Breaking: Flames Fire Feaster & Weisbrod

Ryan Pike
December 12 2013 10:18AM

 

 

The Flames official Twitter account has announced that Jay Feaster and John Weisbrod have been relieved of their duties.

A press conference with real, actual details is coming up at 11am.

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#151 mk
December 12 2013, 11:01AM
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On a side note: watching/listening to this staffer discuss the audio problems on the Flames website feed is funny.

"Why is it not embedded? Why not? ...Why not? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10..."

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#152 Veggie Dog
December 12 2013, 11:03AM
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FYI the Sportsnet feed is not as choppy at the flames website.

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#153 Ed Wailin'
December 12 2013, 11:11AM
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"we were all waiting for the word".... :/

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#154 mattyc
December 12 2013, 11:13AM
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eff brian, learn how to dress yourself man. Put your tie on properly.

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#155 jeremywilhelm
December 12 2013, 11:18AM
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#GritChart has just been taken to a new level.

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#156 Flame Off
December 12 2013, 11:27AM
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Hanging in limbo til after the Olympics. Great. Thanks Man.

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#157 BurningSensation
December 12 2013, 11:33AM
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Leafer wrote:

Just as a side note: Did none of you see this coming the moment Burke was brought on board?

Usually a new guy at the top takes a while to decide what he wants his mgt group to look like, and Feaster got a few full months of work under Burke to see how he would do.

In that regard this isn't a surprise. What makes it surprising is that Feaster and Burke really seemed to get along, and the team seemed to be heading in a single direction. Yeah, they are losing, but seriously, they suck, so they were never going to be a winning team this year. But they played theeir asses off and were ard working and entertaining even in defeat.

What is interesting to me is that it is both Feaster AND Weisbrod who are gone. That strikes me as a sign that Weisbrod's philosophies are different and irecconcialable.

Personally, this concerns me. I have really liked the direction that Feaster had Calgary headed in, and approved of how he has rebuilt the team (more or less - the Regher deal looks terrible in retrospect).

It's a brand new day.

Truculence!

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#158 Eddie Shore
December 12 2013, 11:34AM
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Likes the coaches and work ethic of the team but is frustrated with the team constantly giving up leads.. Huh?

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#159 ianberg1
December 12 2013, 11:41AM
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@CutterMcAwesome

Not in the slightest.

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#160 Justin Azevedo
December 12 2013, 11:41AM
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imo, burke is saying that a big part of the reason feaster got fired was because of the iggy/jbo deals

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#161 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 11:47AM
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Kissing babies, painting barns. haha I don't mind it. No point in complaining, I'm exited to find out who he brings in.

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#162 FlamesRule
December 12 2013, 12:08PM
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@WildBill_1485

Totally agree Wild Bill (is this you Mr. Burke?)

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#163 Kevin R
December 12 2013, 12:13PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

Usually a new guy at the top takes a while to decide what he wants his mgt group to look like, and Feaster got a few full months of work under Burke to see how he would do.

In that regard this isn't a surprise. What makes it surprising is that Feaster and Burke really seemed to get along, and the team seemed to be heading in a single direction. Yeah, they are losing, but seriously, they suck, so they were never going to be a winning team this year. But they played theeir asses off and were ard working and entertaining even in defeat.

What is interesting to me is that it is both Feaster AND Weisbrod who are gone. That strikes me as a sign that Weisbrod's philosophies are different and irecconcialable.

Personally, this concerns me. I have really liked the direction that Feaster had Calgary headed in, and approved of how he has rebuilt the team (more or less - the Regher deal looks terrible in retrospect).

It's a brand new day.

Truculence!

I'm still trying to digest this. Thing is, Feaster has done some very good things but the the things he hasn't done well are career ending type of mistakes. I know most will say that the ROR thing never happened so get over it. Thing is, if it did, this team would have lost Monahan & set this organization back years. I know it is up for debate but I have not been happy with the trade returns for Regehr & JBO. Iggy was a different animal. Teams are desperate for a top pairing Dman, JBO was not a rental, I love Porrier(sp?) but the return was underwhelming for such an important piece. I knew Feaster's days were numbered but I thought his drafting & decent signings would have bought him 1-2 years to stock up before the team needed to change gears.

I think the Cap & the new TV deal has sped up the time table to changing gears. I also expect Edwards wants a long painful rebuild. Obviously wont be a popular direction around here but the man with the gold makes the rules. I think this move is 18 months too soon. But it was inevitable. I don't see this as a disaster but it sure is a head scratcher. I guess we know why Colborne has been getting top 6 minutes, maybe Hartley had some heads up on this.

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#164 Kevin R
December 12 2013, 12:20PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I'm still trying to digest this. Thing is, Feaster has done some very good things but the the things he hasn't done well are career ending type of mistakes. I know most will say that the ROR thing never happened so get over it. Thing is, if it did, this team would have lost Monahan & set this organization back years. I know it is up for debate but I have not been happy with the trade returns for Regehr & JBO. Iggy was a different animal. Teams are desperate for a top pairing Dman, JBO was not a rental, I love Porrier(sp?) but the return was underwhelming for such an important piece. I knew Feaster's days were numbered but I thought his drafting & decent signings would have bought him 1-2 years to stock up before the team needed to change gears.

I think the Cap & the new TV deal has sped up the time table to changing gears. I also expect Edwards wants a long painful rebuild. Obviously wont be a popular direction around here but the man with the gold makes the rules. I think this move is 18 months too soon. But it was inevitable. I don't see this as a disaster but it sure is a head scratcher. I guess we know why Colborne has been getting top 6 minutes, maybe Hartley had some heads up on this.

Correction: sorry I meant to say Edwards does "NOT" want a long slow rebuild.

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#165 negrilcowboy
December 12 2013, 12:22PM
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iggypalooza was the nail in the coffin, janko,ror and the eurotenders pissed burke to the edge. bring on the barn match, someone call vince mcmann

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#166 prendrefeu
December 12 2013, 12:25PM
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Primo wrote:

I'm hearing Shanahan as the next GM.

What? The guy who is trying to have less fights, less brutal hits, less injuries, and encourage better sportsmanship and skills among NHL players would be hired by Burke/King?

Who is telling you this? The internetz? 4chan?

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#167 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 12:25PM
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jonahgo wrote:

successful teams are big? is this a fact?

http://mirtle.blogspot.com/2013/01/2013-nhl-teams-by-weight-height-and-age.html

based on these data from the 2013 short season's opening rosters, chicago is 20th in weight and 29th in height... boston is similarly low (and that's including the outlier chara!). the biggest team is winnipeg...

this is gonna be rough folks... yikes.

correction: san jose is bigger than winnipeg, but the point stands; there is absolutely no correlation between team size and success.

Yeah but look at the data, Chicago is at 203, right around the average of 203.5, and Boston is at 200. Calgary is well below league average at 195 in fact thats the lowest in the league. The statement 'successful teams are big' is a bit absolute even for Burke, but the point is we need to get bigger to be successful.

Height too me isn't much of a factor, because you can get short strong guys, and tall lanky guys.

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#168 the forgotten man
December 12 2013, 12:34PM
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How many GMs/coaches has King gone through now? Dude has to be the luckiest Hockey Exec SOB alive...besides Kevin Lowe.

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#169 Parallex
December 12 2013, 12:43PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Correction: sorry I meant to say Edwards does "NOT" want a long slow rebuild.

Truth be told I don't want a long slow rebuild either... I DO want the Flames to have a better then good shot at one of McDavid, Eichel, Barzal (THose are franchise type guys) next year but beyond that I want to Flames to use their cheque book and start pushing for a winner.

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#170 jeremywilhelm
December 12 2013, 12:44PM
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the truth wrote:

Kris Russell could of been had for nothing. He was on waivers days before trade. Typical Feaster.

Feaster didn't want to go to arbitration with him. He let the Blues sign and trade.

Not the greatest move but slightly understandable.

Top four Dman for what? A 5th?

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#171 everton fc
December 12 2013, 12:50PM
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@ Parallax

"Yep".

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#172 everton fc
December 12 2013, 01:01PM
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Burke's comments about surrounding Gaudreau with "beef"... If Ferland turns into something, that's be a nice linemate for Johnny G, if Ferland can play RW.

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#173 Colin.S
December 12 2013, 01:05PM
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WildBill_1485 wrote:

If you've never laced up a pair at a competitive level you will never understand.

Have you???

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#174 the forgotten man
December 12 2013, 01:11PM
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Kent, could yourself of someone on the FN Board put together a collage of Feasterisms...I will miss him for the "left-field" soundbites.

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#175 Dr. Philosophy
December 12 2013, 01:12PM
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Has there ever been a GM who was more distinguished at throwing out quotes that make himself look stupid than Feaster?

A random sample:

"We will make the playoffs this year."

"Cervenka is the best player not in the NHL."

"We will get it done." -- early last season on extending Iggy

"We disagree with the NHL's interpretation" -- on ROR

Turning your company/franchise into a running joke in the league is not a good way to keep your job.

It is curious, though, that Burke's yearly Christmas trade ban is now in place but he nevertheless pulled the trigger on Feaster.

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#176 Eddie Shore
December 12 2013, 01:19PM
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everton fc wrote:

Roy's presence in the organization, and his "fire", have the Avs 11 games over .500. My opinion, of course.

I think starting the year with your goalies having like .950 save percentages helps.

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#177 T&A4Flames
December 12 2013, 01:52PM
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Colin.S wrote:

The good news is they fired Feaster, the bad news is the guy that is going to hire his "replacement" isn't someone I want in charge either.

I already see potential candidates being thrown around on Twitter. But honestly with Burke in the position he's in and it's well known he's making the decisions, what high profile GM are we going to lure from another team, when Burke is already acting as GM?

Expect some retread GM from his time in some other org and whole lot of losing in our future.

ALSO!! Predictions time. Hartley and his staff are fired at the end of the year, this is mostly because the Flames probably don't want to be paying out a ton for a fired coach and then the new guy when the season is a lost cause anyways, so we wait till the offseason for a new coach. Baertschi/Backlund/Gaudreau will not be with the team next year, probably by the end of this year. Wisebrod was the guy I primarily credit with drafting Gaudreau and without him around and Burke's GET BIG mentality, I don't see him around, I expect him to get packed with a first rounder of ours for BIG forward.

Haven't read through all the comments. But in case it hasn't been said, Weisbrod wasn't around when Gaudreau was drafted. He was still in BOS. That was all Feaster and his scouts.

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#178 Spaceman Spiff
December 12 2013, 01:55PM
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Listen, from this Oiler-fan’s perspective … this is a bit of a scary move. We can all make fun of Burke and his bombastic, truculent style, but the guy’s won in this league and I think he knows how to build a team.

He made Vancouver a contender and he won a Cup in Anaheim. The Leafs, although up-and-down a bit this year, turned a corner last year and it was largely with players he drafted or acquired. He drafted (and later traded for) Chris Pronger and pulled a bunch of complex strings to get the Sedin twins together. His career as a GM makes many others pale in comparison nowadays (which is probably a bit sad, but that’s not his fault). He’s not Cliff Fletcher, obviously, but he’s been pretty damn good at the job for a long time.

We all knew this was coming, of course – although who knew it would take this long? Feaster couldn’t bring himself to even utter the word “rebuild” until sometime last year and that’s obviously set the franchise back at least two years. The O’Reilly almost-signing was an almost-disaster of epic proportion. In the first round of the draft, he took a high school kid from a hockey country where high school hockey has ZERO upside (Canada). He dithered on Iginla for too long and got little in return. He got nothing for Kiprusoff, who probably could have helped two or three playoff teams last year.

And all of the above in the last 12 months!

And, no doubt, it will certainly be entertaining as Burkie squabbles with the Calgary media.

But, from up here, you’ll hear no crowing from me. A spinoff of Burke’s Calgary takeover is that it further turns up the heat on Oilers management which hasn’t accomplished anything close to what Burke’s done in this league.

As far as I’m concerned, MacT and the Oilers are now REALLY on the clock. I’m just hoping Burke doesn’t pick it up and hit them over the head with it.

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#179 kittensandcookies
December 12 2013, 02:30PM
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What is the point of this move?

Will getting a new GM make the team better?

Yup, Feaster made some bad moves. This doesn't mean the next GM will be any better.

When the team sucks next year, will that new GM also get fired? Or maybe the team will hire a "Proconsul of the adjunct President" to make Burke a lame duck and then fire Burke in a year and a half?

At best, this team moves sideways, regardless of management changes. This is not necessarily a bad thing at this point in time.

This team has gaping holes at every position. This will only be resolved via good drafting. This means it will take time, since, you know, drafted players take time to develop.

Just remember kiddies, the first year Sidney Crosby played for the Penguins and amassed 102 points, the team finished second last in the league.

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#180 TRAV
December 12 2013, 02:37PM
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I was surprised. I liked Feaster and thought that he and Weisbrod had us on a good track. Liked our draft picks, college signing and AHL team Having said that if asked to evaluate him it would be like a C+. He's just made too many mistakes. (though I've defended him here often) I would speculate that Janko, JBo return, Iginla mess at trade deadline, Regehr trade, RoR offer sheet, Euro goalie mess, waiting too long to move talent- all factored into the decision.

I think that Feaster is a decent GM but not sure he is elite. Burke holds a great press conference but I don't know about him picking the next GM. Hopefully he gets the right guy.

While I am not thrilled about the move I also am not hitting the panic button. He did talk about the importance of skill and looking at his draft record and trades it is clear that he recognizes the need for skilled players. (I don't think he is in the same mold as Sutter)

I see this more as a lateral move with the hiring of the next GM as the trigger that either makes it a great move or a mistake!

Was thrilled to hear that Burke contacted BC college straight away and talked about what a great player he thought Johnny G was.

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#181 TRAV
December 12 2013, 02:44PM
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@Veggie Dog

To be honest i think that this is a great move. Heard Ken Holland talking about developing players and his quote was, "The NHL is not the league for players to learn how to play the game. We believe in seasoning guys in the minors so that they can learn to play properly. It is a very rare guy who can come into the league and develop his skill/ confidence in the NHL. This is just not the way we do things in Detroit."

Sven is a player who is not playing with confidence. Stats support this. (2 goals/ limited minutes) He is too important to have flounder. He needs to go down and dominate, regain confidence and play a crap load of minutes. I actually think that this move shows that Burke values Sven too much to watch him take steps backward.

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#182 Graham
December 12 2013, 02:55PM
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Edward's made it clear last year that he expected the team to be competitive, and to be in a hunt for a playoff spot. Feaster simply failed to deliver, and has paid the price. Failed return on key trades, suspect drafting, the potential ROR disaster, lack of intellectual honesty, failed use of cap space, key prospects taking backward steps to name a few. Bravo Burke, you made the moves that needed to be made.

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#183 McRib
December 12 2013, 02:56PM
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Colin.S wrote:

Also for those that didn't see it, apparently Ryan Howse is still a thing and is on Twitter and had this to say:

"Wow Calgary one year too late on that one if that was last year I'd still be playing #zing #lovehockeytoday #iwannacomeback" - Ryan Howse (@RHowse27)

Really? Dude was worse than Greg Nemisz, good riddance.

Interesting Ryan Howse managed to make a tweet from a bar stool.... Only one to blame for his lack of a career is himself. When you are a third rounder instead of a first rounder your draft year because of medicore skating and you never work on it.... Guess what you are never going to play Pro.

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#184 Dave
December 12 2013, 02:56PM
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I'm a big fan of the Berra/Ramo situation. It's a lot better then it could have been considering Kippers retirement. Give Ramo some time and I'm sure he'll be at least an average NHL goalie. And many teams have won the cup with average goaltending.

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#185 Lordmork
December 12 2013, 03:01PM
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@McRib

As near as I can tell, Howse has since deleted his twitter account, probably because he got a half dozen comments saying pretty much that.

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#186 redricardo
December 12 2013, 03:01PM
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Damien Cox is arguing that Burke should be the GM of the Flames.

Cox thinking it's a good idea, is the best counter argument on why Burke should NOT be the GM

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#187 McRib
December 12 2013, 03:03PM
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@Colin.S

Ya, I believe John Weisbrod was sitting at our table draft day when they selected Johnny Gaudreau. It was all but official. The Flames actually fired most of the that old scouting staff (somehow Todd Button hung in there AGAIN) the night after the draft and John Weisbrod was hired a day or two later its obvious who made the pick.

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#188 McRib
December 12 2013, 03:16PM
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Now that I have digested the shock from this morning, I actually don't mind this move. You look at Jay Bouwmeester who is currently 7th in defense scoring (+13)... You gotta think we could have gotten more in a trade for him than we did....

That's the thing with Feaster he made some likeable moves, but also could have done better in almost every situation. I am an advocate of getting Mark Jankowski & Sieloff, but would be the first to admit I would have much rathered Girgensons, Teravainen, Hertl, Laughton, Maatta, etc.

I think the biggest thing for me is Feaster was growing on me because of some prospects success (Monahan, Poirier, Johnny Hockey, etc) and the AHL teams record, but we also could have done better and was more shocked at the timing of the firing if anything.

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#189 Kent Wilson
December 12 2013, 03:26PM
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redricardo wrote:

Damien Cox is arguing that Burke should be the GM of the Flames.

Cox thinking it's a good idea, is the best counter argument on why Burke should NOT be the GM

Bears repeating.

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#190 wineeditor
December 12 2013, 04:12PM
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jonahgo wrote:

successful teams are big? is this a fact?

http://mirtle.blogspot.com/2013/01/2013-nhl-teams-by-weight-height-and-age.html

based on these data from the 2013 short season's opening rosters, chicago is 20th in weight and 29th in height... boston is similarly low (and that's including the outlier chara!). the biggest team is winnipeg...

this is gonna be rough folks... yikes.

correction: san jose is bigger than winnipeg, but the point stands; there is absolutely no correlation between team size and success.

Your point is well taken however the top 5 teams in the West's MEDIAN (better stat than average as it allows you to be big while still having smaller skilled forwards) Forward weight is at MINIMUM 6 pounds heavier than the Flames (top 13 Forward point getters for each team: Chicago 202, SJ 202, St L 212, Anaheim 206 and LA 207- to the Flames 196) Only Edmonton is even close to Calgary. A 6 pound + Median Weight differential is HUGE!

The argument isn't that bigger is necessarily better BUT if you want the parade (a la burke.....meaning if you want to play 4 play off series in one year) your size had better APPROXIMATE your opponents then skill can take over. If you don't approximate size you WILL get worn down and never win anything.

Burke isn't going to re tool the whole team but we do need about 3 big wingers (205 +) who can also play hockey to augment smaller forwards (Boston Collage, Hudler , Baertshi etc). They don't have to be super stars cuz hopefully your smaller players can preform that task. I'm pretty sure that's what Burke implied and I am all for it!

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#191 everton fc
December 12 2013, 04:40PM
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TRAV wrote:

To be honest i think that this is a great move. Heard Ken Holland talking about developing players and his quote was, "The NHL is not the league for players to learn how to play the game. We believe in seasoning guys in the minors so that they can learn to play properly. It is a very rare guy who can come into the league and develop his skill/ confidence in the NHL. This is just not the way we do things in Detroit."

Sven is a player who is not playing with confidence. Stats support this. (2 goals/ limited minutes) He is too important to have flounder. He needs to go down and dominate, regain confidence and play a crap load of minutes. I actually think that this move shows that Burke values Sven too much to watch him take steps backward.

The best thinkg for Sven is Troy G. Ward. Look what he's done for B. Jones.

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#192 Baceda
December 12 2013, 04:48PM
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WildBill_1485 wrote:

All you people complain about Burke's penchant for truculence, yet I guarantee you're all the first to hit their feet when McGrattan drops the mitts to defend our city and the kids. Hypocrites.

Oh you guarantee it do you? Well then it must be true. Sure I like seeing a guy fight in the right circumstance, but I'd prefer he also be a guy who can play more than 5 minutes a night.

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#193 Jeff In Lethbridge
December 13 2013, 07:00AM
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while theres a few thing I admire about Burke, overall Im not impressed.

He is going to hire a GM and who ever it is has to believe in big teams, but he doesnt have to think just like him. huh?

he can be a young GM that is mentored by an experienced guy. but he wont be a puppet. huh?

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#194 ChinookArch
December 12 2013, 11:23AM
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mattyc wrote:

This probably also means Hartley is on the way out.

I actually think Hartley is the kind of coach Burke would like. Look no further than McGratton preference over hockey players.

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#195 Citizen David
December 12 2013, 11:55AM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

there's a lot of people here who like the hire. http://flamesnation.ca/2013/9/9/on-the-burke-hiring/page/1#comments

Oilers fan here. This is why I'm confused. Flames fans seemed to loves the Burke hire...

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#196 jeremywilhelm
December 12 2013, 12:35PM
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Edit: the NSA may be watching.

Ignore

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#197 negrilcowboy
December 12 2013, 12:39PM
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burkoff is a huge fan of jake gardner, liles and dion, whats the betting line on a deal with taranna involving one of the 3 and james reimer? dave poulin has been mentioned as a gm candidate, also fenton.

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#198 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 05:05PM
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suba steve wrote:

Pretty sure that "Sakic and Roy turned the Avs around" some time after a string of high draft picks that included Eric Lindros, who got the Nords a truckload of talent in trade (Forsberg included).

Yeah, wakey wakey. He means this year. 29th to whatever they are now. Not 1990 whatever.

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#199 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 05:08PM
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Parallex wrote:

See that's the thing I hate about Burke... he seems to think that Big = Good and that's just not true. Boston and LA aren't strong teams because they have big players they have big player yes but those same players are also highly skilled and I just don't get the impression that Burke sees the difference.

I'd rather the Flames be like Chicago then either of those two teams and Chicago isn't big at all.

Pretty sure he means big and talented, not just big.

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#200 Andy7189
December 12 2013, 05:17PM
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Southern_Point wrote:

I liked Weisbrod's drafting philosophy, we can discuss the merits of drafting Janko but it's the same mindset that saw us draft Johnny hockey, so I'm a little disappointed to see him go as well.

You have to think this was a little harsh given that neither Feaster or Weisbrod have been particularly poor at their Job, but there is obviously a story behind it.

I am torn between wanting Hartley fired and not wanting to see Ron Wilson anywhere near Calgary.

Fire Hartley? For what???

A return to Brent Sutter mind numbingly boring, pointless moronic "system" adherence?

Those kids work hard for Bob. Some call them the hardest working team in the NHL.

If the Flames had a decent 3 & 4 Defence pairing, they'd be not bad all things considered. And they may have them, but they have not developed yet.

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