July 12 2010 12:20PM
According to Rob Kerr, AHL puckstopper David Shantz has signed with the Manitoba Moose. A free agent signing by the Heat last year, Shantz started the season in the ECHL, but ended up as the Heat's starter at the end of year and into the playoffs owing the struggles of Leland Irving and Matt Keetley.
I was asked several times in comments and in emails why Shantz didn't appear in any of my prospect profiles back in March and June. The truth is, Shantz was never truly a Flames prospect. His one year contract with the organization was "AHL only", meaning the Flames couldn't have called him up even if they had wanted to.
I'm guessing Sutter declined to re-sign him this off-season in order to allow more development space Irving and Keetley. The trade for Kenrik Karlsson also further limited Shantz's opportunities in the org.
July 11 2010 11:52AM
The Flames organizational strength in terms of pure depth is the back-end. That's a source of some comfort this summer, but italso raises a number of questions moving forward into the new season. Once Ian White is re-signed, the club will have 8 NHL defenders on one-way contracts (Bouwmeester, Regehr, Sarich, Staios, Giordano, Pardy, White, Kronwall) as well as at least one hopeful who could probably make the team out of camp (Pelech).
Should White score a $3.5M deal, Calgary will have about $22M committed on the blueline.
Here's how things stand if nothing major changes between now and training camp -
July 09 2010 09:00AM
According to Russian journalist and twitterer Alessandro Seren Rosso, Lokomotiv is considering signing boat anchor Ales Kotalik.
Should that happen, it would take immense pressure off of Darryl Sutter to find a place to stash Kotalik's burdensome contract for the next two years. It would alo render sending Steve Staios to the minors a bit more probable this October. More good news.
It wouldn't surprise me if Sutter has gently prodded Kotalik to look for options elsewhere this summer (it's the KHL or the AHL, Ales). If that happens, Darryl will take his place next to lucky Lou in New Jersey as a guy with the uncanny ability to shed his cap errors. Of course, I'd prefer he not make them in the first place, but at least it seems he can slide out of them when they happen.
In terms of real money, I'm not sure if this would be a "loan" where the Flames would still owe Ales his salary, or an outright "suspension" where his departure means total financial relief. First, we'll have to see if the signing actually happens and then assess the details afterwards.
July 08 2010 04:05PM
According to twitter reports, it looks like Sutter has found someone willing to make balloon animals. Ironically, it's Jay Feaster, the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning team that defeated the Flames in the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.
That sounds like a good resume, of course, but frankly I'm unimpressed by Feaster. His team slid into terrible territory soon after winning the cup and his writings at the Hockey News since being deposed have caused me to both laugh derisively and raise my eyebrows more than once.
So, yeah...color me less than thrilled.
July 08 2010 10:56AM
The NHL's first week of free agency has passed with nary an ESPN special in sight, but that doesn't mean that it's been without interest. This week in the round-up, we'll review the fall-out from the Flames' attempt to recreate, well, something or other, as well as news from other clubs, and I'll have a look at the Globe and Mail's series on the potential for new Canadian franchises.