It’s been over a decade since I last watched an All-Star game but the hoopla around John Scott piqued my interest enough to turn on the game (I just get the skills competition). What can I say, on a lazy Sunday afternoon with nothing else to do, having the game in the background proved to be entertaining. That’s just it, the entertainment value of the game itself went up in spades, both due to the controversy, but also because the new format of 3-3 actually saw the players give a damn and putting some effort.
Having a $1 million prize purse for the winning Division certainly helped, but I would’ve must rather see a bunch of professional hockey players play their hearts out in an All-star game up for a charity rather than to line their own pockets.
Johnny Hockey and Mark Giordano represented the Flames and did well. it was weird to watch Mark actually play defense, and get this, even block shots. Gaudreau finished the game with 3 points. The man who stole the show, however, was John Scott, let’s give him his dues, he made again something interesting and in a weird way deserved the All-Star MVP award at the end.
As for the Flames, the break will now present a few problems.
- Dennis Wideman Will based at disciplinary hearing tomorrow for his running with a linesman in the Flames’ last game before the break. The consensus is he will be suspended for a lengthy period of time.
- With a suspension means the Flames use of a roster spot, and although many believe Smid will be in upgrade to Wideman, it does pose a lineup challenge. The return of Ferland from injury means Grandlund will go down, along with Wotherspoon?
- Despite playing at the salary cap, the team itself won’t be making the playoff’s. (I am coming out and saying even though it was clear since December.) That means the Flames will become sellers at the trade deadline and useless weight including Wideman will be sent off. That he needs to make space for new contracts including Gaudreau and Monahan. They will save almost 10,000,000 between Wideman and Hiller, and another 4.5 with a trade of Hudler. There are options but at this point the team will be moving into prep for next season.
- There are some obvious gaps in the lineup but the biggest question mark is who will play goal next season and can Kari Ramo close it out with a strong enough performance to warrant another contract for next year?
Among the biggest names available at the trade deadline come from the Flames, now it’s a matter what kind of tangible assets are coming back in return.