September 12 2013 11:52AM
1. Organizational disease
Something that I thought was terribly interesting this week was the Flames' performance in the Penticton tournament, and the way in which Jay Feaster reacted to it.
From Thursday to Saturday, the Flames' rookie tournament attendees had performed very well indeed, beating the absolute hell out of the Oilers' and Canucks' prospects by a combined score of 9-3. These games were not even remotely close score wise and all that stuff I said a little while back about how strong the roster the Flames were bringing to that tournament, with its numerous players who had at least some NHL experience, seemed to be coming more or less true.
September 12 2013 09:34AM
For the first time since 1995, the Calgary Flames open main training camp without Jarome Iginla. For the first time since 2003, they don't have a bonafide number-one goalie. Or a number-one center, but that's not really a “new” issue with this group. They also don't have a captain and the team is finally starting their long-awaited rebuild.
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.