April 14 2014 10:40AM
It's all over but the cryin', folks.
Intrepid boy reporter (and FlamesNation managing editor) Ryan Pike is down at 'Dome all day for what's become a closing ritual in the NHL season: garbage bag day. So keep track of who's had their exit meetings and medicals, and what they say as they shuffle away for a summertime of self-improvement, strategy and golf.
10:32am: Hi everybody! Been here since 9:30. So far we've been visited by Kris Russell, Lance Bouma, Bryce van Brabant and Mikael Backlund. Biggest scoop is that Backlund will be suiting up for the Swedish entry at next month's World Championship (as long as his hand is 100% recovered).
10:41am: As expected, the Flames have assigned blueliners Chris Breen and Chad BIllins to the Abbotsford Heat, and Mark Cundari to the Chicago Wolves. They may meet in the first round of the playoffs.
10:58am: 10.7% chance the Flames draft 1st overall via winning the lottery, 58% chance they draft 4th, 31.3% chance somebody behind them wins the lottery and they pick 5th.
11:05am: Chris Butler, one of the best quotes on the team, just came through. He felt he had a good year and that the team's the most fun one he's ever played on.
Chris Butler had a TON of praise for rookie Sean Monahan, especially how poised and even-keeled #23 has been all year. #Flames— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) April 14, 2014
He is NOT running the Boring Sean Monahan Twitter, though.
11:19am: We're getting guys rapid-fire here: Karri Ramo, Curtis Glencross and Matt Stajan just came through. We're reportedly getting Brian Burke and Bob Hartley at some point today, as well.
1:03pm: Whew. Obviously a bit of a delay, folks. We got hit rapid-fire with player after player.
Of note: Sean Monahan will play for the Canadian team at the World Championship, but Mark Giordano will not.
It is a hand injury that is keeping Mark Giordano from playing for Canada at the Worlds. pic.twitter.com/MOvmJZDncy— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 14, 2014
The college kids are all hitting the books (and the gym) this summer with an eye towards challenging for a spot in camp. None of the pending free agents could say anything definitive about their status - probably because most of them indicated that Flames management needs to evaluate things over the next few weeks. Based on the conversations, I'd imagine Colborne and Bouma are definitely back. With Cammalleri's status uncertain, that probably puts Paul Byron's in flux as well.
And now some tweets.
#Flames coach Hartley won't get into a spat with Tortorella. "There's no one on our team with that name."— Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) April 14, 2014
Hartley also deflecting any questions about his future with the team. Wants the sole focus to be on his group. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) April 14, 2014
'Tis lunch-time now, and we're waiting on Brian Burke.
This is definitely the most upbeat 27th-place team in the league. Lots of discussion about positives, but also discussion about needing to be better next season (work-wise and talent-wise) and not letting the work slides if/when more talent arrives. These guys definitely are aware of why they are where they are, that's for sure.
3:55pm: Burke's presser has come and gone. Some newsworthy morsels there:
- Bob Hartley will coach the Flames next season
- He would also like Troy Ward back in Abbotsford
- The season's a failure because of no playoffs, but the young players progressed (and the expectations will go up for them next year)
- Karri Ramo's the #1. He'll look at getting a back-up, as he wants Joni Ortio to play a lot next year.
- Had a lot of praise for Sean Monahan, and a lot of criticisms for John Tortorella.
Also, headed to the World Championships: Sean Monahan (Canada), Mikael Backlund (Sweden), Jiri Hudler (Czech Republic) and....Johnny Gaudreau (USA).
That's all she wrote from here. We'll have a TON of stuff coming up later this week.