Player News - Flames

Date: Team: Pos:

Second round pick Hunter Smith is enjoying his playoff run with the OHL's Oshawa Generals.

Smith's Generals are in the Memorial Cup after defeating the Connor McDavid led Erie Otters in the OHL final. Smith, at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, was a big part of shutting down McDavid as he played on a line with Cole Cassels and Brad Latour which held McDavid pointless in three of the five games. "I’ve never really won anything in hockey in my life ... never really made it deep into the playoffs," Smith said. "You never really understood that mental grind that it takes to really push yourself ... and how beat down your body gets (with) the travel, the bus trips, having to play every other night for two months straight. It was a huge learning curve for me. It gives you a taste of how hard it could be at the next level." Smith will turn 20 just before the start of training camp and will likely spend another year in junior before beginning his professional career.
May 23 - 6:20 AM

One name that has surfaced as a possible dark horse candidate for the San Jose Sharks' head coaching gig is long time NHL'er, and former Shark, Dave Lowry.

With 19 seasons and 1,084 regular season games of experience, plus 111 more games in the playoffs at the NHL level, Lowry is no stranger to the rigors of the top level of hockey. He even spent 1997-2000 with the Sharks, making the playoffs in each go. But he's a dark horse behind rumored candidates Dan Bylsma, Randy Carlyle, Peter DeBoer, and Adam Oates, all of whom boast time as top dog behind an NHL bench, with success to boot. "It’s all about opportunities, but opportunities with the right people," Lowry said of the rumor about his candidacy. It should be noted that Lowry was an assistant coach with Calgary from 2009-12, and he's been a successful head coach in the WHL. He won Coach of the Year with the Victoria Royals in 2013-14, and has gone a combined 83-50-11 over the last two seasons. He also won gold at the World Junior Championships with Team Canada as an assistant.
May 22 - 9:00 PM

No one wants to be the backup, let alone the third string goalie and Calgary's Joni Ortio has his sights set on their starting gig in 2015-16.

"That’s what I’ll be looking to do next September in camp and trying to steal that number one job," Ortio said during his exit interview on Tuesday. He may have a leg up on his big plans, as backup Karri Ramo is a free agent if he isn't re-signed by July 1st. "It’s going to be the two best guys in training camp that are going to get the spots. That’s what our standards are over here." Ortio has just 15 games of NHL experience since being drafted 171st overall in 2009. He's 8-6-0 with six Quality Starts against just three Really Bad Starts with 35 goals 346 combined shots with Calgary. His numbers with AHL Adirondack last season were more encouraging, going 21-13-1 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.69 GAA in 37 games. He'll be entering his age-24 season in September as well. "No one is guaranteed a spot. I’ve got to work hard."
May 22 - 7:39 PM

Jakub Nakladal has signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames.

Nakladal had three goals, 15 points, and 63 penalty minutes in 50 SM-liiga games in 2014-15. He also represented the Czech Republic in the 2015 World Championship, recording five assists in 10 games. He's more of a defensive defenseman and his contributions with the puck will likely be marginal at the NHL level. Also keep in mind that he'll be 28 in December, so he doesn't have much in the way of untapped potential. In other words, this is a signing that's more noteworthy to Flames fans than it is most fantasy owners.
May 19 - 6:24 PM

Jonas Hiller has one year left on his current contract.

The Flames have him and Joni Ortio under contract for next season, but Karri Ramo is eligible for unrestricted free agency. Hiller and Ramo split time for Calgary last season, but it was Ramo who got to play in the second round of the playoffs against Anaheim. "It was tough because I thought I had a really good series against Vancouver and I never got the chance to play against Anaheim," said Hiller. "But at the same time, it was something similar over the whole year, which wasn't easy to have two guys to help the team, sometimes it was tough because you felt good about your game and then you didn't play for a while." If Ramo leaves then Hiller should get an increase in starts.
May 18 - 4:37 PM

Karri Ramo is eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer.

Calgary's crease situation will be an interesting topic for management to discuss. He shared the crease with Jonas Hiller during the 2014-15 season and was the Flames' goalie of choice for the latter part of the playoffs. Hiller has one year left on his contract and Joni Ortio has a one-way deal for the 2015-16 campaign. Ramo posted a 15-9-3 record with a .912 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA, but he could be allowed to test the free agent market.
May 14 - 1:09 PM

Mikael Backlund will be a restricted free agent this summer.

He expressed his hope to stay with the Flames, but there's a chance he could be traded. "I love Calgary. This city feels like home to me now," Backlund said. "I'd love to be part of the future here. We'll see what happens this summer, if they want to keep me around, but I like it here and I'm sure we'll figure it out. Hopefully, the right numbers and the right deal." He had 10 goals and 17 assists in 52 games during the regular season and two points in 11 playoff contests.
Source: Calgary Sun
May 13 - 2:52 PM

Micheal Ferland sustained an oblique sprain in Game 4 against Vancouver.

He didn't miss a game of that series, but sat out Game 2 and Game 3 against Anaheim because of "an upper-body injury." Ferland had three goals, five points and 23 penalty minutes in nine playoff contests. He will be a restricted free agent in the summer and is hoping to be a regular skater with Calgary next season.
May 13 - 2:42 PM

Sam Bennett, who had shoulder surgery earlier in the year, reported that he felt great during the playoffs.

"The shoulder felt 100 percent," said the 18-year-old. "I've never had my shoulders feel so good in my life. Felt good." Bennett had three goals and four points in 11 games during the playoffs after he posted an assist in one regular season appearance. He should be with the Flames on a full-time basis in 2015-16.
May 13 - 2:22 PM

The Calgary Flames will make re-signing Mark Giordano a priority this summer.

Giordano was looking like a serious Norris Trophy candidate before his 2014-15 campaign was cut short due to torn biceps. He still has a season left on his five-year, $20.1 million contract, but it's not surprising to see Calgary aim to re-sign its captain with plenty of time to spare. Giordano will likely end up getting a significant raise.
May 12 - 6:51 PM

Sean Monahan was playing through a leg injury during the playoffs.

Monahan had a great sophomore season with 31 goals and 62 points in 81 contests. He went on to score another three goals and six points in 11 playoff contests. Still just 20 years old, Monahan should be a big part of the Flames' offense for years to come. He might not take another big step forward in 2015-16, but we don't expect him to regress either.
May 12 - 5:20 PM

Lance Bouma had undergone surgery to repair a broken index finger.

Bouma needed a rod and eight screws to fix his finger. He had 16 goals and 34 points in 78 contests in 2014-15 and played in Calgary's final two playoff contests.
May 12 - 4:07 PM

Paul Byron underwent surgery due to a sports hernia.

Byron also needs to have his wrist scoped at some point this summer and suffered broken toe towards the end of the season. He wasn't able to participate in the playoffs and was limited to 57 regular season contests. He had six goals and 19 points when he was healthy.
May 12 - 3:57 PM

Joe Colborne was playing through a wrist injury for most of the 2014-15 campaign.

Colborne will see a specialist about it now that the season is over. We'll have to wait to see if he'll need surgery and what his timetable is, but it would be somewhat surprising if it turns out that this is a serious enough problem to keep him out for the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
May 12 - 1:20 PM

Johnny Gaudreau potted his fourth goal of the playoffs in Game 5, as Calgary was eliminated from the playoffs by Anaheim.

He gave the Flames a 2-1 lead going into the third period, but the Ducks came from behind and won the game by a score of 3-2 in overtime. Gaudreau finished the postseason with a three-game point streak and nine points in 11 outings.
May 11 - 10:25 AM

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