The 2013-14 National Hockey League season officially kicks off tomorrow with three games and we here at FlamesNation are excited to bring you a full 82-game look at your Calgary Flames. In addition, we’re rolling out some new-ish features here and there, beginning with the Weekly Ignition, a look every Monday at the week past and the week ahead for the Flames.
THE PRESS ROUND-UP
Here’s a quick look at the handful of Flames-related pieces you should have read in the past week.
- The Herald’s George Johnson ponders Sven Baertschi’s standing in the Flames organization after a so-so training camp.
- The Herald’s Scott Cruickshank chatted with Calgary’s other hometown boy on the Flames, T.J. Galiardi, about Joe Colborne’s arrival.
- The Sun’s Wes Gilbertson breaks down the crowded center-ice position following Colborne’s arrival.
- At the Flames site, Torie Peterson looks at the general approach the Flames are taking to the first year of the rebuild. Of note, you can watch the video of the much-discussed press scrum with Jay Feaster from Friday afternoon.
- Over at The Hockey Writers, I examined the various pros and cons of keeping Sean Monahan on the NHL roster.
- Pretty interesting in light of the Oilers claiming another pugilist off waivers from Dallas after their first guy got hurt, Kent looked at the role of fighters in today’s NHL.
A LOOK BACK
The Flames finished off their pre-season with a 4-1 win over the Rangers on Monday and a 3-2 overtime loss to Phoenix on Wednesday. Following that, some cuts came down. Final roster moves to get the team down to its 23-man roster are expected later today.
The AHL’s Abbotsford Heat began their camp and had a strong single pre-season appearance, beating the Utica Comets. As of this writing, everyone who was originally assigned to Abbotsford from Flames camp is still there, with the exception of James Martin, Andy Taranto and Zach Davies, who’ve been sent to Alaska (ECHL).
Roughly every junior player that’s been sent back from Flames camp has had a good start to their season. Ryan Culkin was even named captain of the Quebec Remparts. Morgan Klimchuk, Coda Gordon, Keegan Kanzig, Brett Kulak and Emile Poirier are all alternate captains for their junior teams. (Bill Arnold of Boston College also wears the A.) There’s probably something to say here about the Flames drafting kids with leadership abilities.
A LOOK AHEAD
Hockey, in roughly every shape and form, begins this week.
The Flames visit Washington on Thursday and Columbus on Friday before heading home to play Vancouver on Sunday night. We’ll be all over the first full week of Flames hockey here at FN, so make sure to stop by.
In the minors, the Heat begin their regular season this Friday and Saturday on the road against the Lake Erie Monsters, Colorado’s AHL team. They don’t play a home game until October 11 against Milwaukee. The ECHL’s Alaska Aces begin their first year as a Flames affiliate on October 18.
The Canadian Hockey League has been underway for a few weeks, but the NCAA season gets things started this coming weekend. Of note, Flames sixth rounder Tim Harrison makes his college debut for Colgate against Ferris State on Saturday, while Boston College (Arnold and Gaudreau) plays an exhibition game against St. Francis Xavier on Sunday. Providence College (home to Jon Gillies and Mark Jankowski) opens things up on the 11th versus Minnesota State.
SUM IT UP
Strap yourselves in, folks, because the hockey season is about to get underway.