Flames Fan Ask – September 17th, 2013



More of your questions answered in this week’s edition of the mailbag after the jump.

Q. Does Monahan make the team this year?

We took a look at Monahan’s NHL comps earlier this year and while that article might persuade you to think that he should be in the NHL, I’m not sure it’s so simple.

As a result, I’m going to say no, for two reasons: first, I don’t think the Flames organization is dumb enough to waste the first year of his ELC on this team. Having that one extra year is worth a heck of a lot more than some people realize – it’s not just that a cheap RFA year is used, it’s that the player is one more year away from arbitration rights and one more year away from UFA.

The second reason is that I just don’t think he’s going to be so good in a 3C role that the Flames are forced to keep him. Don’t get me wrong, I think he can play in the NHL right now but it’s better for him to put up 2PPG in the OHL than play 7:45 a game on the 4th line and it’s better for the Flames because his contract slides with him in the OHL.

Besides, the team isn’t going to be a playoff team this year; smart asset management is what gets you to the playoffs and onwards.

Q. Who has better hair – Ramo or Monahan?

I’m going to go Ramo, but this is closer than one thinks. Monahan’s hair is shorter, but it flows in the wind-swept way mine does. Ramo has the flow, though, and even though it’s mostly contained underneath his mask you can tell it bounces like good hockey flow should. Also, Ramo gets the edge for being Nordic and thus being genetically predisposed to having great flow.

If we’re talking best flow on the team, I think Backlund, Horak (at least last year) and Russell have to be in the conversation. Backlund, to me, has the flowiest flow out there so he takes it.

Q. Is this cereal as delicious as I think it is?

Likely, yes. All cereal (even healthy cereal) is delicious, but some brands stand out from the pack.


  1. Frosted Flakes – this is the cereal. In recent years, they’ve toned down the sugar to non-diabetic levels and the overall taste has improved. The off-brand Frosted Flakes you find at Safeway might be the best of them all, as they have just enough sugar to make an impression but not too much that it makes the milk undrinkable.
  2. Shreddies – high fibre content and they’re consistently crunchy in the right way. They also take a long time to go mushy, which is important because often I am called to more important business while eating my cereal. Some times, I come back to find my delicious bowl of awesome soggy as all hell.
  3. Mini-Wheats – see above. More fibre, more sugar, although it balances out. Can sometimes be a bit dry when you’re eating them, which is a huge negative.
  4. Fruit Loops – delicious, lower sugar content, different flavours and the colour is fantastic. However, this cereal gets downgraded a significant amount because every damn time I eat it I cut the top of my mouth about 50 times. I’m pretty sure they just add sugar glass to it.
  5. Honey Nut Cheerios – this is the old reliable of cereals. The five above are great but I wouldn’t be able to eat them for 7 days straight. Honey Nut Cheerios have staying power – enough to make me shovel them into my mouth for breakfast whenever I want.

Hard-hitting analysis, there.

Q. How great was the black horse head jersey?

I loved it. It was symmetrical (I hate, hate, hate asymmetrical things), black (the best colour for a jersey), had fire (fire!) and as much as people love to tone down the Western heritage of this city, the Horse is something that’s been used as a symbol (along with the Buffalo) of Calgary’s strength for a hundred damn years.

If they want to bring it back that would be pretty super. Also, the flags on the current jerseys are stupid and ugly and I can’t wait until we see more of the Heritage Classic colours.

Q. How or why did Lambert become a Flames fan?

I assume because he, like all of us, had a desire to hate himself for his choices in life. Perhaps he can tell us in the comments.

Q. Thumbs up or thumbs down for Hartley?

Because there are only the two possibilities, I’ll go with thumbs up. I think there are about 8-10 coaches in the NHL who are above and beyond everyone else. Then there’s 20 guys who are “replacement” level (i.e. quite interchangeable), and then there’s Randy Carlyle.

I don’t think Bob Hartley is in that top tier of coaches that actually have a demonstrable affect on the game, and he’s probably not Randy Carlyle (but who knows, right? I mean, science), so that leaves us with the middle tier. The reason I advocated for Brent Sutter to go was because of his player deployment with respects to the opposition players on the ice and starting zone. Hartley has seemed to improve on that, so that’s why he gets the plus. He’s average in pretty much every other respect, though.

Not that that’s a bad thing.

Q. Best non-Pocket Dawg concession item?

Damn, son. That’s a tough one. The pulled pork sammies from the grill are pretty good, as are the burgers. However, I gotta go with the malt. Twist style for lyfe.

Generally, when I go to games, the concession schedule goes like this:

  • PREGAME: beer, beer, maybe some other booze
  • 1st INTERMISSION: burger/wings/pulled pork/pizza, beer
  • 2nd INTERMISSION: twist malt, beer

Following this schedule will get you just drunk enough that you can still pay attention to the game but you won’t feel the hollow despair the Flames usually force upon you.

If you are one of those people who doesn’t eat or drink at the game, you’re probably the worst.

Q. Not including Cammalleri, who would you say is most likely to be gone before the end of the season?

I doubt they trade any pending RFAs and I don’t see there being a market at the trade deadline for Butler, Russell, Smith, MacDonald, Jackman, B. Jones or Street. I also doubt that Hudler, D. Jones and Wideman will be traded during the season – thus we are left with Stajan and Stempniak.

Stajan may not “fit” for a lot of teams at the deadline, but a cheap top-6 winger always does. I think all three of them (Stajan, Cammalleri, Stempniak) will get moved, though. They won’t get 1st round picks, but stocking up on 2nds and using them to move up is a good way to do business.

If you have other questions or simply want to complain about my cereal choices, leave a comment.

  • Off topic, but just realized Kristen Odland is the daughter of my high school principal. Don’t know her, but her dad was a huge d-bag.

    Super random.

    It’s going to be very hard for the Flames to leave Monahan off the roster this season. He seems so ready.

      • If you mean Blair Jones (which I think you do), he probably won’t be in the NHL this season. Hartley has no love for him.

        Galiardi has done quite well tonight as a C. Haven’t noticed Horak much. I would think Knight ranks higher over Monahan, just based on his NCAA performance this past season.

        Who knows though. We shall see opening night.

  • piscera.infada

    MacDonald seems to be easily confused by players taking the puck behind the net. He’s always out of position when they come out the other side. Always. Every single time.

  • Flames win 5-3 in Calgary and 4-2 in Regina.

    Monahan had 2G, one of them a shortie. Mickis had a goal. Stajan had a goal.

    Wideman had 2G, one of them on the PP (both may have been on the PP, can’t remember). GlenX with an empty netter. Bouma with a goal. Galiardi had a very good goal – waited for the goalie to go down then put it top shelf.

    I liked the play of Galiardi and Jackman. Both were total beasts tonight. Granlund was fairly invisible (to me, I was looking for him).

    • piscera.infada

      Granlund flashed a few times. He’s a pretty heads up player from what I’ve seen so far, so he’s never really dangling the pants off anyone, but makes good solid plays offensively. I just kind of thought the Flames would give him more of an opportunity, especially on the five on three.

  • Avalain

    Cacao melaluca flakes hands down as your selections may only get the GMO osteoporosis root down.

    Stick with the hockey son. Your play into the arena of men who make funny for a living may be regarded by some but not most.

    Regarding my local sports franchise, I may enjoy some time being away from the ownership group until Johnny Hockey brings his act to town.


    • McRib

      WHAT IN THE WORLD was Pat Sieloff doing fighting Darren Kramer?!?!?! The minute I heard that was who he had the fight with… I knew it was bad news. Clearly no one in the Calgary Organzation alerted him to the fact that Kramer is a MONSTER.

      He is easily the best fighter to come out of anywhere the past 5+ years. Kramer is a heavy that Sieloff had no buisness fighting. Even Kanzig had a hard time with Kramer two years ago. In the last five years Kramer has 1,247 PIMs and would have twice that, but he gained a reputation the last couple, so no one would go him. i.e. He breaks peoples faces!!!

      I’m actually kind of mad someone like Hartley/Troy Ward wasn’t like “Hey Sieloff we know you are trying to prove yourself, but don’t do it against Kramer”.

      • McRib

        Any word how bad? Is he out for any length of time? I guess education has 2 components to it:

        1/ Some education is more expensive than other education

        2/ Some education can be more painful than other education as well.

        • McRib

          Fractured cheek bone….. Easily out 4-6 weeks.

          Sieloff will now miss major time in two consecutive seasons. Some might give the guy credit for not backing down against anyone, but you play that style and guys like Darren Kramer make you pay once and awhile.

          Oh well now that he gave away his chance at cracking the Flames he will have more time to educate himself in the OHL and most likely captain the USA World Juniors, once healthy. Not a bad thing.

          See you next year kid, please stop fighting people with cinder blocks for hands. Peace River, Alberta is a looooonnnnggggg way from Hoity-toity Ann Arbour, Michigan!!

          • Parallex

            Not easily… recovery time will depend on severity. Kyle Quincey was out 8 games and Ian White was out 4 when they broke their cheekbones. He’ll probably be out a few weeks and then have to wear a cage for a month or so.

  • Parallex

    I’d say give Monahan his 9 game tryout. Pre-season is still a tough time to analyze players (especially this early) as many games are split-squad with players who will never see a regular season NHL game. If he looks like he belongs, then keep him up. If he looks lost or overwhelmed, send him back for a year. Playing on the ’67s this year, he’ll not only get #1 minutes in key situations throughout the year, taking on another season carrying the load for his team but he will also likely be traded to a contending team to help rebuild the ’67s, giving him playoff experience as well (as a top 6 for sure). Some players thrive as teenagers in the league (Kane, Toews, Hall, for example) and some are never the same again (pretty much any Columbus first rounders, especially Russians, since their existence). I don’t think his contract should come into the discussion. As we’ve seen in the last couple years, players are getting bridge contracts before their 3rd ELC is up anyways. If the Flames don’t have the cap room at that point to sign 1 core future player while the Oilers will be able to lock up at least 4-5, then the Flames will be in major trouble.