FGD: An Anniversary With the Canucks

Ryan Pike
April 10 2013 03:24PM

 

 

Well, gang, we're down to brass tacks. The Calgary Flames will not make the playoffs. If they win every single game, chances are slim. But hey, the season is almost over and the Flames are in full-on audition mode for younger players.

Tonight, with 10 games remaining in the borderline-disastrous 2013 season, the Flames (14-20-4) and the Vancouver Canucks (22-11-6) in the 250th meeting between the two clubs. Since their first epic clash (back when the Flames were in Atlanta) on October 28, 1972, the Flames hold a 123-83-33-10 edge, earning 58% of available points against the Canucks all-time. Expect that record to take a small hit tonight, however.

This year the Flames have gone 1-2-1 against Vancouver, with their single win being in Vancouver's lone visit to Calgary – a convincing 4-2 home victory against a travel-haggard Canucks club that played the night before. Calgary won't have that advantage tonight, but they do have a roster half-filled with plucky youngsters with something to prove.

Game-time is 7:30pm on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

THE LINE-UP

The Flames won in Denver, breaking both a five-game losing skid overall and a franchise record 13-game road winless streak. The win places Calgary in 28th spot in the NHL standings, three points up on Colorado in the battle for the league basement.

Matt Stajan is the latest addition to Calgary's walking wounded, as he's out (at least for tonight) with an upper-body injury. He joins Brian McGrattan, Derek Smith, Jiri Hudler and Paul Byron on the sidelines.

And no Matt Stajan equals a fairly substantial line shuffle at the morning skate.

  • Tanguay - Backlund - Stempniak
  • Baertschi - Horak - Cammalleri
  • Glencross - Reinhart - Jackman
  • Cervenka - Jones - Begin

  • Giordano – Wideman
  • Brodie – Sarich
  • Carson – Butler

  • Kiprusoff

Blair Jones returns to the line-up, being recalled on an emergency basis. He joins fellow Abbotsford exiles Brett Carson, Max Reinhart, Sven Baertschi and Roman Horak. After today's skate, Flames coach Bob Hartley indicated that he was happy with how the young'uns have been playing, so hopefully that continues tonight.

THE OPPOSITION

Vancouver last played on Monday night, when they beat Phoenix 2-0. The Canucks are a very good hockey club who defeated the Flames last weekend in a shockingly competitive, but ultimately one-sided, affair. That night they needed Cory Schneider to win them the game, but this time around they are playing the glorified Abbotsford Heat, so don't expect Calgary to be quite so present. 

Here's how Vancouver's lines ended up on Monday night.

  • Sedin - Sedin - Burrows
  • Higgins - Roy - Hansen
  • Raymond - Kesler - Kassian
  • Ebbett - Lapierre - Weise

  • Bieksa - Edler
  • Hamhuis - Garrison
  • Ballard - Alberts

  • Schneider

The Canucks are attempting to round themselves into playoff form, but they're continuing to be bitten by the injury bug, most recently losing Chris Tanev and Chris Higgins to the infirmary. They're also without Manny Maholtra and David Booth. I'd expect Tom Sestito to replace Higgins, but that's just a guess. On the other hand, Ryan Kesler finally returned to the linepu recently and his addition plus with Derek Roy from the deadline gives the Canucks a decent 1-2-3 punch down the middle again.

SUM IT UP

After 250 editions, you'd expect that we would've come up with a clever name for the Vancouver/Calgary rivalry. So far, nobody has.

Vancouver's a team poised to make noise in the post-season, while the Flames are dreaming of the off-season and a brighter tomorrow. The result of this game should be predictable, but the Flames youngsters may be full of piss and vinegar, so if the Canucks snooze on this team, they may be in for a surprise.

Either way, this could be a very interesting measuring-stick game for both clubs.

Related

 

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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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#51 RKD
April 10 2013, 08:39PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Flames playing a really strong first period. Vastly outchancing the Canucks.

Sweet, I know we are cheering losses but I'm always glad to stick it to the 'Nucks. Besides if we win, Pat promised Brass Bonanaza on OT!

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#52 suba steve
April 10 2013, 08:40PM
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beloch wrote:

Vancouver is going to be a very different team next year.

Derek, Malhotra, Mason, Lapierre, Pinizzotto, Alberts and Barker are going to be UFA's and, if they were all resigned for the same cap-hit as this year, would collectively be worth $12.3M. The Canucks also have three RFA's to resign, although none of them look like big fish.

Vancouver could still resign some of these guys, but they'd probably have to use both their compliance buyouts and hang a sign around Luongo's neck that says "Free to a good home".

Vancouver isn't going to be alone in their predicament either. The Flyer's might be even worse off! I'm starting to appreciate Feaster's salary-dumping moves a little bit more now. Cap-space is going to be a *great* asset to have this summer.

And this (I think) is the reason why JBo's return seemed so bad. To Feaster's credit, he bit the bullet and took what he could get, rather then the Nuck method...hold on to your "poison" asset insisting it is worth more than anyone wants to give you for it until the summer when it is actually worth...LESS.

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#53 schevvy
April 10 2013, 08:41PM
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@RexLibris

There was a battle of Alberta game last Wednesday? I do not recall...

Also what do I do when the Flames score? Be happy? Upset? Confused

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#54 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 08:42PM
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RKD wrote:

Sweet, I know we are cheering losses but I'm always glad to stick it to the 'Nucks. Besides if we win, Pat promised Brass Bonanaza on OT!

Jason Gregor plays BB here in Edmonton every Friday. He was a huge Whalers fan growing up.

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#55 ChinookArch
April 10 2013, 08:44PM
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Weird goal. I'm not sure how that should be called.

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#56 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 08:45PM
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schevvy wrote:

There was a battle of Alberta game last Wednesday? I do not recall...

Also what do I do when the Flames score? Be happy? Upset? Confused

I've kept the game on my PVR if you're interested.

Or http://oilers.nhl.com/club/gamevideo.htm?id=2012020540

Always cheer for the goals, but if you are focused on the draft, just accept the other team scoring more. No shame in enjoying a 5-4 loss. Its when the opposition laps you a few times on the scoreboard that really hurts.

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#57 ChinookArch
April 10 2013, 08:45PM
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Not sure I've ever seen a cheaper goal. Fitting given the team that scored it.

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#58 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 08:51PM
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I had the chances 9-5 Flames in the first.

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#59 schevvy
April 10 2013, 08:54PM
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@RexLibris

You'd know a lot about focusing on the draft...after all you are an Oilers fan. :)

If the Flames win I will not be upset. I don't have it in me to be mad when they win.

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#60 ChinookArch
April 10 2013, 09:03PM
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I missed Saturdays game how did Carson do? Curious about whether he can play in the bottom pairing at this level?

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#61 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 09:13PM
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@ChinookArch

Meh.

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#62 RKD
April 10 2013, 09:16PM
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Should the Flames use their compliance buyout this offseason? If so, who? Cammalleri, Tanguay, Stajan? Both Cammy and Stajan have one year left after this season ends.

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#63 ChinookArch
April 10 2013, 09:19PM
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Tanguay's contract is so long, it's bound to be a killer. That would be my first coice. Can a team resign a player they have bought out?

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#64 FireOnIce
April 10 2013, 09:19PM
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RKD wrote:

Should the Flames use their compliance buyout this offseason? If so, who? Cammalleri, Tanguay, Stajan? Both Cammy and Stajan have one year left after this season ends.

If you asked me in January, I would've said Stajan. At this point, I'd say Tanguay. He signed to be with Iginla, and has done best with him (at least in recent years), and now Iginla's gone.

However, I think any of these three guys can be traded for SOMETHING. Picks, hot dogs, a case of AGD - whatever you can get really. At least try to trade them first though.

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#65 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 09:20PM
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RKD wrote:

Should the Flames use their compliance buyout this offseason? If so, who? Cammalleri, Tanguay, Stajan? Both Cammy and Stajan have one year left after this season ends.

I'd vote Feaster.

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#66 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 09:20PM
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ChinookArch wrote:

Tanguay's contract is so long, it's bound to be a killer. That would be my first coice. Can a team resign a player they have bought out?

Nope.

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#67 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 09:20PM
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Brodie looks excellent again tonight. Butler is driving me nuts.

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#68 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 09:22PM
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btw, Coyotes ahead of the Oilers 2-0, so basically the season is over for Edmonton fans.

Bring on Monahan, Mantha or Gauthier! I wonder if Steve Tambellini will wear his lucky tie to the draft lottery?

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#69 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 09:22PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Brodie looks excellent again tonight. Butler is driving me nuts.

On Butler: is it the sideburns?

Sorry, Lowetide's joke.

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#70 BitGeek
April 10 2013, 09:24PM
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I've noticed that the "change the goal song" narrative has lost its' momentum. I'm guessing the goal song is not gonna get a lot of action for a while at the Dome hey? Or did they change it already? I mean I haven't been to a game in a while...

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#71 Kypreos
April 10 2013, 09:26PM
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Reinhart having a great game.

I hope this is not a one of...

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#72 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 09:28PM
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Maybe having Tanguay on the point during the PP is a bad idea? Just as it has been for years.

I have no idea why coaches keep trying this.

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#73 Kypreos
April 10 2013, 09:30PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Brodie looks excellent again tonight. Butler is driving me nuts.

A younger Duncan Keith...

Wait a couple of years he is only going to get better!

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#74 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 09:30PM
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Flames are worse on the PP than they are at 5on5 right now.

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#76 schevvy
April 10 2013, 09:33PM
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Classic Canucks. Diving left right and centre

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#77 the forgotten man
April 10 2013, 09:36PM
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Hey, at least we aren't 5+ years into a rebuild like The Coilers...we have a good excuse to suck this year. #schadenfreude

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#78 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 09:45PM
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Chances were 7-7 in the second. VAN got several chances on the PK.

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#79 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 09:47PM
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@Ryan Pike

I'll do it.

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#80 SmellOfVictory
April 10 2013, 09:55PM
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Wow, Reinhart's impressive this game. Good on him. Also, Backlund and Brodie are amazing as ever; I wish Backlund would use that slapper more, since he may have the hardest one on the team next to Wideman.

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#81 Brent G.
April 10 2013, 09:57PM
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Also I can't see how Tampa bay will not use an amnesty buyout for Lecavalier. They are in cap hell next season and he is so overpaid until the end of time.

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#82 schevvy
April 10 2013, 09:58PM
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@Brent G.

I think they'll try and re-sign him, whether they can though is a different story. Lot of people to re-sign, little cap space. All depends how much he wants to play there.

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#83 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 09:59PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

Is it too much to ask that the Oilers dont suck ALL the time? Another shot at the lottery for them is too much for me.

I hate to say this, but they are a lottery team this year, along with thirteen other franchises.

If Tambellini somehow were to "win" another draft lottery (he technically lost the lottery in 2011) I think the Oilers may just assign him to be their perpetual draft mascot.

In all seriousness, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a team go from 5th or even 9th this year to 1st overall. The whole season has been a crazy one.

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#84 RKD
April 10 2013, 10:00PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Do you guys think the pens can and will try to resign Iggy? They have space next year but the year after Malkin and Letang need to be resigned. I read somewhere how Iggy couldn't believe what a shock it was to be playing for a team with a winning mentality. Sounds like he enjoys it and finally sees what an abortion the flames are...

Depends on how he does in the playoffs, if he produces in the playoffs and the Pens win the Stanley Cup then maybe they keep him around. If he's invisible and the Pens don't go far they may rethink their strategy. The Flames aren't an abortion, remember it was Iggy who pushed Flames management to bring back recycled veterans such as Cammy, Tangs and possibly Joker. It was Iggy who only wanted to be traded to the Pens even though Boston had the better prospects. I am a big Iggy supporter and I do also blame the organization for not building around Iggy properly.

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#85 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:01PM
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@RexLibris

NO REX. This will not be the year this happens. Not when the Flames actually have a legit shot at #1. NO

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#86 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:01PM
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@Brent G.

I wonder if Jeff Vinik might not wait another season, maybe hope that Lecavalier spends some time injured and lets the insurance pick up some of the tab.

That buyout would be a hefty price to pay for a player to not play for you. They aren't the Islanders.

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#87 Rockmorton65
April 10 2013, 10:03PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I hate to say this, but they are a lottery team this year, along with thirteen other franchises.

If Tambellini somehow were to "win" another draft lottery (he technically lost the lottery in 2011) I think the Oilers may just assign him to be their perpetual draft mascot.

In all seriousness, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a team go from 5th or even 9th this year to 1st overall. The whole season has been a crazy one.

So, I guess that means we're cheering for Florida and Colorado? Hopefully we can stay top 3 should someone else win the lottery.

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#88 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 10:03PM
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I hope everyone is okay with a tongue-in-cheek post game article.

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#89 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:03PM
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Iggy wins the Cup, then he RE-signs in Calgary... :)

Seriously though, if he puts up numbers in the playoffs, I imagine he'll stay in Pittsburgh.

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#90 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:03PM
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@Kent Wilson

No Kent. It is NOT ok. :)

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#91 Rockmorton65
April 10 2013, 10:04PM
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Wow. Brodie is leading all Flames TOI. Impressive.

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#92 Brent G.
April 10 2013, 10:06PM
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Do they have to use their amnesty buyouts this season or can they hold on and use them whenever? It would be cool if you could trade them. Imagine what the flames could trade those for...

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#93 schevvy
April 10 2013, 10:07PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Do they have to use their amnesty buyouts this season or can they hold on and use them whenever? It would be cool if you could trade them. Imagine what the flames could trade those for...

Believe it's just for the off-season. And you can't trade them, sadly.

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#94 Kent Wilson
April 10 2013, 10:08PM
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@Rockmorton65

And shot differential through 2 periods.

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#95 Captain Ron
April 10 2013, 10:09PM
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schevvy wrote:

TJ Brodie is having some kinda season. Right now, he's their best d-man

I know its amazing when you think about it. But boy do I like him.

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#96 Cowtown 1989
April 10 2013, 10:10PM
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Somewhat entertaining game so far. Why have we abandoned the script? Losing to Vancouver would be the "norm".

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#97 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:11PM
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schevvy wrote:

NO REX. This will not be the year this happens. Not when the Flames actually have a legit shot at #1. NO

I really don't think this happens. (Of course I said that last season about the Oilers getting Yakupov)

I think the Flames probably draft around 3rd or 4th overall. The Oilers maybe somewhere between 7th and 10th.

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#98 Captain Ron
April 10 2013, 10:14PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Maybe having Tanguay on the point during the PP is a bad idea? Just as it has been for years.

I have no idea why coaches keep trying this.

I couldn't agree more. It drives me crazy watching him play in that spot on the PP.

Wouldn't he be more effective down low on the PP? The guy can score from in close even at bad angles.

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#99 RexLibris
April 10 2013, 10:14PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Do they have to use their amnesty buyouts this season or can they hold on and use them whenever? It would be cool if you could trade them. Imagine what the flames could trade those for...

They have this summer and next to use them, they cannot be traded, but a player could be traded and then bought out.

ie: the Flames trade Cammalleri and a 2014 2nd round pick for Lecavalier and Brett Connolly, then buy out Lecavalier. Just as an example.

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#100 Clyde
April 10 2013, 10:14PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Brodie looks excellent again tonight. Butler is driving me nuts.

He does. As I said yesterday, I would take him over Justin Schultz who has again been a pylon tonight in his own zone

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