Flames Fan Ask - November 23, 2013

Justin Azevedo
November 23 2013 11:45AM

 

It's time for another round of Fan Ask. Go Dinos.

Q: If Backlund does get traded, to where and what kind of a return could we possibly see?

A: At this point, I'm thinking like St. Louis or Detroit would be the two teams most likely to be interested. The issue with trading Backlund - other than the fact that you're getting rid of your second best centre - is that you're not going to get anywhere near fair value in return for what he brings a team.

He out-possesses top-6 players. Theoretically, that makes him a top-6 player. The going return for that type of player is a 2nd or 1st round pick. I'll say at absolute best he'd bring back a second, but it would likely be something along the lines of a 3rd and a middling prospect. Not worth it. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure a Backlund trade is inevitable now, so resign yourself to the fact that they won't get fair value. I'm pretty sure this is the next move to go down. 

Q: What the hell happened to Janko?

A: Jankowski's current scoring struggles were talked about in the last edition of our NHLE updates, and what I said at the time is that he needed to increase his shots per game. If he was averaging 3 shots per, the scoring struggles wouldn't be an issue.

Unfortunately, he isn't really even close to that marker. Janko's now dropped back almost to where he was last season (~1.7 SH/G) and is only averaging ~1.9 SH/G. He's still shooting 30%, too. Because of his talent we might not see that drop below 15% but that still indicates he's been twice as lucky as he should've been. The assists - or lack there of - are starting to worry me as well. The NCAA is 1/4 of the way through their season too, and even though Jankowski is getting PP time and Providence has scored 44 goals, he still only has the one assist. I'm still willing to chalk that up to bad luck but if he can't get assists long-term it suggests he's just a peripheral player.

So, in short, nothing "happened" to Jankowski, but he isn't doing the things he needs to be doing right now.

Q: Chances Monahan goes to the WJC?

A: I can't see them releasing Monahan to the WJC. It's painfully obvious that the people around the team expect them to stay as competitive as possible. You're not going to send away one of your best-scoring forwards if that's the case. Plus, he'd likely have to go to orientation camp, which is even more time spent where he's not on the roster.

I would send him to the WJC for sure, but I'm not the one in charge.

Q: Why are fans of the Flames franchise so defensive of Face Punchers, or make excuses for them when they are visibly and quantifiably bad?

A: I don't think that the love for goons is simply a Calgary thing. The reason people love goons is because, at some primal level, most people enjoy bloodsport. The goods provide.

They're uniformly terrible at hockey, though, so I wouldn't want them on my team. I don't buy that there's a tangible impact on a game after a fight, but some do.

Q: Why is Sven sitting at all?

A: See the two above answers. Sven makes mistakes (because he's 21 and he's supposed to) but in the minds of the Flames brain trust a competitive team can't make those mistakes. He really should have just played all of these past two seasons in Abbotsford.

Q: I have been curious what is up with Sieloff. How is the development of guys down in Abby, like Granlund, going? Also, what you think is going to happen with all our college prospects this season?

Sieloff is still recovering from surgery on his broken face. There is an infection and he's out indefinitely until everything is completely clean and healed up. In terms of the guys in Abby, I update the prospects NHLE here every couple of days. Granlund is producing a lot of shots, which is good. Knight has been the best prospect in Abbotsford thus far. Reinhart's scoring will get up to a PPG at some point so that's really good too.

Arnold and Agostino are the two seniors we really have to worry about. Neither really have the cache needed to be guys that are lured away. In saying that, Arnold is scoring at a really good pace right now and I've considered him to be a guy with 3rd line potential for years - so hopefully that contract comes soon after BC is done for the year. Gilmour has had a really good start, too. I wouldn't be surprised if all of the rest of them went back for one more year, including Gaudreau. 

Q: @thefanblogger was saying that Baertschi is on the block and will be traded before Christmas. Who do you think he'll be traded to and for who?‎

If they trade him now, they're just as bad as the Oilers are. With that caveat in mind, any trade that doesn't have, at the very least, a first-round pick plus more coming back is simply a massive waste of an asset. I just can't think of a single compelling reason for the Flames to trade him - which means that of course he'll be moved. All of this is thanks to Burke.

Q: How much wood would a Klimchuk chuck if a Klimchuk could chuck wood?

A: Probably 16.

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#1 Michael
November 24 2013, 12:13PM
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Bluntly, Backlund is NOT a top six forward, he has simply not shown over his 190 odd NHL games, anything like the goal scoring needed to rate that high. He is a defensive minded, possession driving third liner, who has adds value to the bottom six. For a defensive minded third line center he needs to improve in the face off circle. I wouldn't trade him, but you have to question whether Backlund himself is happy with the way he is being used, and whether we can resign him once his RFA status expires.

Janko, is beginning to fade into obscurity... he was a pick that the Flames simply couldn't afford to make.

Monahan, forget short term team needs, he needs to go the WJC to continue his development. We just need to look at Sven to see what happens when you take developmental short cuts. You get some short term gain in return for long term losses.

I wonder if the owners really have the stomach for this version of the Feaster rebuild. Things aren't off to a great start, the goal tending is sub par, the d corp is weak, development is questionable for Backlund, Sven and Monahan, and with vets like Cammy likely to be traded, things are only going to get worse. Feaster isn't the man for the job, and does not survive the season as GM.

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#2 Walter White
November 23 2013, 04:56PM
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Backlund for Abdelkader. WW

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#4 Walter White
November 23 2013, 05:37PM
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Who exactly are you "Backlund for Abdelkader" haters expecting Detroit to give up for Backlund?? zetterberg, Datsyuk, Helm, Franzen??? Keep dreaming. Detroit does not give up high draft picks in trades, especially for a guy who can't crack the Flames lineup. So who are you expecting back from Detroit? Abdelkader is a young big forward who is off to a slow start. WW

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#5 Walter White
November 23 2013, 06:06PM
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Kurt wrote:

I actually don't think Detroit would do that trade... But Flames fans hate it. Sort of shows the disconnect.

A lot of teams overvalue their own players.......fans especially overvalue their own players.

WW

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#6 Walter White
November 23 2013, 08:52PM
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Kesler is a super douche.....!

Hawks dominated that period until the diving started.

WW

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#7 please cancel acct
November 24 2013, 12:30PM
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Janko's potential is dwindling away.It sure would be nice to be talking about Olli Maata instead of Janko right now.

Intelluctual honesty required

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#8 RexLibris
November 23 2013, 09:24PM
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@Kevin R

Backlund is a great possession player, stands out as a shutdown center and has a decent frame with enough skill to create some chances.

His point ceiling may not have been reached, but I'm not sure he is that far off.

He is not the 2nd coming of Mike Peca or, more recently, Jarret Stoll.

I think the Brodziak comparison is decent, although a more thorough search around the league may provide a better list of names.

Brodziak was traded by an organization just entering a rebuild and with a new GM who had zero loyalty to those players he inherited.

It was an incredibly short-sighted move.

Can you say that there isn't at least a chance that the Flames, given some similar circumstances, aren't vulnerable to making the same error? I didn't say they WOULD trade him for a 4th round pick, but rather that it had been done before and I couldn't see them trading him for less. Don't forget, these trades don't necessarily reflect perceived value. Smid was moved quietly, much as Phaneuf was, and both were later said to have been acquired for far less than "market value".

As to Yakupov, sure, let's discuss.

Daigle? No. Daigle had some problems from day one and the Senators were a dysfunctional organization (moreso even than the Oilers are said to be) who needed him to step in and be "the man". Not the case for Yakupov.

True, both play(ed) wing and both shoot (shot) left. Daigle had ridiculous numbers in junior and Yakupov broke Stamkos' records in Sarnia.

Temperament is very different, nationality and the pressures that brings are different, and the environments into which they are (were) introduced are markedly different.

Yakupov's trade value right now? He has value as a blue-chip offensive player on an ELC and with less KHL baggage than many Russian-born players of his caliber.

Darren Dreger said Reimer would be fair value - maybe. I think Dreger was wrong.

I believe, based on as objective an analysis as can be expected from a fan, that Nail will outperform Taylor Hall in points though influence the game less in terms of underlying statistics. He has a shot that, no word of a lie, could become as feared in our time as Al McInnins' was in his day. His passing is very underrated and he has a very strong sense of offensive soft spots and can dart to the scoring zones quickly and effectively.

This debate raged across the Oilogosphere a short while ago and one item that was more or less established was that a straight up trade of Yakupov for Couturier might improve the Oilers as a team, but in the end they would lose that trade by virtually every other metric.

If I were GM of the Flames I would be more willing to trade Baertschi than Backlund at this stage. My untouchables would be Brodie, Gillies and Monahan. Backlund doesn't rate, but he wouldn't be my first move. The Flames need to retain their core young players, but just as it is with the draft, who determines the player that has value is the real question.

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#9 EugeneV
November 24 2013, 10:27AM
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Kurt wrote:

"Backlund, Colburne, Knight, Reinhart all could potentially be great 2nd line centreman" - Yikes... ease off the koolaide!

And comparing Yakupov to Daigle? What does that even mean? I get we have prospect envy here, but common... I saw a graph on TSN the other day saying Yakupov's stats after 65 NHL games are comparable to Tavares, Nash, Stamkos & Lecavelier. I can't imagine where the Daigle dig comes from except Oiler hate. Which isn't a bad thing, but a bit silly.

But I do agree being are undervaluing Backlund (after grossly overvaluing last year). Keep him and see what happens.

Yeah but.... regarding Yakupov

Those guys were the first building block on their teams, and didn't have anyone to play with like Eberle, Hall and The Nuge.

Oh, except Stamkos who had Richards, Vinny and St Louis, which is probably not where Yak gets to but he may get close.

And if the Oilers want to get rid of him so bad they can have any 3 players on our current NHL roster except 23 or 7.

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#10 vowswithin
November 23 2013, 11:54AM
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Q: How much wood would a Klimchuk chuck if a Klimchuk could chuck wood?

A: Probably 16.

Yes I strike again! ;-)

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#11 coachedpotatoe
November 23 2013, 05:06PM
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Thanks for the update on Sieloff, now we know and for those of who pray can keep him in our prayers. We can worry about the hockey stuff later. THose that don't pray my apologies if I have offended you.

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#12 Colin.S
November 23 2013, 12:57PM
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@loudogYYC

Nobody is giving the Flames a first/second pick for Backlund at this point in time, they are using him as a fourth line center. The best they are going to get for him is a third rounder. I think the biggest comparable is Colborne to be honest, he's younger, drafted a bit higher, but close and both are centers with bigger expectations. With the way the Flames have used and deployed him there's no way that we get a first/second/top prospect without including other big pieces.

@Southbound J, we are already as bad as the Oilers. And if we start moving out the pieces that are actually moving the puck and creating positive scoring chance counts (As Kent has been putting out on Twitter, Baertschi's chance count compared to the rest of the flames is just silly), we are not going to be improving, at best we would be standing still at worst, ugh, I don't even want to think about it.

I don't see any compelling reason to trade Baertschi at all, we don't exactly have a ton of young wingers in this organization who will be around for the long haul. Camms will probably be moved shortly and at the latest the trade deadline. Stempniak is as good as gone, whether it's through trade or as a UFA this year. And once you start moving them out I don't see Huddler wanting to stay with a team projected to be bottom 5 again, and with his production and not much longer on his contract would probably be easy to move as well.

Unless you were getting one of Floridas, Carolinas, NYI, Columbus, Nashvilles or Winnipegs 1st ronder, which all of them have a good chance to be in the top 10, I don't see the upside in trading him.

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#13 RexLibris
November 23 2013, 01:31PM
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@Colin.S

And to Southbound J

I'm not certain I get the "bad as the Oilers" reference either, given the context.

Moving a 21 year old player who is just about to leave his ELC isn't something the Oilers have done that much of.

A trade of Backlund is closer to what Lowe did when he traded Brodziak (and perhaps that offers a fair career comparable). But if you want to compare Baertschi to an Oilers prospect why not start with Eberle.

Both are small to average sized wingers, both have some high-end skill and both became noted junior players. The Oilers left Eberle in junior for two more years, with some AHL time at the end of each CHL season. Then transitioned him to the NHL along with Hall and Paajarvi.

Baertschi finished his last year in junior then split last season between the AHL and NHL before moving to the NHL full-time this season.

The most significant difference between the two in terms of development time is the number of WHL games played (254 to 113) because Baertschi came to N.A. later in his junior career.

I've argued that Baertschi might develop into a player along the lines of an Ales Hemsky, a very good complementary player. But at this stage, the best thing for Baertschi's development would have been to spend his entire ELC in the minors with call-up duty in his third season.

At his age now he is beginning the transition from development to remedial stage. You only trade him if you can get a solid, fully-formed, under-24 player back in return.

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#14 RexLibris
November 24 2013, 09:27AM
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@Baalzamon

I've always said the best plan is to create enough depth so that players can play at or even one spot below their actual ranking.

Backlund right now is about a 3rd line center. If your team were deep enough down the middle to use him as your 4th line C with some strong linemates (as opposed to fighters and checkers) you'd have a strong team. An Oiler comparable would be the Reasoner-Laraque pairing from years ago.

Yakupov and Ekman-Larsson are an interesting pair. The former is probably the more innately talented and still has a lot of development ahead of him. Ekman-Larsson is one of the top five defenders in the league right now. I'd make a one-for-one trade, or throw in another prospect to do that deal. I doubt Maloney does, though.

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#15 vowswithin
November 23 2013, 11:57AM
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@Ryan Pike

Also when can I hear another three a$$holes podcast?

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#16 ?
November 23 2013, 12:34PM
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If Baertschi does get traded, I will be extremely disappointed. Trading away bluechip prospects isn't how you develop them (lol), and it sure as hell isn't how you rebuild a hockey team.

And if it happens, I want a 2 Minutes Hate devoted entirely to Brian Burke :)

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#17 RexLibris
November 23 2013, 02:44PM
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@Colin.S

The funny thing is, up until the emergence of Arcobello, Backlund was looked on by some rather covetously here in Edmonton as a solid 3rd line center.

Who knows, maybe if he'd had better linemates...

In terms of our range, I think Brodziak is at the top end and Colborne, at this stage, the lower end. Backlund, to me, sits somewhere closer to Brodziak than Colborne, but it is a narrow gap.

Hate to say this, and I'm not trying to start anything, but I'd get a good laugh if the Oilers were able to trade the 4th rounder they got for Mike Brown for Backlund.

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#18 RexLibris
November 23 2013, 09:32PM
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@Kevin R

One last point about the Backlund Brodziak comparison.

You think Brodziak hasn't amounted to, well, a hill of beans, let's say?

Brodziak's point totals since entering the NHL are 31, 27, 32, 37, 44, and 12 in the lockout year last season.

Backlund's highest is his '10-'11 season with 25 and if we added together his games from '11-'12 and '12-'13 it would be 27.

The difference between the two is that Backlund has only recently been deployed specifically as a depth center whereas Brodziak has been classified as one for the majority of his career.

As I've said before, I like Backlund and I'd take him for the Oilers as their 4th line center over Will Acton, but if age weren't a consideration I might almost take Brodziak instead.

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#19 Primo
November 24 2013, 09:46PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Backlund is a great possession player, stands out as a shutdown center and has a decent frame with enough skill to create some chances.

His point ceiling may not have been reached, but I'm not sure he is that far off.

He is not the 2nd coming of Mike Peca or, more recently, Jarret Stoll.

I think the Brodziak comparison is decent, although a more thorough search around the league may provide a better list of names.

Brodziak was traded by an organization just entering a rebuild and with a new GM who had zero loyalty to those players he inherited.

It was an incredibly short-sighted move.

Can you say that there isn't at least a chance that the Flames, given some similar circumstances, aren't vulnerable to making the same error? I didn't say they WOULD trade him for a 4th round pick, but rather that it had been done before and I couldn't see them trading him for less. Don't forget, these trades don't necessarily reflect perceived value. Smid was moved quietly, much as Phaneuf was, and both were later said to have been acquired for far less than "market value".

As to Yakupov, sure, let's discuss.

Daigle? No. Daigle had some problems from day one and the Senators were a dysfunctional organization (moreso even than the Oilers are said to be) who needed him to step in and be "the man". Not the case for Yakupov.

True, both play(ed) wing and both shoot (shot) left. Daigle had ridiculous numbers in junior and Yakupov broke Stamkos' records in Sarnia.

Temperament is very different, nationality and the pressures that brings are different, and the environments into which they are (were) introduced are markedly different.

Yakupov's trade value right now? He has value as a blue-chip offensive player on an ELC and with less KHL baggage than many Russian-born players of his caliber.

Darren Dreger said Reimer would be fair value - maybe. I think Dreger was wrong.

I believe, based on as objective an analysis as can be expected from a fan, that Nail will outperform Taylor Hall in points though influence the game less in terms of underlying statistics. He has a shot that, no word of a lie, could become as feared in our time as Al McInnins' was in his day. His passing is very underrated and he has a very strong sense of offensive soft spots and can dart to the scoring zones quickly and effectively.

This debate raged across the Oilogosphere a short while ago and one item that was more or less established was that a straight up trade of Yakupov for Couturier might improve the Oilers as a team, but in the end they would lose that trade by virtually every other metric.

If I were GM of the Flames I would be more willing to trade Baertschi than Backlund at this stage. My untouchables would be Brodie, Gillies and Monahan. Backlund doesn't rate, but he wouldn't be my first move. The Flames need to retain their core young players, but just as it is with the draft, who determines the player that has value is the real question.

Seriously, if I wanted to read a book I would go to the library!

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#20 Southbound J
November 23 2013, 12:11PM
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Can you explain how they would be "just as bad as the Oilers" please enlighten the masses.

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#21 ?
November 23 2013, 04:32PM
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MichaelD wrote:

I've heard that Evander Kane may also be on the trading block. Do you think theres a potential move there?

If there is, I believe that Feaster/Burke would probably have to include Baertschi or Monahan in any trade scenario, or their 2014/2015 first rounder.

If Jets were looking to trade Kane, I could see a trade looking like this between them and CGY (Note, this is a scenario that I think MIGHT look like, not necessarily SHOULD):

Baertschi, Backlund, and a 2nd rounder (if Feaster hasn't already dealt it ala Darryl lol)

for

E. Kane

Interesting deal...? Personally, if that were on the table and I was WPG, I'd probably decline. Kane is their franchise player

EDIT: Obviously, Kane being legitimately on the market would be HUGE around the NHL. 4th overall in 09 I think, and a young guy who looks like he could be a legit star.

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#22 Kevin R
November 23 2013, 04:53PM
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Holy smokes, if some people that are posting values for Backlund were realtors, I wouldn't want them selling my house. That's for sure.

Backlund is young enough, cap friendly enough & possession number decent enough to get more than a 3rd or 4th round pick. You think a team like the Leafs wouldn't covet a centreman like Backlund. Backlund + for Gardiner + salary dump....possible? I guess I am in the camp no one is expendable but the return needs to be decent. Backlund is undervalued here because the Flames have so many up & coming centres that are at very similar stages of development. Right now we got Backlund, Colburne, Knight, Reinhart all capable of developing further on the 3rd line & any of them could potentially take that next step & be a great 2nd line centreman given the right circumstances. One thing I noticed with Colburne, that kid has such a large frame & reach, if that ever develops, well........... lets just say that trade would even out the Dion & Gilmour fiascos.

Trades are not only part of a rebuild but very necessary & I for one am glad that Burke is part of a consensus with Feaster & Weisbrod as to whether to pull the trigger on some of these deals.

Rex, I love your input & perspective but I find you like to pigeon hole players based on some similar stats to support the comparison, but ultimately at a huge reduction in the players ceiling. & I wind up shaking my head thinking what an ingenius way of trolling.(I know you're not by the way) Brodziak compared to Backlund or even Colborne? I guess it depends what side of the glass you are looking at. I would be really curious debating Yapukovs trade value & if you would consider him a comparable to Daigle? A 3rd or 4th for Backlund has to be the most absurd thing I have heard. Give away players that are just short of taking that next step as a type of player a team would consider must have for a 3rd or 4th? Well people have been trashing on the Oil for how they do things lately but even they don't give up on their young guys that easily. I actually tip my hat to MacT for weathering this last sh*tstorm.

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#23 ?
November 23 2013, 05:21PM
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@Kevin R

I think the impact of Mikael Backlund on this team is enormous, no doubt. Without him, the club loses alot of depth and experience at centre in a hurry; he is

a) The club's best possession forward

b) An excellent penalty killer

c) The club's best shutdown centerman

Having said all of that, I don't think many teams in the NHL are going to pay a premium price for a young shutdown centerman who has never surpassed 25 points in a single season in the NHL (of course, last year he was on pace for a 41pt campaign over a full 82 game schedule, so take 25pts with a grain of salt).

In addition, I'm sure most GMs across the league know that Backlund has spent time on the 4th line this season. That sounds like "buy low" territory if you ask me. I don't think we can expect a first rounder for Backs if he gets dealt, but you never know I guess. Will certainly be interesting to see what Feaster does.

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#24 Kurt
November 23 2013, 05:33PM
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@Kevin R

"Backlund, Colburne, Knight, Reinhart all could potentially be great 2nd line centreman" - Yikes... ease off the koolaide!

And comparing Yakupov to Daigle? What does that even mean? I get we have prospect envy here, but common... I saw a graph on TSN the other day saying Yakupov's stats after 65 NHL games are comparable to Tavares, Nash, Stamkos & Lecavelier. I can't imagine where the Daigle dig comes from except Oiler hate. Which isn't a bad thing, but a bit silly.

But I do agree being are undervaluing Backlund (after grossly overvaluing last year). Keep him and see what happens.

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#25 thymebalm
November 23 2013, 06:10PM
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Terrible analysis of Jankowski...

Jankowski scored late to tie in his last game when Gillies went down with the injury. (aka clutch) 7 goals this season matches his total for the year last year. (huge step)

That's second on team scoring. He's got 1 assist, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that nobody other than Janko and Mauermann are scoring for this club, and Janko isn't on his line.

Janko is making big strides, but not by metrics you use to further your obvious narrative.

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#26 TheoForever
November 24 2013, 12:47PM
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@Michael

Janko is not fading into obscurity, he his improving although perhaps not as fast as some would want, a project right. How Is Monahan development being jeopardized? Sending him to WJC is optional, it would be nice if he went, although not necessary for his continued development which is just fine. Benching of Sven and applying different measuring stick was a head scratcher, but the fact he is getting better and competing more in the last few games, so perhaps he is on track as well. We knew goaltending would suck. Having said so, there is Ortio and Gillies on horizon. Berra is showing flashes but has a way to go. If you going to go out and get a goaltender then after this season there will be lots of them around as free agents.

Defensive corps is what it should be at the start of a rebuild. Giordano return will help, Russell was a great addition, same goes for Smid. I got no problems with Wideman and Brodie is a good young player. We have several young Dmen that are promising. Top paring defensemen don't grow on trees.

If Flames didn't have problems they would not be rebuilding.

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#27 RKD
November 24 2013, 01:02PM
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Dreger along with LeBrun and Bobby Mac are top insiders. If he said 4-5 teams are kicking the tires on Backlund and the Flames are ready to move him then there's a good chance it will happen. Trading Sven would be a mistake, look at what happened to Monahan when they started Baertschi. Sean started going cold, he has chemistry with Barts. You shouldn't trade away chemistry. I feel bad for Backs he's had some injury issues in the past and that's hindered some of his progress. Trading away a centre isn't a good idea when the organization doesn't have depth there anyways.

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#28 TRAV
November 23 2013, 12:47PM
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"It's painfully obvious that the people around the team expect them to stay as competitive as possible."

Of course they do. I don't find it painful in the least that the team aspires to be as good as possible. In fact I would find it quite painful if the team was "trying to be okay, and accepting losing as a natural part of the rebuild."

You do not develop players by teaching them that losing is okay. (see Edmonton) You teach them that hard work, time spent in the gym, putting team before individual stats, dedication/ effort are all the right way to belong to a winning organization. (you teach them to be as competitive as possible!)

I would argue that the Flames are doing a great job of being competitive while developing players... See Monahan, Brodie, Colborne, Knight, Ferland, Granlund..

I would also say that the lessons that Sven is learning now will pay off in the long run. Players need to learn to compete, to play with hunger and to avoid complacency. I see a noticeable difference in the way Sven is competing the last few games with how he started. I agree that we need to be mindful of his confidence but we are trying to develop a complete player. Sitting out a few games over the course of the season is not going to wreck our prospect.

Finally I don't mind carrying a tough guy on the team. (I would prefer that he could add more than just toughness) I don't like a tough guy because I love bloodsport. In fact I hate seeing a guy get really beat up. I don't like it when I have my young daughter at a game with me and I have to explain it and I don't like staged fights. So why would I carry a tough guy on my team?

I have played the game when the other team had a player who would openly skate by our bench and mock us, take liberties slashing our goalie, or our top players. I have seen guys shrink when the other side intimidates you and it doesn't feel very good. Looking at the guy next to you and knowing that he is tough, mean and will answer any comers makes you play better. It gives you confidence. It really is difficult to explain and to quantify. I get it. I can just tell you that there is a reason that when you ask players who have played at a high level if they like having a guy on the bench who can fill the role, the vast majority will answer yes. That sentiment is quantifiable and there is a reason for it. Not the strongest argument but it is the way I feel.

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#29 Colin.S
November 23 2013, 02:23PM
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@RexLibris

I think most people here at FN hold Backlund in higher regard that most outside the site because we know what else he brings to the table besides points.

However when you look at the Brodziaks and Colborne's, he probably fits right in there. He's going to fetch at BEST by himself a third round pick, maybe a second if is a team that picking in the 55-60 range. But the realistic expectation from me is a fourth, that's where I set the bar. The sad part is, that's what he's probably gonna get, and the guys at the Fan960 and other places will say it's a good trade because he was never going to be more than 3rd/4th line guy here and we need more picks in the rebuild. Meanwhile with the 4th they pick another face puncher because grit chart.

I hope if they do trade him, they can put him a package of sorts that doesn't include our 1st/2nd rounder this year but maybe will get a much better pick/prospect than what Backlund will get by himself.

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#30 FireOnIce
November 23 2013, 05:30PM
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Trade 'em all. The bums. Trade Gio while he's on IR to Ottawa for their first. Trade Iginla too, he hasn't been producing near enough for the Flames, and he's been invisible to boot.

/sarcasm

Seriously though, I hope they don't trade Mickis. Or Sven. Trade the vets - Cammy, Stajan, GlenX. That's who gets you value. Take on a bad contract, use that cap space, but don't trade your players just because Hartley doesn't like the cut of their jib.

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#31 MichaelD
November 23 2013, 05:42PM
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@?

I agree. I wouldn't like to see Backlund of Barertschi traded, but if it turns out Burke is showing them the door then this would be the type of deal i would like to see Feaster make.

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#32 mattyc
November 23 2013, 06:14PM
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@Walter White

We have a bunch of comparable players to Abdelkader.

Personally, if we're dealing with Detroit, Id like Backlund, Feaster and Hartley for Babcock and Holland?

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#33 seve927
November 24 2013, 08:03AM
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Anyone know why neither Cundari or Wotherspoon have played the last couple of games for the Heat?

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#34 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 24 2013, 12:43PM
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this team has way too many 22-26 year-old's for a good rebuild!

wait... never mind

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#35 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 24 2013, 12:48PM
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@Michael

they arent off to a good start????

I disagree... I mean, yes, they are not batting 1000, but they've done exceptionally well at addressing the depth of this team and getting rid of a bunch of tired vets with little resale value and bad contracts.

Sure, they swung for the fence with Janko, but so what. Sure, many of us outsiders are perplexed over the treatment of Backlund and Sven. So what?

For your information many of us fans are happier with what we are watching on and off the ice then we have been in 4 years... yes they have laid a couple of eggs but they have also had many games where they gave it 110%, left it all on the ice, got off to a good start, etc etc :-)

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#36 SeanCharles
November 24 2013, 01:00PM
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please cancel acct wrote:

Janko's potential is dwindling away.It sure would be nice to be talking about Olli Maata instead of Janko right now.

Intelluctual honesty required

One day when Sieloff is delivering thunderous hits on the backend for the Flames you'll forget about Maata.

It was a 2 NHL prospects for 1 deal. When talking about it you have to consider Sieloff.

The Flames were so high on Sieloff they would have drafted him if Janko was taken.

Give the kids time to develop before you judge this deal.

At the 2012 draft it was clearly stated that the picks were about the long term future and not the immediate.

I know Hertl and Maata look good but give it some time before you judge.

Sieloff has had an infection and hasn't played. But when he finally gets back and establishes himself in the organization I think it will lighten the blow of Janko not being ready as early as many hoped.

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#37 please cancel acct
November 24 2013, 02:00PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

One day when Sieloff is delivering thunderous hits on the backend for the Flames you'll forget about Maata.

It was a 2 NHL prospects for 1 deal. When talking about it you have to consider Sieloff.

The Flames were so high on Sieloff they would have drafted him if Janko was taken.

Give the kids time to develop before you judge this deal.

At the 2012 draft it was clearly stated that the picks were about the long term future and not the immediate.

I know Hertl and Maata look good but give it some time before you judge.

Sieloff has had an infection and hasn't played. But when he finally gets back and establishes himself in the organization I think it will lighten the blow of Janko not being ready as early as many hoped.

They could have taken Matta with the 21 pick and still had Seiloff.

I actually didn't mind them taking a swing at Janko,and yea, he may still be valuable down the road,but another part of me feel's you should take the best player when drafting on a rebuild.

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#38 Primo
November 24 2013, 02:39PM
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please cancel acct wrote:

Janko's potential is dwindling away.It sure would be nice to be talking about Olli Maata instead of Janko right now.

Intelluctual honesty required

I would not hire you as my GM...giving up on a 20 year old for no apparent reason. I admire your patience and ability to manage player development of young players....Intellectual Honesty!

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#39 RexLibris
November 24 2013, 02:42PM
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So let me pose a question to Flames fans here: Assuming that Backlund is traded, which package would you prefer -

a.) 2nd round draft pick in 2014 b.) an NHL player in a similar situation, limited ceiling but stagnant under current administration c.) veteran player with expiring contract who could be flipped for a pick or prospect at the deadline d.) double-down and move Backlund and another prospect or 2nd round pick for a player in the range of a decent 2nd or very good 3rd line center or 2nd pairing defenseman.

I'm not saying that these are the only options that are out there right now, but if they were, which direction would you rather see the team move towards?

Best case scenario, in my mind, would be option #2 if Burke somehow was able to pull another rabbit out of his hat and trade Backlund (and probably a draft pick) for Brayden Schenn.

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#40 EugeneV
November 24 2013, 06:20PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

any 3???

just say no to crack!!! :-D:-D:-D

As it says ANY 3 on the "NHL ROSTER" except 23 & 7

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#41 RexLibris
November 24 2013, 09:49PM
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@Primo

Perhaps you ought to.

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#42 the-wolf
November 25 2013, 07:37AM
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I have to agree with the article and I've posted the same a couple of times previously.

Backlund is worth more to the team than he is as a trade asset. I just can't see equal value coming back.

As for his potential, he's a 3rd line center as far as offense goes, I agree, but he has enough offensive smarts that along with his ability to drive possession, he could be a very useful 2nd line center if playing between 2 skilled wingers. The defensive conscience of the line, so to speak.

Moving Baertschi at this stage is stupid. Plain and simple. Hartley so obviously plays favorites it's sickening. People like to say, "you don't know what's going on in practices" and crap like that, but that's exactly what that is, 'crap.'

1) The person saying that doesn't know what goes on in practices either.

2) Baertschi was praised by Flames management for his work ethic and we were told glorious stories of him riding the bike hard after games and practices, etc. Now suddenly that's changed?

Monahan and Colborne get all the time, linemates and circumstances to work through their struggles (as they should) while Backlund and Baertschi are nailed to the bench for every slight offence. It kills a player's ability to perform when you're constantly worried about being punished for the slightest error.

The Flames suck. The Flames should suck. They're in a rebuild. Fans who thought the Flames rebuild was going to put the Oilers rebuild to shame and that it would all be over in 2 seasons are deluded.

Develop the kids. That's done by playing them. Move Stajan to clear up the logjam at center. That means Colborne, Backlund and Monahan can all receive substantial ice time, you juggle their line status based on who's hot that night.

Harltey needs to realize he's not coaching a Cup cotnender here and ownership nees to realize the Flames are a sports franchsie, not an oil company.

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#43 BJ
November 23 2013, 03:32PM
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Cant see either B getting traded... Backs is our shutdown center and Baertshi has a lot of potential.... that said they cant help a contender out enough that they would part with what we need to make a deal work.

I imagine they will still be Flames come the summer.

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#44 ?
November 23 2013, 04:27PM
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@Colin.S

I absolutely agree. The only reason I mention the scouting staff is because I think the Flames mgmt (Feaster, mostly) has a lot of faith in the new scouting approach of the Flames. I believe that if Backs is moved for a 4th round pick and a 'Ben Hanowski caliber' prospect, which I think would be a total backwards move by the org, Feaster might be ok with it because it gives CGY another kick at the can to grab another Johny Gaudreau late round steal.

Obviously, a lot of that is just speculation on my part, seeing as I don't actually know if Feaster trusts his staff enough to give up on a legit NHLer like Backs for magic beans, as you said.

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#45 loudogYYC
November 23 2013, 06:40PM
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Colin.S wrote:

Nobody is giving the Flames a first/second pick for Backlund at this point in time, they are using him as a fourth line center. The best they are going to get for him is a third rounder. I think the biggest comparable is Colborne to be honest, he's younger, drafted a bit higher, but close and both are centers with bigger expectations. With the way the Flames have used and deployed him there's no way that we get a first/second/top prospect without including other big pieces.

@Southbound J, we are already as bad as the Oilers. And if we start moving out the pieces that are actually moving the puck and creating positive scoring chance counts (As Kent has been putting out on Twitter, Baertschi's chance count compared to the rest of the flames is just silly), we are not going to be improving, at best we would be standing still at worst, ugh, I don't even want to think about it.

I don't see any compelling reason to trade Baertschi at all, we don't exactly have a ton of young wingers in this organization who will be around for the long haul. Camms will probably be moved shortly and at the latest the trade deadline. Stempniak is as good as gone, whether it's through trade or as a UFA this year. And once you start moving them out I don't see Huddler wanting to stay with a team projected to be bottom 5 again, and with his production and not much longer on his contract would probably be easy to move as well.

Unless you were getting one of Floridas, Carolinas, NYI, Columbus, Nashvilles or Winnipegs 1st ronder, which all of them have a good chance to be in the top 10, I don't see the upside in trading him.

I don't think Backlund alone gets you a 1st or a 2nd, I think the combination of Backlund and unloading a bloated contract gets you a 1st or a 2nd. MSM has been talking about which team may be willing to include a 1st rd pick to entice a team with cap space to take on a heavy contract. I think it only happens if the team that gives up the 1st also gets a player with promise in return.

@Walter White

Abdelkader is a 27 year old checking winger that has never amassed more than 22 points in the NHL. Flames have TJ Galiardi already, Abdelkader would not only be redundant, but also a terrible return for Backlund. I doubt 5 or 6 teams kick tires about Backlund because they think he's a 4th line centre. The simple fact that there's that many teams calling Feaster about him tells me they see him as more.

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#46 TRAV
November 23 2013, 11:27PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Backlund is a great possession player, stands out as a shutdown center and has a decent frame with enough skill to create some chances.

His point ceiling may not have been reached, but I'm not sure he is that far off.

He is not the 2nd coming of Mike Peca or, more recently, Jarret Stoll.

I think the Brodziak comparison is decent, although a more thorough search around the league may provide a better list of names.

Brodziak was traded by an organization just entering a rebuild and with a new GM who had zero loyalty to those players he inherited.

It was an incredibly short-sighted move.

Can you say that there isn't at least a chance that the Flames, given some similar circumstances, aren't vulnerable to making the same error? I didn't say they WOULD trade him for a 4th round pick, but rather that it had been done before and I couldn't see them trading him for less. Don't forget, these trades don't necessarily reflect perceived value. Smid was moved quietly, much as Phaneuf was, and both were later said to have been acquired for far less than "market value".

As to Yakupov, sure, let's discuss.

Daigle? No. Daigle had some problems from day one and the Senators were a dysfunctional organization (moreso even than the Oilers are said to be) who needed him to step in and be "the man". Not the case for Yakupov.

True, both play(ed) wing and both shoot (shot) left. Daigle had ridiculous numbers in junior and Yakupov broke Stamkos' records in Sarnia.

Temperament is very different, nationality and the pressures that brings are different, and the environments into which they are (were) introduced are markedly different.

Yakupov's trade value right now? He has value as a blue-chip offensive player on an ELC and with less KHL baggage than many Russian-born players of his caliber.

Darren Dreger said Reimer would be fair value - maybe. I think Dreger was wrong.

I believe, based on as objective an analysis as can be expected from a fan, that Nail will outperform Taylor Hall in points though influence the game less in terms of underlying statistics. He has a shot that, no word of a lie, could become as feared in our time as Al McInnins' was in his day. His passing is very underrated and he has a very strong sense of offensive soft spots and can dart to the scoring zones quickly and effectively.

This debate raged across the Oilogosphere a short while ago and one item that was more or less established was that a straight up trade of Yakupov for Couturier might improve the Oilers as a team, but in the end they would lose that trade by virtually every other metric.

If I were GM of the Flames I would be more willing to trade Baertschi than Backlund at this stage. My untouchables would be Brodie, Gillies and Monahan. Backlund doesn't rate, but he wouldn't be my first move. The Flames need to retain their core young players, but just as it is with the draft, who determines the player that has value is the real question.

I actually appreciate your insights. But with all due respect you may have too much time on your hands :)

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#47 jonahgo
November 24 2013, 10:32AM
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if these rumors are true... why is this team looking to move good young players under team control? backlund is exactly the type of player they should be holding on to. he's already a legitimate nhl caliber player, and unlike the rest of the non-sveanahan forwards, he'll still be in his prime when the team is competitive again. he's the perfect player to bridge the gap between rebuild and competitiveness.

not to mention, if they trade him relatively soon, it'd be terrible asset management. they've tanked his value by sticking him on the fourth line and giving him tough minutes when he's not there. i don't see how they can expect to get good value by trading backlund at this point. at least pump up his value with offensive-zone starts, low quality of competition, and pp time, before trading him...

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#48 bilman
November 24 2013, 01:04PM
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If they in fact trade Backlund in the near future, I will be thoroughly disgusted in this team. Talk about bad "asset management". This would remind me a little bit of the Marc Savard fiasco (albeit to a much lesser extent) - allow the coach to completely diminish the value of the player, then trade him. If Backlund is to be traded, then at least give him a chance to improve his offensive numbers (ie powerplay time and top 2 line time) before you do.

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#49 piscera.infada
November 24 2013, 01:37PM
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RKD wrote:

Dreger along with LeBrun and Bobby Mac are top insiders. If he said 4-5 teams are kicking the tires on Backlund and the Flames are ready to move him then there's a good chance it will happen. Trading Sven would be a mistake, look at what happened to Monahan when they started Baertschi. Sean started going cold, he has chemistry with Barts. You shouldn't trade away chemistry. I feel bad for Backs he's had some injury issues in the past and that's hindered some of his progress. Trading away a centre isn't a good idea when the organization doesn't have depth there anyways.

If you think Backlund is a #1 or #2 centre, then yes, trading him away is a bad call because we don't have depth there. I don't think he is a top-six centre, as such you're trading away a #3 or #4 centre - something that this team actually does have depth at, in terms of prospects who are ready to make the jump very soon or have made the jump (ie: Knight, Colborne, etc.), and guys on the way (ie: Arnold, Granlund (although some might say his ceiling is higher - which would be great), etc.). Therefore, I'll say again, if he doesn't fit in to what the "plan" is, then you have to trade him.

Not that I want him traded, I just don't see it being as brutal an idea as a lot of people seem to suggest. Trade Backlund, bring up Knight - see what he can do.

And for all the talk of "bad asset management" - which is ludicrous, because we have no idea what the asking price even is - I'm not sure you understand that this team has a finite number of spots open to develop young players. You can't just keep claiming "bring up the young guys, give them a shot", when there aren't any spots for them to play in.

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#50 RexLibris
November 24 2013, 09:56PM
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@piscera.infada

Both Schenn's were 5th overall picks and one was recently had for a 2nd overall pick, so I'm not sure you get one for Backlund and a 2nd rounder.

I think even Holmgren would tell you you're crazy there.

That being said, targeting both might be something Burke would consider. If it meant moving both Backlund and Baertschi and getting a pick outside the 1st round in return as well as the Schenns perhaps the two sides could find something in the middle that worked.

Luke is a blueliner that hasn't lived up to expectations but is still young and often these players take a great deal of time to become something resembling what everyone believe they could be. Brayden has been playing wing but I think if they could move him to RW to complement the growing number of LW prospects they have.

I know some fans are going to hate the mere mention of moving both Backlund and Baertschi, but I only mention it because I'm lead to believe that Burke is orchestrating things to some extent and is not a big fan of either player.

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