Bright Spots - Mark Giordano

Kent Wilson
August 16 2010 10:38AM

DALLAS - NOVEMBER 04:  Defenseman Mark Giordano #5 of the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center on November 4, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

There's no getting around the fact that last season was a big disappointment for the Calgary Flames. Many of the big money players and notable acquisitions had off-years. The team missed the post-season for the first time under Sutter as GM. The club boasted one of the very worst offences in the entire NHL.

Of course, there were a few enduring bright spots last year. In this post, the first of a series, we'll look at perhaps the single best silver lining - the play of Mark Giordano.

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On Team Building and the Fourth Line

Kent Wilson
August 13 2010 11:27AM

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03:  Sami Lepisto #18 of the Phoenix Coyotes is checked by Nigel Dawes #15 of the Calgary Flames during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on December 3, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Flames 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

For a long time now - certainly since the league expanded to 30 teams - the fourth forward unit has been the place to ditch the least capable even strength players on the roster. Usually that means checkers and goons, although the odd doddering vet and fresh faced rookie makes an appearance occassionally. This was mostly pragamatics: a combination of dilution of player talent, a need to budget and the recoginition that playing the worst guys the least is a good thing.

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August 12 News and Notes

Robert Cleave
August 13 2010 07:07AM

                                         

 

After an unavoidable delay due to life's usual intrusions, the round-up returns. This week, the Flames re-up their elder statesman, Ilya Kovalchuk is on the loose, and Tomas Kaberle's Leaf days might be numbered.

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Flames Sign Conroy

Pat Steinberg
August 11 2010 03:00PM

DALLAS - NOVEMBER 04:  Center Craig Conroy #24 of the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center on November 4, 2009 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Calgary Flames have signed free agent forward Craig Conroy to a one year, two way contract, basically ensuring Conroy will get to 1000 games in a Flames uniform.  The deal is for the league minimum salary, and with what he brings on and off the ice, there is little downside to it.

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Picking Your 13th Forward

Kent Wilson
August 10 2010 10:10AM

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08: Sean Bergenheim #20 of the New York Islanders prepares for a face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena on April 8, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Islanders 7-3. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

 

Although the Flames currently have 13 NHL forwards under contract, one of them is Ales Kotalik who is the most likely candidate to be cast into purgatory should the club fail to shed salary in some other fashion come October 1. So assuming Kotalik makes his Abbotsford/KHL/SEL debut this season, the Flames will have one open roster spot up for grabs.

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