November 15 2016 10:00AM
Let's appreciate Andrew Mangiapane.
When talking about the winger, I always like to defer to his junior teammate Brendan Lemieux. In their draft years, Lemieux scored 53 points in 65 games while Mangiapane scored 51 in 68. Lemieux was an early second round pick, while Mangiapane was passed over. In their draft +1 year, Lemieux scored 60 points in 57 games. Mangiapane scored 104 in 68. That was enough to get scouts' attention, but Mangiapane still wasn't picked up until the sixth round, fortunately by some very good folks.
I don't mean to pick on Lemieux, he's just a very convenient target to point out the dumb drafting biases that still exist in hockey. Despite having 14 more OHL games (209 total for Lemieux) on Mangiapane, he only had 189 points. Mangiapane had 210 in his final 127 games. Even with a six-game lead on the Breadman in the AHL, Lemieux still has three fewer points.
If you're a draft nerd, it's quite infuriating that Lemieux gets the benefit of the doubt for the usual reasons - good bloodlines, big size (even though he isn't that big), "hard to play against" - while Mangiapane, who is extremely promising, gets passed on. Even after a 100-point season in the CHL's toughest league, he was still overlooked until the sixth round.
The point is that Mangiapane is good, and has a really good chance of being good in the NHL. Based on his junior performances, many thought he could be up in the NHL for a significant chunk of this season. That hasn't happened yet, but it does beg the question: when should we expect to see him?
November 15 2016 08:00AM
You know there's always good news here.
November 14 2016 02:00PM
It's Hall of Fame Induction Day today, as Sergei Makarov, Eric Lindros and Rogie Vachon join the elite group of male hockey players that have been inducted into the hallowed halls of hockeydom. Annually around this time, conversation turns to stellar National Hockey League players that are not yet in the Hall of Fame.
Most frequently mentioned by Calgary Flames followers: Theoren Fleury. Just 5'6" and 160 pounds with his gear on, and besieged by horrible off-ice problems illustrated in his book Playing With Fire, Fleury nonetheless put together a tremendously productive professional career. So how come he's not yet in the Hall? The short answer, it seems, is that his retirement had some awful timing given the other players who were eligible at the time.
To illustrate that, let's look at the 27 male players that have been inducted instead of Fleury since he became eligible for induction.
November 14 2016 12:00PM
The Flames will never win again. I, for one, have made peace with it. I embrace it. I don't even want them to. All I care about is: Kayle Doetzel, the dulcet tones of Brandon Kisker, and the zapruder-esque quality of AHL live. As such, here is a recap of how things went on the weekend for the call-up-depleted Stockton Heat.
Is this enough un-jinxing? Sweet Gord, I hope so. I love Stockton, the Sparks, and all of it but... Flames, feel free to win please. The winter is long.
November 14 2016 12:00PM
It's more of a 'Bottom to Top' but 'Top to Bottom' sounds better. This is a monthly feature where I'll do a dive into each team's underlying numbers to see if they match up with where they currently sit in the standings.
It's been one month. At this point, we can, in most cases, start to see patterns unfolding that indicate whether teams are good or bad based largely on their underlying numbers. Still, though, one month isn't an entire season. While we can start to get a decent picture of what's going on, there are teams who haven't yet hit their stride, are struggling to adapt to new rosters or coaches, or are simply overachieving based on a hot goalie or strong performances due to a favourable schedule. Let's see who, after one month, is as good or as bad as their place in the standings indicates.