NHL Draft Scout Series: Finland

Christian Roatis
June 17 2015 09:00AM

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                                                                  pic via urheilukansa.net

Continuing the NHL Draft Scout Series, which was last in Sweden, we trek to another Scandanvian country, and perennial prospect producing machine: Finland. 

Here, we check in with Future Considerations Finnish scout, Marco Bombino, who's got the goods on notable 'Finn' prospects for next week's NHL Entry Draft.

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Veteran management, or: to extend or sell Mark Giordano and Jiri Hudler

arii
June 16 2015 03:00PM

This past season, the Flames had all of eight players above the age of 30: Jonas Hiller, Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman, Matt Stajan, Corey Potter, David Jones, and, most importantly, Mark Giordano and Jiri Hudler.

It's a very young team, and most of the older guys weren't necessarily in on-ice positions of leadership. Sure, Hiller was the starting goalie, and Wideman in the top four, but that's about it. Engelland was primarily a bottom pairing guy, Stajan a bottom six centre, Jones bounced up and down all four lines, and Potter was just kind of there.

That's not the case for Giordano and Hudler at all, though. While everyone else is relatively easily replaceable, Giordano is possibly the best defenceman in today's game, and Hudler is a top scorer.

Their contracts - very, very cap-friendly deals of $4 million (or just above, in Gio's case) will also expire in a year.

They're over 30. Other teams surely want them. The Flames may not be competitive while both players are still in their primes.

What do you do?

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Pre-Season Schedule Announced

Ryan Pike
June 16 2015 01:30PM

There isn't much in the way of big news for the Calgary Flames this week, as the hockey world chills out a bit as we enjoyed the final games of the Stanley Cup Final.

But we have a bit of minor news, as the Flames have announced the pre-season schedule for the 2015-16 season.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #6 Matt Beleskey

Kent Wilson
June 16 2015 11:00AM

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy! 

Almost every postseason there arises an unlikely hero from the middle of a team's roster to make headlines. And any time that player is a pending free agent, teams line up to pay that him too much money as a result. Call it the Bickell effect. 

This year, that player is Matt Beleskey. The Ducks 27-year old winger has been a run-of-the-mill NHL forward for years, but his 8-goal in 16-games playoff performance combined with his size (6', 205 pounds) has him on a lot of GM's radars heading into July. Just to make his agent even happier, Beleskey also put up the best regular season of his NHL career, managing 22-goals and 32-points. His underlying numbers, however, tell a much more complicated story than his counting stats.

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Flames Draft History: The Rise of Trader Cliff (1980-85)

Ryan Pike
June 16 2015 09:00AM

roberts
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Atlanta Flames relocated to Calgary prior to the 1980-81 season, transporting Cliff Fletcher's experiment from the American South to southern Alberta. The first few years of drafting after the move up north proved crucial to the Flames long-term success; several picks ended up huge parts of Calgary's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1986 and their Cup win in 1989 (or were traded to acquire key pieces).

Of course, many of them were also unceremoniously discarded or traded for magic beans following Cliff Fletcher leaving the organization, but we'll get to that later.

Folks, here is perhaps the best period of drafting (and trading) in organizational history.

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