April 24 2014 09:39AM
1. Should they stay or should they go?
The Flames are in a position that I'm pretty sure few NHL teams have encountered in recent years: The number of meaningful contributors that need to be signed this summer is extremely small. In all, among guys who played for the big club this season, only about a dozen are free agents with expiring contracts, and the vast majority of those guys are going to shuttle back and forth between the AHL and NHL next season.
April 23 2014 12:43PM
The playoffs are a week in and here's your first playoff pool update. If you didn't enter, shame on you. If you did sign up, it's time to brag about how smart you are. Unless, of course, your pool looks like mine where I go out and pick players that have completely fallen off the face of the earth. I'm looking at you Nyquist. *shakes fist*
April 23 2014 09:30AM
One of the things we all learned this year is that the line-up card seems to matter, sometimes.
Mikael Backlund's play (and confidence) found another gear when he found himself wearing the alternate captain's A, and on several occasions Bob Hartley attempted to channel his team's emotions by playing specific players to start the game.
Once it cost him $25,000.
On other occasions, it gave the team's first few shifts a bit of a jump. Here's a quick glance at how Calgary's line-up card - the starters and listed captains - fared throughout the 2013-14 season.
April 22 2014 10:14AM
Early this year, Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke appeared (as he often does) at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. If that sounds like a weird fit, it kind-of is - Burke has seemingly embraced the role of being the old crank shaking his fist at those punk kids doing analytics on his lawn.
However, his musings about the challenges of a salary capped NHL did lead to him - as other execs in other sports have done - waxing poetic about the importance of getting contributions from players on entry-level contracts.
April 21 2014 09:00AM
When you’re talking about a 5-foot-8, 160-pounder (a measurement that
falls somewhere between his what’s listed on the Flames website and what
he suggests he is), the word big doesn’t come up very often.
For Flames forward Paul Byron, it’s come up a lot lately.