News and Notes from the Weekend - Junior and Finnish Updates

Ryan Pike
August 27 2012 02:02PM

 

 

As the month of August threatens to turn into September, the National Hockey League and its players appear no closer to labour peace than they were a month ago. Despite this, the hockey world continues to turn.

Here's what going on related to your Calgary Flames...

WHL CAMPS OPEN

Western Hockey League clubs have begun to arrive at training camps and, to the shock of nobody, Flames prospect Sven Baertschi is not in Portland. Baertschi is technically eligible to play for the Portland Winterhawks as a player with a 1992 birthday, in part because the 13th overall pick plans to turn pro and in part because the Hawks are only able to have three 20-year-old players after mid-October.

They have five 20-year-olds in camp who aren't Sven Baertschi.

QMJHL PRE-SEASON

The Quebec Remparts finished their pre-season scheduled this weekend, which is relevant because the Flames actually have a prospect in the Q. Blueliner Ryan Culkin played in three of the Remparts' four pre-season games, notching three assists, a plus-three rating and a major penalty for a check to the head.

The Remparts begin their regular season on September 21.

EUROPEAN TROPHY TOURNAMENT

HIFK Helsinki, the home of Flames prospects Markus Granlund and Joni Ortio, is one of 32 teams participating in the European Trophy tournament – which began earlier this month and concludes in December. While the team hasn't been amazing in the tournament (they have a single regulation win so far) there have been some strong performances by the two Flames hopefuls.

Granlund has two goals and two assists in three games (he missed one of the games due to military obligations) while Ortio has a shutout, a 1.52 goals against average and a .951 save percentage in two starts (he won once and lost once).

HIFK plays a home-and-home against Jokerit next week before ramping up for regular season SM-Liiga play. We'll have more updates as things progress.

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Now in his fourth season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers and the Wrestling Observer.
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#1 Austin L
August 27 2012, 02:33PM
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Culkin is probably the sleeper of the 2012 draft class. I think Ortio to Finland was the right move, hopefully he can develop into a future backup or something like that. Good to hear about Granlund, so he'll play hockey in Finland this year, but next year does he have to stay there for military obligations or can he come right over?

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#2 Bean-counting cowboy
August 27 2012, 02:37PM
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So with a looming lockout we could see lines in Abby of:

Baertschi/Kolanos/Byron- Nemisz/Horak/Walter - Bouma/Reinhart/Ferland - Aliu/Wahl/Howse

That 1st line could do some serious damage.

Not a bad AHL lineup!

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#4 SmellOfVictory
August 27 2012, 03:11PM
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@Bean-counting cowboy

If there's a lockout I imagine Backlund would be the first line C in Abby

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#5 Michael
August 27 2012, 03:20PM
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Would Backlund have to clear waivers?, or if their is no CBA, would waivers even exist?

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#6 RexLibris
August 27 2012, 03:35PM
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Backlund has played more than 60 games in the NHL and is past his ELC so I would imagine that he would be waiver-eligible.

The waiver would still exist, I would think, because it would constitute an internal NHL activity between teams. My guess is that the NHL would probably decide, internally, to operate under the basic regulations of the previous CBA until a new agreement can be reached.

I'm guessing here, but I think it would be better for Backlund to play overseas than to risk the waiver wire.

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#7 The Last Big Bear
August 27 2012, 04:13PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Backlund has played more than 60 games in the NHL and is past his ELC so I would imagine that he would be waiver-eligible.

The waiver would still exist, I would think, because it would constitute an internal NHL activity between teams. My guess is that the NHL would probably decide, internally, to operate under the basic regulations of the previous CBA until a new agreement can be reached.

I'm guessing here, but I think it would be better for Backlund to play overseas than to risk the waiver wire.

Sooo...

Cervenka goes back to Avangard with Ramo, our former Dynamo Moscow guys (Giordano and Hudler) move to Osmk instead this time. Send Backlund and Wideman with them...

And we could have the entire starting line up of the 2013-2014 Calgary Flames playing for Avangard Omsk this year.

Awesome.

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#8 RexLibris
August 27 2012, 06:54PM
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@The Last Big Bear

Here is something to consider, and correct me if I'm wrong, but given that the NHL and KHL do not have a transfer agreement in place, if those players go to the KHL, could the team suspend them, thus retaining a year of their contract?

Now, if that were so, how funny would it be if both Stajan and Babchuk went and played in the KHL, thus extending those little pieces of heaven for Flames fans one more year.

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#9 ALL THE WAY IN
August 27 2012, 07:38PM
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@RexLibris

I believe a team can terminate a contract if the player in question sign another contract elsewhere, unless a team wants to retain their rights. *see Clay Wilson and Alexander Radulov

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#10 RexLibris
August 27 2012, 08:57PM
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@ALL THE WAY IN

Radulov was suspended by the Predators after leaving the first time, hence his returning to play all of ten season games and the playoffs which "burned off" the final year of his ELC.

Although, I can understand why Feaster would be waiting with bated breath to terminate Stajan's contract. Heck, it might be worthwhile for Murray Edwards to buy a KHL team just to offer Stajan a big contract so that he could terminate the one with the Flames. Don't tell me Flames fans wouldn't be happy with that. ;-)

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#11 SmellOfVictory
August 28 2012, 12:20AM
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@RexLibris

I don't believe waivers would exist because there's no functioning NHL during a lockout.

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#12 The Last Big Bear
August 28 2012, 05:45AM
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RexLibris wrote:

Here is something to consider, and correct me if I'm wrong, but given that the NHL and KHL do not have a transfer agreement in place, if those players go to the KHL, could the team suspend them, thus retaining a year of their contract?

Now, if that were so, how funny would it be if both Stajan and Babchuk went and played in the KHL, thus extending those little pieces of heaven for Flames fans one more year.

I honestly have no idea.

But I think that NHL teams have the right to terminate contracts on players who choose to play for another team, so that would get the team off the hook for Stajan.

As for Babchuk, I believe he is worth his contract. He needs to be sheltered, but can produce offensively at an elite level when given that oppourtunity.

However, the Flames have an awful lot of competition for those sheltered minutes, as they are currently trying to groom two young potential top-4 defencemen at the same time (Brodie and Butler), neither of whom can easily be moved for their full value.

So Babchuk is in a tough spot, playing for a team that will struggle to be able to use him properly.

However, long-term injuries to Brodie or Wideman could see this change very quickly.

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#13 flamesfan
August 28 2012, 10:04AM
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@The Last Big Bear

What happened during the lockout last time around, is (and Flames fans should be very familiar with) they put 'clauses' into their contracts. Just like the no-movement or no-trade clauses that we've given out to everything that can skate, all European contracts signed by NHL players would have "escape clauses" in them that if (when) the NHL comes back for the 04-05 season, the players can leave their European team without penalty. But, hey, why not sign a top notch NHL player and take over the league for those few months? I'd let him walk when the NHL comes back but at least I'll sell out every night for those few weeks or months.

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#14 Stunner
August 28 2012, 06:57PM
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Mr. Pike, Your junior report forgot about the OHL starting camps this week too. Flames '12 2nd round pick - Pat Sieloff - he will be playing for the Windsor Spitfires. Living in London will be looking forward to seeing him play a few times this year. Hoping for some bone crushing hits! Him and Culkin could be a solid #2 pairing in Calgary in 5-7 years. Here's hoping....

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#15 Stunner
August 28 2012, 06:58PM
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Mr. Pike, Your junior report forgot about the OHL starting camps this week too. Flames '12 2nd round pick - Pat Sieloff - he will be playing for the Windsor Spitfires. Living in London will be looking forward to seeing him play a few times this year. Hoping for some bone crushing hits! Him and Culkin could be a solid #2 pairing in Calgary in 5-7 years. Here's hoping....

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