Five things: Playing out the string

Ryan Lambert
April 18 2013 11:16AM

1. What does MacTavish mean for Calgary?

As I was watching the Oilers press conference the other day I had two things kicking around my head. One, obviously, was that Kevin Lowe seems almost unimaginably dumb, tone-deaf and destined to fail in all things. Two, though, was that we're going to be seeing this in more or less 52 weeks a couple hours farther south.

Is this not a wonderful preview of exactly how the organization seems poised to turf Jay Feaster once this team doesn't live up to Murray Edwards' mandate of making the playoffs next season? You can just tell this will be the exact format too: The guy who has overseen a disastrous attempt at continuing to compete long past the team's sell-by date (Ken King) sitting up there bulletproof while the stooge he brought in to clean up his mess (Feaster) is packing up his office, and the new guy (whomever) sits there parroting how important it is not to focus on the rather ugly past and instead focus on what may or may not be a better future.

Of course, with the Oilers, there's at least that promise given their talent up front, whereas despite all the efforts of the Flames front office to restock the farm everyone seems at least a few years off — Arnold, Gaudreau, Gillies, Sieloff, etc. all probably a ways away from being in any way helpful to the NHL roster.

Not that I'm opposed to firing Feaster insofar as he should never have been hired in the first place, and not that I think the Flames will lean on the kind of '80's Oiler cronyism typified by the MacTavish hire, but you wonder exactly how much will be allowed to change as long as King and Edwards are running things. Both teams have the same goal in mind: getting back to the playoffs and being competitive. The Oilers are obviously miles ahead of Calgary in this regard, if only because they have a collection of future stars on their hands. And yet, you get the feeling that these goals are somehow unachievable until the lunkheads running the show are given their walking papers.

2. The goaltending situation going forward

Saw something in the Herald the other day about how Joey MacDonald has earned another contract from the Flames and while I'm not sure I'd go quite that far under normal circumstances, I will say that given the current ones, I'm also not inclined to disagree.

MacDonald has been fine enough by 2013 Calgary goaltending standards, which is obviously the faintest praise one can dole out, and I'm not sure there are too many goaltenders hitting free agency this summer that you'd actually want to sign. Most UFA goalies seem underwhelming in general and those that might entice — your Anton Khudobins, perhaps — would also require a sizable financial and temporal commitment that I'm not sure the Flames should be making given how much they seem to love Karri Ramo's work in the KHL.

An insurance policy, sure, I get that. You can't enter next season with a Ramo/Irving battery, obviously (unless you want to go 0-80-2, which I guess is something you should want if you think this rebuild is all going sideways). But at the same time, how much better is MacDonald, or any Flames option, than a replacement-level goaltender?

Is he appreciably better than Jose Theodore? Would he come cheaper Mathieu Garon? Does any of it end up mattering? The answer to all three is probably no. So I don't know that MacDonald has earned anything, and if he didn't just happen to be the guy standing behind the guy when everything went south. Not a bad spot to be in, obviously, but the same could be said for the Flames as a whole.

3. Cervenka and so forth

As Kent noted yesterday, that little experiment is winding down and hey what do you know it didn't work out at all.

Just as Kent got to say "Told you so" earlier this week about Mikael Backlund being really good, I feel as though now is an appropriate time to point out that I was totally right about how totally ineffective this guy would be at the NHL level. Remember when he was being propped up by some as a potential No. 1 center for Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay? Wow does that seem naïve and short-sighted and appallingly optimistic.

First of all, let's not forget that he wasn't ever a natural center, and so trying him there in the best league in the world seemed rather a bad idea in the first place. But the facts speak for themselves. He had 14 points in 35 games headed into last night, having spent part of the year as a regular healthy scratch, and oh man if you ever wanted ammo in the anti-Cervenka vein, just go have a look at Behind the Net. Negative corsi relative against negative quality of competition. That's incredible, isn't it? The only other forwards to get more than 12 games and have negative corsi relatives against subaverage competition were Brian McGrattan and Blair Jones.

I will say once again that I didn't think it was a bad gamble, and obviously it didn't pay off in any way. He's been flat-out bad this season, but even in a best-case scenario he was only ever going to be okay. Anyone who expected him to be more than that was deluding themselves, but I guess there's a lot of that swirling around this team the last few years.

4. So they have three first-round picks

With St. Louis now looking very definitively in the playoffs, it looks like all those first-rounders will be Calgary's this year. So let's all say it together here: "Best player available."

I hope to god Feaster doesn't try to get cute again this year like he did last year. The Jankowski pick obviously still needs a lot of time to be judged but it's already not looking too good, and it was because he decided to try to outfox everyone. Saying Jankowski will be the best player from this draft in a decade was hilariously optimistic at best — and more likely an outright lie — but I swear I can absolutely envision a situation in which he starts trading these picks for two second-rounders and four thirds and a first next year because well heck they got the guy they wanted with their own pick and that was good enough for them.

I don't know if it says more about me or them that I don't trust them to screw up what is essentially a free lunch at this apparently very-deep draft, but I'm actually going to be shocked if they get good value for everything. Like, really shocked about it.

5. Well I guess that's it for Kipper

He had a good run, but it was time. Adios, bud.

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 SeanCharles
April 18 2013, 12:36PM
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It is way to early to make our minds up about the Jankowski pick..He's a project and it wasnt going to be a 1 yr type thing.

We need to wait and see becasue by all account last year was a weak draft, so it all that far fetched to think some unknown could end up being the best in the draft in 10 years?

And why does every worry about what Feaster will do at the draft? - We could debate all the other things he has done, but the one thing he has seemingly had success with is drafting.

Also, dont expect the Flames to fire him anytime soon. He's done well in getting assests.

We were Richards and Dekeyser's second choices. Our offers were so impressive, those two would have come here to play if they hadnt already made their minds up before hand.

Feaster is drafting players that will play for us (we have 2-3 including Begin Flames picks in our lineup) one day, he is impressing top free agents to strongly consider our team, and he is not trading away the future..

He is exactly what we need, and I dont understand why so many fans want him gone...? All the things he has done 'wrong' we just speculate that he screwed up.

Maybe he would have won the ROR case, maybe he has a plan for this offseason and valued 1st round picks and capspace over marginally better prospects in the iggy and jbow trades?

We need to ride things out with Hartley, Feaster, and Weisbrod at the helm. In a few years, we will be reaping the benefits of their vision.

We just need to stop being so presumptious and assume Feaster is incompitent, and instead be patient.

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#2 SeanCharles
April 18 2013, 12:42PM
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Its not like Feaster was alone in his assesements.

-2 teams would have drafted Jankowski after our pick in the 1st round.

-Several teams wanted Cervenka and considered him one of the best players not playing.

-We did the ROR offersheet when we did because another team was going offersheet him that day.

He's the best GM we've had in at least a decade...

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#3 Justin Azevedo
April 18 2013, 01:16PM
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@Colin.S

pit drafted the guy who's rated 14th ov with the next pick.

feaster is not the genius many make him out to be - looking at his draft picks through two seasons I see one legit nhler right now, with three more potentially.

he has bungled trades in exchange for cap space, which, on a team like this, is useless.

he's not a good gm and he has no track record here or in tampa that can dispute that.

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#4 loudogYYC
April 18 2013, 01:32PM
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@chillout

Like your handle says, chill out.

Jankowski at 21 is not a terrible pick, it's just a bad sign from a mediocre GM over thinking and trying to be cunning. We just got rid of a GM that was so "cunning" that he was fooling even himself!

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#5 RexLibris
April 18 2013, 02:46PM
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@SeanCharles

The hardest thing to do is acquire top end talent. The inability of the Oilers to surround what they have with decent depth and support is the fault of management in the extreme.

Between the two teams, the Oilers are far ahead in the race. The complementary talent the Flames have right now is useless without elite players to occupy their top two lines and by the time that talent is likely to arrive those complementary players will have either peaked or left.

I don't mean to sound defensive or accusatory here, but filling out the bottom six on a roster is a far easier thing to do than the top six. The Flames need to address this, yet management sends messages that seem blissfully unaware of the real requirements or the likely costs thereof.

And discussions of trading for those stars are academic because the Flames simply do not have the assets and arguably their management group lacks the wherewithall to overcome that obstacle (ie: rob another GM blind).

Their best asset right now is free-agency cap space and roster room. They need to sign good players cut loose by capped out teams and put together one heck of a mismatched puzzle this off season if they want to win out a wildcard spot.

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#6 loudogYYC
April 18 2013, 08:03PM
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@Mike Vernon's ghost

You sound like Irving's agent. The guy was drafted in 2006 and has yet to make an impact in the pros. He's had good games completely ruined by his lack of focus and when he's bad, he's terrible. Don't see a reason to keep him when there are 4 goalies in the system who deserve a chance to prove themselves just like Irving had.

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#7 stretch14
April 19 2013, 01:51AM
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You idiots do realize that once u finally manage to acquire some semblance of primary talent by toiling around the basement for the next 3-5 years all of your complimentary pieces will be gone.

Glencross, Camillerea, Stempniak, Tanguay, Stajan, Giordiano...whoever else you think is decent will either have declined "post apex" or moved on to greener pastures by the time you get any sort of a legit nucleus to build around.

Have fun flamers, time to get more "intellectually honest" with yourselves

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#8 Derzie
April 18 2013, 11:43AM
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This^.

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#9 Oldtimer
April 18 2013, 11:46AM
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Unfortunately, the picture of Chucko putting on the jersey has Todd Button in the background, still our Head Scout, Scary!!!!!!!!

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#10 RKD
April 18 2013, 12:06PM
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It wouldn't surprise me if they fired Feaster, I don't think it's wise to fire a guy who supposed to be in charge of the rebuild.

However, he needs to stop saying dumb things in public, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." "We are going to make the playoffs." "Jankowski will be the best player of this draft in ten years." "Roman Cervenka is the best player not playing in the NHL." These comments not only harm his reputation, it creates unnecessary distractions. The GM only need to speak when he trades a player, signs a player, fires/hires a coach, express thoughts about the direction of his team.

He had the O'Reilly thing blow up in his face to some degree, rubbed some GM's the wrong way with the offer sheet. Unable to land Brad Richards, traded away Iginla, Regeher, and Bouwmeester. A lot of times GMs who do the rebuild never get to see the rewards of their success. The Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007 because Bryan Murray build the team, not Burke who got to hoist the Cup and reap all the rewards. Tambellini hasn't done his job getting the Oilers into the playoffs but if MacT can make some bold moves and get them in and they do something he reaps all the rewards.

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#11 CDB
April 18 2013, 12:18PM
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Could not agree more on Ken King. Unbelievable.

Ray Emery. If the price doesnt get too crazy, and I would be surprised if it did. He's coming off a deal making 1.15, playing very well behind a powerhouse team and at 30 years old has a few years of tread left on the tires.

Resign Mac D if possible, you know the price will be affordable. He has proven himself capable. And before you scoff, remember it took the team a decade to find anyone even close of being a below average backup, so hang onto him.

I think that is an overly harsh critique of Cervenka but I can see where it comes from. For starters, the billing by Feaster and Co. Why he insists on setting unrealistic expecations is beyond me, they're set up to fail before they begin. Couple those expectations with Hartley absolutely loathing him from the get-go, adjusting to a new game on small ice, having to actual look like hes attempting to try and play defence, poor conditioning, blood clots, not speaking english etc. Next year is a lost year, they're not making the playoffs. 14 pts in those circumstances,spending much of his time with Jackman, Begin, Comeau etc., whats the worst that happens from resigning him? I doubt he will have any interest, but the guy is skilled and things HAVE to go better from the way they went this year (on pace for 33 pts in an 82 game season). If you get 40 pts from a guy makuing 750k-1MM, I'd say that's value. He has numerous deficincies. I have not looked at his advanced stats, and I agree that he has to be sheltered, but taking another shot with him would be a smart move. What's the alternative? Nemisz?

As for Jankowski, please see above Feaster and Co marketing. But the kid had a half ways decent year. Way to early to judge the pick, but a poll by THN (take it for what it's worth) showed Jankowski moving up to 25 from a second round pick where majority had him slotted going into the draft. Interesting to see some the names that have fallen, and fallen completely. So look at the point totals and scoff, but it seems that the view on him may have improved. Despite playing older, stronger competition, on a weaker team at 6'3 and and a 160 lbs. Won't be the best player in the draft, but could be trending upward. http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/50530-NHL-scouts-rerank-2012-NHL-draft.html

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#12 Justin Azevedo
April 18 2013, 12:49PM
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Purple Hazze wrote:

"The Jankowski pick obviously still needs a lot of time to be judged but it's already not looking too good"

I don't know how you can make that statement. When the hockey news did a re-draft of the 2012 class, Jankowski moved up to be rated 25th overall. I'd say things are moving in the right direction with him so far.

he was drafted 21st overall though, sooo...

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#13 RexLibris
April 18 2013, 01:10PM
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With regards to Number 1...

The Flames did the Oilers' fans a great service in prompting a change of management. However, I don't know that Feaster will be out on his ear next by next spring.

If he does overhaul the roster with UFAs that have been cut loose via amnesty buyouts they might just find themselves back, well, basically where they were before. Right on the cusp of, if not making, the playoff cut.

That sounds like good news, but I think the organization would be better served in the long-run by having Feaster move on sooner rather than later. Any appearance of success on his part will only increase the chances that he makes greater mistakes down the line.

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#14 Colin.S
April 18 2013, 01:13PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

he was drafted 21st overall though, sooo...

He was rated around 47 or so I believe when we drafted him and has moved up around 20 or more spots then, moving closer to his drafted position. I'd rather have that than the opposite happening with Jankowski right now.

Saying we drafted a guy at 21 that is rated 25h over all is still better than saying we drafted a guy at 21 that was rated 47 overall I think.

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#15 Justin Azevedo
April 18 2013, 01:13PM
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@suba steve

didn't say that.

there were better options available, feaster failed by not picking those options.

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#16 Justin Azevedo
April 18 2013, 01:27PM
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@chillout

when did I say they should cut him?

jesus people.

if janko is even able to get to .5ppg at the nhl level between now and april 2023 I'll print out this post and eat it

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#17 smtorsch
April 18 2013, 01:30PM
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Maybe the Flames aren't following the Oilers' blueprint closely enough. Maybe they should look to the glory of the 80s to inspire today.

Would anyone be opposed to Lanny McDonald as the new President along with Hakan Loob as GM?

Could it be any worse than what they have now?

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#18 suba steve
April 18 2013, 01:36PM
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@Justin Azevedo

The point is, someone had him rated #47, THN had him at around #35 (but thought he may squeek into the first round), and the Flames had him higher then that. Your crystal ball may tell you that they were wrong, and they may well turn out to have been, but the only reliable way to tell is to wait and see. Flames were completely honest in saying he had some years of maturing to do before he could challenge for a roster spot in CGY, so attacking this pick at this point in time is completely premature. Just let the kid play.

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#19 Sincity1976
April 18 2013, 01:43PM
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I think you are being overly cynical on the King/Feaster thing. The biggest knock on the Flames is that they refused to turn the page on their aging core. They were two years late but the page is turned. Yes Feaster ran his mouth (gasp) about his marching orders to make the playoffs next season. But clearly they are building with an eye on the future. They just traded their best players for draft picks. Do you need a big neon sign?

You can told you so on Cervenka if you want. But I didn't see many people seeing him as the next coming of anything. Going after Cervenka was a smarter gamble then trying to sign a Richards for umpteen years or paying Jokinen 5-million per season. I certainly didn't expect him to be a PPG player or anything and I think everyone acknowledged that there was a high chance he wouldn't turn out.

I also think you are waaaaaay premature on trying to say told you so about Jankowski. Not only did he just play his first year of College hockey, but he had a pretty decent year.

I didn't have any issues with the pick. It was a weak draft. Taking the high risk/high reward option in a weak draft isn't a bad play. Especially when it resulted in getting a 2-round pick.

I also don't expect we will see that again this draft. This is a deep draft with a lot of good players. Feaster just traded his franchise players for those picks. I can't see him turning the picks into 2 and 3 round picks. I also can't see him going way off the board this season.

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#20 Kurt
April 18 2013, 01:54PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Every pick he has made has increased in value though, that is postive, hes drafting guys that are more valuable assests than the day they were drafted (or traded for):

-Sven will be a top line player, just be patient -JG can do the same if he gains muscle -Wotherspoon is looking like he will get an NHL callup as soon as next year -Sieloff got alot of his teams personal awards (Windsor)he got best dman, most committed to team, and hardest working on team -Gillies and Broisott are considered pretty good goalie prospects(dominating their leagues respectively) -Horak is looking like a legit NHLer -Cundari will make this team next yr and will be a fan fav -Ramo and Berra the jury is out but at least we have options -As stated above Jankowski is rather in the mid-20s now, when drafted in the 40's -Kulak is looking like a good prospect also

-Olli Mattaa will never be a big point producer or top pairing dman, Feaster probably figured Jank and Sieloff had more upside to Mattaa, since Sieloff could end up being a 2nd pairing dman, just like Mattaa...

Feaster has done a good job brining in youth that has potential to make the NHL, why cant some ppl see this?

I was making many of the same arguments to my Oiler buddies the other day. Being all optimistic and hopeful about our prospects. They all laughed at me and said they could relate 100% to my hope. Back before they really sucked (and just mostly sucked - I think it was 2007?) they had Gagner, Cogliano and Robert Nilson as the 'super kids' and hope for the future. They had 3 first round draft picks that year, but none of them overly high or lottery (I think Gagner was 7th or 8th maybe?)...

Anyways, they laughed and said its nothing but false hope. That eventually we will realize our kids are just Cogliano types, and if we are lucky 1 will turn into Gagner - a solid 2nd liner. Until they got Eberle (luck @ 25th'ish I think), then their 1st overalls they didn't realize what a real elite prospect was, and that we will learn eventually that Sven is just a good but not great young kid who may have a decent career.

Not saying I agree, but just sayin. It was hard to argue one way or the other, and these guys are Coiler mouthpieces. So I just kept saying they still suck, which is true.

Are we being too optimistic about marginal propsects? Personally I think we are to a point, which is why I feel we NEED a top 3 pick this year. Just wondering... hopefully with rationale arguments, its easy to pile on the Oilers record. But could we learn from them?

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#21 Sean_e16@hotmail.com
April 18 2013, 02:05PM
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@Kurt

Yes, I think we can learn from them. I think we are learning from them.

Picking 1st overall 3 times in a row (basically 4 times since Shultz was a free star dman) doesnt necessarily mean success.

Im not sayin our prospects are gonna be stars, Im saying most of the ones Feaster picked have greatly improved since being drafted.

Was that the case with all those Oilers picks? I am doubtful.

If you are a Flames fan and have watched all year, you can see that Sven is going to be a special player. If he would have scored in the first game instead of post, oh man.

Confidence is huge for these kids.

I totally agree though we need a top end pick this year because we lack top end talent outside of Sven and possibly JG.

But thats why we are better off than EDM, we have solid complimentary prospects, and good veterns to insulate the youth..

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#22 the-wolf
April 18 2013, 02:07PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

Every pick he has made has increased in value though, that is postive, hes drafting guys that are more valuable assests than the day they were drafted (or traded for):

-Sven will be a top line player, just be patient -JG can do the same if he gains muscle -Wotherspoon is looking like he will get an NHL callup as soon as next year -Sieloff got alot of his teams personal awards (Windsor)he got best dman, most committed to team, and hardest working on team -Gillies and Broisott are considered pretty good goalie prospects(dominating their leagues respectively) -Horak is looking like a legit NHLer -Cundari will make this team next yr and will be a fan fav -Ramo and Berra the jury is out but at least we have options -As stated above Jankowski is rather in the mid-20s now, when drafted in the 40's -Kulak is looking like a good prospect also

-Olli Mattaa will never be a big point producer or top pairing dman, Feaster probably figured Jank and Sieloff had more upside to Mattaa, since Sieloff could end up being a 2nd pairing dman, just like Mattaa...

Feaster has done a good job brining in youth that has potential to make the NHL, why cant some ppl see this?

You're basically arguing against your own logic here. It's a little bit hypocritical.

You point to the Flames' picks positives right now, but then dump on Mattaa a bit.

You can't have it both ways. Fact is, we won't know how good Mattaa, Jnako or Seiloff or most players from that draft are for another 4 years. It's unfair to talk up and 'crystal ball' Flames propsects one way while knocking other team's picks simultaneously.

I've never knocked Janko himself. Who knows how he'll turn out?

But, given the dire depth of top end prospects, it was a strange choice to pick a 5 year project over what were some consensus 2 years developers like TT.

Time will tell, but apllies to everyone's picks.

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#23 shutout
April 18 2013, 02:15PM
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Remember that we are in a rebuild and that there are no shortcuts, quick fixes, or miracle solutions to getting back into the playoffs.

Goaltending

It is time for Kiprusoff to retire, he has been declining for the last few years and he looks like somebody that is ready to move on. Bringing him back for another year is only going to drag out the sense of rebuild that needs to be permeating this organization in everything that they do. Kiprusoff's last game as the starting Flames goaltender is Friday at home for the fans to see him one last time.

I like MacDonald and if we had a true, in his prime, number one goaltender than MacDonald would be a great goalie to resign and put in the backup role. But his upside is as a backup goaltender and if you are in a rebuild, why hold onto a backup goaltender. MacDonald should get the last four games on the road so that he has a chance to showcase himself to 29 other teams in the league. Thats the classy thing the organization should do.

Next year is a rebuilding year and there is no sense in acquiring goaltenders if you are not going to play them. Ramo and Berra in the NHL next year. Let them rotate the first 20-30 games to allow them to get comfortable with the league and the team and just play their games without worrying about sitting on the bench and playing every 8th or 9th game. Play them and see what you have and then decide around December if one or both are not going to work out.

Brossoit and Ortio in the AHL next year. Clean house on the goalies currently there and let these two young guys learn the league and give Ortio another chance to adjust to the NA ice surface and the game. Same thing as the NHL tandem, let them alternative the first 20-30 games so that they can work on their games and build some confidence.

This is about the long term health of the franchise and not about a band-aid situation. The Flames need to do this the right way when it comes to developing these goaltenders.

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#24 the-wolf
April 18 2013, 02:21PM
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SeanCharles wrote:

I was arguing that Jankowski along with Sieloff is more valuable than Mattaa. (Sieloff and Mattaa both have top-4 potential)

-TT is still underdeveloped physically also, I'm not convinced he will be physically developed enough to play in 2yrs, at least not at a top level. He is small, and doesnt seem like he will grow, in height, anymore.

I wasnt happy about not taking TT either but like you say we will have to wait and see how this all shakes out

Ok, I get what you're saying. The 2 together, fair argument.

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#25 Kurt
April 18 2013, 02:22PM
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Sean_e16@hotmail.com wrote:

Yes, I think we can learn from them. I think we are learning from them.

Picking 1st overall 3 times in a row (basically 4 times since Shultz was a free star dman) doesnt necessarily mean success.

Im not sayin our prospects are gonna be stars, Im saying most of the ones Feaster picked have greatly improved since being drafted.

Was that the case with all those Oilers picks? I am doubtful.

If you are a Flames fan and have watched all year, you can see that Sven is going to be a special player. If he would have scored in the first game instead of post, oh man.

Confidence is huge for these kids.

I totally agree though we need a top end pick this year because we lack top end talent outside of Sven and possibly JG.

But thats why we are better off than EDM, we have solid complimentary prospects, and good veterns to insulate the youth..

Robert Nilson got 41pts his rookie year in Edmonton. I just checked. I don't care to look into it more, so I can't answer your question if their 'false hope kids' progressed... I do know that none of them were expected to be superstars except by Coiler fans, and besides Gagner they all basically flopped hard!

My point was just that they valued their 2nd tier prospects higher than anyone else. And in the end, everyone else was right. I fear we are being equally as delusional... Well maybe delusional is the wrong word... Overly optimistic is more accurate. For example, how can you possibly say JG is 'top end talent' when he hasn't played a professional hockey game in any league yet.... I hope he is the next Marty St. Louis, but a lot of 5'8" fwds have tore it up in lower leagues to be completely ineffectual in the NHL.

Anyways I digress. I just pray we get a top 3 pick this year, I think we need it, and I literally say a prayer each night.... "Dear Lord, please let us win the draft lottery" I've been hoping for a lotto finish and Nate McKinnon all year. I honestly think it'll be our watershed 'next Iggy' moment. But only if we get one of those top 3-4 picks. I also really hope some of the guys already in the system overachieve because otherwise I think we are severely lacking elite talent, even with a top 3 pick this year.

And I'm not sure if you are joking when you said "thats why we are better off than EDM". Are you for real? I mean they are a complete gong show and I like laughing at their mgmt incompetence. But its laughable to say we are better off than them. I'd trade our whole team for Taylor Hall, never mind Eberle, Yakupov and Nugent Hopkins.

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#26 the-wolf
April 18 2013, 02:25PM
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chillout wrote:

To me though projected length to reach the NHL means nothing. take the best player available every time. With your logic teams would always take possible mediocre talents over possible stars just because they aren't late bloomers. Say sidney crosby was 14 and getting drafted would you take him or somebody who's going to be a 3rd or 4th line plug just because they are physically developed enough to play in the upcoming season? Pretty sure I know what I would do.

Well, that's an extreme example, for sure.

And no, that's not always my logic. But it has to come into play in Calgary's unique circusmtances. They need youth and talent NOW and TT, just as a convenient example, is not projected to be a 3rd or 4th line plug.

So it's unfair to say I'm advocating mediocre talent. Not at all. Never, in fact. Remember, I'm not anti-Janko, my entire point is that there WAS other high end talent, but with a shorter development curve.

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#27 the-wolf
April 18 2013, 02:29PM
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chillout wrote:

I don't think it has anything to do with trying to be cunning. I think it has to do with seeing a little known player that blew some minds that they could just not do without. There is nothing wrong with that at all any GM in the league would do it.

Besides rating players a year out from the draft is stupid, no matter where they were ranked by other people. Our scouting staff took a fluke trip out to see this kid play and then felt they had found a hidden diamond. It'll pan out or it won't just like lots of first round picks. Worrying about it now is just silly. Calling Feaster out on it already is just dumb. In 3 or 4 years we'll have a better Idea of this draft and we'll maybe be able to say if we should have taken somebody else.

Again, not knocking Janko the player, but that whole Weisbrod-related story on how they "trekked 12 days through the brush during a blizzard while fighting off wild, giant bears and hostile natives" was ree-donk-u-lous.

More Feaster hype and PR that drives me right crazy.

Every team knew about this guy, he wasn't some out-of-nowhere undiscovered gem that Feaster wanted everyone to think to show how brilliant he was.

He was just ranked high 2nd round by most teams/consensus of available lists.

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#28 RexLibris
April 18 2013, 02:53PM
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@Kurt

Just a quick note, the Flames went more nuclear in their rebuild year (this season) than the Oilers did.

The Flames traded away Iginla, Bouwmeester and were a hair's breadth away from moving Kiprusoff, who is likely to depart this summer anyway. They also traded Comeau and are likely to lose Cervenka and Babchuk this off-season.

The Oilers moved out Moreau, Grebeshkov, Nilsson, Souray, and a host of other bit players, many of whom haven't seen the NHL since. Their iconic player had been traded three seasons prior.

I would characterize the Oilers rebuild as an old jalopy losing pieces off the engine until it finally rolled over into the ditch and died.

The Flames saw their transmission go out, a black cloud pour out the back and the engine sputter and choke its way furiously to the finish line.

The only real nuclear rebuilds I ever came across were Washington's and Pittsburgh's. Chicago to some extent, but Pulford was doing something a little different there and hadn't nearly as much to work with.

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#29 SmellOfVictory
April 18 2013, 03:17PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

pit drafted the guy who's rated 14th ov with the next pick.

feaster is not the genius many make him out to be - looking at his draft picks through two seasons I see one legit nhler right now, with three more potentially.

he has bungled trades in exchange for cap space, which, on a team like this, is useless.

he's not a good gm and he has no track record here or in tampa that can dispute that.

Remember, it's primarily Weisbrod and the scouts making these decisions; I don't think anyone is going to accuse Feaster of being a genius in hockey terms.

And in the 2011 draft (and 2012 draft as well, I believe) the Flames consistently picked guys who were rated substantially higher by the various predraft lists than where they went. I did the math for one of the drafts and they ended up drafting the equivalent of +50-100 spots, overall (if I get the urge again I might end up doing the actual math). So, assuming we decide that the predraft lists by ISS, Bob MacKenzie, etc. are good references, the Flames effectively moved up their average draft position by multiple spots per round.

Inside information aside, I can't think of a better way to rate a draft than effective draft position in relation to predraft scouting lists, until you're at least a couple of years out (more like 3-4). By that measure, the Flames have done quite well. Additionally, Jankowski moving up to 25th in the current ranking of 2012 draftees is quite good, given that multiple first rounders ended up dropping out of the top 30 entirely. Maatta wasn't one of them, but nevertheless, it's evidence of a decent choice at that draft position.

Edit: Never mind, The Hockey Writers did it and I just pulled some specifics from it (2012 draft):
Effective draft position by player (negative numbers meaning moving "down" the draft order, not a higher draft position, so positive numbers are better):
Jankowski: -13
Sieloff: -33
Gillies: -28
Kulak: +76
Culkin: +12
Gordon:+87
DeBlouw: +38
Total: +139

Granted, the improvements in effective draft position are all in the lower rounds where you're less likely to get an NHLer in the first place, but it's still good to see. This was also done directly post-draft, so Jankowski would no longer be -13; he'd be a -4 at this point, for example. Gillies also likely would have moved up.

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#30 beloch
April 18 2013, 03:34PM
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Re: #2

The newspaper and telecast announcers always blow smoke up the fans's collective butts about how good whatever mook in net is, even if all quantifiable evidence indicates they suck hard.

MacBackup is just 3 years younger than Kipper and has a career NHL average Sv% of 0.903. This year he's improved from a rocky start to 0.900. That's bad, even for a backup. He's likely on the decline and in no way can be considered a NHL starter. In no way can his numbers be described as "fine" unless you're a color commentator whose had one too many pucks to the head. With Reto Berra inked, there is absolutely no reason to keep MacDonald around. Yes, he's a known quantity, but what is known that he stinks. If the team has to rely on him they're going to be playing for lottery picks anyways! There's no reason to burn a contract on him that could be put to better use.

Hell, I wouldn't have bothered to sign Berra either, but apparently the Flames scouts see something in him that is not reflected in his stat sheet.

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#31 beloch
April 18 2013, 03:39PM
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Re: #3

Cervenka is a colossal failure as a $4M cap hit #1 Center brought in to anchor the Flames scoring line. Is he a failure as a depth winger who actually earned just $1M though?

I've seen some flashes of brilliance from Cervenka this season. If he works on his defensive play (something we knew he was weak on coming into this season) and learns enough English to communicate with people other than the Czech-mates he could improve a lot. He has upside. Signing him to a short, cheap contract could be a smart move.

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#32 rubbertrout
April 18 2013, 04:21PM
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Purple Hazze wrote:

"The Jankowski pick obviously still needs a lot of time to be judged but it's already not looking too good"

I don't know how you can make that statement. When the hockey news did a re-draft of the 2012 class, Jankowski moved up to be rated 25th overall. I'd say things are moving in the right direction with him so far.

He went "up" to rated 25th overall and was selected 21st overall. That seems to me to be going in the wrong direction. He went up from where he was initially rated but is still below where he was picked. Olli Matta on the other hand, picked at 22 by the Penguins, moved up to 14.

This is the same guy who was an untouchable by the Pens when the Flames wanted to trade Iggy.

THN's re-draft is here .

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#33 beloch
April 18 2013, 04:38PM
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mattyc wrote:

I agree on 1, 2, and 3 (except maybe that Eberle, Hall and RNH are at their peaks yet).

Next year we could have a few draftees will be on the team. I have to think Bouma will be on the 4th line, Baertschi for sure, but that could leave us at just 4. I'm assuming Horak will be hanging around too, but he wasn't technically drafted.

Eberle and Hall are both on a roughly 80 point pace for a full season. As a Flames fan, I refuse to entertain the notion that this might not be "close to peak". It's just too scary otherwise.

P.S. I agree that RNH still has some developing to do, and I never said otherwise.

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#34 beloch
April 18 2013, 05:25PM
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@Kurt

I do watch the occasional Oiler game and I do root for them. I'd love to see Alberta to return to it's former status as the league's "Death Valley".

However, Oiler fans and those horrible announcers they have do make it hard. Honestly, some games it sounds like the announcers at Rexall fantasize about taking after-game showers with the rookies. It's just creepy.

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#35 RexLibris
April 18 2013, 06:07PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Well I see this thread blew up. Nice work everyone!

Let the Oilers fans into the thread and the whole neighbourhood goes to hell in a handbasket.

;-)

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#36 RexLibris
April 18 2013, 06:07PM
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@beloch

Technically Alberta is Death Valley. Although it might be more appropriately named Valley of the Dead.

Semantics.

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#37 clYDE
April 18 2013, 06:26PM
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Eberle, Hall, Nuge and Schultz completely disappeared when the meaningful games started and it looked like they were in a playoff race. Each had 0 points in their 5 most important game. They put up numbers on the pp and in meaningless games where the physicality and intensity is diminished.

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#38 Baalzamon
April 18 2013, 07:12PM
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@Mike Vernon's ghost

technically, Irving hasn't succeeded at every level he has played at. He was merely a league-average goalie in the AHL. For years.

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#39 beloch
April 18 2013, 07:52PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

technically, Irving hasn't succeeded at every level he has played at. He was merely a league-average goalie in the AHL. For years.

Over 195 WHL games Irving posted a 0.919 Sv%, which was promising. That didn't translate into the AHL unfortunately. Over 193 AHL games his Sv% was 0.899, which is probably below league average (I'm not sure what the AHL league average is actually...)

Irving's AHL Sv% did translate into the NHL unfortunately. Over 13 NHL games (a small sample admittedly) his Sv% was 0.891.

For comparison, when MacBackup was 26 (similar to Irving's 25), had played 164 AHL games to Irvings 193 and was starting to get light duty with the Red Wings, his AHL Sv% was 0.915.

In short, Irving is on a similar career path as MacBackup, only his AHL numbers are worse. He was given ample opportunity, but just isn't good enough to be a NHL starter at present. It's always possible he could figure things out late (some goalies do this), take a big step forward and become a great goalie but, with the other goalie prospects the Flames have, is there really room for Irving and such hopes?

Irving was given a fair shot and he blew it. He might not be done yet, but it makes no sense to waste tears on a guy who hasn't lived up to his draft position since he left the WHL. Honestly, the best thing Feaster can do for Irving might be to let him walk. Abbotsford may well have no use for him, but maybe he can resurrect his career elsewhere.

On the other hand, Irving is a marginally better tanking-for-picks option than MacDonald, and the Flames honestly can't expect to do anything else if they do actually play MacBackup, so it makes more sense to keep Irving around than MacBackup. Irving will probably work for cheaper, be willing to mop out the locker-room after games, and there's a tiny glimmer of upside there, unlike MacBackup who is well into decline.

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#40 Alt
April 18 2013, 07:54PM
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As fans we can only speculate about who makes the decisions and at what level.I agree with Smell of Victory, that Weisbrod and the scouts are responsible for recent picks,and Feaster has delegated that responsibility.Also no-one has ever mentioned what influence Conroy may have.He is a successful US player and we do seem to be chasing a lot of American players.

Edward's and King are all business,and should stay out of hockey decisions.I doubt that's the case.Ego's won't allow it.

Edmonton is run from owner to GM by EGO.

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#41 McRib
April 18 2013, 09:54PM
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@beloch

Hahah, When the Flames drafted Matt Pelech in the first round I am told some NHL teams didn't even have him ranked period of 210 Players!!! Matt Niskanen or James Neal would have been nice instead. At least Jankowski was on peoples radar, Haha.

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#42 backburner
April 19 2013, 08:22AM
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stretch14 wrote:

You idiots do realize that once u finally manage to acquire some semblance of primary talent by toiling around the basement for the next 3-5 years all of your complimentary pieces will be gone.

Glencross, Camillerea, Stempniak, Tanguay, Stajan, Giordiano...whoever else you think is decent will either have declined "post apex" or moved on to greener pastures by the time you get any sort of a legit nucleus to build around.

Have fun flamers, time to get more "intellectually honest" with yourselves

I sense a little bitterness in this post... you speak from experience? It must really suck being an Oiler's fan.

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#43 the-wolf
April 18 2013, 12:17PM
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The only comment I disagree with is that I think Feaster gets 2 years not 1. And them him and Hartley are BOTH out the door.

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#44 Purple Hazze
April 18 2013, 12:18PM
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"The Jankowski pick obviously still needs a lot of time to be judged but it's already not looking too good"

I don't know how you can make that statement. When the hockey news did a re-draft of the 2012 class, Jankowski moved up to be rated 25th overall. I'd say things are moving in the right direction with him so far.

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#45 suba steve
April 18 2013, 12:59PM
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@Justin Azevedo

"he was drafted 21st overall though, sooo"

That settles it then. Cut Janko loose as he will obviously never become a player.

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#46 Colin.S
April 18 2013, 01:08PM
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Who defines what BPA is? Cause Zegmus Girgenson was thought of to be a better pick that Mark Jankowski, however if you go to the NHLE stats for both, right now Jankowski has a higher NHLE than Girgenson does. Teravainen is miles ahead of both, ofcoure. Radek Faksa has about the same NHLE as Jankowski does as well.

That's just NHLE, it doesn't take into account circumstance that any of them are playing in or roles they are being used or whatever.

I'm still of mind they need to take the Best Forwards available with their 3 first rounders and can fill our their Defence with lower round picks. More often than not you can find good defenders with lower round picks, both Giordano and Brodie were not high picks or picked at all.

PK Subban, drafted in the 2nd round, Kris Letand drafted in the third round, Ryan Suter drafted in the first round, Kimmo Timmonen draftd in the 10th round, Andrei Markow drafted in the 6th round.

Those 5 guys are currently the top five in point producing defencemen and thought of as pretty decent actual defencemen as well.

Only 2 out of the top 10 point producing forwards were NOT drafted out of the first round, only 3 of the top 10 point producing defensemen were drafted in the first round. And the trend doesn't just stop in the top ten, the trend continues into the top 30 and more.

It shouldn't take much brain power to make the connection here, we NEED to take the best available forwards in the first round, the more the better, cause the draft is a battle of percentages and with more drafted forwards the higher percentage chance you have that one of them may be an effective top 6 forward. Defence can be found within the depth of the draft.

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#47 chillout
April 18 2013, 01:22PM
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@Justin Azevedo

There were options available, they might not turn out to be better options....we should still probably cut janko though right? since there were some guys we could have picked that in 10 years will be way better than him

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#48 Colin.S
April 18 2013, 01:35PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

pit drafted the guy who's rated 14th ov with the next pick.

feaster is not the genius many make him out to be - looking at his draft picks through two seasons I see one legit nhler right now, with three more potentially.

he has bungled trades in exchange for cap space, which, on a team like this, is useless.

he's not a good gm and he has no track record here or in tampa that can dispute that.

I'm not saying Feaster is a genious, but what I am saying is that this year the pick looks a lot better than it did last year, and if Jankowski keeps improving and getting better it may not be as bad a pick as some are crucifying him for making.

"there were better options available, feaster failed by not picking those options."

So in 2008 when Carolina picked Zack Boycuk or Chicago with Kyle Beach, they maybe thought that they were a better option than say later in the draft when Edmonton picked up Jordan Eberle.

Just because you THINK that someone else was a better option doesn't mean it is, we can't decidedly say that until years down the road, I'd say given that Jankowski isn't like to make his NHL debut for another 3, probably at least 5 years from now. However the point right now is that Jankowski is being rated higher now which should give a little hope that the pick isn't a complete flub.

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#49 SeanCharles
April 18 2013, 01:37PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Every pick he has made has increased in value though, that is postive, hes drafting guys that are more valuable assests than the day they were drafted (or traded for):

-Sven will be a top line player, just be patient -JG can do the same if he gains muscle -Wotherspoon is looking like he will get an NHL callup as soon as next year -Sieloff got alot of his teams personal awards (Windsor)he got best dman, most committed to team, and hardest working on team -Gillies and Broisott are considered pretty good goalie prospects(dominating their leagues respectively) -Horak is looking like a legit NHLer -Cundari will make this team next yr and will be a fan fav -Ramo and Berra the jury is out but at least we have options -As stated above Jankowski is rather in the mid-20s now, when drafted in the 40's -Kulak is looking like a good prospect also

-Olli Mattaa will never be a big point producer or top pairing dman, Feaster probably figured Jank and Sieloff had more upside to Mattaa, since Sieloff could end up being a 2nd pairing dman, just like Mattaa...

Feaster has done a good job brining in youth that has potential to make the NHL, why cant some ppl see this?

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#50 SeanCharles
April 18 2013, 01:47PM
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@Sincity1976

I also heard somewhere that Jankowski was like the 2nd youngest player in college last year..? I dunno if it is accurate, but I'm sure he was up there.

Considering that and the fact he wasnt used as a centerman, I think he has a successful year. Judge the guy in 1 year from now, we will know more then..

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