Flame beat Avalanche 1-0, Ortio with the shutout and Brodie injury update

25 Sep

Flames 1, Avalanche 0

The Flames defeated the Avs in preseason play for three reasons. Josh Jooris returned after a long absense to score the games only goal, Calgary’s young defence (all rookies + Ryan Wilson) and Joni Ortio had a 35-save shutout.

Ortio is going to make the goaltending situation intersting, as Calgary has three goalies on one-way contracts. I think that we’re going to see Hiller and Ortio to start the season, trading starts, until one gets hurt or starts to slip. If Ortio can get 30 games this season, I think everyone will be pleased.

T.J. Brodie

Brodie’s broken hand will have him out for 3-6 weeks, if the injury is what the Flames suspect. Although he hasn’t broken a bone before and because of that no one knows how long it’ll take to heal. We’ll have a better sence by the middle of next week.

Cuts at camp

There have been no cuts thus far, Calgary has an amazing 53 players still on the roster. Although Bob Hartley has stated that after three games in three nights, the cuts will be coming in bunches on Monday.

I’m looking forward to tonights game against Vancouver, because of last year’s playoffs the rivarly is back!

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Flames lose two to the Oilers in pre-season split-squad games

22 Sep

And just like that, the Calgary Flames slip to 0-2 in the pre-season.

I think that everyone agrees that pre-season records mean very little. I mean you can’t even find stats on players at this time of year. That said, it’s fun to have hockey back and to get a bit of a glipse into what the future looks like for the Flaming ‘C.’

Calgary 2 at Edmonton 4

Calgary was leading this game 2-1 heading into the third period, but gave up three unanswered goals in the final frame to drop the first game of the pre-season. Oliver Kylington and centre Markus Granlund scored for Calgary, while Connor McDavid has two assists in the Oiler win. Because I wasn’t there to witness the game, most of what I’m going from is the NHL’s recap of the game.

Edmonton 3 and Calgary 1

The Flames were tied at the second intermission, but like the game three hours north they gave up a couple late goals to drop the second game of the night. In Calgary, the Flames iced a seasoned NHL team, which included arguably the best starting line-up in the NHL: Hudler – Monahan – Gaudreau and Brodie – Girodano. In addition to these five, Hiller started in net (replaced later by Ortio) as well as Hamilton, Frolik, Stajan, Raymond, Ferland and Bennett all played.

So who stood out, you ask?

The top line of Monahan, Gaudreau and Hudler looked to be nearly game-ready, as you would expect. Giordano looked like he hadn’t missed a step, there was one shift where he blocked two shots within seconds of each other earning him a standing ovation — in a pre-season game no less! Frolik was all over the place, scoring a goal, drawing a penalty shot and recording six shots. Hamilton started out slow taking a couple penalties early on, but seemed to find his confidence in the later stages of the game. Bennett looked like he belongs in the NHL, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that he will be in the line-up Oct 7.

Ferland picked up where he left off in last-year’s playoffs, hitting guys left and right and chipping in with a shot or two. I also thought Poirier looked like he played quite strong and could have a shot at the team, but I’ve heard he’s been inconsistent throughout camp.

On the flip side, Hunter Smith (who?) was noticeable in that he gave up the puck repeatedly in his own end. For such a big guy he was soft on the puck all night, and unceremoniously left the game after being on the losing end of a fight with Darnell Nurse. Now at 6’ 4” and 205lbs Nurse is a big guy, but Smith is 6’ 7” and 208lbs. He’s a big dude. Sadly, Tyler Wotherspoon was unnoticeable. Some may argue that a stay-at-home defenseman should be, but it’s training camp and he’s going to need to show much more if he wants to become the Flames 7th d-man.

I need more time to watch guys like Kulak and Nakladal. At times I was impressed with what they showed, but I didn’t get to see enough of either of them in order to share a reasonable opinion.

Next up, the Colorado Avalanche

The game on Thursday is not on television, but you can stream it live on Other than the two pre-season games against the Avs the remaining games are all televised. Is this a great country or what?

Also the first round of cuts should be released shortly, I’ll share those as soon as they are released. And if Hunter Smith isn’t on the list, then apparently one pre-season game isn’t enough to accurately judge a player.

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Calgary Flames Training Camp (2015 edition)

15 Sep

I recommend that before you read though this, you have a look at the Calgary Flames off-season summary post to get up to speed on what’s happened over the summer.

As far as training camp goes, I’m going to post links out to (what I think) is useful information collected from all corners of the web. In addition to that, I’ll post after each pre-season game to fill you in on what I saw in addition to what the media, coaching staff and other bloggers saw as well. So, first up is…

The Young Stars tournament in Penticton

The Flames finished the Penticton Young Stars Classic tournament with a 1-1-1 record. Recaps of all three games are here:

The roster breakdown is below, for more thoughts check out

Forwards (17) – Kenny Agostino, Bill Arnold, Tyson Baillie, Sam Bennett, Taylor Burke, Austin Carroll, Pavel Karnaukhov, Morgan Klimchuk, Andrew Mangiapane, Mason Marchment, Louick Marcotte, Ryan Lamberg, Emile Poirier, Julien Proulx, Hunter Smith, Tomas Soustal, Bryce Van Brabant.

Defensemen (11) – Oliver Kylington, Rasmus Andersson, Patrick Sieloff, Ryan Culkin, Riley Bruce, Jason Bell, Eric Roy, Kenney Morrison, Keegan Kanzig, Brett Kulak, Jason Fram.

Goaltenders (3) – Mason McDonald, Jon Gillies, Nick Schneider.

Training Camp invites

In addition to the roster above, the Flames have extended invites to Ryan Wilson and Douglas Murray. So camp-wise, you have the Young Stars roster above, plus Murray and Wilson, plus the Flames current roster attending 2015 training camp.

Flames prospects

You know Micheal Ferland, Markus Granlund, Tyler Wotherspoon and Sam Bennett. You probably know Morgan Klimchuk, Emile Poirier, Mark Jankowski, Joni Ortio and Jon Gillies. Now after the Young Stars tournament you are aware of Andrew Mangiapane, Bill Arnold and Rasmus Andersson. But where do they all rank according to some blogger (who’s not me)?? Check out Flames From 80 Feet’s ranking of the Calgary Flames top 20 prospects.

Contract signings

Again, check out the Flames off season wrap-up for more information on contracts addressed (except for Michael Ferland’s recent contract deal) during the summer.

New NHL rules

Something that you’ve probably already forgotten about is that the NHL will move to 3-3 overtime this year in order to not have so many shootouts decide games. I’m a big fan of this mostly because it’s more of a team way to decide the fate of the game, shootouts shouldn’t be what awards teams points.

Also what is interesting is that the league is introducing the coach’s challenge, similar to what we see in football.

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Calgary Flames off-season wrap-up

05 Sep

If you’re anything like me, you don’t pay attention much to what’s been going on with the Flames over the off-season. I mean, you pay attention to draft day, free agent frenzy, arbitration, and things like that… but not to the day-to-day degree that begins Sep 21 and lasts until (hopefully) springtime.

Here is a wrap-up of what’s happened while you were away.


Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving didn’t take a break at all following the post-season, signing Czech defenceman Jakub Nakladal to an entry-level contract on May 19. The 27-year-old blueliner spent the 2014-15 season with TPS Turku of the SM-Liiga, posting three goals and 15 points in 50 games. He also represented the Czech Republic at the 2015 IIHF World Championships, where he led all Czech defencemen with five assists in 10 games.


Pivot Mikael Backlund, who was drafted by the Flames in the first round of the 2007 NHL Draft, signed a three-year deal with Calgary on June 20. The Swedish forward saw limited action last last season undergoing abdominal surgery. In 52 games he put up 10 goals and 27 points, playing a key role for the Flames in the post-season.

In 298 career games, Backlund has scored 51 goals and amassed 128 points. In 2013-14, he had a career season which saw him net 18 goals and 39 points in 76 games.


The Flames sent shock-waves through the hockey world at the NHL Draft in June with a blockbuster trade with the Boston Bruins. The Flames acquired 6-foot-5 defenceman Dougie Hamilton in exchange for Calgary’s 2015 first round pick (15th overall) and two second round picks (45th overall and 52nd overall – previously acquired from the Washington Capitals).

“I look at our team right now with Giordano, Brodie, Russell, Wideman, Engelland, Smid, and adding Dougie Hamilton to that mix, I like that defence,” Treliving said.

“When we looked at Dougie, this is an age group asset for us. This is a player that fits where we are going in Calgary. This is not a deviation in terms of the young players that we are building around. He adds to it. He’s in that peer group.”

2015 NHL DRAFT – JUNE 27

After trading their first round pick to the Bruins, the Flames were left with picks in the second, fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds of the 2015 NHL Draft. They ended up selecting Rasmus Andersson (defence – 2nd round, 52nd overall), Oliver Kylington (defence – 2nd round, 60th overall), Pavel Karnaukhov (center – 5th round, 136th overall),Andrew Mangiapane (left wing – 6th round, 166th overall), and Riley Bruce (defence – 7th round, 196th overall).


The Flames tendered qualifying offers to 12 restricted free agents in late June: Hamilton, Lance Bouma, Micheal Ferland, Drew Shore, David Wolf, Josh Jooris, Bryce Van Brabant, Kenny Agostino, Paul Byron, Max Reinhart, Bill Arnold, and Turner Elson.


The Flames re-signed associate coach Jacques Cloutier and assistant coaches Martin Gelinas and Jamie Pringle to multi-year contracts. The organization also extended the contract of assistant general manager Craig Conroy.


The Flames locked up Hamilton to a six-year deal to close out the month of June. The 22-year-old was thrilled to get a contract worked out so quickly with his new club.

“Looking at the team, it’s a young team with a lot of great players and I think a great future and a great plan in place,” he said. “I think any situation that has that, it’s going to be exciting to be a part of that. I think that continues on with the fans and the city. I had some experiences there at the World Juniors and had a lot of fun playing there and being there and even just watching the playoffs this year and seeing the fans and the C of Red and all that. I think it obviously shows the fans and fan support in the city. That’s something that is also really exciting.”


The Flames kicked off Canada Day by signing Karri Ramo, who had wrapped up his second season with Calgary this past spring. The 29-year-old went 15-9-3 in the regular season with a 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

Calgary then went out and signed forward Michael Frolik to a five-year deal. The Czech forward, who won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013, is coming off a 19-goal, 42-point season with the Winnipeg Jets.

The organization added some depth up front by signing forward Derek Grant to a one-year deal. The Abbotsford, BC native spent the 2014-15 season with Binghamton Senators in the AHL.

The Flames wrapped up the day by acquiring a fourth round pick in 2016 from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Reinhart, who has since signed with the Preds.


The Flames signed their 2014 second round picks, goaltender Mason McDonald and winger Hunter Smith, early in July.


Kylington signed his first contract with the Flames on July 15 while Arnold, Agostino, Shore, and Van Brabant accepted their qualifying offers.


Calgary continued to get their RFA’s signed later on in July, working out deals with Bouma (July 23), Jooris (July 24), Elson (July 24), and Byron (July 26).


When the 2014-15 campaign came to a close, Treliving made no bones about the fact he wanted to get Mark Giordano, who was entering the final year of his contract in the 2015-16 season, extended. He did just that on August 25, signing the captain to a six-year contract.

Last winter, Giordano was in the midst of a stellar season before he was felled by a season-ending bicep injury. In total, the rearguard 11 goals and 48 points in 61 games.

“In my opinion, if he didn’t unfortunately go down with an injury, he’s sitting here with a Norris Trophy,” Treliving told “He’s the leader in every sense in this organization — not in just the rah-rah sense. He’s a leader in terms of his action, the way he lives his life, the way he prepares.”


On Sept. 3, the Flames announced veteran defenceman Ryan Wilson would join the club on a professional try-out. He spent the last six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, notching seven goals and 60 assists for 67 points and 157 penalty minutes. This is Wilson’s second stint with the Flames organization after he was originally signed as a free agent in 2008 before being traded to Colorado in 2009.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.


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