Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hamilton Signs With Flames

Credit: Bruce Hemmelgarn - USA Today Sports

So, I’m putting off the rest of my Defence Comparisons for a little bit until after free agency because that’s a silly prospect before everything’s all altered and everything’s set and we signed Dougie Hamilton so we have other things to talk about.

If you’re tired, you don’t have to read that soliloquy of a sentence. Instead, focus on the fact that Treliving just signed Dougie Hamilton to a very, very reasonable deal.

The Deal

6 years, 34.5 million total, 5.75 AAV
Breakdown: years 1-2: 5.5; years 3-4: 5.75; years 5-6: 6.

That’s very nice value for a stud defenseman who is only 22. We’re buying up all of his RFA years and two of his UFA years.

The best part? Our top-3 on D, which is widely regarded as one of the best in the league, commands a salary of (at most, factoring in Giordano’s extension to be checking in somewhere around 7.5 mil.) 17.9 million. That’s cheap. This past year, Shea Weber took in 14 million alone. The entire Predators top-3 commanded 20.3 million combined this past year. That’s a lot.

We’re lucky here in Calgary. Good times!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Comparisons for the Flames' Defence - Part 1 (Anaheim - Dallas)

Credit: Winslow Townson - USA Today Sports
After acquiring Dougie Hamilton from the Bruins on Friday, the Flames' defensive corps looks as strong as ever, featuring skilled blueliners such as Mark Giordano, Hamilton, T.J. Brodie, Kris Russell, Dennis Wideman, Deryk Engelland, Ladislav Smid, possibly including David Schlemko if he gets re-signed. It is definitely a top-10, if not a top-5 or even a top-3 corps in the entire National Hockey League, but where exactly does it slot in? Let's look, pre-free agency, at how it stacks up against all 30 defensive teams in the NHL.

Note: all depth charts and the like come from rotoworld.com. If they are wrong, I apologize - but I'm doing player-to-player comparison here.

Cam Fowler
Credit: Perry Nelson - USA Today Sports

Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks' defensive depth chart, pitted against the Flames', looks like this:


It's pretty clear here who wins from the start. Cam Fowler is a very promising defenseman, but he doesn't stand a chance against Norris candidate Giordano. Same with Vatanen - Dougie Hamilton is an elite defenseman. Beauchemin is older and slower than he used to be, and Brodie is young and has a step on him. Hampus Lindholm wins against Kris Russell, but Wideman takes Despres, Engelland edges Stoner, and Smid beats Holzer.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Credit: Matt Kartozian - USA Today Sports

Arizona Coyotes 

The Anaheim Ducks' defensive depth chart, pitted against the Flames', looks like this:


Again, it's pretty clear here who wins from the start. Ekman-Larsson is, again a very promising defenseman, and I wasn't sure where to put him against Gio. I give a slight edge to Giordano, but I put the "equal to or better" sign - OEL is that good. However, the rest of the defense, like most of the rest of the team, is essentially an AHL lineup (the tank is on!) and the Flames, I believe, sweep this one.

Zdeno Chara
Credit: Winslow Townson - USA Today Sports

Boston Bruins 


Because Dougie Hamilton is now a Flame, Calgary sweeps this one. Two or three years ago, Chara beats Giordano easily, but he's 38 and slower than he used to be. He can still shoot a puck really hard, but he's not at his old all-star level. Hamilton was higher on the depth chart than Krug before he left so he wins that one. T.J. Brodie is far better than Dennis Seidenberg, as is Russell than McQuaid. Bartkowski, a defensive defenseman, has yet to match Dennis Wideman's offensive ability or experience, and Deryk Engelland is just better than Kevan Miller. Now, at the current moment, Smid is better than Morrow. This probably will change once Morrow plays regular minutes with Boston - but I like the kid, even if he isn't Tyler Seguin.

Zach Bogosian
Credit: Kevin Hoffman - USA Today Sports

Buffalo Sabres 


On a still rebuilding Buffalo team, I only feel that Andrej Meszaros is better than his counterpart (Engelland) - Bogosian is a good puck-mover and still young and still developing, same with Ristolainen, but they just aren't there yet.

Justin Faulk
Credit: James Guillory - USA Today Sports

Carolina Hurricanes 


James Wisniewski is very close to beating Kris Russell here, but other than that, it's a sweep all the way down in this sweep.

Duncan Keith
Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki - USA Today Sports

Chicago Blackhawks 


Now we have some competition!

Duncan Keith is far better than Mark Giordano. His performance in the playoffs was stunning, as was Seabrook's, and they both beat their counterparts. Although Brodie beats Hjalmarsson, Oduya downs Russell, and TVR beats out Ladislav Smid. Hawkswin!

Yes. The Hawkswin.

Tyson Barrie
Credit: Robert Mayer - USA Today Sports

Colorado Avalanche 


On the Avs' D, the only guy I put ahead of a Flame is Nikita Zadorov, the big, hulking Russian who's already impressed in one year with the Sabres. At age 19. On last year's Sabres.

Other than that, the Flames come away pretty handily.

Jack Johnson
Credit: Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets 


Sweep! Jack Johnson is no match for Giordano, Hamilton is far better than Fedor Tyutin, Brodie and Murray are closer but still apart, Russell and David Savard are even more similar but still apart, and so on and so forth.

John Klingberg
Credit: Marc DesRosiers - USA Today Sports

Dallas Stars 


Like OEL, John Klingberg is very close to Mark Giordano's skill. He should have been nominated for the Calder last year and was dominant on Dallas' back-end. Other than that, it's no contest - Calgary's defense is just too good.

Yeah, I know, except for Chicago, that wasn't close, but in tomorrow's part 2, there'll be defenders such as Subban, Doughty, McDonagh, Weber, Suter, Ekblad, and maybe even a certain Norris winner named Karlsson around. Come back tomorrow to see part 2 of where the Flames stack up against the NHL with their D!

Friday, June 26, 2015

So We Got Dougie Hamilton

Hey-hey! I’m done writing exams as of today, and it’s back to doing more Logical Expectat-WHAT?

Credit: Winslow Townson - USA Today Sports

The Calgary Flames have acquired defenseman Dougie Hamilton from Boston in exchange for the 15th, 45th and 52nd picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (so goodbye, Nick Merkley, and thanks, Glencross!).

Hamilton will bring elite potential to an already stacked defense corps. He’s 22(!), and led all Bruins defensemen in goals and points last year with 10 and 42, respectively. Oh, and did we mention that he’s still just 22(!)?

Expect him to man the blueline next year either on the first pairing with Mark Giordano or on the second pairing with one of Kris Russell or Dennis Wideman (probably the former). He’ll be better suited with a defensive defenseman, having a greater tendency to score, yet he doesn’t often get lost in his own zone. He has playoff experience, having made the Cup Finals in 2013 with Boston and advancing to the Conference Finals last year before bowing out to the Rangers, and we hardly gave up anything to get him - only three picks? WOW!

So, to summarize:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

An Update

I’m in exam mode right now, so I’m gonna apologize to my, like, three readers right now because I need to go on a break. So, tally-ho, and get ready for serious withdrawal from this blog, I guess.

Gone for now,

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Logical Expectations: #3 - David Schlemko

Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports
Logical Expectations is a feature that will run throughout the summer detailing what we, as Flames fans, should expect from the players that play for our beloved team.

Today, we focus on rearguard David Schlemko.*

David Schlemko had an interesting year. Playing minimal minutes in Dallas, he was waived at the Trade Deadline and was picked up by the Flames. Flames waiver claims tend to do well for Calgary (see: Nigel Dawes), and the man they call "Schlemmer" didn't buck this trend: although he didn't score any goals that counted on the scoresheet, well...


That's David Schlemko, in his first game as a Flame, channelling his inner Phaneuf (while wearing his old number) and doing something unexpected**. Like these.

Schlemko proceeded to score zero more goals over the rest of the year but he did provide a steady presence on the back end and meshed well with Rafa Diaz. Also, he managed to keep Corey Potter relatively afloat, so there's that.

What Do We Want From Him?

Schlemko will draw comparisons to various far-superior players all year.

"For the last time, Simmons, I won't be in your final 30 for 30. And why is it about this?"
He'll get Bob Hartley's stamp of approval! Ha ha! Geddit?

They just need to switch the colour schemes!
And then he'll score 3 goals all year, but still play well on the third pairing, hopefully with a better, preferably offense-oriented, defenseman.

Or Mike Green.
Or not.

Projected stat-line: 62 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 PTS, 43 PIM

*This article will be deleted if Schlemko isn’t re-signed. It was written on the presumption that he will be.

**Like Phaneuf ever did anything unexpected. Except this. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Funny Sunday Video: Campoli Scores Twice

It was a relatively tame week for funny hockey videos, so for this week's edition of Funny Sunday Video, let's reach back in time, say, to 2008.

Say you're Chris Campoli. You're playing on an awful 2008-09 Islanders team that would go on to finish dead-last in the NHL that year, and you're playing in a relatively meaningless November game against the small-market Blue Jackets (who, in fairness, would go on to make the playoffs for the first time in their history that year largely by merit of a Calder-winning performance from Steve Mason - they were swept by Detroit in the first round and didn't win their first playoff game until 2014). It's overtime, though, and your team has a chance to win a game. However, on a roster packed with players like Richard Park, Andy Hilbert, and Jon "Jim" Sim, Campoli decided that he would need to be the one to step up - and achieve an NHL first in the process.

I mean, I guess that it is Norrena in net, but still... 

Skip ahead to 17:49 in the video to see the incident.

- We start with Mike Comrie breaking into the offensive zone. He attempts to shoot, but is stick-checked by Fedor Tyutin, and as a result, the puck skitters back to Campoli.

- Campoli winds and fires a shot that, at first glance, appears to hit the post. Campoli, believing it went in, celebrates wildly, but regains his composure in time for the puck to bounce off the boards to Campoli's defense partner and future Islanders captain Mark Streit.

- Streit feeds Campoli again, and the latter defenseman puts a nicely-placed wrister right over goalie Fredrik Norrena's blocker. Game over! Islanders win. But wait!

- Campoli's original reaction was merited - the puck actually went through the net on his first shot - that's a goal. The second one was just gravy.

- As then-Islander defenseman said to TSN in an interview for one of their Top 10 specials (in which one of the 10 regarded Campoli's two-goal overtime performance), "[it's] the only game you'll ever see where we won 5-3 in overtime". Then Islanders commentator likened the incident to a Double-Stuf Oreo. TSN's James Duthie later said that Campoli should inquire with the NHL's statistics office about getting credited with both goals.

By the way, the rest of the video is also classic - it is a TSN top 10. Come for Chris Campoli, stay for Ryan Getzlaf's yacht.

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015-16 Logical Expectations: #1 - Jonas Hiller

Candice Ward - USA Today Sports
Logical Expectations is a new feature that will run throughout the off-season detailing what should be expected from the individuals that will make up the Calgary Flames in 2015-16. Should management make any on-ice personnel switches in the off-season at any time, well, here comes a Logical Expectations post.

Today's featured Flame is goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Jonas Hiller had an up-and-down debut with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15 - he could often go a week without giving up a goal, and then the next he'd be regarded as the then-backup behind Karri Ramo, who had a similar rollercoaster ride of a season. A 1A-1B tandem they were, with Hiller starting 44 games, and Ramo starting 32 - the other six were started by prospect Joni Ortio - and they fared similarly well, with Hiller going 26-19-5 with a .918 save percentage, and Ramo going 15-9-5 with a .912 save percentage.

With Joni Ortio coming into the second, one-way year of his contract in 2015-16, the Flames will have to make a decision on whom to keep as the starter - should it be the proven starter in Hiller, or the relatively new North American player in Karri Ramo?

This isn't the place where I'll discuss this question - look for that next week. But if the Flames decide to stop their trend of unloading Swiss players (see: Sven Baertschi. and soon, Raphael Diaz), here's what to expect from Hiller in 2014-15:

What Do We Want From Him*?

*Technically this section should be called What Do We Expect From Him but American Idol was just cancelled and, well...

Don't lose too many games, Hiller, or Simon Cowell will call you indulgent rubbish.

Expect Jonas Hiller to play inconsistently, but when he will inevitably play well, he'll play lights-out. For two weeks. He'll let in eight to Florida the week after.

Take that! Eight past who now?
He'll win 6 straight, then he'll let in 35 goals in his next 8 games. Seriously. He's Rene Bourque, if Bourque was traded to Minnesota in 2009 and started playing on a line with Pierre-Marc Bouchard and that line was always played with Marc-Andre Bergeron's defence pairing, if Andy Wozniewski was traded to the Wild that year and started playing on that pairing. He's that inconsistent.

Two things I love about this video: David Clarkson scoring against the Leafs, and the fact that there are roughly 6,000 fans watching this game.

All right - that was a massive hyperbole: Hiller isn't nearly that inconsistent. He's actually a very good goaltender who can steal a sizable amount of games for any given team on any given date. But he still is inconsistent, and expect Hartley to play Ortio more than you'd expect this year.

Projected stat-line: 39-26-8, .919 SV%

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Look Back at Nigel Dawes

(Source: Wikipedia user Resolute)
Every Wednesday from now on this offseason, this new feature, 'A Look Back', will exist to reminisce about lesser-known former Flames. These posts will be shorter than the usual standard for this blog, but consider it to be more of a biography than anything.

This week's subject is a 2009-10 Calgary Flame: #15, Nigel Dawes.

Nigel Dawes was, in my mind, an underrated signing by Darryl Sutter in the 2009 offseason. The Flames were coming off of a then-routine first-round exit, this time to the Blackhawks, and top goal-scorer Mike Cammalleri had departed in free-agency to Montreal. So, the Flames needed goal-scoring. So, they made a bunch of moves in the offseason and throughout the season to try and neutralize this loss.

These moves included a massive trade in the middle of the season that at first seemed like a steal for Toronto but over the years has started to lean back towards Calgary's favour. They got guys like Fredrik Sjostrom, Aaron Johnson, Anton Stralman and Staffan Kronwall, none of whom played more than 50 games or scored more than 1 goal in the season. They got Steve Staios for Johnson, and he proceeded to be slow (although he did score an awesome goal to keep the Flames' playoff hopes alive), and they traded away Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust for 12 games of Chris Higgins. They even acquired Vesa Toskala from Anaheim for now-Blue Jacket backup Curtis McElhinney, and they traded Dustin Boyd for a fourth (Bill Arnold).

None of those moves turned out well, really (although the jury's still out on the Boyd trade). In fact, the only move that worked out well for the Flames in the entire season (except for the Bouwmeester trade) was the Nigel Dawes waiver claim.

Dawes was claimed off of waivers by the Flames from the Coyotes on July 16, 2009, and then was promptly signed to a 2-year deal worth $875,000 a year. So, in other words, dirt cheap.

The diminutive, 5'8" winger proceeded to have a banner year for the Flames, tying his career-high in goals with 14, and adding another 18 assists for a grand total of 32 points, a new career high. Extrapolating his stats in his 66-game season to a full, 82-game campaign, that's a 40-point season.

After his great 2009-10 season in which he finished fifth on the Flames in points and tied for fourth in goals, he took part in 13 further games split between Atlanta and Montreal, in which he amassed one, singular point - an assist. He was never heard from in the NHL again.

Flames Player Power Rankings - The Offseason Edition

The Calgary Flames had a banner year last year, with many of their players enjoying career-highs in multiple categories and the team as a whole making the playoffs for the first time in six years.

And now, they're not playing anymore. Thanks, Anaheim.

However, let us not let that detract from what a great experience last year was. So let's reflect on the 2014-15 season, and rank the guys* who gave us the great year that was.

*Only players who played 4 games + (including regular season and playoffs), and traded players are not included (Sorry, Glencross).

Not pictured: Paul Byron looking for a breakaway pass.
(Credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports)
1. Mark Giordano
 What better way to start off these rankings than with the captain of the team?  Gio was instrumental to the Flames' success this year - he was their leader, their martyr, their example to follow. He drove possession, was leading all defensemen in points until he got injured, and would be a lock for the Norris had the aforementioned injury never happened. He was an All-Star, and the Flames' best player this year, and they must resign him.

2. Jiri Hudler
'Huds' had a career year in 2014-15, finishing in the top ten in the National Hockey League's scoring race, and leading his team in scoring with a career-high 76 points, 31 of which were goals. He helped to form one of the most potent lines in hockey with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, and helped to solidify his status on the team as a leader. He also finished second in team scoring in the playoffs, with 8 points in 11 games.

3. Johnny Gaudreau
The guy who finished ahead of Hudler in playoff scoring with 9 points in 11 games was Johnny Gaudreau. 'Johnny Hockey', arguably the best rookie in the League this past season, burst onto the scene in 2014-15. The pint-sized left winger posted up 24 goals and added 40 assists for a 64-point year. He is also a finalist for the Calder Trophy along with Mark Stone from Ottawa and Aaron Ekblad from Florida.

Then I went up to Hudler and I said, "nice pass, Jiri." And he said, "actually, Sean, Johnny gave you that pass." And we laughed. It was so funny.
(Credit: Candice Ward - USA Today Sports)
4. Sean Monahan
Monahan renounced the sophomore slump in 2014-15, almost doubling his point total from the previous season. He scored 30 goals for the first time in his career, joining Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri, Daymond Langkow, Kristian Huselius, and Valeri Bure as the only Flames to do so since the turn of the century.

5. T.J. Brodie
Brodie took great strides in his development this past season, as he helped to drive possession and add a hint of a scoring touch to a potent Flames defense corps. Brodie complemented Mark Giordano very well on the top pairing and should continue to do so for the foreseeable future - his five-year extension kicks in this year.

6. Kris Russell
What a find! Russell was a very pleasant surprise for the Flames this year, providing valuable experience and skill on the new, de facto top pairing with Dennis Wideman after Mark Giordano went down with a bicep injury, on the way to establishing a new NHL record for blocked shots in a season. Bonus points for scoring a heartbreaker with 30 seconds left against Vancouver in game 1 of the first round of the playoffs.
Frustrated by not wearing a hat like his spectator companions, Mikael Backlund attempts to make do by other means.
Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports
7. Mikael Backlund
Mikael Backlund had a strong season in 2014-15. The veteran centre posted respectable point totals whilst being, by far and away, the club's best defensive forward. Although he was snakebitten in the playoffs (due largely in part to a low shooting percentage and a minor injury), he still played with lots of heart, and helped his team get past the Canucks into a second-round date with the Anaheim Ducks. Backlund has previously served - although not this past year - as a third assistant captain during injuries to captain Mark Giordano.

8. Dennis Wideman
2014-15 was a breakout year for Wideman, who potted 15 goals and finished fourth on the entire team in points with 56 - both of which are career-highs. He really meshed with Kris Russell to form a formidable second pairing for the team, and was able to step up and fill the void left by their injured captain in March, and also served as an assistant captain while Mark Giordano was hurt this past seaon.

T9. Karri Ramo
T9. Jonas Hiller
I'm listing the goalies together for one reason - they worked so well together, they meshed so well together, that they almost seemed to form one collective player. Although Ramo and Hiller both have different styles - Hiller tends to be more of a stand-up goalie while Ramo is a butterfly guy - they shared the net equally well and both of them were adept in pressure situations. I have Ramo listed ahead of Hiller due to his performance in the playoffs, but Hiller was more consistent in the regular season and I think that they share this rank as well as they shared the crease in 2014-15.

That's actually the Flames' bench.
Candice Ward - USA Today Sports
11. Lance Bouma
Lance Bouma was a thorn in many an opposition player's sides this year, as his bang-and-crash mentality mixed with a newfound ability for finding the back of the net with explosive results. Bouma scored 16 times this year, a career high, and finished with 34 points. He also finished second on the team in penalty minutes with 54 - he only ended up behind Brandon Bollig, who had 88. Of course, Bouma had a sky-high shooting percentage in 2014-15 of 15.4%, but he is only 25, so you can potentially expect improvement in the future to offset potentially, dare I say, unsustainable luck.
12. Sam Bennett 
Where to begin? Sam Bennett only played one regular season game this year, and got exactly one point. Not a bad start, and if his year with the Flames had ended there, we'd all be able to look back on that game and say, "I like what I see, and I can't wait for the future!"
His year with the Flames did not end there.
No, Bennett added 11 playoff games to his total in 2014-15, and ended up third in goals, with 3, and fifth in points, with 4, among all Flames players in the extra season. Oh, and one of those goals was a game-winner. Said game-winner gave the Flames back the series lead, and with it, all of the momentum.
Get excited, Calgary.

13. Josh Jooris
Where did he come from? Jooris, an undrafted free agent signing from the Feaster regime, was famously pencilled in by coach Bob Hartley at the very beginning of the season - even before the Young Stars tournament in Penticton - for one pre-season game, before he'd be sent to the minors.
Then, this happened.
Well, as it turned out, the man they call 'Churros' ended up playing sixty games in 2014-15 - and that's only in the regular season. Jooris added 9 more in the playoffs, for 69 total. Not only that, he actually contributed in those games, and really - he scored 12 goals and added 12 assists in the regular season (he was hurt for much of the playoffs and played injured when he did draw into the lineup). Not bad for a 24-year-old undrafted kid.

"Ow, Brian!" "Sorry, Dave, force of habit."
(Credit: Bruce Fedyck - USA Today Sports)
14. David Jones
Ol' Jonesy had a solid year in 2014-15, contributing regularly offensively while serving as the Flames' only real power forward for most of the year. Jones scored 30 points in 67 games last year, while playing mostly on a line with Lance Bouma and Matt Stajan. However, in the playoffs, Jones really stepped up his game - he formed a sort of tag-team duo with Micheal Ferland and gave the Canucks all sorts of trouble in the first round. Jones scored 5 points in 11 games during, including a massive goal in the first game of round one when things looked very bleak for the Flames.

15. Markus Granlund
'Granny' saw limited action for the Flames last year, but he made the most of it, scoring 18 points, including 8 goals, in 48 games with the big club. The Finn continued his consistent play in the playoffs, maintaining his approximate points-per-game average by nabbing 1 assist in his three games that he dressed for. For a guy that was frequently thrust between the AHL's Adirondack Heat and the Flames in Calgary, Granlund performed spectacularly - and the 2011 2nd round pick is still only 22.

16. Micheal Ferland
Blink and you'd miss him during the regular season - Ferland received limited ice-time in his 26 regular-season games, and only put up 5 points - 2 goals - in that span (he did throw 34 hits in that span, though).
The playoffs were really where Ferland really stood out, however - his big frame and great tenacity are a perfect combination in the bruising postseason. Ferland battled through all of this and more during the playoffs, including being called a 'dumb-dumb', 'Ferkland' and 'irrelevant' by one Kevin Bieksa in a post-game interview. Ferland's response: he posted those same 5 points - 3 goals this time - in the playoffs, only in 9 games instead of 26. He also threw 12 hits.
Ferland also celebrated one year of sobriety during 2014-15, which is outstanding and should be recognized as such. Good on you, Micheal.
My eyes are taking in so much red like now it's almost like there's nothing that I can't SEE of RED. A-aha! Ahahaha!
(Credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports)
17. Joe Colborne 
Joe Colborne is an interesting case to deal with if you are the Flames. On one hand, you have a former first-round pick who increased his points-per-game in 2014-15 from 2013-14 (0.35 to 0.44). However, you also have a winger who has poor possesion numbers, is very tall but not very phyiscal, and doesn't seem to be able to put the puck in the net very often despite a relatively high shooting percentage (11.9%). Only eight goals in a season for a former 16th-overall pick? Many thought Joe regressed this year, but he still is a great skater, has good potential, and is only 25. Let's see what the Calgary native has in store for us next year.

18. Matt Stajan
Ah, Matt Stajan. We all love you, Matt. You're great at what you do: grinding in the bottom six, you can come up with some clutch goals, and you are pretty decent defensively. You produce offensively some, too - 17 points in 59 games is pretty okay for a guy who spends his 10 minutes a night primarily with Bollig and co.

19. Paul Byron 
Believe me - 'Mighty Mouse' would be way higher on this list if he could just score on a breakaway. Byron scored 6 goals, and had 19 points total, in 57 games this year, but those numbers could have been way higher if he had scored on even a quarter of all of the breakaways he received in 2014-15. A Paul Byron breakaway in a game became not an if, but a when, and it was commonplace for the winger to get multiple opportunities of the sort per game, seldom of which he converted on. Oh, well, better luck next year, Paul.

After doing some research, Joni Ortio finally understands why his new pads are getting such a reaction in Chicago.
(Credit: Candice Ward - USA Today Sports)
20. Joni Ortio 
Remember when 'oh, oh, Ortio!' was the hot topic around the country? You don't? Well, it was still a prevalent storyline, and one that helped define the Flames' season last year. So, here's the situation: both Ramo and Hiller are hurt, so the Flames have to turn to top prospect Ortio for a game or two, as was planned, in the middle of January. He won them both. So Hartley kept playing him. He won the first two. And then another. And then another. By the time that he finally lost, in his fifth consecutive game, a loss in Anaheim, both goalies were back. So Hartley sent Ortio back to Adirondack and started playing his regulars again, and Ortio wasn't seen in Calgary again until April.
T21. Deryk Engelland
T21. Mason Raymond
These two men were both brought in as free agents this past summer. Engelland's contract was viewed as a massive overpay at first, and now, a year later, it still is. However, Raymond's contract was initially viewed as a steal, and still was, five games into the season, as he was leading the team in points and had already gotten a hat-trick.
Raymond only scored nine more goals all year on his way to his worst statistical season since 2011. He was injured for a lot of the season and seemed rather unmotivated while he was on the ice. He only managed 23 points in 57 games all year, and only added 2 assists in 8 playoff games.
Engelland was brought in on a three-year deal worth a total of 8.7 million. That's, to be frank, tons for a third-pairing defenseman, and Engelland didn't improve vastly this year from his years in Pittsburgh to be worth the raise. He was a solid, if a little slow, defensive defenseman whose only two goals all year came in one mid-March shootout loss to Dallas.

Is it just me, or does the towel that guy behind Matt Ellis is wearing look a lot like the Sabres' players' socks?
(Credit: Candice Ward - USA Today Sports)
23. Raphael Diaz
Rafa Diaz didn't have horribly high expectations coming into this year, but managed to be a sturdy, capable #6 defenseman for the Flames this year whenever Ladislav Smid was out, as he often was. I actually view Diaz more highly than the two players directly above him, but he's ranked lower. Why is that? Well, Diaz exceeded all expectations set for him, while the duo above didn't. The only difference is that the expectations for Raymond and Engelland were higher than those for Diaz so even in not reaching them, they still did more than Diaz did while exceeding his goals. And speaking of goals, Diaz only scored two this year, like Engelland, and one even came against Dallas, and was it ever a beauty.
I could honestly see Treliving and the rest of management choosing to re-sign Diaz next year, and I'd be fine with that. He's a serviceable defenseman with good puck-moving skills and decent hockey sense - I like him.

24. David Schlemko
Schlemko didn't have a huge impact on the Flames' season this year - he was brought in at the trade deadline as some blueline insurance.
But man, this goal.

25. Drew Shore
Another mid-season acquisition, Shore was traded from Florida to Calgary for fellow prospect Corban Knight. Shore's a bit younger than Knight and has a bit more experience, and the trade's worked out well for Calgary thus far - in Shore's 11 games for the Flames last year, he scored once and added two helpers.
Knight has yet to suit up for the Panthers.

The Wolf, preparing to devour his next victim. - (Credit: Michael Goulding - Orange County Register)
26. David Wolf
David Wolf is a fun guy to watch on the ice. He's not the best skater, but he gives it his all every shift and has tons of hustle in his game. The 25-year-old German rookie barely qualified for this list and has yet to record an NHL point, but you can always tell when he's out on the ice and he has a bright future as a bottom-sixer in the NHL.

27. Brandon Bollig
Bollig injected a dose of toughness and grit into the the Flames' lineup this year, although the price paid to acquire him (a 2015 3rd-round pick) was a little steep. Bollig managed a goal and four assists in 62 regular-season campaigns in 2014-15 whilst leading the Flames in penalty minutes, and he added another two goals in the playoffs in 11 games.
Yes, I chose this photo because I couldn't find any of Smid wearing #15 and this one at least blocks his old number 3. (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports)

 28. Ladislav Smid
Ladislav Smid suffered a season-ending neck injury only 31 games into the regular season, which could potentially endanger his career. Smid was not at his best prior to the injury, as he at times appeared slow and as a shell of his former Oiler self on the Flames' bottom pairing with Deryk Engelland. He only managed a single assist in his time with the Flames before his injury, but if this really is the last of Smid that we've ever seen in the NHL, it really will be a shame to see him go, especially prematurely - he's still only 29, and just entering the prime of his career.

29. Tyler Wotherspoon
Tyler Wotherspoon didn't have a great year in 2014-15, and that's not really his fault. The 6'2" Burnaby, BC native was called up to Calgary from Adirondack numerous times during the regular season, but only drew in once: the last game of the year, a 5-1 loss to Winnipeg. He played in six more games in the playoff, managing only two shots in sheltered minutes on the bottom pairing with Corey Potter or Raphael Diaz.

30. Max Reinhart 
'Rhino' didn't get much time to showcase his talents this year, as his four games, all in the regular season, resulted in only three total shots, a -3 plus/minus rating, and a mere 8:07 of ice-time per game. Of course, this is, more likely than not, less Reinhart's fault than it is of Bob Hartley - the latter probably gave more ice-time to those already established into the lineup, those who he trusted, and only allotted time to his rookies when he could afford to.

'Yer' a wizard, Corey.' - (Credit: Bruce Bennett - Getty Images)
31. Corey Potter
Potter was definitely not a regular for the Flames this year, as he was often their seventh or eighth defenseman, who would almost always draw in to find limited ice-time. Potter managed eight games total with the Flames this year - two in the playoffs, and six in the regular season. He managed zero goals and zero assists in those eight games, off of three shots. Overall, Potter's plus/minus was -2, and he spent the majority of his time on a pairing with Raphael Diaz. Do not expect him to be back next year, unless he's signed to an AHL deal with Stockton.

32. Brian McGrattan
This longtime fan-favourite was forced into a very limited role in 2014-15, as he only managed to get into 8 games and amassed only 10 minutes in penalties before finally being shipped off to Adirondack for good. 'Big Ern' worked on concentrating on his scoring game in the AHL to see if the Flames' brass would be impressed and re-assign him back to the big club, but the call never came. The 33-year-old managed 6 points in 16 AHL games.

33. Devin Setoguchi  
The Devin Setoguchi experiment in Calgary did not go well - seemingly on his last legs, the 28-year-old Taber, Alberta native signed a one-year, two-way, show-me contract with the Flames over the summer.
In 12 games with the Flames in 2014-15, Setoguchi collected zero goals, added no assists, took two minor penalties and amassed a -7 plus/minus rating before management decided they'd had enough - Setoguchi was sent to the minors and never came back.

So, there is the first Flames Player Power Rankings - I think I'll do another edition about a month after free agency. So, what do you think? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments section below.