June 30 2016 08:00AM
The Calgary Flames have a starting goaltender, but they do not have a backup.
At the draft, both Brad Treliving and Brian Burke expressed praise for Joni Ortio, but neither would fully commit to his being the backup, inclining to instead talk about always being open to other options to improve the team. Ortio had a much improved second half of the season, but is that worth pursuing? Or is there someone else available?
Karri Ramo isn't going to get a $3.8 million salary again. Would he be fit to be a backup? He's familiar with the organization, and wouldn't be relied on for the bulk of starts; at the same time, he's played heavier workloads, and Elliott has never really gone the distance in a single season. Will he be brought back at reduced rate?
Or will it be someone totally new? Let's take a look at those possibilities.
June 29 2016 02:33PM
Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. PK Subban for Shea Weber. Steven Stamkos re-signed. And it's not even trade deadline day.
Some NHL GMs got into the sauce today apparently. Two of the league's biggest and most, err, confusing one-for-one trades in recent memory were executed today. Then the league's most coveted pending free agent in probably a decade decided to take himself off the market.
June 29 2016 12:00PM
So we've pretty much heard the last of Mason Raymond. The disappointing winger failed to return to his Canucks glory days, or even continue the good form he had in Toronto. It was a smart move at the time that failed to pan out. That happens in hockey.
What's glossed over is that Raymond was still useful, and was a member of one of the better lines the Flames had this past season. This article was written prior to the buyout news, arguing for Raymond to join up with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik to form a formidable middle six line.
June 29 2016 10:15AM
Mason Raymond's time in Calgary appears to be officially over. Well, it effectively has been since Feb. 3, when he was waived for the second time in the 2015-16 season and subsequently sent down to the Stockton Heat - but now, it's over.
Raymond (CAL) and Nystrom (NASH) to be bought out. Stuart clears.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 29, 2016
This marks the third time in one calendar year Raymond has been on waivers. It's over.
June 29 2016 08:00AM
The Flames look pretty full up on defence. In addition to the top three of Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton, there are also the expensive contracts of Dennis Wideman, Ladislav Smid, and Deryk Engelland. Throw in Jyrki Jokipakka, and that's seven guys already.
But that's not all. There's interest in bringing back Jakub Nakladal, so the Flames would have to make room for him. They also just qualified RFA Tyler Wotherspoon, who looks about ready to try out for regular NHL duty. That's nine guys in all, and not all of them can make it.
So exploring UFA defencemen probably isn't on the Flames' list of priorities. Then again, who really knows what's going on behind the scenes? To that end, let's take a quick look at some defencemen who could be bargain finds come free agency: because maybe, a spot actually will end up opening up.