Erixon Deadline Looms



Although today is May 30th, there is still no word from the Calgary Flames organization on the signing of Tim Erixon. The Flames first round pick from 2009 had himself a very strong year in the Swedish Elite League and looks to be as close to a blue chip prospect as the franchise has in the pipeline. That’s why it’s so disturbing the 20-year old hasn’t been inked yet.

The deadline for Calgary to sign Erixon to a contract is June 1. If they can’t get his name on deal in the next day or so, Erixon will re-enter the draft (where he will no doubt be instantly snapped up). Jay Feaster was interviewed following the "permanent" GM announcement this month and he brushed off the delay in inking the youngster to the world championships and an inability to properly negotiate while Erixon was skating for Sweden. The Worlds have been over for awhile now though and we have yet to hear word of an announcement.

The club could be sitting on the deal for whatever reason, although word of fresh signings seem to leak pretty quickly these days. The only other possibility I can think of is the player is hesitant to sign with the player for whatever reason, be it monetary or otherwise. If so, that’s really bad news for a team so lacking in high-end prospects as the Flames. If Erixon decides to re-enter the draft, the Flames will get a second round pick as consolation. Yuck.

Tomorrow the team may happily announce Erixon’s 3-year entry level deal and all this hand-wringing will be for not. If that doesn’t happen, however, the Jay Feaster era in Calgary will be off to a pretty rocky start.


  • Arik

    Yeah Erixon “could” use a year in the AHL to get better accustomed to NHL ice, but if he is already playing against competition as good or better than the AHL, why bother, if its just getting him use to the ice, the NHL and with the flames is the best spot for that. If you thought it was more developmental, his defensive game isn’t quite there, his foot speed needs a little work and things like that, then yes he most definitely needs AHL work, but from all accounts the guy is 100% ready to make the NHL jump.

    I don’t get this whole rushing guys to the NHL thing, its about giving players the best oppurtunity to succeed. Did the Ducks rush Fowler? Did the Hurricanes rush Skinner? At some point you gotta let the horse run and play these players. How many prospects do we have that just sit and wait out their contracts while playing in the AHL, how many can you truly say over the last 8 or so years have been “rushed” to make the NHL, if anything we make them sit for to long in the AHL, these guys need oppurtunites to play in the NHL, you will never truly know what you have unless you give them an NHL oppurtunity.

    • Greg

      It’s like this – if you have a skill guy who you want to be in your top 6 you have to either:

      a) play him in your top 6 and live with his mistakes or;

      b) let him fully develop his game in a developmental league.

      What Calgary does is bring them up too early. They don’t fully develop their game at a lower level and the team won’t live with their mistakes. So instead, they get buried on the 3rd or 4th lines and learn how to be, guess what? 3rd or 4th liners.

      This is why Backlund would have been better served playing in the AHL as a #1 center, first pp, first pk, first/last minute of every period, 25 minutes/night, etc.

      Boyd, Lomabardi, Kobasew, Saprykin were all taken down this route. They were all exceptional scorers with solid character when drafted and all turned into plumbers. Stillman and St. Louis escaped in time to better develop their game elsewhere.

      You mention Skinner, but Carolin alived with his rookie mistakes, they didn’t have him playing on their 4th line with the equivalent of Eric Godard.

      • Backlund should have been our #1 center from the get go this year, its this teams instance to find veterans or fill ins that are the reason so many of our propsects never pan out, they never get a proper chance to crack the line up and we’d rather play guys like hagman or kotalik in the top 6 hoping like hell that their history reverses itself. This team is always so top loaded with free agents, old veterans, theres harldy any room for a rookie to even fit anywhere other than the 3rd or 4th line.

        Guys like Skinner and Fowler were given 100% oppurtunity to play like they can and grow into their teams system and really learn from their mistakes and thats this teams problem. They want all the playes to sit in the AHL, change their game and mold them into a box not every player fits into. Some players will excel when they are given the challenge to play in the NHL against better talent.

        So when a guy like Erixon, with all world talent, is told by the Flames(in all likely hood) that he is most likely doing AHL time and more than just a few games to start the season, I have no problem with him telling the flames to pound sand and re-enter the draft. The NHL is a business, can’t ever forget that, he will do whats best for him and his career. And if the flames feel his talents are best spent sitting in the AHL rather than taking up a spot currently occupied by a Staois or a Mikkelson, well thats why the flames have not passed the first round of the playoffs or why they haven’t made it the last two years.

        Teams that take risks, give their players challenges and let their players develop in the NHL end up with guys like Skinner, Fowler. Couture only needed half a season in the AHL. Carlson in WSH needed only half a season in the AHL. Yeah it is probably a little different for Erixon coming over for Europe, but IMO I don’t see why he needs the full season in the AHL, Start him in the NHL, give him 20-40 games and assess from there, if at that point he really needs to work on his game, yeah send him to the AHL or back to Europe if thats the case, but take a bloody risk and give him the minutes. Cause right now it looks like we pretty much lose him for nothing and he probably ends up in a much better situation for himself and congrats to him.

  • the forgotten man

    As for erixon – I agree with what you say, but you have to wait and see what he does at camp first. If he’s ready to come in, great. But it is a different game and other Elit eLeague players have had difficulty coming straight in, so it all depends on camp, then pre-season, then his first few games…..

  • Arik

    Not much you can do if a player doesn’t want to sign, he would sure look good in some oiler silks, RNH and oilers trading there 19th and something else to trade down and grab this guy top ten. Heck of a great draft, besides I’m sure he’s good buddies with either MPS or Lander.

  • the forgotten man

    Sounds like we’re agreeing for the most part, but coming from different angles. Yes, live with the mistakes, but if not, players are better served elsewhere.

    Pretty much every GM/development director lauds the AHL, however and detroit is a classic example of letting players be “over-ripe” as they put it before bringing them into the NHL.

    Some guys come straight in, but the vast majority of players, even top 6 players, do time in the AHL.

    I hope we sign Erixon and he impresses enough to make the team, I really do.

    • The Overripe is BANG on, look at Pelech and Baldwin, they’ve been sitting in the AHL so long now I don’t think they are gonna adjust to NHL speed, they are kinda stuck spinning their wheels in the AHL, at some point you have to move these guys into the NHL and give them a legit shot, they shouldn’t be sitting in the AHL for 4 or 5 plus years and hoping one day that they eventually become good enough to make the NHL or make a contribution. People need to be challenged constantly, they only way they are gonna adjust and be an NHL player is to play in the NHL. I think Brodie needs to be given his shot next year, and a legit shot, not just another 3 games, to see if he can work on the 2nd or 3rd pairing. He’s did great in junior, he transitioned fantastically to the AHL, almost led the Heat in Points(though I think that more reflects the sad state of the heat) and now I think needs another challenge or he is gonna be stuck spinning his wheels again as well.

      This organization needs to be prepared to graduate atleast 1-2 players a year from the heat or the minors and learn to live with their rookie mistakes. I will always hate Mike Keenan for this, because I remember when he was coaching, I believe both Baldwin and Pelech were called up for a game against the ducks(might have been Palin) to replace some injured guys just for one night. They made one mistake and he benched em for periods 2 and 3 and left the rest of the team to carry the load. If this organization would rather trade a 3rd round pick for a guy like Staois than play a Pardy or give Brodie a longer look in the NHL, it shows why they won’t win in the new NHL.

      • T&A4Flames

        Yes, well, part of the problem is Calgary has had so few blue chip prospects. The guys you name are marginal talents at best.

        And as long as your game has room for improvement, there’s nothing wrong with waiting on a player.

        Far more busts (even ones who are given every chance to succed) from being rushed into the NHL too soon than there are from having to apprentice in the AHL for too long.

        • When Brodie was picked I doubt ANYONE thought he was gonna have the success he’s had so far. Probably same thing when Giordano was signed as a FA out of junior. Breen probably was just looked at as a nice signing to, but he’s turned out Really well in Abbotsford as a shut down kinda guy for now, and he should be given an oppurtunity throughout next year to get a chance at the NHL and maybe after next year if there is space available a real shot at the NHL. We signed Ryan Wilson as a free agent out of junior we traded to Colorado for Leopolds second go around and he’s been a pretty regular guy for the avs as well, nothing spectacular, but has played more games in the NHL than any other defender(other than Giordano) that the flames have drafted or signed since probably Phanuef.

          Baldwin and Pelech may be marginal players, but I bet more people thought that of those other players that were just signed out of junior and look where they are now.

          Then even as you say, if guys play in the minors with the AHL and learn the game and study they still won’t get a chance with this team. Baldwins best season with the heat was the 2009-2010 season, his fifth in the minors, how was he rewarded, not even a shot at the NHL, instead we keep guys like staois in the line-up, I get Brodie jumped ahead of him in the depth chart as well, but what does it say to guys like Erixon, that even if you do have career seasons in the minors, the flames are still gonna play old has beens like Staois over young guys with potential, HURRAY OLD BOYS CLUB!

      • LOL, I know, if these guys are still under contract but we don’t somehow get Carter Banks back under contract this team is absolutely fulll of fail. The Heat were a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT team with Banks in the lineup, everyone here is still under gloom cause Prust left, this kid, though not close to a Prust level yet has a lot of similar attributes IMO and given time to develop has a chance to eventually be a good 3rd/4th liner ala Glenncross/Prust mold.

        So are we into full blown panic mode, we caught a break with the 3pm deadline, but thats still less than 24hours. And the fact Feaster wasn’t working on this the second he was made full time acting GM is still sad.

  • BTW, here’s the google translation of that linked Swedish article:

    Yes, it can actually be. Calgary must in fact sign a contract with Tim Erixon later than tomorrow (June 1), otherwise they lose the rights to the small “X”. Such are the rules. If he does not sign a contract tomorrow, he will become available in the draft this summer.

    Must say it seems very strange if Calgary would not have Erixon’s signature on a contract. A dog seems to lie buried somewhere. Do not Erixon play in Calgary? After a relatively good season so he should have high priority for Calgary, who chose him in the first round (number 23 in total) 2009.

    Does that mean we’ll see Erixon in black yellow again next season?

    Nah, I think we wake up tomorrow and sees a signed three-year contract with Calgary. Anything else would be strange.

    (The title can be taken with a grain of salt …)

    EDIT: Rumor has it that Calgary has 50 players under contract, which is the limit. If so, have to Calgary to get rid of a player to sign with Erixon.

  • From my understanding is that as long as the flames are under the 50 SPCs for the coming year they can still sign erixon. Without actually looking at all the contracts my guess is that the article is including the contracts of those that are expiring the end of June. What I read seems to say we can go over the 50 limit right now(including expiring contracts) as long as our total contracts for the next season don’t go over 50.

  • Via Corey Pronman:

    “Reserve List” means the list of all Players to whom a Club has rights including all Unsigned Draft Choices, all Players signed to an SPC (whether or not 8 currently playing in the NHL), and all Players who have signed an SPC but who have subsequently been returned to Juniors. A Club may have on its Reserve List, at any one
    time, not more than 90 Players, which shall include the following:

    (a) Not more than 50 Players signed to an SPC and not less than 24 Players and 3 goalkeepers under an SPC. Age 18 and age 19 Players who were returned to Juniors, and who have not played 11 NHL Games in one season, shall be exempt from
    inclusion in the 50 Player limit. Any Club violating this provision shall be liable to loss of draft choices as determined by the Commissioner.

    So any talk of needing 50 by a certain date is incorrect.

  • WOW, yet another example why Calgary is the NEW JOKE of the NHL. Well joke not named Islanders. Your own former d-man says on the radio nobody wants to play in Calgary. How does this franchise continue to make such stupid mistakes? I hope he re-enters the draft, and a smart gm like Gillis will move up and get him.

    Our GM knows what he is doing Calgary.

    HIstory lesson: Remember when you guys let your 2000 draft picks go? Oh yeah Foster, SToll, and Sabourin. Nice moves. Wait you had Matthew Lombardi as pay back. SCORE!

    Thank god the JETS are back, so we can finally have a second team to cheer for in the NOrth West Division.

    VAN in 6 BOOK IT FLAMES fans. GO NUCKS GO! Feel free to join the wagon yet again. KEsler for COnn Smythe.