Ortio’s Long Road to The NHL Paved With Bumps and Believers

View image | gettyimages.com His successful and headline-grabbing recent stint in Calgary might have taken some people by surprise, but a couple of the first Flames coaches to work directly with Joni Ortio could see signs of this as a possible outcome years ago. Jamie McLennan was director of goaltender development for the Flames in…

Flames Brass Facing Risk Management Decisions

View image | gettyimages.com They’re not quite there yet, but the Calgary Flames are heading toward a pivotal point in this confounding season. During a well-publicized rebuilding phase that officially started with the unloading of former captain Jarome Iginla less than two years ago, the Flames are actually in contention for a playoff spot.

Bob the Builder Is The Right Man For the Job – For Now

View image | gettyimages.com The timing of the announcement couldn’t have been more perfect. If ever there was a time to make a statement as to the absolute certainty of the Calgary Flames’ feeling they have the right man for the job, it’s to extend the head coach of a rebuilding franchise during a six-game…

Dynamite Night for Calder Trophy Candidates

#457637342 / gettyimages.com The odds-on favourite for the Calder Trophy is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Jonathan Drouin. Calgary Flames darkhorse Johnny Gaudreau, though, won’t be an underdog for long if he keeps getting on the nightly highlight reel. The way Gaudreau is progressing, it’s just a matter of time before those who omitted him in…

Give The Gaudreau Demotion Talk A Rest—At Least For Now

#457228858 / gettyimages.com While it’s true that Johnny Hockey clearly needed to take a seat after five games of less-than-promising performances to start his first NHL season, the press-box benching doesn’t mean his next stop has to be the American Hockey League. You didn’t really think it would be easy making the jump from the…

Why a Norris might be in T.J. Brodie’s future: The Duncan Keith comparison

#483379279 / gettyimages.com It was the 2008 rookie tournament in Camrose when T.J. Brodie first caught my attention. The team’s fourth-round pick that year quickly flashed his puck-handling skills and his smooth skating ability while playing mostly beside big, lumbering blueliner Matt Pelech. He made his share of mistakes, as kids with that kind of…

Hayes Chooses Rangers Over Reunion

#489164367 / gettyimages.com No Kevin Hayes for the Calgary Flames? How could this have happened? How did the team get beat out by the New York Rangers on Wednesday for the services of the big right-winger whose standout Boston College linemates are already part of the organization? It seemed like a no-brainer, right? With two-thirds…

Byron’s Big Season Leads to Heavy Decisions Ahead

When you’re talking about a 5-foot-8, 160-pounder (a measurement that falls somewhere between his what’s listed on the Flames website and what he suggests he is), the word big doesn’t come up very often. For Flames forward Paul Byron, it’s come up a lot lately.

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When Push Comes to Shove, Burke Will Eat A Contract But Not His Pride

(courtesy puffycoombes) Don’t try to bully a bully. That’s the statement Brian Burke made to his fellow hockey executives this week while stubbornly clinging to Michael Cammalleri despite the knowledge that the pending unrestricted free agent is almost assuredly moving elsewhere come July. In Burke’s mind, something is not always better than nothing. Especially when…

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Burke’s smoke and mirror show fails to drive up Cammalleri’s price

(courtesy NHL/NHL.com) Veteran Flames reporter Steve Macfarlane is back, this time shedding light on the ongoing Mike Cammalleri/Brian Burke/trade/contract saga. Talk of a contract extension for Michael Cammalleri is nothing more than a marketing play by Calgary Flames president of hockey operations and until-further-notice general manager Brian Burke. Burke is trying to jack up the…