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?
– Full Article –


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.
– Full Article –


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.
– Full Article –


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.
– Full Article –


Playoff Preview: Flames and Ducks Renew Hostilities

April 12th, 2017 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A return to the playoffs is magic. Be it every year, missing a year, after five years, or like up in Edmonton ten years.
Back in 2004 when the Flames returned to the playoffs after missing 6 seasons in the post season the building was electric. People were in their seats before the warmup, the building almost 90% full 45 minutes before the puck drop; the players hit the ice to loosen up to a chant of “Go Flames Go”.

Two years ago that feeling was back, not to the same extent, but it was back.

This year the Flames are back in the dance, and to a man you can tell they feel like the deserve it; it’s no longer a surprise. They made it on their skill, their depth, and not on late game comebacks, or unsustainable metrics.

A first round match up with the Ducks is an interesting case study in the two playoff teams as they are facing off against their second round opponent from two years ago. The Ducks an experience team are just that little bit more experienced. The rebuilding Flames are just that little more built.

To change things up, we’ll diverge from the usual “how they match up” analysis, and look more at how much the two teams have changed. – Full Article –



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