Your Calgary Flames play their final exhibition tilt tonight at Los Saddledome, but before the first puck was even close to being dropped, the team announced they had demoted 6 players down to the Abbotsford Heat, who I’m sure to receive some of them, because they are a hockey team and need players, even bad ones (Nemisz!) to ice a team.
You might wonder how it’s possible to be sent down before the final warm up game, and it makes sense for you to be thinking about that, because it does seem kind of odd. One would assume anyone still with a name plate above their stall at the Dome would be getting an extra look before we play for keeps in October, but there are 6 players today that can attest to that not being entirely true.
So how does this happen? How can you follow in the footsteps of these players and get yourself demoted? The pressure is just too much, we understand, it’s not for you. We’re here to help! Check out this handy guide after yonder jump.
Being Cut 101
The first step to being sent down to the minors is the most effective:
- Be Chad Billins, John Ramage, Tyler Wotherspoon, Steve Begin, Markus Granlund, or Josh Jooris
This is the easiest way.
These 6 were all assigned to Abbotsford today, meaning that, despite there being a game tonight, the coaching staff has seen just about enough from these guys, thanks. You could learn a lot from these potential underachievers (yes, we’re calling them that. Yes, it’s for the purpose of this article alone). Not that there’s necessarily any surprises here; hell, Steve Begin is recovering from an injury for a significant number of time, and he doesn’t even have a contract on the Flames. How had he made it this far? GRITCHART? IS IT GRITCHART?
(Steve Begin has proven in the past that against all odds, a lot of times he won’t be cut, so maybe consider him a misnomer…most of us already do)
Jooris and Granlund were also expected cuts, you know, eventually, as neither were expected to be on the big club this year, and while Granlund has had flashes of decency along the way here, neither of them played so other worldly that they made it impossible to keep around.
On defense, there is possibly a bit of a stunner here, because I don’t think the idea of any of the three blueliners shuttled out of town today as a possible 6th or 7th defenseman was one that was ignored by the coaching staff. However, despite the lineup featuring turnstiles like Chris Butler and Shane O’Brien, the Flames backend seems generally set, and there’s opportunity for these guys in Abby. (Keegan Kanzig, mystifyingly, is still wearing Flames silks, but he’ll be back in junior post haste, so fret not, fans of defensemen who know how to skate)
To sum up: Don’t be an immobile defenseman. That’s a surefire way to land yourself a job.
This final tune-up is really a chance for Robert Hartley and friends to get a better sense of their starting lineups come Game 1 against those damn dirty Capitals on October 3rd. Today’s cuts don’t factor into the opening day rosters, so hey, it’s time for you to go home.
Via the CHL
If you have read this far, and are not one of the 6 players mentioned above, it’s going to take a bit more elbow grease to find yourself 86’d from this team. Here’s another handy piece of advice:
- Don’t be Sean Monahan
Let’s face it guys, he’s not going anywhere. Despite several examples as to why he shouldn’t, it definitely appears on the surface that the brass is willing to take the chance on Monahan, if not for the season, at the very least a nine game tryout.
On merit, he’s played well enough to earn the spot, there’s no question. I think everyone can agree he’s been quite good. Despite it being probably a stupid idea to keep him this year, you can make a lot of decent counter arguments as to why it isn’t.
It’s still stupid though.
But try to avoid being him anyway. It’s no good for you.
That said, I’ve accepted the idea, and if he sticks past nine games, I’m heartily jumping on the Monahan bandwagon with both feet. Certainly the team would never Grigorenko the kid, right? RIGHT??? HELLO?
Tricks of the Trade
At this point you may be discovering that you probably should have been cut right now, but for some unknown reason you haven’t been. You’ve seen some of your superior colleagues get the ax, and you wonder, based on your inferior skills as a hockey player, just what it’s going to take for you to be sent where you belong. There’s a lot of pitfalls on your path towards exile, and if you wish to avoid them, it’s best to take heed of this advice:
- Don’t be a facepuncher
You’ve probably been punching people, because once your skates are on, you know how to do literally nothing else. This is a common mistake. Coaching staffs and management brass tend to overvalue your ability to hit things with your fist, citing adorably quaint fallacies like deterrence or "protecting the kids", which are not real qualities and really sheds an unfavourable light on the mindsets of NHL coaching staffs. Just stop punching people. It’s going to be way easier for everyone to see how you useless you are without the veil of goonery.
Don’t do whatever the hell it is that’s keeping Max Reinhart in camp
- Be Blair Jones
Because you know what? Life is pretty damn unfair.
Finally, and this one is pretty easy:
Be Reto Berra
Get cocky. Sure, there’s been absolutely zero indication that you’re going to start the season on the Flames. In fact, common sense seems to dictate that Joey MacDonald is going to back up Karri Ramo this season, but don’t let that stop you. Spit in karma’s face and have a new mask designed that says "I’m playing for the Calgary Flames!"
Say it proudly, despite having never played in the NHL, or even the AHL for that matter, a league still superior to the one you just came from, and where you were, quite frankly, an average goaltender at best. Do this and just TRY not to be fighting for playing time in Abbotsford with Joni Ortio, who is probably better than you, or Laurent Brossoit, who will probably be better than you very soon.
So that’s it. That’s everything you need to know about jumping right back into your comfort zone and never being depended on for anything important in your athletic career ever again. Feels good, doesn’t it? A quick note: If you’ve gone through ALL THE STEPS mentioned here today, and you still can’t get people to kick you to the curb, then there’s a very strong chance thaat you’re Max Reinhart, and there’s nothing we can do for you here.