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Calgary, AB • Canada •
-Alex Tanguay
-Kristian Huselius
-Anders Eriksson
-Matthew Lombardi

All these players fall onto the same criteria as each other, Soft Players. Players that have splendid talents in other aspects of the game but wont be known for hitting, checking, and outworking the opponent. They also fall under another label; players one would never expect to remain on the hard working 04 team that built their bridge to the cup finals with sweat and strong forechecking.

While each player mentioned has brought steady play, I have to wonder if Sutter really thinks anyone sees the current Flames team as the Alberta hockey team that sweats blood and suffocates the opposition with man-on-man play that once was. Players on the Flames have gotten lazy or slow with the examples of Huselius and other players. The strange hybrid of offense and two-man forecheck that Playfair and Flemming allowed last year did nothing to help either.

While the answer may be Keenan, bringing in sound defensive players would allow a better chance of becoming that team that defeated the three division leaders and came within a goal of winning the cup.

Players in the league that may fit that mould include:
-Erik Cole
-Dustin Brown
-Sean Avery
-Trent Hunter (Calgary Native)
-Ethan Moreau
-Chris Neil
-Olli Jokinen
-David Legwand
-Brendan Witt
-Colby Armstrong
-Chris Clark
-Matt Cooke
-Mike Fisher
-Jere Lehtonen

Each of those guys knows how to grind a team into the ground with hard work and strong positional play. With the Flames' questions on who will fill out the depth for the 3rd and 4th line, any of those players would bring energy to the team. Guys like Cole, Jokinen, Lehtonen, and Legwand would be able to score well enough as well. While the last four guys would be expensive, there is a lot of value that isn’t needed on the Flames that can be traded as well.

This is my first blog, please give any feedback you want, even if it's brief.
Filed Under:   Flames  
August 21, 2007 4:42 PM ET | Delete
I don't know fry, Huselius is obviously soft but I noticed Tanguay especially trying to not only take hits but in fact lay the body last year. I also can't remember how many times Lombardi took a huge hit to make the pass, I can't speak to Erikkson but if I'm right about Keenan, if he plays soft he won't last long.
August 21, 2007 5:29 PM ET | Delete
Is Calgary actively pursuing such a player at this time? Friesen certainly wasn't a soft player, but I also don't blame Calgary for not resigning him, he was about as affective as a mannequin this season. McCarty was equally ineffective. Maybe they should take a look at Jeff O'Neill. He can lay on the hits and put some points up as well...
August 21, 2007 5:56 PM ET | Delete
just as a side note we re-upped Goddard to take on some of the more physical games and have a guy like Prust who I think could come in and be that aggresive annoying type player. It'll be interesting to see, as for your list I think we'd take alot of those guys in a heart beat but they are all really important to their team! Canes- I kind of like the o'neill idea but Flames fans might be annoyed with him AND Nolan. Basically the same guy.
August 21, 2007 9:49 PM ET | Delete
Too soft? No way..Last years red wings got tougher matching the Flames toughness. The only thing was the Flames couldn't match their skill. They need more skilled players! Not just one or two (iginla.tanguay)
August 21, 2007 10:54 PM ET | Delete
Yeah saneopinion, O'Neill is sort of a gamble, he'll put up 20g 40p, but he'll also rack up penalties minutes.
August 21, 2007 11:46 PM ET | Delete
Calgary not tough enough?? wow, are you sure?Tanguay and Huselius are there to provide playmaking skills and get goals into the net, which Calgary was 3rd best at last year. DO NOT CHANGE THATLombardi is a tough and quick center who has played on Calgary's 3/4th line for a few years. Eriksson wont even play.EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS TEAM IS TOUGH, ok Giordano isn'tdefense is incredible and HUGEPhaneuf, Regehr, Sarich, Hale, Warrener, Iggy, Langkow, Conroy, Nolan, Yelle, Nillson, Primeau, Godard, Prust and Taratuhkin if they make the team. As tough as the team gets... lets not forget Sutter made this team.Most of the players you listed are untouchable because their respectable teams rely on them.
August 22, 2007 2:03 AM ET | Delete
I would take Lombardi off the list immediately! But I agree that some of our guys have gotten a little softer. My first blog on this site adressed that where I wish we had some of the guys from the 04 team who never lost a battle along the boards or were ever outhustled. I think Keenan will help bring some of that back to the guys. We do have some toughness too though... but we were way too easy to play against last season, something that needs to be corrected.
August 22, 2007 12:53 PM ET | Delete
Find me one team in the NHL that doesnt have a "softy". This is rediculous, Tanguay/Huselius are play makers, on numerous times I've seen them battle for the puck and go into corners. You cant expect everybody to be an Iginla, the team is definitely not soft, they bring skill to the team. We have plunty of grinders like Yelle, Primeau or Nilson which can provide that "edge"
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