Flames News and Notes, January 30 2013



As we head into game-day tomorrow against the Colorado Avalanche, here are a few notes from throughout this week.


– Both LW Sven Baertschi and RW Roman Cervenka were absent from practice today. Coach Bob Hartley classified Baertschi as “doubtful” for Thursday’s game due to a lower body injury, while Cervenka was off due to a maintenance day. This is entirely speculation, but I’d imagine that the Flames are keeping tabs on Cervenka and giving him precautionary off-days whenever they can given his prior clotting issues. No further details were available regardng Baertschi’s injury, except that he was likely going to undergo further testing.

– With Cervenka and Baertschi out, the bottom-six lined up like this at Wednesday’s practice:

  • Hudler – Stajan – Comeau
  • Begin – Jones – Jackman

If I were to guess, I’d wager that Tim Jackman slots back in on the fourth line and Steve Begin sits out once again on Thursday night, assuming Cervenka indeed returns. We’ll know more about who’s in and who’s out tomorrow morning.

– In addition, Hartley confirmed that D Chris Butler will be back in the line-up – he’s been skating on a pairing with Cory Sarich – while Derek Smith will rotate out. With no back-end injuries, they’re rotating bottom-pairing bodies in and out to keep guys fresh.

– Airdrie product Zach Boychuk has been placed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes. At just 23-years-old, Boychuk has established himself as a very good AHL player but seems to lack the same confidence and scoring touch at the NHL level. I personally doubt the Flames pick him up, as they’re short on spots for top-nine forwards as is.

– After this handy four days off, the Flames get busy in a hurry. They play Thursday and Saturday at home (against Colorado and Chicago), then have two days off before playing every two days on the road in Detroit, Columbus and Vancouver. The club doesn’t get caught in a glut of back-to-back games until later in February, though.


– Edmonton Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit has been absolutely excellent since getting cut from the World Junior roster. After today’s win, Brossoit is 11-2-0 with a 1.32 goals against average and a .954 save percentage. To be fair, the Oil Kings are really, really good.

– Also notable is Portland blueliner Tyler Wotherspoon, whose +43 rating is second in the entire Canadian Hockey League behind Portland teammate Nic Petan. Yes, he has a better plus/minus than every single major junior player in Canada except for Petan.

– Johnny Gaudreau was held off the score-sheet for consecutive games this weekend, the first time such a thing has happened since last January. Despite putting up zero points for Boston College, Gaudreau is the leading scorer in his conference.

– Speaking of college prospects, Providence College goaltender Jon Gillies leads his conference in save percentage (0.926). His strong play is one of the main reasons a very young Friars club is well-situated in the conference’s playoff picture.

– And finally, Karri Ramo continues to perform well for Avangard Omsk in the KHL. His club is first in their conference and projected to have a strong playoff run. The KHL regular season ends on February 17, but the playoffs stretch well into April. In other words? Barring a massive collapse by Avangard, don’t expect to see Ramo in Flames colours this year.

  • RexLibris

    I kind of wondered if the Flames might pick up Yann Danis off of waivers as a backup.

    They seem to have very little confidence in Irving, and Danis would probably be an upgrade for NHL insurance.

    As for Baertschi, I just hope the injury is a long way from his cranium.

  • T&A4Flames

    Thanks for this update on the prospects, Ryan.

    Nothing to report on Janko or Granlund?

    If CGY makes a claim on Boychuk, I would be expecting a trade to happen soon after. Too bad he isn’t a right shooting RW or C. We kind of have a back-log on LW

    • everton fc

      Granlund’s been on a nice little run since the wjc. I believe he’s currently 3rd on his team in scoring.

      In direct contrast, Jankowski has gone ice cold. I don’t think it’s an issue with his play, really, as the Friars just lost a pair of games to BU.

  • everton fc

    Boychuk might be worth a punt. But he’s smallish. Like Byron. Others.

    As for Danis… I’d rather see a guy like Irving or Taylor get a look. But that’s me. We’ll never know what we’ve got until we let them play.

    I see Cam Janssen’s also hit the waiver wire. Another goon with no offencive skills may bite the dust and end up in the AHL indefinitely. Frazer McLaren’s also on waivers. Might he be better to have on the left side of the 4th line, than Begin? Would teams feel free to run Kipper with a guy like McLaren on the ice? Is there any difference between a McLaren and a Janssen?

    Just thinking out loud here. Trying to generate conversation, late in the day.

  • Michael

    The Flames really need to take a look at the contracts on the books, and maybe thin out the herd a little. We typically run to close to the 50 contract cap to be able to take a flyer on a guy like Boychuk. The Flames are flush with smaller centers, so unless he is a clear upgrade I think we pass.

  • McRib

    The Flames better not draft ANOTHER goalie in this years draft, they look to be set with Karri Ramo, Laurent Brossoit & Jon Gillies. They honestly could have the best goalie or close second in the KHL, CHL & NCAA. At least they are sound enough to think they won’t waste a first round pick ala Darryl Sutter (Leland Irving) on one.

    • Hear hear. ONE of these three goalies should be able to take the reins. At worst, we get a 1A-1B system going and dominate.

      My feeling is that it would be a waste to drop a pick on ANY goalie in the draft. We have several in the system (as you’ve stated) and should be replenishing our cupboard of young players. Hell, use the picks in a trade package if you have to, just no goalies.

    • I believe that I once heard Feaster or Weisbrod on the Fan 960 saying that taking a goalie every draft was a good idea and something that gives you a good insurance policy. I may be mistaken tho, it was quite a while back.

      • T&A4Flames

        I would think every other draft would not be a bad idea, as long as they are picked in the later rounds and the talent is there. Of course, we were a little devoid of good young goalies when we drafted Brossoit. So 1 each draft until someone steps is fine to me. I didn’t mind Gillies in the 3rd round.

        • ChinookArchYYC

          If the Flames know that Ramo will be coming to next year’s camp, before they go to the draft this season it would be nice to pass on a goalie this year, and take a run at the Center position.

      • Given how poor we are in general in projecting goalies, I can get behind taking one goalie per draft, as long as the team isn’t wasting a high pick on them. Gives you redundancy and a better chance of hitting a Lundqvist like homerun.

  • McRib

    So Providence is young? So (hopefully) they get better as (hopefully) Jankowski gets better next year?

    If so, it could be a good environment for the kid to develop…