On the Burke Hiring

Kent Wilson
September 09 2013 01:52PM


Brian Burke


- pic via warwalker 2000

It's not easy to analyze the recent addition of Brian Burke. We don't know, for instance, just what his role will entail as the organization's president of hockey operations. More to the point, we don't really know how this will affect the current dynamic in the Flames front office. Rumors of an over-involved Ken King have swirled around the team for years and in fact this may be a move designed to short circuit those rumblings, either in fact or merely in perception. It's also entirely possible he has been tabbed as Feaster's replacement once the team is ready to compete again and Jay is dumped overboard (as seems to happen to so many GM's when their team goes through a rebuild).

Burke's resume in the NHL is long and storied. A former player agent, Burke has been an executive in the league since 1987 and landed his first GM position in 1992 with the Hartford Whalers. He won a cup with the Ducks in 2007 and was the architect of a Vancouver Canucks club that eventually became a dominant force in the Western Conference in the mid-2000's. The man brings a certain gravitas to the Flames org and there's no doubt he's unafraid to ruthlessly pursue players he deems worthwhile.

That said, there's reasons to be concerned: he's obstinate, apparently fixated on conventional assessment factors and his overall track record with the Leafs was rather poor.

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Kipper Officially Retires

Kent Wilson
September 09 2013 10:10AM

Mikka Kiprusoff

- pic via Terry Dobbins

It's been a long wait, but today Miikka Kiprusoff officially announced he will be retiring from NHL hockey. The 37 year old had a rough end to his career with Calgary, stumbling badly during the lock-out shortened season and then putting the kibosh on a trade deadline swap that would have seen him go to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Another One Bites the Dust - Ryan Howse Defects

Kent Wilson
September 04 2013 04:09PM


The Flames announced today that former 3rd rounder Ryan Howse did not report to rookie camp and has been suspended by the team. The left winger was a big scorer in the WHL, managing 47 and 51 goals in his final two seasons in the dub. His scouting report came with a lot of red flags, however - his one dimensional game, lackluster skating and average vision meant Howse was a bit of a longshot heading into pro.

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Random Thoughts - A Big Year For Horak

Kent Wilson
September 03 2013 08:29AM



This week rookie camp opens up and the young stars tournament goes live in Penticton. Real hockey news everyone! For now, occupy yourself with my last, desperate random thoughts article.

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The Evolution of TJ Brodie

Kent Wilson
August 30 2013 12:01PM



We've talked a lot about TJ Brodie this season. It's been impossible not to - the 4th round pick has gone from a competent third pairing defender to a probable top pairing guy in the space of a year. All before the age of 23. He led the blueline in relative possession last season and is poised to become a cornerstone of the rebuild on the back-end.

I wanted to take a look at his season to illustrate how things changed for Brodie as Bob Hartley gained confidence in the youngster. His average ice time was 20:13 by the end of the year, but that probably underestimates his season ending role, as well as what we can expect from him this upcoming year. This inquiry will also illustrate why I was personally advocating for a long-term contract for Brodie this summer as opposed to the actual bridge contract that was negotiated.

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