February 10 2017 02:00PM
Welcome to the fifth week of our Western Conference playoff race coverage. The Calgary Flames are on a break. Unlike Ross and Rachel on Friends, this is a regularly scheduled break in the hefty NHL schedule that every team gets and isn't something for us to debate. As a result of the Flames' bye, expect the standings to change quite a bit over the next seven days,
Let's check out the race as we begin the weekend!
February 10 2017 11:00AM
The big drama of the previous offseason was how the Calgary Flames would re-sign Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. The entire saga was dragged out over the summer, and involved a lot of nervousness, ridiculous trade rumours, a Kanye West tweet, and a surprisingly cheap deal right at the eve of the season.
This year is Sam Bennett's year, and it should go smoother. With a projected $22.5M available this upcoming offseason, there's plenty of space to get a deal done. He also doesn't have two 60-point seasons under his belt, so he should come in significantly cheaper. At best, he could come 75% off.
The Flames have a few options when it comes to Bennett, but they also have a few things that should concern them. Let's take a look.
February 10 2017 08:00AM
The expansion draft is what it is: a means to bring a 31st team into the NHL, and in the meantime, a means to hold up the other 30 NHL teams from actually doing much.
We know the Flames need another top four defenceman; however, the draft complicates things by making it far from a sure thing that they'd even be able to keep him beyond this season. This is a team on the playoff bubble, not one that can afford to spend assets on rentals; upgrading the defence now is going to be tricky.
Upgrading the forward group, though? Not so much. And the Flames may be able to take advantage of some other teams left in a bind due to protection restrictions.
February 10 2017 07:00AM
The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn't quite deserve its own article.
In today's notebook, we look at Arizona possibly being on the move (again), Gary Bettman getting called out by Dr. Bennet Omalu who is the doctor that discovered CTE, and Bryan Bickell getting set to return to the NHL. Also, Dion Phaneuf may be asked to waive his no move clause to help Ottawa prospect younger defencemen come expansion draft time, and Dallas mulls over whether or not to sell at the deadline.
Nation World HQ
February 10 2017 05:00AM
Linden and Benning speak in Van, Jets have tough road ahead, looking at the Flames Cap issues, Oilers could move Davidson, Leafs continue up and down, new goalie equipment, new coaches, the NHL power rankings, lots of trade deadline speculation and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.