Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The NHL free-agent courting period has done wonders in for creating dialog.
The problem is all the idle chatter has plugged the lines on trade talks.
"It stalls a lot of things," Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving said after completing the NHL Draft. "You look at the number of signings, the lack of signings, of players that are their own free agents. I would assume those teams that want players back have made offers, and now everybody's waiting. I don't necessarily know if the market is being driven by it, but it's slowing the market, without question."
The logjam will end Tuesday when the 30 teams open their chequebooks in the hopes of landing this year's crop of free agents.
continue for more on the Flames...
Brendan Shanahan and Brian Burke.
from Aaron Vickers of CalgaryFlames.com,
He hasn’t always been the grizzled face on the draft floor.
Once upon a time, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke was a fresh-faced rookie tasked with navigating his first National Hockey League draft day.
“My first draft was as assistant GM in Vancouver with Pat Quinn and Pat was in a difficulty with the League because he had coached LA, gone to Vancouver and they suspended him briefly so he wasn’t at the table,” Burke recounted. “It was my first draft and I’m running the draft. There were scouts there who have been doing it 20 years. I was 31 or 32. My previous experience was six years as a lawyer. I’d never been at a draft table before.
“We took Rob Murphy, who worked out pretty well. He played a fair amount for us and a fair amount for Ottawa. He still works for Ottawa. Great kid but I remember being terrified.
"You’re at the table with guys who have been doing this 30 years and you’re trying to say, ‘this is the type of player we want’ and they’re looking at you like, ‘hey, kid, you’re brand new at this. You’re American to boot so shut up and sit there’. It was intimidating.”
continue for Burke's draft history...
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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