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Well, it looks like Bettman is at it again? Up to his neck in full-blown denial and outright Semitic arrogance for the suffering goy!
Maybe he comes by hatred honestly?
At NHL events like the 2015-16 NHL draft where fans booed Bettman relentlessly, he stands at the podium regardless, ignorant in his open defiance, proving to every hockey fan that what they think or feel just doesn’t matter to him. Head bent back, he arrogantly stares down his nose at reporters during press conferences. He is reminiscent of a Napoleonic ruler with the little man complex. The only way this sort of little man can look down on anyone is by exploiting and controlling their environment despite how many people are negatively impacted by their actions. He outrageously denies obvious facts (CTE links to NHL concussive injuries). His denial is an attempt to avoid liability claims suffered by victims and their families. A true demonstration of his inability to feel emotion or show concern for others. When I see him doing these things I feel like Billy Jack in that movie store scene where ... “I just go berserk!”
Is it just me? Or does everyone else just want to smash his face in?
The NHL says the litigation is without merit and that players should have “put two and two together” about the possible long-term health problems caused by repeated head trauma.
The NHL here means Bettman obviously.
This statement just has that Bettman arrogance written all over it!
This statement also demonstrates an iconic and persistent callous attitude by which the NHL maintains disregard for any concern attached to it’s business liabilities in the course of it’s money making madness.
“Without merit” is damaging demonstrable evidence against the NHL. This term undermines litigant claims while implying NHL innocence in the matter of player suffering and deaths. I am sure the appointed judge will not agree that there is no merit in this litigation. It is damning to the NHL when “no merit” is used in combination with the the phraseology of “put two and two together “.
What an utterly insensitive and stupid remark. In light of the suffering and death that has resulted from the long term effects from repeated concussive injuries (CTE) experienced by players during NHL games, only an unfeeling lunatic would deny the obvious. This ludicrous statement is clearly an unconscious admission of guilt by the NHL that it has put two and two together so why can’t the players? Denying is not the same as innocence!
The arrogant fool is just fortifying the players litigation. Demonstrating open contempt can only come back to bite the NHL later on. At least, I hope it does! The NHL deserves to experience some payback for the misconduct it fosters willingly against others.
Putting two and two together is different for the players than it is for the NHL.
The NHL had knowledge garnered through their resources about the long term effects of head trauma long before the litigation started. This prior knowledge the NHL never fully disclosed to players. So how can anyone put things together when facts are withheld from the body requiring that knowledge to make an informed decision about such things.
The players are disadvantaged. They are too busy playing and suffering injuries to match equivocal resources similar to those generated in the plush offices of NHL executives. With the players mindset focused on training and games it is not fair to expect them to also expend as much energy into matters of head trauma research as does their NHL counterparts. There is just only so much time in a day. Most of a players time is spent fueling the NHL machine which only wants to grind them to pieces in business dealings and legal litigation's. When you hear someone say, “it’s a business”, get out the lube cause you know what is coming next!
The players do what they do. They play hockey. They trust in the system to protect them, not manipulate and abuse them. What the players should be putting together is that the NHL and its executives are not to be trusted! Hopefully this important point can be grasped by even the most concussed player. Making a proper decision about what to do about the NHL misconduct is much harder than learning who to trust. When the NHL hides and denies the facts about head injuries and the imminent side effects that generates long term for players then trust is broken. The NHL bottom line doesn’t suffer, the players do. Note that suffering is preserved for the player who is too disadvantaged to cope with the betrayal.
The players put two and two together through the experience of suffering.
The dead rely on surviving family members to do the putting.
The NHL put two and two together from the safety of their plush offices paid for in blood by the players. From within the confines of expensive boardrooms, the NHL orders head trauma research that others do for them. The NHL executives realize that research points to trouble for the league so the response is to hide and deny in preparation for the litigation the NHL knew would come as a result of NHL liability in the matter. The NHL preserves in secrecy for what they know will hurt them. The NHL head trauma research provides knowledge, strategy, and advantage over the player. If the player were to match this tactical wrangling they would need more time in the day to afford them such opportunity and luxury. Unfortunately that is not reality and the litigants or their family members struggle for justice despite the imbalance of fairness.
The families of deceased players put two and two together through autopsies of brains obtained after the death of sons! From beyond, the victims speak an undeniable truth in the matter!
Unbelievable remarks like “no merit” and “put two and two together” by the NHL reflect a psychopathic mindset that is devoid of emotion or the concern and safety of others. The NHL and certain specific NHL representatives should face criminal prosecution to the full extent of the law for any possible complicity in withholding information that could have prevented deaths and head injury to players. Just winning a compensatory judgment simply does not go far enough in obtaining justice. Nor would winning any compensation be enough to install a strong enough deterrent that would prevent the NHL from incurring the will to commit further attempts at abuse and misconduct in it’s business dealings. Money is too easy for the NHL to come by but time spent free to enjoy all that green is more precious than money itself. Take away that freedom and the volition to repeat is less likely if one has the experience of incarceration weighing heavily upon their minds.
"It is what it is," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "Injuries are a part of our game.
That is such a current open admission of fore-knowledge from an NHL employee that “injuries” (concussive head injuries are specifically referenced indirectly here) are part of the game! Are you paying attention Bettman? An NHL insider (an active NHL coach) is breaking the ‘code of silence’ about head injuries being a part of the game. Common knowledge among fans. Common knowledge among obvious NHL insiders. Common knowledge that Bettman ignorantly denies openly.
Crosby, who had partaken in only two practices in training camp since returning from the World Cup of Hockey, suffered the concussion during last Friday's practice session.
Crosby, who previously suffered a concussion in 2011 ...
Crosby missed 61 consecutive games between the 2010-11 and '11-12 seasons due to a concussion and neck injury suffered in the 2011 Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2011. He returned to the lineup 11 months later on Nov. 21 against the NY Islanders ... He was sidelined again in early December with a concussion until returning for good mid-March.
Repetitive concussive injuries are part of the game? Yes they happen repetitively but to link repetitive concussions as “part of the game” like scoring or passing the puck is just ludicrous. It does however say something about the prevailing attitude within which players must navigate if they are to survive free of part of the game injuries. Concussions happen but they are not part of the game and this type of mentality should never be fostered.
What is to be the final destiny of Sidney Crosby and the long term effects he will suffer as a result of claims he may eventually have that the NHL will deem are without merit? This is just one player and just one proven example of NHL play and practice linked to concussions (CTE is part and parcel of this link. It is only nascent in how long exposure of the problem has been in open forum. It is not nascent in terms of how long this has been a problem linked to NHL play, practice and fighting).
How Bettman can be so ignorantly deniable in light of such current and open admissions is pathetic and borderline criminal in the attempt to evade prosecution from liability.
Concussive injuries (CTE) is NHL causal in nature and has been since before Bettmans tenure as NHL representative! Deny all you want Bettman. It just shows us what a worm you really are.
Ironic that the concussion protocols the NHL are employing come via external pressures, else there would be no merit in protecting Crosby from anything according to Bettman. There would be no protocols otherwise. ‘The kid’ should be thankful that injuries of this type are being taken more seriously now by other’s, even if the NHL is in full-blown denial of its liabilities in this area of functioning! At least there is someone out there fighting for the rights and safety of those who are ill-equipped to defend themselves under the grip of the mighty NHL power structure. Someone is out there fighting for the rights of concussed players who may not be mentally equipped to fight for themselves.
In respect to the litigation there should be some show of solidarity from current NHL players for the plight of the litigants of players over NHL liability. Gross negligence which fosters injury and death as a result of concussions suffered during NHL games, practices and fights should surely be opposed openly in a show of solidarity. The current players should at least challenge the NHL to openly acknowledge what is common knowledge among fans, players, and coaches. The NHL is at least guilty of propagating a violent display in the severity of checking and fighting for the purpose of catering to entertainment value within the league as a selling feature to draw new fans and which was used to help keep existing ones. Current players should force this issue down the throats of the NHL and its executives until the NHL cannot breath or come up for air. Do your part to help fight the abuse and denial which is rampant in the minds of the NHL executives. To have the NHL acknowledge it’s complicity in propagating unsafe conditions is only fair, right and just. Any proactive endeavor by current players to leverage support for the players litigation will help to overthrow the injustice brazenly practiced by the NHL. Solidarity endeavors is not only warranted, it’s necessary!
With regards to Crosby as a present example, the NHL demonstrates an intolerable ignorance denying CTE link that is presently unfolding right before our eyes.
In the past the NHL diligently fostered injured players to continue competing regardless of injury. It was bred into the player psyche and fed a constant stream of support for ignoring the injury. The hidden knowledge of head trauma deprived the concussed player of proper information which would enable the player to form proper decisions regarding their future health risks. Even now, with the information that exists and the outrageous deniability by the NHL of the link between repeated concussive injuries (CTE) and long term side effects taint the decision making process of a great star, Crosby. Playing regardless is bred so deep into his psyche that the unthinkable of not playing distorts his decision making process. As well, his love for the game blinds him to a future fraught with possible suicidal ideation as a potential side effect of concussive injuries. "Putting two and two together" is sometimes not a decision that a concussed player can make properly.
This litigation is of utmost importance in propagating a safer condition for all NHL athletes, past, present and future, and at all levels of play in the field of ice hockey! Therefore current players should stand up for what is right and show support for the players litigation! Failing to do so is like cutting their own throats by demonstrating complicity through their silence. This litigation is for the safety of all hockey players. If the NHL wants to gain financially from their product on ice then let the NHL be accountable for all facets of its liabilities. Public denials in the media and comments made demonstrating the NHL’s open disdain for the humans suffering under the umbrella of NHL ignorance deserves some opposition from current players. Nothing short of full support for fallen comrades and for those who are presently suffering from concussive symptoms is imperative.
As has been the case in the NFL, repeated hits to the head in hockey can cause brain injuries, like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease that leads to suicidal thoughts and erratic behavior. But unlike the NFL, which has been heavily criticized for its handling of concussions on the field, the NHL won’t acknowledge the risk of CTE.
The science regarding C.T.E., including on the asserted “link” to concussions that you reference, remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes C.T.E. and whether it can be diagnosed by specific clinical symptoms… The relationship between concussions and the asserted clinical symptoms of C.T.E. remains unknown. ~Bettman
This statement is the whole of Bettmans manipulation of the justice being sought by victims of CTE/ repetitive concussive injuries received while in engaged in NHL games, practices, fights. Raise doubt and win regardless of who suffers, right?
Bettman is not concerned with the science. He only twists that reference when it is advantageous to his argument. This is typical lawyer wrangling and nothing more. There is big bucks involved and this reference to science is merely a lawyer manipulation for the sake of winning at all costs. The players pay all the costs with their lives and their health to support the lavish lifestyles that the NHL executives enjoy with impunity from prosecution in their misconduct.
Hypocrisy. Evidence of the NHL “putting two and two together”.
Fear of emails being made public. What do you have to hide? Emails leaving someone feeling exposed? If emails prove something then the evidence should NEVER be hidden from scrutiny under law! Not for any reason!
Number of litigants grow. Evidence that this is bigger than Bettman would like the public to know.
What a world we live in? Life means nothing! Money is most important!
As long as the Bettman’s of this world continue to control and manipulate freely then all hope is lost.
If people will not strongly oppose injustice then they may just as well lay down right now and accept their fate.
In light of all this NHL insanity, it makes me wonder just what it is that fans are really supporting?
The love of hockey is a blinder to the greater problems existing within the sport.
The greater things that hides just outside of the present circle of peoples reference are just not important enough and therefore the loss is imminent?
Personally. I just want to smash him in the face!
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The Calgary Flames have done an admirable job of improving their prospect pool over the past three seasons. A simple comparison of the 2010 vs the 2013 development camp rosters should be proof enough. But what does that mean to a Flames team with roster gaps at all positions? The Flames aren't looking for their prospect pool to fill in a few gaps or to provide a successor-ship plan for aging players. The Flames are going through a full scale rebuild and need help at every position.
Most Flames fans are excited about their prospects. For example, many are ready to declare a 2015 top six resembling:
Is that a realistic expectation though?
A prospects chance of success?
Johnathan Willis with Leafs Nation consolidated a number of articles measuring the chances of a draft pick being successful. You can also peruse the various NHL drafts through the Hockey DB to see how many draft picks play a meaningful number of NHL games (and how productive those games were).
Keep in mind:
- The majority of NHL drafted players do not play a meaningful number of NHL games
- The chances of drafted players producing in a top line role are very small
- The chances of a prospect being successful reduce dramatically outside the top 5 picks and are reduced again outside of the top 30
In other words manage expectations accordingly. Despite the excitement level around some of our prospects many of them won't make the NHL and for those that do many of them will be limited to depth roles.
Edmonton Oiler fan's have previously been ready to declare the rebuild as complete rallying behind the Gagner's, Petry's, Paajarvi's, and Cogliano's. Clearly those players didn't meet fans expectations.
What is a top line player?
This is an often debated question. If there are 30 teams in the NHL there must be 30 'top-line' players correct? Let me suggest this: the expectation is to build a Stanley Cup contending team. So there is a difference between a player that can play top line versus a player that excels on the top line.
For the purpose of projecting a player as a 'top line' player I ask the question: Is this player projected to be in the top 15 at their position compared to other NHL players? You can argue that Tyler Bozak or Paul Stastny are top line Cs based on their role and the minutes they play but they don't compare to Crosby and Toews,
Things to keep in mind
- The principle used above for the top line extends to all other lines as well. Just because a player can play the second line (as an example) doesn't mean they are cut out to play that position on a contending team.
- Just because I have a player projected to a certain line doesn't mean they won't exceed the projection. But for the Flames they can't overestimate their prospects and hope they get lucky. They need to be realistic about where their gaps are.
- Most prospects drafted outside of the top 5 don't project as top line players immediately following the draft. It takes a season or two for prospects to elevate their projection by proving what they can do. Given how young the Flames top prospects some may elevate their projection going forward.
- As this is intended to evaluate the long term gaps of the Flames rather then the actual prospect system I have included any player who still has RFA status
- I am projecting players at their natural position though it is possible that the Flames can move players (i.e. C to W)
- I am ignoring handedness for this projection (LW vs RW, LD vs RD) as players are generally interchangeable.
- I am using a 'traffic light' color scale to represent the gap at each position.
Positions Needed: 1
Projected Prospects: 0
Currently the Flames do not have any prospects projected to be top 15 C's in the NHL. Players like Monahan or Jankowski may develop into top line C's but right now are more comfortably projected for the 2-line.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 1 (Gaudreau)
Many will argue that Baertschi deserves to be in this category. He may very well project to be a top 30 winger in the NHL. However, right now the only player I am comfortable projecting at that level is John Gaudreau (who has high bust potential).
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 0
The Flame lack any marquee D prospects. Only TJ Brodie is close to showing he can play in a top 2 role and he projects as a player that can spend some time there but not be a top 30D in the NHL.
Positions Needed: 1
Projected Prospects: 3 (Monahan, Jankowski, Granlund)
The Flames have strong depth at this position. Jankowski and Granlund are both still long shots to make the NHL but Monahan looks like a solid contender to be a strong 2-line C.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 3 (Baertschi, Poirier, Klimchuk)
The Flames should be comfortable penciling Baertschi into a future 2-line role. However, the other two prospects still have a lot to prove before being considered legitimate NHL candidates.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 3 (Brodie, Wotherspoon, Culkin)
Similar to wing the Flames have one prospect (Brodie) that they can rely on in the future. Again, the remaining two players still need to prove their NHL value. However, the Flames do have a high number of 3-line project D prospects who may elevate their projection.
Positions Needed: 1
Projected Prospects: 4 (Knight, Horak, Backlund, Arnold)
The Flames have four solid prospects who project to be strong 3-line C's in the future.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 2 (Agostino, Galiardi)
The Flames lack depth at this position. Fortunately Galiardi is proven in the NHL already and Agostino has a high likelihood of reaching his projection.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 10 (Ramage, Butler, Russell, Billins, Sieloff, Cundari, Breen, Roy, Kulak, Kanzig)
The Flames are rich in bottom pairing defense prospects. Hopefully some of these prospects can surpass their projection and be impact players on a higher line.
Positions Needed: 1
Projected Prospects: 2 (Reinhart, Bouma)
Fourth line C are not difficult to acquire and the Flames have a couple of good candidates in the system.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 3 (Elson, Hanowski, Harrison)
The Flames lack depth at this position with 3 mostly unproven prospects. That said finding fourth line wingers outside of your prospect system isn't usually a problem.
Positions Needed: 2
Projected Prospects: 4 (Gilles, Brossoit, Ortio, Berra)
On one hand the Flames have four players to fill two positions so are relatively deep at this position. On the other hand finding prospects that develop into starting goalies are very difficult to find. Gilles might be the Flames best bet to be a top 15 NHL goalie, but he has a long way to go to prove he can play in the NHL.
I left this position at yellow due to a lack of near NHL ready highly ranked prospects.
The Flames have made strong improvements to their prospect system and have built a respectable pool of prospects filling gaps from the 2-line down. But they need to find top line defense and forward talent. Either through younger prospects improving their projections, by acquiring new prospects by draft or trade, or external to their prospect system. They could also use more security in net.
A lot of fans are hoping the Flames draft in the top 5 for the next couple of season. Although I don't advocate losing that is the most certain way of finding top line prospects.
The rebuild is just started folks. I am happy to see an improvement to the prospect pool. But the Flames still need more prospects. And they need time to develop players and get them NHL experience before they can comfortably assess what they have.
Barring a LOT of luck this is probably going to be a long and bumpy road.
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- The majority of NHL drafted players do not play a meaningful number of NHL games
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My mom was a true Calgary Flames fan. For the last 25 years, whether they were winning or losing, she never let anyone say anything bad about them and get away with it. She went to as many games as she possibly could and did what she could not to miss watching a game at home. Yesterday May 1st 2013 after an 8 year battle with ovarian cancer the Calgary Flames lost a true Fan, A fan so dedicated that she even requested to be barried in her jersey. She was truely amazing and the strongest woman I ever knew. She was a fighter down to the very last day. She is greatly missed and will never be forgotten.
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I have never had the pleasure to meet the hockey player known as Jarome Igina. He does not know my name, my story, where I come from, and could walk past me on the street and think nothing of it. Since the trade, I’ve been asking myself why I feel emotion for a player that I never met and at the end of the day just a hockey player? Growing up in Kelowna I had the pleasure to watch Jarome for the first time when he played with the Kamloops Blazers. I got to see a player who could combine speed, skill, and strength with a burning desire to win. His passion for the game was second to none and it was just my luck that he eventually came to play for my favorite team. I have been a Flames fan since I can remember and will remain one forever and consider myself lucky to have had the pleasure to watch Jarome. I’d love to be able to pinpoint a specific memory in my mind that stands out in Jarome’s hockey career but how do you differentiate them? We all remember “The shift”, but that could be Jarome on any given night. He had such a unique ability to without being asked just say, “come with me guys, I’ve got this” and you would see him do it. I think I’ve lost count on how many games I’ve been to or seen where he just put the team on his back and led them on, victory or no victory, he was there and his passion was evident. That type of passion is what helps makes sports what they are and part of the reason I love sports.
I love sports, not just hockey, and not just love them but I believe in them. For me, sports are not just a game or a competition they are an arena, an arena of life. Sports can take you inside a game, a community or town, or even a person to show you not just a player but a person or a hero. In today’s day and age players come and go, more frequently go, that you never see people anymore. They are numbers in your programs that a few nights a week entertain you only to be out of the picture almost as soon as they enter. Once in a while, if you are lucky, a player will transcend to the point that you have a sense of personal pride knowing that they are part of your life. For me, that person was Jarome Iginla. He made me proud to wear his jersey, proud to have his poster on my wall because you always knew that whether things were bad or good you had a great person to admire. Not only was he a great hockey player and one that could bring you out of your seat, he was as good a person. He was not just a Calgary Flame or a hockey player; he was a person and not just any person but a person worth admiring. That is not something that comes along very often today, but it’s someone that can really re-establish someone’s belief in the power of sport.
I doubt very much that he will ever read this and I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance to tell him this or share with him just what exactly he has meant to me or even just get to say thank you, but here I go. Thank you Jarome. Thank you not just for what you did on the ice and your passion you brought to this game and this team for so long but thank you for what you did off the ice. Most importantly, thank you for being a constant reminder of what it truly means to be an athlete and for allowing a kid like me to keep his belief in the purity of sports. You deserve success in your future endeavours and I wish you all the best. No one deserves a cup more than you.
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[indentTwo games in and back to back. The Flames have shown marked improvement in the first two games of this the Lockout shortened 48 Game Season. With the next tilt coming Wednesday in Vancouver what is next for the Flames? What can we take away as fans from the previous two games? First of all with barely a training camp some new additions and a new coach and system I feel the Flames are just on the verge of putting it together. Second this is not the whole puzzle there are yet some pieces to be added in the form of Roman Cevenka, and Jiri Hudler.The San Jose Sharks came in prepared, virtually the same team iced a year ago and the same system with some tweaks. Big Bodies strong to the net we have seen and heard it before. The Flames came out on Fire! pressuring all over the ice and perhaps just burnt out falling into the second and third. The potential however was evident from the drop of the puck that the Flames are Faster and more skilled than we have seen in recent years. They are not big but they are gritty and determined.Anaheim, game Two, improving upon the 20 mins of solid sustained inspiring Hockey from the San Jose Game the Flames put a solid 40 min effort in against the Ducks. take away the first period which saw the Flames in quicksand and Anaheim capitalizing on every opportunity I thought the Flames were not only in that game but out playing the ducks in many aspects. Something that can only improve with the nice week long layoff coming after the Edmonton game on Saturday.Chalk it up to Pre-Season, only one that counts on the scoreboard. If and when the Flames put together a 60 min effort with the squad expected to be iced in the near future the Flames have no where to go but up, and look around the League the Flames are not the only team off to 0-2 but Flames fans know that if this team can put together a run we have seen in recent years that the Flames are far from out and just getting Warmed up. That being said I will say one thing more keep doing what your doing Flames put it all together and of course "Go Flames Go!!"7deuce_kid
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Part 30 in my "State of the Franchise" series. Finishing up the individual team pages....
Feel free to leave comments; I'm always willing to take feedback and I readily accept that I'm not the next Charles Dickens, so any constructive criticism would be great.
Current Rankings List:
2. St. Louis
4. NY Islanders
7. NY Rangers
20. Tampa Bay
22. Los Angeles
25. New Jersey
30. San Jose
#1: Edmonton Oilers
Top Fws: Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle
Top Ds: Ladislav Smid, Ryan Whitney
Top G: Devan Dubnyk
Top 3 Under-23s:
1. F Jordan Eberle (22)
2. F Taylor Hall (20)
3. F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (19)
Top 5 Prospects
1. F Nail Yakupov (18)
2. D Justin Schultz (22)
3. D Oscar Klefbom (19)
4. D David Musil (19)
5. D Martin Marincin (20)
Prospect Pool Rating:
Bluechip Talent: A
Edmonton's years of being at the bottom of the well has allowed them to build an outstanding young group of forwards. Their best players are all 23 or younger, and they've got some support around the top lines up front with Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner providing secondary scoring while Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff bring veteran stability to a youthful core.
Namely on the backend, of course. Ryan Whitney is a top pairing guy when in the lineup, but he's only healthy for 2/3s of a season. The Oilers lack a go-to player on the backend as well as reliable depth down the defensive pairings. Goaltending is a question mark; Devan Dubnyk has yet to put together a consistent effort in any season and Nikolai Khabibulin is quickly falling off the cliff in terms of performance. Most of their young players have already missed significant time due to injury, which could be a sign of poor luck and an inability to handle the rigors of the NHL game.
When you draft as high as the Oilers have for the last three years, you're bound to have a lot of quality prospects. Nail Yakupov is the gem in a group of solid but unspectacular forwards, but their biggest strength is on the backend; the Oilers have both high-quality bluechip talent and a strong amount of depth throughout the defensive pool led by top prospects Oscar Klefbom and Justin Schultz. Names like Musil, Gernat, and Simpson are sprinkled throughout all levels of Edmonton's developmental system.
Beyond Nail Yakupov, the Oilers lack in talented forwards and potential NHL forwards in general (although this weakness is mitigated by the players already in their NHL lineup). The best prospects they have up front, while skilled, are all small and will face uphill battles just to crack the NHL roster and some (like Toni Rajala) are longshots to ever return to North American ice. In goal, while they have a couple of decent prospects, the pool of goalies itself is rather limited.
When you've been the worst team in hockey for three years running, there's nowhere to go but up. The Oilers, bolstered by 1st overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, came out of the gates running and looked like they could fight for a playoff spot as late as December. Then the wheels completely fell off the bus and the Oilers limped to 29th in the NHL before lucking out in the lottery and being awarded the 1st overall pick for the record-tying 3rd straight season. Despite strong seasons from a number of players, the Oilers didn't have the horses to compete in the tight Western Conference and thus faced a long summer for the third straight season.
There are positives to every negative, however. One was the arrival of hotshot prospect Nail Yakupov. Another was the developments of the big 3 of Eberle, Hall and Nugent-Hopkins. Not to mention the improvements of young players such as Jeff Petry and Devan Dubnyk. Adding another couple of bigtime prospects to the prospect pool (including Anaheim defector Justin Schultz) was just icing on the cake for Steve Tambellini and his crew.
The Oilers will look to refocus and aim for a playoff spot next season, although it's more likely that they finish out of the postseason for the 7th straight season. What Tambo and Co. are hoping for is that this team can take that next step within the next few years and become a contender in the future.
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to reactive Cellular Injury As a result of Exposure To Mesothelioma Materials It can be well-known that field-work exposure to asbestos fiber features proven to be deadly previously. Some careers are generally struck disproportionately, and some are a smaller amount properly manifested inside the data. The actual query continues to be, what makes asbestos fibers trigger cell damage? What makes that influence Genetic make-up?A single interesting examine is named, “Oxidant anxiety replies throughout human pleural mesothelial tissue subjected to asbestos” simply by YM Janssen, JP Marsh, Mega-pixel Absher, At the Gabrielson, PJ Borm, Okay Driscoll and British telecom Mossman -- Division involving Pathology, College of Vermont, Burlington 05405. Am. L. Respir. Crit. Attention Med., Vol 149, Zero. Several, Goal 94', 795-802. This is a great excerpt: “The generation associated with oxidants is a suggested mechanism of mobile or portable injuries by simply asbestos fibers fabric. To ascertain regardless of whether human pleural mesothelial tissue (HMC) respond to asbestos fiber as <a href="http://www.cheapchristianlouboutinpumps2012.com/">christian louboutin shoes</a> well as productive air varieties (AOS) simply by induction regarding <a href="http://www.cheapchristianlouboutinpumps2012.com/">discount louboutin</a> de-oxidizing digestive support enzymes, tissues from pleural effusion ended up subjected to crocidolite as well as chrysotile asbestos or perhaps xanthine/xanthine oxidase (X/XO), a chemical-generating program regarding AOS. Gene appearance regarding manganese-containing superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) along with heme oxygenase (HO), endogenous digestive enzymes linked to cellular security against oxidant tensions, was then identified. Dosage-dependent improves in steady- express mRNA amounts of MnSOD and HO ended up affecting HMC exposed to asbestos fibers or perhaps X/XO. Nonetheless, boosts inside gene phrase involving MnSOD as well as HO would not occur in HMC soon after exposure to particulates such as polystyrene beans or perhaps riebeckite, the particular nonfibrous analogue of crocidolite asbestos. Comparative findings along with human grownup lung fibroblasts (HAL) revealed significantly less striking raises in mRNA numbers of MnSOD as well as HO in reply to asbestos fiber, nevertheless steady-state mRNA levels for HO were greater over fivefold in reaction to be able to X/XO. To determine no matter whether raises within mRNA numbers of MnSOD have been interpreted straight into necessary protein, Developed bare analyses were carried out about HMC as well as HAL tissues encountered with mesothelioma or perhaps X/XO. Moderate increases within MnSOD immunoreactive proteins had been seen in HMC responding to be able to equally brokers. In contrast, X/XO caused stunning elevations in MnSOD protein levels within HAL cellular material. These kinds of outcomes suggest that certain de-oxidizing digestive support enzymes are generally inducible within HMC right after contact with mesothelioma along with other oxidants.”Another interesting research is termed, “Evidence assisting a part with regard to productive oxygen varieties in asbestos-induced poisoning as well as lung disease.” Simply by N Capital t Mossman along with J R Marsh -- Department involving Pathology, University of Vermont, Burlington 05405. Environ Well being Perspect. 1989 May; Seventy eight: 91 C94. Here's a good clip:“Asbestos is an important field-work along with environmental toxicant in which influences a number of cell sorts in the respiratory tract. So <a href="http://www.cheapchristianlouboutinpumps2012.com/">christian louboutin for sale</a> that you can know the way asbestos will cause cell harm and/or transformed expansion as well as differentiation involving tissue, this laboratory has dedicated to reactive fresh air kinds since mediators regarding asbestos-induced organic consequences. A compendium regarding experimental final results documented from this lab while others sustains this particular speculation. For instance, scavengers regarding reactive fresh air metabolites along with flat iron chelators (my spouse and i.elizabeth., desferroxamine) reduce cytotoxicity soon after add-on associated with mesothelioma to your various cellular lines as well as macrophages within vitro. DNA follicle the break point connected with poisoning involving crocidolite asbestos fiber throughout C3H10T 1/2 tissue is ameliorated using using desferroxamine. All sorts of asbestos fibers lead to lipid peroxidation throughout mammalian tissues and also artificial filters, a new occurrence which can be prevented simply by removing catalytic iron. Final, mesothelioma will cause era involving lively fresh air kinds soon after connection with leukocytes or simply by reduction of air on the surface of the fabric.”If anyone identified both of those excerpts useful, remember to study all of them within their entirety. fresh air kinds since mediators
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So with the release of Brent Sutter (and rumour has it he will Coach the WildRose Party :: or was that to drive the WildRose Coach ?), Who do we get now?
With Randy Carlyle engaged, does anyone think we can get permission to talk to Mike Babcock ?
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This thread is comical. Do you guys even remember what kind of fan base this team had before Iginla. I remember, I was at the games. The flames were in trouble. This guy has done more for this hockey team than nearly anyone who has played the game.
The bottom line is, there hasn't been a single player since Iggy's dominance that has come in and generated what he has. Look at the Wings, they have a stacked team and they don't just rely on Zetts or Dats, Van doesn't just rely on the Sedins, they have tons of depth. This is NOT an IGGY problem people.
The people who are saying this are they bandwagon people. People who clearly jumped on this team because of IGGY.
Did Sakic get traded, NO. Did Madano get traded, Yes but basically when he was producing way under what Iggy can still do and the guy was like 40. These are players I can compare to Iggy in what they have done for their team. The only difference is that the GM's brought in stellar players to play with these guys and they won cups. This is not fair to Iggy and for the people that wanna throw this guy under the buss, Go find some other team to cheer for. This is insulting.
The problem is that we have drafted 1 player in the last 10 or more years that has amounted to anything. Dion, and he was traded. This is a joke guys. Iggy deserves to retire a Flame, and he deserves to be giving the chance to win. The team needs to make some smart decisions and you CAN win a guy like Iggy.
Source: Is Iginla The Problem?
This is a statement I find very true and I hope that management will see and consider it, if they haven't already
Well peeps this is not my end of the season blog but it looks like it will be the one before it. Now you guys know me I am a very positive guy and always try to see the bright side of things but it looks like this time even I see the writing on the wall. It always stings a little bit more when your team has a good run and gets your hopes up so high just to crash down like a bad Red bull binge. I think though I do know why.
Kipper has been holding up this team all season and I think it has caught up with him. He has had too do everything in his power this year and his power looks to be going down. He has let in some soft ones right away in games and it has been hard for the team to score.(J-Bo didn't help either but I digress)Other teams tenders are bringing it like kipper has been all season right now because the teams we are playing are mostly teams we are fighting with to get a playoff spot. The Flames are shooting lots but just no goals. It is very frustrating to see and I'm sure for the players it is frustrating to be a part of on the ice.
The fact is we have three games left and two of them are against a team that is very good and also is fighting for top spot in the west...again. (I hate the Canucks so much)So my point is this could go two ways. 1, we get rolled and smoked badly or 2, we get two wins and take advantage of a team that knows they are in and is not clawing and scratching to get in to the playoffs.
The brass tax here peeps is the Flames need help and wins and in my opinion we might get one of two but both will be a miracle. I am just going to try and enjoy what games are still on the sked and soak it all in. Appreciate that I am watching hockey because it is always a long summer when you are a Flames fan and you can't see your team. So until next time and maybe for the last time this season I will catch you all on the filpside!
Shameless self promotion time! As always if you like my blogs and want to be a part of my C of Red fan page on facebook you can "like" here
and you can also fallow the Bigman on Twitter here
Thanks peeps and GO FLAMES GO!
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Truly enjoyed the game last night and the victory against the Canucks.... it had certainly been a delightful performance and I believe that the Flames are now getting into the winning spirit....they demonstrate perseverence and determination... they have maintained their power play and penalty killing statistics; but more importantly....
- Glencross' glittering performance
- Iginla's performance has been inspirational
- Wow for Jokinen's empty netter
- Congratulations to Irving for his first victory - Great going Irving
- tremendous collaborative effort from everyone on ice....hard hitting and defensive style hockey
Way to go boys....looking forward to a bright and victorious 2012.
Merry Christmas to all viewers.
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As I sit here reviewing everything that has to do with the Flames, I still don't understand the hate that the Flames are getting nowadays.
Why do I feel confident in this season? I feel that the team really meshed at the end of last season, in which point we went pretty flawless for the better part of the second half. We could've been as high as 6th had we not lost a few crucial games.
Who did we lose off that playoff contending team? Regehr.
Now, I love Regehr. I've always loved Regehr and I'll always miss the guy, but we can survive without him. Now that we've got Hannan, and a guy like Butler ready to compete, our top 4 is set with Bouwmeester, Giordano, Sarich and Hannan.
I obviously believe that Babchuk and Butler will be the bottom pairing, and that Carson will be the 7th Defenseman. I think that one more season of conditioning puts Brodie and Negrin into Sarich/Hannan's spots next year. They just need to stick to it one more year and prove it in possible call-ups.
As for our goaltenders, Kipper and Karlsson will be completely solid. Trust me.
The offensive core is a little harder to figure out. We've always prided ourselves on our grinding and physical play, but that really slipped last season. It seemed that we weren't getting very dirty at all. We do have a lack of a top center and a 2nd line LW. But we can make up for it by grinding down other teams. Its tough work, but we need to be the team that kicks the hell out of everyone else. Thats how we can win.
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CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR
Andrew Brunette ($3.000m) / Mikko Koivu ($6.750m) / Martin Havlat ($5.000m)
Sergei Samsonov ($1.300m) / Pierre-Marc Bouchard ($4.080m) / Guillaume Latendresse ($2.500m)
Antti Miettinen ($2.500m) / Matt Cullen ($3.500m) / Cal Clutterbuck ($1.400m)
Colton Gillies ($0.625m) / Kyle Brodziak ($1.150m) / James Sheppard ($0.800m)
Eric Nystrom ($1.400m) / Brad Staubitz ($0.575m)
Nick Schultz ($3.500m) / Brent Burns ($3.550m)
Marco Scandella ($0.845m) / Marek Zidlicky ($4.000m)
Greg Zanon ($1.933m) / Justin Falk ($0.850m)
Clayton Stoner ($0.550m)
Niklas Backstrom ($6.000m) / Josh Harding ($1.800m)
BUYOUTS: Mark Parrish ($0.927m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $62,000,000; CAP PAYROLL: $58,911,944; BONUSES: $202,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $3,463,056
Mikael Granlund, F: 1,815,000
Erik Haula, F: 985,000
Tyler Cuma, D: 970,833
Matt Hackett, G: 900,000
Darcy Kuemper, G: 850,000
Marco Scandella, D: 845,833
Brett Bulmer, F: 810,000
Cody Almond, F: 643,333
Ty Rattie, F
Joseph Morrow, D
Stefan Noesen, F
Joseph Labate, F
Jason Zucker, F
1st round, 25th (via PHI-TOR) - W Ty Rattie, Portland (WHL)
1st round, 29th (via BOS-TOR) - D Joseph Morrow, Portland (WHL)
2nd round, 39th (via TOR) - F Stefan Noesen, Plymouth (OHL)
3rd round, 70th - C Joseph LaBate, Holy Angels (MINN-HS)
Coach Sutter said that the Flames players have been playing the system since mid December. I think Flames were in 14th place. It has taken time and certainly did not happen over night. Today they are tied for 5th place. When the Flames play for 60 minutes they may not be beat.
A lot of people have different opinions and favourites in the world of hockey.
With Kipper's play as of lately he's been in a slump and this has changed the way I think about him. He is a great NHL goalie, one of the best, but he is so melancholy. He shows absolutely no emotion, which could be bad for the team. The Flames aren't doing so well in the standings, and before Darryl Sutter quit, the dressing room was dull. Jay Feaster is encouraging them to show their emotions; to not be afraid to be happy with the way an individual played or frustrated at a call.
Kiprusoff is a private guy and I get that and respect it. It just doesn't help when Karlsson is in net and Kipper is just sitting on the bench like a pile of towels. He just watches whatever is in front of him with a sad look. If you look around the NHL other teams' goalies chat with their teammates; you know, be involved in the game even though they aren't playing.
Maybe I just too tough on Kiprusoff, or just being judgmental. However I do believe that the way that Karlsson isn't afraid to do a little fist pump here or wave the puck at a player is wonderful. It gets inside the oppositions mind; 'hey Karlsson just fist pumped when he stoned me. Man is he in the game!'.
So who do you prefer? Kiprusoff or Karlsson?
After playing a good hard and physical game against the Dallas Stars we need to fine tune our effort and try to make something similar against the Buffs.
The Buffs will be down their leading goal scorer and we are coming off of a big win against the division leaders. Did I say win against the division leaders? For a team that struggles against the rest we sure like to show up and play against teams that have a good chance of coasting into the playoffs.
I applaud the efforts of the Flames in their last game against the Stars. I was a full 60 minute game but we had something my last blog went on about. The game had a physical aspect we haven't shown in quite some time. And I am not talking about the fights. I am talking about the way we came out and hit people, the way we had GOOD CLEAN hits and avoided the penalty box to the best of our ability.
So it leads to my next blog which may or may not be taken as good advice. Who knows maybe you guys will get this a game or two later as well. Use this game tonight to keep and maintain the physical aspect of your game. Keep up with the hitting but also see how you can take advantage of the physical game with the finesse we have had all season. Hopefully with the more physical game we can come up with more goals.
On a side note let’s help out Kipper and Karl by moving people out from right in front of them. Let’s not clutter up the boards leaving guys by themselves in front of the goal keeper to recite soliloquies from Shakespeare plays.
Good luck tonight against Buffalo let’s get a great win at home.
After a shootout loss tonight, the hope for the current edition of the Calgary Flames gets slimmer and slimmer. Calgary is back down to 15th in the Western Conference, despite having as many as 2 or 3 games already played compared to the teams ahead of them in the standings. As we look at the days to come ahead, there has to be the realization that a rebuild is entirely possible, and some that may become necessary as time goes forward. Today I will attempt to discuss the many pros and cons of rebuilding.
First off, we all realize that a rebuild will not be a short term affair. As has been witnessed in the catastrophe that is the Toronto Maple Leafs, there is no such thing as a quick rebuild. If the Flames ownership group commits to a rebuild (a fact that I'm not entirely sure they will), then we are in for the long haul.
For those of us Flames fans who have been around the sun a few times, we remember the dark days of the 1990's and the early 2000's. The team as a whole jettisoned practically every player that had made the team successful during the 80's and left the team with absolutely nothing. The ownership group and management tried to promote a "Young Guns" theme, and it turned out so terribly that many fans still have shivers at the mention of the movement.
The Flames attempted to rebuild through prospects and the draft, and failed absolutely miserably. We drafted highly so many times, taking players like Daniel Tkaczuk (6th overall), Rico Fata (6th overall), Oleg Saprykin (11th overall), Brent Krahn (9th overall ), Eric Nystrom (10th overall). High picks historically have been terrible for the Flames. The last first round pick that worked out well for the Flames was Derrick Morris taken 13th overall in '96, and then the only other high first round that worked well for nearly a decade was Dion Phaneuf (9th overall in 2003). I'm sure how that played out is still rather fresh in our memories.
Drafting high does not always equal success in the NHL. There are many more modern examples of this that are very true. Florida, Columbus, Atlanta (though its changing now) all picked very highly for years, and still have yet to achieve any success. They've all had high first rounders fail. Look no further than Atlanta's first ever draft pick in Patrick Stephan, 1st overall, who barely had a cup of coffee in the NHL. There are plenty of high drafted players in recent years that have not lived up to their billet.
In the 2005 draft that will always be famous for being the draft where Crosby was awarded to Pittsburgh (conspiracy!), there are plenty of examples of the draft not working as planned. Taking a closer look, there was plenty of failure. Benoit Pouliot (4th overall), Gilbert Brule (6th overall), Jack Skille (7th overall), Brian Lee (9th overall) all in the top ten alone are fringe NHL'ers at this point and time. In 2004 it is similar as well. Cam Barker (3rd overall), Blake Wheeler (5th overall) and Rostislav Olesz (7th overall) have had some success in the NHL, but nowhere near the potential they were believed to possess. There is also Al Montoya (6th overall), Alexander Picarde (8th overall) and Boris Valabik (10th overall) in the top ten who aren't even NHL regulars. Some of the more recent drafts seem to have had much more success from its top ten picks, though it still early to judge many of them.
Drafting high in the NHL does not always equal success. However, for all the negativity that I just promoted, there is always hope as well. Take for example the Chicago Blackhawks, last years Stanely Cup Champions. On their roster they had Patrick Kane (1st overall), Jonathan Toews (3rd overall), Andrew Ladd (4th overall) just to name a few. When you examine teams that are considered up and comers such as the Los Angeles Kings with first round players such as Drew Doughty (2nd overall), Jack Johnson (3rd overall), Anze Kopitar (11th overall) and many more. There are teams that have had success drafting high in the NHL, and have become successful teams or at least are on their way to becoming so.
In summary on drafting high, you cannot assume that just because a player is ranked highly going into the draft that the player will turn out perfect 100% of the time. The Flames from 95-02 are a sad testament of that fact. Despite the negativity a rebuild can have, there is always hope, as the several of the more recent Stanley Cup winners can attribute.
For a team that is losing as much as they are, the Flames have some very valuable trade bait that could assist in a rebuild. There really aren't any players on the Flames that have fully negative value, and almost everyone could garner a worthwhile amount come the trade deadline. As we have witnessed in past years, the amount of teams that are willing to admit defeat by the trade deadline has gone down drastically, making it a sellers market. The Flames also know historically that sometimes it is better to trade a star player for a prospect and pray that the gamble works out for them. Jarome Iginla for Joe Nieuwendyk is proof of this stratagem.
At this years trade deadline, the Flames will have several players who are notable by the UFA status at the end of the season, garnering them the title of potential "playoff rentals". Craig Conroy, Anton Babchuk, Brendan Morrison, Alex Tanguay, Curtis Glencross, Steve Staios and Adam Pardy are the ones of note. Several of these players could potentially return mid round picks, if not better. I'll do a small breakdown on each player.
Craig Conroy - the oldest player on the Flames roster and one of those players who is hard to gauge in terms of value. In Conroy does in fact end up being traded, expect the return to be fairly minimalistic. A team like the Dallas Stars or the Chicago Blackhawks may have some interest in Conroy as a depth player or as a potential injury backup. A 7th round pick would be likely.
Brendan Morrison - as I stated in my last blog entry, Morrison is a bit harder to gauge. With the production that he has supplied at the cap hit he possesses (750K), he could be a valuable asset to a team lacking center depth either offensively or defensively, as Morrison possesses both. However last year his offense trailed off around the halfway point to the season. Assuming that his offense stays up, Morrison could garner a 2nd round pick at best, which is a pretty good return on a player signed after the preseason is over. I would once again imagine the Chicago Blackhawks being interested, as their bottom six depth is not quite what it used to be and their lack of cap space makes Morrison a great fit.
Anton Babchuk - an often underrated offensive defenseman, I believe Babchuk could net a rather nice return. Offensive D are something of a commodity at the deadline, as shown last year with players such as Leopold and Corvo providing very nice returns for their teams. Both the aforementioned players were traded for 2nd round picks, so it would be hopeful that Babchuk could get something similar.
Alex Tanguay - a player who has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play in the past two seasons, Tanguay has had a very positive start to the season. Tanguay is signed to a very cap friendly deal, and also plays very well on the penalty kill. The problem with Tanguay is his possesses a NMC, as he has stated that he would like to stick around in one place for a while, as he and his wife have a newborn baby in their lives. So it becomes entirely possible that Tanguay is not moved at all. However, there is potential for a Joe Corvo style deal from last year, where he waives his NMC to go to a contending team, and then re-sign in Calgary in the offseason. Tanguay with the way he has played could return as high as a 2nd round pick, and perhaps a prospect if a bidding war erupts. It is all conditional of course.
Curtis Glencross - Glencross is something of a fan favorite in Calgary. Then again, so was Eric Nystrom, and if the Flames are going into a rebuild mode, its better to trade him now than potentially lose him for nothing at the end of the season. Glencross is a pro-typical third line winger, with excellent speed, the ability to chip in 10-15 goals and great on the penalty kill. Unfortunately, his penalty kill time has been limited by the fact that he is in the box much of the time. Glencross could return a mid level prospect, or perhaps a 4th round pick. He is definitely an object of consideration for many teams looking to go deep into the playoffs.
Steve Staios - a bottom pairing shut down defenseman who has definitely seen better years. Renown for his leadership and steady play, Staios last year at the deadline went for a 3rd round pick, and I think management would be delighted if they could get as good a return.
Adam Pardy - another bottom pairing player who brings some grit and size to the blueline. I don't expect much of a return on Pardy either, though a 5th round pick is not entirely out of the question.
So that summarizes potential rental style players that could be on the move. There are a handful of others that could potentially be shown the door as well. There are several players would could attract considerable interest as well.
David Moss - while not really a big name, it is possible that he would attract some interest and potentially get the Flames a mid round pick, which would be a fair investment considering the Flames drafted him in the last round of the draft.
Robyn Regehr - one of the best bang for your buck shut down defenseman in the league, Regehr has had an excellent year so far. It is entirely possible that Regehr is interested in be on a contending team and has no interest in going through a rebuilding process, so he may be willing to waive his NMC. At his 4 million dollar cap hit, whatever team that trades for him will have to make sure they have space for him next season as well. Regehr would hopefully return a 1st and a prospect, though perhaps the pick may be later and the prospect may be better. It is very difficult to tell.
Miikka Kiprusoff - the savior of the franchise, and the man who helped the Flames reach the Cup finals in 2004, would undoubtedly be of interest to several teams if he were made available. Kipper is also in possession of his own NMC, so he would have to agree to wherever he would be traded. It is hard to predict the return on goalies nowadays, as the goalie market seems to be flooded with talent. The return on Kipper would have to be a good one for Flames managment to move him, so short of a solid offer, its likely that the earliest we'd see Kipper move, if at all, would either be at the draft or in the offseason.
Jay Bouwmeester - the 25 year old defenseman is the definition of a minute muncher, and with his speed helps provide stability both in the defensive zone as well as the offensive zone. When Bouwmeester refused to re-sign with the Florida Panthers, he made it clear it was because he wanted to go to a contending team. If Calgary decides to go through a rebuild, then Jay may consider waiving his NTC to go to a contender. Finding a team that no only has the cap space but the money to afford such a high salary may leave Bouwmeester on the Flames until the offseason.
Jarome Iginla - the heart and soul of the Flames franchise, trading Iginla seems unthinkable at times. However, as the trade that brought him to the city, fans have to realize that it may be better to get something in return for Iginla. As with Bouwmeester, Jarome carries a rather hefty cap hit and any team trading for him would likely have to send significant salary back to Calgary. For the Flames to trade Iginla, it is likely they would be looking for a top prospect and a 1st round pick as a starting point. Again, the offseason or the Entry Draft is a much more likely time for Iginla to be moved, assuming he would waive his NMC if management asks him to.
There are several other players that could be moved as well, including Cory Sarich (whom has a NMC and is still signed for next season as well), Ales Kotalik (with a limited NTC and signed for next season), Olli Jokinen (NMC, along with another season on the books) and Niklas Hagman (another season left) who could all garner some interest. However, all of these players returns would be limited by their salary and are much more likely to be moved in the offseason, if at all.
There is also a big question of whom would lead the rebuild? Many fans believe that if such a rebuild were to indeed happen, that the Sutter clan would finally get the boot from the Flames organization. A replacement is so readily apparent. Assistant GM Jay Feaster is a likely candidate, and as a fan it worries me slightly. Feaster has one of the worst drafting records in the NHL as a GM, so I'd be hesitant to suggest his name. After successfully recruiting from the WHL Calgary Hitmen last off season in the form of Dave Lowry, it is entirely possible that Kelly Kisio, the GM of the Hitmen, could be a candidate as well. There are always a few long shot options out there as well, such as past GM's and media types such as Pierre McGuire. Personally, it would have been nice to snag Jim Nill, the assistant GM in Detroit, but he just signed a 5 year extension with the club, so hopes on that front are practically nil.
If Darryl Sutter gets the axe, its highly likely that his brother, Head Coach Brent Sutter would suffer the same fate. Who would replace him as head coach in the interm? Jim Playfair, ex head coach of the Flames and current head coach of the AHL affiliate Abbotsford Heat, is a possible choice. However, he has had his chances and he may not get another. Dave Lowry is a potential coach as well, since he has much experience developing younger players during his days in the WHL. Some fans have suggested Ken Hitchcock, though I'm extremely hesitant with the idea after seeing how he butted heads with top prospects in Columbus.
As a die hard Flames fan, who has already suffered through some rather painful years as a fan, a long term rebuild does not seem like a appeasing prospect. However, I think the proof is in the pudding. This current Flames core has had ample amounts of opportunity under a variety of head coaches, and have failed to achieve anything. Its time for this team to be dismantled, and due to fear of turning into a Toronto, its time to build this team through the draft. The way the team is playing at the moment, there is potential for a top five draft pick, which could be a great way to jump start the process. I never want to see the Flames lose as an organization, but perhaps it is necessary for the team to be able to compete for the Stanley Cup, which has been absent from our great city for more than two decades now.
My next blog posting will likely be about current Flames prospects, as well as an early outlook on the potential picks the Flames could make in July, assuming there isn't any drastic difference in placement in the standings. The halfway report card will also likely come up around the 41 game mark.
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My mission is to see the Flames play in all 30 NHL arenas, a mission that began in October of 2005 while at a local pub watching the Flames take on the Oilers. With the previous season’s work stoppage, and the season before’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals, Flames tickets had become a very hard item to come by. I was then struck with the idea of combining two of my favourite activities; watching hockey and travelling. You can follow my quest to visit all 30 arenas right here…
November 24, 2010 – Newark, NJ
I'm now at the halfway point in my mission to see the Flames play at all 30 arenas, after seeing the Flames play the Devils at the Prudential Center in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Unfortunately, for Calgary, the game was yet another loss, although this time in a shootout.
I guess I'll begin at the entrance to the arena, where fans are greeted by a large, four storey atrium that features the Devils logo on the floor and red lights. I suppose it's to simulate your descent into hell, because that's where devils live? Or maybe it just matches their jerseys. What's interesting about the atrium however, isn't the decor or the anything to do with the building, but rather the uniforms being worn by the door staff and ticket takers. Unlike, say, the Saddledome, whose staff wear ugly vomit-brown blazers, the staff at the Prudential Center wear suits you'd expect to find staffing the Waldorf Astoria or re-living the 1920's. They combine black tuxedos with long red overcoats, and it wouldn't seem odd if they were also wearing a top hat or monocle. Such a dramatic change from outside the arena, in one of the country's...um....less nice cities.
The inside of the arena is not unlike any other newer arena, with wide concourses, a steep seating bowl and a variety of concession offerings. As with many new facilities, I fear the day the Saddledome is replaced, as the new building wouldn't have nearly as much character. The seating bowl here is very similar to those in Anaheim and Phoenix's arenas. One unique feature in the concourse was the pee wee jerseys they had on display throughout much of the arena. Featuring teams from around Northern New Jersey, most of them tended to be similar to some NHL jersey, including a few different Flames copies.
When it comes to concessions, there isn't anything too unique in the food department. We did have an order of 'Zeppoles,' which from the best I could tell were balls of deep-fried dough, covered in powdered sugar. It seemed like something that would be at home on the midway, but wasn't anything to write home about in this case. (yet ironically, I am) The beverage options were very unique however, as each vendor offered a large variety of beers, opposed to most arenas that offer the usual, one regular beer and one light beer. Or, in other arenas, each vendor might sell two or three different beers. In the Prudential Center, every vendor offered a wide variety, usually over 10 different types, meaning they had something for everybody. One odd thing however, was that most of the beers come in plastic bottles (why don't we have these in Canada?), but the cup holders on each seat are too large for the bottles, causing the bottle to fall through the bottom.
Living up to their stereotype as rough-around-the-edges, foul-mouthed people, New Jersey fans seems to use the word 'suck' a lot. At the start of the game, when the PA announcer is calling the Flames' starting lineup, they would follow each name with 'SUCKS!' Then, after the Devils' goal, the arena would play 'Rock and Roll Part II' and fans would first yell 'HEY' with the song, then follow that with 'YOU SUCK!' It's odd to see seven year olds yelling 'you suck,' but then it's odd seeing seven year olds at a hockey game period.
The arena was only about half full, which from talking to some Devils fans, tends to be the case most games. I was told the only time the arena fills up is when the Habs or Leafs are in town; making it much like watching a Flames game in Phoenix or Anaheim I suppose. As with most arenas in the States, there seemed to be a lot more children at the game as well, which I attribute to the cheap tickets. I guess people don't want to spend $150 on a ticket for their son who's going to spend most of the game playing with his armrest. The fans did seem quite knowledgeable however, and the arena didn't need to have Peter Puck explaining the rules of hockey on the jumbotron, as I've seen at so many other arenas.
The one benefit of having so few people at the game is the amount of time available at intermission. Unlike the Dome, where you often must decide whether to get a beer, something to eat, or go to the bathroom, at the Prudential Center there's more than enough time to do everything. In fact, in the first intermission, I went to the bathroom twice, and visited the concessions twice, and didn't miss a second of game time.
After the game, we ended up going to a bar across the street with other Flames fans, as well as some Devils fans who were spending Thanksgiving with their in-laws and looking to avoid going home. Nice arena, bad game for the Flames.
Prudential Center Fast Facts
Seats: Section 16; $45 (face value $98), Stubhub
Score: Flames 1, Devils 2
Arena Rating: 7.0
Unique Concession: Cigar Stand
Souvenir Stick: Martin Brodeur, goalie stick, white, plastic
Public Transit: Various options from New York and Northern New JerseyUnique Arena Trait: Only 12km from a different NHL arena.
You can read about my previous Flames road trips at www.thesportsroundup.com
Tonight's game is the first and only meeting between the Flames and NY Rangers.
The Flames are coming off of a disappointing OT loss to the Detroit Red Wings Sunday night in Detroit. The Flames were up 4-3 with under a minute to play when Wings sniper, Henrik Zetterberg, tied it on a power play with 3.2 seconds left in regulation and goalie Jimmy Howard was off for an extra attacker.
Nicklas Lidstrom scored at 1:38 of overtime to give the Red Wings a 5-4 victory in the extra period.
Jarome Iginla has found his November fire power as he picked up two more goals and an assist last night, giving him five goals in six points in the last two games and just one point behind Alex Tanguay for the team points leader.
Look out for Brandon Dubinsky who leads the Rangers with 12 goals in 21 games.
The Flames will be without Olli Jokinen as he will serve the final game of his 3-game suspension.
The Rangers are without Chris Drury (finger injury), Vinny Prospal (knee), and Michal Rozsival (shoulder).
Puck drops at Madison Square Garden at 5:00 pm MT and is broadcast on Sportsnet West and on the Fan 960.
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