Galiardi at 3C? Flames Down the Middle

Kent Wilson
September 12 2013 03:36PM

 

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.

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How Burke May Help - Or Hinder - The Flames

Kent Wilson
September 11 2013 07:22AM

 

Burke Tweeting
- pic via Wil Kwok

 

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.

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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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