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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FlamesNation Prospect Profile Roundup: Full rankings and lists revealed

Ari Yanover
September 03 2016 08:00AM

Another summer has come and gone, and with our recognition of the Flames' prospects, so has the 2016 edition of the Top 20 Prospects. Out of the 35 players in the system eligible to win the Calder this season - although for the strong majority of them, that's but an extremely far off pipe dream - nine of us parsed through the list, and came together to form our own top 20.

You may agree. You may disagree! We've seen the praise and the occasional yelling in the comments. But let's give you guys a spot to really praise and/or yell at us, as we'll reveal to you just how the rankings went down.

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Sean Monahan pulls out of the World Cup of Hockey with back strain

Ari Yanover
September 02 2016 06:00PM

Four Flames are going to the World Cup of Hockey. (Five, if you count Schrodinger's Jakub Nakladal.) That number changed for a moment when Mikael Backlund was added to Team Sweden in lieu of Henrik Zetterberg, but we're back down to four, as Sean Monahan has withdrawn from Team North America.

Johnny Gaudreau is still slated to represent Team Barely Legal, and Jyrki Jokipakka and Michael Frolik (and Nakladal, if you want) are still in for their respective teams. But according to the Flames, a back strain will leave Monahan unable to attend World Cup camp, which starts Sept. 4. Vincent Trocheck has been selected as his replacement.

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Stockton adds five players on AHL deals

Ryan Pike
September 02 2016 05:09PM

The Stockton Heat announced, via press release, that they've signed Mike Angelidis, Jamie Devane, Matt Frattin, Ryan Lomberg and Roman Dyukov to American Hockey League deals. The announcement makes official several things that have been rumoured and all-but-confirmed in recent weeks.

What did the Heat add? Some youth, some size, and some leadership - all on low-risk AHL deals.

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