July 14 2011 10:51AM
In April, I wrote about the primary dilemma facing Flames fans and management - persistent mediocrity:
The Flames have exhausted all efforts to escape the NHL's growing middle class since the lock-out, trying desperately to leverage the peak years of Jarome Iginla, Robyn Regehr and Miikka Kiprusoff, without success. "Solidly middling!" is the hypothetical critical reception of Darryl Sutter's tenure - consistently able to beat up the lesser lights, never good enough to challenge the heavy weights. And now fans no doubt see the bright future promised by the 2003-04 cup run inexorably fading, the final step between their team and the venerated elite class of the league becoming insurmountable as their core stars age.
As such, a different kind of hopelessness grips the modern Flame fan relative to those in the late-'90's: the possibility of a never-ending cycle of mid-range finishes, mid-range draft picks and scrambles to make the post-season just to "see what happens". A gray, perpetual purgatory where ultimate success is denied but tantalizingly close enough to avoid sweeping away the vestiges of failed dreams to start anew.
July 14 2011 09:38AM
When the Philadelphia Flyers signed Jaromir Jagr, my initial reaction was that it was just another crazy transaction from Paul Holmgren, who has been the summer's most talked-about General Manager.
July 13 2011 02:44PM
The Fan960 via twitter reported today that the Calgary Flames have inked 27-year old defender Derek Smith, formerly of the Ottawa Senators organization. Smith appeared in nine games for the Sens last year, garnering one assist. The deal is reportedly two-way, with an NHL salary of $700k.
July 13 2011 01:12PM
After successfully not drowning or cramping up during my first triathlon sprint over the weekend, I spent Sunday and Monday catching up on the hockey world. I was shocked
not at all to see that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had once again done nothing to deter a GM from spouting off, found some interesting arbitration comparables, was perplexed at the reaction of some Oiler fans, heard that Toronto might be getting a new rink (and possibly another team) and the NHL has some realignment plans.
July 13 2011 11:49AM
Hockey Prospectus' writer Corey Pronman recently released his Flames top-10 prospects list. Pronman concentrates almost completely on the issues of prospects and amateur player procurement, so rather than simply post the list I decided to supplement his ranking with an interview discussing his methods and some of the particulars about the Flames system.