The Short Term Future of Sven Baertschi

Kent Wilson
January 25 2013 12:10PM

 


 

Word from practice today is that Sven Baertschi is likely to play on the 4th on Satruday, if he makes the active roster at all. The insertion of Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka into the mix has meant a logjam of sorts in the top-nine and right now the rookie seems the most natural choice to move down.

This move won't make most Flames fans happy no doubt, but I can see where the coaching staff is coming from. Baertschi and Backlund had a really nice debut period in the first game against the Sharks, but there have been a lot of bumps along the road for the kid since that point. He certainly isn't timid about trying to make highlight reel moves, but his overall 200-foot game remains very raw. Keep in mind Sven turned 20 years old in September and doesn't even have 30 por games under his belt. He also spent his entire last season in junior having his way with WHL on one of the best club's in the CHL, so it's going to take some time to develop the requisite discipline in Baertschi for him to be a more complete player at the NHL level.

Some NHL teams would be willing to let Sven play through his issues, but not the Flames for a couple of reasons:

1.) They have a fully packed roster when everybody is healthy. The current top-9 wingers are: Iginla, Glencross, Tanguay/Cervenka, Hudler, Stempniak and Cammalleri. Depending on how Cervenka assimilates to NA hockey, Baertschi isn't good enough to usurp any of those guys based purely on his abilities right now.

2.) The Flames are still trying to win now. With one point in the opening three games, the urgency to starting winning is already rising thanks to the shortened season.

On top of all that, the club doesn't boast an obviously ideal line for Baertschi currently. Because there is no obvious group of "heavy hitters" amongst the forwards who can soak up the tough minutes, it makes it harder for the coaching staff to appropriately shelter Sven given the set up of the roster.

For example:

Vladimir Tarasenko is currently leading NHL rookies in scoring. In part because he's a high level talent, but it also helps that through 4 games he has an 85.2% zone start ratio - that is, he has started 25 shifts in the offensive zone and just 4(!!) in the d-zone. The Blues have quality depth all over the roster and the Selke caliber play of David Backes to take on the tough stuff, so they can afford to give the kid the cherry circumstances.

Finally, Baertschi hasn't quite made a case for himself so far. We're only three games in and there's a few vets that I think have struggled as well (*cough*Cammalleri*cough*) but established guys always get the benefit of the doubt. right now, the kid has the worst possession rate outside of Steve Begin and Blake Comeau amongst Flames forwards. That's not a grave indictment of any player thanks to the small sample size, and certianly not of a 20-year old rookie, but because the roster is stuffed to bursting with veterans and the team's short term goals are to make the playoffs, Baertschi more or less has to outplay one of the incumbents to stay in the top-9.

As a result, I suspect be will be headed down to the farm within the week, assuming everyone stays healthy and Cervenka is as good as everyone thinks/hopes. Playing 8 minutes a night on the 4th line with Comeau/Jackman/Jones/Begin won't do much for Sven's development and since he doesn't have to pass through waivers to be demoted, it's a simple decision to move him back to first line minutes in Abbotsford. 

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 bookofloob
January 25 2013, 12:52PM
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Seems to me the Backlund-Baertschi experiment ended FAR too soon to be making these kinds of judgments.

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#2 backburner
January 25 2013, 12:24PM
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Difficult to swallow when you have Cammellari and Comeau playing awful... he's finding his stride out there and I'm sure they can use his skill in the shootout for example..

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#3 Willi P
January 25 2013, 12:26PM
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Kent, can't argue with your logic. Same situation with Horak. Both maybe better served in the AHL but still not happy about it given some of the veteran underachievers in this lineup.

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#4 Clay
January 25 2013, 12:28PM
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I fail to see what he's done wrong, and what the Blake Comeau's and Steve Begin's have done right to earn his spot.

Is he defensively dependable yet? Probably not.

However, he's drawn two penalties with his skill, had some dazzling scoring chances, and been effective and hard on the puck on the powerplay.

Fact is, he is currently better equipped to play in the top 9 than a few of the players who have.

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#5 Clay
January 25 2013, 12:33PM
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This type of decision is why we get criticized by every media outlet covering hockey

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#6 brad
January 25 2013, 12:34PM
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Looking at capgeek for the forseeable future there isn't a fitin the top 6 (unless #12 retires) so what is the thinking? Eventually this team has to start making room for young talented guys Like Sven. Cervenka hasn't played a game in the NHL, Stajan is horrible, Comeau is at best just a fast 3rd liner. Meritocracy isn't a real thing if that goes down.

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#7 clay
January 25 2013, 12:36PM
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if he sits in the press box for a few games, potentially coupled with some losses, I wonder if we see #firehartley or #firefeaster hit twitter

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#8 Kevin R
January 25 2013, 12:46PM
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Same old BS! If he gets sent down & I have to pay to watch the Cammis & Comeaus & Stajans is going to burn like heartburn after 24 suicide chicken wings. I am sick of Feaster signing these periphery top 9 forwards all the time. I hope we get our a$$e$ kicked Saturday & then Colorado pound us after. Then again, maybe it would be best Sven doesnt hang around when all the demolition & blowing up happens & there's celebrating in the streets.

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#9 Jai Kiran
January 25 2013, 01:31PM
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BookOfLoob is correct: way too early to be making these judgements. I don't believe Baertschi is gone in the next week - my guess is that he works his way back up to the top 6 real quick. Not only should he have shot in the shootout against Van, but I believe Hartley learns from his mistakes and soon Sven will be a shootout regular.

Has he looked great? No. But if a couple of those shots had gone in (and he's come close) we'd be talking more reasonably.

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#10 everton fc
January 25 2013, 01:32PM
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Troy Ward is good with young talent. Certainly can't hurt Baertschi. But I would like to see him with Backlund, and perhaps Stempniak, for a little while, though there's no true grit on that line. One can also wonder is Baertschi holds Backlund back in such a scenario?

We are certainly thin, down the right side. And we lack talent with grit. But that's been covered here, ad nauseum, perhaps...

I think Comeau is a career 4th liner. And while I like Begin, and love the comeback, he certainly seems to be a liability, in terms of a prodcutive roster spot. Comeau's performance thus far, not to mention is price tag, make him your extra forward. Waive Begin and send him to the farm; turn him into an assistant coach. Reward him, for the comeback. Perhaps...

I think Comeau should sit. Again, he was waived from the Isles last season. We may be seeing the reasons why. Stajan seems to be turning himself into 3rd line shutdown centre, with some offencive abilities, which is best for his career, going forward. He's going nowhere, so we should let him play out this season with the team. Perhaps move him at the deadline, when the cap hit is less of a burden to a team looking to fill some crags.

Someone had commented that Hartley does seem to mimic the Sutter Brothers, in his love for seasoned vets...

How has Jackman looked? Haven't heard anyone comment on Jackman. Is he expendable, as well??

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#11 Kevin R
January 25 2013, 03:07PM
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Brent G. wrote:

You know, I am actually starting to f*cking hate this team. They are brutal, boring and showing no need or desire to make changes. I would rather watch a team of young kids learning even if it meant they will get embarrassed on occasion. At least those loses are coupled development and experience. It sickens me how happy your average fan is here to take yet another shot at it in calgary with pretty much the same roster and expecting something different. Losing isn't always the worst thing if its handled appropriately and leads to improvement eventually. I was hoping the lock out wouldn't end because Iggy could just leave silently and force changes. Now I'm left here hoping they lose their next 7 by a wide margin and maybe then it will truly lead to something different. Of course I'm dreaming, it will never happen. They will make up some excuse about shortened season or no preseason or some sh*t. Regardless I can't imagine why Iggy would ever support this team enough to want to resign with them.

Rant over, just had to get that off my chest. It's remarkable how I used to be the most devout of all flames fans and now can't be bothered to watch when they are on. It's not the losing that's getting me, it's the fact they refuse change all of the time and can't seem to understand what they are doing is simply not working. The well dried up 5 years ago yet they keep continung refusing to use creativity or true intellectual honesty when evaluating themselves or the team they have created. I look forward to the excuses at the end of the year, followed by promises of change but nothing will happen...

This!!!!!!!!!!!! I was glued to watching the Flames for 3 reason & 3 freaking reasons alone. I wanted to see Backlund rebound & Sven as part of that rebound. For these kids to grow a chemistry together & to find that last piece to finally have a young future #1 line to rebuild around. Didnt expect to win the cup, didnt expect playoffs, I expected something new to get excited about the Flames again. The 3rd reason was to see Brodie grow into a top 4 dman this year as well. Already had an early kick to the nuts on that one. I dont care now, I hope those juggernaut up & coming Oilers make us look slow & stupid. Then the young Avs do a rinse & repeat on us. Zero wins & 1 point should leave us solidly in 15th place, where this aging core seems to be falling to.

That's all I have now, time to go drink.

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#12 Steve
January 25 2013, 04:06PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

If Sven played center I have no doubt he'd be in the line-up but like others, I'd rather see him get top three minutes in the AHL than bottom four minutes in the NHL.

I'm not saying Comeau, Stajan or Begin are better alternatives than Sven but really, he shouldn't be compared to these players anyway

I love to watch Backs, Sven and Brodie play but based on the available players and their roles within the team, I don't see Sven outseating any of the top six vets at this point.

Another point I don't think people have mentioned is the 'C' word. He's had a few concussions and I wouldn't want to see his health put at risk by playing with men. Making the jump to the NHL from junior is a big leap, more time spent in the AHL might benefit him (I hate myself for saying that cause I'd love to watch him play).

As a ticket holder I feel Brent's pain

I was a season ticket holder in the Young Guns era. You people don't know pain. Let's do whatever it takes to avoid that again!

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#13 backburner
January 25 2013, 12:17PM
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I think he's NHL ready, but the Coaches don't have a great fit for him right now.. having that said, I don't mind a third or fourth line role for him this season..

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#14 Nathan
January 25 2013, 12:18PM
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I see your point and I actually agree, but it still pisses me off.

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#15 duncan
January 25 2013, 12:22PM
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I believe you're right about the Flames' reasons for likely doing this, and I agree he's better off playing quality minutes in Abby vs. Begin time in Calgary. For long term reasons, though, I'd really rather they drop literally any of those wingers to figure out a way to protect him Tarasenko-style, and get him used to NHL-quality opposition faster.

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#16 Steve
January 25 2013, 12:22PM
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I hadn't even considered this a possibility. The way Feaster has always talked, he was going to be on the team this year. I think it would be a great move to send him down.

Was there ever any resolution to the previous discussion as to whether it would burn a year of his ELC? Most people seem to think it's gone already, but I've never been able to figure out why it wouldn't slide another year, based on the wording of the old CBA anyway. He signed his first pro contract when he was 18, if he doesn't play more than 5 (rule for this year instead of 10) NHL games this year, his contract should slide a second year.

Either way, I'd be happy to see him back in Abbotsford. With the likelihood of injuries, we'd probably see him back up for quite a few games yet this season.

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#17 Vintage Flame
January 25 2013, 12:28PM
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It makes a lot of sense Kent, especially if Cervenka is what we need or hope him to be, but I gotta tell ya, reading that just sent a chill down my spine.

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#18 Steve
January 25 2013, 12:34PM
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Clay wrote:

I fail to see what he's done wrong, and what the Blake Comeau's and Steve Begin's have done right to earn his spot.

Is he defensively dependable yet? Probably not.

However, he's drawn two penalties with his skill, had some dazzling scoring chances, and been effective and hard on the puck on the powerplay.

Fact is, he is currently better equipped to play in the top 9 than a few of the players who have.

I just don't see that he's been 'dazzling' yet. I want to, but I think the 'fact is' he's just not quite ready yet. I don't think playing in the AHL could hurt him, but I do think playing in the NHL could. He is too important to this club's future to take any chances with.

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#19 Clay
January 25 2013, 12:38PM
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Steve wrote:

I just don't see that he's been 'dazzling' yet. I want to, but I think the 'fact is' he's just not quite ready yet. I don't think playing in the AHL could hurt him, but I do think playing in the NHL could. He is too important to this club's future to take any chances with.

I agree he hasnt been 'great' or 'super rookie' like some had him pegged, but I struggle to see how he has been bad.

You notice him on the ice for good reasons, and he provides energy to the team.

Will playing in the AHL hurt him? Likely not, depending on confidence. A third line role is probably better suited.

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#20 schevvy
January 25 2013, 12:46PM
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I agree with the majority of the posters on here. If Sven cannot play in the top 9, let him develop in the AHL. People commenting on him being better than Begin and Comeau, and I agree, but they are already on the 4th line. It would not be good for Sven to play in that role, because he is not meant for that role. Look at Nino in New York. He played with two plugs last year on the 4th line, and that in my mind has really hurt his development.

There is no shame in being 20 and having some early challenges in the big leagues. I hope that if he is sent down that people don't begin to say things like he's a bust, cause that's just being ignorant.

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#21 Steve
January 25 2013, 12:49PM
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Clay wrote:

I agree he hasnt been 'great' or 'super rookie' like some had him pegged, but I struggle to see how he has been bad.

You notice him on the ice for good reasons, and he provides energy to the team.

Will playing in the AHL hurt him? Likely not, depending on confidence. A third line role is probably better suited.

For the record, I never said he's been bad.

All fair points. I would just guard against wanting so bad for a first rounder to actually play for this organization that we rush him. I love the guy and want to see him around here for a lot of years.

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#22 jeremywilhelm
January 25 2013, 12:51PM
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I was gonna comment today, that he has had a few wow moments. But he hasn't really looked all that good in the first three games. He is getting knocked off the puck easily in the d and neutral zone. His game is speed, and he hasn't shown much of that.

Its dissapointing, but he may just need some more seasoning, or a team that can actually provide puck support in the top 6.

The Flames are a middling team playing like a bottom 5 team. They'll never be able to provide the kid with the right type of situation to in the NHL to have a great amount of success as a 20 year old. They are unable or unwilling to bury a line in the dzone to open up ice for the Iginla line and a younger, faster 2nd line. And this inability will be their downfall.

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#23 Clay
January 25 2013, 12:54PM
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@Steve

I dont really disagree with you either. Maybe call me a purist, but I am being selfish in that I want to watch the best player play if I am buying a ticket.

I would rather play someone out of position to have Sven in the top 9, then watch Stajan go through the motions.

I have a tough life of entertaining clients at the Saddledome. However I am a die hard fan first. It hasnt been that fun at the rink the past few years. I'd rather watch at home.

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#24 NateBaldwin
January 25 2013, 12:54PM
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When I heard he was practicing on the 4th line in the last post comment thread, I got this sinking feeling the next stop for him might be Abby.

Apart from cheering on, A Back's bounce-back alliteration, Sven was the only reason, I was watching this years iteration,

Of my once beloved Calgary Flames.

So if it's the case that he goes down, I'm packing up and leaving town, Well not literally because i'm in school, But cheering for San Jose might be cool...

And I realize that none of these verse rhyme, But what feaster is doing is downright a crime, The most important lesson from this tune, Is I should never, ever drink before noon!

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#25 kittensandcookies
January 25 2013, 12:57PM
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He has nothing to learn in the AHL.

Begin and Comeau are useless. Send them down instead.

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#26 David
January 25 2013, 01:01PM
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@kittensandcookies

A 20 year old rookie can almost always learn something in the AHL.

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#27 kittensandcookies
January 25 2013, 01:11PM
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@David

Okay, like what?

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#28 the-wolf
January 25 2013, 01:14PM
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I suggested from the start that the Flames should've just left Baaerstchi on the farm for the season. It'll pay off in the long run and keep him away from the 'loser' mentality that currently permeates the club.

Again, the Flames are having these issues because they're drowning in 2nd and 3rd liners.

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#29 Parallex
January 25 2013, 01:17PM
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Whole lot of over-reaction from the commenterati on this I see.

There are only a few questions that you need to ask in order to acertain where the correct spot for Baertschi is...

Is it better for the org and/or Baertschi for him to play 8 minutes a game with muckers, grinders, and agitators or is it better for him to get #1 line minutes in the AHL. I think we can all mostly agree that having him play on the fourth line is probably a poor choice for all parties concerned.

So, if he can't be on the 4th line then can he be on one of the top three? To determine this we first need to clarify that Sven is not a center, he wasn't a center in the AHL and he wasn't a center in the WHL... he can not play center. So then we're looking at wingers. Is Sven better (Overall and Right now... not projected into the future pending further skill development) then any of the other top 3 lines wingers? Backlund, Stajan, and one of Tanguay or Cervenka are centers so he can not replace one of them meaning that he has to beat out Glencross, whichever of Tanguay/Cervenka ends up on wing, Iginla, Hudler, Stempniak or Cammalleri... is he better then any of those guys? Right now I would say "no, he is probably not" and the only reason I say probably is because we don't know how good Cervenka is going to be.

If the Org send Baerschi down to the AHL not only will I not condemn them for doing it I'll applaud them for making the right choice inspite of what is sure to be contrary idiotic blathering from the talking heads (or pens as the case may be) in the media.

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#30 the-wolf
January 25 2013, 01:21PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

Okay, like what?

His 200' game.

Adjusting to pro life vs junior life.

What it's like to NOT completely have your way with the opposition every night.

Gain more strength.

Experience.

Maturity.

Continue to build confidence in your offensive game rather than play on the 3rd or 4th line which would be a terrbile decision. How many future greats has Calgary already killed that way?

Horak, for example, never should've played in Calgary last year.

Despite the success Detroit has of letting players 'over-ripen,' it always amazes me how many people want to rush the next generation or think a rookie going to save the franchise.

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#31 Quintana
January 25 2013, 01:21PM
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Yak City is coming to town, be afraid.....really afraid.

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#32 David
January 25 2013, 01:22PM
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@kittensandcookies

He can learn that being sent down to the AHL is an opportunity to prove himself as capable. It's about proving Feaster/Hartley wrong. Maybe he knows that, maybe he doesn't. This will be a good mental test for him. How does Sven deal with rejection? I also think that playing a full season of top line min and being the go-to guy for offense will help him deal with stress and pressure. It's about players love winning and hate losing . If he were to stay on a losing Flames team it could become very easy to accept losing as a byproduct of being part of a poor team. As a young profesional hockey player I think it's more important for him to be surrounded by a winning atmosphere as opposed to the Apathy that is the middling Flames right now.

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#33 David
January 25 2013, 01:28PM
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The heat will most likely make the playoffs this year. That experience will be 10x more benefitial to sven than what he will experience in the NHL right now as a 4th player or worse yet a pressbox seat warmer.

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#34 David
January 25 2013, 01:29PM
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4th line*

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#35 NateBaldwin
January 25 2013, 01:29PM
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@bookofloob

yes yes yes!

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#36 Vintage Flame
January 25 2013, 01:29PM
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brad wrote:

Looking at capgeek for the forseeable future there isn't a fitin the top 6 (unless #12 retires) so what is the thinking? Eventually this team has to start making room for young talented guys Like Sven. Cervenka hasn't played a game in the NHL, Stajan is horrible, Comeau is at best just a fast 3rd liner. Meritocracy isn't a real thing if that goes down.

No one [especilly Kent] is disputing that Sven is better than the likes of Comeau and Stajan, but those are 4th line guys, playingm low minutes.

In order for Sven to "develop" properly, he needs to be playing in top-9 or even top-6 situations. Being a 4th liner with the likes of Stajan and Comeau would impede his development and progress.

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#37 kittensandcookies
January 25 2013, 01:32PM
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the-wolf wrote:

His 200' game.

Adjusting to pro life vs junior life.

What it's like to NOT completely have your way with the opposition every night.

Gain more strength.

Experience.

Maturity.

Continue to build confidence in your offensive game rather than play on the 3rd or 4th line which would be a terrbile decision. How many future greats has Calgary already killed that way?

Horak, for example, never should've played in Calgary last year.

Despite the success Detroit has of letting players 'over-ripen,' it always amazes me how many people want to rush the next generation or think a rookie going to save the franchise.

He cannot learn a "200' game" in the AHL. The competition is not good enough.

So he adjusts to pro life by going back to junior life?

He does have his way with the opposition every night in the AHL.

He will not gain more strength by playing against kids in the AHL. Nor experience, nor maturity.

Calgary has had no "future greats" ruined. The Flames' draft record is terrible, because the Flames continually pick fundamentally flawed players, not because we leave them up in the NHL too long.

Sven is not going to save the franchise. I didn't realize this franchise even needed saving. Calgarians seem content on paying for mediocre hockey, and as long as that's true the Flames will stay here.

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#38 Vintage Flame
January 25 2013, 01:32PM
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bookofloob wrote:

Seems to me the Backlund-Baertschi experiment ended FAR too soon to be making these kinds of judgments.

If Sven is destined to go back to abby, then I hope to see an experiment of Baertschi - Backlund - Cervenka before he leaves. I think that would be an exciting trio to watch.

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#39 Vintage Flame
January 25 2013, 01:37PM
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My biggest fear with Sven going to the AHL is, other than Ward, who is really down there that will help in the development of Baertschi. Who can he play with that will push him to become better than he already is?

Yes Horak is down there right now too, but as much as I love the kid, Max Reinhart is not the kind of guy that will push Sven to the next level.

... And much to the chagrin of BoL, Barry Brust doesn't play center ;)

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#40 Vintage Flame
January 25 2013, 01:38PM
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.. I'm really kind of talking myself out of the idea that it may be good for Baertschi to go back to Abby.

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#41 David
January 25 2013, 01:39PM
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@kittensandcookies

I think you underestimate the copetition level of the AHL

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#42 everton fc
January 25 2013, 01:40PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

My biggest fear with Sven going to the AHL is, other than Ward, who is really down there that will help in the development of Baertschi. Who can he play with that will push him to become better than he already is?

Yes Horak is down there right now too, but as much as I love the kid, Max Reinhart is not the kind of guy that will push Sven to the next level.

... And much to the chagrin of BoL, Barry Brust doesn't play center ;)

Very good points. Walter is the best probable linemate for Sven. Not sure that's helpful.

He should play with Horak, as well. Why not?

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#43 Steve
January 25 2013, 01:44PM
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Jai Kiran wrote:

BookOfLoob is correct: way too early to be making these judgements. I don't believe Baertschi is gone in the next week - my guess is that he works his way back up to the top 6 real quick. Not only should he have shot in the shootout against Van, but I believe Hartley learns from his mistakes and soon Sven will be a shootout regular.

Has he looked great? No. But if a couple of those shots had gone in (and he's come close) we'd be talking more reasonably.

I don't think it's got anything to do with the fact that he hasn't put up any points. Getting a couple lucky bounces or unlucky bounces shouldn't have any place in this decision. He's got high end talent, you can see that. You can also see that he's not yet able to use it to his full advantage.

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#44 the-wolf
January 25 2013, 01:48PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

He cannot learn a "200' game" in the AHL. The competition is not good enough.

So he adjusts to pro life by going back to junior life?

He does have his way with the opposition every night in the AHL.

He will not gain more strength by playing against kids in the AHL. Nor experience, nor maturity.

Calgary has had no "future greats" ruined. The Flames' draft record is terrible, because the Flames continually pick fundamentally flawed players, not because we leave them up in the NHL too long.

Sven is not going to save the franchise. I didn't realize this franchise even needed saving. Calgarians seem content on paying for mediocre hockey, and as long as that's true the Flames will stay here.

The competition is better than junior and less than the NHL. Which is where Sven is at.

Close to a ppg is not the same as waltzing around 16 and 17 year olds and scoring 2ppg.

He's not playing against kids in the AHL, he's playing against grown men. And it helps learn what he can't get away with in the pros that he could get away with in junior. Bottom line is that his play isn't good enough right now to say he derves a top 6 spot.

"Future greats," my bad, poor choice of words. However, Calgary has a history of bringing up prospects too early and those prospects (also once highly touted) either flame-out (pardon the pun) or don't achieve their full potential until traded.

Your absolutely right - idiot fans fill the Saddledome every game cheering for a team whose max potential is 8th place. Some fans, however, seem to think Sven can step in and pot 40, put the team in the playoffs and make Iggy 25 years old again.

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#45 the-wolf
January 25 2013, 01:50PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

.. I'm really kind of talking myself out of the idea that it may be good for Baertschi to go back to Abby.

No player has ever been damaged by being left down for a year. Being rushed on the other hand...

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#47 ChinookArch
January 25 2013, 01:51PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

He cannot learn a "200' game" in the AHL. The competition is not good enough.

So he adjusts to pro life by going back to junior life?

He does have his way with the opposition every night in the AHL.

He will not gain more strength by playing against kids in the AHL. Nor experience, nor maturity.

Calgary has had no "future greats" ruined. The Flames' draft record is terrible, because the Flames continually pick fundamentally flawed players, not because we leave them up in the NHL too long.

Sven is not going to save the franchise. I didn't realize this franchise even needed saving. Calgarians seem content on paying for mediocre hockey, and as long as that's true the Flames will stay here.

I agree he doesn't have anything to learn in the AHL, but he'll need top 9 minutes for his own good at the NHL level.

Comparing him to Begin and Comeau really isn't useful. I wouldn't have expected Begin to make the team in the first place, but for the injury to Bouma, it became a reality. And, leaving Sven on the 4th line is a waste of talent and development time.

I hope this means a trade for prospects, so that Baertschi can move to the 2nd or 3rd line.

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#49 Baalzamon
January 25 2013, 02:11PM
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The only way for Sven to play in the top 9 is if Glencross plays on the 4th line.

Unless you'd rather Stempniak, Cammalleri, or Hudler played there...

Lol at the AHL being a junior league. Are you new to the Continent, kitten?

It seems that it would be best if the Baertschi decision waited until we knew what we had in Cervenka... the chances of that though... I've been saying it since, well, ever: this team has too many wingers.

But we don't even know if Cervenka is playing tomorrow. It's entirely possible that Hartley decides he isn't ready for game action yet.

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#50 Brent G.
January 25 2013, 02:14PM
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You know, I am actually starting to f*cking hate this team. They are brutal, boring and showing no need or desire to make changes. I would rather watch a team of young kids learning even if it meant they will get embarrassed on occasion. At least those loses are coupled development and experience. It sickens me how happy your average fan is here to take yet another shot at it in calgary with pretty much the same roster and expecting something different. Losing isn't always the worst thing if its handled appropriately and leads to improvement eventually. I was hoping the lock out wouldn't end because Iggy could just leave silently and force changes. Now I'm left here hoping they lose their next 7 by a wide margin and maybe then it will truly lead to something different. Of course I'm dreaming, it will never happen. They will make up some excuse about shortened season or no preseason or some sh*t. Regardless I can't imagine why Iggy would ever support this team enough to want to resign with them.

Rant over, just had to get that off my chest. It's remarkable how I used to be the most devout of all flames fans and now can't be bothered to watch when they are on. It's not the losing that's getting me, it's the fact they refuse change all of the time and can't seem to understand what they are doing is simply not working. The well dried up 5 years ago yet they keep continung refusing to use creativity or true intellectual honesty when evaluating themselves or the team they have created. I look forward to the excuses at the end of the year, followed by promises of change but nothing will happen...

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