Flames Acquire Brian McGrattan. Again.

Word coming down this morning that the Flames have traded Joe Piskula to the Predators organization for enforcer Brian McGrattan. This will be the tough guy’s second tour of duty for the Flames, previously donning the Flaming C for 34 games in 2009-10.

McGrattan is a pure enforcer with little value outside of dropping the gloves. He can’t play more than 5 minutes a night and is a liability even against other 4th liners.

There’s no word if McGrattan is a purely an AHL pick-up right now or if he’s destined to patrol the Flames 4th line. If the former, then it only means the Heat have gotten worse (Piskula was a top-4 defender for them). If the latter, it means the Flames get a little tougher, but also a little worse as well. It also means the Flames management is busying themselves with things that don’t really matter, which is a little more concerning.

We’ll see this week which it is.

  • RedMan

    You guys are too quick to look only at the (ever important) fighting skills and dismiss Brian off hand as one-dimensional!!!

    I am here to say that, based on STATED organizational goals and priorities, I am CONFIDENT that Mr. McGrattan is off the charts when it comes to HOCKEY-I.Q./HOCKEY-SENSE!!!

    All Jokes aside, I am not sure that enforcers create NO fear in the opponent… yes, goons typically fight goons… but here is someone that can ‘talk’ to the next guy that runs a goalie, or elbows Stajan in the kisser… but then, with him there, will anyone do these things anymore?

  • Craig

    It’s so painful it hurts.

    So much for a new way of doing things, advanced stats, blah, blah, blah.

    Why bring in Cervenka and Hudler and draft guys like Baerstchi and Gaudreau and then pull moves like this?

    Where the hell is the game plan?

    And is the coach calling these shots? Feaster? KK?

    Team is quickly becoming a revolting mess.

    • Stockley

      I know with the last few puzzling things Feaster has done I’m definitely done swilling his kool-aid. I thought there was a plan, it even looked like it might make sense for a little while. Now they’re all over the map and bringing in toughness for the sake of toughness. Looks like a Darryl Sutter move. What’s next? Trade Sven and Gaudreau to the Stars for the overpaid, overrated and over the hell Morrow? Or do we just trade all of our draft picks for a few guys from Moose Jaw or Red Deer? Who cares if they can play as long as they’re good old western kids.

        • Stockley

          Fair enough.

          David Eddy is constantly being shuffled to the ECHL and Brady Lamb is rarely even guaranteed to be in the roster on our middling AHL club. Their love of college players doesn’t exactly give me any more hope than Sutter’s love of rough and tumble western kids given their track record. They might have captured lightning in a bottle with Gaudreau. Gillies has been surprisingly good, no one else brought in at the college level by Feaster/Weisbrod is a sure thing.

  • Hartley wanted the team to play a high octane, up tempo, fast skating, skill oriented, offensive style game that would be entertaining for the fans and push the pace of the game. Team toughness and five guys that play hard.

    Well the McGratton trade definitely adds more of that dynamic to the team. He probably steps onto the powerplays first team and rides shotgun with Stajan and Iginla on our first line.

    The only downside to this trade is that it does not look like he will be available for the game tonight. If he was in the line up then I think it would be a guaranteed win. Heck with all of the three point games being played right now, this trade might help Calgary get all three of those points in a game. Really help us move up the standings.

    I am already clearing a spot on my wall where I am going to hang our 2013 Stanley Cup banner. Love this move so much and just think that the Feast is an amazing general manager.

  • Stockley

    Yes we need to send Sven down to the AHL.
    This is not a good team atmosphere to be developing a player with his skills and potential.

    I think that this is a great move. The only thing standing in the way of the Flames making the playoffs and walking all the way to the Stanley Cup was some more toughness. A fourth line of McGratton, Aliu, and Jackman is exactly what this team needs to push its self up the standings.

    Most people think that it was a lack of work ethic or skill why they lost to the Wild when they had a 5 and 4 minute powerplays. But in reality it was the fact that they did not have a guy like McGratton to go out there and in his 4.5 minutes of ice time start a fight. That one fight (won or lost) could have been the difference to winning that game.

    I see big things for this club now. And as a matter of fact I think that we just need a few more of these types of deals so that we can have a third line that brings some more of those fighting majors to the score sheet.


    Yes the Feast is an amazing general manager and it is all sunshine, rainbows, and daisies from here on out.

  • Danger

    Do not want.

    If they had traded Piskula for a right winger who can actually play (or, heavens forbid, a centre who can actually play), even a replacement level one, then I would totally get this move. But they didn’t. So there’s that.

  • jakeryley

    This organization gets dumber by the day. No centers?! No problem. We’ve got an absolutely irrelevant goon who can’t play hockey at all.

    If Feaster wanted size so bad, why didn’t he target Rupp like MIN did? He’s not good, but at least he can play 4th line minutes effectively. McGrattan is useless, just like the rest of our 4th line.

    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I can’t wait to draft 12th overall again and be in this exact same position 12 months from now.

  • Joe Piskula is also a leader on the Heat and a very under-rated stay-at-home defender. He was Perfectly Fine (well, replacement level, but adequate) when recalled last year, but can be credited (along with Jim Playfair and Troy Ward) with mentoring T.J. Brodie into being a strong positional NHL defender.

  • Of course, if MacGrattan does get recalled to play, the Flames have to make room for him to do so…meaning Sven would have to be demoted (most likely).

    Aliu, McGrattan in…Jones, Horak, Baertschi out.

    To echo Planes, Trains and Automobiles: YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY.

    • That’s hilarious! Now that you mention it Feaster is starting to resemble John Candy’s Character in that movie… shower curtain rings anyone?

      In a way I kind of wish that Stajan would have been sidelined by that head shot… I know its sounds awful but maybe Feaster would wake up and acquire ROR.

    • Stockley

      So rather than try and find some grit within the system or yell at the gritty players you have who just stood by… you acquire a caveman who didn’t fit in several years ago? I don’t hate the guy or anything but he brings nothing to the table but his fists. He’s a waste of payroll and a roster spot on a team that needs to keep giving youth a shot to see what they legitimately have on the farm. If they continue this recycling crap and bring Joker back at the deadline I’m done. After almost a quarter century of watching this crap I’m really sick of watching this team go nowhere with minimal direction.

      • Craig

        Trust me I am not agreeing with it, just stating what I imagine they are thinking.
        Really i look at it positively, we will suck and get a better pick, hopefully send down sven to get confidence and training and mostly force some trades by deadline. If its aliu and mcgr on the 4 i would imagine us giving up a few goals on that line.

        • Stockley

          Their roster decisions lately are just starting to scare me a little. I was annoyed when Sutter traded for Jokinen. Just think; with that pick we could have had Gormley plying his trade in Abbotsford, earning experience and getting ready to move up and join Brodie in a younger and more skilled Flames blueline. I don’t care if it’s Feaster, Ken King or Murray Edwards himself calling the shots. Their moves in the last month and change are troubling and almost make me wonder if Sutter wasn’t 100% in charge either.

          • Stockley

            I don’t think you would many that aren’t scared of the things going on. Like I said the only thing I’m banking on is we suck then hopefully draft high and sell off vets.

          • Stockley

            We can all hope (and maybe pray) that we hold onto those picks and acquire a few more. Would be nice if they get back that 2nd round pick somehow. Would be nicer if they clean house on a few of those veterans and have several picks in the first two rounds.

            I think this team needs a very serious culture change. Their lack of effort and playing to the level of the competition has plagued the Flames for years. As a fan I just want to see a little consistency. If you’re going to suck and lose, suck and lose. Don’t show up against the Hawks and lose a game you deserved to win and then turn around and play a snoozefest against the Wild or some other team you should beat. This team doesn’t make any sense. I’m not entirely sure what the root of the problem is, I just know it has to stop.

    • Stockley

      Personally I’d rather no enforcers at all. Wings haven’t had a bonafide one-dimensional enforcer since Kocur. They have done just fine without one. Team grit should do the job if your GM has some vision and consistency. Feaster has been all over the map. His moves puzzle me.

  • fretsey

    I had a feeling when I saw his name on waivers that we may end up with him….really surprised it came true.
    We do not need a “heavy weight”…we just need more “gritty” forwards

    Edit: Why did we not claim him on waivers? We actually traded for him?..wtf?

      • Stockley

        Maybe Feaster is buying into the smoke and mirrors trick Toronto is pulling where toughness and fighting turned the team around, etc. Don Cherry has been harping on about it forever. If Don had his way we’d go back to the Broadstreet Bullies days where hockey honestly looked like Slap Shot every night.

        • It could be. I notice losing teams go through similar, conventional rituals all the time where they try to “fix” things by targeting certain roles or skill deficiencies (when, of course, the issues are much more fundamental and deeper). For instance, notice how many enforcers and tough guys the Oilers have cycled through during their current, on-going “rebuild” in the vain hope they’d “protect the kids” or reduce injuries.

          • Stockley

            The problem is most goons only fight other bonafide goons. If they target the offending player they risk an instigator penalty and putting their team in a deeper hole. So if we had MacGrattan the other night in Minny he would have fought with Rupp or Konopka (or whatever other designated goon the Wild had dressed), he likely would not have targeted Coyle (moot point I know since Coyle was ejected). Who learns a lesson because two boxers on skates throw down?

            I’m not a pacifist, I do believe fighting has a place in hockey. I just like hockey fights like Iggy and Vinny Lec getting into it in the finals. It was passion, it made sense. It wasn’t two circus freaks performing in a sideshow. Some of these goons are just as likely to fall down because they can’t skate as they are because of their opponents fists.

          • Danger

            Hollywood Hockey,is a marketing scheme that the league obviously supports .Poor officiating,good guy bad guy side-shows,and Bingo games during intermission.They seem to think most fans (Americans)support the WWF atmosphere.

          • Stockley

            I agree wholeheartedly. They’re relics. Teams that continue to employ them are not part of the solution, they’re part of the problem.

            That said I hope Ferland becomes a Brandon Prust type of player. Flames could use a guy who is legitimately tough and can play the game. I don’t condone needless violence on the ice but if they’re going to devote roster spots to tough guys at least employ guys who can play hockey. It’s the NHL after all, not UFC.

  • icedawg_42

    Good grief. Hey here’s an idea… go get a bigger guy who can play hockey. Like a Brandon Prust (or in my wildest dreams JVR) type of guy! WTF is going on here!?

  • Stockley

    This trade really doesn’t make any sense at all to me. The Flames never luck out when it comes to one-dimensional goons because they’ve lost their place and value in any city other than Toronto or Philly. Ivanans anyone? How about Letorneau-Leblond? Those trades worked out so wonderfully, why not do it again?

    I don’t get these GMs. If a fighter can’t play a regular shift they have little value in my opinion. We just lost a viable replacement level defenceman for a neanderthal on skates.