Joey MacDonald Hits the Waiver Wire

Kent Wilson
November 02 2013 11:00AM

 

 

The Flames decision to claim Joey MacDonald off of waivers last year was understandable - with Kiprusoff hurt and a collection of career AHLers and Leland Irving to choose from otherwise, grabbing a seasoned (albeit mediocre) veteran was defensible.

I never understood, however, why they decided to re-sign him this off-season. A 33-year old career back-up/below replacement level tender isn't a useful asset from any angle. He's not trade-able and he's not going to get better.

After a rough night against the Wings yesterday and boasting an .885 SV% to startr the season, Joey Mac is going back from whence he came - the waiver wire. My guess is he isn't picked up by anybody and is shuttled to Abbotsford to battle it out with Joni Ortio. I expect Reto Berra to be called up for the Chicago game tomorrow.

Berra, by the way, had a hot start to his year in Abby, but has cooled a bit recently with his SV% sinking to just .908. Of course, he has only played in 9 games in NA, so we really can't be sure what his true talent level is. Worth a look at least.

UPDATE (via Ryan Pike): courtesy the official AHL and ECHL sites: G Reto Berra and D Chad Billins are recalled to Calgary, G Laurent Brossoit is moved from ECHL Alaska to AHL Abbotsford to back up Joni Ortio.

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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 Kevin R
November 02 2013, 11:21AM
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Personally Kent, if no one picks him up, although the Oil should, I think he should be bought out before considering sending him to Abbey! Leave the tending to Ortio & Brossoit down in Abbey. That would make a phenomenal competing environment between two hungry goalies trying to prove themselves at the pro level. This is a no-brainer, its not like we don't have the cap space for the buyout. Stupid contract right from the start & we should have given Leiland & Taylor a shot before even picking him up last year. Both of those guys toiled for this organization & deserved that chance before being cut loose. Who knows, had we done that, we may have had Seth Jones or Barkov.

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#2 cunning_linguist
November 02 2013, 11:23AM
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This is how it should be. Berra and Ramo battling it out in CGY so we can get a true assessment of their talent levels. Kind of feel bad for Mac, but .885% goaltending with no upside speaks for itself.

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#3 Colin.S
November 02 2013, 11:28AM
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Are College guys eligible to leave in the middle of their season by any chance.....

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#5 mattyc
November 02 2013, 11:35AM
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I feel for him, he's one of the nice guys.

Bring on Dipietro or Bryzgalov? - I kid I kid!

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#7 Kenta
November 02 2013, 11:41AM
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Kevin R wrote:

Personally Kent, if no one picks him up, although the Oil should, I think he should be bought out before considering sending him to Abbey! Leave the tending to Ortio & Brossoit down in Abbey. That would make a phenomenal competing environment between two hungry goalies trying to prove themselves at the pro level. This is a no-brainer, its not like we don't have the cap space for the buyout. Stupid contract right from the start & we should have given Leiland & Taylor a shot before even picking him up last year. Both of those guys toiled for this organization & deserved that chance before being cut loose. Who knows, had we done that, we may have had Seth Jones or Barkov.

You seem to have mistakenly ended up on Flamesnation. Click the yellowish tab above for the site handling the team north up the QE2.

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#8 Ryan Pike
November 02 2013, 11:42AM
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Part of me will miss Mac, having family from the same area of Nova Scotia where he's from. He's also a really nice guy. On the other hand, his numbers and play are what they are.

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#9 seve927
November 02 2013, 11:58AM
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I don't know what the value is of having good guys on the team, but I don't think it's zero. Just like having Craig Conroy in the front office. I have no idea if he has any clue what he's doing, but I bet he's had a big part in being able to draw some guys to sign here. That could have been the impetus in having MacDonald around, who knows. All I know is I'm certainly not upset that he's played a handful of games, and I don't see that he's taking anything away from anybody's development.

I wish him the best and hope somebody picks him up.

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#10 Lordmork
November 02 2013, 11:58AM
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It's always too bad when a player who's a nice guy gets demoted/traded/whatever. I hope maybe he's able to mentor Ortio/Brossoit and find some success in the AHL. But from an organizational standpoint, it seems pretty clear that the best way forward is to play Berra and Ramo until the team figures out which one is best.

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#11 schevvy
November 02 2013, 11:59AM
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Best news of the day.

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#12 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 12:00PM
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What is the scouting report on Chad Billins, and why him over some others - any thoughts anyone?

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#13 Ryan Pike
November 02 2013, 12:02PM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

He's said to have been quietly good in Abby this year. 5 goals and an assist over 10 games. He's a good solid depth option. Based on pre-season, I'd compare him to Derek Smith, but I haven't seen enough of him outside of pre-season to judge too much.

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#14 RKD
November 02 2013, 12:04PM
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Let's see where the 1-2 tandem of Berra and Ramo take us the rest of the season. Bryz would be too much of a distraction, they don't need any problems in the dressing room.

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#15 Kevin R
November 02 2013, 12:16PM
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Kenta wrote:

You seem to have mistakenly ended up on Flamesnation. Click the yellowish tab above for the site handling the team north up the QE2.

Hahahaha ???? Is that you Joey? Are you capable of reading a whole post? You're a funny guy. Have a lovely day.

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#16 coachedpotatoe
November 02 2013, 12:20PM
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Chad Billings has the best stats on D from Abby and based upon his size etc, is somewhere between a Russell and a Smith. Hopefully he gets to suit up and we can see him play for 10 games to get an idea where he fits.

Joey the Goalie; we knew what he was when we picked him up and we got exactly that. Good luck to him. Now we can get a better understanding of Ramo and Berra (possibly Ortio down the road).

The question is when are they going to do something up front. Having Jackman and McG as your only options upfront limit your depth and development.

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#17 Kenta
November 02 2013, 12:21PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Hahahaha ???? Is that you Joey? Are you capable of reading a whole post? You're a funny guy. Have a lovely day.

You too and say hi to all Oilers fans in what was previously known as The City of Champions. LOL.

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#18 John
November 02 2013, 12:26PM
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Flames struggled a few years to find a good goalie before they landed Kipper. Looks like we are back to those days, where we can outplay teams and still lose because our goalie is below average. On one hand, you can see that the Flames stockpiled themselves with goalie prospects for just this scenario, but prospects can play well in junior or AHL and still not be NHL quality. Look at the Leafs struggle before they got Bernier and Philly,s now to get a goaltender.

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#19 Justin Azevedo
November 02 2013, 12:29PM
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he's garbage and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. i'm sure he's a great guy but he doesn't help you win hockey games.

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#20 Justin Azevedo
November 02 2013, 12:33PM
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also don't expect reto berra to do... well, anything really. i don't anticipate that he's actually an nhl-calibre goalie.

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#21 RexLibris
November 02 2013, 12:38PM
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I wonder how that conversation went at the Flames office.

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#22 mattyc
November 02 2013, 12:52PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

he's garbage and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. i'm sure he's a great guy but he doesn't help you win hockey games.

haha! So absolutist.

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#23 aloudoun
November 02 2013, 12:55PM
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If anyone feels bad for Joey then watch his post-game interview… wow.

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#24 mattyc
November 02 2013, 12:55PM
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@Kent Wilson

Yeah I agree. Seems like just yesterday we were talking about how the Flames have been exceeding expectations.

Speaking of just yesterday - I can't believe Rick Dipietro is 32(!) already.

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#25 Baalzamon
November 02 2013, 12:57PM
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John wrote:

Flames struggled a few years to find a good goalie before they landed Kipper. Looks like we are back to those days, where we can outplay teams and still lose because our goalie is below average. On one hand, you can see that the Flames stockpiled themselves with goalie prospects for just this scenario, but prospects can play well in junior or AHL and still not be NHL quality. Look at the Leafs struggle before they got Bernier and Philly,s now to get a goaltender.

In both cases, those teams had a great goalie who they subsequently traded for no apparent reason. Toronto had Rask (!!!), traded him for Raycroft. Philly had Bobrovsky, traded him for... well, nothing really.

And anyway, the Leafs already had Reimer anyway, so it's not like they were completely barren when they traded for Bernier.

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#26 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 01:14PM
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aloudoun wrote:

If anyone feels bad for Joey then watch his post-game interview… wow.

where is it?

never mind, i found it

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#27 Captain Ron
November 02 2013, 01:19PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Hahahaha ???? Is that you Joey? Are you capable of reading a whole post? You're a funny guy. Have a lovely day.

Hey Bro you in a diplomatic mood today? You sound so nice!

Should have told him to pound! Hahahaha LOL!!

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#28 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 01:20PM
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aloudoun wrote:

If anyone feels bad for Joey then watch his post-game interview… wow.

just watched it...

he seems VERY frustrated, and by my interpretation really throws the other guys under the bus - excuses his soft goal (he says "lucky one" but by my count there were 2 freebies!) and blames the loss on the teams lack of effort in the 3rd.

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#29 Captain Ron
November 02 2013, 01:23PM
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Mac bye bye!!

Come back when you cant stay so long.

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#30 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 02 2013, 01:26PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

He's said to have been quietly good in Abby this year. 5 goals and an assist over 10 games. He's a good solid depth option. Based on pre-season, I'd compare him to Derek Smith, but I haven't seen enough of him outside of pre-season to judge too much.

So, it seems he is an offensive, puck moving defensman that is smaller.

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#31 KetchupKid
November 02 2013, 01:46PM
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aloudoun wrote:

If anyone feels bad for Joey then watch his post-game interview… wow.

Agreed. I didn't care for his tone at all in that interview. You could argue that it's become a meaningless gesture over the years, but I always appreciate when a player errs on the side of accepting responsibility for a loss. MacD flat out did the opposite.

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#32 HongKongHockeyFan
November 02 2013, 02:12PM
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I know I'm repeating a previous gripe of mine in a recent posting but is it me or doesn't anyone find it funny that as Joe Colborne's ice time has gone and conversely Michael Backlund's has gone down, Calgary's record has gone down.

Similarly, the return of Matt Stajan does not seem to be tilting the ice in Calgary's favour, which is undermining the team.

While it is clear that Calgary doesn't have any number 1 centres on the team currently, nevertheless a solid number 2 (though it is clear that Monahan will eventually be a capable 1/2 centre), I'm still completely perplexed about why Backlund has been relegated to the 4th line or worse.

Although I agree that Colborne is playing better than I initially thought he was capable of, he is still not at Backlund's level. Apologies to all of Colborne's family and friend's in Calgary but I just doesn't have that initial burst of speed to get to pucks and move the play the right way in my view at least as far as taking a first line centre role. He seems more suited for the wing as he looks very capable of winning battles on the board.

I guess at the end of the day, I'm frustrated with both Stajan and Colborne taking up more ice time than Backlund. Lets face it, Stajan's days are numbered in Calgary, however I admit he is simply not a tradable asset.

Anyways, I guess Backlund's days are numbered as a Flames. Although I hope I'm wrong, I suspect that he will be traded to make room for Knight, Horak or Reinhart.

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#33 ChinookArch
November 02 2013, 02:22PM
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Sounds like Berra might start tomorrow night vs. Chicago. He's travelling with the team. No better test than the current champions.

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#34 Kmp
November 02 2013, 02:27PM
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I think Ortio is the best of the bunch, Gillies not included. I think the Backlands demotion to the 4th line may be because of conditioning. When he was playing more minutes he struggled in the 3rd period and looked gassed. Just a guess.

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#35 beloch
November 02 2013, 02:31PM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

Like: Colborne is being developed rather than left to rot on the goon squad. This is a good year to prioritize player development even if it means a few losses.

No like: Hartley isn't being honest with Backlund about why he's in the dog house. Backlund doesn't need to develop as much as Colborne or Monahan and Stajan needs some TOI to ensure his trade value stays high. Fine. Be honest about that. Don't play Backlund on the goon squad in a shut-down role and then bench him for not scoring enough.

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#36 theCalgaryJames
November 02 2013, 02:40PM
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so, with the update and seeing as how LB has been brought up to backup Ortio in abby... do we expect MacDonald to be assigned to the ECHL? if so, ouch! but really his play has been that bad. He's played himself out of the league.

Ramo hasn't been a whole lot better but I think he gets at least a little bit of a pass due to his inexperience in the league and NA as a whole.

Backlund's demotion is an absolute debacle. The guy has played the toughest minutes on this team. Do I think he has more to give offensively? Sure. But how does it help his offensive game to have him play barely any ES hockey while in the middle of McGratten and Bouma?

If we're to believe the teams line on 'meritocracy' then we should expect guys like Glencross, O'Brien, etc. to be taking a seat long before Backs.

I don't get it, Hartley. I just don't.

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#37 beloch
November 02 2013, 02:42PM
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Re: MacDonald

He was a warm body with a pulse when the Flames were seriously considering taping a plywood cutout to their net. The best that can be said about him is that he was slightly better than utterly terrible. Ramo, despite being not great so far, is a clear upgrade. Cutting MacBackup loose so other prospects can be evaluated is a no-brainer.

I only hope someone claims MacDonald off waivers, thereby burning the ships and forcing Feaster to finally put his back to the sea and commit to finding a real NHL goalie.

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#38 Ryan Pike
November 02 2013, 02:47PM
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MacDonald's not on an entry-level deal, so he can't be sent to the ECHL.

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#39 Walter White
November 02 2013, 02:50PM
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Can someone please complete the following sentence;

A hockey trade that would make sense to both sides would see Cory schneider go to the Flames for Jersey native John Gaudreau and........... WW

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#40 gotommygo
November 02 2013, 02:56PM
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According to AHL.com, Abbotsford has signed goalie David Harris to an ATO. HockeyDB says he currently plays for U of T. Must be the backup goalie for the Heat in their game tonight in Hamilton.

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#41 Baalzamon
November 02 2013, 03:21PM
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@Kmp

Nope. Backlund was in the best shape on the team in training camp. I sincerely doubt he has any conditioning issues.

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#42 piscera.infada
November 02 2013, 03:27PM
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beloch wrote:

Like: Colborne is being developed rather than left to rot on the goon squad. This is a good year to prioritize player development even if it means a few losses.

No like: Hartley isn't being honest with Backlund about why he's in the dog house. Backlund doesn't need to develop as much as Colborne or Monahan and Stajan needs some TOI to ensure his trade value stays high. Fine. Be honest about that. Don't play Backlund on the goon squad in a shut-down role and then bench him for not scoring enough.

My thoughts exactly.

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#43 Chad
November 02 2013, 03:50PM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

Backlund problem is that he is a non-traditional middle six center in a traditional organization.

Backlund is the best Flames center from the opposition blue line back to the Flames end he also is the worst offensive center from the opposition blue line in.

As a result there are several roles that Backlund could take and be a very effective player that drives play either as the center on a hard minutes line that tries to play keep away from other team top lines or the defensive responsible player between two offensive players that get the play into the offensive zone for them.

Unfortunately the Flames are a very traditional organization and they want 2 scoring lines that play all the power play time a physical third checking line and then a "energy" line that is big and doesn't play very much.

So Backlund doesn't score enough to play on the second line and he isn't as flashy/gritty working defensively like Stephen Yelle was so the organization can't see what Backlund should be doing.

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#44 yomamen11
November 02 2013, 03:54PM
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Hallelujah!

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#45 Primo
November 02 2013, 05:30PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Personally Kent, if no one picks him up, although the Oil should, I think he should be bought out before considering sending him to Abbey! Leave the tending to Ortio & Brossoit down in Abbey. That would make a phenomenal competing environment between two hungry goalies trying to prove themselves at the pro level. This is a no-brainer, its not like we don't have the cap space for the buyout. Stupid contract right from the start & we should have given Leiland & Taylor a shot before even picking him up last year. Both of those guys toiled for this organization & deserved that chance before being cut loose. Who knows, had we done that, we may have had Seth Jones or Barkov.

I was of the same mind set as you. But after seeing what we have in Monahan he may become the better overall player than Jones or Barkov.

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#46 ed wailin'
November 02 2013, 06:01PM
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Walter White.... signing off with your initials EVERYTIME is really annoying...

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#47 Thprop1
November 02 2013, 07:14PM
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Holy crap just watched the interview... I wonder if Feaster did too ... When was he waived..pretty bush comments.

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#48 Walter white
November 02 2013, 07:26PM
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ed wailin' wrote:

Walter White.... signing off with your initials EVERYTIME is really annoying...

Should I be more like everyone else? Try and fit in?

Kassian is the cheapest player in the league.... Like I have said before on this blog; players should be held responsible for the damage their skates do, just like their stick. Someone is going to get hurt really bad by this skate bs! WW

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#49 Baalzamon
November 02 2013, 07:41PM
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Another win for Ortio. 35 saves, three more in shootout. Blair Jones with two goals and the shootout winner.

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#50 ed wailin
November 02 2013, 07:53PM
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WW - Do whatever you want man. I'm just sayin.

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