Where will they fit?

Pat Steinberg
February 10 2010 11:47PM

Portrait of a Businesswoman attempting to insert Wooden Cubes into Circular Holes

With the news that injured Calgary Flames forwards Rene Bourque, Nigel Dawes and David Moss all took part in an optional skate today at the 'Dome, the question now needs to be asked... where will all these forwards fit on this team?

17 is the number of forwards on the Calgary Flames roster right now, so lets go through it. New faces are Higgins, Kotalik, Stajan, Mayers and Hagman. 2 players started the season in the American Hockey League in Jamie Lundmark and Mikael Backlund. Brian McGrattan has found himself a healthy scratch lately, while Bourque, Dawes, Moss and Craig Conroy have missed games due to injury.

So lets brainstorm and think out loud here... is it automatic that both Lundmark and Backlund go back to Abbotsford, as they're both on two-way contracts? And if it is, should it be?

Backlund and Lundmark have presented themselves pretty good while on the big team. Taking Conroy (still injured) and Bourque (he's clearly not in danger of losing a spot) out of the equation, have Moss and/or Dawes done anything to prove they deserve a spot in the lineup over either Backlund or Lundmark? It's certainly tough to make that case.

David Moss has 6 goals and 13 points in 43 games, while Jamie Lundmark has 5 goals and 9 points in 20 games. And while Dawes does have 10 goals and 25 points, he's proven to be a streaky scorer, going on long droughts without potting one. Certainly, I think you can make passable arguments that one or both Lundmark and Backlund deserve to remain in this Flames lineup.

However, logistically, that may not be possible... it may come down to two-way and one-way contracts. So, Jamie and Mikael head back to BC, but Craig Conroy returns. You're still left with 15 forwards, 7 defencemen and 2 goalies…24 players with a 23 man limit. It means there are some decisions to make.

Here's what I can tell you. Daryl Sutter didn't seem too worried about all the extra forwards when he spoke to us media vultures following his 2 big trades. Dawes said today he's been medically cleared and feels good, but isn't sure if he'll get in before the Olympic break. Moss's comments were much the same, relaying if there was a game today, he felt he could play…but again, isn't sure when he'll return to the lineup.

I've said many times on The FAN 960 that I don't believe Daryl Sutter is done making deals, and the math I've just laid out is the big reason why I believe that. That doesn't mean a trade, necessarily, as you've always got waivers if you're willing to risk a player being picked up by another team.

But even if that does happen, there's one thing that can't be questioned. Ice time and roles on this team are going to be very, very hotly contested. Maybe that's a good thing, leading to intense practice sessions and guys pushing eachother to play their very best, with the threat of the press box looming if there's a lull in your play. Or maybe there's another huge trade looming from GM Sutter…at this point, you just don't really know, do ya?

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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 Snoop Blogg
February 11 2010, 09:46AM
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hey Steinberg, did darryl have that same air of confidence after the trade deadline last year, when he was trying to convince us all that he was really good at math?

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#2 Domebeers.com
February 11 2010, 09:51AM
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Pat, who was the pre-pubescent child on the radio with Mike?

Also, who wants the crap we have, these players are getting bought out. Im sure the owners are thrilled they have to make more of GM Sutters mistakes go away.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

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#3 rubbertrout
February 11 2010, 09:59AM
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I never thought I'd say this but I kind of miss Kirkwood.

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#4 b1ackhat
February 11 2010, 10:57AM
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I think Lundmark should be kept around.

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#5 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 01:11PM
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@Domebeers.com

Pat, who was the pre-pubescent child on the radio with Mike?

Was it Squeaky Brad? He used to produce morning show in Edmonton.

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#6 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 01:12PM
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rubbertrout wrote:

I never thought I'd say this but I kind of miss Kirkwood.

What happened to him?

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#7 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 01:17PM
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I think McGrattan's tenure could come to a close. You don't need him come playoff time, so you can't keep him in favour of a real roster player passed the deadline. Perhaps the Habs would be interested. He'd sure do the job Georges wasn't willing to do anymore.

David Moss would be my trade bait, and I'd keep Jamie Lundmark around (in Abottsford) for insurance.

Would love to see any of Tuomo Ruutu, Nathan Horton or Colby Armstrong added (to name a few), but I'm not so sure they'll pull that off.

It would be nice to move Corey Sarich's contract.

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#8 rubbertrout
February 11 2010, 01:48PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

What happened to him?

I remember a few weeks ago that Mike Richards said that there was a disagreement between Kirkwood and Rogers (I believe it concerned compensation) and that although Kirkwood wasn't on the show anymore he and Mike remained good friends and the issue was between Doug and Rogers.

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#9 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 01:53PM
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@rubbertrout

Interesting. Is that why Squeaky Brad moved down there?

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#10 AlMacinnis
February 11 2010, 01:56PM
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he's definitely going to make another trade. but until then he needs to put his carolina lineup back together. the 3rd and 4th lines being:

boyd backlund bourque / glencross nystrom mayers

against some teams, we need mcgrattan to replace glencross. we need to create a bloody hornet's nest out there.

all these new guys are making our old players look like crap. the new guys are working their butts off. regehr, sarich and iginla are looking stale.

we need to get out there tonight and score 5-6 goals!

get mad, you guys! get out there and do something!

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#15 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 03:09PM
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Quick tidbits on Brad Slater...

-has a Ken Griffey Jr. fetish
-suffers from Jon Quick syndrome
-he's an Oilers fan
-is cool enough to have an Ice Cube connect for some Lakers talk

Good luck, Squeaky Brad ;-)

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#16 SnowdenNHL
February 11 2010, 03:13PM
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b1ackhat wrote:

I think Lundmark should be kept around.

Unless there is a trade I see him going back down. He hasn't been that effective anyway.

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#17 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 03:15PM
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@Pat Steinberg

Can't really see them landing a guy like Horton or Ruutu without at least mentioning names like Glencross, Boyd, Nemisz, Moss. Not sure there's much cache there; perhaps there's some sort of package they could come up with. But I really wouldn't count on it, at least not until the off-season.

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#18 RossCreekNation
February 11 2010, 03:27PM
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Lundmark is a good spare part to have around in case an offensive player gets hurt, but he's not an everyday guy. He isn't good enough (or consistent enough) to be a top-6, and not the right fit for the bottom-6. But he's still nice to have around, just-in-case.

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#19 b1ackhat
February 11 2010, 04:17PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Lundmark is a good spare part to have around in case an offensive player gets hurt, but he's not an everyday guy. He isn't good enough (or consistent enough) to be a top-6, and not the right fit for the bottom-6. But he's still nice to have around, just-in-case.

For the money he makes, I say keep him around too.

Good luck Squeaky Brad, whatever you are ;)

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#20 Pajamah
February 11 2010, 08:29PM
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Didn't catch much of Squeekys last week on 1260, but I know he took a good ribbing for being such an Edmonton guy, moving to Calgary

Now we got the Sports Doctor Taylor Menek (sp?)Medek, Medic ....?

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#21 Domebeers.com
February 11 2010, 10:05PM
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@rubbertrout

Yo! Do you know why he got fired? Hes been Mikes best sidekick.

Also, Domebeers.com appreciates the love, Mr Trout.

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#22 Domebeers.com
February 11 2010, 10:07PM
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Pat, Im sure he is a great guy, but common man, its called having a voice for radio. Do you party to hard to do the morning show?

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

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#23 rubbertrout
February 12 2010, 08:36AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Interesting. Is that why Squeaky Brad moved down there?

No idea. I think they just needed a warm body to play straight man to Richards' insanity.

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#24 rubbertrout
February 12 2010, 08:40AM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

Yo! Do you know why he got fired? Hes been Mikes best sidekick.

Also, Domebeers.com appreciates the love, Mr Trout.

I don't know if he was fired. I think (purely speculation) that he thought he was entitled to more scratch for the job he was doing and the Ted Rogers mothership didn't agree.

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