July 05 2016 08:00AM
As happens sometimes, a comment from Brad Treliving's media availability made me think over the weekend. When talking about goaltending, Treliving had this gem of a comment on Friday:
Building a team isn't just the 23 you see here, it's building your reserve list. Eighteen months ago when I came in here, I believe that you built your teams on the blueline and in goal and from there and up center ice, so when you look at where our defense reserve list was 18 months ago to where it is today, where our goaltender reserve list was 18 months ago from today, we drafted and will continue to draft a bunch of centers every year, that's the strength of where teams are built. So it's not by accident we've added some bodies, now it's up to those guys to continue to develop and strengthen. But I think we've got some guys that have a real chance.
That begs the question somewhat: how has the Flames' reserve list - the players under contract and their unsigned draft picks - been altered since Treliving arrived in late April 2015?
(For clarification's sake: the focus here is on "net" migration in and out of the Flames system. Jonas Hiller was brought in and then left, canceling him out, and others in similar situations are also not listed.)
July 04 2016 02:00PM
The Calgary Flames had a lot of problems last year, but none bigger than their goaltending. Not one of the four puckstoppers who graced the club's crease last year finished with an average SV%. As a team, the Flames finished with one of the worst save rates in the entire league at even strength at .908. That's 12 points back of merely average.
Brad Treliving clearly entered the offseason on a mission not to allow that to happen again. His moves to acquire both Brian Elliott and Chad Jonhson promise to vastly improve the netminding situation for the team next season. But how much of an improvement is it likely to be?
A big one.
July 04 2016 11:00AM
Brayden Burke probably should have been drafted. But for his second year of eligibility, the 5'10, 160 lb. forward was passed on by everyone, leaving the Flames to get a look at the 19-year-old as a development camp invite.
He isn't the only small invite to camp this year, but he is the only one who played in major junior. Not just played in major junior - was third in overall points in the WHL with 109, and tied for the lead in assists with 82. This might not just be a development camp invite; this could be a "holy crap, we really have something here" moment.
July 04 2016 08:00AM
The Calgary Flames' annual development camp kicks off today, as 37 players will descend upon Winsport at Canada Olympic Park and do their damnedest to seem impressive (or at least in really good shape for early July).
While a lot of attention will be paid to the highly-drafted prospects – such as 2016 first rounder Matthew Tkachuk, 2012 first rounder Mark Jankowski and recent second rounders like Oliver Kylington, Rasmus Andersson, Mason McDonald and Hunter Smith, plus Jon Gillies – the Flames have invited 10 free agents to camp. And unlike some entrants in prior years who were invited primarily due to size and stature, the Flames' invitees are pretty impressive this year.
Here's a brief snapshot of who's coming to camp, along with a video (if there was one available).
July 03 2016 12:00PM
In recent times, the Flames have become one of the better teams at successfully replacing injured and/or ineffective players with younger prospects. As discussed yesterday, there are a few holes (albeit, early in the summer) left to fill. With salaries coming very close to the cap limit, it will likely be prospects filling those question marks.
The next question is which prospects. We're not just talking about cementing the opening day roster, but rather looking at which farmhands we could possibly see playing a meaningful role for the Flames this upcoming season.