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.
July 03 2016 08:00AM
The salary cap is a cruel mistress. Without it, there would be no complaining about players being overpaid. It's not our money; who cares how much an owner wants to chuck out to some guys? The problem arises when the cash distribution becomes finite, and signing one guy can prevent you from signing another.
The NHL is probably better off without the cap, though. It's a warning to spend your money wisely; otherwise, you could face unfortunate consequences. (Just ask the Chicago Blackhawks.) Even if you aren't a fan of the supposed parity it brings about, it at least keeps things interesting.
Really interesting, if you're the Flames. With the signings of Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson, the Flames have an additional $6.2 million on their cap. They're now up to $56.45 in committed cap space ($58.75 if you include Sam Bennett's potential bonuses), with just around $14-$17 million left to spend on five forwards, and probably another defenceman.
Two of those forwards are Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, and they're expected to take up the bulk of the remaining cap space. But is there a way they wouldn't have to?
July 02 2016 11:05AM
Following the signings yesterday of winger Troy Brouwer and back-up goaltender Chad Johnson, Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving held court with local media – both in a press conference and more informal scrum setting afterward – and shared some insights into just what might be left on his summer to-do list.
July 02 2016 08:00AM
Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports
Going into free agency, the Flames were missing two obvious elements: right wingers and a backup goalie. Signing Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson addressed both issues.
The problem? There are still holes in the lineup that need filling in. So while it's far too early to do serious lineup projections for this team - some key members have only been around for a day - we can take a look at how things might fill out, and see where there's still opportunity.
This is still a very young team - and it could stay that way.