June 11 2013 01:01PM
The Calgary Flames only have two pending restricted free agents of serious importance this summer: Mikael Backlund and TJ Brodie. Last year, it was an open question whether Mikael would get another contract with the Flames after an injury and percentages hampered season. This year he got hurt again, but was clearly one of the best forwards on the ice in the games he managed to play. His re-signing shouldn't be an issue.
TJ Brodie is a slightly more interesting case. The 23-year old defender entered the season as a healthy scratch but rapidly worked his way up the depth chart before ultimately finishing the year as a fixture on the top pairing. Brodie didn't score a lot of points during his rapid ascent, but there's no question he's considered one of the brightest spots in the organization moving forward. He was voted the team's MVP and best defenseman in FN's year-end awards article last month.
June 11 2013 09:28AM
Usually the hype generated about the NHL Entry Draft in any given year is due to the top players in that class. Not much thought is given to those ranked outside of the Top 30, although if you looks back through previous drafts you'll find each class hosts a couple players who have become notable NHLers.
June 10 2013 12:51PM
On the heels of a lockout-shortened 2013 NHL season, we stats wonks can look at a silver lining of sorts – a 48-game schedule is a bit easier to compile situational data on than an 82-game one (although it's also less powerful). As an example, let's take a look at something that's always interested me, which players get on the ice the most when the game is on the line.
June 10 2013 10:41AM
Jarome Iginla's attempt to pull a Ray Bourque was put to rest by the Boston Bruins recently, a grimly ironic result after the whole "Iginla to the Bruins" kerfuffle. Some are no doubt pointing to karmic retribution, but, really, the post-season is where dreams get crushed without mercy all the time.
I don't wish Jarome any ill will and sincerely hope he manages to cap off his great career with a cup win at some point. What's more interesting from a Flames perspective is how Iginla fared in his new digs. Not as any sort of enduring indictment of the captain, you understad, but just because one of the most useful analytic gauges of a team and a player are when a guy switches clubs. This allows you to compare his pre-and-post outcomes in order to determine to what degree his failures or successes were team/circumstance based.
June 08 2013 01:41PM
Now that we've more or less determined what kind of shirt slogans we want for the upcoming FlamesNation Gear batch we're realeasing at the end of the month, I figured it was time to share some desgins to go with them. Here's a selection of what a reader has sent over so far (including the header graphic above):