Tag: Kris Russell

Dougie Hamilton

Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks


It’s official: the Calgary Flames have acquired defenseman Dougie Hamilton, sending the Boston Bruins these three draft picks (all in 2015):

  • 15th overall selection.
  • 45th pick.
  • 52nd pick.

The early reactions are that the Bruins didn’t get enough for Hamilton, even if their takeaway is a combination of draft choices and, essentially, cap relief.

As an RFA, Hamilton, 22, still needs a contract. That might not be much of an issue, though.

Even if the Flames trade a blueliner from their bloated mix – perhaps former Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman? – this is a stacked group. Calgary’s defense now includes Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Kris Russell, Wideman and now Hamilton. Few, if any, teams can approach that sort of depth.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie makes an interesting point: even if some are upset with the return, it might be more appropriate to compare it to what they’d have received in an offer-sheet situation.

This continues a run of Bruins trades that also included shipping Carl Soderberg to the Colorado Avalanche.

With Getzlaf and Perry ‘dominating,’ Flames look for answers


In light of all the talk about low scoring and lack of offense in these Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s worth pointing out that Anaheim’s dynamic duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf is on a pretty healthy tear this round — the two have combined to score 15 points in three games versus Calgary, an average of 1.6 per period.

Not per game. Per period.

Needless to say, much of the Flames’ talk prior to tomorrow’s Game 4 was about slowing those two down.

“You see guys like Getzlaf and Perry dominating the game at times,” Joe Colborne explained, per the Toronto Star. “When they’re using their big bodies and putting pressure on some of our smaller guys, we have to pick up our game and answer.”

Colborne’s words speak volumes. The Calgary defense, which was a huge factor against Vancouver in Round 1, has seen its lack of size get exposed against the Ducks; Kris Russell (5-foot-10, 173 pounds), Dennis Wideman (6-foot, 200 pounds) and TJ Brodie (6-foot-1, 182 pounds) are all giving up significant height and weight to Perry and Getzlaf, who skate on a line with another big body in 6-foot-2, 231-pound Patrick Maroon (who, it should be mentioned, has two goals in three games against Calgary.)

And make no mistake — Anaheim knows it has a definitive size advantage on the Flames.

“We’ve got to use it,” Ryan Kesler said, per the L.A. Times. “We know what made us successful this year. It’s playing that down-below-the-circle hockey, and cycling the puck and wearing them down, and if we do that we’ll be fine.”

While the Flames don’t have a ton of solutions for the size problem — it’s not like they’re going to get any bigger — head coach Bob Hartley did see some positives in the Game 3 win. Specifically? Unlike in the opening two games in Anaheim, his was no longer in awe of the Ducks’ size, speed and skill.

“It seems that the admiration for the Ducks is kind of winding down,” he said, per the Calgary Herald. “That’s good news for us.”

Ducks are 6-0 in playoffs, but weren’t ‘dominant’ last night

Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game Two

Last night, the Anaheim Ducks became the first team since the 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins to open the playoffs with six straight victories.

That Penguins team, per Elias Sports, won its first seven games, sweeping Ottawa in the first round, then taking out the Rangers in five. The Pens would go on to lose in the finals to Detroit.

In the Ducks’ case, last night’s 3-0 win over Calgary came on the heels of a dominant 6-1 victory in Game 1, which was preceded by a four-game sweep of Winnipeg.

Just don’t count out the Flames quite yet. Not with Games 3 and 4 at home, where they’re 3-0 this postseason. At the very least, the underdogs showed last night that they can play with the Ducks.

“Tonight was nip and tuck the whole game,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We were good in the first period, but once you have that many shots (20) and you only have a 1-0 lead, I was a little afraid. In the second period, they came at us really hard. We held our own and didn’t get scored on. They were coming really hard in the third period until we got that goal. I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination this was a dominant effort by us.”

That said, history is very much against a Calgary comeback. According to the website WhoWins.com, the team that starts at home in the quarterfinals and takes a 2-0 lead has gone on to win the series 72 out of 82 times.

“We can talk all we want about how we can compete with these guys but we’ve got to show that we can,” said Flames d-man Kris Russell. “I thought we did there in the second and third. We’ve got to build from that. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier. It doesn’t mean we go home and we’re just going to find our game. We’ve got to earn everything against this team. We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared to do that [Tuesday].”

Flames trio of Wideman, Russell, and Brodie are ‘basically our motor offensively’

Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell

When the Calgary Flames finished off the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, not only did they advance to the second round in six games, they also avoided a seventh and deciding contest, thus buying a few extra days to rest up for the Anaheim Ducks.

Those few extra days could prove key, given all the ice time that three Flames defensemen — Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, and T.J. Brodie — have been logging.

“We asked those guys to play lots of minutes,” coach Bob Hartley said Tuesday, per the Canadian Press. “They’re very important in our game. We just don’t want them to defend. They’re basically our motor offensively.”


Wideman, Russell, and Brodie each registered four points against the Canucks, their puck-moving abilities drawing rave reviews, especially when compared to Vancouver’s inability to handle Calgary’s forecheck.

Looking ahead to Thursday’s series opener in Anaheim, expect the Ducks to do all they can to wear down the Flames’ trusted trio, laying the body whenever possible, a la Matt Beleskey on Adam Pardy:

Just don’t expect said trio to roll over.

“Those guys have the power of recovering very well,” said Hartley. “They’re great athletes and they want those minutes, they love those responsibilities. They’re giving us unbelievable hockey.”

Related: Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’

Hartley not worried about big ice times — ‘I’m not coaching a nursing home’

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames - Game Three

Dennis Wideman has averaged 27:15.

T.J. Brodie has only logged a bit less, at 26:43.

Ditto for Kris Russell, at 26:37.

And there hasn’t even been overtime.

So, is Bob Hartley worried he’s tiring out his three top defensemen?

Of course not.

“We’re coaching elite athletes — I’m not coaching a nursing home,” the Flames coach said yesterday, per the Calgary Herald. “Those guys are well-conditioned athletes. Our total team game and our conditioning allow us to play those guys. I really believe those minutes are blown way out of proportion.

“You know, we’re getting so many stats right now. Pretty soon the manager of the arena is going to come and tell me how many cases of beer were sold after the first, second, third periods. It has to stop.”

Hartley’s player deployment stands in stark contrast to that of Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins, whose biggest workhorse has been defenseman Alex Edler (23:36) and who’s taken all sorts of heat for not playing the Sedins enough.

If the Flames can defeat (and eliminate) the Canucks tonight in Vancouver, Hartley’s troops will get a good rest before the start of the second round.

“We’re in the business to win games,” he said. “My mindset, my philosophy? If I have to play five guys the full 60 minutes to win the game, I will do it.”