Flames Weekend Guide, January 11 2013

Ryan Pike
January 11 2013 03:09PM

With the chaos of the World Juniors and the NHL lockout finally behind us, we're about to see a return to normalcy. Thus, this is the last weekend without NHL hockey until probably late June. With that, let's see what the Flames kids are up to.

AHL & ECHL

The Abbotsford Heat (17-10-3-4) hit the ice once again at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre when they host the Chicago Wolves (15-12-3-2). The Wolves are the Vancouver Canucks' farm team and the AESC is going to be sold out for Friday and Saturday. Saturday's game will be on Sportsnet beginning at 8pm MT.

Sportsnet's Roger Millions discussed possible timelines for training camp and AHL call-ups.

 

So, depending on (a) when the NHLPA ratifies, (b) when the NHL gives teams the all-clear, (c) entry medicals, (d) how Friday's game against Chicago goes, then the Heat could be losing guys like Baertschi and Brodie for Saturday's game.

 Meanwhile, the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies will host the Las Vegas Wrangles on Friday and Saturday. Depending on what happens in Abbotsford, there's a chance Bryan Cameron or Mitch Wahl could get called-up to the AHL.

JUNIOR JUMBLE

Michael Ferland was traded on Thursday's trade deadline and will be suiting up for the Saskatoon Blades, his fourth team this year. He's previously played for Abbotsford, Utah and Brandon. Moving around this much hasn't given him a chance to get a lot of momentum, but he will be playing for the Memorial Cup.

Ferland begins his tenure with the Blades with a pair of games against Flames prospects. On Friday the Blades host Turner Elson and the Red Deer Rebels. On Saturday they host Laurent Brossoit and the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Oil Kings will have a busy weekend, as they also play Friday at home against Lethbridge and Sunday in Medicine Hat. The Rebels also play on Saturday in Prince Albert against the Raiders.

Coda Gordon's Swift Current Broncos host Prince Albert on Friday and the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday. The Portland Winterhawks and Tyler Wotherspoon host the Spokane Chiefs on Friday and visit the Everett Silvertips on Saturday. Brett Kulak's Vancouver Giants play one game this weekend, at home on Saturday against the Kelowna Rockets.

Over in the QMJHL, Ryan Culkin's Quebec Remparts play last year's Memorial Cup champions from Shawinigan on Friday and then host Val-d'Or on Saturday. And Patrick Sieloff and the Windsor Spitfires visit the Belleville Bulls on Saturday and the Oshawa Generals on Sunday.

COLLEGE KIDS

Big returns highlight the NCAA action this weekend.

Mark Jankowski returns from a hip injury and faces his first game action in over a month. He'll be joined at Providence College by goalie Jon Gillies, who's bringing his gold medal from the World Juniors with him. The Friars face Massachusetts in a home and home series on Friday and Saturday.

Meanwhile, Johnny Gaudreau – fresh off an all-star team, gold-medal-winning performance at the World Juniors – returns to Boston College as they play a home and home series with New Hampshre. Bill Arnold has been good as of late, but for the Eagles to go deep again, it'll have to be the Gaudreau show.

Elsewhere, Wisconsin (home of captain John Ramage) visits Minnesota State for a pair of games, while Nick Larson's Notre Dame Fighting Irish plays a pair of games against Matt Deblouw's Michigan State Spartans.

EUROPE

Avangard Omsk and Karri Ramo are off until Tuesday as the KHL is off for the weekend due to All-Star festivities.

Over in SM-Liiga, HIFK Helsinki (Joni Ortio and Markus Granlund) plays Lukko on Saturday night in their lone game. Granlund will hopefully carry over his momentum from a strong World Juniors.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#1 Kent Wilson
January 11 2013, 04:07PM
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Life is about to get whole lot more difficult for the Heat.

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#2 funkyjaman
January 11 2013, 04:17PM
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Nice to see Wahl getting a call up. Hopefully he takes advantage of the opportunity and brings his game with him. Expect to see Brodie Called up Sunday IMO.

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#3 Subversive
January 11 2013, 04:24PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Life is about to get whole lot more difficult for the Heat.

Wouldn't this be the case for most AHL teams?

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#4 T&A4Flames
January 11 2013, 04:25PM
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Awesome stuff, thanks guys. Yup, Abby is going to look a whole lot different pretty quick here.

I'm really looking forward to see how Granlund, Wotherspoon and of course the "golden boys" do after their WJC appearances. In particular I'm watching, or rather listening, to how Granlund performs.

Also hoping for continued growth and perhaps a boost in production from Janko.

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#5 Kent Wilson
January 11 2013, 05:03PM
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@Subversive

Depends on the team. OKC - moreso than the Heat. Other clubs aren't as dependent on NHL talent heading out of town though.

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#6 schevvy
January 11 2013, 06:08PM
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Got a chance to watch Brett Kulak down in Lethbridge on Wednesday and unfortunately, it was not pretty. Got beat twice in the first period by a 16 year old (Reid Duke) and did not skate or handle the puck well at all. Got a cheap 2nd assist on a 5 on 3 goal but other tan that, it was bad.

Of course it's only 1 game and it was the Giants 5th game in 6 nights. Guaranteed he's better than what he was.

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#7 Steve
January 11 2013, 06:35PM
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schevvy wrote:

Got a chance to watch Brett Kulak down in Lethbridge on Wednesday and unfortunately, it was not pretty. Got beat twice in the first period by a 16 year old (Reid Duke) and did not skate or handle the puck well at all. Got a cheap 2nd assist on a 5 on 3 goal but other tan that, it was bad.

Of course it's only 1 game and it was the Giants 5th game in 6 nights. Guaranteed he's better than what he was.

That's what I hate about having prospects in the BC or US division. When they come here they're always worn down on a long road trip by the time we see them. I saw Kulak in Calgary, and he was awesome. Hopefully it was just that the road trip finally got to him. That was the exact opposite report I gave him from my viewing.

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#8 Deaner_
January 11 2013, 07:15PM
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schevvy wrote:

Got a chance to watch Brett Kulak down in Lethbridge on Wednesday and unfortunately, it was not pretty. Got beat twice in the first period by a 16 year old (Reid Duke) and did not skate or handle the puck well at all. Got a cheap 2nd assist on a 5 on 3 goal but other tan that, it was bad.

Of course it's only 1 game and it was the Giants 5th game in 6 nights. Guaranteed he's better than what he was.

Ya I think fatigue was likely a big factor, I have season tickets to the Vancouver giants and he is one of the very few bright spots on there roster.

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#9 Kent Wilson
January 11 2013, 07:15PM
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Gaudreau has another 3 points in his return to BC tonight. That gives him 26 in 15 games for an NHLE of 58 (!)

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#10 Baalzamon
January 11 2013, 08:11PM
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in other Collegiate news, Arnold has a G and A, Jankowski has an assist (good to see he's back on a line with Schaller, who is the most dangerous shooter), and Deblouw's team got blanked.

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#11 Captain Ron
January 11 2013, 08:59PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Gaudreau has another 3 points in his return to BC tonight. That gives him 26 in 15 games for an NHLE of 58 (!)

I thought Gaudreau was outstanding in the World Junior tournament. If the guys around him had a bit more finish he could easily have led the tournament in scoring. His vision on the ice is excellent. His size will always be in question but everything else; passing, skating, and shooting looks to be well above average. He'll play in the NHL one day it's just a matter of time. Seeing Tretiak patting him on the head like he was a little boy while giving him the medal was pretty funny to watch. God does he ever look young.

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#12 MC Hockey
January 11 2013, 10:28PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

I thought Gaudreau was outstanding in the World Junior tournament. If the guys around him had a bit more finish he could easily have led the tournament in scoring. His vision on the ice is excellent. His size will always be in question but everything else; passing, skating, and shooting looks to be well above average. He'll play in the NHL one day it's just a matter of time. Seeing Tretiak patting him on the head like he was a little boy while giving him the medal was pretty funny to watch. God does he ever look young.

So awesome to hear the Flames finally have some top-notch prospects...and honestly must give the "Feaster regime" props for such wise picks like Gaudreau and finding players like Cervenka, despite the fact they have proven nothing yet. And yes, Johnny G looks younger than a 15-year old neighbor of mine.

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#13 Steve
January 11 2013, 11:28PM
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The movie "Rookie of the Year" was on Sportsnet last night. Gaudreau is Henry Rowengartner.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107985/

Thomas Ian Nicholas was the actor. He was 12 when the movie was made. Gaudreau could do a remake now at 19.

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