Pre-Season FGD: A Double-Dip With the Oilers (7pm MT)

The beginning of honest-to-goodness, actual National Hockey League hockey is here!

Well, it’s pre-season hockey, but it’s NHL-sanctioned hockey with NHL officials with NHL rinks.

The 2015-16 pre-season begins today for the Calgary Flames, and they’re kicking it off in a way that’s become a bit of a tradition: a pair of split squad games with the Edmonton Oilers – one in Calgary at 7pm MT, one in Edmonton at 7pm MT.

The Calgary game is broadcast on Sportsnet 960 The Fan and has a video webcast on the Flames site, while the Flames site will also offer a broadcast of the game in Edmonton.


In both cities, the Flames have shuffled up their previous lines – Hartley noted yesterday that this was his plan, to try out different looks. Lines via our pal Pat Steinberg.


Gaudreau – Monahan – Hudler
Raymond – Bennett – Frolik
Ferland – Stajan – Poirier
Bollig – Shore – Smith

Giordano – Brodie
Wotherspoon – Hamilton
Kulak – Nakladal



Bouma – Backlund – Jones
Klimchuk – Granlund – Agostino
Van Brabant – Elson – Carroll
Mangiapane – Grant – Hathaway

Russell – Wideman
Wilson – Andersson
Kylington – Engelland


Some interesting defensive pairings here; I really like the sound of Wotherspoon and Hamilton, as it gives Wotherspoon the best chance to shine that he’ll probably get in the pre-season. Calgary sees three and a half NHL lines and a pretty stacked defense, while the crew heading to Edmonton is a bit more of an AHL group, albeit with a pretty decent (if young) defensive crew.


Lines for the other side, via the official Oilers website:


Pouliot – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Hendricks – Letestu – Korpikoski
Slepyshev – Yakimov – Klinkhammer
McRae – Khaira – Christoffer

Klefbom – Schultz
Reinhart – Gryba
Nurse – LaLeggia



Hall – McDavid – Purcell
Draisaitl – Lander – Yakupov
Hamilton – Miller – Pitlick
Gazdic – Winquist – Ford

Sekera – Fayne
Ference – Nikitin
Davidson or Hunt – Oesterle


Obviously, a bit more star-studded line-up in Edmonton than in Calgary. That’s keeping with tradition. But man, some of these defensive pairings look rough.


The Flames and Oilers have done split-squad openers in each of the past two seasons, and split them all. Here’s some recent split-squad history.

  • 2014: Edmonton wins 3-1 at home, Calgary wins 1-0 at home
  • 2013: Edmonton wins 3-2 in Calgary, Calgary wins 6-5 (OT) in Edmonton
  • 2011: Flames split pair of games with Vancouver.
  • 2010: Flames win both parts of a split-squad pairing with Vancouver.


It’s the pre-season! We get a chance to see Flames hockey, with the team playing live-fire games against actual hockey teams rather than intersquad scrimmages. The intensity will be ratcheted up.

But don’t fall to pieces about wins and losses. It’s the process that matters most over the next couple weeks.

But some wins over Edmonton sure would be nice.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    For those of you who missed it: Ferland went over to smarten up an Oiler early in the first.
    Nurse was near Ferland……. He would not even look at Ferland. He looked terrified.



  • mk

    BoA! BoA! The Flames’ d-pairings in Edmonton are really going to be thrown into the fire vs. McDavid/Hall and Draisaitl/Yakupov.

    Let’s show Shelbyville where the best team in Alberta lives. Go Flames Go!

  • prendrefeu

    On the positive both teams are setting these up to be “home crowd pleasers” – in that the opposing team is sending their AHL-squad against, more or less, the top of the crop for the home team. This makes the fans happy with their offensive output, after all most people care about scoring than they do defense (imo, unfortunate, I like defense a lot).

    So up in Edmonton the folks get to salivate at the McDavid show…
    and in Calgary the folks get to see the strong first line which shined last year, Bennett at center, Poirier, and pairings that have strong offense tendencies.

    Should be fun for everyone.
    Genuinely hoping no one gets injured on any team, despite the rising tensions between the Oilers and Flames squads. It’s pre-season… please no injuries!

    Go Flames Go!

  • JumpJet

    I was hoping to see Hudler with Bennet in a game. If you swap Hudler with Frolik that’s still two solid lines. I was also hoping Mangiapane would get a shot with some more skilled forwards, but he’s been able to create offense with whoever he plays with.

    I’m excited to see Wotherspoon get a real chance with a good partner and I’ll be keeping an eye out for Nakladal to see what he can do.