Introducing the Adirondack Flames

Ryan Pike
May 16 2014 08:08AM

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The Calgary Flames made it official this morning, christening their new AHL farm club with the wonderfully un-imaginative title of the Adirondack Flames with an early-morning press conference in Glens Falls, NY.

The huge up-shot of everything is the return of the old-school Flaming A for their primary logo, albeit with a slightly-tweaked colour scheme. The Flaming A has been in disuse since the Atlanta Flames moved to some podunk prairie town in 1980.

In a media release, Flames GM Brad Treliving announced the move.

“The Calgary Flames are dedicated to developing players in the American Hockey League, and are excited at the prospect of moving to a mature hockey market like Glens Falls that deserves to remain an AHL market. The history and tradition of the Flames franchise goes back to the team’s birth as the Atlanta Flames and we are proud to also pay tribute to our history with the introduction of a new version of the flaming “A” here in Adirondack. We look forward to building on Glens Falls’ rich hockey history.”

The team has a "multi-year deal" in Glens Falls, and any realignment of the AHL divisions wasn't announced - the AHL Board of Governors meets in July to finalize that stuff. The press release confirmed that the Baby Flames will wear roughly the same colours as the NHL team, granted with a different logo.

All kidding aside, there seems to be a lot of support for the Adirondack Flames in Glens Falls already, which is crucial for the team's long-term success. There was a big (and boisterous) crowd at the press conference, and there already seems to be a lot of fan and corporate support.

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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 Parallex
May 16 2014, 09:04AM
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Did they show off any Jersey's? Can't seem to find any pics of them if they did... although the color scheme would indicate the Flaming "A" with the modern color scheme (I hope they don't underscore the logo with the Adirondack wordmark. Keep it simple.

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#2 FeyWest
May 16 2014, 09:06AM
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This is great to hear (albeit known unofficially) but hopefully now get a bit more exposure to our young and upcoming prospect base!

Hopefully bigger crowds and local fan support than there was in Abbotsford.

Really like the New/Old Flaming A!

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#3 EddyBeers
May 16 2014, 09:08AM
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Watching Gaudreau at the world's. So excited every time he touches the puck. Yes its Kazakhstan, but he has looked dangerous all tournament. Can't wait to watch him for 82 games next year.

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#4 Parallex
May 16 2014, 09:23AM
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EddyBeers wrote:

Watching Gaudreau at the world's. So excited every time he touches the puck. Yes its Kazakhstan, but he has looked dangerous all tournament. Can't wait to watch him for 82 games next year.

I don't think he'll start the season in the NHL... numbers game might dictate that he start in the AHL (Which I think would be best for him anyways). Get him used to the grind of professional hockey and all before bringing him to the NHL. Patience, patience, patience (should be the Flames new motto).

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#5 TheoForever
May 16 2014, 09:29AM
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Lots of people showed up and they have cowbells. More cowbell please! Great start, people are into it. Arena seats under 4,800 and a good team could fill it.

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#6 Kevin R
May 16 2014, 09:37AM
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Parallex wrote:

I don't think he'll start the season in the NHL... numbers game might dictate that he start in the AHL (Which I think would be best for him anyways). Get him used to the grind of professional hockey and all before bringing him to the NHL. Patience, patience, patience (should be the Flames new motto).

Lets wait for camp & if he's ready, play him in the NHL. I consider him as having even higher pedigree & more mature than Monahan. No reason the kid should be held back for the sake of development. I get the Monahan debate, he was 18 years old. JG is handling himself well at the Worlds, where you can see Monahan is still working his way up the learning curve.

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#7 Kent Wilson
May 16 2014, 09:38AM
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Im starting to think Gaudreau won't spend much time in the AHL. He pretty much looks NHL-ready at this point.

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#8 EddyBeers
May 16 2014, 09:54AM
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Starchenko!! Number 1 goal scorer all Kazakhstan!! I like!!

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#9 beloch
May 16 2014, 10:07AM
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@Kent Wilson

Just going on what I've seen in the WC tourney, he's more NHL ready than Monahan (and that is not a knock on Monahan!). Seriously, Gaudreau looks a cut above most of the NHL'ers on the U.S. team. The stat-sheet backs it up too. He's been one of the most heavily played forwards in every game so far. He's going to be a big addition to the Flames.

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#10 Parallex
May 16 2014, 10:15AM
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Kevin R wrote:

Lets wait for camp & if he's ready, play him in the NHL. I consider him as having even higher pedigree & more mature than Monahan. No reason the kid should be held back for the sake of development. I get the Monahan debate, he was 18 years old. JG is handling himself well at the Worlds, where you can see Monahan is still working his way up the learning curve.

True... but again the numbers game. Specifically number of waiver ineligible contracts and the number of $$ the flames need to hit to make the cap floor...

http://www.capgeek.com/flames/

... replace the AHL/college forward squad on that list with the the 4 members of the non-waiver exempt RFA forward squad (and keep O'Brien on the main roster as the #7 D-man) and the team will still need to spend a minimum of 9M bucks (more if Treliving wants some flexibility at the trade deadline) on two forwards, 1 defenseman, and a back-up goalie (who are willing to come to a non-contender like Calgary on a short-term deal). We have a really limited number of spots for additional ELC contracts next year. I see Gaudreau playing with us next year... but I think it's more likely that it'll be post-deadline play not full season play. I also don't think t'll hurt Gaudreau to have him get used to the pro hockey schedule, play closer to home (Mr. and Mrs. Gaudreau will probably like that), and give our new affiliate (yay! kinda sorta back on topic) a potential bonafide future superstar to kick off their franchise.

I know we all want our new toys now, not x-mas morning, but it's far more prudent to wait and more beneficial in the long-run.

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#11 Primo
May 16 2014, 10:23AM
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@Parallex

Johnnie will never see the AHL. He is a special player that is gifted and skilled enough for the NHL at this point in his development.

Totally agree with your patience comment for young players. The strategy has to be applied selectively depending on development needs for each player.

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#12 Baalzamon
May 16 2014, 10:30AM
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I like how the Flames' affiliates are still first alphabetically in both the AHL and ECHL (even after moving out of Abbotsford). Makes stat lookups nice and lazy.

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#13 SmellOfVictory
May 16 2014, 10:30AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Im starting to think Gaudreau won't spend much time in the AHL. He pretty much looks NHL-ready at this point.

Yeah, his brain is already there, and his play style doesn't require his body to catch up (ever, which is good because it probably won't).

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#14 Baalzamon
May 16 2014, 10:33AM
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I hope the Flames bury David Jones in Glens Falls. Most of his contract will still count against the cap, and we won't have to watch him play. It's win-win!

Also, he'd have a good shot at the Captaincy as well.

BTW, I'm mostly kidding. Mostly.

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#15 Parallex
May 16 2014, 10:38AM
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@Primo

Maybe. I'm willing to be convinced... Agent Primo here is your mission (should you chose to accept it) demonstrate to me how the Calgary Flames can have John Gaudreau play the full season with the Flames and meet the cap floor next year without: exposing anyone to waivers, non-tendering an RFA, giving stupid money to a player that is not and/or has never been worth it, giving or trading for a longterm contract that will likely end up toxic, trading someone for less value then their true and preceived worth, hamstringing the Flames options at the trade deadline, stunting the development of other players/prospects. This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

:)

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#16 BurningSensation
May 16 2014, 10:46AM
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Parallex wrote:

Maybe. I'm willing to be convinced... Agent Primo here is your mission (should you chose to accept it) demonstrate to me how the Calgary Flames can have John Gaudreau play the full season with the Flames and meet the cap floor next year without: exposing anyone to waivers, non-tendering an RFA, giving stupid money to a player that is not and/or has never been worth it, giving or trading for a longterm contract that will likely end up toxic, trading someone for less value then their true and preceived worth, hamstringing the Flames options at the trade deadline, stunting the development of other players/prospects. This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

:)

The answer is;

"giving stupid money to a player that is not and/or has never been worth it"

and,

"giving or trading for a longterm contract that will likely end up toxic"

When you are as far below the cap floor as we are neither of those options is a serious concern.

A 'Wideman-like' signing here, and trading for a big ticket player (Spezza/Staal/Phaneuf) there, and the team is both better, and more importantly, over the cap-floor.

I bet Johnny G destroys all at his next camp and is never going to play in the AHL.

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#17 MOFYC
May 16 2014, 11:06AM
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Everyone in Glens Falls and the area is thrilled to have this team!

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#18 Parallex
May 16 2014, 11:23AM
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@BurningSensation

"When you are as far below the cap floor as we are neither of those options is a serious concern"

With respect to the longterm toxic contract it's not a serious concern right now... I'd rather avoid short-term thinking like that and by extension avoid a potential longterm headache. With respect to the paying stupid money to a player that is not and/or has never been worth it I'd rather the Flames at least present a veneer of respectability and not pay some career AHL'er 6M bucks (to say nothing of the reaction that would get from the guys in the room, the bad precident to set for future negotiations, and bad comparable to allow for league arbitration).

The parameters I set were all set for a reason. Putting Johnny straight into the NHL will have a cost beyond just his salary... costs that I'm not sure are worth it when he isn't going to be a 'put over the top' piece next year. We lose nothing by getting him acclimated to pro-hockey in the AHL for the first 2/3rds of a season. What's the benefit to the team to start him off in the NHL? There is just no need to slot him straight into the NHL. Good things come to those who wait.

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#19 Back in the Winter of '89
May 16 2014, 12:04PM
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@Parallex

Have to agree. I think an understated cap game is your internal cap. And that is not a budget cap, but if you can have a Giordano on a 4M cap that can help keep other cap hit numbers in check. Brodie's next contract is going to be an important one as far as this goes. If you can get Brodie in at under 5.5M I think that still keeps your relative cap in a safe territory.

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#20 ChinookArch
May 16 2014, 12:45PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Im starting to think Gaudreau won't spend much time in the AHL. He pretty much looks NHL-ready at this point.

Burkie doesn't tend to bring them up too quickly, and he's made it clear that Johnny needs to put on weight.

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#21 Parallex
May 16 2014, 12:45PM
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@Back in the Winter of '89

I think the cap floor problem will resolve itself next off-season. Next offseason is when I expect the Flames to move from "rebuilding" to "building". Significant raises to Backlund (longterm), Brodie (longterm), and Ramo (mediumterm) will eat up a lot of the money we're going to need to stress over this offseason (maybe Colborne as well but he's going to need a big step forward to justify it).

After that we can sign some UFA's to fill some holes and start aiming for playoff action (which we'll probably miss out on but it'll be a step forward). We'll be set up nicely with Monahan and Gaudreau not needing 2nd contracts until 2016-17 (which is when the Jones and Hudler contracts run out). After that we hopefully have a pipeline set up that allows us to leverage current assets for future assets without a cooresponding drop in competativeness as the farm churns out NHL'ers to replace them. If we manage the waters of free agency/trade routes smartly we won't face any significant cap pressure (hopefully at the top end of the cap and not the bottom) until at least after the next CBA negotiations conclude. I want to the team to avoid short-term thinking and build a sustainable winner.

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#22 ChinookArch
May 16 2014, 12:45PM
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I love the vintage logo.

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#23 Baalzamon
May 16 2014, 12:55PM
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@ChinookArch

Me too. I, like many, was hoping they would do this. and they did!

Now let's just hope they don't add shoulder flags...

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#24 Back in the Winter of '89
May 16 2014, 01:06PM
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Parallex wrote:

I think the cap floor problem will resolve itself next off-season. Next offseason is when I expect the Flames to move from "rebuilding" to "building". Significant raises to Backlund (longterm), Brodie (longterm), and Ramo (mediumterm) will eat up a lot of the money we're going to need to stress over this offseason (maybe Colborne as well but he's going to need a big step forward to justify it).

After that we can sign some UFA's to fill some holes and start aiming for playoff action (which we'll probably miss out on but it'll be a step forward). We'll be set up nicely with Monahan and Gaudreau not needing 2nd contracts until 2016-17 (which is when the Jones and Hudler contracts run out). After that we hopefully have a pipeline set up that allows us to leverage current assets for future assets without a cooresponding drop in competativeness as the farm churns out NHL'ers to replace them. If we manage the waters of free agency/trade routes smartly we won't face any significant cap pressure (hopefully at the top end of the cap and not the bottom) until at least after the next CBA negotiations conclude. I want to the team to avoid short-term thinking and build a sustainable winner.

Sorry Parallex was agreeing with you. I think signing a toxic contract just to meet the short-term goal of meeting the cap floor leads to many future issues down the road by screwing up the internal relative cap.

With a great cap hit on Gio at $4M it can be easier to keep other contracts in check. If you bring in a highly inflated contract you lose the "no body makes more than X" line of negotiations.

If you can keep Brodie to a reasonable cap hit ie: $5.5M he becomes the new X.

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#25 Bob Cob
May 16 2014, 01:27PM
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It's a flaming logo that's for sure....not that there's anything wrong with that.

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#26 Parallex
May 16 2014, 01:45PM
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@Back in the Winter of '89

Oh, I knew you were agreeing with me... I just wanted to elaborate on what I see as the path forward for the Flames and used your reply as a sounding board. Sorry if you thought I was disagreeing.

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#27 Kevin R
May 16 2014, 08:42PM
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Parallex wrote:

I think the cap floor problem will resolve itself next off-season. Next offseason is when I expect the Flames to move from "rebuilding" to "building". Significant raises to Backlund (longterm), Brodie (longterm), and Ramo (mediumterm) will eat up a lot of the money we're going to need to stress over this offseason (maybe Colborne as well but he's going to need a big step forward to justify it).

After that we can sign some UFA's to fill some holes and start aiming for playoff action (which we'll probably miss out on but it'll be a step forward). We'll be set up nicely with Monahan and Gaudreau not needing 2nd contracts until 2016-17 (which is when the Jones and Hudler contracts run out). After that we hopefully have a pipeline set up that allows us to leverage current assets for future assets without a cooresponding drop in competativeness as the farm churns out NHL'ers to replace them. If we manage the waters of free agency/trade routes smartly we won't face any significant cap pressure (hopefully at the top end of the cap and not the bottom) until at least after the next CBA negotiations conclude. I want to the team to avoid short-term thinking and build a sustainable winner.

So in the unlikely event cheapskate Melnyk decides he wants Immediate help for his team & wants players on the cheap & if you know the Ottawa situation, you know exactly what I'm saying. You trade GlenX, Russel & a prospect like Hanowski & heck, even throw in the Colorado 2nd. You get Spezza back. He plays topline with Hudler & Gaudreau. Will be a fun line to watch for the fans & who knows, maybe Johnny gets Calder nomination on that line. All the other kids that took steps this year can & ones that definitely ready like Backs, Monahan, Knight, Granlund, Reinhart, Byron rotate on the 2nd & 3rd lines with Stajan & whoever, UFA signing. We go after a 3-4 dman UFA & there you go. Let Cammi walk as I don't know which Cammi we would get after giving him a nice fat new contract, the pre TDL Cammi that got us nothing or the post TDL Cammi for a new contract come July Cammi.

Then depending on circumstances, flip Spezza at the TDL for a 1st +. Better yet, we stay healthy, the team does way better than expected, Johnny has a Calder season, Spezza loves it here & we sign him to a 5 year deal.

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#28 MC Hockey
May 16 2014, 10:04PM
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Ok don't worry, Flames will get to cap and be sure to miss out in generational talents like McDavid...special listening devices installed at Flames HQ have revealed the following: - Spezza to Flames for 2nd rounder, Russell, and Baertschi and extend him 4 more years at $7M cap hit -Flames sign a pair of large and decent overall 27-year old free agent D-men, namely Nikitin for $4.5M over 3 years and Niskanen for $5.5M over 5 years, also let D Smith and Breen go away - Sign Hiller at 4.5M for 3 years - Re-sign Cammalleri at 6.5M over 4 years - Gaudreau plays with Flames along with Granlund, and on D Wotherspoon is Dman number 7 - Galiardi, Westgarth walk away - Byron re-signed to 2-way deal at $1.25M / $400k for 1 year -Butler traded for 3rd round pick - re-sign Colborne and Bouma at $1.5M each for 2 years - Signings and changes done...and Flames finish 8th and knocked out 4 straight in round one by LA, choosing 15th in draft. oh and here are the lines for the 23-main roster (obviously only 20 play per game)

Hudler-Spezza-Cammi (Cammi switches to right) Gaudreau-Backlund-Jones Glencross-Monahan-Colborne Bouma-Stajan-Mcgrattan with extras as Granlund and Byron Giordano-Niskanen Brodie-Nikitin Smid-Wideman Wotherspoon Hiller Ramo

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#29 Danglesnipecelly
May 17 2014, 12:30AM
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Agree with the growing sentiment that Gaudreau spends very little if any time in the AHL. I'm all for patience with young players but it's not like he's 18 or 19 years old.

He'll be 21 going into camp and has been playing against men for three seasons. He has the added experience of a world junior tournament, a couple frozen fours and now the worlds. He has not only looked like he fits playing with and against NHLers but he's excelling.

Lastly let's be honest he's not getting any bigger. At best he adds 5-10 lbs and the AHL is just as rough and tumble as the NHL, many would argue tougher.

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#30 Kevin R
May 17 2014, 10:33AM
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MC Hockey wrote:

Ok don't worry, Flames will get to cap and be sure to miss out in generational talents like McDavid...special listening devices installed at Flames HQ have revealed the following: - Spezza to Flames for 2nd rounder, Russell, and Baertschi and extend him 4 more years at $7M cap hit -Flames sign a pair of large and decent overall 27-year old free agent D-men, namely Nikitin for $4.5M over 3 years and Niskanen for $5.5M over 5 years, also let D Smith and Breen go away - Sign Hiller at 4.5M for 3 years - Re-sign Cammalleri at 6.5M over 4 years - Gaudreau plays with Flames along with Granlund, and on D Wotherspoon is Dman number 7 - Galiardi, Westgarth walk away - Byron re-signed to 2-way deal at $1.25M / $400k for 1 year -Butler traded for 3rd round pick - re-sign Colborne and Bouma at $1.5M each for 2 years - Signings and changes done...and Flames finish 8th and knocked out 4 straight in round one by LA, choosing 15th in draft. oh and here are the lines for the 23-main roster (obviously only 20 play per game)

Hudler-Spezza-Cammi (Cammi switches to right) Gaudreau-Backlund-Jones Glencross-Monahan-Colborne Bouma-Stajan-Mcgrattan with extras as Granlund and Byron Giordano-Niskanen Brodie-Nikitin Smid-Wideman Wotherspoon Hiller Ramo

Hahahaha! Now you are just going for it. My double secret devices show BB scheming to add Spezza, but still keeping his options for a lottery pick. It has be confirmed Flames will make a play for a 3-4 dman via UFA or trade & will keep options open as to whether Flames are buyers or sellers at TDL. That will depend on the success of the young players & Gaudreau.

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#31 Baalzamon
May 17 2014, 10:47AM
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@Kevin R

Now now, people; let's not step on Eklund's toes here. We all know there can be only one anonymous hockey rumourmonger.

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