It's August, the hottest part of the summer is over. The Stampede is here and gone and heck, even the most loyal CFL fan is getting tired of the Stampeders. What better way to spend an evening than talking about 2007-08 Flames Hockey.
First off, and others may not agree, the best thing the Flames did off-season was hire Mike Keenan. Last year this team lacked focus. There is no way a team can have such a solid home record and then reverse it and have a horrible road record. The talent is there it's just that Jim Playfair couldn't get it out of them. It's simple: Playfair's style of coaching did not suit the Flames style of play. Enter Mike Keenan. He will not tolerate laziness (sorry Huselius but good ole Keenan is back as your bench boss) and will get a more disciplined all-around game from this club.
Signing Owen Nolan was a better move than the Amonte/Friesen/McCarty signings. There is no way I would want a player such as Amonte or Friesen over Nolan. Nolan still has some game left and plays physical hockey. I still remember the all-star game where he pointed at Hasek's net and told him where he would score - and did. Solid pick up and don't be surprised to see Nolan post 15-20 goals.
Cory Sarich was a good signing. He plays a Regehr type game and really, isn't that what Flames hockey is about? I for one am excited about the D:
We're solid there.
After the first two lines, what do we have? Let's look:
I'm not convinced Conroy has much left unless he's with Iggy...and that's not a good idea. Also, we'll have a new backup this year. But with Iron Mike behind the bench, Kipper will probably see 70+ games.
The "We'll See"
Aucoin is a big "we'll see". He's had some rough seasons and everyone in Flame country is hoping being up here will turn it around for him. It better, he makes $4 million a year and that's a lot against the cap for someone who was ineffective last year.
So that's my brief take on the off-season moves. I predict the Flames will challenge for the division title and will have a successful playoffs. But then again, shouldn't every fan predict that for their team?
Richie Regehr = playing in Europe
Well I can appreciate the fact that you are a fan an are feeling optomisic about your team. Good on you! However reality check is that the Flames squeeked into last years last playoff spot.(By 1pt) All the western teams who made the playoffs last year improved or stayed the same. The teams that didn't also greatly improved. (Kings, Blues, Hawks, Oilers) with that said the Flames got worse and didn't address the need to get better like some of the other teams. Another thing is that Mike Keanen is a hit or miss. His credability is at an all time low. The players may not take well to him at all. His past years as head coach he has boasted a pretty dismal record. His only successful campaign was when the Rangers won the cup, but to be honest that team is alot different to what the 07-08 Flames will look like. I for one won't be surprised to see the flames finish 8th or perhaps missing the playoffs all together, in turn could set up a transition period for the team, time to rebuild.
You have to look at the history between Sutter and Keenan also. They've been friends for quite sometime, and Darryl has stated that he learned a lot of what he knows from Keenan himself. I believe Sutter will have a bigger input this year with his team then the previous year under Playfair. How can you say they never addressed needs...we added Aucoin
For some reason my blog got cut off. We added Aucoin and Sarich, which is better than Hamrlik/Zyzuin anyday. I find it funny coming from an Oilers fan "its time to rebuild" LOL
Now I don't want to get inot a pissin match about teams all I'm saying is you lost Stuart, Hamerlik..aucoin is a joke! You have to agree that the Flames are not as good as say the ducks, sharks, red wings, avalanche. Canucks? Then the teams who are behind you just got a heck of alot better. Predators, stars, kings, Oilers, Hawks, will all be knocking on your door. Plus factor in Kipper, can he play 70 games?
Slats...you can't say it's not a pissing match and then follow up with the flames got worse but we got better?? if -27 souray in front of really old goalie who is over paid is better...ok. Then you got better. Sarich is a liegitimate #2 or even #1 d, he's our 3rd, the oiler wish they had that depth. Then the kipper thing, c;mon who's your back up THIS year?? It doesn't matter really I'm just concerned they'll let roloson play with a walker. I love the name too, slats25, it reminds me of when the oilers were a good team.
How can you miss, Primeau, Hale, and Godard...? Hale over Eriksson, maybe even WarrenerGodard 4th line goon, who is capable on the defensive side.Primeau, a huge grinder who is willing to drop the gloves too.Those are 3 very big parts of the Flames line up.Ri. Regehr is done, Acoin is HUGELY over paid at 4 mil, but if he plays like he did for Keenan before, he will be worth it.Lombardi looked INCREDIBLE at championships after the flames lost, and will be a huge boost to the clubTaratukhin, will most likely make the team as he should, great all around player.Chris Chucko and Dustin Boyd will fight for the last few spots left on the roster
Tanguay-Langkow-Iginla (you got the left and right mixed up)Huselius-Lombardi-NolanMoss-Conroy-PrimeauGodard-Yelle-NilsonAucoin-Phaneuf (PP and playing with Iggy)Regehr-Sarich (PK and shut down Dmen)Warrener-Hale/Giordano ( extra d men)Warrener might be traded due to his 2.5mil contract and that he is at best a 5th/6th d menThats are more likely a line upGodard and Moss, might lose their spots for Chucko and Taratukhin, Boyd is a center too, and Calgary is full of them right now
last year aucoin had 16 pts and was minus 22 and souray had 64 pts and was minus 28... are you really telling me that you would rather have aucoin or sarich than souray...lol... won't matter too much though, you still have the 2nd best goaltender in the league, barring any injuries you should squeak into the playoffs again this year...and for the record slats isn't saying the oilers are better than the flames (though i am not saying they aren't)... he is merely pointing out that you lost 3 big D and replaced them with 2 less good D... the flames have lost players and not replaced them with better ones... the rest of western conference has replaced the players they lost and added to their team
No Question the Oilers got better, Lets face could they get any worse.?? Even after over paying guys like Souray and Penner, this team will be lucky to finish in the top 10 in the west. I for one like the fact that the Flames did not make a whole heck of a lot of moves in the off season. The talent is there it is just a matter of putting it all together. Also the fact that there are going to be between 3-4 openings for younger guys to step up and take a roll. We really need the energy and passion these young guys can bring. I predict Calgary and Colorado fight for first in the division.
Oilers improved very slightly, playoffs is a far cry though. Aucoin replaces Hammer with ease and comes at a cheaper (albeit still overpaid) price of 4 mil as compared to 5.3. Sarich won't replace offense but will be a better defensive solution than Stuart. The Flames improved their team for the 3rd straight offseason and yet i'm still sceptacle due to the fact it hasn't returned results yet. On a side not, Oiler fans kill me... remember who made the playoffs by 1 pt. two years ago? Probably not. Career backup Garon probably steals Roloson's gig this year and how could your team be worse than last year? And the player who worked the hardest for you gets cut (Peterson, even though he had no business being on an NHL roster in the first place). The old boys club needs to get broken up (Lowe, MacT and Huddy), you think Craig Simpson didn't see where things were going? Come on. And one last reason the Flames are a better team this year... no more Andrei Zyuzin!!! Had Sutter only made one move this offseason in dropping Zyuzin and not sign a single free agent I would still think we are a better team... speaking of guys who don't belong on an NHL roster...
wow...flames fans thinking that we didn't do much, odd. you guys can't tell me we didn't get better. let's see who did we sign... Souray, Penner, Pitkanen, Garon, Sanderson, Tarnstrom, Grebeshkov. who do we have to bring up...Cogliano, Nilsson, Gilbert, Shremp, O'Mara, Pouliot, Stortini, Dubnyk, and Deslaurier! Don't Forget we got a great assistantr coach in Rob Daum, just take a look at his record. mslepp, if you think Toby Petersen didn't belong on an NHL team last year, then you obviously didn't watch any Oiler Games. i was sad to see him go. the only thing we really need is a second line good forward. don't forget though, that Stoll and Moreau are back. and I know those guys are chompin at the bit to douse some flames this year!!
Oilers fas, whoa. We lost a lot of dead weight. Yeah you got a great young defencemen in Pitkanen but didn't you lose your captain? Flames have a lot of prospect too, but I'm not going to name them all. I think Sutter has put a great group together. To trade any of the core would have made us worse. To keep them together has made us stronger. When the Flames are inconsistant (ie home vs. road) he picks up Keenan, who he knows professionally. That is sending a message that if you don't proform it's going to get tougher. I also don't like that people bring up the fact that Keenan had a losing record in Florida and a winning record when he won the cup. Really?
Oilers lost 2 of their best players, their hart and soul, Smith and SmythSarich will be HUGE in Calgary, him paired with Regehr will form a great shut down duo for the flames. I take Aucoin over Souray any day, Souray is a powerplay specialist who can't play defence. Aucoin was injured and played on one of the worst teams in the league. Souray played in Montreal who were in the playoffs most of the year.Oilers need a dependable goalie and someone to play tough defense. and oh yeah, someone to score... good luck with that one