Two Games in - Deep Breaths Flames Fans

Kent Wilson
January 22 2013 10:46AM

 

 

The Flames dropping the first two games of the shortened season at home seems to confirm all the worst fears of the management and fanbase. The own-zone play has been sloppy, Kipper has looked helpless and there already seems to be a growing chasm between the team's aspirations and their outcomes.

As always, I remain skeptical of the club's direction and ability to do anything more than run in place. That said, there's many reasons not to overly weight the first two games of the season.

Small, Non-representative Sample

Every year I remind myself (and others) that the first 10-stretch of the season is probably the least indicative of a team's true talent level. That's because coming out of the off-season most club's are acclimating to new players in the line-up and some are acclimating to new coaches. Aside from general rust after not playing for X amount of months, that also means some sort of learning curve for the new players, if not the new coaching staff.

Unfortunately, the first 10 games usually seem intuitively more important in grading a club, at least in the short term. This is because of the lack of information (first segment of the year which fans can use to judge performance) and in that vacuum fans and pundits naturally tend to assume that what they see if what they're going to get.

Pile on top of all that the natural variation one tends to get in small samples in the NHL (weird stuff can happen over a few games as a matter of chance) and you have a segemt of the schedule which needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Finally, Calgary has lacked two major new additions to the roster in Roman Cervenka and Jiri Hudler thanks to unforeseen circumstances. It's unknown just what sort of impact either guy will have on the club's performance, but it's fair to say this isn't quite the roster Feaster envisioned when he finished building it in August. 

They Haven't Been That Bad

I'll stipulate the Flames haven't been great through the first games - the defense and neutral zone puck management at certain times has been sloppy at best. Kipper looks like he's fighting vertigo and some of the higher priced vets like Mark Giordano, Jay Bouwmeester and Mike Cammalleri are obviously fighting through some rust.

That said, both games were winnable. With a few more bounces and even slightly better goaltending, the Flames could be 2-0 right now. They outchanced the Sharks 16-10 in game one and then battled the Ducks more or less to a draw by the same metric last night:

Team Period Time Comment
CGY 1 19:38 Backlund
ANA 1 18:54 Getzlaf goal
CGY 1 17:00 Horak
ANA 1 14:32 Getzlaf
ANA 1 14:01 Selanne
ANA 1 12:30 Koivu goal
ANA 1 6:46 Perry (PP)
ANA 1 4:22 Selanne tip
ANA 1 4:00 Smith-Pelley
CGY 1 3:06 Glencross goal (tip) PP
CGY 1 0:26 Tanguay goal
       
CGY 2 18:48 Glencross goal (tip) PP
CGY 2 14:32 Baertschi
CGY 2 11:25 Comeau
CGY 2 9:58 Glencross backhand
CGY 2 9:50 Iginla
ANA 2 9:37 Perry
CGY 2 6:11 Iginla
CGY 2 4:50 Backlund
CGY 2 3:22 Tanguay
CGY 2 2:44 Horak backhand
CGY 2 1:52 Stempniak break away
       
CGY 3 17:32 Comeau
ANA 3 15:59 Cogliano tip
ANA 3 15:58 Winnik goal (rebound)
ANA 3 15:40 Palmieri
ANA 3 15:35 Palmieri
ANA 3 14:35 Ryan
ANA 3 10:47 Smith-Pelley
ANA 3 8:46 Getzlaf goal
CGY 3 6:36 Brodie
CGY 3 5:57 Stempniak goal (breakaway)
ANA 3 5:34 Palmieri
ANA 3 4:29 Winnik
CGY 3 0:25 Tanguay
       
       
ANA 17    
CGY 18    

The Flames have had both very good and very bad periods in both games, but altogether they have won at least three of them and generated more chances in aggregate (34) than they have given up (27). They have also marginally outshot the opposition 57-53 so far.

Outshooting and outchancing were big issues for the Flames last year and without Kipper standing on his head for two months they would have been out of the playoff picture by the end of February.

So far, it's been the opposite story. The Flames have had enough chances to win each game but Kipper's ghastly .830 SV% (in part due to defensive break-downs, in part due to bad bounces and in part due to medicore play) would be poor on the PK,  to say nothing of an overall save rate. As commenter seve927 pointed out in the post-game article below, a lot of good goaltenders have lousy save percentages through the early going. It happens.

Even if Kiprusoff is destined to regress from his noteworthy performance last year as I suspect, he's certainly not a true .830 SV% puck stopper. The opposition has scored on 33% of their chances so far and the typical rate is about 15% - things will even out in time. 

Conclusion

It sucks to lose the first two games and the team-wide performances have been uneven at best. That said, there's been some bright spots and we have to remember not to get too agitated about such a small sample of games given the long off-season, new faces and the nature of variance for small samples.

Truth is, we don't really know how good or bad the Flames are yet.

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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#51 Old Soldier
January 22 2013, 04:36PM
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Okay....coming from Fans of Feaster and Co. please explain the Snow is an idiot comment. The Dipietro contract was his owner, plain and simple. Since then, not a lot of mistakes, either drafting or trades, and he isnt sitting at the cap limit.

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#52 T&A4Flames
January 22 2013, 04:42PM
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Jonathan Happy wrote:

``Snow isnt an idiot).``

Except for that Dipietro deal.

I think it would take a first rounder at least, and potentially a roster player. As long as they don`t trade Backlund, Sven, Brodie, or Gaudreau, I don`t care who they give up.

The guy had 1 goal and was a -29 in 60ish games last year. I would proceed with extreme caution.

Babchuk (scoring from the back end) and Byron a the most.

Oh, and re: Snow not being an idiot, someone already said Dipietro, you can add Alexi Yashin to that.

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#53 schevvy
January 22 2013, 04:48PM
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@T&A4Flames

Re: Yashin and Dipietro

Yashin was a Milbury signing I believe. That being said, Dipietro was (according to wiki) a Snow signing. Also, the rumour at the Draft last year was he offered Columbus all 7 of the Isle's picks (including #4 overall) for the #2 pick, so he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer

P.s: Remind me again why Scott Howson didn't take that trade?? God both the Isle and the BJ's are useless organizations.

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#54 DangleSnipeCelly
January 22 2013, 04:49PM
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DangleSnipeCelly wrote:

No Picks! Snow is crazy... send him Stajan, some tinfoil and a bouncy ball in exchange for Nino, he'll go for it.

We have a LOT of needs, LW isn't really one of them.

So is Nino a RW or a LW???? Seems to depend on what you read... if he's a RW then that changes everything... Go get 'em Feast!

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#55 T&A4Flames
January 22 2013, 04:55PM
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DangleSnipeCelly wrote:

So is Nino a RW or a LW???? Seems to depend on what you read... if he's a RW then that changes everything... Go get 'em Feast!

According to THN he is a left shot that plays both wings. To bad he isn't a center.

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#56 Jonathan Happy
January 22 2013, 04:55PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

The guy had 1 goal and was a -29 in 60ish games last year. I would proceed with extreme caution.

Babchuk (scoring from the back end) and Byron a the most.

Oh, and re: Snow not being an idiot, someone already said Dipietro, you can add Alexi Yashin to that.

But his PDO was 898 last year. Thats the worst luck I`ve ever seen on behindthenet. His on ice shooting percentage was 0.84(!). This kids luck is bound to turn, particularly if he starts playing with some good players. His possession numbers were not good at all, but he`s still quite young. I would definelty take a flyer on this kid, particularly because him and Sven played together in Portland.

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#57 T&A4Flames
January 22 2013, 04:55PM
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schevvy wrote:

Re: Yashin and Dipietro

Yashin was a Milbury signing I believe. That being said, Dipietro was (according to wiki) a Snow signing. Also, the rumour at the Draft last year was he offered Columbus all 7 of the Isle's picks (including #4 overall) for the #2 pick, so he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer

P.s: Remind me again why Scott Howson didn't take that trade?? God both the Isle and the BJ's are useless organizations.

Ah. Milbury.

Yea, 2 VERY solid organizations.

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#58 T&A4Flames
January 22 2013, 04:56PM
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Jonathan Happy wrote:

But his PDO was 898 last year. Thats the worst luck I`ve ever seen on behindthenet. His on ice shooting percentage was 0.84(!). This kids luck is bound to turn, particularly if he starts playing with some good players. His possession numbers were not good at all, but he`s still quite young. I would definelty take a flyer on this kid, particularly because him and Sven played together in Portland.

Take a flyer, absolutely. But what would you be willing to pay?

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#59 Jonathan Happy
January 22 2013, 04:57PM
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@schevvy

Lol I just saw that on google. Snow offered Howson every frickin pick that NY had that year, just for a shot at Yakupov or Murray.

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#60 DangleSnipeCelly
January 22 2013, 05:04PM
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We need to hit the Isles with our version of the Phaneuf deal...package up all our junk. Babs and Byron are a good start, lets add in Nemo and Stajan while we're at it haha.

All kidding aside if there was a ever a GM and a franchise that would go for something silly, it's Snow and the Isles.

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#61 Kevin R
January 22 2013, 05:05PM
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Old Soldier wrote:

Most posters here are obviously long time hockey and Flames fans, so objectively....at this stage in their careers, do you honestly see Kipper (rumours of going back to Finland with only $1.5 mil real money on contract next year), Iginla (UFA, with extremely poor showing so far), Bouwmeester (solid minute muncher who does absolutely nothing good or bad on the ice) getting you lottery picks and blue chip prospects?

Break it down, Kipper, a rental unless extended, maybe gets you a "b" regular (Bozak)and a 2nd rd pick.

Iginla, tough one, I dont see an overpayment here with him being UFA and struggling (maybe the same as Kipper) or if someone really bites, a high first rounder.

Bouwmeester will likely get a "b" roster player or a 2nd, and some contract in return.

The time for those moves was 2 years ago, then you could actually talk lottery picks because Iggy and Kipper had years left on contract and were considered relatively still in their prime.

I think you have to move them, but I am being honestly sincere when I think you dont get the return you hope for.

Well look at history at the trade deadline for buyers. Nashville paid a 1st for Paul Gaustead to Buffalo. There is no way Iggy couldnt get us a 1st & probably a roster player as a rental. JBO can get us a 1st as well & even Cammi could score us a 1st. So would Kipper but I wouldnt trade him anyway. I would assume all late round 1sts but then Feaster would have to parlay them. Maybe Islanders would look at a later 1st(after we acquire one), Irving & Byron or Nemitz for Neidereiter. I would say Feaster should go hard after this kid but not give away our own 1st(that one is shaping up to be a nice one).

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#62 Jonathan Happy
January 22 2013, 05:10PM
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@T&A4Flames

Flames don`t have their 2nd rounder this year, so maybe they could give up something like Horak + Ferland, and a 4th rounderÉ Question mark not working. ThoughtsÉ

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#63 RexLibris
January 22 2013, 05:23PM
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@Kevin R

Your not wrong to say that the deadline makes fools of many GMs. However, weigh that history against Feaster's history as a GM when it comes to trades. His Erixon trade looks good today. Regehr would have been decent, had he not been trying to tie Kotalik in as some sort of toxic asset, paying a 2nd round pick in addition. The Cammalleri deal is well-documented and I think everyone here knows my thoughts on that move by now.

Going back to his Lightning days, the Richards deal was a fiasco, he lost Boyle and a useful Khabibulin (as opposed to his current incarnation) for virtually nothing.

I'm not saying that the players you mention couldn't be exchanged for 1st round picks, to the right team. I'm just not completely sold that Feaster will negotiate a deal where that is his principle desired return. I suspect he'd want warm bodies.

I have a pretty low opinion of Snow and Wang, but I'm not entirely sold that Feaster could fleece even those two.

As for the deadline, I can't wait to see how it unfolds, for both Alberta teams.

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#64 clyde
January 22 2013, 05:29PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Your not wrong to say that the deadline makes fools of many GMs. However, weigh that history against Feaster's history as a GM when it comes to trades. His Erixon trade looks good today. Regehr would have been decent, had he not been trying to tie Kotalik in as some sort of toxic asset, paying a 2nd round pick in addition. The Cammalleri deal is well-documented and I think everyone here knows my thoughts on that move by now.

Going back to his Lightning days, the Richards deal was a fiasco, he lost Boyle and a useful Khabibulin (as opposed to his current incarnation) for virtually nothing.

I'm not saying that the players you mention couldn't be exchanged for 1st round picks, to the right team. I'm just not completely sold that Feaster will negotiate a deal where that is his principle desired return. I suspect he'd want warm bodies.

I have a pretty low opinion of Snow and Wang, but I'm not entirely sold that Feaster could fleece even those two.

As for the deadline, I can't wait to see how it unfolds, for both Alberta teams.

I have to agree with you unfortunately. We have the opportunity to go get a great start on our future but nothing in Feaster's history shows he is capable of making those moves. Add the above to his lack of turning Joker into anything when Buffalo got a 1st for Gaustad.

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#65 NateBaldwin
January 22 2013, 06:21PM
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clyde wrote:

I have to agree with you unfortunately. We have the opportunity to go get a great start on our future but nothing in Feaster's history shows he is capable of making those moves. Add the above to his lack of turning Joker into anything when Buffalo got a 1st for Gaustad.

One should consider that Feaster's mandate was to make the playoffs, so non-trades aren't indicative of a poor ability to negotiate and are rather indicative of a poor team philosophy (if you fall into the rebuild camp).

As for arm chair GM'ing, what about

From CGY Bowmeester + Stempniak

From NYI Nino + 2013 1st or Nino + 2013 2nd and 2014 2nd or Nino + 2013 2nd

?

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#66 ChinookArch
January 22 2013, 06:25PM
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@RexLibris

"As for the deadline, I can't wait to see how it unfolds, for both Alberta teams". Me too.

Feaster's results are mixed, in my opinion. He has done OK in finding 2nd and 3rd line forwards and the contract terms have been good as well. He has struggled in assessing defensive talents and has signed bad players to too much money, but at least the contract lengths have been short. It's hard to fault him for overpaying for free agents, since that's what everyone does when they go down the FA path.

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#67 marcus
January 22 2013, 06:33PM
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clyde wrote:

I have to agree with you unfortunately. We have the opportunity to go get a great start on our future but nothing in Feaster's history shows he is capable of making those moves. Add the above to his lack of turning Joker into anything when Buffalo got a 1st for Gaustad.

Agreed. Could have received something for Joker and still signed Cervenka.

But alas his ego guaranteed the playoffs with Darryl's roster. Dumb dumb.

Glad we have Weisbrod. That'll be his saving grace as the draft picks are looking great.

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#68 negrilcowboy
January 22 2013, 06:45PM
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trade abbotsford for taraschenko

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#69 marcus
January 22 2013, 06:47PM
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Old Soldier wrote:

Most posters here are obviously long time hockey and Flames fans, so objectively....at this stage in their careers, do you honestly see Kipper (rumours of going back to Finland with only $1.5 mil real money on contract next year), Iginla (UFA, with extremely poor showing so far), Bouwmeester (solid minute muncher who does absolutely nothing good or bad on the ice) getting you lottery picks and blue chip prospects?

Break it down, Kipper, a rental unless extended, maybe gets you a "b" regular (Bozak)and a 2nd rd pick.

Iginla, tough one, I dont see an overpayment here with him being UFA and struggling (maybe the same as Kipper) or if someone really bites, a high first rounder.

Bouwmeester will likely get a "b" roster player or a 2nd, and some contract in return.

The time for those moves was 2 years ago, then you could actually talk lottery picks because Iggy and Kipper had years left on contract and were considered relatively still in their prime.

I think you have to move them, but I am being honestly sincere when I think you dont get the return you hope for.

I agree 100% except "maybe" getting a high first rounder for Iggy.

I ggy won't get traded to a bottom feeder that renders a high draft pick. LA, BOS, PHI, NYR will all finish high in the standings and there are few other teams he would consider. Perhaps MIN, STL, but none of which that will garner you a high first.

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#70 Baalzamon
January 22 2013, 07:12PM
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another mark against Garth Snow would be the fact that he keeps acquiring players that have no interest in playing for him. He claimed Nabokov off waivers from Detroit (in spite of the fact that he was previously unable to lure Nabokov from Russia in the 1st place) and Nabokov refused to report to the team for the rest of the year. He came back the next season and performed well, but that's just a dumb@ss move from start to finish.

Then, there's the Visnovsky trade. Last time I looked, Visnovsky was still in Europe.

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#71 T&A4Flames
January 22 2013, 07:46PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

another mark against Garth Snow would be the fact that he keeps acquiring players that have no interest in playing for him. He claimed Nabokov off waivers from Detroit (in spite of the fact that he was previously unable to lure Nabokov from Russia in the 1st place) and Nabokov refused to report to the team for the rest of the year. He came back the next season and performed well, but that's just a dumb@ss move from start to finish.

Then, there's the Visnovsky trade. Last time I looked, Visnovsky was still in Europe.

Yea, Snow keeps drawing negative attention to their organization by not researching or asking enough questions. How do you draw quality FA if they all think your organization sucks because of a few spoiled players.

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#72 MC Hockey
January 22 2013, 09:46PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

"the roster Feaster envisioned when he finished building it in August."

Please don't say "finished" building. I sure hope he's not done.

I'm really starting to thing that Cammi, as much as I love the guy, is a bit superfluous. Once Hudler and Cervenka draw back into the line up, I think it would be wise for Feaster to package Cammi with other assets and get a center that can legitimately play a top 2 center; closer to 1st line.

I said before the season began that if Baertschi won a spot on the roster, we would have to move some wingers, preferably LW. Of course, getting a legit center is only "if" we are "going for it." At this point, I'm still on the trade for picks train. Cammi for a 1st + would be sooooo nice. Who needs scoring from the wing?

I was just thinking highly-paid Cammy would be the right guy to package to get a C also!

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#73 MC Hockey
January 22 2013, 09:56PM
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Old Soldier wrote:

Most posters here are obviously long time hockey and Flames fans, so objectively....at this stage in their careers, do you honestly see Kipper (rumours of going back to Finland with only $1.5 mil real money on contract next year), Iginla (UFA, with extremely poor showing so far), Bouwmeester (solid minute muncher who does absolutely nothing good or bad on the ice) getting you lottery picks and blue chip prospects?

Break it down, Kipper, a rental unless extended, maybe gets you a "b" regular (Bozak)and a 2nd rd pick.

Iginla, tough one, I dont see an overpayment here with him being UFA and struggling (maybe the same as Kipper) or if someone really bites, a high first rounder.

Bouwmeester will likely get a "b" roster player or a 2nd, and some contract in return.

The time for those moves was 2 years ago, then you could actually talk lottery picks because Iggy and Kipper had years left on contract and were considered relatively still in their prime.

I think you have to move them, but I am being honestly sincere when I think you dont get the return you hope for.

Finally someone makes sense! I thnk most posters expect WAY too much in trades for Iggy, Jaybo, Kipper, even Cammi, etc. Other teams know these players are getting older and/or are overpaid when weighed against their productivity

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#74 MC Hockey
January 22 2013, 09:59PM
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NateBaldwin wrote:

One should consider that Feaster's mandate was to make the playoffs, so non-trades aren't indicative of a poor ability to negotiate and are rather indicative of a poor team philosophy (if you fall into the rebuild camp).

As for arm chair GM'ing, what about

From CGY Bowmeester + Stempniak

From NYI Nino + 2013 1st or Nino + 2013 2nd and 2014 2nd or Nino + 2013 2nd

?

Nice ideas Nate but no way Snow would go for it

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#75 MC Hockey
January 22 2013, 10:01PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

TRADE SUGGESTION:

To St. Louis: Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak

To Calgary: Alex Steen, 1st round 2013.

opinions?

I like Steen but he's a solid 2-way guy, maybe a 2nd line centre... so not the first line solution. But yes to the idea if first rounder came our way

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#76 jeremywilhelm
January 22 2013, 10:33PM
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If you can get something for Kipper, you do it. The guy is done after this season.

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#77 NateBaldwin
January 22 2013, 10:54PM
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@MC Hockey

The idea hung for me on Lubo not reporting to play for NYI, but I later read that he will in fact return sometime in early february, meaning bowmeester's value is not what it would need to be.

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#78 Jeff Lebowski
January 23 2013, 03:47AM
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I haven't been able to watch any games just read the boxscores.

It appears to me that Calgary has had bad stretches in games where they ultimately lose. It doesn't read like they are bad throughout.

But when it seems guys like Bartchi, Backlund, Iggy are close to getting on track.

I also think the additions of Hudler and Cervenka will have strong impact on the lines in terms of balance and having players comfortable (Tanguay).

If I'm correct in this analysis I expect Calgary to be able to ice 3 dangerous lines and play very uptempo while utilizing the middle of the ice.

Compared to years past, the Flames were a straight up and down, along the boards type of team. That is not necessarily bad but it is bad when it's the only way you can play (as Sutter used to say).

Once the guys counted on to produce get of the snide I'm looking forward to the results.

As seen in other sports a team can get hot and things click. The confidence grows and something special occurs.

The slam against Calgary is that they are old. The flip side is that they are experienced pro players who finally have some skill throughout the line up.

As more youth is incorporated (recent drafts) I'm very optimistic about Calgary.

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#79 Kevin R
January 23 2013, 09:53AM
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RexLibris wrote:

Your not wrong to say that the deadline makes fools of many GMs. However, weigh that history against Feaster's history as a GM when it comes to trades. His Erixon trade looks good today. Regehr would have been decent, had he not been trying to tie Kotalik in as some sort of toxic asset, paying a 2nd round pick in addition. The Cammalleri deal is well-documented and I think everyone here knows my thoughts on that move by now.

Going back to his Lightning days, the Richards deal was a fiasco, he lost Boyle and a useful Khabibulin (as opposed to his current incarnation) for virtually nothing.

I'm not saying that the players you mention couldn't be exchanged for 1st round picks, to the right team. I'm just not completely sold that Feaster will negotiate a deal where that is his principle desired return. I suspect he'd want warm bodies.

I have a pretty low opinion of Snow and Wang, but I'm not entirely sold that Feaster could fleece even those two.

As for the deadline, I can't wait to see how it unfolds, for both Alberta teams.

Rex you really need to relax a bit on that Cammi deal. Getting rid of Bourque was just a mental relief around here, Holland really hasnt done anything to translate to the AHL, but who knows, he could be a House or Nemitz, he may be a pretty good 3rd line player + that 2nd rounder. Cammi should be a top 6 but he's got to play like one. Bourque--Cammi, lets call it a wash & change of dirty underwear. Ramo is the wildcard & his KHL numbers warrant a little hope here & I truly think he was worth the 2nd rounder. He could be our missing link while we wait for Gilles & Brossoit to develop.

One thing you are so right about to my chagrin is I dont see Feaster pulling the hammer on any of these trades to pile up the 1st rounders. However, I do see JBO getting moved & the most we will get is a 1st & a prospect. I think talks might get serious again with Detroit & I could see LA toying with acquiring JBO if they can get away with a 1st & a prospect, which wouldnt be bad, probably similar to where Oilers got Klefblom. I think Oilers will be buyers at the TDL.

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#80 Shutout
January 23 2013, 10:17AM
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The fact is that the team is close, but they are not close enough to be really competitive. The same team essentially if not in strict personnel, but in philosophy. The philosophy of being almost good enough and hope for a miracle as opposed to being bad and building a new foundation.

Our best players are not as good as other teams best players. In the playoffs heart and soul might win, but through the regular season it is talent that makes the difference.

Really torn:

Feel like a pessimist if I say that they are going to go 2-8 to start the season.

And yet, I can help feel like an eternal optimist if I think that they might be able to go 3-7.

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#81 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 10:20AM
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@Jeff Lebowski

They aren't old though, they are middle of the pack, 14th oldest team.

The old thing is a stupid story-line obnoxious media-types keep proclaiming.

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#82 Kevin R
January 23 2013, 10:39AM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

They aren't old though, they are middle of the pack, 14th oldest team.

The old thing is a stupid story-line obnoxious media-types keep proclaiming.

I think that 14th oldest is a little misleading the other way now. If you look at ages of top 6 & #1 goalie & age allocation of cap $$$$, we move back up into the upper percentile of the age category.

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#83 Jeff In Lethbridge
January 23 2013, 10:53AM
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clyde wrote:

Trade Kipper to the Leafs. Maybe we end up with Jones and Barkov or Monahan??

I bet we could wiggle Dion Phenuef outta Toronto, and would have with Sutter here. ;-)

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#84 everton fc
January 23 2013, 10:55AM
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As usual over the years Rex, I appreciate your post. I’ll probably get hammered for this, but here’s my POV. Random ranting. My apologies. First; “On paper”, we remain an old team. A team of experienced pros and washed up vets. The look of an expansion franchise, in many ways. The shortened season should become a laboratory. The control groups, the current roster, those in Abby, Juniors, US College Hockey. I'd probably give Gaudreau a shot late season. It’d certainly sell tickets. Can’t hurt the player, or the franchise. Maybe even Aliu, Street and Byron, if they can put up some #'s. Ditto Taylor in Abby, who should be signed. Makes most sense to see what we have. Assess values. They are all commodities...

Many want to move Stempniak. He's been consistent since he came here. He should be on a line with Horak, as they clicked when put together. I don't even mind Stajan at centering them this season; he's going to be hard to move, unless you move him in a deal similar to Regher's. And Stajan actually can play in the NHL. If he were a 1.5mill/season 3rd line shutdown guy, he's not a bad option. Stempniak is a good vet to have in the room, and he can produce offence. He’s been a good role-model for Horak, early last season. He has on-ice value. Maybe more than Cammy. I agree the Bourque for Cammy move is a wash-out. Ramo is the wildcard. Nothing lost. Nothing gained. Yet.

I've never been a Feaster fan, regardless of his deal for Horak. He would have kept Erixon, if he could have. Call it luck. He also tossed a pick for PL3. The Regehr deal now looks like a salary dump. Still think we could have parlayed more out of the aging warrior. Jones is by far the best acquisition Feaster's made. Comeau was a dice roll most would have taken – pretty harmless - but to me, he's a 4th line grinder. Does anyone think Comeau can’t fill that role? If not, he should be moved in a package. Or, put him on the 4th line now. RW. Unless people prefer the aging Jackman... (I would have preferred Derek Dorsett. Still do. He’s a winner, on a bad team. He’d be an excellent Flame. We need guys like him, for our rebuild.)

We should have moved Smith, JBo, maybe Kipper, maybe Iggy, maybe Jackman, when we had the chance. When they all had value. Smith could have given us a return last season. He was at peak value. We were loaded with defencemen of similar "ilk". He seems to be coming back to earth. Earth, for Smith, was the AHL. But we wanted to get in the playoffs, which I guess is understandable.

As for our goalies, let Irving and Taylor play. Up here. Now, as the backups. If Irving stuns us all, he becomes valuable. Same with Taylor, who I said we should have signed last season. Guys I'd move now, if I could, include Smith, JBo, Jackman, maybe Kipper, maybe Iginla, Cammy. I'd move them for picks, for youth, for defencemen. I might even consider moving Gio, at this point. Yes, I'd blow it up. Now. Winning the Cup in a shortened season will never be as sweet as winning it in a full season. My opinion, as a fan.

And I'd keep Tanguay. Until we see Hudler and Cervenka on the ice, in action... Here’s hoping they can make this a winning organization. I have my doubts. Obviously. Bottom line; I think we missed an opportunity to bring in the right GM for the future. So we’ll all live through the Feaster regime. For better. For worse.

(Tangent: Is Reinhart struggling in Abby right now? His numbers don’t look so good. -11. Ouch.)

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#86 T&A4Flames
January 23 2013, 11:44AM
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everton fc wrote:

As usual over the years Rex, I appreciate your post. I’ll probably get hammered for this, but here’s my POV. Random ranting. My apologies. First; “On paper”, we remain an old team. A team of experienced pros and washed up vets. The look of an expansion franchise, in many ways. The shortened season should become a laboratory. The control groups, the current roster, those in Abby, Juniors, US College Hockey. I'd probably give Gaudreau a shot late season. It’d certainly sell tickets. Can’t hurt the player, or the franchise. Maybe even Aliu, Street and Byron, if they can put up some #'s. Ditto Taylor in Abby, who should be signed. Makes most sense to see what we have. Assess values. They are all commodities...

Many want to move Stempniak. He's been consistent since he came here. He should be on a line with Horak, as they clicked when put together. I don't even mind Stajan at centering them this season; he's going to be hard to move, unless you move him in a deal similar to Regher's. And Stajan actually can play in the NHL. If he were a 1.5mill/season 3rd line shutdown guy, he's not a bad option. Stempniak is a good vet to have in the room, and he can produce offence. He’s been a good role-model for Horak, early last season. He has on-ice value. Maybe more than Cammy. I agree the Bourque for Cammy move is a wash-out. Ramo is the wildcard. Nothing lost. Nothing gained. Yet.

I've never been a Feaster fan, regardless of his deal for Horak. He would have kept Erixon, if he could have. Call it luck. He also tossed a pick for PL3. The Regehr deal now looks like a salary dump. Still think we could have parlayed more out of the aging warrior. Jones is by far the best acquisition Feaster's made. Comeau was a dice roll most would have taken – pretty harmless - but to me, he's a 4th line grinder. Does anyone think Comeau can’t fill that role? If not, he should be moved in a package. Or, put him on the 4th line now. RW. Unless people prefer the aging Jackman... (I would have preferred Derek Dorsett. Still do. He’s a winner, on a bad team. He’d be an excellent Flame. We need guys like him, for our rebuild.)

We should have moved Smith, JBo, maybe Kipper, maybe Iggy, maybe Jackman, when we had the chance. When they all had value. Smith could have given us a return last season. He was at peak value. We were loaded with defencemen of similar "ilk". He seems to be coming back to earth. Earth, for Smith, was the AHL. But we wanted to get in the playoffs, which I guess is understandable.

As for our goalies, let Irving and Taylor play. Up here. Now, as the backups. If Irving stuns us all, he becomes valuable. Same with Taylor, who I said we should have signed last season. Guys I'd move now, if I could, include Smith, JBo, Jackman, maybe Kipper, maybe Iginla, Cammy. I'd move them for picks, for youth, for defencemen. I might even consider moving Gio, at this point. Yes, I'd blow it up. Now. Winning the Cup in a shortened season will never be as sweet as winning it in a full season. My opinion, as a fan.

And I'd keep Tanguay. Until we see Hudler and Cervenka on the ice, in action... Here’s hoping they can make this a winning organization. I have my doubts. Obviously. Bottom line; I think we missed an opportunity to bring in the right GM for the future. So we’ll all live through the Feaster regime. For better. For worse.

(Tangent: Is Reinhart struggling in Abby right now? His numbers don’t look so good. -11. Ouch.)

I can't disagree with most of this. Although, I don't believe we need to go "scorched earth." We could, IMO, gain 2 or 3 more 1sts & probably prospects by moving some of the vets while maintaining a few of those vets to mentor and keep things competitive. I'm ok with finishing bottom 3 for 1 year but I want to see competitive hockey. Unlike the Oilers, no offence to those fans, I don't want failure for 3,4 or 5 years before I see mild improvement. If we finish 3rd last, then 8th last and so on, that would make me happy, constant improvement. Not last (or 2nd last) 3 years running.

I agree with keeping Tangs and probably GlenX with Hudler & (hopefully) Cervenka. As a temporary core that help bring up our youth. Trade Jarome this year to a winner; let him get that cup. I have no doubt we would see him im Flames silks before his time is done. Heck, if he wins it this year, he would likely resign in the off season.

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#87 everton fc
January 23 2013, 12:02PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

I can't disagree with most of this. Although, I don't believe we need to go "scorched earth." We could, IMO, gain 2 or 3 more 1sts & probably prospects by moving some of the vets while maintaining a few of those vets to mentor and keep things competitive. I'm ok with finishing bottom 3 for 1 year but I want to see competitive hockey. Unlike the Oilers, no offence to those fans, I don't want failure for 3,4 or 5 years before I see mild improvement. If we finish 3rd last, then 8th last and so on, that would make me happy, constant improvement. Not last (or 2nd last) 3 years running.

I agree with keeping Tangs and probably GlenX with Hudler & (hopefully) Cervenka. As a temporary core that help bring up our youth. Trade Jarome this year to a winner; let him get that cup. I have no doubt we would see him im Flames silks before his time is done. Heck, if he wins it this year, he would likely resign in the off season.

I'd hold onto Stempniak, as well. To help with the youth. I like him. Seems a "character guy".

Iginla and Kipper, like the Sutters (whom I didn't mind as much as most) are the Flames past. Like Regehr, it's time to move on. Build the team around Baertschi. Backlund. Horak. Brodie. And so on. Even Jones fits in this new core. At least for me.

I'd hold onto Butler, but play him where he should be played. I'd also move him, for the right component(s)...

Did I mention I'd trade for Derek Dorsett?! :)

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#88 jeremywilhelm
January 23 2013, 12:24PM
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@Kent Wilson

Seems like cherry picking data to me. The team is the team. Sure, the impact players we are used to counting on are getting old, but Baertschi, Backlund, Brodie, Butler, Horak and Cervenka are all in early to early prime years who are being put into positions to be impact players on the team this year.

A narrative of an old team fits previous years where Backlund and Brodie played limited minutes on low pairings/lines, not so much this year.

So while I admit when you cherry pick the top line and #1 goalie we look old, but taken as a team on the whole, I wholly disagree.

It just seems to me to be a storyline we are carrying over from previous years, which seem to me to be overly stated.

You could essentially make the exact same arguments for many teams that should be ok to good this season relying a high percentage on players of a post prime age. Vancouver, Detroit, Rangers, Phoenix.

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#89 Kevin R
January 23 2013, 01:41PM
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everton fc wrote:

I'd hold onto Stempniak, as well. To help with the youth. I like him. Seems a "character guy".

Iginla and Kipper, like the Sutters (whom I didn't mind as much as most) are the Flames past. Like Regehr, it's time to move on. Build the team around Baertschi. Backlund. Horak. Brodie. And so on. Even Jones fits in this new core. At least for me.

I'd hold onto Butler, but play him where he should be played. I'd also move him, for the right component(s)...

Did I mention I'd trade for Derek Dorsett?! :)

I like Dorsett as well. I posted on Rex's rebuild blog some moves now that can fit a rebuild without giving up on playoffs & then trade deadline moves if we are clearly out of playoffs. 1/ JBO needs a change & personally, Brodie gives us the same as JBO & is totally ready for more minutes. So moving JBO isnt waving any flag here. Ottawa is a prime target & they would part with Bishop, a 2013 1st, & if Feaster begged enough maybe even a b prospect. Bishop can come in immediately & not only backup Kipper, but probably play way more games than we would even consider with Irving. 2/ Go hard after Nino. The Isles have one Reinhart & maybe we offer Max Reinhart, Irving, Stajan and our 2014 3rd rounder for Nino. Some may think thats an overpayment for an unproven kid, but this kid was a lottery pick 2 years ago, is big, is ready & has the Sven connection. I'd do this in a heartbeat. Stajan is playing better & his salary of 2.5 & cap hit of 3.5 mill is the type of contracts Isles like & he can play 3rd line centre for them. None of these deals hurt Feasters go for it image. Trade deadline if we are out of playoffs: 3/If Iggy isnt signed, give him to St Louis with a 2014 2nd rounder for Rattie & St Louis 1st rounder & let Iggy win the friggin Cup. 4/Trade Butler & Granlund to Minny for their 2013 2nd & Coyle. Butler is a reliable affordable 15 minute type dman the Wild would probably covet & having the other Granlund brother may be enough to extract that 2nd & Coyle out of them. 5/Depending on how Bishop plays, Kipper could be expendable & I think Wash would give us their 1st for Kipper & another prospect. 6/Cammi to any contender for a 1st/& a prospect & we pick up 1/2 of his salary for the remainder of this year & next year(final year)

We still have great vets in Gio, Wideman, Stemps, Hudler, Tangs, GlenX, Jackman a whack of good youth injected now & we have 4 extra 2013 1sts, a 2013 2nd but no 2014 2nd or 3rd rounders but have a whack of cap space to go after free agents to fill in the holes & it will be an interesting UFA market this year.

Personally, I think we would be a better team for this. Thats my ultra charged nuclear rebuild. God its fun being an armchair GM. :)

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#90 RexLibris
January 23 2013, 01:52PM
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@Kevin R

I only allude to the Cammalleri deal now. I've stopped beating that horse. No arguments though, Cammalleri for Bourque straight across is a good deal.

I think the Flames would be wise to use the Penner deal as a template, but that would require that Feaster and the Flames shift their presumed state to one similar to the Oilers in the spring of 2011.

By all accounts they steadfastly refuse to entertain that idea.

The Oilers got the 1st round pick because Penner had an extra year on the deal and Teubert was an average prospect. The conditional pick was a throw-in that seems to be becoming a standard sell-off provision for the Oilers when dealing with Cup-hungry teams (Brian Burke in Anaheim, for example).

If I were trading Bouwmeester to a cup-ready team, let's use St. Louis as an example, I would aim for a deal that included a 1st round pick in 2013, a prospect such as either Jani Hakanpaa or Joel Edmundson, and a conditional 3rd round pick that becomes a 2nd if they reach the Western Conference final this season, and a 1st in 2014 if they win the Stanley Cup this season.

I might have to add the Flames 2013 3rd round pick to the mix to offset some of the risk for the Blues, as this is kind of an all-in move, but I think if you can get that package you should be very pleased with it as a return. It doesn't matter if the 1st round pick is 26th or 30th. It is another asset and in this year's draft, there will be good talent available that late.

All that being said, there is very little in that proposed deal that I can see Feaster, King and the rest of the Flames being comfortable with. I think they would prefer to convert the returning assets into a more immediate, and potentially diluted, value.

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#91 RexLibris
January 23 2013, 01:56PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

They aren't old though, they are middle of the pack, 14th oldest team.

The old thing is a stupid story-line obnoxious media-types keep proclaiming.

When many pundits talk about the age of a team they aren't describing the depth players, they generally refer to the core group of players targeted by that organization as being impact players.

Thus the Flames average age is middle of the pack, but their principle players are all at or over 30 years of age. The inclusion of Baertschi and Brodie and the early-season showing of Backlund only helps to set this back a small degree. Those three are not a first line possibility right now, and are filling in, appropriately I think, as complementary talents who can find success against the second and third options of the opponent.

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#92 everton fc
January 23 2013, 03:07PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I only allude to the Cammalleri deal now. I've stopped beating that horse. No arguments though, Cammalleri for Bourque straight across is a good deal.

I think the Flames would be wise to use the Penner deal as a template, but that would require that Feaster and the Flames shift their presumed state to one similar to the Oilers in the spring of 2011.

By all accounts they steadfastly refuse to entertain that idea.

The Oilers got the 1st round pick because Penner had an extra year on the deal and Teubert was an average prospect. The conditional pick was a throw-in that seems to be becoming a standard sell-off provision for the Oilers when dealing with Cup-hungry teams (Brian Burke in Anaheim, for example).

If I were trading Bouwmeester to a cup-ready team, let's use St. Louis as an example, I would aim for a deal that included a 1st round pick in 2013, a prospect such as either Jani Hakanpaa or Joel Edmundson, and a conditional 3rd round pick that becomes a 2nd if they reach the Western Conference final this season, and a 1st in 2014 if they win the Stanley Cup this season.

I might have to add the Flames 2013 3rd round pick to the mix to offset some of the risk for the Blues, as this is kind of an all-in move, but I think if you can get that package you should be very pleased with it as a return. It doesn't matter if the 1st round pick is 26th or 30th. It is another asset and in this year's draft, there will be good talent available that late.

All that being said, there is very little in that proposed deal that I can see Feaster, King and the rest of the Flames being comfortable with. I think they would prefer to convert the returning assets into a more immediate, and potentially diluted, value.

Spot-on; Feaster, King and company would be more comfortable with a more immediate asset(s). And judging by Feaster's past, it might be fair to say the odds of the assets(s) being diluted is very real.

Another kid I'd like to snag; Linden Vey, Kings farm team in Manchester. I'd take a punt on Dwight King, as well. But with Darryl there... Would he ever trade with the Flames??

I don't see much depth in Abby, either. Street. Reinhart. Taylor. Bouma, when he comes back... Maybe Aliu. Maybe Breen... After that, it's a pretty bare cupboard, on the farm.

As for reuniting the Reinhart's, for Niederreiter, Matt Martin's another guy, like Dorsett, who'd give the Flames some positive "grit". Led the league in hits. Can skate. Can you imagine Martin and Dorsett on the same line? I'd like that... And both have better hands then they are given credit for.

Armchair GM. One of the best jobs around!

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