FN Offseason Plans

Brad Treliving and the Calgary Flames no doubt have some big summer plans: find a goalie, get rid of some deadweight and draft in the top three (fingers crossed) to say the least. FlamesNation plans to be there when all that happens, of course, but we have a collection of other series and projects up our sleeves as well. 

Here’s an overview of what we’re planning. Take a look and let us know what you think. 

The Itinerary

How Good Is…? In the spirit of my fawning article about Johnny Gaudreau, we will profile some of the Flames’ outstanding performers with a bit of background and noteworthy trivia.

Player evaluations – A post by post look at the Flames current roster. Consider this each guy’s 2015-16 report card. We could include a poll for readers to rate each player, too. 

Draft targets – We will of course engage in our annual tradition of looking at probable Flames first round and dark horse draft targets. Of course, this will be heavily dependent on the pending draft lottery, so expect these to kick off some time in May.

Flames prospect ranking – After the draft we will collectively take a look at the organization’s top-15 prospects. Each FN member will vote on a prospect ranking and the ultimate order will be determined by aggregating all of those rankings. Where will Jankowski place??

Free agent previews – Prior to the free agent frenzy we’ll look at potential signees given the Flames’ cap situation and needs.

FN Podcasts – We will try to make these at least a semi-regular occurrence (twice per month) in the off-season. If things take off, we will likely invite media guests and maybe some readers to participate. Furthermore: is there a particular day of the week we should aim to post these? Let us know!

Scouting and systems posts – We plan to look back at key systems and strategy play to determine what went right (or wrong) on the ice this year. We plan to look at either individual players (like Sean Monahan or Kris Russell) or certain game states (PP, PK, faceoffs).

The worst draft picks of history battle – Alex Plante or Matt Pelech? Mitch Moroz or Hunter Smith? Join us as we compare some of the more, uh, questionable draft picks by Nation teams in the past.

Writer Introduction posts – FN contributors will share their hockey and writing background to give you an idea of how and why they ended up here, arguing with strangers over advanced stats in comment sections.


So that’s what we have in tap. Sound good? Bad? Amazing? Terrible? Have any other bright ideas? Let us know in the comments.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    I love reading articles about how truly horrible the Oilers have been these past 10 years, especially with all the top draft picks in the lineup!
    How they compare to and surpass the other bad teams in NHL history.

    A series on that would make the summer fly by a lot quicker…

    As for Flames draft disasters I would suggest we do a deep dive into the 2014 draft.
    How the MacDonald/ Demko blunder will compare to the1990 Broduer/Kidd disgrace.

    Thank you in advance Kent.


  • SydScout

    Convince some of the commenters here to write a guest article.

    The articles are great, but equally so the comments (most of the time).

    Specifically, piscera.infada puts an interesting twist on comments and articles that I find insightful. But I’d also love to see Wally W pen a Backlund and Huska fan club article. It may be repetitive, but I dare say we’d get a few laughs out it.

    Also, would like to see an article on the Flames ownership and management structure. Probably too opaque to get a real view on that from the outside, but how decisions are made and approved is always fascinating to me.

  • wot96

    You could install a countdown clock on how long til Wideman’s contract is done. It’s not an article but it would give us a reason to smile every time we come here.

  • Backburner

    Sounds awesome!

    If you are looking for ideas, I would be interested in a break down of Calgary’s best/worst contracts, and how to get rid of them (buyout’s, trades etc.)

    If that is not already being tied into player evaluations/Free Agents.

    Thanks Kent.

  • Discosis

    Would love to read a piece about “bad contract” bingo. Basically taking a look at other teams bad contracts and whether exchanging bad deals might help both teams

  • amaninvan

    I’d like to see an honest evaluation of every player under contract for this organization, and his probability of finding a regular spot on this team (or not). Not necessarily the top prospects, as we all can agree Oliver, Rasmus, and Andrew will be eventual locks. But if/when/how Bill, Morgan, Freddie, Tyler, Patrick, etc will find their way on to the team is an interesting discussion.

    Thanks to Kent and all the FN crew for all the hard work. I look forward to continued reading throughout this busy off-season.

  • The Last Big Bear

    A Stockton post-season autopsy would be good to hear.

    The Flames are a rebuilding club, and their development team just laid a brick,, both individually and collectively.

    Lots of highly touted high-talent prospects put up shockingly bad numbers and made little visible progress. We’re inevitably told this is because they were playing a more responsible 2-way game, which doesn’t jive well with the fact that as a team they got taken to church by the rest of the AHL.

    So what’s the story? Unlike seasons past, I think I only watched one AHL game this year, so I’m genuinely curious.

    Is Walter White finally right about a single thing?

    • freethe flames

      Highly touted prospects? Whom are you speaking of? Players drafted between 7-15 usually take 2 or more years of AHL before they are ready,(we have none) players drafted between 15-30 usually take 3 or more years. Poirier (whose season was not as good as last year) Shinkaruk (whose rookie season was not as good), Klimchuk (rookie year) all seem to right on target for development. We have no other first rounders playing in the AHL. (Janko a handful of games does not count).

      What was wrong with the Heat? Similar narrative as the Flames. Below average goaltending (injury to Gilles contributed to that), very few AHL vets to help the kids(many teams in the AHL carry guys a lot older and depend on them to carry the load), and below average PK. I listened to a parts of a number of games and regularly looked at post game summaries and there were many games were the Heat had over 40 shots a game and clearly hand possession advantage but could not finish and then gave up a soft goal.

      We frequently talk about needing veterans to mentor the young players in the NHL but it’s also true in the AHL. Colton Orr was the (NHL) veteran presence and he did not play on a regular basis. They had 2 or 3 other AHL vets but in supportive roles and the Raymond for about 1/3 of the season. Signing Grant and Shore to contracts
      and sending Bollig and Raymond down net year would help to give this group leadership. How many 1st and 2nd year pro’s did they have: Kylington, Kulak, Poirier, Shinkaruk, Smith, Carroll, Klimchuk, Arnold, Culak to name a few. These guys will all be better pro’s next year and I expect the addition of Janko, Pollock, Mangiapane, Andersson, to name a few will help. As well as Gilles.

      I also wonder about the organizations systems and the big clubs coaching. The plan was to have the AHL play the same systems as the big club and the truth of the matter was that when guys came up they did not look lost in the system. Hopefully either the system is tweaked or the coaching staff is changed.

      • piscera.infada

        @The Last Big Bear

        Exactly. Stockton is extremely undermanned in terms of professional experience. Look at the teams in their division and conference, and the majority of them would be considered “veteran laden teams”. The vast majority of Stockton’s roster was in their first, second, or third year of professional experience. Their “experienced” players (save Stevenson and Blair Riley) all played less than 30 games.

        Now, one could make a convincing case that part of that is the fault of management, however we already see logjams for roster spots at the AHL level. Is it better to run out your developing, inexperienced players, or crowd the roster with a bunch of AHL veterans which will likely result in more wins?

        That final question is a tough balancing act, but for a rebuilding franchise (that needs help almost everywhere), I’m much more inclined to give that ice time to the players that at least have a hope to turn into NHL players down the road. Moreover, although it seems a logical premise, AHL team success and NHL team success is not directly corollary in any way–in fact, the results are such a mixed bag, it’s difficult to draw a conclusion either way.

        To me, the biggest measure of success for an AHL program (and by extension, it’s coaching staff) is to look at how AHL call-ups perform on the NHL stage. Now I’ll let people draw their own conclusions to that point, but I honestly feel that the majority of the AHL call-ups (at least the ones with more than a cup of coffee) performed at least as well, if not better than I expected.

    • The GREAT Walter White

      I like Huska….there are only 2 things that concern me about him as our Stockton coach:

      1: He can’t develop players.

      2: He is not a winner.

      Everything else is great….!


      • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

        I am starting to agree with you. I will concede that he seems capable of implementing a system, but I see some major prospects moving backwards, which is no good. On a sort of related note, did we ever get a good explanation for why they let Ward go?

      • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

        I am starting to agree with you. I will concede that he seems capable of implementing a system, but I see some major prospects moving backwards, which is no good. On a sort of related note, did we ever get a good explanation for why they let Ward go?

  • The Fall

    Good to know there is quality stuff coming this off season. I like what you guys do here and the articles are as good as most any out there.

    I have one suggestion: more plain English please. I believe there are better ways to talk about the underlying numbers without having scores of them included in paragraph form. I reference the latest goalie article; it is very well informed. However very difficult to read with so many numbers included in paragraph form.

    Just nit picking here. Keep up the good work.

  • freethe flames

    One thing I would like to see is some discussion about who to draft in the later rounds. We seldom talk about these and they often impact the organization. I like to make predictions about this, usually I try to get 3 names I think are highly likely for the Flames to pick with their later picks.

  • Baalzamon

    Some perspective on the Heat: Oliver Kylington was actually one of the most experienced defensemen on the team. Going into the season he had played more SHL games than Dustin Stevenson had AHL games.

    As for Huska, seriously give it a rest. He’s 40 years old. He’s still developing as a coach, and prior to being hired by the Flames in 2014 he had been coaching the Kamloops Blazers since 2002 (Head Coach since 2007). The Flames have to develop talent at all positions. ALL positions. Including Coaching. Hence Huska.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    It looks like some interesting articles planned for the summer . I’m looking forward to them.

    A thought for some future posts: guest posts by some people doing interesting work in analytics like Jen LC, McCurdy, and Galamini for example.