Frozen Four Game-Day: Boston College vs. Union College (3pm MT, TSN2)

Ryan Pike
April 10 2014 11:00AM

Gang, it all comes down to this. This afternoon, the Boston College Eagles attempt to advance to the NCAA Championship game on Saturday when they play the Union College Dutchmen. It'll definitely be the last couple collegiate games for Flames 2010 fourth rounder Bill Arnold, but it may also be the final collegiate appearances for one Johnny Gaudreau.

You may have heard of him.

A win sends Arnold and Gaudreau to the championship game. A loss perhaps sends them NHL contracts and an NHL appearance this weekend.

Either way, the stakes are high as one (or both) of the Calgary Flames top prospects seek to end their NCAA career(s) in style. The game goes at 3pm MT on TSN2.

BOSTON COLLEGE

Lines, via Joe Meloni of College Hockey News. Goals scored in brackets.

J.Gaudreau (35) – Arnold (14) – Hayes (27)
Fitzgerald (12) – Brown (14) – Cangelosi (10)
Smith (2) – Sit (5) – Silk (3)
M.Gaudreau (1) – Gilmour (7) – Cainan (4)

Savage (4) – Matheson (3)
MacLeod (0) – Santini (2)
McCoshen (5) – Doherty (2)

2014 NHL Draft prospect Thatcher Demko starts for the Eagles. He's 16-4-3, with a 2.16 GAA, .920 SV% and 2 shutouts this year. He started as the back-up and has really taken the reins.

The Eagles were eliminated in their conference playoffs by Notre Dame, then sat home for a week before besting Denver and U-Mass Lowell to punch their ticket to Philadelphia.

Obviously, BC's team is top-heavy: the top line is SICK, and their defense is promising, but depth is an issue. The big question is if Boston College's aces have one (or two) more big games left in 'em. Fitzgerald is a bit of a sleeper, and the second line has been decent of late, but this is the Gaudreau & Co. Show.

Seniors: Hayes, Arnold, Brown, MacLeod
Freshmen: Fitzgerald, Cangelosi, Gilmour, Savage, McCoshen, Cainan, Santini, M.Gaudreau, Demko
NHL Picks: J.Gaudreau (CGY), Arnold (CGY), Hayes (CHI), Fitzgerald (BOS), Calnan (CHI), Matheson (FLA), McCoshen (FLA), Santini (NJ), MacLeod (SJ), Gilmour (MIN)
Leadership: captain is Patrick Brown; alternates are Isaac MacLeod and Bill Arnold

UNION COLLEGE

Lines, via Joe Meloni of College Hockey News. Goals scored in brackets.

Carr (22) – Vecchione (12) – Ciampini (19)
Hatch (13) – Novak (14) – Sullivan (8)
Wilkins (6) – Lichtenwald (8) – Pontarelli (10)
Ikkala (2) – Coatta (5) – Cruice (6)

Gostisbehere (8) – Taylor (3)
Bodie (6) – Gingras (2)
Henry (0) – Vasaturo (0)

Junior goaltender Colin Stevens starts for the Dutchmen. He's been superb this year, with a 26-4-2 record, 1.93 GAA, .932 SV% and 6 shutouts. He's easily the best goalie in the ECAC this year.

Union has a more balanced line-up than BC, relying on offense from everywhere rather than riding one line. Their challenge will be containing the BC top line and making hay offensively when they're not on the ice. Easier said than done, but the Dutchmen haven't lost since January (amassing a 14-0-1 stretch). Whatever they're doing, it's working.

But can it work just one (or two) more times?

Seniors: Carr, Hatch, Sullivan, Bodie, Ikkala
Freshmen: Taylor, Pontarelli, Lichtenwald, Vecchione, Henry
NHL Picks: Gostisbehere (PHI)
Leadership: captain is Mat Bodie; alternates are Shayne Gostisbehere, Cole Ikkala and Daniel Carr

SUM IT UP

One way or another, Boston College's season will end this weekend. Will it be via championship glory or the bitter taste of disappointment?

Either way, it'll be a great chance to watch Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold play ice hockey.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#1 the-wolf
April 11 2014, 09:56AM
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Either he wants to come to Calgary or he doesn't. What does that say if we essentially have to offer him a bribe?

Burning a year on the ELC is a waste and a poor precedent to set.

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#2 Rockmorton65
April 11 2014, 11:41AM
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I still haven't heard the benefits to the organization for him to be signed ASAP. As I understand it, the Flames have his rights for another year, if he goes back to college. There is a ton of time to get a deal done.

I think we should also cut him some slack. How many of us were ready to determine whether or not we wanted to go back to school for another year, less than 24 hours after we wrote our final exam? Let him take a couple weeks to figure out what it is he wants to do. There's plenty of time.

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#3 Rockmorton65
April 11 2014, 08:42AM
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For me, the ELC thing is secondary. He's never played the game at this level before. Tempers always seem to run high between Calgary and Vancouver. There is a fairly substantial risk of injury. All it's going to take is for him to have his head down once and someone on the Canucks deciding to send a message with a cheap shot. I say let him start his pro career at training camp.

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#4 the-wolf
April 11 2014, 10:32AM
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piscera.infada wrote:

It's fairly standard with college players who come out at the end of their season though, no? They can't be sent to the AHL, and I think we can agree (especially in Gaudreau's case) we want his name on paper, then it's really the only way it can be done.

I just think it's pointless for all of 1 game probably, 2 at most. He won't sign otherwise? What does that indicate about him if he takes that stance? It just leads to future problems with other players. It's poor business. Gaudreau has a bright future, but he hasn't even played a game yet and that's not knocking him either. I'm as excited as anyone to see what he can do in the NHL (or possibly the AHL), but I don't think he deserves special treatment.

Edmonton is about to experience just hoq quickly a club can go from trying to meet the floor to trying to stay under the ceiling. The big picture needs to be considered.

If Johnny Hockey has any honor he will not only sign in Calgary, but start his pro career next season.

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#5 Rockmorton65
April 11 2014, 08:05AM
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It'd be mistake to put him in against Van. The game means nothing. He'll have no chance to practise. How prepared can he be if all he gets in is a morning skate? Just so we can see him in a uniform? Especially when we're playing a hated rival who is still blaming us for their lost season. I wouldn't expose him to a potential cheap shot. Not to mention, burning a year of his ELC for 5-10 mins of one game. Sorry for being a wet blanket, but I can't find a good reason to have him in the lineup.

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#6 Rockmorton65
April 11 2014, 01:02PM
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@Kevin R

Why is it so important that he plays in the Vancouver game? I'm hearing a lot of tension around the fact that if he's not in the Vancouver game that "this organization is going to crumble". I'm just saying it's not a huge deal if he doesn't sign for a few days or even a week. If he decides not to sign, then yes that's a problem.

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#7 coachedpotatoe
April 10 2014, 08:45PM
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I am so tired about the whining of where we might draft or that we should have tanked to get a higher draft pick. How did this team that almost all the experts and most of the regulars on this site picked to be 29/30 do better than the expectations. 1. We had an NHL headcoach who set expectations for his team and held them accountable to these expectations. 2. We had a captain that bought into the coaches system and who put the team ahead of himself and the rest of the leadership group followed. 3. Some young players took big step forwards (Backs, Brodie) 4. We added some surprises to the lineup.(Colborne, Bouma, Byron) 5. The Kid was as advertised and the goalie eventually was as advertised. 6.Maybe we underestimated the talent of the prospects and the grit of this team.

While it appears that the top 5 of the draft class may be ahead of the next group of 10 how sure can we be sure. The Flames will have done their homework and will know which of the others is the best prospect for the organization. I'm not saying that next years team will make the playoffs but I am looking forward to seeing the work ethic continue and the what the prospects will bring in regards to skill.

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#8 ultrathinzigzags
April 11 2014, 02:38AM
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carolina on the road to finish the season vs. det and philly? you know they are losing those. and I am sure we win one against win and van if not both. tied for points and we finish higher in the standings putting us at a 6th overall pick?

Calgary has never picked higher than 6th overall anyways so I suppose its about right. Yay

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#9 Brent G.
April 11 2014, 04:17PM
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Bout time it happened so all of the hyper sensitive fans can find another stupid thing to over react to...

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#10 Primo
April 10 2014, 11:14AM
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Dear Mr Edwards...If you haven't already done so please get Ken King and Brian Burke on your private jet and fly them to New Jersey to pick up Johnny's parents. From there go to the tourney with his parents and have a pen and contract in your hands.

Ditto for Billy Arnold! Your franchise simply cannot afford another Tim Erixon situation! Enough said on this already!!

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#11 doubledown
April 10 2014, 08:33PM
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Cfan in Vic wrote:

Islanders up 2-0 over MTL, late in the 3rd!

It doesn't matter what the Islanders do. We are about to pass Carolina.

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#12 Rockmorton65
April 11 2014, 01:00PM
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The way I see it is one of two things will happen;

1) He signs with the flames and the organization finds out in the next 2 to 3 years what kind of impact player he can be.

2) He decides to go back to college, probably signaling that he doesn't want to play for the Flames. The Flames then have over a year to decide what they want to do. 16 months to be exact (that, in my mind, is a lot of time). During that time they can try to change his mind, and if they're not able to do that trade him to a team that wants to try to sign him. My guess is if he doesn't sign in the next week or two, he will be dealt at the draft.

People talk a lot about the Erixon situation as a comparable. I see the situations as being quite different. First, Burke is not Feaster. Erixon sweet talked Feaster and convinced him that he was going to sign and then told him two days before he was to reenter the draft that he wasn't going to sign here. Feaster then managed to get a decent return for him. My guess is Burke will give Gaudreau a week or two to decide. If he hasn't made up his mind by then I'm sure Burke will try to deal him, knowing what's at stake. There's no way in Hades that Gaudreau will string Burke along only to walk away in a year.

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#13 McRib
April 10 2014, 11:23AM
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@Primo

Tim Erixon situation? We actually easily won that trade give me Markus Granlund & Tyler Wotherspoon anyday over Tim Erixon. Not to mention we got 1/2 of Ladislav Smid for Roman Horak (not that I am a huge fan). At this point I think I would take just one of Wotherspoon or Granlund over Erixon. I want Johnny Hockey to sign with us as much as the next person, but imagine what kind of value he would get in return if we traded him. If he said he didn't want to sign with Calgary this offseason and would sign with a Boston or Philadelphia at this point I think he could get better return than Iggy did. Regardless I think he signs with us after the NCAA Tournament, as his parents seem to be just trolling the media more than anything. Or the media is trolling them which is much more likely setting them up for quotes to make a story.

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#14 MyTwoCents
April 10 2014, 11:54PM
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@coachedpotatoe Agree with everything. That's exactly why Flames fans are excited/optimistic about this team. Jay Feaster deserves ALL the credit for the assembly of this team and its philosophy. He reminds me of Bill Clinton... Managed the country well but made 1 critical mistake and got impeached. Only to be proceeded by an imbecile who ruined everything...but hopefully the second part doesn't happen.

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#15 beloch
April 11 2014, 12:34AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

I am so tired about the whining of where we might draft or that we should have tanked to get a higher draft pick. How did this team that almost all the experts and most of the regulars on this site picked to be 29/30 do better than the expectations. 1. We had an NHL headcoach who set expectations for his team and held them accountable to these expectations. 2. We had a captain that bought into the coaches system and who put the team ahead of himself and the rest of the leadership group followed. 3. Some young players took big step forwards (Backs, Brodie) 4. We added some surprises to the lineup.(Colborne, Bouma, Byron) 5. The Kid was as advertised and the goalie eventually was as advertised. 6.Maybe we underestimated the talent of the prospects and the grit of this team.

While it appears that the top 5 of the draft class may be ahead of the next group of 10 how sure can we be sure. The Flames will have done their homework and will know which of the others is the best prospect for the organization. I'm not saying that next years team will make the playoffs but I am looking forward to seeing the work ethic continue and the what the prospects will bring in regards to skill.

At the start of the season I predicted the Flames would be significantly higher in the standings than they are now (but not in the playoffs). By any objective standard, finishing in the bottom six is damned awful. However, the Flames are poised to break the NHL record for most close games in a season and I wouldn't be surprised if they're close to the record for the most one goal losses in a season too. This is a team that is almost getting it done. That leaves room for optimism.

Where will the Flames finish next season? If Burke does absolutely nothing I think they'd finish much higher than they did this season. The goal-tending has improved, several players have taken big steps forward, and there are some injured players who will hopefully rebound next season (e.g. Wideman and Smid). If Arnold, Gaudreau, and Baertschi all make the team next season there is potential for a nice upgrade in firepower.

Burke, however, is highly unlikely to do nothing. He has lots of assets to work with and abundant cap space. He might content himself with signing UFA's, but I suspect he'll be making "hockey trades" galore. It remains to be seen if those trades will favor the future or the present more.

Whatever Burke does, the Flames are unlikely to be picking this high again next season. We fans should probably face facts. Calgary is not the city of lottery picks. If you want that, get onto the QE2 and head North.

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#16 the-wolf
April 11 2014, 10:34AM
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suba steve wrote:

I kinda agree, would rather not burn that year either, but the precedent is already set. Agostino and van Brabant are both with the big club this year for a look, others have come before, and more will follow in the future. Just the way it's done.

I get that, but we're talking about more than a single game.

Plus, Gaudreau has far more potential and will command a far higher price down the road than either of those two.

I'm not saying it's the end of the world, I just don't get it for the sake of a single NHL game.

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#17 mattyc
April 11 2014, 01:15PM
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Kinda too bad the NCAA/NHL system is built to incentive teams to have players not finish their degrees. If instead of being a FA the August after their degree, if teams could retain their rights for another calendar year, we could do right by a lot of these kids and let them finish their college degrees.

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#18 Primo
April 11 2014, 04:22PM
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Brent G. wrote:

Bout time it happened so all of the hyper sensitive fans can find another stupid thing to over react to...

I don't agree with your comment! Flames fans were sensitive because of the Tim Erixon situation, a highly regarded 1st overall who chose to not sign with the Flames. Although the trade worked out for the Flames fact is that a team like the Flames with low skill could not afford to lose Erixon at the time nor Guadreau and Arnold this time around!

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#19 BobbyO
April 10 2014, 07:17PM
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With the Jets and Panthers losing (tanking?) and the Flames winning it could very well be that the Flames will be drafting 7th overall!

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#20 Keith Fredlund
April 10 2014, 07:24PM
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So Shannaban is too good to run the Flames but he goes to work for Toronto. Really. They can have him.

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#21 piscera.infada
April 11 2014, 08:53AM
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@Rockmorton65

I agree that I don't care about "the game" in and of itself. I'm of the same mind of a lot of people out there (like Elliot Freidman). If he doesn't sign here - when given an opportunity to make around $100,000 in real dollars (signing bonus and 4 days of pay) over the course of the next 4 days - he's likely not coming this season. If he does decide to go back for another year, he's likely not wearing a Flames jersey. The organization cannot afford to lose him for nothing next year. Pragmatically speaking, if Gaudreau stays at BC, he can have his pick of the litter - he's that in demand (unless he were to take a major step back in NCAA hockey next year, which is very unlikely).

I mean, logically, what would change between now and a few weeks from now other than Gaudreau missing out on a lot of money? It makes no sense if he wants to sign, to not take the money and be a year closer to a second contract

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#22 Skuehler
April 11 2014, 11:08AM
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So Burkes been on board for a full season. This opportunity for the flames would be his first big positive move. If it doesn't get done then Burke hasn't accomplished much in rebuild year one. This is a must do for the org. Whatever it takes. Unless of course he goes back to college.

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#23 mattyc
April 11 2014, 03:33PM
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#24 beloch
April 10 2014, 01:51PM
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When I read Gostisbehere my brain parsed it as "goats be here", which made me think of pirate goats. MaaaAAAaaarrrr!

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#25 Primo
April 10 2014, 02:46PM
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McRib wrote:

Tim Erixon situation? We actually easily won that trade give me Markus Granlund & Tyler Wotherspoon anyday over Tim Erixon. Not to mention we got 1/2 of Ladislav Smid for Roman Horak (not that I am a huge fan). At this point I think I would take just one of Wotherspoon or Granlund over Erixon. I want Johnny Hockey to sign with us as much as the next person, but imagine what kind of value he would get in return if we traded him. If he said he didn't want to sign with Calgary this offseason and would sign with a Boston or Philadelphia at this point I think he could get better return than Iggy did. Regardless I think he signs with us after the NCAA Tournament, as his parents seem to be just trolling the media more than anything. Or the media is trolling them which is much more likely setting them up for quotes to make a story.

No question we did win that trade as it turned out. But if I was the ownership of the Flames never again would anyone, Glen Sather included, dick around with my draft picks. I would simply not allow it and take it as a learning going forward.

Like you I am also of the mindset that if it is clear he will not sign with the Flames we would easily get great value in return! His college accomplishments are well documented and his size should not be a determining factor, given the successes of a Martin St. Louis etc.

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#26 Michael
April 10 2014, 03:51PM
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@JulieRobenhymer: CGY plays VAN Sunday. Word is the Flames have a charter in Philly ready to take Gaudreau (& Arnold, although not expected to play) ASAP.

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#27 Dave
April 10 2014, 08:39PM
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I didn't watch the game, how did johnny and Arnold play?

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#28 Burnward
April 11 2014, 12:56AM
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SydScout wrote:

From the Boston Globe

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/04/10/johnny-gaudreau-likely-leave-for-nhl/00GTvrewp0g3oJDx0hEwXJ/story.html

Great. Thanks!

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#29 Keith Fredlund
April 11 2014, 04:26PM
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I haven't seen this kid play but his numbers are nuts. Is there a nhl player we can compare him to? ST.Louis or...? Who does everyone think would make good linemates for him. Seeing Byron play well this year makes me think his size won't be a problem. I'm pumped for sun. Let's beat those nucks!

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#30 Bean-counting cowboy
April 10 2014, 11:34AM
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Never seen this kid play. Looking forward to the televised game!

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#31 Dave
April 10 2014, 12:40PM
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Anyone know where you can stream this game online?

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#32 Baalzamon
April 10 2014, 02:12PM
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beloch wrote:

When I read Gostisbehere my brain parsed it as "goats be here", which made me think of pirate goats. MaaaAAAaaarrrr!

My favourite is Matt Grzelcyk. Like, how the hell is that pronounced "GREZ-lick"?

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#33 prendrefeu
April 10 2014, 03:29PM
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mattyc wrote:

check first row or atdhe. The google shall provide

stream2watch dot me also works, they have a few channels available.

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#34 seve927
April 10 2014, 03:30PM
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kevin wrote:

Johnny hockey srikes again!! Rang one off the bar also jeeze he's special

I've watched half a period of Johnny G. I think I'm going to go ahead and declare him good.

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#35 Primo
April 10 2014, 03:45PM
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I am just as impressed with Bill Arnold. Real hardworking centre, nice size and NHL speed. Solid on his skates and nice balance. Apparently a strong face-off guy. Can fill many gaps for the Flames.

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#36 prendrefeu
April 10 2014, 05:29PM
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@Victoria Flames Fan

I agree, Bodie is impressive. Undrafted, too.

Gaudreau & Arnold in the Flames sweater? Yes please.

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#37 prendrefeu
April 10 2014, 05:34PM
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Most likely 5-3 Union unless there's something ridiculous in the next minute.

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#38 McRib
April 10 2014, 05:47PM
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Rodger Millions on twitter saying he thinks a Johnny Gadreau deal is coming soon. Kenny Agostino's recent play with the Flames also a NJ product and childhood rival/friend could help with signing Johnny Hockey. Not just Bill Arnold helping us out wonder if that was a factor when we got Agostino in Iggy deal.

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#39 Primo
April 10 2014, 05:57PM
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@McRib

In last years development camp Johnny raved about Kenny and there lifelong friendship. I'm guessing Weisbrod/Feaster factored this in the trade with Pittsburgh!

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#40 Chambers
April 10 2014, 06:45PM
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@McRib

Roger (I know it all) Millions is only guessing like the rest of us. I guess I would expect him to provide facts as he is closer to the team than most fans. In his twitter comments he admits to guessing that there is a plane waiting to take Johnny and Billy to Vancouver! Total BS reporting!

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#41 Cfan in Vic
April 10 2014, 07:59PM
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Islanders up 2-0 over MTL, late in the 3rd!

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#42 McRib
April 10 2014, 09:36PM
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@Chambers

I don't know it sounded fairly certain from a few people following the team it was the kind of quote you wouldn't say if you weren't 90%+. It sounds like something got done during the NJ game and everyone knows around the team. Everyone involved with the Flames was tweeting non stop about Johnny Gaudreau during the game. If he had spurned management I don't think they would have made as big of a deal to be honest. I remember when Justin Schultz told Anaheim he wasn't going to any more Rookie Camps he was like dead to the franchise.

Lets put it this way the Flames are going to have two of his best friends in the world in Bill Arnold & Kenny Agostino. He just made a mockery of the NCAA and has nothing left to prove there. I honestly think its a matter of time even if I like you don't necessarily agree with him jumping on a plane right away to sneak in a NHL Game being certain.

I think the biggest thing is even though he put up great points and won a USHL title his draft year only three teams were even considering drafting him. We took him much higher than most were expecting and he remembers that.

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#43 Primo
April 10 2014, 09:54PM
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@coachedpotatoe

Great post ! If the Flames can sign Johnny and Arnold those two guys alone can match any of the top 5 in terms of skill and potential!

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#44 prendrefeu
April 10 2014, 10:38PM
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@coachedpotatoe

Well written; excellent post!

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#45 Kevin R
April 10 2014, 11:28PM
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Well thank Christ Winnipeg won & we don't have to worry about catching them. Now Carolina has to quit sucking lead rocks.

Please please please please announce the signing of both JG & Arnold & have them on a jet tomorrow. Captain, I cant take it any longer!!!

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#46 SydScout
April 11 2014, 12:48AM
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From the Boston Globe

http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/04/10/johnny-gaudreau-likely-leave-for-nhl/00GTvrewp0g3oJDx0hEwXJ/story.html

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#47 karimeeloranta
April 11 2014, 03:39AM
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Thanks for the link!

“It was emotional,’’ said Gaudreau, his voice trembling. “I had a ton of friends and family here and I got to play with my brother [Matthew] here, too, so it’s a pretty good memory I’m going to have.’’

Never been so relieved to see the past tense as a Flames fan, looks like he is on the way!

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#48 piscera.infada
April 11 2014, 08:15AM
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@Rockmorton65

I agree it's somewhat pointless to play him against Vancouver. However, the ELC, NHL money, signing bonus, and chance to play in an NHL game right away are the reasons he'd make a decision to sign right away. If that's how it goes down, then so be it. From his camp's perspective the "one year closer" to a second contract probably makes the most economic sense, and is likely the biggest reason he signs now. I'm sure from an organizational standpoint, if they can get pen to paper, they don't care too much about the ELC aspect.

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#49 Dave
April 11 2014, 09:27AM
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I've just got to say, sometimes I take a look at Oilersnation and Canucksarmy to see how the rest of the west is doing and I can honestly say that I will NEVER cheer for the flames to lose no matter how it affects their draft position. I hope they win as many games as possible and I hope the flames have hired a good scouting department that make the right calls. I can't help but be disappointed when the flames lose and happy when they win. NO MATTER WHAT!

Avatar
#50 SmellOfVictory
April 11 2014, 09:30AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
7
props
Dave wrote:

burning a year of his ELC could be incentive for him to sign. It means he'll get his payday sooner. Plus the PR of having him play would be good for the flames.

Yeah, the burning of a year of ELC should be a big draw for JG. Ideally I'd prefer to have him play for the Heat in their playoff run instead, but if he wants to try the NHL, he should absolutely be given the opportunity.

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