FN Weekend Open Thread - Projected Standings

Kent Wilson
July 21 2012 11:09AM

 

 

Although there are a few wrinkles to iron out still - the back-up goalie and the overly crowded blueline - what you see is probably what you're going to get once the season starts when it comes to the Flames roster. We've built the depth chart previously, but now it's time to project where you think this team will land in standings this season (assuming there is a season at all, of course). 

Subtractions, Additions and the Competition

The Flames weren't overly active this summer, but they did make a move or two. Gone are Hannan, Jokinen, Moss and Kostopolous. In their stead, Calgary signed Wideman, Hudler and Cervenka. Jones, Backlund, Comeau and Sarich were able to stick around, while Sven Baertchi is expected to make the club out of camp.

It looks like there's a bit more offense in the line-up this time around, but Calgary's greatest weakness - possession - wasn't really addressed (unless Cervenka turns out to be Pavel Datsyuk). Every single Flame not named "Backlund" who played in the top-6 last year got his head beat in terms of driving the play and scoring chance differentials. In fact, the club lost one of it's top-3 players by this measure in David Moss, so there's a good chance the team will continue to be outshot and outchanced by good teams more often than not. Particularly with key guys Iginla, Cammalleri and Tanguay one year older and one more year past their peak.

Also, keep in mind Kipper is not likely to repeat his performance from last year. His ES SV% has hovered around league average (.920) over the the last 5 seasons with some wild swings above and below. Last year was his best performance in a long time (.928) which usually means he's in line for some regression. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but even a 0.008 drop in SV% equates to about a 14 goal difference over a full season, assuming he plays about 70 games again.

It's not impossible for a 36-year old goalie to replicate an excellent performance, of course...it's just not the best bet in the world.

Finally, the stats of the NW division and Wetsern Conference as a whole is something to keep in mind.

Teams I expect to improve include:

  • Anaheim Ducks (Hiller, Getzlaf and Perry rebound)
  • Minnesota Wild (big additions in Parise, Suter and Granlund)
  • Edmonton Oilers (kids are growing up, added Shultz to the back-end)
  • Colorado Avalanche (Landeskog, Duchene, Parenteau, Downie, O'Reilly and Jones in their top-6. Added Zanon to a decent blueline as well. They have 16M in cap space too)
  • Los Angeles Kings (as long as pucks go in for them at even a middling rate, they will be near the top of the conference)

Teams I expect to take a step back:

  • Detroit Red Wings (lost Hudler, Stuart and Lidstrom. I doubt Jimmy Howard manages a .920 SV% again as well)
  • Nashville Predators (Lost Suter, Weber (maybe), Radulov and their success last year was percentages/special teams based anyways)
  • Phoenix Coyotes (lost Whitney, Mike Smith won't repeat his performance from last year)

Right now, there seems to be more risers than sinkers in the WC. Bad news for the Flames is three of their NW division rivals are trending upwards (COL, EDM, MIN) at a time when Calgary is doing it's very best just to tread water.It's going to be a very crowded middle-class in the WC again this year, so a lot of things are going to have go the Flames way if they are to make the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Projected Standings

I think there will be some bounce backs on Calgary this year (Backlund, Comeau, Cammalleri) and some guys will regress a bit (Kipper, Glencross, Hudler). The Flames should score a bit more, but will probably continue to give up more shots and chances than they generate. Wild cards include the performance of kids and rookies (Baertschi, Cervenka, Brodie) as well as the degree to which older guys like Iginla, Kiprusoff, Sarich and Tanguay fall off the pace.

I have placed the Flames in the "7-10" bucket for each of the last two seasons, but looking at them this year and considering the WC overall, I have to bump them down a notch to 8-11 or even 9-12. It's possible the Flames rides the percentages for awhile (think Minnesota or Nashville last year) because every year some club rolls sevens for an extended period. Absent a nice bout of luck like that, however, I think the best we can hope for is running in place.

That's just how things seem to me from where I sit. Your mileage may vary.

Of course, this is an open thread, so please add your own projections and justifications in the comments.

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 suba steve
July 21 2012, 11:21AM
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In keeping with recent history, Flames finish out of the playoffs as the 9th place team (thus drafting 12th-14th). Was my prediction/fear last year, I see no reason for this year to be any different. Sucks.

I think Feaster is doing a good (not great) job, under the circumstances (my assumption being: that he has been told he can't trade Iggy/full rebuild). Those that warn of a long 5 years if we trade Iggy seem blind to the long 4th year we are about to endure.

Enjoy your honeymoon Kent.

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#3 SmellOfVictory
July 21 2012, 11:57AM
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I wouldn't be surprised by anything between 6th and 12th. The team may well have improved (at the very least, Wideman is an upgrade over Hannan). Although Moss was one of the better possession forwards on the team, you can't possess the puck while you're on the IR, so his loss may not be as noticeable as it otherwise would be.

Whatever happens, I'm hoping for either playoffs or a bottoming out. I know it's sacreligious to hope for losses, but if the Flames are going to screw up hard, this is the season/draft in which to do it.

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#4 loudogYYC
July 21 2012, 12:19PM
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Still a mediocre team like in the past 5 seasons. The difference this year is that they're taking a risk with an overall smaller, more "skilled" team and a new offensive minded coach.

I think this could turn out like 06-07, heavy on offense with no defense except I can't see them making the playoffs this time around. I say somewhere between 12th and 9th.

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#5 Austin
July 21 2012, 12:22PM
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I think the team has improved itself, even if Iginla, Sarich, and Kipper are all still getting older. Wideman is better than Hannan, Hudler can replace Moss not in terms of driving possession but hopefully in points. Wild cars for me are Cervenka, Backlund, Baertschi, and Brodie. Backlund SHOULD have a rebound hopefully.

Like I said, I think our team got a little bit better, but other teams in our division did more things than we did.

Edmonton: Still a very young team with the likes of Eberle Hall RNH Yakupov and now Schults.... Look out!

Colorado: They won't blow anybody out of the water but they'll be fighting for that 8-10 range.

Minnesota: They'll be definately in the top 8, probably in the 4-6 range with the additions of Parise and Suter. Not to mention Granlund turning pro. They have some other good young talent that could help them as well.

Vancouver: Haven't really changed much so I don't see any reason for them to slide from where they are.

The teams that I do see falling are Phoenix, Nashville, and Detroit. I don't see Detroit falling out of the top 8, but if Nashville loses Weber, it will be hard for them to stay a top 5 team. Phoenix will likely lose Doan now so they'll be fighting for that 7-10 range. Dallas got a bit better and Anaheim was pretty unlucky. So all in all the 6-12 will probably be extremely crowded.....

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#6 RexLibris
July 21 2012, 12:43PM
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Have a good time Kent. I'll do my best to keep the comments coming (yeah, I'll try to be more verbose while your away.)

As for the standings, not sure exactly but I suspect that Anaheim will actually fall back this year (the likely loss of Ryan and perhaps a trade of either Getzlaf or Perry - both?!), Dallas might move forward, I suspect that Calgary will find ways to win the games they lost last year, but will lose some of the games they won as well, in the end - break even and more of the same. Perhaps a small step back one place in the standings from 2011-2012.

As for the Oilers, I expect them to finish no higher than 9th in the West and more likely around the 12th spot (Curtis Lazar in June, perhaps?).

I'm not spotting anything to Minnesota until I see them for at least 25 games. Mercenary talent, no matter how altruistic their intentions when signing, doesn't have the best track record for immediate performance.

Can't underestimate Phoenix.

Detroit is something of a puzzle right now. But I suspect that the franchise is going to begin to wane for a year or two. This might be when Holland and Nill really earn their reputation.

Columbus could be a guessing game again. Knowing their luck, in a year when there is a tremendous couple of talents in MacKinnon and Jones available, they'll screw it up and draft 6th overall (Max Domi?).

As for the rest of the team, I really couldn't hazard a guess this early. Depends on so many variables. New CBA, length of season delay, roster adjustments to meet the criteria for new CBA, last minute trades, underperforming core players, off-season Sami Salo-esque injuries (Scandinavian snake-bites anyone?), etc.

Calgary finishes a hair above Edmonton, Columbus screws up their own chance to draft high, a surprise collapse gives some other Western team the last place title. 1st overall pick might end up going out East for a change, though.

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#7 negrilcowboy
July 21 2012, 01:47PM
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enjoy the honeymoon kent.

agh, another dismal year with a second tier club awaits, i say somewheres around the tenth spot. just close enough to tease but bad eough to feel like a taunt. carlo colio a whatever and gilroy would be a huge improvement over sarich(that signing is like kidney removal while drunk in budapest)and the ukrainian trainwreck antwoin badchuck.

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#8 speeds
July 21 2012, 02:58PM
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I know I'm an Oilers fan so my view may be seen as particularly biased - I could see CAL really falling off this year and being in the lottery. Not that I'd necessarily be counting on that, but possible.

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#9 Chris
July 21 2012, 03:04PM
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As a die hard flames fan, I can understand the low expectations due to 3 years with no playoffs , but I am going to be positive and say the flames are going to surprise some us this year, since we are making predictions and predictions are just educated guesses, I am predicting the flames will make the playoffs. I predict backlund having a breakout year, Cammalleri returning to form, To generalize, I predict the cervneka signing will make us all very happy, I predict kipprusoff will be his usual self. I predict 40 goals from jarome, and my daring prediction, I predict bouwmeester will thrive under Hartley. Many may not see the changes this off season as moves in the right direction but I think this team is much better then the past 3 years indicate. The mediocrity and playoff draught started with Brent sutter and his style of play and I predict the it ends with Brent Sutter. Just predictions.

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#10 Chris
July 21 2012, 03:46PM
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(This comment isn't from the previous Chris. One of us may eventually have to switch handles. :) )

I like the approach Austin & Rex took: evaluating the entire conference. Here's my take:

Top tier teams: St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles.

Playoff teams: Minnesota, Vancouver.

Borderline teams: Detroit, Calgary, Edmonton, Dallas, Nashville (with Suter), Anaheim.

Miss out: Nashville (without Suter), Columbus, Colorado, San Jose, Phoenix.

The Flames will be competing with 4-5 other teams for 3 playoff spots. They can get in if they don't resemble the Montreal Canadiens of last year and get bashed all over the rink by the other teams' power forwards & big defencemen.

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#11 Chris
July 21 2012, 03:50PM
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Re that last post (#10): of course I meant 'Weber' where I said 'Suter'. Apologies.

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#12 speeds
July 21 2012, 03:55PM
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2nd Chris:

You have EDM and CAL clear of SJ. Out of curiousity, why?

SJ was 40-50 goal diff ahead of both teams last year, how do they close that gap? SJ is pretty much the same team, plus they added Stuart.

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#14 ?
July 21 2012, 06:11PM
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I expect the Flames to remain where they were last season for the most part. I still think the changes made by Jay Feaster will ultimately not be enough to push this team into the playoffs. Iggy and Co. are another year older. Kipper is unlikely to play aswell as he did last year. GlenX's sky high shooting percentage may trail back a bit.

There will be some positives this season. I think Cammi will have a bouce back season, along with Backlund. SVEN will have a good rookie campaign. Wideman will anchor the PP, and Cervenka will hopefully be a competent 2nd line centreman. However, I just think that these positives won't be enough to push the Flames into 8th with how other teams have improved in the West.

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#15 Monaertchi Gaudnett
July 21 2012, 07:35PM
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Same as it ever was for the Flames. 9-12.

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#16 Austin L
July 21 2012, 07:58PM
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I think if the Flames really do well under Hartley and accept his philosophy that you could see the Flames at 8. Not super likely but there's a chance.

By the way I am the previous guy in the comments "Austin" but the username was already taken.

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#17 Kenta
July 21 2012, 10:20PM
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The Flames will make the playoffs this year.

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#18 Tommynotsohuge
July 21 2012, 11:03PM
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You know, Hartley is a completely different coach, and I think he was the biggest acquisition the Flames made this off-season. Sure, we have a similar team than last year, but I think if Hartley was our coach last year, we would have made the playoffs. He coaches the offensive side of things unlike Sutter

All of our main guys strive on an offence first mentality. Cammy, Tangs and Iggy will have way more freedom to do what they do best. Score goals. A solid second line of Sven, Cervenka, and Hudler will also score a ton of goals. A third line of Glenny, Backlund, and Stepniak is a top notch third line ( if Backs plays like he should).

Our defence is very strong, even if we trade Bouwmeester.Gio and Wideman are solid two way d-men. Butler is due for a impressive season. Smith and Brodie are on the right track to take it to another level. Sarich can still pummel anyone. We have one of the best goalies on the league. What else should I say?

All I ask is a little bit patiance for our new coach. He will turn this "good on paper" squad into a "good on ice" squad. Cheers

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#19 Walter Sobchak
July 22 2012, 12:44AM
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I'll Play

My guess

1)STL 2)VAN 3)L.A 4)CHI 5)SJ 6)DET 7)NSH 8)MIN 9)DAL 10)COL 11)PHX 12)CAL 13)EDM 14)CBJ 15)ANH

If Nashville keeps Weber, I think they might be higher then 7th. If Anaheim trades Ryan then they become the worst team in the league.

As far as Minnesota is concerned, I have serious reservations about giving them 8th, it will be interesting to see how Suter plays without Weber.

Regardless Minnesota’s defense is still weak and they don’t score; I’m not sure how much of a difference two players will be?

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#22 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 08:18AM
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@Kent Wilson

Can any team really be said to have "lost" a Kostitsyn? Especially Andrei.

I understood Poile motivations last year, and I have to applaud the amount of effort he took, but when you gamble like that, putting your chips into players like Radulov and A. Kostitsyn (Sergei seems like a more responsible person) is like adding risk without any compensating reward.

Weber is good, but if they keep him all that is likely to happen this year (before they can trade him) is that they miss the playoffs, draft significantly later than they might had they let him go, and then have to trade him in a radically altered CBA landscape wherein his contract may become more of an albatross to the acquiring team, thus reducing their potential return.

I know it is like asking someone to choose between a gunshot and a knife wound, but I think that is something Poile needs to take into consideration. Seeing how difficult it is to trade either Nash or Luongo this summer based largely on their contracts, as well as the difficulty Howson had moving Carter for ostensibly the same reason (asking price aside), trying to move Weber next year might be next to impossible.

Or at least adjacent to Brian Burke expressing humility, which is next to impossible.

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#23 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 08:24AM
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@Walter Sobchak

I agree on Anaheim. Selanne is...well, Selanne. And Fowler is a player I would have some keen interest in for the Oilers. But looking down their lineup, if they lose Ryan, this team just is hanging on to the remnants of their cup roster and it is doing them no good at all.

Rather than trading Ryan, not that they can back away from that now, they ought to have spent the time trying to find compensation packages for trading Getzlaf and Perry. Trading those two and perhaps MacDonald, could have netted them a fair bit in the way of picks and prospects.

That 2013 2nd round pick in the Cogliano trade could become a very valuable little asset for Tambellini this year. If the Oilers were to move Sutton and Jones for picks at the trade deadline they might have enough pieces to move up a few spots in the first round, from perhaps 10th to 5th.

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#24 speeds
July 22 2012, 08:42AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

On MIN - if they can stay a little healthier this year, that will help them too. I assume Granlund will be come into the league as a more or less functional top-6 player since he's been playing as a pro for a couple of years already. They also added Tom Gilbert last season, and I think he's a legit top-4 guy at least.

So I think they should in the middle class form 7-10.

As for NSH - they had terrible underlying numbers last year. High-end goaltending, the second highest SH% in the league and a great PP put them where they were. It's probable at least one of those things (if not all three) regresses. And they are likely to lose their two best skaters on top of all that.

They also are likely to lose Kostitsyn to free agency this summer.

As a result, I doubt NSH makes the playoffs. Heck, they could be a lottery team.

That's part of why I think NSH might consider passing on the OS for Weber, depending how they look at their finances and future ticket sales, etc.

If they think there's a not bad chance they miss the playoffs anyways, positioning themselves for the MacKinnon lottery may not be the end of the world when contrasted with the money they'd have to pay Weber

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#26 dick
July 22 2012, 09:15AM
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With the parity in the league these days making predictions on standings is mugs game at best. While the Flames and most teams don't like to use injuries as a crutch they are a major factor in where teams end up in the standings. Late last February the Herald had a table showing each teams man games lost due to injuries.

At that time I went through each team and their standing. What it showed was the 7 teams with the most man games lost were all outside a playoff spot. The only team in the top 8 of man games lost in the playoffs was Pittsburg. Of the 12 teams with the least number of man games lost 9 were in a playoff spot. The rest in the middle were a mixed bag which would make sense. One of the take ways from this was that unless you have a pretty elite team it is pretty hard to make the playoffs when you have a lot of injuries.

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#27 Caleb
July 22 2012, 10:02AM
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The playoff race will probably be just as tight as it has been in the last few years.

I think just to make the playoffs, all you need to do is to avoid a long loosing streak.

If the team can win 8/14 - 6/10 games they will be in the mid 90's in points.

With the teams who should drop in the standings being playoff teams last year and the teams who should jump up in the standings being lottery teams, mid 90's should get a spot anywhere from 5-9.

To show how mediocre they can be and still be in the race for the playoffs, break it down by month

October - 8 games - 4-3-1 November - 12 games - 6-4-2 December - 15 games - 7-6-2 January - 11 games - 4-3-4 February - 15 games - 7-5-3 March - 15 games - 7-6-2 April - 6 games - 2-2-2

37-29-16 - 90 points

This would be the same record as the Flames had last year. Not the same breakdown per month but as you can see they just have to be consistent.

The Flames went 3-9 in shootouts last year and 2-7 in overtime.

If I remember right, since the shootout was introduced, other than the top 4 teams, everyone else was around .500

So go from 3-9 to 6-6, up to 93 points. Improve in the overtime to 4-5 and now you have 95 points.

There is no reason the Flames can't be in this 90-95 point range for the 4th straight year.

Will they make the playoffs? I think that has more to do with how the teams around them do.

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#28 FireOnIce
July 22 2012, 10:21AM
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Sort of off-topic question, but does anybody know when Irving's arbitration hearing is? TSN doesn't have him listed at all.

I'm wondering what the hold up is. If they do end up going to arbitration, they're going to make Irving cry - pretty sure it'll all hinge on the 9-0 shellacking and repeatedly losing the starter job in Abby. Might as well send him out the door for Bernier in that case.

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#29 Kevin R
July 22 2012, 11:16AM
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So hard to predict but I think most agree that Minn, Edm & Colorado will all be much better teams this year. So following that logic, you have to think we play the most games from the teams that have improved & of course Vanc is always solid & tough games. The question is, has Calgary improved? On paper, many think we have. In reality, we have more unknowns going into this year than last year. The unknowns of 2 key players about to start their NHL careers, could be good, could be bad, probably somewhere in the middle. We have the unknown of new coaches. Flip a coin guys, new coaches could equate to a quick start and a false sense of success or easily a struggle while the team adjusts to a new way on the ice. The latter could spell disaster. We also have some very big distractions next year. The biggest elephant in the room is Iginla. If he is not extended, this will become a gong show with the sport panels & media, especially if they struggle out of the gate & sit 12th or 13th by mid November. The other distraction is our backup & how many games Kipper is playing. If Kipper slips just slightly & our backup does the usual minimal wins, the odds of us struggling out of the gate increase dramatically. I just hope that Baerschte is in the top 3 candidates for rookie of the year, is Cerevenka eligible for the Calder? If so, for the Flames to have 2 players being discussed as candidates for the Calder could be the tonic for Iginla to resign, players to buy in quicker to Hartley and the Flames being a definite contender for the playoffs. So if we see some success out of the gate, I see the Flames in a 6-10 scenario. If this team is slow out of the gate again, OMG, we will see drama & rumours and changes like we have never seen before. Either way, its going to be interesting & its going to be fun. Let training camp begin & lets get this friggin CBA done. Bettman must be popping Zantac by the bucket with some of these rediculous contracts being thrown around.

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#30 speeds
July 22 2012, 11:17AM
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Is he going to arbitration?

http://www.nhlpa.com/news/salary-arbitration

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#31 RKD
July 22 2012, 11:24AM
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Maybe a lockout is what this team needs. The Flames always start the season slow and have to play catch up. They don't wake up until January.

A lockout is bad for guys like Backlund and Baertschi, they need to play a lot of games to keep developing. It's good for Kipper, who, if there is a lockout definitely won't play 70 games.

I'm more worried about the center position, this team is probably the weakest team down the middle in the NHL.

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#34 BurningSensation
July 22 2012, 02:29PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I agree on Anaheim. Selanne is...well, Selanne. And Fowler is a player I would have some keen interest in for the Oilers. But looking down their lineup, if they lose Ryan, this team just is hanging on to the remnants of their cup roster and it is doing them no good at all.

Rather than trading Ryan, not that they can back away from that now, they ought to have spent the time trying to find compensation packages for trading Getzlaf and Perry. Trading those two and perhaps MacDonald, could have netted them a fair bit in the way of picks and prospects.

That 2013 2nd round pick in the Cogliano trade could become a very valuable little asset for Tambellini this year. If the Oilers were to move Sutton and Jones for picks at the trade deadline they might have enough pieces to move up a few spots in the first round, from perhaps 10th to 5th.

Re: Anaheim moving Getzlaf and Perry

Pure crazy talk. Getzlaf is the single most important asset you can have, a number 1 center with size and skill. Assets like him get traded...almost never. And Perry is only a year removed from being MVP, but you think ANa should move them out for prospects and picks?

Crazy talk.

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#35 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 03:43PM
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Call me crazy then. But if they can't resign him then they have to trade him.

There is something to be said for recognizing one's situation and capitalizing on it, though. This year might offer Anaheim an opportunity to draft one or two prospects that could replace Getzlaf. The alternative at this point is that they have the center but precious little else with which to surround him.

I know it sounds defeatist, but a good manager can find opportunity in disadvantage. Right now the Ducks are financially strapped, they have taken a slap in the face with Schultz' "defection" and their prospect pool could use an injection of talent.

The Ducks, in my opinion, need to ask whether Getzlaf is more valuable to the organization or on the market.

The Stars hung on to Richards with the argument that they needed him in order to push for a playoff spot. It was a moot point as they finished below the cutoff, but even had they made it, there was virtually no chance of them winning anything beyond one round. Financial matters meant they had to gamble, but putting that aside, had they traded him to New York, Kreider could have been part of the return. Or McDonagh. Who knows.

Many Flames fans seem to feel, at least many of the ones who post here, that the Flames have been hanging on too long to certain players, to the detriment of the long-term future.

I won't go into that debate, but Anaheim could find itself in the same boat. If they can secure the finances to retain Getzlaf and Perry, while still developing and acquiring enough other talent to take them into consistent playoff contention, then by all means, sign them. If they cannot, and retaining those players means an inability to procure the necessary talent elsewhere, then they are simply wasting everybody's time.

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#36 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 03:46PM
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@Kevin R

The Calder, if I recall correctly, is limited to players under 25 years of age in their first professional season in the NHL.

Sergei Makarov winning the Calder as a 31 year-old kind of raised some issues.

Funny that the wording now includes professional time specifically in the NHL. I guess if someone had a previous year in a league like, say, the WHA it wouldn't count now.

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#37 Baalzamon
July 22 2012, 04:42PM
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@RexLibris

I believe it's 26 not 25. If I'm right, Cervenka is eligible just by the skin of his teeth, being a December birthdate in 1985.

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#38 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 09:27PM
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@Baalzamon

You're right. I was thinking 25 because of the Logan Couture debate last year (2010-2011).

Why not Cervenka, the Flames had Calder luck with a European import last time. ;-)

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#39 I'm Just Sayin'
July 22 2012, 09:53PM
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New coaching staff + better special teams + better shootout % = 5th place for Flames. You heard it here, first...

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#40 BurningSensation
July 22 2012, 10:13PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Call me crazy then. But if they can't resign him then they have to trade him.

There is something to be said for recognizing one's situation and capitalizing on it, though. This year might offer Anaheim an opportunity to draft one or two prospects that could replace Getzlaf. The alternative at this point is that they have the center but precious little else with which to surround him.

I know it sounds defeatist, but a good manager can find opportunity in disadvantage. Right now the Ducks are financially strapped, they have taken a slap in the face with Schultz' "defection" and their prospect pool could use an injection of talent.

The Ducks, in my opinion, need to ask whether Getzlaf is more valuable to the organization or on the market.

The Stars hung on to Richards with the argument that they needed him in order to push for a playoff spot. It was a moot point as they finished below the cutoff, but even had they made it, there was virtually no chance of them winning anything beyond one round. Financial matters meant they had to gamble, but putting that aside, had they traded him to New York, Kreider could have been part of the return. Or McDonagh. Who knows.

Many Flames fans seem to feel, at least many of the ones who post here, that the Flames have been hanging on too long to certain players, to the detriment of the long-term future.

I won't go into that debate, but Anaheim could find itself in the same boat. If they can secure the finances to retain Getzlaf and Perry, while still developing and acquiring enough other talent to take them into consistent playoff contention, then by all means, sign them. If they cannot, and retaining those players means an inability to procure the necessary talent elsewhere, then they are simply wasting everybody's time.

Well it sounds defeatist because it is defeatist!

Aside from trading Getzlaf for another teams #1 pivot, you will lose a piece that is simply not possible to trade for (see: Leafs/Flames). If you don't get a Kopitar or Malkin back you have to hope and pray that whatever prospects/picks you receive are homeruns just to equal the player you are giving up.

By keeping Getzlaf you can retool around him. Add an Etem here, a Fowler there, re-sign Perry and you can compete for a decade.

Let him go for hope and promise and you have...nothing.

Yes there are people who worry the Flames wasted Iggy's prime without getting him a ring. That is not an argument to trade him for 50 cents on the dollar.

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#41 RexLibris
July 22 2012, 11:47PM
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@BurningSensation

All of the centers that you mentioned, indeed pretty much every 1st and 2nd line center in the league that I can think of right now came from the draft.

From where I sit, I think the Ducks have some deeper problems to solve than the addition of an Etem or a Fowler can solve. One is just leaving junior and may not yet make the NHL, while the other is entering his third season and still has a long way to go.

As for competing for a decade? That would make Getzlaf 37. I suppose they could put Selanne in a juicer and drink his mojo, but that sounds like a bit of a stretch, no offense.

Hope and promise don't always account for nothing. Sine Qua Non.

I guess I've never understood the argument that draft picks are a waste of time or a fool's gamble because inevitably the argument seems to come around to the team in question trying to trade or sign as a free agent some elite center who was, at some point, drafted.

Every year there are talented young players entering the league and it's feeder systems.

I'm not saying that Getzlaf can be traded in for a younger, certified replacement center. In fact, I have argued against that very line of thinking in some of the Iginla trade talk here on FN. I don't subscribe to the idea that players can be traded for an equivalent performance in a younger model. And on that note, I honestly think that Iginla should sign an extension and finish his career in Calgary. Cup or no Cup, it won't make a difference for the place that I believe he occupies in the hearts of most Flames fans.

What I'm saying is that there comes a time to stop beating one's head against the wall and take a more strategic approach: be willing to lose the battle if it means winning the war. Or something like that.

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#42 Kevin R
July 23 2012, 11:50AM
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Rex, I have to disagree with you with Anaheim. 2010-2011 they were a playoff team and came close to knocking off Nashville. They were a major disappointment last year as many had projected them to be a top 8 team & they crapped the bed last year, I know had Getlaff & Perry in my hockeys pools last:(. Thing is, they are young & hitting their peaks, just because they have a bad year I find fans of teams that are currently rebuilding are quick to get on the blow up & rebuild. Misery likes company?:) Perry & Getzlaff were homeruns in the draft, you just dont bail on them like that. In fact, Anaheim should be watching what happened to Nashville & should be trying to aggressively extend them both. So, like, if Hall & Eberle & Nuge have a bad year 4 years from now, do you you trade them for picks & prospects?

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#43 RexLibris
July 23 2012, 02:39PM
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@KevinR

Good points and I absolutely understand your point there. A small setback shouldn't necessitate a massive roster change.

From my perspective (and I realize it seems like, as an Oiler fan, I'm riding some sort of rebuilding high), I see a team that has steadily declined since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. They have a half-decent prospect group, but I have to wonder if this might be an opportunity for them to "sell-high". The Ducks have had some success at the draft in the past, indicating a decent scouting corps.

I don't think they will actually try to trade these players away, but if neither signs, I suspect that Anaheim will be loathe to relive the experiences of Nashville from this season past.

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#44 Chris
July 23 2012, 04:20PM
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@speeds

SJ is pretty much the same team that struggled mightily to make the playoffs last year. They look to be on the decline, and merely adding Stuart won't be enough to stop their slide.

Of course, last year could have been a bad year for everybody, and they'll bounce back. But I don't think so.

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#45 McRib
July 23 2012, 05:50PM
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1) St. Louis 2) Los Angeles 3) Vancouver 4) Chicago 5) Minnesota 6) Calgary (More offense same goaltending) 7) Detroit (Lidstrom/ Stuart gone) 8) Colorado 9) San Jose (Same team as last year, all getting older) 10) Nashville ( Losing Suter and Weber means they went from a good defense to a weak defense, very little offense to back it up) 11) Edmonton (still not enough Defense to be competitive) 12) Dallas (Jagr is done, Roy is already going through surgery, Riberio/ Ott huge losses) 13) Phoenix ( Losing Whitney and most likely Doan means overachievers will have hard time competing. Lost heart and Soul this off season) 14) Anaheim 15) Columbus

Call me crazy but the Flames significantly improved their offense this off season and I think with our regular goaltending will easily make the playoffs. Adding Wideman, Hudler, Cervenka, Bartschi, and a bounce back year from Cammalleri.

Considering Detroit, Nashville, Phoenix, & Dallas all regressed think a lot would have to go wrong for the Flames to miss the playoffs.

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#46 Kevin R
July 23 2012, 08:56PM
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@ Rex: Now that makes sense. If they get a hint of them not wanting to extend then they need to make a hockey trade, not a rebuild trade. Ive been preaching that with Iggy as well. But in the Flames case, picks & prospects would be fine:)

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