August 10 2013 10:47AM
The Calgary Flames will enter next season as one of the favorites to finish last in the league. The club lacks offensive fire power, will probably be playing kids at key positions and its goaltending is a complete enigma. If everything breaks right, the Flames might be competitive night-to-night, but it's much more likely to be a long, painful winter here in Calgary.
Which doesn't mean there won't be reasons to watch. Ironically, I've found a lot of fans are actually more interested and optimistic about the team than they have been in a long time, if only because this year represents a new dawn which has been too long delayed. The overall record won't matter as much as the development of certain key pieces.
With that, here's what I'm looking forward to this year:
August 09 2013 09:17AM
One of the more interesting debates that has arisen of late, particularly with the improvement in Calgary's drafting, is how to rate prospects. For example, when I say that Johnny Gaudreau is the best Flames prospect, what does that mean and how do I come to that conclusion?
In the interest of throwing fuel on that particular debate, over the next while we'll be touching on a few different methods of assessing young talent. To kick things off, let's look at NHL Points Equivalence, or NHLE, one of the most relied-upon statistical measures used to evaluate prospects, particularly across different leagues.
August 08 2013 12:41PM
The inevitable struggles of the Calgary Flames will bring on endless articles about coaching, with plenty romanticizing certain styles. Given how bad Calgary will almost certainly be this year, there will be endless words spilled on accountability, and plenty of them coming from the mouth of Bob Hartley, who has a reputation of being a bit hardnosed on the "accountability" thing.
August 08 2013 09:40AM
1. Where he started
So Christian Roatis wrote a voluminous post "Defending Jay Feaster" this week and it got a lot of very deserved attention. Personally, I'm not sure Feaster necessarily needs defending because he's in a job where he is going to receive criticism a lot of the time almost no matter what he does since that's how the rebuild process usually goes; there's a reason most guys that oversee the beginnings of such actions — Steve Tambellini, etc. — are heavily embattled and tend not to be able to keep their jobs long enough to see their work in the trenches come to fruition.
August 07 2013 12:28PM
Christian's lengthy defense of Jay Feaster has garnered a lot of comments, but I'd nevertheless like to add a few more here.
I'll start by saying Feaster's tenure is brief enough that the fairest grade we can assign him is "NA", or incomplete. Feaster has only been in the big chair since the middle of 2010 and much of his work was done while struggling beneath the wreckage of Darryl Sutter's descent into madness. Because of the make-up of the team when he took the reins, as well as some budget issues and the recent lock-out, the Calgary Flames have only played about two seasons worth of games during Feaster's watch. That's not a lot of information and opportunity for a manager to work with.