Flames Additions Analysis

Kent Wilson
July 02 2010 10:53AM

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Alex Tanguay #13 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up before playing against the New York Islanders on February 13, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

 

Now that the dust has settled on yesterday and the madness is over, it's time to take an objective look at the pieces the Flames picked up. I'll endeavor to eject my sour feelings (which I've obviously made quite clear) over the Jokinen debacle in this analysis and let the data do the talking instead. I'll also take stock of the Flames new situation moving forward.

Alex Tanguay, $1.7M/year, one year

The best acquisition of the day in my view. Tanguay was once a proven even strength outscorer in this league and he managed to be the second best ES player on the Flames behind Jarome Iginla during his time here. Both in terms of outscoring and the level of competition he faced. I was an ardent defender of Tanguay as a Flame and lamented his departure.

That said, there's a reason the ex-Av was available for a third-liners ticket. His last two seasons since leaving Calgary were injury marked and awful, in that order. He was still scoring at a decent clip in MTL, but a shoulder injury knocked him out of a third of the season. In Tampa Bay, however, Tanguay was flat out awful. Bad enough to be a healthy scratch on a team that desperately needed quality ES minutes. It wasn't bounces or circumstances that hurt Alex either - his PDO was a perfectly average 100.6. He faced middle of the road competition, had one of the cherriest zone start ratios on the team (55.9%), but still put up a mediocre rate of production at 5-on-5 (1.63 - perhaps the worst of his career).

To add some context, Nigel Dawes (now a free agent after being bought out by the Flames) scored 1.59 ESP/60, faced tougher competition, started in his own zone much more often (50.5) and had better raw and relative corsi rates than Alex last year. Dawes was also vastly superior on the power play (5.26 PPP/60 vs 1.56 PPP/60), which is why his PPG pace was superior to Tanguay's last season.

I still consider Tanguay a worthwhile gamble at the price the team paid - but that's what he is: a gamble. His last truly notable offensive season was 4 years ago and the last time he held his own against heavy hitters at ES was three years ago. Tanguay isn't old by any means, but he has crested the 30 year mark and has suffered some significant injuries along the way. If Tanguay can even somewhat recapture the player he once was, Sutter has hit a homerun with this addition and the Flames have another heavy hitter in the top 6. If not, then Tanguay will struggle to replicate the contributions of Nigel Dawes, at twice the price.

Olli Jokinen, $3M/year, two years

Let's ignore, for now, the ridiculously circuitous and expensive manner in which Jokinen has found his way back to being a Flame and focus on what he may bring to the club.

I was never a fan of this acquisition. Initially it was because Jokinen was miscast as a "first line center" which, despite gawdy point totals in Florida, is a false impression. Jokinen has never in his career faced other top players and come out ahead. He's made hay beating up lesser lights and scoring with the man advantage. There's a reason both FLA and PHX dispassionately moved him along when he had a ticket of $5.25 and it was clear he couldn't carry the mail.

So the Flames paid a bundle chasing the White Whale of a "first line center". Predictably, Jokinen came in, was placed in a tough minutes role with Jarome Iginla and immediately fell on his face. His possession stats, scoring chance stats, scoring rates were all putrid through the first few months of play last year. If Iginla hadn't have scored at a 30% rate in November, Jokinen's totals would have been even more laughable.

Brent Sutter started to play with the lines and match-ups after December when it was clear the Jokinen+Iginla pairing wasn't going to fly. Then the 9 game losing streak hit, Darryl lost his mind and the rest is history. During a brief stint on the 2nd/3rd lines, Jokinen certainly wasn't as detrimental as he was previously, but he didn't exaclty knock it out of the park either. Ditto for the relocation to NY, where he mostly skated with Prospal against second tier competition. In 26 games for the Rags, Jokinen managed just 4 goals and 15 points (a 47 point pace).

Like Tanguay, Jokinen's underlying numbers ended up being mediocre across the board last season. His ESP/60 rate was basically the same (1.69), he played middling competition, he started in the o-zone more often than not (51.9%) and his corsi rate was marginal as well (+4.91). That said, there's no question Jokinen was also unlucky last year. His SH% of 6.4% was well below his previous career average (10%). If he can get back to his established norms, then he should at least break the 15 goal mark.

In terms of my personal observations, I'll state that I don't think much of Jokinen as a hockey player. He's a decent enough skater and has a great shot, but that's probably the extent of his strengths. He handles the puck like a man stickhandles a brick with a fishing rod. He has worse than average vision in the offensive zone, choosing poor shooting angles over other, perhaps more appropriate plays. I also find his awareness in the defensive end lacking. Jokinien is a player that has to be carefully managed to be effective. Here's hoping the club sticks him on a second or third line with good players and easy match-ups this time around. With Langkow and Stajan on board, that's certainly possible. The good news, is, of course, his salary is more in-line with his ability level now (although personally I would have preferred a sub-$3 deal).

Raitis Ivanans

I'm not going to spend much time on this signing. I've gone record to say I think dressing a goon is pointless in the modern NHL. However, Sutter insists that the team have one year after year, despite the fact that they never seem to make any material difference (aside from giving up a lot of shots and scoring chances against whenever they're on the ice that is). Ivanans is a legit heavyweight for those who care for that sort of thing. For my part, I dread having to watch the Flames 4th line be rendered non-functional all year by the anchor-like presence of an enforcer.

Tim Jackman

A Prust/Mayers replacement, Jackman was fed to the wolves by his coach in NYI last year (33% offensive zone start ratio, high level of competition) and he mostly got his head beat in, as would be expected. He's another big guy that can throw the body around, but probably isn't much better than a host of other, similar players out there.

Going Forward...

- The Flames spent about $6M in cap space yesterday and have a more or less have full roster. They are also technically over the salary cap and have RFA Ian White yet left to sign (or trade).

- The Ivanans and Jackman acquisitions render Backlund's immediate future with the parent club rather murky, given the fact it would be inefficient in terms of both dollars (1.27M cap hit) and development to skate him with a grinder and a goon for 5 minutes a night. Unless he somehow usurps Langkow (which will only happen if Daymond is still hurt come OCT), it's back to the farm for Mikael.

- Calgary still has 7 NHL defensemen on one-way contracts (Regehr, Bouwmeester, Sarich, Staios, Pardy, Giordano, Kronwall), plus the aforementioned Ian White and the now-waiverable Matt Pelech. That's 9 NHL defenders of various levels of quality. Something's gotta give.

- Ales Kotalik remains in limbo. There's no apparent place on the team for him now and his $3M salary needs to go away more than ever. However, the team has chosen not to buy him out, so he remains a curious, problematic remnant a trade should have never been consummated.

- I noted at the start of the free agent frenzy that the Flames desperately need another top-flight player. Meaning, another guy who can play against other top players and excel. If Sutter's gambit with Tanguay fails, that need remains unfilled. Cleary, Darryl is banking on a return to classic form from both the "big names" he signed yesterday. If that happens, the Flames will improve next year. If not, they'll be worse.  

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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#51 R O
July 03 2010, 09:43AM
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There were a few things the Flames wanted to do in the offseason. 1. Get younger: technically yes with letting Connie and Mayers go but they did sign, Ivanans (31), Tanguay (30), Jokinen (31) and Jackman (28). So it doesnt appear they got that much younger. 2. More skill: see above, the last 2 guys have a combined 23 NHL goals in almost 500 games. 3. Become quicker: dont think you become quicker by getting older. 4. One player away: Ok they signed 5 players (if you include that long shot goalie), none of which appear will single hadedly push the Flames to the cup.

Why do these things even matter?

The one and only thing that matters is making the team better. I'm pretty sure we did that by signing Tanguay, Jokinen was a lateral move at best though though maybe the opportunity cost was low as Lawrence points out.

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#52 dustin642
July 03 2010, 09:54AM
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I really find it hard to believe that the best options for new 4th Liners are a 30 year old Latvian who skates like a tree and Tim Jackman. Couldn't we have found SOMEONE who is in their low to mid 20's in the world to play on our 4th li...... Oh wait we traded all of them away, nevermind Have fun next year Backlund, when your passing options in the neutral zone will be a guy with his stick probably upside down and a frickin Hemlock tree that punches.

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#55 Nolan
July 03 2010, 11:12AM
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Never said anything about Tanguay just that he is older now and has taken a step back. Was it an anomilty? Well the whole team took a step back last year. Albert Einstein said this about insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Tanger may just turn out well, but history tells us something about signing re-treds. I agree Kent, wait. As for Jokinen. . . . I just. . . um. . . Sutter even eluded in his press conference (where he came off "I'm the GM, you guys no nothing") that Jokinen wasnt his first choice. My questions would be why go back to a dry well? It didnt work the first time no matter how hard that hick from Viking says it did (he's just being defensive of his moves, because he's never made a bad one in his mind). Iginla in his interview sounded, more like, 'ok, i dont get it but ok' he didnt scream "YEA I'M 100% for it". Secondly, this was the only offer he received he took it because it was $3M, or propbably about $1.5m or Europe. Maybe he's humbled. Maybe he realizes he needs to play a team sport. But these moves have done NOTHING to prove to me or I think 95% of Flamesnation that the team is improved. Those of you who think Jokinen will do well, drink the cool-aid and I've got a wonderful waterfront property on Baffin Island for you.

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#57 Gange
July 03 2010, 12:28PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The primary risk involved with bringing Jokinen back is if the coaching staff thinks that dropping Tanguay on the wing will suddenly make them a capable PvP (read: "first" line) all of a sudden. Nobody could rescue that pairing last year and, outside of a player of a Crosby or Datsyuk quality, I don't think anybody can period.

I might be able to get behind a third line of Jokinen playing with Glencross and Moss, facing nobodies. That trio might do some damage. However, if I have to sit through another 3-6 months of Iginla and Jokinen getting their heads beat in by other top 6 lines, I might have to start gathering bomb making supplies.

Agreed! I think that is a great idea. Putting Iginla-Jokinen-Tanguay is folly. To be honest the best thing that can be done is generate some scoring on another line. Probably the best way to help Iginla score more. Draw attention away from him.

If Jokinen can play on a thrid, maybe second line and can score 20 (maybe I'm dreaming with that) coaches will have to pay attention to him. That's a best case scenario though.

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#58 Nolan
July 03 2010, 12:38PM
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The sad think in all of this it looks like Mikael Backlund is the odd man out. Sure he's no star BUT the Flames have a habit of putting their 'up and comers' on the 3rd or 4th line, then when they dont succeed they ship 'em off. Edmonton moved Quinn out for the main reason that he's good with older guys, the 'Chuck wants to get younger and Renney's your guy. I agree with a couple guys though, this seriously CANT BE ALL! Darryl is in some back room talking to his assistants (well really just talking to himself in a mirror) about the next move. I can't wait to get Peplinski out of retirement or have Ville Nieminen back. But seriously i think there's a D-man leaving, it may be White, there may be a sign and trade deal somewhere for a young top prospect or a draft choice.

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#59 walkinvisible
July 03 2010, 03:07PM
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the sad thing in this, to be quite honest (har har) is that we chose raitis ivanans over nigel effin' dawes.

with all the "lateral" talk about jokinen and tanguay, people seem to have overlooked the fact that we chose a $600K guy who will play 5 mins/night for 25-30 games, over an $850K guy who scored 14 goals in 66 games (that's more than moss, the same as langkow, and one less than glenX).

that is an effing OUTRAGE, imo.

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#61 jay
July 03 2010, 04:49PM
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i kinda see Igs playing with Jokey, and Tangs. that being said i think Tangs will play more of a centerman role and Jokey playing more of a winger role. What else can they do really? i also kinda see Daryl trading someone away, more than likely a defenseman(men) for some forward help, it makes sense since we have way too many D and no real O, add to that Lanks could be in injury trouble.

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#62 walkinvisible
July 03 2010, 05:25PM
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hey wanna puzz on something hilarious ?

remember last summer when we gave up cammy (39g) and bootuzzi (15g), and wondered aloud who would replace their goal totals ? and then dawesy came in and replaced bootuzzi's goals and then nobody replaced cammy's goals which in no short part led to the calgary flames scoring fewer goals than any other team in the league ?

yeah. it's been a year now and we still haven't solved that effin' problem.

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#63 walkinvisible
July 03 2010, 05:29PM
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[ps: the answer is not stajan(19), hagman(19g), and ivanans(0g) put together, and now we also have to replace all those lost pocketdawes goals]

we. are. so. screwed.

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#64 mikeH
July 03 2010, 05:54PM
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McGrattan (9-2-3) had a better fight record than Ivanans (6-3-5) for the same cost and wasted roster spot. In this case, if you're going to have a goon, I'd prefer to have the lumberjack to the tree.

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#65 R O
July 03 2010, 09:18PM
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You know what I really don't understand?

Why we're trying to analyze rosters by adding up the goals that departing players scored in their last season with the Flames.

Pardon me for being a wet towel but you can't possibly be in a position to criticize Darryl Sutter if that's the way you look at hockey teams.

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#66 Gange
July 03 2010, 10:16PM
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R O wrote:

You know what I really don't understand?

Why we're trying to analyze rosters by adding up the goals that departing players scored in their last season with the Flames.

Pardon me for being a wet towel but you can't possibly be in a position to criticize Darryl Sutter if that's the way you look at hockey teams.

I agree with you somewhat. how can we judge based on numbers.

We can judge based on precedence though. Even if you listen to Darryl tell you that the last experience was a success, the proof is in the pudding. Jokinen was not a great fit on this team.

Bringing him back will most likely not lead to radically different results.

That being said...

I would LOVE to be wrong and will hope I am.

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#67 walkinvisible
July 03 2010, 11:26PM
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@R O

let's be realistic, here, and understand that my comments were "demonstrative," and were not meant to be considered "analysis," per sé. obviously i realize that goals per player do not get exchanged one for one.

but RO, i'd love to hear your opinion on who you REALISTICALLY see scoring all the goals for the flames next year, with the roster as it stands. or do you presume that the kiprusoff/karlsson tandem will be limiting the opposition to an average of .5 goals per game ?

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#68 R O
July 04 2010, 12:08AM
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let's be realistic, here, and understand that my comments were "demonstrative,"

They didn't demonstrate anything. Bertuzzi and Dawes are completely different players, for one. And Cammalleri and his 39 goals get way too much press, obviously that number was driven highly by icetime and teammates and opposition, given how he looked on the ice.

Btw, Cammalleri didn't replicate any of his scoring rates (PP or EV) in Montreal. Even if CGY had kept him there was more than a good chance that they would have missed some of the bounces that he enjoyed, esp. on the PP.

but RO, i'd love to hear your opinion on who you REALISTICALLY see scoring all the goals for the flames next year, with the roster as it stands. or do you presume that the kiprusoff/karlsson tandem will be limiting the opposition to an average of .5 goals per game

A good start would be sawing off or outchancing the opposition's best, obviously that starts and ends with Langkow. If you're going +5 to +15 against the opposition's top line then that's a pretty solid foundation for winning.

I mean I'm not in the business of predicting goals but a saw-off or more with the best players means that effers like Stajan don't get killed, they can contribute more offensively

And the PP needs fixing, I think that's no mystery. More shots and more scoring chances needed, which means less Jokinen, he was terrible on the PP and I thought he'd at least be decent.

That makes the signing all the more curious, that soft icetime doesn't really flatter him at all (other than the obvious "he'll put up 3-4 PPP/hr and not get scored on" factor).

And just a general uptick in SH% would be nice, I'm not asking for a run of bounces like VAN's been enjoying for 2+ years but a return to the median for guys like Iggy (who's fallen off the cliff in the realm of puck battles but still has an A+ shot) and this team scores more pucks just on the back of a fairer Lady Luck.

There are quite obviously good bets to be made for increased offense for the Flames. I find your recent run of unwavering negativity re: Sutter and the Flames uncompelling. They're not the second coming of the '80s Oilers and there are more than a few warts but the team's not porridge.

Oh, and one of the guys who we probably shouldn't count on to score goals? Mikael Backlund. Not if we choose the sensible road to goal-scoring of "outplay the opposition".

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#69 walkinvisible
July 04 2010, 12:28AM
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@R O

we're gonna do this, aren't we, richard....

Cammalleri and his 39 goals get way too much press, obviously that number was driven highly by icetime and teammates and opposition, given how he looked on the ice.

kindof like the exact same icetime, teammates, and opposition that led olli to 11 goals with the flames last season ?

re: who's scoring the goals next year: A good start would be sawing off or outchancing the opposition's best, obviously that starts and ends with Langkow. If you're going +5 to +15 against the opposition's top line then that's a pretty solid foundation for winning.

sure. now if what darryl suggests is true (that langks has more than just a little owie, and might actually miss a good chunk of ---if not all of--- the upcoming season, then we can write him off as a potential goalscorer, non ? as for backlund, i envision him more as a playmaker than a goalscorer (neither of which will solve the scoring problem next season if he's threading the needle to raitis effin' ivanans).

I find your recent run of unwavering negativity re: Sutter and the Flames uncompelling. They're not the second coming of the '80s Oilers and there are more than a few warts but the team's not porridge.

probably not porridge, no. i guess i should be more positive, since i highly doubt the 10/11 flames will go 0-82-0. i mean, with olli back, we'll probably score one or two in the shootout, right ? and any postitivity aimed towards darryl, currently, would be WAY off-target IMO. since january, NOT A SINGLE deal he's made has been a slamdunk (where his early days as GM were marked by a faaar greater hit v. miss ratio), most have been debateable at best and some have been downright terrible. i am willing to argue this with you at length, but we don't have to hijack this thread to do it.

as for his stubborn infallibility, well, i think domebeers said it best, The other guy the GM brought in? Everybody's favourite lazy hockey player, Olli Jokinen. The GM trying to defend this move is comical. First, the GM tells us the experiment worked the first time (he even added a 'quite honestly'), which Kent Wilson, Domebeer-aholic and editor of Flamesnation, has thoroughly disproved. Then, he says the addition of Tanguay on a line with Joker and Iggy will fix what a sentence ago was not broken. George Orwell himself would be amazed at this exercise in double speak. you wouldn't have read this, of course, because domebeers (like hitthepost) is anti-darryl.

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#70 George.T.
July 04 2010, 04:08AM
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I dont see what the big deal is, this scenario could go two ways. Either they do well enough and get to the playoffs, make a bit of a run. Or the more likely scenario, do what's become the norm and be a team 5-9 games above .500. In which case Sutter is let go, and the guy coming in will clean house. It's really not that bad it truly is win win for all of us! Oh and if anyone is willing to sell me their season tickets cause they cant stand Sutter , and dont wanna support the team, I'd be glad to take them off your hands. I'm a Flames fan no matter what!!!

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#71 Lawrence
July 04 2010, 10:32AM
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WI, you've got valid points, and I think you speak well for the general populous of Flames fans who want this team to get better.

A big part of getting better, at least in the fans psyche, is progression, and by default signing guys who will lead us to believe in the faith of progression.

So, we've added:

Karlsson: never played a game in the NHL, top ten stats in the SEL, but was usurped for playoffs by Rahm. Have we progressed past McL? Well....he's taller, so there is ... uh..that.

Tanguay: Is he healthy? Probably, played 80 gms last year. Can he score still? Maybe, last year was brutal. Will he be the Tanguay we remember? Likely not. Progression....hmmm...

Olli: There is little reason to believe Olli will be much different this year than last, and he didn't last. Now we're stuck with him...NTC, why don't we just kill ourselves.

Jackman and Ivanis...McG and Mayers (if that)

OK, so it's true. A whole lot of splashing and not much swimming. Is there reason to believe we'll be much better, maybe not player by player. So that is valid.

However, the cult of worshiping Cammalleri needs to stop.

What people seem to be intentionally ignoring is the financial value of the signings of Joker and Tanguay.

Cammalleri makes 6.0 million freaking dollars! OK. 6.0 million. one more time....6.

We can't keep saying: "39 goals with the exact same icetime, teammates, and opposition that led Olli to 11 goals with the flames last season?

It's entirely mislead. Everyone can have a great year or a poor one. Cammy got dealt the ace at the right time.

Cammy now makes exactly double Joker. So, even the simplest look breaks it down pretty quick.

Cammy: 39/2 = 20 in 82 let's say @ 3 million (although his pace was 32g in 82 @ 6m, or 16 per 3m last year) approx.

Joker: 11 in 56 = 16 in 82 @ 3mil. Well! Holy Sh1t! Look at that.

For both these one dimensional, scoring only players we're paying about 3 million per 16 goals. This doesn't even factor in that Joker was shooting at 6%, which is much less than his career numbers, while Cammy shot 15.3!% when he got 39, and as soon as that came down to earth the next year he was on pace for 32.

Additionally, with Joker getting a real 3 million vs Cammy at a real 6, we have more flexibility to add more roster players, are less prone to lost production through injury days etc.

So, the point is, when we talk about these deals, and the Joker signing, can we please consider the value of the contract, amongst other details.

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#73 SmellOfVictory
July 04 2010, 11:03AM
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@Lawrence

Going off what Conroy said, Cammy would've played for Calgary at 5 million. If we're going to theorize, we may as well use that as the cap number (much more reasonable than 6, in my opinion)

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#74 Gange
July 04 2010, 11:04AM
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To provide a distraction from this "discussion" our favourite name/team generator (Eklund) has posted another Savard/Regehr bump.

If this were to be true would this mean that Langkow is looking at retirement? What would the retirement of Langkow mean? How does that change the tack of the Flames management? Seems like this might be a worthwhile scenario to discuss.

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#75 Dominator39
July 04 2010, 11:11AM
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I sat next to Craig Button at charity dinner a few days after the Flames signed Mike Cammalleri. While I was ecstatic with the Cammalleri signing, I told Craig that I was concerned that the Flames did not seem to have a plan; rather, it was my view that the Flames seemed to be “reacting”. I believe that even more today.

I firmly believe that, in today’s cap world, a team has to build through the draft and free agency; a team can’t ignore one at the expense of the other. I also believe that a team has to throw sentimentality out the window when it comes to keeping veterans on the roster. Stan Bowman and Dale Tallon seem to espouse this approach.

I keep hearing the rumours that the Flames are going to make a move for Marc Savard (as reently as July 4 on XM's Centre Ice). Given their cap situation, I don’t know how they’re going to pull this off without getting rid of salary.

Clearly, the Flames have a glut of defencemen. I note that Darryl has been really talking up Matt Pelech and John Negrin recently. Assuming there are takers, I can see the Flames moving Robyn Regehr and Cory Sarich for prospects or draft picks (thereby freeing up cap space). This would give the Flames some breathing room to pursue a first line centre if Daymond Langkow does not recover from his injury.

I just don't hold out a lot of hope for this team.

Just my thoughts.

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#76 Rain Dogs
July 04 2010, 11:12AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I think you're misinterpreting RO, WI. He's not for or anti Darryl. He just thinks some of the condemnation is overwrought.

The Flames aren't a terrible team on the one hand. As they're currently constructed, they'll fight for a playoff spot.

On the other hand, this is all classic Sutter. No lessons have been learned here. He remains wedded to his biases and continues to, as always, go back to the well. He has forever stuck with "players he knows" and has for years bet on bounce back or rebound performances from guys he's liked previously.

Although I agree that this fits the mold of Sutter going back to the well, I'm willing to overlook that issue here.

It's very difficult to argue signing Tanguay again at 1.7 million for one year. The risk is so low, and his ice-time and QOT will ensure he out-earns that value almost certainly.

Jokinen as well. I struggle to imagine a better centre, with his assets (shot, speed, size, ok in F/O's) that we could get for near 3.0mil.

Lombo is a good example. Would we have been ok if Sutter went back to that well? Not me. Especially at 3.5+

Jokinen and Tanguay for 4.7 is good value at this point IMHO, and we'll see if they don't earn it.

As I eluded to in my last comment, guys like Cammy scoring 39 goals at 3million are ghosts, and so is Jokinen at 5.25.

I'll take Olli and Tanguay on my team at 4.7m over almost any other free agent combos for a LW-C. So did Sutter really screw up so bad?

Whitney-Malholtra - 6.0, Higgins-Lombo - 5.1, Nystrom-Cullen - 4.9, Tanguay-Jokinen - 4.7, Latendresse-Prospal - 4.6,

With the exception of Whitney and Prospal, most of these other guys have yet to eclipse 20 goals and 50 points or thereabouts for career bests. And as for other abilities, I think many of those guys have significant deficiencies. And some players may not come to Calgary, or come for that same money, or be available to partner as listed.

@SOV. 5 million is heresay, it's no reality. I don't care what could have happened. Jokinen could have scored 50 goals last year, but he didn't.

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#77 R O
July 04 2010, 11:33AM
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I'd be (cautiously) okay with Jokinen at 3$3.0MM if he were any good on the PP.

I mean guys like him, you *know* they're going to break you with any kind of workload at evens but you'd hope they could recoup the loss on the man advantage. Of recent trade rumors, I'm thinking a guy like Spezza. Average at evens but absolutely terrific up a man. Which is why I was open to having him here for the right acquisition price.

Jokinen was horrible though. I mean all of his weaknesses at even strength were weaknesses on the PP, the guy does not have a lick of sense in the offensive zone. I mean I rail on guys like Spezza and Malkin for having the play die on them going forward but Jokinen's got to be the crown prince of that, behind only Bertuzzi the King.

Anyways. That's my take on Jokinen. I'd probably rather have Lombardi or Stajan at their current prices but that's not much of a choice. Ideally I'd rather have none of those guys.

On Sutter: he is who he is. On the one hand Sutter has progressively constructed his teams with more and more "real NHL players" unlike the guys up north or all those Sunbelt teams. Or do we forget the 07/08 bottom 6?

On the other hand he's got his cowbells, he values some things which just don't matter to winning games and the team suffers. I doubt he's alone in that, I mean out of 30 GMs I only really think of one as the gold standard (Doug Wilson), everyone else is just varying shades of "damn lucky" and "good enough".

But we've seen competitive hockey for 5 years now (yes, even last year, contrary to the whinging) and this coming season's team will be competitive. They won't challenge for the President's Trophy but as always, they have about as good a shot at Lord Stanley as a lot of teams who had nice playoff runs last year. Luck is a big component to advancing in the playoffs, shocker I know.

And this run of competitiveness has come without the help of clattering lottery balls. Sutter can't claim credit for Iginla but he did build up his teams with more real NHL players. More real NHL players == more winning.

So in that context I don't see how anybody can be negative about everything Flames-related. Go ahead and pick your bones but do it honestly and intelligently.

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#78 R O
July 04 2010, 11:36AM
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Re: Cammalleri

All it takes to knock the 39-goal squawkers off their perch is to point out that he didn't replicate his scoring rates in MTL.

So either he doesn't own some of his relative success in CGY or he doesn't own some of his relative failure in MTL. Either way, it makes discussion of his goal and point totals kind of fruitless, they don't characterize the player.

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#79 R O
July 04 2010, 11:49AM
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Re: Cammalleri All it takes to knock the 39-goal squawkers off their perch is to point out that he didn't replicate his scoring rates in MTL. So either he doesn't own some of his relative success in CGY or he doesn't own some of his relative failure in MTL. Either way, it makes discussion of his goal and point totals kind of fruitless, they don't characterize the player.

Caveat, now that I think about it: Or, injuries/aging turned him into a different player. He did have his crazy MCL tear or whatever it was but by the time he came back the Canadiens only had a few games left to play. And age seems HIGHLY unlikely.

It's more than likely he was the same player for CGY and MTL. Which means luck + circumstance had a big impact on his results, here, there and everywhere.

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#80 SmellOfVictory
July 04 2010, 01:56PM
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@R O

There is a balance that needs to be struck between futures and existing NHL players; many people certainly overvalue prospects and picks, simply because they see a team pick a Crosby or Toews and feel like every pick is going to turn into something amazing, but from the way you speak it sounds as though you're undervaluing them a little. If it were possible to stock a team entirely with existing NHL players without giving out too many market value contracts and giving up too much in return trade-wise, then that would be fine. Unfortunately, it's difficult-to-impossible to gain an elite player without drafting him yourself, and it's also difficult to get truly good value contracts from established NHL players - especially if they don't have strong ties to your team to begin with.

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#81 JackBauer
July 04 2010, 04:08PM
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I hear the Sutter presser was pretty confromtational. Does anybody have a transcript of what this useless pile of shît had to say?

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#82 SmellOfVictory
July 04 2010, 04:14PM
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Regarding Dawes: I think everyone needs to remember that his underlying stats are probably going to be inflated due to his linemates. I think anyone could look good when they play on a line with Langks and Bourque for the majority of a season. Granted, he still scored goals, but if you stuck him on the 4th line with Conroy (who I realize is still pretty solid) and some other league minimum player, he may not look so hot.

That said, I do think the guys he was basically traded off for (Ivanans and Jackman or whatever their names are) look to be garbage, so that part of it I'm pretty dissatisfied with.

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#83 walkinvisible
July 04 2010, 07:52PM
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JackBauer wrote:

I hear the Sutter presser was pretty confromtational. Does anybody have a transcript of what this useless pile of shît had to say?

the video part 1 and 2 are on flames.com but there are definitely parts missing (the "season ticket holders" part, and the part where he says "everyone who matters" likes the jokinen pickup).

as for cammalleri, i wasn't suggesting that we should have signed cammi at 5mil or the like. i was just suggesting that instead of a bunch of average/replaceable 3 million dollar guys on the roster (jokinen, sarich, staios, kotalik, stajan, hagman), it would be beneficial to get an elite (5-6 mil) goalscorer. roster spots, IMO, could be filled with workhorses like dawes (who don't bleed goals --like dawes, who have low-rent deals --like dawes). and, yes, i realize that kindof goalscorer is not a dime-a-dozen.

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#84 JackBauer
July 04 2010, 09:48PM
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walkinvisible wrote:

the video part 1 and 2 are on flames.com but there are definitely parts missing (the "season ticket holders" part, and the part where he says "everyone who matters" likes the jokinen pickup).

as for cammalleri, i wasn't suggesting that we should have signed cammi at 5mil or the like. i was just suggesting that instead of a bunch of average/replaceable 3 million dollar guys on the roster (jokinen, sarich, staios, kotalik, stajan, hagman), it would be beneficial to get an elite (5-6 mil) goalscorer. roster spots, IMO, could be filled with workhorses like dawes (who don't bleed goals --like dawes, who have low-rent deals --like dawes). and, yes, i realize that kindof goalscorer is not a dime-a-dozen.

I heard the "everyone who matters" part on CBC. Holy hell man. I think Sutter has offically overtaken Brian Murray as the dumbest most incompetent GM in the league. Heck, he would give Mad Mike a run for his money really.

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#86 R O
July 05 2010, 12:24AM
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@Kent

Definitely a little luck played into it, but it always does. I don't think it's possible in this business to have your performance separated from the effect of chance, though, a lucky run or something your predecessor did can completely add or eliminate an entire cluster of possible outcomes in the range of reasonable expectations.

Anyways, I think the litmus test is doing a little thought experiment: what would happen if you hand these circumstances to the 29 other GMs in this league? IMO fully half of them would have burned it to ash.

I mean setting the bar to "getting more NHL players" is pretty underwhelming, I'll admit. But damn if half the GMs in this league can't even get that right.

Last thing: I think it says something good about management that the Flames best season bar none was 08/09 when Iginla already had one foot in the elevator shaft and the skaters were fighting an uphill battle against their own goalies.

I mean I have a ton of contempt for some of Sutter's individual moves (ex: trading Tanguay for beans) but the overall philosophy of "getting real NHL players" works.

The biggest problem with Sutter (always has been) is that he sometimes, and unpredictably, deviates from his own perfectly sensible philosophy, for reasons perplexing or unknown.

The Reinprecht send-off, the Tanguay send-off, the Bertuzzi signing, the very first Jokinen trade... all deviations from a sane and effective philosophy for building winning hockey teams, all in the name of cowbells or non-existent team needs.

@SmellOfVictory

I don't think getting more good players now and getting more good players in the future are mutually exclusive. The tank-job route is the extreme and high-risk path to future talent. I prefer to just target underrated or underrepresented (by the numbers) players in that mid-to-late 20s range, either by UFA or trade or just by throwing darts in the draft.

I mean not every good player needs to be younger than 25, in fact aside from the truly elite (e.g. Crosby, Ovechkin) most of these so-called under-25 stars aren't all that, and certainly not worth the money they earn or are going to earn (e.g. Stamkos, Kane).

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#87 CitizenFlame
July 05 2010, 12:47AM
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This could be way out in left field, but has anyone considered that maybe Darryl's hands are tied a bit by the ownership group? Maybe his mandate from ownership is to keep the team competitive and in the hunt year after year. That way the bums stay in the seats. From an ownership standpoint, the Dome was getting a little empty after 7 years in the wilderness. After 5 seasons of playoff bound teams even a 10th place finish hasn't appeared to hurt season ticket sales.

As for Jokinen, at first I was pissed when I heard the news, but when you consider Langkow's situation and look at the what was available for free agent centerman I don't think Jokinen was a bad pick up at $3 mil. I've never seen anyone hit the goal post as much as Jokinen did last year. If he scored on even half of those he would have had 20-25 goals last year.

I think that Calgary's centerman will probably look like this at the start of the season 1- Joker, 2- Stajan, 3- Backlund, 4- Conroy (signed at or near the league min). And depending on Langkow, Backlund will split time between the big club and the farm; which is probably good as he still needs some seasoning yet.

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#88 CitizenFlame
July 05 2010, 12:51AM
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What could be deemed positive or negative, depending on your pov, is that Jokinen and Tanguay were willing and (at least in the media) happy to be coming back. That's the positive. The negative is, I'm not sure that Calgary is much of a preferred destination anymore; a reputation that it seemed to have only a few years ago which probably makes it a little more difficult to lure in the big free agent fish out there.

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#89 Nolan
July 07 2010, 03:14PM
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I heard this story once: A farmer toiled his trade on land far from home. He got good yields but eventually it didnt progress and he moved to a new farm. At the new place it went well. Great yields, but again it tailed off and he went searching for a new farm. His home farm called and needed someone to help. Well the home farm was in trouble and needed work, but he knew he could do it. The first year things improved. The second year he had a perfect summer, great balance of rain and sun and had a bumper crop. The next year a bumper crop but prices dropped. So he changed things up a bit. He decided to try a new herbicide everyone was raving about. That first year it did well but the 2nd year it dropped off significantly. He finally decided to stop using it and eventually was convinced to use a new type of seed. It looked promising but ultimately it wasn't working. He was determined to make it work but ultimately had to abandone it. The year wasnt good and yields have consistantly gone down the last few years. The farmer scratched his head. He then thought 'What if i put the herbicide and the new seed together?' Other farmers were skeptical, the herbicides value dropped as other farmers found it didnt work as well and the new seed was just dropped as it didnt yeild nearly what it was anticipated to. Other farmer who had used it too, didnt like it and went back to their old seed. But the ol' farmer was again determined to prove his friends that by mixing the two he was bound to have success.

Now, you mix a herbicide that didnt work well and a seed that didnt yield will that mean you get better results? The costs are down, only because its demand is down. I'm not a math wizard but when you add 2 negatives you dont get a positive.

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#90 Nolan
July 07 2010, 03:15PM
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I heard this story once: A farmer toiled his trade on land far from home. He got good yields but eventually it didnt progress and he moved to a new farm. At the new place it went well. Great yields, but again it tailed off and he went searching for a new farm. His home farm called and needed someone to help. Well the home farm was in trouble and needed work, but he knew he could do it. The first year things improved. The second year he had a perfect summer, great balance of rain and sun and had a bumper crop. The next year a bumper crop but prices dropped. So he changed things up a bit. He decided to try a new herbicide everyone was raving about. That first year it did well but the 2nd year it dropped off significantly. He finally decided to stop using it and eventually was convinced to use a new type of seed. It looked promising but ultimately it wasn't working. He was determined to make it work but ultimately had to abandone it. The year wasnt good and yields have consistantly gone down the last few years. The farmer scratched his head. He then thought 'What if i put the herbicide and the new seed together?' Other farmers were skeptical, the herbicides value dropped as other farmers found it didnt work as well and the new seed was just dropped as it didnt yeild nearly what it was anticipated to. Other farmer who had used it too, didnt like it and went back to their old seed. But the ol' farmer was again determined to prove his friends that by mixing the two he was bound to have success.

Now, you mix a herbicide that didnt work well and a seed that didnt yield will that mean you get better results? The costs are down, only because its demand is down. I'm not a math wizard but when you add 2 negatives you dont get a positive.

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