There is the old saying that states "no news is good news", right? That was not the case for the Flames fan base this week, when they finally got the news on what many fans had speculated on and even complained had not happened yet. In addition to that, the fans were pretty much unanimous in agreement and saying, "Finally…", when the core received the media’s version of 40 lashes in the town’s square that left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players… publically at least.
WE HAVE A MATCH
Let’s start with the story that has the fans in a buzz: the decision to put Nik Hagman on waivers was one that wasn’t going to come as a surprise since he had been a healthy scratch repeatedly. The only thing really left to wonder was whether Feaster had the stones to actually do it. Well he did, and Hagman was on his way to Abbotsford… and then he was on his way back. Almost immediately Nik was placed on re-entry waivers, which really only meant one thing – and no it wasn’t that Jay had seen the error of his ways and wanted the Finn back. No, it meant that obviously no one wanted Hagman at full price, so the Flames wanted to see, quickly, if someone would bite at half the price.
Well it worked and on Monday morning the Anaheim Ducks claimed Nik Hagman and it seemed like a win-win-win situation for all three parties. Or is it? Obviously for Hagman it is better to be playing, rather than sitting in the press box. When teammate and countryman, Olli Jokinen found out, he was actually quite frank on the matter, stating,
“He’s probably going to play with Saku (Koivu) and Teemu (Selanne),” said Jokinen. “It’s a lot better than being in the press box eating hotdogs and popcorn. It’s not a bad situation at all.”
The move seems to be a good one also for the Anaheim Ducks. The team is struggling and if Hagman ‘Finn’ishes off the line of Selanne and Koivu, then more than likely you can expect an increase in his production.
So that’s two down, leaing the Flames with the third win in my makeshift equation right? It seems like a no-brainer that Calgary won in the move, because after all, it was the Flames that put him on re-entry waivers with the hopes that he would be claimed. So what’s the problem then? The problem is, not all people believe Calgary was in the right for putting Hagman on waivers.
The best way to stoke a good fire is with a little Matchsticks and Gasoline. Scott Lepp believes that the Flames let another one bite the dust, not because Hagman wasn’t a productive member of the team, but rather that he was misused by the Flames; thereby making him a disaster of their own creation. While there be some merit to this theory, I am not of the opinion, shared by some, that Hagman is going to go on some crazy ‘finnish’ to this season, and score 30 goals. It’s just not going to happen. if it does, I’ll print this paragraph, and literally, eat my words.
Whatever the outcome is for Hagman in Anaheim is irrelevant to the Flames, I hope everyone knows that. If he does manage to score 30 down in Californ-i-a, don’t get all bent out of shape about another stupid move that wasn’t given the opportunity to reach his full potential with the Flames; he wasn’t going to score 30 here, and in the end that’s all that matters.
The only thing better than the Flames finally making a permanent roster decision was seeing someone publicly rip the team for their performance. I don’t know which is more frustrating now; watching the team lose or hearing people in the organization say "Well, it is what it is". Pardon?
During the intermission of Saturday’s game against Colorado, HNiC’s Kelly Hrudey had had just about enough. The usually mild mannered CBC Co-host was asked a simple lead-in question as to the play of the Flames this year. It was a spark that led to more fire than the Flames team has shown all year, save the Redwings game.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a single problem with anything Kelly had to say in this rant. Not one! I actually found myself smiling listening to Hrudey going on, and not letting up. Why should it make any difference to the fan base in regards to relieving some of our frustrations? Well it probably won’t, but it sure did feel good hearing someone say it out loud where we know Bourque would hear it. And hear it Rene did; needless to say, il était un peu contrarié.
Bourque has 5 points so far this season, all goals, no assists, and they came in 3 games. He has been pointless 14 times out of 17 games and that includes a nine game streak. The numbers pretty much solidify what Hrudey had to say about Bourque, yet the Flames winger said that Kelly was out of line and his comments were uncalled for?
"I definitely don’t agree with him going on national TV to rip me like that. I know the guy, see him around the rink once in a while, he’s always nice. But for him to say that about me? I didn’t agree with it at all." – Rene Bourque
Now I’ve never seen anyone come out after a lashing like that and say, ‘yeah, I deserved that’… But Rene should have. Bourque’s reaction was pretty typical of what we have seen of and heard from the Flames all season. Only hearing one side, what they want to hear. I’m not saying that Bourque wanted to HNiC rip him on national TV, but he only heard what he wanted, in order to defend himself. He obviously wasn’t listening to why Hrudey said what he did.
"He could be a top-10 scorer. If he didn’t have talent, I wouldn’t be mad." – Hrudey
Bourque may not have agreed with the manner in which Hrudey decided to deliver his message, but at this point, that should be the least of his concerns. You only have one defense when it comes to defamation of character, the truth. In this situation, Borkie just had his case dismissed.
Domebeers did a fly-by on Tuesday with his quick take and a different angle on what might be the Bourque myth. It may not be a question of heart or passion, maybe the dude is just getting older and his injuries are catching up to him? It’s an interesting perspective, but I don’t think it get’s Rene off the hook. Injuries aside, he’s not doing the job and seems both apathetic and complacent in his role on the club…Come to think of it, a lot of the players do lately.