Random Thoughts - Flames Aren't Dead Yet

Kent Wilson
April 09 2013 11:26AM

 

 

Prior to the 8-2 Shellacking at the hands of the Oil, I'd thought the Flames had reached the nadir of their season at least one or two times already. I was wrong. Gutted and disillusioned, the Flames shuffled into the Dome that night and had their lunches fed to them by the upstarts from up the road. It's was grotesque and humiliating, but somehow an appropriate punctuation to the events that had proceeded it.

It felt like the team would never win again in the aftermath of that defeat, but the Flames have actually put together a handful of decent games since then, including the loss in Vancouver (entirely goaltender based) and the win last night in Colorado. Calgary was outshot by the Avs, but the bad guys were chasing for most of the game which I think inflated their possession and shot totals. The Flames still outchanced them in aggregate and that is despite icing a rookie heavy line-up.

I'll reiterate the general sentiment of the positvity post: the Flames aren't completely hopeless. They bottomed out, as was expected, but the low point isn't as pitiful nor as desperate as, say, the Oilers a few years ago. There are salvagable pieces here and, despite the near total lack of elite young talent, a base to build on if things are done right and the club gets a break once in a while. If the worst the Flames get is about 20th overall in terms of possession, then the rebuild shouldn't be as painful nor as long as some expect.

- TJ Brodie. Yeah we've lathered him with superlatives this year, but the kid just keeps getting better. Brodie's minutes and responsibilities have increased in Jay Bouwmeester's absence and his underying numbers just stay sterling. He has been in the black in terms of chances and corsi the last two or three games at least, a not insignificant achievement for a 22-year old sophomore suddenly thrust into a top pairing role on a rebuilding team.

I don't know if he'll ever score a lot of points even with his mobility and vision (still has problems getting shots through on the point), but his ceiling in terms of defensive responsibility keeps climbing. Brodie will be 24 for the 2014-15 season and it will surprise me if he's not anchoring the club's top pairing by then.

- If the Flames really want to turn things around and be a playoff contender sooner rather than later (throw out what Feaster said at the press conference about next year), then the 2014-15 season should be circled. At that point, Backlund and Brodie will be peaking, Baertschi should have his legs, whatever wunderkind they pick this summer should be a useful sophomore and the various vets they have kept around - from Giordano to Glencross - should still be functional. If the club has fixed its goaltending and hit on at least one or two more gambles in the Glencross/Bourque sense (be it via free agency or trade) then the team could be challenging for the post-season and be on the upswing at the same time.

- Somewhat related (and worrying): Steve Mason being acquired and signed by the Flyers proves that GM's as a class just don't understand goaltending. They can't seem to project it and they certainly can't read the market for it. Jonathan Willis and Tyler Dellow wrote on Mason recently - a guy who has been a shining example of how poorly goaltending is understood at even the highest levels in the league since his rookie season. 

To be fair, goaltending is really, really hard to predict or understand given the current state of knowledge. They seem to have different career arcs than shooters, it's very hard to separate their contributions from that of the team and even the "advanced" stats we have for them seem to point more randomness than skill, especially on the 82-game season scale. In addition, there is no single guy that can have a more profound effect on a club's goal differential than a goalie, which is why you see GM's running out and spending more than a perfectly rational actor in a usually saturated market would on occassion.

It's hard to make really good bets on goalies as a result (ie; a bet that is likely to deliver better than average puck-stopping consistently), but it's really easy to make bad ones. This is why you've seen the Detroit Red Wings settle for cheap, average goaltending for so long.

- Although he failed to act in time to prevent the goaltending implosion this season, Feaster has been active in collecting potential puckstoppers for down the road in Ramo and Berra. The Flames may get a chance to grab a decent starter who shakes loose in the next year or two thanks to their abundance of cap and budget space (like, say, the Senators did with Craig Anderson, who has been a big reason the Senators rebuilding phase seems so mercifully short), which could improve the redundancy in the organization and chance the team has at least a .920 ES SV% by the time they are ready to compete again.

Flames fans just have to hope Feaster bets on an Anderson and not a Steve Mason.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#1 Sanintarious
April 09 2013, 11:37AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

While I am happy with a win, it scares me that the Flames will fall out of the bottom 3. With Carolina and Tampa falling apart the Flames would only need to win and them get a lose to fall out of the bottom 3. I don't want to see the Flames get embarrassed, but at the same time, a lot of us would be much more excited about a top 3 pick then a 6-10 pick after this disastrous season.....

Avatar
#2 the-wolf
April 09 2013, 11:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Not that I really disagree with any of your points in particular, but that does seem rather optimistic.

The team will still be short of enough high quality players in the 25-29 age range and some of Calgary's vets will start falling in about 2 years time.

That said, you state competing for the playoffs. So, OK, I can agree with that, but in todays' league, competing for 8th is not all that great of a feat.

IMO, the Flames largely missed their chance to shorten the rebuild and will be picking at the bottom for awhile, unless the plan is simply to return to fighting for 8th in which case it'll be another 5 years of no-man's land.

It's going to be interesting to see how Feaster executes his vision regarding all that cap space. Lots will depend on that.

Avatar
#3 mattyc
April 09 2013, 11:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

re: goaltending. I think actually, Feaster has been really smart in recognizing the unpredictability of goaltenders by investing in so many. To a certain extent, I think he's hedging his bets that one of Berra, Ramo, Kipper, Taylor, whoever can take the ball and run with it next year. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but I think having a bunch of guys who could step increases your chance of getting league average goaltending.

Avatar
#4 Pajamah
April 09 2013, 11:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Servicable veterans? A foundation already there?

I'd say the Flames are in the exact same position the Oilers were 3 years ago.

No top end skill (McKinnon will be your Nugent Hopkins)

Baertschi, Backlund, in comparison in usefulness and not style may as well be Eberle/Paajarvi.

TJ Brodie doesn't have the ceiling that many people are giving Justin Schultz, but for all intents and purposes, they're close.

And if Ramo or Berra were good enough, they'd be NHLers already. Brossoit = Olivier Roy or Tyler Bunz.

Oilers however, would step over their own mothers to get Glencross or a clone of him.

Seemingly, the Flames are just going into their rebuild with a decent bottom 6. Something the Oilers need now.

Avatar
#6 JAY B
April 09 2013, 12:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

The flames are screwed. They aren't the oilers of 2010 they are the oilers or 2007. Traded the heart and sole player or futures. Horrible record afterwards. 3 1st rounders a early one a mid one and a later one. Face it the flames are at least 4-5 years away from making the playoffs.

So what they beat the worst team in the league and now everything is on the right track?

Good luck with that...

Avatar
#7 the-wolf
April 09 2013, 12:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

I'm okay with battling for 8th in two years if it's a step up the ladder. I won't be as impressed if the Flames are in a similar position as they are now: simply running in place with no appreciable way to get over the top.

Agreed. My point, I guess, is as long as that's not the top rung of the ladder.

Avatar
#8 clyde
April 09 2013, 12:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Pajamah wrote:

Servicable veterans? A foundation already there?

I'd say the Flames are in the exact same position the Oilers were 3 years ago.

No top end skill (McKinnon will be your Nugent Hopkins)

Baertschi, Backlund, in comparison in usefulness and not style may as well be Eberle/Paajarvi.

TJ Brodie doesn't have the ceiling that many people are giving Justin Schultz, but for all intents and purposes, they're close.

And if Ramo or Berra were good enough, they'd be NHLers already. Brossoit = Olivier Roy or Tyler Bunz.

Oilers however, would step over their own mothers to get Glencross or a clone of him.

Seemingly, the Flames are just going into their rebuild with a decent bottom 6. Something the Oilers need now.

Brodie may not have the ability to put up points on the pp like Schultz but that kid cannot play 5 on 5. He is soft as butter and does not engage or compete in his zone. I would rather have Brodie.

Avatar
#9 RexLibris
April 09 2013, 12:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This goal, and even expectation, that the Flames could challenge for a playoff position next year seems an illusion to me.

In previous seasons the Flames were more or less fighting for a 7th or 8th spot against perhaps four teams, five at the most.

With the new conferences and wildcard format the Flames would be fighting between four or five teams for the last playoff spot in a best-case scenario - meaning that the playoff chances for bubble teams are likely to get worse rather than better.

I won't eliminate a Panthers-esque (2012) resurgence for this team next season, but the Panthers accomplished what they did because they were able to dominate small collection of pretty weak teams. Teams won't have that luxury next season and expecting the Flames to be able to do it under very different circumstances seems a tall order.

Avatar
#10 RexLibris
April 09 2013, 12:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@clyde

How many games have you watched Justin Schultz play this season?

Brodie looks to me like a better-skating version of Jeff Petry and as a second-pairing puck-moving defenseman I think he is absolutely a key piece for the Flames future.

Suggesting that Justin Schultz is an overall inferior player sounds a lot like home bias, though.

Avatar
#11 SmellOfVictory
April 09 2013, 12:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Sanintarious wrote:

While I am happy with a win, it scares me that the Flames will fall out of the bottom 3. With Carolina and Tampa falling apart the Flames would only need to win and them get a lose to fall out of the bottom 3. I don't want to see the Flames get embarrassed, but at the same time, a lot of us would be much more excited about a top 3 pick then a 6-10 pick after this disastrous season.....

Top 4 would be the target, I suppose. From what I can tell, there's not a ton of separation between Jones, Mac, Drouin, and Barkov. It's just beyond that where we see a notable drop-off.

Avatar
#12 season not played
April 09 2013, 12:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Wow,

That sure sounds easy.

Let's revisit this post when the Flames are contenders two years from now.

Avatar
#13 beloch
April 09 2013, 12:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

After this season, average goal-tending looks pretty sweet!

Re: The Flames' goalie prospects

20 and under
-----------------

Laurent Brossoit: At 20, Brossoit has already played a surprising number of games in the WHL and done fairly well. His last two regular season Sv%'s have been 0.914 and 0.917, and he's posted a *sick* 0.972 over 7 playoff games so far this season. Of the three 20 and under goalies in the Flames org, he's playing in the easiest league, but he still shows promise.

Joni Ortio: Ortio (age 20) is playing in the SM-Liiga, which is the toughest league any goalie in this category is playing in. It's a step up from the AHL, where he did not impress, but he's actually doing a lot better with a 0.917 Sv% this season. He's taken a clear step forward and hopefully he continues to develop.

Jon Gillies: Gillies is playing in the NCAA (H-East), which is tougher than the WHL but not quite as tough as SM-Liiga, but he's absolutely killing it. He's a year younger than Ortio or Brossoit and he's gone 0.931 over 35 games. It's too early to tell if he can keep that up or translate it to tougher leagues, but it's still very impressive. Gillies may prove to be an even better pick than Jankowski from last year's draft!

24 and up
---------------
Unless I'm missing someone, the Flames have no goalie prospects in the 21-23 range. Goalies do often mature late, but these guys are all nearing the point where they can no longer be considered prospects unless they actually play in the NHL.

Reto Berra: Probably the least exciting goalie prospect the Flames have, unless I'm missing something. He's 26 and has posted MacBackup numbers in the Swiss-A league for a while now. This guy needs to take a big step forward to be considered a real NHL prospect.

Leland Irving: At 24 he's the two years younger than anyone else in this group, but is he still a prospect after flaming out so spectacularly? Will he be resigned this summer or sent packing? In two years he might well figure out how to handle pressure and be more consistent, but I have a feeling he's not going to get those two years from Feaster.

Danny Taylor: I think he's a prospect and worth bringing up for a couple of starts, but apparently Feaster doesn't. With the way Kipper's wheels have fallen off, this is probably the best goalie the Flames currently have signed to an NHL contract. Why isn't he being called up?

Kari Ramo: As everybody knows, this guy is easily the closest thing the Flames have to a NHL starter at present, and that includes the MacBackup and, sadly, Kipper too! His Sv% in the KHL has been 0.929, 0.925 and 0.925 over the last three seasons. Avangard Omsk has been eliminated from the KHL playoffs earlier than expected. Is there any chance Ramo could cross the pond this season? On the one hand I'd love to see this guy play. On the other hand, he might be good enough to drop the Flames pick a few spots!

In short, the Flames goalie prospects are either Kari Ramo, aging mediocrities, flame-outs, or too young for us to really know what we have. Feaster seems to be collecting goalie prospects in the hopes that at least one of them will be good, and this is not a bad strategy at all. I fully expect the Flames will spend a 3rd or later round pick on a goalie in this year's draft. Still, none of this changes the fact that Berra was a damned awful return for Bouwmeester. Daaaamned awful.

Avatar
#14 lionlager
April 09 2013, 12:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I appreciate the optimism and I think you're right on the mark with this. The irony is of course that if the Flames AREN'T as bad as they look, and are due for a resurgence at this point in the year... then we miss a huge part of that optimistic future. The high pick. Let's hope Feaster tries out a few more young guys this year.

I'm still terrified that Feaster will trade his 1sts this year. I think it's a move he is definitely capable of. Especially with those marching orders of his.

Avatar
#15 Clay
April 09 2013, 12:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Some may hate me for this, but I see the Flames overpaying a bit for Smith and I dont see it as a bad thing. Whether his team's performance is the result of his play or the cause, that doesnt matter. Goalie numbers are noise for the most part.

If I'm Feaster, and I will likely have unutilized cap space anyway next season, the overpay is a moot point. He can provide league average goaltending, and he is that the age where he can pass his throne off to Brossoit/Gillies/Berry/Ramo in due course.

He will also be available given the Coyotes situation.

Avatar
#16 piscera.infada
April 09 2013, 12:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think you're all missing the point. As a statement of optimism, the Flames are not in as bad a situation as the doomsday fans want to claim.

I also believe this rebuild could take less than 5 years given some good quality dealing and great drafting.

That's merely what this article is saying. Not that the Flames WILL (without a doubt) be challenging for a playoff spot in 2 years.

I think that in these dark times, it is something we need to hope for.

Hope. Change. Obama?

Avatar
#17 Clay
April 09 2013, 12:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
the-wolf wrote:

Not that I really disagree with any of your points in particular, but that does seem rather optimistic.

The team will still be short of enough high quality players in the 25-29 age range and some of Calgary's vets will start falling in about 2 years time.

That said, you state competing for the playoffs. So, OK, I can agree with that, but in todays' league, competing for 8th is not all that great of a feat.

IMO, the Flames largely missed their chance to shorten the rebuild and will be picking at the bottom for awhile, unless the plan is simply to return to fighting for 8th in which case it'll be another 5 years of no-man's land.

It's going to be interesting to see how Feaster executes his vision regarding all that cap space. Lots will depend on that.

@JAY B as well

You can frame it how you like, but your responses are purely qualitative, when Kent has presented the situation from a quantitative standpoint. A story is a story, but it is subjective as best. I'll take objective.

For that, your responses are discounted.

A for effort L'Oilers fans

:)

Avatar
#18 Clay
April 09 2013, 12:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@the-wolf

Sorry The Wolf, meant to reply to @Pajamah

Avatar
#20 the-wolf
April 09 2013, 01:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
beloch wrote:

After this season, average goal-tending looks pretty sweet!

Re: The Flames' goalie prospects

20 and under
-----------------

Laurent Brossoit: At 20, Brossoit has already played a surprising number of games in the WHL and done fairly well. His last two regular season Sv%'s have been 0.914 and 0.917, and he's posted a *sick* 0.972 over 7 playoff games so far this season. Of the three 20 and under goalies in the Flames org, he's playing in the easiest league, but he still shows promise.

Joni Ortio: Ortio (age 20) is playing in the SM-Liiga, which is the toughest league any goalie in this category is playing in. It's a step up from the AHL, where he did not impress, but he's actually doing a lot better with a 0.917 Sv% this season. He's taken a clear step forward and hopefully he continues to develop.

Jon Gillies: Gillies is playing in the NCAA (H-East), which is tougher than the WHL but not quite as tough as SM-Liiga, but he's absolutely killing it. He's a year younger than Ortio or Brossoit and he's gone 0.931 over 35 games. It's too early to tell if he can keep that up or translate it to tougher leagues, but it's still very impressive. Gillies may prove to be an even better pick than Jankowski from last year's draft!

24 and up
---------------
Unless I'm missing someone, the Flames have no goalie prospects in the 21-23 range. Goalies do often mature late, but these guys are all nearing the point where they can no longer be considered prospects unless they actually play in the NHL.

Reto Berra: Probably the least exciting goalie prospect the Flames have, unless I'm missing something. He's 26 and has posted MacBackup numbers in the Swiss-A league for a while now. This guy needs to take a big step forward to be considered a real NHL prospect.

Leland Irving: At 24 he's the two years younger than anyone else in this group, but is he still a prospect after flaming out so spectacularly? Will he be resigned this summer or sent packing? In two years he might well figure out how to handle pressure and be more consistent, but I have a feeling he's not going to get those two years from Feaster.

Danny Taylor: I think he's a prospect and worth bringing up for a couple of starts, but apparently Feaster doesn't. With the way Kipper's wheels have fallen off, this is probably the best goalie the Flames currently have signed to an NHL contract. Why isn't he being called up?

Kari Ramo: As everybody knows, this guy is easily the closest thing the Flames have to a NHL starter at present, and that includes the MacBackup and, sadly, Kipper too! His Sv% in the KHL has been 0.929, 0.925 and 0.925 over the last three seasons. Avangard Omsk has been eliminated from the KHL playoffs earlier than expected. Is there any chance Ramo could cross the pond this season? On the one hand I'd love to see this guy play. On the other hand, he might be good enough to drop the Flames pick a few spots!

In short, the Flames goalie prospects are either Kari Ramo, aging mediocrities, flame-outs, or too young for us to really know what we have. Feaster seems to be collecting goalie prospects in the hopes that at least one of them will be good, and this is not a bad strategy at all. I fully expect the Flames will spend a 3rd or later round pick on a goalie in this year's draft. Still, none of this changes the fact that Berra was a damned awful return for Bouwmeester. Daaaamned awful.

I appreciate this write up, but I can't agree that NCAA is better than the AHL. Even the SM-Liiga I'm not so sure about. Curious what you're basing that on.

Avatar
#21 the-wolf
April 09 2013, 01:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Clay

no worries :)

Avatar
#22 season not played
April 09 2013, 01:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
clyde wrote:

Brodie may not have the ability to put up points on the pp like Schultz but that kid cannot play 5 on 5. He is soft as butter and does not engage or compete in his zone. I would rather have Brodie.

You forgot to point out that Backlund is better than RNH, Baertschi is better than Eberle and whoever the Flames draft this spring will be better than Taylor Hall.

Avatar
#23 beloch
April 09 2013, 01:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

I think the Flames should focus on their process rather than a specific goal, like making the playoffs in 1-2 years. If a team's focus is on continually increasing their talent pool, good things can happen.

Obviously, drafting smart is one way to do this. Drafting a lot (i.e. trading for picks) is another. The Flames appear to be doing both, and that's heartening.

The other key way to keep growing the team's talent is to avoid letting assets depreciate. That means consistently trading players in their early thirties precisely when it *hurts* to lose them. Glencross, Wideman, Giordano, etc. should not be considered untouchable pieces of the team's core. They are assets that are about to start depreciating and should be traded within a couple of years. This is an easy decision to make if you focus on the process of continually increasing the overall talent within the organization, but extremely hard to do if you're focused on making the playoffs in two years.

Caveat: this assumes you have a GM who can accurately appraise the value of assets and get an appropriate return. This does not appear to describe Feaster.

Avatar
#24 dotfras
April 09 2013, 01:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Kind of annoying seeing many posters trying to compare teams.

While rebuilds can have similar philosophies, every situation is unique. No point arguing how we stack up against Edmonton. And to be honest, I'm glad we won't be like Edmonton - once again, they will not be in the playoffs - and while I recognize & admire some of their top young talent, they have failed to acquire the right additional pieces to take steps toward improving.

On a completely different note, am I a bad fan for being disappointed in a win last night? Just like when trying to make the playoffs - EVERY point matters....I want our best shot at the top pick.

For so many years I've seen people whine about finishing 9th & having a middling pick - so we NEED to SUCK...

PS. Loved seeing an infusion of youth in the lineup last night!

Avatar
#25 beloch
April 09 2013, 01:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@the-wolf

I based it on this article:

http://www.behindthenet.ca/projecting_to_nhl.php

You're right about the NCAA not being a tougher league than the AHL. It isn't. That was a typo (now fixed) and should have said WHL since that's where Brossoit is.

Avatar
#26 RexLibris
April 09 2013, 01:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

That's not the goal or expectation. Not for me anyways. I was explicit in the piece - it's possible, if things bank right and if management doesn't step on a landmine, that the Flames could compete for a spot in 2014-15, which is the season after next.

Let's be very clear here - it's still a big IF, because I have no idea what Feaster et al. will do in the upcoming off-season or if they have any idea of how to build a winning team. We'll see I guess.

I suppose I wasn't really speaking to you Kent, specifically, but instead working off of the premise of your article. I was offering some factors in addition to those mentioned, for observers and fans to take into account when establishing their expectations for the team this coming season.

You are very right in that a number of things could go right this offseason, and the Flames could find themselves in the playoff hunt next season. Just as in the spring of 2012 there was talk that the Oilers could land Justin Schultz. That it happened needs to be qualified in such a way to prevent an expectation of luck always swinging one's way in the future as well. If the Flames rebound next season, and even if they make the playoffs, then I would argue that it would be a result with little to no net-benefit for the organization's long-term future. But there we enter into theories of mismanagement and structure best left for another day.

I'm not trying to be an eternal pessimist here, instead I'm only trying to bring up possibilities and potential challenges to the stated goal.

Were the Flames run by a management group with a track record of at least moderate success in roster management, I would argue that there exists an opportunity here for them to exploit cap-heavy teams this summer. Indeed, it may yet happen, we'll have to wait and see.

However, history does not lead me to offer them the benefit of the doubt.

Avatar
#27 T&A4Flames
April 09 2013, 01:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
beloch wrote:

I think the Flames should focus on their process rather than a specific goal, like making the playoffs in 1-2 years. If a team's focus is on continually increasing their talent pool, good things can happen.

Obviously, drafting smart is one way to do this. Drafting a lot (i.e. trading for picks) is another. The Flames appear to be doing both, and that's heartening.

The other key way to keep growing the team's talent is to avoid letting assets depreciate. That means consistently trading players in their early thirties precisely when it *hurts* to lose them. Glencross, Wideman, Giordano, etc. should not be considered untouchable pieces of the team's core. They are assets that are about to start depreciating and should be traded within a couple of years. This is an easy decision to make if you focus on the process of continually increasing the overall talent within the organization, but extremely hard to do if you're focused on making the playoffs in two years.

Caveat: this assumes you have a GM who can accurately appraise the value of assets and get an appropriate return. This does not appear to describe Feaster.

Our problem is that we currently lack the age group that would proceed the "early thirties" group and allow us to be continually competitive. Signing UFA doesn't usually help because very few quality UFA in the age of 25-27 come available. We don't (yet) have the assets to aquire players in that age group via trade. At least Feaster has tried guys like Cervenka, who IMO has done ok for his 1st year that started with health issues.

This draft will help start that track as whoever we draft this year will follow in behind guys like Backlund & Brodie. There are a few 27 year olds in this crop of UFA, Horton and Bozak iin particular. Clarkson and Filpulla are 29. Would we want to over pay either of these guys? I would consider it depending on how much of an overpay. Given the dropping cap, it may help keep costs down a tad.

Avatar
#28 T&A4Flames
April 09 2013, 01:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
dotfras wrote:

Kind of annoying seeing many posters trying to compare teams.

While rebuilds can have similar philosophies, every situation is unique. No point arguing how we stack up against Edmonton. And to be honest, I'm glad we won't be like Edmonton - once again, they will not be in the playoffs - and while I recognize & admire some of their top young talent, they have failed to acquire the right additional pieces to take steps toward improving.

On a completely different note, am I a bad fan for being disappointed in a win last night? Just like when trying to make the playoffs - EVERY point matters....I want our best shot at the top pick.

For so many years I've seen people whine about finishing 9th & having a middling pick - so we NEED to SUCK...

PS. Loved seeing an infusion of youth in the lineup last night!

I believe Steinberg said it on The Fan 960, "there is no right or wrong way to be a good fan." Maybe Kent said it, not sure. In the end we all just want what we see is best for our team.

At this moment in time, losses are the biggest benefit. Although losses with strong work ethic and continued efforts to win is the absolute best for our kids.

Avatar
#29 RexLibris
April 09 2013, 01:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
beloch wrote:

I think the Flames should focus on their process rather than a specific goal, like making the playoffs in 1-2 years. If a team's focus is on continually increasing their talent pool, good things can happen.

Obviously, drafting smart is one way to do this. Drafting a lot (i.e. trading for picks) is another. The Flames appear to be doing both, and that's heartening.

The other key way to keep growing the team's talent is to avoid letting assets depreciate. That means consistently trading players in their early thirties precisely when it *hurts* to lose them. Glencross, Wideman, Giordano, etc. should not be considered untouchable pieces of the team's core. They are assets that are about to start depreciating and should be traded within a couple of years. This is an easy decision to make if you focus on the process of continually increasing the overall talent within the organization, but extremely hard to do if you're focused on making the playoffs in two years.

Caveat: this assumes you have a GM who can accurately appraise the value of assets and get an appropriate return. This does not appear to describe Feaster.

I heartily agree with this sentiment.

As a comparison, my goals for the Oilers this season were not tied to them making the playoffs. Rather, I wanted to see an improvement in their goal differential, special teams that both ranked in the top ten in the league, statistical evidence of maturation if not dominance by the three major offensive pieces, and some measurable improvement in Devan Dubnyk's play.

Focusing on the details, getting the smaller things right, in the case of team building, will often make the larger things fall into place.

If the Flames were to commit to developing talent at a reasonable rate, drafting the best players available based on projection and skill set (rather than dominant players at a given stage who may be approaching a plateau), and instilling an environment of mentorship and teaching within the roster, so that young players can learn the game at a reasonable pace, then I think they'd be on the right track.

They've put the goal ahead of the plan in this case. The goal is to get to the playoffs, now the plan is to leverage any available assets to match that goal, with few exceptions. They aren't paying attention, at least publicly, to the processes necessary to exploit their current state: drafting high and often.

And, as you say, their reluctance to part with certain players because of the short-term nature of their goal (playoffs 2014) means that some assets will depreciate.

Getting rid of Glencross would be tough, and when the time comes for a playoff push those players are worth their weight in gold, but what good does he do for the team right now? If they could have traded him at the deadline for another team's potential "Glencross" three or four years down the road, then the organization would be making the right call.

Avatar
#30 the-wolf
April 09 2013, 01:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
beloch wrote:

I think the Flames should focus on their process rather than a specific goal, like making the playoffs in 1-2 years. If a team's focus is on continually increasing their talent pool, good things can happen.

Obviously, drafting smart is one way to do this. Drafting a lot (i.e. trading for picks) is another. The Flames appear to be doing both, and that's heartening.

The other key way to keep growing the team's talent is to avoid letting assets depreciate. That means consistently trading players in their early thirties precisely when it *hurts* to lose them. Glencross, Wideman, Giordano, etc. should not be considered untouchable pieces of the team's core. They are assets that are about to start depreciating and should be traded within a couple of years. This is an easy decision to make if you focus on the process of continually increasing the overall talent within the organization, but extremely hard to do if you're focused on making the playoffs in two years.

Caveat: this assumes you have a GM who can accurately appraise the value of assets and get an appropriate return. This does not appear to describe Feaster.

Bang-on with this. "The playoffs" have been the goal for far too long. The Cup needs to be the focus and that requires doing as you suggest.

Avatar
#31 RexLibris
April 09 2013, 01:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@T&A4Flames

"there is no right or wrong way to be a good fan."

There may bePhialdelphiasome examples of badVancouverfans somewhere in the world. I can't think ofMillhavenFCany right now.

;-)

Avatar
#32 Clay
April 09 2013, 02:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
T&A4Flames wrote:

I believe Steinberg said it on The Fan 960, "there is no right or wrong way to be a good fan." Maybe Kent said it, not sure. In the end we all just want what we see is best for our team.

At this moment in time, losses are the biggest benefit. Although losses with strong work ethic and continued efforts to win is the absolute best for our kids.

Agree wholeheartedly

Whether you are cheering for losses or wins, we all want the same thing in the end. It's a glass half empty or half full mentality, yin and yang. Doesnt make either right or wrong.

Avatar
#33 T&A4Flames
April 09 2013, 02:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@RexLibris

A couple of things re: Glencross. "What good does he do..." 1st, we still need players to ice a team. 2nd, he would install, hopehully a winning attitude in the young guys. I obviously don't know GlenX but he seems to get surly when they lose and that is a quality I want the kids to learn, that losing is unacceptable. That is something that I think the Oilers lost when they dumped anything and everything they could for futures.

I think the Flames could still move out 1 of Tanguay or Cammi at the draft, certainly at next deadline and be fine. Again, I don't know the mindset of the players personally but it seems that GlenX, Gio and Tangs could be good soldiers and still push for wins. 'If' those players show any signs of negativity towards the organizations current situation and let it affect their play, they should be moved. The alternative, the Oilers style rebuild, is better than a growing negative presence.

Avatar
#34 shutout
April 09 2013, 02:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

http://www.bcheightssports.com/2013/04/09/gaudreau-matheson-and-rest-of-bc-hockey-underclassmen-will-stay-for-2013-14/

Avatar
#35 shutout
April 09 2013, 02:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Gaudreau, a Hobey Baker finalist, had been in talks with the Calgary Flames about potentially signing his contract. A report from the Calgary Herald last week said Flames general manager Jay Feaster had told the sophmore forward that the decision was "soley Gaudreau's." But Gaudreau cited his desire to get an education and possibly play with his brother Matthew (a BC recruit) as reasons to return.

Arnold, also property of the Flames, was named an assistant captain for BC last week, and has decided that he will not yet join the professional ranks.

Avatar
#36 T&A4Flames
April 09 2013, 02:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
shutout wrote:

http://www.bcheightssports.com/2013/04/09/gaudreau-matheson-and-rest-of-bc-hockey-underclassmen-will-stay-for-2013-14/

I thought Arnold was done his time @ BC. 1 yr left, I guess?

Avatar
#37 Sean Bennett
April 09 2013, 02:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@beloch

The NCAA or Finnish elite league are not tougher or better leagues than the AHL. The only leagues that may be marginally superior are the KHL or the Swedish Elite league. Although I suspect their NHLEs more or less the same as the AHL.

Avatar
#38 SmellOfVictory
April 09 2013, 02:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
season not played wrote:

You forgot to point out that Backlund is better than RNH, Baertschi is better than Eberle and whoever the Flames draft this spring will be better than Taylor Hall.

Backlund is currently better than RNH.

Avatar
#39 shutout
April 09 2013, 02:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think that the Flames essentially clean house in goal and start off brand new next year.

NHL are Ramo and Berra who have nothing to prove at an AHL level and need to be given every chance to show what they can do at the NHL level.

AHL are Broissoit and Ortio who are ready for the next challenge.

In both cases the teams should alternate the goaltenders every game for the first 20-30 games so that the goalies can get used to the league, have consistent playing time, have time to review and observe the game, and be comfortable knowing that there is room for mistakes and that they wont get pinned to the bench for a month if they make any.

Goaltenders play best when they are calm and confident and they dont need to looking over their shoulder every game. The Flames spent trade capital to acquire the top two guys and now they need to find out what they have. A pontoon system used in St Louis is the perfect situation for a goaltender to come in and learn the league.

Avatar
#40 piscera.infada
April 09 2013, 02:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
T&A4Flames wrote:

A couple of things re: Glencross. "What good does he do..." 1st, we still need players to ice a team. 2nd, he would install, hopehully a winning attitude in the young guys. I obviously don't know GlenX but he seems to get surly when they lose and that is a quality I want the kids to learn, that losing is unacceptable. That is something that I think the Oilers lost when they dumped anything and everything they could for futures.

I think the Flames could still move out 1 of Tanguay or Cammi at the draft, certainly at next deadline and be fine. Again, I don't know the mindset of the players personally but it seems that GlenX, Gio and Tangs could be good soldiers and still push for wins. 'If' those players show any signs of negativity towards the organizations current situation and let it affect their play, they should be moved. The alternative, the Oilers style rebuild, is better than a growing negative presence.

I agree with your statement on Glencross entirely.

I actually feel the same about Wideman (and I know, I'll probably be crucified for this). In my estimation Wideman is a good steadying force for young guys we bring up, he plays a pretty solid two-way game, and at least from what I've seen he cares. He's one of the few guys standing up on the bench after a goal or bad shift, trying to get the guys going. You want to instill a winning environment in the young guys, this is what you need.

In addition, he has been around the league, in many different environments, with many teams of varying skill levels. The guy is a winner, and a presence.

I'm not sure if he wants to stay (as I'm sure he wasn't sold on Calgary with the rebuild). Yet, I still feel like he is a valuable guy.

Avatar
#41 icedawg_42
April 09 2013, 02:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Sean Bennett wrote:

The NCAA or Finnish elite league are not tougher or better leagues than the AHL. The only leagues that may be marginally superior are the KHL or the Swedish Elite league. Although I suspect their NHLEs more or less the same as the AHL.

Frankly i'm surprised anyone would really consider NCAA to be any superior to the CHL

Avatar
#42 shutout
April 09 2013, 02:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think that we are at least three more bottom ten finishes from a playoff spot. I think that we lose next year and hopefully move Cammalleri for a first round pick next year. We lose in the 2014-15 season again and that year we move out Glencross and Giordano for hopefully first round picks. The year after that all of the young talent should be filling in key positions and we will be back to challenging. A year of development and disappointment and we make the playoffs in the 2016-17 season.

The only way that this does not happen is if one of the two goaltenders slated for the NHL is an elite level tender that is able to steal us games and we are somehow able to fill in two more top four defensemen before the 2014-15 season.

Avatar
#43 season not played
April 09 2013, 02:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
SmellOfVictory wrote:

Backlund is currently better than RNH.

Indeed.

Avatar
#44 T&A4Flames
April 09 2013, 02:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@piscera.infada

Re: Wideman. He is probably smart enough to know that he is signed for 4 more years, like it or not. There is no good that comes from whining about the situation. Hard work and focus is where he likely sees the need for his efforts; the only thing that can improve the situation is the efforts he and the remaining teammates put forth. Parity still rules this league and it doesn't take much more than a winning attitude to turn things like an OTT or MON rebuild/retool.

Avatar
#45 Sean Bennett
April 09 2013, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
season not played wrote:

Indeed.

Are you guys being sarcastic? lol. There is no way in hell Backlund has more potential than RNH, and although he may be better right now, that will not be the case in 2 years time. This is from a die-hard flames fan.

Avatar
#46 T&A4Flames
April 09 2013, 02:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props
Sean Bennett wrote:

Are you guys being sarcastic? lol. There is no way in hell Backlund has more potential than RNH, and although he may be better right now, that will not be the case in 2 years time. This is from a die-hard flames fan.

I'm pretty sure they stated "now." Just like "now" Eberle > Baertschi but who knows where that ends up.

Avatar
#47 Mac962
April 09 2013, 02:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
season not played wrote:

Indeed.

Lol - ok. Backlund wont hold RNH's Jock in a year or 2. You suck Flames - admit it... go for the quick fix, no really , do it...

Come on Jay Cheeseburger, trade that pick...lol

enjoy it Calgary. Looks good on you.

Die Hard..

LOL

Avatar
#48 beloch
April 09 2013, 02:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
T&A4Flames wrote:

A couple of things re: Glencross. "What good does he do..." 1st, we still need players to ice a team. 2nd, he would install, hopehully a winning attitude in the young guys. I obviously don't know GlenX but he seems to get surly when they lose and that is a quality I want the kids to learn, that losing is unacceptable. That is something that I think the Oilers lost when they dumped anything and everything they could for futures.

I think the Flames could still move out 1 of Tanguay or Cammi at the draft, certainly at next deadline and be fine. Again, I don't know the mindset of the players personally but it seems that GlenX, Gio and Tangs could be good soldiers and still push for wins. 'If' those players show any signs of negativity towards the organizations current situation and let it affect their play, they should be moved. The alternative, the Oilers style rebuild, is better than a growing negative presence.

The return for Tanguay might be pretty decent if he's traded as early as the draft. He's a play-maker with a nice wrist-shot rather than a smash&crash power forward, so he might have a slightly longer shelf life than Iginla. He's signed to three more years at a very affordable $3.5M cap-hit. Aside from that one bad year in Tampa, he's posted above 0.7 ppg for a long time now.

If he's traded this summer he could be worth a fair bit. If he's traded in three years he's probably not going to be worth much, and he's very likely to walk or even retire at that point anyways. Tanguay's a great player. It will hurt to lose him. He's exactly who should be traded immediately.

Cammalleri and Glencross should ideally be traded within a couple years, although Feaster shouldn't turn away the right offer if it comes sooner. They can certainly be relied on to steady the team next year and play a mentoring role, but keeping them longer than a couple years is probably not worth it. There's always a good supply of cheap "character" veterans on the UFA market. (This is what GlenX and Cammy could easily be in 4-5 years if the Flames don't trade them!)

Glencross is signed to a great contract, aside from the NMC, so he could be worth a lot if he's traded with a year or two left on it. Cammalleri's contract sucks, and it's only for one more year. It might not be possible to get much for him before he becomes a UFA. Selling him as a rental at the next trade deadline might be the Flames best bet to get something for him.

Avatar
#49 piscera.infada
April 09 2013, 02:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Mac962 wrote:

Lol - ok. Backlund wont hold RNH's Jock in a year or 2. You suck Flames - admit it... go for the quick fix, no really , do it...

Come on Jay Cheeseburger, trade that pick...lol

enjoy it Calgary. Looks good on you.

Die Hard..

LOL

I love how the Oil fans start to come out of the woodwork ever so slowly, and then.... BAM!

Trying to give those Canucks fans a run for their money eh?

Avatar
#50 Scott Lemieux
April 09 2013, 02:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I'll reiterate the general sentiment of the positvity post: the Flames aren't completely hopeless. They bottomed out, as was expected, but the low point isn't as pitiful nor as desperate as, say, the Oilers a few years ago. There are salvagable pieces here and, despite the near total lack of elite young talent, a base to build on if things are done right and the club gets a break once in a while. If the worst the Flames get is about 20th overall in terms of possession, then the rebuild shouldn't be as painful nor as long as some expect.

I think this is right. The Flames to have some guys who at least figure to be able to contribute to a good team 3 or 4 years down the road, with Brodie indeed looking like a solid top pairing guy. Obviously, adding the elite talent to that is the hard part, but at least there could be enough a supporting cast here if they have a couple excellent drafts. Far from a sure thing, but it's something.

And as the Oilers show, it's not like adding some elite young talent to an ECHL base is a path to glory; the Flames desperately have to identify and develop elite talent, but they also need a base to start with. Seeing what they have will make the rest of the year a little more interesting.

Comments are closed for this article.