Random Thoughts - More MIkael Backlund

Kent Wilson
November 25 2013 09:13AM

 

 

With Darren Dreger recently tweeting that the Flames are shopping Backlund, it seems more and more that the former first rounders time with the organization is drawing to a close. We've defended backs around here a lot over the years, so this is going to seem redundant, but here's a bit on why moving him for pennies on the dollar is a bad bet.

It's been well established around these parts - Mikael Backlund is a top-5 player on this team in terms of driving possession. He led the Calgary Flames forwards by that metric over the last two years and is top-3 amongst regular forwards this year (despite starting from the defensive end more often). He's not an overly compelling player in general because he doesn't regularly do the spectacular stuff - he doesn't fight or smash people into the boards and his offense is uneven at best. All he does is drive play into the offensive end.

An apt comparison might be baseball player Scott Hatteberg from the Oakland A's (featured in Moneyball). Billy Beane signed Hatteberg off the scrap heap because he was good at getting on base - an unsexy metric (at the time) that correlated to runs and wins.

Because OBP was unsexy it was also cheap. Corsi and other possession metrics are the same in hockey today - over the long run, a higher corsi rating correlates with a better goal differential and wins, but in the short term it's something that can be overwhelmed by the osscilations of fortune. The best teams in the league tend to consistently control the puck and spend more time in the offensive zone, meaning they aren't overly reliant on all world goaltending or a high shooting percentage. Ergo, to eventually become a good team, the club should collect and keep as many possession players as possible.

Backlund, at 24 years old, does things that help teams win over the long-term. He's not elite, so he can't turn the boat around by himself, and his offense is underwhelming relative to his skill set. Unfortunately, that often means people focus on what Backlund isn't rather than what he is - a useful, cheap, middle-tier forward who drives play in almost any circumstance.

- Another problem with trading Backlund now is the org is unlikely to get much in return for him. Because he doesn't have good counting numbers and there are now questions about his viability as an NHLer, Calgary will be lucky to do better than a second round pick or middling prospect in return. It's the kind of move the Oilers made in the early stages of their rebuild (see: Kyle Brodziak). Giving away established 24-year old centerman out of frustration or because he isn't an bovious star is a good way to spin your wheels.

- It looks like to me that the decision makers have decided they'd rather bet on Colborne than Backlund moving forward, which results in the log-jam and "need" to move Mickis.

I liked the Colborne acquisition and I'm hoping he becomes something for the team, but aside from his size, there's no reason currently to believe Colborne will be better the Backlund. His possession rates this year are worse (even though he starts way more often in the offensive zone), his even strength shot rate is worse and he has just as many points in the same number of games as Backlund. It might be tempting to give Colborne the benefit of the doubt given his age, but the fact is he's just 10 months younger than Mikael, but has played about 160 less NHL games.

It's possible Colborne will become a useful NHLer, but it's also possible he's a replacement level plug. If any center on this club should be getting the ambivalent "up-and-down the line-up treatment" it's Joe Colborne, not Backlund - the former hasn't proven anything at this level yet and doesn't have any compelling results under his belt as a Flame, be it conventional stats or "advanced" metrics.

- Related: one of the many reasons I am against the frequent deployment of enforcers is their presence neuters an entire forward unit each night. Or, to put it another way, if the club had two functional bottom six combinations, it's doubtful anyone would talk about having to choose Colborne over Backlund or vice versa.

Because a line featuring a tough guy can only see 5-7 minutes of ice time per night (and usually they are very unproductive minutes, because it is essentially like skating short-handed), everyone else on that trio is rendered ineffective. For example, in an alternate universe, the Flames could skate these two units:

  • Bouma - Backlund - D. Jones
  • Galiardi - Colborne - B. Jones

Or some mix of players therein. Instead, the team chooses to go with a functional third line and then a usless fourth unit because the two other guys have to carry around Brian McGrattan. An enforcer-less bottom-six would mitigate any questions about keeping Backlund or playing him versus Colborne because each guy would still have a fighting chance to be useful in this configuration no matter how you jumbled things.

Instead, the club is may trade Backlund for a nominal return essentially so they can gamble on Joe Colborne and play McGrattan every game.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 SmellOfVictory
November 25 2013, 01:37PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

How dare you not spout platitudes about a guy who could/would/should/may be a mediocre second line centre.

@Kent Wilson

[Colborne]...doesn't have any compelling results under his belt as a Flame

What "compelling results" does Backlund have under his belt? The ability to lead an old-tired-slumping team in possession the last few years? I'm willing to grant that it's more than Colborne has, but not substantially more - he hasn't helped this team win, he hasn't helped them in any sort of playoff push, and he hasn't generally been a go-to difference maker (not that he needs to be, but I'm unsure why he's thusly deemed an untouchable in that regard).

I'm really not trying to pile on a player that I really like, and I will be the first to agree that his deployment has been a head-scratcher. That said, I really can't justify the absolutism with which trading that particular player is deemed a "mistake" before we see what kind of a package is actually put together. It's only a mistake insofar as the return in horrible (ie: Backlund straight-up for a pick). I really don't believe the higher-ups are ready to just throw the poor guy away for peanuts.

Trading Backlund is likely a mistake because players of his type tend not to be considered particularly valuable on the trade market, but are very valuable to team success. The trade market tends to value scoring, physicality, and other things that look impressive and Backlund doesn't really have in spades.

His compelling results are simply that he is actually a high-functioning support player on a team that doesn't exactly have a glut of them.

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#52 Colin.S
November 25 2013, 01:38PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'll be more surprised if Stajan & Stempniak aren't re-signed than if they are. You need to have some vets on the team, and as I said - the Flames are gonna NEED to spend some money just to reach the floor.I think they'll move Cammalleri, Backlund & Butler. And I'd bet Stajan AND Stempniak both get something like $10-11M over 3 years with Limited NTC's.

That's assuming both players actually want to stay here, IMO, to keep them here you are looking at deals very similar to what Huddler got. 4 years with cap hits in the 3.5M - 4M range, if not higher. The teams done nothing but go downhill the last few years, as well Stajan has been a giant whipping boy as well, I just don't see his appetite in staying here unless he's grossly overpaid.

As well looking down capgeeks list of UFA cetners: http://capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2014&team_id=-1&position_id=C&fa_type_id=2 He's in the top 10 of UFA centers this offseason, he surely knows that to.

I see Stajan and Stempniak as good as gone this offseason. I see a realistic opportunity to keep Camm around before those two.

I still say the best REBUILD option is to keep Backlund around and trade Stajan+Stempniak at the deadline, you'll get a hell of a lot better return for either one of them than you will Backlund.

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#53 Burnward
November 25 2013, 01:48PM
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Why is there so much certainty around here that this is going to be a long, drawn out re-build?

There is nothing in Burke's or Calgary's history to suggest this will be the case.

We have 30 million in Cap Space to play with, an interesting UFA pool coming up and plenty of flexibility.

Not saying it's the right way to go, but I think we're kidding ourselves if we believe Burke/King have the stomach to lose the way the Oil or Panthers have done.

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#54 Kurt
November 25 2013, 01:51PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Trading Backlund is likely a mistake because players of his type tend not to be considered particularly valuable on the trade market, but are very valuable to team success. The trade market tends to value scoring, physicality, and other things that look impressive and Backlund doesn't really have in spades.

His compelling results are simply that he is actually a high-functioning support player on a team that doesn't exactly have a glut of them.

Remember when you were debating me about Backlund being better than Nugent-Hopkins back in the spring.

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#55 piscera.infada
November 25 2013, 01:59PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Trading Backlund is likely a mistake because players of his type tend not to be considered particularly valuable on the trade market, but are very valuable to team success. The trade market tends to value scoring, physicality, and other things that look impressive and Backlund doesn't really have in spades.

His compelling results are simply that he is actually a high-functioning support player on a team that doesn't exactly have a glut of them.

Look, if you and anyone else want to get bent out of shape that trades are being discussed, then do it. I'm just trying to add some sober thought to the hysterical masses who are lining up to jump off the Calgary tower because the Flames are taking some calls on the guy.

Where I differ from most of the people espousing the "worst idea ever" argument, is that I don't believe that the Flames are dumb enough to trade Backlund unless the return is going to be more than decent (whether that's a pipe-dream or not). There's no issue in taking calls - absolutely none. If you're assuming they're going to trade Backlund for a bag of pucks and large double-double because that fits your expectation that management is incompetent, then that's your prerogative - and unfortunately for you, this isn't the first time you'll be driven to hemorrhoids by the rebuild.

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#56 TRAV
November 25 2013, 01:59PM
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I'm in the camp of let's not trade him unless it's a good trade. I have said a few times that I'm open to trading anyone on the team for the right return.. (I also would agree that it might be difficult to get a good return for Backlund based on his stats and use)

If Backlund were traded though think about the decrease of comments and content on the site. Sometimes it's interesting to me how much attention our 3rd/4th line centre gets. (not a criticism just an observation)

In an ideal world our third line centre drives both possession and is able to score.

Lastly I agree with most who are suggesting that we dress a hard working skilled 4th line. I'd keep Gratz on the team for use against some of the other knucklehead clubs but I would dress him rarely. I bet he's on pace for career appearances in a year. (makes little sense)

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#57 Kurt
November 25 2013, 02:01PM
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Burnward wrote:

Why is there so much certainty around here that this is going to be a long, drawn out re-build?

There is nothing in Burke's or Calgary's history to suggest this will be the case.

We have 30 million in Cap Space to play with, an interesting UFA pool coming up and plenty of flexibility.

Not saying it's the right way to go, but I think we're kidding ourselves if we believe Burke/King have the stomach to lose the way the Oil or Panthers have done.

Interesting you bring up the Panthers. Dale Talon came into FLA after the team had acquired a few top picks. He blew his wad a few summers ago to dramatically speed up the rebuild. They had 30 mil in cap space & a few top 5 picks. They spent like drunk sailors on UFAs to speed things up.

Now they are talking about selling off EVERYTHING that isn't bolted down about starting over.

They are basically the 100% opposite of what the Oilers have done. The Oilers committed 100% to a nuclear rebuild with the goal of building a powerhouse, not just quickly getting back to fighting for 8th. They have been stubborn to a fault, and not moved any asset or draft pick. They suck this year because they refuse to do anything to address needs now at the expense of the future.

Personally I think they went TOO far, but I'd lean way more to Oilers style. I think with competent management, the core the Oilers have put together SHOULD be a powerhouse within 24 months. Lucky for us, they have a bunch of shmucks ruining it all.

But FLA & EDM are not comparable examples of rebuild failures. Same results, but dramatically different.

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#58 J.P.
November 25 2013, 02:14PM
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Personally I would choose not to trade Backlund. However if they do, maybe a good target would be Ryan Ellis from Nashville (who is also getting limited minutes). Burke does have history with Nashville in picking up Franson.

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#59 Colin.S
November 25 2013, 02:16PM
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@Kurt

One of the big problems of the Oilers rebuild is that other than their first overalls they got pretty much NOTHING else out of the drafts. I think you can back 10 or more years and see the draft wasteland that is the Edmonton Oilers Rounds 2-7 draft. Not that the flames have been much better, but the Oilers don't have much else outside their firsts. The Flames have managed to snag two top 4 defenders from an undrafted kid and a 4th rounder. That's the difference. Maybe theres someone I missed that the oilers drafted/signed late and Rex could correct me,.

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#60 SmellOfVictory
November 25 2013, 02:17PM
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Kurt wrote:

Remember when you were debating me about Backlund being better than Nugent-Hopkins back in the spring.

He was more effective than Nugent-Hopkins at even strength in the spring. I haven't watched RNH this season, though.

I've never had delusions of Backlund being a top line offensive centre, but the fact of the matter is that he had five years' development on a kid who was barely a year removed from his draft.

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#61 SmellOfVictory
November 25 2013, 02:22PM
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@piscera.infada

I'm not getting bent out of shape; I'm just saying it's probably a bad idea. It's highly unlikely that the return they would get for Backlund is as valuable to the team as Backlund generally is (when he's not relegated to 8 min/night on the 4th line).

If they do get a good value return for him, then great. Although I'll be a bit choked that one of my favourite Flames is gone.

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#62 Kurt
November 25 2013, 02:26PM
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Colin.S wrote:

One of the big problems of the Oilers rebuild is that other than their first overalls they got pretty much NOTHING else out of the drafts. I think you can back 10 or more years and see the draft wasteland that is the Edmonton Oilers Rounds 2-7 draft. Not that the flames have been much better, but the Oilers don't have much else outside their firsts. The Flames have managed to snag two top 4 defenders from an undrafted kid and a 4th rounder. That's the difference. Maybe theres someone I missed that the oilers drafted/signed late and Rex could correct me,.

OH ya, tons of misteps. No reason a team with 3 1st overalls + Eberle should be last. Bad drafting, bad coaching, bad management, bad logo.

All I was saying with the FLA comparable is that I absolutely DO NOT want to follow their path. They got impatient, tried to rush things along or do all sorts of things to be smarter and more creative than other teams (Dale Tallon thought he was smarter than everyone else). They snuck into the playoffs once, then the deck of cards fell in.

Now they are basically starting over.

I'd argue Ottawa is another example of what happens when you mini rebuild. You get back to mediocre quick... But FLA is the best example.

Now is not the time for impatience, creativity, UFAs, mini retools or crazy anything.

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#63 T&A4Flames
November 25 2013, 02:35PM
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Kurt wrote:

Interesting you bring up the Panthers. Dale Talon came into FLA after the team had acquired a few top picks. He blew his wad a few summers ago to dramatically speed up the rebuild. They had 30 mil in cap space & a few top 5 picks. They spent like drunk sailors on UFAs to speed things up.

Now they are talking about selling off EVERYTHING that isn't bolted down about starting over.

They are basically the 100% opposite of what the Oilers have done. The Oilers committed 100% to a nuclear rebuild with the goal of building a powerhouse, not just quickly getting back to fighting for 8th. They have been stubborn to a fault, and not moved any asset or draft pick. They suck this year because they refuse to do anything to address needs now at the expense of the future.

Personally I think they went TOO far, but I'd lean way more to Oilers style. I think with competent management, the core the Oilers have put together SHOULD be a powerhouse within 24 months. Lucky for us, they have a bunch of shmucks ruining it all.

But FLA & EDM are not comparable examples of rebuild failures. Same results, but dramatically different.

FLA went bonkers on free agency because they had to get above the cap floor. Adding some vets wasn't a terrible idea anyway since they really needed some players to mentor their numerous kids. Now some of those kids are showing well and they need to make room as well as keep their cap down to their internal budget.

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#64 EugeneV
November 25 2013, 02:36PM
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J.P. wrote:

Personally I would choose not to trade Backlund. However if they do, maybe a good target would be Ryan Ellis from Nashville (who is also getting limited minutes). Burke does have history with Nashville in picking up Franson.

We would have to add something for this to happen, but I like the idea.

I could see Ellis on our RW with his offensive talent.

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#65 ?
November 25 2013, 02:37PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Look, if you and anyone else want to get bent out of shape that trades are being discussed, then do it. I'm just trying to add some sober thought to the hysterical masses who are lining up to jump off the Calgary tower because the Flames are taking some calls on the guy.

Where I differ from most of the people espousing the "worst idea ever" argument, is that I don't believe that the Flames are dumb enough to trade Backlund unless the return is going to be more than decent (whether that's a pipe-dream or not). There's no issue in taking calls - absolutely none. If you're assuming they're going to trade Backlund for a bag of pucks and large double-double because that fits your expectation that management is incompetent, then that's your prerogative - and unfortunately for you, this isn't the first time you'll be driven to hemorrhoids by the rebuild.

I don't think anyone's getting bent out oh shape. Listen to offers, sure, but ghe Flames r dealing from a position of weakness, as Backlund isn't a sell high asset right now.

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#66 piscera.infada
November 25 2013, 02:37PM
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@SmellOfVictory

If they do get a good value return for him, then great. Although I'll be a bit choked that one of my favourite Flames is gone.

For sure, I'll be hitting the Martell hard if that day comes.

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#67 Kevin R
November 25 2013, 04:09PM
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? wrote:

I don't think anyone's getting bent out oh shape. Listen to offers, sure, but ghe Flames r dealing from a position of weakness, as Backlund isn't a sell high asset right now.

??????? I'm totally confused with your last statement about us dealing with a position of weakness. Oh contraire! 30 mill of cap space, almost mathematically eliminated from playoffs already, 1st year of declared rebuild, I think we are in the drivers seat with dealing with most teams in the league.

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#68 RexLibris
November 25 2013, 04:19PM
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To Kurt, Burnward and Colin S.

Sorry to step in, but with regards to the Oilers rebuild, their depth drafting, and the Hawks' way of doing thing...

The Oilers haven't rushed their 1st overall picks into the league, virtually all player taken there play in the league in their first year. That they haven't had players taken in the later rounds play regularly in the NHL yet isn't a damning stat...yet. Prospects take time to develop and the Oilers didn't find a Ryan O'Reilly in the 2nd round. Some are tracking well, others aren't, that is pretty much par for the course. If some don't begin to break through next season, though, then this criticism becomes more appropriate.

The Oilers have drafted well in depth rounds with players like Jeff Petry, Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, and a few others. So their history isn't entirely devoid of talent. They and the Flames are fairly similar in this regard. What has sunk the Flames is that they couldn't find a player in the first round if they had a map and a tour guide.

As for the Hawks, they had Seabrook and Keith in their system developing from earlier drafts, then stunk and got Toews and won the draft lottery the next year to get Kane. They traded for Sharp (Matt Ellinson and a 3rd round pick) and moved Brandon Bochenski for Kris Versteeg. Hossa was offered a gajillion dollars and they got Khabibulin as a free agent. The Hawks built up a solid base gradually that came together exactly when they added the high-end talent to complete the picture.

You can't plan what they did, it just worked out. The Oilers didn't plan to draft 1st overall three years in a row. Tambellini was just that bad at managing a hockey club - notice how his name NEVER comes up in potential GM discussions.

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#69 RexLibris
November 25 2013, 04:25PM
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Kurt wrote:

Rex - I agree with you about trading Backs being a misuse of assets and risky to hope that some AHLer fills his shoes. Sounds exactly like what the Oilers have been doing for 5 years.

BUT - my the question ties back to an issue I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around. The whole timing thing... I think we can agree the Oilers screwed up by having too many young skill prospects at the same time without a supporting cast of vets. But how does a team manage that, so that when Sven/Monahan & this years 1st overall (fingers crossed) all start to enter their prime.

I guess, my point is... It makes sense to keep Backs around, because one day we will need him. But my gut tells me we aren't going to be competitive for 4 years. Playoffs 2017. Is that reasonable? So given those timelines how do you handle a Backlund type?? Is he worth keeping around for the development phase? Or is he just the guy we need back in 2017?? Or is that what the Oilers tried to do... Wait until they need a Backlund type and then get them (easier said than done)....

I just can't wrap my mind around how all this timing needs to work.... Because its easy to say we need a 3rd line C line Backs one day. But when is that one day. And will he still be relevant at that point?

The timing is tough. You can't plan that, but the best you can do is put value on those around you and sign them to long term deals, even if it is an overpay at the time.

Backlund at around $3 million for five years would've been a good deal because by year 4 the cap is probably high enough that it meshes with his point production and his presence then becomes valuable.

The Oilers get ripped for sending off all their veterans, yet they have hung on to Ales Hemsky, albeit sometimes in spite of themselves, for years because they feel he has more value on the roster than what was offered in exchange.

Identify the core, place a relative value on each, and then move forward. Backlund, Brodie, Baertschi and Monahan are the NHL building blocks for the Flames. Aside from Monahan, nobody is untouchable, but they ought to rank higher than the remainder of the roster.

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#70 T&A4Flames
November 25 2013, 04:48PM
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RexLibris wrote:

To Kurt, Burnward and Colin S.

Sorry to step in, but with regards to the Oilers rebuild, their depth drafting, and the Hawks' way of doing thing...

The Oilers haven't rushed their 1st overall picks into the league, virtually all player taken there play in the league in their first year. That they haven't had players taken in the later rounds play regularly in the NHL yet isn't a damning stat...yet. Prospects take time to develop and the Oilers didn't find a Ryan O'Reilly in the 2nd round. Some are tracking well, others aren't, that is pretty much par for the course. If some don't begin to break through next season, though, then this criticism becomes more appropriate.

The Oilers have drafted well in depth rounds with players like Jeff Petry, Shawn Horcoff, Fernando Pisani, Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, and a few others. So their history isn't entirely devoid of talent. They and the Flames are fairly similar in this regard. What has sunk the Flames is that they couldn't find a player in the first round if they had a map and a tour guide.

As for the Hawks, they had Seabrook and Keith in their system developing from earlier drafts, then stunk and got Toews and won the draft lottery the next year to get Kane. They traded for Sharp (Matt Ellinson and a 3rd round pick) and moved Brandon Bochenski for Kris Versteeg. Hossa was offered a gajillion dollars and they got Khabibulin as a free agent. The Hawks built up a solid base gradually that came together exactly when they added the high-end talent to complete the picture.

You can't plan what they did, it just worked out. The Oilers didn't plan to draft 1st overall three years in a row. Tambellini was just that bad at managing a hockey club - notice how his name NEVER comes up in potential GM discussions.

A couple of things Rex: 1. Sure, by draft pedigree it cojld be argued those players weren't rushed into the league. However, it could easily be argued that the expectation put on those players was rushed. Hall was put immediatly into the top line without a lot of support. Same with Ebs, and RNH. To much expectation too soon.

As for Flames drafting, I'm pretty sure both franchises went through a similar period where their 1st rnd drafting was futile. It appearz that both have improved recently. In EDM case I would hope so being as they have had 3 1sts overalls and top 7 picks in 6 of 7 yrs.

As for Hemmer, as you said, he's been kept around because nobody believes he's worth enough to entice EDM to trade him. I have little doubt if a decent offer was there, he would have been moved a long time ago and added to the disbanded vet pile.

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#71 RexLibris
November 25 2013, 05:23PM
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@T&A4Flames

Fair points, however with regards to your first, couldn't one argue that if the Oilers had actually had a decent 1st line player who could support a rookie like Hall, Eberle or Nugent-Hopkins, then they wouldn't have found themselves drafting 1st overall in the first place?

The best they could do was have Horcoff mentor them on professionalism and off-ice behaviour.

When I looked at the Flames and Oilers drafting back in the spring/summer, what stood out was that both could find role players. For every Rico Fata there is a Jani Rita, a Greg Nemisz and a Jesse Niinimaki, and so on.

The Oilers and Flames may find themselves both on the phone to the Penguins this trade deadline with scoring wingers on offer (Hemsky and Cammalleri). Could be interesting times ahead.

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#72 BJ
November 25 2013, 05:57PM
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Tough situation with so many Prospects at center... and so many middle tier centers in the org.

I would bet that he doesnt get moved due to a lack of a return.

Im thinking Feaster is just fishing... that is if there is any truth to this rumour which I am also skeptical of.

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#73 Baazlamon
November 25 2013, 06:01PM
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@RexLibris

"They traded for Sharp (Matt Ellinson and a 3rd round pick)"

That's um... wow. I uh... wow.

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#74 44stampede
November 25 2013, 07:44PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Look, if you and anyone else want to get bent out of shape that trades are being discussed, then do it. I'm just trying to add some sober thought to the hysterical masses who are lining up to jump off the Calgary tower because the Flames are taking some calls on the guy.

Where I differ from most of the people espousing the "worst idea ever" argument, is that I don't believe that the Flames are dumb enough to trade Backlund unless the return is going to be more than decent (whether that's a pipe-dream or not). There's no issue in taking calls - absolutely none. If you're assuming they're going to trade Backlund for a bag of pucks and large double-double because that fits your expectation that management is incompetent, then that's your prerogative - and unfortunately for you, this isn't the first time you'll be driven to hemorrhoids by the rebuild.

This is a huge assumption. I would bet a lot that Backlund is not worth a 1st rounder by most GM standards and a second or third is not worth it. Any current player you trade him for is not likely to have the same 2 way skills.

I hope you are right but I just don't see equal or better value happening. 95% sure that if we trade him right now, we lose the trade.

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#75 Baalzamon
November 25 2013, 08:42PM
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44stampede wrote:

This is a huge assumption. I would bet a lot that Backlund is not worth a 1st rounder by most GM standards and a second or third is not worth it. Any current player you trade him for is not likely to have the same 2 way skills.

I hope you are right but I just don't see equal or better value happening. 95% sure that if we trade him right now, we lose the trade.

On the other hand, Paul Gaustad (along with a 4th) fetched a 1st rounder. Do we ever really know what GMs will pay for anything?

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#76 SeanCharles
November 26 2013, 12:09AM
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Gange wrote:

Maybe we're missing the point? Would you trade Backlund to have Connor McDavid? That's about the only positive I can draw from this.

My faith in this team's pro-scouting is extremely low. Their amateur scouting, I've been impressed with actually.

However I see that Martin Erat wants to be traded, I'm sure you can all see where this is going...

Under Feaster the pro scouts have targeted Hudler, Wideman, Russell, Smid, Stempniak, Galiardi, Colborne, Billins, Street, B.Jones.

Took chances on others such as Berra, Ramo and Cervenka.

I don't think the pro scouting is bad.

I trust the Flames in their trading and FA signings.

The trades they have arguably lost are mostly due to minimal flexibility. Such as Regehr when we had salary cap issues or Tanguay/Sarich who wanted out.

Right now we have cap space, valuable UFA's and players on good value contracts.

We are in a position of strength in any future dealings... I am interested in seeing what they will do.

Oh and Erat is post-apex and doesn't transcend its meaning like Lecavalier.

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#77 44stampede
November 26 2013, 03:35AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

On the other hand, Paul Gaustad (along with a 4th) fetched a 1st rounder. Do we ever really know what GMs will pay for anything?

I hear you and don't think a good return is impossible but I have serious doubts. Wasn't that example of Gaustad at the deadline? In general, IIRC, teams will pay more at that time though I could be wrong.

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#78 MonsterPod
November 26 2013, 05:57PM
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Kent, you're awesome. Thank you for all that you do. That said, you need to proof read your articles or have a minion do it for you.

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#79 RKD
November 26 2013, 11:51PM
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Dreger says Carolina has made an offer on Backlund but there's not a fit yet. The Flames would be looking to add a player back of a similar age who's comparable.

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#80 legnav
November 27 2013, 08:21AM
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TRAV wrote:

I'm in the camp of let's not trade him unless it's a good trade. I have said a few times that I'm open to trading anyone on the team for the right return.. (I also would agree that it might be difficult to get a good return for Backlund based on his stats and use)

If Backlund were traded though think about the decrease of comments and content on the site. Sometimes it's interesting to me how much attention our 3rd/4th line centre gets. (not a criticism just an observation)

In an ideal world our third line centre drives both possession and is able to score.

Lastly I agree with most who are suggesting that we dress a hard working skilled 4th line. I'd keep Gratz on the team for use against some of the other knucklehead clubs but I would dress him rarely. I bet he's on pace for career appearances in a year. (makes little sense)

agree. Alternatively why not have Gratz go to the front of the net and cause havoc with the opposition d'men. We would be better served than him trying to keep up with the other linemates. He should head straight to the blue paint and stir the pot.

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