– Consensus around town is that Mark Giordano is the front-runner for the captaincy. He fits the bill. He’s the active leader in games-played and plays a heart-and-soul style of game that likely inspires his teammates. He’s also generally pretty good with the media, usually shooting straight and not dodging questions. He’ll be 30 when the season starts, which is roughly the same age most Flames captains have been when they don the C – Lanny McDonald and the late Brad McCrimmon were both that age. The four youngest Flame captains were Brad Marsh (22), Todd Simpson, Tom Lysiak and Jim Peplinski (all 24). The worst captain was Todd Simpson. Period.
– For the curious, Alex Tanguay is the current active all-time Flames scorer with 284 points – approximately 811 points behind Jarome Iginla’s 1095 points wearing the Flaming C. Curtis Glencross is the active goal-scoring leader with 93, well behind Iginla’s 525. Suffice it to say that the majority of franchise records held by Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff should be safe for quite awhile.
– Speaking of Kiprusoff, don’t expect any news on his status until early June. The buyout window will open on June 15, so the Flames will likely want to know if his $5.833 million cap hit will still be on the books when the season begins. If Kiprusoff elects to retire, his deal will come off the books and Calgary’s plans may change. Either way, the first week of June will probably hold news of one kind or another.
– In terms of their picks in the latter part of the first round, I’ve watched a lot of junior hockey this year. I’ll go into a bit more detail in the next few weeks, but players I would hope the Flames get include Team USA World Junior standout Ryan Hartman (he’s a pain in the ass to play against), Rimouski defenseman Samuel Morin (he’s six-foot-seven!) and Edmonton Oil Kings center Curtis Lazar.
– Another name to keep in mind is University of New Hampshire defenseman Brett Pesce. He’s ranked 40th by Central Scouting, he’s big (six-foot-three) but a bit lean, but he’s American. He played with Connor Hardowa, who was invited to the Flames development camp last summer and played in a pair of games on an amateur try-out in Abbotsford following the completion of his senior year at UNH.
– Flames prospects are still involved in playoffs. Portland’s Tyler Wotherspoon and Edmonton’s Laurent Brossoit, coincidentally old pals that have both recently signed pro deals with the Flames and are likely in their last junior year, are playing in the WHL Finals. The teams split the pair of games in Portland and will renew acquaintances on Tuesday night in Edmonton. If you’re in Shelbyville, tickets are still available, while the rest of us will have to watch on Shaw TV starting at 7pm. The winning team moves on to Saskatoon for the Memorial Cup at the end of the month.
– The Saskatoon Blades host this year’s Memorial Cup, so Michael Ferland will suit up for his second trip to the big dance. The other two teams will be decided soon. In the OHL, the Barrie Colts are leading the powerhouse London Knights 1-0. Over the in the QMJHL, the Halifax Mooseheads are already up 2-0 on the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and haven’t lost a game in the playoffs yet. The Mooseheads have Nate MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, the Colts have a more veteran-laden team with Anthony Camara and Mark Scheifele, but they also have 2014 NHL Draft hopeful Aaron Ekblad, who’s just amazing.
– Reto Berra (Switzerland), Joni Ortio (Finland), T.J. Brodie (Canada), Jiri Hudler (Czech Republic) and Chris Butler (USA) are all at the World Hockey Championship in Helinski and Stockholm for the next week or two. This year’s tournament is, to be blunt, a bit meaningless in the grand scheme of things, as the seedings for the 2014 Olympics have already been set and teams are just playing to figure out who’ll be on their Olympic rosters. Despite missing the tournament with a groin injury, I’d expect Sven Baertschi to get consideration for the Swiss Olympic team.
Don’t forget to play StreakCred the new playoff pool game from the Nation Network. You can win a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany among the awesome prizes up for grabs. Only $20 and a portion of the proceeds go to Edmonton Charities.
Sign up here.