August 14 2013 08:36AM
In a mere three short weeks, after a seemingly endless summer break, Flames hockey will return. Well, sort of. All indications – including the CBA – are pointing to Flames rookie camp opening on September 3, most likely featuring the usual mix of unsigned junior draft picks and players on entry-level contracts.
The looming beginning of camp provides an opportunity to take a look at who's likely going to be in action, as well as provide a comparison to who made up the camp's roster when Jay Feaster began his tenure with the Flames.
August 13 2013 02:36PM
On paper, the Calgary Flames are one of the worst teams in the NHL heading into 2013-14. They have veterans who want to be traded as soon as possible, question marks in key areas (*cough* goaltending *cough*) and not a single elite player at any position. The roster certainly isn't "Edmonton over the last 5 years" bad, but Calgary is certainly one of the favorites to draft inside the top five next June.
However, the Flames aren't alone at the bottom of the barrel. Here are some teams whose fans could also spend the last three months of the regular season looking forward to the entry draft.
August 13 2013 09:47AM
The Rebuild has begun. So what do the Flames have by way of internal structure to help facilitate this venture?
During the course of a rebuild the emphasis is usually put on drafting and development. This is the most cost-effective method of acquiring talent and is the one constant in any rebuilding blueprint. Most teams have now realized that identifying and acquiring talent through the draft is important, but that turning a later-round pick into an actual NHL player pays dividends for the franchise in the long run. In an effort to make draft picks more efficient most teams have added heavily to their player development departments, something that was all but non-existent a decade or more ago.
August 12 2013 03:18PM
The most prominent method in evaluating players – both established and emerging – is by scouting them in-person. The method has its particular strengths and weaknesses, as you would expect. Over the past two seasons I've been contributing to the NHL Draft coverage over at The Hockey Writers and I've developed some observations based on my limited scouting experiences.
August 12 2013 09:45AM
When Jay Feaster said his marching orders were "to make the playoffs next year" in a season ending press conference, there were fears the club would go out and splash the cash in an ill-fated attempt to climb back up the Western Conference ladder. Of course, for all we know they tried that are we rebuked by everyone they talked to.
Still, it's worth wondering what a different, "competitive" Flames roster would look like in an alternate universe. Here's what I would have done in Feaster's shoes and Murray Edwards breathing down my neck.