It was the year after the lockout and the Flames were practicing at the Don Hartman arena. My son really wanted to meet Peter Maher. His favorite saying was YEAH BABY. The moment we saw him, my son went up to him to meet his idol. I introduced us, and my son screams out YEAH BABY. Peter asked him if he wanted his job. I will never forget that moment. My son was 10 feet tall all that afternoon.
My favorite YEAH BABY call
This one was really hard. It is a toss up.
The biggest is probably May 25th, 1989. Hearing his call announcing the Flames as Stanley Cup champions gave me chills. It brought me to tears. It made me feel like I was there.
Then there was the Iggy 50th goal call. You could tell that he sincerely loved Iggy. The relationship those two had will always be special. That YEAH BABY call will always be a special moment for me. I will never forget it.
What I loved most about Peter Maher
I have so many great memories of Peter. His Flames History on The Fan was a favorite show of mine. I always took time to listen to it. It was perfect timing for me, just when I was picking my wife up from work. Of course I would have to tell my family not to talk during this time.
Another thing I love was the fact you could never tell who scored. His tone did not change when the opposing team scored. I always admired his professionalism. He has integrity and love for the game. Yes Peter, you will be missed.
Burke went into this process with this process with three basic objectives. The biggest would be to get a great hockey mind. Someone who knows good young talent when sees it. He also had to make sure he got someone from the type of organization the Flames would want to model themselves after.
No objective could be achieved without the others. In Burke's mind, the Flames are a good young solid team with potential. Something the Coyotes started out to be. We needed a man who specialized in good young talent. The Coyotes are a very good young team, who have gotten that way by developing good young talent. So who better to get than the man who was in charge of that process?
Brad will be a huge asset in the draft. Remember Burke's complaints about our drafts? We have to hit more homeruns. Our drafts have to be bigger, more skilled players. We have to more diligent in finding the superstars. Brad Treliving specializes in developing young talent. He knows young talent when he sees them and knows what to with them when he sees them. Basically, he relates to the young talent.
Burke is very good at negotiating for developing stars. He knows how to bring in the big names. His hockey savvy is finding ways to make a deal work. What he needs help with is finding diamonds in the rough. Let's put it this way--he can make a diamond into a shinier diamond. What he lacks is getting it to the diamond stage.
The Flames have always had problems developing their own. That is why they have always had other team's prospects. Brad fills the gap here. The Flames drastically need to start developing their talent. The process has reevaluated. They have to clean up the mess in the organization. Mr. Treliving is a good start to get back where we were.
What does this mean in the rebuild?
Basically, it is telling us we are rebuilding, with a hint of retooling. The main reason Burke wanted Treliving is because Burke is really in charge. Brad's job is really closer to Head of Scouting, in charge of the rebuilding.
Burke will be in charge of the retooling. All transactions will go through Burke. In other words, if Cammy resigns, it will because of Burke. He is a very good salesman. I am sure he could sell me anything he wanted, and make me think I wanted it. So yes, Brad might still be puppet, but we have a very good, devoted GM who has a mind of his own.
A couple years ago the Flames organization was seen as
having one of the worst prospect pools in the league. Darryl Sutter was in “win
now” mode and many people thought the Flames were a contender. Maybe not a
legit Stanley Cup contender, but a playoff contender at the least. Things
didn’t go as planned, Sutter stepped down and Jay Feaster went from assistant
General Manager to acting General Manager in December of 2010. He had a lot of
work ahead of him to fix a team loaded with No Trade/No Move Clauses and not
many good prospects.
While Feaster was in charge, the Flames drafted and traded
for some young players that have given fans a better hope for the future. Some
of the trades include bringing in Corban Knight, Karri Ramo, Ben Hanowski and
Kenny Agostino. Not all are household names but they help build and develop a
strong system in the minors which is important for any team that wants to
produce quality NHL’ers.
Where Feaster and his team did their best job was at the
draft table. All of the Flames best prospects in their system right now have
come from the draft. Sven Baertschi, Markus Grandlund, Tyler Wotherspoon, John
Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier, etc. (Max Reinhart was a Darryl Sutter
draft). These are the players fans hope and pray will become future stars on
Now with Brian Burke employed as President of Hockey
Operations, and as acting General Manager until he hires someone, the Flames
need to continue to draft smartly for this team to move forward. Barring a
“Burkian” style Sedins or Kessel trade, this summer’s 4th overall
pick should land a very strong player especially if Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart
or Sam Bennett are still available. This is a big draft for the team with Brian
Burke in charge for the first time. Will his vision lead to different style of
drafting players? Will he continue to look at size as one of his top qualities
in a player he wants to draft? Will he emphasize skill?
Seeing the Edmonton Oilers is a constant reminder of how
important draft day is when building a team. Let’s hope the Flames continue to
do a good job so our rebuild only lasts a couple of years.
The Calgary Flames Officially Sign Gaudreau & Arnold
The wait and speculation is over, the Flames have finally
and officially signed John Gaudreau. Along with Gaudreau the Flames also sign
and his Boston College team mate Bill Arnold. Many fans were worried this day
would never come, but here it is.
Bill Arnold Contract terms: Two-year entry level two-way contract commencing immediately with an annual NHL base salary of $810,000, a signing bonus of $90,000 each year and an Average Annual Value of $900,000
John Gaudreau Contract terms: Three-year entry level two-way contract commencing immediately with an annual NHL base salary of $832,500, a signing bonus of $92,500 each year and an Average Annual Value of $1,850,000 incorporating performance bonuses .
Both come with a lot of expectations, Gaudreau is expected
to produce almost instantly. At least that is what most fans expect. Arnold who
has put up good numbers in college is more expected to become a solid third
line player. Arnold is a physical player with decent size, known for his work
ethic and hockey smarts. Arnold will have to improve his skating as that is
considered a weakness of his.
Gaudreau is crafty, fast and has major skill that allowed
him to put up 77 points in 39 games for Boston College. Where will he fit with
the Flames? Only time will tell.
Both Gaudreau and Arnold may play Sunday in Vancouver.
As the season is slowly coming to a close, many little tid
bits are surfacing. From Cammalleri to Gaudreau and the elusive GM search, an
exciting off season lays ahead.
With the Flames playing a game in Toronto, Brian Burke made
himself readily available to the media. Besides the obvious questions about
being back in Canada’s largest city, he also addressed the Cammalleri contract
Burke stated that the Flames have offered Cammalleri a
contract that they feel is fair. Now, he followed that by saying that
Cammalleri and his camp feel they can get a better deal in free agency. With
the lack of top end talent come July 1, Cammalleri is likely right. We do not
know what the Flames have offered but I would imagine Cammalleri is looking for
a longer deal with an annual salary north of 5.5 per season.
It is starting to look like the Flames may end up watching
Cammalleri walk for nothing. This will make some if not most of the fans upset,
but all we can do is hope that Burke not selling him for a low pick will pay
off in the future? I am not sure how that will pay off, but Burke stated that
it is important the Flames send a message that they will not sell their talent
for below for what they feel is market value.
The new GM search continues but sounds like it is on hold.
Brian Burke on the FAN960 said it could take until July before they can
continue to interview possible candidates. This means Burke will be in control
at the draft. With that said keep an eye on George McPhee, if the Capitals fail
to make the playoffs and with an expiring contract, George could be out as the
GM in Washington. I am not saying he is my #1 choice, but he will be a front
runner if he does indeed need a new job. McPhee would allow for a seamless
transition for Brian Burke.
Now the Gaudreau situation, it just keeps getting more and
more intriguing. The latest is his father; Guy Gaudreau who in an article by Dave Isaac from the Courier-Post was quoted saying:
"My wife and I, we've
argued about it quite a few times," Guy Gaudreau said. "As a father,
and her as a mother, we'd love for him to go back for his senior year and get a
degree. As a hockey person that knows the game, it would be better for him if
he wanted to eventually make the NHL to go sign with Calgary."
"If the management
they had there before was there, like (former general manager Jay) Feaster, the
ones that drafted him, I'd be really comfortable letting him go," Guy
Gaudreau said. "I know that (Calgary president of hockey operations) Brian
Burke likes big boys, big hockey players. My son is not a big hockey player.
He's made it clear that he likes him or whatever, but I don't think he's sold
on him. That's been John all his life, wherever he tried out. It's always been,
'He's got to prove himself, prove himself, and prove himself.' He's done that
over and over and over."
Interesting comments for sure but I can understand where he
is coming from as a parent. This saga continues and will only ramp up if he
decides to return for his senior year at Boston College. Gaudreau cannot become
a NHL free agent until August 15, 2015.
Wotherspoon will miss the rest of the season and will
undergo shoulder surgery. With the Wotherspoon injury; Chris Breen has been called up along with Mark
Cundari. Cundari who was loaned to the Chicago Wolves earlier in the year. Since he
has been with the Wolves he has done fairly well, recording 13 points in 22
games while being a plus player.
I think it is safe to say that both guys are being closely
watched and evaluated. With expiring contracts on both guys (Breen UFA, Cundari
RFA) Burke will want to see some progression if they want a new contract with
the Flames. Wideman, Smid, Granlund and David Jones remain on the IR.
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.