Flames Without Kipper

Kent Wilson
February 24 2012 03:53PM

 

 

Jay Feaster had himself a media scrum today, during which he said...well not much. One item stuck out to me, however, because it's one that is easily verified.

"If we trade #34, is there a position lower than 30th to finish?"

Of course, this is rhetoric and hyperbole, but it's worth asking the question - where would the Flames be without Kiprusoff? Mitch of M&G asked the same question last night and I figured I might as well share some back of the envelope calculations that might help clarify the matter.

This season, Kiprusoff's even strength SV% is .928 on 1285 shots against (92GA and 1193 saves). A replacement level goalie - that is, a puck stopper readily available in the AHL or on the open market - is about .905. The difference between that level of goaltending and Kipper at ES this year is 31 goals against. Six goals is worth about one win in the standings, so Kipper versus replacement level (or, to get more concrete, Henrik Karlsson) is just over five wins, or 10 points. That would sink the Flames to 56pts right now, good for 13th in the West - definitely significant, but not 30th overall.

Furthermore, it makes more sense to compare Kiprusoff to league average goaltending since very few clubs actually role with replacement levels 'tenders as their starter (outside of the Columbus Blue Jackets). A league average save percentage is about .920, meaning the difference between a middling goalie at 5on5 and Kiprsuoff overall is 11 goals, or two or three points this season. That's certainly not nothing, especially because Calgary is in the thick of a very tight playoff battle, but again it's not like the Flames would suddenly become the worst team in the league.

If we take a longer view, the difference shrinks even further. Last year, Kipper's ES SV% was .916 over 1529 shots. If we combine the two most recent seasons, his ES SV% is .922, or .2% higher than the average NHL goalie. That's worth a net five goals over 2814 shots, or one win in two seasons (if you round up).

The Recent Run

Of course, Kipper has been far better than average recently and is the single biggest reason the Flames are in a position to challenge for the playoffs. Before the losses to Edmonton and Phoenix, Kiprusoff was batting a .950 ES SV% average since the Boston masscre. That save rate was especially noteworthy because the Flames have been routinely outshot and outchanced over the last two months.

So in a way it's fair to say Calgary would be plumbing the depths if Kipper had not been here, standing on his head through January and February.

The danger, of course, is perceive this recent run as his true talent level.

Bigger samples are always preferable to smaller ones when trying to judge a players true abilities and as Khabibulin and the Wild's Josh Harding and Nicklas Backstrom proved earlier this season, goalies can sometimes get hot for weeks at a time before coming back down to earth. 

Kiprusoff hasn't been a .930+ ES SV% goalie since 2006-07. He's never been a .950 ES SV% over the long run (because no goalie is that good). Over the last five years or so, he's mostly settled into average-ish terriotory, with some wild swings around the mean here and there (this year vs last year for instance). He remains an athletic, highly durable and capable enough starter in the NHL, but the last two months are by no means an accurate portrayal of his true abilities.

Conclusion

Sometimes it's hard to separate a GM's true feelings about a player from smoke blowing and message sending when they talk through the media. In fact, it may be Feaster's lavish praise of his goaltender was a passive aggressive slight to his skaters. That said, Kipper isn't really this good and my hope is Jay Feaster and the Flames in general doesn't overly weight recent hot streaks when grading players and assessing their true value to the organization.

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 jakeryley
February 24 2012, 04:02PM
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Feaster has done a lot of talking in his time as Flames GM - and, he's been fairly active. However, what he's yet to do is make this team BETTER.

So far, what I've seen is a GM who has had to make moves in order to maintain the status quo (a 9th-11th placed team in the Western Conference). Sure, he's made trades and made the team younger - but those trades have done nothing but maintain this team's utterly unproductive position. Without those trades, it's likely this team would have fallen to a 12th or 13th position - or, they may have grey-bearded their way to the exact position they're in now. Either way, big whoop.

Point being - we're younger, but we're still bad so who gives a crap. Youth does not guarantee a "better tomorrow". It just means we're able to suck, have better hairlines, and fewer members of the team start the day off with a glass of metamucil.

And to somehow tie my mini-rant into this topic, this team without Kiprusoff? Well, it would likely be a 13th place team, which is sadly a hell of a lot better than being a 10th place team.

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#2 Sincity1976
February 24 2012, 04:01PM
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Phoenix and Philly are proving what Detroit has known for years. The system makes the goalie. At least a large part of him. Though I think Kipper is defying that to some extent and is playing well despite Calgary's play.

On a side note, how in the heck does Feaster say that he believes the answer is "in the room" and in the same breath say his team is a last place team without Kipper.

If your team is a last place team without an elite goalie then the answer is clearly not in the room! Especially concerning when your goalie is turning 36 and can't carry the team forever.

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#4 RexLibris
February 24 2012, 04:21PM
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If the Flames even want to consider a rebuild, and by extension a high draft pick, then Kiprusoff would have to be traded. Otherwise, his exceptional play would only serve to keep the team afloat when, from what I've gathered to be the general concensus here, it really needs to be taken out past the shallows and scuttled.

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#5 Derzie
February 24 2012, 04:24PM
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I got into a email tussle with Scott Cullen of TSN over Kipper. He was of the opinion this time last year that Corey Crawford was a better goalie than Kipper because he had better numbers. I balked and told him he was living in the clouds on that one. He disagreed of course. This year, the numbers better reflect who is the better goalie.

But, the numbers only tell part of the tale. They don't take into account the difficulty of the saves or the timeliness of the saves. 23 saves in a 1-0 loss is not nearly as valuable as 1 save in a 1-0 squeaker win. Kipper is the best trade bait we have right now. I say go hard after all we can get. We have 3 goalies in the system with promise: Irving, Ortio and the KHL guy. Let's get some prospects and picks for Kipper and watch him win his cup somewhere else.

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#6 RexLibris
February 24 2012, 04:24PM
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@Kent Wilson

I would agree on Phoenix. While I think that the netminding there has benefited from Tippett's coaching and system play, it seems that every year Phoenix manages to get only so far and then falls to superior opponents only to repeat the process all over again next season.

In some ways its like the Flames, except with an only slightly higher level of mediocrity and a worse draft position.

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#7 everton fc
February 24 2012, 04:29PM
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Man, just listened to Sutter's post game. He was ticked.

He defended Smith and Glencross. And Kipper.

But he called out Comeau. He called out most of the team. He is ticked off and I wouldn't be surprised if he's told Feaster to move specific people who won't pull their weight.

He said Kosto/Stajan/Bouma was the best line all night. "They finished checks, they forechecked, they were intelligent in the neutral zone... defencively, they were good."

I'd say they're safe.

I get a sense Iggy could be in trouble here. I get a sense he's the one being called out by Feaster. Perhaps Tanguay, as well, though Tanguay's had some good games...

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#8 Cool Beans
February 24 2012, 04:45PM
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Every year around December/January the Flames make a huge push to 8th riding Kippers hot streak. When his play dips the Flames fall in the standings. Its like ground hog day.

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#9 RexLibris
February 24 2012, 04:48PM
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Found this on Eklund's site: There was some talk an hour or so ago of the Flames getting in on Nash, but so far that appears extremely preliminary.

Just thought I'd pass that on. Now if you'll excuse me, I suddenly feel quite dirty and I think I need to go shower. ;-)

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#10 RKD
February 24 2012, 04:48PM
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Well 13th in the West still means you are still ranked 24th or lower in the league overall.

When it comes to Detroit, they did bring in Hasek, Cujo and Vernon. However, they won more Cups with Osgood that any of is the other goalies.

Detroit has been pretty strong defensively by allowing less shots, they consistently outshoot their opponents by a wide margin.

Another factor is that they outscore their opposition and must always be amongst the top teams in goals for. Even if their goalies are playing average, they score more goals than the other teams.

I don't think the Flames have any chance of landing Nash, the Flames are probably not even on the list of teams he wants to go to. It's probably NYR, or SJ.

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#11 Bean-counting cowboy
February 24 2012, 04:49PM
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Geez I thought by the headline you meant Kipper was injured. Scared me to death.

On second thought, that would've made Feaster's decisions a whole lot easier.

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#12 everton fc
February 24 2012, 04:54PM
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Just read a rumour the Flames may have interest in Kostitsyn. I know this threads about Kipper... But thought I'd post this...

I wouldn't mind Dustin Brown in a Flames jersey.

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#13 RKD
February 24 2012, 05:42PM
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Dean Lombardi just said the Kings are not trading Dustin Brown, I've heard other things that said trading Brown would be to change the culture and reigme of the core in LA.

Also, the Kostitsyn thing is interesting. He's 24 years old with 34 points in 55 games good enough for sixth in team scoring for Nashville. He had 50 points in 77 games last season and is +27 career wise.

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#14 Chris
February 24 2012, 06:03PM
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The Flames without Kipper? We may well finish worse than 30th.

There are many similarities between the Flames and the Leafs in the early part of the last decade. Pat Quinn took a mediocre Leafs team and had them in the playoffs for years in a row. He delayed their rebuild by a good 5-7 years, just because he was so good at motivating the riffraff to amazing heights.

Today in Calgary, Kipper takes a Flames team that would be a lottery pick team otherwise, and consistently has them buzzing around the playoffs. He's delayed our rebuild for 3 or 4 years so far.

Can the Flames make the playoffs this year? Sure. But given their competition -- including a white-hot Ducks team -- they'll probably have to go 14-7 the rest of the way. A tall order...

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#15 Ken V.
February 24 2012, 06:10PM
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@everton fc

Dustin Brown? Thumbs up. Kostitsyn? down.

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#16 Kevin R
February 24 2012, 06:45PM
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I disagree with Jakeryley. Way too harsh on what Feaster has done. I dont care which GM we hired, this year was going to be from frustarting to write off. The trades he's made have been OK & made this more of a frustrating year. If you told me we would be tied for 8th at the end of Feb in September, I would have laughed and asked if I could smoke what you are smoking. Of all the injuries, I felt Jones was the one that hit us the hardest, he caused havicon the forecheck, antagonized & brought a threat to our 2nd or 3rd line. His play was contagious.

Trading for Nash would be retarded. I think the Kostitsyn is the one with Montreal not Nashville, & he aint the answer. There are no answers. I may sound like Wolf but if we think we're in it, do nothing, hope for Kipper to steal points & pray we are in striking range when more of our injured return. Otherwise, sell.

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#17 FireOnIce
February 24 2012, 07:21PM
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Holy crap on a stick.

Zidlicky goes from Minnesota to New Jersey for 3 players, a 2nd rounder, and a conditional 3rd rounder from the Devils.

No idea the quality of the players, but wow. Just, wow. Feaster, what in the hell are you doing?

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#18 FireOnIce
February 24 2012, 07:22PM
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Also, the Flames shouldn't have retracted their employee's tweet about Hemsky. I mean, $5M a season for... what? Oilers are out of their minds.

Mike Modano has no problem saying it either...

@9modano 2 yrs/10 million for hemsky. Scored over 20 goals twice in 9yrs.. WTF?!

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#19 Ken V.
February 24 2012, 07:43PM
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So off topic.... What are we going to do with Olli?? I say Feaster says "Olli, we going to trade you for a 1st round pick + prospect and at the end of the season I am prepared to offer you...." I thinking something like a 4yr $11m LMC. 1st - $3.5m 2nd - $3m 3rd - $2.5m and 4th - $2m. Still a trade-able contract and he wants to play here and had really turned his game around. So we pull a "Keith Tkachuk" if you will.

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#20 dougtheslug
February 24 2012, 07:55PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Also, the Flames shouldn't have retracted their employee's tweet about Hemsky. I mean, $5M a season for... what? Oilers are out of their minds.

Mike Modano has no problem saying it either...

@9modano 2 yrs/10 million for hemsky. Scored over 20 goals twice in 9yrs.. WTF?!

mike cammalleri - 29 points in 53 games, cap hit 6 million per this and next 2 seasons

ales hemsky - 26 points in 46 games cap hit 5 million per for 2 seasons

Who is out of their minds? I hope you enjoyedthe winning goal Hemsky scored against the Flames Wednesday

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#21 schevvy
February 24 2012, 07:57PM
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So Hemsky is officially re-signed by Edmonton: 2 years at 5 mil per season. That's ridiculous. I'm a little terrified: if Hemsky gets 5 mil a year then what the hell is Jokinen going to want?

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#22 Sincity1976
February 24 2012, 07:58PM
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@Kent Wilson

Bryzgalov and Smith are two examples. Kipper has been a different goalie depending on the coach and system. Howard is a decent goalie playing for a less elite Detroit. But Osgood managed to be respectable in past versions. (Okay, barely).

I am sure someone could compare numbers to find out the impact team play has on goalie stats. But in my eyeballing opinion most goalies numbers vary drastically depending on the team and system.

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#23 FireOnIce
February 24 2012, 08:15PM
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@dougtheslug

Yeah, it was good. Hope you enjoyed the 9 previous games where the Oilers lost.

I never said the Cammalleri trade was a great or even good one, in fact he has massively underperformed in both Montreal and since coming to Calgary.

Hemsky has only had more than 20 goals in 2 of his 9 seasons, and has never scored as many as Cammalleri. If the Flames could get their crap together, stop pucks, and actually have some sort of motivation to play, Cammy might actually score a few more points.

You're looking at one season of production, rather than the last few seasons. Much easier to keep the rose-coloured glasses on in that case.

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#24 Dave
February 24 2012, 08:36PM
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I just want to say that I love the cammy trade. Here's why:

1.We get rid of bourque - a proverbial underachiever and lazy guy.

2.Cammy is slumping right now but he is feisty and competitive. The flames need that edge. Cammy also has higher potential.

3. Cammy's contract is over next year. He's likely to have a better year next year and the flames can trade him at the deadline for more than they gave up. Or they can keep him. He's youngish with great upside. The only downside is his cap hit. I think the pluses by far outweigh the negatives.

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#25 Dave
February 24 2012, 08:49PM
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I just wanted to say on a side note. I can't believe how much minnesota got for zidlicky. CRAZINESS

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#26 everton fc
February 24 2012, 08:52PM
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schevvy wrote:

So Hemsky is officially re-signed by Edmonton: 2 years at 5 mil per season. That's ridiculous. I'm a little terrified: if Hemsky gets 5 mil a year then what the hell is Jokinen going to want?

Forget Jokinen; what will Desbiens want?!

(Couldn't resist!)

I wouldn't be surprised if Jokinen signs for the same price, 2 years, NMC/NTC... Just to keep the family happy.

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#27 Get The Puck Outta Here
February 24 2012, 09:03PM
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The one constant that everyone is missing is the coach! They WILL NOT play for him and NEVER WILL!! Wake up Jay! MAKE THE CHANGE!! You can trade up the ying yang for players........bring them in and take them out.......forever........but if you do not get rid of the SCREAMING YELLING COACH these guys will never play for him!!! They DO NOT RESPECT HIM and never will.

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#28 Franko J
February 24 2012, 09:19PM
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Feaster fooled once with letting Khabibulin leave Tampa with no return. He know what he has with Kiprusoff. He won't be fooled twice.

At the trade deadline, teams are usually willing to move picks and tier two prospects for rentals. So far this year it appears the buyers are willing to overspend. If I was to play devils advocate: If Feaster even considered trading Kiprusoff (just throwing it out there, mere speculation)what teams are in need of a goalie with Kiprusoffs' calibre and pedigree? What could the Flames eventually get in return which will help them in the future.

I still remember Brett Hull for Rick Wamsley and I think Rob Ramage. I don't think there are any teams out there who are on the position to win the cup and willing to give up a future superstar for Kiprusoff and Sarich? Just commenting.

I think Calgary would be wiser to trade the core players like Kipper, J-BO, Giordano and Iggy during the draft. More trading partners and more teams are not so concerned about the "salary cap" and upsetting team chemistry.

The problem with the Flames with exception to last two drafts - - - - they don't know how to draft those "hidden gems" like Detroit and Nashville. And most of all their trade record so to speak has never been the greatest.

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#29 Get The Puck Outta Here
February 24 2012, 09:22PM
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and while I'm at it---if it wasn't for the 1 player Kipprusoff(not an ALL STAR?? WTF??) this team would be in pee wee AA, wake up folks, wake up Jay, get rid of this figure head that everyone calls a coach! He has no clue!!

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#30 Mitch2
February 24 2012, 09:52PM
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Kent, one thing I think you should mention is the dramatically different way the Flames play in front of their back-ups.

I am not sure if you can quantify it but the team minus Kipper, could be heartless, not even bothering to give top effort. How many games have we seen over the the last several years when they abandon the back-up G.

I honestly think Kipper is the heart of this team, when they play in front of him they believe they can win. If he is gone, I think they would mentally give up.

Although there is no way I can prove this math-wise. It is just a gut feeling. I think younger players would continue to give top effort but older players may see there as being no hope.

Just a thought…

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#31 Franko J
February 24 2012, 09:56PM
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Kiprusoff brings an intangible to this team which cannot be quantified by numbers and statistics.

It may not have ended well Sutter when left here as GM, however, he knew what he had in Kiprusoff when he traded for him. Kiprusoff more so than Iginla really changed this teams fortune from a pretender to a contender.

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#32 Mitch2
February 24 2012, 09:59PM
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schevvy wrote:

So Hemsky is officially re-signed by Edmonton: 2 years at 5 mil per season. That's ridiculous. I'm a little terrified: if Hemsky gets 5 mil a year then what the hell is Jokinen going to want?

Hemsky is younger and I honestly don't think the Flames will hand that kind of contract to Joker, even with his great season.

The Oilers are famous for bad contracts, Horcoff, Souray, they overpay. The Flames I think generally speaking get better value deals on their books.

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#33 Get The Puck Outta Here
February 24 2012, 10:01PM
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Year after year the one player that everyone can count on is Kipper! The rest of the team is made up of NHL grade professionals that rely on a PROFESSIONAL coach to guide them through the process of winning. THAT IS NOT HAPPENING!!! THAT IS NOT HAPPENING!!!! THE PLAYERS HAVE WORKED ALL THEIR LIFE TO BECOME PROFESSIONALS!!! SO WHAT IF SUTTER PLAYED HOCKEY!!! I DONT CARE!!! IT DOESNT MAKE HIM A COACH THAT OTHERS WILL FOLLOW!!!! Jay, please make the initial change to get this mess straightened out.

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#34 Mitch2
February 24 2012, 10:04PM
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Franko J wrote:

Kiprusoff brings an intangible to this team which cannot be quantified by numbers and statistics.

It may not have ended well Sutter when left here as GM, however, he knew what he had in Kiprusoff when he traded for him. Kiprusoff more so than Iginla really changed this teams fortune from a pretender to a contender.

I'm not sure, I think D Sutter got lucky. He knew he was a good goalie of course from seeing him in San Jose but I doubt he knew how good he was. He really benefited from San Jose having huge depth at the time in the G position.

Nabakov, Tolska and Kipper.

Kent wrote a great 6-part article on D Sutter that really breaks down how this trade, probably the biggest winner in franchise history, was Sutter getting lucky and in the end it was what allowed D Sutter to persist as GM far longer than he ever should have.

Yes it was a great trade that changed the Flames franchise history but the damage Sutter would do later in the GM chair would bring the Flames back to where they started.

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#35 Get The Puck Outta Here
February 24 2012, 10:26PM
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Folks, Seriously I give up. Agree with me or not. When a draft happens the difference betweem 1st round and 5th round is very close, meaning when young players get to the point of drafting they are all very good players, born to play hockey. It's their predigree. In most cases they come from winning attitudes, winning franchises, winning cultures. If there are 30 teams, we are talking about approx 600 athletes that eventually, can potentially make it to the bigs annually although we know this does not happen. That is not many. 600 out of all the young people that play the game yearly? Yes, some become great (Crosby etc) but the rest are definetly good enough to be in the dance. I hear the word parity alot these days meaning every team has a good chance to sip from the cup. To motivate and to bring the talent out of every player is the task of the coach. THE COACH. The players are all NHL claibre. The coach is the one. He is the key. He holds the key. Either he has the key or he doesn't. Jay, make the change. The time is now.

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#36 Franko J
February 24 2012, 10:26PM
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@ Mitch111

Dead bang on. Sutter as coach was good. Sutter as GM not so good.

Even right now Kiprusoff is putting Feaster in tough position with his play this season.

San Jose had good depth at the goalie position, but like you said D Sutter got lucky.

Just like ST.Louis got lucky with Brett Hull. At the time of the trade, Calgary was very deep at right wing and St. Louis traded for him.

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#37 T&A4Flames
February 24 2012, 11:36PM
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Okay...Zidlicky for 3 roster players 2nd rounder & a cond. 3 rd????!!! Are we ready to move some players now...SERIOUSLY!!!!

Minny can probably go and trade the 2 older guys for more draft picks and make the deal even better for them.

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#38 Kevin R
February 25 2012, 12:26AM
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@Get The Puck Outta Here

:-) So I guess you dont like Brent Sutter. Really, whats the point of firing him now. If we miss the playoffs, you're proven right & his contract wont be renewed. He makes the playoffs, he kinda proves you wrong doesnt he?

Either way, a new coach now doesnt make sense, if we miss & he goes, so do a lot of our UFAs. May as well start fresh this summer.

Cant believe Zidlicky got that much either, had him in a hockey pool & dropped him, he sucks. We could have given them Babchuk for a 2nd & they would be further ahead.

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#39 CitizenFlame
February 25 2012, 12:44AM
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I'm not necessarily a proponent for rebuild or for being a seller, but declaring yourself a seller now would bring in higher return than waiting for the trade deadline or for the summer. There are not a lot of sellers right now with the amount of teams that are within sniffing distance of the 8th spot in either conference, so if Feaster declared that the Flames were selling he would get the drop on a lot of other teams even if by only a couple of days. Look what the Zidlicky return was.

Unfortunately Calgary doesn't have a lot of moveable pieces unless they declare full on rebuild and start moving the NMC/NTC's. I don't see any move right now that Calgary can make that doesn't make them weaker immediately or that they would have to sell draft picks/prospects to make a push for this year. Feaster said the team will not be idle, but I don't see any other option given the stated goal of making the playoffs this year.

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#40 jay
February 25 2012, 01:15AM
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Five goals being equivalent to two points in the standings may be a generalization for most teams, but not a good estimate for us. Look at the goals for against differential, we are minus 19, ahead of only minesota and Colorado. We are lucky to be vying for a playoff spot. If we give up 10 more goals, we could very well be behind the oilers.

Also, without kipper, we probably would lose a lot more shoot outs.

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#41 suba steve
February 25 2012, 06:12AM
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Get The Puck Outta Here wrote:

The one constant that everyone is missing is the coach! They WILL NOT play for him and NEVER WILL!! Wake up Jay! MAKE THE CHANGE!! You can trade up the ying yang for players........bring them in and take them out.......forever........but if you do not get rid of the SCREAMING YELLING COACH these guys will never play for him!!! They DO NOT RESPECT HIM and never will.

And when is the last time anyone can remember a coach that met with this teams approval? My recollection goes all the way back to D. Sutter, no one since has motivated this team ( and by team what I really mean is Iggy). We've tried the coach swap, tried the fringe player swap, tried the near star swap, tried the star swap, time to try the franchise player swap.

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#42 Chris
February 25 2012, 09:01AM
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Get The Puck Outta Here wrote:

Folks, Seriously I give up. Agree with me or not. When a draft happens the difference betweem 1st round and 5th round is very close, meaning when young players get to the point of drafting they are all very good players, born to play hockey. It's their predigree. In most cases they come from winning attitudes, winning franchises, winning cultures. If there are 30 teams, we are talking about approx 600 athletes that eventually, can potentially make it to the bigs annually although we know this does not happen. That is not many. 600 out of all the young people that play the game yearly? Yes, some become great (Crosby etc) but the rest are definetly good enough to be in the dance. I hear the word parity alot these days meaning every team has a good chance to sip from the cup. To motivate and to bring the talent out of every player is the task of the coach. THE COACH. The players are all NHL claibre. The coach is the one. He is the key. He holds the key. Either he has the key or he doesn't. Jay, make the change. The time is now.

Sorry dude, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you think there is little difference between 1st round and 5th round.

Little difference between 2nd round and 5th round perhaps, but the top 10-15 players each year and leaps and bounds and multiples better than the 550+ players drafted after them.

Its a fact, plain and simple. If you think a new coach can turn some of our middling late rounder draft picks into bonafide NHL stars you are completely delusional. Look at Edmonton, they have superstars in the making and an incompetent coach. Because we never draft high we have no superstars in the making and an incompetent coach. I agree we should replace the coach but your take on draft picks is just plain wrong. fact.

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#43 RexLibris
February 25 2012, 09:16AM
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@Mitch2

The Flames cannot brag about getting more value out of their contracts than the Oilers.

Horcoff and Souray were massive overpayments. No argument.

But Sarich, Stajan, Bouwmeester, Babchuk, Regehr, Langkow, Jokinen's first contract.

The Oilers have also been much more frugal in handing out NTC/NMCs than the Flames.

The Oilers were infamous for poor roster management several years ago, I will give you that without question. But the Flames weren't much better in the waning years of Sutter's time when his own cap mismanagement had them ice a team of 15 players. He was extremely fortunate that the league didn't fine him.

Around the league, while the Islanders and Canadiens are probably at the bottom, when it comes to bad contracts I think the Oilers are somewhere in the bottom third, but the Flames would not be held in any higher regard.

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#44 RexLibris
February 25 2012, 09:25AM
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@Kevin R

Zidlicky returned two marginal NHLers and a barely-repalcement level defenceman in Foster (Trust me, I know, I watched him here in Edmonton). Those players are for the immediate future and probably to help bolster a farm team that needs some assistance. The picks are the meat of the trade, in my opinion.

The problem with this trade, for Minnesota, is that they just took on three contracts in exchange for one. Veilleux is a UFA, but Palmieri is the wrong Palmieri and doesn't look like much more than a career fourth liner.

I agree that a Babchuk for 2nd rounder would have been a much simpler deal, but perhaps Lamoriello was also looking to blow out some contracts prior to the deadline. It's no secret he needs to shed salary quickly, so my guess is that this is the deal that suited him best, in the short and long term.

With Brent Sutter likely not returning (I'm guessing) this raises some very interesting questions about Feaster's own future. GMs like to hire their own coaches, Feaster has that opportunity soon. If he hires a coach to a two-year deal that would indicate that perhaps Feaster's own term with the team has been given some shorter terms. Anyway, could prove interesting.

I still think they missed the boat in not bringing Hitchcock on to coach when they had the chance.

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#45 shutout
February 25 2012, 10:51AM
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Judging goalies by runs and hot streaks is foolish at best. While Kiprusoff was the biggest reason for the 9-3-3 record he cannot continue to win games single handedly. I am reminded of Brian Boucher's record of five consecutive shutouts everytime I hear somebody take a small segment and project into the future when it comes to goaltenders.

Kiprusoff might be the best player on the Flames this season. But he was not last season. And he may not be again next season. His trade value maybe at an all time high with so many teams needing goaltending help, his play being at the top of his game, and the small margin of difference between teams on a nightly basis.

The fact remains that Kiprusoff is 35 and there is little chance that the Flames are going to make the playoffs this year. Why would you not want to make a trade that improves the hockey team for next year or in 2-3 years. Kiprusoff is not in his late twenties or early thirties and is no longer a cornerstone building block.

Say you make a deal with Chicago and bring back Crawford. With Washington and bring back Neuvirth or Holtby. That gives you another young goaltender to compete with Irving and Ramo. I think with some money Ramo could come over next year if needed.

As Kent said, these goaltenders might only end up being average, but average is not that bad. And the team should be holding players accountable for playing the team game so you dont have to rely on a goaltender to play allworld and hope he saves the games.

My deal is still:

To Chicago: Kiprusoff Hannan

To Calgary: Crawford McNeil 2012 2nd round pick 2012 3rd round pick

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#46 Kevin R
February 25 2012, 11:26AM
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Hey Rex! Yeah that was my thoughts, what a lot of contracts Lou just dumped, I was shocked Minny took them all. Really the 2nd & 3rd rounders & Palmieri wouldnt have raised too many eyebrows. Also as your young stars ELC start expiring, you will find that the number of NTC & NMC will increase in number. Seems to be the trend, wonder if they become an issue for the CBA.

Shootout: If at least 1 1st rounder is not coming back for Kipper, I dont do the deal. Seeing Jay has the connections to Tampa, they now have a couple 1st rounders, maybe Stevie Y targets Kipper & we get one of those 1st rounders & Connolly this summer.

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#47 Kevin R
February 25 2012, 11:30AM
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Kevin R wrote:

Hey Rex! Yeah that was my thoughts, what a lot of contracts Lou just dumped, I was shocked Minny took them all. Really the 2nd & 3rd rounders & Palmieri wouldnt have raised too many eyebrows. Also as your young stars ELC start expiring, you will find that the number of NTC & NMC will increase in number. Seems to be the trend, wonder if they become an issue for the CBA.

Shootout: If at least 1 1st rounder is not coming back for Kipper, I dont do the deal. Seeing Jay has the connections to Tampa, they now have a couple 1st rounders, maybe Stevie Y targets Kipper & we get one of those 1st rounders & Connolly this summer.

Sorry meant Shutout not Shootout/ :-)

See Rangers gave Wolski to Florida for basically nothing(cap move), looks like Nash to Rangers is going to happen soon. Tallon seems to like those kind of deals, would he not have taken Stajan?? Cmon Feaster, make me proud Ive been one of the few backing you.

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#48 Rain Dogs
February 25 2012, 11:46AM
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The problem with looking at "average" or "replacement" level goaltending is that you may just be flattening all the peaks and valleys from other teams.

I think it's best to look at the Flames in isolation because we're comparing closer to apples vs apples.

For example, both Boston goalies are up around .935evsv% which I think reinforces the idea of "team strength" (or they are very lucky to have years of Elite goalies like Raycroft)

So, this year (small sample) our backups have been (mostly on Irving's back):

267/292=.914evsv%

Kipper

1193/1285=.928evsv%

Difference is 19 GA (or about 3-3.5 wins)

Last three years:

1094/1208=.906 vs 4087/4422=.924, Diff=81g (13.5 wins, avg 4.5 per season)

In Kipper's career in Calgary:

2182/2416=.903 vs 10461/11304=.925, Diff=259g (43wins, avg 5.4 per season)

So, Miikka compared to the rotating door of backups gets us about 10points per season vs our backups.

The difference of 259 goals is the largest in the NHL of any #1 vs #2's I have calculated on my spreadsheet (although I haven't done them all)

Thomas is -85, Luongo is -138, Vokoun is -79, Bryz is 0 (Phi should have asked me about Bryz)

Miikka has treated us very well, but what interests me going forward is a larger sample for Irving.

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#49 RexLibris
February 25 2012, 12:52PM
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@Kevin R

I fully expect Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins to get NTCs. I would even expect a limited NTC on Smyth's new deal (no different than one that might appear on Iginla's if he sticks around) as a show of trust.

The point that has been made both here on FN and elsewhere is that a NTC is supposed to be used as a bargaining tool to engender good faith and reduce cap hit. Sutter didn't seem to see them that way and thus far neither has Feaster.

By the fall of 2014 I would expect to see between three and five contracts with NTCs or NMCs on the core group. That might increase to seven with the addition of a few deadline players or a UFA, time will tell.

Essentially the point is that a clause like those makes more sense on a player's contract who fills the role for your team that a Kiprusoff, or a Toews, or a Chara does. Not a Sarich or a Stajan. The lack of one on Hemsky's deal gives me some optimism that Tambellini won't be overly generous with them.

Good luck against the Flyers tonight. Unfortunately Edmonton doesn't usually play well against the Coyotes, so I can't promise any favours from our end of the QE2.

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#50 the-wolf
February 25 2012, 01:02PM
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shutout wrote:

Judging goalies by runs and hot streaks is foolish at best. While Kiprusoff was the biggest reason for the 9-3-3 record he cannot continue to win games single handedly. I am reminded of Brian Boucher's record of five consecutive shutouts everytime I hear somebody take a small segment and project into the future when it comes to goaltenders.

Kiprusoff might be the best player on the Flames this season. But he was not last season. And he may not be again next season. His trade value maybe at an all time high with so many teams needing goaltending help, his play being at the top of his game, and the small margin of difference between teams on a nightly basis.

The fact remains that Kiprusoff is 35 and there is little chance that the Flames are going to make the playoffs this year. Why would you not want to make a trade that improves the hockey team for next year or in 2-3 years. Kiprusoff is not in his late twenties or early thirties and is no longer a cornerstone building block.

Say you make a deal with Chicago and bring back Crawford. With Washington and bring back Neuvirth or Holtby. That gives you another young goaltender to compete with Irving and Ramo. I think with some money Ramo could come over next year if needed.

As Kent said, these goaltenders might only end up being average, but average is not that bad. And the team should be holding players accountable for playing the team game so you dont have to rely on a goaltender to play allworld and hope he saves the games.

My deal is still:

To Chicago: Kiprusoff Hannan

To Calgary: Crawford McNeil 2012 2nd round pick 2012 3rd round pick

They missed the opportunity to trade Iggy last year when he got 43 and they'll do it again with Kipper thsi year.

Ownership is so deathly afraid of another Young Guns era they'll do nothing until absolutely forced to.

Even though their penny-pinching and incredible lack of foresight contributed to the YG era in the first place.

And their insistence on still being as competitive as possible and making the playoffs resulted in the YG era being a disaster as opposed to a succesful rebuild.

Only the rising $ saved this team and allowed Darryl to make some moves by spending to the cap. Band-aid moves, unfortunately.

Anyone else hold the owners truly accountable for this mess?

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