October 27 2016 10:00AM
For the last number of years, many Calgary Flames fans have pointed to the summer of 2017 as an important one. The Flames are set to see a number of contracts drop off the books at the end of this season, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to have a lot of cash to play with.
Calgary has a number of important contract extensions to figure out over the next eight months or so, but two stand out more than the rest.
October 27 2016 08:00AM
Through eight games this season, the Calgary Flames are one of the NHL's top-scoring teams. Their 25 goals has them fifth in league scoring.
That's not an entirely fair observation to make, though; the Anaheim Ducks are the only other team to have played eight games so far this season. (They're at 21 goals, for the record.) But when we break it down to goals per game, the Flames sit tied for 12th in the NHL with three goals exact per. (Remember that Kris Versteeg's shootout winner counts as one of their 25.)
It's early yet, but who's been their biggest scorer? Well... kind of everybody.
October 26 2016 02:30PM
We're eight games into the 2016-17 Calgary Flames season and our local hockey club is almost at the .500 mark. They've played a couple really good games against really good teams (on the road even), and they managed to course correct without any outside stimulus.
That last part is important because, given their salary cap situation, it's extremely unlikely that the Flames will be able to bring in any outside assistance via trade, recall or even waivers. There's no cavalry that's going to ride in and galvanize the team or shake things up.
They'll have to do it themselves.
October 26 2016 12:00PM
It's almost decision time for Brad Treliving when it comes to Matthew Tkachuk.
The Flames' 18-year-old rookie has played in six games so far, scoring a goal and an assist. If he plays in 10 NHL games, the first year of his entry level deal will be triggered, starting the clock on his artificially capped contract.
Aside from cap concerns, there are two other considerations: can Tkachuk help the team win now and what is best for his development?
October 26 2016 10:00AM
The Flames are in a bit of an odd situation when it comes to their defence.
You have a clearly defined top three: Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton. The latter is still coming into his own, but all three are capable of being 50+ point guys, if everything works out. It's a very solid foundation to build on.
Then you have a clearly defined bottom three: Dennis Wideman, Deryk Engelland, and Nicklas Grossmann. They may have their own individual strengths, like a nice shot or physicality, but they tend to get exposed more often than others.
And then there are two guys in the middle: Jyrki Jokipakka and Brett Kulak. They aren't or may not become go-to guys, but they aren't liabilities, either.
All of this has led to a number of interesting defence combinations just eight games in.