Talking Stats and Scouting with Craig Button

Ryan Pike
February 21 2014 02:00PM

(courtesy Elite Prospects)

It's no secret that drafting well is really tough. There's a lot of teams competing for a finite amount of young players, and at times it seems as if the amount of information out there about NHL Draft prospects is so chaotic to be entirely fruitful. To be honest, that's why I've always been really interested in learning about how teams draft and what goes into it.

In recent years, a lot of the discourse about drafting and player evaluation has been surrounding advanced (or "fancy") statistics. Are they useful? Are they junk? Are they somewhere in the middle?

After bumping into him at the CHL Top Prospects game last month, I had the opportunity to chat with Craig Button about this very topic. Button has a pretty long hockey resume - he was a scout with the Minnesota North Stars before they moved to Dallas, where he became head scout and got a Stanley Cup ring. He later served as Calgary Flames general manager between 2000 and 2003 and, after a brief stint with the Leafs, he moved into his current gig as the NHL Draft prospects guru for TSN.

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Canada/US Open Thread

Kent Wilson
February 21 2014 09:07AM

Canada is the putative favourite but the Americans have had the best results in the tournament so far. The winner with be showered with praise. The loser with be taunted and booed until my throat is sore!

Add your cheers and/or lamentations below.

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Cammalleri Trade Scenarios: LA

Christian Roatis
February 20 2014 02:29PM

(courtesy NHL/

He started the season with 9 goals and 13 points in 14 games after missing games due to a hand injury. The fan base collectively hollered "trade him now!" They didn't trade him. Since then, he's scored 4 times in 28 games, and now, it's likely that the Calgary Flames want to trade him. The circumstances surrounding Mike Cammalleri and his potential departure are odd, to say the least. It seems like every week, a "prominent hockey analyst" reports something different about the 31-year-old winger. New teams, new asking prices and new wrinkles in the situation enter the fray weekly. Reports a few weeks ago even suggested the Flames may no longer trade him all-together, and that an extension to remain a Flame was in the works. That, however, makes little sense for the team nor the player, so for this exercise we'll assume he's on his way out the door.

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Five things: Very tense

Ryan Lambert
February 20 2014 09:21AM


1. The Latvians

That was one hell of a thing.

Around the time the U.S. scored its final goal against Ondrej Pavelec to go up 4-1, I decided to switch over to the game that was far closer and therefore more interesting: Canada and Latvia. It should not, of course, had been either close or interesting. It should have been a bloodbath. And it's Canada's fault that it wasn't.

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News and Notes - February 19 2014

Ryan Pike
February 19 2014 05:16PM

The Calgary Flames returned to the Scotiabank Saddledome ice for the first time since the beginning of the Olympics this afternoon. Onlookers - and there was a shockingly large media contingent there - were treated to a surprisingly brisk 60-minute on-ice session.

Here's a quick rundown of the news of the day.

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