Sunday Open Thread: Who Goes When Raymond Returns?

Matt Stajan returned to the Calgary Flames line-up last night after missing 16 games with a knee injury. His return meant that Corban Knight went to the American Hockey League – both guys were fourth line centers – and that Sven Baertschi was bounced from the line-up (Lance Bouma moved from center to the wing).

Mason Raymond is also nearing a return. What happens when he’s back?

The challenge with Raymond is that he’s a winger. With centers, it’s easy – a natural center leaves so that a natural center can play. On the flanks? Tougher decisions. Here’s my viewpoint.

  • Demote Sven Baertschi: This will probably happen, given that he’s been sitting and is better off playing in Adirondack. He’s also been fine, albeit not overly impressive, in a depth role. Given that the club seemingly has “better” (more effective) top nine options, there’s no reason to keep Sven if he’s playing a depth role. Other options would be to demote Brandon Bollig and/or Brian McGrattan, but I don’t think anyone is too chafed if those guys sit in Calgary rather than play in the AHL.
  • Sit Michael Ferland and/or Brandon Bollig: Let’s look at Calgary’s wingers: Curtis Glencross, David Jones, Johnny Gaudreau, Jiri Hudler, Ferland, Paul Byron, Bollig and Lance Bouma. The only real options to get parked in the press box seats are Ferland and Bollig, as the rest of these guys have (a) carved out strong niches for themselves and (b) are on lines you don’t want to break up. I’d personally lean towards benching Bollig and moving Ferland down to play with Stajan and Bouma. (And presumably, when Joe Colborne returns, then you potentially send Ferland down after trying him out in a few different roles).

What would you do? Sound off in the comments!

  • X Man

    It’s gonna be Sven sent down. And that’s not a bad thing. He had some chemistry with Byron, but for some reason he hasn’t played with him at all the last several games and instead is being put on a line with Bollig and Bouma (combined for 11 points in about 25 games). Probably best for him to go down to the baby Flames and hopefully get some top 6 minutes and go from there.

    What I would hope is that Bollig is some how traded or moved instead, seeing as how that move has not worked out in the slightest.

  • X Man

    Bollig would be the most logical person to sit/send down. However they brought him in for his size and mgmt seem to want him on the team. My gut says he won’t be the guy that gets moved. Certainly if Burke has any say.

    I don’t want to see Ferland, Granlund or Jooris moved. Every day they are making a case that they belong. Bollig is the best choice from my perspective. I just hope mgmt is starting to feel the same.

    Also, is anyone from FN going to address the problem with Lambert? He should be fired. If you are looking for a new guy to replace him, I suggest trying to get Colin Dambrauskas. I’m impressed with his knowledge on the Flames and he is a much better writer (something not hard to do when compared to Lambert).

  • Reidja

    Here’s an idea that absolutely no one will like: trade Granlund. I know this doesn’t help open up a winger spot but we have so many NHL calibre young guys that I have no idea what we are going to do with them all. We need more quality and less quantity. Some back end prospects are needed here. Anyway, won’t happen… Sven goes down for now. Hopefully his ego can take it.

  • skimaxt

    As far as who, stays and who goes to Adirondack as the veterans come back , my feeling is that guys like Bollig and McGrattan stay because they can be the guys who don’t dress that often and can be used against certain opposition.
    I wouldn’t like to see young guys who are still developing their game playing the role of sitting in the press box. They need to play big minutes in the minors.
    If you get an injury that keeps a regular out for any length of time you bring a guy up from Adirondack as they have done this past 6 weeks.
    If the Flames don’t see a need for some the guys who don’t get to play much they can address that issue near trade deadline time or more likely in the off season. I don’t see a big need to deal with it now.
    As far as Lambert is concerned, I”d suggest that if he isn’t fired that all FN members not send in a single response to any of his blogs.
    That would be the best way to deal with him because guys like that live off our responses to his articles, and if no one responds to the idiot FN might have to think about why they have him as a contributor ( using that word loosly).

      • Kevin R

        Agree but there is a fine line between opinion & insulting a team & it’s fan base. Lambert can come in & troll us all he wants like any other Oiler or Canuck or Leaf troll. But not as a regular writer of that hockey teams dedicated website & it’s fans.

      • piscera.infada

        Exactly. Where were all the whiners when the Book of Loob shamelessly slammed the Oilers recently? No one on Oilersnation was demanding the B of L be fired. Grow a pair and move on folks.

        • Kevin R

          First off BOL did it on the Flame site & it was later crossed over to the Oiler site. If Lambert was an ON writer & posted on our site, again, you wouldn’t have had the venom you are seeing. It would be a typical trolling dig from one of our rivals & having a rival kick you when you are down is to be expected Also BOL didn’t insult the Oiler fans & organization other than digs that were nothing compared to what the ON fan base was posting about their own Management & team. Perhaps go read the posts from Oil fans for the last 3-4 weeks to get a perspective.

          This has nothing to do with growing anything, mine are quite fine & if you enjoy his writing go have at her at Puck Daddy. Maybe grow a set & stand by your team when they play hard & win games. Would you honestly pay big money to go to a game & hope your team loses??

  • Reidja

    Ferland is unique in that he is a tough SOB and can also chip in with some offence. He will never see the AHL again because his skill set is lacking within the Flames team and it is exactly what will be required going forward.

    There will certainly be some trade activity that will enable Colbourn to return when and if he returns. I’m hearing his wrist injury could be serious and he could be done for the season. Hopefully it is not career threatening as he has had major issues with that injury in the past!

  • Kevin R

    After listening to Big Ern on the FAN960 yesterday he shouldn’t be playing. He should retire and the Flames should give him some sort of coaching position. Even he knows the game has past him (not just the lack of facepunchers; he himself realizes he can’t keep up anymore). But he has an excellent attitude and understands the game.

    • everton fc

      There’s your instant remedy. Do with Big Ern what was done w/Conroy. Then you can keep Sven up.

      Or, you demote Sven first, bring up another kid for a trial run (Hanowski? Poirier??) and then give McGrattan a reward for retiring when/if Colborne returns. Hanowski seems like he’d be a better fit, in terms of the minutes he’d get here. He doesn’t need the minutes or linemates Svan may need to show his game.

      If Colborne’s injury is that bad, you let Ferland develop with the big club and sit Bollig. Ferland has more skill than Bollig. Clearly. Bollig can take McGrattan’s place in the pressbox, or trade him for a qualified, proven 5/6 d-man. Even a veteran. Engelland needs to be the #7 d-man. Diaz looks terrible defencively at times. At least when I’ve seen him play. Smid looks smaller than he’s listed. But he can be a #6 d-man. I can deal with that, tough he often makes the bad pass and can’t clear the puck at times…

      Granlund doesn’t need to go down. Yet. And he won’t. Yet.

      Or you demote Diaz and give one of the young d-men a chance. Out-of-the-box thinking. Put one of the puck-moving kids w/Smid. Nothing to lose. Trust me!

  • Captain Ron

    I wonder how many goals Raymond would have if he didn’t get hurt? 12 or 13 by now I bet.

    A fourth line of Ferland, Bouma and Stajan would be a good one.

    I’d sit Bollig and McGratton on a regular basis.

  • Captain Ron

    Lambert needs to go!

    I just can’t read his stuff anymore. Instead of using logic and well-formulated opinions, he calls us Flames fans idiots for being happy with the success of our team…
    Nothing better to write?

    This season for the Flames has certainly gone much better than we all anticipated but one thing’s for sure.. the team is looking good!! When it comes down to it, they are winning games.

    And seriously, Lambert needs to realize it takes more than just “luck” to score goals. The Flames may be on a temporary hot streak right now (but who knows??) but they can’t be compared to the Oilers. The Flames have too much heart to tank on purpose.

    I’m on board the “fire Lambert” train!

    • Kevin R

      On the “fire Lambert” front: As much as I agree with this, I think it’s pretty unlikely they’re going to fire someone from the FN fold.

      Instead, and this has been mentioned before, just don’t click the link to his posts. EVER. They most likely judge a successful post by how many click-throughs (ie, add revenue) they get. I for one will forgo the insightful prospect info he occasionally provides, in order to voice my opinion in the only way that matters. His posts piss me off, he has made insulting insinuations, so I have more to gain from pretending he doesn’t post on the site.

      Maybe after yesterday, the average click-throughs that a Lambert post recieves is 1/3 of what it was before, and at the end of the season the site realizes that Lambert is the equivalent of McGratton (fully expendable)(Sorry Brian, I’m sure you’re better for morale than Lambert).

    • Captain Ron

      I literally can’t up vote this enough. It sums up Lamberts’ ineptitude nicely and the general consensus of FN readers.

      If he does not get fired, then I suggest we all boycott his articles and comment section. Avoiding his articles will be easy, but forgoing the comment section will be a challenge. I know most people get enjoyment out of reading/posting about his complete lack of understanding when it comes to hockey. But it will be for the better. When FN realizes Lambert no longer generates ad revenue, he will be let go.

      I hope FN and their affiliates realize how poisonous Lambert is to their brand and fires him. But if that does not happen, we can affect change if we all stop clicking on his articles and comment section.

  • Captain Ron

    Pretty obvious that it’s Sven to go down and he very well may not make it back up this year. This may be a pivotal year for Sven – if he doesn’t make strides in the AHL, he will likely be moved as part of a package deal. Yes, he brings more skill than Bollig but Bollig brings certain things that the Flames need, particularly if they move Big Ern. Ferlund is a keeper and will hopefully replace Bollig who I would hope the Flames would move at the deadline. The reality is that there will be more injuries this year to key personnel, providing opportunities for those lucky enough to get the call.

  • RKD

    I would send Barts down if he is going to be scratched. He’s better off playing minutes in the AHL and developing himself as a player. I would sit Bollig, he’s not the future of this team. Let Ferland get some playing time as a big power forward. Bollig doesn’t give us much at all and he gets caught on the ice for goals against.

  • RKD

    It should be Sven and Burke should deliver the message and it should sound something like this:” Sven we have seen the progression in your game this year especially in the areas we thought you needed to improve; great job. Now go back to the AHL and keep working on those aspects of your game and tear that league up offensively and we will be seeing you later in the season.”

  • RKD

    Sven and Granlund are the obvious candidates to go down for now, but the Flames need to move some other older vets out. I’d keep Hudler, Jones and Raymond, among the forwards. There’s zero chance that Glencross lives up to the pay day and term he’s looking for, plus LW is te team’s greatest area of depth, so he has to go. I agree that the Bollig move has failed, move him too. McG never dresses, retires at season’s end.

  • crapshoot

    It would be interesting to see an official response on the Lambert discussion from Ryan Pike or someone else at FN. Safe to say this situation has escalated way beyond what should be going on on a fan blog and should preferably be adressed in some way. I love Flames Nation and I have been hanging around here for years, but right now I hate the tension and bad atmosphere that Lambert has created over here to the point where it’s sort of ruining my FN experience.

    • skimaxt

      I’ve been viewing the content on FN very regularly for years and I fully agree with the statement that “I hate the tension and bad atmosphere that Lambert has created over here to the point where it’s sort of ruining my FN experience.” I’ve been ignoring posts from Lambert for a few months now and was extremely pissed when I read his post on ON. Maybe Lambert is a genius, as I never signed up to comment until now but the only reason for doing so is to express how crappy of a blogger he is.

      Now that I’m signed up, maybe I’ll chime in on future posts. Right now I’m pretty much saying Lambert is a joke, gives horrible opinions on the flames and slams the team he blogs for on a rival teams page. I’ll never read one of his posts again on FN and I hope nobody else does.

  • crapshoot

    I hope that Sven gets sent down and starts lighting it up in the A. If he can do that I hope he’ll be back with a vengeance later in the season. Hopefully to stick around for good.

    Also, I really wanna see Ferland score his first goal before he’s sent down if sending his down is indeed the plan. Sit Bollig for as long as that takes. A fourth line with Ferland-Stajan-Bouma is actually a pretty good line and they should be able to contribute offensively as well as physically.

  • piscera.infada

    I would just like to express my agreement with the sentiments expressed concerning Mr. Lambert. His contributions have increasingly become more and more detrimental to Flames Nation community and the engaging discussion and debate that normally takes place. His more recent offerings could easily be described as discraceful and I am not the least bit surprised that so many readers have finally said enough is enough. A writer who displays such arrogance and disrespect to his own readership should never be given the opportunity to do so again.

  • Burnward

    Th truth is that all of you haters of the name I will not mention keep talking about him. The only way to get the message across to stop discussing what he writes and stop reading his blogs, this is the last time I mention the name that shall not be spoken. I hope it is what all the ahters do.

  • X Man

    I’ve been reading the articles and comments on this site from time to time for a few years now, but have never commented…

    The reason I am finally saying something is because I wish to add my name to the lengthy list of people who think that Lambert fellow should be fired…

    That article he posted on ON is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever seen…

    He should be fired simply because it is just plain stupid to think that the Oilers are doing better at hockey than the Flames at the present, or in their rebuild…

    How can someone be employed as an authority in regards to hockey and make such blatantly stupid remarks?!?…

    Mr Kent Wilson is one the best Hockey writers I’ve ever read, and Book of Loob is just a great writer, period… The rest of writers here do a good job also… In stark contrast to Lambert…

    He’s dragging you all down… People will loose allot of the respect that it has taken you all a great deal of time and work to build up if he sticks around…

    Oh ya… Best Flame ever IMO? Makarov…..

  • playastation

    I think Sven or Granlund go down. I don’t think we should be trading centers. The good thing about centers is that you can move them to wing. So Granlund should stay. If there’s no space, move him to RW. Or send him down. Obviously first choice is Sven. Not cuz he hasn’t been playing well.. because he doesn’t seem to show up everyday… compounded by the fact that he isn’t playing much. Addy is a good team. He should enjoy himself there.

  • Kevin R

    I think this team is getting to a point where BT needs to pull the trigger on a trade. I love the goals & Wideman is on a heater, but Saturday we were exposed defensively that the 3-6 positions need a serious upgrade. That player needs to be a legit 3-4 guy & one that has a long term future with our team. The price will be high but we may as well take advantage of the play & higher value of some of our pieces. Moving Wideman down to #5 with Smid would be an upgrade in the bottom pairing & push Engellend to #7. I wonder if BT could call up his buddy Maloney & see what it would take to get Yandle. Would still love to get a Krug out of Boston as well.

  • Kevin R

    official fn response: stop talking about lambert.

    that’s generally not the purpose of the comment section. this is everyone’s warning – comments that are not productive re: this issue are going to be deleted. everyone knows how everyone feels on the matter. we don’t need to keep hearing about it. thanks for your co-operation.