Derek Smith, the 6’2″ defensive player for the Calgary Flames, has been placed on waivers, according to Bob McKenzie on twitter yesterday. Smith was signed for two years by the Flames in February 2012. Because of his one-way contract, Smith must clear waivers in order to be sent back down to the Abbotsford Heat, which, I’m assuming is the plan.
As was stated in the Calgary Herald, Kris Russell is ranked 2nd in blocked shots in the NHL right now. Along with Ladislav Smid, who is tied with Matt Carle of the Tampa Bay Lightning in third place, it seems that the Flames have one of the best shot-blocking teams in the league. From what I’ve seen of Russell so far this season, he’s one of the best defensemen on the ice. Calgary is lucky to have Russell, Smid, and Giordano on defense this year. Now if the Flames could get their offensive players to learn to defend as well as their blue liners can play offensively, Calgary could be contenders.
The Flames have named their 3 Stars of the Week. Mark Giordano, Matt Stajan, and Karri Ramo have been given the honors for this past week. Giordano flew back into the lineup without missing a beat after an 18 game absence with a broken ankle. In his first game back, on December 4 against the Phoenix Coyotes, Giordano earned a goal and an assist which helped the Flames to garner the win that night. Stajan has picked up the pace lately and seems to have something to prove. He has four points in 3 games and I really hope he can keep the point streak alive for a few more games. Karri Ramo has won two of his last three games played. During the game against the Coyotes, he finished with a .967 save percentage and stopped 29 of 30 shots. He seems to be coming back with a vengeance in net since sitting for almost two weeks in November.
The Boston Bruins are in Calgary on Tuesday, Dec 10 and then the Flames host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday before taking off for a week-long road trip that will start in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.