August 30 2013 12:01PM
We've talked a lot about TJ Brodie this season. It's been impossible not to - the 4th round pick has gone from a competent third pairing defender to a probable top pairing guy in the space of a year. All before the age of 23. He led the blueline in relative possession last season and is poised to become a cornerstone of the rebuild on the back-end.
I wanted to take a look at his season to illustrate how things changed for Brodie as Bob Hartley gained confidence in the youngster. His average ice time was 20:13 by the end of the year, but that probably underestimates his season ending role, as well as what we can expect from him this upcoming year. This inquiry will also illustrate why I was personally advocating for a long-term contract for Brodie this summer as opposed to the actual bridge contract that was negotiated.
August 29 2013 01:59PM
I noted in my random thoughts piece yesterday that one of the key questions for the Flames this year is whether Sven Baertschi is a capable NHLer or not. On that note, Christian Roatis recently went over a long list of comparable youngsters to try to determine just what a reasonable expectation would be for the 20 year old this season. A follow-up showed most FN readers expect him to settle between 40-50 points.
Of course, besides his own talent and effort level, the one thing that will determine whether Baertschi fulfills those expectations is his role on the club. Scorers obviously need ice time to put up points. With that mind, I investigated a list of kids who scored at around the expected rate (40-50 points over 82 games) around their 20-21 year old season since 2003-04. That yielded a list of 29 names:
August 29 2013 09:26AM
1. I hate summer
The good news is that this is the very last Five Things I will have to write in the month of August, when absolutely nothing happens and everyone just complains, mainly about how there is absolutely nothing happening. The better news is that hockey is just over the horizon, with the Flames set to participate in the Young Stars Classic in Penticton once again this season, starting at the end of next week.
August 28 2013 08:38PM
This article was orginally published at the Sporting News
When Team Canada's management group, coaching staff and 45 players got together for the first time on Sunday, there was a game plan of sorts set up for the following days that consisted mainly of implementing systems and familiarizing the players with not only the bigger ice surface, but each other as well.
August 28 2013 12:48PM
The Calgary Flames organization tied up the last two off-season loose-ends today, inking both Carter Bancks and Steve Begin to one-year AHL deals. The fact that these aren't NHL contract clarifies the delay in signing both players - clearly the org wanted to keep both guys around but didn't want to commit any NHL contract space to either of them, while I assume the players were pressing for more.