June 16 2016 02:00PM
It was a season of change and challenges for the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League in 2015-16.
The Calgary Flames' top affiliate was uprooted from Glens Falls, New York and moved across the continent to Stockton, California as part of the AHL's westward movement. The team also saw college superstar goalie Jon Gillies go down for hip surgery early in the season and saw a rotation of injuries, call-ups and other maladies stall their growth.
Despite all that, they very nearly made the post-season.
I had a chance to chat with Stockton Head Coach Ryan Huska about the season last week.
June 16 2016 12:00PM
It's hard to believe that it's been nine years since the Flames drafted Mikael Backlund in the first round. Since then, he's had to battle through injuries, limited usage, being talked as a potential trade piece numerous times, and consistent criticism.
In a season that was dreadful for the team there were limited bright spots that occurred: one of which was a season that may have been long overdue, but nonetheless, was impressive. Finally, after many seasons we were treated to seeing a lot of what we here at Flames Nation have appreciated for many years.
June 16 2016 08:00AM
Matthew Phillips, the ultimate darkhorse, stands 5'6'' and weighs 140 pounds. He is the smallest draft-eligible player of the WHL and likely the entire draft class. His numbers aren't elite like DeBrincat which means, given his size, he will go somewhere between rounds three and seven, if he goes at all.
June 16 2016 07:00AM
My friends, I am here, today, to bestow the Nation's praise onto a fine group of fantasy hockey heroes. This group of fantasy heroes opened up their wallets for a chance at glory and prizes, and today is the day where we announce the winners of the NationDrafts playoff pool!
June 15 2016 12:00PM
Over the course of history, it's seemingly natural for players to become associated with another. For instance, Hunter Shinkaruk was forever linked with Emile Poirier by virtue of his hometown Calgary Flames opting to select Poirier when both were available at the 2013 NHL Draft. (A similar scenario happened with Mark Jankowski and Olli Maatta in 2012.)
At the 2014 Draft, general manager Brad Treliving made another life-long pairing in his first draft as a GM, selecting Mason McDonald as the first goaltender instead of Thatcher Demko.
Especially because of Demko's brilliance on the college level and his prominence in the plans for the rival Vancouver Canucks, it's likely that Flames fans will be scrutinizing the McDonald selection for a long time. Aside from hip surgery, Demko has been superb at the college level and will turn pro in 2016-17. McDonald hasn't enjoyed the dominance of his counterpart.
The 2015-16 season was fairly typical of McDonald's post-draft experience.