Ladislav Smid's status is holding up the depth defenseman signings

Ryan Pike
July 20 2016 11:00AM

We're into mid-July around the hockey world and the Calgary Flames still have four restricted free agents left to re-sign. The most prominent names are forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan (along with Freddie Hamilton), but blueliner Tyler Wotherspoon hasn't signed yet either. (Also on the market: unrestricted free agent Jakub Nakladal).

Given the quiet marketplace for blueliners, I've heard the question on Twitter (and elsewhere): why haven't Wotherspoon and/or Nakladal re-signed yet?

If you want a short answer, here it is: Ladislav Smid.

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A history of Flames numbers: #18, Matt Stajan

Ari Yanover
July 20 2016 08:00AM

Matt Stajan's number, before the Flames got him from Toronto, was #14. The problem? Well, #14 has kind of been permanently taken here. It's not going to be worn again - and it's not available. (Will there ever be a formal retirement? Well, who's to say.)

So he took #18 instead. It's had brief flashes of greatness, and right after them, it's had Stajan.

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Digging into the Flames and 2015-16 game scores

Ryan Pike
July 19 2016 02:00PM

What constitutes a "good game"? Many other sports, notably baseball, have seen their advanced stats communities tabulate what are known as "game scores," in an attempt to quantify what constitutes a good game.

In the context of ice hockey, obviously there are significant differences in terms of what are major events worthy of being captured in a game score. But the folks at Hockey Graphs have made an attempt. How does it work, and what can it tell us about the Calgary Flames?

Let's dive in!

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The great purge of the 2016 off-season

Ari Yanover
July 19 2016 11:00AM

The Calgary Flames didn't have many unrestricted free agents at the end of the 2015-16 season. They had a handful of bad goalies, Derek Grant, and Jakub Nakladal. The more meaningful names - Jiri Hudler, Kris Russell - were traded prior to the trade deadline, leaving the Flames with a shallow offering to the free agent pool. (Interestingly enough, neither has been signed yet.)

As a young team, though, the Flames had a ton of restricted free agents in need of new contracts. And instead of giving them those contracts, they cast nine of them to the wind.

It's a pretty great turnover. And yet, it won't be reflected that much in the NHL roster.

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A history of Flames numbers: #17, Lance Bouma

Ari Yanover
July 19 2016 08:00AM

When Lance Bouma was with the Vancouver Giants and Abbotsford Heat, he wore the number 10. When he joined the Flames, it was under his training camp number of 57. When he made the team full time, he ended up with #17 - as Corban Knight, freshly traded for, was immediately granted #10.

Bouma played more NHL games than Knight that season. (Bouma played more NHL games that season than Knight has in his entire career.) One of these players is still with the Flames - and he ended up with a slightly higher number than may have been originally anticipated.

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