Flames News and Notes, February 12 2013



Flames general manager Jay Feaster had a pow-wow with local media on Tuesday morning prior to practice. Here’s a quick rundown of what was discussed. Most of it related to the ongoing roster-spot shell game.


Feaster mentioned that after practice yesterday, Miikka Kiprusoff underwent an MRI after complaining of knee pain. The MRI revealed a Grade 2 MCL sprain, not a Grade 1 sprain as originally thought. It was noted, though, that the sprain is not as severe as Mikael Backlund’s and Kiprusoff is only expected to be out another two weeks.


More details came out about the claiming of goaltender Joey MacDonald yesterday. Feaster noted that he was a player that their pro scouts targeted and recommended the team acquire. If you do the math, MacDonald has over a hundred NHL starts, Leland Irving has less than a dozen and Danny Taylor has played a period of NHL hockey.

Seen in that light, particularly with Miikka Kiprusoff having nine previous understudies during his stint in Calgary, grabbing a 33-year-old veteran back-up makes some sense. The goaltending situation, though, will not be settled until Kiprusoff returns (and then the team will have to choose between MacDonald and Irving as back-up).


After two games in the show, centre Ben Street has been returned to Abbotsford of the AHL and Paul Byron recalled. Feaster indicated that at the time of Street’s recall, it was a “pick ’em” between Street, Byron and Roman Horak for a recall and that the coaching staff was relied upon in making the decision to swap the players.

Byron has 15 points in 35 games this season with Abbotsford and is a minus-4. Street had zero points in two NHL games with Calgary and is a minus-2.


In other news, with three goalies in town, goalie Danny Taylor has been placed on waivers with the intention of sending him back to Abbotsford. Once Taylor comes off the books tomorrow, the Flames intend to activate Mike Cammalleri from the IR and have him in the line-up for Wednesday’s meeting with the Dallas Stars.


While Feaster would probably prefer to have more flexibility – and it appears that based on how much the club wanted MacDonald, timelines and circumstances meant that they had to sign Danny Taylor for this week – he’s not overly concerned about having 49 players under NHL contracts.

When asked, he mentioned that they would be concerned (and working on off-loading some deals) if they were at 50 contracts, but that 49 wasn’t a big deal.


  • SmellOfVictory

    Street looked more effective than I’ve ever seen Byron at the NHL level, but whatever. I hope he has fun for the couple of games he lasts, sucking the whole time.

    • jeremywilhelm

      You guys obviously don’t understand meritocracy.

      Taylor with his “best in class” AHL stats earned the opportunity to sit at the end of the bench for an NHL game. He apparently wasn’t enough of veteran to stay there.

      Byron is tearing up the AHL with 15 points in 35 games. His 5’6″ 150lb frame brings a much needed physical element to the game which Street who leads the Heat in scoring could not provide. Oh and Feaster traded for him along with that other game changer, Chris Butler.

      Heat are one of the lowest scoring teams in the AHL and Wahl plays in the ECHL where he leads the league in scoring.

      I could go on but I will stop there.

  • McRib

    UUUGGGGGHHHHHHH…… Paul Byron (aka Claude Giroux made me) gets yet again ANOTHER underserved chance to show how absolutely mediocre he is!!! Street looked five times better than Byron with the big club. I assume Troy Ward needed his best player back.

    The last two moves the Flames have made sending Taylor/Street down for players with no talent but more “NHL experience” makes me very cautious about ever entering a rebuild. Feaster/Hartley are both known to handle rookies horribly and have shown it this past week.

    The worst thing about Byron is he comes off as an absolute douche in interviews and he has done nothing outside of ONE good junior season. If we are calling up Abbotsford third liners at least call up Max Reinhart he has a future and has played well the last month.

    • seve927


      I agree with the first two, but Horak really seems to have struggled back in Abby – at least by his stat lines. Still think he has a good chance to be an NHLer though.


      I think Reinhart has a future too, but it is quite alarming how he keeps piling up the minuses in Abbotsford. I know most people put absolutely no value in the stat, but on a team that is good defensively, has great goaltending it is just weird that a guy known for his 2 way play can keep falling deeper into the negative numbers. He is starting to get some more points anyway.

  • McRib

    Who is Paul Byron’s agent? As he is the first 5’9″ – 165 Lbs forward that is also a mediocre skater with average hands to ever be given this many chances at cracking an NHL lineup. Guys with two times his talent have gone five years in the AHL without ever getting a glimsp of a chance, case in point Keith Aucoin. He also always gets insane minutes while he’s up in Calgary.

    Sorry for the rant but Ben Street deserves much better than being sent down.

  • McRib

    Max Reinhart’s stats really have surprised me as I expected more from him, at least he is turning a corner but he desperately needs to add weight.

    Although also to his defense Abbotsford have put him in a bazaar role this season. At least when I have watched them especially in the first half, he was primarily playing a shutdown/PK role and they tended to only put him on whenever the other teams’ top line was in his defensive zone and pulled him off when they got up ice. Explains the bad +/- for me and it looks like of late he is being given more offensive zone faceoffs/chances.

    • jeremywilhelm

      Max Reinhart is very physically developed already. Not sure why you think he needs to desperately add weight.

      He has started to think the game far better in the last bit and caught up to the speed of the AHL game. Kid needs more developmental time yes, but physically? He’s all there.

    • jeremywilhelm

      McRib…are you for real? Do you actually make this stuff up? Byron slow speed when he is actually a speedster!

      Reinhart neeeds weight when he has nice size.


  • jeremywilhelm

    Wtf? Paul Byron looked far far better than Street did.

    Byron is a better skater, a better scorer and his physical game is actually well above Streets.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Better skater, absolutely. Better scorer? Based on what, his crappy numbers in the AHL? More physical? Yes. Smarter? Absolutely not. Better passer? Not a chance.

      Byron is fast. Byron is “chippy.” That’s all Byron is. Nothing he’s done has indicated to me that he’ll ever be good, even for a bottom six player in the NHL. His decision making is questionable, he’s not big enough to use his “physical play” to any great advantage, and he’s a disaster defensively.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Overall, maybe not. But he had flashes of someone who might be effective, given the chance. Byron never had flashes of anything that I saw, and he’s had plenty of chances.

          • jeremywilhelm

            Byron showed he could scored a goal or two while playing as a 4th liner last year. Street wasn’t physical and he wasn’t effective. And against the Canucks he was completely lost the entire game.

            Byron may not be alot better, but he is definitely better, and younger, and more physical.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Byron got 22 games, Street has had 2. Are you saying that, in his first game up, Byron looked dangerous? Because in every game I saw him in, he looked pretty crappy.

            It may be that Street ends up being no better than Byron, but I see the potential for him to be better, given more than a measly two games.

          • McRib

            Are you kidding?? Byron did not play 4th line last year he got REDICULOUS ice time!!!! Honestly he should of had a point a game for the ice time he was given. In only his second NHL game ever Street created two scoring chances out of nothing. Furthermore when I said Byron was a medicore skater it was considering that he is 5’9″, if he was 6’2″ then I would consider him a good skater. For someone who is 5’9″ no he isn’t a good skater he is less than average.

            Not to mention he has 0.43 PPG this season in the AHL, honestly in a decent system he is close to being sent down to the ECHL with those stats as an offensive player that is 5’9″

  • From what I saw, Reinhart’s issues are just catching up to the speed of the pro game. He clearly thinks the game well, but it’s just the fine motor skills and quick reactions he is still a little behind on.

    I suspect his poor numbers this year are a mix of his role to start the season (defense-first, bottom-six) and some really bad percentages.

    • jeremywilhelm

      It will be interesting to see how he looks next year. I would say, since the NHL started and he has gotten back in the top 6, he has looked really fantastic.

      Something like 9 points in the last 11 games or something like that. All assists though. He is shooting far more now than he was previously. Does alot of the hard work on his line. Like Backlund.

  • Problem for Street was he was playing in circumstances way over his head. No way he should be in any team’s top-6 right now (or probably ever). I think he could probably swim in the bottom-6, but he’s no second or first line center in the show.

  • Street’s corsi through 2 games is -12.30 raw and -21.5 relative. He struggled in absolute terms and the team did better when he was on the bench.

    So, yeah, Street struggled. And so will Byron if he’s played in the same role. And so would Horak.

  • jeremywilhelm


    To be fair, Horak actually had fairly decent possession numbers in his cup of tea this season. Playing in reasonably difficult circumstances with Matt Stajan.

  • Just a quick note regarding Ryan O’Reilly. Looks like the Avs want a roster player + top prospect in return for O’Reilly. Seems like it’s going to be an overpay for him when he’s traded.

    Roster player (Backlund) + top prospect (Baertschi, most likely) would probably do it. No way, no how, I hope Feaster sent Sherman a picture of his middle finger when told that.

  • McRib

    I’ll admit when I’m wrong though Max Reinhart looks to have added size in the offseason, I guess everytime I watched him in Abbostford at the beggining of the season he was used very sparingly, mostly taking defensive zone faceoffs and playing PK so its hard to tell.

    Glad they are starting to give him more opportunity on Offense and its paying off, scored the only goal last night for the Heat.

  • McRib

    Paul Byron is a dime a dozen in the AHL, every team has three. Just think if we are looking for a 5’9″ player to spark the team we could do a lot better.

    For example a guy like Keith Aucoin who after (85, 99, 96, 106 and 72 point seasons in the A) was claimed off WAIVERS by NYI and has finally been given a full time job.

    For another example look at Tyler Johnson who is still waiting for an NHL call up and has 27 points more points than Byron. What would he take to be a Flame… A fourth/fifth rounder…Brandon Kozun ring a bell…

    I guess I just don’t understand what the Flames see in Byron that is different from two dozen similar players who are much more consistent offensively in the AHL, that would kill for a chance in the NHL.

  • McRib

    Eric Tangradi for a seventh rounder…. Thats all… Instead of moves like that, lets focus on calling up a guy who will never stick in the NHL like PAUL BYRON rather. UUUUUGGGGGGHHH