Building a roster: Lessons from the Pittsburgh Penguins

Ari Yanover
June 06 2016 02:00PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been, for lack of better phrase, crushing it these playoffs. Well, not just these playoffs - they've been one of the best teams in the NHL since Mike Sullivan became their head coach.

The Penguins have been persistent playoff threats over the course of the last several years. Of course, when you've got the best player in the world, it's only fitting to be so competitive. But they've been bowing out of the post-season early more often than not; this is the first time they've been in the Final since 2009.

A lot of people in the organization deserve credit for this year's turnaround. Let's focus on those who get it done on the ice - and the man off the ice who put it together, General Manager Jim Rutherford.

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FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Matt DeBlouw, Tim Harrison, John Gilmour

Ari Yanover
June 06 2016 12:00PM

It's always awesome when late round picks turn out, but those guys are the exception, not the norm. The further you get into the draft, the more likely it is you're in a crapshoot. If it works out, then awesome; if not, then no harm, no foul, because late picks aren't worth much, anyway.

In 2012, the Flames used their seventh round pick on a kid coming out of the USHL named Matt DeBlouw. He committed to Michigan State University. In 2013, the Flames used sixth and seventh round picks to pick up two more NCAA players: Tim Harrison and John Gilmour.

DeBlouw and Gilmour will be free agents on Aug. 15; Harrison still has another year to go. The chances of the Flames retaining any of their rights, though, aren't great.

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FlamesNation Darkhorse Targets: Logan Brown

Kent Wilson
June 06 2016 08:00AM

Logan Brown is a kid who has crept up a lot of prospect lists and mock drafts this summer. He was already on the radar to start the season thanks to his huge frame: at 6'6" and 220 pounds, he's the biggest first round forward available. However, it's Brown's offensive outburst, going from 43 in his rookie season to 74 points this year, that has really pushed him into the spotlight. 

Because of his size, playmaking ability and style of play, some are comparing Brown to players like Joe Thornton and Ryan Getzlaf. Is it possible the Flames could take him at sixth overall?

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FlamesNation Player Evaluations: Kevin Poulin

Ari Yanover
June 05 2016 12:00PM

The Calgary Flames faced a problem this past season. Well, they faced several problems, but a big one was goaltending. ... Well, there were actually several goaltending-related problems.

Things really came to a head in early November. With Jonas Hiller injured, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio were left to man the fort in the NHL. Other than the part where the goaltending was struggling to find its feet, it wasn't a problem - except Jon Gillies had just been shut down with hip problems, meaning Kent Simpson became the Stockton Heat's de facto starter.

That... wasn't going to fly. So the Flames went out and picked up Kevin Poulin, stuck doing nothing on the Tampa Bay Lightning, for future considerations - and he ended up being Stockton's main goalie throughout the 2015-16 season.

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A great Flames summer in just six easy steps

Ryan Pike
June 05 2016 10:00AM

During the second intermission of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman revealed something key about next season's potential salary cap.

This revelation sent Ari and I into a frenzy in the FlamesNation chat, and it eventually led us to stumble upon a handful of really simple but crucial moves the Flames can make over the next month to set themselves up – both on the ice and in relation to the salary cap – to have a really successful 2016-17 season.

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