Flames Camp News and Notes, January 16 2013

A packed house was on-hand for the fourth day of Calgary Flames camp. The stands were the fullest they’ve been – I’d estimate somewhere just south of 1,000 fans in attendance – as the Flames had a mixed session of practice and scrimmage.


The big news today was that Flames captain Jarome Iginla joined the main group for practice and the scrimmage. While the captain wasn’t the best player on the ice, he definitely hadn’t lost a step nor looked out of place.

Word leaked out from the NHL offices late yesterday that teams have to finalize their rosters by 3pm ET (1pm Calgary time) on Friday. That means that the Flames have two more on-ice sessions to decide who stays and who goes, and then to estimate the status of Anton Babchuk (shoulder), Roman Cervenka (blood) and Jiri Hudler (death in the family).

Several Abbotsford Heat players went through waivers yesterday. The reason? When the players were assigned to the AHL originally, on the day of the CBA’s expiry, there wasn’t really a mechanism for them to go through "real" waivers and so the NHL and the NHLPA came up with a temporary waivers measure. The five players in question – Akim Aliu, Paul Byron, Krys Kolanos, Joe Piskula and Ben Walter – were thus defaulted to the NHL roster when the new CBA began and had to clear waivers to be assigned to the farm. Thus, Paul Byron and Leland Irving would need to go through waivers to return to the Heat (as would Brett Carson and anybody else on an NHL deal).


It was another lengthy, up-tempo day, split into two parts. The focus of the entire day was special teams, with a lot of time being devoted to the power-play.

Ten players wore black jerseys to start and were the two power-play units:

Unit 1: Glencross / Cammalleri / Iginla / Wideman / Tanguay

Unit 2: Baertschi / Backlund / Stempniak / Giordano / Bouwmeester

Everyone else was on the PK (16 players) and they cycled through four groups, constantly putting the power-play groups up against fresh killing units.

Following this, the team broke into lines and began a more systems-based practice focusing on breakouts and odd-man rushes.

  • Glencross – Tanguay – Iginla

  • Baertschi – Backlund – Cammalleri

  • Horak – Stajan – Stempniak

  • Comeau – Jones – Jackman

  • Begin/Byron – Jones – Winchester

  • Giordano – Bouwmeester

  • Butler – Wideman

  • Smith – Sarich

  • Brodie – Carson

  • Breen – McCarthy

  • Kiprusoff

  • Karlsson

  • Irving


After a ten-minute break, the Flames returned for a special teams focused scrimmage. Calgary-born winger Blair Yaworski suited up for Team Red. He last played with the Alaska Aces, but primarily spent time as his team’s designated penalty-box dweller.

Team Black:

  • Glencross / Cammalleri / Iginla / Wideman / Tanguay
  • Comeau / Jones / Jackman / Smith / Breen
  • Winchester / Byron / Begin / Carson / McCarthy

Team Red:

  • Baertschi / Backlund / Stempniak / Giordano / Bouwmeester
  • Horak / Stajan / Street / Brodie / Butler / Sarich
  • Yaworski

The teams cycled through 5-on-4 and 5-on-3 advantages, with Black getting power-play time to begin and then Red getting their man-advantages.

Team Black opened the scoring on a 5-on-3 advantage, with Mike Cammalleri finishing off a fairly slick passing play also involving Dennis Wideman and Alex Tanguay. Outside of that, though, Team Black’s power-play units didn’t set the world on fire.

That designation belongs to Mikael Backlund’s power-play unit. Backlund scored three goals, consecutively, powering Red to a 4-1 win. Roman Horak had the other goal for Red, set up by Ben Street. Not surprisingly, Backlund’s line with Baertschi and Horak was the best for either team.


Flames coach Bob Hartley noted after the session that Iginla looked good, Backlund looked good and Miikka Kiprusoff will be given a day off on Thursday. The format for goaltenders has been Kiprusoff in one net the entire time (for the last four days of ice-time) while Henrik Karlsson and Leland Irving split a net on the other end of the ice.

Beyond that, decisions await the Flames coaching staff and management, as cuts loom on Friday.

  • loudogYYC

    I finally made it out to practice today. Backlund looks great, I know you can’t get excited about the preseason but he and Baertschi look really really good out there together.

    Irving looks like a junior goalie unfortunately, hope they cut him loose in the summer.

    After seeing our Centre depth today, I think Feaster should definitely offer Gomez a resurrection contract. He won’t set the world on fire but he’s definitely an upgrade.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I’m finding myself very pumped about the BBC line. It could be a real dandy, if Hartly keeps it together.

    Thank god we’ll be seeing some consitent lines, hatever they end up looking like. Watching he Sutter’s suffling lines got very old.


    It’s starting to really annoy me that Brodie and Carson are basically joined at the hip. Does Hartley not realize how awesome Brodie is, or is he just not playing well enough to unseat Smith?

    Aside from the Brodie/Smith thing, I like the defense pairs the way they are (and the way they’ve remained for most of camp).

  • MC Hockey

    Nice summary as I missed most of the practice but saw the scrimmage. Sorry I did not see you guys there but there was like 1000 folks there, surprisingly lots of school-age kids. Wow the young guys look great, Backlund and Baetschi but Horak as well. Serious question for you guys:

    While I potentially see merit in Gomez, does anyone else just wish the Flames would about 4 veterans away (mainly forwards) to get some draft choices and cap space and let our young guys get more ice time and/or just make the big club?I don’t think Horak should go to Abby…Breen looked OK as well.

  • Also, nobody in the media room is ENTIRELY sure if Ben Street needs to clear waivers or not.

    He’s NEVER had an NHL deal before, and under the terms of the old CBA, he wouldn’t have to clear. Maybe.

    In short: we’ll see.

  • Got home late tonight so thanks for the thorough update! Must say, it’s the first time I’ve been encouraged by backlund. Baertschi is a Sure thing . Finally something really promising ! Can’t wain for hudler to eventually get back! Makes me so angry the media is so blah on the flames! We have a great core! I say buy out stajan and bring in Gomez. Can’t hurt. An upgrade if u ask me.

  • Have to chime in one last time! Is it just me or is anyone else sick of hearing how Edmonton is building something special! Is that what u call sucking since 05’… Building something special! At least our organization has not tanked and made our goal the first pick every year! Shame on tsn and sports net and the loser no name former nhlers who call losing building something special! I’m proud of what Feaster has accomplished in such a short time with his staff even with finishing 9th! Baertschi, sieloff,Jankowski, kulkin, kulak, brossoit, gillies, wotherspoon, granlund and our ace..gaudreau down the rd. hudler, wideman, cammi, tangs, jones, horak, cervenka.This without tanking and having mid-range picks!