Flames, Russell Begin Extension Talks

According to Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun, the Calgary Flames have begun contract extension talks with defenseman Kris Russell. General Manager Brad Treliving sat down with Russell’s agent, Al Roy, earlier this week to begin talks on a new contract.

The 28­year old is coming off a career season, where he set a new career high for assists (30), points (34), and plus/minus (+18), all while being a force in the defensive end and setting a new NHL record for most blocked shots in a season (283).

Entering the final year of his two­year/$5.2 million contract that he signed in 2014, the 5’10” 173lbs defenseman will be looking for a substantial raise on his current $2.6 million cap hit heading into next summer. However, with six defensemen (Giordano, Hamilton, Wideman, Brodie, Smid, and Engelland) already locked up for 2016­17 and combining to carry a cap hit of $28.8 million, plus the fact that Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau will be restricted free­agents and in need of new contracts themselves at the end of the season, Brad Treliving and company may find it impossible to work out a new deal with the Caroline, Alberta native.

The Flames also need to decide on what to do with Jiri Hudler, who will also be an unrestricted free­agent at season’s end. The 31­year old Olomouc, Czech Republic native is entering the final year of the four­year/$16.0 million contract he signed with the Flames in 2012, and is coming off a career year himself in which he posted a career high for goals (31), assists (45), points (76), and plus/minus (+17). If Hudler can come anywhere close to repeating last season’s numbers, he could command upwards of $6.0 million a year on his next contract. Continue reading Flames, Russell Begin Extension Talks

2015-2016 NHL Season Preview

The National Hockey League is set to open its 98th year of existence and 97th regular season on Wednesday October 7, with four games on the slate.

The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will kick things off at 7:00 PM Eastern time followed by the 2014-2015 President’s Cup winners, New York Rangers travel to the “Windy City” to watch the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 2014-2015 Stanley Cup banner. The Vancouver Canuks travel to Calgary to battle the Calgary Flames while the San Jose Sharks visit the “City of Angels” to play the Los Angeles Kings in the late games on the night.

The NHL offseason began with the Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida back in June.

During the offseason the league announced that they reached a digital media partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media. The partnership moves the NHL Network’s studios from Toronto to the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. More on the story on the media partnership can be found at http://miamisportsnlife.wix.com/mslblog#!MLB-and-NHL-Sign-Digital-Media-Deal/c16xr/55c24d000cf265ef515f46e3.

The league also announced a uniform and authentic apparel partnership agreement with Adidas, which will commence at the start of the 2017-2018 season. The agreement gives Adidas the rights to outfit all of the teams. For more information regarding the NHL and Adidas apparel partnership story, it can be found at http://miamisportsnlife.wix.com/mslblog#!NHL-and-Adidas-Announce-Partnership-Agreement/c16xr/55f872ba0cf2db6dcfb68a25. Continue reading 2015-2016 NHL Season Preview

NHL Pacific Division Preview & Predictions

Today’s article is the last of the division previews. We take a look at the Pacific, which has high end teams at the top and basement teams at the bottom.

The Contenders:


The Ducks took a big step in their development last year finishing the season 1 win away from the Stanly Cup finals. Last year was a very positive year for Anaheim with the exception to their Game 7 loss at home versus the Blackhawks in the Western Conference final. It appeared the Ducks mentally were not able to handle Game 7. When you look at the Ducks stats last year it does not add up to a team that won the division with 109 points. Consider Anaheim finished 11th in offense, 20th in defense, 28th on the power play and 15th on the penalty kill. However, the key for the Ducks last year was the fact they went 33-1-7 in 1 goal games. Wow! In terms of this off-season I love the move of adding Carl Hagelin this off-season. Hagelin is a winning player who can help his team in so many ways. Chris Stewart replaces Matt Beleskey and Kevin Bieska replaces Francois Beauchemin. Three things to watch out for regarding the Ducks this season. Does 21 year old defenseman Hampus Lindholm have a breakout season? Do Jakob Silverberg and Richard Rakill continue to develop? Finally will Josh Gibson be a factor in goal for the Ducks this season?


Expectations are exponentially high for Calgary this year. Last year the thought process was if Calgary could push for a playoff spot it would be a successful season. Making the playoffs and winning a round made the 2014-15 a huge success for the Flames. But how do the young Flames handle big expectations? Calgary is bringing back the same team except they have made two major additions in Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik. Calgary also will have Sam Bennett for the full season. Be interesting to see how the Flames goalie situation works out with both Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo becoming unrestricted free agents at seasons end. Finally can Calgary continue their 3rd period dominance? The Flames finished tied for first for the most goals scored in the third period last season. Calgary also had 10 comeback victories in the third period last year. Will the Flames take the next step this season?

Los Angeles: Continue reading NHL Pacific Division Preview & Predictions

Habs need to Sign Tomas Fleischmann

On September 12th, the Canadiens offered a professional tryout contract to forward Tomas Fleischmann.

Following Monday night’s game in Quebec at the new Videotron Centre, it’s hard to see how the Canadiens will not offer Fleischmann a contract.

Originally Fleischmann was brought in on a tryout basis to put pressure on the prospects looking to crack that 3rd line left wing spot. He also came in looking for another chance to play in the NHL after not being able to get a contract during the off-season.

After a week and half at camp most of the prospects have already been cut. The only other players that have a chance at this spot either aren’t as good or haven’t proven that they deserve the spot over Fleischmann.

One of those players, Charles Hudon has had a decent camp. However, with the experience and skill that Fleischmann possesses it looks as if Hudon will return back to Saint John’s for more seasoning but could be an early call-up if someone does get hurt.

Fleischmann has done more than enough to exceed the expectations of the very critical fans of the Montreal Canadiens. In the first 3 days at Habs training camp, he showed off his skills by scoring two goals on penalty shots during the team scrimmages including a goal in the intra-squad game on Sunday September 20th in front of a full house at the Bell Centre. Continue reading Habs need to Sign Tomas Fleischmann

How Good is Jack Eichel?

In early April, the NHL held its annual draft lottery which would determine the order that the teams would select for the draft that would take place in June. For the Buffalo Sabres, who were the worst team in the NHL during the regular season, a top-2 pick was guaranteed. That meant that the “Tank for McEichel” was a successful one. Buffalo had the best chances of securing the top selection in the draft, which meant the right to select uber-prospect, Connor McDavid. Buffalo didn’t get so lucky, the Edmonton Oilers went on to win the lottery and the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, which meant Buffalo was getting arguably the greatest American prospect ever in Jack Eichel.

At the time, everyone in Buffalo felt defeated as they weren’t going to be getting McDavid, but the ‘consolation prize’ in Eichel. In almost any other draft, Eichel would have been the top pick by a large margin, which in a way made the Sabres extremely fortunate, because there should be a large drop-off after McDavid, but this year there wasn’t as you could make the case that Eichel could potentially prove to be better down the line. But that leads to the question, just how good is this 18-year old kid?

Jack Eichel played his college hockey at Boston University as a true freshman, this is impressive by itself, but then you factor in that he scored 26 goals to go along with his 45 assists for 71 points in 40 games and you see just how special he really is. In American college hockey it is almost unheard of to go play as a true freshman, let alone have an impact as significant as Eichel did. Continue reading How Good is Jack Eichel?