The 2015-16 campaign was largely a disappointment in Calgary.
But for one player, it was the exact opposite.
Rangy center Joe Colborne enjoyed a career year, posting personal bests in goals (19) and points (44) while averaging just over 15 minutes a night in 73 games played. It was a nice culmination of a three-year stint with his hometown club — the Flames acquired Colborne from Toronto in 2013 — and perfectly timed, as he’s due for a new contract this summer.
It’s pretty clear where he wants to sign.
“I’ve said it before, but I’d like to spend the next 10 to 12 years here,” Colborne told the Flames website. “I’d love to be part of the group that brings a Stanley Cup back here. It’s obviously the end goal for us and I believe in our core group.”
Colborne’s in a pretty intriguing position.
He’s 26, and it’s fair to classify him as a late bloomer — a former first-round pick, folks have always been high on his size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) and skill set, but it’s taken a while for the total package to come together.
One has to think there would be teams interested in Colborne, if he’s made available.
The Flames have some other more pressing RFAs to attend to this summer — Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, specifically — and it’s unclear if there’s a big future for Colborne in Calgary, given the club’s depth (Monahan, Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski) down the middle.
Colborne’s last deal paid $1.275M annually, so he’s likely in line for a raise. His head coach, Bob Hartley, certainly sees the value in keeping Colborne around.
“Obviously, he’s progressed a lot in the last three years,” Hartley said, per the Calgary Herald. “He works at it and he’s a smart player.”