"Who do you think will be the new GM of the Flames?"
I don't necessarily have any insight into that in terms of a name, but there have been some breadcrumbs left by Brian Burke in recents months as to the nature of his role as president of hockey operations as it will potentially relate to his new GM.
This was from the Calgary Herald in December and I've referenced it a number of times since.
Burke: "The thinking is — and this exists in a number of franchises in football, baseball, basketball, and now forward in the NHL — you’ve got someone there to steer the ship and mentor a young GM. First off, you avoid the big mistakes that young GMs typically make. And second, you don’t have to have an organizational shift, a major reorientation every time you bring in a new GM. You have someone steering the ship even if someone else is in command on a day-to-day basis.”
Between that quote and the times he's noted wanting to be patient with waiting for getting permission to talk to candidates (maybe once a team has been eliminated from the playoffs), it seems like the Flames will be getting a first-time GM. That could have changed had Joe Nieuwendyk been interested, naturally.
We'll see. I think Burke will find a good match and I also don't believe he'll want to micromanage the new guy either, despite what some people might think.
"Who do you think the Flames will go after in the off-season?"
Anytime you're in a position such as the one in which the Flames currently find themselves, with whatever you want to call this rebuild, you're immediately going to close off a certain portion of the free agent market. UFAs are prime of their career guys, or older, so they generally want to try to win in addition to getting paid.
What the Flames will be able to offer though, is chances for the guys who want a bigger role than they currently have. Calgary is willing to spend money if it's smart money, which is different than a rebuilding team that only wants to slash payroll.
I'm most interested to see how things unfold between the pipes for Calgary.
"Were you surprised that Cammy stayed and do you think the Flames will sign him?"
I wasn't terribly surprised, given how last-minute some of the big name trades were at the deadline - plus the Kesler trade that didn't happen. Burke alluded to how that all sort of gummed up the works for several teams.
I think the Flames will make what they feel is a reasonable effort to sign him again, but it'll really come down to what Cammalleri wants to do. He'll certainly be sought on the free agent market if he wants a new home. I do like how direct Burke has been with Cammalleri though. Very straightforward. Players like and respect that, which can be a factor when signing with the Flames too.
"Please let us know about your site, and about yourself."
I started NicholsOnHockey.com right before the trade deadline after seven years with Sportsnet.ca. My vision for it has been very simple, in that I want it to be daily value-added content for hockey fans.
Aside from the staples of full line combinations and power play units, which appeal to poolies and hockey fans alike, the focus of the site is interesting stories and quotes - often with a social media twist of some kind.
Most people don't have time to read even a portion of the NHL content floating around in cyber space, so I like to mine the info and point people toward stories worth reading.
One of my favorite things to do is pull quotes that may not have had anything to do with the 'lead' angle in the original story, but may be even more interesting to readers. One of the most popular stories on the site, in fact, was one about Darryl Sutter discussing puck possession. It was buried in its original story, but was a fascinating take on it. Sutter has such a sharp hockey mind.
Hopefully hockey fans will like and support the site. New content will be rolled out in the coming months and into next season as well.
I've been in the media field for two decades now and have been writing about hockey or fantasy hockey professionally for about 14 of those years, dating back to my time with ESPN.com.