Cracking the Window to Contending

June 26th, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Trading futures is a risky business.

As a practice it has historically cut off the evolution of a hockey club by siphoning out the key tools to keep the replenishment pipeline flowing. Picks in 2018 and 2019 will be the young players stepping into the National Hockey League in 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Moving three picks for Dougie Hamilton, a pick for Brian Elliott, a pick for Curtis Lazar, and one or two picks for Michael Stone had the cupboard of futures or recent futures depleted before the Flames walked into Chicago and moved three more top picks for the services of defenseman Travis Hamonic.

Was it a good move? How risky was it? Is this the way to manage a hockey team in the modern era?
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NHL Entry Draft: Updating the Consensus

June 20th, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In early June I published a quick look at the first round through the eyes of many NHL experts, looking to isolate what players would be available when the Flames picked at 16th overall.

With the draft now three days away it’s a good time to update recent changes to rankings and have one last look at the rankings prior to Friday.

If anything the consensus is even weaker than it was in the first week of June. Updates from Craig Button, Bob McKenzie and others have sent some players down the list, others up the list, muddying the waters even more.
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Flames Go Back to Goalie Well Again; Acquire Smith From Arizona

June 17th, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames made some news less than two hours before the trade freeze for the first NHL expansion draft in almost 20 years, by acquiring 35 year old goaltender Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes.

The Flames gave up unsigned defenseman Brandon Hickey, a third round pick that becomes a second if the Flames make the playoffs next year, and UFA goaltender Chad Johnson.

Johnson was required in the deal so the Coyotes have a goaltender to protect in the expansion draft.

The Flames should make the playoffs, so lets call this Smith with 25% of his salary retained by the Coyotes for a 2nd round pick and Brandon Hickey.
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2017 Draft: Who Should Be Available at 16?

June 2nd, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

It would be an understatement to suggest Calgary fans have been spoiled somewhat lately when it comes to projecting first round selections in recent entry drafts.

Picking 4th or 6th (twice) is a range much easier to break down, creating three month debates about Sean Monahan vs Elias Lindholm, or whether the Oilers were going to take Leon Draisaitl or Sam Bennett. Last summer the Flames received some good fortune when the likely 4th overall pick Matthew Tkachuk fell to Calgary at 6 and then promptly went on to show his moxie in his rookie season in Calgary.

Two years ago the Flames were slated to pick in a similar spot with my player circled as Matt Barzal when general manager Brad Treliving stole the show by swinging a deal and acquiring Dougie Hamilton and not selecting on Friday night.

This year at 16, in a draft that has very little by way of consensus is almost like herding chickens in predicting what the Flames might do when they go to the podium.
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What Can Fans Expect from 16th Overall?

May 31st, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Historically, history isn’t a great way of predicting the future when it comes to NHL Entry Drafts.

Every draft is different, the teams selecting in the various positions change, the eras of hockey come and go to say nothing of recent changes to technology that have helped scouting players and avoiding complete swing and miss results at the top of the draft.

The Flames draft smack dab in the middle of the June 23rd Draft in Chicago, but what does 16th overall get you in modern times?

First off lets build some fences around some of the data to make sense of it.
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