Friday, June 22, 2007

Pre-draft thoughts

Update, 4-something PM: Seems like we've thrown in Steve Marr into the deal as well. Not particularly high on the depth charts back on the farm, and it frees up an additional spot on the defence there, which might point to what we'll be looking to draft over the weekend. Essentially, it's just one big meh.

Update, 11-something AM: Scratch any negative thoughts about that trade. Aucoin for Zyuzin. Boo-YEAH! I was a bit wary of having to spend another draft pick (of which we have few) to get Aucoin, and this gets rid of our problem child.

I meant to get this out earlier, but such is life...

By now, people are expecting Darryl Sutter to pull another "Alex FREAKING Tanguay" style move. Out of the blue, completely unexpected, and something which will challenge the team's critics to think again.

Adrian Aucoin wasn't it. Aucoin is a predictable acquisition, which doesn't particularly excite nor worry me. There's the connection to Keenan/Sutter. There's the veteran presence. They're probably hoping he'll contribute some form of leadership to the dressing room, to help address the issues with discipline the team had last year.

Most importantly, this signals to me that management expects Hamrlik to be gone. Like Hamrlik, and Marchment before him, they will expect Aucoin to mentor Dion Phaneuf and the other young blueliners in the organization. There were concerns towards the end of last season that Phaneuf's development was starting to stall - you only had to look at guys like Weber, Seabrook and Barker to see other young d-men starting to make bigger splashes than our Dion.

Once we know for certain what the Flames gave up in return for Aucoin, I'll be able to deliver a verdict on the trade. Right now, given that Aucoin is a touch cheaper than any price Hamrlik or Stuart would demand, I understand he's the kind of guy we'll have to settle for.

What? It's not Bryan McCabe for more than $7M a year. It could be worse, ok?

The other rumour which seems to be persistently floating around out there is Montreal's Kovalev for Tanguay. My reaction is generally no effin' way. While Tanguay has at times seemed to be an awkward fit for the Calgary Flames, he had an astoundingly productive year and showed decent (not great) chemistry with most of the guys he played with in the top two lines. Kovalev? I'm not certain Sutter, especially with Keenan on board now, has the patience for another Huselius-style reclamation project.

Now! On to the fun stuff. Today is draft day, of course, or at least the day they'll get the first couple of rounds done.

The pantry seems to be pretty well-stocked in terms of goalies (any theories as to why Krahn was re-signed?) and forwards - I'd expect some stolid, strapping young d-men to be added to the larder for the most part.

I'm not expecting us to unearth a wunderkind or a diamond in the rough. We don't have the picks this year for that. I would expect Sutter to go for a guy who already has connections to the league. Brandon Sutter (Gotta collect them all, though I don't think he'll last that long in the first round) is an obvious one, as is Maxime Tanguay, and Colton Gillies. Given that the logistics of getting Taraktukhin to North America were a bit of a gong show last year, I'd expect him to take a flier on any Russians (and I'd expect this to be the general trend for all teams).

Considering the scarcity of Calgary Flames draft picks this draft, I also won't be surprised to find Sutter moving young, relatively cheap bodies (Moss is one I identified, Hale or Giordano could potentially be others) to get a pick or two in the second or third rounds.

Hold on to your hats, kids - I expect this to be a fun day.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sutters is on Shrooms

Aucoin. What the hell.

How awesome would this lineup be:
Friesen - Primeau - Amonte
Aucoin - Warrener

Stanley Cup, here we come.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Keenan Official

"Iron Mike" will be named head coach of the Calgary Flames at a 3:30pm ET news conference.

My thinking is as follows:

  • Hey, Iron Mike has a great NHL record with lots of experience.
  • He's no softie like Playfair! Woo!
  • Wait, didn't he fuck up Huselius?
  • Oh no! What if he fucks up Huselius and Tanguay!
  • Wait, has he not sucked in the past 4 years?
  • Oh no! He ruined Vancouver for years!
  • What the hell is going on.
  • Ooo, ice cream.
Dunno what to think. Might make it harder to get free agents now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Ding, dong, the witch is dead!

In typical Sutter style, a surprise announcement crazy-ass rumour was unleashed late tonight on the hockey world. I've only been a week, really, into the post-season; it's obvious Darryl's been a busy boy for longer.

Yeah. Mike Keenan. Huh. I've never liked him - he's struck me as a hardass and well, a jackass over the years. I enjoyed it as much as an eight-year-old can when Calgary knocked his Blackhawks out of the playoffs en route to winning the Cup in '89. However, he may be just what the doctor ordered.

He's through and through a Sutter guy. We know the GM of the Flames enjoys surrounding himself with guys he knows well and trusts to get the job done. Think Kipper. Think Brad Stuart. Think Tony Amonte. It's not that much of a stretch to see that extend to the coaching staff as well.

One of the flaws Calgary had this year (and really, there's very little denying it) was a marked lack of discipline under the leadership of Playfair. It showed in Jimmy's awkward and colourblind pairing of suits and ties, it showed in (is this a cliche yet? I can't think of how many times I've typed those words) the Flames' abysmal road record. The team's dominance at home proved that we had the tools to put it all together, but our inability to do so was a massive frustration for all over the course of the season. There will be no slacking with Iron Mike. Either we get our act together, or we see a spectacular implosion, say, November 4th.

Also. Remember when we got Conroy back? When we got Stuart and Primeau? Many out there said this was a clear sign that Sutter was going all in for the playoffs. We're not in that disimilar a situation. This year there's a fair bit of work in terms of signings to get done, but next year will be beyond huge. This season is a contract year for Iginla, Regehr and Kiprusoff. A good majority of the rest of the team will need to be resigned in between here and September 2008; it's pretty much now or never, especially if you observe the fact (cough, you who pointed it out to me know who you are. Bastard.) that Iginla is effin' amazing when it's time to ink one.

It's now or never; the window is getting smaller. Keenan's another part of the push to field a winner with this golden opportunity, with this core we've spent years building in place and who are finally in their prime. I'm starting to suspect bigger changes may be in the works should Calgary come out another year with an early exit in the playoffs - it's clear they're even more all business now.

(Think about just how beyond awesome games vs. Vancouver will be now. Mwhahaha!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Going to Disneyland

Er. That is all. Just had an 80s nostalgia moment.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Apparently everybody's favourite boyfriend has been re-signed. A three year contract extension. Happy dance time!

Also Nilson. Which doesn't excite me nearly as much, but I guess Sutter's moving down the list and taking care of business, every day.

Hi. Hello. Anybody listening?

Testing, testing, 1, 2...

Just want to confirm with all you other kids.

What: Game 3, or, "Will Ottawa respond better to some homecooking and ice that actually might be frozen?"
Where: The Wheat Sheaf
When: Tomorrow (Saturday, June 2... argh! June) Game starts at 8 - I suggest meeting there a touch early so we can find each other.

Dave is still my imaginary friend (sucker!). Anybody Calgary-based who'd also like an empty seat to be there in spirit, let me know...if you want to bring somebody random who has no connection to the Flames blogosphere, the more the merrier.

See everybody out there!