Calgary Flames, More Signings

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The Calgary Flames have made two more significant signings.

The Flames have hired Don Maloney as Vice President of hockey operations. Maloney is originally from Ontario and was drafted in 1978. He played for the Rangers, Whalers, and Islanders before making his way behind the scenes in the NHL. Included in his resume are GM of the NY Islanders, VP of player personnel for the NY Rangers, and, most recently, GM of the Arizona Coyotes. In August of 2016, Maloney was hired as a scout for the Calgary Flames and now has been bumped to VP of hockey operations.

It makes me wonder if Brian Burke is on his way out of the hockey operations game. Retirement, maybe? Time will tell.

The have re-signed head coach Ryan Huska in Stockton. Huska played for the Kamloops Blazers during his WHL career and for the Chicago Blackhawks during his short NHL career. He spent time as the assistant coach in Kelowna for the Rockets before being named head coach. In 2014, he was hired as head coach of the Adirondack Flames and made the move with the team to become the Stockton Heat. Last season he notched a 34-25-9 record in Stockton.

I think it was a smart move for the Flames organization and I hope to see more success from the Heat this season.

For more information on the signings, check out the Calgary Flames website.

Calgary Flames Off-Season, Notable Acquisitions and Departures

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The off-season is long. Especially if your team doesn’t make it to the playoffs. But a lot can happen after playoffs have ended and when teams are taking a break and laying low.

First, the Flames have always had a “goalie situation” since the departure of Miikka Kiprusoff in 2013. So it’s no surprise that the Flames were in the market for another goalie during the off-season.

Enter Mike Smith.

Chad Johnson, who was acquired only last season, was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Mike Smith. Even though Johnson didn’t stay with Arizona, Smith has remained with Calgary, where he will most likely get the starting position during the 2017-2018 season. He was a hit or miss goalie during his time with the Coyotes, and I think Calgary will continue with their goalie issues until they can find someone more reliable in net.

Speaking of goalie issues, I have an issue with the acquisition of Eddie Lack. Yes, he’s got a good personality. Yes, he seems like a good young goalie to work through the ranks. But the Flames don’t have that kind of time. They need results now. And with Lack’s previous stint in Vancouver (our arch rivals!) and his 54 wins and 51 losses in the NHL, I don’t have a lot of faith in him.

Maybe Smith and Lack will surprise me. Maybe they’ll come out swinging and prove me wrong. I genuinely hope they do. Because the Flames need some solid goaltending in the wake of a few disasterous seasons.

Offence hasn’t been too much of an issue for the Flames. They’ve penned Monahan, Gaudreau, Backlund, Versteeg, and Tkachuk to contracts and there’s no shortage of firepower from any of those players.

The defensive core has stumbled in the past couple seasons. Giordano and Brodie, once pegged as the most powerful defensive pairing in the NHL, have been pulled apart and paired with other partners. With Hamilton and Engelland, they created the core of the Flames defence and they did pretty well. With the departure of Engelland to Las Vegas, there was an important spot to fill.

And that placement has gone to Travis Hamonic. From what I hear, Hamonic is a consistent d-man and has been known to break out in the offensive zone. He logs an average of 23 minutes per game and his off-ice antics endear the fans. If he’s as good as people tell me, the Flames defence may have just gotten better. And Hamonic will be a key player.

Most of the departures in Calgary didn’t surprise me. As the Calgary Flames handed out qualifying offers to some of the more proactive players, Alex Chiasson was left empty-handed. Lance Bouma was also left in the dust and was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. They were not the impact players that Calgary had hoped for and I knew they were playing on borrowed time.

With the change-up in the roster this season, generally speaking, I think the Flames made some good moves. But they have a lot to prove in order to make it not just through the regular season, but through the first round of playoffs – which is where they’ve been stuck for two of three seasons.

It would be nice to see a substantial playoff run in 2018, but I won’t hold my breath.

Introduction To Managing The Rink

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If you’ve been following my regular website, Girl In Grey Boots, you’re familiar with my Managing The Rink series. It’s a series dedicated to my adventures in the world of hockey.

I’ve changed things up a bit. Managing The Rink will now be more focused on the Calgary Flames as I update this website on Flames related news and information. I’ll include game recaps, my own analysis, transactions and trades, as well as breaking news about the Calgary team.

Because that’s what the world needs – another armchair GM with a website.
😉