January 30 2016 10:00AM
The fate of Calgary Flames blueliner Dennis Wideman is up in the air right now. The 32-year-old is presently suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League for his collision with linesman Don Henderson, pending a hearing on Tuesday.
The specifics of Wideman's status as a suspended player, along with winger Micheal Ferland coming off of the injured reserve, could greatly complicate Calgary's roster moves when the All-Star Break ends.
January 30 2016 08:00AM
1. Where we're at
As we round the bend into February, it comes with the tacit acknowledgement that this is when college hockey starts to get Serious. Teams really only have a month left in their regular seasons at this point, and at this point we have a pretty clear picture of what teams "are," or at least, where they're going to end up near the end of the year.
This is also true of players. Those who have been lucky in terms of PDO for the first 24 or so games of the season aren't likely to be victimized by cold runs that are going to hurt their season point totals too badly, and those who have struggled to produce despite some solid play otherwise aren't likely to mount any sort of major improvement in their numbers.
With this in mind, I figured it was as good a time as any to give y'all an update on the two Flames prospects I see on a regular basis: controversial first-round forward Mark Jankowski of Providence College, and steady Canada World Junior-er defenseman Brandon Hickey of Boston University.
January 29 2016 02:00PM
Don Cherry, for the seventh-straight year, suffered defeat at the hands of Bobby Orr at the annual BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver yesterday.
The annual game brings together the top 40 draft-eligible prospects from around the CHL, selected by all 30 NHL teams. NHL Central Scouting then takes those 40 players and divides them into two even teams.
This year's game was interesting, and not for the usual reason of having stars like Connor McDavid participate. In fact, the expected top three picks (Auston Matthews, Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrick Laine) all play in Europe.
It was interesting to see who was going to impress. Most were expecting great games from the expected 4-7th picks such as Jakob Chychrun, Alex Nylander and Michael McLeod.
And while those players had good games - McLeod even earning player of the game for Team Cherry - it was the guys nobody really expected to headline the game that ended up doing just that.
January 29 2016 12:00PM
We all love to play armchair GM. Don't even deny it. Whether you're nerdy enough to write a blog or just nerdy enough to read one, we're all thinking about the Flames pretty often, and a lot of our mental energy is spent thinking about how to make them better.
That's what you think about with a rebuilding team, right? "What moves could I make to fix them and make them better for the future?"
Well, now I'm here to beseech you to come here and tell us your ideas. All of them. And if they're really good - they probably still won't happen in real life (though if they do, imagine the bragging rights you'll have) - but you might just win a $50 gift card to Violent Gents, and that's still good.
January 29 2016 10:00AM
At the start of the new year we really couldn't be sure if the Flames would be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. We head into the All-Star Break a month later with much more clarity: Calgary sits eight points out of playoff spot but only two points out of last place in the league.
It's not over. But it's over. Absent a miracle, the Flames are going to miss the dance this year.
So sellers it is. The good news is the club has a few UFA's they can put up for auction (and maybe a few RFAs too). The bad news is we can't really be sure what the possible return will be on any of these guys. Or if there will be a return at all.
In the spirit of this recent JW article at OilersNation, I took a look at who the Flames have available and whether or not the club should look to put them up on the trade block this year.