Glen Gulutzan back behind the bench and other updates from Sunday

After three full days of on-ice sessions at the Scotiabank Saddledome, a hoarse-voiced Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan held court with local media to chat about a few things on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s a quick summary of the topics of the day.

Back Behind The Bench

With split squad games and a bunch of former head coaches at various levels in Flames camp, the thought was perhaps Gulutzan would be an observer in the first couple days of the preseason. However, the new coach will be leaping right into the fray beginning with Monday’s split-squad games.

“I’ll be in Calgary. Dave Cameron’s going to coach the game in Edmonton. And then the next morning after practice, I’m going to fly to Winnipeg,” said Gulutzan. “I don’t think I’ve put enough games in this league as a head coach, I think I have about a hundred or so, to watch from the stands. I’ll make sure that I’m on the bench as much as I can be.”

The Goalie Plan

The Flames have six goalies in camp and seven games to divvy up in terms of workload. Gulutzan detailed that there’s a plan for the net, and it’s skewed towards the two guys who will be tending the twine for the NHL club this season.

“We mapped some of it out early, and now we’ll map some of it out on performance, and it won’t change much,” said Gulutzan. “[Elliott] is going to get two and a half to three games, and [Johnson] is going to get a couple games; with the young kids, depending on their performance, we might tweak a half game here or there.”

Postmedia’s Kristen Odland tweeted that Brian Elliott is going to be starting in Calgary, while we’ve yet to get official word about the Edmonton matchup, but the thought was that perhaps Chad Johnson and Jon Gillies would get time there.

The Evaluation Begins Soon

Throughout the weekend, it was often jokingly stated that nobody gets evaluated during the first few days of camp – particularly this year with all the players learning the details of the new coach’s system. But evaluation is coming very soon.

“We focused on the details, so there hasn’t been much evaluation other than ‘Hey this guy’s fast..,'” said Gulutzan. “We know a lot of the PTO players. The evaluation will come in the games when you’ve added in the details and you see how well they grab them, and how hard they battle and those kind of things.”

  • cberg

    Looking forward to the two games tonight, it should be interesting. Typically each team keeps a more veteran/young star line-up at home for their fans and send the prospects and toughs to the other barn to battle their vets. Let’s see what GG does.

    I also expect the PTOs will have maybe two games to prove they have it still so likely will see pretty massive cuts after Tuesday’s game in Winnipeg.

    This is definitely the time for some of our prospect to step forward. Seems like Poirier and Wotherspoon have been totally flying under the radar but I expect its getting close to make it time, especially for Poirier, and if Wotherspoon gets passed by any other prospects, like Kulak, Culkin it’ll be tough for him too.

    Also, for those counting, its Day 5 for Training Camp hold-out Gaudreau… and no news or rumours in sight. I thought Treliving’s comments at the start of TC showed the first hint of doubt and uncertainty on his part, which to me is a bad omen of things to come.

  • piscera.infada


    Also, for those counting, its Day 5 for Training Camp hold-out Gaudreau… and no news or rumours in sight. I thought Treliving’s comments at the start of TC showed the first hint of doubt and uncertainty on his part, which to me is a bad omen of things to come.

    None of the players that played in the WCOH have yet to take part in training camp. Gaudreau’s “hold-out” through training camp is also entirely reasonable.

    Of the other big name RFAs, no apparent headway with regard to Kucherov or Trouba (and yes, I know he’s requested a trade) has been reported as of yet, either. Relax.

      • piscera.infada

        That’s largely inconsequential to the point I’m making. Either they’ll trade Trouba’s rights, or more likely they’ll sign him to an extension and then work on a trade from there (as eluded to in the team’s statement). The point is, he is still without an extension, and if anything, an extension makes him easier to trade at this point, so it’s still likely in his interest to sign.

    • cberg

      Totally relaxed, just observing and realistic. My comments and thoughts on Gaudreau would probably apply to the others too. I believe this situation is more a comment on the state of the game, contracts and negotiations than on any single individual. However, the longer it persists, the more the individual player has to own his personal situation, reflecting specifically on him.

    • deantheraven

      Trouba asked for a trade. How’s that for progress?
      His situation is different, though. He wants to be a top 4 guy and feels he won’t get the chance in The ‘Peg. Dunno where they’d trade him where he could walk into that spot… Hey, wait a sec…

  • knappsacked

    For those who want to know a gaudreau update:

    Yesterday, on johnny’s instagram… He posted a picture of him in philedalphia at an eagles game.

    This is bad because not only is he not in calgary trying to “bang away” at his contract, but he isnt even watching the on ice sessions to learn gulutzans systems. I would hope he sits in the stands at least to learn that stuff but…nah not even in canada.

    Im beginning to fear a short term deal.

    • piscera.infada

      That’s a red-herring argument. He doesn’t have a contract, and thus is not an employee of the Calgary Flames. He is under no obligation, nor should he be, to do anything team related until he has a contract. But let me guess; “he’s going to be paid millions blah, blah, blah…”

      • wot96

        In addition, he has always been clear that his agent was handling the negotiations. So when his agent has an update to ask him whether he would accept $ or term or some other condition of the contract, I expect there will be a phone call, a text or even an email getting Johnny’s view. Johnny can accept an offer from anywhere.

          • wot96

            True. But he can still do that from anywhere.

            I just don’t think you can read too much into him taking in football and relaxing with some friends. WCH took some of his personal time away and for all we know, the deal is actually all but done.

            So much angst, so little evidence to support it.

  • Derzie

    If Treliving messes up Gaudreau, I’m going to do my best to boycott anything Flames. Us fans have no real power but I can’t support a team that plays hardball with its players. They don’t need to rollover but nickel & diming your marquee player is not something I support.

    • supra steve

      As an individual, you’re right, you have no power. But as a group, I think the fans hold a lot of power over the Flames organization. If the Gaudreau contract drags out, it does look bad for the Flames…unless it becomes clear that the player is just being greedy, then the fans will support the Flames position.

      As far as the Flames “nickel & diming” Gaudreau, I don’t see it that way. They will be a cap or near cap team for the foreseeable future, and they have to manage the dollars wisely, or some of the valuable assets they have accumulated will not be in Calgary beyond their entry level deals.

      Does Johnny want to earn a lot of money and be a part of a winning organization for years to come…or…does he want to earn a few extra million (that I doubt he’ll ever be able to spend) and play for a middling team that is never good enough to seriously compete for a championship?

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        What you are saying is true, but let’s not forget that right now the cap is an issue because of Wideman, Stajan, Smid (lesser extent), Engelland, Bouma and Bollig. Four out of six are a short problem that prevent this year’s team from being any better.

        In two year’s time, Bouma and Stajan will be replaced by guys on ELC’s. Unless Bennett takes a big step forward, he won’t be getting Monahan money on his next deal. Tkachuk will be on year 1 or 2 of his ELC.

        Eliminate Smid($3.5m), Stajan($3.125m), Bouma($2.2m), Wideman($5.25m), Engelland($2.9m) and Bollig($1.25m) and you have a lot more to spend on a combo of quality and cheap players. Some will get chewed up by the starter and Bennett’s new deal, but that still leaves a lot.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        My take is that it will be done before the start of the season since there is so many other moving parts that are contingent. I believe the Flames will move ahead with a bridge contract of 2-3 years just so they can finalize the roster with Russell or Nakladal.

        I also believe that word will get out that Johhny was asking in the 8 million range and the Flames would not go past 7 million. This will likely have an impact on how the fans view Johnny over the next couple years and he will lose his spot as “Calgary’s #1son”.

        I believe Johnny had no interest in signing a long term deal in Calgary and consequnpently priced himself out of the market. I hate to be a Debbie Downer but I don’t see the Flames caving and it will likely cost them a “Generational” talent but the cost to Johnny will be far worse than he imagined. Because many fans will feel Johnny has one foot out the door and is reluctantly playing in Calgary. I am sure Johnny, his agent, and the Flames will spin this as just a show me contract and there will be future negotiations in the future…..but I don’t see it.

        I hope I am wrong.

        • Baalzamon

          I believe Johnny had no interest in signing a long term deal in Calgary and consequnpently priced himself out of the market.

          Then why didn’t he leave as a free agent coming out of College? Why bother playing in Calgary at all?

          • Jumping Jack Flash

            Maybe he did not want to be perceived as ungrateful to the Flames organization since they took a chance and drafted him. He feels he has more leverage now and wants to be close to home. I have been defending the length of the negotiation all through the summer….I am just not as optimistic anymore.

        • supra steve

          I don’t like to speculate on anyone’s motives/ long term plans, other than to assume they are bargaining in good faith and want to get a deal done. Doing otherwise is just guessing.

          The word “generational” gets WAY too much use. Gretzky and Lemieux were generational. Yzerman, Hull, and Hawerchuk were awesome, but not generational.

          At the end of the day, the Flames own a valuable asset, the rights to JG. What they do with those rights is up to them. Sign him or trade him for a fair return, either is fine with me, as long as the asset is working for the betterment of the team.

          • Jumping Jack Flash

            I agree that the word “Generational” gets used too much, I only referenced it because people continue to refer to McDavid and Eichel as ” Generational” and I don’ see a big difference compared to Johnny. I will say that Johnny is the most electric player I have seen since Pavel Bure.

          • supra steve

            Gaudreau’s scoring stats as a 21 year old rookie–64points in 80 games played.

            McDavid’s as an 18 year old–48points in 45 games.

            I see a difference.

          • cberg

            The primary difference is Mcdavid plays a reckless, speed is everything style that opens him up to serious injury(which happened), whereas Gaudreau plays a puck control shifty style that enhances his ability to be on the ice contributing.

  • KiLLKiND

    So with Trouba wanting out of Winnipeg is there any possibility of us being able to land him?

    I wouldn’t be willing to trade Brodie for him and trading Gio for Trouba might be a long term win, but short term loss. We would obviosly have to receive something along with Trouba, but the trade would be focused on those two. I’m only mentioning those two as Winnipeg is looking for an equally skilled left shot defensemen for Trouba and Brodie and Gio would fit that billing, and more.

  • redwhiteblack

    Wasn’t to concerned about the lack of contract up until now. You begin to think Johnny and the Flames are very far apart. Creates conflict which is never good. Risk of having a U.S. player who wants to be closer to home? He has the elite pedigree to command $ or “I move”.

    He likes the girl he is dating but scared to commit long term because there might be a better match for him somewhere else?

    Hopefully his passions are satisfied with our hometown the Flames long term. $ aside I hope he wants to be here. Fans should start a “We Love Johnny!!” Campaign so he sees the love.

  • I love 23

    I have a feeling that everything will magically fall into place on the morning of October 12th when Smid is put on LTIR. I’ll start to panic after that day if nothing happens.

    • piscera.infada

      The Smid to LTIR move may actually be the “hard” deadline here. As has been discussed previously, the Flames need to be close to the cap ceiling in order to maximize the benefit of putting Sid on LTIR. It seems the “plan” regarding those LTIR “cap savings” assumes Gaudreau will be signed in and around $7.5 million (give or take a few hundred thousand). That’s the main reason I’m not concerned. This is a negotiation that has taken considerably longer than I would have preferred, but there is stil no reason to believe it won’t happen.

  • MontanaMan

    While I’m still confident that something will get done soon, we need to remember that these are “negotiations” and both sides are doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. It’s difficult to comment without knowing the details – if the Flames are offering $6 million then JG has a point. If JG is holding out for 8.5 on a long deal, I support Tre for holding the line. Devil’s in the details.