Flames news and notes: not a lot going on

Derek Leung

Like, six Flames are still actually playing hockey?

Not a lot actually going on in Flames land at the moment. There's the draft to look forward to, but that's still a little under two months away. The Abbotsford Heat are done. Every junior team a Flames prospect plays on has been eliminated in the playoffs, although there is a chance the Flames draft Michael Dal Colle, and his Oshawa Generals are in the OHL final at the moment, so that's something to watch for. The World Championships start on Friday, and the Flames will be relatively well-represented there. As it stands right now, there are six Flames still actually lacing up and playing:

  • Mark Cundari. He slipped under the radar there, but the former part-of-a-package-for-Jay Bouwmeester-oh-god-what-a-bad-trade escaped the fate that befell his former Abbotsford Heat teammates. Back in January Cundari was traded to the Chicago Wolves for the services of Corey Locke. Since it was only an AHL transaction, he's still Flames property (he did play four games for the Flames this season, albeit getting limited minutes on the bottom pairing). In five first round games, he has one goal (a late game-tying-goal; the Wolves went on to win in OT) and 16 shots on net. Cundari resumes play on Friday when the Wolves take on the Toronto Marlies in the second round.
  • Sean Monahan. Monahan will be suiting up for Team Canada, although how big his role will be remains to be seen.

    Sam Reinhart is only there for the team's training camp and exhibition game, so he definitely can't be expected to be a regular linemate of Monahan's. Of Canada's forward group, Monahan and Nathan MacKinnon have the least experience, and MacKinnon had the more impressive year of the two, so Monahan may not be getting a lot of minutes.
  • It should also be noted that Brad Treliving is one of Canada's assistant GMs.
  • Johnny GaudreauTeam USA is relatively young, but Gaudreau is the youngest. He's also only one year removed from playing for a national American team, and everyone knows how skilled he is, so it'll be interesting to see how much the Americans use him.
  • Sven Baertschi. After the Heat's elimination, Baertschi was added to Switzerland's roster. He had the chance to play for Switzerland in the World Championships last year, but was injured towards the end of the NHL season and had to bow out of the tournament. This is the first time Baertschi will play for Switzerland since the 2012 World Juniors in Calgary.
  • Mikael Backlund. After finally having a breakout season (and finally being put in the Flames' top six, where he belongs), Backlund will get to represent his country (although he was a close call for the Olympics). Like Baertschi, he was to be a part of Team Sweden last year, but had to withdraw due to injury. Sweden went on to win gold over Switzerland.
  • Jiri Hudler. After then-Czech coach Alois Hadamczik snubbed Hudler for the Olympics, the Czechs finished with only two wins. Vladimir Ruzicka is once again the Czech coach, and Hudler is playing for his country this time.

Finland is the only remaining nationality the Flames are unspoken for, and none of Calgary's Finns are going.

Here's the IIHF's tournament schedule. Minsk is nine hours ahead of Calgary, so be sure to adjust your timing for that. Each team plays seven round robin games. Playoffs start May 22.

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