Wednesday, July 18, 2007

flames prospect camp day 2

so i was gonna head out early but i am truly terrible at mornings. after hitting my alarm a couple times (i'm supposed to be enjoying this hockey thing, so why make it feel like WORK ??!) and stopping at tim's for the large double double, i arrived at the DHA about 11:15. i grinned to myself as i walked in, zipped up my hoody, and took a seat about eight feet to the left of mike keenan, who was sitting with darryl sutter.

i think it only proper to point out that darryl has either been basking in all this stampede sunniness, or has recently returned from some beach vacation. you could hit fabutan for weeks and still not be that dark... at least he was wearing comfortable footwear, though... keenan was sportin' some seriously hideous dress shoes.

GROUP B was still warming up when i got there, but when they started on drills, it seemed clear to me that sutter spent the first bit checking out taratukhin. i mean, i was trying not to stare but he was acutely interested in the lateral skating & shooting that was happening at the south end of the ice, and thus watching any/all of tukhs, seitsonen, cracknell and lalande. i would think that, due to their apparent advanced skills and experience (along with their presence at the goalie practice yesterday) those are the GROUP B guys to watch.

i tried really hard to overhear their conversations but it was tough with all the skating, post-hitting, slapshotting, and pad-saving --coupled with the fact that sutter ain't the loudest of talkers at the best of times. some suit (with a really nice old briefcase) sat down with them for a bit, and at one point said "he's number 27" and pointed at taratukhin. i can only imagine the question was something to the effect of "which one is the russian ?" or "where's that guy darryl thinks so highly of ?" again, adding to my theory that tukhs will probably end up with a good chance to make the big team. the only other notable comment i heard was keenan pronouncing that his "wife is excited to be here."

other GROUP B notables were:
- all the defensemen (palin, jonsson, pardy, negrin, cole) looked quite solid, big & fast
- seitsonen is sizey and has good hands, but ain't the best skater
- playfair has returned to the goatee

i didn't stick around for much of the GROUP A practice, as it was all skating drills. dan ryder and tim ramholt were noticeably absent, though apparently attended the morning session. it was nice to see prust & boyd, and i must admit that van der gulik looks pretty sharp and could also really contend for a spot come october. boyd looked a bit lazy/half-assed and i don't think it was just me --the on-ice coach was riding him pretty hard... the buzz is that ramholt will be the emerging defenseman this year since richie regehr appears to be playing in europe.

i didn't really see enough to give out any prizes, save for the inaugural "look at me look at me" award which goes to JD watt: not only did he hit an edge and tumble at full tilt (causing sutter to exclaim loudly "OOPS !!!"), but a wayward puck off his stick missed sutter and keenan by mere feet (they both ducked).

****OHYEAH and i was chatting a bit with some guy who had also attended both days, and it turns out that he also had to ask for the 12-pager on monday. therefore i take back everything i said about that guy handing em out, since he was withholding them from any non-press looking folks. i was just the last to pick up on it....


HG said...

Oh JD Watt... I have loved him since the days of being a Giants seasons holder in VanCity. Sounds like not much has changed. YAY!

Anonymous said...

I've said it before, DVDG was the most impressive guy on the Knights when I saw them last year, so it's no surprise he's lookin' good at camp. Good to hear there's some buzz around Ramholt, and also that Keenan's wife is excited to be in Calgary. I'm thrilled for the Keenan family.

What about this Jusso Puustinen, did you catch him at all?

walkinvisible said...

jusso was in GROUP A, so i really only saw them doing skating drills. ie: i could recognize boyd, prust & VDG (and saw that ryder & ramholt were absent) but didn't really hang out long enough to scrutinize the rest. i remember thinking he was pretty big, though, for forward. all the tallest and heaviest guys were wearing defensive black...

Anonymous said...

Check it out, you weren't the only one to notice the shoes.

MacS said...

According to the Herald this morning Ryder is going to miss the rest of the week.

7.Nick.7 said...

Sounds like the Flames development camp is a very interesting thing,
maybe ill head out to it tomorrow, so i can see some of the Flames young talent like DVDG. I have never seen him before and he sounds like he is something to watch

Kent W. said...

Im interested in VDG's progress as well. he had an excellent first pro season last year according to the stats, and many of the press clippings I've read about him going back into his college days were very encouraging. If he dominates (+/- wise) in the AHL again this year, I think we may have found a potential Yelle replacement.

Funny that you mentioned Puustinen, Duncan. He's one of the guys Im really excited about as well. It should be interesting to see how he does in the dub this year.

Anonymous said...

I'm psyched about Puustinen. He seems like he might be Nieminen, who I loved, but with a way bigger upside.