June 09 2010 10:55AM
Behind Mikael Backlund, Matt Pelech is the Flames prospect closest to make the leap to the big leagues. In fact, some could argue after three years in the minors, Pelech is closer to NHL ready than the young Swede. A first round choice from Calgary's disastrous 2005 draft, Pelech has been held back by depth and injuries. He'll turn 23 years old this September and is nearing the critical point when a prospect goes from "viable future NHLer" to "fringe player". The obstacles facing him at this point, however, aren't trivial.
June 08 2010 09:39AM
A common refrain around town is that Darryl Sutter had to rebuild the Flames prospect pool from scratch when he took over in 2003-04. The perception, I think, comes from the messainistic glow that infuses Sutter's tenure, specifically when it comes to the early years. The truth of the matter is the Flames prospect pool wasn't totally absent talent and, in fact, has yet to markedly improved.
June 07 2010 05:26PM
What a wonderful hockey match last night. Hat tip to Ross Creek for the photograph suggestion.
June 07 2010 10:37AM
If I was asked to identify a sleeper prospect in the Flames organization, I'd probably choose T.J. Brodie. A fourth round pick in 2008, I knew next to nothing about Brodie before watching him in his first Flames rookie training camp (one that featured a rookie tounament between Oilers, Canucks and Flames kids).To tell the truth, I wasn't even really looking for him on the ice when camp began.
He managed to impress the hell out of me during that limited viewing. Highly mobile, Smart and poised with the puck, Brodie stood out almost every every shift of the exhibition games I saw. He instantly jumped to the head of the line of Flames prospects, at least in my estimation. He justified my admiration the very next season, scoring 12 goals and 50 points in just 63 games for the Saginaw Spirit, a 20 point improvement over his draft season.
June 07 2010 07:26AM
So, as Kent does an unreal job of preparing us here at Flames Nation for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, I'll start getting us set for the other big summer date on the Calgary calendar, that being July 1st and the opening of free agency. Over the next 15 days or so, we'll profile Calgary's potential unrestricted free agents along with looking at potential targets and team needs that could be addressed through free agency.