A brief introduction...

Robert Cleave
June 10 2010 01:31AM

                                                                                                    

                                              

There's no really good way to go about this, so let's get right to it: my name is Robert Cleave, and I've been sent here to clean up this one-horse town asked by our benevolent overlord Mr. Wilson to join Flames Nation as a contributor. For those of you familiar with my virtual scribblings over at M and G, I suspect you know what you're in for. If you aren't, this sort of thing might give you an idea of where I'm coming from re: the Flames and their current management. 

At any rate, I'm looking forward to adding my thoughts to those of Kent and the others as we try to make sense of where the Flames are headed this off-season. That task might well be beyond mere mortals, but I see no reason not to at least make an attempt ;-) In all seriousness, teams do more to shape their seasons between mid-June and mid-July than at any other time of the year, so the next month should be interesting, even for a Flames club that might have a difficult time adjusting its roster.

In terms of content, with actual hockey finishing last night, it's time to focus on the Flames' roster for next season. Kent's been doing admirable work on the prospect end of things, but beyond the young 'uns, there's one NHLer of note that the club has to account for this summer. With that in mind, Ian White will go under the microscope this week as we examine his potential arbitration hearing in detail.  

Thanks again to Kent for the invitation. We'll see how long it takes for him to regret it.

 

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Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks

Kent Wilson
June 09 2010 09:10PM

 

 

 

Your 2009-2010 Stanely Cup Champions.

Truly one of the best teams I've seen in recent memory.

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Ta-Ta Toskala

Kent Wilson
June 09 2010 01:27PM

TORONTO - JANUARY 30: Vesa Toskala #35 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the pre-game skate wearing 'Camo' sweaters to honour the Canadian Armed Forces January 30, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada before the Toronto Maple Leafs play against the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images)

 

While I've seen and heard many folks hope for a Toskala signing this off-season, I personally count the news of his imminent departure in the "plus" column. He had a spotty record with the Flames (a couple good games, one miserable one) during his brief stint in town, but the truth is Toskala has been one of the worst puck-stoppers in the league over the last 3 seasons. He may be a veteran, he may have been good once upon a time, and he may in fact be Kipper's best buddy, but just about any other available NHL goaltender is a better option.

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Prospect Profiles - Matt Pelech

Kent Wilson
June 09 2010 10:55AM

CALGARY, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 15: Matt Pelech #56 of the Calgary Flames battles with Jean-Francois Jacques #22 of the Edmonton Oilers in the third period of the pre-season NHL game on September 15, 2009 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)

 

Behind Mikael Backlund, Matt Pelech is the Flames prospect closest to make the leap to the big leagues. In fact, some could argue after three years in the minors, Pelech is closer to NHL ready than the young Swede. A first round choice from Calgary's disastrous 2005 draft, Pelech has been held back by depth and injuries. He'll turn 23 years old this September and is nearing the critical point when a prospect goes from "viable future NHLer" to "fringe player". The obstacles facing him at this point, however, aren't trivial.

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The Cupboard Wasn't Bare

Kent Wilson
June 08 2010 09:39AM

 

 

A common refrain around town is that Darryl Sutter had to rebuild the Flames prospect pool from scratch when he took over in 2003-04. The perception, I think, comes from the messainistic glow that infuses Sutter's tenure, specifically when it comes to the early years. The truth of the matter is the Flames prospect pool wasn't totally absent talent and, in fact, has yet to markedly improved.

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