98Rasmus Andersson

Last call for handful of Flames prospects this preseason

One preseason game to go. One.

The season is just around the corner – Oct. 4 is a mere few days away – and the Flames still have five cuts to go, and one preseason game to figure the remaining roster spots out. And with a handful of Flames prospects still at camp, this may be their last chance to prove themselves.

The goaltending battle: Lack vs. Gillies

Honestly, this one probably isn’t much of a battle. Mike Smith will kick off the season as the Flames’ starter; that much should be obvious by now. And Eddie Lack – veteran of 135 NHL games – will very likely be his backup.

That said, Jon Gillies remains at camp. As long as he’s up, there’s the offhand chance he starts his season in the NHL – we just probably shouldn’t bet on it.

The defence battle: Bartkowski vs. Kulak vs. Andersson

This one is a little more complicated, because at least two of these players will be staying up – if not all three, should the Flames decide to carry eight defencemen to start the season.

Matt Bartkowski is probably a lock to make the Flames due to his veteran status. Without him, the team would only be carrying five defenders used to playing in the NHL. Say what you will about promoting prospects, but it’s not necessarily a bad idea to have a just-in-case player waiting in the wings. Bartkowski may have come into the organization due to the expansion draft, but he has stilled played 235 NHL games, and coaches tend to enjoy having that familiarity.

But at least one of Brett Kulak or Rasmus Andersson is going to be on this team.

Kulak started the preseason paired with Michael Stone – seemingly a sign that he would start the season in the NHL – but as of late, has been playing alongside Andersson. The pair could find themselves in this final preseason game, competing against one another for the right to stay up.

Further complicating matters here, however, is that Andersson is a right-shot defender. The Flames already have three established ones in Dougie Hamilton, Travis Hamonic, and Stone, so unless Glen Gulutzan is open to mixing and matching shots this season, there seemingly isn’t a place for him. Furthermore, he’s the only player of these three who does not require waivers to be sent down.

Then again, Andersson must still be up at training camp for a reason – and if he’s able to beat out the competition, then the team should find room for him.

The forward battles: Jankowski vs. Lazar vs. Stajan, Hathaway vs. Hamilton vs. Gazdic vs. Glass

It looks like the Flames have a couple of different battles playing out at forward, a position in which they need to cut two or three players.

The first battle isn’t in quite the same sense as the second. Mark Jankowski looks all but certain to make the Flames; if he’s competing with anyone, it’s less about making the team, and more about his place in the lineup. Curtis Lazar and Matt Stajan are his fellow centres – though Lazar can also play the right wing – so it’s more of a three-way battle for the fourth line centre position, or to at least stay out of the press box.

Jankowski may be on the path to outperforming his competition, but of course, the season hasn’t started yet, and he could always still be cut.

The second battle is more one for the extra forward positions. Freddie Hamilton filled that role to a tee the previous season, and by virtue of that may have the inside track to staying in the NHL this season.

That would turn this into a three-way battle between Garnet Hathaway, Luke Gazdic, and Tanner Glass for the final forward spot on the team. Hathaway has toiled through the Flames’ system for a few years now, and played a career high 26 NHL games this past season. Gazdic was signed to a two-way contract early in the summer, so he has the two-fold advantage of both already being owed money, and being a veteran.

Glass is the interesting case here. We know his numbers in the NHL aren’t great, and he hasn’t exactly been amazing at the AHL level, either. Furthermore, he remains on a professional tryout: he still doesn’t have a contract, and the Flames are not obligated to give him one. That said, Glass has also legitimately been one of the Flames’ more enthusiastic players this preseason, and that could see him – he who has played over 500 games, and remember that often coaches like to have experienced players around – earn not just a contract, but a place on the NHL team.

There’s just one preseason game to go, and a couple of cuts to come soon after.

For my money, I think the victors of these last few battles will be Lack; Bartkowski and Kulak; and Jankowski, Hamilton, and one of Hathaway or Glass.

No matter who wins, though, the picture should become much clearer in the coming days: and perhaps obvious following this final preseason game.

  • Fan the Flames

    Andersson looks better than Kulak and Bartkowski but GG wants them to play on their natural side . Gadzic and Glass should lose out to Hathaway but GG has something for Glass so this might not happen . I see Lazar and Bartkowski as press box guys . I think Jankowski should be on the 3rd line with Bennett and Versteeg.

    • Skylardog

      Couldn’t give a cheer, or a trash. Andersson is better, but will be sent to Stockton. Gazdic and Glass should lose out to Hathaway (who has impressed this camp).

      However, I just get the feeling GG will start Bart next to Stone on Wednesday, and Lazar’s fate is not yet sealed. I assume he will be in the lineup tonight, but where is the question.

      Janko has to be a shoe in – right? But he is not going to play with Bennett and Versteeg, not a chance. I will say it again, he is a centre right now, that’s it. He is the 4th line centre right now because he is a rookie and inexperienced. My concern with Janko is some weird convoluted GG idea that his 2 games with horrendous possession numbers somehow puts him in Stockton. Not 1 of us here sees that, but…

  • Skylardog

    Just reading up on the Central division, and a comment there caught my eye. It was in regards to Winnipeg, and specifically, Maurice:

    “Paul Maurice has coached the team for three full seasons and has reached the playoffs in only one of them. Historically, his teams have struggled mightily with goaltending, meaning the Jets’ issues could be more based around system and in-game strategy behind the bench rather than roster composition and talent.”

    Goaltending issues can be system issues. We have had a goaltending issue here in Calgary for a long time. You take Kipper out of the equation, and it has been forever.

    We seem capable here of destroying great prospects. Kidd, Ortio, and turning darn good goalies into huge question marks, Elliott, Hillier, Smith?. What we have seen so far is disappointing, from all goalies in camp.

    System issues?

    • Flaming1

      We have seen goalie after goalie fail in Calgary and I think it has more to do with the defence giving up more quality opportunities against.
      Good goalie after good goalie comes in here and you expect us to believe that all of the sudden they just can’t stop the puck?

      • Skylardog

        Quality of shots against has got to be a factor here. I don’t know how to prove it, but suspect it was an issue last season.

        Corsi can look good when the opportunity is so good against that it is in on the first shot, and you have 4 shots stopped or blocked at the other end on weak chances we generate.

      • Rockmorton65

        I don’t think you can call them all good goalies. I think it’d be more accurate to say best goalie available at the price they were willing to pay. Sign a slightly better than average goalie with hopes he can improve.

    • Fan the Flames

      If you remember Anaheim a couple of years ago they had a horrendous start . They couldn’t score and they were giving up quality chances by trying to be to offensive . Boudreau focussed on defence and they finished on top of the division. If you look at the Flames they score but they give up a lot of quality chances against good teams .

      • Skylardog

        System here (in the case of the Flames), my be more than the on ice systems and decisions. Is there an organizational process, method, or culture that has negative impact on goalie success. And I am thinking it goes on longer than 2 coaches.

        Just asking, I honestly don’t know.

  • Flaming1

    When we got Lack and Smith we actually thought we were better off in net than we were with Elliot and Johnson. I think most people realize that couldn’t be further from the truth.
    Really pisses me off that Treleving hasn’t been able to solve the problem between the pipes and the defence has looked porous throughout the preseason.

    • theartfuldodger

      Remember last year when Elliot was great in pre-season then sucked? Last year Colorado was unbeaten in pre-season, then sucked. Pre-season literally means nothing. Be patient and wait 10 games.

    • L.Kolkind

      Lol we thought Lack and Smith would be better? Maybe your rose coloured glasses thought Smith and Lack would be decent. Smith is 35 and Lack was one of the worst goalies in the NHL the past two seasons. Betting on them to be better than Elliot and Johnson was insane. That Smith trade will look even worse next year when Gilles should be in the NHL but Treliving commited to a soon to be retired goalie and one that shouldn’t be guaranteed a roster spot or any spot close to the NHL the way he has played the last 2 seasons. Gilles or Rittitch should have been battling for the backup spot this year.

    • supra steve

      “When we got Lack and Smith we actually thought we were better off in net than we were with Elliot and Johnson. I think most people realize that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

      Preseason. People that deduce anything from preseason are easily fooled.

        • BringtheFire 2.0

          Actually, it isn’t. For example:

          Smith: “I think I’ll try more of an open butterfly this game, just to see.”

          * let’s in two goals five hole *

          Smith: “I have decided to stop the more open butterfly experiment.”

      • Kevin R

        Noticed Anderson got extended for 2 years in Ottawa, avg 4.8mill per year. He’s 36 years old. Smith & what he is paid is pretty reasonable. Gilles will be backing up Smith either at some point this year or next year for sure unless Parsons or Riitch do amazing things in Stockton. People would complain if they had Scotty Bowman as GM in his prime. If we brought in Raanta or Darling people would complain why bother drafting goalies & not giving the young guys a chance. Bringing in Lack & Smith is obviously all about giving our young guys a chance. It’s hard to read these boards sometimes LOL.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Would be great to see Andersson make the team but can’t see it happening. Lazar has looked awful and has played his way right into the press box. Jankowski has looked great at times he deserves to be on the team, hopefully on the third line.

  • buts

    Hathaway with Bennett and Versteeg …. Janko between Glass and Stajan and sit Brouwer, Hamilton as extras. Kulak with Anderson as the 6th and 7th. Sit Bart. Send Lazar, Gazdic and Gillies down. I’d be shopping for a scoring winger now.

  • Oilerchild77

    Seeing how well Andersson has played in the preseadon, do you think a trade involving Stone is possible to make room for him? After all, Stone is an RHD which evetybody seems to want these days and the Flames could recover one of their picks back for him and maybe a prospect if Treliving can talk them into it.

    • Skylardog

      Andersson has outplayed Stone in the preseason. If you go with the top 3 RHD, Stone is the odd man out and in the popcorn seats on Wednesday. Will it happen – no.

      • Fan the Flames

        It won’t happen because Andersson will get greater value playing 25 minutes in all situations in Stockton versus playing 8 minutes in sheltered situations in Calgary or spending time in the popcorn seats.

    • L.Kolkind

      Stone was a bad trade and other GM’s will see that the reason we need Stone gone is that we already have Andersson who looks much better than Stone. If we are able to get a 4th back that’s great but don’t expect too much for a bottom pairing defense that is getting beat out of a roster spot.

  • Flaming1

    SUPRA… you talk about flipping the switch? It’s one thing if a team had a history of playing great. We finished off last season on a terrible skid to having to end up facing Anaheim, and we all know what happened after that. You don’t want to judge the future by what happened in the preseason but many were willing to call us division champs and cup contenders after us going out and signing and trading for guys that have been coming off sub par years.
    Let’s win a few games before we are anointed as Champs. Go Flames go!

    • supra steve

      So explain then, how does the level of play magically increase when the season starts, if the players are not “flipping a switch”?

      Also, you have not seen a single post from me declaring the Flames will be Champs, or that their summer acquisitions will rocket them to the top of the league.

      Kind of funny that you say “Let’s win a few games before we are anointed as Champs.” when it seems you are already preparing to throw in the towel on the season, because of preseason results. So, “based on what we’ve seen so far I think we are gonna get steamrolled in the first game”, and yet “Let’s win a few games before we are anointed as Champs.”. I agree more with that second quote, because “what we’ve seen so far” tells me nothing about how the Flames 2017/18 season will unfold, and that even includes game one vs. the Oliers.

    • BendingCorners

      SUPRA is right. The vets don’t crank it up until the games mean something and most of the camp attendees were only here for Brad and Glen to have a look-see. We’ve known the likely roster since early July and nobody has come in and blown the doors off so the roster is going to be pretty much as expected. We need another quality RW but there isn’t one in camp. The only question marks are the #14 forward and the #8 defenceman – which one (if either) does the team keep on opening night?
      I was a little hard on TJ in my comments after the Vancouver game, but I’ve calmed down. He should be better when the games matter. Even a slow start wouldn’t be the end of the world – the old Montreal teams of the 60’s and 70’s spent the first 5-10 games of the real season tuning up before winning the Cup.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    If Janko is anywhere but on the starting line up for the game against the Oilers….they will lose me. I will become an Oiler fan for a day in protest….ok not a fan but I won’t belittle an Oiler troll on FN…. Baby steps.

    I will be disappointed in the Club if they take the easy way out and send Janko to the AHL because he is waiver exempt…. what else does the guy have to do. I read an article where GG said Stajan is the 4C and since Janko has not been tried at wing so does he sit so Glass can play.

    • Cheeky

      You know if GG wants to die on the hill of Stajan/Bartowski/Glass so be it. Thought when we brought him in he was supposed to be a forward thinking coach (so BT and Conny all said). Preseason aside, if those useless prementioned players start game 1 and Janko/Ras are sent down, GG is no better than Burke…

  • freethe flames

    Trying to stick to the article: Gilles has really been given a shot so it seems like a lock that Lack gets the backup job.(Rittich by all accounts was excellent last night as the Heat win 4-2).
    Andersson has been the best of the 4 other defencemen but it is more likely he gets sent down because he is waiver eligible. I doubt that Bart would get claimed but as frequently said coaches like vets even if the vets suck.
    If for some other reason than illness or injury Janko does not play in the home opener then there is something wrong with GG and BT. He has been one of the better forwards; period. This team has not addressed it’s lack of talent at forward and until it upgrades over “The Burden”, Lazar (or he lives up to BT expectations) this team will struggle. I watched the post practice interview with “The Burden” and it seems he has no clue that one of the greatest problems on this team is his lack of effort. He is supposed to be a leader and maybe he is off the ice but his credibility wears thin if he says one thing and then does another thing.

    • Pizzaman

      If these last practices and tonight’s game are truly objective assessments for the coaches then the bubble players have to stand out to stay. Based on the Pre-season (yes boys and girls-it’s a tell) Jankowski and Glass will rise to the occasion. Andersson has to make a bigger statement to stay. Kulak, Lazar and Hathaway won’t show consistent with Pre-season. Bart is Bart and will be his middling 7th D self. Remains to be seen if coach uses the results wisely. Last year I was with the Great WW on GG’s decisions on player usage. The next 10 games will tell if GG learned anything from last year.

    • OYYC

      I’ve watched interviews with “The Burden” as well. He sounds like an assistant coach, not a player. There is a complete disconnect between what the fans see, and what management sees in Brouwer. According to GG, Brouwer shouldn’t be disappointed with last year, he was brought in for other (leadership?) reasons as well. Brouwer actually said that he’d liked to have scored a couple more goals, but he gave no indication in his mind that last season was a disaster.

      At the end of last season, Brouwer finally made it to the 4th line. It looked like GG had finally seen the light – then he played Brouwer on the PP in the playoffs! This year I figured there’s no way that Brouwer won’t be starting on the 4th line. But it sure looks like the great coaching guru Glen Gulutzan plans to put Brouwer back with Bennett and Versteeg – that was a trio that clearly didn’t work last year.

      “The Burden” this year in pre-season looks even slower than he did last year. He brings nothing to the table, and yet GG want to try him again with Bennett. Bennett who GG figures will have a breakout season. How is that even possible if he’s still got Brouwer as a winger?

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        “I’ve watched interviews with “The Burden” as well. He sounds like an assistant coach, not a player.”

        Well said. I honestly think that until he proves himself his words are meaningless, ultimately.

  • Off the wall

    After reading GG comments yesterday, I believe we may be very disappointed in what our lineup looks like come Oct 4.

    He has stated that Stajan’s role will not change from last year, he will be 4th line centre and PK specialist. Average 10-12 minutes a night.

    Where does this leave Jankowski? He’s a centre, all other centre positions are spoken for. Monahan, Backlund, Bennett, Stajan.

    Jankowski deserves to be on this team! I’m so disappointed, I’m speechless. Do they try him on a wing? Probably not.

    If they can’t make room for prospects who have shown they deserve to be here, why do we need to have a preseason? Prospects never get a chance, cuz everything is pre-determined. I absolutely disagree with this mentality.
    GG says we need to flip the switch, anyone tell him he needs to do the same with our deserving prospects?

    I hope I’m wrong, but my guy has a horrible feeling about this.

    If Jankowski doesn’t make this team, imma be very pissed!

      • Off the wall

        Oilerchild, your young prospects are given the chance. Yamamoto will probably get his 9 cups of coffee. Deservedly so!

        We are still in the dark ages of usage…

          • Kevin R

            Pleeeease….just stop it……. If we sucked you would go out & celebrate just like I celebrated every time we had kicked your Oiler holes all the way up to Fort Mac. Could care less about any BOA as long as we pounded you clowns. If you guys beat the p!$$ out of us you would just consider the BOA as done & won.

    • Just.Visiting

      Just read today’s article in the Herald in which it’s clear that GG’s vision is that Stajan continue to be the number 4 centre. So, options for Janko after THAT CAMP would appear to be: (i) to sit in press box to be rotated in and out as things progress; (ii) to play at C and shift Bennett to the wing even though Bennett wasn’t used at wing during camp; (iii) to shift to the wing and play somewhere (4th line or higher?), even though there was no apparent effort to prepare Janko for wing at camp; (iv) to trade him at a point in time when we have very little idea what we have and potentially to get only cents on the dollar as part of a package for a name; or (vi) to send him down. Once again, Janko will be highly polarizing, but for a completely different reason than had historically been the case.

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        Man I’m reading this particular thread and it’s looking pretty scary. You guys are making some great points about usage that I’m thinking about about but can’t really ee how you guys are wrong. I never considered Janko not making the team until now.

        If that doesn’t happen…well, that’s a franchise fail, isn’t it?

    • Squishin

      It has seemed from his interviews that Glen Gulutzan doesn’t really like Jankowski. Like every question he is asked about Janko he just responds with “yeah, he’s doing some good things” in a very non-committal way. I believe Jankowski has been one of the best Flames players through the pre-season, and he deserves a legitimate shot to make our group better.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Doesn’t like Jankowski or doesn’t trust him? Janko has played 1 NHL regular season game. There is no book on the kid at this level. Let the media, fans and his teammates pump the tires of Janko, but GG is in the winning business and Janko is an unproven NHL commodity.

  • MontanaMan

    I see many teams giving young guys a chance and ensuring that they have speed throughout the lineup. The game today versus even three years ago is apples and oranges with speed and puck movement being critical to success. The Flames have been slow to embrace this concept. It’s difficult to pull off on defence with some of the younger, faster d-men as they can get burned often and need seasoning in the AHL but I would take chances on wingers like Poirier as there’s less risk and opens a spot for speed and youth. Tre and GG need to embrace this change or they will get left in the dust.

  • Pizzaman

    I would also argue that this years camp has not had the standout player that we saw a few years ago with Monny, Gaudreau, Chucky last year. Janko has been decent, Versteeg too, Bennett had one good game, Monny/Gautreau looks better, but who has stood out really? Nobody in goal vet or otherwise, nobody on D vets or newbies, and bottom 6, nah. And when MMM line looks rusty, good grief..when an individual kicks the doors open in Pre-season (as opposed to the team performance ) that’s when we get excited. So far meh.

    • Skylardog

      Janko has been good enough, and so has Andersson. A few others had good games, but re a bit short of what they need to play at the NHL level (Dube and Lomberg).

      Janko has been better than all but 2 or 3 veterans. Andersson has outplayed Stone, Bart, Kulak, and near equal to Hamilton, Gio (who will be ready to go Wednesday) and Hamonic. Brodie has been good offensively, but made a few mistakes defensively. I honestly can’t think of a single Andersson defensive gaff, although I am sure he has made one.

  • Off the wall

    Our BURDEN comments yesterday:

    “There’s no panic – if this was regular season, maybe there would be a little bit, but we all know we’ve got a lot more to give,” said another Flames veteran, Troy Brouwer, of the latest letdown.

    “Nobody in here is worried.

    “You don’t want to blow it out of proportion and make it bigger than it is. It’s still exhibition, and so it’s a time you’re supposed to learn and grow and be able to play good solid hockey after that. So a little glitch like that is probably a good thing to have now. Correct it (Saturday) night and go.”

    Can I “glitch” Brouwer to the moon?
    He better start skating the talk, getting tired of his complacent comments.
    More to give? Yah that sounds about right… how about you show us ok?!

  • freethe flames

    Tonights projected line up:
    Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Micheal Ferland

    Matthew Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Michael Frolik

    Kris Versteeg – Sam Bennett – Troy Brouwer

    Tanner Glass – Mark Jankowski – Curtis Lazar


    Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton

    TJ Brodie – Travis Hamonic

    Matt Bartkowski – Michael Stone
    Smith in net

    “The Burden” talked about having a lot more to give. Maybe tonight he can prove it.

  • Stockton's Finest

    So I think Andersson, Gillies, and Gazdic will be sent to Stockton. Glass will be cut, or sent to the A.

    Bart should be cut, but will wind up dining regularly on popcorn.

    Hathaway and Jankowski will stick (and better stay). Both have showed their worth.

    Maybe try to coax Patrick Roy out of retirement and coach this team? GG is best suited for an AHL job. At best.

    • freethe flames

      Two of those three would make your games much better. If both Janko and Hathaway stick you likely see one of FHamilton or Lazar; again more depth for the Heaat at center. Are you going on the road trip? Do the games get covered on the radio?

  • Trevy

    The sad reality is that nothing will change, despite these so called last chances for some players mentioned above. We all know that Lack will be back up despite Gillies being the better goalie. We all know that Andersson outperformed both Bartkowski and Kulak, yet he’s a righty and because of that will be sent down. And we all know that the remaining forwards, besides Gazdic, outplayed Lazar yet he will be playing on opening night. We also know Brouwer doesn’t belong with Bennett, yet there he is again playing on Bennett’s right side. Treliving did a great job in the off season to make improvements and bring in players to improve and compete, whereas GG seems to like familiarity and that, to me, says he’s afraid to take chances or make bold moves. Reality is, we’ll be marginally better because not much has changed

      • Trevy

        Ok, lets see…he stabilized the core with great contracts, brought in Versteeg at a steal, managed to sway Foo to come here in stead of Edm, did an admirable job at drafting and solidified the defense to the point where most sports analyst believe it’s one of the best. Let’s not forget the Hamilton trade too. Despite what a lot of people think, Smith was the best option in goal given his experience, cost and contract. As someone earlier said, if we went with one of the other younger goalies on the market, people would of lost their minds at what we would of had to pay and what would that signal to someone like Gillies? Sure he’s made some mistakes, but come on, what GM hasn’t and some of those mistakes are still present that’s handcuffing this team. Unfortunately, I don’t know if GG has the guts to mix things up

      • supra steve

        You can’t always get what you want.
        In the last year the Flames have added 2 experienced tenders and 2 right handed top 6 NHL D men, and right handed NHL D men are not very easy to get.
        You are correct that they were unable to add a bunch of forward talent, specifically a top line RW. Who would you suggest he should he have went after, and what should he have been prepared to pay?

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      To be Fair to Lazar, he was given S#!t for line mates All preseason, He looked pretty darn good on wing with Bennett and Versteeg in the playoffs. Once again it come down to Piss-poor judgment on player usage and line juggling, when your more worried about LHS/RHS Vs Chemistry~> That is The Problem!

      • Just.Visiting

        I had initially thought that Lazar would end up as the 4th line C with Brouwer on RW and Stajan switched to LW and Janko playing up the lineup-perhaps with the Mikes and having Tkachuk play with Sam and Versteeg so that we could roll three strong lines-you know like a team that is serious about being a contender. That would give Lazar a fair chance to develop in a sheltered role.

        From what I saw and heard, Lazar basically showed nothing in camp, unlike Dube who seems like a strong candidate to make the team next year due to his combination of skill, speed and heart.

        The best asset management for Lazar at this stage might be to send him down to Stockton and give him lots of minutes to enable him to try to attain his potential. If he doesn’t clear waivers, he’d be a tweener with another team for the year and life goes on…Based on camp, there’s a high probability he’d clear.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Odd Player usage, Stubborn LHS/RHS match ups, a poor to useless Defensive game plan that leaves the goalies hung out to dry… Prospects getting shafted and “veterans given – never earned”.. Whats not to get excited about… Preseason is just ending and I’m already starting to not care! Lets hope GG Surprises Everyone and makes some Bold, New and Smart Decisions Involving All of the Above! LOL Yeah Right!

    • Jobu

      Jobu’s managerial word of wisdom #15: The higher the cost of a player the more the franchise will justify that cost, even at the expense of “the best” option. This voodoo isn’t just Calgary – it’s everywhere – In every business.

  • WillyWonka

    I’m starting to get this feeling that Jagr ends up in Calgary, the longer it takes to get an NHL job, the better it looks for Flames chances.

    i was initially against the idea, but now i would love to see Jagr play with Bennett, drop Brouwer down to the 4th line where he can demonstrate leadership

  • MarbledBlueCheese

    The “he’s played games in the NHL so he must be a better option” argument is confirmation bias. Objectively and via the eye test Bartkowski is not good–even if he had won the Norris in the past. It’s thinking like this that keeps Brouwer on the third line (he’s been a leader in the past, he’s been good in the past), making coaches forget that in the present the person has no business playing.

    Play the rookie with upside. Worse case scenario=he’s as bad as Bartkowski.

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Live in the past and fear the future should be the years “Theme” But Hey! at least with the Vets you know what mistakes and flaws they have! I guess that is better(sarcasm) than the “unknown” that a budding prospect “might” make! So Frustrating!

    • Just.Visiting

      Brouwer could be as eloquent as Obama in the room, but he needs to show leadership through example on the ice or the words have no weight. Elite athletes tend to be very self-aware, and the things he says in interviews lead me to believe that he is not at all self-aware of how indifferent his play looks.