Flames Rookie laden roster prepares for opening day

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by MatthewFlames, Dec 2, 2005.

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  1. MatthewFlames

    MatthewFlames Registered User

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    CALGARY (CP): The Calgary Flames are ready for the new season, with a massive turnover of the roster that finished 9th place in the Western Conference in 2003/04.

    OUT: Scott Stevens (Retired) Illya Kovalchuk (Free Agency) Roberto Luongo (Free Agency) Michael Nylander (Free Agency) Joe Juneau (Retired) Marty Murray (Free Agency) Sandy McCarthy (Free Agency) Tom Fizgerald (Retired) Jason Strudwick (Free Agency) Sylvain Lefebvre (Retired) Jeff Hacket (Retired) and Derek Morris (trade).

    This represents 50% of the roster that played on 03/04's final night against the Edmonton Oilers, a loss that cost the Flames a place in the playoffs. This is a team that has finished in 9th place for the past two seasons, despite payrolls of 35 and 38 million dollars.

    IN: Sergei Brylin (Free Agency) Michael Ryder (Rookie) Dan Hamhuis (Rookie) Paul Martin (Rookie) David Hale (Rookie) Matt Bradley (Rookie) & Jani Hurme (Trade)

    Brylin was brought in to replace the retiring Joe Juneau and with Jamie Lundmark ready for full time duty at the HFNHL level, Marty Murray left the team. Rookies Michael Ryder, Dan Hamhuis and Paul Martin step into full time roles, while goaltender Andrew Raycroft will start in goal, hoping to improve his 5.05 goals against average at this level. Newly aqcuired Jani Hurme is the back-up. David Hale and Matt Bradley are two other rookies expected to contribute during the season.

    There is no doubt that this team will struggle to cope with the loss of two of it's top line (Nylander & Kovalchuk), it's starting goalie (Luongo) and top two defensive players (Stevens & Morris) and the play-offs may be a distant hope this season, but head coach Brian Sutter expects the team to compete and be tough to play against this season as it sorts out the financial mess that GM Kershaw inherited and that cost him the teams two best players.

    In fact, six of the seven top paid players with the Flames are no longer with the team, a salary reduction of over 17.6 million dollars this season alone.

    "I am happy with the roster, the rookies look good, and this team cannot succeed with players who lead the league in the minus category. This team needed to be better balanced throughout. This team is young and will learn quickly." head coach Brian Sutter said after this morning's skate, "I wouldn't be surprised with a seventh or eighth spot in the conference for this team, and nothing less thank making the play-offs is our goal."
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2005
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