Friday, January 06, 2006


Seven of Nine, er, Four of Six

Big congratulations to the Canadian Juniors on their gold medal. Flames prospect Dustin Boyd looks pretty solid. Oilers prospect Andrew Cogliano looks like a combination of Paul Ranheim and Jani Rita, so they've got that going for them. (Also, Devan Dubnyk further strengthens the Oil's depth at backup goaltender. Kudos, K-Lo!)

Brent Sutter quite rightly has gotten massive praise for the team's success. One of my pet peeves for years has been the treatment of the Sutters as something akin to the Borg from Star Trek, like they all have the same brain. There's been plenty of that in the coverage too, but I must admit, I did get a bit of a Flames vibe off of this junior team. I'm not positive what it was, although I'd say it's related to the patience they showed for gaining scoring chances--skate, forecheck, hit, and let chances develop as they will.

Related--Randy of Game Certainty dropped this in the comments yesterday:
On 640 Mojo Leaf's Lunch, Ken King hinted Brent Sutter could be coaching the Flames next season.

Interesting, although I've never heard this possibility mentioned before. I think it would be a dubious move by the Flames for a few reasons, but more importantly, I can't imagine why Brent Sutter would want to do it.

Clearly, Brent Sutter is due to move to the pros. There is absolutely nothing left for him to prove in the juniors: Red Deer has won a Memorial Cup (2001) and been elite just about every other year, plus there's those two gold medals. Assuming he's ready for the change this summer, I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say he'll have his pick of the available jobs, and probably a few that are unavailable.

To choose the Flames coaching job (which is better than even money to be 'vacated' by Darryl Sutter this summer), Brent would have to not only be willing to work for his brother, but also believe that the job GM Darryl has done up until then (and is likely to do going forward) gives him the best possible chance to succeed -- and that isn't even to mention his perception of the strength and resources of the ownership and organization in general, or his enthusiasm for jumping into the shadow of the '04 playoff run and whatever happens this year.

I suppose this isn't farfetched, although if he's weighing (say) a dozen job offers, it'll be far from obvious. Also, the chance to stay close to home would be appealing, no doubt.

Fortunately for him, there's another NHL organization within driving distance of Red Deer and Viking which is probably in for a shakeup this summer, at the coaching position if not GM as well. Call it my dark horse prediction for June 2006:
"The Edmonton Oilers are pleased to announce the hiring of Brent Sutter as their new General Manager and Head Coach."

I don't think Nichols, Laforge, and the boys are that smart, but what the hell.


Yep, I guess Dubnyk backing up a guy who let in zero 5 on 5 goals and who hasn't lost since November must be a real low point in his career.

How is Brent Krahn doing these days?

I believe I already conceded that the Oilers have better depth at backup goaltender.

Yeah, because it's not like Canada's #2 junior goalie ever develops into an NHL starter. You know, one of those guys like Martin Biron? Or Mathieu Garon? Or Alex Auld?

Colby, you might also include Manny Fernandez and Dan Cloutier, even though I'd consider them to be co-starters at the tournament (and not the best examples of NHL starters), but that's about it.

There's a whole lot more "never-heard-of-him's" that played second fiddle for Canada's juniors over the years.

Doesn't matter, though. Goalies are strange - you never know what they'll turn out like, no matter how great or sub-par they seem in their teens.

Speaking of goalies, did anyone else notice that the Leafs own the rights to the 2 best goalies in the tournament? Pogge from Canada and Rask from Finland.

I'm not a Leafs fan, but wow, they sure got skill at drafting goalies.

It's been noticed all right. Rask and Pogge might be the two best goalies at any recent WJC.

Also, wouldn't the sarcasm directed at Cogliano be better directed at the super-genius coach who turned the world's fastest U20 skater into a shadow? Just as well for Sutter that he won gold, I'd say.

I'll try a link to the audio. The shows are usually posted in full audio on the Website.

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