News and Notes – August 30 2015

It’s September on Tuesday and the Calgary Flames rookies are preparing to head to town for camp. With the rookie camp likely opening on September 10 in preparation for the Penticton tournament, expect things to get pretty busy in a short while.

But right now, here’s a quick rundown of what’s making minor waves in the Flames world.

-Young Rushan Rafikov finally made his KHL debut this past week for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the team that drafted him in that league. He proved to be too good for the VHL last year, playing really well and putting up good numbers for HK Ryazan in the secondary pro league. His first couple KHL games have been a little uneven.

  • He was +1 with a minor penalty in 11:28 in their 2-0 win over Lada Togliatti on August 27
  • He was -1 in 5:27 in their 3-1 win over Ak Bars Kazan on August 29

Lokomotiv is carrying nine defensemen right now and they typically dress eight, so there’s a chance that the younger players on the team won’t get very much ice time – like Rafikov did in the second game. Rafikov has a two-year deal with the KHL club through the 2016-17 season.

Devin Setoguchi’s try-out with the Toronto Maple Leafs has been formalized, and now he’s doing the media rounds a bit in Toronto, discussing where it all went wrong for him. The good news is that he’s several months clean and sober, which is great for him and a tremendous accomplishment.

He admitted that his tenure in Calgary was less than stellar because of off-ice issues – and what he seemed to categorize as his own bad attitude about his play and ice-time. He had zero points in a dozen games in Calgary, where he was a healthy scratch as often as he played over the first two months of the season. He was demoted to the AHL in late November and had 10 points in 19 games for the Adirondack Flames. He missed all of January and the majority of February with injury, and reportedly went to rehab in April.

In short: it was a rough year for Setoguchi. He didn’t seem to be a fit on this team, but hopefully things work out well for him in Toronto.

While Setoguchi has seemingly found a landing spot, Curtis Glencross is without a deal. Glencross departed the Flames at the trade deadline – helpfully waiving his no-trade clause – as he headed to Washington in exchange for a pair of draft picks. The Sun’s Eric Francis chatted with Glencross recently, and among other things, it seems like he regrets his decision to re-sign with the Flames for $2.55 million per season rather than push for more money.

Glencross played a really hard, physical style of game, and unfortunately it took its toll on him. He was definitely not in the team’s plans as last season wore on and it’s disappointing that he can’t find an NHL gig anywhere, but you’ve got to give him credit for waiving his no-trade, as the picks they acquired helped them get Dougie Hamilton. Say what you will about Glencross as a player, but he keeps on giving.

The 2015-16 NHL season preview magazines are beginning to hit newsstands. The Sports Forecaster has the Flames finishing 2nd in the Pacific (behind Los Angeles but ahead of Anaheim). The Hockey News has the Flames finishing 3rd (behind Anaheim and Los Angeles). Both magazines mention Sam Bennett as a Calder contender and note that the Flames will be a deeper team than in 2014-15.

-Finally, Adam Ollas Mattsson and Oliver Kylington are representing Sweden in the Four Nations Cup over in Russia. The statistics for the tournament are virtually non-existent, but for now, here’s a full video of the first game against Russia. Ollas Mattsson is #7, Kylington is #4.

  • MattyFranchise

    I agree with Hockey News for the standings. Third in the division with Anaheim winning it again and LA bouncing back to take second place.

    Both wildcards will likely go to Central teams.

  • everton fc

    I just read in the Ottawa Sun that Treliving did talk to Glencross and his agent about coming back to Calgary since season’s end. I found myself wondering where he’d fit? Would he be a better fit that Mason Raymonf, not the left side? (I imagine I’ll get some thumbs down for this, but it’s not what I’d prefer, just wondering out loud why BT would talk to Glencross again)

    I do think the Oilers would be wise to consider Glencross, but I don’t know how deep they are on the left-side without doing some surface-level research. Glencross might also “fit” with the Jets or the Leafs.

    • Trevy

      It’s true BT had originally inquired about the possibility of Glencross returning, but then that was all squashed when they went out and aquired Frolik. Thankfully common sense prevailed!

  • loudogYYC

    Talking about how he regrets not pushing for more money 4 years ago seems like such a Glencross thing to do. Specially at this stage in the off-season without a contract, instead of taking the opportunity to say something positive he goes and whines to the press about something that can’t be changed.

    I hope he finds a team before the season starts, but I’m sure glad he’s no longer around the new and improved Flames.

    • Slowmo

      So true. Part of that old guard and I couldn’t be happier that he and the rest of the country club gang are gone.

      I’ve said it before. Glencross took less money in order to stay close to home and the ranch and get a NMC. All part of the bargaining process. He has no right to whine, nobody twisted his arm.

      • Slowmo

        I totally agree about him wanting to stay close to home…it got spun into a “hometown discount” pr. bluff on his part.

        Surprised about The Guch story…I didn’t know his time in Calgary was so difficult,personally,for him. Hope he gets another shot in TO

  • Colin.S

    Hopefully the worst is past for Setoguchi and he gets his life and career back on track. Toronto is probably the best place for him to get a spot as well.

    As for GlennX, LOL LOL LOL. Let that be a lesson for everyone here. King and the Flames made a nice pitch to GlennX to take the home town discount and how’d that work out for him, now they want you to pay for an arena because of home town pride I wonder how that’s gonna work out. Also this should be a lesson to all other NHL players, you only get to make money for so long, take what you can get.

  • RedMan

    Glencross is a victim of the salary cap, which has caught up with teams fast.

    Teams signing big 10 million dollar contracts are going to be in tight, teams that can fill the roster in with quality young guys from the development system are going to rise to the top.

    I understand Glencross’ bitterness, but voicing it doesn’t help his cause.

    As for Setoguchi – let’s hope he stays clean and sober. some things are bigger than hockey.

  • Just for reference, Treliving talking with Glencross about a potential return to Calgary was BEFORE the Frolik signing (according to Eric Francis’ article), so I highly highly doubt he’s still having discussions with the Flames.

  • RedMan

    Kylington with a goal and two assists today against the Czechs. By my count, that’s four points in three games (he didn’t have any against Finland yesterday, though he may not have played).

  • supra steve

    I felt a bit bad for Curtis the second I heard the dollars and term on his last deal. I completely agree that $10million is an unbelievable payday for anyone to have earned over the last 4 years, but knowing that he probably would have fetched $15million or better had he gone the UFA route…. Also he would probably still be under contract for this season at a high rate had he signed elsewhere four years ago, because he probably could have got a 5 or 6 year deal as a UFA. Sorry, but I did feel bad for him then, and in his situation now. Worked out very well for the Flames though. Live and learn Curtis.

  • Slowmo

    It would be my bet had he played a good quality of hockey some one would have picked him up I guess he forgot to take a lesson from Oli Jokinen and play good when your contract renew is up get that smoken contract and vanish again. There should be some protection for the teams as well in other words if you get a contract and you don’t produce to what you did to get the contract there should be a way for the contract to be voided. The players don’t care if the team falls as long as they get there pay. Curtis got 2.5 then got traded because he wasn’t doing his job the proof is in the pudding no one wants to resign him.