Author: Mike Halford

Anaheim Ducks v Calgary Flames - Game Four

It’s Calgary Flames day at PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Calgary Flames.

Calgary’s 2014-15 campaign could be summed up with one word:


Heading into the season with low expectations and riding a five-year playoff drought, the Flames surprised everyone not just by making the postseason — squeezing out the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings in the process — but also winning their first series in 11 years. Impressively, Calgary did this without the services of captain and top defenseman Mark Giordano, who was lost for the year in late February with a torn biceps.

Individuals exceeded expectations as well.

Bob Hartley, in the last year of his contract, earned himself a two-year extension and then won the Jack Adams as coach of the year. Jiri Hudler smashed his career-high in points, with 76, and went on to capture the Lady Byng. Johnny Gaudreau, who wasn’t even on Bovada’s preseason list of Calder favorites, finished as one of three finalists for rookie of the year.

So, needless to say… it was a pretty stellar year in Cowtown.

Off-season recap

GM Brad Treliving’s second summer in Calgary was by far his most exciting. His boldest move, no question, was orchestrating the blockbuster deal that saw ex-Bruin Dougie Hamilton come aboard for a package of draft picks; Treliving then wasted little time locking up the 22-year-old blueliner, inking him to a six-year, $34.5 million deal.

In free agency, Treliving continued to make significant moves. Former Winnipeg forward Michael Frolik was brought aboard for five years at $21.5 million, and the club opted to bring back goalie Karri Ramo for another year in tandem with Jonas Hiller.

The Flames also re-upped with a few of their quality RFAs — Mikael Backlund, Lance Bouma, Josh Jooris, Paul Byron — and might’ve scored the steal of the draft when Swedish d-man Oliver Kylington, who some had pegged as a potential first-rounder, slipped to them at No. 60.

The only thing Treliving hasn’t done yet, it seems, is sign off on his “No. 1 priority” for the summer — an extension for Giordano. The veteran d-man still has a year left on his deal, so there doesn’t appear to be any rush, but it is worth noting that reports suggested Giordano’s initial ask was for a whopping $9 million per season.

If those contract talks go sideways, they could take the shine off what’s been an otherwise sparkling summer.

PHT Morning Skate: On Dean Lombardi, George Washington and Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

2014 Stanley Cup Final Media Day

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

In case you missed it, here’s a transcript of Dean Lombardi’s epic, history-laden speech upon being named GM of USA’s World Cup of Hockey team. (Eye on Hockey)

The Devils have hired 61-year-old Pertti Hasanen, formerly of Boston University, as their new development/skills coach. (ESPN)

The Gwinnett Gladiators are the new ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins. (Gwinnett Daily Post)

Sidney Crosby has high praise for the moves Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford’s made this summer. (

The Blue Jackets have officially loaned out goalie Oscar Dansk to Rogle BK in Sweden’s top professional league, the Swedish Hockey League. (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Back to school: Hickey returning to BU, Werenski to Michigan

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Two of the better freshmen defensemen in NCAA hockey last season are returning for their sophomore campaigns.

Brandon Hickey, a Calgary draftee from Boston University and Zach Weresnki, the University of Michigan product taken eighth overall by Columbus at the 2015 draft, have opted not to go the Canadian junior route and instead stay at their respective schools.

Hickey’s status was thrown into doubt earlier this week when his WHL rights were traded to Red Deer, who will host the 2016 Memorial Cup. Werenski was rumored to be headed to OHL London, who drafted him in the second round in 2013.

“I’m going back to school, the plan hasn’t changed,” Hickey said, per TSN. “I’m looking for a backup plan in case I get injured. Injuries happen in sports. I don’t want to be a guy that is just tied to hockey.

“I want to be a guy who has options. If hockey doesn’t work out then I’ll always have my degree to fall back on.”

Werenski, meanwhile, confirmed his intention to play another year for the Wolverines to

The returns are a big boon for the collegiate hockey landscape. Hickey is the only NCAA player currently playing for Canada at the World Junior Showcase, and had six goals and 17 points in 41 games last season for the Terriers; Werenski led all Wolverines d-men in scoring, with 25 points in 35 games, and was named to both the Big Ten’s first and all-freshman teams.

Ducks goalie Bobkov signs in KHL

Igor Bobkov
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Anaheim netminder Igor Bobkov has signed a two-year pact with Russian club Admiral Vladivostok, per Championat.

Bobkov, 24, was the Ducks’ third-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. While he never played a regular-season game for the club, he was called up last season when both John Gibson and Frederik Andersen went down to injury (Bobkov briefly backed up Jason LaBarbera, who saw all the action.)

His move to Russia comes after Ducks GM Bob Murray acquired Anton Khudobin from Carolina at the draft. Khudobin is slated to be Andersen’s backup next year — Gibson is expected to get more seasoning in the AHL — which sort of left Bobkov as the odd goalie out, hence him signing in Vladivostok.

‘Hawks, Rangers among eight teams to play for Detroit’s Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup

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The Red Wings have unveiled which teams will be competing for the first-ever Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.

The Hurricanes, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Stars, Wild, Rangers and Blues will send their prospects to Traverse City starting on Sept. 11, to participate in an eight-team tourney — one that will culminate with the awarding of the Cup named after CapGeek founder Matthew Wuest, who passed away in March after a two-year battle with colon cancer.


The tournament will divide the participating teams into two four-team divisions: the Gordie Howe Division (Carolina, Chicago, Dallas and Detroit) and the Ted Lindsay Division (Columbus, Minnesota, NY Rangers and St. Louis).

Teams will play each opponent in their division in a round-robin format before a crossover on the final day of the tournament, capped off with the first-place finishers in each division meeting for the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

This year will mark the 17th time the tournament has been played in Traverse City. In addition to his work with CapGeek, Wuest developed and maintained the now-defunct RedWingsCentral site, which played a key role in covering the early days of the event.