Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Real Reason Joe Nieuwendyk Won't be Calgary's GM

The Flames have met with many candidates for the vacant GM position. My sources who sneaked into the room have reported back on what has been happening. There are two major problems with signing the new GM. Now bear with me, because I am just learning squirrelnese, so it is kind of hard to understand my source. If you know any squirrel interpreters, I could really use the help. 

There are three major contenders for the position:

Lanny McDonald 

Yes, Lanny was brought in to interview for the position. Burke thought he would be good for public relations. But in the end, negotiations fell apart for a couple of reasons. Let’s listen in:

Burke: Before we discuss the money, we have to discuss the physical requirements for the job.

Lanny: Oh, okay. I could have my doctor send you my medical records.

Burke: That would not be necessary. Your health is not the concern.

Lanny: I am little confused; what are the physical requirements? 

Burke: You do not fit the guideline of 6’7”, and your IQ is under 300. We need to be bigger and smarter.

Lanny: Then why did you bring me in? Is 300 IQ even possible? 

Burke: Well, before we look at smarter, we need to look at bigger. You have to grow like 7 inches to qualify.

Lanny: How the heck am I going to do that? 

Burke: How do you feel about the rack? 

Lanny: Are you crazy? You want to torture me? 

Burke: Oh, don't be such a weinie! Well, never mind. More importantly: how do you feel about plastic surgery? 

Lanny: Why? 

Burke: Because we have to permanently stitch some strings into your head. And hands. And feet. So I can control everything you do. You know. Like one of those French puppets.

Lanny: WHAT????????

Burke: Wait; I am not finished. We also have to install a shock collar, so I can curb your impulse to say no to me.

For some reason, Lanny then broke into some explicit language. Which we cannot use in this blog. My sources think maybe it is Tourette’s Syndrome. 

Burke: That automatically disqualifies you for this position. Just as well; you probably could not have lived through the rack anyway. 

Joe Nieuwendyk

For some reason, Joe Nieuwendyk, the second candidate was no longer interested. He said he would not be able to fully commit to the job. Burke is considering legal action against Lanny McDonald; he feels Lanny might have said some things to Joe.

Brian Burke

The third person interested in the position is Brian Burke himself. But he feels he must pass the interview just like anyone else. He agreed to the physical requirements. But before the medical procedures are performed, he must learn to say yes to his own directions, so he agreed to the shock collar. 

Burke President: How do you feel about wearing the collar? 

Burke Applicant: I will if you will. 

(Puts on the collar.)

Burke President: Fine. Now you must always say yes to me and yield to my will.

Burke Applicant: No. 

Unfortunately, Burke shocked himself to unconsciousness, because he refused to submit to himself. They could not carry on with the rack treatment due to his medical condition. But refusing to obey everything the President says seems to be the main issue here. It seems that even Burke cannot say yes to himself.

The Flames are having trouble bringing in any further candidates. No-one seems to be interested anymore. We will keep you posted on this developing story. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why Tanking is the right thing to do

Last season’s trades of Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester signified a new day in Calgary and that the Flames were finally headed for a rebuild. With their 6th overall pick in the summer of 2013 the Flames drafted Sean Monahan, a player the team hopes will become the #1 center they have been searching for since the 90’s. Adding Monahan to short list of elite prospects like Sven Baertschi and Johnny Gaudreau is the beginning of what the future looks like in Calgary.

I have been an advocate of going full tank mode for the next few seasons so the Flames brass can continue to stock pile high-end prospects. I am of the belief that playing in a division with Anaheim, San Jose, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Vancouver is going to keep Calgary from truly contending or even making the playoffs anytime soon so this is the perfect opportunity to blow it up and start from scratch.

Additionally, the next two drafts offer players that would instantly give Calgary a boost to its rebuild process. Drafting Aaron Ekblad this summer would land the Flames a stud defenceman to build their blue line around for years to come. He is big, he can play a shutdown role, he can shoot the puck, he can eat up a lot of minutes and will be a #1 defenceman in the NHL. Like Monahan, Ekblad would give the team a top end player in a position they haven’t had for a long time. In the 2015 draft Connor McDavid will likely got 1st overall and with the direction of the Flames at this time (rebuild) it would be crazy to not try to draft him.  McDavid is another extremely skilled forward like we have seen go 1st overall within the last 10 years and he would instantly give the Flames a superstar type player to lead this team.

Many Flames fans are skeptical of tanking a season to land a top draft pick when they see their neighbors to the north continuously end up at the bottom of the league standings. On the flip side of what’s happening in Edmonton are Chicago and Pittsburgh who have both had high draft picks that have helped them each win Stanley Cups. It’s a risk reward situation that has a very high ceiling.

I realize finishing last overall only gives you a 25% chance of drafting 1st overall but if you could go back in time, tank a season and get a chance to draft John Tavares, Sidney Crosby or Nathan MacKinnon wouldn’t you? I know I would.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

and why the Anaheim Ducks could be his next team.

Safe to say that Mike Cammalleri’s name is the most used name in trade rumors linked to the Flames.
But should he be?

Expiring contract, playing on a team that will not make the playoffs, and being a former 39 goal scorer, including a stat that I am sure Brian Burke is bringing up daily to interested teams; 32 points in 32 playoff games. Cammalleri has shown he can elevate his game when it comes to the playoffs and a GM may hope and pay the price to have him do that again on their team.

So, we can see why his name has been circling around trade rumors for months? From the Los Angeles Kings, to Pittsburgh Penguins, and now the New Jersey Devils- all those teams can use him. So could the Anaheim Ducks, and many more teams. But what will it take to acquire Cammalleri? You see all these rumors, but no one has dared to suggest, or with any knowledge share a possible return. TSN has said that the asking price is a first round pick and a B prospect or a second round pick with an A prospect.

A price that seems a little high for New Jersey; especially since they do not have a first round pick this year and 2015 first round pick likely is worth a lot more at this point. Adding to prospects like Gelinas and Larsson likely not being on the table.

The Hockeynews suggested a bidding war between San Jose, Anaheim, LA & Vancouver. Now that sounds fun, but all those teams (excluding Anaheim) would likely need to move some money around. Calgary would not have an issue taking on extra salary but it also complicates potential deals. Anaheim could see Koivu, Selanne, Penner & Winnik off their roster for next season. Perhaps they will pay the price to acquire Cammalleri for the playoffs and sign him to an extension to help fill the scoring loss moving forward. That is why I believe Anaheim, if interested, would make a lot of sense. Devante Smith-Pelley and a 1st round pick?

 Also the Flyers are a team to watch. Holmgren loves to make a splash. 

With all that and all the rumblings, we forget that the signing of an extension is possible. Calgary media and Bob McKenzie have said that Burke and Cammalleri’s agent are talking about a potential contract extension. With a baby and being recently married, perhaps Cammalleri and his wife want to settle down and stay put? Sounds cozy, but he can easily do that in July when he gets a new deal from a new team. But having Cammalleri in the fold through this rebuild may not be a bad thing. Young guys can learn a lot from a true professional like Cammy. Perhaps Burke feels Cammalleri is part of the solution and would rather trade Hudler (without a NTC or NMC) who could fetch a nice return…

I guess we will know by the time March 5th turns into March 6th

Monday, February 3, 2014

On the road we go

As the Flames head out on the road, there is a lot to be happy about. So in this blog I am pointing out the bright spots I see. For example, on the defense, Mark Giordano. The team captain has done everything that has been asked of him. He is working on a career year. His nine goals lead the defense, and his twenty-eight points. He is a plus three, which is a miracle on this team. He is pretty much the leader of this team, on and off the team. He has been a stabilizing influence 

Let's stay on defense for bright spots. Well, my second bight spot for the defense has to be Kris Russel. Love the guy’s play. He has an edge to his style. He has been outstanding this season in his own end. If it was not for his injury, his numbers would be that much better. He has a terrific shot, with some underrated speed. I cannot imagine where the Flames would be without him. 

Let's move up to the forwards. The Flames have a few bright spots. The first I have to mention is Mikael Backlund. He is playing the best he has ever played as a member of the Calgary Flames. How about that overtime winner against the Wild? He has been outstanding, especially in the penalty killing. His knowledge of the game has grown, he thinks two moves at a time. There is no panic in his game. He is a confident, smart center.

I think it's time to admit that Jiri Hudler has been our most consistent forward. He leads the team in scoring with his forty-two points. He just knows how to win. He passes with true skill. He has great skill getting in and out of traffic. I am sure he could skate through a hay stack and find fifty needles! 

Sean Monahan just recently went through a dry spell. But to his credit, he fought his way through it. He is still young, but has a ton of skill. He tries his best every night and he has plenty of heart. He never quits, no matter what the task.

Now the hard facts.

The Flames have to stop giving up with ugly mistakes. They have is a bad pattern of turnovers. They have to stop the giveaways and stop blowing the leads. The Flames must play to win and not to lose. They must continue to play with chips on their shoulders. They must not allow themselves to be pushed around. No more playing like pansies.


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.