BREAKING: Flames Still Kinda Crazy

With the excitement of looming training camps and the promise of NHL hockey just around the bend, these days are the ramp up to a mini silly season where we over-speculate on everything and tend to blow minor things out of proportion. It’s the time of year where we can let these minor errors in judgment go, and, unless the team did something completely cra-

Okay this is completely unacceptable.

Dougs

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Okay, let’s first discuss the part of ol Rog’s tweet that is REALLY offensive if you’re a Calgary Flames fan.

DOUGIE HAMILTON IS PLAYING ON A PAIRING WITH LADISLAV SMID?

Two pressing matters are on display here:

a) Ladislav Smid is healthy (which is great for him, obviously) and they intend to play him, and

b) Dougie Hamilton was the marquee acquisition of the 2015 offseason, and when you have the shiniest new toy, you want to make sure you use it properly. It’s like…if you were a peasant in a medieval town, would you want your Prince Charming to ride in on a stallion or on a donkey?

Granted, the Flames’ two other stallions already run together and their other defensive pairing possibilities are more like riding on the back of capabaras, but make no mistake, Ladi Smid is a donkey, and not a particularly good one.

Of course, it’s entirely possible and super very likely that when the season starts, Dougie is going to be skating alongside probably either Kris Russell or Dennis Wideman (I cannot BELIEVE this team didn’t re-sign David Schlemko), but let’s not try experimenting with combinations when they are assuredly going to be awful.

OH YEAH, AND

DOUGLAS FREAKING MURRAY? I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THIS SHIT.

Murray has played 518 games in the show over ten seasons, last appearing with the Habs two years ago, and was widely terrible. Nicknamed “Crankshaft” for some reason, Murray’s best season came in 2009 when he amassed 17 points in 79 games, and is well known for doing a bang up impression of Tanooki Mario turning into a statue. Opposing forwards think its amazing.

Douglas Murray does not pass the eye test and his possession numbers are [redacted].

I know prevailing wisdom on PTOs is that it’s no risk and if the player does not have a role on the team (and let’s get this out of the way right now, Doug Murray will not have a home on this team), can we just admit that the prospect of Murray wearing a Flames jersey is goddamn terrifying?

It’s 2015 and Douglas Murray has no redeeming value as a player (unless you think he can get his patented keg taps installed at the Saddledome). The Flames most certainly need depth at the position (the PTO offered to Ryan Wilson makes a lot more sense in this regard), but depth means a whole lot more than a warm body (and at press time, there is no reported substantial warmth stored anywhere in Murray’s giant, slow, ambling body).

Douglas Murray is this year’s Nolan Yonkman. He’s there, inexplicably, and won’t make the team (you really, really hope), but with each passing day he’s lacing them up at camp, you’re going to find you have more grey hairs on your head than you did the day before.

I just don’t understand the motivation here. I’m all for creating competition at camp, and a guy like Ryan Wilson definitely does create some in reference to the bottom pairing, but if you’re trying to rekindle some kind of fire in Murray, well, I hope you brought some gas.

Update: If Murray is there to create competition, this is the kind of production you have to live up to:

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Check out @mimicohero’s work at ownthepuck.com, it’s so good, it’s everything Doug Murray isn’t.

Everything IS okay

The Flames added Dougie Hamilton, Mikael Frolik, and crushed it in the NHL draft, and generally seem poised to improve upon their breakout season from last year (unless you believe in regression, which, uh, you should). Brad Treliving had an amazing summer and it seems like not even Bob Hartley can ruin it.

Moves like what we see today serve to remind that nobody is perfect and for some reason we’re still prone to the idea that big bodies are more important than skill (but at least we’re not paying actual money to do it anymore). In the end, this is a misguided attempt to create competition in camp and to try to experiment with player combinations, and while these specific ones WILL NOT WORK, this is the time of year where you try it.

(Speaking of PTOs, if you’re giving them out, give one to Sean Bergenheim, because that would be real value. Added bonus: he’s not Sergei Kostitsyn)

The Flames are going to be okay. Dougie Hamilton will not skate next to Ladi Smid. Douglas Murray will not wear a Flaming C in a regular season game. And if he does, well, there’s going to be new expansion teams arriving soon we can all become fans of.

  • clib542

    Just thought of something this morning.

    What if some PTO’s are favours to agents. I’m sure Treliving, Murray and his agent all know there is no room on the team. There was been a handful of times however another team will come along and sign that player. Now if this player shares an agent with another one of your players, wouldn’t it be smart to be in good standing with that agent when it comes to negotiating a different contract.

    I’d like to think this is happening with Murray. Is there a player on the team now who shares an agent, or maybe there’s an upcoming free agent who Treliving is looking at. All a PTO does is it gives a player ice time with a chance to prove what’s left. Look back, Douglas Murray isn’t a fan of PTO’s. His expectations likely aren’t that high in the first place,but maybe he thinks differently about them now since this may be his last shot. Tells his agent he will take a PTO, and the team gives the agent a favour. Agent now look good in the eyes of his client and who knows where that goodwill will show up later.

    • was thinking something like this too.

      PTO doesn’t cost the team anything. As long as it doesn’t cost a Kenny Morrison or Jakub Nakdal a chance to showcase what they have it’s not harming anything. There’s no guauntees of a contract or anything and the Flames don’t have sign either him or Wilson. Simply they just chose to walk away.

      In doing this like you said it allows the player a chance to showcase to the league what he has and maybe a team needing depth D at a 6/7 spot pick him up. agent makes a small commission and then is a little more generous next tme they goto negotiate on another player. Seems like a no risk for us way to pick up some lose change off the ground type of situation.

  • JumpJet

    This news comes a day after Ryan Culkin’s injury update. With Culkin out long term the Flames were down to 15 defenceman for training camp. Douglas Murray’s PTO rounds out the defence so everyone has someone to skate with.

    That’s the only logical reason I can come up with.

    • everton fc

      Makes sense.

      His body of work last season – 8 games with the Cologne Sharks, 1 assist, 24 PMs. I wouldn’t worry about him staying here too long. Cologne may need him as a #7 d-man option.

    • Colin.S

      The problem with this theory is that Roger Millions has said that this PTO is connected to his previous PTO when he joined the Flames after the Gio injury, so this was in the works before that injury.

      • JayCMcG

        Oh, THAT Douglas Murray! I was doing some head scratching trying to figure out who this pylon was.

        Also, Hamilton was likely just trying to meet one of his team mates on the Defence.

  • First Name Unidentified

    For all we know they could be looking at Murray purely for the AHL (replace Culkin for part of the season).

    I wouldn’t read too much into Hamilton being paired with Smid.

    Chill folks!!

  • Peplinski's Thunderbird

    I don’t understand why everyone is freaking out about this. Didn’t we go through this exact same thing last year? Douglas Murray came to camp on a PTO. He is not competing for a spot on the Flames, and I highly doubt he’s even competing for a spot on the Baby Flames. Douglas Murray brings experience and a degree of professionalism with him and the youngsters can soak that up. I believe he has a connection with Hartley from over in Europe or something.

    And Dougie Hamilton skating with Smid doesn’t mean that these two will be paired together. All indications are that Smid won’t be “ready to go” until around November and that’s if he can get medical clearance for what I’m assuming is contact. More likely is that this is probably one of the first team skates of the year and like any new player to our system, Dougie will have to learn how we do things around here so it would make sense that he starts on an extra pairing. Just my two cents.

  • redhot1

    Look at it is more of a challenge for Dougie. Can he carry the boat anchor.

    And as for Murray, there is no way that he will be on the team. None. So no need to be upset

  • beloch

    Honestly, Phat Ras would do better if thrown into the NHL as an unprepared 18-year than Douglas Murray would. Of course, you’d probably expect Nakladal, Morrison, or Wotherspoon to be called up first. The Flames now have a lot of defenders who could use a cup of coffee in the NHL this season. I guess there’s no real reason to panic unless Treliving actually inks himself a second Dougie.

    As for Smid playing with Hamilton… I doubt that will last for long. I suspect Hartley is reluctant to break up the Wideman/Russel pair. That leaves him with two deeply flawed bottom pairs though. Would it be better to have a strong second pair and a garbage third pair that doesn’t get a lot of time on ice? That’s probably a question Hartley is asking himself right now.

    Additionally, it’s always useful to have some cannon fodder for the pre-season. There are some games where the only important thing is that nobody important gets hurt, so I can see Murray playing against he Oilers or Canucks.

  • Overall a fine update on the training camp situation however this sentence “Treliving had an amazing summer and it seems like not even Bob Hartley can ruin it” was jarring. It’s too early to be questioning the 2014-15 Coach of the Year based on the Hamilton-Smid pairing. Sure I’ll be concerned if this pairing skates in the final preseason game but I doubt it will. Also I bet Doug Murray gets cut.

    • JayCMcG

      Right there with you on this.

      Although it really validated this line: “…we over-speculate on everything and tend to blow minor things out of proportion.”

      Is it an attempt at humor? Hard to tell.

      But isn’t this their first skate together for the start of the year? Seems like more of a meet-and-greet/welcome back thing to me.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Doug Murray is just here to add some beef for the split squad games against Edmonton, those goofs may jump one of our young studs (see Nurse mugging Ras)…….

    I have a feeling there will be some payback coming…

    WW

  • KACaribou

    What a mangy feasting hyena. I think Douglas Murray should look up this disrespectful wimp and beat the living crap of of bookofloob for being so bloody disrespectful. He’s an NHL hockey player and you are a f@#king blogger!

    He may not be as good as he once was, but show a little bit of class instead of trashing the man. Amazing what you will say about another human being in front of a keyboard that you would be scared sh#tless to say to his face.

    The reason you don’t understand what is going on is because you aren’t part of Flames management and don’t have the ability or hockey knowledge to be hired for the job.