The Thanksgiving Open Thread

It’s a relatively quiet day in the hockey world, with the National Hockey League scheduling just a single game on this Thanksgiving Sunday.

So in the spirit of the holiday, and to allow some relaxation and reflection amongst a fanbase that’s probably breathing a sigh of relief after a spirited first victory of the season last night in Vancouver, we invite you to share your thoughts:

As a Calgary Flames (and NHL) fan, what are you thankful for?

Myself, after last night (and the pre-season) I’m a big fan of the three-on-three overtime, and am thankful that it’ll cut down on the number of shootouts we’ll see this season. (As I loathe the shootout.)

And like many, many others, I’m thankful that the Flames have managed to turn their drafting around in the last few years. Free agency is very hit and miss, and when you have to fill more and more spots on your roster with players from outside your organization, you introduce a higher element of uncertainty to your club. Now that they have half the jobs on the NHL club filled by home-grown players, they don’t have to expend quite the man-power and resources on finding players from the outside.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    As a Flames fan, I’m thankful to have a team thats exciting to watch again. Last season was crazy fun.

    I’m thankful to have to have a real top scoring line and one of the best D in the league.

  • ClayBort

    Brad Treliving

    Not happy about the Byron waiving or this team’s love affair with Brandon Bollig, but he is proving to be a shark. He also seems to understand exactly where this team is, which is a major improvement over any GM we’ve had in years.

  • MonsterPod

    As a Flames fan, I’m thankful for a captain who leads by example, an organization full of character guys, a competent GM whom I can trust to make smart decisions, a passionate coach who visibly loves his job, a continually replenishing farm system with promising prospects, an exciting and inspiring style of play, a 20 year old stud centreman, an undersized puck wizard, veteran leadership and mentorship, and finally, true team unity that is continually exemplified by a “never day die” attitude.

    Basically, I’m thankful for being able to root for an organization that I can be proud of in all facets.

    GFG

  • ChinookArchYYC

    In no particular order, I’m thankful for:
    – the elite Giordano
    – top pairing TJ Brodie
    – the embodiment of skill, Johnny Gaudreau
    – clutch goal scorer, Sean Monahan
    And Dougie Hamilton

  • MonsterPod

    I’m thankful for the surprising turn this team has taken.

    We waited too long to blow it up, and when we did, the return was puny for JBow and Iggy, and obviously nothing for Kipper. We lost our top defender, best forward, and star goalie, and had little to show for it but cap space.

    In the past, Nieuwendyk brought us Iggy, and Fleury brought us Regher. As a lifelong fan, I was worried we’d be lousy for at least 5 years.

    Two years ago, our only rookie was Monahan. We were still fielding an old slate and I was annoyed. Tampa was playing 8 rookies to much better success.

    Venting on the Flames website, the other commenters ganged up to let me know I was out to lunch to be wanting youth. We didn’t finish well that season, but it got us a high pick (Bennett).

    Last year, the Flames passed to torch to the kids, and boy did they deliver. After injuries to Backlund and Stajan, Monahan became the de facto #1 center — crazy at his age. Johnny Hockey started behind GlenX and Raymond but worked his way up the depth chart. We now wonder if he’s the next Pat Kane.

    And who do we remember from the playoff stint? Bennett and Ferland. (and Brodie’s mad wheelings. Man, he’s gonna eat up 3 on 3).

    I’m thankful that Monahan is better than a #6 pick, and Bennett is better than a #4 pick. After a decade without decent centers, (let’s try Tangs, maybe Cammy can do it) we finally have strength down the middle.

    And personally, I am over the moon thankful for Brian Burke. I’ve always loved the guy and I’ve never trusted Ken King. Bringing in a bonafide hockey professional and getting King busy with buildings is perhaps the most important move this organization has made.

    Burke brought in Tree, who has really impressed me and strikes me as a guy who will do what has to be done, even if it rankles a few feathers.

    I think Hartley is just awesome (love how he messed with Torts!) and has a genuine humanitarian angle to his approach. He demands a lot, but I really get the sense that he cares about his players as people. (Ferland, for instance)

    This team has an obvious upward trajectory. Our future core is already apparent and it is YOUNG. Once we get our goaltending sorted and a few years of experience for Bennett and others… one word: look out 🙂

  • BurningSensation

    Assuming all the usual (kids, family, health), here are my Flames centric thanks;

    – That Giordano went from journeyman to Norris candidate out of nowhere.

    – That we didn’t trade away Brodie the minute he looked like an NHL caliber defenseman

    – That Feaster started the rebuild when nobody in the MSM was paying attention.

    – That Monahan is the real deal #1 C we have bèen waiting since Nieuwendyk for.

    – That Don Swèeney is a terrible GM who also hates Edmonton

    – That Hudler is as good a player as he is a human being

    – That we ‘wasted’ a 4th rnd pick on a skinny American midget who was going to need almost half a decade to develop.

    – That we got the basics of our rebuild right on the first try.

  • OKG

    I’m thankful for:

    F

    Gaudreau-Monahan-Hudler

    Frolik-Bennett-Jooris

    Klimchuk-Jankowski-Granlund

    Bouma-Backlund-Jones

    Colborne-Stajan-Poirier

    Mangiapane-Arnold-Hathaway

    Agostino-Shore-Raymond

    Elson-Hamilton-Caroll

    Bollig-Karnaukhov-Smith

    Van Brabant-Grant-Harrison

    (Lomberg)-DeBlouw-(Hawkins)

    D

    Giordano-Brodie

    Russell-Hamilton

    Kulak-Wideman

    Culkin-Engelland

    Smid-Nakladal

    Wotherspoon-Morrison

    Hickey-Andersson

    Sieloff-Kylington

    Kanzig-Gilmour

    Rafikov-Bruce

    Ollas Mattson-(Stevenson)

    G

    Hiller

    Ortio

    Ramo

    Gillies

    McDonald

    Schneider

    … this absurd organizational depth.

    • #97TRAIN

      Agreed, blogging is a thankless business.

      Also… That the trolling has been reasonable lately!

      As far as the flames, the chemistry they obviously have, it makes a huge difference when you enjoy being around the people you work with.

    • MontanaMan

      Hi MonsterPod. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m an Oiler fan but I’m also a hockey fan so yes, I often peruse Flamesnation, mostly for information.

      So excuse me for existing but I’m sure there are just as many Flames fans looking through Oilersnation from time to time. It’s just part of being a true hockey fan.

      As for your other comments, you don’t have to tell an Oiler fan how bad our teams have been for the last nine long years. We are only too aware of it.

      You should be thankful that you haven’t been saddled with the kind of bad management we’ve had to suffer through for the last decade.

      Are we a bit envious of you Calgary fans. Yes we are. But we hope that changes soon and believe me, in Edmonton all we’ve had lately is “hope.”

      So enjoy your Thanksgiving and be happy you have a hockey team you can be thankful for.

      I hope by next Thanksgiving Oilersnation can do a thread like this where we can all write smarmy, warm and fuzzy comments about how wonderful it is to have a winning team we can all be thankful for!

      • MontanaMan

        I’m thankful we have two great franchises in Alberta. The Oilers and Flames have a great rivalry as it should be but at the end of the day we appreciate each other. Let’s not forget that Canada lost the Jets and Nordiques – this country needs to retain hockey in every market. It’s our game!!!!

  • Burnward

    I’m thankful that when I rock my Flames hat, no matter where my travels take me, other hockey fans now talk to me with respect for what this organization has become.

    It sure is nice as a fan to have an organization with character on the ice and in the front office to be truly proud of.

    Go Flames Go!!!

  • T&A4Flames

    I’m thankful we had Feaster in the 1st couple years of the rebuild and for the work he did with the scouting and ultimately, the drafting. Like every GM, he did some bone-headed things, but I’ll remember his time here for how our team currently looks. And it looks so, very promising.

  • RedMan

    I am thankful for a bucket full of good D prospects that look like they will be good to outstanding defensemen for the team or possibly as really good trade chips if all the slots are taken up by someone better.

    I am thankful for a farm team that looks like it has a ton of homegrown talent that epitomises the work ethic and never say die attitude that the Flames adopted last year.

    I am thankful for league average goaltending with the potential for something greater, waiting in the wings.

    I am thankful that meaningful hockey has finally returned to Alberta and that there is every possibility that “Death Valley” becomes a “thing”, again.

    Happy Thanksgiving, hockey fans.

  • MontanaMan

    I am thankful for being able to watch an exciting Flames team 82 plus games a year!; that “Always Earned Never Given” is the team’s motto and the players live that motto.

    Hope everyone had something to thankful for this weekend!