Welcome to the Preseason Fire Drill of the season, for this, Calgary’s first warmup season game on September 15, 2009.
Yes, it’s here. But we’re gonna do things a bit differently as far as the Fire Drills go, at least for the preseason. Now now, don’t lose your cool just yet. Allow me to explain.
Last year, we asked five questions before every game Who, When, Where, What (to hate about the competition) and Why. This month, I don’t want to do it, mainly because it gets tedious and you probably knew most of the info, but also partly because A) you’re going to be seeing a fairly new roster every night, and B) I have no clue who’s playing for the hated Oil.
So in the interest of familiarizing everyone with these rosters, comprised almost entirely of kids, at least for tonight, let’s get into this: “Better Know a Prospect (or whatever)!”
Meet the Centers
Dustin Boyd — Hey you know this guy. He’s the one that scored those goals last year. They need him to score more this year. Right. Him. He’s gonna try to weasel his way into more ice time. My guess is he will be unsuccessful.
Jamie Lundmark — A Darryl Sutter reclamation project that worked! He’s throwing out elbows to make a solid case for himself as a useful third-line center.
Garth Murray — He’s a veteran of 100-something NHL games and is 27 years old. Don’t worry about this fella, he might not even make it in Abbotsford.
Greet the Wings
Kris Chucko — I think it’s cute that he believes he can make it to the NHL for more than a handful of games this year. The bright-eyed optimism of youth, I suppose. I used to think I could be a doctor. But the fact that I’m a lazy idiot held me back. The fact that Chucko can’t skate will do the same.
Cam Cunning — Like, zero shot of making the team. Unless there is a horrible accident.
Nigel Dawes — Oh I think I’m gonna like this kid. He’s NHL-ready and I bet he can surprise a few people this season. This is my darkhorse for shockingly-good-relative-to-the-expectations-upon-him player of the year.
Kyle Greentree — One of the Flames’ several AHL/NHL tweeners. Just about a point a game in the “A” last year, and a chance to earn a full-time spot in the big time this year. Not that I think he’ll do it, but he’ll be comepting.
Jason Jaffray —See the Greentree entry.
David Moss — This is his go-for-it year, no question. He scored a decent amount last year, and the Flames will need him to score even more to make up for the absence of Mike Cammalleri. I think he’ll acquit himself well.
Eric Nystrom — Ny’s gotta make a real convincing case that he belongs on the roster every night this year, given the Nystrom-level players Sutter brought in this year. A lot more guys will be capable of putting up 10 points in 70-something games this year, that’s for sure.
Brandon Prust —He’s gonna try to punch his way onto the roster. If he gets in fewer than two fights tonight, I’ll be shocked.
Colin Stuart — He was the throwaway bit in the trade that sent Wayne Primeau to Toronto. Have fun in British Columbia this year, buddy!
Step right up and meet the D
Staffan Kronwall —Given his point totals at the AHL level, it seems like this is one of those guys Sutter loves. Big, physical and capable of chipping in a bit of offense. It’s too bad he’s not from Western Canada. If it’s any consolation, though, he’ll get to drive by a lot of it on the bus this year.
John Negrin —I doubt he’ll make the team, even if he did go right from juniors to the NHL for three games last year. I don’t really remember him doing anything of note, good or bad, though. Regardless, he’ll enjoy beautiful British Columbia this season, I’m sure.
Brett Palin — This is probably his put-up or shut-up year. Four seasons in the AHL. Only one in which he played more than 70 games. If he can’t make it this year, he can’t make it any year.
Adam Pardy —Well, all you 24-Hour Pardy People, you boy’s makin’ the big team as a defenseman this year behind the obvious Top 4 of Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf and Cory Sarich. He’ll compete with Mark Giordano (and to a lesser extent Anton Stralman) for the 5-6 spot. I’d bet a decent amount of money on it.
Matt Pelech —Top-pairing guy in the AHL for sure.
(Also there are some goalies)
Leland Irving —Not that I think he’ll challenge Curtis McElhinney for the NHL door-opener job, but he’s the clear No. 1 guy in Abbotsford.
Matt Kettley — His jersey might as well say “AHL backup” above the numbers.
Oh and hey, feel free to chit chat in the comments section about the live stream being featured on calgaryflames.com tonight. It’s only available if you’re in Western Canada, I think, so feel free to keep me apprised of whether or not Staffan Kronwall kills anyone.