Calgary Flames: Training Camp Begins
On September 11th 2013 NHL training camps around the league began. This year the Calgary Flames are not expected to produce much, but they have some interesting prospects to watch such as Sean Monahan, Emile Porier, and Reto Berra. The 28th drafted overall Morgan Klimchuk was injured right before camp, so he will not participate, but he isn’t expected to make a splash right away anyway.
The players attending training camp will be split up into three groups. Team A (Team MacDonald), Team B (Team McCrimmon), and Team C (Team Peplinkski).
Curtis Glencross – Matt Stajan – Lee Stempniak
Ben Hanowski – Roman Horak – Tim Jackman
Carter Bancks – Max Reinhart – Greg Nemisz
C Blair Jones
Dennis Wideman – TJ Brodie
Derek Smith – Brett Kulak
James Martin – Zach McKelvie
The first line of Team A looks very much like the first line the Calgary Flames will use for the season, but the second line is not so spectacular. It is made up of two potential forth liners and a player who won’t see much (if any at all) playing time. The third offensive line has power in Max Reinhart, but Nemisz and Bancks havn’t been developing and thats a problem for a Flames organization in need of talent.
On defence the first line has the Flame’s top D Dennis Wideman paired alongside hidden gem powerhouse young TJ Brodie. Derek Smith is good and will see playing time, but Brett Kulak will most likely spent all of his time in the minors. The third line isn’t anything to be proud of with James Martin never going to be a full time NHLer, and nobody has ever heard of McKelvie.
The goaltending is great. Reto Berra led Switzerland to silver at the internationals with a stellar performance, while Joni Ortio showed determination and great skill at the prospect tournament in Pentiction. Expect both of them to play great at training camp because both are showing why they should be starter.
Mike Cammalleri – Mikael Backlund – David Jones
Michael Ferland – Sean Monahan – Coda Gordon
Paul Byron – Corban Knight – David Eddy
C Steve Begin
Mark Giordano – Shane O’Brien
Patrick Sieloff – Tyler Wotherspoon
Keegan Kanzig – Braden Lamb
The first line is very good until the RW (not that it is bad though) Mike Cammalleri will be the starting LW for the Calgary Flames this season and Mikael Backlund will battle for the starting C job. David Jones will most likely end up of the 3rd line. The second line has Michael Ferland on the LW, who played incredible at the prospect tournament in Pendicton, alongside 2013 6st overall draft pick Sean Monahan. Coda Gordan has soon great commitment to playing hockey, but don’t expect him to ever be a full-time NHLer someday. Paul Byron is a great player for his age, but he can’t develop. If you are seeing a pattern, Calgary needs to work on developing their prospects instead of keeping them in the juniors or throwing them to the minors. Corban Knight was acquired for a fourth round pick, which should have been a steal but he has a monster salary to deal with (3.75M per). Only Flame’s fans have heard of David Eddy because he isn’t making headlines, but he is still a good overall prospect. Steve Begin was signed to an AHL contract, but he will try out for a pro contract at this training camp.
Mark Giordano is what he is, Mark Giordano. He is a great player, the Flame’s second best defenceman, and is 100% guaranteed to crack the roster. Shane O’Brien was acquired recently in a trade that had Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich head to the Avs, he is a good player and will crack the roster unless he flops miserably. Patick Sieloff and Tyler Wotherspoon are some of Calgary’s top defensive prospects, so make sure to keep an eye of them. Keegan Kanzig was the tallest draftee in 2013 at 6’7″ but he doesn’t have any offensive power (7 points in 70 games). He is way to defensive to make an impact. Braden Lamb is still a no-name, but after this training camp expect that to change.
Karri Ramo is expected to start for the Calgary Flames this year after spending three years as one of the best goalies in the KHL. He didn’t do well in his short stint with Tampa Bay though. Laurnet Brossoit is one of the best goalies in the WHL, and has been that way for quite a while, but he is having trouble becoming professional. Expect a few more junior years out of him.
Sven Baertschi – Markus Granlund – Jiri Hudler
TJ Galiardi – Josh Jooris – Emile Porier
Lance Bouma – Ben Street – Brian McGratten
C Brett Olson – LW Turner Elson
Kris Russell – Chris Butler
Mark Cundari – John Ramage
Ryan Culkin – Chad Billings
Sven Baertschi is expected to be a Calder candidate, while Markus Granlund led all of the prospects in Pentiction (Vancouver, Edmonton, San Jose, Winnipeg, Calgary) is scoring, and Jiri Hudler is expected to play on the second line with players such as Curtis Glencross and Sean Monahan. TJ Galiardi was a “Dream come true” in the words of Jay Feaster, and it is for Flames fans. He is a great player. Josh Jooris is still a mystery though, as he was signed recently and nobody has really heard about him until now. Emile Porier showed up all of the people who said picking him at 22nd overall was a bad decision. Porier played incredible at showings throughout the summer including the prospect tournament in Penticton. Lance Bouma hasn’t improved after multiple years, Ben Street has just cracked the NHL after he had some playing time last season, and Brian McGratten is just being himself. His hard hitting, tough ways. Turner Elson played great at Penticton but Olson still needs to make a name for himself.
The Chris Line has Kris Russell and Chris Butler playing alongside eachother. Though it isn’t a dream line, it is still good. Cundari scored in his first NHL game with the Calgary Flames while John Ramage played incredible at Penticton (Like Sean Monahan, Turner Elson, Markus Granlund, Joni Ortio, and Laurent Brossoit). Ryan Culkin and Chad Billings are still no-names but that will change hopefully because they both have great talent.
Joey MacDonald is expected to backup Karri Ramo so keep an eye on him.
This looks like a really great group for a team that is sure to do bad this season. Stay tuned and keep on eye on this training camp.
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