Where will they fit?

Portrait of a Businesswoman attempting to insert Wooden Cubes into Circular Holes

With the news that injured Calgary Flames forwards Rene Bourque, Nigel Dawes and David Moss all took part in an optional skate today at the ‘Dome, the question now needs to be asked… where will all these forwards fit on this team?

17 is the number of forwards on the Calgary Flames roster right now, so lets go through it. New faces are Higgins, Kotalik, Stajan, Mayers and Hagman. 2 players started the season in the American Hockey League in Jamie Lundmark and Mikael Backlund. Brian McGrattan has found himself a healthy scratch lately, while Bourque, Dawes, Moss and Craig Conroy have missed games due to injury.

So lets brainstorm and think out loud here… is it automatic that both Lundmark and Backlund go back to Abbotsford, as they’re both on two-way contracts? And if it is, should it be?

Backlund and Lundmark have presented themselves pretty good while on the big team. Taking Conroy (still injured) and Bourque (he’s clearly not in danger of losing a spot) out of the equation, have Moss and/or Dawes done anything to prove they deserve a spot in the lineup over either Backlund or Lundmark? It’s certainly tough to make that case.

David Moss has 6 goals and 13 points in 43 games, while Jamie Lundmark has 5 goals and 9 points in 20 games. And while Dawes does have 10 goals and 25 points, he’s proven to be a streaky scorer, going on long droughts without potting one. Certainly, I think you can make passable arguments that one or both Lundmark and Backlund deserve to remain in this Flames lineup.

However, logistically, that may not be possible… it may come down to two-way and one-way contracts. So, Jamie and Mikael head back to BC, but Craig Conroy returns. You’re still left with 15 forwards, 7 defencemen and 2 goalies…24 players with a 23 man limit. It means there are some decisions to make.

Here’s what I can tell you. Daryl Sutter didn’t seem too worried about all the extra forwards when he spoke to us media vultures following his 2 big trades. Dawes said today he’s been medically cleared and feels good, but isn’t sure if he’ll get in before the Olympic break. Moss’s comments were much the same, relaying if there was a game today, he felt he could play…but again, isn’t sure when he’ll return to the lineup.

I’ve said many times on The FAN 960 that I don’t believe Daryl Sutter is done making deals, and the math I’ve just laid out is the big reason why I believe that. That doesn’t mean a trade, necessarily, as you’ve always got waivers if you’re willing to risk a player being picked up by another team.

But even if that does happen, there’s one thing that can’t be questioned. Ice time and roles on this team are going to be very, very hotly contested. Maybe that’s a good thing, leading to intense practice sessions and guys pushing eachother to play their very best, with the threat of the press box looming if there’s a lull in your play. Or maybe there’s another huge trade looming from GM Sutter…at this point, you just don’t really know, do ya?

    • Ha, well remember…not only was Daryl confident following the trade deadline last year, but so was most of this group of fans! Especially after a hatrick in his first game.

      Fact is…the GM is going to do what he does regardless of what you or I think. Which, in a lot of cases, is better or worse.

  • Pat, who was the pre-pubescent child on the radio with Mike?

    Also, who wants the crap we have, these players are getting bought out. Im sure the owners are thrilled they have to make more of GM Sutters mistakes go away.

    Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

  • I think McGrattan's tenure could come to a close. You don't need him come playoff time, so you can't keep him in favour of a real roster player passed the deadline. Perhaps the Habs would be interested. He'd sure do the job Georges wasn't willing to do anymore.

    David Moss would be my trade bait, and I'd keep Jamie Lundmark around (in Abottsford) for insurance.

    Would love to see any of Tuomo Ruutu, Nathan Horton or Colby Armstrong added (to name a few), but I'm not so sure they'll pull that off.

    It would be nice to move Corey Sarich's contract.

    • Dude, believe me…I'd love to see Nathan Horton with the Flames too. But with the guys you've thrown out, are they really going to be able to bring that in? I just look at the roster and the cache of draft picks…and I wonder if it's realistic to think they'd be able to land a "big fish"?

      As for McGrattan…Darryl added him to this team for a reason, so you'd imagine he still sees a role for him.

      • Can't really see them landing a guy like Horton or Ruutu without at least mentioning names like Glencross, Boyd, Nemisz, Moss. Not sure there's much cache there; perhaps there's some sort of package they could come up with. But I really wouldn't count on it, at least not until the off-season.

  • AlMacinnis

    he's definitely going to make another trade. but until then he needs to put his carolina lineup back together. the 3rd and 4th lines being:

    boyd backlund bourque / glencross nystrom mayers

    against some teams, we need mcgrattan to replace glencross. we need to create a bloody hornet's nest out there.

    all these new guys are making our old players look like crap. the new guys are working their butts off. regehr, sarich and iginla are looking stale.

    we need to get out there tonight and score 5-6 goals!

    get mad, you guys! get out there and do something!

    • The lines tonight (Dallas) are the same as they were in Ottawa…

      Hagman-Stajan-Iginla
      Kotalik-Langkow-Higgins
      Glencross-Backlund-Lundmark
      Nystrom-Boyd-Mayers

      If Bourque were healthy, you'd probably see him with Backlund, but who knows at this point. With Dawes and Moss ready to return, it's going to be a bit of a cluster…Dawes said today he wanted to be back in on Saturday.

  • Quick tidbits on Brad Slater…

    -has a Ken Griffey Jr. fetish
    -suffers from Jon Quick syndrome
    -he's an Oilers fan
    -is cool enough to have an Ice Cube connect for some Lakers talk

    Good luck, Squeaky Brad 😉

  • Lundmark is a good spare part to have around in case an offensive player gets hurt, but he's not an everyday guy. He isn't good enough (or consistent enough) to be a top-6, and not the right fit for the bottom-6. But he's still nice to have around, just-in-case.

  • Didn't catch much of Squeekys last week on 1260, but I know he took a good ribbing for being such an Edmonton guy, moving to Calgary

    Now we got the Sports Doctor Taylor Menek (sp?)Medek, Medic ….?