Report: Gaudreau, Flames working on extension, could be largest contract in team history

Jared Clinton
Johnny Gaudreau. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Calgary may not be front and center in the post-season race any longer, but there are more than a few reasons to keep an eye on the Flames as the regular season winds down. One of the biggest reasons is the contract status of Johnny Gaudreau, the Flames’ 22-year-old star.

Gaudreau is in the final season of his three-year, entry-level deal and Calgary’s leading scorer could be in for a big time contract extension before the season’s through. According to The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis, Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, is in Calgary to visit Gaudreau and GM Brad Treliving said he and Gross will be sitting down to talk. Treliving wouldn’t say it would necessarily be about the contract, though.

Treliving said the on-ice struggles for the Flames have put a damper on any contract negotiations of late — “(W)e haven’t been worrying about it too much because we’re trying to hop back up in the standings,” he told Francis — but that doesn’t mean Treliving won’t take this opportunity to talk deal. And if they’re looking to lock up Gaudreau long-term, there’s no reason to believe ‘Johnny Hockey’ won’t be signing the richest deal in Flames history. Read more

NHL has a long way to go when it comes to concussion protocol

Ryan McDonagh Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Whenever one of the NHL’s miscreants steps out of line, we here at thn.com usually flag the play and present it along with the headline: “Suspend him or not?” We will not do that with Leo Komarov’s elbow to the jaw of New York Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. We will not insult your intelligence.

Of course Komarov should be suspended for producing a textbook play ticked off every violation box of Rule 48, the one that governs headshots in the NHL. In just his second game back after missing four due to a concussion as the result of a sucker punch from Wayne Simmonds, McDonagh took a blatant and vicious elbow to the head from Komarov that will be reviewed by the Department of Player Safety. Komarov will make the trek across the Air Canada Centre to the NHL offices for a hearing and will be suspended. We’re thinking at least three games.

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Flames’ Jones scores bank shot as puck deflects off Dumba’s head and in

Jared Clinton
David Jones' shot hits Matt Dumba (via NHL)

Either David Jones is lucky or he’s someone you should watch out for around a pool table. It’s probably safe to say it’s the former after the Flames winger scored a goal that deflected off a stick, off of Wild defenseman Matt Dumba’s and into the net behind Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Jones was following the play up ice when he took a pass from Matt Stajan before firing it towards the goal. However, as Jones let his shot go, it was deflected by Wild defenseman Mike Reilly, which caused the puck to change course and go speeding towards Dumba’s face. Before Dumba could get out of the way, the puck ricocheted off of his head and changed direction again, this time into the net. You can’t make this up: Read more

Bettman and NHL refute NHLPA’s ‘confusion’ defense in Wideman case, union will appeal

Ken Campbell
Dennis Wideman (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

In his ruling upholding Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension for physical abuse of an official, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman did not mince words. Not one little bit. Not only did he not accept the NHL Players’ Association’s notion that Wideman’s actions were the result of the effects of a concussion, but he crushed it, cast it aside and argued it basically had no shred of validity.

In a 22-page explanation of his ruling that made for compelling reading, Bettman made it clear that he agreed with the suspension that was brought down by senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell. In fact, he made it clear that rescinding or reducing the suspension was not even considered. In fact, Bettman said he believed Wideman acted out of character – but was not impaired – and that was the main factor that deterred him from imposing a suspension that was even longer.

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Bettman upholds 20-game suspension for Flames’ defenseman Wideman

Jared Clinton
Dennis Wideman (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

If Dennis Wideman is going to have his 20-game suspension reduced, it’ll be up to a neutral arbitrator to do so.

The NHL announced Wednesday that commissioner Gary Bettman has ruled on Wideman’s 20-game ban for his hit on linesman Don Henderson, and Bettman’s decision is to uphold the original suspension that was handed out to the Flames blueliner. Wideman has already served seven games of the 20-game suspension.

In a full ruling, Bettman stated the NHLPA argued Wideman had suffered a concussion following the check from Nashville Predators winger Miikka Salomaki that left Wideman “confused and/or physically incapable of avoiding contact with Mr. Henderson.” Due to the concussion sustained by Wideman, the NHLPA argued Wideman should have received no discipline “because Mr. Wideman’s conduct was not deliberate and was not the result of any intent to injure.” Read more

From a windshield plant to the Flames, Bob Hartley followed a dream he didn’t know he had

The Hockey News
Bob Hartley (Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Louis Jean

It’s a few minutes past 6 a.m., but Bob Hartley has already been up for a while.

His hair is freshly combed, and his eyes are bright. While most of Calgary is still asleep in the morning darkness, Hartley walks down the steps of his tidy two-story house. From his backyard, he can see his home away from home, the Saddledome, just an eight-minute drive away.

As Hartley hops into his white SUV on his way to the office, his mind is already spinning. His thoughts are full with everything he wants to accomplish that day. And his plate is clearly full. Following his Jack Adams Award nod last summer, Hartley was the toast of the coaching community. But good times are often fleeting in the NHL. This season, the Flames have regressed significantly, as many puck watchers and stats-heads predicted, and Hartley is determined to get his team back on track. The hours of an NHL coach are unforgiving, but for Hartley it’s only natural. “I like being the first one in the building,” he said, “and I like locking the door when I leave.”

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Karri Ramo to be placed on IR, Flames coach Hartley says it ‘doesn’t look very good’

Jared Clinton
Karri Ramo (via Streamable)

The Calgary Flames eked out a 6-5 shootout win Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks, but they suffered a loss that wasn’t shown on the scoreboard. In the final minutes of the third period, goaltender Karri Ramo had his leg trapped between the post and an oncoming Joonas Donskoi, and now the Flames netminder could be on the shelf for a while.

Ramo had to be taken off the ice and Jonas Hiller came into the contest to help seal the victory in a shootout. Following the win, though, Calgary coach Bob Hartley said things aren’t looking great for Ramo and had already ruled the 29-year-old out of action Friday in Arizona.

“It doesn’t look very good for Karri Ramo right now,” Hartley said, via CalgaryFlames.com. “We’ll have more probably tomorrow or the next couple of days.” Read more

How responsible are players for their actions after head trauma?

Matt Larkin
kadri mad

The hit from Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano was crisp and clean. The ensuing throat slash from the victim, Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri, was a bit vulgar, enough to warrant a review from the NHL’s hockey operations department, but relatively harmless.

Quite concerning, however, were Kadri’s post-game comments about the incident.

“I think I said ‘(You’re) done,’ ” Kadri told reporters. “But, like I said, the whole situation was a bit fuzzy.”

Kadri added the incident was “something I don’t really remember doing. I was kind of in and out after the hit.”

We have ourselves a problem.

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