September 16 2013 10:55AM
Usually my random thoughts missives feature a number of items, but this one is on just two that have cropped up recently: the value of toughness or "grit" in hockey and whether or not Sean Monahan should spend the year with the Flames.
September 13 2013 08:29PM
By: Sapp MacIntosh
Caveat: I follow the Flames pretty closely but emotionally I’m a little distanced after the ’04 Cup run. I promise not to write about the Flames too much, despite this being Flames Nation, and despite being a pretty hard-core Flames fan all my life. But I hate endlessly banging my head against a wall.
The reason I am hesitant to espouse upon the Flames is summed up in two words: Intellectual honesty. This is the phrase Jay Feaster used when asked to assess his sudden change of course, trading away Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester. In trading these two players, Feaster set the Flames on a course to ‘rebuild.’ This act signified an acknowledgement from management that the Flames’ horses couldn’t and wouldn’t be winning the Kentucky Derby.
September 12 2013 03:36PM
Flames coach Bob Hartley said T.J. Galiardi will be starting this season at centre, joining Stajan & Backlund. Still, who is their fourth?— Kristen Odland (@KristenOdlandCH) September 12, 2013
It's pre-season and no injuries have struck the Calgary Flames, but the club is already pulling somewhat desperate moves to fill out their center position. As Kristen notes above, the club has made noises about TJ Galiardi skating as a pivot this season - not on the fourth line either, where one might actuall get away with converting a winger to a centerman some 5 seasons into his career.
September 11 2013 07:22AM
A lot of surprise at Brian Burke's decision to join the Calgary Flames as president of hockey operations. He'd told people earlier in the summer that he wasn't interested, only to change his mind. The one thing everyone who knows him said? Some version of "No way he is going without control." There are a lot of layers in Calgary, a lot of people who like to call the shots.
That's from Elliotte Friedman's most recent 30 thoughts column and it gives voice to the great unanswered question of the Brian Burke addition - just how is this all going to work? We can't speak in specifics about the Flames front office culture or politics, but we can talk theoretically. More to the point, let's look at how the Burke hire may improve or hamper the Calgary organization via generally understood social mechanisms.
September 09 2013 01:52PM
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.