September 11 2013 12:35PM
One of the most interesting parts of the annual Young Stars tournament is seeing the talents of these young prospects relative to each other. With different systems in place, different ways of organizing lines, and even different levels of intensity about the tournament between franchises, wins and goals mean less than the process in evaluating player success. As one of the Nations Network scouts at the tournament, I thought I'd give my standouts, but in the hockey honoured tradition of naming All-Star teams.
It's a small sample size, so these aren't necessarily the best prospects, but instead the prospects who had the best showing in the tournament. Still, I bet we see the majority of these names in NHL sweaters within a few years.
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 10 2013 11:41AM
(Jäähyväiset is Finnish for farewell. Kipper is Kipper for Kiprusoff. If you're on Google Chrome, there's a good chance it's asking you if you want to translate this page into English, and that is awesome)
Miikka Kiprusoff is no longer with us. Oh, hey, yeah, no, he's alive and well (and VERY WELL, flush with the kind of vibrance and joie de vie you can only attain upon making millions of dollars, or so I'm told). He's just not HERE anymore. Well he's still in Calgary. But he's not on the Flames anymore.
We knew this day was coming. Mostly because he basically told us that earlier this summer when he was like "I'm retiring. Spread the word."
The Flames, rightfully so, will honour Kiprusoff at some point in this coming season, as his number and legacy will be sent to the Saddledome rafters as part of the agregious Forever a Flame program that I can't believe is still a thing, and there will be a lot of pomp and circumstance surrounding the half honour.
Miikka Kiprusoff hates pomp and circumstance. Admit it, if there was an induction ceremony on opening night, filled with video tributes, gifts, appearances from Flames alumni, speeches, and Miikka Kiprusoff's family, and Kipper decided to up and skip it, you would not be surprised.
Which is why today we're going to pay tribute to the man who legitimized the crease in Calgary for so many years, mostly because we don't actually need him to be here for it to happen. Kipper, this one's for you.
September 10 2013 08:57AM
Well, 2013's prospect camp is now in the rear-view mirror for the Calgary Flames as players regroup and prepare for the grind that is main camp.
But as we look forward to main camp opening on Wednesday, let's look back at the overall performance of the fledgling Flames over the past week.
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.