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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Baertschi's Role and Expectations

Kent Wilson
August 29 2013 01:59PM


- pic via Halifaxdrunk


I noted in my random thoughts piece yesterday that one of the key questions for the Flames this year is whether Sven Baertschi is a capable NHLer or not. On that note, Christian Roatis recently went over a long list of comparable youngsters to try to determine just what a reasonable expectation would be for the 20 year old this season. A follow-up showed most FN readers expect him to settle between 40-50 points.

Of course, besides his own talent and effort level, the one thing that will determine whether Baertschi fulfills those expectations is his role on the club. Scorers obviously need ice time to put up points. With that mind, I investigated a list of kids who scored at around the expected rate (40-50 points over 82 games) around their 20-21 year old season since 2003-04. That yielded a list of 29 names:

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Fla...err Heat Sign Bancks and Begin

Kent Wilson
August 28 2013 12:48PM


AHL Hockey: Apr 20 Barons vs Heat
- pic via the OKC Barons


The Calgary Flames organization tied up the last two off-season loose-ends today, inking both Carter Bancks and Steve Begin to one-year AHL deals. The fact that these aren't NHL contract clarifies the delay in signing both players - clearly the org wanted to keep both guys around but didn't want to commit any NHL contract space to either of them, while I assume the players were pressing for more.

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Random Thoughts - Sink or Swim for Karri Ramo

Kent Wilson
August 28 2013 10:18AM



The long summer doldrums will soon be at an end. Next week is the young stars tournament in BC (and yes, the Nation will have people accredited and in arena to cover it) and then shortly after that is rookie camp, main camp and the pre-season (yay!).

Prior off-seasons have been spent debating the organization's direction, but this year the way forward was devastatingly obvious - like creeping out of the basement after a tornado has ripped your home from its foundations. There's only one option left - to rebuild.

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