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Burke unimpressed with Baertschi

Sven Baertschi

Calgary Flames’ Sven Baertschi, from Switzerland, waits for a face off during first-period NHL hockey game action against the Winnepeg Jets in Calgary, Alberta, Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)


New Calgary Flames head of hockey operations, Brian Burke, is none too impressed with one of the team’s top prospects, Sven Baertschi.

Specifically, he’s not impressed with the 20-year-old’s commitment to playing in all three zones of the ice.

“This is a guy, right now, who’s focusing on one area,” Burke said, per Wes Gilberton of the Calgary Sun. “And even then, sporadically.”

“There’s three zones on the ice ... and I don’t see that he’s learned to play and compete in two of them.”

Presumably, Burke is referring to the defensive and neutral zones as the two that Baertschi, a talented scorer, needs to play better in.

While Burke may have been blunt in his assessment (when is he ever subtle?), he did say he’s “seen kids that age with those holes that turn into players.” Which is good, because the rebuilding Flames need Baertschi to turn into a player after drafting him 13th overall in 2011.

More on Baertschi’s preseason struggles here.

Update (3:07 p.m. ET): Despite all of the above, Baertschi made the Flames’ opening-day roster.

Update 2 (3:18 p.m. ET): Flames GM Jay Feaster provides more context...

Feaster said if he had a “Do Over” he would not have brought Baertschi up from Portland 2 years ago because expectations are too high

— JermainFranklin (@TSNJFranklin) September 30, 2013

Related: Untouchable Baertschi looking to build on strong 2013 finish