Most of the conversation for the past week, or month, or this season, has been centered on whether the Flames could or should trade Jarome Iginla. I’m going to try and stay away from that particular topic in this issue. Instead let’s take a look around and see what else is stoking the fire of Flamesland.
The head-hunters are still out in full swing when it comes to the perceived "quick fix" for the Flames woes. From across the forums to the phone calls Pat faces on a nightly basis on overtime, fans have been calling for the head of Brent Sutter. Domebeers does his part on not focusing on Sutter as the problem but to the fact that Flames management saddled the coach, with a poorly structured team to begin with.
It wasn’t the blockbuster move that fans had been waiting for, or rather hoping for but on Friday, the Flames claimed Blake Comeau off waivers from the NY Islanders. Not a bad move for Calgary. Comeau has great speed, but also has a whopping zero points this year after coming off a career performance last year. Some speculate that the change of scenery might be good for Blake as well as add another fast and young forward to the Flames line-up. It’s a low risk move as Comeau will be an RFA, and if things don’t go as hoped, they can walk away.
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Flames were fortunate in their waiver claim as the Ducks, Wild and Predators were all looking at Comeau. The Preds and Wild actually put claims in for Blake but were behind Calgary in the cue. The Ducks were ahead of Calgary, but due to crucial tight money issues, they were unable to make the claim. Cue the talk as to whether the Flames should be on the phone with Anaheim about a possible trade.
Comeau was very excited to get to Calgary, and the Flames wasted no time putting him in the line-up that same night for the game against the Blues. He looked fairly good, considering he knew no one on the team and was thrown right in. He even managed to register a few scoring chances and made a really nice rush to the net that almost resulted in his first goal.
LIFE ON THE FARM…
Elsewhere, there is a lot to be excited about within the Flames, but away from the Dome. Flames prospects are a great story all over the country. In Abbotsford, Leyland Irving was named AHL Player of the Week, marking the second time in four weeks that a member of the Heat has been given the honour. “At 13-5-0, the native of Swan Hills, Alberta, leads the AHL in wins (13), minutes played (1,022) and shutouts (3) while ranking fourth with a 1.94 goals-against average and 10th with a .927 save percentage."
THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT, I GOTTA WEAR…
Back in October, I was really excited about going to the game between the Calgary Hitman and Portland Winterhawks. It was going to be a chance to see Flames first rounder, Sven Baertschi, live and in colour. Alas, it didn’t happen due to an injury that kept Baertschi from playing. Since his return though, Sven has been on a torrid pace and is just tearing up the WHL, closing fast on the scoring leaders. His 45 points in 19 games (yes you read that correctly) has him only 13 pts behind league leader Mark Stone; playing 9 games less. Linemate Ty Rattie earned the player of the week honours in the WHL, but it is widely believed that Baertschi’s strong play has had a more to do with Rattie’s success, rather than the opposite.
There is a lot to be excited about with Baertschi, and he seems to be getting better as the season goes on. There will be a lot of eyes on him during the World Junior Championships that are scheduled to begin New Years Day, as no doubt he will be one of the bright spots for the Swiss junior team.
Speaking of the World Juniors, Flames fans should be happy to hear that prospects Max Reinhart and Michael Ferland are among the 41 players that were invited to Team Canada’s selection camp. Ferland currently sits 6th in WHL scoring, 3 pts behind Baertschi; while Reinhart is 18th in scoring at 31 pts.
Definitely some good news on the development front. In the meantime, and in between time.. That’s it for now.