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D & Y
125,439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Familiar fumbles flummox Flames again

By Vicki Hall, Calgary Herald November 22, 2010 11:02 PM


Stop us if you've heard this before.

The Calgary Flames cobble together an impressive road game, especially for a National Hockey League team not exactly bursting with speed and skill. They play simple. Force the opposition to the outside. Keep it close.

And then comes the inevitable brain freeze, or mental blank spot, that eventually spells another loss.

Ho hum. New day. Similar script.

Sticking to the same, old chorus, the Flames fell 2-1 to the New York Rangers on Monday night before 17,845 witnesses at Madison Square Garden.

The culprit in the penalty department on this night? Curtis Glencross.

With the game deadlocked at 1-1 in the second period, Ryan Callahan pasted Calgary defenceman Jay Bouwmeester with a clean hit.

Moments later, Glencross retaliated with a high stick on the Rangers forward and ended up in the box for two minutes.

"I was sticking up for a teammate," Glencross said. 'I don't think it was the best call. The guy put his back into me and I tried to get out of the way of him."

You know what happened next. Defenceman Dan Girardi unloaded a point shot that tipped off Rene Bourque's stick behind Miikka Kiprusoff at 12:31 of the second period.

From there, the Flames pressed but could not find the equalizer. The visitors outshot the Blueshirts 32-24.

"We deserved to win that game," Glencross snarled. "We had a lot of opportunities that we didn't bury to win the game. We've got to be better on our specialty teams.

"And, obviously, we can't take penalties."

The Flames still had more than 27 minutes to even up things, but simply could not solve Martin Biron.

"There's lots of game left," Glencross said. "We still have to come back. We've still got to battle.

"It's a 60-minute game."

The Flames slumbered in the first period, but came alive in the second. In fact, they showed incredible resilience after the first Rangers goal by Brian Boyle at 2:08.

Truth be told, the puck went in off the stick of Brendan Mikkelson when he rushed back to break up a partial two-man break all alone on Kiprusoff.

"I don't know if it was bad luck or what," Mikkelson said. "I was trying to get back. Stuff like that happens. I was trying to get back. If that pass gets over, it's probably an empty net.

On this night, Mikkelson logged more ice time than normal. The same held true for Steve Staios.

Defenceman Robyn Regehr took the warmup, but ended up sitting out less than 24 hours after crashing into the boards in Detroit.

After the Mikkelson own-goal, Jarome Iginla tied things up at 5:16 on a beautiful give-and-go with Bouwmeester. But that's as much as the Flames could offensively muster.

To make matters worse, centre Matt Stajan staggered off the ice in the third period after taking an open-ice belt, looking the other way, from Marc Staal. The Rangers defenceman went unpenalized on the play, but debate immediately erupted on twitter over whether the hit was legal under the new National Hockey League rules.

"I haven't even seen him yet," Iginla said. "I don't know if he's just winded. Obviously, it was a hard hit. I don't even know if it was clean. It might have been clean.

"Obviously, you don't like to see a teammate get hit that hard."

Iginla and Co. also hate to see the losses mounting, with their record slipping to an unflattering 8-11-1.

"We've just got to be desperate," Glencross said. "We should have won the last game. Should have won tonight's game. We've just got to keep going.

"When the bounces aren't going your way, it's going to come around for you. It's just bad luck."

The Flames have Tuesday off before hitting the ice Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils.

A steaming head coach Brent Sutter skipped his post-game news conference in favour of assistant Dave Lowry.

"We have to play solid, mistake-free hockey," Lowry said. "Obviously, we look at the two goals that we gave up. They were two mistakes, and they were at critical times.

"We have to be a smart team, and we have to minimize our mistakes."

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D & Y
125,439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sutter asked to voluntarily move aside: King

By Vicki Hall, Calgary Herald December 28, 2010

CALGARY – Eight years to the date of his hiring. Darryl Sutter has stepped down as general manager of the Calgary Flames.

Assistant general manager Jay Feaster is the acting general manager until further notice.

"Darryl has performed valuable service to the Calgary Flames organization for 8 years,” team president Ken King said in a prepared statement. “He was the leader that ignited a renaissance of Flames hockey, moving us from a non-playoff team to an organization that was viewed as a respected and popular contender each year.

"We thank Darryl for his leadership and his important contributions to re-establishing the Calgary Flames as a model franchise. As we enter the next phase of our growth in the NHL, we are restructuring our leadership and processes. We are pleased that Darryl has agreed to assist in an orderly transition and will provide his valuable guidance in the process. He remains dedicated to the success of the team he worked so hard to build."

In a press conference, King said he asked Sutter to voluntarily move aside.

“Darryl is stepping aside because we asked him to,” King told a hastily-called news conference at the Scotiabank Saddledome. “I don't think anybody would argue that he helped in one of the most significant rebirths of a sports franchise anywhere.”

Sutter, 52, led the Flames to the Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 as head coach and general manager. In July 2006, he stepped down as head coach and focused solely on his work as general manager.

Feaster, 48, joined the team as the assistant general manager over the summer.

“We will move forward under a new administration with Jay leading our hockey operations as acting general manager,” said King. “For the remainder of this season, Jay will be provided the opportunity to evaluate the team from the GM’s chair and build a long term plan.

"We believe that while we continue to compete for a playoff position this season, this period will provide both the organization and Jay time to decide on critical future decisions.”

At one time, Calgarians considered Sutter a virtual genius thanks to his trade for Miikka Kiprusoff and locking down the likes of Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr, and Daymond Langkow to long-term contracts.

But then came the meltdown and simmering discontent throughout the city.

Citing locker-room differences, Sutter dealt Dion Phaneuf in a package to Toronto last winter for Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White and Jamal Mayers.

A year later, White and Mayers are already gone. Stajan is stuck in a brutal slump with just two goals in his last 50 games, and the Flames are stuck with him, for better or for worse, thanks to a four-year deal that pays him US $3.5 million a season.

Darryl's younger brother Brent remains head coach. Duane is the director of player personnel, and Ron is in charge of player development.

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D & Y
125,439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Flames climb back in Western Conference top eight

Flames 3, Blackhawks 1

By Scott Cruickshank, Postmedia News February 7, 2011 10:38 PM

CALGARY — At stake was not only a chance to bump off the Stanley Cup champs, always fun, but something even sweeter — a shot at National Hockey League relevance.

A win Monday would bump the Calgary Flames to the promised land — the eighth rung on the Western Conference table. And all the Flames had to do was beat the Chicago Blackhawks.

Which they did, riding Curtis Glencross's third-period goal to a 3-1 victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome, improving to an impressive 13-3-4 in their last 20 games.

Smoothly setting up Glencross's goal — at 8:37 — was Olli Jokinen, who'd started the play by juking around Chicago forward Patrick Kane. The assist was the 600th point of his career. Rene Bourque added an empty-netter.

The Flames also got a first-period tally from Mikael Backlund. The assist went to rookie Lance Bouma, his first NHL point.

Kane replied for the Blackhawks, losers of four of their past five.

That the Flames were going to be the aggressors on this night was evident from the second shift.

David Moss hustled deep into Chicago territory and blasted Blackhawks defender Niklas Hjalmarsson into the end boards.

A shift later, Tom Kostopoulos and Bouma flew into the offensive zone and, together, rammed rearguard Nick Leddy heavily into the fence.

Mid-period — the score still zeros — Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr crumpled Kane into the sideboards.

At that point, 10 minutes into the contest, the guests — the very talented guests — had only two shots on net.

In the last 10 minutes of the frame? A single shot.

But the locals appeared committed to own-zone tidiness.

When Chicago defenceman Brian Campbell blasted from the right point, Bouma was there to block the shot.

Not that the Flames were peppering Chicago netminder Corey Crawford.

On one dangerous-looking rush, Flames captain Jarome Iginla was upended by the Brent Seabrook's hip.

Seconds later, Nick Boynton drilled Bourque into the boards.

The Flames drew first blood — with their third pairing and fourth line in action.

Adam Pardy got the puck up to Bouma, who, surging along the left boards, took a hit from Seabrook and fed a net-breaking Backlund, who made it look easy, going forehand-to-backhand on Crawford.

Which put the Flames up 1-0 at 14:33.

Not surprisingly — and probably having received an earful from Coach Joel Quenneville — the visitors were much more eager in the second period.

Quickly, a shot on net for the Blackhawks. Nearly as sharply, a goal.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, with Regehr all over him, shoved the puck behind the Calgary net to Troy Brouwer, who stopped it. Toews rushed over and tapped it out front. There, Kane expertly roofed it at 5:56, to square the score.

Calgary Herald

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D & Y
125,439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
International Basketball League returns to Edmonton

Energy owners vow to reach out to local basketball fans

By Chris O’Leary, February 11, 2011 8:25 PM

From left: Basketball players Andrew Parker, Blain LaBranch and Jermaine Bucknor attend an Edmonton Energy media conference held at Hudson's Tap House in Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.

The Edmonton Energy is back, ready to quell the sour taste left in the mouths of local basketball fans after an abrupt end to the 2010 season.

The Energy ownership group announced during the week of the International Basketball League playoffs that it could not afford to send the team to the post-season, leaving the future of the organization up in the air.

David Dorward, a local accountant, part-owner of the Energy and a 2010 Edmonton mayorality candidate, spoke on behalf of the team’s ownership group, promising that what happened a year ago wouldn’t happen again.

“We will be down there,” Dorward said, referring to the playoff tournament, which is held in the Portland area.

“What we’ve done is we’ve found a way to address that issue. We said, ‘Let’s have our final road trip in Portland, so we’ll actually be down there.’ It’s no longer a trip that’s going to cost us a lot of money.”

The Energy’s season doesn’t start until May — a three-game series in Albany, N.Y., against the Legends — but a key question already hangs over the team: Can it fill seats at the University of Alberta this year? The franchise has struggled with attendance the last three seasons, with the 2010 campaign being its toughest thus far.

The Energy will play at the U of A’s Main Gym again this season, before moving to the GO Centre in 2012.

Dorward said he’s reached out to fans who felt jilted last season.

“When the fans understand our side of it — we’re not millionaires, we’re community owners,” he said. “We’re not deep-pocketed folks. We’ve put a lot already into the team in the last couple of years and there is a limit from a business perspective that you can do with that.

“When I’ve explained that to fans, I think they’ve understood.”

The Energy will have a different look this year, with Rick Stanley taking over as general manager from head coach and GM Paul Sir.

Stanley coached for 12 seasons at Jasper Place High School before taking a job this school year at Centre High, where he began a prep program for players upgrading high school who have post-secondary hopes.

He said building relationships in the community is key to the Energy growing in Edmonton.

“When you have a new franchise, whether it’s the Toronto Raptors or any team that’s coming into the league in its first few years ... you go through some growing pains and bumps in the road,” he said. “I remember Don Horwood (Stanley’s coach at the U of A), and he said it best back in the early 1980s, and it was about bringing community together.

“I’m excited about the atmosphere we’re going to create and some of the partnerships ... that we’re going to build in the community with various organizations.”

Stanley won’t be working the sidelines, however. He said that the search for the Energy’s head coach is ongoing.

Sir, who handled both duties in his two seasons with the Energy, was mentioned numerous times during Friday’s news conference. But while he was thanked warmly for his time and services with the semi-pro basketball team that last two years, Sir wasn’t reciprocating those feelings.

“I guess, from my standpoint, I walked away from the team because of several different reasons,” Sir said. “First and foremost, because of the owners’ lack of invovlement and commitment last season. Secondly, the shameful way that they treated the staff and volunteers who worked really hard with no advertising budget and any owner support at all in any capacity. Third, I had strong, strong personal differences with them.”

The ownership group, which said it was forced to choose between sending the team to Portland or not having a season in 2011, cancelling the playoff trip last July was the last straw.

“I did not buy for one second their excuses for not going to the playoffs,” Sir said. “If $10,000 would have cancelled this year, they wouldn’t be in business this year. Their problem wasn’t having money; their problem was not wanting to spend money.”

The Energy’s home opener is on May 20th, when they host the Bellingham Slam for a three-game home stand at the U of A.

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