Bartschi Signs

Doing what was expected earlier in the week, the Calgary Flames have indeed signed 13th overall pick Sven Bartschi to a standard entry level contract.  It’s a three year deal that’ll pay him $925,000 per season, however with this being the final year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, all bonuses count on entry level deals, meaning Bartschi’s cap hit will end up being $1.45 million if he ends up playing with the big club.

Jay Feaster told a few of us last week the Flames had tendered a contract to Bartschi almost immediately after drafting him, at a dinner among their new picks on Saturday night.  You can imagine Calgary would have a little urgency with the whole thing due to the Tim Erixon fiasco the team had endure last month.  I can tell you from talking to people in the organization prior to the draft in Minnesota, playing in Calgary was something they took into consideration when doing their interviews with draft eligible players.

When the Flames drafted Bartschi at 13 it came as no surprise, as he had interviewed very well with the team at the scouting combine and in talks in St. Paul prior to the first round.  He was the player I hoped the team would pick as well, had he still been around, because he brings high end, finishing skill that just isn’t present in the Flames system right now.

Bartschi is an affable guy who enjoys the media and enjoys playing the game, and the latter is something that struck me right away.  He likes working, he likes improving his game, and he’s ready to do whatever is asked of him; whether he plays in Portland next year, which I believe is likely, or in the NHL, I get the impression Bartschi will be ready to impress and eager to get to the next level.

He put up 85 points in 66 regular season games with the Portland Winterhawks last season, adding 27 more in 21 playoff games.

  • SickFloBro

    Love the signing and hope he does REALLY well in training camp and the pre-season and is allowed to play his first 8 or 11 games whatever the case is for junior players in the NHL before being sent back down to junior. And maybe if he impresses enough he can stick with the big club.

    In my potential line-up(everyone of us offseason arm chair GMs love to do one) I have a whole on LW on the second line, and if Baertschi has that high end skill we all are told he has and have seen in junior maybe he can find a way to stick, we can only hope.

  • Important to point out:

    Bartschi cannot play in the American Hockey League this season, as he’s under 20, so it’s NHL or WHL for him. The Flames have a 10 game regular season window to make that decision.

    If Bartschi ends up playing in junior, it does not count as one of the years on his entry level deal.

    • SickFloBro

      I hope they use that 10 game window(I thought it was 8 or 11 last year with the whole Schenn thing), I can’t recall a time ever where we used the 10 game window, I know a lot of teams don’t as well. But I can’t think of a better measuring stick for the Flames and for Baertschi about where his game needs to go if he is to become a top 6 NHLer.

      We’ll have to see how his pre-season goes and maybe he bombs already in the pre-season and if thats the case I wouldn’t give him the 10 games, but if he shows in the pre-season a reason to be excited about his NHL abilities what is 10 games on an NHL roster, I don’t see any negatives if he shows he could play in the NHL.

  • Dr. Nick

    First off, wow, Connie looks like a giant compared to Sven in that picture.

    I am glad that they got Bartschi signed, but now we put our faith into the Flames to turn this prospect into an legitimate NHLer. Unfortunately, this hasn’t exactly been an area of strength for the Flames in the past. Bartschi has the talent to be a star, but there have been plenty of prospects with tons of skill become nothing. So here’s to hoping Sven becomes a star and not an architect who designs dinosaur shaped buildings that breathe fire.

  • SickFloBro

    …and now that I’ve just watched the signing video on flames.nhl.com, the jersey Sven wears DOES display an E in his name. Though, his name on his Winterhawks jersey has NO E.

    HOW DO YOU SPELL HIS NAME!? D:

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    As a Flames season ticket holder through 1980s until the mid 90s but who has recently moved to Victoria and only gets to see the occassional game in Vancouver, I wouldn’t mind if he stays in the dub this year so I can see the future when the Winterhawks come to town to play the Royals. I was torn between picking him or McNeil but I think he’s a great choice.

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    Sven’s actual last name is Bärtschi, however that doesn’t work on a jersey in the WHL so they just dropped it to Bartschi. The flames want the name pronounced properly but because its hard to put the proper ä into his name every time because sometimes it doesn’t show up properly they gave him the proper english translation or pronunciation of Baertschi.

    It’s not the Flames fault that the WHL and Portland Winterhawks kinda messed up. However I think we should have a defiante spelling on his name here, either Bärtschi or Baertschi, seeing as how the Flames and the NHL have decided on the name Baertschi.

  • Yourmomthinksimhot

    Im really worried that Bartschi is going to end up being a bust, in fact im so worried that I wish we wouldve drafted someone else.

    Swiss players never end up being impact guys and Bartschi played for a really strong team in Portland so he was likely carried by a guy like Johansen.

    We shouldve drafted a guy in a position we’re weak in like McNeill. Hes going to end up being a stud centerman who will likely burn us in the future.

    If these are the decisions that management is making im going to have to have fun seeing guys like Yakupov playing here next year, 30th place here we come…..

    • Reidja

      Sven was a high pick by pretty wide consensus and the Flames had him in their top 10 according to Feaster. Pretty hard not to take him at 13 if that’s the case. I would disagree that we are thin at centre (other than #1 centre that is), we need skill all over and especially at forward. If he has skill and heart, I don’t care where he’s from.

    • Dr. Nick

      I have to disagree with you on a couple of points:

      First, Mark Streit and Jonas Hiller I think most people would agree are impact players and both played in Switzerland before coming to the NHL. I also think their development programs have improved as can be evidenced from the World Junior Championships in 2010 and 2011, and recent NHL drafts and scout rankings.

      Second, Bartschi didn’t really play with Ryan Johansen, Nino Niederreiter and Brad Ross played with Johansen. Bartschi played most of the season on the second line with Ty Rattie and Craig Cunningham, and those three all had more points than Niederreiter and Ross. Yes I know that Cunningham didn’t play the full year with Portland, but his PPG was the pretty much the same with the Winterhawks and the Giants. So Bartschi got his points not from being carried but from his chemistry with Cunningham and Rattie.

      This doesn’t mean that I think McNeil wouldn’t have been a good choice, because like you said we do need more center prospects, but before you call Bartschi a bust, give him a chance to play.

      • Well spotted. Those are a couple of excellent NHLers. Nino Neiderreiter may yet be another.

        Not that nationality is any big deal. Bartschi is spending his last formative years in the WHL anyways, which is one of the best junior development leagues in the world.

    • One can worry about any draft pick being a bust, Swiss or not. There have been some very good goalies come out of Switzerland, but not much in the way of skaters. Having said that keep in mind Swiss hockey has made huge strides in the past few years and guys leading the new wave are guys like Bartschi and Neiderrider who aren’t old enough yet to give us an read on what types of pros they will be. In addition these guys have come over to play and play well in the CHL– not like some of Swiss guys in past.
      If you watched the Portland – Kootenay WHL final series you would have seen that Bartschi was by far the best and most dangerous Winterhawk so one could argue in that series at least, he carried the team way more than Johansen and Neiderrider.
      The only thing that concerns me a little about Bartschi is his size, but this guy works hard and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in the tough areas. He isn’t afraid to hand it out either.
      I also liked the idea of McNeil because of his size and all round game, but when it comes down to overall skill and goal scoring I’d bet on Bartschi.Two different players for sure.

    • I’m not so sure Yakupov will be there at 6th next year or wherever we’ll finish. I’d rather see us take that Henrik Samuelsson from the US under 18 National thingy team. Or maybe a defenseman like Nick Ebert/Griffin Reindhart. Wouldn’t that be something, to have Max Reinhart and Griffin ReinDDDDhart?? hahaha

  • SmellOfVictory

    I initially would’ve preferred McNeill (now I’m not sure which guy I like more), but using “Swiss players suck” as a reason for disliking Baertschi is not a great one. Switzerland doesn’t have a rager of a hockey development program, but they’ve made large improvements, and any country is capable of producing good players (see: Anze Kopitar).

    The only two potential concerns I have about him are that a) he was one of the older guys in the draft (older than McNeill by about 6 months if I recall), and b) he played on a strong team (which you mentioned). I don’t think either of these factors is strong enough that he will end up being a bust, but he may end up having a lower ceiling than we hope (e.g. 3rd liner). I would be very, very surprised if he didn’t play in the NHL. I think he was probably the surest draftee this year to make an NHL career after Landeskog and Larsson.

  • Reidja

    Not your typical armchair GM type but I think I would like to see the young guys get some ice time and develop. Under guidance of course…Everyone thought Bachlund struggled which may be true but now is playing a more mature game. The only way to progress is to be given the chance to do so..

  • Reidja

    PS I like the little fiesty guys like Fleury,Tucker, St Louis etc.. The guys no one expects to be an impact but their work ethic and determination are unwaivering..