Kyle Turris

If Calgary wants to blow it all up, pursuing Kyle Turris would be a way to do it

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It wouldn’t be another start to the season if it wasn’t for Calgary stumbling out of the blocks. This time around, fans sound serious about worrying that the inevitable complete fall from grace is coming. Stars Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff are 34 and 35 years-old respectively and Roman Horak and Mikael Backlund represent their only youthful players. With everyone else being in their late-20s or their 30s, the future is bleak in Calgary.

While Calgary has nearly been a playoff team the last two years, they’ve fallen short and with the team aging not-so gracefully (they’re the second-oldest team in the league behind Detroit) it might be time for GM Jay Feaster to find a way to blow things up and start anew.

One way they could get a head start on that would be to find a way to land disgruntled Coyotes restricted free agent Kyle Turris. Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald posits that while others will be in pursuit of Turris, Calgary gunning for him could be the right move to help the Flames get younger and talented.

Trades don’t come without risk, but with just Horak and Backlund to look at as definitive positive prospects, the Flames are in a bad way. With  11 unrestricted free agents after this season, trading away talented guys with extended deals like Alex Tanguay and Rene Bourque might not be the best thing to do in the short term, but to get what they want that might be the only option they have to clean house and start over.

With Phoenix and Calgary already having history this year when they swapped Daymond Langkow and Lee Stempniak, reestablishing that connection to do a deal may not be too hard to do. If Don Maloney gets off his stance in saying he absolutely will not trade Turris, it’s hard to imagine Jay Feaster not being the first guy to call him.

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen