The Weekly Ignition: January 20 2014



Ladies and gents, it was a wild week of Calgary Flames hockey this week. The Flames made national news with their truculence on Saturday night in Vancouver. But beyond that, many prospects continued to make noise.

Let’s see what happened over the last seven days, shall we?


On Monday, the Flames earned their first shut-out win of the year! Karri Ramo got his first NHL goose-egg, and Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan scored goals. All-in-all, a good game for most involved. [Post-Game]

The next night in Nashville, the Flames didn’t play quite as well, losing 4-2 to the Predators. Lee Stempniak and Backlund scored, and Ramo took the loss. [Post-Game]

Returning home, the Flames dropped a 5-2 decision to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. Because it was Winnipeg visiting, the fans didn’t seem to care. Mark Giordano and Lance Bouma scored, and Reto Berra took the loss. [Post-Game]

The week ended with a shockingly entertaining – sometimes perversely so – game in Vancouver, with the Flames dropping a tight 3-2 shootout decision to the Canucks. Giordano and Matt Stajan scored and there were so, so many fights. Karri Ramo took the loss. [Post-Game]


Bruce Arthur thought the Flames/Canucks shenanigans on Saturday were dumb.

I have a lot of time for Clint Malarchuk, in part because the dude has some insane stories. He has another great yarn after Saturday night, where he nearly beat up John Tortorella before Brian McGrattan convinced him not to.

Bruce Garrioch is reporting that the Flames are getting offers for Mike Cammalleri.

Outside of their first three picks in this year’s Entry Draft, Brian Burke finds it hard to identify any untouchable assets that won’t be traded.


The Flames played four games and won once, earning three points. They played two good games and two games that left a lot to be desired. The good efforts book-ended the week.

The Abbotsford Heat finished off a six-game road trip with three games this week. They beat Rockford 4-3 in overtime, lost to Grand Rapids 3-0 and then rallied to beat Grand Rapids 3-2. Max Reinhart had a great week, putting up five points, while Chad Billins had four points and Corban Knight and Markus Granlund each had a pair. Sven Baertschi had an assist and six shots on net this week. Down in the ECHL, the Aces won all three games this week against the Las Vegas Wranglers. Olivier Roy continued his strong play in net, as he has four shutouts with the Aces and has lost just once since Christmas.

The kids had good weeks, y’all. Regina’s Morgan Klimchuk had a hat trick. He’s got 40 points in 33 games. Coda Gordon had a big week, putting up seven points. He’s got 47 points in 35 games for the Swift Current Broncos. Over in the NCAA, the Boston College duo continued to make life difficult for the opposition. Johnny Gaudreau had seven points (giving him 47 points in 23 games), and Bill Arnold had four points (giving him 33 points in 23 games).


The Flames play thrice this week. They’re in California to visit the Sharks tonight before heading home to play Phoenix on Wednesday and Nashville on Friday.

On the farm, the Abbotsford Heat return home from their road trip and start a bit of a light schedule. They welcome the Utica Comets to the AESC on Friday and Saturday nights. In the ECHL, the Alaska Aces head south to visit the Colorado Eagles on Friday and Saturday.

The Regina Pats visit the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday night. The Hitmen are super-good and one of the top teams in the WHL, while the Pats boast the likes of Calgary Flames first rounder Morgan Klimchuk. Why not take in some junior hockey and take a gander at Klimchuk in-person?

  • If the projected lineup is correct and Hartley is sitting Galiardi tonight, I have no words. He lacks finish but he drives the play and his line has generally produced more chances than they give up. I really hope management doesn’t get rid of what could be a solid depth player because the coach doesn’t seem to like his style.

  • mattyc

    Word is the Flames will be announcing a Matt Stagan extension. Good hard working centre with strong leadership. I like it, he will be valuable in this rebuild particularly with the young guys.

    • Parallex

      … I’d rather we trade him for whatever we can get, give one of the deserving farmhands an audition, and if the team feels it still needs a hard working vet at center then it picks one up in the offseason. Just hope it’s 1 year at reasonable dollars (assuming it’s true that is).

    • Parallex

      I’m not sure how I would feel about this, I see that he could bring stability for a year or two but it might prevent the hunt for a UFA upgrade or the further development of one of the prospects. Earlier in the season I was probably okay if he was resigned but now I think I would prefer him to be traded. (Maybe Burke in all of his phoning around found little interest in Stajan and therefore decided he was a better asset than no asset)

      As far as the end of the NCAA season I too would love to see Arnold, Johny G, and Agostina all sign and see them at the end of the season either here or with the Heat.

      • Parallex

        The last thing you want is an OILER rebuild where all there young guys were left on there own without credible veteran support. He is signed to 4 years at a reasonable dollar amount, perhaps a year longer term wise than I would have liked. I also think Stajan is the ideal vet to mentor the young guys. Veteran centres are difficult to find!

        Great move by the Flames.

        • Subversive

          Don’t get me wrong, I agree we need to have veteran leadership so we can avoid the Oiler issue and for the most part I have been okay with Stajan; I was hoping to see us pursue a UFA center upgrade. He is a very good pro as demonstrated by his attitude despite all the issues he’s had here with both fans and at time the Sutters. I also agree that the term would be too long as I would have liked only 2 years.

          • MonsterPod

            I’m trying not to get discouraged by this. I’m trying to see it from Burke’s POV. I didn’t like Stajan when we got him because obviously the trade was horrid. I didn’t like his last contract and I didn’t like watching him play the past four years. I don’t care for him now because while I understand he is playing better under Hartley, he is still a wuss who is mediocre in the dot.

            He is not a first line center on any team. Assuming Monahan is a top two line player in the next few years, then where does Stajan slot in? I want a third line checking center to be better in the dot and have more size, like Corban Knight. With Stajan signed for four years, I’m confused as to what happens with Knight and Granlund. And what happens if we draft a center with our top pick? Where does this put Stajan on our team in two years?

  • mattyc

    Looking forward to April and the end of the NCAA season and playoffs, I am genuinely intrigued at whether the Flames will be able to ink both drafts now playing for Boston College, Bill Arnold and John Gaudreau.

    With Arnold a senior and with his steady upward progression and solid two way development since his draft year, this is a player that the organization must covet. His skill in the face off circle, his better than average offensive abilities complement what was always a good defensive effort.

    Gaudreau is a junior and would have one more year of NCAA eligibility left after this year. But with the skill set that he has demonstrated, doubt that he as much left to benefit from at that level of competition. I would suggest that he would be a winger for Sean Monahan (although Monahan shoots left).

    BC is a good program and I would expect them to challenge into the Frozen Four. If they find themselves out before April, I would hope that the Flames get at least Arnold’s signature on a contract for a late season look-see.

  • Parallex

    As a follow up to my prior posting, I figure that if Johnny Gaudreau wins the Hobey Baker trophy and Boston College can be victorious as NCAA champs, his going pro as a Flame would be much closer.

    At present, Gaudreau trails in the voting on the Hobey Baker by just under 300 votes with some 80 days to go. Come on Flames fans, lets do what we can to help! Vote to get Gaudreau closer to the Flames lineup:

    Vote every 24 hours, so vote early, vote often!

    • Subversive

      I was looking at the player who is ahead of him and wondering how that was possible. So I did a bit of reading and think this is just the first stage of voting to get down to 10 finalists. I’m not 100 percent sure about that, but I believe it goes to 10 finalists then 3 then the selection is made by a committee, not public voting.

      Agree with you on your other points. If he wins the award, I think his chances of turning pro are much higher. I don’t see how he doesn’t win, is there anyone in college hockey even close to his level of production?