It’s no secret that things are slow in the NHL world – that August kind of slow. Most sports fans in
So without further ado…
So without further ado…
@randy_foster asks: Name 3 rookies not named Knight or Monahan that could be poised for a solid camp and uproot a veteran?
First and foremost I think is Lance Bouma. Brent Sutter loved him and many believed he was a near lock to make the team out of camp last year. Unfirtunately he broke his leg in Heat training camp and was lost for the year. I imagine he’ll come into camp hungry and with the youth winds sweeping through
You can also mention Carter Bancks in the same breath as Lance Bouma when listing contenders for the 4th line. Management absolutely loves Carters’ work ethic and drive, with Jay Feaster recently saying he "wishes every player in the organization trained as hard as Bancks" in an interview withnthe Fan. I’ve seen Bancks play a couple of times and every time I come away with the same impression: the kid can shoot the puck. Which is always nice for a 4th line guy. A good camp would go a long way towards possibly uprooting face breakers McGrattan or Jackman from one of the 4th line positions.
Guys like Cundari, Horak or Reinhart wouldn’t be massive surprises to make the opening day roster so I decided to go with Chris Breen as the final dark horse candidate. He’s played good hockey in the AHL for the past few years and many have speculated he’s NHL ready now. We’ll have to see how he can handle the speed of the big leagues as the big guy isn’t known for speed.
David asks: Which Flames do you see playing in the Olympics in
Karri Ramo – provided he establishes himself as an NHL starter – has a shot at going to
@NhlAndre asks: Who do you see starting and finishing the year in net for the Flames barring injury?
I think the "finishing the year" part of the question is most interesting. Karri Ramo is in my mind the undisputed starter and will take Kiprusoff’s spot in the crease when the first anthem of the Flames season is sung, but I’m not so sure that he finishes the year as the incumbent. If he can’t handle NHL, there’s always Joey MacDonald, Reto Berra or even one of the young bloods, Joni Ortio or Laurent Brossoit, there to take over the rubber stopping duties. So basically, Ramo in game 1, fill in the blank in game 82.
Eric asks: How would you rank
I’m right in line with Corey Pronman’s analysis of
@finleysp asks: If you’re the Flames and are picking 1st overall right now, which of Aaron Ekblad, William Nylander and Sam Reinhart do you take?
All of the above? Seriously though I’d go with the big defenseman, Ekblad. In my eyes all three are at the same level and this upcoming season will go a long way in setting them apart when the final 2014 draft rankings come rolling out. Ekblad would fill a giant hole on defence for the Flames and although at this point I think Nylander has a slightly higher ceiling,
Kyle asks: Where do the Flames finish next year in the standings?
Unless they somehow make the playoffs by way of a miracle, I pray it’s a bottom three position. They desperately need a Top 3 pick in next year’s draft and by looks of it right now, the roster is in good shape to provide just that.
@GoslingJon asks: Who is the next Captain of the
Mark Giordano has all the intangibles and tools to fill that massive void left by Jarome Iginla. Will he have the same impact as Captain as Jarome did? Probably not. But I think he’s the closest thing to a bonafide leader that the Flames have right now. I’d be more in favour of leaving the captaincy vacant next year though.
@JustinBeatty777 asks: How many points will SVEN Baertschi get next year?
Well unfortunately I recently broke my crystal ball but if I were to guess, I’d say something around 50 points. It’s a pretty tall order for a sophomore (technically a rookie because of games played) on a crap team but I think a combination of skill and opportunity will make the 50 point plateau a reachable one for Baertschi. I wouldn’t be crushed if he doesn’t reach it but it’d definitely be nice to see.
@mlamb07 asks: Does the Flames’ goaltending prospect pool actually have the potential to yield a starter?
Short Answer: Yes. Excluding Karri Ramo and Reto Berra because they’re established pros, the Flames goaltending depth looks very good. I’d go as far as saying if the stars align, all 3 of Laurent Brossoit, Joni Ortio and Jon Gillies could be stopping NHL puck as starters.
At this point Gillies the most likely of the group to realize that potential as he’s the youngest and has already played excellent hockey at the NCAA level, but the other two have shots as well. The key I think is they all have the tools and have shown flashes of brilliance and it now comes down to properly developing and cultivating them so that they can translate all that to consistent, high level goaltending. Easier said then done but the potential is there.
@Arrrrik asks: Would Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, 98 Degrees or O-Town be better for the Flames goal song?
Backstreet Boys – Quit Playing Games With My Heart or Enrique Iglesias’ Finally Found You are my nominations.
Editors Note – If everyone likes this feature, we make it a weekly thing.