World Cup practices begin: who are the Flames playing with?

Ryan Pike
September 05 2016 12:00PM

It's Labour Day, the traditional end of the summer and surefire sign that the hockey season will soon be upon us. Since everyone will soon be glued to the television (or camped out at McMahon Stadium) for the Labour Day Classic, here's a brief news update to keep you informed.

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Predictions for the Flames' 2016-17 season

RexLibris
September 05 2016 08:00AM

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Once again I’ve run projections on the Flames’ coming season.

Similar to previous years I have used a number of different statistical categories to cobble together a picture of where the Flames might end up and how the season may go for each player.

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Present-day Flames slowly but surely moving up the franchise records list

Ari Yanover
September 04 2016 12:00PM

When you look at the Flames franchise leader board, you see a whole lot of two names in particular: Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. In the Flames of old, it was those two who really made the team.

That was the old, though; now, it's time for the new. Except we're still really new on that front, so those current-standing franchise records aren't in danger of being broken any time soon.

The goaltending isn't in danger of being broken, period. Kiprusoff was the king of the Flames' crease for a decade; the goaltending this year consists solely of newcomers. Nobody's matching that 41 shutout record, for example. Not this year, at least.

But skaters, though? We may be in the midst of a changing of the guard, but there are still some guys looking to move up the rankings this upcoming season.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I got this idea from Pensburgh; though it helps for them they've got elite players who have already spent several years in the league and are in the midst of their primes. Still - we'll see just how much that changes for the Flames over the coming seasons.)

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The Flames' defensive pairing dilemma

Ryan Pike
September 04 2016 08:00AM

The Calgary Flames are in a very unique position, and a very challenging one.

First and foremost, they're lucky: they have three really good defensemen in Dougie Hamilton, T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano. Unfortunately, they also have a trio of defensemen in Jyrki Jokipakka, Dennis Wideman and Deryk Engelland who are more limited in what they can do than the good blueliners.

The challenge for the Flames this season is figuring out how to balance their strong players with their weaker ones in order to maximize their performances.

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Musings on the alternate universe in which the Flames traded for Ben Bishop

Ari Yanover
September 03 2016 11:00AM

The Flames needed new goaltending for the 2016-17 season. This wasn't a secret by any means: not only did they have the league's worst goaltending the previous season, but they also had no goalies under contract. Calgary was coming in with the chance for a completely clean slate, and they were taking advantage of it.

A lot of names were thrown around before the Flames acquired Brian Elliott for the 35th overall pick. One of them was Ben Bishop, a 29-year-old, 6'7 goalie coming off of three consecutive years of 60+ start seasons, and his best save percentage yet at .926.

In other words: an incredibly appealing target. And the Lightning, with Andrei Vasilevskiy waiting in the wings, could have had incentive to move him (and his $5.95 million contract, which would need re-upping the next year).

Apparently, the trade was pretty close to happening - to the point where the Flames were actually talking contract extension with Bishop's camp - before they veered off to Elliott.

But what if they had sealed the deal?

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