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Calgary Flames

An Act of DesperaSVEN: The Flames Recall Sven Baertschi



It’s hardly a surprise. Everyone should’ve seen this coming. The Calgary Flames are recalling Sven Baertschi on an emergency basis.

After failing to build much needed depth at the trade deadline with the injury counts climbing, the Flames have reached a level of desperation that has culminated in them recalling 13th overall draft pick Sven Baertschi, who leads the CHL and WHL in PPG among players with 40 games played.

In an organization that has a history- rightly or wrongly earned- of not giving chances to youngsters, the Baertschi recall speaks highly of his skill and abilities. That said, if the Flames thought he was the best fit for the team based purely on that, he would never have been sent back to the Winterhawks after training camp.

Baertschi is clearly a high-end two way player. He'll likely never be a superstar, as I've mentioned time and again, but he's skilled, smart, and very capable. He plays well with the puck and without it. That's why it's likely he'll slot in on the top six and be given sheltered zone starts.

With some of the other younger players like Bouma and Nemisz, it makes sense to give them poor zone starts and play them with the bottom lines- they're not scorers like SVEN is. They're better off learning how to shutdown other players, because when push comes to shove, they don't have clear NHL offensive ability, while SVEN, who's only 19 at this point, does.

It's a thrilling moment for Sven Baertschi, there's no denying that. But to play this up as "The Flames are bringing SVEN up because he'll save the day!" is foolishness. If that was the case, he should've spent the year with the Flames. Either the Flames made a mistake returning him to junior months ago, or they're making one now. And either way, they made a big one at the Trade Deadline. Take your pick.

Unrelated: SVEN SVEN SVEN.

by Arik Knapp