Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Rangers

Monday, 23.09.2013 / 2:35 PM
Aaron Vickers  - (@aavickers)


Take note, kids.

It's too early to be a lock on coach Bob Hartley's roster.

There are two preseason games and and nearly a dozen days before the Calgary Flames kick off the 2013-14 season, meaning there is still a large body of work to be completed before earning a jersey and a stint in the National Hockey League.

"At rookie camp when everyone was in the room, the Monahans, the Poiriers, all the kids, Roman Horak, [Max] Reinhart, I told them 'No one is sure of a job' and until we tell those guys that they're staying, everyone is fighting," he said.

Does that include Sven Baertschi?

"Yep," Hartley confirmed.

"We're starting a new chapter. We communicated this with them. We're starting a new culture and obviously if you want to play here, you have to work very hard and you have to be good on both sides of the puck."


While he doesn't have a position locked up down the middle, Sean Monahan certainly is drawing attention to his skills in the draw.

And a little praise, too.

"I think he's, for a young guy, as good as I've seen," Matt Stajan said. "He's very strong and hopefully he keeps getting better and better because that's a key part of any centreman's game and it's something he takes a lot of pride in."

Monahan's work at the dot has certainly earned the approval of his coach, but that's not the only area that has impressed Hartley.

"Sean has been unbelievable," he said. "The poise and the maturity that he's showing us, that's something that you can't teach, whether you have it or you don't and he has it."


With just two preseason games remaining on the docket, Karri Ramo will start against the New York Rangers on Monday while Reto Berra will tend the twine on Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

That rotation leaves Joey MacDonald on the bench.

"I sat with Mac already and I told him this," Hartley said. "I wish that we would have three games left so that we could each give them one. Since we know Mac, is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? I can't answer that question. I wish I would have three, but we only have two games and we have three goalies.

"Joey MacDonald is the guy we know the most but at the same time, they're three guys unknown for a No. 1 job at the NHL level, and that's what makes it very interesting. I think we're just hoping for a jack-in-the-box."

The 33-year-old MacDonald is understanding of the situation.

"It's good that the coaching staff has confidence in me like that," MacDonald said. "I talked to Bob and he said the same thing. He wants to see what these guys can do.

"I played 21 games here last year. They know what to expect from me. If they don't they can go online and watch my other games. I've been around for a while and I don't change much."


He doesn't expect either Jiri Hudler or Mike Cammalleri to get into any remaining preseason action, but Hartley is optimistic the duo will be ready for the team's season-opener against the Washington Capitals.

"[Cammalleri] is skating," he confirmed. "We will not play him [Monday] and I would be very surprised if he plays Wednesday. I really think that Jiri Hudler, Michael Cammalleri will be in the lineup in Washintgon but they're not ready at this time."

Hartley played coy in revealing what was ailing Cammalleri.

"Well with [Cammalleri], and I'm not lying at all, it all depends if he's sitting or standing. If he's sitting, it's lower body. If he's standing, well then it's upper body. Try to figure that one out, and I'm not lying. I never lie.

"[Hudler], it's lower body."


"Last chance. We only have three, unless we get (associate coach) Jacques (Cloutier) and (goaltending coach) Clint (Malarchuk) back in net. They are our three goalies and we're going to work with them. Our starter in Washington might get the first star or might get yanked, I don't know. I certainly hope that he gets the first star, but there's still lots of unknowns."

- Hartley on his goaltending situation

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