Postgame: Whew

Pat Steinberg
October 26 2010 10:42PM

Calgary Flames' Brendan Morrison (R) celebrates his second goal of the night with teammate Curtis Glencross during the second period of their NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers in Calgary, Alberta, October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

That was the total opposite of pretty, as the Calgary Flames were able to pull one of their behind and eventually skate to a 5-4 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  Alex Tanguay scored the winner on a gorgeous roof shot to seal a game where Calgary held a three goal lead late in the second period.

What Happened

I thought a pretty solid first period for the Flames, outchancing the Oilers 9-4 and outscoring them 2-1.  Brendan Morrison opened the scoring on the powerplay, his second of the season, as he walked in from the right point and wired a slap shot past Nikolai Khabibulin at 5:52.  Just under three minutes later, the Oilers would equalize, also on the man advantage, as Kurtis Foster would blow a point shot past Miikka Kiprusoff at 8:38.  But a late powerplay chance would give the Flames their lead back (TWO POWERPLAY GOALS!) on a Jay Bouwmeester goal from the left circle.  But credit Tanguay and his deft no look pass to set that one up...goodness gracious that guy can dish.

The second period saw Calgary scoring early on, just over two minutes in the Flames best line (again) would cash in...Mikael Backlund fed Curtis Glencross off a Ryan Whitney giveaway to put Calgary up 3-1.  You can make it 4-1 on Morrison's third on a shorthanded breakaway, his second such break of the period unassisted at 9:48.  Edmonton was downright awful at spans of the middle frame, and laughable at other times...there was a two minute span when it looked like they were the Washington Generals.  Ugh.  But, Jordan Eberle would score a softy on Kiprusoff with 17 seconds left in the second to put Edmonton within two, and give them some life heading into the final frame.

And that momentum would certainly come into play, as the Oilers came out flying.  Edmonton media are calling the third period their best since opening night, also against Calgary.  Magnus Paajarvi scored at 6:52 on a partial break to put the Oil within one before Tom Gilbert took a nice pass from Dustin Penner to wire it through and get this game squared at 9:19.  Once it was 4-4, the Oilers had some real good chances to put themselves up by one, but Kiprusoff came through on some big saves, and the Oilers missed some quality opportunities as well.

Overtime solved nothing with a few okay chances both way, so off to a shootout where Kiprusoff made three stops on Eberle, Hemsky and Penner while Tanguay scored the only goal for the Flames to seal this one.  Whew.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames won?  Well, plain and simple, because they won the shootout.  They blew this game in the final frame, and let a team playing downright awful hockey at teams get back into this hockey game.  It's a shame too, because there were some positives, including a dangerous looking powerplay that finished 2/5 on the night.  Now, give Calgary credit, they won the game and got the two points and make it a three game win streak...but I know a lot of people weren't thrilled that this one went to extra time.  Head Coach Brent Sutter said you learn from it, and move on...because there was some good in this game, and some bad in this game.

Red Warrior

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19: Defenseman Cody Franson  of the Nashville Predators and center Brendan Morrison  of the Calgary Flames watch the puck go in behind Predators goalie Pekka Rinne  for the game winning overtime goal on October 19, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
 

No question.  Two goals for Brendan Morrison only starts to tell the story of how much he was around the puck tonight.  For a guy making very little dough, he's been pretty darn good at times, but never better than he was in this game.  The scoring chances flesh that out...10-3 in Calgary's favour when he was on the ice.  Very, very good night.

Sum It Up

Well...Miikka gets a win for the first time on his birthday, but it wasn't pretty.  Calgary played some sloppy, bad hockey in the final frame, and let the Oilers back in this hockey game.  Alex Tanguay said following this game that it wasn't really what Edmonton did, but more what Calgary didn't do in that third period.  Not to take credit away from the Oilers, but come on, 4-1 should not turn into 4-4 period, but especially not with how bad Edmonton played at times.  But, move on, that's all you can do...a beat up Colorado team is in next Thursday night.

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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 R O
October 26 2010, 10:51PM
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A good bit of score effects, a bit of the Oil just can't be that bad and a whole lot of the Shell.

That in essence was the third period.

I thought when Iggy outplayed Hemsky when they clased over the first 2 periods, granted half the time Hemsky had Peckham behind while Iggy had 4 or 28. Pays to have NHL defense.

Weird because both Kent and Dennis have the RWs both underwater. What an odd game.

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#2 Dono
October 26 2010, 10:57PM
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A wins a wins, as they say if, ifs and buts were candy and nuts, Oh what a party we shall have. Everyone can say what or if, but it did not.

Last game someone mentioned what about the flames "B" game. Well here it is, they won one. Its in the past now and time to reload for the next game.

Ta

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#3 Smitty
October 26 2010, 11:19PM
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I think Morrison knows how lucky he is to be playing this year so he's coming out to prove it. If he keeps playing like this, I'll be pretty happy to have him throughout the season.

Nice to see Glencross's hard work finally pay off.

I loved the penalty kill in the 2nd where we had more shots, pressure and chances than the Oilers. That's the Flames team I'd like to see for 60 minutes.

Scary at times, but it's in the right column. I'll take it.

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#4 Domebeers.com
October 26 2010, 11:30PM
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I know they (coaches) are much smarter than me, but I can't figure out why they would even go into prevent mode in the third.

Go for the kill.

Also, in the second period, there was a sequence where the Oilers couldn't get the puck out of their zone. That was enjoyable to watch.

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#5 Domebeers.com
October 26 2010, 11:31PM
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Also, the greatest goalie in the world let in a bunch of softies.

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#6 SS
October 27 2010, 12:17AM
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I actually think that this was the perfect outcome. Don't get me wrong I would rather have seen a 6-0 a$$kicking but we still got the two points which at the end of the day is all that matters. I would have been more upset if we gave up a point to Vancouver or Colorado (a team that it could come back to hurt us at the end of the season) but against the Oil it shouldn't matter too much at the end of the season. I think that we keep the win streak going, and it keeps the team honest. It seems that they win a couple games and then they start getting away from what makes them successful or they build up a 4-1 lead and are dominating only to come out in the third and instead of playing the type of game that got them there they decide to run & gun and trade chances. This win should make them feel lucky to get the two points, still feel positive but come away realizing they need to play the system for a full 60 minutes.

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#7 Kent Wilson
October 27 2010, 12:20AM
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@Domebeers.com

Meh, almost all coaches do it.

The Flames were just really lousy at it this evening. Multiple odd man rushes, inability to box out the scoring area. It was a demonstration on how not to shell properly.

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#8 Sincity1976
October 27 2010, 12:40AM
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I think people are downplaying the first two periods. The Flames were dominant. They were also dominant against the Sharks, Jackets, and Kings. They are having a pretty darn good season. Seems like people are looking for this team to collapse.

Kipper had an off night. So did the top line. A soft goal led to some momentum and then the Flames were coaxed in to playing the Oiler's game. Good learning opportunity for the coaching staff. Much better then loosing because of poor work ethic or something like that. And they still came away with two points.

The team is 15th in goals and climbing, in the top 10 in goals against, is 6-3 to start the season, has out shot their opponent in every contest to date, has dominated some pretty good teams, competed well against Detroit despite the loss .... Overall I am pretty okay with the team so far.

I am a bit concerned about our top line. They are going to get beat most nights against the better teams. However, we are seeing what this team is. We are going to be relying on our depth. Fortunately we have a ton of it. And if Iggy/Tanguy do pull it together this is going to be a pretty dominant team all season.

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#9 CitizenFlame
October 27 2010, 01:38AM
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Why was Staios in the line-up again?! Why do they insist on playing our oldest, slowest, most inept-at-everything defenceman against this young, high flying, Oilers team? The only time that Staios is noticable is because he is usually doing something bad. A poor penalty, a giveaway, being a pylon! Demote him already.

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#10 Mamie Jacouns Love Child
October 27 2010, 07:38AM
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CitizenFlame wrote:

Why was Staios in the line-up again?! Why do they insist on playing our oldest, slowest, most inept-at-everything defenceman against this young, high flying, Oilers team? The only time that Staios is noticable is because he is usually doing something bad. A poor penalty, a giveaway, being a pylon! Demote him already.

Staios...it looked like #3 (the $5buck less $3M) guy that the Oil were doing pylon rushes around all night. Eberle made him look like a fool....again

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#11 JPK
October 27 2010, 08:58AM
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Calgary's PK is really impressing me, and last night was no exception, especially on that one PP when Edmonton couldn't get out of their zone. No team has scored more short handed goals than Calgary. On the basis of powerplay-goals-against less short-handed-goals for, the Flames PK is tied for the lead with Detroit. Credit to the guys who play a lot of PK minutes: Regehr, Bouwmeester, Glencross, Conroy, Backlund, and Tanguay. Given that the PK was ho hum last year, and the PK players are more or less the same ones (except for Nystrom out and Backlund/Tanguay in), I'm guessing the coaching staff must be working on this aspect of the game?

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#12 icedawg_42
October 27 2010, 09:05AM
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I agree with Domebeers - when the flames are "doing it right" is when they are on the attack - I HATE it when they try to sit on a lead, no matter how big the lead (right Chicago?) anyway - im not too down on White for Eberle's goal, I thought he played it ok. Lucky shot, and a bit of a gaff by Kipper imo. That said, to me I thought I could "feel" a momentum swing a couple minutes before Eberle's goal. The pendulum started to swing back near the end of the 3rd, and finally into the Flames favor a bit in OT. I am surprised at Edmonton's choices during the shootout. Didnt they have some shootout rockstars on the roster that they didn't use? and im sure Hall's got the hands..maybe the guys they chose for their play?

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#13 everton fc
October 27 2010, 09:31AM
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Random Thoughts:

The Flames have really had one bad period in the last three games... As a team, they are showing some consistency. Individually, there is still some work to be done.

I think Staois played because it's the Battle of Alberta. No other reason. (Why rest Mikkelson?) When Pardy returns... Staois should be concerned... perhaps we can move him to the Sens?! :)

A soft goal gave the young Oilers momentum at the end of the second. As a fan, I'd rather have a competitive game than a cakewalk. It's the Battle of Alberta, people! It helps the Flames, as well. They need to win these types of games. In the past, they have not. Particularly in the shoot-outs...

Our first line's production is a concern. Only Tanguay is producing. Odd. Jokinen is also not producing. If the first line, Jokinen, and even Hagman start producing... It will be interesting.

Funny how many dogged Morrison early on. He's Brendan Morrison. Why would we think he wouldn't produce, that he'd be washed up at 35? He certainly had more upside than Conroy coming into the season. Without a doubt. He's also a huge improvement from Bertuzzi, whom I see as a similar type of signing. If he gets 20 goals (even 15) nd 45-50 points at $750K a season, I'd sign him for another year. Maybe two. He'd have earned it, and seems to like it here. Makes absolute sense.

Glencross needs a long-term contract, as he is certainly one of the new 'core' players of the future (Glencross, Bourque, Gio...). Backlund seems to fit on the third line, as well.. Does Moss compliment Conroy and Jackman (or Meyer) on the fourth? And where does Kotalik fit in?? (I don't see Langkow coming back until after the New Year, but I haven't been following his progress...)

I'd move White (or Bouwmeester) to secure Glencross and Gio. Long-term. I also think Moss shuold be one of our core players going forward, if he can stay healthy. He, too, should be locked in. For a few more years... He's an excellent third line player. He is one of the few Flames who will consistently go to the net. We need this type of player. In our core group-of-the-future.

Sarich continues to impress. He's got a lot of character out there. Did anyone think White looked better? Seems so... ??

The fourth line didn't get many minutes last evening...

Is Ivanans on LTIR? The Flames are proving right now you don't need a goon on the ice to be successful. McIntyre had, what, a minute and a half of ice time? Cost the Oilers a player. Something to consider, long-term. (Perhaps why I fourth line didn't see many minutes last evening?)

Can't wait to see Karlsson's next start. I hope they can retain him after the season's over. He could be our next long-term goalie. I think we'd all like to see this happen.

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#14 Kenn
October 27 2010, 09:48AM
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Last night game was highly entertaining but the Flames were not very good in the third period, there were multiple odd man rushes where the Oliers speed made our defenseman look slow. The Flames inability to box out the scoring area, they had numerous break downs that allowed the Oilers good scoring chances and an opportunity to come back in the game. Kipper could have been better tonight but he was solid and in the shootout he was the difference. They still got the win and it was very entertaining but they should not have blown a 4 to 1 lead with one period to play.

I like the Oilers youth and speed. They are two to three years away but they are going to be a very good team and fun to watch. I feel they have done a fine job in the drafting side of things. They have some very good young players.

The next three games are going to be good challenges for the Flames and hopefully some good hockey to watch, Even if they don't win all three as long as they show up and compete.

Staios is being show cased for a trade......NOT! I am not sure why they play him, I guess because of the experience or they want to rotate him in and out of the line-up. I wish they could find a trading partner for him or just send him to the AHL. As much as I like Darryl, I just don't get some of his trades. Staios 2 mil is a lot.

Olli is finding any way he can to contribute to the team. Good for him.

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#15 everton fc
October 27 2010, 09:55AM
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@Kenn

I agree with you on Jokinen.

Everyone - Is there anything about Staois this far that makes him attractive to any team needed a defencemen? What if we threw in a pick, like the Primeau deal??

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#16 CitizenFlame
October 27 2010, 09:55AM
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@Mamie Jacouns Love Child

Can't argue with that assessment. If it ever was a Gio or White scenario, the way the first 8 games or so have gone definitely it is no longer a contest. Even though Gio hasn't found the back of the net yet, he is clearly the better of the two.

I find it funny that everyone was concerned with Brodies size, White isn't listed as any bigger. I was big on this guy last year, but he has been pedestrian so far this year.

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#17 icedawg_42
October 27 2010, 10:01AM
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I think Staios is a tough sell even in a package. Im sure he's a great guy, but I think that the AHL is more his speed. - agree on Gio, he needs to be identified as a "core" player for this team going forward. - Brodie's size didn't seem to be an issue at all while he was here. I thought that he took a bit of a beating (to his +/-) by virtue of being partnered up with Staios. It looks like Jbo is starting to figure Staios out though and covering for him more than he was before. (aka not assuming that Staios will win a battle or a race for the puck)

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#18 CitizenFlame
October 27 2010, 10:02AM
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everton fc wrote:

@Kenn

I agree with you on Jokinen.

Everyone - Is there anything about Staois this far that makes him attractive to any team needed a defencemen? What if we threw in a pick, like the Primeau deal??

I can't see how he is attractive to anyone with the way he is playing. His stats suck too, so you can't hide it.

It wouldn't be worth packaging a pick to get rid of him, especially just to fix another Sutter mistake. Just bury him in the minors and be done with it.

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#19 CitizenFlame
October 27 2010, 10:05AM
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@everton fc

Peter Maher said this morning that there is a good chance that they might start Karlsson against the Avalanche on Thursday. I hope so because I'm going and I would like to see this guy live. And if they start Kipper I wouldn't be real dissapointed either.

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#20 everton fc
October 27 2010, 10:52AM
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I agree with all responses to the dream of Staois being packaged a/la Primeau.

("I have a dream!)

@CitizenFlame

I believe the Flames may view Karlsson like they did Kipper. A future #1.

I don't think they have felt this confident about a backup goalie ever. Here's hoping he is the the next Kipper! You never know - Kipper certainly came out of nowhere. And quickly made an impact.

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#21 Kent Wilson
October 27 2010, 11:03AM
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One thing that surprised me last night and that hasn't been mentioned is the fact that Brent Sutter sat Conroy down in the third with the Flames trying to protect the lead.

The whole 4th line? Sure. But Conroy has been pretty good at this stuff for a long time and was having himself a nice night before that point besides.

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#22 Section 216
October 27 2010, 11:16AM
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Well the Flames biggest nemesis from a year ago, Craig Anderson probably won't play, probably won't play for a while actually.

Possibly a torn ACL which he suffered in warmups yesterday night.

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#23 Rain Dogs
October 27 2010, 11:29AM
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@Domebeers.com

I always love how hyperbole is like a pair of goalie pads, in that, you'll never see a goalie without.

I'll be the first to admit that the Eberle goal was not what anyone wanted to see.

But that hardly constitutes "a bunch".

The more people blame Kipper (fans, media, players etc) for two seeing eye shots by Long-Hair and a partial breakaway by Pjarvvson?sp?

The more we are excusing the forwards for a pathetic effort in the third.

Sure, you can argue that eberle's goal 'swung-momentum' (which I doubt) but, that should only be reason for ever single player in the room to come out hard in the third.

Not to do the tail between the legs. We allowed the oilers 17! shots in the third. That's unacceptable no matter how your goalie is playing.

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#24 dotfras
October 27 2010, 11:46AM
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Colorado should be an interesting team to play against. They won't have Anderson, but they managed to compete with Vancouver with Budaj in the net so I don't think that's too much of an issue. Glad the Flames have a day off in between to get ready. You think Moss will be back? As much as Meyer has looked good out there I'd love to see Moss on the 4th line with Conroy & Jackman, I think they would be great together.

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#25 CitizenFlame
October 27 2010, 12:12PM
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@everton fc

well that would be nice. Kipper still has what 3 years on his contract? That gives Karlsson a few years to get accustomed to the NHL and he'd be around 28-29 at the time. If not we still have time to find another goalie to emerge eventually as a #1.

I actually see a transition taking place in "the core" (I hate that term); a younger group is starting to emerge. Led by Bourque and Gio- hopefully they sign him long term this year- Stajan, JBo,GlenX, Moss, Backlund and maybe White. They are all still young and starting to emerge. I don't think the future is as bleak as everyone thinks. They still need to definitely add a few pieces but the Flames might not fall off the cliff in a year or two like everyone thinks. Especially if Iggy, Reggie, and Kipper can still be productive in a reduced role over the next couple of years and some of the younger guys pick up the mantle.

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#26 PrairieStew
October 27 2010, 01:40PM
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everton fc wrote:

Random Thoughts:

The Flames have really had one bad period in the last three games... As a team, they are showing some consistency. Individually, there is still some work to be done.

I think Staois played because it's the Battle of Alberta. No other reason. (Why rest Mikkelson?) When Pardy returns... Staois should be concerned... perhaps we can move him to the Sens?! :)

A soft goal gave the young Oilers momentum at the end of the second. As a fan, I'd rather have a competitive game than a cakewalk. It's the Battle of Alberta, people! It helps the Flames, as well. They need to win these types of games. In the past, they have not. Particularly in the shoot-outs...

Our first line's production is a concern. Only Tanguay is producing. Odd. Jokinen is also not producing. If the first line, Jokinen, and even Hagman start producing... It will be interesting.

Funny how many dogged Morrison early on. He's Brendan Morrison. Why would we think he wouldn't produce, that he'd be washed up at 35? He certainly had more upside than Conroy coming into the season. Without a doubt. He's also a huge improvement from Bertuzzi, whom I see as a similar type of signing. If he gets 20 goals (even 15) nd 45-50 points at $750K a season, I'd sign him for another year. Maybe two. He'd have earned it, and seems to like it here. Makes absolute sense.

Glencross needs a long-term contract, as he is certainly one of the new 'core' players of the future (Glencross, Bourque, Gio...). Backlund seems to fit on the third line, as well.. Does Moss compliment Conroy and Jackman (or Meyer) on the fourth? And where does Kotalik fit in?? (I don't see Langkow coming back until after the New Year, but I haven't been following his progress...)

I'd move White (or Bouwmeester) to secure Glencross and Gio. Long-term. I also think Moss shuold be one of our core players going forward, if he can stay healthy. He, too, should be locked in. For a few more years... He's an excellent third line player. He is one of the few Flames who will consistently go to the net. We need this type of player. In our core group-of-the-future.

Sarich continues to impress. He's got a lot of character out there. Did anyone think White looked better? Seems so... ??

The fourth line didn't get many minutes last evening...

Is Ivanans on LTIR? The Flames are proving right now you don't need a goon on the ice to be successful. McIntyre had, what, a minute and a half of ice time? Cost the Oilers a player. Something to consider, long-term. (Perhaps why I fourth line didn't see many minutes last evening?)

Can't wait to see Karlsson's next start. I hope they can retain him after the season's over. He could be our next long-term goalie. I think we'd all like to see this happen.

Tanguay playing very well, not shooting as much as people want him too, but that's Tanguay - will probably just hit 100 shots - might get 20 goals though ! Iggy always has slow October - was player of the month last November though - something like 16 goals. Jokinen has had one good game vs Columbus. He has simplified his game a little - more north south and less of the aimless wandering. When I think of Olli, the expression "not bad" comes to mind - if he is not bad I think that is the best we can hope for.

Morrisson is producing what we should be getting from a healthy Langkow - though against some weaker competition than a healthy Langkow would see. I don't think anyone has the illusion that he's going to keep this pace up, but lets enjoy it while it lasts.

The team shooting percentage remains low, hopefully that improves a smidge with Moss taking Meyer's place in the lineup. Similarly Kotalik's hands ( for scoring at least) should be an improvement on Jackman's; however in both cases I hope we don't lose physical play.

As far as White vs Gio - I think it is a season long audition - they are both free agents at the end of the year and only one of them will be re signed- probably around $4 million. As long as they are in playoff contention neither will be moved in the offseason. The Flames may not make the choice - the players might - if Gio continues to play well he may command more and sign elsewhere and the Flames will go to White instead.

As good as Glencross has been, keep in mind 15 goals is his career high, he soon turns 28(how much better will he get ?) so be careful not to over pay - how does 4 years $7.2 million sound ?

Agree on Sarich - good for him, though $3.6 is still too much for a third pair guy, good thing we have Gio at $900 playing top 4 minutes. That won't be the case next year unless Brodie is in top 4.

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#27 PrairieStew
October 27 2010, 02:39PM
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CitizenFlame wrote:

well that would be nice. Kipper still has what 3 years on his contract? That gives Karlsson a few years to get accustomed to the NHL and he'd be around 28-29 at the time. If not we still have time to find another goalie to emerge eventually as a #1.

I actually see a transition taking place in "the core" (I hate that term); a younger group is starting to emerge. Led by Bourque and Gio- hopefully they sign him long term this year- Stajan, JBo,GlenX, Moss, Backlund and maybe White. They are all still young and starting to emerge. I don't think the future is as bleak as everyone thinks. They still need to definitely add a few pieces but the Flames might not fall off the cliff in a year or two like everyone thinks. Especially if Iggy, Reggie, and Kipper can still be productive in a reduced role over the next couple of years and some of the younger guys pick up the mantle.

Cap Geek has their calculator back for next year. Assuming Langkow, Kotalik and Sarich all still around you have to:

1. Sign either Gio or White ( $3.8) 2. Promote Brodie 3. Resign Karlsson or another backup. 4. Resign Mikkelson and Pardy or promote another d -then you'd have 3 sub $1m d men among 7. 5, Resign Glencross at $1.8 6. Promote one more cheap forward ( Armstrong at $650 K)

Ka- ching $61 million for 23 guys. Includes cheap players like Meyer, Jackman, Ivanins and Backlund's last year at $1.27. No Conroy, Morrison, Tanguay or White and thankfully Staios.

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