Saint John Flames Opening Day Roster

By pbadmin
When I saw someone had written an opening day roster
for the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates I
just couldn’t
resist wondering what the Saint John Flames would look
on paper come early October. Now I work for the team,
I know
many of the players’ attitudes and work ethics, so
these are
all taken into account when I try to decide who will
and who
won’t make the big team. So here it goes…

The Flames will be coached this season by IHL veteran
head coach
Jim Playfair, formerly of the Michigan K-Wings.
Calgary Flames
GM Craig Button and Playfair are believed to have a
relationship having worked for the same organization
Stars) for many seasons. Mr. Playfair has already
been quoted
as saying Button is very understanding as to the needs
of what
a prospect needs to develop and that’s veterans to
learn from.
Therefore you can expect a few names that have kicked
the fringe of the NHL for quite awhile to play under
and his assistant coach, former St.Louis Blue Ron

At forward, the Calgary Flames already have 10
starters and they all have one-way contacts; therefore
cannot be demoted without clearing waivers first.

They are:

Cory Stillman (LW)
Bill Lindsay (LW)
Dave Lowry (LW)
Andrei Nazarov (LW)
Jason Weimer (C/LW)
Marc Savard (C)
Jeff Shantz (C)
Marc Bureau (C)
Valeri Bure (RW)
Jarome Iginla (RW)

This leaves two open spots up front. Expect Clarke
Wilm to stay
up top while Daniel Tkaczuk, Rico Fata, Sergei
Varlamov, Chris
Clark, Jason Botterill, and Oleg Saprykin to battle
it out for
the final spot. Saprykin is under 20 years of age
and therefore
not eligible to come to Saint John*. You have to
think Jason
Botterill has the edge on everyone else having come
from the same
team Button worked for, but it’s really tough to call
who will
get the elusive final spot. No reflection on his
talent, but
Daniel Tkaczuk will probably be shunned once again
because he is a
centre, something Calgary has a wealth of. Rico
Fata’s AHL
numbers may have looked good last season but he is
definitely not
ready. But look for Rico to stick having been an
early draft pick
and for Clark and Varlamov to test his hold on the
position. It’s
really a toss up.

But you can expect a good mix of the old and the new
in a Saint
John uniform in the Fall. The new include Miikka
(via Washington), Marty Murray (returning from
Europe), and Blair Betts
(via WHL) for sure. The old will most certainly
contain pretty much
last year’s starters Jason Botterill, Daniel Tkaczuk,
Benoit Gratton,
Ronald Petrovicky, Steve Begin, David Roche, and Jeff

On defence the Flames are pretty much set, with only
the fate of
Wade Belak and Robyn Regehr in question. With Derek
unsigned it leaves one open spot. The parent Flames
will have:

Denis Gauthier
Phil Housley
Brad Werenka
Steve Smith
Tommy Albelin

There is a chance Belak and Regehr will stick for the
beginning of the
season but when Morris signed one of them will surely
be demoted. There
is also a stock pile at this position which could mean
some of the vets
could be sent to an independant IHL team instead.
Prospective baby Flame
defenders include Jeff Staples, Robyn Regehr, Chris
St.Croix, Dallas
Eakins, Matt Martin, Matt O’Dette, Darryl Scoville,
Stewart Malgunas,
Micki Dupont, and Jesse Cook. Toni Lydman will be in
Calgary for training
camp but has a clause in his contract that says he’ll
return to Finland
if he doesn’t make the big club.

In goal there are no guessing games. Last year’s AHL
Most Valuable
Player Martin Brochu will start for the baby Flames
and he will
be supported by the surprising Sean Matile, who may
have a great
career ahead of him. But you never know… if Fuhr
doesn’t make
Calgary I could see him coming to Saint John…
really. He loves
to play that much.

Overall the Flames have a lot of depth and will
definitely be a
force to be reckoned with in the recently renamed
Canadian division
barring we get the best players the Flames have under
Below is what the Flames could look like…

Now without further or do… the 1999/00 SAINT JOHN

Jason Botterill Daniel Tkaczuk Sergei Varlamov
Miikka Elomo Benoit Gratton Chris Clark
David Roche Steve Begin Ronald Petrovicky
Jeff Cowan Marty Murray Blair Betts

Robyn Regehr Jeff Staples
Chris St.Croix Dallas Eakins
Matt Martin Matt O'Dette
Stewart Malgunas Darryl Scoville

Martin Brochu
Sean Matile

Black Aces:

Blair Stayzer
Dany Sabourin (G)
Ty Garner (G)
Derrick Walser
Fredrik Oduya
Matt Underhill (G)
Jesse Cook
Micki Dupont