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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#1 Colin.S
January 07 2013, 12:48PM
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I don't know if you've covered it yet, but have you talked about the posibility of Tanguay moving to center?

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#2 RKD
January 07 2013, 12:57PM
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The Blues are interested in Jay-Bo, they want a guy with a left handed shot to play with Pieterangelo. Carlo Colaicovo signed with another team in the off season.

It would be awesome to have Ty Rattie play with Baertschi but I can't see the Blues parting with him. Berglund is 24 years old, is a center and is from the same place Backlund is from.

Perron is better offensively, but he's had some major concussion problems. He could be a hit or two away from a career ending injury.

It would be a big hole in the Flames d, but I think Jay-Bo might fill a need more in St. Louis than in a place like Detroit or Philly.

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#3 Greg S
January 07 2013, 12:58PM
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One possible topic maybe : Do you believe that Iginla, Kiprusoff, or Bouwmeester, gets traded this season?

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#4 seve927
January 07 2013, 12:59PM
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With a lot of viewings of prospect defencemen over the past few months, I'd say we're actually in very good shape. Brodie, Wotherspoon, Kulak and Sieloff have all looked very, very good. And if Griffin Reinhart is considered NHL ready, some of our guys have to be not that far off either. (For the record, I don't think Griffin Reinhart is NHL ready).

Haven't seen Culkin except for very briefly in the Super Series where I didn't see much of note, good or bad. Ramage is supposed to be having his best season yet, which doesn't say a whole lot, but is still better than not showing any improvement.

I've been thinking that our greatest need is on the blueline, but after watching some of these guys, I think we're going to have a very good blueline in two or three years.

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#6 the-wolf
January 07 2013, 01:06PM
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I'd love to trade with the Blues, but no Rattie.

Wonder what they'd give for Iggy?

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#7 James LePage
January 07 2013, 01:07PM
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I would probably be interested in a Gaudreau shirt. What is the process if you decide to bring in some more?

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#8 Craig
January 07 2013, 01:09PM
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I would love to see Berglund as a flame, I think him and backlund could end up being a line that really drives play.

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#9 the-wolf
January 07 2013, 01:11PM
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Not to burst anyone's bubble, but Berglund is as close to untouchable as there is on the Blues.

What's Tarasenko worth?

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#10 Kevin R
January 07 2013, 01:25PM
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Of the big 3 we can speculate with, I would say Kipper is the least likely to be moved this year. Too many if's in net. If Ramo can get to NA so we can get a good looksey. If we are eliminated because of a crotchy start. If an offer comes up even Feaster cant refuse. Otherwise, I dont see Kipper moved until summer or at the trade deadline next year. Iggy & JBO well that's a different story. I think another trade partner for JBO is Ottawa & they have some interesting pieces they may part with. Gonna be fun. Even if we didnt have a lockout, I always felt this was going to be a huge potentially franchise face changing year. Now with a shortened season & so much at stake at the start, wow, it wont take long for the the Wolf's to lick their chops.:)

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#13 ChinookArch
January 07 2013, 01:31PM
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A topic of interest for me is, what are the implications of the $64M Salary Cap in 2013/14 and the Contract Buyout option for the teams? A similar question, will the buy out option lead to a richer pool of Free Agent Prospects this summer and how can the Flames capitalize on this?

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#14 the-wolf
January 07 2013, 01:59PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Tarasenko just turned 21 and is a PPG player in the KHL (where he's been since he was 19). He's really good.

Too good to be moved I fear.

Just thinking that the Blues are unlikely to move a to proster player as they're close to where LA was last year.

But would they move a prospect? Probably.

One of Tarsenkos' quality? I have doubts.

Would JBo and Iggy be a fair move? Too much, too little?

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#15 bookofloob
January 07 2013, 02:13PM
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Colin.S wrote:

I don't know if you've covered it yet, but have you talked about the posibility of Tanguay moving to center?

Seems to me they're more interested in continuing the Cammalleri at center experiment, which I think is the right move. I think having those three on the same line is Calgary's best bet at maximizing offense out of those guys.

Although Darren Pang said it the best on TSN yesterday. Offensively they should be fine, but their play without the puck would have to improve drastically for them to be successful.

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#16 seve927
January 07 2013, 02:28PM
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bookofloob wrote:

Seems to me they're more interested in continuing the Cammalleri at center experiment, which I think is the right move. I think having those three on the same line is Calgary's best bet at maximizing offense out of those guys.

Although Darren Pang said it the best on TSN yesterday. Offensively they should be fine, but their play without the puck would have to improve drastically for them to be successful.

I believe that's possible with an injection of energy. Those guys looked positively bored last year. I'm not saying it's probable, but I'm interested to see the effect Hartley has.

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#17 bookofloob
January 07 2013, 02:30PM
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seve927 wrote:

I believe that's possible with an injection of energy. Those guys looked positively bored last year. I'm not saying it's probable, but I'm interested to see the effect Hartley has.

Shorter season should help that too.

But bottom line, they have to try one of those guys at center, because if not that, who do you go to? There's a very good chance we don't see Roman Cervenka this year, so who else would you give a shot to? Would you give it to Backlund right now?

I don't think so. Not yet.

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#18 RossCreekNation
January 07 2013, 02:32PM
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I had St. Louis pegged as a nice roster a couple years back when some of the Iginla chatter was heating up. They obviously weren't a match b/c St. Loo didn't have the $ back then, but now...

If things go south with Iggy, StL is an obvious target, in my mind. They could definitely make a Cup run this year.

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#19 T&A4Flames
January 07 2013, 02:36PM
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Jarome will end up in Pitt or possibly LAK. I can't see there being too many other teams that Iggy approves a deal to that have decent prospects that we would want.

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#20 RossCreekNation
January 07 2013, 02:37PM
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bookofloob wrote:

Seems to me they're more interested in continuing the Cammalleri at center experiment, which I think is the right move. I think having those three on the same line is Calgary's best bet at maximizing offense out of those guys.

Although Darren Pang said it the best on TSN yesterday. Offensively they should be fine, but their play without the puck would have to improve drastically for them to be successful.

Tanguay mentioned he might play centre this year on 960 this morning.

Cammalleri/Tanguay/Iginla ??

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#21 bookofloob
January 07 2013, 02:42PM
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@RossCreekNation

that or you swap Tangs and Cammy. I don't really see any other way you can do it, unless they get like a Langkow or someone on the cheap

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#22 danglesnipecelly
January 07 2013, 02:42PM
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As a future article topic, the pro's and cons of there being a season at all for the Flames this year. I can't help but feel as though we would've been better off had there not been a season at all and I only say that because I'm absolutely terrified of finishing in the middle of the pack again and getting another mid 1st round pick. I think if there was ever a season for Feaster to make some core changes its this strike shortened one that will forever have an asterisk next to it anyway. Also if there was ever a draft where we should be stock piling picks its this one! I hope Feaster's trigger finger is itchy because the second we fall off the pace I want to see another 1st rounder coming back. Trading JBO in my mind is win win, in a sick masochistic sort of way... we get something in return for him as well as ensure ourselves of a lower finish and thus a higher pick.

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#23 Vintage Flame
January 07 2013, 02:59PM
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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.

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#24 ChinookArch
January 07 2013, 03:12PM
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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.

After a decade of Sutter hockey, I hope they keep the line combinations reasonably the same. It's kinda nice from a fan perspective.

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#25 Vintage Flame
January 07 2013, 03:17PM
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@ChinookArch

I do believe you will under Hartley, just remembering from how he managed lines in Colorado.

Moving Tangs and Cammy around might just be a way to inject more offense into that line.

Tangs is the set up guy with Iggy and Cammy being trigger men. Being able to dish left or right for Alex, only increases his offensive potential, right?

Just my opinion though

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#26 RKD
January 07 2013, 03:18PM
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TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted that Lance Bouma had season ending knee surgery. Can't remember if that was old news or not.

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#27 bookofloob
January 07 2013, 03:19PM
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danglesnipecelly wrote:

As a future article topic, the pro's and cons of there being a season at all for the Flames this year. I can't help but feel as though we would've been better off had there not been a season at all and I only say that because I'm absolutely terrified of finishing in the middle of the pack again and getting another mid 1st round pick. I think if there was ever a season for Feaster to make some core changes its this strike shortened one that will forever have an asterisk next to it anyway. Also if there was ever a draft where we should be stock piling picks its this one! I hope Feaster's trigger finger is itchy because the second we fall off the pace I want to see another 1st rounder coming back. Trading JBO in my mind is win win, in a sick masochistic sort of way... we get something in return for him as well as ensure ourselves of a lower finish and thus a higher pick.

Can't help but feel the same way, if not at least at the very back of my mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm super happy to see hockey back, but some of those guys at the top of the order as far as draft picks go look pretty tempting, and I'm not sure the Flames finish far back enough this season to get a shot at any of them.

That said, hockey is hockey, and prospects are prospects, take it for what it is.

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#28 icedawg_42
January 07 2013, 03:22PM
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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.

shallow and pedantic

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#29 Vintage Flame
January 07 2013, 03:30PM
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@icedawg_42

schevvy is going to be so happy to see you again.

Welcome back Dawg!

TEH!

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#30 danglesnipecelly
January 07 2013, 03:53PM
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So we don't have our 2nd or 5th round picks for this years draft is that correct?

Feaster MUST get that 2nd back (and not by trading down this time) as well as an additional 1st round pick IMO... this will constitute a successful season for me and get me excited for the future as a Flames fan.

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#31 danglesnipecelly
January 07 2013, 03:53PM
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So we don't have our 2nd or 5th round picks for this years draft is that correct?

Feaster MUST get that 2nd back (and not by trading down this time) as well as an additional 1st round pick IMO... this will constitute a successful season for me and get me excited for the future as a Flames fan.

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#34 CanadianManiac3
January 07 2013, 03:57PM
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What are the odds Calgary goes after an RFA like Jamie Benn

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#36 Ryan Pike
January 07 2013, 04:06PM
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This draft is really, really stacked at the high end. Josh Morrissey from the Prince Albert Raiders, for instance, will probably go 10th to 15th and is a Morgan Rielly-esque defender and dangerous on the PP.

You'll get somebody really good if you draft 20th or lower.

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#38 danglesnipecelly
January 07 2013, 04:07PM
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@Kent Wilson

Hey Kent, on a personal note I can't seem to get into my FN account to change my profile pick. What am i doing wrong?

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#40 @Gingras34
January 07 2013, 04:12PM
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CanadianManiac3 wrote:

What are the odds Calgary goes after an RFA like Jamie Benn

Won't happen. There's no way Dallas would let him walk to Calgary.

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#41 danglesnipecelly
January 07 2013, 04:15PM
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@Kent Wilson

danglesnipecelly

mypetmonkey@hotmail.com

Not sure what my password is but it won't let me use the "forgot your password" function.

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#43 Baalzamon
January 07 2013, 04:39PM
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T.J. Brodie is the Heat's best player, Baertschi or no Baertschi.

Theoretically, Tanguay would make a great center. In practice, however, it has never worked, for whatever reason.

seve927: Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Culkin. Don't get me wrong, I like him as a player (a junior player, anyway) but I have a really hard time figuring out what kind of defenseman he'll be at the pro level. IMO, he really doesn't have the tools for his offense to transfer to even the AHL, and his skating... his mobility is fine, but his top speed is quite unimpressive (and he doesn't have the strength to offset that mix, like Sieloff does). I could be entirely wrong about him, though (limited viewing, not an expert, and all that). There are plenty of defensemen who produce more than they seem to be capable of.

If I'm making a trade with St. Louis, I don't think I target Ty Rattie, personally. That reeks of an overpay, and he probably should be outscoring Nic Petan this year, and he isn't even close (BTW, Petan would make a great 2nd round pick). Honestly, I'd take a look at Alex Steen. He's not exactly young, but he can play center, he drives play, and he can put the puck in the net. I'd much rather have him on the roster than Hudler, for instance (though I believe Hudler could, potentially, surprise me).

I wonder what the chances of a Baertschi - Tanguay - Iginla line are? Just for a publicity stunt sort of thing, but it might even work (unlikely, I know). That way, Cammalleri could play RW on the 2nd line (or center it, whatever)

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#45 BurningSensation
January 07 2013, 06:16PM
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Flames announced on Twitter today that Czervenka has progressed very well and is cleared to fly by his Czech Dr's. Will be in training camp and available to be looked at by the Flames medical staff.

Sweet!

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#46 mk
January 07 2013, 07:07PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I had St. Louis pegged as a nice roster a couple years back when some of the Iginla chatter was heating up. They obviously weren't a match b/c St. Loo didn't have the $ back then, but now...

If things go south with Iggy, StL is an obvious target, in my mind. They could definitely make a Cup run this year.

Maybe they want some Gaudreau T-shirts in the trade? Would that up their ante?

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#47 schevvy
January 07 2013, 08:52PM
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@icedawg_42

Welcome back!! TEH!

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#48 KetchupKid
January 07 2013, 08:52PM
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@mk

Whoa whoa whoa. Check and see if they'll take Cory Sarich.

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#49 Kmp
January 07 2013, 09:02PM
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Have to agree with Baalzamon on Steen, he is a pain in the ass to play against, would make a very good first line center. Boumie and Backland for Steen and Polak. Polak is too good a defender to be 3rd pair right sideguy in St Louis. Pair him with Gio on first pair, Wideman with Butler.

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