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[hfnhl] Flames Press

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  • Matthew Kershaw
    Calgary (CP): Change is the word of the day in Calgary. Rumours persist that there will be an off-season coaching change. Management is not happy the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 1999
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      Calgary (CP): Change is the word of the day in Calgary. Rumours persist
      that there will be an off-season coaching change. Management is not happy
      the collapse after last seasons bright start that sees Calgary drafting 4th
      overall. Brian Sutter voiced his concern "I think that such a young team
      should expect some challenges along the road. Despite the acquasition of
      Geoff Courtnall, more veteran experience would have helped this team." The
      General Manager, Matthew Kershaw, sounded positive about Sutters future,
      "Brian has been an NHL coach for over nine years, and so I have no doubt
      that his experience will only help improve this team for next season."

      Speculation continues that Calgary may trade down in the draft if one of
      Patrick Stefan, Daniel Sedin or Pavel Brendl do not fall to the fourth
      position in the draft. The rumour is that the Flames are interested in
      Jamie Lundmark or Kris Beech in this years draft. The Flames will be
      addressing some needs in this years draft and are probably looking for
      scoring and defenceman with offensive abilities in the later rounds of the
      draft.

      "I think that Rico (Fata) and Danny (Tzazcuk) are so close to making the big
      club "the GM commented when asked if the rookie core for next season will be
      an improvement on this season "but as skill players we do not want to rush
      them. Clarke Wilm has show that he is ready for regular NHL duty, but our
      glut of centres has kept him on the sidelines and a regular on the Saint
      John shuttle. I think that our two young goalies both showed us that they
      are close, but both Ty (Moss) and JS (Giguere) need to be more consistant to
      play at the HFNHL level. Amongst the defenceman look for big-hitter Denis
      Gauthier to make the clun on a part time basis if he has a good training
      camp."

      Expansion is also a concern for the Flames. With several defenceman on the
      roster it looks as if youngster Chris O'Sullivan may be exposed. Steve
      Dubinsky commented on the fact that he may be left exposed "I have a
      wonderful situation here in Calgary, but the opportunity to move to a new
      city, and a new franchise is one that interests any player."

      There will be several free agents available in Calgary this season. Kenny
      Wregget remains unsigned, as does defenceman Tommy Albelin who is rumoured
      to be returning to Sweden.
      Asked if the Flames are looking at anyone on the free agent market, the
      Flames GM Matthew Kershaw commented "If there is any help out there we will
      be looking at it. We are trying to remain fiscally responsible, but we may
      look at a solid veteran 6/7th defenceman of the Lyle Odelein or Eric
      Weinrich type, but it is so early we do not even know who will remain
      unsigned at the July 1st deadline for signing potential UFA's. After talks
      with Darryl Solly (Flames director of Player personel and Saint John GM) and
      Brian Sutter, suggestions came out that may also look at goaltenders and
      fill our need for a veteran 3rd or 4th line left winger if one of our young
      players is not ready to move up. Obviously if we fail to come to terms with
      Kenny (Wregget) then we will have to really chase a free agent goaltender if
      one is not available via trade."

      Of the potential free agents on the team, several have already been notified
      that they will not be offered contracts and will become unrestricted free
      agents this summer. Minor League centre
      Eric Landry is rumoured to be amongst those, as well as prospect Derek
      Walser.

      Defenceman Neil Wilkinson is seriously considering retirement after
      recieving a job offer as an assistant coach with the Saint John Flames.

      GM Kershaw commented on his teams goals for next season. "We really need to
      find a way to be more consistant, and our team defence need work. Our
      special teams was okay, but our goal is to make the playoffs, and special
      teams is a big part of stealing a few games along the way."

      So look for Calgary to move forward next season, and look for a spot in the
      playoffs.



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