Two years in, and still no critical thought of Calgary's new arena project

christian tiberi
May 01 2017 04:27PM

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PHOTO CREDIT: SERGEI BELSKI / USA TODAY SPORTS

In recent days, an article from the Calgary Sun has made the rounds on social media, mostly because of its big scary title: "Flames aren’t bluffing, it’s just a basic business decision." In reference to the recent developments regarding the new arena for the Calgary Flames, the author argues that the team is actually serious about moving, and that the city should pony up and pay for the new arena. It's the same old crock.

I really wouldn't care about it (not even going to bother to directly link to it), but the Flames' own players are starting to tweet it out and, from my observation, it's causing panic for people who should really know better. Even worse, it's causing people to agree with the arguments despite the lack of critical thought used in writing said article.

Ever since Ken King appeared on Toronto radio, we've been exposed to takes that take his poor word choice seriously, and this is the latest. It's a mish-mash of bad arguments and deliberate misinformation designed to scare the reader into believing that your city government is trying to screw you out of a hockey team (for reasons unknown, really. The article isn't well-constructed).

Here is a point-by-point rebuttal of these arguments, because critical thinking is key for these situations.

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What's wrong with the Stockton Heat?

christian tiberi
February 23 2017 10:00AM


There's a minor problem with the Flames' minor prospects. The Stockton Heat just aren't winning games (although they did last night by a big margin, after this article was written). 

That's putting it lightly, because they've only scored 15 goals in their last 10 games. That doesn't sound too bad, but 11 of those goals happened in only three of those games. They've been shut out four times in 2017 alone. The team that scored four or more goals in 12 games from October to December has only done that four times in January and February. They're below .500, near the bottom of their division despite an awesome start, and are probably not going to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. They stink.

The Flames have had a not great AHL team for a while now. The last time their AHL affiliate made the playoffs, it was 2013-14. This year is surprising however, as the team has not had major injury problems and the big team hasn't had to gut them for players. There's nothing to say except that they're bad.

It all raises an important question: why do they suck?

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Looking at the upcoming Sam Bennett extension

christian tiberi
February 10 2017 11:00AM

The big drama of the previous offseason was how the Calgary Flames would re-sign Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. The entire saga was dragged out over the summer, and involved a lot of nervousness, ridiculous trade rumours, a Kanye West tweet, and a surprisingly cheap deal right at the eve of the season.

This year is Sam Bennett's year, and it should go smoother. With a projected $22.5M available this upcoming offseason, there's plenty of space to get a deal done. He also doesn't have two 60-point seasons under his belt, so he should come in significantly cheaper. At best, he could come 75% off.

The Flames have a few options when it comes to Bennett, but they also have a few things that should concern them. Let's take a look.

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Reevaluating Morgan Klimchuk

christian tiberi
November 08 2016 10:00AM

Morgan Klimchuk will always have big boots to fill. Being the guy who was traded for Jarome Iginla, he has most often been the butt of the joke that was post-apex Jay Feaster management. 

While Sean Monahan dazzled in the NHL and Emile Poirier was lighting lamps in the Q, Klimchuk plodded along in the Dub. He probably was the least impressive of the 2013 first rounders, struggling to find his place among the WHL's best. At the same time, Monahan was scoring 60 in the NHL and Poirier was being named an AHL all-star in his first year of pro. His unimpressive WHL stint turned into a disappointing AHL stint, with nine points in 55 games during his first full try in the league. Many, probably everyone, thought he was done.

That's why it's such a shock to see people clammoring for him to be called up, or to have no choice but to acknowledge him as one of the best prospects in the organization right now. Morgan Klimchuk has broken last year's records for points and goals in 48 fewer games. How did he turn the corner?

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Here's why the Flames are burning a year on Matthew Tkachuk

christian tiberi
November 03 2016 02:30PM

Matthew Tkachuk will play his 10th NHL game tonight, burning off the first year of his ELC, meaning his contract will expire a year earlier than it needs to. With four points in nine games, it's a bold move for the team. 

Tkachuk, from a points perspective, isn't producing enough to say he is a vital contributor to this team. Since he is not providing any additional wins through his points contribution, it would be good from a contract perspective to send him to London and bring up Hunter Shinkaruk and have him produce at a similar rate for no ELC loss.

On the other hand, Tkachuk is simply playing out of his mind, regardless of whether or not it shows up on the scoresheet. By looking at the possession numbers, you can certainly make the argument that Tkachuk playing in the NHL is the right spot. In fact among one of the strongest rookie classes in recent NHL memory, he is one of the best possession players.

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