Post-Game: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

Ryan Pike
April 27 2013 12:50AM

 

Chicago Blackhawks / NHL

pic via Nicole Yeary

The Calgary Flames headed east to sweet home Chicago for their final date of the truncated 2013 season. Given that it was a contest between a non-playoff squad and the NHL's newly-crowned Presidents' Trophy winners, there were certain expectations for how the game would go.

Would those expectations be met? In terms of the result, yes, but in terms of the effort? Not entirely.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames stumbled out of the gate, generally getting out-chanced and out-played by the Blackhawks. Chicago out-shot the Flames 13-5 in the first and had two goals. The first came off a weird in-zone bounce, where Joey MacDonald made the first save and then the defensive zone coverage appeared to disappear. Patrick Kane snapped the puck home on a nifty feed from Patrick Sharp to put the Flames behind the eight-ball 1-0. Jonathan Toews took advantage of a beautiful rebound (and no defensive coverage) four minutes later to put the Flames down by two.

What would the team do?

Oddly, they fought back. Down two goals after 20 minutes, on the road, in a barn where they usually aren't very good, the Flames out-shot the Blackhawks 13-12 in the second and crept back within one goal via Chris Butler's first (and only) goal of the season. Lee Stempniak and Ben Street earned assists on a goal created on the forecheck.

The Hawks woke up and out-played the Flames in the third – let's face it, as they should – and Marcus Kruger snapped the insurance marker home to seal the deal mid-way through the third period.

RED WARRIOR

Let's give it to Ben Street, who had 2 shots, 3 hits and his first NHL point via his assist on Calgary's lone (short-handed) marker. Plus, look at that head.

Honourable mention to Lee Stempniak, who also had an assist and ended the year tied with Mike Cammalleri for the team lead in points. (Cammalleri played fewer games and had more goals, so he wins on both tie-breakers, but Stempniak had a great year.)

SCORING CHANCES

(via Justin Azevedo)

 

Scoring Chance Summary

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 19:41 Toews 19 81 20 7 8 50 18 46 29 5 6 35 5v5
Away 1 17:39 Horak 65 25 29 2 17 50 10 11 51 5 6 35 5v5
Away 1 17:24 Cervenka 65 25 29 2 17 50 10 11 51 5 6 35 5v5
Home 1 10:26 Kane (Goal) 65 25 29 7 8 50 18 46 16 26 44 35 5v5
Home 1 9:58 Stalberg 65 25 29 7 8 50 19 22 58 5 6 35 5v5
Away 1 7:09 Stempniak 19 81 20 27 32 50 18 46 22 26 44 35 5v5
Home 1 6:58 Toews (Goal) 26 10 88 7 8 50 19 22 58 7 42 35 5v5
Home 1 6:30 Kane 26 10 88 7 8 50 19 22 58 7 42 35 5v5
Home 1 4:14 Saad 19 81 20 27 32 50 18 22 58 42 44 35 5v5
Away 2 19:12 Street 26 10 88 7 8 50 11 29 51 7 42 35 5v5
Home 2 17:17 Stalberg 65 25 29 27 32 50 19 22 58 26 44 35 5v5
Home 2 17:11 Stalberg 65 25 29 27 32 50 19 22 58 26 44 35 5v5
Away 2 16:36 Brodie 16 67 52 8 32 50 38 29 13 7 42 35 5v5
Home 2 11:35 Stalberg 26 10 25 27 32 50 18 46 29 7 42 35 5v5
Away 2 10:29 Hanowski 65 88 29 7 8 50 19 29 58 7 42 35 5v5
Home 2 10:05 Shaw 19 10 88 25 2 50 11 13 5 6 35   5v4
Away 2 8:10 Cammalleri 65 67 81 27 32 50 11 13 5 7 35   5v4
Away 2 7:23 Jones 16 67 52 27 32 50 19 38 13 26 44 35 5v5
Away 2 3:52 Cundari 19 81 20 7 8 50 38 46 22 26 44 35 5v5
Away 2 1:51 Aliu 16 67 52 7 8 50 19 22 29 26 44 35 5v5
Home 2 1:19 Bollig 19 67 52 7 8 50 19 22 29 26 44 35 5v5
Away 3 19:17 Stempniak 19 81 20 2 17 50 19 38 22 7 42 35 5v5
Away 3 19:15 Brodie 19 81 20 2 17 50 11 19 22 6 7 35 5v5
Away 3 19:14 Backlund 19 81 20 2 17 50 11 19 22 6 7 35 5v5
Home 3 16:17 Kruger 16 67 20 27 32 50 38 29 13 5 6 35 5v5
Home 3 13:43 Stalberg 65 25 29 2 17 50 19 29 58 7 42 35 5v5
Home 3 11:36 Toews 19 81 20 7 8 50 19 16 58 26 44 35 5v5
Home 3 9:30 Bickell 65 25 29 7 8 50 19 46 29 5 6 35 5v5
Home 3 9:14 Frolik 16 67 52 7 8 50 19 46 29 5 6 35 5v5
Home 3 8:39 Frolik 19 81 20 2 17 50 18 16 58 26 44 35 5v5
Home 3 7:48 Saad 26 81 20 2 32 50 18 16 58 26 44 35 5v5
Home 3 5:21 Kane 19 10 88 2 32 50 19 46 26 44 35   5v4

Home Team Player Summary

# Player EV     PP     SH    
2 KEITH, DUNCAN 18:14 3 5 02:01 2 0 00:00 0 0
7 SEABROOK, BRENT 19:09 9 4 01:34 0 0 00:00 0 0
8 LEDDY, NICK 20:25 9 5 01:46 0 0 00:00 0 0
10 SHARP, PATRICK 13:53 3 1 02:01 2 0 00:00 0 0
16 KRUGER, MARCUS 13:31 2 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BROOKBANK, SHELDON 17:17 2 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
19 TOEWS, JONATHAN 13:37 5 5 02:01 2 0 00:00 0 0
20 SAAD, BRANDON 14:34 6 5 00:47 0 0 00:00 0 0
25 STALBERG, VIKTOR 12:43 7 2 00:48 1 0 00:00 0 0
26 HANDZUS, MICHAL 13:33 4 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
27 ODUYA, JOHNNY 17:21 5 2 00:13 0 1 00:00 0 0
29 BICKELL, BRYAN 14:28 6 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
32 ROZSIVAL, MICHAL 19:34 6 3 01:38 1 1 00:00 0 0
50 CRAWFORD, COREY   17 12   2 1   0 0
52 BOLLIG, BRANDON 12:10 2 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
65 SHAW, ANDREW 15:48 6 3 01:59 0 1 00:00 0 0
67 FROLIK, MICHAEL 13:26 3 3 00:05 0 1 00:00 0 0
81 HOSSA, MARIAN 12:52 5 5 01:59 0 1 00:00 0 0
88 KANE, PATRICK 17:25 2 2 03:08 2 0 00:00 0 0

Away Player Scoring Summary

# Player EV     PP     SH    
5 GIORDANO, MARK 20:49 2 5 00:00 0 0 00:56 1 1
6 SARICH, CORY 20:03 4 5 00:00 0 0 01:20 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 15:45 6 4 00:00 0 0 01:07 1 0
10 CERVENKA, ROMAN 01:34 2 0 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 13:51 5 0 00:00 0 0 01:04 1 1
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 15:43 2 1 00:00 0 0 00:49 1 1
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 15:28 0 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 11:54 1 6 00:00 0 0 01:36 0 0
19 JONES, BLAIR 18:22 6 10 00:00 0 0 01:13 0 1
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 18:42 6 7 00:00 0 0 00:25 0 0
26 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 20:08 4 7 00:00 0 0 02:17 0 1
29 ALIU, AKIM 16:26 4 7 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   12 17   0 0   1 2
38 STREET, BEN 14:38 4 1 00:00 0 0 00:22 0 0
42 CUNDARI, MARK 15:45 4 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 19:36 4 8 00:00 0 0 02:20 0 1
46 BANCKS, CARTER 15:36 2 5 00:00 0 0 01:13 0 1
51 HORAK, ROMAN 12:34 3 0 00:00 0 0 00:34 0 0
58 HANOWSKI, BEN 13:49 1 10 00:00 0 0 00:44 0 0

Home Team Period Summary Scoring Chances

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 6 3 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 5 7 4 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 8 3 7 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Away Team Period Summary Scoring Chances

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 6 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 7 5 6 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
3 3 8 3 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Flames

Hawks

 

 

 

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Let's be blunt here: they were playing the NHL's best team. They fought valiantly, they scored a short-handed goal and they played a defiant scrappy game. But they probably should have lost this game, and they did.

DRAFT PICK PROGRESS

Edmonton won! They passed Calgary! If Carolina gets a point or wins tomorrow, Calgary moves up a draft pick. Similarly, if Nashville wins tomorrow, Calgary moves up a draft pick.

Worst-case, Calgary sits sixth headed into the draft lottery. If Carolina and Nashville both succeed, they can draft as high as fourth. Go Hurricanes and Predators!

UP NEXT


The 2013 season is over. What's left is reflection on 2013 and preparation for 2013-14.

It's Green Garbage Bag Day down at the 'Dome on Sunday. We'll have an extra special day of coverage for you, in the sense that I'll be live-blogging in-between running to and from scrums. It'll be ever-so-much fun!

 Until then.

51a8cdc527ce12d222fdc583f3cf4368
Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
Avatar
#51 dotfras
April 27 2013, 06:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Barring a miracle, looks like we'll only be moving up 1 spot.

Avatar
#52 KetchupKid
April 27 2013, 06:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Baalzamon

Wouldn't a Tampa win put both teams at 19/25/4 and wouldn't it come down to goal differential? What am I missing here?

And there's not much use cheering for Carolina-- they ain't beating Pittsburgh.

Avatar
#53 Baalzamon
April 27 2013, 07:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@KetchupKid

You're missing non-shootout wins, thich is he first tiebreaker between teams that have played the same number of games.

If Carolina gets a point, they mive up on the Flames. Since they're playing against the pens (and trailing) it's virtually a guarantee the Flames pick 5th.

Avatar
#54 KetchupKid
April 27 2013, 07:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ahh.. fine print... Bit of a downer.

Avatar
#55 Baalzamon
April 27 2013, 07:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

You're missing non-shootout wins, thich is he first tiebreaker between teams that have played the same number of games.

If Carolina gets a point, they mive up on the Flames. Since they're playing against the pens (and trailing) it's virtually a guarantee the Flames pick 5th.

Holy fat finger errors, Batman!

Avatar
#56 clYDE
April 27 2013, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin wrote:

Barkov plays in the Finnish league, while the sedins and naslund are Swedes who played in the Swedish Elite league. Two totally different leagues, my friend, with the Swedish league having the better NHLE.

Plus, the Swedes played a couple of decades ago, so I really don't understand how their stats are relevant when contextualizing Barkov's performance.

Lindholm went from 0 points to 30 in a tougher league and was every bit as good as Barkov at the World Juniors. Plus, he is still growing as are many of the other prospects.

Avatar
#57 clYDE
April 27 2013, 07:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

Yeah, going from 16 in 32 to 48 in 53 is just such a slight improvement. He only had the best 17yo season in SM-liiga history. He must not be anythig special.

Lindholm went from 0 points to 30 in a tougher league, is still growing and was every bit as good as Barkov at the World Juniors. A year ago, he, and Drouin were not on the radar and they are only getting better.

Avatar
#58 KetchupKid
April 27 2013, 07:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Damn. Spoke too soon on the Nashville game too...

Avatar
#59 dotfras
April 27 2013, 07:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Sucks

Avatar
#60 Baalzamon
April 27 2013, 07:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@clYDE

When have I, anywhere, said anything even marginally negative about Lindholm?

Avatar
#61 gotommygo
April 27 2013, 07:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@seve927

'Trading down from 14 is quite different than trading down from 5. There was no star potential available so I think it made a lot of sense to trade down and get two guys they wanted instead of one. I don't think there's any reason to believe they'll trade star potential for quantity based on that.

They didn't the year before...'

I don't necessarily disagree with the Jankowski pick -- time will tell on that one.

But for this draft it's starting to look more likely that we'll have the 7th or 8th pick rather than the 5th, unless we win the lottery. It will be difficult to parlay that into a 2nd or 3rd overall pick.

All I'm saying is if there's some player they want that is ranked to go late in the first round I wouldn't be surprised if they traded down and pick him. The steal of the draft and all that.

Avatar
#62 gotommygo
April 27 2013, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Meant to say 6th or 7th, not 7th or 8th.

Avatar
#63 Baalzamon
April 27 2013, 07:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@gotommygo

Where are you getting 7th or 8th from? It's mathematically impossible for the Flames to go into the lottery with anything worse than the 6th pick.

Avatar
#64 gotommygo
April 27 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Baalzamon

Unless Carolina scores 3 goals in the next four minutes they are going to lose to Pittsburgh giving us the 6th pick, at best. If another team below us wins the lottery, we could end up with the 7th pick.

Avatar
#65 gotommygo
April 27 2013, 08:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Unless, of course, we win the lottery.

Avatar
#66 Kevin R
April 27 2013, 08:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Damn, its looking pretty likely we are picking 6th. So Jones, Drouin, McKinnon,Barkov are off the table. Who goes 5th? I think we get Monahan or Linholm. Nothing wrong with that guys. The trick is not to trade down below the 6th, I think it'll be more likely we trade for that 8th or 9th pick. Two top 10 picks should be the goal of this management team, trade the other 2 1st's we have or preferably one of our other 1sts & someone like Butler for the 8th or 9th pick and take an ugly cap hit.

Avatar
#67 ClYDE
April 27 2013, 08:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

When have I, anywhere, said anything even marginally negative about Lindholm?

I never said you did. I am not saying Barkov is no good either. I just like Lindholm better.

Avatar
#68 Baalzamon
April 27 2013, 08:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@ClYDE

Fair. I'd be ecstatic to have Lindholm as a Flame. Right now it looks like we have to hope Carolina goes for either Nichushkin or Nurse (or Monahan) for us to get Lindholm.

Jones, Drouin, MacKinnon, Barkov, Nichushkin, Lindholm (educated guess)

Avatar
#69 subz
April 27 2013, 08:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

We draft in that lucky 6 spot. A little annoying we finished this high considering we were bottom three most of the year .

Anyhow I have no doubt we win this draft lotter.

Till monday FN

Avatar
#70 clYDE
April 27 2013, 08:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Baalzamon wrote:

Fair. I'd be ecstatic to have Lindholm as a Flame. Right now it looks like we have to hope Carolina goes for either Nichushkin or Nurse (or Monahan) for us to get Lindholm.

Jones, Drouin, MacKinnon, Barkov, Nichushkin, Lindholm (educated guess)

I think/hope Nurse goes before us.

Avatar
#71 JaromeLoob1989
April 27 2013, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Well it looks like we will be picking 6th my guess is Lindholm or Monahan. Either way we get a decent player so there's no worries on my end. I'm hoping the Flames will go after no one of real significance over the summer through free agency. I'm not exactly too keen on the talent pool this summer so why not stick with some of the kids and see how that turns out?

Having that said I could see Feaster making an attempt at Horton and Raymond for some reason and I cn actually see Raymond signing with us being a hometown boy and all. If Feaster winds up signing both this is what our opening day lineup might look like or next year

Cammy Backs Horton Tangs Stajan Baerschi Raymond Monahan/Lindholm Glencross Hanowski Bouma/Reinhart Jackman

Gio Brody Wideman Butler Cundari Sarich

Avatar
#72 Willi P
April 27 2013, 08:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Well, Flames have never drafted higher than 6th. Only way they break that record is in the lottery (this year anyway)

Avatar
#73 dotfras
April 27 2013, 08:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

6th is the highest we've picked..........hoping we don't draft a Daniel Tzachuk or a Rico Fata.

Avatar
#74 suba steve
April 27 2013, 09:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
subz wrote:

We draft in that lucky 6 spot. A little annoying we finished this high considering we were bottom three most of the year .

Anyhow I have no doubt we win this draft lotter.

Till monday FN

We were bottom three, but only for a short time. Certainly not "most of the year".

Avatar
#75 RexLibris
April 27 2013, 09:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
suba steve wrote:

"Looking over the draft rankings I think the Flames will be looking at one of Monahan, Linholm, Nurse or Nichushkin, assuming the top four are Jones, MacKinnon, Drouin and Barkov."

Forget that, we're winning the lotto!

It would be pretty funny if they did. Kind of an inverse of the 80s Stanley Cups where it was all Alberta.

Avatar
#76 RexLibris
April 27 2013, 09:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@BurningSensation

Lindholm and Monahan are good consolation prizes after MacKinnon and Barkov (for centers).

Not interested in Nurse that high in the draft. Nichushkin is a player that a team with some time and talent could roll the dice on. If they had another Russian or could dangle something of interest to the young man, then the talent is worth the risk. But if a team needs a guaranteed player from this draft, he is not the best bet. You're comparison to Jagr, if we limit it to those initial circumstances and leave out his potential impact in the NHL, is valid. Some others might see Cherepanov, though. We'll have to wait and see.

From everything I'm hearing, if Monahan is available when the Oilers pick, they won't have to think twice.

As for Gagner, I think they trade him and sign a UFA center who can sub in for Nugent-Hopkins to start the season and then slide down the order to play 2nd line.

Gagner is not ideally a 2nd or 3rd line C. He is a great 2nd line RW playing with a fast, playmaking, defensively responsible C. The problem the Oilers are going to have in moving him is that they are selling him as a center when his value would increase if other GMs saw him play wing. What I would love to see them do is move Gagner for Gardiner, then try to swing a trade of picks or prospects for Adam Henrique.

If the Oilers center depth for 2013-14 ran Nugent-Hopkins, Henrique, Horcoff and Lander with a prospect like Monahan or Lindholm waiting in the wings, I'd be a pretty happy camper.

For the Flames, I see Nurse, Monahan, Nichushkin and Lindholm as the prospects ranked 5 through 8, with Zadorov, Shinkaruk and Domi following close behind. Now we ask ourselves, barring trade or lottery win, what prospect seems to be the most "Weisbrodian" of the bunch? This may sound a little odd, but given their penchant for taking players with skill irrespective of size, perhaps Shinkaruk and Domi need to enter the conversation? It'd be a mistake, in my opinion, but can we honestly say it wouldn't happen?

Avatar
#77 Baalzamon
April 27 2013, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@RexLibris

I don't know why you're so sure the Oilers won't take Nurse. He seems to me to be exactly what they need (aside from a center, though arguably they need a defender A LOT more).

I don't think there's any way the Flames even consider taking Shinkaruk over Lindholm (or Monahan). Listening to the kinds of things the Flames have said about their draft priorities, they probably have Lindholm very close to the top of their list (they're always going on about smart players, and that's the biggest thing scouts are saying about Lindholm).

Domi is another story. That seems to be more of a Jankowski deal than Shinkaruk.

Avatar
#78 T&A4Flames
April 27 2013, 11:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

At #6, CGY still has a shot at Barkov and certainly Momahan and Lindholm. Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin will go for sure. I can see a team taking Nurse or another D before us and its not out of the question that a team will take Nichushkin top 5 as well. Quite. Few of the teams ahead of us need D, so anything is possible. Invariably, there is always a top prospect that drops. Remember Couturier dropped, Grigerenko and Fowler as well. Barkov is out with a shoulder injury which may amuse him to drop. Barring winning the lottery, Barkov is still my guy.

Avatar
#79 RexLibris
April 28 2013, 07:31AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Baalzamon

The Oilers have shied away from defensemen with their 1st round picks outside of an insurance pick (#19 in 2011 with Klefbom). Besides, as much as they need a defenseman, drafting one this year (outside of Jones) means allowing five to six years for delivery plus shipping and handling.

Not to mention they already have Marincin, Gernat, Musil, Simpson, Bigos, Fedun, Klefbom and Gustafsson, to name a few of their defensive prospects.

They need centers. After Nugent-Hopkins the talent dropoff is rather precipitous. The next best talented center prospect is probably Khaira who just finished his first year of NCAA is is probably on a similar development clock as Jankowski (three to five years).

If the Flames pass over Monahan for Lindholm I think that would suit the Oilers just fine. Not that Lindholm is the inferior player, but the Oilers have been looking for a big center with good hands since they traded one to New York for Louie DeBrusk. It's been their snipe hunt much like the Flyers looking for goaltending or the Flames for a 1st line center.

Avatar
#80 Baalzamon
April 28 2013, 10:42AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@RexLibris

Oh, absolutely. I fully expect the Oilers to land Monahan (or maybe Nichushkin if he falls that far and if they think he can be an NHL center). But if Monahan and Lindholm are both gone.. do they trade down to get Gauthier, or do they bite the bullet and take Nurse?

if they were a little further down, I'd be pretty confident in them taking Ristolainen. Big right-shooting defender who can play now (except for that military service thing..)

If the Flames shock people this year, it will probably be by taking Nichushkin. If they do, then I'll be pretty confident in him eventually crossing the pond (after Erixon, I imagine the first question they ask potential draftees is "how do you feel about playing for the Flames?")

Avatar
#81 BurningSensation
April 28 2013, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
RexLibris wrote:

Lindholm and Monahan are good consolation prizes after MacKinnon and Barkov (for centers).

Not interested in Nurse that high in the draft. Nichushkin is a player that a team with some time and talent could roll the dice on. If they had another Russian or could dangle something of interest to the young man, then the talent is worth the risk. But if a team needs a guaranteed player from this draft, he is not the best bet. You're comparison to Jagr, if we limit it to those initial circumstances and leave out his potential impact in the NHL, is valid. Some others might see Cherepanov, though. We'll have to wait and see.

From everything I'm hearing, if Monahan is available when the Oilers pick, they won't have to think twice.

As for Gagner, I think they trade him and sign a UFA center who can sub in for Nugent-Hopkins to start the season and then slide down the order to play 2nd line.

Gagner is not ideally a 2nd or 3rd line C. He is a great 2nd line RW playing with a fast, playmaking, defensively responsible C. The problem the Oilers are going to have in moving him is that they are selling him as a center when his value would increase if other GMs saw him play wing. What I would love to see them do is move Gagner for Gardiner, then try to swing a trade of picks or prospects for Adam Henrique.

If the Oilers center depth for 2013-14 ran Nugent-Hopkins, Henrique, Horcoff and Lander with a prospect like Monahan or Lindholm waiting in the wings, I'd be a pretty happy camper.

For the Flames, I see Nurse, Monahan, Nichushkin and Lindholm as the prospects ranked 5 through 8, with Zadorov, Shinkaruk and Domi following close behind. Now we ask ourselves, barring trade or lottery win, what prospect seems to be the most "Weisbrodian" of the bunch? This may sound a little odd, but given their penchant for taking players with skill irrespective of size, perhaps Shinkaruk and Domi need to enter the conversation? It'd be a mistake, in my opinion, but can we honestly say it wouldn't happen?

I agree with all the above with a few exceptions;

- I don't think Nurse is on the radar in any way shape or form given the needs we have at forward/centre, and with Cgy having two other bullets chambered in the first, a D-man can be had later on.

- I think Shinkaruk is in the conversation after Lindholm/Monahan, but don't see any scenario where he is the guy we take.

- Cherepanov IIRC was tracking very well up till his fatal accident.

- The more I dig into it, the more I like Nichushkin. He checks all the boxes as far as Flames 'needs' (size, speed, talent, centre position, high ceiling, etc). Hockey's Future and Button's Craigslist have him in the top tier at #2.

- FWIW, Bob Mackenzie surveyed 6 scouts who all had Nichushkin in the top 5, but only one of the six would actually use a top 5 pick on him (I'm assuming this contract/Russia related).

Comments are closed for this article.