Trade Iginla and Other Thoughts

Kent Wilson
December 01 2011 10:04AM

 

 

 

I asked the questions in the Flamesnation quarter pole roundtablem but I didn't get to share my own thoughts on Flames and the season at hand. Now is as good a time as any.

End of an Era

On perhaps the most pressing debate in Flames circles today, plant me firmly in the "trade Iginla" camp. I'll build my argument around a comment made by Jeff Lebowski in the recent Stoking the Fire (mostly because it's a convenient starting point, not to pick on Jeff in particular) -

Trading Iggy and/or Kipper is the stupidest notion. You need Kessel type return to impact this franchise and no team will give that compensation. You can not get adequate return for what Iggy and Kipper mean to the integrity of this team.

It's not 2004 anymore folks. Iginla and Kipper are two players in their mid-thirties with a handful of years left on their contracts who are drifting inevitably from their peaks - peaks that are quite obviously in the past. They aren't going to be in Calgary forever and they aren't pieces you build around anymore. The Iginla/Kipper epoch of the Flames history is pretty much in it's denouement.

Calgary has finished 10th in the west two years in a row and are set to do so again this season. I'm not going to advocate the club trade Iginla for anything, but this notion that he and Kipper are integral to the success of this team is nonsense (what success?). The Flames current quest isn't to retain the doddering stars of yesteryear. It is to find new stars.

Try this exercise: project what the Flames will look like in the summer of 2013 (that's the summer after next). Jarome will be 36 and a free agent. Kipper will be 37 with one year left on his deal. Tanguay will be 35.

A transition is coming one way or the other. The team can either try to leverage depreciating assets like Iginla and Kipper for a return or they can keep them around and let them drift away for nothing, Markus Naslund/Matts Sundin style.

- Of course, I'm talking ideally and from a position comfortably outside the org. In reality, all the noise coming from the management office indicates the Flames have no interest in trading Jarome and that he's here to stay. I think this stance comes from a couple of directions:

1.) PR - No one in the upper offices wants to be the guy who chose to trade one of the best players to ever don the Flames jersey. Moving folk heroes is tricky business - both the return and the optics need to be just right. As such, it looks to me like the club is setting it up so Iginla essentially has to be the guy to make the decision - then none of the suits can be made to look like the bad guy.

2.) Marketing - Iginla remains the most marketable face on the Flames roster and his absence would create a giant sucking vacuum on the roster in terms of selling the club. The decision makers may be reluctant to actively shop Jarome until they can find another player to take his place as "face of the franchise".

A New Hope?

Speaking of which, Sven Baertschi may become that guy if he continues to tear through junior. He currently boasts the best point-per-game pace in the entire CHL (2.37/game); a pace that would see him finish with 156 points in 66 games. Last year he scored 85 in 66 for context.

I've been tracking Baertschi's point totals across game states and the kid has 24 even strength points, 20 on the PP and one SH. He started the year out mostly cashing in with the man advatage, but has been killing it at five-on-five recently (10 ES points in four games).

It's worth noting that the Winterhawks are a very high scoring team which is obviously helping Baertschi post his numbers. It's also unlikely he'll continue on such a torrid scoring rate: last year no WHL player managed more than 116 points for instance. However, if he can post more than one ES point-per-game and finishes with more than 100 points this year, those are two big arrows pointing in the right direction for him.

Of note: I believe the last time a Flames pick scored 100+ points in junior was Cory Stillman (6th overall) all the way back in 1990-91. Matt Lombardi pulled a 130-point season out in his final year of junior, but that's far more common for 20-year olds and is therefore less notable. Jarrett Stoll is the only other guy who kind of qualifies: he managed 106 in his 18-year old season for the Kootenay Ice. THe Flames failed to sign him though and he re-entered the draft in 2002 where he was drafted by Edmonton. Calgary returned the favor by picking Lombo, who had been an Oilers pick two years earlier as well.

Misc...

- Where ever you fall on the trade Iginla debate, I think we can all agree that Rene Bourque needs to be moved. It pains me to admit that because I was a tireless Rene Bourque booster prior to his re-signing, but the dude has absolutely fallen off a cliff since he inked his long-term deal and he's trending in the wrong direction. Last year, he played with Jokinen in a semi-shut down role so his near team worst possession and scoring chance differentials were somewhat justified and it was worth waiting to see if he would bounce back this season.

No such luck. In fact, he's a few miles worse. He still lags behind just about everyone on the club in terms of driving the play by both chances and possession, except this year his assignment is a lot easier with Glencross/Jokinen/Iginla/Tanguay seeing the lion's share of tough match-ups. That has left Bourque mostly to bat clean-up and he's completely struck out: worst relative corsi amongst regulars, awul scoring chance ratio, middling competition and the easiest zone start situation (54%) this side of PL3. Getting beat up by other teams top-lines is one thing - utterly failing to take advantage of easy minutes is another.

Whatever the teams plans - be it rebuild, re-tool, status quo...Bourque needs to go. He's a detriment on the ice and his contract is going to be exposed as an albatross very soon.

- As far as I can tell, the Flames are probably slightly better than their record indicates so far but have taken a step backwards from where they were last year. I think they are likely to claw their from the depths of the western conference basement, but not much farther. Last year they could have made the post-season as an 8th seed and it wouldn't have been grossly out of line with their real talent level. Unless something drastically changes this season, though, 10th fits the Calgary Flames like a glove.

- Around the NHL, the most surprising coach firing for me so far is Randy Carlyle. The Ducks definitely suck, but I'm not sure there's anything more he could have done about the situation. The problem this year so far is Cory Perry is not running hot and Jonas Hiller is not constantly bailing the club out with a sky-high SV%. The roster is puddle deep and Carlyle was one of the more active bench managers in the league. It will be interesting to see what Boudreau does in his place, since his use of Washington's assets seemed far more middle-of-the-road.

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 flamesburn89
December 01 2011, 03:58PM
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xis10ce wrote:

I would be happy to 'settle' for Schenn, Couts and a 1st. Those guys will be future building blocks you can rely on.

As for your comments regarding PR Kent, didn't Holmgren say a few days before Carter and Richards got traded both of them were not going anywhere? Let's hope we are in the same scenario, no point in showing your cards at the poker table before you make a bet and get called.

I don't think theres any chance your going to get Schenn and Couturier, plus the 1st rounder for Iggy. More like Schenn/Couturier, a 1st rounder, and possibly a 3rd too.

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#52 flamesburn89
December 01 2011, 04:10PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

Just HAAADD to go there eh Kent? I just dont know about the whole "trade Iginla" sentiment. The return would likely piss just about everyone off, and though I would hate to see a 'secondary scorer' make 7 million, he's still the best we've got. I still hold that he could be part of a rebuild, at half his salary.

On Baertschi, did you read that prospectus on him?

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1196

I tend to agree with a lot of what's said there - there's a lot to like there, but expectations stemming from domination in junior have to be tempered. I hope he pans out to be a first line guy, I could see him becoming an Eberle type based on what I've seen from him..but thats still a very small sample size. On Bork - I couldnt agree more, I think he's always had somewhat of a "who gives a f*ck" attitude on the ice, but I think that's also been compounded with a subconscious fear of injury, in short I think he's playing scared. I think a lot of people here are overvaluing the kids coming up. Suffice to say we don't have the "kid" line in our system. We really DO need to hunt for a future franchise guy, whether its fishing for a top 5 pick or trying to land the big fish UFA (Parise please)..

I also hope they land quite far from 10th in the West.

I just finished reading that hockey prospectus article you posted. Sounds like Bartschi's best NHL comparable, at least IMO, is Montreal's Tomas Plekanec

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#53 shutout
December 01 2011, 04:24PM
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Salary for Derick Brassard is $3.2M. He is 25 years old. Three more years on his contract.

What else would it take to make a Bourque for Brassard trade?

Both players need a change of scenery. Same contract value, Bourque’s contract is for two years longer. Bourque is 29 years old. Brassard has scored 17 goals once in the NHL. Bourque has 20+ three times, and twice has hit 27.

I think that this a pretty even deal, though the upside of Brassard (and lazy history of Bourque) means that the Flames would have to put in something else.

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#54 the-wolf
December 01 2011, 05:27PM
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People also like to overlook that the real leader in 2004 was mostly Darryl himself. Add in Gelinas and 15 other lunch bucket types and that's where the hard work and success came from. Iginla was forced to keep up. One of the reason they fell was because Darryl traded away all the leadership so that it could be 'Iginla's team.' With disastrous results.

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#55 Jeff Lebowski
December 01 2011, 05:35PM
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the-wolf wrote:

@Jeff Lebowski

1) Where do you envision the team in 2 years with Iginla still here? Certainly won't be in the playoffs.

2) Is he worth now what he was 2 years ago? No, but plenty of GMs will offer something of value to get a guy who scored 43 goals last year to put them over the top. They'll think on their team, change of scenery, more offense, less pressure, etc. Quality, not quantity. Iginla is worth at least 1 top end prospect or high 1st rounder. At minimum.

3) You wouldn't have moved Iginla last year for Schenn? Really? The Avs 1st this year? No, there's no guarantees, but that's why you have a hockey ops dept. The Flames hockey ops dept. is a debate in and of itself, but it worked when we moved Fleury, Niewuendyk, Nilsson.

4) Would you prefer the Sundin scenario?

5) How do you get this talent you talk about replenishing? Pretending there's other ways than the draft is why the flames are where they are. All the finalists stars are drafted by them and so is basically half of their line-up. You get that one great asset and make it count.

6) Re: salary cap freedom - you still have to replace those roster positions. By the time you do that there's no longer $20 million sitting there for a spending spree and Calgary is no longer a UFA destination of choice and every year teams lock up their impedning UFA's earlier and earlier.

7) Get over it. The Iginla era is dead. It didn't work, won't work when he's 34 and by the time the prospects we do have start to really contribute he'll be 37/38.

1) I see it this way: Iginla turns the corner this year and approximates his output from last year. It might not mean 40 but 30+. I hope that any movement this year includes almost anyone except for Gio, Iggy, Backlund, Horak and all the kids if they are sellers at trade deadline. I see money coming off the books and big contracts put into defensive players or low producing players moved out (Sarich, Stajan etc. I see the salary room and the ability to attract skilled players here with Iggy and Kipper as a draw. I see the continued draft philosophy of Feaster drafting skilled players and the introduction of Bartschi to the NHL. In 2 years I hope to be in the playoffs, with a team that has a much different style and content backed by Kipper and Iggy and rejuvinated with more skill.

2)Your point is this: He sucks lets trade him. Other teams will give us good return on an assest I have stated sucks. Prospect and a 1st rounder. Sound logic.

3)I never mentioned trading him last year so what are you talking about? Also was that a done deal? Really? Did the internet tell you so?

4)No. See 1)

5)See 1) and 2)

6)See 1)

7)You prove my 2) and disprove the basis of your argument.

You, like many have a disconnect in your appraisal of Iginla and what he then could command for return. You need to reconcile that.

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#56 Jeff Lebowski
December 01 2011, 05:40PM
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the-wolf wrote:

People also like to overlook that the real leader in 2004 was mostly Darryl himself. Add in Gelinas and 15 other lunch bucket types and that's where the hard work and success came from. Iginla was forced to keep up. One of the reason they fell was because Darryl traded away all the leadership so that it could be 'Iginla's team.' With disastrous results.

That's asinine. Yes Gelinas was great but to think Iginla and Kipper weren't the engine that drove the Flames is just...stupid.

Watch it again. Watch how Iggy played.

Although this has nothing to do with the current situation and what this thread is about. You are on glue if you think Iggy wasn't dominant.

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#57 SmellOfVictory
December 01 2011, 06:02PM
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flamesburn89 wrote:

I just finished reading that hockey prospectus article you posted. Sounds like Bartschi's best NHL comparable, at least IMO, is Montreal's Tomas Plekanec

I've heard him compared to Hossa, as well. Caveat upon caveat, Hossa is clearly a first line player and peaked as an elite player in the NHL; while the Prospectus seems to think Baertschi's ceiling is significantly lower, he's 19 years old so basically nobody knows jack ---- about what he's capable of becoming. I personally think more of him than they do, but I'm also not a pro scout.

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#58 shutout
December 01 2011, 06:03PM
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@Jeff

If I understand what you believe its that the solution for the Flames is to attract free agents because of Iginla and Kiprusoff. And that with those free agents, Iginla, and our young prospects we will be able to compete for the Stanley Cup.

I have to say that I disagree. Our prospects are not going to be ready. Any free agents will be overpriced and coming here only for the paycheck, so we wont get the best of the free agents. A player that wants to win is not going to come to a team that has missed the playoffs the last three years. Iginla when he was in his career has only managed to get the Flames into the playoffs 1/3 of the time, why would you think he can do it more often when he is getting older.

The goal is to win the Stanley Cup, not be average and just get into the playoffs. Fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to do this is to move your best tradeable assets (Iginla and Kiprusoff) for young prospects and picks that will help us to compete in the future.

Other teams are at different stages of competing for the Cup and for them Iginla would be a big piece to helping them win. Iginla for them is much more important than what Iginla can do for the Flames. We are not going to make the playoffs, why keep Iginla? To help us out with a worse draft pick?

Iginla does not want to play a team game. For evidence listen to Sutter's comments and how they differ from Iginla's comments. That is the biggest difference between how knowledgeable hockey fans in Calgary view Iginla and whether or not he should stay in Calgary.

Would you be adverse to any trade for Iginla? Or are you so afraid that the trade might be like the Phaneuf trade that you would rather bury your head in the sand and not even contemplate making a move? Were you around when players like Neiuwendyk and Fleury were traded? How can you say that those deals were not the best for the franchise?

What happens if you could make a deal with Washington for two first round draft picks. Colorado's first from the Varlamov trade, and their own pick. Colorado could end up with a lottery pick. What happens if you could get Yakupov with that pick?

Right now I would take Yakupov for Iginla straight up. How can you not think that this trade would be worth it? How can you not believe trading Iginla is worth that future?

Living in the past is not going to help the Flames in the future. Iginla is like Sundin. Wont help the team by sticking around. Time to recognize where we are, where we need to be, and realisticly evaluate what needs to be done to help us get there.

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#59 SmellOfVictory
December 01 2011, 06:09PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

That's asinine. Yes Gelinas was great but to think Iginla and Kipper weren't the engine that drove the Flames is just...stupid.

Watch it again. Watch how Iggy played.

Although this has nothing to do with the current situation and what this thread is about. You are on glue if you think Iggy wasn't dominant.

Yup, I have to second this. He absolutely DESTROYED people during that run. His point totals did him an immense disservice that season/post season. Iginla had a period of 6-7 years when he was a top 5 forward in the NHL; that is exactly the kind of person you can build a team around.

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#60 RossCreekNation
December 01 2011, 06:13PM
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shutout wrote:

Salary for Derick Brassard is $3.2M. He is 25 years old. Three more years on his contract.

What else would it take to make a Bourque for Brassard trade?

Both players need a change of scenery. Same contract value, Bourque’s contract is for two years longer. Bourque is 29 years old. Brassard has scored 17 goals once in the NHL. Bourque has 20+ three times, and twice has hit 27.

I think that this a pretty even deal, though the upside of Brassard (and lazy history of Bourque) means that the Flames would have to put in something else.

I wouldn't have any interest in Brassard unless Jackets took Stajan in return. Cap hits are 300k apart, both have 2 years left, and Stajan actually makes $2M LESS than Brassard in terms of REAL $

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#61 Colin
December 01 2011, 06:17PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I wouldn't have any interest in Brassard unless Jackets took Stajan in return. Cap hits are 300k apart, both have 2 years left, and Stajan actually makes $2M LESS than Brassard in terms of REAL $

DONE AND DONE, nothing could be worse than Stajan, and if we are giving Columbus Fake dollars that makes it look like they are spending more money, why not, course we'd probably have to thrown in a pick as well, hey where have I heard this before.....

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#62 Jeff Lebowski
December 01 2011, 06:47PM
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@shutout

I think there are a lot of assumptions being made about Iginla, his desire, his coachability and such. I don't buy into them at all. I

My point about the trading of Iginla was this. Calgary is better off keeping him at this stage than what they could reasonably expect to get in return. Meaning he will not bring back the bounty everyone thinks he will fetch especially when you factor all the negatives people throw out about him. From one side of your (not you specfically but you as in the trade Iggy mob) mouth you say he sucks, he's a coach killer a cancer who is well past his prime. Out of the other side of your mouth you think that this player will get you prospects, picks etc. I question that logic.

So you trade him and you get what exactly? This is the disconnect.

Hey I could be wrong. Maybe there are teams ready to back the truck up.

I just think given his value to Calgary, today, not in the past (he is the number one forward here by a long shot). The real return, given his age etc would net a minus for the organization. Keep him and the few new good players and change the surrounding players.

There are really good players available throughout the draft. Craig Smith from Nashville was a fourth rounder. Look at Detroit. They kept a lot of their best assets for a long time and just drafted well. Plus they brought in some good skill via free agency (Bertuzzi for example).

Calgary's problem was never Iginla. It was the terrible drafting by Sutter. The identity Sutter built his team for was selected out. This team still has Darryl Sutter's fingerprints all over it. That's why they haven't won. It's not Iggy's or Kipper's fault.

This team needs to continue what Feaster said: Scout more in college ranks, Europe etc. Use the picks you have and just draft skilled guys. Move out the Bourques, Jokinens and Bouwmeesters for the draft picks.

I really believe you can do this quicker than people here are suggesting (3-4 years). I think Feaster can transorm the roster without trading these guys. I think there are player out there that can impact the roster and style of play in the draft and via free agency. Young players.

I think Darry Sutter had old school values in personnel and only focused on WHL, OHL and Sweden/Finland.

I think when you look at what Feaster is doing organizationally you see he is opening up the talent pool to pick from and selecting for qualities that are paramount for the league now ie skill.

If you could've traded Iggy for what Kessel brought back I would've looked at that. I just don't think that's available for Iggy at this point in time.

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#63 suba steve
December 01 2011, 08:47PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Yup, I have to second this. He absolutely DESTROYED people during that run. His point totals did him an immense disservice that season/post season. Iginla had a period of 6-7 years when he was a top 5 forward in the NHL; that is exactly the kind of person you can build a team around.

Iggy did lead on the ice in '04, no doubt about it. Watching how he played in '04 does bring back fond memories but watching him now is not the same. I think we (trade Iggy fans) question if he lead in any other way. We back this up by asking "where he has lead us since then", no playoff victories/missed post seasons.

The days of Iggy attracting high end free agents are over, as are his days of carrying a team on his back.

I was sad to see Nilson go but we lucked into Joe N. When Joe had to go we got lucky with Iggy. When Theo left we scored Regehr. And, for sure, there were bad moves in the past as well (Gilmour, Vernon, Cammi., etc.). These players will all be fondly remembered as Flames, but we did hold our noses and let them go for the good of the Flames (at least we thought so at the time).

I am a Flames fan before I am a fan of any player. That is why I hope we can cash this chip in again, for a shot at a better future. Thank you Iggy, good luck with your next team.

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#64 Captain Ron
December 01 2011, 10:24PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

That's asinine. Yes Gelinas was great but to think Iginla and Kipper weren't the engine that drove the Flames is just...stupid.

Watch it again. Watch how Iggy played.

Although this has nothing to do with the current situation and what this thread is about. You are on glue if you think Iggy wasn't dominant.

Jeff I'm firmly in your camp. To say that Iggy was somehow "forced to keep up" might be the dumbest thing I've ever read about him on any forum anywhere. We get it that Wolf doesn't like him and want him around but that statement makes him sound like an idiot. Jarome Iginla has been a premier forward in the NHL for years and ESPECIALLY DURING THAT TIME PERIOD.

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#65 loudogYYC
December 01 2011, 11:49PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

In regards to the disconnect you're talking about, Iginla's value is higher elsewhere than it is here.

Right now Iggy in Calgary is like having a Spanish translator when you're in Italy. He'll help you out and all but really, he's a better fit in Spain, Mexico, Argentina (Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Washington).

I agree that good drafting will turn your team around, but Iginla's days of high output are drying up so he likely won't be first line material by the time these middle round draft picks are ready to help the Flames.

The biggest problem I have with Iggy staying is that by not drafting high or acquiring elite players (fat chance), in 2 years he'll STILL be our best player and he'll be less of a player he is now. You say we should surround him with good players; that's what Darryl Sutter preached and look what happened. Do you really think that approach is gonna work this time around?

I also agree that Darryl Sutter is the culprit of all this crap. I would argue that he's done Iginla a huge disservice by wasting Iggy's prime surrounding him with "good" players and not elite players. In other words, I think Sutter and his old school redneck approach killed Iggy's dream of winning a cup in Calgary.

If for no other reason than that he deserves a shot at the cup, the Flames should trade him soon while everyone still remembers his most recent accomplishment: a 43 goal season on a team full of plumbers.

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#66 Graham.wiswell@gmail.com
December 02 2011, 12:13AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'm sorry, but why are people penciling in guys like Reinhart & Holland for next season. That's quite a bit of a stretch.

Probably because no one pencilled Roman Horak in to make the team this year. Holland on the big club next year would be a mistake, but I'd bet Reinhart plays. It's not like you're grooming a highly skilled, top prospect. He can fit in at a depth capacity next season

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#67 the-wolf
December 02 2011, 07:48AM
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@ Lebowski

Iginla did have a great 2004 run - and has been living on that rep ever since, but he wasn't the motivational force behind it.

Your argument can be used against you - you think Iginla is awesome, but that if he was traded we would get nothing.

Iginla had 43 goals last year, a history as a proven scoerer and a rep around the league that will bring back a great return. A return needed to rebuild a crap team. That said, I've tired of his act of taking shifts off, periods off, games off, strecthes of games off. I've tired of his notplaying the coach's systems. I've tired of him floating by the blueline. I've tired of him banging his stick on the ice for the 1-timer while discarding his power game. I'm tired of him dropping the gloves every 10 games as some form of leadership.

You don't build around a 34 year old.

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#68 the-wolf
December 02 2011, 07:56AM
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Really Captain Ron, name calling? Not much of an argument when you have to resort to that.

5 playoff appearnaces, once past the first, 34 years old. It's over, get over it. He doesn't wear a cape and fly around stopping bank robberies and saving cats from trees, he's just an overpaid athlete.

And yes, since all of those lunch bucket types were moved out, Iginla's work ethic has drastically fallen off. Not right away, of course, but steadily.

But it's all someone else's fault, nerver the $7 million athletes fault. Uh-huh.

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#69 the-wolf
December 02 2011, 07:59AM
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re-post:

FlamesNation Home News Voices of the Nation Kent WilsonPat SteinbergRobert CleaveRyan LambertJonathan WillisWanyeJason GregorVintage FlameRobert VollmanSchedule My Account STOKING THE FIRE - NOVEMBER 30th Vintage Flame November 30 2011 02:08PM

Most of the conversation for the past week, or month, or this season, has been centered on whether the Flames could or should trade Jarome Iginla. I’m going to try and stay away from that particular topic in this issue. Instead let’s take a look around and see what else is stoking the fire of Flamesland.

The head-hunters are still out in full swing when it comes to the perceived "quick fix" for the Flames woes. From across the forums to the phone calls Pat faces on a nightly basis on overtime, fans have been calling for the head of Brent Sutter. Domebeers does his part on not focusing on Sutter as the problem but to the fact that Flames management saddled the coach, with a poorly structured team to begin with.

NEW EDITION...

It wasn’t the blockbuster move that fans had been waiting for, or rather hoping for but on Friday, the Flames claimed Blake Comeau off waivers from the NY Islanders. Not a bad move for Calgary. Comeau has great speed, but also has a whopping zero points this year after coming off a career performance last year. Some speculate that the change of scenery might be good for Blake as well as add another fast and young forward to the Flames line-up. It’s a low risk move as Comeau will be an RFA, and if things don’t go as hoped, they can walk away.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Flames were fortunate in their waiver claim as the Ducks, Wild and Predators were all looking at Comeau. The Preds and Wild actually put claims in for Blake but were behind Calgary in the cue. The Ducks were ahead of Calgary, but due to crucial tight money issues, they were unable to make the claim. Cue the talk as to whether the Flames should be on the phone with Anaheim about a possible trade.

Comeau was very excited to get to Calgary, and the Flames wasted no time putting him in the line-up that same night for the game against the Blues. He looked fairly good, considering he knew no one on the team and was thrown right in. He even managed to register a few scoring chances and made a really nice rush to the net that almost resulted in his first goal.

LIFE ON THE FARM...

Elsewhere, there is a lot to be excited about within the Flames, but away from the Dome. Flames prospects are a great story all over the country. In Abbotsford, Leyland Irving was named AHL Player of the Week, marking the second time in four weeks that a member of the Heat has been given the honour. “At 13-5-0, the native of Swan Hills, Alberta, leads the AHL in wins (13), minutes played (1,022) and shutouts (3) while ranking fourth with a 1.94 goals-against average and 10th with a .927 save percentage."

THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT, I GOTTA WEAR...

Back in October, I was really excited about going to the game between the Calgary Hitman and Portland Winterhawks. It was going to be a chance to see Flames first rounder, Sven Baertschi, live and in colour. Alas, it didn’t happen due to an injury that kept Baertschi from playing. Since his return though, Sven has been on a torrid pace and is just tearing up the WHL, closing fast on the scoring leaders. His 45 points in 19 games (yes you read that correctly) has him only 13 pts behind league leader Mark Stone; playing 9 games less. Linemate Ty Rattie earned the player of the week honours in the WHL, but it is widely believed that Baertschi’s strong play has had a more to do with Rattie's success, rather than the opposite.

There is a lot to be excited about with Baertschi, and he seems to be getting better as the season goes on. There will be a lot of eyes on him during the World Junior Championships that are scheduled to begin New Years Day, as no doubt he will be one of the bright spots for the Swiss junior team.

Speaking of the World Juniors, Flames fans should be happy to hear that prospects Max Reinhart and Michael Ferland are among the 41 players that were invited to Team Canada’s selection camp. Ferland currently sits 6th in WHL scoring, 3 pts behind Baertschi; while Reinhart is 18th in scoring at 31 pts.

Definitely some good news on the development front. In the meantime, and in between time.. That’s it for now.

Vintage Flame is a Calgary based sports junkie that prefers to call hockey a "religion" rather than an addiction. He believes there are two types of hockey fans. Those who cheer for the Flames, and those who don't understand the sport yet. Follow Vintage_Flame on Twitter playpausestopmuteunmute Sort comments by props

Edit | Reply #1 icedawg_42 November 30 2011, 02:38PM +1 1 props FIST!!!!!!

are you saying that Rattie is a benefactor of strong play from Baertschi? After seeing his creativity and skill in camp, I would tend to think so, but then I've never really concentrated on watching what Rattie does.

Edit | Reply #2 Vintage Flame November 30 2011, 02:42PM +1 0 props icedawg_42 wrote: FIST!!!!!!

are you saying that Rattie is a benefactor of strong play from Baertschi? After seeing his creativity and skill in camp, I would tend to think so, but then I've never really concentrated on watching what Rattie does.

I wouldn't say that Rattie's success is solely dependent on Baertschi, he is very talented himself. However, I think both benefit at least equally from each other.

Edit | Reply #3 xis10ce November 30 2011, 02:57PM +1 0 props I don't work for the Fan 960, so I think I'm free to say I agree with Domebeers, time for KK and the works all the way down to hit the bricks.

Edit | Reply #4 Bob November 30 2011, 03:08PM +1 0 props It's funny how just a short time ago we were lamenting on how poor the prospect pool was for the Flames and now we rant and rave about the kids in our system and we banged the drum loudly to ensure players like Brodie got a fair chance to make the big club. Now we have 3 rookies currently on the roster and we're drooling at the prospect of how many could make the jump next year.

I agree that Sutter is not the entire problem with this team's inconsistency...that's an issue that has been with this core/veteran group since before Brent arrived. However, Brent's refusal to allow some of the players to play to their strengths isn't helping. There's nothing more empowering to an athlete than to hear their coach and GM tell the media that they have to play one certain style because they're not talented enough to do anything else. Yeah, we know the team isn't a offensively talented as others, but what kind of positives can come from the coach rubbing that fact in.

Wouldn't that be a great employee evaluation to have in front of all your co-workers and customers. You know Bob, you're a decent worker for what you do, but your not that good at any particular thing. There are others that are younger and more talented than you, but we can't get them to work for us right now. Just do as your Manager says and we'll make it through this tough stretch. Well, good talk, go get 'em!

Edit | Reply #5 Vintage Flame November 30 2011, 03:19PM +1 0 props @Bob

Brent's refusal to allow some of the players to play to their strengths isn't helping. I don't understand this comment. What players are you referring to, and what is your basis for saying Sutter isn't letting them play to their strengths?

There's nothing more empowering to an athlete than to hear their coach and GM tell the media that they have to play one certain style because they're not talented enough to do anything else. Well yeah, that's why he is the coach. Too many of the Flames think they can play a river hockey style and they simply can't. I'm not sure how many more examples they need to see that, but 2 games under .500 at the 1/4 mark, should be enough.

You can bet that for every 1 time Sutter has made those comments to the media, that he has told the players 10 times, so it's not like the players are hearing them for the first time through the media.

Edit | Reply #6 Bob November 30 2011, 03:51PM +1 0 props Vintage Flame wrote: Brent's refusal to allow some of the players to play to their strengths isn't helping. I don't understand this comment. What players are you referring to, and what is your basis for saying Sutter isn't letting them play to their strengths?

There's nothing more empowering to an athlete than to hear their coach and GM tell the media that they have to play one certain style because they're not talented enough to do anything else. Well yeah, that's why he is the coach. Too many of the Flames think they can play a river hockey style and they simply can't. I'm not sure how many more examples they need to see that, but 2 games under .500 at the 1/4 mark, should be enough.

You can bet that for every 1 time Sutter has made those comments to the media, that he has told the players 10 times, so it's not like the players are hearing them for the first time through the media.

I'm not endorsing that Brent let Iggy and Tanguay play "river Hockey", but when I watch this team and watch how Brent matches lines it's seem on most nights it's just "One" system and Brent wants everyone to buy in. That system is basic, be defensively responsible, try to get turn overs or reduce the number of shots or chances against and then head for the offensive zone.

Obviously, on this team there is a variety of talent levels whether they be offensive, defensive, hockey IQ etc...It's up to the coaches to not only recognize these attributes, but to also figure out how best to utilize them. That involves teaching, and I don't care if it's a rookie or ten year veteran, if you can give them options and assist them in the transition it gives you more options and more variables to employ through out the game. I don't think Brent has been able to get through to some players because I think Brent has forgotten how to be a teacher.

As for Brent and Feaster commenting about the talent level...how long would you like to listen to that before you just tune it out???

Hey, I'm not an NHL coach and there's a reason for it. I just think you need coaches that are teachers more than being drill instructors (A.K.A.Ron Wilson) in todays NHL. Brent was a great junior coach, and to be good he had to instruct, teach and mold those kids. Just because these guys are NHL'ers doesn't mean that can't stop learninig. And just because Brent is an NHL coach doesn't mean he should stop learning either.

Right or wrong, it's simply an opinion and observation. One reason I read Flames Nation is to continue my own education. I appreciate your feedback VF.

Edit | Reply #7 Domebeers.com November 30 2011, 04:04PM +1 0 props "Cue the talk as to whether the Flames should be on the phone with Anaheim about a possible trade."

Who knows. Didn't they sign Hagman? I always find this 'Owner crying poor' ish to be a little hard to swallow, but again, who knows.

Edit | Reply #8 Vintage Flame November 30 2011, 04:08PM +1 0 props @Bob

... when I watch this team and watch how Brent matches lines it's seem on most nights it's just "One" system and Brent wants everyone to buy in. I agree with that. One criticism that has been agreed upon in the live chats as well is the lack of adequate line matching by the Flames or Sutter. I'm split on the issue... I don't like the line matching, but is it maybe partly due to the lack of options for Sutter?

As for Brent and Feaster commenting about the talent level...how long would you like to listen to that before you just tune it out??? Haha.. I guess we'll find out who wins that battle of wills, right?

Brent was a great junior coach, and to be good he had to instruct, teach and mold those kids. Just because these guys are NHL'ers doesn't mean that can't stop learninig. And just because Brent is an NHL coach doesn't mean he should stop learning either. Yeah it's funny you put it that wait. Ice Dawg and I were talking about this not too long ago. There are basically 2 types of coaches. Those who inspire, like Bylsma... and those who instruct, like Sutter. Sutter was a successful junior coach, where that style fits molding future prospects. It also has it's place in the NHL, cause as you said, players and coaches should also always be learning.

One thought I've had, is that it's difficult to maintain that sort of 'system' on a team divided with so many vets and so many young players to develop. One might get the impression that the vets quickly become un-coachable and that hampers the development of the youth.

Edit | Reply #9 Jim McCormick November 30 2011, 04:10PM +1 0 props I would agree that this year's edition of the Flames has, so far, been disappointing. Yeah, we can all keep our fingers crossed for a break out like we saw last year, but, with the way that other teams are playing, it will be a lot tougher sledding this season.

As for what keeps me upbeat is a number of things.

First, I do like some of the newcomers. I like Lee Stempniak. I like Chris Butler.

Second, I like the way that Mark Giordano has continued his improvement and that he seems to be picking up more and more of a leadership role.

Third, the fact that we have so many expiring UFA contracts (10 on the current roster) and that, should this year be a, well, a "non-playoff" year, that there will be the opportunity to change the locker room and the make up of this team over a short period. I would expect that some of that change will come by current Flames becoming former Flames before their contracts expire. In return, I would look for a replenishment of draft picks as well as possibly some prospects. But some of those UFAs will/should return. I named Stempniak. I think that Derek Smith, Tim Jackman and David Moss will warrant serious consideration for return. The rest, I believe, when weighing their relative performance and potential against the UFAs that will be out there, can be improved upon.

And lastly, I think that in Baertschi and Reinhart, we have two draft picks who are likely to be not knocking on the door, but busting it down, to play on this roster next September. Its been years since we've had that!

Edit | Reply #10 Vintage Flame November 30 2011, 04:14PM +1 0 props Domebeers.com wrote: "Cue the talk as to whether the Flames should be on the phone with Anaheim about a possible trade."

Who knows. Didn't they sign Hagman? I always find this 'Owner crying poor' ish to be a little hard to swallow, but again, who knows.

Personally, I would trade anyone on the Flames for Bobby Ryan, but what would the Flames have to dangle in front of Anaheim?

If the Ducks are as cash strapped as they are, then who from the Flames would even look appealing from the Flames other than Horak or Backlund? Do you trade one of those guys, plus whatever multi-million dollar D-man they want? It doesn't appear to put the ducks in any better position. I find it puzzling.

I don't even know why they are saying they are cash strapped to begin with. According to NHLnumbers, the Ducks have 3.38 Million in cap space, so what gives?

Edit | Reply #11 loudogYYC November 30 2011, 06:35PM +1 0 props Does no one else think Jokinen should be re-signed? I may get a verbal lashing for saying so, but he's changed his game completely in order to become a useful player for us. Used to be a scorer and all that but now seems to be one of the most accountable players on the ice.

He has the right attitude and probably enough skill to be useful to the Flames for 2 more years.

I think so anyway.

Edit | Reply #12 flamesburn89 November 30 2011, 07:12PM +1 0 props Awesome news for Flames prospects in general. Nice to see Ferlad get an invite, since he didn't receive one to the summer evaluation camp. Neither did Max Reinhart, but I think we all knew he would get an invite to the Canadian WJ selection camp.

Edit | Reply #13 RexLibris November 30 2011, 08:45PM +1 0 props Having cap space and having a budget are two very different situations and present a situation that, I believe, most Canadian fans have forgotten. Years ago our teams had a budget (for the Oilers in the early 2000s it was roughly $30 million) that was often far below what other teams, usually American, could afford to spend. The Ducks ownership likely doesn't have the advertising/gate/corporate revenue in place to spend more than what they are and make a profit. There is a point, also, at which the league's revenue-sharing payments are negated, if a team spends to a certain extent under the cap, which is the position that Nashville is in when trying to sign Suter, Weber, and fit Rinne's contract in. The Ducks also don't have the most devoted fan base, from what I can remember. San Jose and L.A. have a more consistent fan support by numbers if I remember correctly. It seems odd that this new CBA, and some economic circumstances, have so radically altered the landscape in only ten years, but many of the U.S. teams don't have the money to spend that they once did.

So I believe it when someone says that the Ducks ownership works off of a budget and is cash-strapped. Given that the Bobby Ryan rumours went from 0-100 mph in roughly 48 hours and that both Getzlaf and Perry are UFAs at the end of next season, and that the Ducks will likely be losing Selanne to retirement soon, I would have to believe that they will start trading pieces for prospects and picks. My guess is that the Ducks are going to start talking rebuild by the end of the year. If so, then Calgary is in tough because if the Ducks and, likely, the Canadiens start a rebuild at the same time as the Flames picks are going to become scarce.

Regarding the prospects, those are all some good signs for those players and it must be refreshing for fans, but I would respectfully offer a rule of thumb when looking at forward scoring prospects: one out of three. Between Baertschi, Ferland, and Reinhart it would be reasonable to expect one out of those three to turn into what Lowetide on ON calls a "regular NHLer" (meaning a career of at least 200 NHL games" taking into account draft pedigree and the likelihood of consistent performance at escalating levels of competition. With luck you could get two from that group, and I wouldn't bet against any of them at this point, but it is a long climb.

Edit | Reply #14 SmellOfVictory November 30 2011, 08:53PM +1 0 props loudogYYC wrote: Does no one else think Jokinen should be re-signed? I may get a verbal lashing for saying so, but he's changed his game completely in order to become a useful player for us. Used to be a scorer and all that but now seems to be one of the most accountable players on the ice.

He has the right attitude and probably enough skill to be useful to the Flames for 2 more years.

I think so anyway.

I think you have a decent amount of agreement from many of us on that. He doesn't get absolutely murdered against top lines, and he's a decent middle-competition centre. On a 1-2 year contract and similar cap hit, he could be a good bet to centre a line that gives the young guys a bit of a break over the coming seasons.

Edit | Reply #15 Vintage Flame November 30 2011, 09:36PM +1 0 props @RexLibris

Regarding the prospects, those are all some good signs for those players and it must be refreshing for fans, but I would respectfully offer a rule of thumb when looking at forward scoring prospects: one out of three. Between Baertschi, Ferland, and Reinhart it would be reasonable to expect one out of those three to turn into what Lowetide on ON calls a "regular NHLer" (meaning a career of at least 200 NHL games" taking into account draft pedigree and the likelihood of consistent performance at escalating levels of competition. With luck you could get two from that group, and I wouldn't bet against any of them at this point, but it is a long climb. Ahhhh I don't usually disagree with too much you have to say Rex, but I can't agree with this one. Barring some major developmental setback, I see at minimum Baertschi and Reinhart becoming regular NHL'ers. Ferland may be a product of the system and people he plays with. He may benefit greatly from playing with Stone, but the other two are pretty good on their own merit.

Edit | Reply #16 schevvy November 30 2011, 09:48PM +1 0 props VF, it's Stoking TEH Fire. Get it right! :)

Anyway, I've liked what I've seen and heard from Flames picks. Having been able to see both Reinhart and Ferland in person, they both play a pretty good game. Reinhart is the better of the two, he plays a very all-around game, and can play in all facets of the game. Ferland, even though he's played really well this year, he gets alot of PP points. The game I went to he had 3 PP points and I believe the Wheat Kings have one of the best PP's in the league. Still though, very promising. And Baertschi goes without saying, 45 points in 19 games just about says it all.

Edit | Reply #17 Brett November 30 2011, 11:28PM +1 0 props Now that Carlyle is available, I wouldn't mind seeing Sutter fired. If Columbus wins tomorrow, maybe it could happen!

Edit | Reply #18 Jeff Lebowski December 01 2011, 02:29AM +1 0 props Did anyone watch Detroit v Tampa? Detroit plays the most appealing style of hockey. So much puck support that they essentially walk up the ice at will. Against Tampa's 1-3-1. Detroit would break out 4 guys from their end together, with the 5th guy up looking for the stretch and occupying 1 or 2 defenders. Made it a 4 on 1 (taking on the 1 in 1-3-1). Beautiful passing, simple plays, lots of flow and possession much through the middle of the ice.

You watch a guy like White play here and then watch him with Detroit. You do that and you see why guys like Bouwmeester tank offensively when they play here. The Flames have little skill. That's the problem.

When Iggy is in a slump ( He isn't too old or he lost it or he sucks now. If you think that you're not bright. He scored 40 last year. Last year!) they don't score much and if Kipper gives up 2 they don't win consistently.

Trading Iggy and/or Kipper is the stupidest notion. You need Kessel type return to impact this franchise and no team will give that compensation. You can not get adequate return for what Iggy and Kipper mean to the integrity of this team.

I listen to the call in comments and am thankful these guys aren't the GM.

For a very long time the majority of the highest paid players (core) were defensive players. The team is made up of third/fourth line talent (mostly rejects from other teams since we drafted more pluggers who never made it to the NHL with anyone. Hello Pelech, Chucko, Negrin, Armstrong etc.)

I've said this many times here in the past.

We need guys who can play with the puck. We don't have many now. We should keep those that can.

Edit | Reply #19 Kent Wilson December 01 2011, 07:20AM +1 0 props @Vintage Flame

I'd say Rex is right on this one. It will be great if one of those three becomes a real NHLer and incredible if two do.

Kids are fraught with surprises and risks coming up. Exhibit A is Mitch Wahl, who before he turned pro was considered a top-5 prospect in the Flames system. A frequent top-two scorer on his team, Wahl finished with 96 points in his final year (the most of any of Sutter's picks) and was said to frequently play against other team's best lines.

A few games into his pro career he gets concussed, misses the rest of the season and his development is pretty much off the rails. He hasn't scored a point this year and the team loaned him to Hamilton recently because they didn't have a place for him on the farm.

Some other top prospects in the Flames system over the last five years or so? Matt Pelech, Ryan Howse, Dan Ryder, Kris Chucko...

A lot of kids look like a sure thing before they hit the real stuff. Injuries and other factors can derail them during formative years as well.

Edit | Reply #20 Vintage Flame December 01 2011, 10:23AM +1 0 props @Kent Wilson

Kids are fraught with surprises and risks coming up. Exhibit A is Mitch Wahl, who before he turned pro was considered a top-5 prospect in the Flames system. A frequent top-two scorer on his team, Wahl finished with 96 points in his final year (the most of any of Sutter's picks) and was said to frequently play against other team's best lines. True.. unforeseen things happen. That was what I was referring to with my caveat about barring some major developmental setback.

You can never account for the possibility of future injuries, therefore, if all things remain constant with Reinhart, Baertschi and Ferland, there is no reason to expect anything less than at least Baertschi and Reinhart becoming regular NHL'ers.

Edit | Reply #21 the-wolf December 01 2011, 10:34AM +1 0 props Jeff Lebowski wrote: Did anyone watch Detroit v Tampa? Detroit plays the most appealing style of hockey. So much puck support that they essentially walk up the ice at will. Against Tampa's 1-3-1. Detroit would break out 4 guys from their end together, with the 5th guy up looking for the stretch and occupying 1 or 2 defenders. Made it a 4 on 1 (taking on the 1 in 1-3-1). Beautiful passing, simple plays, lots of flow and possession much through the middle of the ice.

You watch a guy like White play here and then watch him with Detroit. You do that and you see why guys like Bouwmeester tank offensively when they play here. The Flames have little skill. That's the problem.

When Iggy is in a slump ( He isn't too old or he lost it or he sucks now. If you think that you're not bright. He scored 40 last year. Last year!) they don't score much and if Kipper gives up 2 they don't win consistently.

Trading Iggy and/or Kipper is the stupidest notion. You need Kessel type return to impact this franchise and no team will give that compensation. You can not get adequate return for what Iggy and Kipper mean to the integrity of this team.

I listen to the call in comments and am thankful these guys aren't the GM.

For a very long time the majority of the highest paid players (core) were defensive players. The team is made up of third/fourth line talent (mostly rejects from other teams since we drafted more pluggers who never made it to the NHL with anyone. Hello Pelech, Chucko, Negrin, Armstrong etc.)

I've said this many times here in the past.

We need guys who can play with the puck. We don't have many now. We should keep those that can.

There's no downside to trading an aging, one-dimensional selfish player.

5 playoff appearances in 15 years - what a hero!

Once past the first round in 15 years - call the HOF!

Iginla is selfish and a coach killer. He refuses to lead by example and when people here continually wonder why players come here and become lazy, hey, just look towards the captain. Why should others play hard and follow the system when the 'leader' doesn't?

Bottom line: we have not and will not ever win anything with Iginla. He won't do in his mid-30's what he couldn't do in his 20's.

Yet, he's still our best asset for trade bait. So how do you lose by trading a 34 year old that you'll never win with, but will garner the strongest return, from a team that can't make the playoffs and won't anytime soon?

Edit | Reply #22 the-wolf December 01 2011, 10:36AM +1 0 props Yeah, poor Ryder, so much potential and so many problems.

It's true that you never know for sure, but at least there's some hope now.

Edit | Reply #23 the-wolf December 01 2011, 11:17AM +1 0 props @domebeers - great article by the way.

Edit | Reply #24 RexLibris December 01 2011, 12:29PM +1 1 props @Vintage Flame

My comment is essentially that when evaluating prospects it is always best to err on the side of a conservative estimate. Don't be negative, but don't be Kevin "Everybody is Gretzky" Prendergast either.

To that end, expect that one of the three becomes a regualar NHLer, and that the other two become good tweeners or life-AHL players. If two turn out, then life is better than you expected.

I try to use my Bob Mackenzie voice internally when judging prospects, not the Pierre Maguire voice.

Way back when, the Oilers promoted an entire line from their farm club to the big roster for opening day because they had played so well together that it was thought that they could find some moderate success and continue to develop in the big league. Brian Swanson, Daniel Cleary and Jason Chimera were all elevated at the same time. Swanson was a bust, Chimera took years to develop his game and Cleary was a classic Detroit player reclamation. It is examples like this that I would use when averaging out the likelihood of forward prospect development.

Edit | Reply #25 Jeff Lebowski December 01 2011, 01:29PM +1 0 props the-wolf wrote: There's no downside to trading an aging, one-dimensional selfish player.

5 playoff appearances in 15 years - what a hero!

Once past the first round in 15 years - call the HOF!

Iginla is selfish and a coach killer. He refuses to lead by example and when people here continually wonder why players come here and become lazy, hey, just look towards the captain. Why should others play hard and follow the system when the 'leader' doesn't?

Bottom line: we have not and will not ever win anything with Iginla. He won't do in his mid-30's what he couldn't do in his 20's.

Yet, he's still our best asset for trade bait. So how do you lose by trading a 34 year old that you'll never win with, but will garner the strongest return, from a team that can't make the playoffs and won't anytime soon?

Your description of Iggy is plain wrong. 2010 Olympic team assitant captain.

They don't put players you describe on a team of Canada's best players for 2010 (not that long ago).

If you look post lockout: The reason Calgary has not won is because the construction of the team has been terrible. It was based on how the game was played >2005. Lots of grinders, low talent.

The problem for the Flames for the past few years has been the philosophy used by Darryl Sutter. The league tried to select out that style with the rule changes. It was the greatest miscalculation and a failure to adapt. Stubborn Sutter. That's not Iggy's fault.

You will never get the return on Iggy that equate to what you have by keeping him at this point.

Edit | Reply #26 Vintage Flame December 01 2011, 01:41PM +1 0 props @RexLibris

Definitely the numbers tend to trend in the manner you, and Kent, outlined. I chose more specificity in this instance, only because it dealt with the Flames and in particular, 3 of their prospects.

On a grander scale, I have no doubt that the 1 in every 3 prospect rule is more of an accurate account.

Edit | Reply #27 the-wolf December 01 2011, 03:38PM +1 1 props Jeff Lebowski wrote: Your description of Iggy is plain wrong. 2010 Olympic team assitant captain.

They don't put players you describe on a team of Canada's best players for 2010 (not that long ago).

If you look post lockout: The reason Calgary has not won is because the construction of the team has been terrible. It was based on how the game was played >2005. Lots of grinders, low talent.

The problem for the Flames for the past few years has been the philosophy used by Darryl Sutter. The league tried to select out that style with the rule changes. It was the greatest miscalculation and a failure to adapt. Stubborn Sutter. That's not Iggy's fault.

You will never get the return on Iggy that equate to what you have by keeping him at this point.

What exactly do you get by keeping him? Missing the playoffs 3 years in a row?

Aren't superstars supposed to make those around them better? Truth is Iginla is far closer to a Kovalchuk than he is Sakic or Yzerman. He can put the puck in the net (when he feels up to it, if it means getting on the Olympic team, but not against top lines, the best teams, the first or last 20 games in the season depending on the year or when the score is close)and not much else. Even his physical game is gone. You're hero-worshiping and 2004 is long over.

And what did I write that's inaccurate? How many coaches have we gone through and how many of them has Iggy bought into? Unless he's allowed to roam around and do as he wants he pouts. Playing zero defense and waiting for 1-timers all games in not leading by example.

As for the Olympics - he sure tore it up against Norway and Germany, I agree. Of course, when Team Canada comes calling every summer for the Worlds, Iggy would rather be water-skiing in Kelowna. But he's 'earned/deserves' it. Uh-huh.

He's the main reason behind the country club culture that permeates the room. Leaders are supposed to lead by example, not drop the gloves every 10 games when the score is out of reach.

We'll see who's right in 2 years.

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#70 Jeff Lebowski
December 02 2011, 11:49AM
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loudogYYC wrote:

In regards to the disconnect you're talking about, Iginla's value is higher elsewhere than it is here.

Right now Iggy in Calgary is like having a Spanish translator when you're in Italy. He'll help you out and all but really, he's a better fit in Spain, Mexico, Argentina (Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Washington).

I agree that good drafting will turn your team around, but Iginla's days of high output are drying up so he likely won't be first line material by the time these middle round draft picks are ready to help the Flames.

The biggest problem I have with Iggy staying is that by not drafting high or acquiring elite players (fat chance), in 2 years he'll STILL be our best player and he'll be less of a player he is now. You say we should surround him with good players; that's what Darryl Sutter preached and look what happened. Do you really think that approach is gonna work this time around?

I also agree that Darryl Sutter is the culprit of all this crap. I would argue that he's done Iginla a huge disservice by wasting Iggy's prime surrounding him with "good" players and not elite players. In other words, I think Sutter and his old school redneck approach killed Iggy's dream of winning a cup in Calgary.

If for no other reason than that he deserves a shot at the cup, the Flames should trade him soon while everyone still remembers his most recent accomplishment: a 43 goal season on a team full of plumbers.

I do think that approach will work because Darryl Sutter is not picking the players to surround him.

As I've stated many times, the problem with the Flames today is the philosophy Darryl had with personnel.

The just terrible drafting from his regime has given us nothing. Where is JD Watt? Armstrong? Pelech etc?

Darryl built the team as if the rules never changed in 2005. He didn't adapt.

It showed up again with his trades and what he favoured in a player: He likes Chris Higgins heavy type players who are strong on the wall.

This current team, in fact the entire organiztion still looks like it's Darryl's.

Look what Feaster drafted this past year. That's the philosophical difference and I think it will work and can work faster than other people suggest. The examples abound if you have the right philosophy. SKILL.

Darryl wanted a lot of grit and sprinkle the roster with a little skill (think Huselius and Tanguay)

I hope Feaster wants a lot of skill and sprinkle with grit. Like a Detroit.

Also, I disagree with Iginla's value here being less than on other teams. Iggy is our top forward, you may not like it, you may point to his current production and say he sucks. Just look everynight on who plays the most minutes for Calgary on forward. That tells you everything. The sad thing, is there is no one else who can play that role here effectively. Iggy is slumping, no doubt but as little as last season he scored 40 goals. On this team.

I don't think any potential trade partner is looking to make Iggy their central player, the key guy. As many have said he's past the due date to build around.

What team would want Iggy and what would they give up for him? People can't wrap their heads around this one.

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#71 RexLibris
December 02 2011, 12:39PM
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I'm glad you called it, Kent, when you said "it's not 2004 anymore". I knew some friends of the family growing up whose grandparents had left Russia after the revolution and the phrase that best encapsulated their mentality was "time stopped in 1917". For many Flames fans I believe that Iginla stopped at 2004. He has had some good years posting great numbers, always with the caveat "and he does this with little help, offensively". But Iginla "led" that team to the Cup finals nearly 8 years ago. His value then is not what it is today.

I think that biased valuation is still affecting what many fans would see as a fair return for Iginla (the proposal of Schenn, Couturier and a 1st rounder, for example). The NHL is turning into a young man's league where teams will trade for what it is believed a player will do, rather than what they have done.

I have said, often, that I would like to see Iginla retire a Flame. I have several reasons for this, among them are that there are so few players who retire having played for a single organization that, even though I'm an Oiler fan, it'd be a good thing for hockey. But also, I think for Flames fans, the return on Iginla might tarnish or sour their perception of him and that might be a bridge best not crossed.

All reports suggest that Iginla is a conssumate professional and a class act. The Flames are going to rebuild, or whatever, (I think even Feaster and King have come to that realization) and a change in culture is required. My guess is that, despite what some fans have said on this site about his work ethic or zone habits, that is the kind of professional you want to mentor the prospects that are inevitably going to enter the organization over the next few years. (Which brings me to another point, why not have Iginla at the draft onstage to help welcome these kids to the NHL?)

Finally, to VF - the-wolf just took my longest-post crown and ran away with it, laughing. =)

Looking forward to seeing you guys on December 3rd.

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#72 loudogYYC
December 02 2011, 11:45PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

I really think you're missing the point, Lebowski.

Iginla does not suck, but his decline in dominance and overall production means he's no longer central player material; on any team. Yet he can still be very useful on a team where he would be surrounded by talent. Unfortunately, Calgary won't be that team for a few years likely.

Why I say that he's more valuable on another team than Calgary is cause in Calgary, he's still the central player that is declining and still not properly surrounded. We can't pause his decline until we finally develop more talent, so the next best thing is to trade him while he can still be considered the missing piece to a championship team. Teams pay a high price to acquire that missing piece, ask the LA Kings.

So maybe the Sutter approach wasn't what was wrong, maybe it was just his execution. The problem is that this time around, Iggy is simply too old to do it all over again.

To keep it simple, the Iginla-Flames marriage is headed in the wrong direction. You either break it off soon or everyone suffers and no one wins.

It's time to move on, dude.

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#73 Jeff Lebowski
December 03 2011, 02:20PM
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@loudogYYC

I get that I really do. My point is, what kind of compensation are you going to get for him?

Everyone is so enamored with a 1st rd draft pick. What team will give you that, given what you described as the potential suitors for Iginla?

I've read comments like Yakupov straight up for Iginla. Who the hell is going to trade a top 5 pick for Iginla?

The suitors are playoff teams loading up, what kind of picks do they have?

20-30th overall for Iginla? You think that is good? Picks are only good if they turn into good players. If Iginla doesn't suck and he is the best player on Calgary wouldn't you want a good player coming back? You want someone who will play on your top 3. Will the 25th overall pick play on your top 3? As a GM would you give up a budding star to get Iginla given what you've said about his decline? Maybe. Maybe not.

I think there's another way. If you look at teams that have accumulated good young players (ie have sucked for a long time) you can exploit the fact they have too many of them and they can't play everyone.

The trades for Doug Weight and Marc Savard and even Kipper are examples. There are young players (not draft picks) that are good but numbers are in their way. You can get those guys for less than Iginla.

The Kings, Islanders (Comeau got bumped out because of a lot of good young forwards), Panthers and especially the Blues. These teams have top six forwards not able to crack their top six. All they need is a chance like Weight, Savard, Kipper.

I think draft picks out of the top 5 are crap shoots. I don't want to gamble that for a guy who I think can still score at an elite level.

I would trade him if I got that young budding star or top 5 pick. I just don't think that's realistic to get back given what teams would make up the market for Iggy. So better off to hold on to him, make those deals for young talent stuck behind young talent with Jokinen or Bourque, Bouwmeester.

When the money comes off the books use the Iggy, Kipper draw to get Stempniak like free agents.

I mean if you're keeping Iggy, Tanguay, Backlund, Glencross, Horak, Stempniak you need 6 more guys (not including the kids in system) and obviously the d is a different story.

There are a lot of ways to get those 6 guys and it doesn't include trading Iggy or Kipper. It's very possible to do it or to draft with what you already got. Look around the rosters there are good players that were drafted in 3+ rounds. Darryl Sutter basically focused on WHL and that's why we suck prospect wise.

Everyone thinks you got to blow it up and you're assured a homerun return and bright future. How long have the Islanders sucked?

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#74 loudogYYC
December 04 2011, 02:48AM
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@Jeff Lebowski

I'm honestly not on the "blow it up" bandwagon.

Whichever team Iggy goes to won't be drafting high, I know that. The 1st round pick isn't what would make a potential return attractive. It's the overall package of assets that would make it all work.

If you ask me what you'd get for him, I'd say landing a blue chip prospect is the most important part. He'd be closer making the team than a 2012 first round pick that isn't in the top 5.

The next thing you receive should be the 1st round pick. It may be the 30th overall, but who says it'll be you that uses it? That pick is valuable cause it can be used as currency for any other moves you need to make later. Because you'd have to take money in return, you tell LA (for example) that you'll take the mistake that was Dustin Penner and his $4.25M off their hands, but because he's not of great hockey value to your team, you'll need an additional pick to come with him. Like what Regier did when we unloaded the mistake that was Kotalik. (F'in Sutter)

Then you'd need to take on more salary to fit Iggy under their cap. You take players like Richardson and Parse or some mix of LA's replaceable players, and so that its not so lopsided, you include Nemisz and Bancks in the Iggy package. Or something along those lines.

The trick is finding a trading partner that believes Iginla in their top 6 will push them over the hump and help them win a cup.

By converting Iginla into an asset package, you can accelerate the re-build and just maybe, you can sign Iggy as a free agent in 2013 so he can finish his career in Calgary and play with the fresh crop of talent you now have. Not to mention all the cap space you'll have to fill in holes in the line up.

You don't need to finish last 2 or 3 years in a row to slowly land some high end talent that will turn your team around. That just takes too long.

I'm not saying it'll be easy, but there's a smarter way of doing it than the way Toronto did with Sundin, and than the Islanders did with the last 10 years.

I just hope Feaster and company have the brains and testicular fortitude to pull it off.

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#75 joey joe joe jr shabadoo
December 04 2011, 12:59PM
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Nice debate going back and forth here.

My 2 cents:

-First of all the people who are screaming the loudest that the Flames have to trade Jarome, are likely the ones who'll be screaming/complaining the loudest once they see what the actual return is.

-Of all the possible senario's getting kicked around I would have to say the one that is the most plausible is Iggy to Philly for Schenn and a 1st. If, IF, Iggy were to accept a trade or initiate one I'm sure he would only be willing to go to a legitimate Cup contender. Not an up and comming team (FLA) or a team knocking on the door to contender status. He would likely only go if he were to find himself on a team that has a very strong chance of winning this year and next, in other words before his current deal expires. That said I don't think Jarome's going anywhere. If he wanted out, he'd be gone by now. The writting has been on the wall for quite some time that this team was/is on a downswing. He knows it. the GM knows it, KK knows it, Murray knows it. The fans/media have just refused to accept it. This rebuild is going to take time and it looks as though Jarome is on board.

-I have to get this off my chest as well, but the logic that 'we got Neuwendyk for Nillson, and Iggy for Neuwendyk, therefore we'll get our next super star by trading Iggy' a dubious notion at best. The Flames got a little lucky in both of those instances. Nilson was traded for a package that included a second round pick that turned out to be Joe, and when he was traded to Dallas not many people had Jarome Iginla pegged as the dominant power forward he turned out to be, as his 11th overall position in the draft would suggest. If memory serves the Flames were asking for Todd Harvey, but ended up getting Iginla. Similarily the Flames wanted Markin Skoula and ended up with Regehr in the Fleury trade. Need I say more?

Regardless, whomever it is that does come back in a trade for Jarome (hypothetically) is in for a unmittigated s__t storm if there ever was. Lets just say that it was Brayden Schenn. Well I would suspect Brayden would have between a year to two years before he would have to start carrying the mantel as 'the man' before the boneheads on Calgarypuck, Overtime and other media avenues start ripping this kid and the organization for trading Jarome for 'this guy'. I'll never try to defend the Phaneuf trade, but one thing I will say about it is Matt Stajan was absolutely screwed before the plane even landed in Calgary.

simply put trading Jarome is a risky proposition, not for what his on-ice value is, but what his presence means to the preception of the team on and off the ice.

Besides, if the organiztion trades Iginla who would they hang their hat on? Kiprusoff? Not a chance they can rely on that pitbull raising chain smoker who bolts back to Finland as soon as he can each off season.

There's a lot more reason to believe, and rightfully so that it's going to be Kiprusoff doning another teams jersey in the near future and not Jarome.

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