Roman Cervenka: An In-Depth Look

Arik
May 03 2012 09:01AM

 

 

Yesterday the Calgary Flames signed Czech center Roman Cervenka to a 1-year contract with a salary cap hit of $3.775M (incl bonuses). It was a move nobody saw since Calgary is not known for a strong scouting presence in the KHL, and at this point in the Flame's offseason the only rumors had been regarding the coaching position.

So how does Cervenka really look for the Flames? Will this be a case of signing a player who succeeded in a lesser league and can't turn it on in the NHL?

The History

With a December birthday, Cervenka was draft eligible in the summer of 2004. At that point he had one professional season in the Czech "elite" league, playing 15 games and notching 1 assist. His 8 playoff games were hardly spectacular either, but at this point Cervenka was a 17 year old kid who was drastically undersized. In fact, as noted by Robin Brownlee yesterday after the signing, Cervenka was just 127 pounds in his draft season. It's therefore not surprising Cervenka went undrafted, and his next couple seasons in the Czech league were fairly lacking - though his games played and ice time both increased.

After a mediocre season which saw Cervenka post a 6-6-12 line in 51 games, the small Czech briefly lit up the playoffs, scoring 3-1-4 in 6 games. He followed that post-season success (which would be common a feature of his play) with a 2007-08 campaign where he scored 19-11-30 in 41 games and 4-4-8 in 14 playoff games. His true break through was in 2008-09. He was the second leading scorer on his team, Slavia Praha HC, managing 59 points in 51 regular season games and another 24 points in 18 post-season games. His last season in the Czech league was his best: 30-43-73 in 50 games. That was also the best season by any scorer in the Czech league that year.

In 2010-11 Roman Cervenka signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. He played on a line with a semi-well known hockey player named Jaromir Jagr and scored 61 points in 51 games, best on the team. When Jagr left for the Philadelphia Flyers, there was a falloff in his regular season play, but he still led Omsk in scoring and again absolutely lit up the playoffs; with 11-11-22 in 20 games, it didn't seem to matter who Cervenka played with - just that he played.

And that led him to this point.

The Scouting Report

A Russian scout described Cervenka to Hockey Prospectus' Corey Pronman as "one heck of a hockey player who can play a top six without any problem." That's absolutely high praise. When asked about the 26-year old center, Pronman also complimented Cervenka's hands and vision, though he also mentioned some areas that need work:

"He's got high-end hands and vision, but only average skating ability and a little below-average for a smaller player. While he's improved his physicality the last year or so, due to size/strength combo he's replacement level in that area.

Still the offensive skills are tremendous, and if he pans out could be an above-average scoring 2nd line forward. For a team that couldn't score last season and is devoid of any top forward prospects breaking into that role next year (outside of Baertschi)...I fully approve of this signing. With the depth chart he's entering and his talent level, Cervenka could be a great surprise if he transitions well into the NHL."

The Flames will likely not need Cervenka for his physicality, so long as he can take an average NHL hit. Instead, what the Flames need is what Cervenka excels at: scoring.

The Expectations

A lot of people were asking for his NHLE (NHL equivalency) - which is, unfortunately, something of a problematic request. A KHL equivalency has been calculated, but there are some issues with it. Bruce Peter of Puck Worlds calculated a rough NHLE for KHL players to be ratio of about 0.65. The issue is a small sample size owing to relative youth of the KHL; moreover, most of the samples that are available aren’t ideal as they’re low quality players - your Kyle Wellwoods, for instance - who are the most frequent transfers between the two leagues.

In the above linked article, Peter lists the old Russian League equivalency (which is out of date, but at least didn’t have those issues) at 0.82.

Finally, FlamesNation’s dedicated stats guru, Rob Vollman, isolated Jiri Hudler and Old Jaromir Jagr as the best comparisons, given both KHL stats (100 points in 105 regular season KHL games) and perceived ability. The following table contains all the available comparisons*:

*Note that the KHL stats I’m using are both seasons and playoffs (for the best possible sample size) while the equivalency stats are pro-rated for a single full NHL season. I’ve also tossed in his last two Czech league seasons for kicks.

Method Goals Assists Points
KHL Stats 70 61 131
KHL/NHLE (0.65) 27.2 23.7 51
Russia/NHLE (0.82) 34.4 29.9 64.3
Czech/NHLE (0.74) 38.8 44.4 83.1
Average 33.5 32.7 66.13

I’d be shocked if he managed the sort of numbers suggested by the Czech league equivalencies (he’d likely be the highest scoring player on the Flames), but given a nice SH% boost and good linemates, I think the average (66 points) is an acceptable upper-end/ceiling. Chances are we’ll see a season somewhere around where Vollman estimated - 55 or so points is a good middle area assuming appropriate acclimation to the North American game. That’s nothing to sneeze at, given this is an asset acquired for nothing but the time of Feaster, Weisbrod, and some scouts.

The Fit

 

Given his expected output, where can we expect to see Cervenka line up? Chances are Jokinen is gone, which means Cervenka will absolutely be a top six center. It’s probably safe to assume (given nobody currently signed for next season is traded) he’ll stand between Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay, though there’s a chance he’ll line up with Glencross, Cammalleri or…Baertschi?

At this point in the off-season, with so many changes pending, line projections are tough. I can guarantee one thing though - if Horak and Cervenka end up playing together it’ll be very Roman-Czech (I’ll be here all week. Make sure to try the veal).

For now, it's impossible to know if Cervenka will manage to translate his scoring on unfamiliar ice in the NHL. He's a guy who has never skated on this side of the pond and sometimes European stars have a difficult time adjusting to the different sized ice and physical demands of the NA game.

If he makes the leap successfully, the Flames have filled a big gap in their organizational depth chart with a 26-year old center who can score. If not, then he'll prove to be a somewhat pricey* but transient mistake.

*If he makes his bonuses that is.

89f9ff18b1b3e325c6f96a48ff40560a
Arik works in Search and Rescue in the United States Coast Guard and is a former managing editor of the SBN Flames blog, Matchsticks and Gasoline.
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#1 Gmac34
May 03 2012, 09:06AM
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Posted this in the previous thread, but thought i'd throw it up here also:

Can't help but be a little excited for this acquisition. Didn't give up any assets, for a potential top six forward.

I also recall about two years ago, possibly during the olympics, Jagr raving about this guy saying something to the effect of "he'll be a star in the nhl someday". Take that with a grain of salt, but I can't help but wonder if Philly wins the cup, perhaps JJ would want to finish out his career riding shotgun with his good friend and countryman.

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#2 Kent Wilson
May 03 2012, 09:19AM
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Apparently Alex Hemsky also tried to convince the Oilers to bring over Cervenka. Feaster said in his interview today that he was being pursued by several teams as well.

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#3 Bruce Peter
May 03 2012, 09:24AM
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One thing about the Czech league, in my KHL equivalencies post you'll notice that the Czech Extraliga has dropped in quality significantly since those original NHLE measurements were taken. It is now closer in standing with the Swiss NLA than it is with the Elitserien (Sweden) or SM-Liiga (Finland), for example. So yes, I would be very surprised if Cervenka was putting up those kinds of numbers in the NHL that is CEL-NHL comparables suggest.

For reference, I had the Czech league at .58 compared to the KHL, which roughly works out to a .38 NHLE if you use my numbers (0.65 KHL-NHL). Obviously, I think the sample is a poor quality one from KHL to NHL, but the CEL to KHL one I have a lot of confidence in. It's why you don't see players jumping from the Czech league straight to the NHL anymore. It's clearly a step below the AHL.

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#4 mslepp
May 03 2012, 09:25AM
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In terms of NHL competition and ice-size, the only stats we have to look at recently are the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

He played 5 games with the 7th place Czech Republic... 0G 2A 2PTS TOI 12:10

Not great offensive output but the Czech's never scored much, either. It's also worth noting that his ice time dipped as the tournament went on. Averaging 13:25 in round robin and in their final game he only got 9:01.

However, Pronman's analysis is encouraging. Even at 40 points he would've been the Flames second highest-scoring centre.

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#5 TBonnar
May 03 2012, 09:25AM
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It looks like a nice signing to me and the contract appears to be fair for both side. If he doesn't perform, he doesn't achieve the performance bonuses. If he does, then he fills a short term need.

His UFA status at the end of the season makes this an ultimate tryout...

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#6 Robert Cleave
May 03 2012, 09:28AM
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It's a fairly risk-free move, in my view, and as I mentioned last night on Twitter, the line in the sand for me is 40 points or so. If you look at the top 180 forwards, which should cover off almost every top sixer in the NHL worth a damn, a middling 2nd liner in terms of scoring would get right in that range. Brooks Laich was the 135th leading scorer this year with 41 points, and 135th amongst forwards would obviously be right at the mid-point of second line productivity.

At any rate, if Cervenka can hit that sort of production without hurting the team in any other way, Calgary wins. If he actually reaches his NHLe and gets into the 55 point range, that would have been good enough for 70th in scoring this year. I'm loathe to expect that much, given his decline in productivity this year without Jagr riding shotgun, but there's still a fair bit of range in potential output between him hitting his NHLe and being a bad bet.

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#7 Colin
May 03 2012, 09:36AM
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I posted this in the other thread as well but it bears repeating. For those that want the rebuild, this is something they REALLY should be behind. He's younger, skilled and will fit into the top 6 and shoves out our older players (jokinen).

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#8 Kent Wilson
May 03 2012, 09:40AM
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@Bruce Peter

Thanks for the update Bruce. Good stuff.

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#9 Rain Dogs
May 03 2012, 09:48AM
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1. I like this move because it fits within what I view as a promising age window for our "veteran" Flames: The '82-'85 years. I realistically see the guys in this window being the earliest likely to be competitive in the future, and not be too old to compete in 3 years or so.

Any forward/def. older than '82 on this team has no future IMHO and should immediately be traded for assets if it makes sense.

2. I think that Roman has potential to be a successful 3rd line centre on a good team. He's not a good skater, and in this league any player who's lacking skating is equiv. to a line lower or 5 years older. He's small and can't skate well.... he better be resilient and tenacious, cause he's going to take a beating...or be invisible.

3. Feaster deserves props for exploring less conventional sources of talent which are both coming with experience and can be had at reasonable cost (if the 900k base is true) and low risk (1 year).

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#10 Colin
May 03 2012, 09:55AM
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I change my stance on High Rish/High Reward as well. This signing pretty well has ZERO risk attached to it. With all the secondary bonuses(Hart/Selke/etc.) that he would have to get to get that cap dollar would mean he would have to be the best player in the league and at 3.8million thats a good deal. And if he doesn't come close, he costs about as much as a typical 4th liner and will be shipped back to Russia.

This is pretty well zero risk and still a high reward.

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#11 Gange
May 03 2012, 10:12AM
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However Freidman said that he wasn't aware of many teams chasing him. I'm very cautiously optimistic about this guy. I'm much more optimistic about the direction of the team.

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#13 Subversive
May 03 2012, 10:26AM
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Yep, agree with most of the commenters. I think it's a low risk move, in the sense that they risk nothing but money (and not mine, at that) to acquire the player.

If it pushes Sex Panther out the door, so much the better, there's no way he sustains his level of production from this season going forward.

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#14 Bean-counting cowboy
May 03 2012, 10:26AM
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Now trade Iggy + whatever else it takes to land Jordan Staal & the centre position is likely pretty solid for many years to come.

Man wouldn't that be sweet. Staal-Cervanka-Backlund with Cammi as a possible fill in if needed. We have lots of 4th line center options on the club going forward - Jones, Horak, Reinhart et al. Not to mention Stajan.

Speaking of Stajan. My thought is for Feaster to rid him, he may need to be used as part of a package with the big 2. We take less back in return on Kipper or Iggy if you take Stajan. In either of those trade scenarios we would likely need to take some salary back, but if it was for lesser term & maybe a position where we need a little more depth (defense for example) I could see it working.

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#15 Subversive
May 03 2012, 10:28AM
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Do you really think Jordan Staal could be had at any realistic price? I'm extremely skeptical.

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#16 Robert Cleave
May 03 2012, 10:30AM
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If he makes the leap successfully, the Flames have filled a big gap in their organizational depth chart with a 26-year old center who can score. If not, then he'll prove to be a somewhat pricey* but transient mistake. *If he makes his bonuses that is.

If he hits all of his "A" bonuses, the Flames will have a 60 point forward that made an extra 850k, or about 1.8M for the year. That's incredibly cheap for that level of productivity. If, through some miracle, he hits all of his "B" bonuses, he'll almost certainly have won the Hart trophy, amongst other things. His salary is a total non-issue.

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#17 Bean-counting cowboy
May 03 2012, 10:32AM
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@ Subversive

Just dreaming, hoping, wishing. It's all I have right now.

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#18 Colin
May 03 2012, 10:37AM
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@Bean-counting cowboy

Staal is either staying with the Pens or going to the Hurricanes/Rangers to play with his brother. Freidmanns let the rumor out a few times that all the Staal brothers would like to play on the same team at some time in the near future. IF we traded for him, it'd probably be a rental at best.

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#19 TBonnar
May 03 2012, 10:39AM
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Colin wrote:

I posted this in the other thread as well but it bears repeating. For those that want the rebuild, this is something they REALLY should be behind. He's younger, skilled and will fit into the top 6 and shoves out our older players (jokinen).

Does it really say anything about a rebuild? This is a one year deal that will leave him a UFA at the season. It likely does move Olli out and it gives youngsters a year to develop, but it could just as easily be looked at as a "win now" addition.

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#20 Graham
May 03 2012, 10:43AM
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Its more a high risk /reward proposition for Feaster. If Cervenka pans out as a decent second line center great, plus for Feaster.

However, if Cervenka is slow to adapt, their is almost no goal scoring at center behind him. Backlund has the ability but hasn't shown it (yet?), Jones isn't a scorer, Stajan is Stajan...If Cervenka struggles this team could be extremely weak down the middle, and set for another slow start.

I wonder if the ownwers will be more willing to bury Stajan in the minors this year? Cervenka, Backlund and Jones with another signing (even Jokinen at a good price) makes a lot more sense...

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#21 Bean-counting cowboy
May 03 2012, 10:49AM
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@ Arik

Eligible for calder eh? Sure would be fun to watch him & Baertschi duke it out for the prize. ha ha. It almost rings of Sergei Makarov for the Flames all over again if Cervanka were to win it.

OK he's not quite that old.

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#22 the-wolf
May 03 2012, 10:55AM
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Of course Feaster said a lot of teams were after him.

But he chose the Flames. How glorious.

Like his crap about how close the Flames were to signing Richards. Bragging about 2nd place when we offered the most money. What's that Seinfeld quote? "Of all the losers, we were first." Pretty much sums up the season too.

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#23 Kent Wilson
May 03 2012, 10:56AM
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@Graham

If the team gets rid of Stajan somehow, I hope they still pass on Jokinen. I would favor Jarret Stoll has a potential cheap replacement.

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#24 Gange
May 03 2012, 10:57AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

If the team gets rid of Stajan somehow, I hope they still pass on Jokinen. I would favor Jarret Stoll has a potential cheap replacement.

Agreed. I've thought losing Stoll was a mistake from the start. Not an elite player but a good faceoff man with a real working attitude.

Not sure what he'll go for if the Kings win the cup though. Could be steep.

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#25 Kent Wilson
May 03 2012, 11:24AM
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@Gange

I doubt it. He scored 21 points this year and is 30 years old.

Of course, if he somehow becomes the subject of a bidding war, you walk away.

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#26 Bean-counting cowboy
May 03 2012, 11:25AM
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@ TBonnar and Colin

RE: rebuilding or going for it:

I think that Feaster has shown in his tenure that the plan is to do neither, or both depending on how you look at it & here are some examples:

-Trade Lankgow for Stempniak. Could be viewed very similarly to Cerevanka vs. Jokinen. Get younger, while still being competitive now.

-Trade deadline - don't buy or sell. Stay competitive, but don't give up on the future.

-Regeher for Butler - get younger while trying to stay competitive.

I don't believe Flames ownership are in for a tear down re-build, but have rather given Feaster a mandate to remain competitive while finding creative ways to shed salary & get younger at the same time.

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#27 T&A4Flames
May 03 2012, 11:55AM
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But is Stoll a potential 1st line 'C'? Then again, neither is Olli but he does have a connection with GlenX as good PvsP option

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#28 Gange
May 03 2012, 12:02PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

But is Stoll a potential 1st line 'C'? Then again, neither is Olli but he does have a connection with GlenX as good PvsP option

I see Stoll as a 3rd line center much like Malhotra for the Canucks.

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#29 Sincity1976
May 03 2012, 12:03PM
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Again, this has nothing to do with keeping or not keeping Jokinen.

Unless the Flames are comfortable starting the season with Backlund or Stajan in the top 6 (they likely are not) then they need another top 2 C. Especially since Cervenka is an unproven commodity at this point in time. Do people really think the Flames will go forward with Backlund, Stajan, and Cervenka as their options for top 2 C? Cervenka has also been playing LW in the KHL which muddies the water a bit more.

I would prefer they look at Gaustad or another dedicated shut down C as opposed to Jokinen. But unfortunately bringing on Cervenka doesn't force the Flames hands in not keeping Jokinen.

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#32 RexLibris
May 03 2012, 12:43PM
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@Kent

*Ales*

As for Hemsky wanting the Oilers to sign Cervenka, they tried that before with Petr Sykora and they investigated seriously into Jagr a couple years ago. I don't think they were going to be that close to signing Cervenka unless they could move out Belanger.

The addition of Cervenka seems to keep with the Flames additions over the last few years. They have added a player at a position that will force someone to play out of their depth or ahead of their learning curve.

As I said before, as far as Feaster actually pursuing other options I have no problem with his motives. It behooves him, and every GM, to look at every possibility when trying to improve the team.

I just hope that expectations amongst some of the fan base (not necessarily the ones who read FN) don't lean towards this player being the next Dino Cicarelli or Joe Mullen.

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#33 everton fc
May 03 2012, 01:22PM
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We look strong down the left-side, at least on the first three lines, which is why I think Cammy moves to centre full-time next season. That said, we are thin if any of the top 3 come up lame.

We are still small and thin down the middle, though, and real thin the right side.

The way I see the centres is this way (thanks to the Wolf for reminding me Jones is probably our 4th line centre, as I penciled in Moss...)

Centres

Cervenka Cammy Stajan/Backlund/Jokinen/Horak (Reinhart?) Jones/Horak/Moss (If Jones plays RW on the 3rd line - see below)

I'm certain they'll give Backlund a look on the 3rd line, if Stajan is moved. Jokinen looks to be out, and Horak may become a wing, though he plays from the left-side, where we are stacked. All in all, we are not over-powering down the middle. Not with the group above.

On the left:

Tanguay Glencross Baertschi Bouma/??

Again, if any of the top three go down... We are not deep here.

On the right:

Iginla Stempniak/Moss/Nemisz/Jackman...Jones?

This is where we need to look for some depth/size/scoring touch. Jones might be worth looking at for the 3rd line/RW.

Cervenka may or may not work out. To me, he'on the small side. The fact his skating may be questionable must be taken into consideration. I think we need to get bigger down the middle.

Perhaps signing Cervenka lures Ramo over sooner, than later... ??

I do wonder if this gives the Flames a chance of Jagr for one year? The man can still score. Perhaps Feaster and company still believe they can win now. Next season?

Cervenka might keep Horak here for opening day... Horak's played wing before... albeit from the left side.

Just some random thoughts...

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#34 Colin
May 03 2012, 01:28PM
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@Sincity1976

Camm was playing center towards the end of the year as well and can easily switch to that role if need be. So we have Backlund, Stajan, Cervenka, Horak and most likely Jones as possible centermen, would be nice to add another big one (just not Jokinen).

@b-c C

Yeah it's not a complete rebuild, but should make the rebuild crowd happy because we are getting younger rather then spending money on Jokinen (hopefully not being resigned). We are hopefully going to stay a bit younger and still be competitive, it's all about just getting to the playoffs.

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#35 Casey
May 03 2012, 01:32PM
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I have no problems with this move. How could you *NOT* take a chance on a guy like this? Top 6 forwards in their mid 20s don't grow on trees. If this pans out then Feaster is a genius. If not, it's only 1 year. Meh.

Cervenka outscored Radulov in 2010/11 (while skating with Jagr) which is pretty elite company Then in 2011/12 he still managed 23 goals in 54 games without much help. (http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0050162012.html). Then he goes and leads the 2011/12 KHL playoffs in scoring.

We are all constantly complaining about the lack of skill in the Flames lineup. This guy clearly has skill, he is the right age, and has shown that he can be clutch in the KHL. Let's cross our fingers and hope that Feaster has pulled off a coup here, and not Fabian Brunnstrom 2.0.

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#36 icedawg_42
May 03 2012, 01:35PM
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If this deal prevents any long term signing of Jokinen, then it's win/win. Period.

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#37 kittensandcookies
May 03 2012, 01:41PM
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I wasn't too impressed with what Feaster said. "Second-line player"...

Hmmm... How does Feaster know this? Or maybe he doesn't and he's just feeding fans a line.

So much for intellectual honesty. Can't even get just straight honesty.

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#38 ChinookArch
May 03 2012, 02:00PM
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Arik wrote:

@Sincity1976

Seems to me that Flames are quite comfortable with Backlund in the 2C slot. Especially if they really are into the whole PUCKS system that Feaster keeps going on about.

@ Kent Wilson @ Robert Vollman @ FN Advanced Stats Guys

I've been wondering for a while on how many schools of thought there are in hockey Advanced Stats arena. Is there a general concensus on the stats used? Do most or all statisticians have the same view on which stat are most or least important, or how to properly analyze the stats, etc.? I'm asking, because the analysis is so new.

Also, has anyone seen, or understand what the PUCKS system tracks and reports? Lastly, is Chris Snow actually any good or does he have a lot of respect in the Advanced Stats community?

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#39 ChinookArch
May 03 2012, 02:04PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

If this deal prevents any long term signing of Jokinen, then it's win/win. Period.

YUP.

I'm with Sincity on this though, the Cervenka signing does not mean the Flames can't or won't sign Jokinen, but I hope it does give them leverage.

Simply put: "Olli here's your offer, take it or leave it."

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#40 Kent Wilson
May 03 2012, 02:27PM
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@ChinookArch

There has been no Moneyball style stats revolution in hockey yet. There is more or less a consensus and growing body of work around the role of randomness, circumstances and possession on outcomes (with a few notable detractors) but that's mostly outside the pro field.

Because teams never really go on record to say what kind of data they use or analyze, it's impossible to know how deep some of this stuff has penetrated the upper offices. As far as I can tell, some orgs are still pretty old school while others are aggressively embracing and pursuing advanced analysis. Mike Gillis mentioned Cody Hodgson's zone starts in his press conference recently for example.

As for PUCKS, from what I can tell it's a searchable video/highlight database which can be used to parse games/shifts/events etc. So if you want to see all of Iginla's shifts under certain circumstances, or all of Cammalleri's goals, etc, the system allows you to filter the search and then brings up all the relevant highlights. Im sure it allows people to interact with the video as well in certain ways (slow-down, rewind, add graphics, etc.).

As for Snow, he was known as a progressive thinker when the Wild hired him, but I don't know enough specifics to say to what degree that's true or not. I do know he contacted Gabriel Desjardins of behindthenet.ca last summer at some point after he was hired by the Flames and was asking about corsi etc.

Gabe told Snow to contact me at some point, but he never has. Probably in part because of my position as "media" (worse..."blogger") here in Calgary.

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#41 Colin
May 03 2012, 02:53PM
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See I don't get that, just cause you are media (blogger) they shouldn't go running scared.

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#42 Justin Azevedo
May 03 2012, 03:05PM
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I can tell you with 98% certainty that people are overvaluing the pucks system. it's more a way to sort certain on-ice events rather then actually evaluate the players based on non-subjective criteria.

I asked once about an otr talk with snow, but I never heard anything back.

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#43 RexLibris
May 03 2012, 03:31PM
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@ everton fc

Your listing of the center depth looks like a dog's breakfast. Cammalleri is the most talented and able of the players listed and yet he would have to move to from the wing in order to play that position.

Backlund might not be ready yet for 2nd line center duty unless he is paired with strong wingers who can help him succeed.

Stajan's position on the depth chart should speak for itself, and then Moss, Horak and Jones are all 3rd/4th line centers or AHL players at this point.

Adding Cervenka, aside from taking a gamble on him potentially usurping Backlund's 2nd/3rd line spot, will likely only muddy the waters and add more bodies to a roster that would probably be better served adding a center like Stoll to play 2nd line minutes in a group like this.

If Cervenka can manage 60 points, awesome. Way to go Feaster and congratulations to the Flames.

If he scores 50, well it was a worthwhile experiment and he served his purpose.

If he manages 40, not so good.

35 or fewer points and ouch, this would make the contract a waste of money and a roster spot.

Now, if Feaster wanted to sign Cervenka as a way of enticing Hemsky to demand a trade to Calgary...(sorry, I had to go there, it was too tempting to resist)

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#44 Kent Wilson
May 03 2012, 03:41PM
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@Colin

Most teams are naturally distrustful of bloggers and "new media". We exist outside the established paradigm so look like a bit of a free radical in the system form their vantage point.

As such, the Flames would probably have no idea what I might have with Snow which is scary.

So fair enough.

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#45 negrilcowboy
May 03 2012, 03:47PM
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low risk signing, but you have to be skeptical when feaster speaks. personally, i never trusted carnie sucksters or snake oil salesmen. the khl maybe the third best pro league in the world. nhl first ahl second and perhaps the khl. the level of corruption in russia casts long shadows.

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#46 Robert Vollman
May 03 2012, 04:18PM
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@ChinookArch

There is a general consensus, yes. We generally all use Corsi-based tools and zone starts, as well as on-ice save/shoot %, all of which largely came from two people - Vic Ferrari and Gabriel Desjardins. There's very little that achieves the consensus-level standard without their endorsement or initiation.

While people who venture outside the Ferrari-Desjardins consensus are usually on their own, there are some other stats that have achieved some general level of acceptance, including mainstream media and NHL front offices, like GVT/GVS and Quality Starts, for instance.

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#47 Robert Cleave
May 03 2012, 05:01PM
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@RexLibris

40 points is a middle of the pack 2nd liner in the NHL. If the Flames get that for 925k plus a 212,000 ice time bonus and a few other bits and pieces, it'll be a pure win.

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#48 SmellOfVictory
May 03 2012, 05:27PM
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Rain Dogs wrote:

1. I like this move because it fits within what I view as a promising age window for our "veteran" Flames: The '82-'85 years. I realistically see the guys in this window being the earliest likely to be competitive in the future, and not be too old to compete in 3 years or so.

Any forward/def. older than '82 on this team has no future IMHO and should immediately be traded for assets if it makes sense.

2. I think that Roman has potential to be a successful 3rd line centre on a good team. He's not a good skater, and in this league any player who's lacking skating is equiv. to a line lower or 5 years older. He's small and can't skate well.... he better be resilient and tenacious, cause he's going to take a beating...or be invisible.

3. Feaster deserves props for exploring less conventional sources of talent which are both coming with experience and can be had at reasonable cost (if the 900k base is true) and low risk (1 year).

I know these are outliers, but neither Cory Perry nor Ryan Getzlaf is a good skater. It's not 100% necessary that a guy be a good skater to be in a team's top-6, although skating deficiencies are certainly difficult to compensate for.

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#49 Colin
May 03 2012, 05:56PM
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@RexLibris

35 or fewer points, wow, you are certainly setting the bar high. I don't think I have to tell you, but if Cervenka scores 35 points that puts him as the 6th highest scoring forward on the flames this past season. A waste of money and a Roster spot really?

Now assuming he only scores 35 points, that probably gets rid of all bonuses so its only salary, which is about 925,000. Want a list of the guys on the Flames that were making that last season and didn't get half of 35 points? Backlund, Stajan, Kosto and Comeau are all one it(well Stajan is one point above half 35 points).

So if Cervenka scores 35 points as a rookie in the NHL making less than 1 million, he's doing better than all the forwards on the team outside the top 5 guys (Iggy, tangs, Jokinen, GlennX, Camm).

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#50 MC Hockey
May 03 2012, 07:14PM
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Hi all,

First, I assume Iggy and Kipper are staying.

And I do think Cammy will return to 1st line Centre, so many people forget he finished the year there (and playing very well).

Next at 2C and 3C will be Cervenka then Backlund(or Olli should he surprisingly return) because now the Flames have leverage for offering Jokinen a shorter/cheaper contract with him. Olli at 3rd line C would be a skillful guy who could also take defensive-zone faceoffs and check other teams' top-liners well and free up Flames lines 1 and 2 to start in the offensive zone more (wow, managing zone starts, what a concept!). Unless the Flames shake things up and sign a UFA (see below).

Then Stajan or Jones at 4th line centre and the odd man of those 2 and most other guys mentioned by others are converted to wing should they make the team(i.e. Horak and Reinhart possibly to LW as both shoot left).If the Flames shake things up see, the paragraph strating with "Finally.." below.

Basically, With Czechbeerman (you say Cervenka but I say Cerveza) signed, the whole forward lineup is starting to look much better and I hope FLames do NOT keep Olli, Comeau, Moss, Kostopoulos (sorry but all are replaceable), neutral on Stempniak. Instead I hope Flames truly go young making it highly possible that young guys make the team like Baetschi (obvious) but maybe Reinhart, Nemisz, Ferland, or even free agents Byron/Aliu/Desbiens (if any of the 3 are re-signed), depending on what the team wants in terms of skills for bottom 6 wingers.

Finally, if the Flames want to find a good defensive centre by signing a UFA, Gaustad or Stoll are great ideas (both faceoff aces in top 18 for FW% in league in regular season) but likely too costly. Thus I suggest Torrey Mitchell who is 27, fast, had capy hit of only 1.333, possibly offensive upside but is a good checking centre/winger who is decent on faceoffs. Similar but 28 years old and more offensive upside is Marcel Goc.

P.S. Now if we could just get a 1D/2D by signing one of Suter, Wideman, Carle or even Barrett Jackman (a bit older at 32 and just a defensive D-man but excellent) then things would be great.

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