And We're Back

Ryan Pike
February 24 2014 10:59AM

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(courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

After basically two weeks without National Hockey League action, the games begin again in drips and drabs over the next couple days, then in earnest on Thursday with 12 contests - including the 59th game of the season for the Calgary Flames as they host the LA Kings.

For the Flames, Thursday night kicks off a section of the schedule - the final section, mind you - that features 24 games in 46 days. There will be four sets of back-to-backs in that schedule, and by sheer coincidence there are 12 home games left and 12 road games. It's a veritable sprint to the finish.

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Game Day: Canada vs. Sweden for the Gold Medal

Ryan Pike
February 22 2014 10:42PM

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It's the final day of the 2014 Winter Olympics and the final event, as per tradition, is the gold medal game in men's ice hockey. Team Canada faces Team Sweden!! 5am MT! CBC!

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Calgary's College Boys

Ryan Pike
February 22 2014 11:05AM

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Once upon a time, the Calgary Flames were a team that was comprised primarily of western Canadian players. That's changed in recent years, with more of an emphasis on college scouting and, as a result, college players.

In the interest of providing a bit of info on the Flames many former NCAA players, here's a quick look at which players came through college, where they went and what they took. Bear in mind that this collection was lovingly compiled through the various team websites and asking players what they took. In the majority of four-year colleges, students declare a major after their second year. If a player left school after two years, they probably didn't declare a major and therefore were just taking classes within a program of study.

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Olympic Hockey Thoughts

Jason Strudwick
February 22 2014 10:03AM

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I played with many Russians in my time in professional hockey. I was always amazed by their skill and skating ability. After being traded to the Vancouver Canucks, during my first practice I was taught a harsh lesson on Russian ability by Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny.

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Talking Stats and Scouting with Craig Button

Ryan Pike
February 21 2014 02:00PM

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(courtesy Elite Prospects)

It's no secret that drafting well is really tough. There's a lot of teams competing for a finite amount of young players, and at times it seems as if the amount of information out there about NHL Draft prospects is so chaotic to be entirely fruitful. To be honest, that's why I've always been really interested in learning about how teams draft and what goes into it.

In recent years, a lot of the discourse about drafting and player evaluation has been surrounding advanced (or "fancy") statistics. Are they useful? Are they junk? Are they somewhere in the middle?

After bumping into him at the CHL Top Prospects game last month, I had the opportunity to chat with Craig Button about this very topic. Button has a pretty long hockey resume - he was a scout with the Minnesota North Stars before they moved to Dallas, where he became head scout and got a Stanley Cup ring. He later served as Calgary Flames general manager between 2000 and 2003 and, after a brief stint with the Leafs, he moved into his current gig as the NHL Draft prospects guru for TSN.

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