Monday, January 28, 2013

Sven - top 6 forward, yeah or nay?

Before I get into days flames panel, let's chat a little.  I  guess I chat and you read. A couple of concerns I have:

1.  Flames handling of Iggy contract extension

There have been lot of Iggy rumblings lately; on whether to sign him or not. Feaster said he did want this to be a distraction.  Well, guess what? The longer they do not sign Iggy, the stronger the rumors get.  Which will make it a bigger distraction.  Which will kick Iggy in the butt to motivate him to play to his best abilities. So Jay is causing a distraction by putting the signing off.

2. A backup goalie

This has to be handled soon.  Or are the Flames planning on playing Kipper a full 48 games? To  add to the problem, if Kipper goes down, Irving is the only goalie. The other two in Abbotsford have AHL contracts only; at least, I thought so.

On with the Flame panel question.

Should Sven Baertchsi be given top 6 forward minutes.

This is one of my greatest pet peeves. Seriously fourth line minutes? As far as I am concerned, you might as well send him back to Abbotsford, because you are derailing any progress Sven will have.

How do you expect him to succeed with fourth line minutes? He needs linemates who can add to his skill. Everywhere he has played, he has been a star. Right now what is the message the Flames are giving him?  A wake up call? That is garbage; he was the best forward on the ice. If you are not going to put him on the top 6, at least put him on the third line.

Right now, you are saying Sven is muckler or a disturber. Okay then.   Right now Matt Sajan is getting more minutes than Sven.  Sven got a little over five minutes of ice time. Yeah, that makes sense.  Someone please explain that to me.

Mike Walsh:
In my opinion, he should not be in the top 6 but he should be in the top 9. Sven should play 3rd line minutes but see significant power play time. Based on this year, 4 games, here are the Flames top 6 forwards: Tanguay, Iginla, Glencross, Backlund, Cammalleri and Stempniak. You can’t really argue with those guys right now except maybe Cammalleri who has struggled early this season. A big factor his struggles was when he was moved to the opposite wing when playing with Backlund and Baertschi. Stempniak has been real good so far this year. Having Baertschi on the third line could form the all Euro line for the Flames, if they played Sven with Hudler and Cervenka. But will the Flames have Cervenka play in the middle? He didn’t in his first game.

Sven’s first full season is going to full of learning curves and opportunities up and down the lineup. If he wants more minutes and to play a more important role, force the coaches to give you more time and better line mates, not easy when you are stuck playing with Jones and Comeau.

Dearen Tiest Van de Velde

There is so much excitement around this young Swiss forward and rightfully so.  He is a skilled young prospect who has great hockey sense and shows up every day with a smile on his face. He is believed to be the guy who takes over the face of the franchise once Iginla moves on or retires.
His junior stats and short time in the AHL where he recorded 18 points in 21 games, point to a future star. But in my opinion he is not a top 6 forward in the NHL. Not yet anyway. The Flames are deep on the wings and have plenty of guys who can play in the top 9, including Baertschi. Before Cervenka and Hudler got in to the line-up, Baertschi got some top 6 play time. He looked decent, didn’t register a point and was a minus player. But he showed glimpses of what is to come and I think we should all be excited.

Now, with Cervenka and Hudler being in the mix, perhaps it is time to move Baertchi to the top line in the AHL and let him continue to develop. Fourth line duty and playing 5 minutes per game is not where I want Sven to be playing.

On the Calgary Flames today, Sven Baertschi has not proven to be a top 6 forward. And with the depth up front (you can argue the quality) he does not fit on the top two lines of the Flames. He has not been given the opportunity and games to show he is a top 6 guy. Unless something changes quickly, I don’t think he will see that opportunity any time soon.

Today Sven Baertschi is not a top 6 forward. But I believe he will be very soon. A shortened season may result in Sven not getting the chance he should unless the Flames fall out of the playoff picture fast.

I am trying to involve the fans in the column by asking one fan per week for their response.  This was Regan's answer:


I think they should give him the chance again to be on the top two lines. It's hard to learn or get better with 9-12 mins on ice


  1. I think its too early to worry about Sven's ice time. Analyzing Flames current top 6: Iggy (given) Tanguay (see Iggy) Glencross & Stempniak both on hot streaks right now, Backlund (arguably their best center) and Cammy, 6 million dollars doesn't look good on the bottom 6.

    Stempniak will taper off, Cammy may well work his way out of town if his game doesn't improve. Stajan, a center (which the Flame lack) has to take 3rd line minutes which leaves the Czech connection. Seemingly, the Flames have a depth problem at forward...this is not a Sutteresque team and Flames fans should be happy.

    Sven will draw into the top 6, where he belongs as the team changes and grows. Players will taper off, injuries will occur and Sven will be there to seize his spot.

    As for Iggy, the urgency to get a contract done depends on the team's success. The only one holding this up is Iggy and, in years past, he would have signed already. He knows his window is closing on winning a Cup and to be honest, I believe the UFA dollars he will receive would be more significant elsewhere. We shall see how that unfolds.

    great blog Randy!

  2. Totally on Iggy really depends on if the flames win thanks for the support.


Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.