<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Hartley hinted we'd see Raymond tried on both LW/RW. Mentioned Colborne could see LW/C, too. Hudler could flip-flop as well, I'd think.</p>— Aaron Vickers (@AAVickers) <a href="https://twitter.com/AAVickers/status/513066376756359168">September 19, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Not only do the Flames have more left than right wing veterans - on the right side it's basically just Devin Setoguchi and, uh, David Jones, if anyone can figure out where he belongs in the lineup, vs. everyone else - but it's the same case with prospects. Johnny Gaudreau and Sven Baertschi are two of the organization's top prospects, and they both play on the left wing. Then there's Michael Ferland, who has been stellar thus far and could challenge for a spot in the lineup (and if he doesn't make it, he has a good shot at being an injury call up later in the year).
It'll be interesting to see how the lines shake out on opening day, not to mention which prospects make it, and just what side, exactly, everyone will be playing on. Flexibility on the wing allows for a more balanced lineup as well, with skill players playing with other skill players and not getting buried because they play just one side.
Meaning: hopefully we won't have to see Gaudreau and Jones on a line together, as opposed to playing Gaudreau with someone like Jiri Hudler, who is probably a better fit for his game.
With that said, here are some soundbites from the Flames' second day on the ice (all quotes once again from vides on the Flames' site).
Speaking of Ferland, he's definitely thinking about taking one of those spots:
"I just wanna have a good camp and earn my spot and obviously it'd be a dream come true to play for this team and I'm really looking forward to it. Honestly, I feel like I'm ready. I do feel like everything I've been through, it's all helped me to be where I am right now, and I do feel like I'm ready to play on this team this year.
"One guy that I've really been following is Lance Bouma. Just having the same injury that I had and playing the similar kind of game is one guy I really do look up to on this team."
On the injury update, Karri Ramo hasn't been participating in the scrimmages due to a lingering lower body injury. He has, however, been skating.
Sam Bennett, meanwhile, isn't going to play in the Flames' first preseason game, but he's getting close. And he's someone raring to play:
"I felt miles better today. I'd say I'm probably almost there, and I think one more skate tomorrow with the injured guys and then if all goes well tomorrow then I think I'll be back with the main squad. It's pretty tough, but this happens in hockey. It's part of the game. I'm just trying to make sure I heal up 100% and then get back in the lineup and start playing again.
"I was on for probably 30-45 minutes. I just did some skating drills, some shooting, and I had no issues at all. The doctors and trainers just wanted to make sure that I got off when I still felt well and I'm gonna try it again tomorrow and hopefully it goes well again.
"I'm dying to play. I wanna show everyone what I can do. I wanna be 100% so I can just start playing again."
He also talked about how watching the veterans was extremely helpful, and how he was learning a lot from them. Matt Stajan chimed in, discussing how the veterans, in turn, do their best to take care of the younger players and help them feel comfortable. He also talked about how things were going for him:
"I feel confident and I feel good. I trained with Ryan [van Asten], our new strength coach, here actually. It's the first summer me and my wife spent here, and we loved it. You're training at the altitude that we play at. I kinda know what I need now. I'm getting to that age where you know what your body needs and how to build up towards the regular season. You don't wanna come in slow, you wanna make sure you're at the top of your game from the start and build off that so you can get to the highest level possible. I wanna be an impact player for this team, and that's my goal, and hopefully I make the players around me better, whoever I play with, and that's what I've always tried to do."
The scrimmages were physical under the watchful eye of Brad Treliving. He discussed how happy he was with how competitive and hard-working the camp has been thus far, and hinted that for the scrimmages, some of Calgary's more high profile guys will be playing at home to start. Gaudreau is expected to be one of those guys.
Bennett may have been one of those guys, were it not for his injury. As Treliving said, they're taking care to be cautious, both with him and the split squad lineups:
"The most important thing is to be smart and right now, although we're all excited and we want to see him play and all those sorts of things we're going to let intelligence rule the day here and if it gives him an extra day or two, that's what it's going to take. Hopefully it won't be long, but we're going to give Sam the time he needs and hopefully nip this thing in the bud rather than have it linger on for days.
"We're gonna go back and check with the trainers to see how we got through it health-wise and then have everything finalized for tomorrow. The biggest thing in these split squads - there's just a lot of bodies. You're still very early in camp, we're still going through an evaluation, so we're gonna try to get as many people into the games tomorrow. You have regulations in terms of veteran limit and all that, so we'll just get a headcount and see what the health is and then we'll finalize that here shortly."
Treliving was also asked about one of his first acquisitions, Brandon Bollig. He agreed with Bollig's desire to earn a bigger role for himself:
"I think Brandon's an interesting guy. I think he's not unlike a lot of guys. Sort of the message we've tried to give everybody over the course of the summer, and then the other night over in our meeting is, listen. We are where we are. We're trying to build this thing, and we need more from everybody. And that means people that were here last year, young guys, veteran guys, new people that are coming in. I think that in Brandon's case there's an opportunity for him to grow his role. Obviously he was playing on a pretty darn good team the last few years in Chicago. He settled into a role there. We don't wanna put a box or limits on anybody. Ultimately it's up to the player to grab ahold of it and see where he goes with it. I think there's the opportunity for Brandon to expand his game. How that all materializes, we'll see over the course of the next couple weeks."
The scrimmages are starting to come to a close as preseason games draw near. The first is tonight, a simultaneous split squad effort against the Oilers. We'll have a game preview with projected lineups up later in the day.