Thursday, May 15, 2008


Frank Sutter

Flames GM Darryl Sutter had a one hour sit-in with Rob Kerr & Co. this afternoon on The FAN 960. They're replaying it right now, so here are a few notes and impressions:

- His first comment in response to, "What are you going to be discussing at the GM meetings?" [between Games 1 & 2 of the Finals] was, "the IIHF thing", i.e. the player transfer agreement. Other guys have been on this much better than me, but no doubt that's a serious issue going forward.

- About 10 minutes in, I'm very glad I haven't been counting the times Sutter says "to be quite honest". It's bordering on a speech impediment.

- "Improvements are needed from within." True dat, due to lack of alternatives among other things.

- Yes they were after Brunnstrom. Sounds like he really was looking for a Top 2 Lines assurance; Dallas either gave it to him, or he thought it was more realistic there. Sutter evaluation: "He's a very talented player."

- Kerr asked about unsigned/undrafted players at the Worlds, and brought up a couple of goalies. Sutter: "You know what? I'm kinda not looking at goalies."

- Doesn't care if Backlund comes to play junior. Says most Scandinavian players who come to junior don't end up in the NHL, ~the best of them play in the elite leagues there until they're ready to play in the NHL. Anyone know if he's right? I can only think of Tollefsen and Sjostrom off the top of my head.

- Really likes Backlund (duh). Per the above, Puustinen "is a 19-year-old who we're not going to sign."

- Dan Ryder: "Still don't know if he wants to be a player.... it's something we've left open for him." Sounds like he's a bit of a messed up kid, Sutter made reference to his Mom & Dad "wanting the same thing as I do", or thereabouts.

- They want McElhinney back. CuJo won't be, nor will any other veteran ("it'll [the backup] be an organization guy"). No mention of Krahn, so he's gone. He wants Irving playing in QC, probably with Keetley.

- He'd like to have Grant Stevenson back. Won't be re-signing Kolanos.

- Interested in signing Vandermeer, but didn't sound super-hot. Sounds like it would depend a lot on his price. On Hale, he was more explicit about "see what he wants ($)". To me, that sounds like bye-bye: if you like him, it shouldn't be hard to afford a guy with 0 career goals.

- "Contracts don't mean those players are on your team." There's the QOTD. Translation: they are willing, if not planning, to send players to the minors to lose their cap hit.

- Probably going to draft a forward. No goalie. Only really interested in D-men who have an offensive upside, feels like they're good at "tough" (young) defensemen.

- Phone call, and I missed the rest, which I think was more about the draft.

To be quite honest, I generally liked his tone, heard some things that I wanted to hear, and didn't have to suffer through too much snarkiness. Onward.


Well, thank goodness you got that break, Matt.

Good summary. I found the bit about Giordano enlightening (agreed he would return by December, but couldn't bring him back due to waiver rules).

The Puustinen thing puzzles me, since the club has signed guys like Donally and Seitsonen in the recent past. Not a big deal though.

A lot of it sounded encouraging. Just have to hope he follow up on it.

i thought the buzz on puustinen was generally good (??)... any word on any other prospects that seem close to, if not already, NHL-ready ?

[DVDG, the blueline Ps] ?

any comment on negrin ?

i'm totally heartened (opposite of disheartened) that eriksson playing in QC is not out of the question.

How is it that Dennis hasn't yet commented on Dan Ryder?

I'm sure it's a long post MC - patience.

MC: I will say that I know enough about what's going on with young Ryder that I really shouldn't post anything else about that.

This is the best example I can think of a representative Finn/Swede in junior hockey.

No, they're generally not successful. For whatever reason it's the Czechs and Slovaks that seem to do all right.

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