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 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:38PM
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Andy7190 wrote:

Well if it is Nieuendyk, at least he understands the part about being big... and talented.

Blah... anyone who thinks that Adam Pardy is worth the kind of scratch he doled out for him... not the guy I want.

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#52 MichaelD
December 12 2013, 09:39PM
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And Butler, it's like Flamesnation's worst nightmare

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#53 Clyde
December 12 2013, 09:47PM
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Parallex wrote:

But he was the guy that signed Orr, Komisarek, and Beauchemin. I see no indication from his presser that he`s learned anything from those mistakes... heck for a lot of that presser you could have just replayed parts of his Toronto presser when he took the GM job there.

He traded besuchemin for gardiner , lupul and a 4rth. Not a bad return. Can't see Feaster getting that kind of return or even close

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#54 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 10:04PM
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Derzie wrote:

Put simply, we're screwed. Burke is a bully.

I thought Hartley was a bully last week.

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#55 negrilcowboy
December 12 2013, 02:09PM
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sven sent down, wow burkie making statement imediately.

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#56 They're $hittie
December 12 2013, 02:13PM
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Lordmork wrote:

Sven to the Heat. Didn't take long.

Well he is only on pace for 35 points. My early season projection of 38 i guess was a little high. Yet it got trashed for being considered to low.

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#57 aloudoun
December 12 2013, 02:25PM
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IF Sven gets traded we shall have to see the return... I dont think thats it. I think Backlund gets traded before Sven.

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#58 They're $hittie
December 12 2013, 02:35PM
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If sven gets traded for a second rounder burke will have maximized his assets.

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#59 Parallex
December 12 2013, 03:23PM
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@TRAV

Yes, I would absolutely demote Hartley. ;)

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#60 ?
December 12 2013, 03:57PM
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@TRAV

Fair enough. We'll see how things shake out. Let's just hope this doesn't jeopardize the rebuild, cause I wanna watch some Flames playoff hockey! (seeing all those Iginla 04 clips has really depressed me lol)

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#61 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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#62 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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#63 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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#64 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 08:13PM
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New Beginnings?

Aren't beginnings by their very nature, new?

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#65 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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#66 EugeneV
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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MichaelD wrote:

McGratton baby! haha, thats awesome

Go Big Fella.

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#67 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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#68 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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#69 RexLibris
December 12 2013, 09:15PM
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RKD wrote:

In the words of Superintendent Chalmers: SKINNNNNNNNER!

Am I the only one who wants to see a player in the league with the last name "Khan".

Just one, single overtime goal would make the whole thing worth it.

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#70 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:30PM
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@RexLibris

Exactly!

Why do some people think that somehow other people don`t want the Flames to be big and skilled? Everyone wants that... what we don't want is a team that's just big or a team that's sacrificing skill for size.

Eventually Burke is going to come face to face with the reality that the big, tough, and highly talented players are few and far between and those that come available are not likely going to elect to play for Calgary right now. When that day comes and Burke discovers that he can only get parts of those attributes I do not trust that he`ll elect to take highly talented over big and tough.

I fear that Burke is going to flub the rebuild and have no accountability because he`ll just lay the blame on and fire whatever GM he hires to effectively just be his proxy.

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#71 McRib
December 13 2013, 09:13AM
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@RexLibris

No need to look further than the Bouwmeester trade to question Feasters trading ability, Burke is a major upgrade in that sense teams know he demands fair value in return when trading. As mentioned above Burke got Gardnier, Lupul and a 4th for Beauchemin we got a backup goalie and a late first rounder essential for Jaybo who everyone knew in a positive situation would flourish and is a much better defenseman than Beauchemin. Feaster tried to sell us on "not eating his contract"... Why would you need to eat some contract for a defenseman that currently sits 7th in scoring for the position is a +13 and logs the minutes he does?!?! Feaster always seemed to be focused on putting spin on all of his trade to avoid the fact he got little in return.

Burke also got Cody Franson for essentially Brett Lebda. Haha. You can even criticize the Kessel trade but at least he brought in a skilled 30-40 goal scorer.... When Burke says "we need to get bigger" I think people panic and look past the fact that he also brought in skilled players Kessel, Lupul, Kadri, Rielly, Franson, etc to Toronto. Not to mention he drafted two of the most skilled big players in the league Getzlaf & Perry while he was in Anaheim. I think people want to think Burke drafts in a similar style to Sutter, but Sutter would never have drafted Kadri, Rielly, etc. Sutter drafted guys projected to go in the 3rd round (Chucko) & 7th round (Pelech) in the first round, wear as Burke drafts the big player every other year that is expected to go in the first and doesn't overlook the value of a Rielly or Kadri.

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#72 negrilcowboy
December 12 2013, 03:03PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Baertschi was playing some pretty good hockey recently. He and Hudler could have had 3 points each versus Boston.

Im scared Burke's already decided Baertschi doesn't play "Burke" (now, "Flames") hockey.

agreed kent, wondering if burkoff deals backs and or bart to the leafs for jake gardner. jake is a favourite of the bombastic one, drafted him, traded for him in taranna.

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#73 TRAV
December 12 2013, 03:40PM
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? wrote:

I really hope that you are right, but I agree with Kent. I personally believe that Burke doesn't like SVEN one bit, and with the stuff he said about him at the start of the year, its easy to see that. Some people will chalk that up to him wanting "more" out of Sven, but I just see a guy who screams "PLAY WITH SOME @$%@$N TESTOSTERONE". He seems to have his mind pretty much made up about Sven, and I believe that a reason Feaster and Weisbrod are currently unemployed is that sometime recent, there was an internal discussion about trading Sven Baertschi, with Feaster and JW against it, and Burke pushing for it. Ownership sided with Burke

The one thing I am now VERY skeptical about is the Flames future drafting and their handling of the draft picks themselves, particularly in the next 2 years, as its now 100% clear who's running the asylum. The Flames are probably gonna finish bottom-5 both this season and in 2015, and if Burke trades those picks for #PHANEUF or some other established NHLer, I will probably lose it. Not to mention the fact that he might be more inclined to ignore smaller, more skilled players to focus on bigger, stronger players.

Respectfully, it just seems like too much speculation to me. I prefer to spend my energy on things that happen rather than things that may have happened or may happen in the future.

(Fully agree that speculating is a fun part of this site and being a fan though!)

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#74 TRAV
December 12 2013, 04:14PM
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Would love to see a recap of the work of Weisbrod and Hartley. An article on the good-the bad and the ugly.

Look at where the franchise is now after the Feaster years and where it should go under Burke. Even a move by move thumbs up or down.

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#75 suba steve
December 12 2013, 04:22PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

The same Joe Nieuwendyk that traded James Neal for Goligoski. God help us.

Loved him as a player, but as a GM he was no good!

But as BB said, the situation in Calgary could work really well with an inexperienced GM as there would always be "Uncle Brian" there looking over his shoulder to ensure no crazy Gilmour for Leeman type deals go down.

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#76 mattyc
December 12 2013, 04:24PM
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I agree with TRAV. I have a lot of time for Baertschi, but he has looked outmatched on a lot of the board battles and has only been consistently effective playing with Hudler (who can get him the puck lots). The flames don't have the horses to give Baertschi the kind of sheltered ice he needs right now, and he's not excelling up here, so he might as well get big minutes in Abbotsford and get lots of PP and PK time.

You could make the argument that he gets different treatment than Colborne (who admittedly has had troubles as well), but the reality is that the AHL is a possibility for Baertschi, but not for him, so he has to figure it out up here.

WRT size, I honestly don't believe that the "new GM" will be looking for more enforcer types. I don't mind if they're focusing on size if all else is equal, and given how replaceable and interchangeable bottom tier guys are.

To stir the pot even more, I'm not convinced playing McGratton a couple minutes a night is measurably worse than playing Byron those same minutes.

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#77 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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#78 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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#79 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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#80 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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#81 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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#82 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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#83 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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#84 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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#85 FlamesRule
December 12 2013, 08:28PM
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Truculance!

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#86 RexLibris
December 12 2013, 09:20PM
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@Parallex

Size is the thing you add to the roster when you have skill, because skill is often the most difficult to acquire and develop.

Finding size and skill either requires great luck (Lucic, Bertuzzi, Getzlaf, Kopitar, etc) or great amounts of money (Chara).

Burke's approach of late has been to compromise on skill if the player has size, whereas many other teams (Detroit and Montreal as examples) have defaulted in the other direction.

What will be interesting is to what extent the new GM interprets those principles.

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#87 mattyc
December 12 2013, 09:21PM
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@Parallex

He also went out of his way to praise some skill players (Gaudreau for instance) in his presser. He also was the guy who demoted Orr and Komisarek, and traded Beauchemin for Gardiner (and Lupul!).

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#88 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:33PM
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@mattyc

But he was the guy that signed Orr, Komisarek, and Beauchemin. I see no indication from his presser that he`s learned anything from those mistakes... heck for a lot of that presser you could have just replayed parts of his Toronto presser when he took the GM job there.

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#89 RKD
December 12 2013, 09:40PM
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Finally Chris Butter does something right!

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#90 Parallex
December 12 2013, 09:43PM
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@RexLibris

Ironically I think Mickis might be a bit safer with Burke in charge. Burke did like Grabovski so maybe, even if he can`t be bothered to give Corsi the time of day, helikes the same things in Backlund.

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#91 Andy7190
December 12 2013, 09:53PM
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Parallex wrote:

Yeah, but that was more a comment on Nieuwendyk`s body of work as a GM as a whole... I was not impressed.

It wasn't terribly impressive, but I'd give it a giant asterix, given the financial constraints of the unstable (to put it mildly) ownership situation.

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#92 Clyde
December 12 2013, 09:53PM
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Parallex wrote:

But he never should have signed Beauchemin to begin with.

What did he give up to sign him?

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#93 Derzie
December 12 2013, 10:00PM
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Put simply, we're screwed. Burke is a bully.

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#94 BJ
December 13 2013, 09:48AM
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@McRib

Sutter passing over Getzlaf in favour of Phaneuf really robbed us of that top line center that we have always needed. There a few others whom we could have selected instead of Phaneuf.

I don't even want to mention Ramholt when Weber was sitting right there. We could have had a top center and defenseman in that draft if Sutter has followed one of the unwritten rules of never drafting a Dman in the top 10. There always seem to be some good Dmen in the late first to second round.

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#95 Lordmork
December 12 2013, 02:09PM
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Sven to the Heat. Didn't take long.

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#96 MangoTanker
December 12 2013, 04:15PM
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Well said mk and Parallex

Fully agree. Size for the sake of size is worth nothing, just like speed for the sake of speed is nothing. It's only when those attributes help a player to become better at hockey that they're worth something.

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#97 John
December 12 2013, 04:28PM
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Burke is a great GM, only need him to stay away from alcohol.

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#98 everton fc
December 12 2013, 04:43PM
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@ fan "Baertschi assigned to abbotsford and Burke's opinion in the news conference .... lets start gearing up for reliving the Sutter era!!"

Valid perception.

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#99 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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#100 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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