A Knight In Padded Armour - A Look At Abbotsford's Corban Knight

Ryan Pike
January 17 2014 10:04AM


courtesy stat19

Folks, please provide a warm welcome to guest contributor Annie Erling Gofus (@AnnieErGo), with this profile on former UND forward and current Calgary Flames prospect Corban Knight.

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If one were to ask the average American grandmother to describe a hockey player she might say, “big, bruised and mean.” While big and bruised might be accurate, Abbotsford Heat centre and Flames prospect Corban Knight takes the thuggish stereotype and turns it on its head. With a strong connection to family, deep roots in Canada and a pure-and-simple love for the game, it’s tough to find a more passionate player and sincerely nice athlete than Knight.

Like so many professional players before him, Corban Knight, 23, learned to skate as soon as he was steady on his feet. Growing up in a small Canadian town, he first strapped on skates with his parents and five siblings at the outdoor rink (like any good Canadian boy). And while these early memories are fuzzy, he can vividly describe what it was like growing up with hockey in Canada.

“For me growing up every chance I could get I was playing, whether it be street hockey or on the pond or hand hockey in the house hallway. I was just always finding ways to play hockey. I think just the fact that you’re in Canada… from a young age you learn about the game. You grow up with it. Having a love for the game and learning a lot about it, too because you’re always playing.”

At 6’2”, 200 pounds, Knight sizes up nicely against the average NHL player who stands 6’1.3” and weighs 203.7 pounds. But measuring in at approximately 5’3” at age 14, Corban’s size worked against him as he was overlooked by Major Junior teams. After Midget Hockey, Corban played Junior A with the Okotoks Oilers—a team just down the road from his family in High River, Alberta and with connections to his dream school, the University of North Dakota.

“My mom always pressured education with us… The fact that I can go to college, get a degree and also play really good hockey appealed to me,” Corban explained. “I knew I wanted to go to college and specifically North Dakota. And (the Okotoks Oilers) had had a couple players go there before me, so it was almost like they had a pipeline, connections to the coaches. And I thought it would really help my chances with UND.”

Almost five years later, Corban still remembers the exact day he committed to UND—January 7, 2009. Over his four years in North Dakota, Knight left his mark as the 27th highest scorer in UND’s history with 146 points (52 goals, 94 assists) in 161 games, as a record-setting face-off winner and as a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Top 10 finalist. Not every player sees four years of college hockey through to the end—some follow the bright lights to a professional career early. But he doesn’t regret his decision to stay in Grand Forks.

“It could change in 20 years, but right now staying (at UND) for all four years has been the best decision of my life… Grand Forks and UND is such a special place that, for me, to leave early just didn’t make sense.”

Originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fifth round (135th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Knight assumed he would start his professional hockey career on the sandy beaches of The Sunshine State. But nothing is certain in the life of an athlete:

“My agent called me one day and said, 'Calgary is really interested...' So, I met with the management and I really had a good feeling about it. They all seemed like great guys and it just seemed like a good fit for me. So, the trade happened and it was pretty special that I got traded to basically my hometown.”

In June 2013, Corban was traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round draft selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. The 4,644 km jump from Florida to Alberta was a happy one for Knight:

“Growing up, I was around the Flames. Everyone in my part of the country just bleeds for that team. It was a pretty surreal experience that I was getting traded to a team like that. Even with their farm team here in Abbotsford, just the fact that I was closer to home and in Canada is pretty special to me. My mom was pretty happy that’s for sure.”

Knight wrapped up a successful college hockey career in the spring of 2013, and trained hard all summer in preparation for the Flames’ training camps. After a successful run at development camp, Knight approached September eager to fight for a spot on Calgary’s roster. Just four days before NHL roster submissions were due, Corban was assigned to Calgary’s AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat.

“Obviously, when it didn’t work out and they sent me down here to Abbotsford, it was tough at first just because you’re so close to achieving one of your childhood dreams of playing in the NHL. But at the same time, you realize that this is a process and I just needed to come down here and work on my game... At first it’s disappointing, I tried to focus in on the positives and really focus on getting better down here.”

Nestled in the mountains about an hour east of Vancouver, Abbotsford is a scenic place to kick-off a professional hockey career. Knight has enjoyed a strong start to his first pro season, tallying 28 points (9 goals, 19 assists) in 39 games. Outside of the rink, he has also settled into a comfortable (and dare we say, ironic) living situation, sharing an apartment with two teammates, including current linemate and former rival, Ben Hanowski.

“Ben Hanowski played at St. Cloud State when I was at North Dakota. So for four years we were hated rivals and now we’re living together and playing on the same line.”

Reflecting on his career so far, Knight offered some advice to young players with professional aspirations.

“You’ve gotta work hard. There are so many ups and downs in hockey. For me, I got cut from a couple teams. At the time maybe you’re like, well, maybe my career is over and maybe I should pack it in and look at something else. That’s the great thing about hockey, there are always so many chances to play and to make something out of yourself… As long as you work hard, there’s a lot of potential to do pretty great things out there.”

And why did Corban Knight keep playing after being cut from teams and overlooked by scouts as a teenager because of his size? It’s simple.

“Just the love of the game. Hockey is such a huge part of my life. And I love it so much that it was something that I just didn’t want to quit. I knew that if I just kept working hard that good things would happen.”

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Annie Erling Gofus writes for http://www.summitolympus.com . Follow Annie on Twitter (@AnnieErGo) or email her at annie.erling@gmail.com.

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Now in his fourth 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 and the Wrestling Observer.
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#1 Dave
January 17 2014, 10:19AM
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excellent read. I can't wait to see this guy play for the flames soon

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#2 ssamze
January 17 2014, 10:29AM
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Great article! Seems the kid has a great head on his shoulder. I'm excited to see him in this team soon as well.

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#3 Primo
January 17 2014, 10:32AM
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Ryan..great to see these profile articles that dig a bit deeper than stats! Would be great to see more of this with the guys in Abby....Granlund / Ortio are close hence I would like to learn more about them!

With regards to Knight at the age of 23 he will likely get one shot at the big club to be a regular. Nice to see the Flames ensure he gets his AHL development before he is called up. I know it frustrates many fans not to see this local guy at this point but NCAA guys usually need 1-2 years of AHL!

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#4 Carlizzle
January 17 2014, 03:18PM
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What else do the Flames have to lose? The entire team looks disinterested, Hartley has lost whatever , if any control that he may have had, Burke is sitting on his hands, and there is nothing to hold out any hope for. Seven consecutive home losses by any professional sports team should logically warrant some sort of changes . The frustration is beyond the boiling point for me. I agree that calling anyone up from Abby into the current,existing toxic enviroment wouldn't benefit anyone, but at this point, why not? How much worse can it get?

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#5 beloch
January 17 2014, 03:46PM
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@Carlizzle

Late last season the Flames got a bit of a boost from rookies coming up for their cups of coffee. However, that was after some players were traded away and while others were injured. If you're Hartley, do you gamble on your guys pulling out of their funk on their own (they did show some signs of life against Pittsburgh and Carolina) or do you instead gamble on rookie enthusiasm overcoming the necessity of benching healthy regulars to make room? Or you could sit a face-puncher... NAH.

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#6 coachedpotatoe
January 17 2014, 03:50PM
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Primo wrote:

Ryan..great to see these profile articles that dig a bit deeper than stats! Would be great to see more of this with the guys in Abby....Granlund / Ortio are close hence I would like to learn more about them!

With regards to Knight at the age of 23 he will likely get one shot at the big club to be a regular. Nice to see the Flames ensure he gets his AHL development before he is called up. I know it frustrates many fans not to see this local guy at this point but NCAA guys usually need 1-2 years of AHL!

I agree that players need AHL experience but I also don't think a little NHL exposure will hurt them. A player like Knight would probably become a better player if he had a short stint at the NHL level; get a taste, see how much he still needs to develop and then get sent back down as part of his development. I see this in Byron; his time in AHL has contributed to him being better but his little stints here and there with the big club has also helped make him ready for this chance. NCAA grads are more mature phyically(it's an age thing) than the guys our the CHL and should be bit better prepared to play against men. I don't think any of the AHL guys are ready for a long stint with big club but I don't feel that a 2-5 game exposure will be detrimental to their development.

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#7 MichaelD
January 17 2014, 04:04PM
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Carlizzle wrote:

What else do the Flames have to lose? The entire team looks disinterested, Hartley has lost whatever , if any control that he may have had, Burke is sitting on his hands, and there is nothing to hold out any hope for. Seven consecutive home losses by any professional sports team should logically warrant some sort of changes . The frustration is beyond the boiling point for me. I agree that calling anyone up from Abby into the current,existing toxic enviroment wouldn't benefit anyone, but at this point, why not? How much worse can it get?

Relax, Hartley shuffles lines so theres some change for you, management is focused on development in the AHL, and Burke will be smart with trades to get the best value.

There will be change, but over a year or two not over a week. We knew this was coming so for now just sit back, and enjoy articles like this about our future.

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#8 RKD
January 17 2014, 04:47PM
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The Flames are in need of help at the center position. I really hope we see Knight in a Flames uniform sometime this season. Other teams also coveted this guy.

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#9 mattyc
January 17 2014, 05:35PM
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Since all the focus here is on prospects (and rightfully so given what is happening on the ice...), I thought it was relevant what Cam Charron posted over at NucksArmy.

If you take that article, and substitute Iginla, Kipper and Regehr for Sedin and Luongo, it would pass as any number of FN articles from 3-4 years ago.

Funny how the game works - feels like just yesterday we were cheering on Iginla and Gelinas and Conroy scoring on Dan Cloutier.

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#10 coachedpotatoe
January 17 2014, 05:58PM
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Heard today that it is likely BJones will play against the Canucks, I wonder who Hartley will sit. I know what my choice would be. Also sounds like DJones is close to returning as is Russell.Both 2-3 games. Again I wonder who will sit.

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#11 seve927
January 17 2014, 06:01PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Heard today that it is likely BJones will play against the Canucks, I wonder who Hartley will sit. I know what my choice would be. Also sounds like DJones is close to returning as is Russell.Both 2-3 games. Again I wonder who will sit.

Galiardi looks like he gets a seat in the press box. Brilliant.

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#12 coachedpotatoe
January 17 2014, 08:05PM
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seve927 wrote:

Galiardi looks like he gets a seat in the press box. Brilliant.

Somebody please explain to me how either Westgarth or McG has out played TJG over the last three games.

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#13 Baalzamon
January 17 2014, 08:22PM
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@coachedpotatoe

You must have missed all the liberty-taking that didn't happen because Westgarth was playing.

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#14 Carlizzle
January 17 2014, 08:25PM
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@MichaelD

Thanks, I should give Hartley a call and thank him for ,making those lineup changes,just for me. That was the main purpose of my comments, for changes to be made for my benefit. I do enjoy articles like this, and I do appreciate the fact management wants to allow time for development, but, it would be nice to see some callups, such as Corban Knight, to show what he has to offer and, pardon the pun, light a fire under some of the current roster and get some of the vets out out of their funk.

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#15 BurningSensation
January 17 2014, 09:58PM
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Carlizzle wrote:

Thanks, I should give Hartley a call and thank him for ,making those lineup changes,just for me. That was the main purpose of my comments, for changes to be made for my benefit. I do enjoy articles like this, and I do appreciate the fact management wants to allow time for development, but, it would be nice to see some callups, such as Corban Knight, to show what he has to offer and, pardon the pun, light a fire under some of the current roster and get some of the vets out out of their funk.

On the contrary, I prefer they leave Knight (and Ortio, and Granlund, etc.) on the farm (or in College in the case of Gaudreau).

The Flames are going to win diddly squat except for a high draft pick this year, so letting the kids develop without getting their heads kicked in every night is just prudent.

Monahan would be the exception, though I admit I would probably prefer he was sent back to Jr., the fact is he can play well enough to be here as a regular.

As for dressing face-punchers, etc., why not? At least the Flames fans will get a fight or two during each loss to relieve them of their misery.

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#16 J.P.
January 18 2014, 12:24AM
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I know it is still a long shot, but Jankowski had a pretty solid night. Scored with the extra attacker to tie up the game, assisted on the only other goal, and scored in the shootout. Hopefully he keeps improving!

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#17 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 06:56AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

On the contrary, I prefer they leave Knight (and Ortio, and Granlund, etc.) on the farm (or in College in the case of Gaudreau).

The Flames are going to win diddly squat except for a high draft pick this year, so letting the kids develop without getting their heads kicked in every night is just prudent.

Monahan would be the exception, though I admit I would probably prefer he was sent back to Jr., the fact is he can play well enough to be here as a regular.

As for dressing face-punchers, etc., why not? At least the Flames fans will get a fight or two during each loss to relieve them of their misery.

The only thing you have said here that I agree with is that the Flames will win squat this year and will have a high draft pick.

The kids will not have their "heads kicked in every night" as you say.(I don't recall Rhino, Horak getting their heads kicked in during their call ups) They will struggle at times, they learn and adapt. They will be better prepared when they come up the next time, they will take those experiences and be better AHL pros. Note I am not talking about them being called up for the rest of the season but for 2/3 game stints at a time. Again Byron is a good example of this; it was not that long ago that many on this site where blasting him as not being a player(every time the RR to Buffalo trade was mentioned the haters came out) now for many here he is the new darling of the team. How did this happen; time in the AHL plus NHL experiences to build on. Did he get his "head kicked in every night"? No! He struggled, adapted, developed and now seems to be more able to be an NHLer.

As for dressing face punchers that is a whole other point. One we have not seen either of them deter the cheap shots that this team has absorbed, nor have we seen them fight on a regular basis(personally I don't need staged fights), and how do we justify playing them ahead of Glenx, Cammi, the Jones boys when they get back or even Street or Byron. It is more likely that Street or Byron would be picked off of waivers (I am not sure but I think both would have to clear waivers if sent back down) than either of Westgarth or McG.

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#18 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 06:56AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

On the contrary, I prefer they leave Knight (and Ortio, and Granlund, etc.) on the farm (or in College in the case of Gaudreau).

The Flames are going to win diddly squat except for a high draft pick this year, so letting the kids develop without getting their heads kicked in every night is just prudent.

Monahan would be the exception, though I admit I would probably prefer he was sent back to Jr., the fact is he can play well enough to be here as a regular.

As for dressing face-punchers, etc., why not? At least the Flames fans will get a fight or two during each loss to relieve them of their misery.

The only thing you have said here that I agree with is that the Flames will win squat this year and will have a high draft pick.

The kids will not have their "heads kicked in every night" as you say.(I don't recall Rhino, Horak getting their heads kicked in during their call ups) They will struggle at times, they learn and adapt. They will be better prepared when they come up the next time, they will take those experiences and be better AHL pros. Note I am not talking about them being called up for the rest of the season but for 2/3 game stints at a time. Again Byron is a good example of this; it was not that long ago that many on this site where blasting him as not being a player(every time the RR to Buffalo trade was mentioned the haters came out) now for many here he is the new darling of the team. How did this happen; time in the AHL plus NHL experiences to build on. Did he get his "head kicked in every night"? No! He struggled, adapted, developed and now seems to be more able to be an NHLer.

As for dressing face punchers that is a whole other point. One we have not seen either of them deter the cheap shots that this team has absorbed, nor have we seen them fight on a regular basis(personally I don't need staged fights), and how do we justify playing them ahead of Glenx, Cammi, the Jones boys when they get back or even Street or Byron. It is more likely that Street or Byron would be picked off of waivers (I am not sure but I think both would have to clear waivers if sent back down) than either of Westgarth or McG.

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#19 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 07:38AM
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Sorry for the double post but it gave me a chance to come back on and babble about a couple of other things.

Nice to here that Sieloff is getting over his infection and is now doing off ice conditioning; hopefully he will be back on the ice before the end of the Heats season. This is one case where I do not want to rush a player.

Frustrating that we have not heard anything from the organization about Ferlands injury.

Johny G had two goals last night. We have come to expect this, hopefully we have not built him up too much.

Jankowski scored and got a assist last night. He will never live up to Feasters words but hopefully he can develop and be a player.

On Burke and "I'm not a patient man"; I'm quite amazed with how little he has done in the month he has been in charge. One blah trade in regards to talent(but a clear message). I am also shocked and dismayed that he has not hired a GM by now. When he fired Feaster I assumed he had a list of people he was interested in.(That is what a smart leader would do.)Either he did not have a list, or they all turned him down or he has no intention of giving up control. If any of these are true I am dismayed. If there is some other reason; ie it was the Christmas holidays and I don't do business then or I was too busy with USA hockey, I can buy that for a bit. Hockey is only a couple of 2/3 weeks away from the Olympic break and something needs to be done as little will be done then. The "Dome" is burning and the Emperor is fiddling.

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#20 seve927
January 18 2014, 08:14AM
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J.P. wrote:

I know it is still a long shot, but Jankowski had a pretty solid night. Scored with the extra attacker to tie up the game, assisted on the only other goal, and scored in the shootout. Hopefully he keeps improving!

Twitter also said he was stopped on a good chance in overtime.

Janko appeared to begin to turn a corner in December. Up until the Nov 30th game, he'd been averaging 1.7 shots per game. Since then, he's been averaging almost twice that at 3.2. In those first thirteen games, the Friars outshot their opposition 6 times and got outshot 7 (some weaker opposition included as well) totals 400 to 414 (49.1%). Since Janko turned it up, they've outshot their opposition 7 times and been outshot 2 with total shots of 336 to 254 or 57%.

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#21 seve927
January 18 2014, 08:14AM
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J.P. wrote:

I know it is still a long shot, but Jankowski had a pretty solid night. Scored with the extra attacker to tie up the game, assisted on the only other goal, and scored in the shootout. Hopefully he keeps improving!

Twitter also said he was stopped on a good chance in overtime.

Janko appeared to begin to turn a corner in December. Up until the Nov 30th game, he'd been averaging 1.7 shots per game. Since then, he's been averaging almost twice that at 3.2. In those first thirteen games, the Friars outshot their opposition 6 times and got outshot 7 (some weaker opposition included as well) totals 400 to 414 (49.1%). Since Janko turned it up, they've outshot their opposition 7 times and been outshot 2 with total shots of 336 to 254 or 57%.

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#22 Primo
January 18 2014, 11:09AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Sorry for the double post but it gave me a chance to come back on and babble about a couple of other things.

Nice to here that Sieloff is getting over his infection and is now doing off ice conditioning; hopefully he will be back on the ice before the end of the Heats season. This is one case where I do not want to rush a player.

Frustrating that we have not heard anything from the organization about Ferlands injury.

Johny G had two goals last night. We have come to expect this, hopefully we have not built him up too much.

Jankowski scored and got a assist last night. He will never live up to Feasters words but hopefully he can develop and be a player.

On Burke and "I'm not a patient man"; I'm quite amazed with how little he has done in the month he has been in charge. One blah trade in regards to talent(but a clear message). I am also shocked and dismayed that he has not hired a GM by now. When he fired Feaster I assumed he had a list of people he was interested in.(That is what a smart leader would do.)Either he did not have a list, or they all turned him down or he has no intention of giving up control. If any of these are true I am dismayed. If there is some other reason; ie it was the Christmas holidays and I don't do business then or I was too busy with USA hockey, I can buy that for a bit. Hockey is only a couple of 2/3 weeks away from the Olympic break and something needs to be done as little will be done then. The "Dome" is burning and the Emperor is fiddling.

Your views on Burke continue to be a joke with me...so your amazed at how little he has done in a month?? You think the Dome is burning and the Emperor is fiddling?? HAHAHA. Wake up..we are rebuilding and and the burning and fiddling will continue for a few years. Just like the Blackhawks and Bruins rebuild unfolded! It took them longer than a month!

When your top assets are at best average assets with the teams your are trading with then you better take more than a month to assess the negotiating strategy that will optimize the return for the Flames. Do you think the trade deadline will give you some advantage?? How about at the draft table or perhaps during the summer?

Your approach will definitely ensure a Feaster return for a world class defenseman (JBO) that included a 1st rounder and 2 retreads (Cundari/Berra) that will never be regular NHL'ers. Regardless of how Poirier turns out he will be our only return for JBo. The Blues management are still laughing at being able to retain Ty Rattie.

Relax...enjoy the next few years and be grateful Burke will be pulling the trigger on trades rather than Kevin Lowe? Jay Feaster?

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#23 MichaelD
January 18 2014, 11:18AM
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@Primo

100% agree. It's ridiculous to be rushing into big trades just because Burke hasn't done anything significant in a month.

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#24 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 11:51AM
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Primo wrote:

Your views on Burke continue to be a joke with me...so your amazed at how little he has done in a month?? You think the Dome is burning and the Emperor is fiddling?? HAHAHA. Wake up..we are rebuilding and and the burning and fiddling will continue for a few years. Just like the Blackhawks and Bruins rebuild unfolded! It took them longer than a month!

When your top assets are at best average assets with the teams your are trading with then you better take more than a month to assess the negotiating strategy that will optimize the return for the Flames. Do you think the trade deadline will give you some advantage?? How about at the draft table or perhaps during the summer?

Your approach will definitely ensure a Feaster return for a world class defenseman (JBO) that included a 1st rounder and 2 retreads (Cundari/Berra) that will never be regular NHL'ers. Regardless of how Poirier turns out he will be our only return for JBo. The Blues management are still laughing at being able to retain Ty Rattie.

Relax...enjoy the next few years and be grateful Burke will be pulling the trigger on trades rather than Kevin Lowe? Jay Feaster?

Primo: I'm glad I make you laugh; actually I'm glad you have an opinion and we can have a conversation. I'm probably not as big a Burke hater as I might seem but I love to stir the pot.I am on board with the rebuild and probably would like to see it develop a little differently than you and Burke. Personally I think ownership and King have decided not to pursue the rebuild in a slow manner and Burke is their way of moving it forward. For sure I would prefer Burke to Lowe. I liked the general direction that Feaster was going ; more skill as this has been something we have lacked for a long time. But in saying that it does not mean that he did not deserve to be fired. I hope Burke hires a GM who has an eye for skill and talent and not just a another grit chart guy; this reminds too much of the Sutter regime. agree we need more size and to a certain degree more grit but not at the expense of adding skill.

Interesting piece on Burke in the Sun today on how the current woes have left him sleepless, how he thinks the coaching staff are doing a good job and how he does not want to talk about the hunt for the GM(I read this after my entry).Tomorrows will be on his view on trades which will be interesting and should add some perspective on the future. Their are things that he could have done without trading off our assets and I know we disagree on development but I'm going to list a few things anyways. When Russell went down we could have seen Billins another small in stature D who is pp specialist instead we see O'B. I doubt it would have made us better but it would have been more consistent in my mind with the rebuild. Same could be said for when Granlund was up for two games; instead of him watching many fans would have liked to see him play instead of McG.

Again I have said a number of times I hope Burke succeeds but that does not mean I have to agree with his view of the game. Nor do you and I have to agree and I'm sure there will a number of things on which we don't agree but that's the beauty of discussions. However there may actually be some things we do agree on.

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#25 Kevin R
January 18 2014, 12:00PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Sorry for the double post but it gave me a chance to come back on and babble about a couple of other things.

Nice to here that Sieloff is getting over his infection and is now doing off ice conditioning; hopefully he will be back on the ice before the end of the Heats season. This is one case where I do not want to rush a player.

Frustrating that we have not heard anything from the organization about Ferlands injury.

Johny G had two goals last night. We have come to expect this, hopefully we have not built him up too much.

Jankowski scored and got a assist last night. He will never live up to Feasters words but hopefully he can develop and be a player.

On Burke and "I'm not a patient man"; I'm quite amazed with how little he has done in the month he has been in charge. One blah trade in regards to talent(but a clear message). I am also shocked and dismayed that he has not hired a GM by now. When he fired Feaster I assumed he had a list of people he was interested in.(That is what a smart leader would do.)Either he did not have a list, or they all turned him down or he has no intention of giving up control. If any of these are true I am dismayed. If there is some other reason; ie it was the Christmas holidays and I don't do business then or I was too busy with USA hockey, I can buy that for a bit. Hockey is only a couple of 2/3 weeks away from the Olympic break and something needs to be done as little will be done then. The "Dome" is burning and the Emperor is fiddling.

FFS quit being a drama queen. Just some points:

1/Tired of your complaining about Burke. Yeah I know, this is a forum you want to vent, I get it. But its the same thing over & over. What did you expect Burke to say, we're going to suck for at least 3 more years & probably miss the playoffs for 6years & I'm good with that? Then you complained & were convinced he was trading Backlund/Sven & Cammi to acquire every other teams enforcers. Now you are complaining he hasn't done anything. Enough, you don't know what constraints are holding up the hiring of a GM. He is quite capable of handling all duties until one is hired. What's the rush?? He'll make deals when he feels we are getting good value back, again what's the rush, TDL is Mar 5th. Relax.

2/ Face punchers... sigh....... I am so sick & tired of this debate. Byron is playing possessed because he has put so much time in the AHL & is putting efforts many of our vets should be putting in. Ahl has given Byron top 6 minutes & refining the game he is suited for. If we had started him on the 4th line instead of Mcgrats at the beginning of the year or last year playing 5 minutes a game, you think he would be the same player? If Hanzal injured Backlund, Byron & Wideman like what he did to the Canucks, I would bet $$$ either McGrats or Wesgarth would take up issue with him.

3/How many times against Winnipeg did I see guys like Stemps floating at our blueline Iggy style while the Jets cycled low for a whole shift. We talk about no goals, we talk about veteran leadership through our rebuild. Well where are the goals from Stajan, Stemps, Jones, Galiardi to name a few. The guys putting the effort now are the likes of Backs, Hudler, Gio, Brodie, Byron & yes I see more effort from the 5-10 minutes from our face punchers than some of the above players who are paid to score. All these UFA`s can go & I hope Burke can use the returns & other pieces we have to pick up on young NHL ready guys that just are not getting a chance or need a change from their current teams, like Gardiner or Runblad or players like that. That is what will speed up a rebuild. Don't worry, we will be able to sign a bunch of new veteran pilons to overpaid 2-3 year contracts to get us back up to the cap floor. Then we can whine about new players to run out of town. You should be happy he isn't making any rash moves. But I know it doesn't matter what he does, you will complain.

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#26 Primo
January 18 2014, 12:34PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Somebody please explain to me how either Westgarth or McG has out played TJG over the last three games.

Coachedpotatoe....not picking on you as I actually do enjoy our dialogue and ability to express our views...I would like to answer your question about Westgarth and McG playing over any player on the roster by giving you a hypothetical scenario.....

Its 1 hour before tonights game and coach Tortorella hands out the Flames lineup cards to the Canuck players....they look at the card and low and behold they see TJD in the lineup and both McG and Westgarth are not playing. The Canucks, all of them not only the tough guys begin to laugh and become real tough and confident because they now feel they can push and abuse and take liberties at the little tiny Flames. BUT hold it...there has been a last minute change and Hartley has decided to dress McG and Westgarth. Now regardless of how many minutes they play the Canucks start to take notice and are not as confident anymore. BUT hold on the Flames players all of a sudden are feeling better and more confident about themselves that McG and Westgarth will be in the lineup and have there back. For some reason those goons as you call them install some fear in the opponents and the tiny little Flames have some kind of hope to either pull an upset or at the very least stand up against those angry nasty Canucks who are having an awful time winning lately.

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#27 mattyc
January 18 2014, 12:47PM
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@Primo

That's a nice theory... I'm skeptical that it holds any water though. The Flames are 2-7-0 since Kevin Westgarth gave the players 'more confidence' and instilled fear in opposing would-be-shift-disturbers.

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#28 Primo
January 18 2014, 12:59PM
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mattyc wrote:

That's a nice theory... I'm skeptical that it holds any water though. The Flames are 2-7-0 since Kevin Westgarth gave the players 'more confidence' and instilled fear in opposing would-be-shift-disturbers.

Can you imagine if we had some talent comparable to the opposition...we would be 7-2-0.

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#29 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 01:09PM
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Kevin R wrote:

FFS quit being a drama queen. Just some points:

1/Tired of your complaining about Burke. Yeah I know, this is a forum you want to vent, I get it. But its the same thing over & over. What did you expect Burke to say, we're going to suck for at least 3 more years & probably miss the playoffs for 6years & I'm good with that? Then you complained & were convinced he was trading Backlund/Sven & Cammi to acquire every other teams enforcers. Now you are complaining he hasn't done anything. Enough, you don't know what constraints are holding up the hiring of a GM. He is quite capable of handling all duties until one is hired. What's the rush?? He'll make deals when he feels we are getting good value back, again what's the rush, TDL is Mar 5th. Relax.

2/ Face punchers... sigh....... I am so sick & tired of this debate. Byron is playing possessed because he has put so much time in the AHL & is putting efforts many of our vets should be putting in. Ahl has given Byron top 6 minutes & refining the game he is suited for. If we had started him on the 4th line instead of Mcgrats at the beginning of the year or last year playing 5 minutes a game, you think he would be the same player? If Hanzal injured Backlund, Byron & Wideman like what he did to the Canucks, I would bet $$$ either McGrats or Wesgarth would take up issue with him.

3/How many times against Winnipeg did I see guys like Stemps floating at our blueline Iggy style while the Jets cycled low for a whole shift. We talk about no goals, we talk about veteran leadership through our rebuild. Well where are the goals from Stajan, Stemps, Jones, Galiardi to name a few. The guys putting the effort now are the likes of Backs, Hudler, Gio, Brodie, Byron & yes I see more effort from the 5-10 minutes from our face punchers than some of the above players who are paid to score. All these UFA`s can go & I hope Burke can use the returns & other pieces we have to pick up on young NHL ready guys that just are not getting a chance or need a change from their current teams, like Gardiner or Runblad or players like that. That is what will speed up a rebuild. Don't worry, we will be able to sign a bunch of new veteran pilons to overpaid 2-3 year contracts to get us back up to the cap floor. Then we can whine about new players to run out of town. You should be happy he isn't making any rash moves. But I know it doesn't matter what he does, you will complain.

I don't see myself as drama queen but if you want to I'm okay with that. I know when the trade deadline is and my point was with the Olympic trade freeze the trade deadline will seem to occur out of no where. Rushing a trade between the end of the Olympics and the TDL could result in more bad trades. I do believe that Burke has been working the phones trying to put in place trades that will be of value to the Flames. I he pulls of a good trade I will gladly admit it. I agree I don't know all the constraints of the GM search just like none of us know who has said no.

Your defense of McG and Westgarth has not been proven so far this season. I believe most of McG fights this year have been against other teams young up and coming fighters(with a nice little tap on the head) rather than against the guys who have taken liberties. Please enlighten me if I'm wrong.

I agree that many of the UFA's have not been pulling their weight. I'm not sure their trade value will go up by waiting unless their efforts trade. Better they be moved than create an atmosphere that sucks. Again if he makes good moves I will admit it, the question is will you admit it if doesn't.

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#30 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 01:27PM
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Primo wrote:

Coachedpotatoe....not picking on you as I actually do enjoy our dialogue and ability to express our views...I would like to answer your question about Westgarth and McG playing over any player on the roster by giving you a hypothetical scenario.....

Its 1 hour before tonights game and coach Tortorella hands out the Flames lineup cards to the Canuck players....they look at the card and low and behold they see TJD in the lineup and both McG and Westgarth are not playing. The Canucks, all of them not only the tough guys begin to laugh and become real tough and confident because they now feel they can push and abuse and take liberties at the little tiny Flames. BUT hold it...there has been a last minute change and Hartley has decided to dress McG and Westgarth. Now regardless of how many minutes they play the Canucks start to take notice and are not as confident anymore. BUT hold on the Flames players all of a sudden are feeling better and more confident about themselves that McG and Westgarth will be in the lineup and have there back. For some reason those goons as you call them install some fear in the opponents and the tiny little Flames have some kind of hope to either pull an upset or at the very least stand up against those angry nasty Canucks who are having an awful time winning lately.

Primo: I know you are not picking on me. Let's look at your premise. I recall Sven saying something like what you said last year when the Flames acquired McG. Sven said something like McG made him feel bigger and safer and that he then played better. I get that to an extent. Have we seen any proof of that with this team since we started playing both McG and Westgarth; I'm not sure. The guys who have played well are seldom on the ice with them, so I'm not sure it really works. If either McG or Westgarth played with the Backs, Hudler's etc it would hold more weight as an argument. Playing with a Bouma type player may be a better solution.I had to laugh at your description of the angry nasty Canucks as all I an think of are the twin sisters and they never strike me as mean and nasty.(Not laughing at you just my image of the Canucks)

I would love to see the Flames add more guys like Bouma and the potential of a Ferland. This would in my mind make us tougher to play against.One on each line would great; oops thats' back to my dream of playing four lines like the teams that are going to make the playoffs.

Primo keep having the different opinions as I like the discussion.

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#31 Primo
January 18 2014, 01:47PM
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@coachedpotatoe

@ Coachedpotatoe

It will always be a matter of opinion at how much value the big fighters like McG and Westgarth bring but until we get more of the Bouma /Ferland types I would rather have these guys in the lineup......I guess I have a little Burke in me.... if we are going to lose the game on the scoreboard at least let's not get pushed around and stand up for ourselves.

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#32 coachedpotatoe
January 18 2014, 01:55PM
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Primo wrote:

@ Coachedpotatoe

It will always be a matter of opinion at how much value the big fighters like McG and Westgarth bring but until we get more of the Bouma /Ferland types I would rather have these guys in the lineup......I guess I have a little Burke in me.... if we are going to lose the game on the scoreboard at least let's not get pushed around and stand up for ourselves.

It remind's me of the old Flyer's mindset. I can't remember who said "if you can't beat hem on the ice beat them in allies". I'm hoping that Burke will pursue more the Ferland types but not forget how badly we need skill (Skill with size would be nice) See here is something we mostly agree on.

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#33 BurningSensation
January 18 2014, 03:05PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

The only thing you have said here that I agree with is that the Flames will win squat this year and will have a high draft pick.

The kids will not have their "heads kicked in every night" as you say.(I don't recall Rhino, Horak getting their heads kicked in during their call ups) They will struggle at times, they learn and adapt. They will be better prepared when they come up the next time, they will take those experiences and be better AHL pros. Note I am not talking about them being called up for the rest of the season but for 2/3 game stints at a time. Again Byron is a good example of this; it was not that long ago that many on this site where blasting him as not being a player(every time the RR to Buffalo trade was mentioned the haters came out) now for many here he is the new darling of the team. How did this happen; time in the AHL plus NHL experiences to build on. Did he get his "head kicked in every night"? No! He struggled, adapted, developed and now seems to be more able to be an NHLer.

As for dressing face punchers that is a whole other point. One we have not seen either of them deter the cheap shots that this team has absorbed, nor have we seen them fight on a regular basis(personally I don't need staged fights), and how do we justify playing them ahead of Glenx, Cammi, the Jones boys when they get back or even Street or Byron. It is more likely that Street or Byron would be picked off of waivers (I am not sure but I think both would have to clear waivers if sent back down) than either of Westgarth or McG.

Ok, let's start from the top;

The best place to develop talent is at a level where that talent can succeed. Bringing up a Corban Knight just so he can experience the pleasures of; prolonged scoring droughts, lopsided losses, questionable goaltending and the inherent joy of sharing a sweaty locker room with Kevin Westgarth is IMO just silly. Giving the kids a taste at the end of the year when all is really lost (and to help solidify as high a pick as possible) is the only occasion I would think makes sense to bring the kids up.

In short, nobody really learns to swim by being tossed into the deep-end. You learn by taking all the steps starting with 'floating on your back in the kiddie pool'.

Speaking of Paul Byron, he is NOT a prospect. He is an AHL/NHL 'tweener' who can do some nice things for you on the bottom end of the roster if and when injuries occur, and he can help mentor the kids on the farm while sheltering them from tough minutes situations. This was ever going to be his role. Sure it would have been nice if he could have turned himself into Cliff Ronning, but that was a bet unlikely to ever pay off.

As for the face-punchers, you miss my point. No, they don't actually help in any way (though the players will insist they do), and No, they won't probably fight on a 'regular' basis (because staged fights are exiting the game). The point of dressing facepunchers is three fold;

1. They aren't very good at hockey, and the flames will likely lose a few more games as a result, perhaps enough to improve our draft pick.

2. Say what you will, they are entertaining in a gladiator sort of way (and if McGratton had been a Flame ten years ago he would have been revered as a living God for his inhuman prowess at rendering others unconscious).

3. Being good at fighting is still a skill some GMs covet, and either Westgarth or McGratten may well earn the team a draft pick at the trade deadline. Personally I hope we can recreate the 'Alex Stojanov for Markus Naslund' deal Vancouver pulled off once upon a time.

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#34 piscera.infada
January 18 2014, 03:56PM
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The reason Burke is waiting so long to find a GM is twofold (as far as I can surmise, anyway). First, there are multiple reports that because Buffalo's GM search was so long and arduous, team's are simply reluctant to now let Calgary re-interview their people. The interview process is time consuming, and I imagine your AGM isn't focused on solely the needs of your team when he's thinking about a promotion for another team. As has been stated by some hockey reporters, the Buffalo GM search actually came off as a charade to many teams as it appeared many of the interviews were designed simply for LaFontaine to feel out how other organizations operated - thus, most teams soured. Burke has also been staunch opposition to "poaching" an organization's talent during the season - he's long been a defender of compensation for staff hired mid-season.

Second, Burke knows that the selloff of assets is not as integral as we all seem to think it is. Burke will work on that, and I'm confident that with his trading history he'll be able to get good-to-great return on less than optimal assets without needing a middle man. Therefore, hire a guy to start the offseason (a guy with a drafting/development background) to work with a "blank canvas", rebuild some of the staff if needed, and go balls to the wall on the draft. There's no need to rush through this process, get it wrong, and then "whoopsy, gotta do it all over again next year....". Right?

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#35 coachedpotatoe
January 19 2014, 07:19AM
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Primo wrote:

@ Coachedpotatoe

It will always be a matter of opinion at how much value the big fighters like McG and Westgarth bring but until we get more of the Bouma /Ferland types I would rather have these guys in the lineup......I guess I have a little Burke in me.... if we are going to lose the game on the scoreboard at least let's not get pushed around and stand up for ourselves.

Primo: I missed the first two periods and the incident. I wonder if Hartley and Torts were reading our posts. The fact that this happened is just so strange.

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#36 coachedpotatoe
January 19 2014, 07:28AM
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BurningSensation wrote:

Ok, let's start from the top;

The best place to develop talent is at a level where that talent can succeed. Bringing up a Corban Knight just so he can experience the pleasures of; prolonged scoring droughts, lopsided losses, questionable goaltending and the inherent joy of sharing a sweaty locker room with Kevin Westgarth is IMO just silly. Giving the kids a taste at the end of the year when all is really lost (and to help solidify as high a pick as possible) is the only occasion I would think makes sense to bring the kids up.

In short, nobody really learns to swim by being tossed into the deep-end. You learn by taking all the steps starting with 'floating on your back in the kiddie pool'.

Speaking of Paul Byron, he is NOT a prospect. He is an AHL/NHL 'tweener' who can do some nice things for you on the bottom end of the roster if and when injuries occur, and he can help mentor the kids on the farm while sheltering them from tough minutes situations. This was ever going to be his role. Sure it would have been nice if he could have turned himself into Cliff Ronning, but that was a bet unlikely to ever pay off.

As for the face-punchers, you miss my point. No, they don't actually help in any way (though the players will insist they do), and No, they won't probably fight on a 'regular' basis (because staged fights are exiting the game). The point of dressing facepunchers is three fold;

1. They aren't very good at hockey, and the flames will likely lose a few more games as a result, perhaps enough to improve our draft pick.

2. Say what you will, they are entertaining in a gladiator sort of way (and if McGratton had been a Flame ten years ago he would have been revered as a living God for his inhuman prowess at rendering others unconscious).

3. Being good at fighting is still a skill some GMs covet, and either Westgarth or McGratten may well earn the team a draft pick at the trade deadline. Personally I hope we can recreate the 'Alex Stojanov for Markus Naslund' deal Vancouver pulled off once upon a time.

To imply and compare Knights or anyone else in AHL with throwing someone into the deep end is so over simplified as to want to make me scream. If I was asking for the flames to bring someone up from peewee then this comparison wold make sense. if you want to compare hockey to swimming and Knight and the AHL to the NHL a closer comparison would be asking a 100 m swimmer to move to a 200 m swimmer. I'm not asking that any of the AHL young men come up and carry the Flames but that they come up for a few games and see the pace and speed of the game and go back and develop. Which if we did an indepth study of many of todays NHL players is exactly how it has worked for them(especially late round picks and free agents)This actually closer to how most people develop.

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#37 Primo
January 19 2014, 08:50AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Primo: I missed the first two periods and the incident. I wonder if Hartley and Torts were reading our posts. The fact that this happened is just so strange.

Isin't that amazing...we called it before the game even started!

It's nice to provide some direction to professional hockey coaches every once in a while!

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#38 coachedpotatoe
January 19 2014, 09:05AM
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@Primo

It made me laugh. Have a good day.

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#39 Primo
January 19 2014, 09:41AM
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@coachedpotatoe

You finally have your answer on Ferland...knee surgery next week out for season. One can only hope it is not career ending. One of Flames top prospects who they cannot afford to lose. Have a great day!

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#40 coachedpotatoe
January 19 2014, 12:02PM
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@Primo

Thanks and you are right, lets hope he heals as well as Bouma.

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