Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Training camp is so close you can almost feel it, so it is time to shake more of the rust off and do a little rambling.
Pretty darned good summer for Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving, who stole Dougie Hamilton away from the Boston Bruins at the draft and then locked him in long-term while adding useful forward Michael Frolik, a former Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks. Then, earlier this week Treliving took care of priority No. 1: Locking up heart-and-soul captain Mark Giordano to a very salary cap-friendly six-year deal worth an average of $6.75 million per season. It's a deal that gives Treliving lots of cap-room flexibility moving forward, even if there's always a risk in such a long-term deal when Giordano will have just turned 33 when the deal kicks in next October. Many believe the Flames are due a step back this season after a surprising run to the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. But that run was accomplished without Hamilton and Giordano, who was out with a torn biceps tendon. Nothing is guaranteed in the wild Western Conference, but Treliving has his Flames well-positioned to return to the playoffs, not just this season but for the foreseeable future.
One byproduct of the Giordano signing is that the attention on top-end players entering their contract years is amped up. Tops on that list of course is Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, followed closely by Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar. The slower-than-expected rise in the salary cap coupled with benchmark contracts like those extended to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane by the Blackhawks last summer that kick in this season has made life more difficult for all GMs, but specifically for Lightning GM Steve Yzerman and Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Locking up Stamkos and Kopitar are obvious priorities for the Bolts and the Kings respectively and we assume the deals will get done, but the longer it takes, the more speculation will percolate that things are amiss.
continued with more topics...
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
To the Calgary Flames faithful, GM Brad Treliving’s elevated himself to lofty status.
On the heels of the team signing captain Mark Giordano to a contract extension — essentially capping a summer in which the club also acquired and inked rising star blueliner Dougie Hamilton among a few other impressive moves — the praise for Treliving has gone off the charts.
Words of “wizard” and “genius” were all over Twitter in the aftermath of Giordano’s extension being announced on Tuesday....
And his latest signing, inking Giordano to a six-year extension which pays an average salary of US$6.75 million, has other benefits than just keeping the team’s captain in the fold.
“I do think Mark Giordano on the open market can make more than what Mark Giordano signed for here with us,” Treliving said. “Absolutely he did a good deal for himself, but I also think he was very cognizant of his team here and making sure we give ourselves the best chance moving forward to have success.”
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed their captain Mark Giordano to a six-year contract.
Giordano, a native of Toronto, Ontario, has been the captain of the Calgary Flames since 2013. He has played his entire NHL career with Calgary, amassing 66 goals and 179 assists for 245 points along with 466 penalty minutes in 510 games.
Last season Giordano was named to the NHL All-Star Game and was a finalist for the NHL’s Foundation Player Award. Giordano was leading all NHL defensemen in scoring with 11 goals, 37 assists for 48 points in 61 games played before sustaining a season ending injury on February 25th.
from the Calgary Sun,
Along with an NHL arena and a covered football stadium that will double as a public fieldhouse, the proposed CalgaryNEXT complex will include a FIFA-sized soccer field and 400 metre indoor track.
Calgary Flames president and CEO Ken King unveiled tentative plans to season ticket holders Tuesday afternoon, with the project slated to go in the west end of downtown where the Greyhound bus station and a pair of car dealerships now sit....
Renderings shown during the presentation have the complex bring built just west of the 14 St. Bridge on the south side of the Bow River.
King said during the presentation that bars and restaurants would be part of the development, however it would not become another Red Mile, the stretch of 17 Ave. S.W. made famous during the team’s 2004 playoff run.
The Flames organization will put up $200 million toward the $890 million project and will ask the city to contribute $200 million toward the fieldhouse portion, with another $240 million coming from a community revitalization tax and $250 million from a ticket tax.
added 4:32pm, Calgary press release is below...
“I think we need to do a better job of tapping the hockey market in North America that has Irish ancestry. There are some pretty prominent hockey people from Irish families – their parents or grandparents were right off the boat. There have been a couple of players, like Owen Nolan from Belfast, who were born here. So that’s the number one thing. We haven’t really tapped that group for fundraising ability or interest so we’ve got to do a better job on our side of the water and the investors, the buildings – they’re things we’re working on in the gestation period.”
-Brian Burke, President of Hockey Operations for the Calgary Flames. Burke was recently in Ireland to promote the game and Eoin O’Callaghan of Yahoo has more from and on Burke.
from Aaron Vickers at NHL.com,
Here are three questions facing the Flames this season:
Will the Flames regress in 2015-16? For the majority of last season, the Flames bucked the trend when it came to advanced analytics. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche did the same in previous seasons and found fleeting success in doing so. The Maple Leafs and Avalanche each followed their advanced stats-defying success by failing to reach the playoffs the following season. The continued development of young players Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett, coupled with the additions of Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik, who boast strong possession numbers, will be Calgary's best means to counteract that.
Can Calgary's youth continue to improve? In Monahan's second season, his goal total rose from 22 to 31, and his points increased from 34 to 62. Gaudreau, a finalist for the Calder Trophy, had a 24-goal, 64-point season. Defenseman T.J. Brodie, 25, scored an NHL career-high 41 points, and forward Lance Bouma, also 25, had new career marks with 16 goals and 34 points. Whether these totals are replicated or were a single-season aberration will go a long way in determining the Flames' fate this season.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
On either side of fishin’ magician Brad Treliving, two of the biggest catches of the summer: Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik.
They slipped on their new duds, Hamilton donning No. 27 and Frolik No. 67 (the Brian Burke-imposed mandate against double-digits higher than 40 apparently gone by the boards) to pose for the obligatory grip-’n’-grin photo ops.
The word “excited” was ladled out in generous portions.
“Today,” said Treliving, kicking off a 10 a.m. media availability, “we want to officially introduce both Dougie and Michael to Calgary, to you folks and to our fans.”
Two more reasons for the Calgary Flames’ faithful to at least dream of aiming for the stars.
Rather than reflect on a job well done, sit tight and monitor what was already an encouraging situation, Treliving and his organization refused to stand still, weren’t willing to be satisfied or stay status-quo. The proof was there, in the flesh, Friday.
In this business, it’s been proven, idlers get left behind.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
By acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Flames now have the deepest blue line in the league. On their depth chart, Hamilton is No. 3 behind Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie. Ex-Bruin Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, and Deryk Engelland round out the six-pack. “In a lot of ways, our blue line carried our team,” Calgary GM Brad Treliving said in a conference call announcing Hamilton’s extension. “Not only just in terms of their play, but a lot of nights, they drove our offense as well. To add a player like Dougie into that mix, you not only look at what he brings, but how it complements the rest of the group. It gives us another tool in the toolbox for the coaching staff to distribute minutes.”
Hamilton is also an internal asset in case negotiations with Giordano go sideways. The No. 1 defenseman will be unrestricted next July 1. He has an average annual value of only $4 million. This will be the 31-year-old Giordano’s final swing at a blockbuster deal. He’ll want big money and term, especially after suffering a season-ending biceps injury in 2014-15. Re-signing Giordano is Calgary’s priority. But talks could always break down. If so, Hamilton is a good Plan B.
many more hockey topics...
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
“You’re planning for things. You’re aware of things,” Treliving said. “You can’t operate in a world of fear, thinking the sniper’s behind the bush, but you also have to be wise to the ways of the world. And I think we’re in a new world.
“You’re always planning for beyond the next season, planning for things on the horizon and how you’re going to address them.”
In Calgary’s case, the first step would be to sign Gaudreau and Monahan before they become RFAs, which could happen on Canada Day 2016.
To protect themselves, though, they’re making sure they have enough salary-cap space.
As of now, forwards Jiri Hudler and David Jones (both with US$4-million salary-cap hits) are in the final year of their contracts. Same thing goes for goalies Jonas Hiller ($4.5 million) and Karri Ramo ($3.8 million) and defencemen Mark Giordano ($4.02 million) and Kris Russell ($2.6 million).
They won’t be able to — or maybe even want to — keep all those players in the fold beyond next season.
To think, for the past couple of years, the Flames have openly talked about taking on salary for an asset with all their salary-cap space.
“It’s a good thing we didn’t do that,” Treliving admitted. “We’ve hit that stage now (with less cap space on the horizon), and it’s by the play of those young players, they’re going to need new contracts.
“We’ve positioned ourselves where we’ve not got into a pinch.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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