What do we know now?
After a training camp that has been labelled as “Excellent” “Great” & “Encouraging” by Feaster and the newly appointed President of Hockey Ops, Brian Burke, what do we know about the team and the players we so closely follow?
Burke is not convinced Baertschi has what it takes. When asked what the Flames see in Baertschi, BB responded with “I am not really sure.” He proceeded to explain how he sees a lack of commitment in Sven wanting to be a complete player. He also said he will not give up on him yet. After that Feaster came out and took the blame on his own shoulders for the expectations Baertschi has upon him now from the media and fans. Jay Feaster said he would like a mulligan and go back to the 2012 and not call up Baertschi as an emergency call up. He felt that stint put unfair expectations on the young man from Switzerland.
Although he was placed on waivers and cleared, Ben Street has been rewarded for a strong camp and has made the final roster. Blair Jones with a similar effort was not as fortunate and has been assigned to play with the AHL affiliate.
Breen and Cammalleri will start the year on the IR. When Breen becomes healthy, we will see him get reassigned to Abbotsford. Cammalleri will be needed rather quickly to help a roster that lacks offensive punch.
The goaltending situation played out exactly as I expected, with Ramo and Joey Mac with the big club, while Berra goes to the AHL to gain more experience on North American size ice. It is no secret that goaltending coach Clint Malarchuk wanted Berra to remain with the big club. But Feaster expressed how management felt Joey Macdonald would not clear waivers and they did not want to take the chance in losing the veteran goalie this early. Feaster gave a subtle inclination that later in the season we could see Berra and Ramo up with the club. Does this mean Macdonald could be dangled for a draft pick later in the year once they feel more comfortable with Ramo & Berra? I believe that is exactly what will happen.
A player I am very intrigued to watch is TJ Galiardi. He has been asked to play centre and had a strong camp. I am excited to see if Galiardi can use his speed and work ethic to become an offensive contributor that some scouts always believed he could become. He will never get a better opportunity than the one in front of him this season. Monahan is another guy everyone will keep a close eye on. I see him getting around 8 games and Brian Burke will make sure he returns to Junior, like he has done with many previous young players over the years. Now if Monahan can explode and put up some points, that could change the decision, but I have my doubts.