The Calgary Flames with and without Mikael Backlund

arii
May 15 2015 11:00AM

People have a tendency to get distracted and/or focused on shiny new toys. This can lead to older, less shiny toys being disregarded, cast away as "not as awesome" or something else silly, even though they're still friggin' great toys.

In this scenario, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett are shiny new toys. The pair of extremely high draft picks and extremely young centres are expected to one day develop into elite talent and lead the Flames to the promised land.

Mikael Backlund is the less shiny toy, and not rightfully so. He's been around so long and never scored enough points to people's liking, so some find it easy to dismiss him (like that time Markus Granlund got nine points in 10 games, a thing that did not happen again).

They're wrong. Backlund is crucial to the Flames' success. With the team growing and young, high end talent stepping in, he's more important than ever.

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #6 Dennis Wideman

Ryan Pike
May 15 2015 09:20AM

There was a time, not long ago, where Dennis Wideman may have been regarded as the biggest waste of cap space on the Calgary Flames roster.

Reports were that last summer, the Flames did everything they could to rid themselves of his contract. They couldn't, and luckily for them, Wideman responded with his best offensive season in years. In the locker room, he seemed jovial and much more at-ease than he had in years past. It came across in his play, particularly down the stretch as he and Kris Russell were heavily relied-upon with Mark Giordano on the sidelines.

But offensive numbers aren't everything. How was Wideman's season on the whole?

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
May 15 2015 06:45AM

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Todd McLellan and Oilers real close, will there be an Eakins and Leafs reunion, Flames season recap and stockpile of draft picks, Eddie Lack could be on the move, summer plans, NHL draft, free agency, playoffs and more in this weeks Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.

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2014-15 By The Numbers: #5 Mark Giordano

Ryan Pike
May 14 2015 03:00PM

Mark Giordano nearly won the Norris this season.

If not for a bizarre injury three-quarters through the season in New Jersey, which saw his bicep torn off the bone, Giordano would've probably been crowned the NHL's top defender. Instead, he remains uncrowned despite two stellar partial seasons.

But just how good was Giordano this season? (Spoiler: pretty damn good.)

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General manager for a year, it's time for Brad Treliving to establish his own identity

arii
May 14 2015 01:00PM

When Brad Treliving first came on as the Flames' GM, there was immediate speculation that he would ultimately be a puppet for President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke. It made perfect sense to the conspiracy theorist, after all: Burke is a very well-known name in hockey, and he has a reputation for being rather vocal, headstrong, and getting his way.

So despite claims from Burke that he just wanted to step away and let Treliving do his job, there was a questioning air around the rookie GM every time a move was made. It was especially strong at the start of his tenure, but as the season went on and not a lot happened, it gradually began to fade.

With the Flames' season over, and Treliving' postseason presser with it, he seems to be firmly in the driver's seat.

Now that he's out of Burke's shadow, this off-season will be crucial in establishing Treliving's identity. 

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