The Weekly Ignition: January 13 2014



It’s been a rough week for the Calgary Flames. Already smarting from a post-Christmas span that saw them go winless, the Flames continued their skid for much of the week. Luckily for Flames fans, some of Calgary’s prospects continued to have strong seasons.


Nursing an 0-4-0 record after Christmas, and with just a single goal to show for their efforts, the Flames rebounded nicely in Denver on Monday night, beating the Colorado Avalanche by a 4-3 score in a pretty tight-checking game. Sean Monahan, Joe Colborne, Jiri Hudler and Mike Cammalleri scored, and Karri Ramo made 22 saves for the win. [Post-Game]

The next night in Phoenix, the offensive well once again ran dry. Despite playing fairly well, the Flames got down early on a few weird bounces and things snow-balled on them. They lost 6-0. Reto Berra faced 30 shots. [Post-Game]

The Flames returned home on Thursday to play the red-hot St. Louis Blues. Once again, the Flames came up empty, although they generally played better than they did against Phoenix. Instead of weird bounces, it was largely small lapses against a better team. Karri Ramo faced 29 shots. [Post-Game]

On Saturday, the Flames welcomed Sidney Crosby’s Penguins to the Saddledome. The good news? Crosby generated very little all night and the Flames scored a goal! The bad news? The Penguins victimzed Calgary’s fourth line and won 2-1. Berra faced 26 shots. [Post-Game]


Shockingly, many of us media types discussed how poorly the Flames did this week. I also did a profile on Paul Byron over at The Hockey Writers, as the guy the Flames call “Mighty Mouse” has been excellent lately.

Mark Giordano wasn’t named to the Canadian Olympic team, but Steve Yzerman told him to stay healthy and be ready just in case. Reto Berra will be on Team Switzerland and Ladislav Smid will be on Team Czech Republic.

During the team’s recent struggles, Bob Hartley says he feels for his team.

After a trade, a few signings and amidst the Flames struggles, what’s Brian Burke going to do next?

Finally, Georgie Johnson over at the Herald waxes poetic about how these recent struggles may be but a sign of things to come during the rebuild.


The Flames went 1-3-0. The Oilers and Sabres are rapidly catching up on them. That may be good or bad, depending on (a) how much losses will erode the team’s confidence and (b) how much a high draft pick will jump-start the rebuild. Either way, the team seems frustrated and hasn’t rolled over in any of their recent losses, so that’s probably not a bad sign.

Down on the farm, the Heat have hit a similar skid. They won once in three games down in Texas this week, including one-sided 5-1 and 5-0 losses. They rebounded with a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday night. Ben Street led the team with 12 shots (and the OT winner), and was prompted summoned to the NHL. For those wondering about Sven Baertschi, he had one assist and nine shots. Teammate Max Reinhart had two assists and eight shots.

In Alaska, the Aces went 2-0-1 against the San Francisco Bulls – their lone loss being in OT. Olivier Roy started in both of the wins, and has racked up an 11-6-0 record with a 2.12 goals against average and a .922 save percentage with the Aces. It’s the ECHL, but he’s doing well.

In terms of non-pro prospects, a lot of guys had big weeks. Johnny Gaudreau extended his massive 16-game point streak with a 5 point weekend. That slacker Bill Arnold “only” has a 7-game point streak (and “only” had 3 points). Morgan Klimchuk had 5 points, while Emile Poirier and Brett Kulak each had 3 points. Jon Gilles didn’t have a great weekend, losing both of his starts. Granted, one of them was against the powerhouse Boston College team that is offensively like the Harlem Globetrotters right now.


The Flames have a busy week ahead with four games, three of them on the road. Tonight they’re in Raleigh to visit the Carolina Hurricanes. Tomorrow they’re in the Music City to face the Nashville Predators. They’re back home on Thursday to host Paul Maurice’s Winnipeg Jets. On Saturday they head to Vancouver to visit the Canucks.

The Heat continue their road trip: they face the Rockford Ice Hogs on Wednesday, then head to Grand Rapids to face the red-hot Griffins on Friday and Saturday. Up in Alaska, the Aces host the Las Vegas Wranglers on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

There’s a lot of games here and there, but if you’re looking to see some future Flames, check out the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night. Both myself (for The Hockey Writers) and Christian (for Future Considerations) will be in attendance for the game, and we here at FlamesNation will have a preview and post-game for the event, as well. Get your tickets for the game here.

    • RexLibris

      If Burke is smart enough to eat as much Cap space as possible & trade him to a 9-6th team in either conference, I would hope we can get the extra 1st. At a 3.0 mill cap hit, I think he can fit a lot of teams to help complete their 2nd line.

  • RexLibris

    On Cammalleri and the other pending UFAs – I wonder if it wouldn’t be wiser to try to offer he and perhaps Stajan another one-year contract extension.

    It allows them both a do-over for perhaps more money in next year’s free-agent market (in which the cap may well increase by another $5 million) and lets the Flames keep their proverbial powder dry until they can make a better deal at next year’s deadline.

    The players would have to want to do it, but were I in Burke’s shoes I’d explore the option.

    • Parallex

      Don’t see Cammi resigning prior to the trade deadline & we cant afford to not do nothing. I think Burke has no choice but to move him for best deal possible, whatever that value is. I think right now, offers are probably underwhelming to Burke but as we get to the actual TDL, it should go up.

      Stajan, I just see too much redundancy with him. I am not convinced that Reinhart or Knight cant provide what Stajan has been bringing to the team. & next year both these kids are going to be ready to start cutting the teeth at the NHL level. So, again, I would say Stajan’s value will be highest at the TDL & hope Burke can extract a 2nd or 3rd for him. If he does better, then my hope in Burke’s trading will be confirmed.

      • BurningSensation

        “Stajan, I just see too much redundancy with him. I am not convinced that Reinhart or Knight cant provide what Stajan has been bringing to the team. & next year both these kids are going to be ready to start cutting the teeth at the NHL level. ”

        What you see as ‘redundancy’ I see as ‘sheltering’. Yes, Monahan, Knight etc, duplicate some of Stajan’s skillset, but they are raw and inexperienced. No player develops well getting their head kicked in. Stajan’s real value is in how you can give him ALL the tough assignments while letting the kids face cherry opponents/zone starts. In three years Monahan/Knight etc. will be ready to bump Stajan down the roster – and THAT is when you trade him.

    • Parallex

      I’d rather not.

      Stajan and Cammy are not going to be part of the next competative Flames team whether they go this year or next. So I’m of a few thoughts on this…

      1: I’d rather start opening spots for & giving NHL reps to some of the older prospects we have… the time is now to determine if they can hack it in the NHL.

      2: If we need to sign someone to help make cap I’d rather we trade what we have and get a return and then sign someone else to do same with next year then just signing extensions and getting nothing this year.

      3: There is no guarentee that Cammy and Stajan with another year logged on the wrong side of 30 will net anything better.

      • mattyc

        I don’t know if I agree to the philosophy that we need to leave slots open for prospects to see what they have. They’re still playing hockey in Abbotsford, and its not like you can’t evaluate them there.

        Instead, I think the impetus should be to try and build a competitive hockey team (obviously we’re not talking about mortgaging the future for it w/ trading draft picks etc.). I’d rather see players force their way on to the team (like Byron has, or Monahan did – arguably). The older players should be traded when they’re forced out and made redundant (unless economics play into in with UFA status etc.).

  • everton fc

    Burke, and perhaps the ownership group, are not looking for a long rebuild here. That’s simply no “Burke”. He has cap space, he wants a certain type of player (Ferland over Baertschi, perhaps) when it comes to prospects. I think we’ll see more veterans on this roster. Soon.

    And it won’t be players like Cammy, Stajan, or Stempniak. None are the type of player Burke seems to want, to need to make him comfortable. This is just my opinion. My thoughts. Byron may be small, but he’s gritty. Is he too small in “Burke’s World”? We’ll see. He’s played well up here. And I’ve not always been a fan.

  • Parallex

    Random Question: What would it realistically cost to get Kevin Hayes from Chicago? He doesn’t seem too highly regarded from the various prospect watchers (no “can’t miss/bluechip/star player” type hype) at least at season start and he does seem to play rather well with Arnold and Gaudreau.