This and That - We can finally talk hockey

Kent Wilson
January 07 2013 12:41PM

 

 

Just some things rolling around my head as we transition from interpreting legalese and negotiating strategy to discussing roster depth and line combinations. Of course, FlamesNation is going to re-do some of our previous season previews as well as cover Calgary's truncated training camp as thoroughly as possible. But for now, some bullets -

Brodie, Street and Some Housekeeping

- With all the excited prospect talk centering around guys like Sven Baertschi and Johnny Gaudreau in Calgary these days, it like some fans have forgotten about the club's best youngster on the blueline: 22-year old TJ Brodie.

Make no mistake, the kid is very good. Although he's not very big and is never going to piledrive anyone through the boards, Brodie has developed into a top-pairing 25-30 minute per night guy in Abbotsford, despite the fact he's the team's youngest rearguard. He is also third on he club in scoring with 20 points in 34 games.

Brodie is a fast, fluid skater who can make smart, incisive head man passes at full speed through traffic. On the defensive side of things, Brodie has improved by leaps and bounds since his first foray at the NHL level as a 20-year old and is now a steady, dependable rock south of the redline.

Because he carries and handles the puck so much there are rare times where a pass or deke goes astray. The good news is, Brodie is usually quick and savvy enough to recover.

Get excited about Brodie folks. When viewing the Heat this year, no single player on the team (excpet maybe Baertschi) was so obviously an NHLer playing amongst minor leaguers. He should not only make the Flames out of camp, but challenge some of the incumbents in the top-4 rotation.

- Speaking of prospects, I may have to revive the young guns photoshop contest that was shelved a few months ago. We may have a new sponsor or two who can offer swag to win very soon as well, so stay tuned. 

- I have had a few people ask me recently if we will do another round of Gaudreau shirt orders. It's possible depending on demand, although I'd probably have to limit orders to people in the Calgary area (unless I can find another a cheaper way to ship them around the country). Let me know if you're interested or not.

Also, if you have a shirt and want to share a photo or two, send them over and we'll publish them both here and on the facebook page.

- FN will conduct a roundtable this week involving our writers about the upcoming season. If you want any particular topic covered by everyone, let us know in the comments.

- Thinking out loud: if Calgary is looking for a trade partner in the near future, Im not sure they can find a better match than St. Louis. The Blues are bursting at the seams with young, forward talent - David Perron, Patrik Berglund (who played with Backlund in Swden during the lock-out), TJ Oshie, Evgeny Grachev, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. They were also the club who drafted Sven Baertschi's teammate Ty Rattie in 2011.

The Blues are one of the best overall clubs in the league and looking to compete immediately after years of rebuilding. If they want an established player or two to round out their roster down the stretch, the Flames may be able to offer up one of their many vets and grab one of those impressive youngsters in return.

- Ben Street is an interesting darkhorse to make the Flames out of camp. The 25-year old center/winger is leading the team in scoring and the AHL in shots. He has established himself as one of the best players on the Heat this year with consistency of effort and output. Although he's not big at 6', 200 pounds (and therefore not your typical 4th line plugger), Street is quick, makes good decisions down low in the offensive end and has decent hands. He's the type of guy who could make the 4th line a functional unit, rather than 4 minutes of panic time.

If he indeed cracks the parent roster, Street will have traveled a pretty interesting road to get there. An undrafted college player out of the University of Wisconsin, Street began his pro career in the ECHL with 51 points in 38 games. He was a full time AHLer for the Penguins farm club the next season and managed a team leading 57 points in 71 games for them before being signed by Calgary this past summer.

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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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#51 schevvy
January 07 2013, 09:07PM
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I would say the top 4 on defence is pretty well set. I would do Giordano-Bouwmeester, then Wideman-Butler, but you could probably interchange the 4. There's a ton of people gunning for those last two spots though. Brodie, Sarich, Smith, Carson, Babchuk (is he staying in Europe?). That will be one of the more interesting battles in camp, intrigued to see how that plays out

I would be surprised if Iggy gets dealt, I really would. With all he has done for the organization, he will get what he wants. 4 years, 22M, NMC. I'm not saying that's the right way to do it, but that's the "popular" way.

Good to talk hockey again. Nice to see the nation commenters come out full force right away. Jan 19 can't come soon enough. Bet the season starts off vs. Oilers or Canucks (probably Oilers)

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#52 Clyde
January 07 2013, 09:37PM
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I think St Louis is a good partner. I would like to see us get Hartley guys like Cole, Reaves and a 1st for J-Bo plus. I can't see us getting Tarasenko although that would be great or Berglund.

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#53 Reidja
January 07 2013, 10:02PM
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I'll take a Gaudreauby Baker shirt!

Does anyone know if there's a place to find WJHC ice times? I'm watching the semi-finals again right now and I don't think I've seen Sieloff once. People are saying he had a decent tourney but all I saw him do was get face-washed a couple of times.

Actually just noticed him for the first time (10:35 2nd Per) but still...

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#54 Kevin R
January 07 2013, 10:02PM
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schevvy wrote:

I would say the top 4 on defence is pretty well set. I would do Giordano-Bouwmeester, then Wideman-Butler, but you could probably interchange the 4. There's a ton of people gunning for those last two spots though. Brodie, Sarich, Smith, Carson, Babchuk (is he staying in Europe?). That will be one of the more interesting battles in camp, intrigued to see how that plays out

I would be surprised if Iggy gets dealt, I really would. With all he has done for the organization, he will get what he wants. 4 years, 22M, NMC. I'm not saying that's the right way to do it, but that's the "popular" way.

Good to talk hockey again. Nice to see the nation commenters come out full force right away. Jan 19 can't come soon enough. Bet the season starts off vs. Oilers or Canucks (probably Oilers)

Wouldnt suprise me either but something inside me just dont see Jerome meshing with Hartley. His interview on the Fan 960 was pretty vague & non commital. Yeah he says the right things about how Calgary is his home but he doesnt want to discuss the pending UFA as a distraction & it sounds like him & Feaster/Management really havent discussed anything yet. It was, well lets see how it goes & lets see if the team is winning. Really not sure how to take that interview, you could interpret it either way.

I really think Hartley & Feaster will be doing a big time evaluation on every player & who buys in to his system on the ice & not just behind the microphone of reporters. I dont think anyone will be exempt & if we are not a playoff team, I see the dynamite coming out.

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#55 MC Hockey
January 07 2013, 10:44PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I'll gauge interest and if at least 10 more people want shirts I will collect mailing info and provide a method to pay.

I am in for a shirt Kent.

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#56 MC Hockey
January 07 2013, 10:50PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I also heard Tangs say he was told to start practicing at centre.

That still leads me to believe that line will be left as is, only swapping Tangs and Cammy. However with all things Flames, that could change 5 times during the course of one game alone.

I also dislike that mentality that says"we are behind 2 goals" so change the chemistry mid-game. How are players going to really know each other and habits in tough situations if they are often subject to changing linemates within games?

Sure, if we had a superior top-notch thinker of the game who was an elite talent as well (perhaps Tanguay is closest thing we have) then sure put him with anyone, but we don't have that person. Thus I hope Hartley STICKS to lines he decides on by end of camp or at least changes lines rarely.

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#57 FireOnIce
January 07 2013, 10:54PM
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Well, since my self-imposed exile from the hockey world is over, I guess I could say that I'd take a Gaudreauby shirt as well, Kent. Do it!

As far as this season for the Flames, I don't expect much. Cervenka may be coming back, but there's no guarantee the Russian doctors didn't screw him up good. Hudler had his neck sliced. Babchuk had literally 1 or 2 points in a couple dozen games. Basically, our Russians were the only ones to keep busy during the lockout, and goofed it all up.

Hopefully, Iginla doesn't take 20 games to warm up, and the team can just hit the ice skating when the season starts. We'll see what Hartley can do. Just freaking play!

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#58 Baalzamon
January 07 2013, 11:00PM
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@Reidja

Sieloff logged a bunch of minutes against Canada (but he wasn't extremely noticeable during any of them). He also got huuuuuge minutes in the 1st period against Sweden, but kind of disappeared after that. He was pretty much the youngest defender on the team (not counting Seth Jones) and he'll be on next year's team barring injury.

Any minutes they gave him would have been at the expense of guys like Connor Murphy, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Mike Reilly (who I don't remember seeing a lot of against the Swedes, either. Mostly, I remember Trouba, Jones, McCabe, and Gostisbehere from that game).

Interesting to note, they credited Sieloff with an assist against Sweden, but I actually think it was Tyler Biggs, and the officials mistook Biggs' #22 for Sieloff's #27. The main reason I think that (aside from the fact that Sieloff wasn't on for the goal) is because on the game sheet they had McCabe and Sieloff as the defenders getting pluses, but on the goal celebration, you can clearly see Gostisbehere.

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#59 Franko J
January 07 2013, 11:11PM
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Great to have the Flames back and getting ready to play.

Although a few years away, I must say congratulations to Johnny "hockey" Gaudreau for winning Olympic gold. While he dismantled Canada's dream for gold, watching him play was quite refreshing. Maybe not the biggest guy on the ice, but his skill set was just awesome. I haven't seen a prospect drafted by the Flames display the combination of pure skill and hockey vision for over twenty years.

Fourth rounder ---- just like another player I think the Flames should build around on D : TJ Brodie. While the Flames success in the 1st round is not the greatest, you cannot argue that through the lower rounds they do find those "gems".

Although I have been strongly decided against drafting Russian players, I must say that Calgary should consider looking at Valeri Nichushkin in the 2013 draft. Depending how the season shakes out for the Flames I was also quite impressed with his combination of size and speed and good set of hands.

Looking forward to another season of Iginla banter and Bouwmeester detractors once again. As I like to call it: "How the FLAMES turns and burns".

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#60 Deaner_
January 07 2013, 11:43PM
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@Kent Wilson

I would also be in for a Gaudreauby!

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#61 bookofloob
January 08 2013, 12:30AM
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Clyde wrote:

I think St Louis is a good partner. I would like to see us get Hartley guys like Cole, Reaves and a 1st for J-Bo plus. I can't see us getting Tarasenko although that would be great or Berglund.

I'd be alright with Cole, but there is no damn way I ever want to see Reaves on the Flames. He's basically Ivanans at this point.

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#62 loudogYYC
January 08 2013, 12:34AM
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I'd be all over a trade with the Blues or Senators. 1 pick in the top 60 for a team that has 50-1 chances of winning the cup is bad news, this is the year the Flames have to strengthen their depth in the most important position in hockey, Centre.

Quick question for all, is there a FN pool being set up??

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#63 icedawg_42
January 08 2013, 07:02AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Welcome back. Been awhile.

Feels good to come out of retirement ;) and talking hockey. And Schevvy - TEH!

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#64 backburner
January 08 2013, 09:18AM
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I love how Brodie had the balls to wear #66 when he first came up, but had enough sense to change it...

Maybe Flames could send Backlund over to St.Louis in a package...

But as far as Iggy goes... St.Louis and N.Y. Rangers make the most sense at this point... so if they play their cards right could land a decent prospect, maybe even a 2nd...

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#66 backburner
January 08 2013, 02:19PM
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@Kent Wilson

The pressure seems to be on Backlund to prove himself this year in Calgary... so IF he struggles again this year, St. Louis might be the only option considering Berglund...

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