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A Look At Development Camp And Tuesday's Hot Coals

On Monday Hockey and Booze writer/friend of the site Justin Azevedo attended the Flames development camp. The following are his thoughts and observations on the prospects and organization. 


10 Things from Calgary Flames Development Camp, Day One


-I arrived quite a bit early to the session, and as such got to be close to the brain

trust (Jay Feaster, Craig Conroy and Brent Sutter) for the entire ice time. I picked

up a few things-like when Jarome Iginla called Brad Richards as part of the

Flames pitch to the UFA, his immediate reaction about signing him was negative

(Conroy’s exact words when talking about this were "No way we’re going to get

him"). Feaster and Richards talked until 12ET July 2 about his decision, and also

mentioned the main reasons they weren’t able to get Richards signed were the

travel schedule, the lack of close proximity to PEI and the lack of playoff games

over the past two years-but Feaster also said that Pat Brisson (Richards’ agent)

thought that Calgary made far and away the best pitch. Miikka Kiprusoff also

contacted Richards. Towards the end of the ice time, Feaster mentioned that

Kipper was "made available" to teams at the draft and that the Flames, after the

announcement of Anton Babchuk’s new contract, were "full right now" and " we

have our backs to the cap wall".


-Not everyone was out there today. There was dry land testing right before the

ice time and it ran late, so I’m guessing that’s the reason that guys like TJ Brodie,

Bryan Cameron, Lance Bouma and Max Reinhart weren’t strutting their stuff.

-The three guys that really impressed me today were Greg Nemisz, Paul Byron

and Markus Granlund. It’s expected for the first two, seeing as they were the only

ones on the ice that have NHL experience, but Granlund was a nice surprise.

At one point there was a drill where the two players were racing for a puck,

and Granlund was the only player to backcheck and put pressure on his man-

everyone else just lazily skated away. He, along with Sven Baertschi and Mitch

Wahl were the last ones off the ice-almost 15 minutes after the end of practice.


-Keith Seabrook will be 23 in less then a month and he was, by far, the worst

defenseman out there. He had no command of the puck, lacked even mediocre

skating technique and struggled with his shot.


-The camp roster that was handed out lists John Gaudreau at 5’8 and 150

pounds. I believe the 150 pounds part of it, but he walked by me when I was

arriving and my eyes were over top of his head-I’d say 5’5, maybe 5’6.


-Ryan Howse is exactly as advertised. If you asked me to describe him with three

words, I’d use big, lumbering and accurate. He does have a laser of a shot, yes,

but he gets caught easily. Likewise, I didn’t even notice Roman Horak was out

there until 30 minutes into the practice.


-Joni Ortio was the only goalie out there-sporting some nice new white pads-and

he was stopping all of the routine stuff.


-Joey Leach was paired up with his sometimes partner in Kootenay, James

Martin, as much as possible. They were easily the two best defenders out there

by my eye.


-As for SVEN, I didn’t really notice anything spectacular from him, but I wouldn’t

be too worried about that if I were you. He was right there in every drill. Keep in

mind this may be the first time some of these guys have skated in a month or

more-so it’s possible they were just shaking the rust off or they had some jitters.


-I had a chance to ask Craig Conroy a couple questions after the ice time, and

the audio is below. Sorry about the quality-my BlackBerry can only do so much.

Conroy Questions/Dev camp


Thanks again Justin! You rule! And don't forget it!


Hot Coals Links


  • Arctic Ice Hockey looks at some of the absolute nonsense being perpetrated by Dale Tallon [Arctic Ice Hockey]
  • Remember that whole Simmons nonsense? Yeah, Burke's not a fan of it. [Puck Daddy]
  • Some guy actually thinks +/- is a good indication of Babchuk being a good player. Siiiiiggghh. [Flame For Thought]
  • These "grades" for Free Agency are just...awful. Terrible even. [Puck Daddy]