Five things: Things I have recently considered

Ryan Lambert
September 26 2013 08:31AM

1. So Sieloff's going pro

It was announced earlier this week that Patrick Sieloff would not return to juniors as some might have expected, and that the club will instead exercise its option to either keep him in Calgary or send him down to the AHL.

This is something I generally think is a good idea, and one that will be very conducive to the continual growing of Sieloff's game. My suspicion, based on nothing but what I've seen in the preseason and historical precedent, is that Sieloff will indeed be one of the young players to get several games in the big league to assess where he's at against full-on NHL talent when games matter at least a little bit, and then he'll be shipped to the AHL where he can get bigger minutes.

The reason I think it's a good idea is basically two-fold: First, he's 19, but won't be 20 until May, long after the Flames and probably the Heat will have been eliminated from the postseason, but his style of game isn't necessarily conducive to being any more successful in junior hockey than it already is. He, like Sean Monahan, was on a not-good team last year, but still only managed 11 points. He's not going to score a lot ever, is basically the point, no matter how many minutes he's given. What he does, instead, is hit, and hit hard, and hit often.

Lighting up 16-year-olds in the OHL is something with which Sieloff has proven exceptionally adept, and thus does not require any additional training at. Lighting up men? Playing sound positional defensive hockey? These are skills that must be honed against adults for him to have much success at the NHL level and, given the blue line depth in Abbotsford, I'd say that he'll be getting pretty hefty minutes there. I mean, how many of these guys are even Flames property with a chance of being in the NHL? Mark Cundari and that's it? They can prioritize Sieloff's development there, and that's for the better, for all involved.

2. The fundamental difference between this and Monahan

Now I know what you're thinking, if you're particularly opposed to my point of view on the prospect of keeping Sean Monahan with the big club — which by the way the Flames seem remarkably inclined to do despite it being a terrible idea. "Why is keeping this guy in the pros a good idea and doing the same with Monahan a bad one?"

Again, Sieloff can be sent to the AHL, where he can get big minutes against pros. My understanding is that Monahan cannot. If he could get anything approximating the kind of minutes he would get in the OHL in the AHL, then I think it would be worth starting his ELC clock. I honestly do. Again, it's the difference between getting 20 minutes a night in a lower league or between 12 and 15 in the world's best. The point some of you have made about his being able to dominate kids in the OHL, and thus having little else to prove, is not an invalid, but it also doesn't overwhelm the fact that he needs minutes more than stiffer competition. If he could find a medium between the two in the AHL, that would be the best possible situation for all involved. But he can't, so why bother paying him and keeping him on the bench for 75-80 percent of a game?

3. Mike Cammalleri's status

I don't know if it's just fodder or based on anything in particular he's heard — and given the author, I'd be inclined to suspect it's the former — but Eric Francis had a pretty good piece on what the future holds for Mike Cammalleri, in which it is said, point blank, that it's "extremely unlikely" that he's around at the end of the season.

That makes a lot of sense, obviously. Big-money player, bad team, post-apex as Jay Feaster likes to say, and someone who can theoretically help a contender looking for top-six(ish) help. Cammalleri also seemed cagey on the issue, and the article suggested he's loath to talk about it going forward, but it's going to come up a lot this season. A lot lot. Especially if he's good, and even if he's not. He's as good as gone as far as I'm concerned, and that's how it should be.

4. The Flames and the NHL crackdown on thugs

One thing that I took from this latest run at the ability of the "Supergoon" to do his job was that this comes at a not-very-good time for the Flames. They recently hired Brian Burke, and there was a decent amount of chatter in the last week about the importance of this kind of player. Brian McGrattan training Keegan Kanzig in the fistic arts, etc.

Then yesterday morning, there was a note from ESPN's Craig Custance that it's believed a majority of NHL GMs are opposed to this kind of player's existence in the league, and that there will likely be a move to ban most fighting from the game. I'm for that, on general principal, because the only fights that will happen will be those that "need to" happen. When guys are willing to eat a game suspension to defend a teammate from a particularly injurious hit, or whatever, the game will be better because there will be fewer useless players in the league and thus on Calgary's roster, or that of any other teams. Of course, that's bad news for the Flames, philosophically, in the short-term.

5. The goaltending situation

I saw something about how Reto Berra is now about to make his final push for a roster spot in the stretch run of training camp and it makes sense to me on a logical level: How much is there, really, separating Karri Ramo, who looks for all the world to be the presumptive No. 1 in Calgary despite not having been in the NHL for a few years, and Laurent Brossoit, who's currently the backup in Abbotsford and awaiting a demotion to the ECHL when Berra's final fate is figured out?

There's really not a lot of stratification here. The drop between Ramo and Joey MacDonald has to be relatively minor in the team's eyes (hence the latter's one-way deal signed as a kind of insurance policy late last season), but if Berra's still trying out for a job, he can't be that far behind MacDonald. Joni Ortio and Brossoit, meanwhile, both seem promising enough to warrant consideration for at least splitting time at the AHL level, but the rookie seems the more likely ECHL starter.

I don't know if this says the team's organizational goaltending depth is really solid or really mediocre, though.

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#51 Baalzamon
September 26 2013, 08:36PM
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MC Hockey wrote:

Are all of you talking about David or Blair Jones? Time to be clear

David. I'm guessing you didn't read yesterday's game day thread if you don't know who I'm raging about haha.

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#52 chillout
September 26 2013, 09:33PM
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@Colin

ok you obviously don't understand how the world works. kanzig is a monster this means that other teams monsters will target him as someone who can fight regardless of his skill.

I also need you to make it very clear to me the exact number of seconds that kanzig took off from other drills to spend time "face punching". Now this means not between drills chatting with a guy to get an idea of how best to grapple a guy so that he doesn't do much damage, but how many drills or even days he took off from main camp to burn his hockey I.Q. and other skills to nothing by "face punching".

Please fill me in since you seem to know exactly what Kanzig has been doing the entire preseason.

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#53 chillout
September 27 2013, 06:50AM
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@Colin

good grief. He wanted to learn how to defend himself a little. Your argument is idiotic. They are not trying to groom him to be a McGratton.

2 minutes is not 2 minutes too much. That is completely stupid. You jump to such massive conclusions that he is automatically going to be a fighter.

All I care about is that he doesn't fight like Semin. Thing is yeah he doesn't need to fight...ever. But if he does it's pretty much a guarantee that it is going to be some monster so he better know how to handle it. Better safe than sorry. It does not mean he is instantly a goon. It also does not mean he wasted time at camp. AGAIN PLEASE TELL ME WHAT PARTS OF CAMP HE SKIPPED TO TALK FIGHTING WITH MCGRATTON???

If you watched the kid play you would see there is a lot more to his game than just size. That is also the reason he stayed up at camp so long was so that he could see how much he needs to improve his skating to stick with the big league.

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#54 piscera.infada
September 27 2013, 10:58AM
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@chillout

I've given up with any sort of logical argument with that guy.

To elaborate on your point, I believe he was one of those posters who was up in arms that "OMG the flames ruined their draft by drafting that coke-machine loser in the third round". It's funny how perception changes. First, he was a guy who had no skill other than face-punching - when everyone had no real information on him as a player. Now, talking to a face-puncher is such an egregious waste of his god-given talents that "we will not stand for it, not for one minute!" - even though we have no real information on what the extent of this 'training', 'conversation', or 'date-night with the wife and/or girlfriend' really was.

While I understand the argument that management and the coaching staff thinks they're smarter than everyone, nothing gets more tired and played than fans thinking they know more than management and the coaching staff.

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