Flames Acquire Brian McGrattan. Again.

Kent Wilson
February 28 2013 10:09AM

Word coming down this morning that the Flames have traded Joe Piskula to the Predators organization for enforcer Brian McGrattan. This will be the tough guy's second tour of duty for the Flames, previously donning the Flaming C for 34 games in 2009-10.

McGrattan is a pure enforcer with little value outside of dropping the gloves. He can't play more than 5 minutes a night and is a liability even against other 4th liners.

There's no word if McGrattan is a purely an AHL pick-up right now or if he's destined to patrol the Flames 4th line. If the former, then it only means the Heat have gotten worse (Piskula was a top-4 defender for them). If the latter, it means the Flames get a little tougher, but also a little worse as well. It also means the Flames management is busying themselves with things that don't really matter, which is a little more concerning.

We'll see this week which it is.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#3 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

This trade really doesn't make any sense at all to me. The Flames never luck out when it comes to one-dimensional goons because they've lost their place and value in any city other than Toronto or Philly. Ivanans anyone? How about Letorneau-Leblond? Those trades worked out so wonderfully, why not do it again?

I don't get these GMs. If a fighter can't play a regular shift they have little value in my opinion. We just lost a viable replacement level defenceman for a neanderthal on skates.

Avatar
#4 icedawg_42
February 28 2013, 10:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Good grief. Hey here's an idea... go get a bigger guy who can play hockey. Like a Brandon Prust (or in my wildest dreams JVR) type of guy! WTF is going on here!?

Avatar
#5 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Kent Wilson

The problem is most goons only fight other bonafide goons. If they target the offending player they risk an instigator penalty and putting their team in a deeper hole. So if we had MacGrattan the other night in Minny he would have fought with Rupp or Konopka (or whatever other designated goon the Wild had dressed), he likely would not have targeted Coyle (moot point I know since Coyle was ejected). Who learns a lesson because two boxers on skates throw down?

I'm not a pacifist, I do believe fighting has a place in hockey. I just like hockey fights like Iggy and Vinny Lec getting into it in the finals. It was passion, it made sense. It wasn't two circus freaks performing in a sideshow. Some of these goons are just as likely to fall down because they can't skate as they are because of their opponents fists.

Avatar
#6 the-wolf
February 28 2013, 11:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Here's a question to ponder?

Is Backlund really that much of a possession juggernaut that this team's coach has essentially taken his entire game plan and seemingly thrown it into the trash bin out of frustration with the lack of heart and grit required to play such a system?

1) Ownership refuses to change course and go for even a partial rebuild.

2) Getting the feeling there's too many cooks in the kitchen - again!

3) Team is only a few points out of a playoff spot and yet no one, including those in charge, seem to have any faith in the club making it.

4) Team is another loss or two from full-on panic.

Avatar
#7 the-wolf
February 28 2013, 11:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Stockley

It's called "Dutteritis."

Avatar
#8 Kevin R
February 28 2013, 11:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

Well this is getting just freaking painful. Aliu is in & Cerevenka out. So Aliu is not injured & we still acquire Mcgratten???WTF?????

I guess there is only 1 thing left to say.

GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar
#10 Colin.S
February 28 2013, 01:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

IMO, there are only two explanations for this trade:

1.) It was a trade simply made for the sake of making a trade. They wanted to make headlines so people talk about this rather than the fact Cervenka is benched again in favor of Aliu, or the Blair Jones situation. Or the fact that we don't have a single first line or second line center of any significance playing right now. So instead of having people talk about the Cervenka situation and how Feaster spent the whole summer talking about this big acquisition and now he can't crack the lineup over the likes of Jackman, Begin or Aliu, it looks like Feaster would rather people talk about bad trades that they frame as good trades, cause YAY! TOUGHNESS!

2.) Feaster actually in some way believes this trade makes the Flames better. In which case he and anyone that agree with him should immediately be fired. Some people are saying he's going to counter other teams tough guys, or he's only going to play 4-5 minutes a night so no big deal. Yes both of those are big deals. He only counters other goons, if both goons equally suck as bad at hockey and other teams take the bait. Better teams are instead of throwing their own meat head out there, throwing a player who can actually skate and making the meat head on our team a pylon in the best case scenario. And even if he only plays 4 minutes a night, that's a big deal, cause other players have to play MORE now to make up that time an otherwise competent fourth liner could have played.

The Biggest Problem is the assumption it's our grinders that need to be tougher, when its our top lines that are getting out muscled by other teams top lines, throwing a big slow useless goon on the fourth line isn't going to miraculously fix that.

Avatar
#11 Parallex
February 28 2013, 01:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@flamePOM

So some guy runs the goalie what is he (McGratten) going to do? Glare at him?

Odds are he's not on the ice to do anything about it right then and there and what does he do later? Challange the guy to a fight? Guy laughs in his face and says "no". He gonna just attack him later? Not very "code" of him if he does it (to say nothing of giving them a PP as a result if he does it anyways). So then what? He goes and fights the other teams goon? Wow off-setting majors and the guy who committed the infraction get's off scot-free... what a positive contribution.

Avatar
#12 Clay
February 28 2013, 10:14AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

TRUCULENCE

Truculence/60 should improve

Avatar
#13 fretsey
February 28 2013, 10:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I had a feeling when I saw his name on waivers that we may end up with him....really surprised it came true. We do not need a "heavy weight"...we just need more "gritty" forwards

Edit: Why did we not claim him on waivers? We actually traded for him?..wtf?

Avatar
#14 Craig
February 28 2013, 10:17AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This frustrates me. The ONLY acceptable enforcer for this team would be Krzysztof Oliwa.

Avatar
#15 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Craig

Personally I'd rather no enforcers at all. Wings haven't had a bonafide one-dimensional enforcer since Kocur. They have done just fine without one. Team grit should do the job if your GM has some vision and consistency. Feaster has been all over the map. His moves puzzle me.

Avatar
#16 Vowswithin
February 28 2013, 10:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Just a guess but might have something to do with two goalie runs and a stajan head hit that went unanswered.

Avatar
#17 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Vowswithin

So rather than try and find some grit within the system or yell at the gritty players you have who just stood by... you acquire a caveman who didn't fit in several years ago? I don't hate the guy or anything but he brings nothing to the table but his fists. He's a waste of payroll and a roster spot on a team that needs to keep giving youth a shot to see what they legitimately have on the farm. If they continue this recycling crap and bring Joker back at the deadline I'm done. After almost a quarter century of watching this crap I'm really sick of watching this team go nowhere with minimal direction.

Avatar
#19 Ryan Pike
February 28 2013, 10:24AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Joe Piskula is also a leader on the Heat and a very under-rated stay-at-home defender. He was Perfectly Fine (well, replacement level, but adequate) when recalled last year, but can be credited (along with Jim Playfair and Troy Ward) with mentoring T.J. Brodie into being a strong positional NHL defender.

Avatar
#20 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:26AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

Maybe Feaster is buying into the smoke and mirrors trick Toronto is pulling where toughness and fighting turned the team around, etc. Don Cherry has been harping on about it forever. If Don had his way we'd go back to the Broadstreet Bullies days where hockey honestly looked like Slap Shot every night.

Avatar
#21 jakeryley
February 28 2013, 10:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This organization gets dumber by the day. No centers?! No problem. We've got an absolutely irrelevant goon who can't play hockey at all.

If Feaster wanted size so bad, why didn't he target Rupp like MIN did? He's not good, but at least he can play 4th line minutes effectively. McGrattan is useless, just like the rest of our 4th line.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I can't wait to draft 12th overall again and be in this exact same position 12 months from now.

Avatar
#22 Danger
February 28 2013, 10:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Do not want.

If they had traded Piskula for a right winger who can actually play (or, heavens forbid, a centre who can actually play), even a replacement level one, then I would totally get this move. But they didn't. So there's that.

Avatar
#23 shutout
February 28 2013, 10:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Yes we need to send Sven down to the AHL. This is not a good team atmosphere to be developing a player with his skills and potential.

I think that this is a great move. The only thing standing in the way of the Flames making the playoffs and walking all the way to the Stanley Cup was some more toughness. A fourth line of McGratton, Aliu, and Jackman is exactly what this team needs to push its self up the standings.

Most people think that it was a lack of work ethic or skill why they lost to the Wild when they had a 5 and 4 minute powerplays. But in reality it was the fact that they did not have a guy like McGratton to go out there and in his 4.5 minutes of ice time start a fight. That one fight (won or lost) could have been the difference to winning that game.

I see big things for this club now. And as a matter of fact I think that we just need a few more of these types of deals so that we can have a third line that brings some more of those fighting majors to the score sheet.

IF YOU CANT BEAT THEM ON THE SCOREBOARD THAN BEAT THEM UP ON THE ICE

Yes the Feast is an amazing general manager and it is all sunshine, rainbows, and daisies from here on out.

Avatar
#25 Danger
February 28 2013, 10:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Actually, maybe there is a perfectly rational explanation for this move: step one of an intentional tank job. (OK, maybe it's more like step 5 or 6.)

Avatar
#26 Alt
February 28 2013, 10:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Just jumped off the give Feaster&Co.a chance bandwagon. Let me guess, the team had been targeting McGratton for quite some time, because he thinks the game the same way management does.

Avatar
#28 backburner
February 28 2013, 10:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Of course, if MacGrattan does get recalled to play, the Flames have to make room for him to do so...meaning Sven would have to be demoted (most likely).

Aliu, McGrattan in...Jones, Horak, Baertschi out.

To echo Planes, Trains and Automobiles: YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY.

That's hilarious! Now that you mention it Feaster is starting to resemble John Candy's Character in that movie... shower curtain rings anyone?

In a way I kind of wish that Stajan would have been sidelined by that head shot... I know its sounds awful but maybe Feaster would wake up and acquire ROR.

Avatar
#29 backburner
February 28 2013, 10:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
jakeryley wrote:

This organization gets dumber by the day. No centers?! No problem. We've got an absolutely irrelevant goon who can't play hockey at all.

If Feaster wanted size so bad, why didn't he target Rupp like MIN did? He's not good, but at least he can play 4th line minutes effectively. McGrattan is useless, just like the rest of our 4th line.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I can't wait to draft 12th overall again and be in this exact same position 12 months from now.

Or just call up Chris Breen and have hime stand in front of the net..

Avatar
#30 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

I agree wholeheartedly. They're relics. Teams that continue to employ them are not part of the solution, they're part of the problem.

That said I hope Ferland becomes a Brandon Prust type of player. Flames could use a guy who is legitimately tough and can play the game. I don't condone needless violence on the ice but if they're going to devote roster spots to tough guys at least employ guys who can play hockey. It's the NHL after all, not UFC.

Avatar
#31 shutout
February 28 2013, 10:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hartley wanted the team to play a high octane, up tempo, fast skating, skill oriented, offensive style game that would be entertaining for the fans and push the pace of the game. Team toughness and five guys that play hard.

Well the McGratton trade definitely adds more of that dynamic to the team. He probably steps onto the powerplays first team and rides shotgun with Stajan and Iginla on our first line.

The only downside to this trade is that it does not look like he will be available for the game tonight. If he was in the line up then I think it would be a guaranteed win. Heck with all of the three point games being played right now, this trade might help Calgary get all three of those points in a game. Really help us move up the standings.

I am already clearing a spot on my wall where I am going to hang our 2013 Stanley Cup banner. Love this move so much and just think that the Feast is an amazing general manager.

Avatar
#32 the-wolf
February 28 2013, 10:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

It's so painful it hurts.

So much for a new way of doing things, advanced stats, blah, blah, blah.

Why bring in Cervenka and Hudler and draft guys like Baerstchi and Gaudreau and then pull moves like this?

Where the hell is the game plan?

And is the coach calling these shots? Feaster? KK?

Team is quickly becoming a revolting mess.

Avatar
#33 Stockley
February 28 2013, 10:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@the-wolf

I know with the last few puzzling things Feaster has done I'm definitely done swilling his kool-aid. I thought there was a plan, it even looked like it might make sense for a little while. Now they're all over the map and bringing in toughness for the sake of toughness. Looks like a Darryl Sutter move. What's next? Trade Sven and Gaudreau to the Stars for the overpaid, overrated and over the hell Morrow? Or do we just trade all of our draft picks for a few guys from Moose Jaw or Red Deer? Who cares if they can play as long as they're good old western kids.

Avatar
#34 Jeff In Lethbridge
February 28 2013, 10:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

You guys are too quick to look only at the (ever important) fighting skills and dismiss Brian off hand as one-dimensional!!!

I am here to say that, based on STATED organizational goals and priorities, I am CONFIDENT that Mr. McGrattan is off the charts when it comes to HOCKEY-I.Q./HOCKEY-SENSE!!!

All Jokes aside, I am not sure that enforcers create NO fear in the opponent... yes, goons typically fight goons... but here is someone that can 'talk' to the next guy that runs a goalie, or elbows Stajan in the kisser... but then, with him there, will anyone do these things anymore?

Avatar
#35 Kevin R
February 28 2013, 10:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I dont get this. We sign Taylor & then pick Joey Mac. We bring Aliu up & then pick Mcgratten. WTF? I was ok with Aliu. He's one of the meanest SOB's I can recall next to Cementhead. You only need 1 of these guys playing 4-5 minutes to keep the other team thinking. Thats all. A psychological deterent. If they hit Kipper, then Hartley taps him on the shoulder & gets him to either deal with the culprit if that player wasnt ejected like Lewis or if they were thrown, then happen to take a little romp through the opponents goal crease. Get a penalty, oh well, warfare has its casualties. But man, how many of these kind of guys do we need??? Please tell me Aliu has a worse injury than we think & that a hired thug is only replacing a hired thug. I was getting excited early this year the way they have been playing but now this is reverting back to the rerun of 2010,2011 & 2012.

Avatar
#36 Vowswithin
February 28 2013, 10:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Stockley wrote:

So rather than try and find some grit within the system or yell at the gritty players you have who just stood by... you acquire a caveman who didn't fit in several years ago? I don't hate the guy or anything but he brings nothing to the table but his fists. He's a waste of payroll and a roster spot on a team that needs to keep giving youth a shot to see what they legitimately have on the farm. If they continue this recycling crap and bring Joker back at the deadline I'm done. After almost a quarter century of watching this crap I'm really sick of watching this team go nowhere with minimal direction.

Trust me I am not agreeing with it, just stating what I imagine they are thinking. Really i look at it positively, we will suck and get a better pick, hopefully send down sven to get confidence and training and mostly force some trades by deadline. If its aliu and mcgr on the 4 i would imagine us giving up a few goals on that line.

Avatar
#37 Alt
February 28 2013, 10:56AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

I think back in the M&G days we started calling dedicated goons "dancing bears". That's more or less what fights between enforcers are - a carnival act. A needless sideshow.

Hollywood Hockey,is a marketing scheme that the league obviously supports .Poor officiating,good guy bad guy side-shows,and Bingo games during intermission.They seem to think most fans (Americans)support the WWF atmosphere.

Avatar
#38 shutout
February 28 2013, 10:57AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Stockley wrote:

I know with the last few puzzling things Feaster has done I'm definitely done swilling his kool-aid. I thought there was a plan, it even looked like it might make sense for a little while. Now they're all over the map and bringing in toughness for the sake of toughness. Looks like a Darryl Sutter move. What's next? Trade Sven and Gaudreau to the Stars for the overpaid, overrated and over the hell Morrow? Or do we just trade all of our draft picks for a few guys from Moose Jaw or Red Deer? Who cares if they can play as long as they're good old western kids.

Difference is that the Feast and Weisbrod like older college players instead of the Western Canadian boys that Darryl preferred.

Avatar
#39 icedawg_42
February 28 2013, 10:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kevin R wrote:

I dont get this. We sign Taylor & then pick Joey Mac. We bring Aliu up & then pick Mcgratten. WTF? I was ok with Aliu. He's one of the meanest SOB's I can recall next to Cementhead. You only need 1 of these guys playing 4-5 minutes to keep the other team thinking. Thats all. A psychological deterent. If they hit Kipper, then Hartley taps him on the shoulder & gets him to either deal with the culprit if that player wasnt ejected like Lewis or if they were thrown, then happen to take a little romp through the opponents goal crease. Get a penalty, oh well, warfare has its casualties. But man, how many of these kind of guys do we need??? Please tell me Aliu has a worse injury than we think & that a hired thug is only replacing a hired thug. I was getting excited early this year the way they have been playing but now this is reverting back to the rerun of 2010,2011 & 2012.

Amen.

Avatar
#40 Stockley
February 28 2013, 11:01AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Vowswithin

Their roster decisions lately are just starting to scare me a little. I was annoyed when Sutter traded for Jokinen. Just think; with that pick we could have had Gormley plying his trade in Abbotsford, earning experience and getting ready to move up and join Brodie in a younger and more skilled Flames blueline. I don't care if it's Feaster, Ken King or Murray Edwards himself calling the shots. Their moves in the last month and change are troubling and almost make me wonder if Sutter wasn't 100% in charge either.

Avatar
#41 Stockley
February 28 2013, 11:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@shutout

Fair enough.

David Eddy is constantly being shuffled to the ECHL and Brady Lamb is rarely even guaranteed to be in the roster on our middling AHL club. Their love of college players doesn't exactly give me any more hope than Sutter's love of rough and tumble western kids given their track record. They might have captured lightning in a bottle with Gaudreau. Gillies has been surprisingly good, no one else brought in at the college level by Feaster/Weisbrod is a sure thing.

Avatar
#42 Vowswithin
February 28 2013, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Stockley wrote:

Their roster decisions lately are just starting to scare me a little. I was annoyed when Sutter traded for Jokinen. Just think; with that pick we could have had Gormley plying his trade in Abbotsford, earning experience and getting ready to move up and join Brodie in a younger and more skilled Flames blueline. I don't care if it's Feaster, Ken King or Murray Edwards himself calling the shots. Their moves in the last month and change are troubling and almost make me wonder if Sutter wasn't 100% in charge either.

I don't think you would many that aren't scared of the things going on. Like I said the only thing I'm banking on is we suck then hopefully draft high and sell off vets.

Avatar
#43 NateBaldwin
February 28 2013, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

was mcgrattin the one that got that ludicrous contract from the rangers prior to the start of last year or am I thinking of someone else?

Avatar
#44 icedawg_42
February 28 2013, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Guys - they're trying to tank without letting us know they're trying to tank.

Avatar
#45 Jeff In Lethbridge
February 28 2013, 11:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Just to play devils advocate:

This "iteration" of the Flames team has to be the biggest collection of CREAM PUFFS that have worn the red silks in a long time. (or, as my grandpa used to call 'em, 'panty-wastes')

If this group wasn't going to make the playoffs anyway by trying to be a skilled, fast, puck possession,team... what can it hurt to get some goons and beat the crap outta the other teams, and make coming to the dome a little more intimidating?

Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of goons in general, and don't even like hockey fighting, but we suck plain and simple and are losing anyway, and this without any dignity as other teams come in hungry like the big guy at the buffet, laughing and joking on the bench, smiling at our guys as they skate past, having a good time & hardly breaking a sweat as they come and leave. Did I mention smiling? always smiling, smiling!. If all we can do is wipe the dam smiles off their faces as they sit on the bench, since we're losing anyway, I am OK with it, as we work towards trades and high draft picks.

Avatar
#46 Stockley
February 28 2013, 11:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@icedawg_42

I don't think they are. That's what is really scaring me; I think someone at the upper level is still convinced this bunch of clowns is a good hockey team that just needs a few tweaks.

Avatar
#47 suba steve
February 28 2013, 11:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

So this move should not help the Flames win any more games then they were going to without McGratton, and could even have a negative impact in the win/loss column? And this move is supposed to add to team toughness, in theory helping to protect less physical players from embarassment/injury? And this move may add to some fans excitement while the team continues to sputter in the standings? And it cost us a 28yr old D-man who's unlikely to have a significant impact at the NHL level?

Not seeing how this negatively affects the goal of "Not winnin, for MacKinnon"!

Of course, the moves (or lack of) between now and the trade deadline will tell us if Feaster indeed has a plan, or is just floating around without a rudder.

Avatar
#48 Vowswithin
February 28 2013, 11:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Fan960Steinberg: From Peter Maher in Denver: Aliu back in, Cervenka comes out of the lineup tonight. #Flames

Yayyyyyyyy

Avatar
#49 Stockley
February 28 2013, 11:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Vowswithin

We can all hope (and maybe pray) that we hold onto those picks and acquire a few more. Would be nice if they get back that 2nd round pick somehow. Would be nicer if they clean house on a few of those veterans and have several picks in the first two rounds.

I think this team needs a very serious culture change. Their lack of effort and playing to the level of the competition has plagued the Flames for years. As a fan I just want to see a little consistency. If you're going to suck and lose, suck and lose. Don't show up against the Hawks and lose a game you deserved to win and then turn around and play a snoozefest against the Wild or some other team you should beat. This team doesn't make any sense. I'm not entirely sure what the root of the problem is, I just know it has to stop.

Avatar
#50 fretsey
February 28 2013, 11:14AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Wanted to get rid of a contract due to the contract limit.

I never thought of that...I keep forgetting we are right up against the limit

Comments are closed for this article.