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Calgary Flames sign Mark Giordano to a six-year deal

28 Aug

The Calgary Flames announced that they have signed their captain Mark Giordano to a six-year contract. Mark Giordano will be 32 years old this season. His new six-year, $6.75 million AAV deal kicks in the season after, when he turns 33.

Although signing a guy through his 30s may not sound ideal, Gio has been described as a fitness freak and is no-doubt fully committed to the game. We have some cap room and you can’t let your captain go, based on how the team has done over the last two seasons under his leadership.

The first two years are a good deal for the Flames, the last two years are a good deal for Giordano. It’s the middle two years that will determine who really ‘wins’ this deal.

Giordano, a native of Toronto, Ontario, has been the captain of the Calgary Flames since 2013. He has played his entire NHL career with Calgary, amassing 66 goals and 179 assists for 245 points along with 466 penalty minutes in 510 games.

 

It’s still summertime, what’s CalgaryNEXT?

28 Aug

I don’t write much in the summer, hockey usually takes the backseat to patio beers and sunshine. However while I was out enjoying both of those things the Flames announced CalgaryNEXT.

Inside CalgaryNEXT

I’ve long said that the Saddledome seems fine to me, but since I’ve never owned a stadium before maybe there is something I’m missing that determines the need to build a new facility. Perhaps it’s about to fall over, or costs more to operate than a new one would be. But then I saw the funding model, and the idea that the Calgary Flames would expect the public to fund over half the infrastructure costs, well that does not seem fine to me.

Financing plan as drawn up by the Flames

That doesn’t even get into the idea of facility ownership, property tax revenue, environmental cleanup of the area, etc. I’m going to steal sentiment from Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) here, because I could not have said it any better than this…

I have been a Flames fan since I could walk. I have written thousands of articles about the team over the last decade. I am a die hard fan. Like most fans, I’d really like to see the club in a new, state-of-the-art arena, because that would be awesome. 

But I won’t let the club use my love of the team nor my excitement about a new rink to manipulate me into accepting bad deals or corporate welfare. If the team wants to approach me as a fan, they only need to put together a solid entertainment product. If they want to approach me as a taxpayer and investor, then they need to propose a solid deal.

I encourage you all to read Kent’s blog post about it: How to think critically about CalgaryNEXT.

 

Flames resign Paul Byron, four players still remain without contracts

27 Jul

In related news, Paul Byron was still a Flame?

You may not remember him because he missed 24 of the final 25 games of last season and Calgary’s 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games. Byron had surgery to repair a sports hernia in May and an operation on his wrist in June. He will have a pin removed from his wrist the first week of September and hopes to be ready for the start of training camp.

Paul Byron is the third (and final) Flame to avoid arbitration, signing a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Calgary Flames on Sunday. Byron (5-foot-7, 153 pounds) scored six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Calgary last season. He has 17 goals and 48 points in 138 NHL games.

Byron is a good energy guy, and you’re not really going to get an NHLer for much cheaper than that.

So who’s left without a contract?

So with the recent signings of Byron, Jooris and Bouma we have four players from last year without contracts. Of those there are really two of note (sorry Corey Potter and David Wolf) and they are David Schlemko and Micheal Ferland.

The best part of the Schlemko’s game was the Let’s go, Schlemko! chants from the crowd. I’m not sure he brought much value other than that. Now for this year, with seven NHL defencemen under contract –HamiltonWidemanBrodieGiordanoSmidEngelland and Russell – it’s unlikely that the Flames are going to persue the UFA before the start of camp. I think Smid and Engelland will have to earn back their spots as well with guys like Tyler Wotherspoon knocking at the door.

Micheal Ferland is another story. Although the body of work was small, I think the Flames, the fans and Ferland all saw what type of player he could be. Since the contract will likely be short because he’s still unproven combined with the fact that he’s a restricted free agent mean that Ferland will be signed for around the $1M-1.5M mark.

 

Flames resign Bouma and Jooris

25 Jul

Calgary Flames sign Lance Bouma

The Calgary Flames have signed winger Lance Bouma to a three-year contract extension worth $6.6 million.

Bouma and the club went to salary arbitration hearing on Wednesday and both sides presented their cases. The deal Thursday was struck during the 48-hour before a decision by the arbitrator is rendered. Bouma was reportedly seeking $2.5 million per season, the club countering at $1.5 million.

Bouma, who signed a one-year $775,000 deal last summer, had 34 points in 2014-2015 but became a valuable part of a surprising club for other factors: hits, shot blocks, energy level.

Calgary Flames sign Josh Jooris

Flames GM Brad Treliving has re-signed another one of the team’s restricted free agents in Josh Jooris. The 25-year-old forward has put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension worth $975,000.

Jooris was scheduled for a player-elected arbitration hearing on July 28. That will obviously no longer be necessary.

In the short-term the Flames are paying very little for a solid bottom-6 forward with room to grow. Should Jooris continue to build on last season’s success he’ll earn himself a more lucrative deal next season.

Paul Byron‘s arbitration hearing is still upcoming.

 

Flames interested in James van Riemsdyk

20 Jul

I was just told there are five teams with big interest in Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk, and three teams are very serious. The Washington Capitals, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames have put together major proposals and have entered into discussions internally regarding a move.

Random thought: The reason Michael Frolik wears No. 67 is that Jaromir Jagr is No. 68 and he didn’t want to go higher than that. That’s a good reason.

 

Flames sign Frolik to a multi-year deal

11 Jul

It’s not that I am against Frolik, it’s just that I’m against the deal. Five years at $4.3M for a 27-year-old? Aren’t we trying to rebuild still? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, last year was an anomaly.

I get that we need more time with the puck hence the Frolik and Hamilton deals – who happen to now be the highest-paid Flames on the team – but at what expense? A five-year contract? That’s pretty binding. I’m guessing that they figure Frolik is going to be the new Hudler.

Here are the particulars from NHL.com:

The Calgary Flames signed forward Michael Frolik to a multiyear contract Wednesday. Terms were not released, but multiple media outlets reported it to be five years with an average annual value of $4.3 million.

“I’m really excited about it,” Frolik told the Flames website. “Calgary had a great year last year and they got a great young group of guys. I know the city is pretty good too. I have a family now so it mattered too in that … I’m really happy to be a Calgary Flame.”

Frolik had 19 goals and 42 points in 82 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season. He also had 42 points in 81 games with the Jets in the 2013-14 season after winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13.

The 27-year-old has 235 points in 512 career NHL games and 18 points in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games, including 10 in 23 games with the Blackhawks in 2013. He also has been durable, missing four games in the past three seasons, including none in 2014-15.

 

 

Flames acquire Dougie Hamilton

27 Jun

The Calgary Flames traded their 1st round (15th overall) pick as well as two 2nd round picks for Dougie Hamilton of the Boston Bruins. Hamilton is a 6’5″ defencemen who has only just turned 22 years old.

Although it’s tough to justify trading away three top-60 picks when you’re in a rebuild, a 22-year-old proven NHLer just might be worth it. It will be interesting to see what happens with those picks that the Flames traded away years down the road, and who they become, compared to Hamilton’s career here in Calgary.

Here’s what else happened at the draft for the Calgary Flames.

First round

* 15th pick traded to Boston as part of the Hamilton deal.

Second round

* 53rd (from Vancouver for Sven Baertschi) – D Rasmus Andersson (OHL Barrie Colts). He was ranked 93rd in Central Scouting’s year-end ratings (and 84th on the mid-season list) … Six feet and 212 pounds … Righthanded shot … 64 points in 67 games … Father Peter, also a defenceman, was drafted 73rd overall by the New York Rangers in 1983. He wound up playing 47 games for the Rangers and the Florida Panthers.

* 60th (from Arizona for Nos. 76 and 83) – D Oliver Kylington (Farjestad, Sweden). In Central Scouting’s mid-term ranking, he was No. 1 among international skaters. Dropped to No. 6 on its final list … A two-way defender … Likes to emulate Duncan Keith and Erik Karlsson.

Third Round

* 76th (traded to Arizona)

Fifth Round

* 136th – LW Pavel Karnaukhov (WHL Calgary HItmen). Ranked 118th by Central Scouting (and 140th at mid-season) … six foot two, 194 pounds … 42 points, including 20 goals, in 69 games this season – his first in North America.

Sixth Round

* 166th – LW Andrew Mangiapane (OHL Barrie Colts) … five foot 10, 170 pounds … Passed over in last year’s draft (and in the OHL draft) … Produced 104 points in 68 games this past season … During course of season, he boosted his Central Scouting stock from 147th to 85th

Seventh Round

* 196th – D Riley Bruce (OHL North Bay) … six foot six, 205 pounds … In 52 games, the 17-year-old native of Carp, Ont., produced three helpers and 32 penalty minutes.

 

Hartley wins coach of the year, Hudler wins the Lady Byng

25 Jun

Calgary Flames walked away with two of four possible awards, which is one more than I thought they’d get (good job Hudes!). Gaudreau didn’t win the Calder, but it was a pretty tough group of rookies this year. Giordano didn’t win either, but he’s really just saving up his credit for next year’s Norris.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley is the first coach in franchise history to capture the Jack Adams Award — the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success — and Jiri Hudler was awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy — the NHL player to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability — at the 2015 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley has captured the Jack Adams Award as “the NHL coach adjudged to have contributed the most to his team’s success,” as selected by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.

Hartley was a top-three selection on 63 of the 75 ballots cast, including 37 first-place votes, for 237 voting points. The Jack Adams win is a first both for Hartley and for the Flames franchise.

Hartley led the Flames (45-30-7, 97 points) to a 20-point gain in standings points over 2013-14, the highest jump among Western Conference teams and third-highest in the League overall, in capturing their first playoff berth since 2009. Calgary was among the NHL’s best late-game teams, tying for first place in overtime wins (nine), ranking second in third-period goal differential (+31), third in wins when trailing after two periods (10) and fifth in points percentage when leading after 40 minutes (.923, 24-1-1). The Flames also recorded 1,557 blocked shots, tops in the League and the highest single-season total since the statistic was introduced.

Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler has captured the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Hudler polled 700 voting points, including 52 first-place tallies, for a tight win over four-time Lady Byng Trophy winner Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, who collected 648 voting points.

Hudler finished eighth in the NHL scoring race and established career highs in goals (31), assists (45) and points (76), helping the Flames qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009. Hudler tallied 23 points in March, when the team jumped from the outside of the playoff picture into third place in the Pacific Division. It marked the most points by any player in a calendar month this season and the most by a Flames player since December 2006 (Jarome Iginla: 10-16–26). A first-time NHL Trophy finalist, Hudler was assessed just 14 penalty minutes all season, fewest among the League’s top 20 scorers.

2015-16 Schedule Released!

The C of Red will be back in full force on Oct. 7 when the Flames host the Vancouver Canucks at the Scotiabank Saddledome to open the 2015-16 regular season! Flames Full Schedule ››

 

Anaheim Ducks 3, Calgary Flames 2 – Ducks win series 4-1

11 May

And just like that, the Calgary Flames season is over.

The score was a lot closer than the game was, kind of like how the whole series has been. With the exception of game 1, where the Ducks scored on their chances, Calgary made the games closer than they probably should have been. Anderson was not great and Karri Ramo was exceptional, and that’s why we ended up with three close games to close out the series. In game six the Ducks outshot the Flames 47-19, including 7-0 in overtime.

“We had a chance but you lose a game, you lose a game,” Ramo said. “It’s a pretty empty feeling right now. It’s a tough team we played against. I think we can be proud.”

It was a fantastic season when you consider this was the first year of the rebuild, hopefully the experience in the playoffs makes the team grow up quicker and they come out next year hungry.

I’ll put together a season wrap-up post once the sting of losing out in the second round of the playoffs wears off.

It was a season full of surpassed expectations in Calgary and possible foundation blocks laid for future success. The Flames were predicted to finish near the bottom of the NHL standings by most preseason pundits, but Calgary not only reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs and finished ahead of the 2014 champion Los Angeles Kings for the final spot in the West, it also defeated the Vancouver Canucks and reached the second round for the first time since 2004.

The Flames did so despite losing defenseman Mark Giordano, a Norris Trophy contender, to a season-ending injury. Calgary will need to improve its depth, particularly on defense, and fix its issues with possessing the puck, but Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett could be an elite young core to build around.

 

Anaheim Ducks 4, Calgary Flames 2 – Ducks lead series 3-1

09 May

This game came down to one play at the very end of the second period. With the game tied at 2, and the horn for the second intermission already sounded, Joe Colborne took a 4-minute high-sticking penalty. The Ducks scored on the first one in the third, and then shut down the Flames for the rest of the game.

Similar heroics like we saw Tuesday night were not to be had, even though the script was almost identical. That goes to show how one bounce or save or whiff on the puck can be the difference in a game.

Although the series isn’t officially over, it is as close to over as you can get. It’s like they aren’t mathematically eliminated yet, as long as they win out and the team they are chasing has to lose the rest of their games. Wait a sec… that’s exactly what it is.

“We can talk about Johnny. We can talk about [Colborne]’s penalty,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “We will learn. They’re two great kids. It’s sad because we paid on both of those situations, but there comes a point as a coaching staff that you don’t want those plays but you have to look at the individuals.

“They’re two unbelievable kids. They want to learn, and when we talk about experience, those situations will make them better. Tonight we’re paying a big price, but at the same time, those guys will be a big part of our team. They made us win way more games than they made us lose.”

 

Matt Beleskey scored the game-winning goal, and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves to lift the Ducks to a 4-2 victory against the Calgary Flames on Friday in Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round at Scotiabank Saddledome.The Anaheim Ducks are one win from the Western Conference Final.

 
 
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