FN Weekend OPen Thread - Flames Roster in Three Years

Kent Wilson
August 18 2012 09:46AM

 

 

One of the potential risks of the looming lock-out for the Flames (both team and fans) is the possibility Jarome Iginla's final season in town will either be severely shortened or wiped out entirely. The club could eliminate that risk by re-signing the captain sooner rather than later, but that causes the org to step into a whole new minefield given his age and the uncertainty surrounding a new CBA.

Of course, we also don't know if Iginla is even willing to re-sign in Calgary at this point.

With his career nearing its sunset, the team around him faltering and fresh uncertainties facing him about the labor agreement, Iginla may choose to wait things out and see what a new horizon brings come summer 2013. If the season is wiped out or, alternatively, if the Flames again fail to make the dance, Iginla would be entirely justified in looking beyond the borders of the only NHL team he's ever known to experience life elsewhere as the inspirational vet or solid support player - and perhaps get a chance to win before he finally hangs up the skates.

With that in mind and considering the age of many of the club's other money players, I began to wonder recently what the club's roster would look like 3 years down the road. At that point, it's entirely possible Iginla and Kipper will be gone, while 35 year old Alex Tanguay will start to slow down significantly. Jay Bouwmeester will likely be gone by then as well, which is either a good or bad thing depending on where you stand on the player.

The Flames only have 4 current major leaguers signed until 2014-15: Jiri Hudler, Dennis Wideman, Mark Giordano and Tanguay. Sven Baerstchi should be at least a sophomore by then and Mikael Backlund will be 25-26 and either a key cog on the team or traded. In net, it could be a combination of Karri Ramo and Leland Irving (or neither, because who knows with goalies). By then, Lance Bouma will probably be a regular 4th liner and Greg Nemisz...probably the same. Maybe Johnny Gaudreau or Mark Jankowski will be making a debut that year as well. Roman Cervenka might still be around if he manages to translate his game in North America. etc.

So get out your crystal balls Flames fans. Who sticks and is around in 3 years? Who are the club's big guns? Who anchors the blueline? Who is stopping pucks?

 

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 McRib
August 20 2012, 09:34AM
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@Old Soldier

"Vancouver is 27th "

Personally think if Vancouver doesn't win a Stanley Cup in the next couple seasons they are in serious trouble as Mike Gillis has shown he is absolutely incapable on draft day.

Mike Gillis has been GM of Vancouver since 2008, and has failed to draft an impact player outside of Cody Hodgson who they traded last season and was a lock at 10th.

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, Cory Schneider, Alexander Edler, Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond, Alexandre Burrows were all in the Canucks organization when Gillis took the helm, he basically inherited a winner. They are more like 29th in my eyes for prospects think the flames at 23 have three times the prospects that Vancouver does. Just don't agree with Hockey Future/TSN's rankings of the Flames think they are seriously discouting some players that the flames have.

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#52 Steve
August 20 2012, 09:45AM
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McRib wrote:

@Old Soldier

"Vancouver is 27th "

Personally think if Vancouver doesn't win a Stanley Cup in the next couple seasons they are in serious trouble as Mike Gillis has shown he is absolutely incapable on draft day.

Mike Gillis has been GM of Vancouver since 2008, and has failed to draft an impact player outside of Cody Hodgson who they traded last season and was a lock at 10th.

Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, Cory Schneider, Alexander Edler, Jannik Hansen, Mason Raymond, Alexandre Burrows were all in the Canucks organization when Gillis took the helm, he basically inherited a winner. They are more like 29th in my eyes for prospects think the flames at 23 have three times the prospects that Vancouver does. Just don't agree with Hockey Future/TSN's rankings of the Flames think they are seriously discouting some players that the flames have.

I agree the Flames prospects are a little underrated. I think that will start to change a bit this year, as I think part of it is just carryover from the Sutter era. If more than just Baertschi can get some NHL time this year, and the 2012 draft picks show well in junior, perception could change pretty quickly.

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#53 McRib
August 20 2012, 10:00AM
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@Steve

Honestly by no means do I think we are near the top 5, but after the last two drafts we are in a lot better shape than 23rd. Actually was shocked when I saw Hockey Future's rankings.

Personally think Max Reinhart & Micheal Ferland could be on the big club by seasons end and no one even mentions Bill Arnold when ranking the flames prospects, yet when I watched him at the world juniors was probably top 3 for me of the US players. Hockey Future has Mitch Wahl, Markus Granlund, Paul Byron and Roman Horak ahead of Bill Arnold in terms of centre prospects and for me its not even a question that Bill Arnold is second only to Max Reinhart in that area.

The flames are weak for top end defensive prospects but considering the recent graduation of Brodie and young guys Butler, Smith and Brett Carson, think its not an area we need to immediatly address as outside of Saarich no defender is over 30. Perfer to continue to focus on bringing in skilled Top Six potential forwards.

My Flames Top 10: 1. Sven Baertschi 2. Max Reinhart 3. Michael Ferland 4. John Gaudreau 5. Bill Arnold 6. Leland Irving 7. Laurent Brossoit 8. Tyler Wotherspoon 9. Markus Granlund 10. Brady Lamb

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#54 Steve
August 20 2012, 12:04PM
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McRib wrote:

@Steve

Honestly by no means do I think we are near the top 5, but after the last two drafts we are in a lot better shape than 23rd. Actually was shocked when I saw Hockey Future's rankings.

Personally think Max Reinhart & Micheal Ferland could be on the big club by seasons end and no one even mentions Bill Arnold when ranking the flames prospects, yet when I watched him at the world juniors was probably top 3 for me of the US players. Hockey Future has Mitch Wahl, Markus Granlund, Paul Byron and Roman Horak ahead of Bill Arnold in terms of centre prospects and for me its not even a question that Bill Arnold is second only to Max Reinhart in that area.

The flames are weak for top end defensive prospects but considering the recent graduation of Brodie and young guys Butler, Smith and Brett Carson, think its not an area we need to immediatly address as outside of Saarich no defender is over 30. Perfer to continue to focus on bringing in skilled Top Six potential forwards.

My Flames Top 10: 1. Sven Baertschi 2. Max Reinhart 3. Michael Ferland 4. John Gaudreau 5. Bill Arnold 6. Leland Irving 7. Laurent Brossoit 8. Tyler Wotherspoon 9. Markus Granlund 10. Brady Lamb

I can't say I'm not concerned about the lack of top tier D. I was happy to see 3 dmen drafted this year. It will always depend on the quality available, but I would put a little more emphasis on getting that one true stud dman into the system.

I think I'm in complete agreement on your top 10 except for maybe Irving. I don't hold out much hope for his ever being an NHL goaltender.

Haven't seen enough of the 2012 class yet to project anything for them, but the year after they're drafted is usually a better indicator.

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#55 MC Hockey
August 20 2012, 12:36PM
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PrairieStew wrote:

So much depends on who develops in to NHL players. If you could develop on average just 2 players per season from your draft picks or amateur free agent signings you could have a team nearly full of guys in their 20's

Who you sign as UFA's or resign among your own players is predicated on who develops.. The way the Flames look currently, they had better develop closer to 3 guys per year, otherwise they will be filling holes in the expensive UFA market

This past year Brodie and Bouma (not Horak) were the 2 guys that made the jump. This year the expectation will be that the 2 will be Irving and Baertschi. In 13-14 they need to resign both Butler and Brodie - and it would be good to see either Breen or Brady Lamb make the jump and be D 7. At forward either Horak or Nemisz needs to make the jump as 3rd line players.

In 14-15, that's where 3 or 4 players need to develop. You need a goalie ( probably Ramo), a defenceman - maybe John Ramage and at least 2 forwards, let's say Reinhart and Gaudreau.

In the fall of 15-16 Markus Granlund and Mark Jankowski make the team as does Tyler Wotherspoon on defence.

So Oct 1 2015 - 3 years from now:

In goal : Irving and Ramo

On Defence Wideman and Gio, Butler and Brodie, Lamb, Ramage and Wotherspoon - with one mid level UFA

At forward : Hudler, Tanguay and a cheaper Iginla

Backlund Baertschi Granlund

Horak Bouma Gaudreau

Reinhart Jankowski and 2 other players either resigned ( Glencross, Cervanka) or UFA's acquired.

So this assumes some failures as well. One of either Horak or Nemisz fails to make it; ditto for Breen and Lamb. Ryan Howse does not make the club making the entire 2009 draft a strikeout and Roman Cervanka ends up back in Europe. Neither Blair Jones nor Blake Comeau are long term solutions and Paul Byron goes missing in a corn maze during a team building event at a training camp.

Good analysis but you seem to have excluded Camalleri and I think he may just be slotted in place of Tanguay in your projected lineup as maybe Tangs retires even while Iggy stays on longer. And if Iggy stays on, I fear in 3 years that he plays like an overmatched Modano in his year in Detroit.

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#56 the-wolf
August 20 2012, 12:58PM
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JayD54 wrote:

I am certain that you made the comment about the projected Oiler line up with a bit of a smirk.

Yes, I am a Flames fan, but I do acknowledge and recognize that the current Oiler roster and their system carries pretty good potential.

The silent ticking time bomb for the Oilers, though Kent, is the fact that they will have a significant number of their current roster players reach the end of their entry level contracts. My question (and, indeed, caution) about what the Oilers might look like in 3 years is how many of those guys will they be able to afford to keep around under a hard cap situation. Reality will dictate that Eberle, Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Yakupov, J. Schultz and company will, should they develop in the giddy hot stove dreams of Oiler fans, the team be able to fit under the cap?

A different situation than the Flames, yes, but one still fraught with huge risks and question marks. But, isn't that what we've seen with these two organizations throughout their respective memebership in the NHL? The Oilers of the '80s were built similarly, through drafts that yielded them the Coffeys and the Lowes, Fuhr, Kurri and company (Gretzky was a gift, remember, from the WHA). Their counterpoint in Calgary, the second half of the best two teams in the League, was built by free agent signings (scouring the NCAA in those days), some astute trading by Cliff Fletcher and some surprises out of lower rounds of the draft (Al MacInnis, Gary Suter).

My point? Only that there are many ways to success, not just one. My hope is that the Battle of Alberta will once again (earlier than those 3 year projections) be the contest between the two best teams in the NHL. Everyone wins then.

I take some exception to that: Nieuwendyk, Roberts, Loob, Fleury, Hull, Hrdina and Vernon were also all drafted along with several other serviceable NHLers and afew more past 1989 that helped the team stay competitive.

As well, NCAA has been out of the bag for at least a decade now, so you have to draft those guys now anyways.

Point is, every Cup winner is built from the ground up through the draft. Smart tradeing and FA signings are how smart GMs put their team over the top, but the foundation is always the draft.

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#57 the-wolf
August 20 2012, 01:06PM
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My timeline says 2012/2013 will be the last season the team is competitive before the team falls right over the edge. Hard to say what ownership does at that point. FA aren't eager to come here any more and Iginla, Tanguay and Cammi will be reduced to mere shadows of their former selves.

3 years from now....hmmmm....I think they hope Baertschi replaces Iginla as the team superstar so that can continue to bring in band-aids. If Baertschi looks like he'll never get near 40 goals, let alone 50, who knows what ownership does. Right now the Flames are built squarely on a foundation of hope.

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#58 PrairieStew
August 22 2012, 01:04PM
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@MC Hockey

No, I think once his contract expires Cammaleri will again be gone. Not unlike the decision made on Jokinen I would not support the team committing big dollars to guys over 31.

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