunter Smith

Ari Yanover
June 20 2016 12:00PM

hunter smith jack lima
Photo credit: Jack Lima

Even when you took Hunter Smith's "handicap" of sorts into consideration - that he was drafted in his second year of eligibility, but only because his birthday comes four days before the cutoff date - taking him in the second round in 2014 still doesn't look too good.

He had one assist in 30 games in his first year of eligibility; he had 40 points in 64 games in his second. But he's also 6'7, so... second rounder?

After winning a Memorial Cup with Oshawa in his final season of junior, this season Smith started playing professionally. It... probably could have gone better.

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Flames to open 2016-17 with home and home with Oilers

Ryan Pike
June 20 2016 11:01AM

The Calgary Flames will open the 2016-17 season in a very familiar but very different manner. The National Hockey League today released the dates for the home openers for all 30 clubs.

The Flames will begin their home schedule on Friday, October 14 at the Scotiabank Saddledome by hosting the Edmonton Oilers. But their season will begin two days prior, as they visit the Edmonton Oilers in the first regular season game held in the new Oilers barn, Rogers Place.

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Is Marc-Andre Fleury really a fit for the Flames?

Ari Yanover
June 20 2016 10:00AM

Marc-Andre Fleury was putting together a pretty good season before a concussion on March 31 sidelined him for a month. By the time he was taking full part in practices again, Matt Murray had already won a playoff round.

Fleury ultimately only played two games en route to the Penguins' fourth Stanley Cup: the first he came in as relief during a 4-0 seemingly hopeless cause; the second, he lost with a .840 save percentage.

And thus, things seem clear for the Penguins. Murray is the guy now, and Fleury might have to go. Ideally, they keep him around as the season starts, in case Murray falters - but the expansion draft could also force things, as the Penguins would have to protect Fleury over Murray.

Fleury isn't meant to be a backup, though. And there are just a few teams in the league who need a starting goaltender, Calgary chief among them. It's a match made in heaven.

... Or is it?

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Flames Second Round Targets 2016: Tage Thompson

Ryan Pike
June 20 2016 08:00AM

Stop me if this sounds like a perfect pick for the Calgary Flames at 35th overall.

College freshman from Connecticut, playing for his hometown school in Hartford. The kid is 6'5" and 185 pounds, with a frame that can easily bulk up, and he's a right-shooting winger. Oh, and his father is a former NHLer born in Calgary, and he was born in Hartford while his father was playing for the American Hockey League's Wolf Pack.

Now, if only somehow Tage Thompson is still around when the Flames hit the podium in the second round.

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FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Bryce Van Brabant

Taylor McKee
June 19 2016 12:00PM

It's a bit strange to think that Bryce Van Brabant has only played two fewer NHL games than Emile Poirier. Think about that for a second, it seems... impossible, especially given the fact that Poirier has 44 more AHL points than him (in only three more games). 

However, let's cast our minds back into the deep, dark recesses of the 2013-14 Flames season. There we will find the answer as to how he was able play a few games for the Flames given his ultra-low NCAA profile. In fact, we have a video of his first NHL shift after the jump. 

Oh, also, we will discuss how he did this season in Stockton. But you should read just to see this kid's first linemates. 

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