The Parise Solution

Kent Wilson
July 28 2011 10:05AM

 

 

As we continue to discuss (and argue about) the various reasons why the Flames are perpetually middling, it makes sense to start suggesting some solutions to the problem. A little while ago, I wrote that Calgary should target Steven Stamkos with an offer sheet. Perhaps a more realistic strategy would be to aggressively pursue one Zach Parise when he becomes an unrestriced free agent a year from now.

The fit would be a good one for a number of reasons. First, The Flames will be swimming in cap space next summer for the first time in recent memory. Daymond Langkow, Olli Jokinen, Cory Sarich, Brendan Morrison, Tom Kostopolous, Tim jackman, David Moss and Nik Hagman are all pending UFA's, meaning the club will have some $20-25M in cap room (depending on who they choose to re-up and how what happens to the cap ceiling).

With so many players/rosters spots needing to be re-signed or replaced, the team will obviously have to be judicious in it's use of dollars. Pulling a Dale Tallon On July 1, 2012  and drunkenly passing out suitcases of sequential bills to whomever is available will mean burning through the available cap space rather quickly. That said, the option to drive a dump truck full of money to Parise's agent will certainly exist.

And he's probably one of the few players who is worth that kind of commitment. While there are always a number of shiny baubles every off season that are more fools gold than true prize, Parise is a legitimate heavy hitter. He tooks his biggest step forward in 2008-09 (appropriately enough under Brent Sutter), scoring 45 goals and 95 points. The second closest scorer on the Devils that year was Patrik Elias, with just 78 points. No one else managed more than 70. Parise, Travis Zajac and Jamie Langenbrunner shared the heavy lifting with Elias, Madden and Pandolfo that year, somewhat in the same manner Sutter platooned Jokinen and Bourque plus Iginla and Tanguay against top-six guys this season. Difference is, Parise murdered the bad guys. His raw corsi rate was +16.8/60 and his relative corsi was +16.3/60, best on the club and a full 6 corsi events per hour more than second place Jamie Langenbrunner (who was Parise's regular linemate). The 24-year old (at the time) wasn't lapping his teammates because of a Babchukian zone start ratio either. Again, like in Calgary, Sutter mostly spread out the offensive and defensive zone draws fairly evenly. Parise landed at 51.1%. The lowest ZS on the squad was John Madden at 48.2%.

His raw numbers fell a bit the next season (38 goals, 82 points), but Parise was still rock solid by the underlying stats. He took on the toughest competition available in 2009-10 but still led his team in relative corsi (only linemate Travis Zajac was close) and in scoring by 15 points. The only other two guys to garner more than 60 points - Zajac and Langenbrunner - played with Parise. No other Devil broke 50. He was, without a doubt, the straw stirring the drink.

I haven't even mentioned that Parise is also excellent on the PP. In 2008, he led the Devils in terms of PP efficiency with 5.25 PPP/60. He did it again in 2009-10, this time with a 5.93 PPP/60 rate. To put those numbers in perspective, the best rate Jarome Iginla has managed in the last four years is 5.37 PPP/60, garnered all the way back in 2007-08.  

Parise is the real deal. He can play against anyone, move the puck in the right direction, improve whoever he plays with and score a bunch with the man advantage to boot. He will also only be 26-years old (turning 27) when the summer rolls around next year as well. Unless he falls off a cliff for some reason, he could therefore be the Flames heavy hitter up front for the next 5-7 years, wresting the mantle from a 35-year old Jarome Iginla.

Parise would fill the sizable elite talent gap that will inevitably be left when guys like Iginla and Langkow are gone or have aged to obsolescence. He is the sort of talent teams build around up front, which is this organization's primary weakness going forward.

A few caveats apply here. If the Devils manage to sign Parise long-term before his arbitration hearing, this plan obviously goes out the window (aside - if they do take Parise to arb, it will probably make the player even more motivated to test the market next year). Also, Parise suffered a fairly severe knee injury last season, limiting him to just 13 games. The above assumes Parise has fully recovered form his infirmity and will continue to be the same quality player he was before the accident.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Vintage Flame
July 28 2011, 01:35PM
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@RexLibris

Read this one a couple of times and had to weigh in on it...

I found it very interesting your views on the development of the Canadian teams and how they are so far ahead of Calgary. I'm going to leave Edmonton for last.. Granted Vancouver is a very good hockey team and they have developed prospects extremely well.. yet they still haven't won anything. Are they capable of winning the Cup.. of course!, though I don't think it's with Luongo. [But I've beat that dead horse enough]

I have no idea what you are thinking with Toronto. They are all around a bad team and will continue to be so for quite awhile. Why? Main reason is they have an ownership group in MLSE that couldn't possibly care less how they do in the standings because it's Toronto and they will sell out every night no matter what kind of team is iced.

Winnipeg? Really? You are throwing them out there already?? This is a team that just basically re-located the Leafs! The Atlanta owners never wanted to spend money on their roster and the team showed it. I'm curious that everyone is saying this team has a free pass for the next 2 or 3 years because of all the work it has to do. And the fans won't mind missing the playoffs or 3 or so years, cause hell, they're just happy hockey is back in Winnipeg!.. Yet, you think they are on the right track and ahead of Calgary? [Careful, look down, your bias is showing..]

Now on to my favorite slum in Alberta.. That's right, Edmonton! Is anyone... ANYONE going to disagree with the young raw talent in Edmonton? No! But how did you get there son? We have NEVER finished last in the NHL and Edmonton has done it in back-to-back seasons. You damn well better have good prospects. You might just do it 3 years in a row, so don't get too braggety-brag-brag yet. You have no defense and you have no goaltender. You have a sh!tload of talent up front, but can they keep the puck out of their own zone and net all night? Guess we will see.

What happens when Eberle, Hall, Paajarvi, Omark and now RNH and Klefbom come OUT of their rookie contracts? You don't think you are going to have major Cap issues? Things aren't all rosey for the Slumdog Millionaire 3 hours up the deuce. It looks great now, but you are missing some big components and the future is knocking.. and it's going to want to get paid!

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#2 propositionWes
July 28 2011, 10:13AM
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that picture is why no one does acid anymore.

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#4 propositionWes
July 28 2011, 10:20AM
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@kent

Parise or Richards? Not considering contract or cap hit, which player would you want for the next 5 years?

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#5 David Staples
July 28 2011, 10:21AM
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Chasing whales, eh.

I watched this same movie unfold in Edmonton for four years. It didn't end well.

The big whales won't come to a mediocre team. The smaller whales might come, but only for a big overpayment.

I hope the Flames do go this route -- and they certainly made the attempt this past summer with the Brad Richards whale hunt -- but I'm an Oilers fan.

I am saying the Oilers, 2007-2009, are a model of what not to do.

Different plan in Edmonton now. We'll see how it works out. . .

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#6 otto
July 28 2011, 10:27AM
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Calgary is not the only team that has lots of cap space next year.Free agent day should be quite entertaining.

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#7 Casey
July 28 2011, 10:29AM
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If Parise hits the UFA market next summer then there will be the same gong show as there was for Brad Richards this summer.

Of course the Flames should pursue him, but I don't see us being able to land him unless we dramatically overpay.

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#8 Vintage Flame
July 28 2011, 10:30AM
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That is simply the BEST photoshop job to date! Kent you should send yourself a Gift Certificate for that one.

On the hockey side of this. I would love to see the Flames back up the money truck for Parise. This guy is the definition of elite. Love watching him play, and his influence on guys like Baertschi and Gaudreault and whomever else you want to put in that conversation would be beneficial to say the least.

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#9 marty
July 28 2011, 10:33AM
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yup i've as well been on the parise band wagon for a couple years kent. i would love to see the flames go out and get him next year. doesnt lou have a tonne of cap space next year too though? regarless parise in a c would be great. would probably add years to iggys career too. (he could be a selanne type focus on the pp and get his offensive numbers)

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#10 Thomas Drance
July 28 2011, 10:45AM
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It's common knowledge that Parise is joining the Canucks next season Kent. Sorry man!

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#13 Call Your Mom
July 28 2011, 11:11AM
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I love Parise.. Remember watching this kid rip it up at the Macs Midget Tourny.

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#14 rubbertrout
July 28 2011, 11:13AM
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@David Staples

@Kent Wilson

Parise is a very different kettle of fish than Dany Heatley. He is also very different than Marian Hossa. Both Heater and Hossa are pretty one dimensional. Heater had a ridiculous contract and Hossa was offered one that was even stupider.

Parise is going to get paid but he's still young enough that it might be tough to sign him to a "lifetime" type contract. He will also be due for a contract under the next CBA when they likely will tighten up the wording on some of these front loaded contracts.

I think we all know that the offer to Richards was to appease a rabid fan base and show them something shiny to distract them from the fact that the team still hands out NTC/NMC (or limited versions thereof) to a bunch of scrub players. Parise would actually make some hockey sense because he is a player you can build around (Heatley and Hossa never were that guy).

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#15 dick
July 28 2011, 11:34AM
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Thomas Drance wrote:

It's common knowledge that Parise is joining the Canucks next season Kent. Sorry man!

yeah!!! and where will the cap space come from.

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#16 ALL THE WAY IN
July 28 2011, 11:44AM
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Brutal thing about this is the Devils just dumped 3mill by trading Rolston. The following year they have a lot of contracts coming off their book as well with Brodeur, Hedberg, White and Salvador, clearing upwards of 15 million. They might be able to retain him, which means the Flames will have to go find another fishing hole.

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#17 Domebeers.com
July 28 2011, 11:56AM
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You gotta get these players by drafting them, offer sheeting them, trading for them, having their girlfriends/wives from being born here, or by being the only team with money available to spend at free agency.

We now know Feaster hates the draft for some reason, his drafting record the probable culprit, we know the org wont really spend the money, or they would have offer sheeted Stamkos, Parise girlfriend isnt from here, and other teams have money available, and I doubt NJ would take Iggy or Kipper or JBlow for Parise, and who knows if the organization would even consider offering them (well, besides Kipper). Love it to happen, but doubt it will.

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#18 ALL THE WAY IN
July 28 2011, 12:02PM
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David Staples wrote:

Chasing whales, eh.

I watched this same movie unfold in Edmonton for four years. It didn't end well.

The big whales won't come to a mediocre team. The smaller whales might come, but only for a big overpayment.

I hope the Flames do go this route -- and they certainly made the attempt this past summer with the Brad Richards whale hunt -- but I'm an Oilers fan.

I am saying the Oilers, 2007-2009, are a model of what not to do.

Different plan in Edmonton now. We'll see how it works out. . .

Players WANT to play in Calgary, especially if a player like Iginla is making phone calls on our behalf. Edmontonians foam at the mouth when they run into hockey players, which would be a turn off for any player. Edmonton (spit) has nothing to offer, its an ugly city, where privacy for hockey players doesn't exist. You were forced to change your plan in Edmonton (spit) because players didn't want to be sujected to such bordom. I used to live in Edmonton(spit), but then I saw the light... and it was about 300kms south of that hole you call a city!

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#19 mslepp
July 28 2011, 12:08PM
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I would love Parise. But, he'll re-sign with NJD and besides, I'm sure we'd just have another Brad Richards situation on our hands anyway. What reason, other than Jarome, is there to come play for Calgary?

How long before Feaster re-ups Sarich? And, imagine how pissed we'll all be when he does. Only guy that likes re-treads as much as Sutter - Jay Feaster.

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#20 FireOnIce
July 28 2011, 12:18PM
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We all keep saying that a ton of money is coming off the books next offseason but... what about the possibility that Feaster re-ups a bunch of bums again?

Like mslepp said, what if Feaster re-signs Sarich? Or Jokinen? Or Hagman (god forbid)? He's already said that he thinks we're a "piece or two" away from the Cup, what is stopping him from resigning Jokinen to a $5M per year for 5 year contract, with a freakin NMC?

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#21 FireOnIce
July 28 2011, 12:19PM
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And on the subject of NMC and NTC, look at contracts like Stamkos' and Callahan's. No NMC or NTC, and the contracts are pretty reasonable. It seems like the Flames are the only ones who give out NMC and NTC - are players that scared of being traded away to a BS team by Feaster, or do they really need incentive to be here?

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#22 Michael
July 28 2011, 12:19PM
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I think Feaster tried to make a big splash this year, he was close on deals to sign Richards and Smyth, but couldn't quite get it done. (and maybe that was a good thing).

Parise would be a major splash, but unless we could offer a contract length / dollar higher than anyone else, I'm not sure how attractive a destination Calgary would be for him.

Signing Parise would eat up a chunk of our cap space ($7.5 to... ? million), which would not leave a lot of money to resign or replace the UFA crop. Parise would be looking at a depleted Calgary team, with an aging core group, who wouldn't be in the hunt for the cup.

Now, if Calgary can have a strong season next year, it might make things a little more attractive. I just not sure how likely this is, the d corp is looking pretty ahaky, so unless Kipper has a great year, we might be in for a tough season.

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#23 Nolan Moore
July 28 2011, 12:24PM
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Couple things you forgot to mention Kent. First, You assume Brent Sutter will be the coach next year. Well three 3years of his tenure with no playoffs and no contract next year, doesnt bode well for him. I predict he's gone by January. I've never liked him, he fits perfectly in the Devils system, skilled, fast and kinda like a wet dog. Nothing like what the Flames have. Historically the Flames havent had many small skilled, fast forwards (Fleury is the only one i can really think of). Just because someone fits in one system doesnt make it automatically a fit in another. Alos, if and thats a big IF, he's signed, dont give him one of those 25 year contracts where he makes a buck eighty five the last 12 years. He's a small guy, not too many small guys are worth their salt after age 35 (at least those not named St. Louis). Lastly, the guy needs to remember his roots, his dad played on possibly the most important Team Canada team of all time, the '72 Summit team. I know he was born and raised in Minnesota but c'mon dude your history is here.

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#24 marcus
July 28 2011, 12:34PM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

You gotta get these players by drafting them, offer sheeting them, trading for them, having their girlfriends/wives from being born here, or by being the only team with money available to spend at free agency.

We now know Feaster hates the draft for some reason, his drafting record the probable culprit, we know the org wont really spend the money, or they would have offer sheeted Stamkos, Parise girlfriend isnt from here, and other teams have money available, and I doubt NJ would take Iggy or Kipper or JBlow for Parise, and who knows if the organization would even consider offering them (well, besides Kipper). Love it to happen, but doubt it will.

I agree with most of your comments until you tried to prove Calgary won't spend the money because we didn't offer sheet Stamkos.

As much as I would have loved for Edwards to throw money @ Stamkos, it's unprofessional and not going to happen in Calgary because we're not Edmonton. The team is always up against the cap every year so your accusation that they have no interest in spending doesn't carry any weight.

Regarding Parise, I don't know how interested he will be to move to Calgary. Nobody does, that's what makes the conversation interesting. Back the truck up Murray, go for it.

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#25 ThatGuy
July 28 2011, 12:38PM
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Parise is going to come home to Minnesota. Where he will be treated like the superstar he is, somewhere in between God and Joe Mauer(Mauer being higher). Parise, Koivu and Heatley... now I need to go change my pants.

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#26 RexLibris
July 28 2011, 12:52PM
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Hey Kent,(sorry in advance for the uber-post) To start, as an Oilers fan, I say go, sign Parise and sink a tonne of money into him. But then I don’t think that I necessarily have the Flames’ best interests in mind when I say that. I completely agree with David Staples when he says about my team: been there done that. And while Parise is a better bet to build around than either Heatley or Hossa was, building a team around a free agent, especially one that is a year away from the open market is risky at best and outright denial of the situation at worst. Chicago, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Boston, Toronto, not to mention the Devils and our own Oilers are all going to be flush with cap space at the end of this year and the first six of those teams are considered to be within their “window” of a championship making them far more attractive targets for a UFA to sign. Do you honestly want to get in a bidding war with Brian Burke for a young U.S. born star centre? In addition to that, Parise is likely to target teams within striking distance of the Cup, and I’m sorry to say but Calgary’s window hasn’t just closed, it appears that it is nowhere near re-opening anytime soon. When it comes to Canadian franchises that are trending towards winning the Cup Vancouver (ugh) sits closest with Montreal half a mile behind (and holding that pattern for what seems like an eternity) while Toronto, Edmonton, and Winnipeg are rising. Even Toronto has managed to get it through their thick (but so stylishly coiffed) heads that it takes drafting, scouting, and development to properly assemble a team that can challenge. 5 years ago I envied the situation that Calgary had with their core, especially so when they added Cammelleri, but right now I can very honestly say, there is no aspect of the Flames organization that I would exchange for what the Oilers have in place. I’m not trying to troll, I’m just saying that when I look at the situation as objectively as I can (I’m still a fan) I see far more positives in our present and immediate future than I do in Calgary’s. And to All The Way In – the city has nothing to do with it, otherwise Detroit would be a league pariah and Florida would be rolling in stars. I’ve been very careful not to reduce this to a municipal ad hominen argument, feel free to try the same sometime. If any Canadian city has a hard time attracting free agents it’s Montreal, because of the intense scrutiny, historically fickle fan base, and crushing provincial taxes. The city itself is one of the best in North America, but players avoid it for those reasons. I’m sure there are players who don’t want to play in Edmonton, just like there are those who don’t want to play in Calgary or Toronto (*coughWilsoncough*), but the point should be to find guys who want to play in your city. Character counts for something.

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#27 ALL THE WAY IN
July 28 2011, 01:05PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

We all keep saying that a ton of money is coming off the books next offseason but... what about the possibility that Feaster re-ups a bunch of bums again?

Like mslepp said, what if Feaster re-signs Sarich? Or Jokinen? Or Hagman (god forbid)? He's already said that he thinks we're a "piece or two" away from the Cup, what is stopping him from resigning Jokinen to a $5M per year for 5 year contract, with a freakin NMC?

One thing we have is a farm full of bottom 6 forwards (who will play for cheep) so as far as filling roster spots goes, we should be fine. People should really give Feaster a chance. He is still dealing with a cap tight situation left to him by Sutter, along with a lack of any blue chip prospects. I really liked the way he drafted this year and with money to play with next year, I will reserve my judgment for a later date.

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#28 the-wolf
July 28 2011, 01:59PM
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@marty -"(he could be a selanne type focus on the pp and get his offensive numbers)"

Isn't that what he does now?

@Allthewayin - "Players WANT to play in Calgary"

Says who? We offered far more than anyone else in a vain Hail Mary for Richards and he still said no. Forget the spin, there was no chance he was ever coming here. Ditto Parise.

@Domebeers - "You gotta get these players by drafting them"

This was the part you got right.

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#29 Ryan Lambert
July 28 2011, 01:59PM
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David Staples wrote:

Chasing whales, eh.

I watched this same movie unfold in Edmonton for four years. It didn't end well.

The big whales won't come to a mediocre team. The smaller whales might come, but only for a big overpayment.

I hope the Flames do go this route -- and they certainly made the attempt this past summer with the Brad Richards whale hunt -- but I'm an Oilers fan.

I am saying the Oilers, 2007-2009, are a model of what not to do.

Different plan in Edmonton now. We'll see how it works out. . .

if he doesn't come, maybe feaster can throw a harpoon at him.

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#30 Luc
July 28 2011, 02:11PM
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the-wolf wrote:

@marty -"(he could be a selanne type focus on the pp and get his offensive numbers)"

Isn't that what he does now?

@Allthewayin - "Players WANT to play in Calgary"

Says who? We offered far more than anyone else in a vain Hail Mary for Richards and he still said no. Forget the spin, there was no chance he was ever coming here. Ditto Parise.

@Domebeers - "You gotta get these players by drafting them"

This was the part you got right.

Not really... erixon anyone?

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#31 rubbertrout
July 28 2011, 02:12PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

And on the subject of NMC and NTC, look at contracts like Stamkos' and Callahan's. No NMC or NTC, and the contracts are pretty reasonable. It seems like the Flames are the only ones who give out NMC and NTC - are players that scared of being traded away to a BS team by Feaster, or do they really need incentive to be here?

Stamkos can't get a NMC or NMC (I don't think Callahan can either) because they would only be RFAs not UFAs. On the next contract they can.

The only kind of movement restriction would be like Carter and Richards (both of whom were moved) which doesn't kick in until you are at the level that you could actually be a UFA. You can't contract for something that you aren't entitled to under the CBA.

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#32 propositionWes
July 28 2011, 02:14PM
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@Ryan Lambert

Damn you Lambert! It's way harder to hate someone when you've actually seen their face.

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#33 rubbertrout
July 28 2011, 02:18PM
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marcus wrote:

I agree with most of your comments until you tried to prove Calgary won't spend the money because we didn't offer sheet Stamkos.

As much as I would have loved for Edwards to throw money @ Stamkos, it's unprofessional and not going to happen in Calgary because we're not Edmonton. The team is always up against the cap every year so your accusation that they have no interest in spending doesn't carry any weight.

Regarding Parise, I don't know how interested he will be to move to Calgary. Nobody does, that's what makes the conversation interesting. Back the truck up Murray, go for it.

How is doing something that is specifically allowed in the CBA unprofessional? It is in the CBA so why couldn't you? Saying you shouldn't do it because it is "unprofessional" sounds like Burke saying he'd never front load a contract because it was against the "spirit" of the CBA.

Doing an offer sheet for a huge talent like Stamkos could make sense but the penalty is pretty high when you have to give up four first rounders. If you say that you don't want to do it because the price is too high that is one thing but because it is apparently "unprofessional"? That's just dumb.

Also dumb was the fact that the Oil did it to get Dustin Penner. If you get one of the handful of the best players in the league it is a bit more justifiable assuming you can deal with the price you have to pay.

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#35 John K
July 28 2011, 02:41PM
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If you are Parise, and you are an American kid looking for a new team, I'm not sure the Flames make sense for really any price.

They have been mediocre recently, and nothing in their current lineup or farm system screams competitor to me. If Parise is looking for a team that will likely be competitive there will be plenty of suitors with better climes and enough zeros to wet his whistle.

Not to mention, the base of the team propping Parise up will continue to rot. Sell the house before it collapses of old age, and build a new house. Alberta teams don't have the drawing power to reload through mercenary season.

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#36 Vintage Flame
July 28 2011, 02:57PM
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@Kent Wilson

"If the stars align correctly, I still like Parise as a target for the Flames."

Absolutely. I'm surprised about some people on here thread after thread saying the Flames need to do something to right this sinking ship. Yet when something is presented like Richards or Parise, those same people come out and say it's a pipe dream or the player didn't want to come here or NO player wants to play in Calgary.

I'm glad Feaster et al don't have the same views. His job as the GM is to try and better this team. He IS trying to do that. It does take time though. I would hate to see what condition this team would be in if he had the mindset that, "Oh that guy would NEVER WANT to play here, so I won't even TRY to get him."

That's just bush-league. Yes, Richards DID turn down more money here to instead go play in NY. I don't think it had anything to do with Calgary or it's hockey market. It more probably had to do with him picking Torts over Feaster.

And like Kent said, the Erixon thing was based on his playing time and his unwillingness to play in the minors. If Calgary was all gung ho on playing rookies a lot, he probably would have signed here.

The bottom line is if Calgary can make a compelling argument to Parise, then he may or may not come here, but when something like this comes around, you have to take your shot and you sure as hell can't begrudge the Flames or Feaster for going after it.

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#37 Subversive
July 28 2011, 03:03PM
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propositionWes wrote:

@kent

Parise or Richards? Not considering contract or cap hit, which player would you want for the next 5 years?

Parise Parise Parise, and oh yeah, Parise.

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#38 the-wolf
July 28 2011, 03:13PM
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@VF

The point I was trying to make isn't that the team shouldn't try. I love Parise and he if he did accept, great. But like the Oilders fan who talked about whale hunting, I don't want to get into that. My concern, to boil it down, is that anapproach like that lures teams away from doing things the right way. Applying band-aids distracts from actually making the body healthy - which is harder to do. In other words, if we really want a Parise, we need to put the time into scouting and development. It's the best, surest way to get elite players and develope team chemistry, rather than chasing the latest hot FA every summer. Parise may come here, but it's unlikely and long-shot gambles aren't something you can count on and are not the way to build a team IMO.

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#39 RexLibris
July 28 2011, 04:00PM
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@Vintage Flame

First, son? Really?

Anyway, thanks for replying but my point is that Vancouver is the closest of the Canadian teams, they have depth at forward and defence, a decent if overrated goalie, some scoring, and what may or may not be good coaching, depending on the day. I never said they are cup favourites, just the closest of any Canadian team (Personally I was cheering for Boston). If you’re suggesting that the Flames are within hailing distance of the team that Vancouver has put together I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton are all more or less at a similar stage in that they have young talent, some good prospects, and/or a management that has, in one way or another, realized that they aren’t going to win anything today, or even tomorrow and that they need to be patient and build something right. Winnipeg has less by way of prospects but they have something integral to the process and that’s a committed management group that has decided to draft and develop internally and take their time. TNS has shown they are patient and like to do things properly. They are also aware that nothing has changed, Winnipeg is still a small market and as such they’ll have to lean heavily on ELCs and young players rather than signing Hossa’s and Richards’. Brian Burke, whom I am no fan of, realized that he screwed up with the Kessel deal and has backtracked to the point where he is gathering young prospects in Aulie, Gardiner, Franson, and Colborne. There isn’t a whole lot there, but at least they’ve figured out a direction. Edmonton? Well, you're right back to slagging a city. Stay classy, VF. But anyways to paraphrase Ash from Army of Darkness, we’ve proven two things: Jack and Sh..well, you know. But we’ve got a core of very talented players. Our defense sucks? Yep. Goaltending? Not the greatest. But most of our defensive and goaltending prospects were drafted after our forwards and those take longer to develop, if you do it properly. So of course they’re going to be bad. You can’t rebuild AND be good at the same time, unless Burke decides to start handing out draft picks again. I’ve already gone on record on this site as saying that the Oilers didn’t outsmart anyone by choosing to rebuild before they started being terrible, that came around because the team was terrible. You’re trying to insult us by saying we’ve finished last in back-to-back seasons but take a moment and think about it, two years ago we had a bad team full of underperforming, out-of-their-role players and we lost approximately 500 man games to injury so of course we finished last, and this past year we were rebuilding so we wanted to finish last as long as it offered development and experience to our rookies. We could put up a three-peat again this year in spite of organizational efforts to improve, but how is that a bad thing? If you're rebuilding don't you want to have the 1st overall pick? I haven’t bragged, intentionally, about anything the Oilers have accomplished recently. But I will brag about this: our scouting staff has assembled a group of prospects outside of our marquee talent that project well to compliment and contribute to this team in the future. I don’t doubt that we’re going to have cap issues, but I’d rather have the cap issues of a Chicago or Philadelphia than Calgary or New York (Rangers). My guess is that Hall probably slots somewhere between Bobby Ryan and Stamkos for cap hit with Eberle, Paajarvi and Omark following behind in that order. We won’t be able to keep them all, of that I have no doubt, but again, I think we’re in a far better position right now with the prospect of trading a surplus player of their caliber than wondering how best to attain one. As I’ve said before, I’ve been there, it sucks.

I totally agree with the-wolf. If you want to land a big UFA, make the team better by building it up.

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#40 Vintage Flame
July 28 2011, 04:29PM
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@RexLibris

Haha.. yeah son. I didn't know I was being offensive or anything? It's better than what I usually call Oiler fans.. Anyways, I digress.

No I never implied at all Calgary was anywhere close to the Vancouver level, be it current roster or in prospects. My main issue was with you including Winnipeg and Toronto in your arguments of those teams in a better situation than Calgary. I stand by my comments above, and I'm criditing you in reading them, so I don't think I have to go through them again.

Hmm... " Edmonton? Well, you're right back to slagging a city. Stay classy, VF."

Dude.. Really? I'm a Flames fan and even in the MOST civil of conversations, do you really expect me to show any respect to that City? Do I expect you to call Calgary "God's Country" [Even though WE ALL know it is!] No.. so don't be so sensitive. Class has nothing to do with it, it's called a rivalry.

I will say I respect the fact you came in here with something to say and not to troll.. So I will give the same courtesy. I like the prospect of the Oilers. I was a huge Eberle fan in the WHL. That being said, I think the Oilers have 2 mistakes this off season. Keep in mind, this is MY opinion and in no means gospel.

1. I think the Oil made a mistake in drafting RNH. They have enough forward talent and prospects. I know RNH is an amazing talent that doesn't come around very often. However, I think the Oil could have leveraged that pick to get an elite defenseman. I'm sure there would have been teams willing to give up a mighty stalwart D-man to get RNH.

2. The Oil made a mistake bringing home the Mullet. Sorry Ryan Smyth [trying that classy thing.. ;)] I know he only has 1 year left on that brutal contract, but the Oil could have used that money to get a pretty top-notch goaltender. Didn't Tomas Vokoun sign for 1.25 Mil? How much is Smyth making? Is he going to add that much to development or comradery in the dressing room?

I wasn't trying to insult anyone by saying the Oilers finished last. I was stating a fact. It was because of that fact that you were able to get Hall and RNH. Without that first pick overall your team looks drastically different. Do you not agree with this?

My point was that Calgary has not had that luxury of picking in the top 10, so you can't slag the prospect pool comparing it to the Oilers, because frankly the notion is nothing short of absurd. The Oilers scouting staff isn't comprised of a bunch of code-breaking super geniuses that are dubbed the Beautiful Minds. They had the 1st pick overall twice in a row. Honestly, if they don't hit the homerun on the draft picks, they're nothing short of a bunch of idiots that should be sitting around reading "Flowers for Algernon" to eachother.

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#41 RexLibris
July 28 2011, 04:55PM
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@Vintage Flame

You're right, I don't want to troll, it's a waste of my time and an insult to fans, both Flames and Oilers. Canuck fans? Well, how do insult someone who brags about never having won anything.

Your first point is well taken and it was debated heavily here starting around December (once we knew we were pretty much relegated to the basement) whether we would pick Larsson or Couturier or RNH. The reason for RNH in the final decision was because 1st line centres, as you are aware, are very very hard to find. The draft record for picking defencemen 1st overall is not so good, while trading for one is always an option later on, as well, we had a second 1st round pick to use for a defenceman. So your point is taken and I think most of the hockey world just assumed we'd go after Larsson, but I think it was the right choice.

Point two with Smyth: I wasn't elated to have him back at that price, but we can afford it this year and he adds some depth to our leadership. Any hockey fan can see the value of Smyth's work ethic and the opportunity to showcase that first hand to your prospects is worth taking. I'm not sold on keeping him here next year, but it's not like I have a say in the matter. We need goaltending, certainly, but we also have to give Dubnyk some time to see what he can be, and the Khabibulin contract isn't going away so really, it wasn't ever likely to happen.

Absolutely our team looks different/better with 1st overalls, but we picked Omark in the 4th round. Eberle was a 22nd overall pick. Hamilton, Pitlick, Marincin, and Lander, 4 of our most highly rated "secondary" prospects were all 2nd round picks. I'm an Oiler fan so anytime I talk draft I open myself to the Jason Bonsignore and Jani Rita hits, but the point is that the scouting staff needed to be better and by all measures so far they have been. I've said that the same needs to be true for the Calgary scouts too. Be better. Do you think teams that find gems in the 3rd and 4th rounds are always just lucky? The NHL is full of teams that have put together great top picks but never accumulated the complimentary talent in the later rounds to put it all together. Calgary has had the luxury of picking in the top 10. Do you want to revisit that fiasco? When I talk about Oiler prospects much of it is based on this depth and a scouting staff has to be judged by what they do in every round, not just the first. I respect your opinion of the Flames, but from my vantage point I have a very different idea of their future. Only time will tell.

If you want to indulge in rivalry how's this: The more I hear Calgarians talk about how awesome and world-class their city is the more they sound like people from Toronto.

P.S. I like Calgary as a city and awesome job on the Parise picture Kent.

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#42 Vintage Flame
July 28 2011, 05:54PM
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@RexLibris

For the life of me i can't remember who said it at the time, I wish I could, because I agreed 100%. What he said is that a team should never waste 1st round draft picks on D-men because it is a position that required time to develop, especially into elite status. They later went on to say that a team should use their big FA dollars to aquire D-men and use the 1st rd picks on forwards. It was an interesting notion. One that I think deserves some merit. IMO.

That being said, I don't think the Oil should have drafted Larsson either.. I still like the idea of trading the pick for an elite established.. maybe a guy like Weber? That would have scared the hell out of me if Edmonton pulled that off.

I'm not sold on Dubnyk either.. Might just be me.. maybe all the years I was subjected to Trevor Kidd *face palm*

Dude.. there is rivalry and there is even out right hatred, but to say Calgarians sound like people from Toronto.. Well sir, you have gone too far.

I say good day!

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#43 RexLibris
July 28 2011, 05:57PM
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My most sincere apologies for comparing my southern neighbours to Those Who Shall Not Be Named. ;-)

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#45 SmellOfVictory
July 28 2011, 07:01PM
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On that note, I feel it's a little sad that I check this site, M&G, and even (barf) HFBoards at least once per day each during the offseason. Damn smartphones and obsessions.

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#47 Vintage Flame
July 28 2011, 07:14PM
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RexLibris wrote:

My most sincere apologies for comparing my southern neighbours to Those Who Shall Not Be Named. ;-)

That's okay. All's fair in love and war... Well war anyways.

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#48 SmellOfVictory
July 28 2011, 07:17PM
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@Kent Wilson

NoooooooooooooOOOOoOOooooooooooooooooo... okay. :D

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#49 Mason Storm
July 28 2011, 09:31PM
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The second closest scorer on the Devils that year was Patrik Elias, with just 78 points

"Just" might be a little strong. Elias was a good/great player for a time. I realize it's a sizable point gap, but still a very good season all around. I looked up my team the Oilers for that season and I'm pretty sure they could have used him. Haha

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#50 Mason Storm
July 28 2011, 09:33PM
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Second page Fist. It had to be done

Oops

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