FGD: NEW BEGINNINGS

Byron Bader
December 12 2013 01:29PM

 

 

- stick tap to @Notbaertschi for grabbing this beauty.

The Flames are two days removed from an emotional game against the Bruins on Tuesday, that saw the return of Jarome Iginla to the Saddledome for the first time since he was traded last Spring. After the emotions settled after a raucous ovation to start things off, the Bruins eventually got their game going in the 3rd period, beating the Flames 2-1.

Tonight, hoping to get back into the win column, the Flames (11-15-4) host the Brothers Staal and the Hurricanes (13-13-6).  The game is the first in the post-Jay Feaster era, after he was let go of the Flames GM role this morning.  Brian Burke has taken over as Interim GM for now.  While the impact won’t be felt tonight, player movements will certainly ramp up in the coming months.

As for the match up tonight, the Flames and Hurricanes play in different conferences and have only played each other a handful of times. As a result, the rivalry is essentially non-existent. However, one thing to watch tonight is to see how Elias Lindholm performs for the Hurricanes. At the 2013 draft, Lindholm and Sean Monahan were both considered high-calibre prospects that would go early in the draft. In fact, both prospects were estimated to go between 5th  and 7th overall in the first round of the draft.  The two prospects were so close in their skill sets that the Flames fans were not sure who they would rather the Flames choose come draft day. 

The Hurricanes made the decision easy for the Flames by choosing Lindholm in the 5 spot, leaving Monahan to the Flames at the 6 spot.  As of today, Monahan’s leading the votes for who got the better prospect with strong two-way play and 15 points in 24 games. Lindholm, although looking more comfortable lately, had a slow start with the Canes and hasn’t looked nearly as good.  He has registered only 7 points in 20 games.  Nevertheless, with Monahan out with an injury, many eyes will be on the Hurricane’s prospect tonight to see what the Flames might have missed out on.

THE LINE-UPS

As always, thanks to our dudes at dailyfaceoff.com for the combos.  Here we go...

  • Cammalleri –Stajan –Stempniak

  • Galiardi –Backlund – D. Jones

  • Baertschi Glencross – Colborne – Hudler

  • B. Jones – Byron – McGrattan
  • Smid –Giordano

  • Russell – Brodie

  • Butler – O’Brien
  • Ramo

TJ Galiardi is going to get back in the line-up after being out a couple weeks with back problems.  It looks like he’ll line up with Backs and D.Jones while Lance Bouma will come out of the line-up. Also there’s a chance that Glen-X is going to be back in the line-up tonight as well.  As a result, Blair Jones, Paul Byron or most probably Sven Baertschi (I hope not) will come out and the lines will be completely different.  As such, the above will be irrelevant. We will adjust as we get more news this afternoon.

That D, I don’t hate it. The Russell – Brodie pairing has looked good for the most part.  Gio and Smid as the shutdown duo ain’t too shabby.  Butler and O’Brien rounding out the bottom pairing isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen either.  Once Wideman returns we'll really have a nice looking group.

Ramo appears to be getting the start tonight. 

Note: Alrighty then.  Looks like Sven's heading to Abby.  So there's that. Gonna guess Glencross is back in.

THE OPPONENTS

  • Skinner – E. Staal – Ruutu

  • Gerbe – J. Staal – Lindholm

  • Tlusty – Nash – Dwyer Semin

  • Westgarth – Dwyer  – Malholtra – Dvorak
  • Faulk – Sekera

  • Murphy – Hainsey
  • Gleason – Harrison
  • Ward

The Hurricanes top six, even without the always talented and rarely engaged Semin, who’s out with an injury, looks pretty good. That being said, the Staal brothers don’t appear to be their usual selves this year, offensively speaking. Jordan Staal, who came to Carolina to play with big brother Eric a few years ago, is on pace for 33 points this year.  That would be his worst total since his sophomore year.  Conversely, Eric Staal, usually good for 70-80 points, is on pace for 62 points. That would be his worst total of his entire NHL career. 

Note: I spoke too soon.  Looks like Semin will be in the line-up tonight after missing 12 games.

Carolina’s D looks pretty mediocre. Faulk and Murphy are young with significant upside and Sekera brings some good things.  Other than that it’s pretty rough. The Flames, while not having quite the offensively gifted forwards as the Canes, certainly appear to have them beat on the backend. 

 

SUM IT UP

The Flames are looking to get back on the winning side of things and continue their decent run of late, having won three of their last five games. Based on Burke's comments this morning, to get in his good books, the Flames would be best served to not give up a late lead tonight. The teams are relatively equal. They stand only six points apart. 

The Hurricanes might have more offensive weapons but the Flames have a superior defense core so it should be an even match up. The Flames and the Hurricanes have not met too many times but in the past two games between the two teams, both very close games, there were 23 goals scored in total. Hopefully we’re in for a night of old school river hockey!

Fb039371a1a1b706383cb72243cb4446
Byron has a background in psychology, economics and business and is a business researcher/data analyst by day. His love for hockey is as deep as the ocean is wide. Tell him your questions and let him into your heart. Twitter: @Baderader; Email: byron.bader@gmail.com
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#51 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 04:58PM
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@suba steve

Yeah, I kind of like the idea of taking a shot with a rookie GM with Burke looking over his shoulder. I was hoping that spot would be for Weisbrod ... but I guess him and Feaster are a package.

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#52 Matt
December 12 2013, 05:13PM
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One thing the Flames have that neither the Oilers nor the Maple Leafs have had through their rebuilds is a solid defensive group. Teams can do a lot worse than a top-4 of Giordano, Brodie, Wideman, and Smid.

If Burke can bring in a couple of legit top-six players and their young guys keep developing well (and they get some league-average goaltending!) the Flames could be back in the playoff picture sooner (a year or two) rather than later.

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#53 ?
December 12 2013, 05:24PM
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Matt wrote:

One thing the Flames have that neither the Oilers nor the Maple Leafs have had through their rebuilds is a solid defensive group. Teams can do a lot worse than a top-4 of Giordano, Brodie, Wideman, and Smid.

If Burke can bring in a couple of legit top-six players and their young guys keep developing well (and they get some league-average goaltending!) the Flames could be back in the playoff picture sooner (a year or two) rather than later.

But is that really where they want to be back? Sure Murray Edwards would probably like to see playoff hockey again, but I don't wanna see the team spend a ton on some vets just to get back to mediocrity again.

Now if Burke were bringing in young top 6 guys that will still be around and playing when Monahan is a few years older, that's a little different. :)

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#54 ?
December 12 2013, 05:29PM
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"Conversely, Eric Staal, usually good for 70-80 points, is on pace for 62 points. That would be his worst total of his entire NHL career. "

Just a small correction Byron. This season is technically his 2nd worst career points pace. His rookie season in 04 (:)) he put up 31 points in 81 games.

Still, you are absolutely right in the guy having slowed down in terms of ppg. Sad thing is, I picked him in the 5th round in my hockey pool :(

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#55 RexLibris
December 12 2013, 05:36PM
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I know this has been mentioned earlier, but Burke's photo there reminded me of this:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/celebrity/hollywood/nick-nolte

As for Burke as GM, he's made some good moves in the past, but he is not a panacea for all that ails the Flames.

Baertschi or Backlund for Gardiner? Certainly possible and a heck of a deal if he could manage it. But outside of the 07 Ducks team anchored by Pronger and a collection of talent he inherited from Bryan Murray, he hasn't been able to build a team beyond a certain point.

And Nieuwendyk as GM is a bad idea. Might be a bright guy, but he was spinning his wheels in Dallas and made some bad moves, albeit under some financial duress. Maybe a second chance is all he needs, but there are, in my opinion, better candidates out there.

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#56 ?
December 12 2013, 05:41PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I know this has been mentioned earlier, but Burke's photo there reminded me of this:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/mugshots/celebrity/hollywood/nick-nolte

As for Burke as GM, he's made some good moves in the past, but he is not a panacea for all that ails the Flames.

Baertschi or Backlund for Gardiner? Certainly possible and a heck of a deal if he could manage it. But outside of the 07 Ducks team anchored by Pronger and a collection of talent he inherited from Bryan Murray, he hasn't been able to build a team beyond a certain point.

And Nieuwendyk as GM is a bad idea. Might be a bright guy, but he was spinning his wheels in Dallas and made some bad moves, albeit under some financial duress. Maybe a second chance is all he needs, but there are, in my opinion, better candidates out there.

Like Steve Tambellini? I kid Rex

God help us if Burke/Edwards even consider that

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#57 Carlizzle
December 12 2013, 05:46PM
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Defintion of Truculence:

1. A disposition or apparent disposition to fight, especially fiercely. 2. Ferociously cruel actions or behavior.

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#58 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 06:05PM
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Parallex wrote:

The problem is that of the three aspects you mentioned (Big, Strong, Talented) the most important one is talented and I wouldn't say with any degree of confidence that Burke would say the same and consequently if he had to choose between big or talented that he'd pick talented.

Size is nothing without the skill.

Power to weight ratio.

A small, weak, skiled player can only fill one role.

A small strong skilled player can fill many roles.

If 2 players were equal in skill, but one was 5'10 & 210lbs and one was 6'2 & 210 lbs they are still equal.

If 2 players were equal in skill, but one was 5'10 & 180lbs and one was 6'2 & 210 lbs they are NOT equal.

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#59 ianberg1
December 12 2013, 06:07PM
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? wrote:

LOL at the people who thought Burke was just gonna come in, sit in the background, and let Feaster go about his business. This move was destined from the day negotiation talks with Burke started. The guy is power hungry/an alpha-male, depending on whether you like him or not, and he'll never be happy with being the second in command.

May the force be with the Flames, we will need it lol.

I agree 100%

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#60 Burnward
December 12 2013, 06:43PM
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That picture leads me to believe Burke's first move will be to rename his office "The Spruce Goose."

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#61 Get The Puck Outta Here
December 12 2013, 06:50PM
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Continuously I'm reminded that the circus is really never far from town when I watch the Flames management. It appears the new puppet master in town can now run the complete show. King where are you hiding in all of this? lol No where to be found. Never disappointed watching this 3 ring extravaganza.

Good luck Jay! Thank you for your service.

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#62 danglesnipecelly
December 12 2013, 06:53PM
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I agree with those in favour of Sven to Abby... get him some big minutes, a healthy dose of Troy Ward, and a winning environment. Calgary is gonna be a mess the rest of this season... even more so with players being shipped out etc... get him out of the limelight, let him develop and hopefully have some fun along the way...

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#63 Keith Fredlund
December 12 2013, 06:54PM
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I'm ok with size. He's right. I'm tired of watching the flames get pushed of pucks constantly. Backlund bouncing off lucic is the perfect example of us needing to be bigger. Go Burke.

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#64 mattyc
December 12 2013, 07:14PM
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#guiltypleasure

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#65 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 07:15PM
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Is it just me, or does it look like the flames are flying in the beginning here

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#66 Captain Ron
December 12 2013, 07:18PM
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Frank Miron wrote:

Just heard here on local TV in Montreal that Joe Nieuwendyk is the no. candidate for the GM position...

Don't trust anything you hear about hockey in Quebec!

No offence to the city or province intended. I rather like the place.

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#67 RKD
December 12 2013, 07:21PM
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Small and skilled vs. big and truculent. Sounds like Feaster wanted to build a Habs style team and Burke wants an LA Kings or Boston Bruins style.

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#68 Captain Ron
December 12 2013, 07:25PM
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Talk about a guy who looks like he had a rough morning. Burke looks like he came out after a wrestling match with Feaster and Wiesbrod.

How the hell does a guy in his position show up looking like that for an important press conference?

Hey Burke pass me that flask of scotch your hiding!

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#69 beloch
December 12 2013, 07:31PM
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Most NHL players spend a fair bit of time in the AHL before transitioning to the NHL, but Baertschi came up to the NHL direct from the WHL. To date, he's played just 32 AHL games in his career and is still just 21. The only flame who has played more than 5 games this season and is younger than Baertschi is Monahan. Baertschi's been averaging just 12:50 TOI/60, which simply isn't enough.

It's time to admit the short-cut isn't working out and get back on the main road. Namely, leave him in the AHL for a lengthy stretch until he's developed a taste for the bitter tears of his opponents. Bring him back only once he has some swagger. Fortunately, anyone playing with the Heat this season should develop swagger in a reasonably short period of time!

I apologize to Sven's fan-club, but I do hope he stays down for a solid stretch of 10 or more games, not just one or two. Once he starts chasing goalies in the AHL he's going to be a good call-up.

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#70 beloch
December 12 2013, 07:35PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

Talk about a guy who looks like he had a rough morning. Burke looks like he came out after a wrestling match with Feaster and Wiesbrod.

How the hell does a guy in his position show up looking like that for an important press conference?

Hey Burke pass me that flask of scotch your hiding!

Burke looks like he made a tough decision and possibly broke it to Feaster over a bottle of Ardbeg. Even if he fired Feaster via text-message and it filled his heart with glee to do so, it wasn't a dumb move for him to look like he'd been suffering when it came time to talk to the press!

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#71 Colin.S
December 12 2013, 07:42PM
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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/nieuwendyk-not-interested-in-flames-gm-job/

Looks like it won't be Nieuwendyk, no surprise really, unless he knew his job was in jeopardy in Dallas why would he jump ship? After the horrendous Neal trade I thought his last few bigger trades have been alright. However why would he take the GM job in Calgary when you have Burke looming over you as the guy who wants to be GM. Always having to get any of your trades/signings be approved by him, and if he doesn't like it, it won't happen.

Like I said in a previous post, it's either gonna be an assistant type guy that Burke has known from his time in another Org, or another GM recently fired who needs a job. A young up and comer is going to want a GM position where he has the freedom to make his own decisions, he won't have that here. As well a good established GM isn't going to want to move where he reports to the guy who wants to be the actual GM.

I think it needs to be stated, the actual structure of the Flames org is a great model, having a President of Hockey Ops who can be a guiding hand or word of wisdom is a great idea, but they hired the absolute worst person. They hired the most hands on guy who always wants to be involved, IMO it's going to really hamper the new GM search.

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#72 Lordmork
December 12 2013, 07:45PM
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How did Burke go the whole day without anyone fixing his tie?

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#73 Parallex
December 12 2013, 07:52PM
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Fraking Burke with his size fetish in the intermission interview... does he have a Big and Tall catalog as his spank bank or something?

The dinosaur insisting that his GM, whoever it is, build a "Big" team... I'm sure GM candidates will just be lining up so that they have no freedom to do the job the way they want to do it. Must overjoy them to think that if they get the job they can look forward to having "bend over and let Brian Burke work your mouth like a puppet" as their primary job description.

Frak! Burke should just take the job himself... I don't want him having a fall guy when he screws the pooch on us.

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#74 beloch
December 12 2013, 07:56PM
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In the first period intermission interview Burke said the #1 qualification for the new GM will be his commitment to size (no mention of truculence). Later in same interview, he said Gaudreau is very small but very skilled. Ruhroh.

You can't deny that size helps, but skill trumps all. For me, Gaudreau is a litmus test for Burke and the future GM. They will be failures in my eyes if they flip Gaudreau before he's gotten a solid look in the NHL. Gaudreau is a player who could thrive on a line with a couple of bigger, slower players.

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#75 mattyc
December 12 2013, 07:56PM
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Parallex wrote:

Fraking Burke with his size fetish in the intermission interview... does he have a Big and Tall catalog as his spank bank or something?

The dinosaur insisting that his GM, whoever it is, build a "Big" team... I'm sure GM candidates will just be lining up so that they have no freedom to do the job the way they want to do it. Must overjoy them to think that if they get the job they can look forward to having "bend over and let Brian Burke work your mouth like a puppet" as their primary job description.

Frak! Burke should just take the job himself... I don't want him having a fall guy when he screws the pooch on us.

If there's one thing Jay Feaster taught me, it's that talk is cheap. Burke can say whatever he wants, but ultimately, I'll judge him on his actions.

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#76 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 07:59PM
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Gonna check out the Abbotsford game on streamhunter.eu

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#77 Colin.S
December 12 2013, 08:03PM
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Parallex wrote:

Fraking Burke with his size fetish in the intermission interview... does he have a Big and Tall catalog as his spank bank or something?

The dinosaur insisting that his GM, whoever it is, build a "Big" team... I'm sure GM candidates will just be lining up so that they have no freedom to do the job the way they want to do it. Must overjoy them to think that if they get the job they can look forward to having "bend over and let Brian Burke work your mouth like a puppet" as their primary job description.

Frak! Burke should just take the job himself... I don't want him having a fall guy when he screws the pooch on us.

Though I think most of your comment is heavy handed, there is a good point in there. If Burke has an idea how he wants this team to be built and is dead set on that idea, that SEVERALY limits his job search for a potential GM. I don't know if there is a long list of top tier GM candidates who are eagerly waiting to be told how to build their teams. But that is my biggest worry, does Burke running his mouth about this team in interviews hamper the new GM search?

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#78 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:03PM
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beloch wrote:

Most NHL players spend a fair bit of time in the AHL before transitioning to the NHL, but Baertschi came up to the NHL direct from the WHL. To date, he's played just 32 AHL games in his career and is still just 21. The only flame who has played more than 5 games this season and is younger than Baertschi is Monahan. Baertschi's been averaging just 12:50 TOI/60, which simply isn't enough.

It's time to admit the short-cut isn't working out and get back on the main road. Namely, leave him in the AHL for a lengthy stretch until he's developed a taste for the bitter tears of his opponents. Bring him back only once he has some swagger. Fortunately, anyone playing with the Heat this season should develop swagger in a reasonably short period of time!

I apologize to Sven's fan-club, but I do hope he stays down for a solid stretch of 10 or more games, not just one or two. Once he starts chasing goalies in the AHL he's going to be a good call-up.

Exactly, but it really needs to be for the whole season and playoffs developmental wise.

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#79 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:08PM
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RKD wrote:

Small and skilled vs. big and truculent. Sounds like Feaster wanted to build a Habs style team and Burke wants an LA Kings or Boston Bruins style.

WHY DOES EVERYONE SAY THIS?

WHY CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT BIG,SKILLED AND TRUCULENT IS BETTER THAN SMALL AND SKILLED, OR EVEN SMALL, SKILLED AND TRUCULENT.

BURKE DOES NOT WANT A TEAM FULL OF 20 FACE PUNCHERS, UNLESS THOSE FACE PUNCHERS ARE ALSO SKILLED PLAYERS!!!!!!!!

Stop with the absolute either ors.

Why not the best of both worlds.

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#80 ChinookArch
December 12 2013, 08:11PM
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EugeneV wrote:

WHY DOES EVERYONE SAY THIS?

WHY CAN'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT BIG,SKILLED AND TRUCULENT IS BETTER THAN SMALL AND SKILLED, OR EVEN SMALL, SKILLED AND TRUCULENT.

BURKE DOES NOT WANT A TEAM FULL OF 20 FACE PUNCHERS, UNLESS THOSE FACE PUNCHERS ARE ALSO SKILLED PLAYERS!!!!!!!!

Stop with the absolute either ors.

Why not the best of both worlds.

Please stop yelling at everyone.

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#81 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 08:13PM
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New Beginnings?

Aren't beginnings by their very nature, new?

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#82 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 08:17PM
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George Johnson talking about Darcy Regier?

The guy hasn't done much since '99 except whine about players leaving town.

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#83 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:18PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Please stop yelling at everyone.

but I am big and truculent and skilled, and yelling is MORE EFFECTIVE!!!!!!!!!

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#84 mattyc
December 12 2013, 08:20PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

New Beginnings?

Aren't beginnings by their very nature, new?

philosoraptor - is that you?

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#85 mattyc
December 12 2013, 08:21PM
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Backlund's had a ton of looks tonight.

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#86 maimster
December 12 2013, 08:24PM
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I guess it doesn't matter in the context of today's news, but am I the only one who thinks this has been the most boring game of the year?

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#87 RKD
December 12 2013, 08:25PM
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@EugeneV

I am simply pointing out the differences in philosophy between the two men. I want Calgary to be a powerhouse team. Before getting bigger tougher players, they need to start getting rid of the soft players like Butler.

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#88 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 08:27PM
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McGratton baby! haha, thats awesome

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#89 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:27PM
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I am 6'2" by the way, so I don't have small mans disease and don't take offense to the thought that big is better.

Big doesn't necessarily mean height either

If you aren't a stocky frame then shorter than 5'10" and 200lbs+ then you should be considered small for the purposes of winning a CUP.

But NOT EVERYBODY on a team needs to be NOT SMALL.

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#90 ChinookArch
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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Today of all days and the truculent dancing bear scores.

Pretty nice work - full credit to McGrattan.

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#91 FlamesRule
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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Truculance!

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#92 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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MichaelD wrote:

McGratton baby! haha, thats awesome

Go Big Fella.

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#93 Lordmork
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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McGratton scores? Burke is right! Grit and size and truculence!

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#94 coachedpotatoe
December 12 2013, 08:29PM
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When I first heard the news I had to check and see if it was Aprils Fools day. Once I realized that it was not I was livid. It's not because I think Feaster has been great, heck there are plenty of reasons to fire him. However I do believe that he had a plan for the rebuild based upon both skill and size and i was on board for this. I do not like Burke and his belief that size and grit will win; this reminds me to much of the Sutter plan and we did that for year with a great goalie and one stud forward and spent more times missing the playoffs than in. Burke is bully who is overvalued. This might make me want to cheer for someone else. Yuk

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#95 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:29PM
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RKD wrote:

I am simply pointing out the differences in philosophy between the two men. I want Calgary to be a powerhouse team. Before getting bigger tougher players, they need to start getting rid of the soft players like Butler.

Agreed

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#96 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:30PM
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Lordmork wrote:

McGratton scores? Burke is right! Grit and size and truculence!

Plus skill.

Big, truculent and skilled is the ticket.

obviously not dancing bears though.

Lucic anyone?

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#97 RexLibris
December 12 2013, 08:51PM
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Iginla has scored in Edmonton (2-0).

Some fans giving him the Bronx cheer.

Thought you'd all like to know he was keeping up with old habits.

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#98 BJ
December 12 2013, 09:01PM
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I'm a bit confused here.

Burke stated that the two main reasons for firing Feaster - that came out of his "75 day review" - was Feaster's draft record and his trading record.

Trading record I get. Feaster's hands were kinda tied, but still I get it.

Regarding Feaster's draft record, Burke stated when he took the job here that he thought Calgary "knocked it out of the park" in the summer.

I had kinda thought that Feaster's draft record, and how he turned our prospect pool around was a credit to him, not a blemish... Obviously jankowski is still controversial... but part of that was getting Sieloff.

Can someone explain how Feaster's draft record in Calgary - Jankowski aside - is suddenly now a negative.

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#99 everton fc
December 12 2013, 09:06PM
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Back to the Baertschi debate. I don't think he was ready out of camp. He struggled to make the team out of camp, in my opinion. He's not NHL ready. A guy like Blair Jones deserves more ice time. He's earned it on the farm, where Baertschi will also have to earn it. Just my opinion.

Fenton or Botterill should be the choices for GM. Troy G. Ward would be great as next year's coach. Again, my opinion.

Good to see McGrattan pot one. Bordeleau in Colorado has 4 already, and gave our hero/dancing bear a beating last time they met. McGrattan's still got some catching up to do.

How do we poach Simmonds from the Flyers? With Cammy and a d-man??

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#100 everton fc
December 12 2013, 09:09PM
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BJ wrote:

I'm a bit confused here.

Burke stated that the two main reasons for firing Feaster - that came out of his "75 day review" - was Feaster's draft record and his trading record.

Trading record I get. Feaster's hands were kinda tied, but still I get it.

Regarding Feaster's draft record, Burke stated when he took the job here that he thought Calgary "knocked it out of the park" in the summer.

I had kinda thought that Feaster's draft record, and how he turned our prospect pool around was a credit to him, not a blemish... Obviously jankowski is still controversial... but part of that was getting Sieloff.

Can someone explain how Feaster's draft record in Calgary - Jankowski aside - is suddenly now a negative.

Here's my take:

Baertschi.

Jankowski.

Jury's out on Sieloff. And Wotherspoon. Eric Roy may turn out to be one of Feaster's best finds.

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