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It's fun when the team you cheer for has great propects and great prospect camps because you get to hope that they will crack the line up, this was the case recently in Calgary where some of the young talent made the fans think, "what if?".
"Flamstr" wrote a few great blogs on prospect camp and even interviewed the families of a couple (if you haven't read these it's worth your while) and after reading that a few readers were hoping they'd make the team. While it isn't impossible for these young guys to make the team there are several reasons why they wouldn't. Their talent is not in question, it's simply a numbers thing, the number of players and the numbers their contracts put against the cap.
No one like to waste money, especially franchises, so if you were hoping Aucoin would start in the A.H.L. this year don't hold your breath because financially it doesn't make sense. It would be terrific if the best players made the team all of the time like Keenan has stated but we know the contracts mean something. Here is a look at your 2008/09 Flames based on contracts, the teams actual depth chart and one way contracts.

Obviously the top line will look like:
LW- Cammalleri C- Langkow RW- Iginla

It gets a bit more tricky from there, these line ups will change of course but the starting night should be very close to:

2nd line-

LW-Bourque C- Lombardi RW- Bertuzzi

3rd Line-

LW- Glencross C- Conroy RW- Moss

4th line-

LW- Nystrom C- Primeau RW- Boyd

Roy And Prust will be the alternate guys in the press box. Nilson WILL be demoted or traded if Sutter gets lucky.

So what does this say? Looking at this line up what strikes you? (this is where oiler fans jump in and make their obvious jokes). To me this version of the flames has two things, team speed and team toughness. Not every player is super fast or a tough guy but as a whole adding guys like Glencross, Cammalleri and Bourque says they are serious about speed this year. In addition to the Boyd's and Lombardis' on this team we are in for some fast paced hockey. In case you have not seem Nystrom or Prust play together I forsee a huge checking line emerging there, tough fast kids ...watch out.

With Bertuzzi, if he can regain some of that nastyness we hated playing against from before, will alone make the team tougher but Roy and Prust are legit fighters as well. In my opionion Roy is a bit of a waste and was not needed but Sutter gets paid a lot more to make great decisions and I am a salesman so...

The kids on the team are gritty, the flames drafted gritty for four years so fans are hoping to see it now, Prust, Nystrom and yes even Boyd. Boyd is really unique because he was a smaller guy with great hands that would go to the net last year...and get smoked. He put on 10 lbs of muscle this year and I would peg ho\im to be the great surprise of 08/09 for the flames. If you doubt it go watch the world juniors he dominated a few years back.

The defense is really easy to look at, we know Anders won't be back unless there is huge injuries, Warrener WILL be kept around unless traded, he will not be sent down. Erikkson's demotion alone puts the flames under the cap, if Nilson gets sent down we are 1 million under the cap. It's just numbers but don't expect Backlund or Wahl to make the team this year, next year for sure for Backlund.

Pardy will be the extra D this year, he is a great young D and as will all young d us fans will have to try and support him through his mistakes whch is different than Anders... he should have known better!!

Like I said, this wasn't about my opinions on lines, the lines would be considerably different if it was. This was based on one way contracts, players under those contracts and the Flames' own depth chart.

Filed Under:   Flames   Iginla   Boyd   Prust   Nystom  
August 5, 2008 10:49 AM ET | Delete
I would say that the first line (Cammalleri/Langkow/Iggy) is "obvious". You even said yourself that the lines will not stick. Iginla practically asked (via the media) that he play with Bertuzzi since they had "such great chemistry at the Olympics". Also, Keenan has also said that he wants Cammalleri playing Center. So, that either means Langkow is moved to 1st line Lw or 2nd Center with Lombardi playing a wing somewhere. Yet, again, it's all a moot point since Keenan will try every possible matchup with his lines and leave no room for chemistry between anyone.I believe this is a rebuilding year for the Flames and we'll see another 1st Rnd playoff exit (is they make the playoffs). *sad face
August 5, 2008 11:09 AM ET | Delete
I 100% agree, Bertuzzi will get top line time in my opinion but like I said i was going off of their depth chart. Lombardi and Cammalleri also showed a lot of chemistry together so i'm sure we'll see that match up as well.
August 5, 2008 11:12 AM ET | Delete
Calgary's 1st line's really looking goog but both the 2nd and the 3rd lines don't look that great. I really believe Lombardi can become a great player and hpefully Bourque can benefit from it...but for the rest...not really impressed. On the other hand, I know Calgary's got some good prospects that'll be joining the roster within 2 years. I'M really hoping Calgary will do beter this year...and I'll get my fingers crossed for you guys for Kipper to actually show up for a full year and perform at the level he can and should.
August 5, 2008 1:34 PM ET | Delete
I really do believe that Cammalleri will be a second line center and Bertuzzi will be the 1st line LW. When I look at second line I think of what my old hockey coach used to say to us "Speed Kills".
August 5, 2008 2:38 PM ET | Delete
I agree with tmcflames16, I think Bertuzzi will be on the first line with Langkow and Iginla considerng the friendship and in Bertuzzi's words "100% why he chose Calgary". Then Cammalleri will center the 2nd line with Lombardi on the wing because Sutter has said that he has put him on the wing before so its an option. The only other change I would also make is Boyd to line 3 and Moss to Line 4. Boyd is younger, quicker and has a way bigger upside in potential than Moss, as well as adding 10 pounds of muscle. I am also curious what is the 3rd pair of Dman pairings is going to be. Of course Regher and Sarich are going to be together but whose going to be with Phaneuf? A matured Gio.. Aucoin that played most of the season with him last year until we got Vandermeer.. Or Vandermeer who played with Phaneuf since he got here and seemed to have chemistry and having the nickname "Vandernuef". As regards to the prospects, I really dont see any "new" players playing for more than half the season. Of course we would all like to see a Backlund type player to put on the Flames jersey but next year is the earliest. Bring on the camp!
August 5, 2008 2:45 PM ET | Delete
I would hope Boyd will get more than a 4th liner chance of scoring, I belive he is a better more natural goal scorer than Moss as well. I think we'll see vanderneuf back again! Sarich will probably team up with Regehr leaving giordano and aucoin on the last pairing. Out of topic but I could see Aucoin moving this year, his contract seems sane all of sudden because g.m. went INsane this year and it's his contract year so by deadline he's not over expensive.
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