Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Inside Scoop: Leafs and Flames Talks

What really happened during the Leafs and Flames talks?

It has been a long time since my furry spies have reported to me. They have had their rations cut because of it. So, I apologize for the lateness of this Maple Leafs and Flames talk. All names will be redacted for their privacy. This is all hush hush.

A couple of weeks ago, a GM contacted my little furry animals—I mean spies. At the time, my spies claim they never knew there were smart GMs. They thought they were all stupid. So they would like to apologize to Mr. Burke. They would never have spread the word that some hockey player was on the market.

Well, that being said, there had been many discussions between the Leafs and the Flames. My spies have transcribed one of the conversations that caused the trade talks to break down.

Toronto calling Flames: "Hey *****, a stupid GM told me that you lied on TV. He claims the rumors about Hamilton are true. He says you started them."

Flames: "He lies. And I have better hair than him."

Toronto GM: "At any rate, we have a counteroffer to the twenty first-round picks for Dougie Hamilton."

Burke: "What in tarnation could be better than twenty first-round picks?"

Toronto GM: "Trust me; this offer is very good. You will regret it if you discount it before even hearing it."

Burke: "Okay, I guess I am not doing my job if I don't explore our options."

Toronto GM: "First of all, we know you were not serious about the twenty picks."

Flames: "I cannot comment on that. You assume what you want to."

Toronto GM: "Well, I am going on that basis. So, that being said..."

Burke interrupts him and yells: "GET ON WITH IT! I AM A BUSY MAN!"

Toronto GM: "Okay; I think we should do this over supper. Or maybe meet in a spa."

Burke: "What spa? I urgently need to do my nails. Your treat?"

Toronto GM puts his hands over the phone and turns to talk to the Assistant GM: "We got him. Brian never turns down getting his nails done."

The Toronto GM takes his hand off the phone: "Brian, why should we pay for it?"

Burke: "Don't give me that. You want your face done as much as I want my nails done. You have been wanting to do your face for months. You have been dying to find a way to write it off.

Toronto: "How about you dying to find out how I always keep my hair in place."

Flames: "You take that back! That was spread by a stupid GM. You're just dying to know how I still have hair!"

Toronto: "So you're too cheap to pay for the spa. Well, I guess you do not get that special bonus."

Flames: "I guess everyone is going to find out you belong to the Hair for Men Club."

Toronto: "How did you find out about that? They are supposed to be discrete. I—I mean no, I don't."

Flames: "So, what was the offer anyway?"

Toronto: "I'm not telling. But I WILL you tell you the bonus. You just lost a case of Brylcreem."

Well, we can't tell you what else was said, because this is a family-friendly blog. But imagine what could have happened if someone could have compromised. I guess we will never know.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Kid Mitchell Marner Leading the Way

How about the Kid Mitchell Marner playing like a superstar? He is loving life right now, playing well in all aspects of the game. His playmaking skills are sure fitting in nicely with JVR. He has not been playing like a rookie. I am loving his offensive skills. He is fitting in with the Leafs' style.

Mr. Kadri is getting it right now, isn't he? When Nazem plays with a chip on his shoulder, he gets in the players' heads. The significant difference this year is that he is playing smarter. He is not making the stupid penalties and is being a less selfish player. He is a team player and not a 'me' player this season.

Frederik Andersen was struggling early in the season. But of late, he seems to be getting his game back. He is getting his confidence back. He is not giving up the easy rebounds. He is beginning to give the Leafs a chance to win each night

The Leafs are trying to find a stay home dman to help with defensive zone coverage. They are still guilty of giving up too many scoring chances in the offensive zone. Mr. Reilly needs some support. They are putting too much pressure on one man's shoulders.

Flames Report Card

Here Comes the Cavalry

Obviously, the Kris Versteeg injury is serious, as Mark Jankowski has been called up from Stockton. Mark is probably the best player down there right now. He has three goals and nine helpers in thirteen games. The Flames badly need his offense in the lineup. He should put some needed oomph in the offense.

How about Chad Johnson taking over as the number one goalie? He has been outstanding lately, especially in the Blue Jackets game. I know we brought in Moose, but if Chad gives us a better chance to win, well, I am all for it.

Dougie Hamilton has woken up and been arguably the best defenseman in the lineup of late. He has been skating better, and playing smarter. Maybe the rumors lit a fire underneath him. No one wants to get burned.

The power play and penalty kill is awfully frustrating to watch. Too much standing around and not enough skating. They are getting outworked in special teams every night. If the Flames want to make the playoffs, they will have to start winning the special teams wars.

The inconsistency has to stop. We have to start playing to win, not to lose.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flames Update

So what do we know so far about Dougie? So far, everyone has heard of the Rumor of Dougie. The first bit of information is that the Flames vehemently deny they are shopping Hamilton.

So, what, exactly what are they doing? Some people are saying that they have told teams quietly that they would be willing to listen. The Flames have been sending out feelers to see if there was any interest. Again, the Flames are denying that they even contacted the teams.

Boy, there was a lot of interest. So far, we have learned that Sabres, Pens, Leafs, Panthers, and Islanders have called on the ability of Mr. Hamilton.

We also know there has only been talk so far. Which pretty much tells us that the price is high.

Johnny Gaudreau

Mr. Hockey's injury has not changed anything. The explanation is simple that the Flames are not going to panic. This much we also know; Dougie is not the only dman with a price. The Flames will listen to all offers on all of their dmen. The majority of interest is in Hamilton.

Simply put, the Flames are not going off half-cocked and trading for a forward at a high price. They are doing all of their due diligence

Things have not gone to plan. They have been horrible. In fact, the only consistency has been the awful power play. They have been consistently woeful. Their biggest achievement is having the puck. So right now, the players will be on thin ice. Management won't have too much patience before the ax falleth.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Show me the money!

Reblogged from Flamesjambalaya

So the Flames have played the first 11 games of the season. And what do we know?


Same old, same old. The Flames cannot even get the puck into the offensive zone. No originality in the powerplays. The Flames are making it too easy to defend. The next problem: no one in front of the net, making it too easy for the goalie. Defense is being too fancy, trying to make plays that aren't there. The Flames have to get back to the basics. Get traffic to the net.


Monahan and Gaudreau are clicking. They are like strangers; it's like they are still in preseason mode. They are too comfortable; it's like they got the money and lost the motivation to play. I have heard "split them up" a lot lately. But I say, why split up the other two lines which are playing just fine, thank you? If I was to ask, who is the best line the Flames have right now? Most people would not hesitate: Backlund, Frolic, and Tkachuck. Who is their best Centre? Sam Bennett comes to my mind.

So what is my solution? If Backlund's line is the best line, give them the first line minutes. If Bennett is the best Centre, his line becomes the second line. It may be radical, but I say don't break them up; put them on the third line. Show me the money. Make them earn their minutes.


The biggest epic failure in the offseason, the Flames failed in getting that extra top six forward. The Flames realize they have to get another forward to connect with Monahan and Gaudreau. The only way to address the issue is by trading one of the big three. They deny that they are going that route. I would like to know how they expect to fill it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mr. Matthews leading the way

[The following blog was written on Saturday before the Habs game. So my stats might not be up to date.]

Austin Matthews led the exciting new young guns. His six goals and four assists lead the Leafs in scoring. He has done everything that has been asked of him and more. He is on the main powerplay unit, leading the team with pinpoint passing. His best skill is that he rarely loses his cool; never too up and never too down. No one will ever forget his performance against the Senators, scoring four goals in his first game. 

Matthews has had plenty of support. First, William Nylander. His four goals and five assists for nine points have been impressive. He has an average of a point per game. What I like most about Nylander is his ability to know what Matthews is thinking. He gets where he needs to be. He is a skilled smart forward with speed to burn.

What can I say about Mitchell Marner? I love his determination to outwork his opposing player. He has all the skill and guts to go with it. He might not have the skill of the other two players, but he sure has the heart.

The Leafs might not have the desired record, but let me tell you, they are fun to watch. The defense has been weak coming out, but they are a young crew who will improve. I am not too worried about Anderson; he will snap out of this and be the goalie the Leafs need him to be. So enjoy the ride, this Leaf team will be a force to be reckoned with.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Shoot the puck!

Reblogged from Flamesjamalaya

Isn't life funny as a goaltender you can go from a minor league goalie to a Vezna goalie candidate. Welcome to the life of Flames goalie Brian Elliot. Brian could not stop a beach ball in his first starts. Suddenly, the Flames go on a two-game road trip and Brian is back to his old self. In Chicago, Brian put on a show in the third period, but that was nothing compared to what was coming. He made three or four spectacular saves and six overall. In fact, I cannot remember when the Flames had the puck. In the shootout, he refused to yield as he and Crawford put on a show for seven rounds.

To be fair, he was not the reason the Flames won in Chicago and St. Louis. The first aspect that needs desperately to improve is the powerplay. I can't put my finger on it what happened, but suddenly the Flames figured out how to play with the puck. Sam Bennet goes to the net and picks up the garbage goal. The key point there is shooting the puck and going to the net. The second goal was scored off a rebound by Shawn Monahan. Wideman scored from a terrific feed by Troy Brouwer in the game against the Blues. The main difference was the Flames were being patient with the puck and thinking there plays out. They were going back to the basics on the powerplay, taking the shots from the point and going to the net. Good things happen when you go to the net. Sometimes hockey is made too complicated; sometimes it's simply shoot the puck at the net and go get it.

Let's face it; the best players were not at their best. Gaudreau was investable for the six games. In fact, the first line was well not good. They were not alone the defense was especially with the defensive zone coverage. Brody was a mess, and Hamilton was not much better. Gio forgot how to play hockey at times making some very lazy plays. In fact, there was really one offensive line Backlund and Frolic, otherwise known as the third line. Without our best players contributing, this team is not good. When your fourth line is your best line, that does not add up to wins.

To sum it all up, the Flames have to play smarter; everyone has to play their roles. Which the bottom six have all season. The top six have to the load offensively. The defense have to responsible in their own zone; forwards have to support and come back to the defensive zone to help out. Oh yes, more importantly, shoot the puck and follow up. Make life difficult for the opposing goalies. Which the Flames did in Ohio and Missouri. Amazingly what a couple of days of winning will do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Battle of the Seventh Defenseman

Reblogged from Flamesjambalaya

The best battle in camp right looks like it could be a war. Most people had penciled in Tyler Wotherspoon. Tyler is a steady, stay-home dman; the Flames need a little more offense from him.

The next one is Brett Kulak. I love his IQ. He is a smart defenseman who seems to know where to be. I like his ability to pinch in at the game against the Jets. I would put him ahead in the race for number seven.

The last on in this race is Niklas Grossman. Nicklas is still an experienced defense. He may be the steadiest of the three. But the speed will not do him any favors; it will catch up with him.

Now the other question: Who is going to be the thirteenth? Is Brandon Bollig going to hang on to that position? I have penciled him in.

The problem is that Freddie Hamilton and Garnet Hathaway have had a fantastic camp.  Both players have been very good, using their size in their physical play. Freddie and Garnet are both faster than Bollig. Bollig is more experienced and reliable, but the two kids have far more offensive skill.  Although Bollig did have decent years in Chicago.

There is, of course, the PTO forwards, Lauri Korpikoski and Chris Higgins.  Lauri is the better of the two so far, but neither are close to the other three players.  I have been disappointed with Higgins so far in this camp.

Finally, I would bring up Gaudreau. But there is nothing new. They are nearly $2 million apart. This is getting silly. It should have been done a long time ago. Who will blink first? I am hoping Gaudreau.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Notes from Training Camp Day 1

Reblogged from Flames Jambalaya

There is nothing finer than finally seeing some hockey up close. Even if it is just training camp. I was able to attend the last two sessions of today's training camp. Too lazy to get up early enough for the first one.

Here are a few notes from my observations from today's practice. First, let me caution everyone, it's only one practice. This is not be all and end all proposition.

But that being said, there were some players who stood out.

Jon Gillies 

Seeing him today put me at ease. He looked good moving side-to-side.   His glove hand was flashing out like no one's business. Jon is coming off of an injury-plagued season; he has a lot to prove this season.  

Hunter Smith 

For some reason, Hunter was in the group B today. He was listed in group A, but he trained with the second group today. Hunter looked good. He seemed to be a faster skater this season. He looked like he had a good offseason. Hunter looked at home with the big boys.

Matthew Phillips

I like his speed. He is a very quick forward. He is small, but he has some skill. He was making some sweet moves today. I'm not sure he hits the big time, but today he was good.

It was nice to see Chad Johnson and Brian Elliot today at the practices.  It is just nice to see two goalies playing as well as they did.  Brian is a  steady, positional goalie. Chad was equally good today; the goaltending was in good hands.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Leafs Happenings

Recently, the Maple Leafs made it official by announcing the signing of Jhonas Enroth. Jhonas is a solid backup who can steal a couple of games. He is a solid backup who understands his role and will support Anderson. Expect 20–25 starts so they can keep Anderson fresh.

The Maple Leafs have invited Brandon Prust to a PTO. I like this. He gives the Leafs an enforcer, a no-nonsense role player to protect the kids. Brandon is a leader and a strength in the dressing room. He will lead by example. He won’t get many goals, but his play will pump up the team. This a low-risk move that can only improve the team. If he makes the team, he can become a tradeable asset at the deadline.

The Leafs are still trying to find a trade partner for Tyler Bozak. Not that Tyler is not a useful player, because he is. The biggest problem is the cap hit for a third-line Centre. Tyler is a solid player who can do everything but is not a star in the offensive zone. He is a great role player who will help a team, but the Leafs will have to eat some of his cap hit.

The Leafs will continue to shop Joffrey Lupul. They continue to strike out on this front. They are selling that he is a top-six forward. The problem is, his stats do not back up that claim. The Leafs do, however, point out he was injured for most of the last season. He still has the skill, but does he have the heart?

It would be nice to have some cap room and continue to collect assets for Bozak and Lupul. Time will tell; however, I am getting excited about seeing the young guns. Is it October yet?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Calgary Flames Announce Monahan Contract

Reblogged from Flames Jamalaya.

The Flames announced today they have Monny for the next seven years at $6.3 million.  When the Avs announced the Nathan MacKinnon signing, you knew that Monahan had to get a comparable contract.

So let's compare numbers, shall we?  Mackinnon's numbers last year were 21 goals and 31 assists.  Monahan's numbers clear that with 27 goals and 36 assists, for 63 points. Monny played 81 games, and Mackinnon played 72 games. Mackinnon has a career year 62 points, Monny, 63 points.  So as you can see, the Flames got a pretty good deal both ways.

The contract also puts into perspective the Flames trying to keep contracts under the $7 million a year if they can.  Apparently, the Flames feel having four $7 million players is better than having one $10 million player.  

Which is vital is to the Flames if they want to stay competitive over the next seven years.  Think about it; Bennett's and Tkachuk's contracts are up in the next three years. Elliot is a free agent next season. The Flames will need some cap room to get those contracts done.

It is vital that the Johnny Gaudreau contract stays under the $7 million number. Bennett and Tkachuk will be both stars in the future and will need their money too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review In the Tick of Time

Are you afraid of insects?  Well, I think Matt Malloy can relate to you,  Until now, Matt Malloy figured he had all pretty sound knowledge of infectious diseases.  Well... hold the phone; not so fast, Mr. Malloy.

Matt finds himself trying figure out what is going to cause a cluster of infections at Buffalo Head.   The further he investigates, the more suspicious he becomes.  Matt puts his knowledge of infectious diseases into action.  Matt furthers reviews a suspicious death, with symptoms he has never seen before. He just can't quite put his finger on it. Then he has to put his finger on it, or he becomes a suspicious case.

Is Matt going crazy? He begins to doubt himself.  He develops more symptoms.  People start to question his professionalism.  He is obsessed with it, and he cannot sleep at night. His health begins to deteriorate; he becomes more and more paranoid. He is constantly trying to find a cure and locate the person who infected him in the first place.  Someone is trying to kill him, stopping him at every corner.  Will he be able to stop them?  Or will become another casualty?  This book will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.  You won't be able to put it down, and it will give you a new respect for infectious disease departments everywhere!

Pick it up today at pdworkman.com.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Leafs Out with the Old, in With the New

The Leafs played hardball with Peter Holland this week, waiving him and leaving him exposed to picked up, then signing him before Peter's arbitration hearing.

I have enjoyed Peter's progression through last season. I can see him being a solid third line centre on the Leafs roster. He is solid in the defensive end. He contributes now and then in the offensive game. Whatever he gets is a pure bonus.

It is the potential I see in him that the Leafs have to consider. This is the reason I am very happy we signed Peter. I think he has the skill enough to score 15 to 20 goals in his career. He will be a valuable asset to have during this painful rebuild.

The Leafs should sign Enroth. He is the perfect backup for Anderson. He will be able to spell him now and then. We do not need to overwork our first string goalie going down the stretch. Enroth was a pretty solid in goal for the Kings, giving them a chance to win in his starts. He knows his role and accepts it.

My mouth is watering with the potential superstar potential of the Leafs prospects in the next upcoming years. Think about it; we have Nylander, Marner, and of course the Stud Matthews. And that is not mentioning the Russian Soshnikov, who has a ton of potential.

The problem is the Leafs need to make room for them. So that means some of the vets have to be gone; Tyler, Bozak, Joffrey Lupul, and Brooks Laich.

The problem there is cap hits. They have worn out their welcome. Trying to find a team that will take their cap hit will be hard.

Lupul is the hardest $5.25 million for two years. Too injury prone. Lupul is a solid player, just made of glass.

Next is Bozak, who is $4.2 million for two more years. His cap hit would not be bad for a second line centre. The problem is he not; maybe a third line forward.

And finally, Laich, $4.5 million for one more year. Which is way too much for a role player. Fortunately, that contract is only one more year.

So they have some work ahead. Can they do it? Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Analysing Russell

I am hearing everyone who is a Leaf fan from here to China, yelling 'no' to Russell.  I completely understand with his salary demands; there is no way he is a $5 million player.

Chris is not a unique defencemen. He does not stand out in any way.  His one specialty is blocking shots. At times, he will block everything in sight.  He is pretty steady in his end.  But he is not a five mil number one defencemen.

Kriss will give you heart and defensive reliability in the defensive zone.  He is an effective communicator and will be a leader in the dressing room.  He leads by example and will do what it takes to win.

The main problem with Russell is his offensive skill.  For this reason, I think the Leafs should stay away from him. They need more of a complete player.  The Leafs need a little more offense from their defensemen.

So watch the Leafs go ahead and sign him.  What do I know anyway?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Calgary Flames - Now What

Reblogged from Flames Jambalaya

Well, how did the Flames do at Free Agency Frenzy?  Going into the Frenzy, the Flames needed a right wing and a backup goalie. Check right wing, and check back up.

General Manager Brad has said he is not done and would like to add defencemen.   It is evident that Brad will have to make another move to make that happen.

The Flames did well fixing the goaltending issue with Elliot and Johnson.  Brian Elliot's stats speak for themselves. He is a  solid goaltender who knows how to win.  For the first time in years, the Flames have a goalie who will be consistent and give them a chance to win every night.

Chad Johnson gives the Flames an established goaltender.  They needed a backup goalie who can steal a game or two.  It is vital for the Flames to have a  backup and be competitive.

The Flames signing Troy Brouwer is huge.  Troy is a solid player, who knows what it takes to win. He is a stable influence on the younger players, who will look up to him for his leadership skills. Troy will be a good fit for Monahan and Gaudreau, who have been looking for an RW since the end of time.

Let's talk about assets that the Flames could trade to get the defenseman Brad said he would like to acquire.

In no particular order, these are the assets I would consider moving:

Lance Bouma

Lance put himself out of favour with the Flames' management with his antics last year. Lance can easily be replaced.  The problem is that every other team also knows about his actions.  But hopefully, there will still be plenty of takers looking for the agitator in their lineup.

Dennis Wideman

It is common knowledge that Flames are shopping Dennis.  But finding a home for 5.23 million dollar powerplay specialist can be difficult. Dennis can still potentially be useful.  Many teams who could be in the market looking for a powerplay defensemen.

Mikael Backlund

This is the last resort, but if the Flames feel that Sam Bennett, is their 2nd line center, that might make Mikael expendable. Backlund could fetch a pretty good defender for the Flames.

Could the Flames consider trading a player for picks to make room?  The Flames could go the free agency route. If they do, I hope the Flames go with Patrick Wiercioch. He is a good number five stay-home defensemen.

I think the Flames are looking for a number four or a number three.  They will have to trade a player from their roster for two reasons: first,  salary cap, and secondly, you have pay something to get something.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Analysing the dealings of the day

Reblogged from Flames Jambalaya

General Manager Brad Treliving made it pretty clear the Flames would not be very busy in the free agency period. So I suspect that the Flames will go the trade route to improve the team.

What still needs to be done? Treliving checked off the biggest weakness by acquiring Brian Elliot.  What should be his top priority?  He pretty much has three priorities. The first is re-signing Money and Johnny Hockey.

The second one? That is the tricky question. Could it be another backup goalie? Could it be a right winger? With the exchange of Alex Chiasson from the Sens for Patrick Sieloff, will the Flames still be looking for a top 6 forward? Or do they think Chaisson fill the need of a top six forward?

With Chaisson, the Flames get a big right winger who is nasty. He is a role player who could be more in the Flames system. He is a blank distributor, who gets under the opposition's skin. He knows his role and does it very well, but does not fill the need of a top 6 forward.

Next, we have a pretty good idea that the Flames are going to have a new backup goalie, as Ortio did not get the qualifying offer. I can think a few goalies out there including Al Montoya, Johnson, Chad.

List of nonqualified players.

Kenny Agostino (LW)
Bill Arnold (C)
Joe Colborne (C)
Turner Elson (LW)
Josh Jooris (C)
Joni Ortio (G)
Kevin Poulin (G)
Drew Shore (C)
Bryce Van Brabant (LW)

The Flames are not qualifying Colborne to avoid arbitration. They are still trying to sign him; ditto on Jooris and Ortio.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2016 Calgary Flames Mock Draft

Reblogged from Flames Jambalaya

It is late June again and that means it is time for Randy's annual Flames mock draft. We all remember how Randy predicted the selection of Baertschi and he followed it up with the Jankowski prediction. I remember reading his Jankowski prediction and going to Google to find out who this Mark Jankowski was. 

With the Flames currently holding down the number six selection in this years draft; I do not expect an off the board type pick such as Jankowski. Let's see.

I asked Randy to give us his picks for the Calgary Flames selections at 6, 35, 54, and 56. I believe Randy agrees with me when I predict the Flames will trade one or a number of those picks to get an established goaltender.

Here we go with Randy's selections:

Yes, it's that time of year, my favourite time of year, otherwise known as the Nightmare on Randy's Street.  Yes, the draft is coming up again. The Flames have one mission, and that is to get bigger and stronger.  Here are my picks for this year's draft.

At #6 the Calgary Flames will select...

Alexander Nylander 
from the Mississauga Steelheads

Not that I want this to happen, but basically Alexander will land on the Flames.  It is evident that the Flames would love to have Pierre-Luc Dubois, but he won't be there.  Alexander is a smooth puck-handler with a nasty attitude.  He has a quick shot and release.  I do love his offensive playmaking ability.  The only downside is his play in the defensive zone. 

The Calgary born skilled winger won the CHL Rookie of the year last season and some scouts have said Nylander is the most skilled play making forward in this draft. Nylander does not fit the "size" bill for the Flames but with Tkachuk and Dubois likely going before him, Nylander is the best option for the Flames. Did we mention he shoots right?

At #35 the Calgary Flames will select...

Taylor Raddysh
from the Errie Otters

Raddysh is a skilled playmaking right winger, which the Flames desperately need. The Flames are thin up front on the wings. Taylor could be the answer.  The downside is that he is not quite big enough and will not yet be ready for the NHL next season.

I agree with Randy that our winger depth, especially on the right side is very weak. Raddysh does have the frame to develop into a more power forward type player, but that will take some time. I have the Flames selecting Alberta born LW Tyler Benson from the Vancouver Giants. This is a risky pick but the potential payoff here is worth it for me.

At #54 the Calgary Flames will select...

Tim Gettinger
from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Gettinger is a big bulky forward who is very versatile.  He can play in all situations. I love the fact that he can play all three forward positions.  Tim was the Captain of the Greyhounds. He is a project, but the Flames have the patience, and he just might be the prize at the end of the rainbow. 

I like this pick by Randy. the fact that Tim Gettinger is 6'5"and now over 200 pounds will draw the Flames attention. Some may compare him to Hunter Smith, I on the other hand believe he is a more complete and offensive player than Hunter. 

At 54 I have the Flames selecting Calgary born defenseman Max Lajoie from the Swift Current Broncos. 

At #56 the Calgary Flames will select...

Luke Green
from the Saint John Seadogs

From what I have read of him, Green is a highly skilled offensive defensemen. Luke will push offensive zone play.  He is very skilled playmaking defensemen who could be a big part of the Flames' future. Also a right handed shot defenseman, that adds some value. Luke scored ten goals last year and became more physical as the year progressed.

At 56, I have the Flames selecting the now highly talked about Cliff Pu from the London Knights. Obviously Pu had a strong Memorial Cup and that helped his draft value. Cliff Pu is a smart center who reminds me a little bit of Stephane Yelle. Pu will need to become a bit more offensive, but with more ice time I believe he will.

Randy's Conclusion:

The Flames might very well try to grab their number one goalie this draft, via trade.  If they have decided to make a trade, this might be the time to do it. The Bolts and the Flames have been talking Bishop since the deadline.  The problem is, the Bolts' price is high. How much are the Flames going to waive in the future to get him? Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada says the Flames might be willing to move down.   If they move down, I suspect it's Logan Brown that they want. I am also speculating that the Flames will want a player to play now.  Expect that the Flames might very well trade a couple of seconds to get a late first rounder.   Players like Markus Niemel√§inen and Tage Thompson are available. Thompson is a no-nonsense forward and Niemel√§inen a good, puck-moving defenseman. 

My other Flames selections were not required for this blog, but for your future reference, my other picks are:

Tyler Parsons at 66

Hugo Danielsson at 96

Carsen Twarynski at126

Tobias Eder at 156

Kasper Bjorkqvist at 166

Nolan Stevens at 186

This concludes another version of our annual Flames draft selection blog. Thanks to Randy for willing to put his selections on the line. I agree with Randy that although the draft is about the future of the club, the focus may be more about a goaltender for next season. We've heard names like Bishop, Fleury, Elliot, and now Varlamov, it could get very interesting this weekend. 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Leafs draft picks

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally have a chance at a franchise player to build their team around for years to come. There is zero chance of blowing this unless all of their scouts have brain farts. So here are my picks on who the Leafs will pick:

Austin Matthews  1

Duh. This is a no-brainer. Of course, they will pick  Austin. He is the first real number one centre since Darryl Sutter.  Coach Marc Crawford could not say enough about his skill while playing in the Swiss league. By far the most skilled player in the draft.

Alex DeBrincat 31

DeBrincat is a fantastic, skilled forward, a future linemate for Mathews.  Alex is a sniper, which the Leafs so legitimately need.  He has scored over 100 goals for the last two seasons.  Hoping this pick comes through.

Adam Mascherin 57

Mascherin is a powerful sniper who can put a puck in the net.  Adam has speed to burn and uses it to his advantage.   He has a ton of grit with a no-quit attitude.

Jordy Stallard 62

I have seen Jordy play a couple of times this season. The first reason  I like him is his versatility being able to play both wing and center.  Second is his determination to get things done. Stallard won't quit. He will do what it takes to win.

Vladimir Kuznetsov 92

Kuznetsov is a typical Russian power forward.  He is a project who will take a few years to mold.  The Leafs will take their time with him.  Vladimir might be worth taking a chance on.

David Quenneville 122

Quenneville is a big defenseman who had a pretty good year with a very bad junior hockey team, the Medicine Hat Tigers.  The only concern was a minus 21; but with the Tigers, that might be understandable.

Tyler Steenbergen 152

If you want the truth, I am just guessing now.  Tyler had pretty decent numbers. Tyler numbers in Swift Current: 20 goals, 26 assists, 46 points. Another forward who can play both wings wouldn't hurt either.

Luke Coleman 182

Coleman is a big forward with some size who could fill in as a role player.  Leafs need to beef up, and Luke fills the bill.


I expect the Leafs to be busy trying to sell some more assets. Their goal is to get as many assets in this market as they can. Expect Bozak and Lupal to be shopped around.  They may shop their second round picks to get a third first-round pick.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Flames expected to announced Head Coach

First blogged at Flames Jamalaya

Not exactly huge breaking news, as everyone but the kitchen sink already knows, but the Calgary Flames are about to announce the hiring of a new coach.  The man's name is Glen Gulutzan.  Glen is coming from the Canucks organization as an assistant coach.  Before that,  he was with the Dallas Stars.

Flames will now focus on the draft, coming July 24.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Keep in Touch

Originally blogged on Flamesjambalaya

The Flames are sure taking their time with the coaching, aren't they? Mike Yeo, Travis Green, Randy Carlyle, and Glen Gulutzand are all getting second interviews. Also, Kirk Muller has been rumoured to be in the running. According to Elliot Friedman of HNIC, Muller has told the Blues he won't be returning. I am still hoping the Flames are waiting for the Boogie man (Bob Boughner.)

As far as we know, the Flames are going with a new goalie. The new name in the game being Elliot out of St Louis. I still like Michal Neuvirth; my contact still likes Bishop. I am worried about the cost. 

The Defense still might be hard to fix. The Flames really have to get it done when it comes to Jakub Nakladal. You have to think he has earned a contract, In fact, I would go as far as to say he has earned a one-way contract. I dare not miss the steal the Flames got out of Jyrki Jokipakka. He was outstanding. Which leads me to wonder if we can find a new home for Dennis Wideman.

My next blog will be the Draft blog! I can't wait. If there are any updates, I will pop in for that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Leafs Talk

Everyone knows how good the Leafs could be with prospects Nylander, Matthews, and Marner leading the way. Now the question is, who do keep to lead the young guns?

Do we continue to rebuild and deal JVR or Bozak? We gave Kadri a new contract; is he our new number two Centre now? Does that make Bozak expendable?

The problem with Bozak is what kind of value can we get for him. He has plenty of skill; I am just not sure teams will be willing to pay 4.2 million dollars for a third-line Centre. I know how most people respond. But they would pay that for a second-line Centre. Can the Leafs sell him as a second-line Centre when he can't be a second Centre on one of the worst teams?

The next question I have is what do we do with Leo Komarov? Was he a one-year wonder? Or can he back that up next season? I would keep him if I knew he could keep it up. But I have my doubts. Can his value be any higher than it is now?

Obviously, there is no doubt we have to keep JVR. That is a no brainer. Having him with Matthews will be a great first line combo for years to come.

Question for the fans:

I will close out this blog by asking: Would you spend the money on Kyle Okposo? On the last blog, I told everyone not to sign Stamkos.  But everyone knows the Leafs will throw the bank at him. But let me ask the fans: Do we spend the cash to get Okposo?