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Macleod tasked with balancing act

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Geodie Macleod has long quarterbacked staff hockey at Scotiabank Saddledome.

But what may come as a surprise to the dozens that skate in the affair regularly organized by Macleod is that he's used the event as a scouting tool for the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Group Hockey Championship.

"It's always an evaluation," said Macleod, the director of player personnel for the former Finance Cup and current vice president of marketing for the Calgary Stampeders.

"I think we have a skill rating attached to every player that they typically wouldn't be aware of and that fluctuates with every performance."

The key component in organizing staff hockey on a regular basis makes Macleod a logical choice to present fair, balanced teams to protect the integrity of the Championship, Rollie Cyr admitted.

"Geordie is sort of the de facto team-builder because he's seen quite a bit of hockey," he said. "He tries to make the teams relatively equal and then we'll add the stars and alumni to those teams."

WIthout going into lengthy detail, Macleod admitted he has held conversations on some of the more difficult players to gauge.

And, of course, there are mainstays that are virtual locks to return to certain teams and departments.

"There's a bit of a form that we've established from the last few years so we're trying to keep a few base players attached to each group," Macleod admitted. "Over the past two years, there have been a lot of skaters come out of the woodwork and a lot of new starts. Four teams this year…it was just two teams two years ago."

Therein lies the challenge for Macleod and his crew.

With so many new faces emerging and the tournament doubling in size in just two years, Macleod's job becomes that much more difficult to balance teams to ensure integrity at the event.

"In all seriousness, I think the idea for it is to be as even as we can possibly make it," he said.

Once the teams are balanced and the puck drops on the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Group Hockey Championship, Macleod said all bets are off.

"Whoever shows up and has a good day [will win]," he declared. "Goaltending will be critical, a deciding factor. Whichever goalie has the biggest day will probably take it for the team."

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