October 19 2016 11:30AM
Back in June, the Calgary Flames lucked out when they drafted Matthew Tkachuk at sixth overall. A product of the St. Louis minor hockey system (and son of long-time NHLer Keith), Tkachuk was a very good player for the U.S. National Development Program's U18 team and then a very good player for the London Knights last season.
He's played four games thus far for the Flames. If he plays 10 games, the first season of his entry-level contract – the three cheapest seasons of a productive offensive player's career – will be burned off and his deal will begin to run. There are many aspects to the "Should Tkachuk play all season in the NHL?" discussion. For right now, let's focus entirely on what's happening on the ice.
How has he been through four games?
October 18 2016 09:00AM
With a pair of games in the books, it's been interesting to see certain players in their first taste of meaningful hockey for the 2016-17 season.
Looking specifically at the Canucks crease, Ryan Miller already has a sort of shutout but wasn't actually credited with one. Jacob Markstrom looked shaky in his first start but fought through to keep his team in it and get his first 'w' of the season.
Back on the farm, Richard Bachman and Thatcher Demko suffered the Toronto Marlies borderline NHL quality roster, and needless to say, it didn't go well. Both goalies surrendered five goals in their respective appearances.
October 17 2016 09:00AM
Remember Bernie Nicholls? The three-time NHL all-star and two-time 100+ point scorer jumped on a phone call with me to discuss the latest around the NHL today and throwing it back a little to discuss some old timers hockey.
Here's what he had to say:
October 17 2016 07:00AM
There was a lot of excitement in Leafs Nation heading into the 2016-17 NHL season, with a crop of top prospects that included 1st overall pick Auston Matthews, Memorial Cup MVP Mitch Marner, and Swedish wunderkind William Nylander. It took just one game for that excitement to pay off when Matthews put in an incredible four goal performance, setting an NHL record as the only player to score four times in their NHL debut. Matthews' performance is even more impressive when you realise that only one player (Sam Bennett) had a 4-goal game last year, and only 13 players have matched that total in the past five seasons.
Scoring four goals in one game is quite rare; doing it in your first NHL game even moreso. But how long does it normally take for a star to score their first four career goals? For that matter, how long does it take someone who isn't as skilled as most first overall picks? Let's delve into some history and find out.
October 16 2016 02:15PM
We're only three games into the 2016-17 National Hockey League season for the Calgary Flames, but one shadow will loom over this entire year: the upcoming 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
With the Las Vegas
Desert Knights, er, No-Names, joining the NHL for 2017-18, we're having an expansion draft in late June. That additional draft will mean a flurry of additional trade and signing activity, and has already resulted in a ton of pro scout traffic in the early season. (Traditionally, pro scouts only head out en masse prior to the trade deadline.)
How are the Flames looking in regards to the expansion draft and its various requirements?