Preseason Game No. 5: Met a little girl by the name of June

Ryan Lambert
September 29 2010 06:32PM



After last night's NHLer-filled roster, the Flames are back to icing a rag-tag group of enough guys on one-way deals to fill out the league-mandated minimum roster spots, and that means a whole lot of kids.

That, in turn, should mean almost nothing to Flames fans at this point. Look at the names of the guys playing tonight that have literally no chance of being with the big club this time next week: Armstrong, Cunning, Jackman, Kronwall, Meyer, Nemisz, Pelech, Rheault and Irving all strike you as guys who are just in this for the hell of it at this point. The roster also includes luminaries like Cory Sarich and Adam Pardy and Ales Kotalik and Raitis Ivanans who won't or at least probably shouldn't be in the lineup every night come this season.

But there are some positives to take from last night's showdown with a senior Phoenix Coyotes squad, including the continued and ultimately doomed case TJ Brodie is making for inclusion on the final roster. A goal a game is a hell of a nice pace, and it seems that, with his inclusion on tonight's roster, the organization is giving him every chance to steal a roster spot from someone whose name rhymes with a certain Mr. S. Staios. No that's too obvious: Mr. Steve S.

If everything works out for the kid and he starts the year in Calgary — an idea to which Flames fans seem increasingly married despite the myriad of reasons it's a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad one — then that's great for him (at present) and good for the team (possibly). But he'll need another emphatic performance or three before then.

And looking at the roster the Flames sent out to Saskatoon tonight, it leaves one wondering what ever happened to Rene Bourque. If I'm not wrong, he hasn't gotten into a preseason game in a while here and has been held out of practice for the better part of this week with nary a word uttered about it, so that may be a bit troubling.

But then, who can argue with results? Calgary keeps winning, thanks in large part to the top-class performances by the oddly productive line of Kotalik-Moss-Glencross. Now sure, it's preseason, so who really cares that Kotalik has four points from two games? I get that argument — since Jon Sim used to be good for a preseason Hart Trophy every year — but he's running all this talk about confidence and a good mental attitude that he previously didn't have, so maybe this all continues forever. With a gun to my head, I'd settle for a point a game outta the guy in the regular season. I would be fine with that, I guess.

Another guy who's way overproducing? Niklas Hagman, who in four preseason games has the same stat line as Kotalik at 2-2-4. No idea who he's grouped with tonight and, as with Kotalik, no belief whatever he'll be able to keep it up, but I guess we can enjoy it while it lasts.

And finally, a sad note: last year's preseason tilt with the Islanders featured Dion Phaneuf memorably lighting Kyle Okposo up with an awesome, clean hit in open ice. But thanks to injuries in Okposo's case, and intolerable douchebaggery in Phaneuf's, neither will be participating in a rematch. Unfortunate.

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Reidja
September 29 2010, 06:51PM
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"But thanks to injuries in Okposo's case, and intolerable douchebaggery in Phaneuf's"

Ha! Microcosmic. That's exactly what I thought about both guys when I saw that hit last pre-season.

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#2 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 07:10PM
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Hate to disappoint you Ryan, but Jackman is pretty much a lock to be on the big roster all year.

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#3 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 07:19PM
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And now that I've seen him play half a period or so...Jackman is indeed pretty terrible.

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#5 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 07:40PM
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Nothing notable in the first...aside from Rob Schremp somehow looking like a capable hockey player at ES.

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#6 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 07:50PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Nothing notable in the first...aside from Rob Schremp somehow looking like a capable hockey player at ES.

Playing against bottom sixers and AHLers is about Schremp's level, so maybe that's not such a surprise.

I did notice the the Flames once again displayed Hockey's Best 5 on 3 ™ with the usual effect. I don't really care who's out there, but a team should win puck battles with two extra guys, no?

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#7 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 07:56PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Playing against bottom sixers and AHLers is about Schremp's level, so maybe that's not such a surprise.

I did notice the the Flames once again displayed Hockey's Best 5 on 3 ™ with the usual effect. I don't really care who's out there, but a team should win puck battles with two extra guys, no?

Sigh...you'd think so.

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#8 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 07:57PM
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As for player evaluations...I'd say some of the hopefuls who will end up on the farm are probably better than Jackman and Ivanans. I saw more of Jackman in that period and he's maybe replacement level.

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#9 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:07PM
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Has anyone seen Pelech in the second?

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#10 dotfras
September 29 2010, 08:08PM
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Anyone have a link to watch this online? Can't seem to find one anywhere.

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#11 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 08:09PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

As for player evaluations...I'd say some of the hopefuls who will end up on the farm are probably better than Jackman and Ivanans. I saw more of Jackman in that period and he's maybe replacement level.

Ivanans is likely sub-replacement. Guys like Sutter and Armstrong are almost certainly more useful. This silly desire to sign a couple of sluggos early in the FA period looks worse when you think that actual, live NHLers like Fedotenko or Pisani will probably end up playing for around the minimum.

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#12 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:12PM
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Not that he had much of a chance, but I'd say Cunning just got himself cut with two consecutive plays where he iced the puck about 5 feet from the red line.

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#13 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:13PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Ivanans is likely sub-replacement. Guys like Sutter and Armstrong are almost certainly more useful. This silly desire to sign a couple of sluggos early in the FA period looks worse when you think that actual, live NHLers like Fedotenko or Pisani will probably end up playing for around the minimum.

I hear ya. And Sutter signed them both to two year deals.

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#14 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 08:17PM
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There's Pelech. Equipment, maybe?

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#15 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:18PM
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There's Pelech. Didn't know he was playing.

First shift I see him back, he makes a bad read, steps up early and creates a two-on-one against out of nothing for no good reason.

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#16 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:18PM
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haha, what's that? 3 goals on 12 shots? This reminds of the start of last season.

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#17 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:19PM
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You know, for a guy who played in the ECHL last year, Jon Rheault isn't a bad little player.

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#18 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 08:20PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

You know, for a guy who played in the ECHL last year, Jon Rheault isn't a bad little player.

Speaking of guys that are likely better than Ivanans and Jackman...

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#19 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:22PM
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Yeesh. Gonna be a rough night for Pelech it seems.

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#20 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 08:26PM
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Good thing Pelech blocked that shot, because the cross-ice pass he made for the turnover was Sparklepants-worthy.

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#21 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:26PM
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Ma oh man...don't mean to pick on the guy, but the cross-ice by Pelech just now was dreadful. That's 3 shifts in a row I've noticed him for the wrong reasons.

EDIT - I see we're on the same page.

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#22 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 08:29PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Ma oh man...don't mean to pick on the guy, but the cross-ice by Pelech just now was dreadful. That's 3 shifts in a row I've noticed him for the wrong reasons.

EDIT - I see we're on the same page.

He got hung out to dry on his penalty because Kronwall made a poor pinch, but Pelech is pretty slow, so when he gets attacked by a player with any speed on a rush, he's going to struggle.

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#23 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:33PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

He got hung out to dry on his penalty because Kronwall made a poor pinch, but Pelech is pretty slow, so when he gets attacked by a player with any speed on a rush, he's going to struggle.

Yeah, it wasn't his decision making on that play, just his abilities themselves. The other two, it was his head that was behind the play.

Gotta say, for a guy about to turn 23 it doesn't look like there's been much progress made the last few years.

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#24 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:35PM
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After that period, I have to say that Moss doesn't look out of place down the middle. He's played a quietly effective game, which is pure David Moss.

BTW - did you see Nemisz in that period? I don't remember him at all (again).

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#25 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 08:40PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

After that period, I have to say that Moss doesn't look out of place down the middle. He's played a quietly effective game, which is pure David Moss.

BTW - did you see Nemisz in that period? I don't remember him at all (again).

The people that want to run David Moss out of town never really understand the things he can do. The Flames would be in a bit of a hole without him at the moment.

Nemisz? He played a few shifts, but he's a mile away from being an effective AHLer, let alone a NHL player. I suspect that if I were to hang out at the Winnipeg airport tomorrow, I'd likely see him joining his future teammates for their pre-season game.

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#26 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:42PM
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Nemisz reminds me forefully of Kris Chucko as a 20 year old. I just hope there's more of a ceiling for Nemisz.

By all rights, Wahl should still be here. From what I've seen, he's much closer.

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#27 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:56PM
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Nice little burst by Connie there.

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#28 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:57PM
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Soft as butter.

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#29 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 08:59PM
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Rough night for Armstrong as well.

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#30 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 09:00PM
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8300 or so in attendance. If the prices are anything like what they were for the game last year, I don't really blame people for staying away. Pre-season games are a gigantic rip-off under the best of circumstances.

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#31 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 09:03PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

8300 or so in attendance. If the prices are anything like what they were for the game last year, I don't really blame people for staying away. Pre-season games are a gigantic rip-off under the best of circumstances.

Yup. Regular season prices for games that don't matter between teams made of half minor leaguers is a bad deal.

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#32 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 09:22PM
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Well, that period was certainly more entertaining than the other two. I think both coaches shortened their benches, so you got a lot more of the vets and high level hopefuls than the other two. Not sure Nemisz saw the ice once, for example.

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#33 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 09:23PM
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I think that last chance was the only time I noticed El Nino the entire night.

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#34 RossCreekNation
September 29 2010, 09:23PM
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Here's a question that I've thought for a while and don't think anyone has posed:

MONEY ASIDE...

-Steve Staios has played forward at the NHL level before (Bos, Van, Atl).
-the Flames seem to value his leadership qualities.
-the Flames 4th line with the likes of Tim Jackman & Raitis Ivanans are pretty terrible, and Ryan Stone ain't ish, either.
-Staios obviously doesn't have the same standard of skill he once had (ie: speed, ability to play 18+ min).
-the Flames have too many D (and have some injury issues up front).

... IF Staios is destined to remain in Calgary, why not use him as a forward on the 4th line as a grinder?

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#35 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 09:27PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Here's a question that I've thought for a while and don't think anyone has posed:

MONEY ASIDE...

-Steve Staios has played forward at the NHL level before (Bos, Van, Atl).
-the Flames seem to value his leadership qualities.
-the Flames 4th line with the likes of Tim Jackman & Raitis Ivanans are pretty terrible, and Ryan Stone ain't ish, either.
-Staios obviously doesn't have the same standard of skill he once had (ie: speed, ability to play 18+ min).
-the Flames have too many D (and have some injury issues up front).

... IF Staios is destined to remain in Calgary, why not use him as a forward on the 4th line as a grinder?

Staios is 37 years old and his skills have dropped off noticeably the alst few years. I doubt he'd even be as good as Jackman. That said, he'd be less of a detriment on a 5 minute/night 4th line than a 15 minute/night role on the back-end.

So, in conclusion...I would like to see him demoted.

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#36 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 09:27PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

I think that last chance was the only time I noticed El Nino the entire night.

Dude's 18 so it's probably a compliment that you didn't notice him being terrible.

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#37 RossCreekNation
September 29 2010, 09:30PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Staios is 37 years old and his skills have dropped off noticeably the alst few years. I doubt he'd even be as good as Jackman. That said, he'd be less of a detriment on a 5 minute/night 4th line than a 15 minute/night role on the back-end.

So, in conclusion...I would like to see him demoted.

LOL. I said IF! I'm just thinking... he could be our Strudwick!

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#38 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 09:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Staios is 37 years old and his skills have dropped off noticeably the alst few years. I doubt he'd even be as good as Jackman. That said, he'd be less of a detriment on a 5 minute/night 4th line than a 15 minute/night role on the back-end.

So, in conclusion...I would like to see him demoted.

I'd sign Owen Nolan for peanuts before I ever let Steve Staios burn a forward spot on a roster. Actually, I'd sign Owen Nolan before I'd waste a roster spot on Ivanans, but I can't imagine Sutter ever coming around to that way of thinking.

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#39 Robert Cleave
September 29 2010, 09:34PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

LOL. I said IF! I'm just thinking... he could be our Strudwick!

I don't think Staios wears a toupee, RCN.

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#40 RossCreekNation
September 29 2010, 09:37PM
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@Robert Cleave

I agree... with both of you. But if it comes down to keeping Staios as a D, or moving him up front... and that is the ONLY 2 options you have (work with me here), what do you do? I try him at F.

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#41 RossCreekNation
September 29 2010, 09:38PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

I don't think Staios wears a toupee, RCN.

Hahahahaha... ROFL!

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#42 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 09:39PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

I'd sign Owen Nolan for peanuts before I ever let Steve Staios burn a forward spot on a roster. Actually, I'd sign Owen Nolan before I'd waste a roster spot on Ivanans, but I can't imagine Sutter ever coming around to that way of thinking.

I'd totally forgotten Nolan was still out there. I think Park just signed in Europe too.

Park - Conroy - Nolan

How's that for a 4th line?

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#43 dotfras
September 29 2010, 09:55PM
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I hope Staios & Kronwall get Redden'd.

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#44 Kent Wilson
September 29 2010, 10:12PM
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dotfras wrote:

I hope Staios & Kronwall get Redden'd.

Kronwall doesn't qualify for such a term.

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#45 Rain Dogs
September 29 2010, 10:29PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I'd totally forgotten Nolan was still out there. I think Park just signed in Europe too.

Park - Conroy - Nolan

How's that for a 4th line?

HA HA HA...that's funny.

C'mon Kent, that would be a line that could actually play hockey.

Don't you know that fourth lines aren't ever expected to do that?

I mean, c'mon, who's ever had a team with four actual lines and been successful.

...Oh damn. Detroit.

Seriously, why is four lines of actual hockey players such a dangerous idea? Skill wins games, not punching. So frustrating.

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#46 SmellOfVictory
September 29 2010, 10:39PM
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I'd love to see Nolan back. Why can't Ivanans join UFC or something, and let Calgary bring in someone else for the 4th line?

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#47 PrairieStew
September 30 2010, 08:37AM
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Entertaining reading the comments; also insightful seeing how I couldn't see the game.

So it sounds like Pelech has played his way back to the farm, and Nemisz is a long ways away.

A bit troubling that Bourque hasn't hit his stride, but good to hear Moss is adapting well to his new role. Robert : I don't know who would be among those that want to run Moss out of town - he's certainly a decent value, though injuries limited his production last year.

Moving a defenceman to forward is certainly an option - as I said yesterday - Pardy did a little of that as well, but it might be time to give Brodie a shot at that if you badly want to keep him around.

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#48 everton fc
September 30 2010, 08:50AM
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Pelech may not clear waivers. And this may not be a bad thing. He is simply too slow.

Does anyone know what Bourque's issues are? Why isn't Rob Kerr asking?? (I he has, my apologies!)

We don't need to move a d-man forward. We can go with Sarich and Pardy or Brodie. Kronwall may not clear waivers. Staios can be waived, hopefully not clear, and heat to Abbotsford. Pardy earned his keep last evening, and the game before.

As for the fourth line... I don't think Jackman is going to be that bad. Something about him I actually like. I also like Stefan Meyer. He is getting no traction on any threads. Are people not seeing this kid - he wants it bad, plays physical, will drop the gloves, has nice speed, creates chances... He's got small town/prairie grit, and should stick. A fourth line of Meyer-Conroy-Jackman/Sutter may surprise. I'd take Meyer over the oft-injured/oft-rehabbing Stone. That said, if Stone's healthy (I can't remember if he can play LW &/orRW) I like a line of Meyer-Conroy-Stone, or Meyer-Conroy-Sutter. Jackman can be replacement fodder (though I still think he'll surprise us all). The Latvian brawler should be waived. We should have signed D.J. King or Aaron Asham - both tough, both with decent hands that can be used for something more than punching. Ivanans is 31. King is 25. And a better player - he can actually move the puck and skate.

Nemisz is not ready. Not even close. Good for Cunning. I like him. Meyer should make this team.

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#49 everton fc
September 30 2010, 08:52AM
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One more thing... Kotalik is not hurting us now, nor will he during the season. I actually think he's a good guy and hope he does well here. This line w/Glencross-Moss-Kotalik could really surprise. I like it. Always liked Moss. He's the type of player Cup dynasties always have on the roster. True role player who knows what he needs to do. And does it. Let's hope he stays healthy.

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#50 JF
September 30 2010, 09:03AM
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Owen Nolan is out of work? That's just wrong.

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