Category Archives: Cgy. Flames

Predicting Protected Lists: Calgary Flames 

The Flames have a few small questions to answer before the expansion draft. They are not in as precarious of a situation as many other teams are heading into June, though. 

For forwards, the Flames are definitely going to protect Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett, and Mikael Baklund. 

Michael Frolik also appears to be a shoe-in for a protection spot. 

For the last two forward spots, it could come down to a number of players. Curtis Lazar, Michael Ferland, Hunter Shinkaruk, Emile Poirier, and Lance Bouma all could take positions. 

However, if I had to guess, I would put Lazar on the protection list and one of Bouma or Ferland. The other options, Shinkaruk and Poirier, have upside but have not proved enough to warrant a place. 

On defense, the selections are obvious. Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton will be protected. 

In goal, the Flames currently have two free agents in Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott and one AHL goalie in Tom McCollum. 

The Flames need another signed goalie in order to fill the exposure requirements unless they choose to protect a free agent. Or, they could sign and protect one of Johnson (more likely) or Elliott (less likely). There are a lot of variables there. 

The Flames protection list in the end could be:

Forwards: Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett, Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, Curtis Lazar, and Lance Bouma OR Michael Ferland

Defense: Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dougie Hamilton

Goalie: Tom McCollum or a signed Johnson/Elliott or a separate acquired goalie 

Vegas could wind up taking Shinkaruk or Poirier for AHL depth. 

Next team: Carolina Hurricanes

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

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Looming expansion draft could force Bishop, Fleury trades

With the expansion draft slated to take place next offseason, a lot of general managers are fiddling with their rosters to assure they won’t lose anyone of value, particularly in goal. Each team is only allowed to protect one goalie, and although only three goalies will be selected at max, you certainly do not want to find yourself on the short end of the stick.  Read the rest of this entry

Trade Possibility: Dennis Wideman 

Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames could be on the move this summer. The 33 year old defenseman has one year left on his contract at a 5.25 million cap hit and a 6 million salary.  Read the rest of this entry

Five players who haven’t lived up to early season expectations 

Thanksgiving has generally been the measuring stick for NHL teams on where they stand for their race to the playoffs, but this year may be different due to how close everyone is and how easily a spot can be stolen. However, the holiday is also a good spot to see where the players who make up your team stand. For some, this is a good sign. For many other players though, the time to turn it around is now. 

Jeff Skinner, Carolina

5 goals, 1 assist, -1 rating 

Skinner’s name has been surfaced in trade tumors over the past couple of years and his production has consistently dropped in that time. After an outstanding rookie year with 63 points, Skinner has only hit 50 points once in his three full seasons since. Albeit playing on a lackluster Hurricanes squad, the team still needs more out of their former seventh overall pick. Skinner is 23 and still could be moved before seasons end, and is currently on pace for 18 goals. 

Dougie Hamilton, Calgary

2 goals, 3 assists, -4 rating 

Many people were shocked when Boston traded the 22 year old defenseman to Calgary for a trio of picks this summer, but the transition hasn’t been smooth for Hamilton. An analytical atrocity last season, the Flames looked to shore up that issue in part with this acquisition, but not much has changed. Hamilton has struggled in both ends of the ice, and his offensive output simply hasn’t been on par with the .50 PPG pace he had last season. 

Michael Del Zotto, Philadelphia 

0 goals, 3 assists, -11 rating

After a resurgence in his career last season with 32 points, Michael Del Zotto has seemingly fallen back into regression, although he still has 3/4th of the season to make amends. The 20th overall pick in 2008 by the Rangers found his game with Philly last year after a stint in Nashville, but like most other Flyers defensemen he has been unable to keep up in both ends of the rink. The Flyers are dead last in the NHL for goals for and eighth in goals against, and they need contributions from their defense to get out of both of those slumps. 

Michael Raffl, Philadelphia 

1 goal, 2 assists, -3 rating 

After notching 21 goals last year, Raffl has flopped like most other Flyers forwards this year. Currently on pace for four goals on the year, the Austrian native needs to desperately pick his game up. 

Zegmus Girgensons, Buffalo

1 goal, 1 assist, -1 rating

Much like Raffl, Girgensons is only on track for four goals this year. Girgensons had 30 points last year, good enough to get voted into the all-star game by his Latvian countrymen. Not flashy numbers, but good for a defensively minded forward. Girgensons, like Hamilton and Skinner, is young (22 in January) and still has plenty of time to turn it around. 

This stretch at the beginning of the year is not the end all and be all for any of the players on this list or that could have made this list. With such close standings, many of the teams with players here can easily turn it around and make themselves into a contender. Three fourths of the season remain. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trade Winds: Defensive Addition 

It’s hard to find a solid, NHL defenseman on the trade market before the deadline, let alone this early in the year. However, some options are there. Teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Carolina Hurricanes are looking for help on the blueline amongst others. None of the names available are flashy, but they can get the job done for any team desperate for help. 

The “biggest” name on the market as of today is Dennis Wideman. The 32 year old can still put up points with 56 last season and 6 assists in 12 games this season, but his contract is scaring other teams off. His teammate Kris Russell has also been linked to trade talks. Russell lead the league in blocked shots last year and is on good pace to do so this year again. Whether that’s indicative to Calgary’s play or Russell’s individual play, nobody will know unless a trade happens. 

Bob McKenzie also reported the other day that the services of Luke Schenn, Roman Polak, and Matt Carle are available for the right price. Schenn and Polak could be moved later in the year, but Carle is an interesting name. He’s been brutal this year for the Lightning but they are still a win-now team so the price could fluctuate for a guy like him. It’ll be interesting to see how his storyline progresses over the year. Carle has two season left on his contract after this year at 5.5 million per, which will significantly decrease his value if he doesn’t pick up his game. 

The Jets also have an abundance of defensemen. Dustin Byfuglien won’t be traded until later this year, but players such as Paul Potsma and Grant Clitsome (although he is currently hurt) may be in play. Clitsome is entering into the final year of his deal and Potsma has one year remaining after this season at a reasonable price. Neither player has seen any in game action this year which could scare some teams off. If it comes down to it, the risk would be worth taking because they don’t have the contractual issues some other options do. 

As the season progresses, we’ll get a clearer look at the standings to see who needs help and who doesn’t. Although it might not be for a defenseman, also keep an eye out for Anaheim and Ottawa to be exploring on the trade market soon. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Winners and Losers of Day One of the 2015 NHL Draft

It was an exciting first day of the 2015 NHL Draft, one of the most exciting in years. It saw played such as Robin Lehner, Dougie Hamilton, and Milan Lucic traded before the draft even started, and a bunch of other deals during the draft. Some deals left us scratching our heads, but others were great and out of the blue for teams. Here are our winners and losers of day one. 
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Things are Looking Good in Calgary

Last season, the Calgary Flames started off good. They ended October at 5-5-2, good for 12 points in 12 games. But after that, the young Flames fell off, and ended up with the 4th pick in the draft where they took Sam Bennett out of Kingston. This year, they did the same thing, but even better. Through November, a week before Thanksgiving, the Flames are 11-6-2, with 24 points in 19 games. They sit 3rd in goals for, and 17th in goals against. Mark Giordano has emerged as one of the top defensemen in the league, a title which few gave him last season, and is sixth in the league in points with 21. His partner, TJ Brodie, also has 15 points. The addition of Jonas Hiller has undoubtedly helped this team, as has Johnny Gaudreau’s first full year, but will they be able to keep it up?

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