Sven Baertschi got the message, loud and clear. The Flames’ young prospect knows he’s got some work to do.
Said message, of course, was delivered by Calgary’s new head of hockey operations, Brian Burke. When asked Monday what he thought of Baertschi’s play, there was no holding back from the quotable hockey exec.
“All I’ve seen so far is flashes of brilliance,” said Burke, per the Globe and Mail. “Flashes of brilliance are fine if you’re working in the university, but they’re not much good to people in an NHL building.
“There are three zones in the ice surfaces in this league. I don’t see that he’s learned to play and compete in two of them. He’s got to learn there’s a clock in this league and there’s so many minutes in the game and that you’ve got to compete through all of it. I see this is a guy who’s focusing on one area [scoring] and even then, sporadically.”
Per Sportsnet’s Roger Millions, Baertschi said Burke’s comments were “good for me. When a guy like that says things, you had better listen.”
Baertschi, 20, is expected to open the season on Calgary’s third line, with fellow prospect Sean Monahan, 18, in the middle and veteran David Jones, 29, on the other wing. The Flames play their first game Thursday in Washington.