There's no cavalry coming: Calgary's solutions have to be from within

Ryan Pike
October 26 2016 02:30PM

We're eight games into the 2016-17 Calgary Flames season and our local hockey club is almost at the .500 mark. They've played a couple really good games against really good teams (on the road even), and they managed to course correct without any outside stimulus.

That last part is important because, given their salary cap situation, it's extremely unlikely that the Flames will be able to bring in any outside assistance via trade, recall or even waivers. There's no cavalry that's going to ride in and galvanize the team or shake things up. 

They'll have to do it themselves.

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How has Matthew Tkachuk fared through four games?

Ryan Pike
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?

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The Flames are quietly preparing for the NHL expansion draft

Ryan Pike
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?

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Cap-wise, the Flames can afford to give Johnny Gaudreau $8 million

Ryan Pike
September 29 2016 01:15PM

The Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau have been able to negotiate a contract extension since July 1, 2015. Understandably, they didn't sign a long-term extension when the forward had just a single season under his belt. Both sides wanted to see what he was before committing.

The 2015-16 came and went, and Gaudreau was one of the top players in the entire National Hockey League. The Flames have had the entire off-season to negotiate a deal with Gaudreau, and a report from the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis indicated that negotiations began in earnest in February. After nearly seven months of talks, nothing has been resolved, and the gap between the camps is reportedly close to $1.5 million: the Flames aiming for around $6.5 million, the Gaudreau camp around $8 million.

One potential sticking point for the Flames is the salary cap. However, it's entirely possible for the Flames to give Gaudreau an $8 million payday and still fit under the cap ceiling. Here's how it could work.

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Taking a look at Calgary's camp tryouts

Ryan Pike
September 22 2016 08:00AM

The Calgary Flames announced their training camp roster last night, including dozens of players from previous seasons of the team... and six names we probably didn't expect to see.

Those six? They're the few. They proud. The professional tryouts.

Let's get to know them, shall we?

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