New Look Flames in China – Game One

September 15th, 2018 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The exhibition season in the NHL is always a tough time of year to assess hockey teams for the upcoming season. To take in new players in new lines playing new roles for new teams. There’s too much patchwork in each roster to really get a solid read on things.

This year is somewhat different however.

The Flames took the upper 90% of their roster to China for the ORG Games, a two game preseason set against the Boston Bruins, in hopes of fostering a quick gel towards getting off to a solid start in the upcoming NHL campaign.

The Bruins, went a different route, bringing a lot of their team, but allowing many of their key players including Patrice Bergergon, Tory Krug, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci to nurse injuries or just avoid the hassle.

Regardless of the make up of each roster this is Calgary’s first look at the revamped Flames, even if they had to stay up to the wee hours to see it.

– Full Article –


Flames Off-Season Changes and Style of Play

August 31st, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You have to give Brad Treliving credit; when he said the team needed some change he certainly didn’t rest on some tinkering to alter his roster after a disappointing season.

When you topple your coaching staff, trade one of the top defensemen in the circuit, and make noise by signing one of the more sought after free agents, people take notice.

Change however, can’t merely be for the sake of change, there has to be method in madness or a management group can be guilty of merely appeasing fans without getting a whole lot done. – Full Article –


WAR Model Update: Post Free Ageny Frenzy

July 4th, 2018 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Last week I published a story looking at Manny Perry’s WAR model, the Flames recent blockbuster with Carolina and the potential signing of Derek Ryan.

It was an interesting exercise to bring an subjectively weighted model into the analysis in an objective player to player standpoint. The basic summary was the Flames took a step forward in the Carolina transaction at least when it came to current NHLers (Adam Fox issue to be debated), and that adding Derek Ryan would further bolster the lineup.

Now with the Ryan signing official, we look again at said model, the new Flames roster with the surprising add of James Neal, and how the WAR model correlates with the standings from last year.

– Full Article –


A Derek Ryan Signing, the Trade and the WAR Model

June 29th, 2018 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Social media can be a cavernous and spooky place, chalk filled with great hockey minds, fringe opinions and a lot of extremes. Often these extremes can manifest around the same topic, with fans changing sides in minutes based on a fringe statistic or analysis.

When Bill Peters was on Calgary radio earlier this week he was asked about Derek Ryan, to which he admitted they’d like to bring him to Calgary. The comments set off a backlash from many about bringing his own people in. How many terrible Hurricane players do you need in Calgary? Not another fourth line player in his 30s. What are the Flames doing?

Derek Ryan is the current lightning rod, and acts as a pretty interesting study into statistics and how they could be or are being used to weed out signing and trade targets in the National Hockey League.

Who is Derek Ryan?

– Full Article –


Top Six Construction: The Squeeze!

June 16th, 2018 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Flames need to score more goals.

That statement won’t come as a shock to anyone.

When Bob McKenzie sat Brad Treliving and the other GMs down in Penticton before last season, one of his standard questions going in the campaign was what kept each manager up at night.

Treliving didn’t pause a moment before suggesting goal scoring was his biggest fear. Where would they come from? Would they score enough?

He was right. They didn’t score enough, and when they did it was concentrated on too few players. Injuries finally crumbled the foundation sending the team from a playoff club in late February to a meek squad playing out the squad until the end.

It wasn’t pretty. – Full Article –



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