Cold openings to round off this lovely and now smokey summer. Today we’ll look at two options as well as a Calgary Flames rumor.
Micheal Stone, the Good, consented to a PTO yesterday. This choice raises a few issues in and of itself.
Stone, who was brought in as a fill-in to help the blue line, ended up outperforming numerous other blue liners during the playoffs? His cannon shot in particular proved useful. His 7.16 hits per 60 minutes ranks him sixth on the Flames and second among defensemen, trailing only Nikita Zadorov’s 8.82/60 despite breaking numerous ribs late in the first round versus Dallas.
- Playoffs – Micheal Stone
- Games Played: 9
- Time on Ice/GP: 13:02 (7th among defencemen)
- Goals For: 8
- Goals Against: 2
Is there anything else you can expect of a seventh defenseman? What does Micheal Stone need to accomplish to win a bigger role, or maybe a regular slot on that blueline?
Which raises the question of why Stone has not been offered a contract by another organization.
He must be comfortable with his existing circumstances and content with the job stability it gives. Due to knee concerns, he was demoted from first pairing with Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Arizona to expendable for a third-round selection.
It’s worth noting that the puck used to acquire Stone was subsequently purchased by Edmonton from Arizona in exchange for a late 2017 third and late 2017 fifth. The late third period was the biggest compensation for moving Nail Yakupov to St. Louis. Zach Pochiro, an ECHL prospect, is the other asset moving to the Oilers. The selection received by the Oilers was used to draft goalkeeper Stuart Skinner, who appears to be highly promising.
The Bad – The other professional tryout contract signed. Cody Eakin.
To begin with, when Brad Richardson joined with the Flames last summer, he appeared to be an absolute burden of a deal. He turned out to be a soulful addition to the Flames.
Most significantly And, while his places were well picked — his percentage dropped to 57.28 in his last 17 games after being acquired by the Canucks — that % nearly endears him to the skeptic. for this discussion, Brad Richardson won 58.82% of faceoffs for the Flames last season. A faceoff percentage of 57% is great. Long intro, the Flames inked a professional tryout with a former Buffalo Sabre earlier this week. If you follow Sabres hockey, this is great news for Sabres fans.
Having stated that:
Cody Eakin has a 21-22 regular season faceoff win percentage – 56.05%
The following might be the explanation:
Kevin Rooney has a 21-22 regular season faceoff win percentage – 44.80%
Long-time fans will recall Darryl Sutter’s use of Stephane Yelle. Sutter would send Yelle out on the powerplay despite his lack of talent and old age in order to obtain possession. Cody Eakin might be used in the same way.
Darryl Sutter rotated players in and out last season to fit the competition. During the regular season, he most famously used Brett Ritchie and Micheal Stone against the Minnesota Wild. If Cody secures a deal out of camp, putting in a good faceoff guy and trading out one of the league’s finest penalty killers might become a regular event in 22-23.
Even if we overlook the heinous circumstances Jake Virtanen recently emerged from — his acquittal of culpability in a 2017 sexual assault case by a jury of his peers — there are still reasons Jake would not be an ideal player to bring in.
He hasn’t registered an NHL assist since March 4, 2020. To illustrate, Virtanen’s play had gotten more North-South as the 20-21 season progressed. His output and deployment were both poor, as was his ability to collaborate with his colleagues.
YoungStars Flames hockey is returning in 2022! Tonight at 8:30 p.m. MT, Flames prospects will face Canucks prospects in the first game of the 2022 Young Stars Classic competition. All of the action can be found on the Calgary Flames website. Tomorrow, we’ll have a post-game article to go with the pre-game of the Saturday night encounter versus the Oilers prospects.
On Monday, the competition closes with a game versus Jets prospects. The Calgary Flames’ website published these Thursday practice lines, which are most likely the line combinations we’ll see tonight.