December 01 2016 10:00AM
The Calgary Flames will have a handful of unrestricted free agents after this season. Deryk Engelland and Dennis Wideman will likely be gone; at least one of Brian Elliott or Chad Johnson will probably stay.
But it's Kris Versteeg who's the most interesting upcoming UFA. Almost out of the NHL this season thanks to insurance complications preventing him from going to Switzerland, he ended up signing a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers.
After which point he said thanks but no thanks, and decided to skip south about three hours and join up with the Flames instead. Now, 16 games in the season - 10 missed thanks to both upper and lower body issues - he has seven points, and is sixth on the team in points per game. He's a winger that can play either side, and one of the few older guys on this team.
He's also been rather, well, good. So that begs the question: do you try to bring him back?
December 01 2016 08:00AM
Well, that was a fun first minute. After that, the Flames generally did alright, but it was a score effects kind of game. When you score not just the winner but also the insurance goal not even a minute in, and you're playing a team on the second half of a back-to-back, really, all you need to do is be smart and you've probably got it.
And in case you make a mistake, well, just have a Chad Johnson in net, and you'll be fine, apparently.
November 30 2016 09:51PM
It's always an interesting occasion in the Saddledome when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. Calgary, as you may know, is a city of transplants; the common joke is that nobody is actually from Calgary, it's just a place that seems to collect people. The 'Dome was roughly one-third full of blue sweaters cheering on one of hockey's Original Six clubs this evening. After the first 49 seconds of this contest, those fans were awfully quiet.
The Calgary Flames uncharacteristically got out to an early lead and held on for the rest of the game against a Leafs team that played the night before. You would've expected the Flames to win a game like this, and they did so tonight, by a 3-0 score.
November 30 2016 12:00PM
After a zany, long road trip out east, the Calgary Flames are back! And they've brought some of the Eastern Conference with them, as their first game at the Scotiabank Saddledome in a couple of weeks involves a visit from everyone's favourite hockey club, the Toronto Maple Leafs. That means we get an up-close look at Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and a laundry list of youngsters that we've been hearing so much about all season. The Flames will also be appearing, I'm told.
The action gets going earlier than usual tonight, with a 6:30 p.m. MT puck drop (primarily so that Sportsnet can cater to their Eastern time zone viewers that are in bed when the Western teams play). The game is on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. As a bonus, friend of the site (and all-around hockey all-star) Harnarayan Singh debuts as the in-arena host for tonight's Sportsnet broadcast.
November 30 2016 10:00AM
It's hard not to love Micheal Ferland. Well, besides Canucks fans who seemingly believe he is the worst human ever to fans/players of the opposition night in and night out assuming he may murder someone. But he's nearly universally beloved by Flames fans.
He's the type of modern NHL player that gets admiration from traditionalists, from stats oriented fans/analysts, and from his teammates. All of this is warranted and against numerous odds he's become an NHL regular: a feat in itself that should get more attention.
But seeing him played in a situation that plays to his underlying impacts rarely happens. What's up with that?