Trade Most Likely Path to Offense

Kent Wilson
June 29 2010 10:59AM

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 24: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators works on his stick during a break in action against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quaterfinals in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Place on April 24, 2010 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

If there's any consensus about the Flames current situation, it's that the club lacks offense. Let's be more specific and say that the lacks club high-end difference makers, especially with the way Iginla struggled to take on the big boys last year. While I'm actually fairly high on some of the Flames depth guys (Glencross, Moss, Dawes, Hagman) the fact of the matter is, the club doesn't currently possess a top 6 that will contend with the better teams in the league.

Stajan, Langkow, Iginla, Bourque and (other) can get things going versus the lower end, but are a good bet to struggle against the Datsyuks, Crosbys and Toews of the world. In addition, Calgary's collection of PP-capable forwards is modest, to say the least.

On top of the Flames already well publicizied cap constraints, the unfortunate truth of the matter is the UFA pool this summer is extremely shallow. Gone are Patrick Marleau and Thomas Plekanec, recently re-signed by their respective clubs. The lone, available superstar forward won't be worth the contract he lands. So even if Calgary had all the cap room in the world this off-season, there's a chance it wouldn't put much of a dent in their need for a big cannon.

Which is why a trade for a flashy name isn't out of the question. Guys like Spezza and Savard are being publically shopped as we speak and both would provide the sort of high-end offensive abilities the team currently lacks. Savard is older and coming off a severe concussion, but he's also $3 million cheaper than Spezza and has a solid history of out-playing tough competition. Savard is 32 years old and his contract technically extends to 2017.

However, with the final three seasons paying out at 1.5M, .525M and .525M respectively, the truth is Savard could retire as early as 2014 and not lose out on any significant salary. In effect, it's a $6.5M contract structured so the cap hit comes in at much more budget friendly $4M.

Jason Spezza is a tougher sell. Naturally gifted with more than a few years of elite production behind him, Spezza is younger and didn't have his brains recently scrambled, but does come with a much larger cap hit and other question marks. Spezza doen't have great possession stats on his side, but has indeed played tougher competition in OTT for years and put up some noteworthy numbers.

That said, he's also played with great players during his career as a Senator, including Alfredsson, who has been a heavy lifter since forever. That muddies the waters somewhat given we can't be terribly sure Spezza's the guy driving the bus in OTT. He's also not the hardest guy to play against and is prone to the odd neutral zone gaffe. As such, his $7M/year contract isn't a trivial risk, especially given the Flames constant fight to stay under th cap ceiling.

Of course, as with all trade talk, the viability of the deal from a Flames perspective swings on who they have to give up to make it work. A centerpiece guy like, say, Robyn Regehr would likely have to be involved in a Spezza deal. The Bruins would be more interested in shedding salary, so someone of value but lesser dollars would have to be in the equation there (Ian White? Mark Giordano?).

The Flames don't have a lot of quality players who are good bets to outperform their contracts, so any talk of throwing in Giordano or Dawes should be met with skepticism. On the back-end, the Flames are 8 NHL defenders deep with the likes of Matt Pelech looking to make the leap. If there's anywhere the org can potentially lose some quality and survive, it's there. Naturally, the Phaneuf deal was kinda, sorta Sutter's foray into that territory already, but unfortunately it only yielded capable depth players.

So, Flames fans...does Regehr + make sense for Jason Spezza? Would you move White + for Mark Savard? Because something similar may be the only way Sutter can firm up the team's greatest area of weakness this summer.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
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 Jonesin
June 29 2010, 11:25AM
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I think Spezza would be a great fit on the Flames, he has shown that he can have success with a similar player to Iginla in Dany Heatly. It would be a tricky deal in terms of the cap, both teams are in some cap trouble. I think if i'm Ottawa, I would want more than Regher in the deal, I would want to replace some of the scoring that Spezza provides. Someone like Rene Bourque. Obviously we wouldnt want to give him up, but you have to put yourselves in their shoes.

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#2 jess
June 29 2010, 11:30AM
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The only issue with Savard is the recent concussion, but otherwise he's a great player, and makes everyone around him better. Spezza on the other hand has always played with great players, as you pointed out Kent. I worry that Iginla isn't at the same level as he once was and that would make the Spezza trade a potential disaster especially considering the aforementioned possession problems, combined with Iginla's new found possession problems. Savard could make Iginla better, and therefore my vote and hopes aim more towards Marc-y Marc.

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#3 Bob Cob
June 29 2010, 11:31AM
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The Flames dont have the people to get a guy like Spezza or Savard. The Core of the Flames are aging and have lost a step, and they have no prospects except maybe Backlund. If you think it took Penner, Cogliano and Smid to get Heatley from Murray last year, it will take both Regher and White to get Spezza, plus maybe a draft pick because he is a top line center. The Flames have to rebuild because they are overrated, Iggy is past his prime and Kipper has lost it. I see some dark days ahead at the 'Dome, but what do I care, at least we got Hall.

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#4 Balthazar
June 29 2010, 11:41AM
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Oof. Toughie.

Neither are perfect, but I think Spezza is preferable between the two based on age, health, and a comparable skill level. Cost is a key issue, and maybe Savard with a left hand pass is a more natural fit with Iggy... and maybe Spezza is a bit softer ... hmm, I may be changing my opinion...

In any case the Flames don't need to get older.

I cannot see Daz shedding Regher. I think he loves him too much (as do many of us), and he voted FOR Reggie and AGAINST Dion with the trade wth the Leafs.

Is that what Ottawa would want back anyway? They didn't exactly shoot out the lights last year and would want some scoring (thu trade or UFA) as well as leadership and defense that Robin brings.

There are wishful trades to mak for either player (i.e. Stajan + White + all the overpaid underperforming aging players - you know who you are - that Daz can put in there to make it look closer to Dion for Spezza) but those aren't realistic. Bryan Murray isn't a fool.

I would suspect he'd want something akin to Backlund (maybe Hagman?) + Gio/Erixson to join Regher/White. I don't know if that's a good deal for the Flames.

I just don't know if the Flames have what it takes to tease a big trade for a #1 Centre out of another GM without getting lucky with a steal... or taking someone else's problem.

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#5 R O
June 29 2010, 11:43AM
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I would do Regehr + White for Spezza, esp. since RCleave's analysis has me afraid White's going to get $3M per.

I don't have high expectations for Spezza here - you think Iggy at $7M underperforms in a first-line role? - Spezza will be the same.

But, the duo together would kill on the PP and could probably go +10 to +20 at EV against the soft parade. With a first line of Higgins-Langkow-Bourque... it's not hard to imagine that the Spezza/Iggy second line could help the team win games.

Personally my preference is just to pair Lanks and Iggy, with Higgins or Bourque on left wing, and just win games with PVP. That plan would preclude Spezza, as Stajan-Hagman behind could provide secondary scoring against scrubs.

Of course this all depends on tight coaching from Sutter, and he was anything but that last season. Nystrom on post-icing starts, I was the most tolerant of those (fourth-liners need to be sheltered, this is one way to do it) but the icetime totals for the fourth line at the end were insanely high.

As far as generally adding offense: literally nobody has mentioned Frolov this offseason and he's still my #1 target.

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#6 Jamie
June 29 2010, 11:48AM
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Ed Duhatyschek tweeted from the draft last weekend that Sutter may have offered Langkow + Regehr (+ more) to OTT for Spezza but that obviously didn't happen. Not to say that that offer is dead, but I imagine the Flames would have to add to the pot to grab a player like Spezza.

The other thing is that Langkow & Regehr both have no trade/movement clauses and to have them both waive to go tot he same place would be enxt to impossible.

Even so, a packgae like Langkow, Regehr, Nemisz, Pick for Spezza would be spot on for Flames fans.

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#7 SmellOfVictory
June 29 2010, 11:51AM
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On Savard:

I've been reading (on hfboards, so take with a dozen grains of salt) that Savard had only waived his NTC/NMC for Toronto and Ottawa. Additionally, Boston was looking for more of a 'soft' trade, so Calgary could potentially get it done with a defensive prospect/pick or two as opposed to our good value players. Good as Savard is, he is in hockey middle age, and with his concussion history he could turn out to be a cheaper trade than we'd think despite his abilities.

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#8 R O
June 29 2010, 12:00PM
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Even so, a packgae like Langkow, Regehr, Nemisz, Pick for Spezza would be spot on for Flames fans.

Langkow out and Spezza in doesn't end well for the Flames. Iginla isn't Alfredsson-good anymore, Spezza won't have someone at starboard to drive the puck north for him.

The only way Spezza has success on this team is if he's paired with a killer winger (not an option) or if he's got somebody playing ahead of him in the batting order (that's Langkow).

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#9 R O
June 29 2010, 12:01PM
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Kotalik Buyout rumors quashed?

From Friedman HNIC's twitter:

"One note about Kotalik: Flames did not put him on unconditional waivers, so he cannot be bought out. Maybe they will do it tomorrow... "

"but, as of now, he is not eligible for buyout under CBA. The Oilers and Rangers players, for example, were put on unconditional waivers. "

I'd wait until Bob Mac says something on the matter to make this official.

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#10 B
June 29 2010, 12:09PM
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...wouldn't trade White. Would trade Regher, but he has a NTC. Savard could be a bargain (considering the depth Boston has and Savards age/recent injury). I think the Senators will be asking a whole lot more than the Senators will for Spezza.

...I think Darryl could land Savard for Regher and a prospect or draft pick. To acquire Spezza would probably take double the assests (2 roster players and two prospects or draft picks).

...I'm with the last guy on Frolov, but Darryl isn't going to add an Easter Euro to the roster. He just put their only one on waivers yesterday :(

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#11 IggyIggyIggy
June 29 2010, 12:13PM
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@Bob Cob

hahaha I think your mullet is on backwards and obstructing your view... Spezza will be a hard sell and Regehr will have to be included but I don't think White will need to go or is an option for going... but ur not wrong that we aren't exactly stacked with guys to make this work but it could be done... I like Savards chances over Spezzas... yes Iggy probbaly won't score 50 anymore but I would take him over any player from edmontons roster and about Kipper... are u serious?? lost it?? wow the little credibility you had just evaporated... Kipper is top 5 goalies in the league by far... top 6 if you remove my bias haha

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#13 Luc
June 29 2010, 12:42PM
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what about jordan staal?? is he still on the list??

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#14 R O
June 29 2010, 12:44PM
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you know how much I like Frolov. You also know that the Flames won't touch him.

Yeah. I keep hoping the Flames org will change but it's like the players, after a while you are who you are.

What is the deal with the Russians anyway? Is it the bolting-to-KHL issue with Tarathukin? I wonder if Sutter would consider an already established Russian player if there was little chatter regarding leaving NA.

Re: Murray - he got bent over on the Heatley trade. I mean even if you think Michalek and Heatley is a lateral move at best for the Sharks (and as much as I don't like Heatley's game he can definitely help you win), OTT still only extracted a 2nd-rounder for the privelege of eating Cheechoo's contract.

I have no doubt that Sutter could screw him over at will to get Spezza, the problem is determining if Spezza is even worth acquiring. If only Murray was managing the Jackets instead... sigh, Nash would already be a Flame.

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#15 Luc
June 29 2010, 12:47PM
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nash a flame????

drool..... i freaking love nash

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#17 Bob Cob
June 29 2010, 01:01PM
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IggyIggyIggy wrote:

hahaha I think your mullet is on backwards and obstructing your view... Spezza will be a hard sell and Regehr will have to be included but I don't think White will need to go or is an option for going... but ur not wrong that we aren't exactly stacked with guys to make this work but it could be done... I like Savards chances over Spezzas... yes Iggy probbaly won't score 50 anymore but I would take him over any player from edmontons roster and about Kipper... are u serious?? lost it?? wow the little credibility you had just evaporated... Kipper is top 5 goalies in the league by far... top 6 if you remove my bias haha

Your not getting Spezza for Regher plus something or Savard for White plus something as both Cherelli and Murray would want more, as to my point about the Heatley mess from last year. That and the Flames would want Cherelli and Murray to take back more cash to even out the salary cap numbers and thus it would be at least a 3 for one trade meaning any combination of players and picks.

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#18 Graham
June 29 2010, 01:06PM
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The Flames would need to move either Langkow or Stajan to acquire Spezza /Savard.

If they move Spezza, Ottawa would need a #1 center back, so Duhatyschek tweet of Langkow plus Regehr may be a reasonable starting point. (Calgary gives up $8.5 million in cap room, Ottawa gives up $7 million). I'm not sure that Langkow is a fit at #1 in Ottawa... Savard might be.

If you acquire Savard, the Bruins do not need a center, so its White + for Savard, then a second transaction moving Langkow to ?. If you could get a prospect or pick for Langkow this might work. Savard replaces Langkows salary, White + is essentially traded for the return on Langkow.

Overall, think I would take the gamble on Spezza, but Savard might make more sense.

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#19 Balthazar
June 29 2010, 01:09PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Bryan Murray isn't a fool.

I agree with everything you said but this. Murray is one of the worst GM's operating in the league currently.

@ RO - you know how much I like Frolov. You also know that the Flames won't touch him.

Okay, okay. Murray did get fleeced, and has made bad bets... Will he again? Will he accept our detrius for Spezza? Or will he get valuable assets? Unlike the Heater trade, Spezza isn't (to my knowledge) holding a gun to Murray's head.

@ RO The likelihood that Spezza would arrive and collapse ala Joker is, I think, low. So if he were to appear and (let's say over the next 2 years) he didn't mesh with Iggy we would have, finally, come to a close on the "Is it the Centre or is it Iggy" debate.

And he'd still be 29, tradable, and the Flames would be without Daz (I imagine he'll be fired if he doesn't get some traction this season) and in full rebuild mode.

Is Spezza worth it? I dunno. Who is?

Are the Flames really "One Player" away from being great? Maybe. Who is that one player? It ain't Spezza or Savard.

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#20 R O
June 29 2010, 01:21PM
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The likelihood that Spezza would arrive and collapse ala Joker is, I think, low

Based on what?

They are similar players, not quite complete players, weak at driving the play and circumstances have padded their counting numbers. These are the types of players for which a change in role on another team will make them look worse. But they're the same damn player all throughout.

I'm tired of Jokinen being called a "collapse". He was exactly what we thought he was, a weak player who was semi-capable on the powerplay and looked good in jeans. There was no collapse, his performance was well within the range of reasonable expectations for him. Those same expectations exist for Spezza.

Jokinen was universally loved by the radio callers-in and denizens of sites like CalgaryPuck and FlamesNation (before Kent took over) when the first trade was made. This is, incidentally, the same crowd that hates Langkow and loves Spezza, and chooses to forget all about their previous love for Jokinen.

There's a reason for that.

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#21 IggyIggyIggy
June 29 2010, 01:29PM
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@Bob Cob

I couldn't agree more that it will have to be a 3 for one trade, I just don't see White being involved in the trades... Spezza will most likely need Regehr, a forward, and a prospect at the very least depending on the forward and the prospect and I think maybe more than that. Cherelli is rumored to be open to a "soft" deal so it might not require Regehr to be involved in the deal, maybe Sarich but theres no question he will need a good package in return to let go of Savard, just maybe not as good as Spezza would need... I realize I made it sound like I thought Regehr + something would be enough, but thats not what I meant. I just meant that I think Regehr will have to be involved in the trade package in order to get Spezza and that I don't think that White will be involved, but it will definitely take more than just Regehr +1 to get Spezza. Same goes for Savard... were on the same page there, just not with the Iggy and Kipper stuff haha

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#22 Monaertchi
June 29 2010, 01:49PM
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Here's the forward lines for the start of the 2010-2011 season:

1 Hagman-Stajan-Iginla 2 Glencross-Langkow-Bourque 3 Dawes-Backlund-Kotalik 4 Mashup of Higgins, Moss, Sutter, Mayers, and call-ups

No big offseason deal for a top 6 six forward. No unloading of defensive contracts. Status quo.

Book it.

However, when the Flames have scored 7 goals in 37 games, things could change and we could end up with a bloated contract for a nancy-boy or a mush-brain.

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#24 B
June 29 2010, 03:01PM
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@Bob Cob

...I believe Savard is overvalued and Spezza is undervalued from what I have been reading and hearing.

...acquiring Spezza is going to reqire a team to give up alot more than acquiring Savard. This is in large part because Spezza is on the market for different reasons than Savard.

...Savard will be 33 and is being pushed out of the lineup by youth and his own injury problems. Also, Ottawa has more cap space than Boston and Spezza makes almost twice as much than Savard.

...I chalk it up to: -one roster player and a pick/prospect for SAVARD. -two roster players and two picks/prospects for SPEZZA.

...acquiring Savard seems more likely for the Flames. We will have to see I guess. As Kent said, Bryan Murray is a little suspect (ie. acquiring Rob Brown...I mean Jonathan Cheechoo ;) in the Heatly deal)

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#25 Monaertchi
June 29 2010, 03:43PM
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The actual questions raised:

1-Would I trade White and others for Savard? Yes, I'd trade White and any winger not named Jarome or Rene. Maybe even a second young winger, or a second young defender.

2-Would I trade Regehr and others for Spezza? No. If I'm GM of the Flames I'm never, ever trading Regehr. When he retires I'm making him assitant coach of the Heat. Then promoting him to head coach of the Heat. Then he's moving on up to be assitant coach for the Flames. Possibly even Head Coach one day. Also, I don't want to have 2 $7M boat anchor contracts on my team. Spezza is a very good player, I just don't think he will ever be as good with this team as he was with Alfy and Heater, and he'll never be worth what we pay him.

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#26 Balthazar
June 29 2010, 03:48PM
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@R O

The likelihood that Spezza would arrive and collapse ala Joker is, I think, low Based on what?

Umm, completely unsubstanited and unsupported optimism? That's probably not a good basis is it?

I guess that is a good question: is Spezza = Joker and would the Flames be buying the same problems? If so, what is the next best option because standing pat ... I don't see enough there to hope for improvements.

maybe that gets us back to Savard, or to some other option... or it gets us back to thinking about more substantial changes

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#27 B
June 29 2010, 03:51PM
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Monaertchi wrote:

The actual questions raised:

1-Would I trade White and others for Savard? Yes, I'd trade White and any winger not named Jarome or Rene. Maybe even a second young winger, or a second young defender.

2-Would I trade Regehr and others for Spezza? No. If I'm GM of the Flames I'm never, ever trading Regehr. When he retires I'm making him assitant coach of the Heat. Then promoting him to head coach of the Heat. Then he's moving on up to be assitant coach for the Flames. Possibly even Head Coach one day. Also, I don't want to have 2 $7M boat anchor contracts on my team. Spezza is a very good player, I just don't think he will ever be as good with this team as he was with Alfy and Heater, and he'll never be worth what we pay him.

...Savard for White NO. ...Regher for Spezza YES.

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#28 R O
June 29 2010, 04:07PM
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For the record here's what I think Spezza and Jokinen. They are similar players - terrific individual skills, but weak at an overall level 5on5. Jokinen was the typical "end-to-end" rusher and it never worked, from what I've seen of Spezza it's more of the same, but of course he's got Alfredsson who is a very smart player, so they end up getting the puck more in the offensive zone as a duo.

Still, Spezza is capable in the offensive zone, he'll never be a Sedin or Crosby in terms of being able to put the puck in the scoring area at will, but he can find the soft spots on the ice. He is probably better than Jokinen.

That doesn't matter though, because the general consensus seems to be that A.) Langkow has to go to OTT in any Spezza trade, and B.) Spezza will play with Iginla in a "first-line" role.

That ends disastrously, book it. Spezza's success hinges on having others to do the heavy lifting so he can generate chances in softer icetime (either behind a better centre on the depth chart, or beside a terrific winger who can push the puck into the offensive zone). A first-line role without Langkow means putting Spezza into the deep end. The points won't translate.

The same story could probably be told for any number of supposed stars in this league. Think the Kovalchuk, Malkin, Lecavalier, Backstrom, Heatley types.

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#29 marty
June 29 2010, 05:03PM
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@R O

i agree with the frolov, ive been telling some of my buddies that's who we should be looknig at. we would still have to move some salary to get him tho i would think. cause higgs is goin to sign. i would be fine with speeza too tho. i love reg and lanks but if we can get spezza and save 1.5 mil we maybe better off. maybe we could still get frolov in that case. a spezza, frolov iggy line????????????????? actually check that ig spez and bork someone would have to backcheck. then a staj, frolov, higgs line??? that sounds better to bad in my mind is the only place this will happen

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#30 Jay
June 29 2010, 05:23PM
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too dangerous to pick up Savard, we aren't sure his concussion issues won't some back. they are unpredictable at best, however Spezza costs so much freaking money its a tough call to want him.

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#31 B
June 29 2010, 05:23PM
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@R O

...all your saying is that good players need to play with other good players in order to maximize their results. Not saying much.

...put Gretzky on a line with Gino Odjick and Link Gaetz, and Gretzy would be lucky to put up a PPG even in his prime.

...Spezza is a good set up guy. He'd fit in nicely with Iggy. Jokinen was a shooter first. The scoring chances didn't translate with Iggy.

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#32 dustin642
June 29 2010, 05:36PM
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I wouldn't mind seeing a trade bringing in Mike Ribero. He would be a good fit and has excellent playmaking abilities. He might have a bit of Alex Kovalevitis (poor guy probably contracted it in Montreal when they were on the PP together) but he is not as high of a cap hit as Spezza and is not quite as old as Savard. Also with money bags Brad Richards in Dallas as well as the Stars youth movement, and self implemented salary cap Ribeiro might be had for an affordable price.

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#33 R O
June 29 2010, 06:07PM
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...all your saying is that good players need to play with other good players in order to maximize their results. Not saying much.

Actually, I am not saying that at all.

It's pretty clear from how the game works that good players make their linemates look better. Results that you drive when you're on the ice don't always come off your stick.

I mean crap just in this past season you could see examples of good players dragging lesser players around. Crosby with anybody, Ovechking with Backstrom, the Sedins with Burrows, Thornton with Heatley and Marleau, Datsyuk with Bertuzzi, the list goes on and on.

I mean it makes sense to play good players with good players, but it's clear that the better players will separate themselves. On this team I've been forever advocating Langkow and Iginla, but there are no illusions, Lanks is the superior 5on5 player right now. You play them together to hide Iggy's flaws and take advantage of his now-limited range of skills in the offensive zone. The same with Alfredsson and Spezza. Both are skilled but in the end there's only one guy with both hands on the wheel steering the bus.

On that note, I haven't seen a single Spezza supporter actually describe anything relevant about Spezza's game. The "playmaker" or "setup guy" labels are packaged fluff, and more to the point they aren't the most accurate descriptors to begin with. I mean the guy scores a fair number of goals on a fair number of shots and watching him you see him penetrate the high slot with the puck quite often. He's no Heatley but he's no Thornton either.

And in any case classifying players into "shooters" and "playmakers" kind of ignores the altogether more fundmanetal aspects of the game as played at even strength, that is driving possession. That's kind of important, getting the puck into the zone and subsequently into the scoring area. The way people talk about skaters it's as if they're perpetually on a powerplay, or a 2on1.

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#34 R O
June 29 2010, 06:10PM
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...put Gretzky on a line with Gino Odjick and Link Gaetz, and Gretzy would be lucky to put up a PPG even in his prime.

Knowledgable Oilers fans have said that Gretzky played with more than a few altogether pedestrian linemates. Gretzky was a terrific player and thus made his linemates look better, surprise surprise.

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#35 Flamesfever
June 29 2010, 06:38PM
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Whoever doesnt want to see Spezza in Calgary is NUTS, first off he just turned 27yrs old and in his prime, he makes any player look good around him, last year after his injury he went on a scoring streak, yea hes a cap hit of $7mill but for a player like him its worth it, he is what Iggy needs, he can dangle in the zone himself and Iggy doesnt have to do all the work, yes Spezza makes mistakes, all creative players make mistakes cause they take risk, Calgary needs a player like him, Savard is one big hit away from a season ending concussion, Ottawa needs Dmen as they lost Volchenkov and Reggie fits the bill, Langkow is a good 2 way player they can use as im sure Fisher can move to #1 line, and i dont mind throwing in a White, as we have great Dmen in the farm team that can make a jump, what calgary lacks is letting there younger players play in the big leagues, look at teams like Buffalo, Nashville, Colorado etc they are all giving young guys a chance, it seems like we take a decade to develop our players Neways trade for Spezza he is what Iggy and the flames need Ray

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#36 R O
June 29 2010, 07:33PM
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From 08/09 trade deadline:

Whoever doesnt want to see Jokinen in Calgary is NUTS, first off he just turned 30yrs old, still in the tail-end of his prime, he makes any player look good around him, he's had two 90 point seasons and a 70 point season, yea hes a cap hit of $5.25 mill but for a player like him its worth it, he is what Iggy needs, he can shoot the puck all by himself and Iggy doesnt have to do all the work, yes Jokinen makes mistakes, all creative players make mistakes cause they take risk, Calgary needs a player like him.

Neways trade for Jokinen he is what Iggy and the flames need

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#37 JeromeIginla
June 29 2010, 07:42PM
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I don't think Daz has the savvy or the assets to get either deal done.

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#38 RossCreekNation
June 29 2010, 08:07PM
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@R O

In fairness, Spezza IS the playmaking center that Jokinen is not and never was.

I'm a Spezza fan and think he gets a bit of a bad rap. If they could unload Stajan & Regehr in the deal, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

... then send KotalikBALLS to Russia to get him off the books and find somewhere for Sarich and/or Staios and sign Hamhuis... that's MY fantasy!

Just imagine making a trade to bring in Spezza with the $ nearly even, then wiping $9M off the books with the 3 cap-hazards, and THEN signing Hamhuis & Colby Armstrong. Then throw a few bucks at Jim Vandermeer if he gets bought out for a depth D and we're set!

*sips on kool-aid*

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#39 R O
June 29 2010, 08:14PM
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In fairness, Spezza IS the playmaking center that Jokinen is not and never was.

Nothing in his profile or in my time watching him gave me the impression he was more of a "playmaker" than any other centre. In fact the opposite, see above.

Also, on playmakers vs. shooters - why is it so important? Good players inevitably see the puck go into the offensive zone and the scoring area (and by extension into the net) more often in their team's favor than the opponent's favor. That's what's important.

I mean there are different ways to do those things but in the end it's more important that you're able to do those things. And the context in which you do them, paramount. The style in which you get the job done, it's secondary.

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#40 B
June 29 2010, 08:15PM
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@R O

...you write that:

The "playmaker" or "setup guy" labels are packaged fluff, and more to the point they aren't the most accurate descriptors to begin with.

...but then you go on to describe how (I'm not even going to dwell on the point that Heatly and Marleau are first line players with or without Thornton):

I mean crap just in this past season you could see examples of good players dragging lesser players around...Thornton with Heatley and Marleau.

...So Thornton is not a setup guy? Craig Janney and Adam Oates weren't setup guys? I'm not saying Spezza is anywhere near as good a play maker as the aforementioned players, or even as good of a setup guy as Savard, but like the last poster said, we'd be crazy not to go after avaliable talent.

...maybe my point on Gretz was a little off center, but the fact remains that he had Kurri and Anderson for a good portion of his time with the Oil. But the fact of the matter is good, complementary players, make each other better.

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#41 R O
June 29 2010, 08:17PM
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That said, RossCreek, Stajan + Regehr for Spezza is something that I would do.

I don't forecast Spezza in a tough-minutes role. But he could help our stagnant PP and on a Langkow-led team he could help boost even strength offence. It's a hell of a price to pay but there it is.

In any case, that is why I balk at all trades involving Langkow Spezza. But Stajan at his price is a terrible bet IMO, I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of that contract.

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#42 R O
June 29 2010, 08:24PM
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...So Thornton is not a setup guy? Craig Janney and Adam Oates weren't setup guys? I'm not saying Spezza is anywhere near as good a play maker as the aforementioned players, or even as good of a setup guy as Savard, but like the last poster said, we'd be crazy not to go after avaliable talent.

Thornton has his (fairly unique) style of play to get the puck in the scoring area, he's pass-first to the extreme. However, that description completely wipes away his other much more important qualities. He's a good determiner of the zone, fairly tough to knock off the puck. He doesn't blow you away with his ability to win puck battles but he's no weakling. His game is a bit perimeter but he makes it work.

I mean "playmaker" doesn't really describe why Thornton is effective. "Playmaker" is such a bland and non-descriptive term. In its usual definition, it doesn't nearly apply to every centre in the league. I'd prefer if you were to extoll the virtues of players you like, that you actually outline what those virtues are. Instead of using a canned term.

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#43 RossCreekNation
June 29 2010, 08:32PM
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@R O

A couple months back, I planned on doing a Stajan v. Langkow post. At the end of the day, I wasn't sure I believed myself, so I let it slide.

My hope when they got Stajan was that he was a younger, cheaper, (less gritty) version of Langkow. In some ways, I still think he is, but in others... well, I just couldn't convince myself that he could play against the top guys. If you look up their point totals at similar ages, they're pretty close to the same. Stajan being younger, isn't as fine-tuned as Lanks, but my hope was that in time, Stajan would pick up some of those intangibles with experience. He's got good size & is a decent all-around player, but like I said, I just could't convince myself he'd eventually do it... and he wasn't exactly a favorite of mine while in Toronto. Here's the #'s... someone convince me!

Langkow (09/76)
Yr 1 - (20) 79-15-13-28
Yr 2 - (21) 68-08-14-22
Yr 3 - (22) 78-14-19-33
Yr 4 - (23) 82-18-32-50
Yr 5 - (24) 71-13-41-54
Yr 6 - (25) 80-27-35-62
Yr 7 - (26) 82-20-32-52

Stajan (12/83)
Yr 1 - (19) 69-14-13-27
Yr 2 - (21) 80-15-12-27
Yr 3 - (22) 82-10-29-39
Yr 4 - (23) 82-16-17-33
Yr 5 - (24) 76-15-40-55
Yr 6 - (25) 81-19-36-55
Yr 7 - *next season

**Stajan's 20 yr old year was the lockout year; played in AHL (80-23-43-66), would've been his 2nd NHL season otherwise.
***Age at start of season.

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#44 SmellOfVictory
June 29 2010, 08:34PM
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R O wrote:

That said, RossCreek, Stajan + Regehr for Spezza is something that I would do.

I don't forecast Spezza in a tough-minutes role. But he could help our stagnant PP and on a Langkow-led team he could help boost even strength offence. It's a hell of a price to pay but there it is.

In any case, that is why I balk at all trades involving Langkow Spezza. But Stajan at his price is a terrible bet IMO, I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of that contract.

I agree with this. And Ottawa takes Kotalik or Staios.

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#45 44stampede
June 29 2010, 09:49PM
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Spezza is a gamble. He wasn't that dominant even with Heater and Alfredsson. At 7 million a season, I would not like that deal so much especially considering what we would have to give up.

Savard would be nice. A 4 million cap hit is perfect. He may also be too expensive. Remember, many teams are looking for a 1st line/2nd line Centre.

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#46 Nolan
June 29 2010, 10:50PM
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Spezza for Reggie? In a second i'd make that deal. Reggie is growing old and slowing down, i also think he is a problem in the dressing room and is too cozy with Sutter. Though the cap would be hard, Spezza's raw talent for a stay at home d-man, it's a no brainer. As for Savy, the guys at the Fan would love that too much, they'd have the "Savy report" every day.

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#47 B
June 29 2010, 11:45PM
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@R O

...I think we are arguing over semantics more than anything here. I'm not sure we'll come to agreement, nor do we need to. I'll leave it alone and point taken.

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#48 Sincity1976
June 30 2010, 12:28AM
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I am probably in the minority, but I don't see Sutter getting a number one Centre this season.

We already have 3 top 12 guys. By all accounts they won't move Backlund. They just signed Stajan to a multi-year deal. Langkow has a NMC which he apparently signed for his family stability.

King's recent comments, the lack of anything to date (by really and team), and a possible July 1 date on the Spezza deal support that. Regher is also a probably piece and he also has a NMC.

I think they do something, but it is probably along the lines of using the salary acquired from Kotalik and signing a player like Tanguay or Whitney. I think they stand pat up the middle.

Moss/Dawes might get shuffled a bit if they do sign Higgins. Other then that i think they leave the top 12 alone and play around with the fourth line.

Maybe there is some movement on D if they can move Sarich, but I don't even think thats gonna happen. I think Sutter likes the D line the way it is.

I actually don't mind the team with Kotalik gone and a top line passer added. I think the team is better with a top line centre, but I don't really like what you give up to get it. Let Stajan / Langkow duke it out for top spot, and if Backlund does mature offensively see what the kids got.

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#49 Luc
June 30 2010, 09:30AM
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everyone is really focused on the two big name guys.....

is there any other legitimate players (centers) we could possibly be looking at??

aka, staal, frolov, olesz.....

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