The Weekly Ignition: March 3 2014

Get set for perhaps the most tumultuous week of the year for the Calgary Flames. Or the least. There’s really no middle ground. It’s all dependent on how the trade market heats up.

If Brian Burke can start wheeling and dealing, except a radically different Flames team – and by extension probably a different Abbotsford Heat club – in the next 72 hours. If not? Well, maybe it’ll be quite similar. We’ll see what happens. For now, here’s your weekly rundown of what’s what.


The Flames returned to action after the Olympics with a tight 2-0 home loss to Robyn Regehr and the Los Angeles Kings. Joni Ortio and Markus Granlund made their NHL debuts. Ortio played pretty well and wasn’t really to blame for either goal, but still was on the hook for the loss. [Post-Game]

The Flames headed up north for the fourth installment of this year’s Battle of Alberta against Edmonton on Saturday night. Sean Monahan scored twice and Reto Berra was sharp as Calgary won 2-1 in overtime. Hooray! [Post-Game]


The Sun’s Wes Glbertson spoke to Johnny Gaudreau about how great Johnny’s been playing. Thankfully, he also spoke to Craig Conroy, who provided more gushing quotes about Gaudreau, as Johnny just talked about how great his teammates were and how lucky he is to be where he is. Conroy compared Gaudreau to Jarome Iginla, in that he doesn’t talk about himself that much. 

With the timing of the Angel of Death, I profiled Derek Smith, Calgary’s defenseman that never plays hockey despite being on the roster. Within 24 hours of the story going live, Chris Butler went down with an injury and Smith almost played a game. Then he didn’t, because Butler felt better.

Brian Burke expects it to be a busy deadline. We hope so, Brian. We hope so.


The Abbotsford Heat had a rough week. They began it in first place. They lost twice, once in a shootout, and fell to fifth place. On the plus side, Max Reinhart had four freakin’ goals (#maxpower) and Sven Baertschi had four points. On the downside, the team lost twice because nobody else did any scoring. In the ECHL, Alaska also had a bad week, winning one outta three.

Providence College came into the weekend needing to win both of their games to get a first-round bye – and a bye is a huge thing, as it gives all the kids a week to rest up. Mark Jankowski had a pair of assists and Jon Gillies returned to his prior form, holding the opposition to just four goals over two wins. As a result, the Friars get next weekend off.

Oh, and Johnny Gaudreau scored one more goal, extending his points streak to 29 games. Sadly, Boston College lost to Notre Dame in overtime, snapping their undefeated streak. Gaudreau leads college hockey in goals, assists, points, and filthy mitts.

In junior, Morgan Klimchuk had seven points, Coda Gordon had five points and Eric Roy had four points.

At this point, every single Flames prospect in college and junior will be in their league’s playoffs.


Trade deadline! Wednesday at 1pm MT! Chaos! Or nothing much. There’s probably no middle ground, and it’s all market dependent.

Outside of all of that, the Calgary Flames play hockey this week. A lot of hockey. Four games. Monday in Minnesota, Wednesday hosting Ottawa, Friday hosting the Islanders and Saturday in Vancouver.

The Abbotsford Heat also play a lot of hockey. Four games! Tuesday & Wednesday vs. Texas, Saturday & Sunday vs. Chicago. And I’m not sure who the heck is gonna be left in Abbotsford, as once again, trades. Alaska plays three games in three nights against Bakersfield, too.

We’ll have a live-blog here throughout the day on Deadline Day, so keep your eyes peeled, and we’ll be all over anything that happens.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Hopefully the trade market heats up cause its kind of quiet in here now. Calgary needs two things. First to either trade or sign the UFA’s so we don’t lose them for nothing. Second to free up a few (3-6) roster spots for new guys next year, though this can happen at the draft or over the summer if the market’s dead now. Let’s hope we improve and the rebuild progresses nicely…

    • RedMan

      I mentioned in another thread of how slow it is, especially after the big one on Friday. High stakes game of chicken happening because prices are very high in a sellers market. We signed the only UFA I really cared about in Russell. I hope all the others are moved & would love to see one of our rentals packaged with other pieces in a real hockey trade to bring back a significant rebuild piece. One can only hope.

      I think JG will be a beast when he finally arrives in Calgary. You heard it here now!!

        • Byron Bader

          Well, personally, he just signed a great value contract for a dman playing 3-4, he has shown great vision out there & has been decent getting the puck out. I have no doubt Burke is going to get calls for quite a number of our players, I hope he listens to every one. But unless the offer is great, nothing should be moved that is part of our rebuild. I dont see Burke moving Russell, now if Tervanien is being dangled, well now Im interested.:-)

          • piscera.infada

            Totally agree. If any team wants Russell at the price-point Burke just signed him at – not to mention how effective he’s been for the Flames this year – Burke will be looking for optics in that deal. It would need to be a coup for the Flames to accept. One could argue that Russell has proven he will likely be part of this team’s long-term plans – all for the low, low price of a fifth round pick. Do you remember how up in arms everyone was with Feaster for not giving him arbitration rights next year by picking him up of waivers?

  • Derzie

    If we learned from his days in Toronto, Burke is already preparing his reasons why he was not active this week. Always more bark than bite. Hopefully he breaks the trend.