July 12 2009 12:00AM
Things are shaping up to be interesting at both the major and minor league levels for the Flames organization heading into the new season. The majority of the off-season will be spent analyzing the former so let's take a brief look at latter.
Abbotsford will be the third iteration of the Calgary owned/operated AHL team since Sutter took over the team. The Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Kinghts lasted a couple of seasons before moving to Quad Cities this past year. Each version of the Flames farm team has been mediocre or worse for various reasons, primary amongst which was a dearth of high quality prospects in the system. The rare impact youngster that has appeared on the org's radar has spent little or no time are the minor level (Boyd, Phaneuf) while other high draft picks have fizzled (Chucko).
There has been a concerted effort by Sutter to shore up farm's ranks early this summer, indicating an impetus to make the Abbotsford move a successful one. Less than a month into free agency, Darryl has already signed minor league veterans Jamie Lundmark, Kyle Greentree, Riley Armstrong, Jason Jaffray, Staffan Kronwall and Garth Murray. These are the actions of a GM weary of his minor team missing the play-offs I think.
July 11 2009 12:48AM
The name Joe Sakic and the word "class" have appeared in the same sentence countless times since Burnaby Joe's retirement announcement on Thursday. In this case, the term doesn't begin to describe him. It's an understatement.
July 09 2009 08:44AM
What kind of player is a league-average goaltender? How do goaltenders in the Northwest Division stack up?
July 08 2009 10:30PM
After touching on the off-season activities of the Wild and Avalanche in a previous entry, we now discuss those other three teams in the Northwest Division.
July 08 2009 02:27PM
Oh yes, the cap hit the Philadelphia Flyers incurred for Chris Pronger on that seven-year deal seemed big, especially because he's 34 years old already. But what the hell, right? If he retired at any point in the final three or four years, it would cost them next to nothing, right?
Well, the NHL doesn't think so, and the fallout is a cautionary tale all NHL teams should really keep an eye on.