Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: calgary flames
From Sportsnet's Jeff Simmons:
Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano suffered an undisclosed injury in the final seconds of Wednesday’s game when he was knocked down to the ice awkwardly by New Jersey Devils forward Steve Bernier.
Giordano headed right to the dressing room after T.J. Brodie helped seal a 3-1 victory for Calgary with a shorthanded empty-net goal.
From NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale's recap:
The Flames received a scare at the end of the game when captain Mark Giordano, who scored his 48th point on an assist, appeared to sustain an injury in the final seconds after getting tangled in the stick of Devils forward Steve Bernier.
Flames coach Bob Hartley said Giordano would be re-evaluated on Thursday. The defenseman was walking and moving in the locker room at the end of the game.
NHL.com's Kevin Woodley needs to explain this before you see it:
Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen left the game after collapsing briefly on the bench shortly after taking a hit early in the second period against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Hansen was conscious and on his feet moments later but had to be helped to the locker room by medical staff.
CBC reported that Hansen was being observed in the Canucks dressing room and was not taken to a hospital. It later said he was walking to the Canucks' workout room.
Hansen took a hit from Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman in the corner and was hunched over as he skated straight off. He remained hunched over as he sat on the bench while play continued, then slumped forward, his body appearing to go limp as teammates caught him and banged their sticks on the boards to get the attention of referees, who stopped play while medical staff rushed out from behind the Canucks net.
Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Oake was the one who reported that Hansen was walking on his own, but, via Yahoo Sports' Josh Cooper, that's pretty damn amazing:
I can only make a speculative and educated guess here: if Hansen was concussed or otherwise "had his bell rung" by the Wideman hit, it could've taken some time for his body to process that reaction and wooziness to hit.
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's main Hockey World column is a good read, discussing the post-firing life of coaches who rebounded in their own ways in Tom Renney and Rick Bowness, but his "Short Shifts" are probably more pertinent:
- St. Louis Blues phenom Vladimir Tarasenko, who just turned 23, has 20 goals on the year, but he might have scored 30 if he had shot more. He’s got 113 shots but that only puts him seventh behind Ovechkin, Karlsson, Seguin, Giroux, Pavelski and Pacioretty. “He could be more selfish,” said an NHL pro scout, marvelling at the Russian youngster’s release. Tarasenko, who may get to the $5-million to $6-million per season range in a new contract this summer, has 16 even-strength goals, second only to Tyler Seguin’s 17. “Twenty goals before Christmas? That’s special,” said teammate Steve Ott.
- If Vincent Lecavalier is playing right wing with Zac Rinaldo and French rookie Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Philly, this is the end of the line for him, no?
- It should be noted that Roberto Luongo has a much better (2.35) goals-against average and way higher (.925) save percentage than Ryan Miller (.267) and .900 in Vancouver right now, but Miller has 16 wins. His team gives him way more run support than Luongo’s (11 wins) in Florida. Miller’s numbers are five-alarm stuff, but he is in the first year of a three-year, $18-million deal and he’s 34, not, say, 28.
This is probably true of more general managers (and coaches) than not, too:
-New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is almost always around his team, home and away, but he knows exactly what’s going on with his farm team and their prospects. “He gets tapes of the games and the practices,” said former Devils defenceman Mark Fayne.
Matheson continues, and while we're doing short quips and quotes, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a superb "Three Periods" column discussing the Blue Jackets' resurgence and Patrik Elias' pluck, but the "Third Period" sticks:
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Tags: bill+daly, bob+hartley, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, dallas+eakins, edmonton+oilers, florida+panthers, las+vegas, lou+lamoriello, new+jersey+devils, philadelphia+flyers, roberto+luongo, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+tarasenko
The Calgary Flames are expected to complete a contract extension with defenceman TJ Brodie on Monday. The deal is believed to be for five years, in the range of $23 million, according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie.
The 24-year-old has three goals and four assists in seven games this season for the Flames, as well as a plus-5 rating.
The Flames selected the Chatham, Ontario native with the 114th pick in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Brodie made his NHL debut during the 2010-11 campaign and posted a career best four goals and 27 assists in 81 games last season.
Raphael Diaz has hung on with the Calgary Flames.
The Swiss defender has signed a one-year deal with the Flames worth a reported $700,000 after successfully making the 23-man roster on a professional tryout.
Diaz, 28, scored two goals and added 13 assists in 63 combined games with the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers in 2013-14.
In 145 career games he has scored six goals and 39 assists.
On Saturday, the Hockey News's Adam Proteau posted the first installment of a two-part "oral history" of the Calgary Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup run, and he continues today with more behind-the-scenes tales from the Flames' Cup win in the Montreal Forum and its aftermath:
Delirious with joy, the Flames boarded their plane for the flight back to Calgary. They would all go on to enjoy incredible NHL careers, but for those precious few hours, they celebrated as one extended family.
CLIFF FLETCHER My son and daughter were on the plane with me. We had a special passenger, too: It wasn’t supposed to be allowed, but it just so happened the Stanley Cup was in that cabin with us.
AL MACINNIS We knew that was our one time as a team – from managers, to coaches, to trainers, to players – to really just be together for those few hours and take in the moment. That was a pretty special time, and quite a plane ride.
COLIN PATTERSON One of my favorite pictures from the flight is myself, Joel Otto and Lanny: We were sitting in one row and we’d just got the Cup. We were just so excited to have it.
THEO FLEURY I think I passed out on the plane hugging the Cup.
DOUG GILMOUR The only disappointing part of it was we ran out of beer before we took off. Whatever was available after that point – liquor, wine, whatever – was what we drank. We didn’t really care at that point.
TERRY CRISP We sat with our wives in the front of the plane; the players were in the back with the Cup. It was great because you could just sit and listen to the guys back there. And it really was just the team. Nobody could interfere with you. Until you land, it’s yours. When you’re up in the clouds – as you deserved to be, because you just knocked off one of the best in the business, in the Mecca of hockey – you get to enjoy it.
The Hockey News's Adam Proteau has penned the first of a two-part "oral history" chronicling the Calgary Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup win, and it never ceases to amaze me how very heavily Cup-winners are challenged in the playoff round that Scotty Bowman insisted is the most dangerous round:
For the second year in a row, the Flames had finished the regular season with the NHL’s top record. In 1988, they’d won their first-round series against the Kings, only to be swept by the Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division final. Two years earlier, they’d made it to the first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history, falling to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
But in 1989 – their second year with Terry Crisp as head coach – the Flames proved a more resilient squad. And they had to be right away; In their opening-round series against Vancouver (a team that finished with 43 fewer points in the standings that season), Calgary lost key defenseman Gary Suter in the first game with a broken jaw, then found themselves pushed to the brink of elimination as the Canucks forced a heart-stopping seventh game – and overtime – and yet managed to move on thanks to astounding goaltending from Mike Vernon and the series-winning goal that banked in off Joel Otto’s skate.
TERRY CRISP, HEAD COACH We really dodged a bullet in that first round. You’re that close to being gone and maybe never getting another crack at it. When I look back, I think there must have been a divine destiny somewhere in the first round, because Vancouver took us right to the wall.
CLIFF FLETCHER, GENERAL MANAGER The pressure of the first round nearly did us in. We weren’t the hockey team we had been over the course of the regular season. We were very fortunate to win that series. Mike Vernon had to make three outstanding saves before we managed to shovel a goal late in the first overtime.
AL MACINNIS, DEFENSEMAN If Mike doesn’t make those saves, we don’t move on. But when we got by Vancouver, that’s when I think that pressure was relieved from us, and we felt just felt that, ‘Man, we’re really on our way.’ After that, we lost three games total in the next three series.
TERRY CRISP After that, the guys just put it into gear and away we went.
Via NHL.com, reading this kind of thing is usually quite scary, but the Calgary Sun's Wes Gilbertson reports that the Calagary Flames' new starting goaltender has
Calgary Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller needed a minor procedure after having an appendicitis attack working out in Switzerland, the Calgary Sun reported via Twitter.
Flames beat writer Wes Gilbertson wrote Hiller is "expected to make a speedy recovery."
Initial reports from Switzerland said Hiller had the attack at a goalie camp in Verbier. The camp director did not know if Hiller would need surgery.
The wonders of modern medicine, eh?
Oilers TV's Tom Gazzola caught the Florida Panthers' #1 overall pick meeting the press after exiting stage right:
Gary Bettman isn't kidding when he shakes the hand of every kid who shows up to the draft and takes the stage in the first round and says, "Welcome to the NHL."
In the 2nd through 7th rounds, picks are made at teams' draft tables, but the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle noted that Calgary Flames prospects will see something that might stick out a weeeeee little bit, as posted by the Score's Thomas Drance:
Welcome to the Flames, where truculence is mandatory and flow is optional.
The Calgary Sun's Eric Francis had a conversation with new Flames GM Brad Trevliving on Monday afternoon, and Treveling made two particularly telling remarks, first addressing the suggestions that his team is bidding for Jason Spezza's services...
“It’s categorically false,” said the Calgary Flames new GM, making his first public response to a report out of Ottawa saying the Flames offered up Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund, “possibly” Dennis Wideman and a second- or third-round draft pick.
“I haven’t made any such offers. That’s 100% fantasy island. I saw it early Sunday online and had to read it a couple times and had to remind myself ‘oh ya I’m the Flames GM. Interesting.’ ”
And then speaking bluntly and honestly about the fact that, yes, general managers actually talk to each other about potential trades on a regular basis:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson kicked off his last regular-season slate of Hockey World columns with individual awards picks, and his pick for the Vezina Trophy is a surprising one:
Vezina Trophy (top goalie)
1. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado.
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston
3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay
Had off-ice issues this year which weighed on him but very consistent work. Rask is best Finnish goalie right now, and they’ve got a full stable of good ones around the NHL. Bishop, nursing sore wrist as playoffs loom, is a six-foot-seven giant and a workhorse.
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Tags: antti+niemi, calgary+flames, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, evander+kane, george+mcphee, henrik+zetterberg, jonathan+ericsson, ken+holland, ryan+smyth, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, vezina+trophy, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
Updated 3x at 1:47 AM: Sedin has been released from the hospital, and there's a longer video of the incident in the extended text portion of this entry.
Very scary stuff in Vancouver. From @myregularface on Twitter, Daniel Sedin got banged-up in a bad way in the Canucks' regular-season finale against Calgary on Sunday evening (the third period is underway as I file this entry)...
Here's aftermath--thus far:
In theory, the New Jersey Devils are out of the Wild Card race after having dropped a 1-0 decision (which included a controversial no-goal call against the Devils), to the Calgary Flames on Monday night, but Jaromir Jagr was defiant while speaking with the Associated Press:
"In my opinion, I think we're going to get one more chance (to make the playoffs)," New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr said. "It's too strange to finish like that. You've got to believe. It wouldn't make any sense to finish like that. We dominated. Just keep the faith and I think we're going to get one more chance in my opinion. We'll see if I'm right or wrong."
When I first saw Kari Ramo wearing the same white Bauer pads that Miikka Kiprusoff wore, with nearly the same specs--all white with tan nash leather on the boots, simply-strapped, and sporting a Kiprusoff-style "pancake" catch glove, I was stunned by his resemblance to Kiprusoff in both form and function.
According to NHL.com's Mike G. Morreale, the Flames witnessed a Kiprusoff-like performance from Ramo, who pitched a 31-save shutout against an incredibly desperate team:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned a particularly prolific set of Hockey World columns and blog entries (so much so that I'm stealing one for my Malik Report blog), and we're going to start sifting through four separate columns/entries' worth of observations and nuggets of wisdom with a question that many have pondered but few have tried to analyze:
Is there any logical way in which the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin can engage in a civilized "divorce" (and/or removal of that heavy captain's "C"), or is the team, "Married to Alex Ovechkin for life?"--to the detriment of an increasingly rotating cast of coaches, goaltenders and complementary players?
Since the Gretzky trade/sell to the LA Kings in 1988, we all know anybody can get dealt, although that’s Leonsis’s call, and the question is how many people would give up their tickets to games if Ovie wasn’t there. There’s 100s of people in Caps’ No. 8 jerseys at games in Washington. But, winning often trumps player loyalty and in the time Ovechkin has been with the Caps, they have won three playoff rounds in, this, his 10th year.
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Tags: alex+ovechkin, anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, chris+pronger, derek+roy, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, mike+green, ryan+miller, st.+louis+blues, teemu+selanne, vladimir+konstantinov, washington+capitals, winnipeg+jets
The "pointing to the heavens" thing after registering some sort of point in sports may be overdone, but Tomas Tatar (who lost his dad) and now Matt Stajan have gone about the procedure for the right reasons, as the Hockey News's Casey Ippolito ntoes:
It’s been a difficult time for Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan.
Following the death of his newborn son, Stajan took a personal leave to grieve with his wife, Katie. The Flames gave him the option to take the rest of the season off. After all, the Flames are basement dwellers, and Stajan’s future in Calgary was secured with a recent contract extension. But Stajan, loyal to the game he loves as he is to his family, rejoined the flames after a couple weeks. After an eight-game absence, he returned to the Flames lineup.
Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers, Stajan found himself with a penalty shot. He walked in and made a slick move on Viktor Fasth, scoring on the backhand. In the moments that followed, Stajan’s teammates congratulated him, acknowledging a moment that was much bigger than the game.
Via Chris Nichols, the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis reports that the Calgary Flames are going to trade Mike Cammalleri as the 31-year-old mini-mite is intent upon testing the unrestricted free agent marketplace:
Flames acting GM Brian Burke revealed last week the Flames offered Cammalleri a contract extension, one which is almost certainly several million dollars less a year than he will get on the open market.
So he will leave Calgary via trade. He has submitted a list of seven teams he would not go to — as per his contractual rights — and will now wait to hear his fate.
Only question now is how much he will go for. If Burke can wrangle up a first-round draft pick for a rental the exercise will have been considered an unmitigated success.
A second-rounder would also suffice, assuming it would come with a young prospect of some sort.
A third-rounder in return would be considered a fail unless the deal also includes a decent prospect.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers a smorgasbord of rumor news in his last pre-trade-deadline Sunday missive, but the best way to summarize his statements involves encapsulating the following and letting you read on from there:
TOP 5 SELLERS
- BUFFALO SABRES - GM Tim Murray made a huge move Friday by dealing goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues. He isn’t finished yet, he still has Matt Moulson and anyone else up for grabs.
- EDMONTON OILERS - Craig MacTavish has been trying to make moves all year and he’s made a couple of deals. He’d like to move forward Ales Hemsky and will retain salary. A lot of teams will try to make a bigger deal for winger Jordan Eberle.
- N.Y. ISLANDERS - Losing captain John Tavares to injury gives GM Garth Snow the green light to move left wing Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andy MacDonald. Vanek might be the most sought-after player and MacDonald won’t be far behind.
- NASHVILLE PREDATORS - This might be a bit of a surprise but they are a longshot to make the playoffs. A lot of teams have called about centre David Legwand. He may not be the only one to go. Wouldn’t be surprised to see many gone.
- CALGARY FLAMES - Interim GM Brian Burke hasn’t made any bold moves since he took over but you can expect him to be busy. The club would like to keep UFA Mike Cammalleri but it’s doubtful he’ll stay. There are options for buyers.
Garrioch goes from there, listing his top 5 buyers, discussing Markov to Edmonton(?), the Stars' situation, news from Long Island, New York City, San Jose, Calgary, etc...
And this is just me, but if Garth Snow wants a top prospect, a 1st rounder and a 2nd rounder for Thomas Vanek, I may have considered that before Vanek confirmed that he wanted to test the maret...But now that he embarrassed himself and the Austrian Olympic team by going out and getting blotto with some teammates prior to battling Slovenia, I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole.
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Tags: ales+hemsky, andrew+macdonald, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, craig+mactavish, david+legwand, edmonton+oilers, garth+snow, matt+moulson, mike+cammalleri, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, thomas+vanek
George here on the late shift, and as the trade deadline is now under two months away (albeit interspersed with a during-the-Olympics roster freeze), the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's weekly trade rumor roundup is chock full of info, including a lead-off that this Wings fan wouldn't mind seeing happen:
Mike Cammalleri might want to hold off on purchasing any real estate in Calgary. He is most likely on the move.
With the NHL trade deadline set for March 5, many league executives view the 31-year-old Cammalleri as one of the most attractive options available for teams that want a forward who can make an impact.
Making $6 million in the final year of his contract, he’s coveted by several teams and we’re told Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke has been getting phone calls from contenders who are willing to ante up to get Cammalleri.
Sources say the Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings all have an interest in Cammalleri. It’s believed Kings coach Darryl Sutter and Detroit’s Mike Babcock would both welcome him.
Cammalleri has been in L.A. before so it would be a nice fit but there’s a chance the Montreal Canadiens may try to bring him back.
Garrioch continues at length, discussing the Jets (fewer moves likely), whether Nazem Kadri's really "in play" or whether the Leafs' management is trying to motivate him by name-dropping instead, whether Ryan Miller will be moved, and Garrioch also confirms that the Hurricanes are willing to hold a fire sale again...
But you'll have to forgive my wishful thinking because the Wings passed on Cammalleri, who was starring at the University of Michigan back in 2001, to pick Igor Grigorenko instead.
After a player-brawl and coach-attempting-to-visit-opponents-scrap-filled 3-2 Vancouver Canucks shootout win over the Calgary Flames, coach John Tortorella played it by the book during his brief post-game presser:
He more or less built an impenetrable, "I'm not answering that" and/or, "I won't talk about fights with anyone who didn't play the game" facade (the latter, he did not say literally), with the initial summary of his comments reading as follows (and yes, he blamed Bob Hartley for starting 4th line versus...eventual 4th line):
As Paul noted, the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames got into quite the brawl to start their game off, and as the Flames left the ice, this happened:
That's John Tortorella visiting the Flames as they attempt to enter their locker room. I believe Mr. Tortorella will be suspended shorty, I mean shortly.
Per Flames Press Release
Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed defenceman Keegan Kanzig to a three year entry level contract.
A native of Athabasca, Alberta, Kanzig is currently in his third season with the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League. In 30 games this season, the 6’6”, 240 lbs defenceman has 2 goals and 2 assists while accumulating 57 penalty minutes. In his first training camp with the Flames this past September, the defensive minded rearguard appeared in 1 pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers recording an assist and a plus 2 rating in 15 minutes of ice-time. Kanzig was Calgary’s 3rd round selection (67th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
The Brian Burke press conference was talked and over-talked to death, especially given the fact that he looked so damn disheveled, but the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons believes that Burke's messages were delivered with cold and calculated precision:
Burke is nothing if not prepared. He often works out his press conferences lines prior to having his press conferences. He writes down catch-phrases and memorizes them. Like an actor, he chooses his motivation, sets the mood and then determines what look he will display to the public he so often owns.
The look at the firing of GM Jay Feaster and assistant GM John Weisbrod in Calgary was that of a man who had rolled up his sleeves, a touch wild-eyed, having slept little and who hadn’t bothered to groom his lengthy mop. It was all part of a way of demonstrating how much he had put in to the decision to take over the Flames in earnest.
Some of the words in Calgary were familiar: Belligerent, truculent, impatience. Burke loves to talk about his teams, how he wants them to play, what his vision contains.
The challenge now, as it was in Toronto, is hiring the right people and executing his plan. He won his one Stanley Cup with Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer on defence first, not as much because of the physical manner in which the Anaheim Ducks played. He will be forced to go forward without two generational defencemen. As he found in Toronto, it makes winning and building all the more daunting.
Continued with oodles of other topics
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson's posted at least half of his weekly Hockey World articles on his blog page (I believe that he's still working on "Ask Matty" as I'm posting this, and I don't see any "Short Shifts" yet).
Especially given a) the fact that Don Cherry decided to suggest that John Scott and Cody McLeod require the sympathy of fans who don't understand "their role" or their obligation to "make a difference" and b) the endless suggestions that it's up to players and only players to police themselves when Sportsnet's John Shannon so wisely suggested that coaches, GM's and owners also share responsibility for employing players in "punishing" roles (we tend to forget that both players, coaches, GM's and owners are generally concerned about their team's well-being and competitive interests ahead of safe working environments)...
It's refreshing to hear now-NHL Department of Player Safety employee Rob Blake tell Matheson that there's a significant amount of push-back from teams when players are facing Sheriff Shanny's Wheel of Justice:
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Tags: buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, colorado+avalanche, department+of+player+safety, jiri+hudler, john+scott, magnus+paajarvi, matt+duchene, rob+blake, st.+louis+blues
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes
Another disappointing outing for the Flyers would start with Jay Harrison notching his first of the season for the Hurricanes as he put a wrist shot past Steve Mason in the first period.
The Calgary Flames' home, the Scotiabank Saddledome, suffered severe damage when torrential floods wreaked havoc in Southern Alberta this past summer, and Sportsnet posted all 45 minutes' worth of an hour-long special on the Flames as well as the province's attempts to recover from the flood. The series is a two-parter, and it's worth watching:
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed
It Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Puck dropped in Boston to start the season for the two Atlantic teams’ first game of the 2013-14 season. Neither team wasted much time getting on the box score; however, to start it was on the penalty side. A hooking call to Bruins Reilly Smith would lead to a shorthanded goal by teammate Chris Kelly.
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Tags: boston+bruins, calgary+flames, ilya+bryzgalov+to+the+echl, los+angeles+kings, minnesota+wild, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, tim+thomas+returns, vancouver+canucks, vlasic+skate+to+face, washington+capitals
The player who was once the "x factor" in the Phil Kessel trade just got shuffled out of Toronto, per the Maple Leafs:
The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded centreman Joe Colborne tonight to the Flames in exchange for Calgary’s own fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The pick can be upgraded to a third-round pick in 2014 if certain conditions are met in the upcoming season.
And the Flames...
I was really hoping to wait and save this mind dump for a more opportune time. That time being after the 1st game of the year and the steaming pile of Oil is doing their best to secure the 2012 1st overall selection. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to differentiate a Calgary Flames fan from an Edmonton Oiler fan. Please let me give the causal observer a run down on the differences.
From George Johnson in the Calgary Herald:
He’s swayed a veteran group over to his way of thinking when all appeared lost.
That, people, is an Adams-worthy achievement. Not that he gives two hoots, but if the Flames do reach the post-season, he richly deserves consideration at the June ‘do in Vegas. If they could somehow crack the Top Four and nail down home-ice for the first round, it should be a slam dunk.
It seems a lifetime, not 82 days, that not-so-long-ago morning in Anaheim when the stench of change permeated the Honda Center like a gas leak, when the coach’s future apparently hung by a thread.
From the Calgary Herald’s Scott Cruickshank:
1. Become a draft-day player
As it is, Flames director of scouting Tod Button doesn’t get a chance to clear his throat till the 64th pick (which represents the third-round choice the team got from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Anton Stralman).
Getting into the first two rounds would be swell, particularly for an organization with a dearth of forward prospects.
From the Calgary Herald’s Scott Cruickshank:
OK, what would you do?
Your team has zero selections in the first two rounds of this week’s National Hockey League draft in Los Angeles.
Your team was the third oldest, and the most senior of the non-playoff outfits.
Your team produced the fewest goals in the entire league.
From the Calgary Herald’s Vicki Hall:
Jarome Iginla plans to flick on his television Friday night and take in the soap opera better known as the NHL Entry Draft.
In doing so, the Calgary Flames captain predicts his annual round of sympathy pains for the young men in starched suits and breath-constricting neckties.
“I remember my draft day,” Iginla says via telephone from his off-season home in Kelowna, B.C. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous — or that excited — in my whole life.”
From the Calgary Herald’s Vicki Hall:
Stock up on the long underwear, Calgary. Pull that giant winter parka out of the closet along with those mitts, tuque, scarf and boots.
The National Hockey League competition committee granted approval Friday for the Calgary Flames to host the Heritage Classic outdoor game Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.
The venue? McMahon Stadium. The opposition? Michael Cammalleri and the Montreal Canadiens.
Only one formality remains: ratification by the NHL Players Association next week in Chicago.
It looks like the Calgary Flames are close to locking up one of their cornerstone players.
Sources tell TSN that Dion Phaneuf is on the verge of signing a contract extension with the club, with only a few minor details to be worked out.
added 8:27am, from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
For those of you obsessed with those silly Dion Phaneuf rumors being spread by the uninformed, TSN is reporting tonight that he’s on the verge of signing an extension with the Calgary Flames. That should put an end of all of the speculation.
By the way, I’ve been told that a certain blogger has been taking Devils’ info off of this site and posting it on his site without attribution. I hope it isn’t true because that would be unethical.
Well stated Tom!
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
Very often the Flames appear confused on defense. On many nights it looks like they are not on the same page. It’s Keenan’s responsibility to make sure Calgary’s defense is organized and has a sound defensive system. But Keenan has never been a system driven coach. He wants emotion, energy, combativeness and competiveness. It’s hard to win in today’s NHL with just those qualities. Teams need a comprehensive defensive system.
From David Carroll at TSN,
Jarome Iginla is set to become the Flames all-time leader in games played on Thursday when he hits the ice against the Anaheim Ducks.
The 30-year-old is one of the NHL’s biggest stars and has an impressive list of awards and accomplishments. Iginla has won “Rocket” Richard Trophies, a Lester B. Person Award and an Art Ross Trophy.
He can score and, when needed, can mix it up but where does he rank on the list of Flames all-time greats?
How do you stack Iginla against players like Joe Nieuwendyk, Al MacInnis, Gary Suter, Theo Fleury, Lanny McDonald, Paul Reinhart and Mike Vernon and others? There’s also a poll available on the TSN front page.
Phaneuf put a big hit on Hudler last night in the 3rd period. Hudler had been agitating Dion most of the night and you just had a feeling Phaneuf was looking for the right opportunity to pay him back.
Watch the video of the hit…
from the Calgary Sun,
Godard was assessed his third instigator penalty Saturday night in Colorado against the Avalanche, but the two-game suspension that’s to come with that infraction was rescinded by the league yesterday—and he was able to play in the team’s 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
“I really thought they would have, so I was happy they did,” Godard said. “I’m not gonna say anything about the refs. I think they did a pretty good job that night. That’s a call in the rule book, so they’ve got to make the call. They reviewed the tape, and there was obviously some other circumstances going on.”
from the Daily Herald,
Whatever problems he might have had with Keenan all those years ago are in the past, according to Savard.
“To tell you the truth, Mike’s a good coach and he had to do what he had to do then and that’s just the way it goes,” Savard said. “I think you know my personality. I’m not one of those guys that’s going to hold a grudge against anybody, whether we worked well or not together. I moved on a long time ago and he’s been a good coach in this league for a long time.”
From George Johnson at ESPN,
Iginla, the unquestioned emotional push behind the Flames, is thriving, while Kiprusoff, arguably the most spectacular goaltender in the game over the past three seasons, is nose-diving.
So the spirit is willing, but the flash has been weak.
As Iginla and Kiprusoff go, so go the Flames. And, right now, Calgary finds itself stuck on a treadmill to mediocrity, a game below .500 and a disquieting 1-5 stretch in what could hardly be described as a November to remember.
They’ve both been making headlines for altogether different reasons.
from the Toronto Star,
They are the games that get fans talking. The ones circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule comes out. The game that proves your team is – once and for all – better than your team’s bitter rival, until at least the two meet again.
Like when the Leafs face the Ottawa Senators in the Battle of Ontario or when Calgary faces their provincial rivals in Edmonton.
If you could pit one rivalry against another, which one would come out on top?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, ottawa+senators, rivalries, toronto+maple+leafs
from the Calgary Sun,
According to an eastern-based columnist, rising star defenceman Dion Phaneuf and his agent had rejected a contract proposal from the Flames.
Only one problem, said Phaneuf’s agent Don Meehan.
“We have never discussed a number,” he said yesterday.
from Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider on AO contract talks…
Nothing has changed, he said, since the last time I asked him about this on Oct. 29 in Toronto, adding that serious talks still have not started and that he’s not sure when they might.
I asked him if that lack of an offer is bothering him. At first he said, “No.” Then he paused for a moment before saying, “Of course I think about my contract. It would be stupid to answer that I don’t think about my contract. Of course I think about it. But we don’t start talking. We just wait. We still have time.”
This earlier today from Marty York at Metro News,
Two young NHL stars, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and forward Alexander Ovechkin, have rejected contract-extension proposals from the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals, respectively.
The Caps offered Ovechkin a five-year pact similar to the deal the Pittsburgh Penguins gave Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million a season), but the sniper is demanding more — between $9- and $10-million a year.
from the Calgary Herald,
Following Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Keenan had been asked about his boys coughing up another two power-play goals.
The coach figuratively shoved his goalie to front and centre on a first-period tally by Robert Nilsson. His statement included the line: “It’s pretty difficult to criticize the people on the penalty-killing situation when your goaltender is not part of the solution.”
Damning stuff. Which Iron Mike took measures to clarify Monday.
“Well, first of all, the media has misconstrued the comments,” started Keenan.
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
- Calgary is going to implode soon. I’ve talked to a few former Flames and they say there is just plain bad chemistry in their locker room. I don’t see Mike Keenan changing that much.
- Edmonton is terrible. Dustin Penner is a nice player, but Kevin Lowe grossly overpaid for him, in his retaliation move against Brian Burke and the Ducks over Chris Pronger.
more NHL bits plus Adrian wonders where are all the Avs fans?
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
When GM Darryl Sutter deposed Jim Playfair as coach after one season and installed Iron Mike, the thinking was that the Flames had to get back to the hard-nosed play that saw them advance to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. Sutter, whose relationship with Keenan extends back to their shared days in Chicago, believed the old task master was just the man to do the job.
Now, with the team in a free fall, there are questions about its preparation, focus, drive, energy and desire. Those are all of the things, the intangibles, Keenan was supposed to bring to the table. Those are coaching issues.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
As much as the lazy Sunday away from the horror house known as the Saddledome was a chance for the beleaguered players to clear their minds, rest assured there was plenty of introspection going on.
Certainly, there are plenty of reasons for the Flames, with their under-achieving 6-8-3 record, to consider.
They’ve frittered away a home-heavy schedule that had 11 of those 17 games at the ‘Dome, in which they’ve won only four times. They’ve frittered away half of an eight-game intra-division run.
They’re floundering like Brittany Spears’ career.
from the Calgary Sun,
Hot on the heels of a six-year extension for goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, there’s talk in Calgary the Flames might be a small step closer to signing Dion Phaneuf to a long-term contract.
The 22-year-old defenceman’s agent, Don Meehan, was in town last week, and it’s believed he spent time meeting with Flames general manager Darryl Sutter about a possible extension.
Sources say talks were informal and could help lead to a deal but no dollars were discussed.
Phaneuf’s entry-level contract expires at the end of this season, and as a restricted free agent, he’d be a prime candidate for an offer sheet from another team.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan didn’t exactly leap to the defence of his injured centre Daymond Langkow on Friday….
“I looked at the tape again today,” said Keenan. “I know Matt Cooke, I coached him, he’s a little bit of a hunter, and you know he’s out there, you know he’s coming at you, and you know he’s going to body you.
“But he didn’t leave his feet. He hit him hard into the boards; at the same time, you have a responsibility to know that players like that are out there. It’s a fine line between playing the game hard; he cracked him good, and Daymond maybe should have positioned himself in a more protective manner so he wouldn’t have had the whiplash effect against the glass.”
more NHL talk including Bouillon explaining his hit on Aaron Ward…
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Calgary is sub .500.
Edmonton is sub .500.
Given the respective stenches emanating from both camps, a cynic might suggest The Battle of Alberta has been replaced by The Cattle of Alberta, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of sizzle on tonight’s steak.
Nothing fuels a barn burner like animosity and desperation and the Flames and Oilers will be bringing plenty of both to a unique and unusually important showdown in Cowtown.
Something has to give. They can’t both lose.