September 29 2016 08:00AM
Every year, for the most part, we have some idea of just what a team is going to look like going into their season opener. The flurry of trades at the draft and free agency signings are just about done with, and with them typically comes a complete roster.
But not quite complete, and not always. Every now and then, a kid pops up over the course of training camp and forces his way on. Sometimes it's due to injury, like Brett Kulak last year. Sometimes they have to wait until someone else gets injured to finally get the chance they earned all along, like Josh Jooris in 2014. Sometimes it just happens, like when Roman Horak played his way onto the Flames back in 2011.
The point is: as training camp progress, someone who wasn't necessarily on the radar before almost inevitably stands out, and ends up with a roster spot.
Who are we looking at this year?
September 28 2016 04:21PM
From once there were 60, now, there are just 49.
With two days in between preseason games, the Calgary Flames have made their second round of training camp cuts (five were the first to be cut). There were no surprises in this list, with eight being assigned to the Stockton Heat, and three other players being returned to their respective junior teams, whose seasons have already gotten underway.
Five goalies, 17 defencemen, and 27 forwards remain at camp - for now.
September 28 2016 01:00PM
The Flames performed a bloodletting when it came to their restricted free agents. They only kept four, two of whom were obvious (Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau), one of whom was probable (Tyler Wotherspoon), and one of whom probably could have gone either way (Freddie Hamilton).
It took them a while to re-sign Hamilton, but when the Flames finally did, the contract was surprising: a one-way, two-year deal. Now he's played in two preseason games to date, and while everything preseason must come with a grain of salt, he has scored two goals so far.
Even more so, though, is that there are forward spots to earn on the Flames. Maybe 10 are guaranteed, which leaves another three or four up for grabs. And it sure looks like Hamilton wants one of them - and might just get it.
September 28 2016 10:00AM
It's one of the worst kept secrets in the NHL: Kris Russell would like to return to the Calgary Flames and the team has interest in bringing him back.
While I can confirm the prior statement is true, it's a lot more difficult to determine the extent of interest from either side. One of the most polarizing players around these parts in recent years, Russell could be a nice addition to the Flames but only under the right circumstances. So just how would a potential Russell return work for Calgary?
September 28 2016 08:00AM
When the Calgary Flames drafted Jon Gillies out of the United States Hockey League in 2012, hopes were high given his strong numbers and ginormous frame. Then he went to a strong NCAA conference, Hockey East, and dominated. He posted gaudy numbers for three straight seasons and capped off his amateur career with an NCAA national championship win.
Hopes were high for the young netminder, and as such there was much disappointment when his first pro season was derailed by season-ending hip surgery. After chatting with Gillies at Flames training camp, here's a handy bit of context: he put up those insane college numbers while battling his injury.