It’s…Well…

Unfortunately, Rebecca Black decided to take her video off YouTube, so my Friday is effectively ruined.  That said, it’s a busy Friday surrounding the Calgary Flames, as they’ve filled out their coaching vacancies and they’ve also got some good and bad news from Hockey Canada.  With FlamesNation getting ready to head to the draft next week, a busy summer is just getting started.

First on the docket is Calgary’s new goaltending coach, Clint Malarchuk, who was hired Friday morning.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about his work in prior stops, most recently with the Atlanta Thrashers; he’s had prior stops in Columbus and Florida as well.  Malarchuk is an old school guy, but a coach the team was instantly high on. 

"When we concluded our interview with Clint, I asked Brent what he thought, and without hesitation he said, ‘I think we should offer him a contract right now’," said GM Jay Feaster.  "We had interviewed half a dozen candidates at that point, and it was the first time Brent had such an immediate reaction and felt so strongly that we had found the perfect fit both for Brent, but, even more importantly, for our goaltenders.  We welcome Clint to the Flames’ family and look forward to a very long and mutually rewarding relationship."  In short, Brent likes him, and so he’s hired.

Malarchuk replaces Jamie McLennan, and I’m still a little sad to see Jamie go.  I thought he did a strong job with Henrik Karlsson this past season, which is the best indicator on this team as to the work of a goaltending coach.  From Karlsson’s first dismal start on October 28th to his final start in the final game of the season, we saw the Swede progress leaps and bounds in his first NHL season.  Karlsson got better at playing his angles, handling the puck, and we saw him go down far too early in his first starts, something that was much improved by the end of his first season.  I believe McLennan deserves a lot of credit for that.

The Flames also announced the hiring of Chris Snow as their new Director of Video Analsyis, which continues a very interesting career path for him.  Once a sports writer, who covered the Minnesota Wild during the early 2000’s, Snow left the Boston Globe in 2006 to join the Wild as their Director of Hockey Operations; a position he held until the end of last season.

While Malarchuk is an old school hiring, you can put Snow in the new school category, as he’s being brought in to implement new ways of tracking and compiling stats, much like he did in Minnesota.  He’s also there to integrate the PUCKS video system, something Snow introduced to Feaster during the season.  "Once we started test driving the system, we brought Chris on as a consultant for a few months to work on special assigments," says Feaster.  "It didn’t take long for us to recognize that we would benefit greatly by having Chris join us full time.  He will be a resource for our players, coaches, scouts and management team, and hiw work will enable us to apply more advanced metrics and analysis to our player acquisition process."

While I don’t think the hiring of Snow means we’ll start hearing terms like Corsi and PDO entering Feater’s lexicon, I do think it’s a significant shift in philosophy from the prior administration.  The model of evaluating players, on your team or elsewhere, has changed so dramatically in the last decade that it’s important to cover your bases however you can, and I believe the Flames are doing that here.

Finally, some good and bad news coming from Hockey Canada where the Flames are involved.  Kottenay Ice forward Max Reinhart was not among the 46 players invited to World Junior Development Camp at the beginning of August in Edmonton.  I was a large fan of Reinhart’s work as the Ice marched to the Western Hockey League title and a berth in the Memorial Cup, playing a large part in their success.  He played a key role in neutralizing top end players like Brayden Schenn and Nino Neiderreiter, and many thought he was a lock to be on Hockey Canada’s list of 46.  A little disappointing that he’s not.

On the other hand, Patrick Holland does make the cut, as last year’s seventh round pick finished a strong season with the Tri-City Americans.  Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Predergast joined Sportsnet Radio on Friday afternoon and spoke of Holland’s versatility, skating ability and hockey sense as the main reasons why he’s on the list.  Prendergast envisions Holland in a third or fourth line role with some penalty killing thrown in, so it’s good to see a Calgary pick at the very least in the mix.

FlamesNation leaves for the draft on Wednesday, or at least I do…I have no idea when Kent is leaving.  Tune in Thursday night at 6 pm as FlamesNation Radio makes it’s debut on Sportsnet Radio FAN 960, live from Minnesota.  We’ll open up a thread on the site with a few different topics, and we encourage you to leave your comments for Kent and I to discuss on the air.  We’ll interact on the phone and Twitter as well, so looking forward to it.

    • Robert Cleave

      You’ll do better than me, because I’ll watching the CFL’s worst team in action Thursday evening. ETA for Minny is Friday mid-afternoon, give or take whatever time the fine folks at the Pembina, ND. customs post require for the strip search and auto disassembly.

    • Well that ****ing explains it, must have a hate on for legit Flames prospects and doesn’t want to give them any more shine on the national stage.

      “Prendergast envisions Holland in a third or fourth line role with some penalty killing thrown in”

      You are telling me Reinhart couldn’t fit that EASILY. His team dispatches of Moosejaw in round 1 and that was their hardest test. Then Reinhart and line is sent up against Schenn and the big bad Wheat Kings. They DISPOSE of them. The they go up against the team with the highest scoring players in the Tigers(Vey) and again he matches up and dispatches of them. Then lastly he goes up against the Powerhouse Winterhawks and again they have their way with them. And you are telling me that He can’t get onto Team Canada to play a third or fourth line role and kill penalties????

      Only reason I can see that Reinhart doesn’t go on the team is that the Flames have a contract in place with Reinhart and he is expected to play for the Heat and the Flames will not be releasing his services. But even that doesn’t make any sense.

        • So the WHL is just as bad as COllege Football then, ugh. Well maybe then his contract is with the flames and he’s given a spot on the flames, a guy can dream can’t he?

          Maybe if he has a DOMINATING season to start the year Hockey Canada can’t ignore the guy, be really nice to see him get on Team Canada.

    • Wow. Prendergast really screwed up. I was listening to the Fan 960, and I heard Holland got the invite, I was like ‘sweet, Holland and Reinhart at the summer evaluation camp’. Then I found out Reinhart wasnt invited. Like REALLY!?!?!! Reinhart was tied for the team lead in playoff points, and probably deserved the playoff mvp.

  • Ya was bad they let noodles go, one of the good guys. While the Malarchuck signing to me is, meh, there is something that worries me. The team is making it a habit of signing people who didnt succeed in other organizations or have no previous back ground. Right from Feaster (little success) to Malarchuck (look at the teams he was with, 0 success, sometimes they had decent goaltending). It is really bothering me that they talk the good talk, aka Feaster, but dont back it up. There are too many players on this team, veterans, who come here from losing organizations. One of the main reasons I truly be why Tampa had such great success is that they brought in a rookie GM and Coach who came from winning organizations and a GM who did nothing but win and lead for the last 15 years of his career. I look at the differences between Vancouver and Boston, the Canucks had skill oozing, Bruins had some but they had leadership and true battle worn veterans (see Recchi). This is what the Flames need, players, coaches AND MANAGEMENT from proven winning organizations. That philosophy of winning is key. For all the talent JayBo has, he has never won anything on his club teams and I believe that hurts a player.

    I encourage you to take a look at the Playoff history of each Flame (take out the obvious players) you will be surprised.

  • FORWARDS
    Matthew Stajan ($3.500m) / Daymond Langkow ($4.500m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)
    Curtis Glencross ($2.550m) / Olli Jokinen ($3.000m) / Rene Bourque ($3.333m)
    David Moss ($1.300m) / Mikael Backlund ($1.270m) / Jamie Langenbrunner ($2.000m)
    Tom Kostopoulos ($0.916m) / Boyd Gordon ($1.000m) / Tim Jackman ($0.550m)
    / Stefan Meyer ($0.512m)

    DEFENSEMEN
    Jay Bouwmeester ($6.680m) / Mark Giordano ($4.020m)
    James Wisniewski ($3.875m) / Douglas Murray ($2.500m)
    T.J. Brodie ($0.741m) / Cory Sarich ($3.600m)
    / Brett Carson ($0.575m)

    GOALTENDERS
    Miikka Kiprusoff ($5.833m) / Henrik Karlsson ($0.625m)

    BUYOUTS: Nigel Dawes ($0.141m), Niklas Hagman ($1.000m)

    SALARY CAP: $62,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,024,999; BONUSES: $600,000
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,375,001

    • Interesting, except, Who’s Boyd Gordon? And Jamie L? Youre gonna pay $2 M to a guy who’s 36 and diminishing returns? Again my point is the team keeps signing older players. While he does have playoff experience, he’s not that gritty/leader player the team needs. What happened to Reggie? Did you trade him, what did you get? Kotalik I assume is playing in Europe under your scenario. Also, you think Karlsson will settle for only $125,000 more to sit on the bench? i think he wants a shot at a #1 job and wants over $1m. It would be better to let those players go, and bring up rookies let them play, i think they will surprise us.

      • I didn’t specify this, but that’s one scenario involving some things I’d like to see along with some things I think we could see (Butter/Langenbrunner strong relationship).

        Regehr & 45 to SJ for Murray & 28.

        You don’t like Gordon?

        Kotalik has been banished to KHL.

        Karlsson wants (much) more than that, then find somebody else.

        Here’s another scenario…

        FORWARDS
        Curtis Glencross ($2.550m) / Tim Connolly ($3.250m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)
        Matthew Stajan ($3.500m) / Daymond Langkow ($4.500m) / Rene Bourque ($3.333m)
        David Moss ($1.300m) / Mikael Backlund ($1.270m) / Olli Jokinen ($3.000m)
        Tom Kostopoulos ($0.916m) / Boyd Gordon ($1.000m) / Tim Jackman ($0.550m)
        / / Stefan Meyer ($0.512m)

        DEFENSEMEN
        James Wisniewski ($4.000m) / Mark Giordano ($4.020m)
        Jay Bouwmeester ($6.680m) / Douglas Murray ($2.500m)
        T.J. Brodie ($0.741m) / Scott Hannan ($2.500m)
        Brett Carson ($0.575m)

        GOALTENDERS
        Miikka Kiprusoff ($5.833m) / Henrik Karlsson ($0.625m)

        BUYOUTS: Nigel Dawes ($0.141m), Cory Sarich ($1.400m)

        SALARY CAP: $63,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,699,999; BONUSES: $600,000
        CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,300,001

        • Not disagreeing, think some of those would be good. Murray is probably a straight move, dont know if SJ could afford Reggie. Wish we could find a place for Jaybo. I also wish i could see Santa Clause coming down the chimney. Just never heard of Gordon. Now you want an old injured Hannan? I think you may be able to get a puck moving defenseman like Kaberle for $2.5m. But i think the team really needs to get younger. Bring up the younger guys and quit wasting them in the minors and on the 4th line. Look at Backlund. Was pretty average when he played on the 4th or 3rd line but when he came up to the top line, he started to shine. Can you imagine a team with someone like Nemisz, Rheault, Wahl, Howse or Horak (Dont know much about him, heard he’s decent but thats about it). Have one line of young kids, 1 or 2 on the D-line thats how you build.

  • PrairieStew

    Just cant see the Sharks parting with Murray for much the same type of player in Regehr; only older are more expensive. I think there will be very little tinkering and it’ll look like this.

    CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

    FORWARDS
    Alex Tanguay ($3.750m) / Mikael Backlund ($1.270m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)
    Rene Bourque ($3.333m) / Daymond Langkow ($4.500m) / David Moss ($1.300m)
    Curtis Glencross ($2.550m) / Matthew Stajan ($3.500m) / Olli Jokinen ($3.000m)
    Tom Kostopoulos ($0.916m) / Greg Nemisz ($1.045m) / Tim Jackman ($0.550m)
    Raitis Ivanans ($0.600m) / Lance Bouma ($0.693m)

    DEFENSEMEN
    Jay Bouwmeester ($6.680m) / Mark Giordano ($4.020m)
    Robyn Regehr ($4.020m) / Cory Sarich ($3.600m)
    T.J. Brodie ($0.741m) / Brett Carson ($0.575m)
    / Adam Pardy ($0.700m)

    GOALTENDERS
    Miikka Kiprusoff ($5.833m) / Leland Irving ($1.250m)

    BUYOUTS: Nigel Dawes ($0.141m)

    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $63,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $61,571,665; BONUSES: $930,000
    CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $1,428,335