As the month of August threatens to turn into September, the National Hockey League and its players appear no closer to labour peace than they were a month ago. Despite this, the hockey world continues to turn.
Here’s what going on related to your Calgary Flames…
WHL CAMPS OPEN
Western Hockey League clubs have begun to arrive at training camps and, to the shock of nobody, Flames prospect Sven Baertschi is not in Portland. Baertschi is technically eligible to play for the Portland Winterhawks as a player with a 1992 birthday, in part because the 13th overall pick plans to turn pro and in part because the Hawks are only able to have three 20-year-old players after mid-October.
They have five 20-year-olds in camp who aren’t Sven Baertschi.
The Quebec Remparts finished their pre-season scheduled this weekend, which is relevant because the Flames actually have a prospect in the Q. Blueliner Ryan Culkin played in three of the Remparts’ four pre-season games, notching three assists, a plus-three rating and a major penalty for a check to the head.
The Remparts begin their regular season on September 21.
EUROPEAN TROPHY TOURNAMENT
HIFK Helsinki, the home of Flames prospects Markus Granlund and Joni Ortio, is one of 32 teams participating in the European Trophy tournament – which began earlier this month and concludes in December. While the team hasn’t been amazing in the tournament (they have a single regulation win so far) there have been some strong performances by the two Flames hopefuls.
Granlund has two goals and two assists in three games (he missed one of the games due to military obligations) while Ortio has a shutout, a 1.52 goals against average and a .951 save percentage in two starts (he won once and lost once).
HIFK plays a home-and-home against Jokerit next week before ramping up for regular season SM-Liiga play. We’ll have more updates as things progress.