May 03 2016 11:10AM
And there we have it: after 294 games (plus 11 playoff games) and a .498 winning percentage, the Bob Hartley era has come to an end in Calgary.
In his post-firing presser, Brad Treliving was sure to emphasize a number of things about his former head coach. For one thing, he enjoyed him; for another, he was a guy who was all-in, and there's no doubt he cared deeply about this team and bringing success to Calgary. It's not exactly fun firing people, but sometimes, people simply have to be let go.
One of the first things Treliving said? "Bob has taken this team as far as I feel he can take it."
It's probably the right assessment.
Martin Gelinas, Jordan Siaglet, and Jamie Pringle are still with the Flames. Bob Hartley and Jacques Cloutier are gone.
May 03 2016 08:04AM
The Flames announced this morning via Twitter that they have relieve Bob Hartley of his coaching duties. This comes hot on the heels of the Anaheim Ducks firing Bruce Boudreau, which might indicate that Treliving is interested in bringing in the erstwhile Caps/Ducks bench boss.
No way to know for sure right now though. More as this develops.
May 02 2016 12:00PM
Thanks to an incredible first round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, Micheal Ferland entered the 2015-16 season with decently high expectations. He did, after all, possess something the Flames were somewhat lacking in: size. At 6'2 and 208 lbs. (not to mention being a pretty solid fighter in his own right), Ferland brought a new dash of truculence to the lineup.
But it wasn't just that: at 23 years old, he brought potential. And with a junior scoring career vastly outshining Lance Bouma and Brandon Bollig's - a point per game in his draft+1 year, a 1.4 point per game player as a 19-year-old in the WHL (albeit one whose linemate was Mark Stone) - there was offensive potential there as well. Ferland could be a big scoring winger if he met it.
He did not. Not last season, at least, and it's something he may never meet.
May 02 2016 08:00AM
One of the more underrated parts of a team's off-season is qualifying restricted free agents. It's not as exciting as the draft or free agency, and doesn't even carry the shine a new contract has to it.
Still, come the end of June, teams have to decide who they're going to keep and who won't be brought back. With limited spots in both the NHL and AHL, not to mention an overall 50 contract limit, choices have to be made.
There are obvious ones for the Flames. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan will no doubt be back, and regular NHLers like Joe Colborne and Josh Jooris should be qualified. There's also Joni Ortio, who hasn't proven himself quite yet, but has at least earned the chance to prove himself.
What about the rest? The Flames currently sit at 46 contracts, with five UFAs expiring, and six new deals slated to kick in next season. Some players may have to be on the way out.
May 01 2016 08:00AM
And so, the lottery has decreed: barring a trade, the Calgary Flames will be picking sixth overall in the 2016 NHL draft. It's a position they're familiar with, as recently as just three years ago; it's also a position they've only once picked above, when they selected Sam Bennett fourth overall in 2014.
It varies from draft to draft, but this year, it's the top three picks that are the big names. Last year it was the big two; the years before, the big four. Rarely do we see it stretch out to the big six.
But some pretty good players have gone sixth overall, and if the Flames do their due diligence, they'll get a good player at sixth overall. Here's who's gone there in recent years.