Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
“I think the one word that still comes with Calgary has to be patience,” McLennan told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation. “They sold to fans a complete rebuild.”
What happened last season, in Brian Burke’s first year as team president and Bob Hartley’s first full season as coach in Calgary? The Flames were in a league-high 49 one-goal games. The Flames still finished sixth in the Pacific Division, but they competed every night.
“They were in every game, which was exciting for the fans,” McLennan said. “Bob Hartley did a great job, but the message still has to be, don’t expect too much. Allowing guys like Sean Monahan another year to see what he’s like, another year of experience for Sven Baertschi and Mikael Backlund. They have some young pieces.“
Johnny Gaudreau with a deek then the backhand goes top-shelf, far corner.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The success Johnny Gaudreau has had the past many years has him believing even greater things can come.
But an engine behind his push is one big disappointment.
The accolades Gaudreau received over the last few years include winning the Hobey Baker Award last season as the top player in the NCAA, numerous all-star and MVP honours and even scoring a goal in his NHL debut.
But the Calgary Flames hopeful also remembers the sting of not making the U.S. world junior team for the 2012 championship, and he’s using it for motivation as he approaches his first NHL training camp.
“It’s just like growing up. As a smaller player, I got cut from a few teams, and it’s a terrible feeling to get cut. I hope I don’t have that feeling again,” Gaudreau said Thursday after he and the other team hopefuls reported for fitness-testing and medicals in anticipation of prospects camp.
“You try to make sure you don’t have that feeling again, get that feeling out of your stomach. I think that is what’s driving me to make this team this year.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
With his family ties to the area and nearby ranch, it's been the perfect blend of his personal and professional life.
It's why in the summer of 2011 the Flames left-winger signed a below-market-value contract, a four-year, US$10.2-million pact.
But as Glencross readies for the coming campaign -- the final year of that contract, after which he's due to become an unrestricted free agent -- he's well aware what he's possibly facing. That includes in-season negotiations, being part of the rumour mill and maybe even having to approve a deal, since he has a no-movement clause.
However, the 31-year-old veteran is vowing he won't give another home-town discount.
"I love Calgary. I love the Flames organization. My last contract proves that I love this organization," he said after skating at WinSport at Canada Olympic Park with the collection of players in town. "But I've seen the contracts that are going out now and the comparables, and I'm not going to sell myself short.
"When it comes down to it, I'm an unrestricted free-agent come July 1st and I have a no-move clause in my contract. I'd like to get something done before the season started, but in the long run, the longer we wait, unrestricted free-agency's July 1st."
from Aaron Vickers at NHL.com,
Can the Flames take positive steps forward? -- The Flames finished 27th in the NHL standings last season with 77 points, but there were plenty of reasons for optimism. In the first year of a rebuild, the Flames fielded a competitive team which tied an NHL record for games decided by one goal (49).
Though new general manager Brad Treliving isn't necessarily measuring success in wins and points, progress remains a necessity.
"The expectation every day is we come out and we get better and we work," he said. "I think the demands that our coaching staff puts on the players is the expectation to get better. This isn't something we can sit here and say, 'Well, it was a great story last year and we did a lot of good things and we all felt good.' The fact of the matter is, we have to get better. It wasn't good enough last year.
"The expectation that we've put on ourselves internally and the demands we're going to put on people internally is not going to allow us to stand still because ultimately in this business, if you're standing still, if you think you're maintaining, you're going backward. If you're not moving forward, you're slipping."
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed right winger Devin Setoguchi to a one-year contract.
Setoguchi, a native of Taber, Alberta, spent last season with the Winnipeg Jets netting 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points in 75 games. Over his seven year NHL career, he has scored 127 goals and added 122 assists for 249 points in 459 games with San Jose, Minnesota and Winnipeg.
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
“I’d watch these kids, all knock-kneed — they couldn’t get over their skates properly,” says Crowder. “So I’d grind up some plastic, get some Velcro, hook something onto their skates . . . and get these little improvements.”
Over a span of five years, he customized the gear of countless skaters.
“My brain’s always trying to figure out puzzles . . . it was kind of a game in my head, you know?” Crowder says. “People who know me — people back home — they always knew I was that kind of guy. Thinking outside the box. Looking at things differently.
“The average Joe would just think that I was a tough-guy goon, dragging my knuckles on the ground, right?”
Crowder, though, discovered a niche.
Not all players are created equally — “Someone’s got a thick shin, someone’s got a skinny ankle, someone’s got big bones, someone’s got big heels” — but a boot’s eyelets? Always in the same place.
Crowder’s solution was a skate attachment that permits a customized bend point. Patented as 55 Flex, skate companies and NHL teams quietly took note.
Last winter, he alleviated the lace-bite issues of a certain chap. Aaron Ekblad.
from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,
A lot of eyebrows were raised around the hockey world Tuesday when TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the details of Engelland’s deal with the Flames, but the Calgary club’s GM, Treliving, pointed out there was lots of interest in the 32-year-old unrestricted free agent and the Saddledome-dwellers had loads of space under the salary cap.
“Is it is a high price? Some will say it’s a very high price,” Treliving said. “Based on our situation, based upon the flexibility we have, we felt it was a very fair price.
“Deryk is a guy who I think, in a lot of ways, has been under-appreciated and undervalued,” Treliving added about Engelland. “If you do the homework and do the research and talk to former players and talk to people in Pittsburgh about what kind of person Deryk is, you get the response that this guy was a big part of their locker-room.”
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.
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