Anton Babchuk Update

Kent Wilson
July 04 2011 10:46AM

 

 

According to agent Jay Grossman, Anton Babchuk is near to signing a two-yer deal with the Calgary Flames.

I've made my feelings on Babchuk pretty clear in the past. His lone noteworthy skill is his big shoot, which is pretty useful whenever he's in the offensive zone. He's a fairly limited player otherwise, however, and will have to be actively sheltered much the same way he was last year in order to be truly effective. He has never played in a top-four role in the NHL, so the goal should be avoid paying him like a top-four defender.

More analysis when things are made official.

UPDATE - Twitter reports are trickling in indicating the deal has been signed. Still waiting on terms.

UPDATE II - Flames have announced the official terms as $2.5M per year for two years. We'll cover this signing more completely as the week moves along.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Justin Azevedo
July 04 2011, 01:09PM
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@Casey

And that would be fine...if we had more then two top-4 defencemen.

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#3 dotfras
July 04 2011, 09:42PM
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As far as Feaster & NTC / NMC, the guy got Regehr to go to freaking Buffalo, don't think its huge issue. I would imagine that throwing in a clause on the contract lends to bargaining on $ with the player.

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#4 MC Hockey
July 04 2011, 09:54PM
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Again, thanks for the "facts" jr_christ. You're so convincing. Now go to bed, I need you to work 12 hours tomorrow.

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#6 bill
July 05 2011, 12:19AM
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Sythhatescalgary wrote:

Hey how did pursuing smith work out for you?

I love his comments on ched

"I would never want to be a flame. I found it odd that jarome called me twice to try and convince me"

Why don't you really become a true Oiler's fan and finally admit that you overpaid for Smyth. His best days are behind him and also realize that all your talented players upon reaching UFA status, choose to go to real cities, not cities filled with hillbillies like you. Get a job and most importantly get off welfare.

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#7 Subversive
July 04 2011, 10:51AM
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This cannot end well.

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#9 Flamin Cannot's
July 04 2011, 10:52AM
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Guess at the salary number? I say it is 1.75 but I hope it is less than 1.4...

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#10 Colin
July 04 2011, 10:53AM
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Not happy AT ALL about this, I thought with the Clay Wilson signing and all the analysis about him that he could be that 6th guy that could be the sheltered guy that could be very effective on the PP.

Now what do we do with our Defence, After Gio and Jaybo we have what amounts to a GLUT of #5 Dmen. I mean Sarich can play the 3/4 role, but I don't trust him to do it for an extended period of time.

We have Butler, Carson, Brodie, Wilson as all guys who can have the 5/6 roles and now with Babchuk resigned who moves from that role and has to actually play meaningful minutes. Based on dollars it's gonna be Babchuk paired with Sarich(I asume Babchuk is getting a raise on his dollars) and that is gonna be terrible.

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#12 Colin
July 04 2011, 10:57AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I have a bad feeling too.

My hope = $1.5M per My fear = $3M per

My Worst Nightmare = NTC

I also have a TERRIBLE feeling its closer to the 3M than the 1.5M.

My guess is about 2.75M.

Also VickiHall just tweeted that Feaster thinks that Babchuk could be a 50point guy, AARRGHGHGH, what are we gonna pay him like Erhoff as well AAAAAAHHHHH!!!

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#13 Michael
July 04 2011, 11:03AM
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Babchuk certainly adds a different look to the powerplay, but I agree with Kent, he is not a top four d man... However, on the Flames he probably would be, Bowmeester, Gio, Sarich then Babchuk... Hardly an awe inspiring bunch..

Babchuk in the $1.5 to $2.0 million range makes some sense, above $2 millioni'm not so sure...

You have to think the coaches are going to have a hard time sheltering the bottom pair plus Babchuk...

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#15 Nolan Moore
July 04 2011, 11:11AM
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I hope not. He's a one dimensional player. Maybe better than an enforcer. I think this is Feaster realizing he cant get players he wants because people dont want to play for a non-playoff team. He doesn't have a defensive skill to his tools. If you want a big shot, one of the forwards can do it. Again this is showing signs of insanity. Doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. Dont give me that "well they played well after December". Look so did the leafs. But remember the Flames played with little pressure and like it was game 7 EVER SINGLE GAME! Who wants that? I think thats' why players like Richards (who probably took a flyer because of Feaster)took a pass. He knows this is at least 3 years before they are back to a contender, with very little in the pipe. Look where they will be in 3 years, Jarome will be 37, Tanguay will be 34, Bourque will be 32, Gio will be 30, Glencross, 31, Stajan will be 30, Moss (if hes still here) will be 33, Jaybo will be 30, Kipper will be 37. Thats almost a third of your team over 30. Who's coming up? Backlund is the only one so far looking to be a serviceable NHLer.

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#16 schevvy
July 04 2011, 11:23AM
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I agree with most people here. If Babchuk is given a 1.5M deal roughly I am ok with this. However, I fear it being far more than that, and that would be too much. Babchuk reminds me of Marc-Andre Bergeron, power play specialist but can't defend.

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#17 Colin
July 04 2011, 11:27AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Also VickiHall just tweeted that Feaster thinks that Babchuk could be a 50point guy

That's just silly. Only nine defenders scored 50 or more points last year in the whole league. Babchuk has never even broke 40-points in his career.

I agree with you, Vicki was just reporting what Feaster told her. And if thats Feasters thinking he may be a MUCH WORSE GM than we are led on to believe, cause that kinda thinking and hoping is not what this team needs. We need to take a realistic approach to our players and realisticly asses their potential. Didn't Feaster just let go Carpentier, Armstrong, Pelech and Baldwin cause they assesed their potential and said they were not NHLers. So how does Feaster go from such an honest assesment and critical assesment to saying that Babchuk could be a 50 point guy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZeYVIWz99I

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#18 Austin
July 04 2011, 11:29AM
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@schevvy

Ugh why can't it be anyone else?!??!

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#19 Nolan Moore
July 04 2011, 11:34AM
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Ya just read the article where Feaster believes he's a 50 point man. I'm looking at the 50 point d-men, almost all were with offensively minded teams, like Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Vancouver. Calgary isnt one of those, heck they arent a defensive team either.

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#20 Dr. Nick
July 04 2011, 11:35AM
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There are plenty of reasons why the Flames could be offering a contract to Babchuk, and its not because he has a well rounded, top 4 game.

Maybe the Flames have talked to the other UFA defensemen they are interested in but their contract demands were too high or they didn't want to play in Calgary. Heaven knows Kaberle would demand more than he is worth after seeing the crazyness that just went on and he might not want to play in the West. McCabe is an older defenseman that maybe wants a longer term than Feaster wants to give out. But the reasons could go on and on, and unless I had a front row seat to the Jay Feaster show, I don't know the exact reason for Feaster regulating himself to signing a second rate defenseman.

On the other hand, perhaps Jay Feaster is too lazy to work the phones to get a better defenseman and just hit the Babchuk speed dial. I mean look at George McPhee this past weekend, the Feast should have been talking notes.

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#21 John F
July 04 2011, 11:35AM
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When Regehr was traded forvery little and it was called a salary dump I felt I would be patient and see what was eventually acquired by the salary room created. There would likely have been a package for Fransson to Nashville which should have been better than the Leafs package which basically got him without giving up an asset and Lombardi thrown in as well. I'm becoming more and more concerned that we dumped a top line defender ( one dimensional but very good at the one dimension) and are looking to sign another 1 dimensional defender. The Erixon trade is a move which will strengthen Abottsford which is simalar to the Regehr trade. Last year the Heat just missed the playoffs with the youngest team in the AHL. With the additions of Howse, etc. and the youngsters with 1 more year of experience they would have been stronger naturally but with the additions from the Erixon and Regehr trades and recent signings we seem to be building an AHL powerhouse which is fine. However I'm more concerned with the NHL product which compared to the team which ended the season has moved backward.

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#24 Vintage Flame
July 04 2011, 11:39AM
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I had a feeling Babchuk was going to be a signing we all had to deal with as fans.

I certainly hope this signing isn't any more than 1.5 Mil per. Have to assume he's getting the raise but I hope they don't go crazy for a guy that is probably going to get eaten alive this season give the current state of the Flames defense corps.

I REALLY can't see Feaster giving this guy a NTC. Just won't happen. He doesn't have the bargaining position to demand or warrant one. It would be a different story if he was putting up 50 pts.. which he will not do this season, but he's not even close to it, so I think it's a non-issue.

Flames REALLY missed out in not signing Hejda, this guy went for a decent cap hit, and unless the Flames were out right refused by him, they messed up.

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#25 Nolan Moore
July 04 2011, 11:42AM
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@Kent Wilson

What I meant, is they dont appear to be a defensive team anymore. I recognized Reggies attributes helped the team. I agree, they have to play 20+ minutes to be up there. Gio very well could be a 50 pt man. But Babchuck may play 12-15 minutes because of his defensive liability.

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#27 John Deere Green
July 04 2011, 11:50AM
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As it sits right now, barring any major trades, I don't see how the Flames will not be picking in the top 5 of next years draft. Stajan, Lankow, ect will need career seasons for this team to be even close to a playoff spot. Kipper will be seeing alot of shots this year and there could be a few 7-2, 8-3 losses, this coming seasons.

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#28 Colin
July 04 2011, 11:59AM
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OffTopic, but Curtis Mac has signed with the Coyotes, good for him, always liked him as a Goalie.

http://twitter.com/#!/phoenixcoyotes/status/87937949412495360

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#30 Kevin R
July 04 2011, 12:32PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Yeah, the defense has taken a real step back, that's for sure.

We have to realize that Sutter really set this team back in the last couple of years. This ship is way out of sync & we have to find the right balance. This year is going to be tough but there is light at the end of this year. Babchuk for no more than 2 years at 2.0Mill or less is OK. I'd be more concerned about term than the $$$. We have to throw the kids out there on defence. Poor Kipper is going to see a lot of rubber so Karlson MUST play at least 20-25 games this year. Things could be worse. Any injury to Gio or JBO will be disaster & result in a lottery pick for sure. The Reggie salary dump is the one I keep having to try and put past me. Feaster really thought he had a shot at Richards & did that, it wasnt to sign Tanguay. Now we gave up a Dman that could have netted us a 1st rounder at the trade deadline but instead we gave up our 2nd. Now we have cap space but nothing makes sense to spending it. God I loved what Mcphee did.

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#31 Vintage Flame
July 04 2011, 12:57PM
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@Kevin R

Everyone has to get passed the Sutter ordeals as well. Yeah he made some REALLY bad moves and some even worse signings, but it is what it is now.

Feaster looks like he's on the rebuild not retool mentality, even if they don't come out and say it. It is a 2 year deal for Babchuk, and I really don't think we have to worry about a NT or NMC for him. Money ways I'm REALLY hoping no more than 1.5 per.

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#32 ALL THE WAY IN
July 04 2011, 12:58PM
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Unlike many of you, I think this signing will be good for the Flames. Its funny how short everybody"s memory is. This guy block soo many shots for Kipper it's ridiculous! He's a big guy with a big shot and he's a relativly injury proof defenseman who finished with a plus 14!!! I would give him 2.5-3 mill a year no question!

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#33 Vintage Flame
July 04 2011, 01:03PM
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ALL THE WAY IN wrote:

Unlike many of you, I think this signing will be good for the Flames. Its funny how short everybody"s memory is. This guy block soo many shots for Kipper it's ridiculous! He's a big guy with a big shot and he's a relativly injury proof defenseman who finished with a plus 14!!! I would give him 2.5-3 mill a year no question!

Wow.. Really? 2.5 - 3 Mil?? That's insane. Yeah he blocked a lot of shot towards the end of the season, but this guy was SO sheltered in his minutes played that it's not really indicative of his talent, looking at his numbers.

Make no mistake, he is going to have to see more icetime this year and he is is going to be absolutely exposed on many nights.

I highly doubt his +/- will be anything impressive this year.

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#34 dick
July 04 2011, 01:03PM
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Depending on salary for Babchuk and some of the other D men signed we could very well be seeing an accumulation of guys with some possibly being part of package in trades and others being better Abby call ups than what we had. Now the reaction might be "who would want some of these guys" . This could be true, but with some teams being in trouble with the cap we never know what types of deals might be available down the road. Even if you have to keep Babchuk as a 5/6th guy and use him on the power play he does have a value in a potential in season trade IF he isn't overpaid.Like most of you this is the part that worries me.

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#35 Justin Azevedo
July 04 2011, 01:04PM
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>2.5 million.

Calling it now.

He was the worst defenceman on the team last season-maybe not by stats, but to my eye every time he was on the ice he did something positionally that created or had the potential to create an opportunity for the other team to score.

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#36 Casey
July 04 2011, 01:06PM
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I think that we can all agree that special teams wins games. I think that we can also agree that the PP is better with Babchuk on it.

I really don't think that Feaster signed Babchuk in a vacuum. I'm sure that he and Sutter talked about this at length. Sutter is not going to give Babhuck top 4 ES minutes, and he won't even see the ice on the PK.

Unless they bring in another top 4 D, I expect to see Butler play top 4 even strength minutes.

Babchuk played an average of 12:47 in ES ice time last year. I don't see that changing. If anything, it could decrease...

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#37 Vintage Flame
July 04 2011, 01:07PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

>2.5 million.

Calling it now.

He was the worst defenceman on the team last season-maybe not by stats, but to my eye every time he was on the ice he did something positionally that created or had the potential to create an opportunity for the other team to score.

Now imagine him paired up with Sarich!! *shudder*

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#38 ALL THE WAY IN
July 04 2011, 01:07PM
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Sorry my mistake he was a plus 18 in 65 games for the Flames.

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#39 Vintage Flame
July 04 2011, 01:14PM
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Who the hell is Guillaume Desbiens??

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#40 Austin
July 04 2011, 01:18PM
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@Vintage Flame

I think an enforcer/grinder type player?

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#42 Robert Cleave
July 04 2011, 01:23PM
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Austin wrote:

I think an enforcer/grinder type player?

A player to look after the young 'uns in Abby. He was a regular for the Manitoba Moose over the last few seasons.

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#43 Casey
July 04 2011, 01:25PM
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2 years. $2.5 million per year.

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#44 Flamin Cannot's
July 04 2011, 01:25PM
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frig 2.5 per season, bad bad bad

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#46 Casey
July 04 2011, 01:27PM
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http://flames.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=568461

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#47 Robert Cleave
July 04 2011, 01:27PM
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Too much dough for a bottom pairing D. There's not much point in scrambling for cap space if you're going to waste a pile of it on a specialist.

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#48 Justin Azevedo
July 04 2011, 01:30PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

>2.5 million.

Calling it now.

He was the worst defenceman on the team last season-maybe not by stats, but to my eye every time he was on the ice he did something positionally that created or had the potential to create an opportunity for the other team to score.

Should've used ≥...

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#49 Vintage Flame
July 04 2011, 01:30PM
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Wow.. 2.5M / year. What did Hejda sign for again? 3.25M. I hope this kid can pull off similar stats this year. Going to be interesting to see what his role is.. If it expands.

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#50 Casey
July 04 2011, 01:30PM
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It isn't great, but compared to some of the other deals...

I'm okay with it if he puts up 10-15 goals on the PP. Just having the threat of that shot back there spreads out the penalty killers and makes life a lot easier on the forwards.

You know that he won't ever see the ice during the PK, so they just need to manage his even strength minutes...

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