Kotalik, Moss out Indefinetely

Pat Steinberg
October 02 2010 01:16PM

CHICAGO - APRIL 16:  David Moss #25 of the Calgary Flames celebrates after he scored a first period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The injury woes continue for the Calgary Flames, and as many expected, it wasn't great news Saturday afternoon when the team announced forwards David Moss and Ales Kotalik would be out indefinetely with seperate injuries.  Moss left Friday's 5-1 preseason win over Edmonton with a shoulder injury while Kotalik left later on with a knee injury.

Moss and Kotalik bring the number of injured Flames forwards to five, joining Daymond Langkow, Matt Stajan and Ryan Stone.  The word wasn't good last night when I heard from a number of people in Edmonton that Moss was seen with a sling while Kotalik was walking around limping.

It's important to point out that "indefinetely" doesn't necessarily mean a long time period, it just means no time period is known at this time.  With the Flames being rather guarded with injuries, anything more than something minor seems to be classified under the indefinite heading.

The Moss injury is troubling, as he had been moved to the middle to start training camp.  It had turned into a much more important move after the Stajan shoulder injury, and the Flames are now left a little thin down the middle.  Olli Jokinen missed Calgary's game against Edmonton on Friday, as he continues to sit out with an injury...he suffered a reported pulled back muscle Tuesday against Phoenix.

Depending on the length of the newest injured players, this certainly opens the door for players like Brett Sutter and Stefan Meyer to start the season on the team.  Meyer especially has had a strong camp, and seems to really fit the mold of what Head Coach Brent Sutter expects from his forwards.

We know one thing: the lineup Calgary ices on Thursday night in Edmonton could look a whole lot different than we thought when training camp started just a few short weeks ago.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 GermanFlame
October 02 2010, 02:12PM
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Wow, This feels like a little bit of Irony coming back to bite me. After wanting Kotalik out and gone pretty much all of last year, he is now out and I he will be missed. I was actually kind-of excited to see him start the year and rebound and maybe even pull of some of those power moves to the net like he has done this pre-season. Hope they are back quick, So this leaves us with Jokinen, Backlund, Conroy and Meyer/Sutter down the middle? I wouldnt mind seeing a glencross- Backlund - Bourque second line, although presumably glencross and conroy would anchor the 3rd line with Hagman on the second. Thoughts?

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#2 icedawg_42
October 02 2010, 02:20PM
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Wierd thing is during the broadcast, the announcers were saying the flames reported BOTH may be back later in the game. May not be as serious as people think. Agreed on Kotalik...hope something like this doesnt demoralize him - he was finally driving the net, and thats when the injury happened...hope this doesnt make him gun shy.

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#3 Casey
October 02 2010, 05:14PM
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Funny. We all were offering to drive Kotalik to the airport. Now we're worrying about his knee injury and counting the days until he is back in the lineup...

Is it possible that the Sutters actually know what they are doing, and that they saw something in Kotalik that we didn't know about?

If the guy ends up having a decent year, there are a lot of people around here that have some crow to eat.

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#4 Ted
October 02 2010, 05:30PM
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I think we are going to have a problem as we are still, at least, $2,600,000 over the cap and injuries don't affect that. Even long-term injured reserve just gives a credit (according to Capgeek.com)once you have used up your entire daily cap room. Nonetheless, all LTIR would do is put us at the cap max and we still need to remove at least $2,600,000. I think Staios will be gone as I can't see how they drop below without demoting a big salary and we can't demote injured players. Any thoughts?

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#5 Smitty
October 02 2010, 05:34PM
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*face palm*

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#6 R O
October 02 2010, 05:35PM
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Kotalik, Jokinen, Stajan... I'm not sure these guys really impact our chances to win whether they are in or out of the lineup. I'm not that worried.

Bummer to see Moss go down though, he is an extremely useful forward. And of course the season still hinges on an effective Langkow.

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#7 thymebalm
October 02 2010, 06:08PM
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You think Moss impacts the Flames ability to win more than Jokinen, Stajan and Kotalik?

You are mistaken.

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#11 Greg
October 02 2010, 08:01PM
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Five injuries assumes Jokinen and Borque are both good to go. What happens if they are rushed back now and aggravate something? The flames were going to need a lot of things to go right this season. So far, not so good.

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#12 R O
October 02 2010, 08:39PM
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I'd like to see a defense of Jokinen, Stajan or Kotalik that involves things that actually happen on NHL ice.

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#13 Kent Wilson
October 02 2010, 11:13PM
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R O wrote:

I'd like to see a defense of Jokinen, Stajan or Kotalik that involves things that actually happen on NHL ice.

They aren't great NHL players, but they're likely better than the alternatives the Flames will be trotting out in a few days, particularly with Langkow and Moss now down.

Conroy, Backlund, Meyer and, uh...Mitch Wahl? Jon Rheault may go from the ECHL to the NHL in one fell swoop as well.

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#14 R O
October 03 2010, 12:24AM
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They aren't great NHL players, but they're likely better than the alternatives the Flames will be trotting out in a few days, particularly with Langkow and Moss now down. Conroy, Backlund, Meyer and, uh...Mitch Wahl? Jon Rheault may go from the ECHL to the NHL in one fell swoop as well.

Kent: that doesn't relate to anything that happens on the ice.

I mean I might be inclined to make a go of it with Stajan, he's far from a complete centre but he does appear to have a bit of skill in putting pucks in scoring areas too. Problem is that he never appears to do anything to get the puck back if he loses it (which at this level happens a lot) so little of that skill makes a difference.

Kotalik too, he looked interested in the battle. Hard on the puck - problem was that the results weren't there. The puck was not likely to be in his possession despite the eyes saying he did things right.

But Jokinen? I mean the best thing you could say about the guy was, I dunno, that he had a hard shot. I mean he handled the puck like a grenade on the perimeter, which meant it would hardly ever make it into the scoring area. That's when he had the puck that is, which was more often not.

I'm hard on Backlund but I think we could do worse with current Flames players at centre ice, and by that I mean Jokinen.

And of course Conroy skates circles around all of these players. And the 3C spot is a crater until somebody returns from IR, but the wings are okay IMO.

But your point on guys like Rheault is taken. Guys like him might be below replacement level. Jokinen might be better than him, because he's probably just replacement level. We'd have been better off with Halpern or Modin or Comrie or Pouliot or Belanger or Torres or any number of August signings.

(And Moss surely is better than replacement level. Wasn't it RossCreek that wanted a depth-pick-for-Moss trade? Well he's about to get half his wish, no Moss on the roster. Which is all fine and dandy when you're doodling rosters on paper but when it comes to the game on the ice, getting rid of useful forwards just doesn't cut it)

But yeah, losing NHLers means replacing them with non-NHLers which ultimately means losing battles. Losing the depth battle - it's going to be like the 07/08 Flames experience. That sucks. It's still nothing like losing the top-end battle, which is going to be like the 09/10 Oilers experience.

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#15 SmellOfVictory
October 03 2010, 04:03AM
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@R O

I'd also say that, of the three, Jokinen looked the most disastrous by far last season. Kotalik may not be worth the cap hit, but I think he's a decent 3rd liner once price is put aside; Stajan is alright as well. As far as Joker goes, he certainly looked awful almost every time I saw him over the past season, but there is the chance, however much credit you give such things, that it was at least partially in his head and that, with less pressure on him, he will perform to a reasonable level this season.

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#16 thymebalm
October 03 2010, 05:52AM
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Stajan and Jokinen are shoe-ins for 50+ points this season. Kotalik, Stajan and Jokinen play more minutes against tougher competition. Stajan is our second best draw-man (Backlund). Kotalik has been a 20 goal scorer 4 times in his career, Moss has hit the mark once.

Moss has never reached 40 points. He'll be hard pressed to get that bench mark in 10-11. He's been a minus player for the past 3 seasons (worst on the flames last season), and his shot is about as accurate as that of Steve Staios (6%). He's being played as a center but is bad at the draw (35% on 43 draws last season). He's basically done developing- At 28 I don't think we'll see any big surprises from him. He's not essential for the PP or the PK, and isn't particularly good at either of them.

Those are on ice figures. We didn't score enough goals last season, and I know that Jokinen and Stajan and Kotalik generate more offense than Moss.

So based on that, I'd say any of those other guys is more valuable. Kotalik has more upside to his game and still carries a big frame like Moss. Stajan can pass the puck... Moss is not so good at passing to create scoring chances. At season's end, Moss will have the least goals and points and worst +/- out of these 4 players.

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#17 Kent Wilson
October 03 2010, 09:00AM
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@ RO

I don't think I dislike Jokinen enough to say he's at replacement level. Versus high level competition he's a disaster, but against other mid-level NHLers he holds his own (his corsi and scoring chance numbers with not Iginla last year were respectable enough, for example). And his career is filled with average-to-better than average results on the PP, so there's at least some value there.

What's granted is what ought to have happened over the last 8 months or so: no acquisition of Kotalik, no re-signing of Jokinen, no signing of a goon squad for the 4th line when actual NHL players were avaiable, etc.

What is, though, is the roster and depth we have now. And there's no question the Flames are a worse team with Langkow/Stajan/Moss and, yes, probably even Kotalik hurt.

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#19 thymebalm
October 03 2010, 02:06PM
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I recognize that Moss has other attributes that bring value to the organization. He's a good community guy, a hard-nosed player willing to battle in front of the net, he's decent along the boards. I knew by saying that Moss had less to do with the success of the team it would come off like I don't like him as a player. That's really not the case. I was happy when the Flames extended his contract. He's a good bottom-6 forward. I'm just think we've got more players able to fill Moss's shoes than the shoes of a guy like Olli Jokinen or Matt Stajan.

I know two-way grinders do all kinds of little things in a game that maybe don't show up on the score sheet. It still doesn't change the fact that he's not a big checker, passer, scorer, or special teams player.

I just thought (and still stand by the fact) that R. O. was out of line in his claim that Moss has more value than the others. Sure, none of the 4 had good seasons last year, but that's no reason to throw them all under the bus before this season even starts. We know Jokinen is capable of 70+ points, Stajan of 60+, and Kotalik of 40+. Moss is capable of 30+ points as well. None of them did what we needed them to last year.

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