Roman Cervenka Signs in KHL

Kent Wilson
May 15 2013 12:49PM

 

 

According to Ska's website, Roman Cervenka has signed a deal with the KHL team starting next season. Which means he won't be returning to the Flames or NA ice any time soon (read: ever).

When I discussed moving Cervenka at the deadline during the season, this was the primary reason - the high chance he wouldn't stick around after a rough go in the NHL. Cervenka was never a favorite of the coaching staff here in town, due to a lackluster two way game and low level of conditioning touched off by a blood condition at the start of the year.

The loss of Cervenka on the ice isn't a major one. He had some obvious offensive skill but his overall game was limited due to medicore skating and underwhelming defensive acumen. He projected more or less as supporting 3rd line scorer who would have to be sheltered to be effective.

There's a chance Cervenka may have eventually improved as he acclimated to NA hockey, but it's a better bet we're at his peak as a pro hockey player right now.

I maintain the move was a worthwhile experiment by Feaster and company, but was doomed to fail owing to a number of circumstances, some that cropped up unexpectedly along the way. It's too bad the club couldn't covert him into something worthwhile before he fled back across the pond though.

Anyways, here is the google translation of the linked article:

SKA has signed a contract with the striker "Calgary" Roman Cervenka. In the CHL rights owned by Czech striker HC "Lion."

In Prague SKA team moved forward Teemu Ramstedt, as "Lion" has the right to a defense attorney Michal Jordan, selected in the fourth round draft pick in 2009. Roman Cervenka - a graduate of the Prague "Slavia", for which he played for 10 seasons.

In 2010, the striker moved to the "Vanguard" and became the top scorer in the CHL, scoring 31 washer. For three consecutive seasons Cervenka scored more than one point per game. Forward leading scorer in the Czech championship and participated twice in the NHL All-Star Game. In 2009, the new SKA won gold medals in the World Cup in the Czech national team, and the following year won the bronze medal tournament.

This season in the "Lion" and "Calgary" Roman Cervenka spent 44 games and scored 20 (10 +10) points. Agreement with the Czech hockey player designed for three years. SKA forward to join the team after the holiday.

(obviously some things are lost in translation there. Point is, they've signed him).

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Sincity1976
May 15 2013, 01:11PM
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I would have like to see him for one more year to see what he could do with a full season, full camp, and no blood clot. Plus the experience of 39 NHL games.

But I think the odds were against him being a meaningful top 6 forward so losing him isn't a big deal.

I think he was a good gamble last season. I would like to see more of them. No cost, low risk, and potentially high reward. Fans have to be patient though as more of these will fail then work out. If Feaster stopped overselling these guys I think fans would be more receptive.

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#2 danglesnipecelly
May 15 2013, 01:03PM
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Scoring 31 washer's? No dryers though which is probably why he only made the NHL All-Star game twice. WTF?

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#3 Jeff Lebowski
May 15 2013, 01:29PM
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@piscera.infada

J-Dilla was a genius by the way.

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#4 T&A4Flames
May 15 2013, 02:04PM
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How come we haven't heard anything re: Karri Ramo signing? It's well past the date that CGY was allowed to start negotiations. I'm starting to get a little nervous.

Good low risk signing with Cervenka. I maintain he may have had a better season with a full camp and recovery to his health issues. But, it won't hurt us so good luck Roman.

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#5 TheRealPoc
May 16 2013, 09:51AM
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Boy, I sure hope if I'm ever (un)lucky enough to play in the KHL, I'll also have the right to defense attorney Michal Jordan.

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#6 Q
May 15 2013, 12:55PM
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Don't let the door crush you on the way out dude! He sucked! I don't think we've seen a softer player since pilon murzyn on defense! Straight -up aweful investment! Another million to go towards descent change! Talk about overrated! Hes all yours KHL!

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#7 piscera.infada
May 15 2013, 12:55PM
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At least Lion got a great lawyer in Michael Jordan.

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#8 piscera.infada
May 15 2013, 12:57PM
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But in all seriousness, I'm happy he's going back if we couldn't sign him. I had this eery feeling he was going to go somewhere, team up with Jagr, and as the old saying goes; light the league on fire.

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#9 Q
May 15 2013, 12:58PM
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Actually come to think of it, we were just paying him a mill but the cap hit was high 3's, so even better for us!

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#10 Jeff Lebowski
May 15 2013, 01:06PM
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I think it was pretty clear the NA game is not suited to him. The physicality of NA ice is not something he wanted to engage in. The big ice and the culture are more comfortable for him.

We've seen other Euro position players who come over later in their twenties not acclimate (Brunnstrom) to the physicality and differences in NA ice. They look good when they have time to make plays.

How it translates to a guy like Barkov or Lindholm (compared to Monahan) might be interesting. Is age a factor? Can you get accustomed to having the time after a certain age? Or is it just the player regardless of age ie If Cervenka and Brunnstrom came over as teens would they have not fared well?

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#11 Subversive
May 15 2013, 01:14PM
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"Calgary" Roman Cervenka shall be remembered fondly.

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#12 Tach
May 15 2013, 01:22PM
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While I echo that this was a worthwhile experiment and the analysis of why it didn't work, I disagree that moving him at the deadline would have been a value move. The return would have been marginal at best (4th round pick or lower I would guess). Calgary was better off to take the time to see if he could hack it playing a regular shift and, if so, sign him on a value deal.

A 4th round or lower pick is something like a 5% shot at an NHL player. I think holding on to Cervenka gave the Flames better odds than that of securing an NHL caliber player.

I wish him well in the KHL.

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#13 piscera.infada
May 15 2013, 01:22PM
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@Jeff Lebowski

I think cases like the Sedins and Forsberg have shown us that it is probably much easier to acclimate when younger. Especially in those cases where a player comes over after the draft. They're still growing and getting stronger, so it's not as much to ask of them to gain the requisite strength to compete.

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#15 Jay
May 15 2013, 01:30PM
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it was doomed to fail. on the plus side, it didn't cost us any asset to sign him, and he didn't take away a roster spot from anybody.

on the hockey side, we didn't ante up anything, so nothing was lost. on the financial side, edwards could have saved 500k playing a replacement level player, if we actually have any...

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#16 Jay
May 15 2013, 01:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I think the die was cast by the time the deadline rolled around. At that point the coaching staff had more or less decided he was a marginal ES contributor and I didn't see the last 2 or 3 weeks of games changing that view, nor his impression of the team and league.

So my bet was always he wasn't returning, either because he'd sign somewhere else in the league or return to europe. That's why I'd prefer a return, even something as marginal as a 4th rounder.

For all I know they shopped him and didn't find any takers, of course, which is entirely possible.

if oilers never got anything for omark, i can't see us getting anything for cervenka...

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#17 the-wolf
May 15 2013, 01:34PM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

I would have like to see him for one more year to see what he could do with a full season, full camp, and no blood clot. Plus the experience of 39 NHL games.

But I think the odds were against him being a meaningful top 6 forward so losing him isn't a big deal.

I think he was a good gamble last season. I would like to see more of them. No cost, low risk, and potentially high reward. Fans have to be patient though as more of these will fail then work out. If Feaster stopped overselling these guys I think fans would be more receptive.

Yup^ - every sentence perfectly put, couldn't agree more.

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#18 Casey
May 15 2013, 01:54PM
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@Kent Wilson

I think the reasons you've listed for why Cervenka didn't pan out is why he wasn't traded.

A defensively unreliable, timid player is not somebody you want to ice in the playoffs.

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#20 Baalzamon
May 15 2013, 02:38PM
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@T&A4Flames

re: Ramo, it doesn't surprise me in the least. They can't sign him until July 5. I expect we'll hear of the signing pretty much the minute the calendar turns over to that date.

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#21 T&A4Flames
May 15 2013, 02:41PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

re: Ramo, it doesn't surprise me in the least. They can't sign him until July 5. I expect we'll hear of the signing pretty much the minute the calendar turns over to that date.

Oh. I thought it could all start May 1.

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#22 Kurt
May 15 2013, 02:48PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Sure. Sometimes GMs can be convinced it'll be different on their team though, plus he certainly had some offensive skill. Sometimes you can get guys to gamble on players like that.

Hell Jarred Smithson was traded for a 4th rounder at the deadline and he's terrible.

Maybe Feaster forgot to call Tambellini? That Smithson trade really is baffling. Too bad the Oilers fired Tambellini...

Kent - If I recall you were one of the voices of reason, trying to temper expectations way back last summer.... But most people had crazy Jagr'esque expectations for Roman, probably due to Feaster's ridiculous tire pumping...

I for one am happy Roman is gone. I felt it was a doomed experiment from day 1, and I hated that people kept pinning so much hope on him. My problem wasn't with Roman himself, but with the entire concept of a parachute top 6 miracle player to save the organization from having to draft and develop their own talent. People have no patience and are looking for instant gratification. Its wishing thinking and a crutch that just enables mgmt to keep kicking the can down the road without addressing the real issues.

On a macro scale I think the Cervenka experiment reinforces that there are no shortcuts to acquiring and developing players. I actually appreciate some of these hail mary moves (including the RoR saga included - waiver rule screw up aside). But I feel like mgmt and fans alike are pinning the future turnaround of the team on these creative wacky moves in an attempt to avoid a slow methodical rebuild. This team needs to quit looking for hail mary UFA signings, obscure KHL players, offer sheets and other high risk tactics and more at developing and adding to the team the old fashion way that actual works. Draft, develop, retain. Repeat.

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#23 Kurt
May 15 2013, 02:53PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Oh. I thought it could all start May 1.

Sorry if this has been answered a million times already, but where does our St. Louis pick land now? I'm confused with how it works... I've seen #s ranging from 19th to 23rd. Does it matter how any of the remaining playoff matchups end up?

Does anyone know for certain?

Can teams sign their own UFAs to extensions during the playoffs?

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#26 suba steve
May 15 2013, 03:02PM
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Kurt wrote:

Sorry if this has been answered a million times already, but where does our St. Louis pick land now? I'm confused with how it works... I've seen #s ranging from 19th to 23rd. Does it matter how any of the remaining playoff matchups end up?

Does anyone know for certain?

Can teams sign their own UFAs to extensions during the playoffs?

StL pick is currently no worse then #22 overall. It could increase by as much as 3 spots to as high as #19. One spot up for 2nd round playoff losses by any/each of BOS CHI and PIT.

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#27 RexLibris
May 15 2013, 03:19PM
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@Kent Wilson

Technically the Flames haven't had league-worst drafting over the past decade.

That honour belongs to the Lightning. As lead by Mr. Feaster himself.

Between 1996 and 2006 the Flames actually had a slightly better rate of drafting success than the Oilers. Of course, that is the Kevin Prendergast era, so faint praise.

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#29 T&A4Flames
May 15 2013, 03:35PM
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suba steve wrote:

StL pick is currently no worse then #22 overall. It could increase by as much as 3 spots to as high as #19. One spot up for 2nd round playoff losses by any/each of BOS CHI and PIT.

I concur. I have looked at this so many times now I am 99.9% sure this is how it is.

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#30 BurningSensation
May 15 2013, 03:47PM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

I would have like to see him for one more year to see what he could do with a full season, full camp, and no blood clot. Plus the experience of 39 NHL games.

But I think the odds were against him being a meaningful top 6 forward so losing him isn't a big deal.

I think he was a good gamble last season. I would like to see more of them. No cost, low risk, and potentially high reward. Fans have to be patient though as more of these will fail then work out. If Feaster stopped overselling these guys I think fans would be more receptive.

All of the above

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#31 suba steve
May 15 2013, 03:48PM
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@RexLibris

I, personally, have a tough time giving Feaster credit for the Flames recent draft record. All I think he has done is to give the final choice on all picks to his scouting dept, so I guess I do give him credit for that.

As for his record in Tampa, I can only hope he learned from any errors he may have made while there.

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#32 BurningSensation
May 15 2013, 04:02PM
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@Kurt

"On a macro scale I think the Cervenka experiment reinforces that there are no shortcuts to acquiring and developing players. I actually appreciate some of these hail mary moves (including the RoR saga included - waiver rule screw up aside). But I feel like mgmt and fans alike are pinning the future turnaround of the team on these creative wacky moves in an attempt to avoid a slow methodical rebuild. This team needs to quit looking for hail mary UFA signings, obscure KHL players, offer sheets and other high risk tactics and more at developing and adding to the team the old fashion way that actual works. Draft, develop, retain. Repeat."

The pieces of the 'slow-methodical rebuild' are already taking shape. The import of young prospects via trade, the extra draft picks Feaster accumulated, etc.

But I see absolutely no problem with fishing for solid players in foreign leagues, RFA offer sheets, College FA signings, or UFA signings, etc. Those all legitimate methods for procuring talent.

A few years back three teams fished in Scandinavian leagues for top-end scorers; Detroit (Ville Leino), Dallas (Fabian Brunnstron) and Pitsburgh (Janne Pesonen). These guys cost nothing to sign and in the case of Leino actually produced an NHL calibre player.

Detroit (who has a knack for this) signed Damien Brunner last year, and he has been an unqualified success for them in that he outperformed the 'draft, develop, repeat' guys like Jarnkrok, Jurco, and Nyqvist. In short they found a guy capable of producing better than their own farm system - for nothing but the cost of his contract.

Unlike you I want Feaster scouring every corner of the globe for a guy who can help our team, and I want him taking risks so long as they (like the Cervenka signing) are reasonable ones to take.

The one place we can agree is that Feaster (or Conroy or Weisbrod) shouldn't make one of these signings out to be an instant fix. They aren't.

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#33 everton fc
May 15 2013, 04:06PM
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He wore jersey #10. Tony Amonte's old #.

He was doomed from the start!

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#34 maimster
May 15 2013, 04:12PM
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Completely off topic, but this off the CBC web page regarding Maple Leaf collapse post mortem made me laugh:

It seems three different players have been blamed. Goalie James Reimer couldn't control rebounds. Mikhail Grabovski committed a turnover. So did young defenceman Jake Gardiner.

That had to have come directly from Randy Carlyle!

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#35 maimster
May 15 2013, 04:13PM
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For the link:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opinion/2013/05/first-round-stanley-cup-fallout-lingers-as-second-round-begins.html

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#36 Kurt
May 15 2013, 04:15PM
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@BurningSensation

I think I didn't explain myself properly. I appreciate the swing for the fences crazy wild GM stuff. I have zero problem with creativity. My problem is that I feel like mgmt and fans alike have looked for these type of things to save the team and avoid a rebuild.

Its not always the right time to do these type of things. I'm not convinced we are the point in the rebuild where mgmt should be swinging for the fences unless it really is zero risk. And that includes not taking up a roster spot or pushing prospects down the depth chart at the expense of some instant gratification.

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#37 the-wolf
May 15 2013, 04:44PM
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Kurt wrote:

I think I didn't explain myself properly. I appreciate the swing for the fences crazy wild GM stuff. I have zero problem with creativity. My problem is that I feel like mgmt and fans alike have looked for these type of things to save the team and avoid a rebuild.

Its not always the right time to do these type of things. I'm not convinced we are the point in the rebuild where mgmt should be swinging for the fences unless it really is zero risk. And that includes not taking up a roster spot or pushing prospects down the depth chart at the expense of some instant gratification.

Well said and I agree 100%

On another note: How many teams are calling the Leafs right now about Reimer and Gardiner?

They overachieved all season and when it ended it ended in spectacular fashion. Perhaps Carlyle should've instructed his charges to leave their own zone once or twice during the final half of the 3rd.

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#38 Dank
May 15 2013, 05:12PM
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Meh, you win some you lose some. Didn't cost the Flames anything except dollars to bring him over here, so it was still a worthwhile experiment.

I don't think many were expecting him to be an actual first line center. Personally, I thought he might score 50 points (over a full season) playing with Iggy on the 1st and getting PP time. Based on this year, Cervenka would've had around 35 points in an 82 game schedule.

1 year contract, no risk attached. It didn't pan out. I still like Feasters thinking on this one, so I'll give him a B- for the Cervenka signing.

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#39 The Last Big Bear
May 15 2013, 05:27PM
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I'd be making all kinds of low-ball offers for Grabovsky if I was Feaster. Heck, maybe Gardiner and Reimer too. And I hate the Leafs. But buy low, you know what I'm saying?

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#40 BurningSensation
May 15 2013, 06:07PM
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Kurt wrote:

I think I didn't explain myself properly. I appreciate the swing for the fences crazy wild GM stuff. I have zero problem with creativity. My problem is that I feel like mgmt and fans alike have looked for these type of things to save the team and avoid a rebuild.

Its not always the right time to do these type of things. I'm not convinced we are the point in the rebuild where mgmt should be swinging for the fences unless it really is zero risk. And that includes not taking up a roster spot or pushing prospects down the depth chart at the expense of some instant gratification.

Given the kind of players we have had eating up roster spots (Dany Taylor, Irving, etc.) I think the risk is vanishingly small in signing a Euro scoring star to see if he can play in the big leagues.

I also don't see how it delays the rebuild in any way. One of the issues that the Oilers have (and they have many) is that outside of their big 5 they have few other actual NHL players worth playing on a nightly basis (especially at D).

Calgary actually has a decent roster, what it lacks is the up and coming talent to compliment it (thanks Darryl Sutter!).

Feaster has two projects running simultaneously, rebuild the farm system (still a work in progress, but we are already seeing a difference with Sven, Johnny G, and others starting to arrive), and part 2, rebuilding the active roster in anticipation of the kids arrival. That second part means pruning older players unlikely to be here when the team is pushing again, but also, adding in players who are at the right age who may not be superstars, but who can play.

Cervenka would have fit that bill to a T, being the right age, and a possible complimentary piece.

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#41 clyde
May 15 2013, 06:53PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

"On a macro scale I think the Cervenka experiment reinforces that there are no shortcuts to acquiring and developing players. I actually appreciate some of these hail mary moves (including the RoR saga included - waiver rule screw up aside). But I feel like mgmt and fans alike are pinning the future turnaround of the team on these creative wacky moves in an attempt to avoid a slow methodical rebuild. This team needs to quit looking for hail mary UFA signings, obscure KHL players, offer sheets and other high risk tactics and more at developing and adding to the team the old fashion way that actual works. Draft, develop, retain. Repeat."

The pieces of the 'slow-methodical rebuild' are already taking shape. The import of young prospects via trade, the extra draft picks Feaster accumulated, etc.

But I see absolutely no problem with fishing for solid players in foreign leagues, RFA offer sheets, College FA signings, or UFA signings, etc. Those all legitimate methods for procuring talent.

A few years back three teams fished in Scandinavian leagues for top-end scorers; Detroit (Ville Leino), Dallas (Fabian Brunnstron) and Pitsburgh (Janne Pesonen). These guys cost nothing to sign and in the case of Leino actually produced an NHL calibre player.

Detroit (who has a knack for this) signed Damien Brunner last year, and he has been an unqualified success for them in that he outperformed the 'draft, develop, repeat' guys like Jarnkrok, Jurco, and Nyqvist. In short they found a guy capable of producing better than their own farm system - for nothing but the cost of his contract.

Unlike you I want Feaster scouring every corner of the globe for a guy who can help our team, and I want him taking risks so long as they (like the Cervenka signing) are reasonable ones to take.

The one place we can agree is that Feaster (or Conroy or Weisbrod) shouldn't make one of these signings out to be an instant fix. They aren't.

Absolutely, you scour everywhere and hope you can find players who will help. Brunner has been a very solid addition for Detroit and at 27, he not only is a solid player but gives players like Jarnkroc and Jurco more time to mature and develop.

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#42 SmellOfVictory
May 15 2013, 07:50PM
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suba steve wrote:

I, personally, have a tough time giving Feaster credit for the Flames recent draft record. All I think he has done is to give the final choice on all picks to his scouting dept, so I guess I do give him credit for that.

As for his record in Tampa, I can only hope he learned from any errors he may have made while there.

That's the thing: Feaster has never claimed to be a hockey guy, per se. He's a manager first and foremost, and he relies very heavily on his group. In Tampa he apparently had a crap group of scouts, while he's got what appears to be a solid group in Calgary - additionally, Weisbrod, who I think is heading up most of the hockey side of the decision making (ownership/King notwithstanding) appears to be quite good. For the most part.

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#43 please cancel acct
May 15 2013, 07:52PM
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Kurt wrote:

Maybe Feaster forgot to call Tambellini? That Smithson trade really is baffling. Too bad the Oilers fired Tambellini...

Kent - If I recall you were one of the voices of reason, trying to temper expectations way back last summer.... But most people had crazy Jagr'esque expectations for Roman, probably due to Feaster's ridiculous tire pumping...

I for one am happy Roman is gone. I felt it was a doomed experiment from day 1, and I hated that people kept pinning so much hope on him. My problem wasn't with Roman himself, but with the entire concept of a parachute top 6 miracle player to save the organization from having to draft and develop their own talent. People have no patience and are looking for instant gratification. Its wishing thinking and a crutch that just enables mgmt to keep kicking the can down the road without addressing the real issues.

On a macro scale I think the Cervenka experiment reinforces that there are no shortcuts to acquiring and developing players. I actually appreciate some of these hail mary moves (including the RoR saga included - waiver rule screw up aside). But I feel like mgmt and fans alike are pinning the future turnaround of the team on these creative wacky moves in an attempt to avoid a slow methodical rebuild. This team needs to quit looking for hail mary UFA signings, obscure KHL players, offer sheets and other high risk tactics and more at developing and adding to the team the old fashion way that actual works. Draft, develop, retain. Repeat.

Jager'esque expectations? You gotta be kidding.I;LL call your bluff on this .Who on this site thought Cervanka was a Jagr twin? Or for that matter anywhere close?

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#44 Kevin R
May 15 2013, 07:52PM
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Meh. Too bad, would have liked to see him healthy out of the gate & a solid training camp. Just didn't seem Hartley warmed to him from the get go & there wasn't time to be patient in a shortened season.

Many of us had hoped he would come in & play like a great solid young talent. Cant fault us for being so thirsty for a new young star, we drink the sand if we thought that's what it would be. We may be in for the same Cerevenka syndrome with Ramo & Berra. Heaven help Feaster if his best goalies outside the NHL fall flat after his best centre outside the NHL has gone running home. Oh well, maybe I'll just get Kurt to wake me up in 3 years when we are nearing the end of our 3 year old fashioned rebuild.

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#45 negrilcowboy
May 15 2013, 08:06PM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

I'd be making all kinds of low-ball offers for Grabovsky if I was Feaster. Heck, maybe Gardiner and Reimer too. And I hate the Leafs. But buy low, you know what I'm saying?

reimer and gartner are not in any fashion in the doghouse, grabo is taking some heat from certain media slugs but his contract may well be an albatross 5.5 for 4 more years. feasta may want to dangle a carrot in front of clarke macarthur park, and tyler bozak. both are ufa s and frankly the leafs may either buyout grabo, komisarek and liles. bozak will be looking for a raise and if the leafs pursue ribeiro count bozak out.

if i was the feasty boyz i would inquire about matt finn, jesse blacker and colbourne as well as carter ashton.

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#46 negrilcowboy
May 15 2013, 08:08PM
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with cerveza going back to the khl, there is an old popular czech saying "big deal"

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#47 chillout
May 15 2013, 09:20PM
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@negrilcowboy

I thought we learned our lesson about taking leafs the last time....

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#48 negrilcowboy
May 15 2013, 10:26PM
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chillout wrote:

I thought we learned our lesson about taking leafs the last time....

these ones can play and are frankly better than anything in abby. toronto is rumoured to be considering moving some young d men. besides that macarthur is a former med hat tiger and bozak fills a need at centre.

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#49 RKD
May 16 2013, 01:42AM
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Not surprised, he put up good numbers in a league where contact is minimum. It was Jagr who made Cervenka better and not vice versa. A great player is one who makes not only himself better but others around him.

This experiment by Feaster failed, didn't he say Cervenka was "the best player not playing in the NHL." Going overseas to find a guy to fill a center position on your team is a bad idea.

Cervenka has some offensive creativity but he shied away from physical play and was inconsistent. He had chemistry with Hudler but he's a guy better suited to be on a team like Detroit, not Calgary.

Best of luck to him in the KHL, I'm sure he'll score a few more washers!

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#50 chillout
May 16 2013, 07:48AM
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@negrilcowboy

I just find that players taken from teams like toronto and florida are usually quite overrated.

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