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Calgary Flames


Team Overview: Led by the most dominant defensive forward in the game, the Flames are a team spoiled with skilled players at the forward and defensive positions. Keeping the pressure on the opponent is the strength of the Flames, which is a good thing because goaltender Mike Vernon is the lone weakness on the roster.

Forwards: Aside from the Kings and Red Wings, no other team matches the Flame’s ability to ice a highly skilled and light forward unit that compliments each other so well. Containing 4 top 50 forwards, the Flames can use several combinations to give the opposition fits.

Scorched Earth:

Theo Fleury: 3 weight, 5/5 skating, 4/3 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/5 aware, Shoots: R

A human battering ram, Fleury is the single most dominant defensive player in the game. No other player can match his checking power which is enhanced by his blazing speed and chippy AI demeanor. Fleury is entirely capable of changing the momentum in a game with a huge body check and quickly converting the turnover into a big goal. When Fleury has the puck, he is still a very dangerous player, but not quite as much due to his lack of dominating puck skills. This is the only thing that keeps Fleury out of the top 5 players in the game. He simply doesn’t have the shot and passing consistency of the other dominant players, but when Fleury does get rolling and catches on fire, he becomes nearly impossible to stop.

Gary Roberts: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: L

I find it a little puzzling that Roberts doesn’t get as much hype as Robert Reichel or Sergei Makarov on the Flames because Roberts is a cool guy, he scores goals and doesnt affraid of anything. Roberts is the best pure shooter on the team, he is great at finding open ice in the slot and is not a major liability weight wise. Part of the issue from what I’ve seen is that most users try to make Roberts a winger, with his limited passing ability though; he just isn’t suited to be a playmaker from the wing.

Robert Reichel: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L

With plus skills across the board coming in a light package, Reichel is capable of doing a lot of everything for this line. He can go one on one from the wing and be just as dangerous shooting the puck as he is passing it. Defensively, Reichel can throw his weight around and be another legitimate checking force on the ice. Sometimes, Reichel’s AI goes a bit wonky though and he tends to wonder aimlessly in all three zones. But when under user control, Reichel is extremely useful and is a great fit to aid Fleury and Roberts all over the ice.

The thing I like about this line is the options available to Fleury on offense. He is going to be the main puck handler in rushes up the ice and being on his off wing allows him to either pass the puck off to a streaking Roberts or Reichel if the defense swarms him. If the defense sags back towards the goalie, he is more than capable of using a slapper or using his speed and resiliency to slice through some defenders for a deke of some sort. Everyone on this line is more than capable of scoring, playmaking, or playing defense, even if the opponent focuses on Fleury, Reichel and Roberts are a deadly 1-2 punch.

Grind Line:


Sergei Makarov: 6 weight, 5/4 skating, 2/4 shot, 5 sth & pass, 4/2 aware, Shoots: L

A personal favorite of mine and many others, Makarov can be mentioned in the same breath as Wayne Gretzky and Dale Hawerchuk when it comes to elite playmakers. What Makarov brings to the table, which is only enhanced with a player like Fleury beside him is that he is perfectly capable of carrying the puck up the ice and then dishing off a spectacular pass to Fleury whether it be for a one-timer or to break him loose for a rush on net. Makarov’s only weakness is shooting from beyond the face-off dots, he just isn’t going to do a lot of damage from outside. But in close, Makarov is more than capable of lighting the lamp with consistency and that’s where most of his chances will come from, right in the goal maw after Fleury wreaks his havoc.

With this setup, there is a bit more defensive presence here and the Flames can really hem the opponent in their own zone with a ferocious fore check. On the flip side, the Flames can play a trap game and they have plenty of skating and skill to take advantage of odd man-rushes with deadly precision.

Other Options: It’s unlikely the Flames depth will be tested beyond the top 4 forwards because they are so versatile. There are still some useful pieces here that might be worth a 3rd forward spot on a GDL roster.

Joe Nieuwendyk: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4, sth & 2 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L

Another skilled scorer, Nieuwendyk is best used as a center as his shooting and awareness are his main strengths. But on a team stacked with lighter, and equally as adept shooters, Nieuwendyk may only be the 4th best option at center on the team. If employed on the wing, his passing and weight will severely limit his effectiveness. In the GDL, if Nieuwendyk is lying around in the 5th round and a goal scoring slug is needed for center, there are certainly far worse options.

Paul Ranheim: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & 3 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: R

Ranheim has seen some GDL duty on the wing and has provided decent minutes when called upon. The plus skating and average skill set here is the main draw, despite being a bit heavy, Ranheim can be a solid penalty killer and is nicely suited as a 4th forward.

Chris Lindberg: 7 weight, 3/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L

Nothing more here than an 11th-12th round option with some speed in a fairly svelte package. Pickings can get pretty slim for 4 speed players near the end of the draft; Lindberg is worth keeping in mind at that stage.

Forwards: 9/10

Defense: No other team in the league may have as deep a blue line as the Flames who have 8 legitimate GDL draft options. Most of the players are mid-late round selections though and the top pairing is fairly clear cut.


Al MacInnis: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 6/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

MacInnis provides such an interesting conundrum, much along the lines of a Ray Bourque. It’s hard not to notice the perfect shot power rating, in fact, it becomes hard not to fall in love with it and try to utilize it whenever possible. In practicality though, it can be difficult to get MacInnis into position to use the slapper because most forwards can take him down with a good body check and then an odd-man rush typically ensues. MacInnis also isn’t the best stay at home defenseman due to his girth and inability to stay in position due to a lack of awareness. If it’s possible to reign in the up ice rushes with MacInnis, then he becomes a very useful puck distributor from the back end he always has that booming shot in his back pocket when the chance presents itself.

Gary Suter: 7 weight, 5/4 skating, 4/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/5 aware, Shoots: L

There aren’t too many d-men that are as skilled and steady as Suter, a perfect fit for such a free wheeling team. Suter can easily be forgotten in the grand scheme of things because he doesn’t have the checking power of Sweeney, the speed of Housley, the passing of Coffey, or the shot power of MacInnis. What Suter does have is a very solid skill set across the board and he is capable of a little bit of everything. While his only weakness may be in containing the super light weights, Suter has the skating to keep pace with them in open ice and still cause them some problems.

The only beef with this pairing is that it doesn’t provide a major physical presence. There can be instances in some tough match-ups where an equally skilled and fast line up can carve the Flames defense up if the offense leaves it in some precarious situations. Overall though, this duo is extremely mobile and skilled and can chip in some serious offense if it isn’t respected.

Other Options: The top pairing is set in stone for the majority of users, but here are some other players to consider just incase.

Roger Johansson: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L

A fairly swift skating defenseman in a middle weight package, Johansson is capable of being a decent puck mover from the back and he won’t hamper the Flames attack. Weak shot rating and awareness ratings though really hold him back and keep him outside of the Top 50 D-men.

Chris Dahlquist: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 1/4 aware, Shoots: L

A kgman favorite, Dahlquist does provide a fairly intriguing package. Despite his modest weight and passing abilities, Dahlquist has some nice skating and a very unique 1/4 awareness rating that allows him to hone in on defense and be a major presence in front of the net. This might come in handy for the Flames as well if MacInnis is being a real dope on defense.

Frank Musil: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L

Speed is always such an enticing thing to have on the back end and that is Musil’s main/only strength. While he is heavy and pretty lackluster in every other category, he is still worth a look because of his skating.

Kevin Dahl: 7 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: R

Ideally fills in as a 4th defender in the GDL, the speed, weight, and passing skills are the main draw here. Hopefully those assets keep him from drowning on the PK.

Michel Petit: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: R

The plus shot rating is the main asset here, some users like to have all their defenders with 4+ shot power ratings in the GDL. Petit fits the bill there and can certainly hold his own with the puck, the defense is a concern.

Trent Yawney: 7 weight, 3/2 skating, 2/0 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L

A bit of a slug, Yawney can be a nice find in the 11th round as a less useful version of Dahlquist.

Defenders: 7.5/10

Goalie Zone: The soft underbelly of the Flames lineup, if the opponent can manage to stem the tide of the Flames offense, Mike Vernon might not be able to shut the door consistently enough to keep the Flames in a tight game.

Mike Vernon: 4 weight, 3/4 skating, 4/4 aware, 4 puck control, 4/4/3/3 save, Catches: L

One of my favorite whipping boys, Vernon is among the dregs of the goaltending profession in ’94. Possessing neither the skating of Terreri nor the pads of Burke, Vernon is inferior to most goalies near his overall rating. Thankfully though, he is behind a lineup full of studs that can help keep the pressure off of him.

Goalie: 4/10

Bottom Line: Calgary can really run and gun, they have a scary good offensive weapon at every position. Chemistry can be a little off at times though as several skilled players have struggled through classic seasons with the Flames, that doesn’t take away from their upside when things start clicking.


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I find it a little puzzling that Roberts doesn’t get as much hype as Robert Reichel or Sergei Makarov on the Flames because Roberts is a cool guy, he scores goals and doesnt affraid of anything.

Yo también te quiero, AJ. :lol::D:lol::D:lol:

But if I can infer, I think they try to use Roberts in a similar way from Sandström, Richer and Robitaile because of his shot ratings, but as you said it doesn't always work since at times Roberts is streaky. Still, from this team he's your best option for one-timers.

Most of the time Suter and MacInnis are the guys to stay; I don't use the others as often since I don't know that much about them. As usual, MacInnis should be on his off-side to use his supershot as best you can.

I'd say Vernon isn't totally bad, but he isn't the best. Still, if he's still around, take him.

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Well, not first round, but I'd say round 3 or 4.

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  • 10 months later...

What about Joel Otto? He's pretty awesome in SNES. A solid solid defensive forward that can skate and contribute offensively.

Atrocious with the weight bug, but a consistently-used (if not particularly productive) 3rd/4th forward in Blitz with the weight bug fix http://blitz94.com/player.asp?player=73

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  • 3 years later...

CB Notes


Theo Fleury: No matter how you look at it 5 speed tends to be 5 speed and it's tough to remove Fleury from the lineup due to his new found susceptibility to the CB check. Fleury is still an absolute physical beast on defense but he may now be best suited to doing his work on the wing as his lack of stick handling and extremely light weight make him a big target. His slippery nature should help offset his lackluster passing rating and make him a fine play maker.

Gary Roberts: Not much new going on here for Roberts, he's a middle weight with average skating and he wont recognize much of a net gain or loss when it comes to physicality. Still a center only, don't waste your time trying to put him on the wing as his lack of elite skating and sub par passing will hinder him.

Robert Reichel: Reichel should have his value dinged ever so slightly as he is a little on the light side of things with no outstanding attribute to really make him shine. He's a consistent sort of guy and there's nothing wrong with that on a team full of specialists. There is always room on Calgary's top line for Reichel if one decides to make it for him.

Sergei Makarov: With more defensive options available to teams with the CB check, Makarov's lack of speed and shot power will make it difficult for him to stay relevant as a goal scorer. With that said, don't sleep on his 5 agility, this will still allow him to dance around a bit on the wing and set up some great scoring chances for his line mates. Still a defensive force, Makarov may actually be the second best defensive forward on the team thanks in large part to his nimble skating.

Joe Nieuwendyk: On a team bereft of truly heavyweight options, Nieuwendyk may prove useful against a team such as Montreal who are full of 5-6 weight forwards that don't possess 5 speed. Aside from a pitiful passing rating, Nieuwendyk is built in the same mold as Kirk Muller and can be a steady scoring presence in the middle while laying a little CB lumber for good measure.

Paul Ranheim: Great depth winger but won't get much chance to show his mettle with the talent ahead of him.

Chris Lindberg: His 4 speed could still come in handy at the end of a GDL draft but there isn't a lot else here to get excited about. His 7 weight does nothing to distinguish him from the pack.

Joel Otto: 11 weight, 4/3 skating, 2/4 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/5 aware, Shoots: R

When it comes to pure unadulterated CB action, Otto is the beginning and end of the discussion for options in Calgary. Despite some nice agility, defensive acumen, and CB power it is really difficult to find a spot to ice Otto. Even in blitz league play he has issues applying his physicality and lighting up the scoreboard. It's tough to see him being a contributor to a successful line but he is there if the need to go big ever arises.


Al MacInnis & Gary Suter: This duo remains the defacto starting unit and they aren't altered all too much by CB checking. MacInnis can play a bit more physical with the lightweights but he is still going to need to make quick decisions when he handles the puck just like he did before. Still a great pair that should be a positive force in both ends of the ice.

Roger Johansson, Kevin Dahl, Chirs Dahlquist, & Trent Yawney: This quartet of middleweights essentially retain all the value they had from before. All of them should be pretty steady on defense and anywhere from unspectacular to ineffective on offense. Calgary is a great place to look for depth defenseman in the GDL.

Michel Petit: Again, a good solid depth defender. Petit has a little more checking muscle now and his offensive ability is nothing to scoff at. Could be worthy of being the first man off the bench.

Frank Musil: Here lies the best CB checking option for the Calgary back line, Musil's plus skating and 9 weight make him a worthwhile option off the bench. His sheer lack of puck skill should keep him from poaching major minutes away from either of Suter or MacInnis.

Bottom Line

While the change isn't dramatic, Calgary is a little bit easier to knock around for other teams as they are pretty light on power forwards and bruising defenders. Calgary is still dangerous offensively and this should help limit how much aggressiveness their opponents could use in defending them. While Calgary is largely the same team, other teams behind them have closed the gap making most of their match ups that much more difficult.

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  • 4 years later...
On 3/31/2011 at 4:58 PM, angryjay93 said:

Bottom Line: Calgary can really run and gun, they have a scary good offensive weapon at every position. Chemistry can be a little off at times though as several skilled players have struggled through classic seasons with the Flames, that doesn’t take away from their upside when things start clicking.


Boy, you weren't lying about that chemistry. All this firepower, and going from blistering hot to ice cold. And Vernon is some sort of adventure.

I like how you've found players' playability and AI through repetitive play...things that can't be measured so simply with skill and awareness ratings.

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