The (Very Early) Look at the 2013/14 Flames Line-Up

Christian Roatis
July 16 2013 10:06AM

 

 

With Prospect Development Camp almost at an end, intrigue builds as to which prospects participating have a shot at the big club come October and what the lines might look like once the season opener rolls around. The 2013/14 Flames will undoubtedly feature an unseen blend of youth and veteran presence and will likely carry the youngest average age the team has seen in a decade.

Many guys at the prospect camp impressed and excited Flames fans with a glimpse of what the future might hold for the franchise. It is however important to maintain perspective and know that even though particular prospects excelled, they did so against lesser competition in a scrimmage setting. Nonetheless the future is bright and there are a number of the players attending said camp that could sneak a taste of the show as soon as next season.

The Young Guns

Roman Horak and Sven Baertschi seem to be the locks to make the team at this point with Corban Knight, Sean Monahan and Max Reinhart also looking like strong possibilities for the opening day roster. Other guys like Kenny Agostino and Johnny Gaudreau probably posses the talent and ability to make the transition to pro for the upcoming season but have both chosen to return to college. The Flames don't have many roster spots left anyways and the team isn't going to meaningfully comepte in 2013-14, so there's no reason to rush those guys at this point.

The good news is we can expect them both to make their NHL debut's as soon as the end of this upcoming year. Agostino is a senior and will likely sign his Entry Level Contract upon completion of his college season. Gaudreau - who is going into his junior (penultimate) year of college - recently revealed to Darren Haynes that he's leaning towards bypassing his senior year at BC and debuting for the Flames at the completion of his college season.

So in theory, we could see them both at the tail end of the 2013/14 NHL regular season, although Agostino may need to spend some time proving himself in the AHL. Gaudreau, on the other hand, may be the sort of talent who can skip that intermediate step.

Markus Granlund is another guy who made a positive impression at dev camp and looks like he could potentially make a bid for a roster spot. However a skilled, offensive minded point getter like Granlund needs at least Top 9 minutes to be effective and there doesn't look to be much room on the wings or at center for Calgary outside the 4th line. In addition, this will be his first year in North America, so giving Granlund a little time to acclimate to the American ice and game in the AHL - under Troy Ward's exceptional tutelage - seems like a good alternative. The Flames wouldn't want to do what the Wild did with his older brother (Mikael) and rush him to the NHL only to see he's not ready and send him back to the minors all while crushing his confidence and possibly setting back his development.

The defensemen are a completely different story. While that area of the prospect cupboard is stocked efficiently, there doesn't look to be anyone in particular currently at the camp that could legitimately compete for a spot -barring injury. Mark Cundari - who is not at the camp - seems to be the only rookie blueliner that will have a real shot at cracking the Top 6 come October with Chris Breen also having an outside shot. Tyler Wotherspoon is probably the most NHL ready of the D-men at camp but that speaks more to the un-readiness of the group as a whole than to where Wotherspoon is as a player. A full year in Abbotsford for Tyler would be ideal before he takes the next step.

In goal, Reto Berra - the elder statesmen of the group - will get a chance to compete with favourite Karri Ramo and journeyman Joey MacDonald for the starting position, but will likely find himself in Abbotsford as well. There he'll do battle with Joni Ortio and Laurent Brossoit for one of the two jobs up for grabs. Berra and Ortio are the favourites to land the two spots leaving Laurent Brossoit on the outside looking in.

A return to the WHL for his overage season seems unlikely - especially with young stud Tristan Jarry chomping at the bit to take over between the pipes in Edmonton - so the ECHL appears to be the likely destination for Brossoit at this point. If he manages to out-duel Ortio in camp, the Flames may choose to send Joni back to Finland but that too causes a problem because Flames brass want to give Ortio a chance to acclimate to the North American game. It'll be intriguing to see how this whole thing plays out in the coming months.

Now, let's throw in the youngsters in with whatever NHLers the Flames still have on their roster and see how it all shakes down...

The Forwards

The depressing deficiency at center will be a hot topic again this season, although the 2013/14 edition of the Calgary Flames will likely feature a couple possible future solutions to the problem. Both Corban Knight and Sean Monahan seem destined for the opening day roster and both carry considerable potential with them. I expect them along with Mikael Backlund to fill the Top 3 center positions with Matt Stajan either playing wing or returning to his familiar 4th line pivot position.

Yes, Stajan is probably a better NHLer at this point than Knight and Monahan, but this season has been sold to the fans as a year to give the youngsters a shot to strut their stuff. That said, Stajan on the 4th line is unlikely to happen for a couple of reasons:

1) He's in the final year of his deal and if the Flames can showcase him and inflate his numbers a bit they might be able to trade him for real assets and

2) They want to ice the best roster possible and as mentioned previously, Matt Stajan is a superior NHLer than the other guys mentioned (before you guys go nuts on me, keep in mind neither Monahan nor Knight have played a second of NHL hockey).

I however see no other place where he fits in without displacing someone I'd rather not see displaced, so Matty, be a good sport and suffer through one more year of grinding out 8 minutes a night.

Last season, the Flames tried to solve their center ice dilemma by plugging wingers like Alex Tanguay and Mike Cammalleri into that spot, however given the circumstances this year, we are unlikely to see that. On the wings, the Flames actually have some decent depth to play around with. Mike Cammalleri, Curtis Glencross along with Jiri Hudler and Sven Baertschi will probably be the go to wingers occupying the four Top 6 wing positions with Lee Stempniak and David Jones working the 3rd unit for Calgary. Again, an argument could be made (don't make it) for either Jones or Stempniak being superior NHLers than Baertschi at the moment, but the guy can clearly play at this level and a top 6 spot is exactly what he needs to spread his wings and break out.

So with the Top 9 sorted out, that leaves us at the 4th and final line which is anyone's guess. Face punchers Tim Jackman and Brian MacGrattan will compete with youngsters like Roman Horak, Blair Jones and Max Reinhart for the three available spots. TJ Galiardi is another guy who likely figures into Calgary's bottom 6 and right now the only available spot I see for him is on the 4th unit. It's a shame because Galiardi still has decent potential and could blossom if given the opportunity to - but I just don't see where he figures in, absent a Cammalleri trade, which would shuffle things a bit.

In all likelihood, the press box will be securely guarded by at least one of the tough guys at all times this year and the young guns along with Galiardi will cycle in and out of the line up based on merit. Who knows? As weird as it is to say it, I think the 4th line will be one of the more interesting situations to monitor at camp this fall.

So having said all that, here's what I think it could look like come opening night, barring injuries of course:

(Note: Since guys tend to switch wings at times during the year, I ditched the LW/RW for a simple W as in wing)

Line 1: Curtis Glencross - Mikael Backlund - Mike Cammalleri

Line 2: Sven Baertschi - Corban Knight - Jiri Hudler

Lee Stempniak - Sean Monahan - David Jones

Line 4: Tim Jackman/TJ Galiardi - Matt Stajan - Roman Horak/Brian McGrattan

Max Reinhart

Special Teams: Everyone within the Top 9 will probably see some power play timea, although expect Glencross, Cammalleri and Hudler to feature prominently with Baertschi, Stempniak and Backlund likely getting their reps as well. This year and the PK will probably be the same as last year - run by committee.

I'll be intrigued to see if Hartley tries out an "all kid" PP line to inject some creativity and young blood into what has been somewhat of a stale advantage at times. I mean boy, how great would it be to see Baertschi, Knight and Monahan work magic with the man advantage?

The Defensemen

The back-end is a little easier to sort out as there hasn't been a lot of movement in terms of transactions. Press-box regulars Cory Sarich and Anton Babchuck departed the team and Shayne O'Brien joined via Colorado. Mark Giordano is the team's undisputed number one defensemen now with Bouwmeester gone and that probably makes Dennis Wideman number two on the depth chart. TJ Brodie is #3 right now and could move up the rotation if he continues to develop as rapidly as he did last season. Mark Cundari had a nice run with Brodie to end the as eason and could get that chance again as a result, meaning Gio and Wideman could very well end up the top pairing with the two 23-year olds rounding out the top 4.

The Flames have plenty of depth defensemen with the likes of Shayne O'Brien, Chris Butler, Derek Smith and Chris Breen will likely battle it out for the last two spots. I mentioned earlier Tyler Wotherspoon is one of the most NHL ready defensemen prospects and while he may get a look in training camp, his regular season debut may be via call up later in the year as a result of an injury or just plain merit. Some AHL seasoning under Troy Ward in Abbotsford could be the perfect stepping stone for Wotherspoon on his route to the big leagues.

The Flames could very well do what they did last season and carry 7 defensemen to keep everyone on their toes and working their hardest to maintain their spot in the line-up.

So in principle, that would equate to this:

Pairing 1: Mark Giordano - Dennis Wideman

Pairing 2: TJ Brodie - Mark Cundari

Pairing 3: Chris Butler - Shayne O'Brien

Derek Smith/Crhis Breen

Special Teams: The power play may see a forward - namely Mike Cammalleri - play one of the defense positions but nonetheless its safe to say that Giordano and Wideman will both be relied on. The offensive upside on D thins out considerably after those two, although Brodie and Cundari have both shown flashes of offensive acumen at other levels. As for the PK, you're likely to see a lot of the top pairing plus a helping of Chris Butler and especially a bigger guy like Shane O'Brien (or Breen if he makes the team).

The Goaltenders

5 guys, 2 NHL spots and 2 AHL spots. Oh, it'll be a battle. I'd like to believe it's anyone's game - I mean how fun would a Brossoit/Ortio NHL tandem be - but when you sneak a peek at NHLNumbers, you'll find it's really not anyone's game at all. Ramo carries the biggest cap hit and has been built up as the heir to Kirpusoff's throne so he'll will more than likely enter the year as the number one (I debuted at FN with a piece on what to expect from the 27 year old). I'd say at this point, Ramo is a 50/50 bet to turn into the starter Calgary requires.

We've seen first hand what the "best guy not in the NHL" can turn into (see: Cervenka, Roman) but they can also turn into suitable NHLers (see: Fasth, Viktor and Brunner, Damien).

Backing him up appears at this point to be Joey MacDonald. The Flames probably want a veteran presence behind Ramo who can bail him out if the "best NOT in the NHL" turns into "the worst IN the NHL". That being said, Flames brass also seem very confident in Reto Berra and if he comes into camp and impresses, he could probably wrestle the job out of MacDonald's hands. MacDonald could also be ferried to and from the AHL as necessary (he would have to be put on waivers but his being claimed is slim to none - although you never know with them Islanders) so giving Berra a chance is definitely not out of the question.

And so begins the post-Kiprusoff era:

Starter: Karri Ramo

Backup: Joey MacDonald/Reto Berra

By the way, Kiprusoff had a cool nickname (Kipper, Kip) and MacDonald's name offers the obvious one (Mac) but the other two - Ramo and Berra - to my knowledge enter the organization absent a nickname. I think it's crucial that Flames faithful brand the two with nicknames before their play brands one for them - for better or for worse.

It's also not out of the realm of possibility - especially if the injury bug bites or the season goes to hell again - that we see the other two, Ortio and Brossoit, make their Flames debut's this season, just to see what they're made of. It'll be a rollercoaster of a year for sure.

Conclusion

Much like the fans of every other NHL franchise, some Flames fans may look at this roster and think "not bad". 

Fact is, the rest of the world - and some realistic/pessimistic Flames fans - look on the Calgary Flames' projected line-up for the 2013/14 season and ink them into the 30th hole on their projected standing order for the upcoming season. Most of the guys listed on the Flames' roster won't crack the Top 6 of almost every other NHL team - and that doesn't add up to a positive outcome. Yes, they there's a possibility the stars will align and they'll have a Blue Jacket-esque season, but the odds say they won't.

This isn't reason to fret though. The team finally has direction and a thoroughly crap season like the one we seem to embarking on is exactly what is necessary in order to build a championship calibre team. Teams like CHicago, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles struggled for yers before becoming powerhouses and for the Flames a few years of pain seems to be the only way to turn the ship around.

It's a shame that Connor McDavid is two years away from eligibility because Calgary probably won't bomb the year after this one too and he looks to be at this point, a generational - might I even say Crosby - like talent. But the 2014 crop is a good one too. Not looking as strong as 2013 but nonetheless a quality at the top end. An Aaron Ekblad on the blueline or a William Nylander up front will further the rebuild along the right path and if managment can preserve patience to rebuild the right way, all the suffering will soon be proved worth it.

So those are my projected lines at this point, let me know in the comments what you see the opening night line-up to be!

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Christian Roatis is a European by birth, Calgarian by heart. Other than writing at FlamesNation, he writes about and scouts NHL Draft Prospects at Future Considerations. Follow him on Twitter @CRoatis!
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#1 aloudoun
July 16 2013, 10:13AM
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Cammy - Stajan - Stemp

Sven - Backlund - Hudler

Glenx - Knight - Jones

Galliardi - Horak - Jackman/McGrattan

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#2 Victoria Flames Fan
July 16 2013, 10:17AM
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The Ram and the Bear.

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#3 Fats
July 16 2013, 10:24AM
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Kris Russel on D?

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#4 lionlager
July 16 2013, 11:06AM
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Good ol' Rambo and Berretta. Young Guns.

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#5 Avalain
July 16 2013, 01:42PM
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We need nicknames for Karri Rambo and Yogi Berra?

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#6 TheAnonymous1
July 17 2013, 02:17AM
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Baertschi - Backlund - Hudler Cammilleri - Stajan - Horak Glencross - Knight - Stempniak Bouma - Galiardi - Jones

Giordano - Wideman Brodie - Russell Butler - O'Brien

Ramo (Karmo) MacDonald

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#7 Jeff Lebowski
July 16 2013, 10:20AM
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I think both Knight and Monahan make the team but no way they play on top two lines (at centre).

IMO the youth will be those two + Sven up front and exactly how you listed on back end.

The rest start in AHL and cycle through (Horak, Reinhart).

Horak could beat Knight but its for 4th line centre. Jackman and Bouma will be wingers.

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#8 Burnward
July 16 2013, 10:21AM
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Am I crazy or did Cammy get a handful of games at center last year?

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#9 RossCreekNation
July 16 2013, 10:24AM
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Missing Kris Russell. And why Stajan on 4th line after last yr?

Cammalleri/Stajan/Stempniak (UFA line)

Glencross/Backlund/Hudler

Baertschi/Galiardi/Jones

Horak/Bouma/Knight/Reinhart/Jackman/McGrattan

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#10 SeanCharles
July 16 2013, 10:29AM
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Glencross-Stajan-Stempniak Baertschi-Backlund-Cammalleri Hudler-Knight-Jones Galiardi-Bouma-McGrattan/Jackman

Giordano-Brodie Russell-Wideman O'Brien-Butler Breen-Cundari

Ramo Berra

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#11 Kent Wilson
July 16 2013, 10:35AM
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@Fats

I was about to say...no Kris Russel!

Swap him out for Cundari likely. Maybe move Brodie up with Wideman:

Brodie - Wideman Giordano - Russel

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#12 schevvy
July 16 2013, 10:36AM
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Oof. For the Flames to make the playoffs they would need Ramo to win the Vezina and Sven or Monahan to win the Calder. That's not happening, but that's OK.

I'd like to give the hard minutes to a Glencross/Stajan/Stempniak line, so as to allow the kids to get some easier minutes. I'd consider putting Backlund in Stajan's place on the tough minutes line, but I'd also like to see him get some chances to find his offensive ability.

If Monahan is ready to jump right into the show, I'd be a big fan of putting him with Sven and Cammy. Flames aren't winning many games anyway so might as well entertain the fans. If Cammy is not fast enough for that line put Jones or Hudler there.

I'm excited for the season, even with the low expectations. It'll be strange watching a whole season of Flames hockey sans Jarome, but I think I'll get used to it. Schedule comes out this week I believe so we'll see when is whole thing kicks off shortly

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#13 Monaertchi
July 16 2013, 10:40AM
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Berra and Baertschi. Who gets to be Bear and who has to be Yogi? Ramo is the Ram, obviously.

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#14 Demetric
July 16 2013, 10:50AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Cammy - Stajan - Stemp

Sven - Backlund - Hudler

Glenx - Knight - Jones

Galliardi - Horak - Jackman/McGrattan

I like those lines Chillgoose, except think Galliardi would be better utilized top 9.

It is almost like you can draw staws at the begining of each game to see where you are playing .

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#15 Scary Gary
July 16 2013, 10:51AM
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Interesting, I may be wrong but I was thinking we would actually be worse in 2014/2015 than 2013/2014 if/once we've traded away some veteran talent: Cammalleri, Stempniak, etc. Their point production/leadership would be tough to replace.

Cammalleri - Stajan - Hudler GlenX - Backlund - Stempniak Sven - Knight/Monahan - Jones Galliardi - Horak - Jackman McGrattan

Monahan is in a tough spot, he's probably outgrown the CHL but might not be ready for the NHL and can't join the AHL; give him nine games to see how it goes. If Jackman can be the 2010/2011 Jackman I like our fourth line.

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#16 mattyc
July 16 2013, 11:04AM
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@schevvy

Is Baertschi still calder eligible? I also like your hard minutes line, and I think Hartley does too. My lines would look like this:

Glencross / Stajan / Stempniak

Cammalleri / Backlund / Hudler

D. Jones / Monahan or Knight / Baertschi

Galiardi / Horak / Jackman or Bouma

if neither Monahan or Knight can make it, I'd look at having Jones or Galiardi play center, or Hudler (or even Cammalleri) moving down to the third line.

Wideman / Brodie

Gio / Russell

O'Brien / Butler

Smith

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#17 Cowtownhiccup
July 16 2013, 11:06AM
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The good news is for the first time in a long time, we have depth at every position.

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#18 FireOnIce
July 16 2013, 11:13AM
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@mattyc

IIRC Calder eligibility requires the following:

1) The player has NOT played >25 games in a single season

2) The player has NOT played >6 games in the two previous seasons

Looking up Baertschi's GP, it looks like yes, he is still eligible for the Calder. He played 5 games in 11/12 and 20 in 12/13, so he meets both requirements.

@Beeker73

I, and several others from the older days at M&G, referred to McGrattan and Ivanans as the 'Dancing Bears'. I'd say 'Bear' is taken for now.

Or, we could start calling McGrattan and Jackman the Bash Bros, and enjoy the ensuing hilarity when they go around the rink, sandwiching players and strip dancing in the penalty box. It worked in Mighty Ducks.

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#19 Kent Wilson
July 16 2013, 11:18AM
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@Scary Gary

I think it's possible the Flames are worse next year as well Gary. If Cammalleri, Stempniak, Stajan and Hudler (who I assume might as for an out here) are gone, it's going to be the kids, Backlund, Glencross and the pluggers up front.

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#20 SeanCharles
July 16 2013, 11:21AM
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After trade deadline:

Baertschi-Backlund-Hudler

Glencross-Granlund-Jones

Galiardi-Knight-Horak

Bouma-Rienhart-McGrattan/Nemiez

Giordano-Brodie

Russell-Wideman

O'Brien-Breen/Cundari

Ship out: Cammalleri, Stempniak, Stajan, Butler, Jackman and Smith (if possible).

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#21 bill
July 16 2013, 11:22AM
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How come no love for Reinhart? I thought in the limited action he got last year, he certainly showed he belonged in the show. That must win game for the Oil, he played really well. Are the Flames sour on him?

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#22 SeanCharles
July 16 2013, 11:28AM
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bill wrote:

How come no love for Reinhart? I thought in the limited action he got last year, he certainly showed he belonged in the show. That must win game for the Oil, he played really well. Are the Flames sour on him?

Even though we dont have elite players we still have alot of depth.

Reinhart will have a hard time beating out the centers above him on the depth charts.

He will be better served going back to Abby and being one of the first injury recalls anyway.

He will be up on the team, but probably not until injuries occur.

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#23 bookofloob
July 16 2013, 11:29AM
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I don't even think Monahan makes the team this year (rather, he shouldn't)

I think it's a mistake not to pair Sven with Backlund, I think those two are just really well suited for each other. You could throw Glencross on the other wing if you really want that added "grit", and that's actually a very nice looking second line.

I don't think Brossoit loses out to Ortio in Abby, just because it's super easy to send Ortio back to Finland where he will see some very good competition instead of sending Brossoit to the ECHL where, yeah, not so much. I think Brossoit even challenges Berra for the starting role, because, and I'm going to say this a lot, I don't think Berra is very good. He's an average goalie in the Swiss league, what makes anyone think he has what it takes to get it done over here?

For me I like

Cammy - Franchise - Stemps SVEN - Backlund - Glencross Hudler - Knight - Jones Galiardi - Horak - Bouma/Jackman (Ern keeps his ass firmly planted in the press box all year)

Blair Jones is better than Reinhart. Let's get that out of the way right now. He's my sub in guy before Max.

Brodie - Wideman Gio - Russell Butler - warm body (I like Cundari, I just don't see him getting the ice time because of Shane O'Brien, and whoever thought I'd say that?)

Ramo Mac

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#24 SmellOfVictory
July 16 2013, 11:30AM
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mattyc wrote:

Is Baertschi still calder eligible? I also like your hard minutes line, and I think Hartley does too. My lines would look like this:

Glencross / Stajan / Stempniak

Cammalleri / Backlund / Hudler

D. Jones / Monahan or Knight / Baertschi

Galiardi / Horak / Jackman or Bouma

if neither Monahan or Knight can make it, I'd look at having Jones or Galiardi play center, or Hudler (or even Cammalleri) moving down to the third line.

Wideman / Brodie

Gio / Russell

O'Brien / Butler

Smith

He's barely Calder eligible. Eligibility is removed on either two seasons of 6+ games, or one season of 25+; he's played 5 and 20, so he barely sqeaks in thanks to his short stint in 11/12.

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#25 Ed_Ward42
July 16 2013, 11:49AM
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1) A lot of these line projections are based on the assumption that Hartley's on board with playing the kids in top 6 situations. My guess is that he's on board, based on his relationship with Feaster and some of his comments, but its no guarantee. I just hope his (and to a lesser extent Feaster's) incentives to win to keep their jobs don't mess with the long term goals of the team.

2)Cammy will be moved at the deadline. He's a very useful player and his cap hit will not be a big deal come deadline time. Here's hoping the market for him is strong. If Doug Murray can get two 2nds who knows what Cammy can fetch!

3)I'm actually really excited about this upcoming season. The Flames are going to get hammered but it will be great to cheer for a team with some young talent rather than a team of veterans destined to scrap it out for 7-11.

Hopefully our reward for suffering through a bunch of L's is a Johnny Hockey cameo at the end of the year!

PS. I would like to take back all the terrible things I said to Oilers fans while they were going through their rebuild. Hopefully ours doesn't take as long but I definitely get where they were coming from now.

That being said, I totally understand if Oilers fans want to rub it in that they will be cheering for playoff contender over the next couple years, while we compete for the Tambo Cup. I probably deserve it.

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#26 Kevin R
July 16 2013, 12:02PM
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I think Bouma might have something to say about being on the big team. There will be some interesting story lines. There will be injuries, even in training camp & preseason, so we will probably get to see a lot of these guys play a lot of different roles because of it.

Questions that have me perplexed & in some cases something I don't understand Feasters thought process:

1/Goalie- I just didn't understand signing Mcbackup to a 1 way deal when you knew you had Berra & Ramo> Now what if Berra & Ramo play well, that's the goaltending tandem Flames should be starting with. So what then, put Mcbackup on waivers & down to Abbey? Thing is, I think Brossoit & Ortio should be the tandem in Abbey. This situation perplexes me & personally, there was just no need to sign Macbackup so quick.

2/Monohan- I know everyone is itching to see this kid crack the lineup & make a run for Calder. If he's down on the 3rd line, that aint happening. Problem is, if he struggles at any point after the 9 game mark, what do you do? You cant send him to Abbey & bring him back up again, you cant sit him in the press box, I think at best we give him a 9 game sneak preview & send him back to the OHL & dominate for 1 more year of junior & then next year he's here to stay. The only exception to this is if he plays so well, that we cant send him back down. I am trying to be realistic, if I'm right, then suddenly the following works:

Cammi Backlund Sven

Hudler Knight Jones

Stemps Stajan GlenX

Galliardi Horak Jackman/Mcgrattan

Stajan falls to 4th line & Horak starts in Abbey while we give Monohan his 9 game cup of coffee.

Defence is easier. Agree with Kent, Tspoon needs 1 year of Abbey. I would like to see the following

Brodie/ Wideman Gio/ Cundari SOB/Butler

If they stay healthy it should be reasonably functional. Injuries on our D is one scary thought, but 12th-15th is where this group pegs in at but we'll be laying many many building blocks for the future.

I don't want to see Feaster sign anymore UFA's. If we add anything to this group, we need to subtract. We need to make the openings for Gaudreau, Agostini & Arnold & Monohan for next year. The opening will begin at the TDL with moving Stemps/Cammi/Stajan. I think Young Guns 2 is going to be way better than the first movie.

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#27 the forgotten man
July 16 2013, 12:26PM
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Forgot that Dermot Mulroney was in Young Guns.

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#28 Michael
July 16 2013, 12:26PM
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Cowtownhiccup wrote:

The good news is for the first time in a long time, we have depth at every position.

I would say 'bodies at every position' rather than 'depth' at every position. Still weak at center and right wing, and likely missing one top four d man.

Not a lineup that is going to scare anyone in our division, but likely to produce another top 10 (likely top 5) draft pick! Just what this team needs.

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#29 Pizzaman
July 16 2013, 12:44PM
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Given the Murray Edwards Mantra it seems hard to believe that the patience to properly develop prospects by Feaster/'Artley AND keep their jobs will be there this year. Especially if empty seats start cropping up (paid for or not). Did Monahan and Knight show enough at this camp to get more than 9 games before choo choo Abbotsford? Maybe one gets a spot but top 6? Look for lots of back and forth bus rides to Abbotsford regardless for lots of guys. Berra's nick name will be "Back to Suisse".

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#30 Scary Gary
July 16 2013, 12:46PM
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Anyone know if the NHL schedule is being released this week?

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#31 ?
July 16 2013, 12:47PM
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Right now, I've got things looking like this

1) Cammaleri - Backlund - Hudler

Backlund drives play, and excels at both ends of the ice. Cammaleri and Hudler are the finishers, as they both have pretty decent shots. Although Backlund is a better shutdown guy than Stajan, I'd like to see Backs get some easier minutes. Not easy minutes, just easier than last year.

2) GlenX - Stajan - Stempniak

This line played alot together last year and they were easily CGY's most consistent unit. This line will most likely get the hardest minutes. I expect them to play together when the Flames start to lose games at a more rapid pace, as Hartley will rely on something he's familiar with. Shutdown line for the Flames, unless Stajan and Backs swap roles, which makes line #2 the DE FACTO (?) shutdown line.

3) Baertschi - Knight - D.Jones

From what I've seen at dev camp, Knight is quite good defensively and can win some faceoffs. This line should see some softer minutes as it has 2 fairly young, not to mention unproven, guys on it. This line would not be getting typical 3rd line minutes, as playing Sven 10 minutes a night probably wouldn't be an effective development strategy.

4) Galiardi - Horak - Bouma

Having Blair Jones play a handful of minutes per night on the fourth line might be better for Horak's development, but after last season, I don't think the coaching staff wants Jones on the big club at all.

Extra forwards --> Jackman and Mcgratten

Blair Jones or Max Reinhart would probably be more useful, but management insists the Flames need to get 'tougher'. Well whatever, this season is pretty much a throw away, just don't trade any more picks/prospects for straight-up goons.

DEFENCE

Brodie - Wideman

Played alot together last year, etc etc. At this point, Brodie could play with a pair of smelly tube-socks and be alright. Wideman is better than tube socks.

Gio - Russell

Not crazy about having Russell in the top 4, as it clearly illustrates how the Flames have exactly 3 top-4 defenceman. I have trouble seeing Gio bounce back from last season if he's playing tough minutes while simultaneously trying to bail out Russell. However, I think the Flames will want their acquisition to get some playing time at the start. I could see Cundari replace Russell early on in the season, mostly because of his cup o coffee last year.

SOB - Butler

Meh. That's really all I can say

7th dman --> Mark Cundari, I believe he will be brought into the line-up after one of the bottom 3 defenceman prove themselves to warrant a press box seat.

Ramo

MacBackup

On Monahan: I think a handful of games up here in the big leagues, then back to the OHL would be the best thing. After that, he'll be dominating juniour and then get a spot on Canada's WJC team, where we get to watch him on the national stage. Later in the year, perhaps he could get traded from Ottawa to some contender and have a deep playoff run, maybe even a Memorial Cup appearance.

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#32 schevvy
July 16 2013, 12:48PM
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@Scary Gary

It will be this week, but I'm not sure what day.

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#33 aloudoun
July 16 2013, 01:07PM
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I think Sven gets top 6 minutes this year and Knight starts on the 3rd line and goes from there.

There are some rumors that a defenseman from Calgary is being shopped but I am not exactly sure who and how credible those rumors are.

Cammy, Stemp and Stajan are as good as gone at the trade deadline. It should be an interesting year :). Im excited for this phase of Flames hockey. I like the era of hope/ no Iggy and Kipper.

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#34 everton fc
July 16 2013, 01:44PM
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Demetric wrote:

I like those lines Chillgoose, except think Galliardi would be better utilized top 9.

It is almost like you can draw staws at the begining of each game to see where you are playing .

I think Knight goes to Abby. I think Monahan makes the team over him. And I think Horak becomes a winger, while Jackman gets traded or waived. Therefore: • Glencross-Cammy-Hudler • Baertschi-Backlund-Jones • Horak/Galliardi-Monahan/Stajan-Stempniak • Galliardi/Horak-Stajan/Knight-McGrattan/Jackman/Hanowski/Blair Jones/Bouma

If you send Monahan back to the OHL (not a bad idea), Stajan gets 3rd line minutes over Knight. The challenge is a lot of these young guys shoot from the left-side, so they'd have to adjust. Hanowski as regular on the 4th line, RW, would work for me, with the 4th line looking like this: Galliardi/Horak-Stajan/Knight-Hanowksi (Bouma?) Also note - Blair Jones comes from the right-side, but I think Hanowski has more to offer. Unless Bouma can learn to play on the right-side.... McGrattan sits in the box, perhaps with Jackman. Reinhart and Knight learn more in Abby. As for the defence, what you posted in the original article is frightening - Cundari in the #4 slot! Shows how thin we are, on the backend. Which is why I wouldn't be surprised to either see Cammy moved for a d-man. Maybe.

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#35 NHL93
July 16 2013, 01:53PM
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the forgotten man wrote:

Forgot that Dermot Mulroney was in Young Guns.

I forgot about Dermot Mulroney. Period.

I hope Monahan goes back to the O. I really dislike the agreement the CHL and the AHL have with the NHL. I would love to see 19 year olds in the AHL rather than having to send kids with CHL rights back to junior where they supposedly can't learn anything more.

Saying that, Monahan has something to play for going back to Ottawa. He can put those kids on his back and lead them into the post-season.

I noticed no one has Grabovsky as our number 1 centre. I guess bad-mouthing your old boss is a no-no in the sporting world as it is in the real world. Ouch.

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#36 aloudoun
July 16 2013, 04:00PM
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Knight will get a good long look to start the season and if he falters then he gets sent down. Same with Monahan.

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#39 BJ
July 16 2013, 04:41PM
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Baertshi Baclund Cammalleri

Backs has proven himself as our best center and has great chemistry with Baertshi. Cammalleri rounds out the line nicrley and it is past due that Backs has some good linemates... Baert too...

Glencross Stajan Stempniak

Stajan and Stemper both need to play in the top 6 to increase their trade value... a good shutdown line or a line that could produce 2nd line numbers

Hudler Monahan Jones

Hudler should be a good compliment to Monahan and this assignment will be good for Monahan in his rookie year. Jones wlshould be a functional 3rd liner and this line could play 2bd line minutes some nights.

Galiardi (Horak/Knight) Jackman/Bouma

Mcgratton =extra

Notes: Galiardi gets his minutes on the pk and moves up in case of injury. 4th center is whovever wins it... Blair Jones is still in the mix.

Brodie Wideman

Familiar... work well together

Gio Russell

Give Russell a shot at top 4

Butler Breen

Breen makes it but Butler loses his job to Cundari

SOB=extra

Ramo

Berra

Macbackup loses his job to the younger guy

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#40 PrairieStew
July 16 2013, 07:17PM
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@BJ

With you on the first two lines exactly, those veterans need ice time to pump their trade value.

I see no reason to keep Monahan as a third line centre. Send him back to junior to captain the WJ team and play 25 minutes a night in the OHL and get some offensive confidence. Keep him next year if he is top 2 lines.

Horak is the third line centre for me, for now. He meshed well with Hudler and I think I want Galiardi on that line. The speed will catch people unaware.

I am hoping Bouma plays well enough to be a factor. With him, Jackman and D Jones you have some pretty heavy wing options for line 4. I think you have Blair Jones as that centre with Reinhart as your alternate. Knight goes down to the AHL for now and along with Granlund we see if we can develop a centre to bring up later if one of the top 2 lines are missing a guy.

I disagree with Breen making it. I think you see SOB and Butler as pair 3, with Smith and Cundari around to fill in. The X factor here is Billins - 37 points in his first pro season in the AHL, 14 points in 24 playoff games, this guy might make it based on pp time alone.

It would not surprise me to see the team start the season with 3 goalies, and wait to see if someone gets in trouble and offer them Joey Mac. I have to believe both Ramo and Berra will be better than Joey who is a 33 yr old below average backup.

If the ownership allows for the full rebuild and lets Jay trade veterans there are 4 or 5 forward positions up for grabs come the end of February/early March with Knight, Reinhart, Granlund, Hanowski, Agostino, Arnold and maybe Gaudreau competing for them at the end of the year.

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#41 Primo
July 16 2013, 08:44PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

After trade deadline:

Baertschi-Backlund-Hudler

Glencross-Granlund-Jones

Galiardi-Knight-Horak

Bouma-Rienhart-McGrattan/Nemiez

Giordano-Brodie

Russell-Wideman

O'Brien-Breen/Cundari

Ship out: Cammalleri, Stempniak, Stajan, Butler, Jackman and Smith (if possible).

A recipe for disaster. This is exactly the identical strategy the Pilers have used. Results are obvious both in the standings and more importantly in player development.

I suggest retaining/ upgrading veteran talent selectively with a view to rebuild with the young guys.

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#42 Primo
July 16 2013, 08:45PM
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@Primo

Oilers.....typo oops!

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#43 Melvin Pasternak
July 16 2013, 10:19PM
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Is The Feasting on Feaster Temporarily Over For Flames Fans?

So all of a sudden we are ranked as being in the top 10 in terms of prospects. Besides the O'Reilly and Iginla situations, the Jaybird has restocked the team to where Flames fans can be excited about the future. That's an interesting omission given the past party line of this site. I have even been ready some grudging admiration for the man between the lines.

I'm still not convinced we tank next year. If K retires there is another 5.8 in cap space or about $14 million. What if two impact players were brought in by trade? Maybe the team looks very different than now. All along K has said the marching orders are to make the playoffs next year.

There's still nearly 2 1/2 months till the season starts-- a lot can hopefully happen.

Go Flames Go!

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#44 MC Hockey
July 16 2013, 10:26PM
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Avalain wrote:

We need nicknames for Karri Rambo and Yogi Berra?

I think you just nailed them! I can see the Rambo posters with Karri's head (and mask) inserted already - anyone got a software to do it and post it somewhere we can view it?

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#45 Adam
July 17 2013, 06:35AM
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Rambo and Yogi

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#46 BJ
July 17 2013, 09:55AM
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@PrairieStew

Agree that Monahan may not be on the team all year but I think you see him center the 3rd line for the first 9 games and if the 67s are not a factor he will be up on the team in April likely after we have moved out the vets.

Horak on the 3rd would be interesting and well deserved... not sure what the Flames do with him... he is good enough to be on the big club but I would rather see him play on the first line in the A than on the 4th line.

The D is kind of hard to predict as there are spots up for grabs. The Russell move is kind of puzzling.... gave up a pick for him but only signed to a one year deal. Is he part of the future? Was the move speculative?...I have a hard time understanding this move unless the Flames see him as a potential top 4... giving up a pick doesnt make sense as depth move. I think by the end of the year at least one will be moved out and Breen and Cundari will be regulars.

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#47 SeanCharles
July 17 2013, 11:39AM
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Primo wrote:

A recipe for disaster. This is exactly the identical strategy the Pilers have used. Results are obvious both in the standings and more importantly in player development.

I suggest retaining/ upgrading veteran talent selectively with a view to rebuild with the young guys.

True, but these players are all UFAs and probably wont resign, at least not all.

It would be bad asset management to keep players around that will walk at seasons end anyway.

Plus we still have Glen, Hudler, Galiardi, Jones and Backlund who can insulate the youth after the other vets are traded at the deadline..

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#48 Jeff In Lethbridge
July 18 2013, 09:24PM
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Michael wrote:

I would say 'bodies at every position' rather than 'depth' at every position. Still weak at center and right wing, and likely missing one top four d man.

Not a lineup that is going to scare anyone in our division, but likely to produce another top 10 (likely top 5) draft pick! Just what this team needs.

hopefully 2 first overall picks back to back, then the first of many cups

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#49 Jeff In Lethbridge
July 18 2013, 09:29PM
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i think Knight stays and monohan goes back down. Knight can win face offs, right?

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#50 coachedpotatoe
July 21 2013, 06:49PM
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I've just joined the conversation but in a rebuild year it would make sense to stop talking about 1st lines second lines etc. If the Flames want to develop players this year roll 4 lines; protect no one and see what people can do. Key to this year is showcase the UFA's(so we can trade them) and develop the kids. Create a kids unit for PP, and a vet unit as well. Roll the following: Bach, Sven and Bouma; Stajan, Stemp, and Cammi; Knight/Monahan,Hudler,GlenX, Rhino, TJ, and Jones. (Jacckman and Mcrattan play only when needed) On D play Wied/TJ, Gio/Cundari, OB/Russle. Goalies: Ramo, Berri to start. I don't care about wins but I care about compete and development.

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