Sunday is the official end of the 2013 season for your Calgary Flames. Players undergo end-of-season medicals and meet with the coaching staff, then visit with the assembled local media before heading off to the off-season.
I’ll be down at the ‘Dome all day and will be updating this throughout the day with the aim of proving a glimpse behind the curtain of what’s traditionally a long, long day for hockey media. I hope it’s an interesting read.
And, heck, why not make a day out of it, right?
Feel free to ask questions and otherwise go about your business. Click past the jump for the updates
10:53am: Got a chance for a quick update in-between players. Most of the season, the media gathers in the Ed Whalen Media Lounge for everything. Today? We’re all at tables in the hallway outside of the Flames locker room.
So far we’ve heard from T.J. Brodie, Steve Begin and Mark Giordano. Giordano was asked about being a candidate for captain and, to be honest, he’s already speaking with the authority and tone of a team captain. Begin hopes he’ll be back in the NHL next year. Brodie’s off to Europe for the World Championships.
Fun fact: there’s a 76.8% chance the Flames draft 6th, a 17% chance they drop to 7th and a 6.2% chance they move up to 1st overall via the lottery. We’ll see what happens with that tomorrow.
Noon: After a bit of a wait, we had five players visit in fairly rapid-fire progression. Cory Sarich admitted some frustration with the season and him being in and out of the line-up. He noted "You want to be wanted." Tanguay admitted that distractions may have impacted his play down the stretch. Mike Cammalleri, Chris Butler and FN darling Mikael Backlund also stopped by.
Butler will be headed to the Worlds for Team USA, while Backlund mentioned he’ll head over if he gets the clearance from Calgary’s doctors.
12:57pm: Things have been a bit more spaced out over the last stretch, giving everyone a chance to catch up on transcribing interviews. Brian McGrattan noted that he’d love to be back, and joked that the Flames youngsters could use a bodyguard. Curtis Glencross hoped it’s the last season outside of the playoffs for awhile, He joked that he was surprised after he got injured against Anaheim that it was Backlund jumping in to fight. Matt Stajan just joined us and said he was happy with his season and his turnaround from last year, but disappointed that the team’s still not playing at this time of year.
Canada won the World Under-18 Championships today, beating the United States 3-2. Gotta believe that the Flames brass had some eyeballs on that tournament.
2:10pm: After a more spaced-out sequence of scrums, it’s been another fairly busy hour.
Joey MacDonald is (obviously) happy about his season, especially going from being the odd-man-out in Detroit due to his back injury to being a key guy in Calgary. Lee Stempniak discussed the potential for the team to rebound in 2013-14 with smart additions. Sven Baertschi expressed disappointment regarding his injury, as he was having a lot of fun and seemed to wish the season would continue for a bit longer.
Stempniak and Baertschi were both asked to join their countries at the World Championships, but had to decline due to family commitments and injury, respectively.
Coach Bob Hartley joined us a bit later, expressing disappointment with the year’s results and noting several positives. The play of the younger players – notably T.J. Brodie and Mikael Backlund – was mentioned as a bright spot.
2:32pm: Sounds like no Jay Feaster scrum until tomorrow. Hitmen game coming up at 4, so this will do for today.