March 01 2017 04:30PM
Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
The Calgary Flames are not contenders. They appear to be on the upswing, and odds are looking good they'll make the playoffs this season, but they aren't a major threat to win anything yet. They're a team that is not in any position to rent players for a playoff run.
And for the most part, they stuck to their word. Michael Stone may or may not turn out to be a rental, but at 26 years of age, he certainly fits into the Flames' age group.
And so does 22-year-old Curtis Lazar. He's the fifth 2013 first round pick the Flames have acquired: a month older than Morgan Klimchuk, who has yet to make his NHL debut; and younger than Sean Monahan, Hunter Shinkaruk, and Emile Poirier. Following the trade, Brad Treliving was emphatic that this was a long-term move, and Lazar was a part of the Flames' plans for the future.
Contrast that to, say, the 35-year-old Radim Vrbata. The Flames are aware they're still building a team, and they decided to spend assets on someone they expect to be a part of it for years to come.
March 01 2017 02:00PM
Brandon Davidson was a rare feel good story in a gloomy era of Oilers hockey. He overcame testicular cancer and as a sixth round selection in 2010, beat the odds of making it to the NHL. Very few 162nd overall picks play in the NHL, but to date Davidson has dressed for 91 NHL games.
He is a great story, but was he going to be part of the Oilers future?
February 28 2017 03:27PM
It's time for your weekly dose of the NHL Numbers power rankings. I'll look at the five best and worst NHL teams thus far in the season, as well as the three best and worst players in the last week.
Note: All use of Corsi For and Expected Goals For are Score and Venue Adjusted, and at even strength. All stats come from Corsica Hockey, and NHL.com (don't worry, it's only the standings).
February 28 2017 07:00AM
The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don't quite deserve their own article.
More trades! Washington acquires Kevin Shattenkirk. The Leafs add depth at centre. The Canucks finally act like the sellers they should have been years ago. Pulkkinen gets another NHL shot and who is left to be moved between non and Wednesday's deadline?
February 27 2017 06:01PM
Photo Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY SPORTS
It's been a long time since the Toronto Maple Leafs have been buyers at the deadline. I'm not even talking all-in, trading the youth core, throwing away first round picks levels of buying. In the past thirteen years, the Leafs' idea of "going for it" in late-February, early-March has been trading for Yanic Perreault in 2007 and Ryan O'Byrne in 2013.
But, just a year removed from the basement, the Leafs have made their first splash, and possibly not their last. It's not quite a blockbuster, but in Brian Boyle, the Leafs have made a significant upgrade to their depth down the middle.