Flames Nation Fan Ask - October 5, 2013

Kent Wilson
October 05 2013 12:11PM

 

 

Another week, another round of fan questions. If you want to submit a question that will appear in this weekly feature, submit something here. This week, we talk about rebuild models, future offer sheets, over/under on Sven Baertschi's season and how many goals Brian McGrattan will manage this year.

We'll start with the longest question/answer...

Why do people assume that the Edmonton model for rebuild is the only good one? Ottawa Rebuilt while remaining competitive, while Oilers intentionally tanked (at the Management level) and lost lots . is it wrong to believe Flames can win more than they lose while building, make Flames a desirable destination.

First, I'll say I haven't talked to anyone who thinks the Oilers is the ideal rebuild model. In fact, it's a misnomer to call Edmonton's activities a "model". For much of the last seven or so years, the Oilers management wasn't actively trying to actually lose; they did so because they were completely incompetent. It was only the last few years under Steve Tambellini, when it became clear that the team was going to be terrible regardless of their efforts, that the club "embraced" the rebuild.

So that's not a model or tactic. It's just idiocy.

It is definitely possible to stay competitive while rebuilding. In fact, this is what good management does at all stages of their club's cycle - they manage team attrition and player career arcs and replenish appropriately via the draft, trades and free agency. Unfortunately for the Flames, they weren't really able to do this successfully. They were the worst drafting team in the league through most of Sutter's tenure and they clung to failing former cornerstones like Iginla and Kipper for too long, which stunted to the club's ability to leverage them for good returns and also to move on philosophically from the "Iginla era".

As such, it's going to be highly difficult for the Flames to both stay out of the basement while the rebuild and/or grab the necessary elite level talent they'll need to finally move beyond the middle of the pack in the west. One of the reasons OTT is not a good comparable for CGY is the Sens had a guy like Jason Spezza who was still in his prime and then had Eric Karlsson suddenly develop into one the elite defenders in the league. Calgary doesn't have pieces like that.

With the Flames budget and cap space, they could probably go out and spend a bunch of money next summer in free agency and cobble together a roster that is at least a playoff threat, but that might also push them back into the Sisyphean cycle of finishing somewhere between 7-10 in the West every year.

The best thing the team can do is allow the rebuild to be "organic": patiently develop their internal assets, sell off maturing, pending UFA's, do as well as they can at the draft and then look for opportunities to add under valued guys like Joe Colborne. That strikes me as the best path forward.

Will the flames look to trade or offer sheet another rfa in the off season to speed up the rebuild?

With all their cap space and with Burke in the organization, a trade wouldn't surprise me. Probably not an offer sheet though - the team is likely still smarting from the O'Reilly fiasco.

What is a reasonable and likely return for the Flames pending free agents this year? (Stajan, Cammy, Stemp, Butler (ha) etc.

It will depend highly on their performance. Of those guys, probably only Cammalleri gets you first round pick back. If Stempniak continues to be top-notch, he might get you a couple of 2nds or something. Butler and $2.00 gets you a coffee at Starbucks.

Could the Flames, due to Burke's Involvement, be looking to Poach from TML? such as Phaneuf, JVR, or JMLiles?

They could get Liles very easily because the Leafs want to get rid of him. JVR I doubt is up for grabs and Phaneuf will only go if they can't re-sign him.

Over under on svens pts this year 45?

That's optimistic I'd say. I'd put it at 30.

Will big ern get more that 3 goals?

Probably not. He's only scored 3 goals at the NHL level once (ast year!), let alone more than 3. If he does, let's hope they all come against the Oilers.

Around the Nation

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 joey joe joe jr shabadoo
October 05 2013, 02:23PM
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@If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin

Please. Lets not get silly here.

Monahan is a nice piece, no doubt, but he's probably a lot closer to Sam Gagner r Mark Schieffle than he is Hall, RNH, or Yakupov. Hopefully I'm wrong, but perhaps we should temper the expectations a tad.

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#2 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
October 05 2013, 01:47PM
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Walter white wrote:

All the oilers have to show for their rebuild/ being the worst team in the league year after year is 3 first overall picks (which is hard to mess up...) Having said that; how many of their first overall picks would you trade for monohan? WW

I'd trade Monahan for Hall in a heartbeat, but other than that? No, thank-you.

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#3 Walter white
October 05 2013, 01:27PM
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All the oilers have to show for their rebuild/ being the worst team in the league year after year is 3 first overall picks (which is hard to mess up...) Having said that; how many of their first overall picks would you trade for monohan? WW

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#4 Walter white
October 05 2013, 08:58PM
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Wow, the oilers are horrendous....I don't watch them much. I think the flames are ahead of them on their rebuild already. WW

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#5 RexLibris
October 05 2013, 02:53PM
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The Oilers have done better at the draft table since 2008 when Stu MacGregor took over for Kevin Prendergast. Some gems, some prospects and some duds, but altogether, once the rebuild was officially a strategy (February of 2010) the draft has brought some value, keeping in mind that we are only three years removed from their first draft+1 years.

Their path wasn't necessarily what management intended at the outset, but it became that due to mismanagement and injury. The franchise was exposed for all of its weaknesses almost simultaneously and for an extended period of time.

The Flames don't have to pursue an Oilers rebuild, but it is equally unlikely that they will match, step for step, a Blackhawks, Kings or Pittsburgh rebuild either. Each franchise has undertaken the process differently and the Flames will as well. The only question that matters in a rebuild, regardless of the duration and circumstances, is how will the team acquire elite talent around which to build a core?

If the Flames can somehow do it by drafting between 4th and 8th overall for a few years, fine. That would be a rarity, but it isn't impossible. If they can manage to build a new core group with potential the term "Flames style rebuild" will make the rounds in addition to the others currently in use.

Many paths to the same destination, none of them guaranteed.

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#6 Baalzamon
October 05 2013, 08:59PM
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In today-related news, the Calgary Hitmen have traded for Flames camp invite Linden Penner, and Brian Burke was (terrifyingly) at the Leafs game tonight

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#7 MichaelD
October 05 2013, 11:48PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

I would agree with you. But i also have to say don't hang your hat on gaudreau until he proves it. Same with all the other prospects

I'd say Calgary isn't really buying into the bottom out get elite talent kind of strategy, but rather the acquire average prospects and hope a few pan out kind of strategy.

Which is a more of a regression to the mean kind of style, and a very genius approach to business, which feaster is good with. And Burke is supposed to bring the hockey sense kind of business to the table. That is why they brought him, don't focus on the gritchart that Burke is supposed to be about or the advanced statistics crap that everybody uses to bring down a guy who's been in the business for ten plus years and won a cup.

Because as much as people focus on stuff like possession and corsi stats they forget about regression to the mean which is a huge general manger and business stat. But then they also seem too forget hockey sense which (as much as they want to explain it) can't be summed up with a simple corsi stat. It's stupid. But then they talk about big bodies protecting the puck and all about small sample sizes and fire something up on excel for you.

All I'm saying is that a president hires manager's to make managers decisions and then hires coaches make coaches decisions, and rebuilds can't quantified with any set path because they all operate on the same principles.

And it's always fun too talk and argue about though

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#8 RexLibris
October 06 2013, 08:57AM
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@beloch

This comparison of Hall and Kopitar isn't entirely justified in that you are comparing a 22 year old player to an established veteran in the prime of his career.

Kopitar is currently one of the ten best centers in the league and is in his eighth season in the NHL. Hall was in his third season last year and was just beginning to come into his own as a player.

It would be akin to comparing Brodie to Duncan Keith or Drew Doughty and saying that he doesn't impact the game to the same extent and is therefore does not have the same potential.

That being said, the basis of your argument isn't wrong, the Oilers last year had terrible possession numbers and were among the worst in the league. However, you neglected to mention that it was only among their core players like Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins that they registered any kind of positive Corsi numbers. In fact, that trio registered in the top of the league in terms of possession metrics against the toughest competition.

It was the rest of the lineup, and Ralph Krueger's discordant coaching schemes, that did much of the damage last season.

MacTavish spent most of the off-season completely revamping the supporting cast in order to correct this imbalance with the goal of creating the mythical three-scoring lines of which Oilers fans have been dreaming for the last 25 years.

I'm not suggesting that the Flames need to platoon an entire team of "elite" players as a goal of this rebuild because that is virtually impossible. Balance is obviously the key and the Flames have some good prospects who could fill that role. However, every single rebuild centers around finding a core group of top-level players who can dominate a game.

Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Fleury (in the eyes of Shero, at least), Neal, Orpik, Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook, Kopitar, Doughty, Quick, Voynov and so on.

By my estimation the Flames have two potential core players currently in the NHL in Brodie and Monahan. Baertschi and Backlund look like high-level support players who should peak in time for the Flames re-entry into the conversation. Others like Gillies, Gaudreau, Poirier, Sieloff, Wotherspoon, Roy, Klimchuk, Kanzig, Ferland, and so on still have a long way to go.

I suspect the Flames could have a poor year this year, though not necessarily as catastrophically bad as everyone else is expecting, and then could very well return to the playoff chase within two or three years' time in a best case scenario of prospect development. This means that they will have to rely on their depth and it will hinge on some of these prospects outkicking their proverbial draft-day coverage.

As I said before, the Flames will rebuild in a manner entirely suited to their circumstances. Comparisons to that of the Oilers, Kings, 'Hawks or Penguins is useful only in a passing discussion and not as a method of evaluating their approach or likelihood of success.

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#9 coachedpotatoe
October 05 2013, 02:57PM
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Have we been given any indictation about a timeline for Cammi or Stajan?

I look at the Heat game last night and we should not exclude Jooris as a possible call up.

If we are going to compare our rebuild with Oilers we need to start with 2007 when the Oilers had 3 first rounders and move forward. The big difference between the 2 at the starting point is the current Flames veteran group especially on D is better than the Oilers were.

The question asked about what we think of Monahan compared to the big three in Edmonton is a little premature. The question is does he have a greater upside than Gagner? Looking at Hall, RNH and Yakupov I am still waiting to be wowed; in many ways I like Yakupov the most. I worry about RNH ability to stay healthy (no doubt he has talent but it does not help from the trainers table), I know many people in Edmonton love Hall and I can't deny his talent but I can't get past his attitude and I must admit I don't watch the Oilers often but I recall a paly last year against the Flames and again this year against the Jets where he turns the puck over and it results in a goal against and I seem him gliding back on D; in the Flames game he smashed his stick like a baby (I know he is still young) but I'm not sure if he was mad that the opposition scored or that his dipsy doodle did not work at this level.

So far I have seen more maturity out of Monahan. I hope it continues.

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#10 Jeff Lebowski
October 05 2013, 07:38PM
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@RexLibris

The only question that matters in a rebuild, regardless of the duration and circumstances, is how will the team acquire elite talent around which to build a core?

The debate over the definition of 'elite' has already played out, and I'm not interested in restarting it.

To me, your post is kind of intimating that all rebuilding teams take different 'paths' but have one thing in common. Teams used high draft picks, top 5 picks, that are their elite players. Suggesting truly elite players have to be drafted there. I would agree with you, if you were right.

I foresee the future evaluation of the Flames, oilers, or any other rebuild as what value was uncovered in the later rounds. That is where EDM has seemingly failed and where Weisbrod has prevailed.

There is no doubting the class of EDM 1st overalls. They are all sublime talents.

The real question that should be asked of both teams is: who else were you able to draft, when the draft was unequivocally your highest priority (or traded for prospects). When is a just drafted player at his highest value? Can you pick off other team's undervalued prospects (Agostino, Hanowski, Colborne etc)

At the Penticton tourney, maybe 1 oiler flashed something: Roy. While CGY had so many more, that were picked in lower rounds and in first round. That isn't even including college guys not allowed to play, who are some if Calgary's finest prospects. Prospects who when compared to each other at summer camp were ahead of those who went to Penticton (and outshone the other teams really).

Jon Gillies was better than Ortio. Gillies 4th round Arnold 4th, Gaudreau 4th , Ramage 4th etc etc

That to me is a better evaluation of rebuild. That to me is the better question. Can you find players consistently in all rounds, can some become impact/elite at those lower rounds (Gaudreau) or are you right? Do you have to suck and pick top 5?

I'm incredibly happy with Calgary's drafting and acquiring young players. FN questions the drafting and that's fine. I'm confident time will show their error.

There is something special starting here. Soon the league will see it too.

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#11 Parallex
October 05 2013, 09:06PM
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@TRAV

Re: 2...

The goal and the assist have been nice stories but the Baertschi-Monahan combo has thus far been bleeding chances per the chance count from our nation overloards. I would be much more in favor of seeing him stay (and as a result burn a year off his ELC) if he were seen to be controlling the play rather then just notching a boxscore tally (at this point for noise then signal).

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#12 RexLibris
October 06 2013, 12:08AM
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@Jeff Lebowski

All I asked was where the elite talent would come from.

Los Angeles only drafted once within the top two (Doughty), and their rebuild is as effective as that of Pittsburgh or Chicago.

I am not intimating that you have to draft in the top five to get elite talent, but it is obviously easier to acquire it there.

As for the Penticton series, I really wouldn't put too much into it regardless of whose players were shining and whose weren't. The Oilers' prospects didn't include a single player taken earlier than the 3rd round and the majority of them were from the 2013 draft. By the same token, in previous years Lander and Paajarvi showed extremely well at the Penticton series and neither has developed into a scoring threat in the professional ranks.

The prospects game is interesting and gives some idea about character and possible strengths of individual players, but provides very little insight into the relative depth or strength of a collection of prospects taken as a whole.

Calgary has vastly improved their drafting approach. Beyond that it is too soon to say. Once those prospects become professionals and we can begin to apply some measure of AHL and eventually perhaps NHL ability, then one can argue that the actual drafting and development has improved.

The Flames appear to have put themselves into a better position than under previous management. A good reason for hope. But as Flames fans have been consistently reminding Oilers fans, selling hope only gets you so far.

I think we agree on many points, but don't take my loyalties to automatically imply that I am impugning the Flames draft record or rebuilding approach in favour of a more familiar one. All I am saying is that the Flames will, by dint of circumstance and fate, find a different way to rebuild and nobody can know whether it will work.

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#14 Baalzamon
October 05 2013, 02:11PM
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@TRAV

IF they call up anyone, it's either Knight or Horak. My money's on Knight between the two, to be perfectly honest.

But actually, I think it's more likely they roll with what they have (at least until Sean is sent back to junior. If he is). They're happy with Street on the fourth line, and they seem okay with Monahan and Colborne in the middle two spots.

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#15 Baalzamon
October 05 2013, 07:33PM
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@loudogYYC

Jordan Staal is actually a pretty good comparable for Monahan... Hopefully Sean scores more often though, haha.

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#16 coachedpotatoe
October 05 2013, 08:07PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

The only question that matters in a rebuild, regardless of the duration and circumstances, is how will the team acquire elite talent around which to build a core?

The debate over the definition of 'elite' has already played out, and I'm not interested in restarting it.

To me, your post is kind of intimating that all rebuilding teams take different 'paths' but have one thing in common. Teams used high draft picks, top 5 picks, that are their elite players. Suggesting truly elite players have to be drafted there. I would agree with you, if you were right.

I foresee the future evaluation of the Flames, oilers, or any other rebuild as what value was uncovered in the later rounds. That is where EDM has seemingly failed and where Weisbrod has prevailed.

There is no doubting the class of EDM 1st overalls. They are all sublime talents.

The real question that should be asked of both teams is: who else were you able to draft, when the draft was unequivocally your highest priority (or traded for prospects). When is a just drafted player at his highest value? Can you pick off other team's undervalued prospects (Agostino, Hanowski, Colborne etc)

At the Penticton tourney, maybe 1 oiler flashed something: Roy. While CGY had so many more, that were picked in lower rounds and in first round. That isn't even including college guys not allowed to play, who are some if Calgary's finest prospects. Prospects who when compared to each other at summer camp were ahead of those who went to Penticton (and outshone the other teams really).

Jon Gillies was better than Ortio. Gillies 4th round Arnold 4th, Gaudreau 4th , Ramage 4th etc etc

That to me is a better evaluation of rebuild. That to me is the better question. Can you find players consistently in all rounds, can some become impact/elite at those lower rounds (Gaudreau) or are you right? Do you have to suck and pick top 5?

I'm incredibly happy with Calgary's drafting and acquiring young players. FN questions the drafting and that's fine. I'm confident time will show their error.

There is something special starting here. Soon the league will see it too.

I would agree with all you have to say here but the one underlying question is where and when do we find the right high end or elite forwards. Hopefully at least one of the remaining college kids becomes a high end forward and one of the 3 first rounders from this year and there may be two. I believe we have very good depth and potential at the back end if we don't rush them, along with the Gio, Wides and TJ we could have 3 very solid defensive pairings at the end of next season.

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#17 Clyde
October 05 2013, 09:18PM
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If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin wrote:

Monahan has been doing decent in terms of possession. The scoring chances stat at this site is very, very subjective (the stat is inherently subjective to begin with). I will say this: I do not agree with the chance count at all and believe Monahan to be only slightly under water in terms of possession. He has been on the ice for no more than three ten-bell chances, and prolly generated the same number the other way. We`ll have a better idea once the stats are up at behindthenet.

I couldn't agree more.

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#18 Justin Azevedo
October 05 2013, 11:55PM
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@Baalzamon

so far he's outpaced j staal by significant amount

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#19 acg5151
October 06 2013, 01:20AM
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The Flames are rebuilding the right way, at least from my outsiders point of view. You have good veterans like Dennis Widemans signed to long deals that will keep them on the Flames well into the rebuild - meaning the Flames don't have to play rookies and can let them develop. The Flames have good complementary pieces that they need to hold onto. Glencross - Stajan - Stempniak would be a good second line on any team, and if this rebuild goes right it could end up being the Flames third line in a few years.

I really don't know what Baertschis ceiling is, Mikael Backlund will probably end up being a good second line center - or maybe even a good first line guy if the Flames get lucky. Jiri Hudler is stuck in Calgary for 3 more years - good second line guy on any other team.

The Flames already have good defensemen - TJ Brodie should develop into a very capable second pair offensive guy. Giordano is a solid guy, and Dennis Wideman should be at least a second pair option for another 5 years.

So really, as long as Feaster/Burke (Beaster?) hold onto these complementary pieces and can draft good forwards in the top 5 for the next few years, they should be set.

Right now the Flames just need to get ahold of bona fide first liners, a top NHL defensive prospect, and some good goalie prospects and they're set. Trading Cammalleri could very well net them one of these pieces.

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#20 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
October 06 2013, 02:57AM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

corsi % of 45.5 so far for monahan according to extra skater.

the chances aren't that subjective - for me, if they get to the net and are in the plate they count.

Thanks for sorting that out. But out of the players who played in both games, only two Flames skaters have a better corsi than Monahan: Brodie(48.5%) and Giordano (48.7). It is a very,very small sample size and a metric that doesn`t take into account QOC and zone starts, but it should silence critics who claim that Monahan is somehow getting destroyed out there in terms of possession.

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#21 coachedpotatoe
October 06 2013, 07:35AM
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beloch wrote:

Elite players are less important than a solid team. Let's compare the Oilers to the Kings to see why.

First, how do you make a player look better than he really is, at least as far as counting stats go? One way is to give him more offensive zone starts than defensive zone starts. If he's closer to the net, on average, he'll have more chances to score.

Taylor Hall had 50 points last season with 55% offensive-zone starts, which was the highest of any Oiler. The Kings top scorer, Kopitar, had 42 points with 56% o-zone starts. (Oilers-fans, don't go cheering about Hall's superiority just yet. Kopitar spanked Hall in Corsi last season). Unlike Hall, Kopitar was not given the highest ground on the team. 11 other players had more o-zone starts and just 7 players had fewer. This highlights a major difference between the Oilers and the Kings. For Kings players, there are a lot more o-zone starts to go around and the whole team benefits from having the ice tilted in their favor.

Another anomaly created by tilting the ice to the extent the Kings did last season is that the average King player faced much tougher quality of competition (going by Relative Corsi Quality of Competition) than the average Oiler did. This is actually a damned good thing. When you pen a team up in their own end they try to get their better players out there. If you do that to the point where all your lines are facing the same tough-guys, what it really means is you're wearing down your opponents toughest players with your weakest players! Talk about double-whammy! Teams playing the Oilers can give their third and fourth lines plenty of play and keep their top lines fresh, making them that much deadlier.

Possession is how you get those o-zone starts. Just two players on the Kings had negative corsi last season. Just 3 oilers had positive corsi last season! Good possession is why the average Kings player got more o-zone starts than Taylor Hall did last season. You could take away the Kings top line and they'd still be a formidable team because everyone there is a solid posession player who can move the puck forward. The oilers, on the other hand, are a giant weak-spot begging to be stabbed every single shift. Yes, Nuge, Eberle and Hall can move puck forward (barely), but the same cannot be said of even one of the Oilers defenders. When you play against Edmonton, there are always multiple vulnerabilities on the ice to exploit.

Investing all your resources in a few elite players and assuming the rest of the team will just work out is clearly not a viable strategy. Building a team without weak possession players tilts the ice and makes the whole team look better. The Flames don't necessarily need to suck for years in order to draft a full line of elite talent. They could become a playoff team again by prioritizing the acquisition of responsible two-way possession players to fill the team from the fourth line up.

If you are comparing the Kings and Oilers and discussing elite players you need to include Quick in the conversation. The Kings have two proven elite players in Quick (the most important) and Doughty. They then have a host of very good NHL forwards and good forwards, They also have a host of sound NHL role players. The Oilers have no proven elite NHLer's in my mind; Hall had a very good season last year but has not proven in my mind to be elite; same can be said for RNH (he has the potential but being injured has hindered his ability), Yakupov is dynamic but not elite yet and all three of these young men need a lot of work to be complete NHL players yet alone elite. On D J Smith has a lot of upside but as a defender is questionable, and then you cannot compare Dubinik with Quick.

Then lets look at the Flames to this point; we have no elite forwards at this time although a couple of the kids could turn out to be high end, we probably have more sound to good NHL forwards than the Oilers but not as many as the Kings and a number of average/replacement forwards. On D we have three good to very good defencemen none of which have the elite ceiling and three average or replacement level dmen. We have a number of prospects both on D and forward who could be good to very good but no real elite type. In goal we are not sure what we have. However many are high on Gilles in about 3-5 years, meanwhile one of Ramo, Berra and Ortio need to prove to be least as good as Dubinik in Edmonton.

To win it would be great to have two or three elite players surrounded by a cast of very good NHL players at every position and the classic replacement role players like the Hawks and Bruins. The Flames may need to trade or sign UFA/RFA in the next couple of years to acquire some of the higher players they will need. They still need to concentrate on developing what they have and continue to draft wisely all the way through the draft .

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#22 Willi P
October 06 2013, 02:25PM
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Why MacDonald is starting is beyond me. Ramo will not get better sitting on the bench and MacD has been and always will be a back up. Stoooopid.

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#23 TRAV
October 05 2013, 02:04PM
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A couple of things:

1. Who is likely call up centre to replace the injured Stajan? (Or will Cammy just take Stajan's roster spot?) How would you build the lines based on play so far and roster?

2. Hate to bring this up again but... If Monaghan were to be able to continue to contribute at this level and play the minutes that he has thus far would you be in favour of keeping him on the big club? I am not sure what would be the best but was encouraged to see him earn late shifts in a tight hockey game.

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#24 beloch
October 05 2013, 03:01PM
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@TRAV

Monahan's TOI was 11:40 against the caps and 13:20 against the BJ's, plus over a minute of his second game was on the poweplay. For comparison, Sven had 11:24 and 11:39 respectively.

Monahan is still 18 and these were his first two NHL games after coming up from junior (not the AHL!). It would be amazing enough if he had just managed to avoid embarrassment with that much TOI, but he has a goal and an assist! Shades of Sven yet again! Here's hoping Feaster doesn't eventually say of Monahan the same things about how Baertschi's initial point streak raised unreasonable expectations.

Unless Colborne really steps up or Monahan falls on his face, Monahan makes the Flames a better team. Is 11-13 minutes a night enough to keep his development on track though? I'm tempted to say he will learn more from 13 minutes in the NHL than 20 in junior, but I'm no expert.

The Flames don't have to give Monahan his 9 games all at once. If he keeps playing every night that's a sign management likes what they're seeing. It would be logical to ease a rookie in and gradually ramp up his TOI too, so the TOI he's gotten so far is nothing short of incredible. He could be getting over 15 minutes a game by the time he reaches the bottom of his cup. If that proves true, I bet he stays.

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#25 loudogYYC
October 05 2013, 04:54PM
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joey joe joe jr shabadoo wrote:

Please. Lets not get silly here.

Monahan is a nice piece, no doubt, but he's probably a lot closer to Sam Gagner r Mark Schieffle than he is Hall, RNH, or Yakupov. Hopefully I'm wrong, but perhaps we should temper the expectations a tad.

Not being a homer here, cuz I'm still not overly convinced Monahan is what everyone thinks he is, but I'd put him ahead of Gagner and Schiefele. I actually think he's gonna be somewhere between an Eric and Jordan Staal, which would be a heck of a player, but maybe not a franchise centre.

The Edmonton "model" has been a cocktail of f*ckups. Compared to them, the Islanders and the Panthers, I think the Flames are actually in good shape in year 1 of the official rebuild. My only concern is the lack of useful veterans/assets once Stajan, Cammalleri and Stempniak are gone. I hope they take on some veteran contracts that can be traded for picks in 2015.

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#26 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
October 05 2013, 09:12PM
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Parallex wrote:

Re: 2...

The goal and the assist have been nice stories but the Baertschi-Monahan combo has thus far been bleeding chances per the chance count from our nation overloards. I would be much more in favor of seeing him stay (and as a result burn a year off his ELC) if he were seen to be controlling the play rather then just notching a boxscore tally (at this point for noise then signal).

Monahan has been doing decent in terms of possession. The scoring chances stat at this site is very, very subjective (the stat is inherently subjective to begin with). I will say this: I do not agree with the chance count at all and believe Monahan to be only slightly under water in terms of possession. He has been on the ice for no more than three ten-bell chances, and prolly generated the same number the other way. We`ll have a better idea once the stats are up at behindthenet.

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#27 Justin Azevedo
October 05 2013, 11:57PM
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@If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin

corsi % of 45.5 so far for monahan according to extra skater.

the chances aren't that subjective - for me, if they get to the net and are in the plate they count.

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#28 beloch
October 06 2013, 06:58AM
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@RexLibris

Elite players are less important than a solid team. Let's compare the Oilers to the Kings to see why.

First, how do you make a player look better than he really is, at least as far as counting stats go? One way is to give him more offensive zone starts than defensive zone starts. If he's closer to the net, on average, he'll have more chances to score.

Taylor Hall had 50 points last season with 55% offensive-zone starts, which was the highest of any Oiler. The Kings top scorer, Kopitar, had 42 points with 56% o-zone starts. (Oilers-fans, don't go cheering about Hall's superiority just yet. Kopitar spanked Hall in Corsi last season). Unlike Hall, Kopitar was not given the highest ground on the team. 11 other players had more o-zone starts and just 7 players had fewer. This highlights a major difference between the Oilers and the Kings. For Kings players, there are a lot more o-zone starts to go around and the whole team benefits from having the ice tilted in their favor.

Another anomaly created by tilting the ice to the extent the Kings did last season is that the average King player faced much tougher quality of competition (going by Relative Corsi Quality of Competition) than the average Oiler did. This is actually a damned good thing. When you pen a team up in their own end they try to get their better players out there. If you do that to the point where all your lines are facing the same tough-guys, what it really means is you're wearing down your opponents toughest players with your weakest players! Talk about double-whammy! Teams playing the Oilers can give their third and fourth lines plenty of play and keep their top lines fresh, making them that much deadlier.

Possession is how you get those o-zone starts. Just two players on the Kings had negative corsi last season. Just 3 oilers had positive corsi last season! Good possession is why the average Kings player got more o-zone starts than Taylor Hall did last season. You could take away the Kings top line and they'd still be a formidable team because everyone there is a solid posession player who can move the puck forward. The oilers, on the other hand, are a giant weak-spot begging to be stabbed every single shift. Yes, Nuge, Eberle and Hall can move puck forward (barely), but the same cannot be said of even one of the Oilers defenders. When you play against Edmonton, there are always multiple vulnerabilities on the ice to exploit.

Investing all your resources in a few elite players and assuming the rest of the team will just work out is clearly not a viable strategy. Building a team without weak possession players tilts the ice and makes the whole team look better. The Flames don't necessarily need to suck for years in order to draft a full line of elite talent. They could become a playoff team again by prioritizing the acquisition of responsible two-way possession players to fill the team from the fourth line up.

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#29 coachedpotatoe
October 06 2013, 07:50AM
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I wanted to babble on about the game today. It should be quite a test for our guys. Who starts in net? We might as well throw Ramo in and see what he can do against the Nuckleheads, no time like the present. It will be interesting to see if we can play with the same energy and discipline as we showed on the road. Sometimes the energy of a home opener can work against the home team as they try to do to much. I wonder if Stajin is ready to return or if we will see the same line up as Friday. Vancouver looked really good last night against those Oilers. I hope our guys are not overwhelmed like the Oilers were last night.

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#30 coachedpotatoe
October 06 2013, 08:02AM
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Heat lost last night 3-2, interesting to me that neither Ferand or Grandlund played. I wonder what is up with that? Berra in net, Knight and Rhino scored.

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#31 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 06 2013, 08:28AM
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@coachedpotatoe

OMG, watching Dubinik last night let in three or four long bombs from the blue line - he couldnt stop a beach ball! I HOPE OUR GUYS ARE MUCH BETTER THEN HIM!

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#32 Jeff In Lethbridge
October 06 2013, 08:48AM
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Reports say McBackup starts in net tonight... given how Ramo looked uncomfortable i nnet his last start, not surprised. I expected Ramo to start because they gave him the money and hope they found something to move forward to - but i guess this says whoever plays well gets the start?

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#33 Parallex
October 06 2013, 10:18AM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

Reports say McBackup starts in net tonight... given how Ramo looked uncomfortable i nnet his last start, not surprised. I expected Ramo to start because they gave him the money and hope they found something to move forward to - but i guess this says whoever plays well gets the start?

I didn't think he looked uncomfortable.

All things considered I thought he looked fairly composed outside of the shootout. His 1-on-1 play looked suspect (giving up goals to every shootout player and on the one breakaway he faced and it's something he'll need to practice but ultimately he gave up 4 goals two of those on the power-play and one on a breakaway. He let in 1 goal on what everyone could consider a normal event against a good team. That ain't bad.

That being said 4 still got past him (and they count).

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#34 Justin Azevedo
October 06 2013, 12:41PM
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@coachedpotatoe

granlund is hurt iirc

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#35 TRAV
October 06 2013, 02:11PM
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TSN reporting that LACK gets the start...

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#36 Baalzamon
October 06 2013, 02:15PM
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TRAV wrote:

TSN reporting that LACK gets the start...

Something tells me this won't be a low-scoring affair..

Basically, it'll come down to whether Lack or MacDonald sucks less.

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#37 loudogYYC
October 06 2013, 04:53PM
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@Willi P

I think they'd like to bring Berra up to share the net with Ramo. By playing Macdonald, he either craps the bed and can be sent down/claimed, or he plays well and another team might just cough up a 5th or 6th for him. Either way, the Flames have too many goalies on pro contracts and need to get rid of one.

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#38 beloch
October 07 2013, 03:27AM
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@RexLibris

"In fact, that trio registered in the top of the league in terms of possession metrics against the toughest competition. "

According to behindthenet: Corsi On:
Eberle 3.47 (261st in league)
Hall 2.79 (279th in league)
Nuge 1.89 (304th in league)

Corsi Rel QoC:
Eberle 0.227 (388th in league)
Hall 0.585 (244th in league)
Nuge 0.721 (183rd in league)

This puts them firmly in "meh" territory for both possession and the toughness of competition they faced. Not bad, but nowhere near the top of the league. They are probably a bit handicapped by the awful defenders they have to toil in front of and they are probably a few years from peak, so hopefully they will improve.

Anyways, this is beside my main point. I wasn't trying to get hung up on comparing elite players or even trying to say who is and isn't elite. I was trying to explain how a team without weak possession lines makes everyone look better than they really are. If you swapped L.A.'s top line into the oilers, Kopitar et al wouldn't look nearly as good because they'd be playing completely fresh elite competition practically all of the time. The oilers lower lines simply aren't good enough to force their competition to play their top lines.

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