August 23 2015 11:00AM
When once, enforcers were a staple in a hockey team's lineup, today, they're a dying breed. More and more teams are starting to cast aside their tough, five-minutes-a-night guys in favour of players who can take a regular shift, and be counted on to do a little more than provide security and intimidation.
That's not to say big players aren't valued. That will never be the case. But in the changing landscape of the NHL, it's not good enough to simply be big anymore. You need to add something else to the table to keep your spot.
As enforcers start to depart from the league in favour of the minors, and even overseas - remember Kevin Westgarth? He ended up in he EIHL - more and more teams are following each others' leads.
Now, the Flames are one of those teams.
August 22 2015 02:30PM
We've spent the last two weeks unveiling the annual FlamesNation Top 20 ranking of Calgary Flames prospects down. We've got ten down, and we've got ten more yet to come.
For the curious, our requirement? Calder Trophy eligibility. So if you're seeking out names like Markus Granlund, Micheal Ferland and Joni Ortio - who aren't yet NHL regulars - you're not going to be seeing them here. All have gone over the requirement of not playing 25+ NHL games in a single season (or six or more in any two previous seasons).
For those of you who may have missed it, or who just want a refresher before the Top 10 kicks off on Monday, here's a rundown for your perusal.
August 22 2015 10:00AM
Bad contracts are never ideal, but sometimes, they're simply unavoidable. Either you sign them yourself - and this can happen thanks to free agency inflation, a perceived need you're desperate to fill, or needing to reach the cap floor - or you trade for them, perhaps because you feel the player will be good for you in the immediate, or to pick up another asset.
But as unavoidable as they are, they're never desirable. They have the potential to tear apart teams, force unwanted trades, and prevent the signings other, better players. There's no upside.
It's still something every team has to deal with, though, and the Flames are no exception. Last year, they were swimming in cap space, so it didn't matter; this year, they're up against the cap, and with some big raises due the year after.
Here's a look at the worst contracts the Flames have to offer.
August 21 2015 03:00PM
We close out the first week of unveiling the FlamesNation All-Time Flames Team with one of the most underrated players in franchise history - Joel Otto.
It's a bit of a shame that Otto only ever won a single Stanley Cup, because he was a role player's role player. While Theoren Fleury was 5'6" and 160 pounds and played like he thought he was a foot tall, Joel Otto was legitimately 6'4" and 220 pounds...and played like he knew it. Otto may not have been the greatest finesse player, but he was able to use his size, tenacity, and occasionally downright meanness to win face-offs, win battles, and win games.
August 21 2015 01:00PM
Coming in at #11 on FlamesNation's annual top 20 prospects rankings is newly signed free-agent defenseman Kenney Morrison.