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Who was Craig Button?

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Old
03-20-2008, 06:44 PM
  #26
Badger Bob
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Originally Posted by IronMaiden View Post
Marc Savard fell of the map since Valerie Bure was gone and Jarome was playing with Conroy.
Savard was already personnae non grata since he'd been hurt at the beginning of the '01-'02 season. They tried to work him back onto the top line, but there wasn't the same chemistry as with Conroy. So, even though much has been pointed to the Turek contract extension - and rightfully so - there was also plenty of bad karma surrounding Savard. He complained to the media that he had to have "skilled wingers" (read Iginla). After Chuck Kobasew potted his first career NHL goal, Savard's remark was "I thought I got it." Add in the Backstreet Boys CD's in the locker room, and the guy just never did anything to help contribute to a winning environment.

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How wrong was everyone when Minnesota got hot in the season and the Flames never managed to recover EVEN getting Chris Drury and Stephane Yelle didn't help at all.
That deal helped out later. Yelle was an important contributor on the '04 squad. Drury was swapped for Rhett Warrener (yes, others were part of the deal too) but Warrener's rugged play was critical for the run at the Cup, especially with injuries to Lydman & Gauthier.

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03-21-2008, 12:25 AM
  #27
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What was Chris Drury's deal when he was with Calgary? anyone wanna clarify the situation? I thought at the time, having Chris Drury playing with Iginla and Conroy would be a killer line.

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03-21-2008, 11:29 PM
  #28
Damien
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Man, I barely even remember Chris Drury's tenure as a Flame... It's not like I've blocked it our or anything but it was so uneventful... I donno.

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03-22-2008, 12:02 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
...was the season we finally saw the disgruntled Marc Savard get traded for the Russian dynamo Ruslan Zainullin (a player I doubt even Atlanta knew they had on the books until Button broight it up). It may be one of the worst handled situations...
What ever happened to him?

Good overview by the way Roughneck! Very insightful to someone who doesnt know much about the Flames during the turn of the millenium.

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03-22-2008, 12:30 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by IronMaiden View Post
What was Chris Drury's deal when he was with Calgary? anyone wanna clarify the situation? I thought at the time, having Chris Drury playing with Iginla and Conroy would be a killer line.
Well the only time they ever seemed to play together was on the powerplay because of the need to 'balance the scoring.' Drury played as a centre, a winger with a whole bunch of linemates during the year.

Overall he had a pretty good year. While he didn't exactly tear it up, he was good in every situation we put him in, never had consistent linemates and put up a better season than he had previously in Colorado. It was probably unfair for Calgary fans to hope he could transform our offense but I'd say he was probably misused throughout the year. I can't remember who his linemates usually were, but if you consider that the teams scoring leaders went from 52 with Gelinas (who was 4th) to 26 with Lydman, I can't imagine it was much.

As for his happiness, I was never really sure about it. Obviously going from Colorado to Calgary at the time would have been a disappointment for any player, but there were reports he was unhappy about having to play in Canada rather than just Calgary. I never really knew what to make of them, Dowbiggen who was behind it all.

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03-22-2008, 12:43 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by outerone View Post
What ever happened to him?
Well after a hockeydb search (apparently his name is Zaynullin now), he kept up his dynamic scoring pace for a few years, being bounced around in the Russian league, but he now appears to actually be having a decent season with Balashinka (whoever they are). When I say decent, I mean that he has actually put up double digit points for the first time.

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Good overview by the way Roughneck! Very insightful to someone who doesnt know much about the Flames during the turn of the millenium.
I figure everybody should know about the horrors I, and others like me had to suffer through those years.

Luckily I was still rather young and oblivious through most of the Riesbrough and Coates years, the Hitmen of the time helped a bit with that as well.

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03-22-2008, 01:20 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
As for his happiness, I was never really sure about it. Obviously going from Colorado to Calgary at the time would have been a disappointment for any player, but there were reports he was unhappy about having to play in Canada rather than just Calgary. I never really knew what to make of them, Dowbiggen who was behind it all.
If there was ever a specific, documented quote about Drury not wanting to play in Calgary, it has yet to surface. It became message board hearsay. "What? PapaBear said Drury didn't want to be a Flame? Must be true!" Drury's numbers were similar to what he produced in Colorado. Granted, there was a premature expectation that his game was ready to reach another level, after moving out of the shadows of Sakic and Forsberg. That eventually happened in Buffalo, and he's enjoying the financial rewards, as we speak.

One thing that Button was right about was wanting to end the culture of losing. Players who had the desire to win, or at least put forth effort, (Drury, Yelle, Gelinas, Boughner, Leopold, Conroy and lots will disagree with me, but they were wrong then and were proven wrong since - Niedermayer, who would've paid huge dividends in '04) were brought over. Those who were locker room disruptions, or content with losing, were moved out (Savard, Bure, Morris, Stillman - who, amazingly won 2 Cups with 2 different teams, when it was difficult enough to motivate him to show for a home game). This is a philosophy that Daryl Sutter largely followed, although he's overdone it with stocking the roster for of ex-Sharks.

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03-22-2008, 01:42 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Badger Bob View Post
If there was ever a specific, documented quote about Drury not wanting to play in Calgary, it has yet to surface. It became message board hearsay. "What? PapaBear said Drury didn't want to be a Flame? Must be true!"
Yeah, this sounds about right.

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Drury's numbers were similar to what he produced in Colorado. Granted, there was a premature expectation that his game was ready to reach another level, after moving out of the shadows of Sakic and Forsberg. That eventually happened in Buffalo, and he's enjoying the financial rewards, as we speak.
Its not even that his production even reached another level, his career year numbers aren't really that much higher than in Colorado, it was that he showed he was capable of leading a team.

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One thing that Button was right about was wanting to end the culture of losing. Players who had the desire to win, or at least put forth effort, (Drury, Yelle, Gelinas, Boughner, Leopold, Conroy and lots will disagree with me, but they were wrong then and were proven wrong since - Niedermayer, who would've paid huge dividends in '04) were brought over.
Niedermayer's problem was that the expectations of him were to be the 60 point, 2-way centre the team needed rather than the 3rd/4th line shutdown centre that he has become. Which was pretty ridiculous considering his two best years were only 60 and 50 points. He was put into the right situation in Anaheim and we're the ones who look like idiots because of it. I guess we didn't really need another checking line centre at the time, but its not trading him really helped us all that much either.

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03-22-2008, 01:59 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
Niedermayer's problem was that the expectations of him were to be the 60 point, 2-way centre the team needed rather than the 3rd/4th line shutdown centre that he has become. Which was pretty ridiculous considering his two best years were only 60 and 50 points. He was put into the right situation in Anaheim and we're the ones who look like idiots because of it. I guess we didn't really need another checking line centre at the time, but its not trading him really helped us all that much either.

It was a salary dump. Looking back, the return was for a goalie (JF Damphousse) who might not even be playing professional hockey anymore and a folk hero (Mike Commodore) who was traded for a 3rd rounder (Gord Baldwin). Not a great return for somebody, who was once considered one of the top prospects in the game. He was an underachiever, to be sure, but some of the disappointing results could possibly be attributed to playing for an expansion team in a "non-traditional" market. Same is true for Chris Gratton, who also came with higher expectations.

Anyway, Niedermayer was the most effective skater with Anaheim in their first trip to the Finals, by playing in all situations (5-on-5, PP, SH) and against other teams' top lines. He F/T checking line duties actually came later, but worked to great effect when they won last year.

His turnaround started under Al MacNeil.

A couple of things:
1.) He's one of those players, who elevate his play in the post-season, which he'd demonstrated previously with Florida in '96 (was teammates w/ Warrener).
2.) He didn't turn it on much for the Flames, but the guy can skate. He could've thrived under a full season of Sutter coaching with that aggressive forechecking system.

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Old
03-24-2008, 11:22 AM
  #35
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Interesting trip down memory lane. Stillman could not score at home, which is why to me he will always be Cory Roadman.

Drury was a sulker and a whinner in Calgary but a winner everywhere else. I wonder why. I'm glad he's gone. I never missed him. His time here was forgettable.

Turek sucked. Buzed sucked (I had forgotten about him). St. Louis was very frustrating because he had the speed and got chances but never converted. I can't blame them for getting rid of him at that time. He couldn't buy a goal. Special Nieds was our whipping boy in Calgary and was probably treated unfairly, but good riddance.

Whoever drafted Tkaczuk, Fata and Saprykin really didn't know what they were doing (I think it was 2 different GMs). Reisbrough for the Gilmour trade alone and his dismantaling of cup winner to me will always make him the worst GM we ever had. Coatesy sucked too. Their combined drafts were putrid. Coatesy traded for Iggy and that was it. Button at least drafted Lombardi, Nystrom, Moss, Foster, Stoll, Kobasew and Moen.

Sutter's done a great job in comparison but will still have to answer if they get rolled in the playoffs again.

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