Dec. 6 Potpourri

Kent Wilson
December 06 2010 11:53AM

 

 

With the Flames languishing in the conference basement, here's a collection of thoughts bouncing around my head in no particular order.

- Mikael Backlund is an NHLer, but he should be sent down to the farm.

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 26: Mikael Backlund  of the Calgary Flames in action during a hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flames won 3-2. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
 

 

The kid has been good enough in the third-line type role he's been assigned this year that he hasn't been a detriment on most nights. That's a win for most 21 year olds in this league. There's also evidence of growth relative to last year considering his increasing willingness to drive the puck to the net with authority. His possession numbers are excellent, albeit in a sheltered role this year. His results aren't quite as impressive (just five points in 26 games), but a 4.4 SH% and zero power-play time will do that. The arrows are pointing in the right direction I think.

Unfortunately for Backlund, the Flames are full to bursting with guys in and around his current talent level: Olli Jokinen, Curtis Glencross, David Moss, Ales Kotalik, Tom Kostopolous, Tim Jackman, Craig Conroy, Brendan Morrison - these are all bottom of the rotation guys in an ideal world. Keeping Backlund around to float in-and-out of the line-up in order to battle for 10 minutes a night doesn't strike me as a prudent development avenue. Especially since he can still be sent back down to Abbotsford without incident.

Demote Backlund, un-clutter the bottom six picture somewhat, free up a bit of cap space and let him play 20+ minutes a night for the Heat.

- The Flames immediate future is utterly grim. They are 5 points out of a playoff spot, but nearly everyone above them has several games in hand, including the San Jose Sharks (2), Nashville Predators (2) and Columbus Blue Jackets (2). Only the Ducks and Blackhawks have played more games than the Flames in the West so far. Point of interest - Detroit, who is leading the parade with 37 points (14 more than Calgary) has three games in hand.

For the record, I don't think the Flames are last in the west bad. They'd have a lot of one-goal games go the wrong with in the early going and their goal differential is a modestly poor -8. That said, I also don't think the Flames are good enough to go .650 the rest of the way to squeeze into the final playoff spot. Outside of a few post-season home games for the owners, I don't really see the long-term utlity of gunning for the 8th anyways.

- The Ian White trade is a baffling one. I noted this at The Score earlier, but observations of the players in question has lent some clarity to the analysis now. Given Anton Babchuk's obvious flaws and the fact that Kostopolous looks to be marginally above a replacement level NHLer, I continue to wonder just what the impetus for making that deal was. White was having issues, but is quite obviously a superior player to Babchuk in every way that is important. His value would have went up around the deadline, perhaps enough that Sutter could have asked for a top-60 draft pick in return (hell, Stave Staios fetched the Oilers a player and a third rounder last March).

As it is, the Flames ended up with a guy that is detrimental even on the third pairing at ES and a forward so redundant on this roster that even he must wonder what the hell he's doing here. Kostopolous makes $1.1M in real dollars next year, by the way.

- At some point, the team is going to have to decide which players go in the "keep 'em" pile and which go in the "trade 'em" pile. Of course, those decisions will be up to the GM...so the real question is: is Darryl Sutter the guy to be making those distinctions? The season is too early to be going into sell off mode yet, but that day draws closer with each subsequent loss. I hope the owners are assessing their other options now; having either them or Sutter pull some knee-jerk move in January is the worst possible outcome for this org.

- Craig Conroy has the second best possession numbers on the team (+12.9 corsi/60), with the fourth most difficult zone start (51.9%). I know the bottom end is crowded, but he should be playing (assuming we're still trying to win games here). The old man isn't going to give you much in the way of points these days, but he can still do everything else right. For example, he has the best face-off win rate of any regular center on the club (54.4%). What makes that more impressive is the fact he takes a lot of own-zone and PK draws whenever he's in the line-up and teams tend to lose more draws in those situations.

Scratch Kostopolous, move the 48% Brendan Morrison to wing and put Craig back at center.

- If Bourque doesn't start turning things around, I'm going to seriously wonder how much of his previous success was built off of playing with Daymond Langkow.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Daymond Langkow #22 of the Calgary Flames celebrates with teammate Rene Bourque #17 after Langkow scored a third period goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the NHL game at Staples Center on November 1, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The Flames defeated the Kings 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
 

It strikes me as a ridiculous assertion even after watching him struggle the opening two months here, but outside of a hidden injury, I can't otherwise account for the degree to which Bourque's play has dropped off this season. He has also struggled at the end of the year last season in Langkow's absence, for those who don't recall. 

A return to form by Bourque wouldn't turn this team into a contender. The real reason this is an issue is that Bourque is signed till 2016 at $3.33 million per year. Which means If he needs Langkow in the line-up to be a value contract, the Flames need to consider putting Bourque in the "trade 'em" pile sooner rather than later. 

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Rain Dogs
December 06 2010, 02:05PM
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@Domebeers.com

Oh I see.

So for you it's "what have you done for me last game"

Ok, no you're right. Only 1 player in the NHL has 5 GWG. Only 5 have 4. So, he's tied for 7th in the league with GWG's. And obviously we shouldn't give any credit for the two in shootouts.

You're right. He's been awful. I mean, by now he should have 7 or 8 GWG right? It HAS been two months afterall. Geez at 3.3 million, he should be up there with Ovechkin and Crosby.. in GWG. OH what's that? He is.

Good research.

Again, has he been great every game. No. Perfect? Far from it. Is he arguably our best scorer through 25 games? Yes.

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#2 Domebeers.com
December 06 2010, 11:59AM
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I was working on a post about Bourque not so great, but I see you may be going down that road so I will leave it.

I get a lot of heat for my anti bourque stance in real life, but Ill stick with it. To me, it looks like the guy only scores in games the Flames lose. Id have to actually look to make that a statement statement, but he is inconsistent as hell.

I lead towards trading him anyways, but when the guy is on he is legit. More baffling bafflements from this team.

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#3 propositionWes
December 06 2010, 12:17PM
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I think a general "If I were GM" post by Kent, McLovin and Robert is in order.

Obviously you can't predict exactly what players would net on the trade market but giving us some broad stroke ideas on how to get out of this mess would be appreciated.

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#4 Rain Dogs
December 06 2010, 12:18PM
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"White was having issues, but is quite obviously a superior player to Babchuk in every way that is important."

Really? What makes you say this?

White cost three times as much. That's important.

White was a -10 in 16 games, Babchuk is -1 in 10. That's important.

White had 2 goals in 16, Babchuk has 1 in 10. Goals are important, pretty much the same.

White had a shot, good for a small guy, Babchuk has a cannon. He'll open up the ice for the PP just by being there. For a crap PP, that's important.

White is a CorsiRel of -2.7, Babchuk -1.6. Switching teams I don't think it's way off base to use that comparable.

White had no ability to handle guys with any size/speed. Babchuk.....uhhh....

White was slow and overpaid. Babchuk is slow and paid.

I fail to see any compelling aspects to White's game other than some PP points.

Perhaps White sees the ice better, but he sucked. No doubt about it.

By "the eye" White was costing the Flames a goal against every other game, with an ill-timed screen or a complete defensive flub in coverage. You may site PDO, which generally I agree with, but with White, I'd say (although you'll argue this) had something to do with the goalie's sv% while on. I dunno how a defender repeatedly screening the goalie can't influence sv%? Babchuk hasn't been great, but...he's not paid to be.

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#5 M F
December 06 2010, 12:24PM
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How is that a ridiculus assertion saying Bourque is nothing special? I don't have the exact numbers infront of me since I'm on my phone, but his PDO and s% the past few years has been high resulting in flashy boxcars. His possesion numbers are also Meh. Langkows hurting us in more ways then one right now, by inflating the values of those around him (Bourque, Dawes, Iginla, hulesius).

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#6 wattree
December 06 2010, 12:40PM
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I was thinking this morning that I hoped you guys would get into a roundtable on who to salvage and who to move if the situation hasn't improved by xmas.

My list would start by asking Iggie if he wants to be moved to a contender (LA). He's been a good soldier and doesn't deserve to go through another swoon. If they can do the quick turn around like Philli then you make an attempt to bring him back in 2 years when he's UFA.

GlenX is good but he seems like he can only go about 18 minutes of playing time between brain farts, like the soft-backhand-clear-up-the-middle on the PK. But being UFA, he'd probably look pretty good to a contender trying to bolster their bottom 6 for a long run. Late 2nd round picks don't seem out of line for him at the deadline.

Start playing Karlson a lot to see if the team can get by without Kipper. Even if it's a move that get's made in the summer, there must be a couple teams that think they have a 2 year window to win.

Tanguay may be the most sought after Flame at he deadline. Think he'd make a handshake deal with the team to return in the summer?

Is there anyway to package Kotalik and Sarich out of town?

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#7 Rain Dogs
December 06 2010, 12:49PM
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@Domebeers.com

This is also about the most ignorant thing I've read today:

"To me, it looks like the guy only scores in games the Flames lose."

That is, unless you mean that we lose so much almost everyone does the same. But I don't think you do.

Q: Who has the most GWG on the Flames? A: Rene Bourque with 3.

Q: Who has scored the most shootout GWG on the Flames? A: Rene Bourque with 2. And he's 2 for 2 in the shootout. You mean, that's like 5 of our 11 wins with Bourque playing an important role? Wow!

Q: Who makes 7 million on the Flames and has fewer GWG but the same number of total goals as 3.3mil. Rene Bourque (11)?

A: Jarome Iginla...2 GWG.

Q: Who doesn't take shootouts because he sucks in them and makes tons of money?

A: There are a few, but most notably Iginla.

That is all.

There's plenty of blame to go around, and at times players aren't at there best. But the blame Bourque or Kiprusoff or Backlund camps. I just don't see it.

Sure, could they be better? Of course. Bourque could have 20 goals instead of 11. Kiprusoff could have a .950 evsv% like Thomas instead of .921. Backlund could have 30 pts in his rookie season...but seriously. We've got bigger pumpkin-headed, Steve-Staoised, Injured-Langkowed, too-many-penalties problems.

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#8 B
December 06 2010, 01:07PM
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...agree on the point about sending Backlund to the farm.

...even though Ian White is small-ish, I'm a fan. I'm not a Babchuck hater (he does have some obvious offensive upside), but I like White's offensive intangibles more. Not to belabour the point, but like Kent said, if Staios can command a third rounder, White could command a second rounder (not sure Babchuck could).

...niether Borque or Stajan are first line players. They are average second line players. Langkow was an average first line player, but with that being said, I think Borque's upside, production, and salary for a second line role are acceptable even without Langkow. In a "rebuild" they could play a first line role (Stajan unfortunately already is).

...Sutter has made some questionable moves. My two biggest pet peaves are Cammy and Huselius. However, if the Flames get to the top 8 in the conference I am happy. Call me complacent, but I agree with the assertion that anything can (and does) happen in the playoffs. If the Flames don't make it to the playoff (or are virtually eliminated by February-ish) he shouldn't be the one to rebuild. If he is promoted and Feaster or some puppet takes over I might start cheering for the New York Islanders.

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#12 Rain Dogs
December 06 2010, 01:31PM
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@Kent Wilson

White, WAS paid to be a top pairing/ top four guy. He JUST signed a new contract that moved him behind only Sarich, who's old money. He was meant to be our third best guy, and he was far from it.

He was crap. So we ditched him. The last thing we needed was three guys on the "D" not earning their money (Sarich, White and Staois).

As well, According to BehindTheNet White is the 4th defender in QualComp in CAR., well behind the top guys and only ahead of Jamie McBane and Jay Harrison. So I think that's necessity.

White is no good, and is paid to be.

Babchuk is paid to be a 6th/7th man with a hard shot. That's what we got. White couldn't be gone fast enough. If you think he was worth more, maybe there are a bunch of suckers out there.

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#13 Casey
December 06 2010, 01:33PM
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This season is toast. Not much point in waiting until Christmas to start planning for the (ugly) future. There is no way on God's green earth that this chemistry-less, identity-less, "team" is going to win enough games to get anywhere near the playoffs this year.

The only way that this team was ever going to succeed was to somehow catch lightning in a bottle early and then ride it all season. The whole had to be bigger than the sum of the parts. I would argue that the whole is significantly less than the sum of the parts.

Darryl has fallen victim to that dreaded disease: "we look good on paper"-itis. Unfortunately, this group just doesn't get it.

This is getting hard to watch.

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#14 Backburner
December 06 2010, 01:34PM
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@Kent Wilson

I think Bourque, Backlund, Babchuck and maybe even Morrison would make a great trade package right now. Maybe for a Richards or Tavares? I know Backlund has a lot of potential, but maybe a move to a team that will actually give him more ice time would be the opportunity he needs. I Could see Dallas taking that deal; or am I stoned?

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#15 dotfras
December 06 2010, 01:36PM
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I also think it's smart to have Backlund playing 20/night on the Farm compared to fighting for 10/press box on the big team.

That's however second to seeing him play a second line role on the Flames. I think he has shown great improvement already this year and think it would continue if given a chance.

A bunch of guys drafted ahead of him in 07 seem to be finally breaking out: Gagner, Couture, Voracek, Shattenkirk.....

Also of note: Lars Eller was picked 11 spots higher than Backlund and their numbers are pretty similar this year.

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#16 Rain Dogs
December 06 2010, 01:46PM
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@ Kent

I'd like to add. Many criticize Sutter for the contracts and trades he makes.

Well, He gave White 1. an opportunity to show he was that player. 2. He gave him the money for that position.

In 10 games, he realized his mistake, and agknowledged Gio is that player. (which some of us will say we knew in hindsight) He signed Gio and dealt White fast, while he could.

I applaud it. White is not that player. Sutter fixed it, and fixed it fast. When Pardy comes back, we'll see where Babchuk is.

Irrespective of what we got, we're a better team without White and his 3 million dollar cap hit. I would have given him away for a late round pick...and that player may never have been what (little) Babchuk or Kostopolous are.

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#17 Domebeers.com
December 06 2010, 01:58PM
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@Lawrence

3 game winning goals...in October, and none since.

Ive done the research so you dont have to.

Bourque has scored 8 games this season. Of those 8 games, the Flames have won 3, those 3 games at the start of the season when Bourque came back and was hot. Since then, zip. No goals of consequence.

Thats the facts. Love the laundry, not the player.

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#18 propositionWes
December 06 2010, 02:18PM
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Backburner wrote:

@Kent Wilson

I think Bourque, Backlund, Babchuck and maybe even Morrison would make a great trade package right now. Maybe for a Richards or Tavares? I know Backlund has a lot of potential, but maybe a move to a team that will actually give him more ice time would be the opportunity he needs. I Could see Dallas taking that deal; or am I stoned?

LOL, that only happens if somehow D.Sutz becomes the GM of Dallas or Long Island.

So yes you are stoned. And quit bogarting.

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#19 Domebeers.com
December 06 2010, 02:21PM
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You know what, Rene doesn't suck, I dont want it to come across that way. Last year he had bad ZS and im looking some of his numbers at behindthenet and the guy was strong, so he doesnt suck.

This year he is getting 54.3% of his starts in the ozone. Whatever, you would like to think he could play in his own zone more. His stats seem fine if thats what you want to look at. He has a plus corsi rel qoc, although his corse rel qot is low, which suggests that he may not be the driver on the line, I guess. Again, his numbers are fine

I still think he is inconsistent as hell, and I dont know if you give guys like that 6 year contracts. If someone offered the team a first rounder for the guy, depending on how high it was, the team should consider it. I wouldn't trade him to trade him, but I don't think the team is going to a Cup if Bourque is its best forward.

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#20 Gange
December 06 2010, 02:23PM
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Backburner wrote:

@Kent Wilson

I think Bourque, Backlund, Babchuck and maybe even Morrison would make a great trade package right now. Maybe for a Richards or Tavares? I know Backlund has a lot of potential, but maybe a move to a team that will actually give him more ice time would be the opportunity he needs. I Could see Dallas taking that deal; or am I stoned?

Why would Dallas take a rag tag bunch of players for Richards? Two of which are UFA's. I don't see Nieuwendyk doing that deal.

Any deal for Tavares could not be done by Calgary.

It's easy to say we'd give up a bunch of players for one player but the other team has to have interest or see some value in the other players. I tell ya, if NYI would take those guys for Tavares, I'd do it yesterday!!

I think you're stoned though.

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#21 Domebeers.com
December 06 2010, 02:27PM
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And I guess I started it with goals in win talk, which is why you are giving me GWG stuff, of which Rene hasnt had in about 2 months, you know, when the team could have used them.

But what is a GWG? Presumably you mean big goals in big spots, like a tied hockey game in the third. Bourque has two of his GWG in blowout games, so they arent really real, and his real goal came against nashville, again, like 3 months ago.

IDK, the guy might be the best forward on this team, I dont know if that is saying much.

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#22 T&A4Flames
December 06 2010, 02:28PM
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Backburner wrote:

@Kent Wilson

I think Bourque, Backlund, Babchuck and maybe even Morrison would make a great trade package right now. Maybe for a Richards or Tavares? I know Backlund has a lot of potential, but maybe a move to a team that will actually give him more ice time would be the opportunity he needs. I Could see Dallas taking that deal; or am I stoned?

Yea, sorry, but I don't think so. Maybe (and at this point, probably) for Tavares I would do it, although I would still like at least a 3rd as well. Not a chance for Richards though. He is an UFA at the end of the season and he would have to be signed before I went with that, but still, he's another aging player and the cost of those 4 players you mentioned is too much. Take out Bourque and Backlund and add Hagman and Stajan and a guarantee he signs- I'm on board. Heck, throw in another 3/4th liner and one of our bottom pairing D to sweeten it up.

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#23 Backburner
December 06 2010, 03:00PM
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@propositionWes

LOL "Bogarting"... people still say that?

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#24 hal a pena
December 06 2010, 03:34PM
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Backburner wrote:

@Kent Wilson

I think Bourque, Backlund, Babchuck and maybe even Morrison would make a great trade package right now. Maybe for a Richards or Tavares? I know Backlund has a lot of potential, but maybe a move to a team that will actually give him more ice time would be the opportunity he needs. I Could see Dallas taking that deal; or am I stoned?

did the islanders rehire mike milbury as gm? even the madcap comedy team in the islanders front office wont make this deal. backlund and a couple of first rounders as well as some fringe guys and they might even start to listen. johhnny t has always had some holes in his game. watched him since he was 12, my nephew played with and against him. deadly from the line in, defensively not the best. skating is not world class. stevie stamkos, better pro.

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#25 hal a pena
December 06 2010, 03:41PM
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@Rain Dogs

sadly rene bourque is not a franchise player. second line player who scores in bunches doesnt always show up, and depending on which rene you have that night commits some defensive errors. long term deal that needs to be questioned, fragile and may spend a fair amount of time in the mash unit. depends too much on quality linemates. b rated winger. late bloomer by nhl standards.

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#26 hal a pena
December 06 2010, 03:48PM
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white versus badchuck. no comparison. white fourth dman, badchuck sixth. big difference in icetime and situations. look to the dion experiment. flames fans had dion winning the norris while facing third liners and playing the pp.badchuck has shown that his game is sparse, must be a nightmare to be paired with. and as the big shot goes, if you cant hit the goal netting, but hit the protective netting it just dont matter.

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#27 the-wolf
December 06 2010, 04:14PM
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- Demoting Backlund - never wanted him up in the first place. He should be learning to play as a top 6 player on the farm, first pp, pk, 25min/night, first last minutes of games,etc.

But this is what Calgary always does. As soon as a player barely looks like he may be ready they bring him up. Then, when he can't score a hat trick in his fist game he's down on the 3rd/4th line. Which is where he learns to become a 3rd or 4th liner. And then Flames fans bemoan the pick. A lot of time it's more development than drafting.

Say hello Kobasew, Lombardi, Boyd, etc. The ones who don't fall off the cliff become superstars elsewhere. You don't learn to be a top 6 player in the NHL, you learn it in the minors, junior, etc. In Calgary we halt their development until they forget how to even be that kind of top 6 player anymore.

Backlund stays up and he goes the same route as those other guys I noted.

-re: White - Duhatscheck stated it first and best - it's proven that D who can play top 4 minutes are worth a 2nd round pick at the deadline. White fits that. We don't get out pick back.

This whole team should be traded for it's max in picks and prospects come the trade deadline, but it won't happen because were the Calgary Maple Leafs and our owners only care about ticket sales and not building a winner.

Murray Edwards just said a week ago, "we have no choice but to stay the course." What the heck is wrong with these guys?

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#28 walkinvisible
December 06 2010, 04:14PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

@ Kent

I'd like to add. Many criticize Sutter for the contracts and trades he makes.

Well, He gave White 1. an opportunity to show he was that player. 2. He gave him the money for that position.

In 10 games, he realized his mistake, and agknowledged Gio is that player. (which some of us will say we knew in hindsight) He signed Gio and dealt White fast, while he could.

I applaud it. White is not that player. Sutter fixed it, and fixed it fast. When Pardy comes back, we'll see where Babchuk is.

Irrespective of what we got, we're a better team without White and his 3 million dollar cap hit. I would have given him away for a late round pick...and that player may never have been what (little) Babchuk or Kostopolous are.

i think gio has succeeded in spite of darryl sutter and not because of him. even if you ignore the wouldn't-sign-him-to-a-one-way-contract situation that led him to russia, there's always the fact that darryl allowed mike keenan to thoroughly destroy gio's confidence for a season and a half. and we all remember how THAT ended (with keenan blaming gio for the injury ? even though the layman knows you take a hit to make a play). don't get me started.

i think gio would've hit the level he's at right now over a year ago on any other team in the nhl.

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#29 hal a pena
December 06 2010, 04:36PM
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walkinvisible wrote:

i think gio has succeeded in spite of darryl sutter and not because of him. even if you ignore the wouldn't-sign-him-to-a-one-way-contract situation that led him to russia, there's always the fact that darryl allowed mike keenan to thoroughly destroy gio's confidence for a season and a half. and we all remember how THAT ended (with keenan blaming gio for the injury ? even though the layman knows you take a hit to make a play). don't get me started.

i think gio would've hit the level he's at right now over a year ago on any other team in the nhl.

amen. well stated. my exact feelings.

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#30 hal a pena
December 06 2010, 04:38PM
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the golden brett watch 6 games zero points, minus 5. maybe the flames did winon the white deal.

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#31 dustin642
December 06 2010, 08:01PM
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To me, (and to a lot of you) this season is lost. As it should be. Trying to "shake up" the roster or trade away anyone of potential value with the ambition of making a chase for the 8th spot in the west is a terrible idea. It does, however seem like a kind of idea that Darryl Sutter would make. He has done it before. Which is why I think that the first move made needs to be made as soon as possible and that is to relieve Darryl Sutter of his duties as GM of this team. Most importantly it sends the right message to everyone within the organization and everyone within earshot of it who cares to follow, that failure and mistakes will not be tolerated and that this team has the goal of being world class and not just "competitive". There is also ZERO trust in Darryl within the fan base, and I'd bet that dis-trust runs into the media, quite possibly the organization, and probably even some of its players. Honestly, what has been the same question asked regarding every rumor, or situation that has plagued this team this season? "Should Darryl Sutter be the one to make that decision?" Would anyone honestly trust Darryl to get a decent return for Iggy - OR even decide if he should be traded? No! Hell No! The guy gave us a few really good years and as a fan I am thankful for that, but his time has come and gone.

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#32 dustin642
December 06 2010, 08:22PM
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Also, just my opinion on the White/Babchuk situation: White was not so good pretty much from the moment he put on a Flames Jersey. He had some good moments, and perhaps was a victim of circumstance since he was an offensive D man, playing a shut down role with Reggie for most of his time here. White probably could have fetched us more than Babchuk/Kostopolous by deadline time, but then again by that time, had this team continued in inevitable decline his numbers could have gotten much worse and we would not have been able to get anything for him and watched him walk away a UFA.

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#33 Rain Dogs
December 06 2010, 08:38PM
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@walkinvisible

i think gio has succeeded in spite of darryl sutter

Huh? I don't really know what you mean by this "in spite" and have even less an idea of what it has to do with Darryl's handling of Ian White and acquisition of Babchuk.

As for Keenan, I'm no Keenan fan, and I will go as far to say the system that Keenan promoted (what system?) had less than ideal results with certain players ie. Gio, Tanguay, Kiprusoff. I mean, Regehr called him out after he was fired, to me that says something.

However, I think claiming that Darryl "allowed" Keenan to "thoroughly destroy Gio's confidence" is more than a stretch and quite melodramtic. This isn't Star Wars.

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#34 R O
December 06 2010, 09:10PM
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This isn't Star Wars.

:D

what system?

I thought Keenan and staff set the players up well at EV. Mostly decisions made by players judging by how you saw F2 adjust based on puck position and F1's read of the play.

I'd kill for that hands-off approach to even strength again. When was the last time you saw an agressive F2 consistently trying to block the cross-ice lane? That's anathema to Brent, but critical to winning games.

And as a bench boss Keenan was straight up superior. And that was with his love of Bertuzzi, which just means Brent is awful.

For reasons I cannot fathom he had the most horrific PP directives with regards to how his players would rarely try to penetrate the box but Brent Sutter is no better and has used Reggie and Staois in non-garbage PP time to boot!

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#35 R O
December 06 2010, 09:17PM
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The only way I can see Gio as succeeding in spite of Darryl is if Darryl, circa 08/09, had told his coaches to put him on the ice with Reggie and have him face the Sedins and the Thorntons every night, and if said coaches retorted with "Darryl, go back on your meds" and proceeded to give him tons of soft icetime, against second and third lines and often being shifted over the boards to assist in the rush, and rarely to assist in defending against it.

(that last couple of things did happen)

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#36 R O
December 06 2010, 09:20PM
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I don't think Darryl is that much better a GM than his peers.

But, most NHL GMs are horrible. Shero, Gillis, McPhee, Holland, Tallon, these guys couldn't manage a McDonald's. But really good NHL players often find their way into the pockets of really bad NHL managers and surprise, players are better at playing than managers are at managing.

And STILL I'd rather trust Darryl (or any of those other guys) to pilot this ship than the collective that fills the 19,000-odd seats at the Dome.

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#37 sincity1976
December 06 2010, 10:22PM
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Backlund - I would prefer they cleared space for him to play. Waive Kotalik if you have to. He is just starting to gain confidence and adjust to the NHL size and speed. Chucking him down to the AHL isn't going to help either long term.

I agree keeping him in the press box or on the ice for 10-minutes per game isn't a good plan either.

Flames as Sellers - Sell now if the right price is there. Iginla is worth more to teams like LA or Tampa with Richards, Semin, etc not on the table. Should Darryl do the selling? I would rather not. Though if he is doing it with the premise of rebuilding rather then winning this season he will probably suffice. Not sure I want Feaster doing the job. Not sure who else is out there that I would want jumping into this mess.

White Trade - Classic Sutter. Trading assets for less then value in order to fill a perceived hole to win immediately. He did it with Phaneuf. He did it with White.

With White he was trying to bring on a PP specialist with a decent point shot to help revive our PP. Like with Phaneuf he could have gotten more if he was willing to be patient and take picks/prospects.

Conroy - I agree. Certainly a better man on a d-zone draw then Jokinen. Some of Sutter's decisions have been baffling.

Bourque - He is what he is. He is a decent if inconsistent forward who is strong EV on the second line and is going to score you 25 to 30 goals. He plays well defensively. He is prone to lazy penalties. He is prone to injuries. He is decent value at 3.3-million but some fans expect him to play like a 7-million dollar player because of his occasional streaks.

He isn't a mandatory piece of the Flames future. If the right price comes along then they should take it. However, he helps them win now and is young enough to sustain it in the future.

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#38 SmellOfVictory
December 06 2010, 10:48PM
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dustin642 wrote:

Also, just my opinion on the White/Babchuk situation: White was not so good pretty much from the moment he put on a Flames Jersey. He had some good moments, and perhaps was a victim of circumstance since he was an offensive D man, playing a shut down role with Reggie for most of his time here. White probably could have fetched us more than Babchuk/Kostopolous by deadline time, but then again by that time, had this team continued in inevitable decline his numbers could have gotten much worse and we would not have been able to get anything for him and watched him walk away a UFA.

The Sutters should've done with White exactly what Toronto did: give him a ton of offensive starts in order to boost his point totals, then get a better return later in the season.

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#39 dotfras
December 06 2010, 10:52PM
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I think Darryl needs to take a hard look at shopping Kipper. I think Tampa Bay is a goalie & maybe 1 defender away from being a contender.

Calgary trades Kipper, Staios & Morrison to Tampa for Smith, Jones (Both upcoming UFA's) a prospect (Connolly, Ashton, or Hutchings) & their 1st round pick.

3 v 3 players so Calgary doesn't go above the roster limit, we get two guys who are salary dumps along with a good forward prospect & a first rounder.

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#40 PrairieStew
December 07 2010, 07:43AM
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dotfras wrote:

I think Darryl needs to take a hard look at shopping Kipper. I think Tampa Bay is a goalie & maybe 1 defender away from being a contender.

Calgary trades Kipper, Staios & Morrison to Tampa for Smith, Jones (Both upcoming UFA's) a prospect (Connolly, Ashton, or Hutchings) & their 1st round pick.

3 v 3 players so Calgary doesn't go above the roster limit, we get two guys who are salary dumps along with a good forward prospect & a first rounder.

Smith and Jones.

And we continue on the road to anonymity and obscurity.

Actually, not a bad concept - two prospects for Kipper. Didn't realiz the Bolts had so much cap space.

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#41 PrairieStew
December 07 2010, 07:51AM
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@SmellOfVictory

White did struggle this year, though I thought he sure could have fetched more at the deadline, he was a lame duck after Gio was signed. Getting Kotsopolous in the deal is puzzling, we've got that skill level in a variety of forms, and should Stone or Ivanins return it further clutters the bottom 6. The only logical explanation for taking Tommy the Greek on is you know Glencross is gone after this year.

Good discussion by all. Now, let's win 8 of then next 11 and all be in a happier mood by New Years'.

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#42 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 08:45AM
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R O wrote:

I don't think Darryl is that much better a GM than his peers.

But, most NHL GMs are horrible. Shero, Gillis, McPhee, Holland, Tallon, these guys couldn't manage a McDonald's. But really good NHL players often find their way into the pockets of really bad NHL managers and surprise, players are better at playing than managers are at managing.

And STILL I'd rather trust Darryl (or any of those other guys) to pilot this ship than the collective that fills the 19,000-odd seats at the Dome.

is this a joke?

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#43 hal a pena
December 07 2010, 08:50AM
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once again, poor asset management by darryll. concensus is that white could have fetched a better return.a more sensible return with the franchises best interest in mind. one only needs to look at the staios deal.

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#44 B
December 07 2010, 09:44AM
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...dare I say the white deal was more about getting Brett Sutter out of Calgary than about getting a proper return for White?

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#45 dotfras
December 07 2010, 09:44AM
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@PrairieStew

Smith & Jones because a) whilst dumping contracts, we need to take something back. b) both contracts are up at the end of the year, we drop about 8 Mil, take on 3.2, and then that disappears at the end of the year.

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#46 PrairieStew
December 07 2010, 09:48AM
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dotfras wrote:

Smith & Jones because a) whilst dumping contracts, we need to take something back. b) both contracts are up at the end of the year, we drop about 8 Mil, take on 3.2, and then that disappears at the end of the year.

I get it.

Just thought "Smith and Jones" sounded poetically bland.

It's actually a great idea. I would give them Sarich over Staios if they wanted to get it done.

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#47 everton fc
December 07 2010, 09:54AM
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Random thoughts that hopefully contribute positively to the roundtable discussion. "Here goes":

I believe the only way to really judge our current situation (i.e. dilemma) as a franchise is to judge the personnel moves made since the Cup run of 2004. Particularly since to 2006-07 season, when we our top four in scoring were Iggy, Tanguay, Langkow and Huselius, quite a foursome compared to our current top four in scoring. We also brought Conny back this season – one of our better moves, and one of the few good moves since this season.

1. Jim Playfair coached this team. True, we finished 8th, but we were in the top 6 in scoring, with a respectable defence. True, too, Playfair struggled to keep the squad inspired (could Phaneuf have been the problem this early on?) but many players defended him after he was demoted for Keenan. Keenan proceeds to run off both Huselius and Tanguay in 2007-08. We have not had the playmaking ability of Playfair’s squad since. In fact, Keenan’s Goals For when down considerably. Also note this was the last season we had a respectable backup for Kipper, that being “Noodles”.

2. Sutter’s choosing Jokinen over Cammy, and losing Lombardi, as well, has to be one of the worst moves in franchise history, though I’ll mention a few more in a moment. Would we rather have Cammy or Bouwmeester now? Would we rather have Lombardi or Jokinen/Kotalik now?? Again, a fatal move, followed up by our sending Joker to the Rangers to pickup Kotalik. Again, could we have spent some of the $3mill on Lombardi or Cammy? Would we all prefer Lombardi over Stajan??

3.Giving up a draft pick (and Aaron Johnson) for an aging Staois is as bad a move as the Joker for Lombardi fiasco, other than Staois doesn’t hurt us as bad. But it’s close, and makes absolutely no sense.

So… after Playfair’s tenure was cut short as a failed experiment… We have floundered. Whether Keenan had any input into some of the player personnel decisions during his reign, I don’t know. I do know that neither Tanguay nor Huselius wanted to play for him, and left. And we have been hurting ever since.

Losing Prust could be added here, but Prust would not solve, nor help, our current situation. But can you imagine a fourth line with Prust and Jackman? Centered by Conny... Alas…

Kent had mentioned Conny – how he should be playing, based on stat-data. Agreed. The log-jam prohibits this, though. Is Kostopolous really better than Conny, or would a fourth line centered b y Conny, flanked by Morrison and Jackman be better? Probably. Does it really matter now?? Arguably, no.

Maybe, somehow, we could have signed Cammy and kept Lombardi. We’d be small down the middle, but adding Tanguay – can you imagine a first line of Tanguay-Cammy-Iginla? It could have been possible, I think. We didn't even consider this...???

So what’s the solution? To me, the first steps are obvious. I will say I am okay if Darryl gets pushed up. But he should not be involved in player personnel. Not so certain I trust Feaster – could this be #4 above? Could Brent be maintained in some capacity?? Why??? Do we bring back Playfair? Why not??? Could Feaster and Playfair improve things??? I’m not convinced.

If the intention is never to bring back Playfair, I hope he gets a real good gig with a team of youngsters he can mould. He deserves better. So do us fans.

As for the fast-moving bandwagon shouting, "Trade Iginla and Regehr," I'll stay off that stage-coach. It’s the middle-layer of “talent” we need to cut loose… replaced with some big, young, skilled, fast and physical signings, whether by trade, draft or free agency...

This is our future. Not to be squandered anymore.

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#48 PrairieStew
December 07 2010, 11:03AM
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@everton fc

By middle level talent who do you mean ?

Are you suggesting Hagman, Stajan and Bourque be moved ? Gio ?

Middle level salary of Kotalik, Jokinen, Sarich and Staios not helping the situation but the fact remains that because they are middle level salary and not up to that std of play their market value is essentially nil.

Buyouts might have a cathartic pleasure but the pain is extended, though reduced somewhat. Once you have headed down that road, you are saying rebuild and then it becomes pointless to keep Iggy, Kipper and Regehr.

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#49 B
December 07 2010, 12:31PM
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"So what’s the solution? To me, the first steps are obvious. I will say I am okay if Darryl gets pushed up. But he should not be involved in player personnel."

...dude, are you serious? Darryl would essentially be the boss of the new GM. His very presence WILL directly or indirectly have an impact on player personnel. If the Flames don't make the playoffs or are essentially eliminated early in the new year, why in GOD's green earth would you promote the Darryl for failure? That's a great blue print for an orgainzation :( If you don't have an organization functioning as a meritocracy it becomes a dysfunctional club of wannabe gangsters and politicians. If the team makes the playoffs he has essentially preformed well enough to keep his job, but not be promoted.

"As for the fast-moving bandwagon shouting, "Trade Iginla and Regehr," I'll stay off that stage-coach. It’s the middle-layer of “talent” we need to cut loose… replaced with some big, young, skilled, fast and physical signings, whether by trade, draft or free agency."

...big, young, skilled, fast, and physical? How are the Flames going to get those types of players without giving up our most valuable assest via trade (which are aging and will be worthless soon)? Most players via the draft are 5 years away from making an impact in the NHL. A team is lucky if a couple players per draft year ends up making the NHL in any capacity. Free agency you can pick up little piece to help fill certain weaknesses but you can't build a team through it (especially in the salary cap era).

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#50 B
December 07 2010, 12:37PM
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...one more point I forgot to make about Calgary attracting players via free agency. Calgary may be a great city, but in terms of attracting high end free agents, it is probably just above Edmonton in terms of desirable destinations for UFAs.

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