News and Notes - October 29 2014

Ryan Pike
October 29 2014 01:52PM

The Calgary Flames lost last night, but they were back at it at the 'Dome today for practice.

Yes, we're talking 'bout practice. And a few other Flames-related things.

PRACTICE NOTES

The Flames hit the ice bright and early today for a brisk practice. Most notable - outside of the weird baseball drill they keep busting out - was the absences.

Lines were thus:

Byron - Monahan - Hudler
Glencross - Jooris - Jones
Gaudreau - Setoguchi - Diaz
Bollig - Bouma - McGrattan

Giordano - Brodie
Russell - Wideman
Smid - Engelland

Ramo
Hiller

Now, if your first question is "Hey, Diaz isn't a forward, what the hell?" then you are correct. He is not a forward. He's a placeholder. I wouldn't also put much stock in these lines, because there's no Backlund (maintenance), Raymond (IR upper body), Stajan (lower body) or Colborne (upper body).

The expectation around the arena this morning was that somebody is coming up, and that both of Stajan and Colborne will be gone for a bit - at least a few weeks. I'm not a doctor, so that's entirely speculation. Either way, expect a flurry of activity tomorrow morning as someone gets put on the IR and someone comes up from Adirondack. The Baby Flames play tonight at home against San Antonio, and I'd imagine the team may hold out whoever is getting recalled to avoid (more) injuries.

If they're bringing up a center, perhaps it'll be Markus Granlund. The upside of Calgary's situation is that every single forward they may consider bringing up in the near-future (Granlund, Max Reinhart, Corban Knight, Michael Ferland, David Wolf, etc) don't require waivers. So, if someone is out long-term, you can rotate bodies into the NHL and back to the AHL without worry.

In other news: Jonas Hiller gets the start on Friday against Nashville. Coach Hartley explained they were using the first 10-11 games to evaluate, and that Hiller was a bit better than Ramo. I'd expect to see a similar rotation pattern as we saw last year - Hiller plays for a bit (5-6 games), then Ramo plays for a bit, and so on.

THE KIDS

Various Flames prospects have been in action in many, many leagues that aren't the AHL. Here's a quick glimpse at how the non-pro prospects have been doing:

  • Sam Bennett (2014 1st round) is still injured. He's technically on the non-roster list for Calgary, but as of last word he's recovering at home.
  • Mason McDonald (2014 2nd round) is 5-5-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .909 SV% in 11 games with the QMJHL's Charlottetown Islanders. The team is not great.
  • Hunter Smith (2014 2nd round) has 16 points in 14 games with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL.
  • Brandon Hickey (2014 3rd round) has 1 point in 3 games with the Boston University Terriers, who are undefeated.
  • Adam Ollas Mattsson (2014 6th round) has 0 points in 7 games with Djurgardens IF of the SHL. Then again, he's third pairing and a stay-at-home defender, so that's about right. He's played a bit with the pro team and the junior team, and he's expected to challenge for a World Junior spot as well for Team Sweden.
  • Austin Carroll (2014 7th round) has 20 points in 14 games with the Victoria Royals of the WHL. He's among the WHL's scoring leaders, which is what you would expect from an overager, but it's still nice to see. In the Royals games I've seen, he's been their most impactful player.
  • Morgan Klimchuk (2013 1st round) has 6 points in 6 games with the Regina Pats after returning from a wrist injury.
  • Keegan Kanzig (2013 3rd round) has 4 points in 13 games with the Victoria Royals. He's big. He's physical. He's not relied upon for offense much at all.
  • Eric Roy (2013 5th round) has 5 points in 9 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings, who are doing well. He's an overager, so you'd probably expect more offense out of him than he's giving right now.
  • Tim "Who?" Harrison (2013 6th round) has 5 points in 6 games with Colgate University. Granted, a lot of those points came against Sacred Heart - the Washington Generals of the NCAA - but it's nice to see him get on the scoresheet after being an agitator for much of last season with the Raiders.
  • Rushan Rafikov (2013 7th round) has 12 points in 17 games with the Superior Hockey League's (think AHL to the KHL) HK Ryazan club. He's been deemed too good (as a 19-year-old) for the juniors, so he's in the VHL, but he'll be part of Team Russia for the Super Series against the QMJHL, WHL and OHL next month. He has a strong shot at being on their World Junior roster as well.
  • John Gilmour (2013 7th round) has 2 points in 2 games with Providence College. That's pretty good for a college defender, though he is one of the older guys on the team (he's a junior).
  • Mark Jankowski (2012 1st round) has 1 point in 1 game with Providence College, although he's missed their last few games due to an injury. He was injured and didn't skate at development camp, so hopefully it's nothing nagging.
  • Jon Gillies (2012 3rd round) is 1-2-1 with a 3.15 GAA and .882 SV% through 4 starts with Providence College. The team's a bit rusty lately, particularly with Jankowski's absence, so I wouldn't take these numbers as anything serious yet. In a few weeks, we'll have a better idea of how Gillies is.
  • Matt Deblouw (2012 7th round ) has 1 point in 4 games with the Michigan State Spartans. He couldn't find the scoresheet with two hands and a flashlight last season - he really struggled - so it's nice that he's been able to play in every game and contribute positively. This is a big season in his development, even if his ceiling ends up being the AHL.
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Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames since 2010. He's Senior Contributing Editor at FlamesNation, a Senior Writer covering the Flames and the NHL Draft for The Hockey Writers, and a correspondent for the Fischler Report. He's just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
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#1 beloch
October 29 2014, 02:27PM
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You know, Diaz as a forward placeholder makes me wonder if Wideman should be tried out on the wing. He's great offensively, and having another defender behind him would fix the biggest hole in his game (defence). Of course, that would mean Diaz has to play defence, which may or may not be a good thing depending on whether that nasty case of the derps he had against the Jets has cleared up.

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#2 everton fc
October 29 2014, 02:30PM
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I don't see Wolf coming up. He hasn't earned it. Nor have someof the others mentioned, even if we are looking thinner than we anticipated, on the farm. I think Granlund's a certainty, as is Ferland. Backlund's beginning to concern me, in terms of injuries. But I know he's had the stomach pull.

Diaz on the wing. Never happens. McGrattan may get some ice time, and Setoguchi and Jooris will move back to the wings. This is how I see it.

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#3 Stan
October 29 2014, 02:36PM
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beloch wrote:

You know, Diaz as a forward placeholder makes me wonder if Wideman should be tried out on the wing. He's great offensively, and having another defender behind him would fix the biggest hole in his game (defence). Of course, that would mean Diaz has to play defence, which may or may not be a good thing depending on whether that nasty case of the derps he had against the Jets has cleared up.

Have to say, I think this is an extremely dumb idea. Wideman is not "great offensively", good maybe. His biggest asset is his shot from the point, where he scores 95% of his goals. He doesn't have the size, hands, or generally any trait that would make me believe he'd make a good forward.

Besides, why would the Flames try and convert our ONLY semi-competent RH shot dman to forward, especially when we have a plethora of forward prospects at the AHL level that are pushing for (and deserving of in some people's minds) a roster spot on the flames? Doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

And why would we try that when Wideman has actually been showing some good things from the back end lately and is leading the NHL in goals by a dman? I like and agree with most of your posts beloch, but this one... Just brutal lol

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#4 SmellOfVictory
October 29 2014, 02:38PM
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That's exciting news regarding Rafikov; putting up points like that in the Russian minor pro league at 19 can't be an easy task.

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#5 vowswithin
October 29 2014, 02:40PM
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I know nothing of the SHL but Rushan Rafikov sounds like he is having a good year there. Second most points on the team as a defenseman, while playing 18m a game. Put up 45 shots too, can't find anything about Penalties on the site though..

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#6 The Last Big Bear
October 29 2014, 03:04PM
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I've been very high on Rafikov ever since this summer 's WJC exhibition games.

He might come in under the radar and surprise a few people.

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#7 Dave
October 29 2014, 03:28PM
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I can't wait for sam bennett to get back into action. he is very exciting to watch. In a few years I hope we will be seeing an excellent flames team!

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#8 theCalgaryJames
October 29 2014, 03:57PM
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Marcus Granlund recalled!

Exciting opportunity for this guy. Wouldn't be surprised if he's played his last AHL game.

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#9 RKD
October 29 2014, 04:09PM
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Matt Stajan out at least 6 weeks, Joel Colborne has a wrist injury and is out day to day. Great opportunity for Granlund to come up and show his stuff.

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#10 Gerard
October 29 2014, 06:09PM
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beloch wrote:

You know, Diaz as a forward placeholder makes me wonder if Wideman should be tried out on the wing. He's great offensively, and having another defender behind him would fix the biggest hole in his game (defence). Of course, that would mean Diaz has to play defence, which may or may not be a good thing depending on whether that nasty case of the derps he had against the Jets has cleared up.

Ahh..the freedom of expressing opinions is the awesome thing about this site. Your suggestion of Wideman being tried out a wing merely confirms your lack of knowledge in not only playing the game of hockey but also on the business side in managing high valued assets. Wideman is one of the highest paid right handed shot defensemen in the NHL. He is mobile and could not only help the Flames in the immediate term as he is currently proving but could be a very valuable trade asset in the future. Changing his position as you suggest will certainly bring conflict with the player himself, send messages to the entire NHL that you have given up on this asset....enough said.

Wipe off the potato chip grease it's all over your keyboard beloch.

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#11 Skuehler
October 29 2014, 06:39PM
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Carroll's a 'hockey player', as Burke would say

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#12 Skuehler
October 29 2014, 06:41PM
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Thx for putting a smile on my face with that great clip ;)

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#13 MonsterPod
October 29 2014, 07:54PM
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It's funny. Coast to coast the hockey jocks are talking about how well the Flames are playing. To my eye, they have one home victory in 5 tries.

Tampa, Washington, and Montreal all came in having played (and lost) the night before in Edmonton. Losing to the north means they were not coasting. The Flames lost to them all on home ice, albeit twice past regulation.

Yes, of course, expectations are low, look at the roster, 30th in spending... But to say they're playing well is a bit of a stretch. They're working hard, no doubt, and we fans appreciate it, but personally, I think they're a bit rank right now. I'm looking forward to the next road trip.

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#14 SavardianSpinorama
October 29 2014, 08:07PM
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MonsterPod wrote:

It's funny. Coast to coast the hockey jocks are talking about how well the Flames are playing. To my eye, they have one home victory in 5 tries.

Tampa, Washington, and Montreal all came in having played (and lost) the night before in Edmonton. Losing to the north means they were not coasting. The Flames lost to them all on home ice, albeit twice past regulation.

Yes, of course, expectations are low, look at the roster, 30th in spending... But to say they're playing well is a bit of a stretch. They're working hard, no doubt, and we fans appreciate it, but personally, I think they're a bit rank right now. I'm looking forward to the next road trip.

Well, they were better than the Habs and Tampa Bay (despite the losses), two teams in the East people are gushing all over.

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#15 jeremywilhelm
October 30 2014, 02:35AM
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Macdonald won again last night, SV% up to 915 and is the top 3 goalie in the Q. Only guys better than him are 2 years his senior.

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