August 08 2015 02:00PM
It wasn't too long ago the Flames weren't looking so great on defence. Not in regards to the quality of their play, specifically, but in regards to the future of the blueline. TJ Brodie was 24 years old last season, and... that was about it for guys in their mid-early 20s.
Of course, Calgary addressed this situation very recently. Not only did they draft both Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington in the second round to bolster their defence prospect base - which really wasn't looking particularly great - but they acquired Dougie Hamilton at little cost to themselves.
But what if they'd done something a few years before that? In the 2012 NHL draft, the Flames traded down to the 21st overall pick and used it to select Mark Jankowski, a player still developing in college who may or may not turn out to be great. At 22nd overall, the Pittsburgh Penguins selected Olli Maatta: now a 20-year-old who, despite a barrage of injury and health problems, is already almost at 100 NHL games, and has taken on a role in the top four of a perennial playoff team.
What if Maatta had gone 21st overall, rather than 22nd?
August 08 2015 11:00AM
The 2013-14 campaign was the first season of the Calgary Flames first full-fledged, unabashed rebuild. It featured a full training camp for coach Bob Hartley, a brand new captain in Mark Giordano, and more unknown roster players than you could shake a stick at.
It also featured a crackerjack line brawl in Vancouver that seemed to catapult the Flames towards second-half success - albeit way too late to make a difference in the standings.
August 07 2015 01:30PM
So, if you're a Flames fan, you've heard a lot about shooting percentages over this past season. That's to be expected: Calgary did, after all, experience an unprecedented amount of success... at the exact same time they saw a great rise in their shooting percentage, all the way up to second in the NHL.
It was last season that saw Bob Hartley win the Jack Adams Award, too. He had a team many predicted would be among the worst in the league, and instead, they made the playoffs. It's the exact same cause for Patrick Roy to have won the trophy the year before - even though, predictably, the Avs fell off a cliff the following year.
Is the same going to happen to Hartley's Flames? Or is it possible that what Hartley accomplished last season is repeatable?
August 07 2015 11:00AM
The 2012-13 season was disappointing for two key reasons. The first was a lockout that reduced the National Hockey League season to 48 games. The second was the much-overdue beginning of the Calgary Flames rebuild, beginning in earnest with the team trading away Jay Bouwmeester and Jarome Iginla prior to the trade deadline.
But there was a fair amount of mediocre hockey between the season beginning and Jay Feaster finally, mercifully, pulling the ripcord.
Nation World HQ
August 07 2015 07:00AM
Babcock getting van Riemsdyk to the next level, Canucks dishing out dollars, World Junior showcase, Flames trimming the fat, Oilers reliving the Pronger trade, Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, free agency and more in this week's Roundup.