August 31 2016 01:00PM
So far, we've dug into the history of Canada and the Olympics. In 1988 and 2010, Canada hosted really well-regarded Winter Olympic Games. In 1988, the Olympics were relatively inexpensive and the excess funds were used to help fund winter sports in Canada. In 2010, the Olympics were much more expensive and forced a few levels of government to cover some big-ticket items.
The concept of expensive Olympics aren't all that new. Operational costs of Olympics since Vancouver have ranged between $10.4 billion (London) and $51 billion (Sochi), and there are several prominent examples of Olympics spending millions on venues that aren't used after the event concludes. (This Daily Mail piece chronicling the aftermath of the most expensive Winter Olympics ever is pretty stark.)
The Olympics are, above all else, a valuable brand. And in the midst of all the negative publicity of the lavish expenses of London, the bizarre spectacle of having the Sochi Olympics in a place warmer than Miami, and holding the Rio Olympics in a country undergoing political and economic upheaval (as well as constant whispers of corruption), the IOC began trying to figure out a way to clean up its image.
August 31 2016 10:00AM
The question above has been asked frequently since the Flames drafted Tkachuk sixth overall in June. In fact, since Sean Monahan scored 20 goals as a freshly drafted 18-year-old a few years ago, we've been asking this question annually about different Calgary prospects to varying degrees. But what about Tkachuk? Can he make this roster out of camp? And can he stay there all season long?
August 31 2016 08:00AM
One year ago, Jon Gillies was the Flames' best goaltending prospect looking to make his mark in the pros after a spectacular college career. And now... well nothing much has changed. Gillies played just seven games for the Stockton Heat before being shut down for season-ending hip surgery.
Brad Treliving's addition of Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson means Gillies will get at least another development year at the AHL level. How Gillis does this year will likely dictate what management does on the goaltending front next. If he can dominate on the farm, Gillies will likely displace one of the incumbents on the parent club next year.
He comes in at #3 on our Top 20 Prospects. Last year, he was #2.
August 30 2016 01:00PM
We're into the second part of our trip down Olympic memory lane. Last time, we looked at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Those games saw a scrappy little oil town host the world and get a few pieces of sporting infrastructure out of the whole process (along with a nice sense of community).
The 1988 Olympics made money (in terms of their operations), and the reports of corruption were rather minor. Now, there are two common explanations for this:
- Hey, the corruption and chaos of Russia and Brazil were unique to the business and political cultures of those countries.
- Hey, the IOC only got really corrupt in recent years.
So to test whether it's the place (the host country) or the time (recent versus past) that impacts the feasibility, profitability and tolerability of an Olympics, let's head to a place very near and dear to us – Vancouver, who hosted the 2010 Olympics.
August 30 2016 10:36AM
This morning, the Flames announced that they will be bringing in veteran left winger Chris Higgins to training camp on a PTO. This will be Higgins' second stint with the team, having been previously acquired in the trade that sent Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust to the Rangers. This is the Flames' second PTO of the year, the first having been used on Jamie Devane