Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why the Flames Are Nuts

Disclaimer: I am not saying what the Flames are doing. This blog is not based on any inside info. This is a just a simple question: Should the Flames acquire John-Michael Liles?  Most Calgary Flames fans would call that nuts.   I am not trying to talk any of you out of it, just giving you reasons why they might.  In fact, I am not sure they should.

Why they might want to: 

Liles is a gifted offensive dman, which would give us three  offensive defencemen. Two stay-home ones, one all-around dman with Gio. Additionally, Liles makes a pretty good number 2 power play quarter-back. He moves the puck swiftly and effectively and is very dangerous on the powerplay. I think he would make a very good second line powerplay on the point with Gio.  He may not be as good as he once was, but he can be a useful player if used wisely, as a fourth or fifth dman with the second power unit. I know what you are thinking -- another Babs scenario. But if we could use him with Wideman or Gio, they could cover up for him. If he can still use his speed wisely, he can really become a viable option in the offensive game.

Why they would be nuts:

Now the negative side of it; why it would be nuts for the Flames to consider this. First, his contract is ludicrous.  Not only for the cap hit but also for the number of years left. I know the cap is not going to be a issue over the next few years. But wouldn't it be more useful to put the money into the free agent market?  

The other concern of the naysayers is that Liles was weak in his prime. His speed made up for his mistakes. The problem is, he has gotten worse defensively, and he might not make up for his mistakes. Why would we open up those defensive blunders? This is the main reason I would decline on acquiring Liles.  The defensive liability is to much of a gamble.


Some miscellaneous observations that I had this week on the Flames this season. 

Goaltending 

Ramo has not been that terrible. But he has not come up with the huge saves when it was necessary on that last road trip. Rambo and Macdonald really have to step it up a notch for the Flames. Joey gave up an awful goal in the Coyotes, being caught like fish out of water did not help the Flames' cause.  As for Rambo, you could not be blame him for the Dallas game.  Rambo just did not come up with the saves he needed to.

The main question I have is: Was Jay serious about Berra coming up this season? Why has it not happened already?  The goaltending has been a little inconsistent lately. But they are winning despite it.  Look for that move to happen sooner or later.

Best Forwards

Where would the Flames be without Hudler? He  has a been a stud early this season, he has been making all the right choices. He has been leader offensively, but more importantly, he has been a stable influence in the dressing room. You cannot find that in the stats, only in the heart of the player. 

Monahan gets to stay

He earned the spot. It was really a no-brainer.  He is our best centre this season.  It is hard to believe that he is only a rookie. He plays with his heart on his sleeve. He has been outstanding in the offensive zone. I love the fact he is a strong force in the powerplay. 

Honourable mention

Joe Colborne

Joe is developing into a key acquisition. He is solid, winning the draw at important times. He seems to be clicking well with Cammy. They are beginning to gel with each other. If he continues to develop, he could a  second line centre.  He is helping in all aspects of the game, including the powerplays and penalty kill.


Finally, you can pretty much guess that other teams inquired about Glencross, but he has to waive first.  You can guess  that Cammy will be gone before the end of the season. I even dare say, the Flames will get calls on Gio. I would be stunned if he gets traded, but that will not stop the teams from asking. The news of Gio being out for two months is not good either. But the Flames continue to ignore the memo from the insiders, and continue to win. All bets are off.  

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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.