Flames Rumors And False Scouts

Kent Wilson
June 17 2013 11:08AM

 

We're less than 2 weeks away from one of the most pivotal drafts in the history of the Flames franchise so, naturally, there's plenty to talk about. Elliotte Friedman reported during the last game of the Stanley Cup finals that the Flames are already aggressively pursuing a "move up" strategy, offering all of their first round picks for Colorado's first overall (which has been summarily rejected, of course).

It seems like a steep price to pay, but I think it's a worthwhile venture. The difference in quality between your typical top-3 player and evern top-6 is usually steep, to say nothing of the lottery tickets available later in the first round. As such, there's a very good chance a guy like Nate MacKinnon would be worth more (perhaps orders of magnitude more) than whoever else the Flames could pick at 6, 22 and 28, combined. Which is, of course, why the Avs rejected the offer (well...that and still being mad about the whole ROR offer-sheet thing).

The good news is, the Flames apparently aren't gun-shy about paying the price to move up. Whether this actually gets them anywhere near a MacKinnon or Barkov remains to be seen.

Of course, the other rumor circulating has to do with Calgary quietly seeking to augment their executive staff by hiring a new president of hockey ops. As mentioned here on Saturday, Brendan Shanahan was in town this past week talking to the powers-that-be, so he's obviously a leading candidate. Friedman was on the FAN960 this morning and mentioned a number of other names including Brian Burke and Colin Campbell (shudder).

I'm not sure what was the impetus for this search, but I am supportive of getting some new blood into the office and shuttling Ken King back a few steps so he doesn't have his hands in the hockey decisions. That said, the list of proposed names thus far kind of leave me cold - it's either a collection of the drastically unproven (Brendan Shanahan) or of old-school warhorses who, while established figureheads in the league, don't exactly bring a lot of new ideas or fresh perspectives to the organization.

Frequent commenter Clyde bristled a bit at my dismissal of Brian Burke in the comments of the previous article on this topic during the weekend. I'll clarify as to why I am against a chap like Burke getting a prominent seat at the head of the Flames table now -

Let's first establish that Brian Burke is a smart dude. He's accomplished a ton at the NHL level in various aspects of the business and has been the head of a Stanley Cup winning team in Anaheim. He's also been the architect of some pretty ballsy trades in the past, including the incredible Sedin heist of the '99 draft and the Phaneuf thievery, of which all Flames fans are unfortunately familiar.

The problem with Burke from what I've seen over the last 5 years or so is he seems to be at the point of his career where he's no longer interested in learning about the game. That comes off like a ridiculous critique of a guy who has been operating at the highest level for decades, but the truth is the game never stops changing, be it in terms of what we know and are able to analyze, to how each successive generation of talent, rule changes, equipment upgrades, etc. alters the way the hockey is played, understood and won.

Burke was an ardent proponent on old-school, tough guy hockey during his time in Toronto as well as an outspoken critic of advance, statistical analysis. During his tenure as the Leafs GM Burke had his wins and losses in isolated moves here and there, but overall it became clear he didn't really know what was needed to get the club to the next level. He completely misread the value of guys like Colton Orr and Mike Komisarek and put way too much on the line with the Phil Kessel gambit. Now, Kessel is probably the best player on the club currently, but he's not a talent who appreciably shifts and shapes a team's fortunes like, say, a Pavel Datsyuk.

Which is to say, nothing Burke did in Toronto impressed me much, aside from perhaps robbing a desperate Darryl Sutter of Dion Phaneuf for a handful of magic beans. Otherwise his signings, trades and expressed strategy for team building were a mix of painfully conventional, misguided or just plain poor gambles. I'm sure some will argue the club finally making the playoffs and pressing the cup finalist Bruins to a close, 7-game series vindicates Burke's direction overall, but the truth is the Leafs were once again one of the worst possession teams in the league and it was likely a lock-out shortened season that delivered them a post-season berth more than anything else.

Meaning, despite Burke's boldness and bluster, the Toronto Maple Leafs really never took a solid step forward during his time there, even though they are the richest club in the entire league. Despite that, Burke's views of the game seem to be stagnating and atrophing if what he says in public is to be believed.

Other Stuff - Be Skeptical of Scouting Reports

This is the season of scouting reports. The draft has spawned a dozen websites and publications that report on every eligible kid's physical prowess, results, aspirations, psychological profile, personal grooming habits, etc.

With so much information it's sometimes difficult to determine what is useful. But it also means we can go back and go over previous reports to see how accurate and useful they are in projecting future performance.

As an aside, people are naturally skeptical about stats and numbers because it's harder to picture (people are, by nature, innumerate) and numbers are also much easier to look up and disprove. Fuzzy stuff like descriptive, qualitative scouting reports make picturing a player and his style easier but tend to be more ephemeral as well.

What I'm not saying is "don't be skeptical of numbers". Despite my reputation as a "stats guy", I think, in general, people should be skeptical of everything - including both quantitative and qualitative measures of performance. It's much easier for most folks to cast a jaundiced eye at the former rather than the latter though.

Here's a couple of examples:

1.) Tyler Dellow investigated the prognostications of Justin Goldman ("The Goalie Guild") this weekend after it was brought his attention Justin disappeared an article where he predicted Bobrovsky wasn't going to be a useful starter for the Blue Jackets this year (whoops!).

The point isn't merely that Goldman got his prediction completely wrong (as we say around here a lot - goalies are voodoo), but that his personal brand as a goalie expert is buttressed by scouting reports that are peppered with all sorts of plausible sounding psycho-babble - indeed, stuff that probably don't have a lot of actual value when it comes to analyzing goaltenders. For instance:

In terms of improvements, (Bobrovsky) just needs to work on playing bigger (space management) and managing plays behind his net. That’s a huge area of concern for me, because once he starts to chase a play, he over-reacts and starts swimming. I see that head start turning side to side, and I can sense the uncertainty. He needs to display more body control in tight, and obviously he needs to work on rebound control and covering space.

For the record, I have had interactions with Goldman in the past and he has seemed very keen about learning new avenues of critical analysis and, similarly, where he might be making errors in his own work. He shouldn't have tried to eliminate the record of his analysis here though.

The best thing is to make calls, stand by them and learn from your mistakes. Nobody in this racket is perfect...not even the guys being paid to do it professionally.

2.) Next up, this post from 2007 features a variety of fairly in-depth scouting reports from a McKeen's contributor who now works as an amateur scout for the Winnipeg Jets. It's an amazing glance backwards with the benefit of hindsight, because like Goldman on Bobrovsky, Max Geise gets things completely, spectacularly wrong (and in more than one instance).

For example, he had this to say about PK Subban: He is hesitant to involve himself in traffic and will let a guy walk him to the net before he takes a bruise. Geise named Subban the softest player available in the draft.

There are other interesting bits to be found in the article - for instance, how much "big guys who can skate" get a bump in their perceived value, even if their results aren't all that impressive (and how frequently those guys don't seem to work out. *cough*Colton Gillies*cough*). Also, guys with good attitudes who coaches will love get glowing reports, even though five years down the line that hasn't seemed to ensure they will be worthwhile NHLers.

Perhaps the most amusing section is on US highschool defender Will Weber, who Geise ranked as the 42nd best prospect available. His praise for the player is effusive, to say the least:

Weber is blessed with a tall, well built, strapping 6-4 205 frame. He’s an offensive defenseman that can coast to coast. His mobility is phenomenal for a player of his size as he owns a fluid and powerful stride. Weber doesn’t lack in confidence and his hands are exceptional as he can really dangle around the opposition. For a big man he can stick handle in a phone booth. He displays good creativity while quarterbacking the power play and can stretch the ice with a home run out let pass.

...

His shot is heavy and quickly released as he does a great job getting it through. He owns a bone rattling slap shot but it’s his deadly wrist shot that is especially good as he can pick corners with it or generate rebounds. Defensively he’s a wild horse and is very raw. He’ll need to refine his defensive positioning but he’s naturally mean and does a good job standing up his man at the blue line with a stiff check. Definitely one of the best pure athletes in the draft at any position...

If you haven't heard of Will Weber, well, there's a reason. He was picked by the Blue Jackets in the second round of the draft that year and went on to have a completely unremarkable career in the USHL and college levels. In fact, despite talks about his heavy shot and offensive acumen, Weber scored just 5 goals in four seasons for Miami University. His single season best output was 11 points in 33 games as a 23-year old.

Weber currently has 5 points in 60 career AHL games and at 25 years old is probably nowhere near being an NHLer. I don't know how Geise so completely misread the player in this instance - perhaps he saw a few good games where Weber dominated, perhaps he didn't properly account for the low level of competition in the highschool league the kid was playing - but whatever it was, he was completely snookered.

The aim here isn't to pick on Geise necessarily - he actually gets a few things right in his article, including his scouting report of Mikael Backlund which is quite accurate. It's just that predicting the future of 17 year old hockey players is a complicated bit of business and sometimes your eyes (as well as the assumptions about what makes a good player at the highest levels) can lie to you.

So when you're flipping through your draft guides, be sure to spike your curiosity with some skepticism on both the numbers and non-numbers side of things. The draft is far from a science at this point and much of the work surrounding it is closer to mysticism and alchemy than anything else.

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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 Austin
June 17 2013, 11:34AM
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I'm glad to see Feaster aggressively trying to move up. Why not offer #6 and Giordano for it? They need defense and Gio is a proven top 4. To get a franchise centre that's worth it.

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#2 FireOnIce
June 17 2013, 12:02PM
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Saw this gem on Twitter recently re: cost to trade up:

http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2013/4/25/4262594/nhl-draft-pick-value-trading-up

Forgot who posted it, but props to them.

If you run the math from that article, Feaster is about 19 "points" of value away from getting that #1 pick (from offering #6, 22, and 28). Picks #2-5 are much more likely to be filled with that sort of offer.

Frankly, I think the asking price for some of these picks is way too high. I get that if you're top 3, you're getting a franchise player, but seriously, how many chances have teams like COL/FLA/et al. had to draft franchise players? This ties into a larger discussion, but maybe if these teams can't do it with successive top picks, something should be done? They shouldn't be able to hold the rest of the league hostage for being such piss-poor teams year in and year out.

I doubt Calgary will move up very far in the draft. If anything, Edmonton has a much richer cupboard with which to choose trade chips from, so they're more likely to move up. Wouldn't be surprised if they moved into the top 3 and took another C (just to screw the Flames). Heavy cost though.

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#3 Parallex
June 17 2013, 01:43PM
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My thoughts...

On The Rumored Trade Offer: Interesting to see Feaster try and trade up... wonder if Florida is as locked in as the Avs. One would have to think that if Colarado doesn't take the guy the Flames want then Feaster will be on the phone with Tallon (unless he's already inquired and been rebuffed) with the same offer.

On Brian Burke: Blah. Blah blah blah blah blah... blah. The man is a dinosaur, he's an old dog and I'm firmly of the opinion that the Flames need new tricks. Seriously what is Brian Burke but a more urban version of Darryl Sutter. Been there, done that, move on.

On Brendon Shannahan as Potential President: I actually have no opinion except confusion that anyone can have a strong opinion. We have zero idea of how good or bad an executive he'd be since we have very little idea of what his skills are in that field (unless you consider his work as disciplinarian as demostrative of his skills in that area... and that's hardly reassuring givin that IMO it was almost as non-sensical as Campbell's tenure).

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#4 mcardoza
June 17 2013, 11:23AM
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good read. I would think it would be funny to hire burke just because he would be even closer to his best pal k lowe. but other than that i would never want burke in a high position like that. kessel trade out wieghts the phanuef one.

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#5 SmellOfVictory
June 17 2013, 11:29AM
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I've always found that to be interesting - especially as you get into the guys ranked below 40-50 on draft lists, there are a lot of dudes who have glowing scouting reports that don't coincide with their point totals. Naturally, some of it is probably defensible, but for the most part I'd expect that someone who will be effective at the high level (unless they're destined to be a pure defensive specialist) will put up relatively impressive numbers in lower leagues. And yet a report will say something like "deadly shot, great on-ice vision" about a guy rocking 12 points in 40 games in a U18/U20 European league.

The only ones I *really* like are the more specific ones, where they'll talk about things like skating mechanics, very specific tendencies, etc. which you unfortunately tend not to see, since that is more the purview of real scouts rather than media scouts.

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#6 piscera.infada
June 17 2013, 11:43AM
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@Austin

To whom though? I'm not sure Nashville would take that (assuming you want #4 for Barkov). I don't think that's anywhere near enough for 1 through 3. So maybe you have Carolina at 5, but I think if Carolina was your trading partner, I would try anything and everything to get #5 without giving up #6.

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#7 piscera.infada
June 17 2013, 12:00PM
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@piscera.infada

Just to quantify this; I've heard Ruthford is entertaining offers for it's 5th pick, if the package include a top-4 Dman. Gio anyone?

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#8 MWflames
June 17 2013, 12:11PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Just to quantify this; I've heard Ruthford is entertaining offers for it's 5th pick, if the package include a top-4 Dman. Gio anyone?

Yup, I think Gio gets the conversation started. I don't think there's going to be much superior defencemen offered up for the #5 pick than gio. Not to mention he is on a quality contract, and you could sweeten the pot with a late first rounder and/or take on a bad contract.

If you're the flames, you're going to suck with or without gio unfortunately, and he will be past his prime before this team is relevant again. Anybody of interest to take over the president position will tell the flames the exact same thing: This team is going to suck for a while.

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#9 McRib
June 17 2013, 12:14PM
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Interesting that you mention Max Guise he is based out of Wisconsin so anything on PK Subban would have been here say at that time and after all there is a reason PK went 43rd his draft year. Remember watching him at U18s he was a high risk gambler where many questioned his hockey sense and defensive zone play.

There is a reason guys in the industry like Max Guise are now NHL scouts and others arent though, he may have been wrong but he was also right often on guys others didn't like, such as having Dominic Toninato 36th last year who ended up going 126th to Toronto and is looking like one of the biggest steals in the draft. This work you quoted Guise on is very early in his career he actually worked for Red Line Report (a publication that has all 30 NHL Teams subscribing to it) the last couple of years.

Most scouts working for private publications play it far to safe, basically rearranging NHL Central Scoutings rankings slightly where guys like Guise actually took risk and some of those paid off and others may not have but his ability to project steals got him an NHL job. It's funny you always quote Corey Pronman and honestly not a fan at all of his writing he plays it waaaaayyy to safe for me, it's like reading Hockey News or TSNs reports all over again with his work. Prefer someone who is original even if they miss once and awhile.

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#10 the-wolf
June 17 2013, 12:24PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

To whom though? I'm not sure Nashville would take that (assuming you want #4 for Barkov). I don't think that's anywhere near enough for 1 through 3. So maybe you have Carolina at 5, but I think if Carolina was your trading partner, I would try anything and everything to get #5 without giving up #6.

Excellent article Kent, though I'm of 2 minds on the subject:

1) If I was a GM and a scout of mine told me the draft was a crapshoot he'd be fired on the spot. Those guys are paid to make the draft not a crapshoot.

2) I stopped ranking players in sequential order a few years ago. Instead, I just identify a few players I like who are likely to be available at the spot Calgary is picking. It's like the Lindholm v. Monahan debate - unless you've seen guys play several times and know their fitness scores, etc. you're just guessing.

@Piscera - agree. Calgary needs quantity in addition to quality and moving out 1st round picks just doesn't make sense to me.

Difference is, I truly believe it'll cost too much to get into the top 5, period. As I've stated before, I'd prefer to see an asset such as Gio moved and get into the top 15. And/or take on the DiPietro contract and move into the top 15.

It's pretty much consensus that this is the best draft since 2003, so get as many picks as possible. To be able to add a Ristoulainen, Zadorov, Domi or Wennberg to a Monahan or Lindholm plus the picks at 22 and 28 would be incredible.

I think if you took on DiPietro's contract and moved Gio and something else to Philly, then Calgary could realistically get 3 top 15 picks.

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#11 Baalzamon
June 17 2013, 12:25PM
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@McRib

Pronman had Landeskog 13th in 2011. If that isn't original, I don't know what is.

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#12 the-wolf
June 17 2013, 12:32PM
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McRib wrote:

Interesting that you mention Max Guise he is based out of Wisconsin so anything on PK Subban would have been here say at that time and after all there is a reason PK went 43rd his draft year. Remember watching him at U18s he was a high risk gambler where many questioned his hockey sense and defensive zone play.

There is a reason guys in the industry like Max Guise are now NHL scouts and others arent though, he may have been wrong but he was also right often on guys others didn't like, such as having Dominic Toninato 36th last year who ended up going 126th to Toronto and is looking like one of the biggest steals in the draft. This work you quoted Guise on is very early in his career he actually worked for Red Line Report (a publication that has all 30 NHL Teams subscribing to it) the last couple of years.

Most scouts working for private publications play it far to safe, basically rearranging NHL Central Scoutings rankings slightly where guys like Guise actually took risk and some of those paid off and others may not have but his ability to project steals got him an NHL job. It's funny you always quote Corey Pronman and honestly not a fan at all of his writing he plays it waaaaayyy to safe for me, it's like reading Hockey News or TSNs reports all over again with his work. Prefer someone who is original even if they miss once and awhile.

Agree about Pronman, he gets too much play IMO. Overly wordy to try and sound in-depth.

That said, everyone will have misses. More often than hits,probably. It's finding the big hits once in a while that matters.

Think of it this way: If Calgary had just found 1 top 6 player every 5 years in the draft, that would have been 3 more star players out there with Iginla. Which goes to show just how crap-tastic Flames scouting has been the last couple of decades.

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#13 piscera.infada
June 17 2013, 12:34PM
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@the-wolf

I'm not sure if #5 would be that expensive a pick to acquire with Giordano for all the reasons MWFlames mentioned. If they are in fact, entertaining offers for that pick that include a top 4 dman, then I think Gio is a no brainer for them. He's not a top 2, but very effective on a second pairing. Not to mention he has amazing intangibles for a team that believes their on the cusp of making some noise in the playoffs - not to mention their window is closing (at least with regard to Cam Ward - if you even think he's still the guy). However, the investment they made in Semin shows that they are in win now mode. Gio gives them that opportunity.

So let's assume Gio + 22, and maybe a marginal prospect (like Granlund), for #5. Then, you can look at DiPietro, and your making that deal from a position of strength. Likely get #15, and suddenly you have 5, 6, 15, 28. Which would just be roses.

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#14 SmellOfVictory
June 17 2013, 12:43PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Just to quantify this; I've heard Ruthford is entertaining offers for it's 5th pick, if the package include a top-4 Dman. Gio anyone?

It's likely not worth it, unless Drouin or Barkov happen to be there at #5, which is extremely unlikely. I wouldn't trade Giordano for the difference between Nichuschkin and Lindholm/Monahan. All indication seems to be that the top 3 ranked guys will be taken in the top 3, and Barkov is most likely to go to Nashville.

However, if Tampa decided to screw with the draft order and take Nichushkin rather than Drouin, I'd accept Feaster using Gio to get the 5th pick.

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#15 the-wolf
June 17 2013, 12:46PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

It's likely not worth it, unless Drouin or Barkov happen to be there at #5, which is extremely unlikely. I wouldn't trade Giordano for the difference between Nichuschkin and Lindholm/Monahan. All indication seems to be that the top 3 ranked guys will be taken in the top 3, and Barkov is most likely to go to Nashville.

However, if Tampa decided to screw with the draft order and take Nichushkin rather than Drouin, I'd accept Feaster using Gio to get the 5th pick.

But such a move would allow you to het Monahan AND Lindholm.

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#16 SmellOfVictory
June 17 2013, 12:47PM
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@McRib

One of the reasons we like Pronman is because he doesn't purport to be a classical "scout". He interviews actual scouts (NHL scouts, I believe) and uses their input combined with statistical data to form his rankings. I don't even know if he watches the players himself to any great extent.

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#17 piscera.infada
June 17 2013, 12:48PM
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@the-wolf

Or, Nischukin and Lindholm/Monahan.

I am also of the mind that one of the "top 4" will likely fall, there's usually one guy who does. Nischukin suddenly isn't such a risky pick if you're getting one of those other guys as well.

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#18 SmellOfVictory
June 17 2013, 12:49PM
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the-wolf wrote:

But such a move would allow you to het Monahan AND Lindholm.

When I wrote that, I was thinking from the perspective of Gio + 6th overall for 5th overall (yes, I'd support that move if it meant Barkov or Drouin).

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#19 MWflames
June 17 2013, 12:59PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

Or, Nischukin and Lindholm/Monahan.

I am also of the mind that one of the "top 4" will likely fall, there's usually one guy who does. Nischukin suddenly isn't such a risky pick if you're getting one of those other guys as well.

I think the top 4 order most assume makes too much sense to expect one of the top four to fall to 5 or 6.

However, I think the weakest assumption out there is that Colorado will take Jones. Theres a TON of risk taking a defenceman 1st overall, especially when there is Crosby Lite on the board.

If Colorado takes Mackinnon, then everything is up in the air! Does florida want defence? Or don't they go after their franchise center (Now Barkov) they thought they were gettting?

In desperate need for a centerman, does nashville reach for lindholm/Monahan?

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#20 piscera.infada
June 17 2013, 01:04PM
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@MWflames

Agreed. However it is just as likely that someone is scared off enough by Barkov's injury, or Drouin's size. Or likes what Nurse brings to the table. I'm with you that those four are sensical, but as we know about drafting in professional sports - sometimes logic goes right out the window.

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#21 Kevin R
June 17 2013, 01:06PM
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MWflames wrote:

Yup, I think Gio gets the conversation started. I don't think there's going to be much superior defencemen offered up for the #5 pick than gio. Not to mention he is on a quality contract, and you could sweeten the pot with a late first rounder and/or take on a bad contract.

If you're the flames, you're going to suck with or without gio unfortunately, and he will be past his prime before this team is relevant again. Anybody of interest to take over the president position will tell the flames the exact same thing: This team is going to suck for a while.

Well if I'm rebuilding & this franchise is in need of a full cleanse, I think about even bolder moves. Carolina not only is in that grey zone at 5th, they are in win now zone & for the 1st time in how long they are up against it with the cap. Interesting that the 7.0mill Semin contract has really cornered them. They have like 7.3 mill to spend, they have to resign Skinner who took a few steps back & a little lost finding his way on their top 2 lines & they need a 3rd line centre & a top 4 dman something fierce. Rutherford is a cheap SOB as well. So I would go to him & offer Gio (3 more years at 4.0mill) & GlenX(3 more years at 2.5) + our #22pick for Skinner & that 5th overall. I would even throw in Horak who would make a good cheap candidate for their 3rd line centre.If they need to rid of some $$$, take Mcbains 1.8 mill off of them, they seem to be a little down on him. Bottom line, if it took eating 2.0 mill of Widemans salary cap hit + Stajan or Horak + one of our later1st or Gio or Gio & Glen X to get that 5th & Skinner, we do it. 5th & 6th over all picks, the buzz in Calgary would be even bigger than the ROR offer sheet.

Kent, as for Burke, I think people need 2nd chances & I think he's had a chance to reflect on mistakes he's made in Toronto. He may even be open to the new stats world & intrigued to watch Feaster & Wiesbrod work at this draft. I would feel a lot better of having Burke negotiate trades & sit down with Feaster on direction of the club than Ken King. I would also not be disappointed if Shanahan were put in there as well. Getting a real live hockey person is nothing but a win-win. Praise the Lord!

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#22 SmellOfVictory
June 17 2013, 01:25PM
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MWflames wrote:

I think the top 4 order most assume makes too much sense to expect one of the top four to fall to 5 or 6.

However, I think the weakest assumption out there is that Colorado will take Jones. Theres a TON of risk taking a defenceman 1st overall, especially when there is Crosby Lite on the board.

If Colorado takes Mackinnon, then everything is up in the air! Does florida want defence? Or don't they go after their franchise center (Now Barkov) they thought they were gettting?

In desperate need for a centerman, does nashville reach for lindholm/Monahan?

Not to nitpick too much, but the only reason people call MacKinnon "Crosby lite" is because they're both from the same area. Very different play styles, different hockey IQs, etc.

Still an awesome player, but the most apt comparison is probably Taylor Hall (albeit he may end up being better than Hall).

The Jones to Colorado thing makes a ton of sense as well. I personally wouldn't take a defenceman first overall, but this guy is a scout's wet dream; he's extremely mobile, allegedly quite smart, AND he's a big dude with offensive ability. Very easy to justify taking first overall, even with the knowledge that dmen are harder to predict and he's substantially older than MacKinnon is in terms of draft age.

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#23 MWflames
June 17 2013, 01:40PM
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@Kevin R

Bolder might be the better choice for the flames in the long run, but I find the more complex of trades that are tossed around, the farther we fans usually are, so I kept it simple.

Also, for the sake of correctness, Carolina actually has Skinner signed at 5.7 for the next 6 years. Which leaves them with 7.3M cap space for next year for about 6-7 roster spots.

Still, the cap is not their friend right now, and its safe to say they are not getting any better in Free agency without trading away or buying out cap space. I don't see them buying anyone out, and Ruutu ($4.7M) seems like a plausible salary grab for Calgary.

I think a deal like: Gio & 28th for 5th, and Ruutu, and maybe their 2nd.

People may say that is not enough, but are other teams going to offer up a better defenceman for a 5th overall draft pick? I only see it happening if that defencemen had say 1 year left before he became an UFA.

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#24 MWflames
June 17 2013, 01:50PM
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@SmellOfVictory

I thought I might get called out on that, but I suppose I wasn't really comparing playing styles. More so, I was talking about the Hype around the player. Furthermore, the projected ability of Mackinnon to change a game, the dynamic of a team and the fortunes of a franchise.

I suppose a better comparison in recent memory might be Tavares, as I think Mackinnon is projecting to be more of a game changer than Hall was, but maybe that is anti-oiler bias.

Adding Mackinnon to the avalanche makes Stastny tradeable immediately, and O'Reilly tradeable within a year or two. Both could garner defensive and goaltender help.

With the added risk of defencemen over forwards (especially centers), I wouldn't be surprised at all if they took Mackinnon.

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#25 Kevin R
June 17 2013, 02:22PM
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MWflames wrote:

Bolder might be the better choice for the flames in the long run, but I find the more complex of trades that are tossed around, the farther we fans usually are, so I kept it simple.

Also, for the sake of correctness, Carolina actually has Skinner signed at 5.7 for the next 6 years. Which leaves them with 7.3M cap space for next year for about 6-7 roster spots.

Still, the cap is not their friend right now, and its safe to say they are not getting any better in Free agency without trading away or buying out cap space. I don't see them buying anyone out, and Ruutu ($4.7M) seems like a plausible salary grab for Calgary.

I think a deal like: Gio & 28th for 5th, and Ruutu, and maybe their 2nd.

People may say that is not enough, but are other teams going to offer up a better defenceman for a 5th overall draft pick? I only see it happening if that defencemen had say 1 year left before he became an UFA.

My bad, was on a site that didn't show Skinner resigning against the cap for Carolina. Your deal sounds actually quite reasonable, I doubt they would want to trade Skinner if they just signed him. But I think we both agree to the gist of this. Forget trying to trade up to the top 4. Nice try & file that under the missed Brad Richards swing & the missed ROR offer sheet, of which now seems like someone was looking out after us when we didn't get either player. Now the miss with all 3 1st's. Long run, that's OK too. We have to look at a more longer term to this & guys like Gio & GlenX are probably our best veteran trading chips for a team who wants to go for it next year. These guys will not be part of the equation when we finally become relevant again. If either one of them can get us that #5 overall, then do it.

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#26 piscera.infada
June 17 2013, 02:49PM
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@Kevin R

I'm all for trading Gio for this kind of return. Won't happen with GlennX though - he took a NTC with a pay-cut to stay in Alberta.

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#27 RKD
June 17 2013, 05:02PM
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On one hand I like the move by Feaster to get a franchise player you can start building your team around. On the other hand, why rush a rebuild? If you don't do it properly then it can take even longer to where you want to go. The goal should not be to make the playoffs and hope for an upset. This organization needs to build an elite team, a powerhouse. Their goal should be to try to model themselves after a Chicago or a Boston.

It doesn't matter who else the Flames add to sweeten the package, not even Tangs, Cammy, Gio or GlenX would move Colorado off their spot. Why would they give up on a guy like Seth Jones who they badly need on their blueline. Unless the Flames were willing to trade Brodie or Baertschi then, just maybe Colorado might be willing to listen a little closer.

To me Colorado is in no rush to 'win now', they've still got Duchene, Landeskog, O'Reilly, Stastny to build around. If I'm Calgary, take Monahan/Lindholm at sixth. Maybe you tank next year, get the first overall pick and take a Connor McDavid. Also as soon as one year expires, you again try to trade for O'Reilly.

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#28 schevvy
June 17 2013, 05:20PM
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Before I start- since this is the first Cup Final since 2004 to be tied 1-1, let us remember that it was in. If you don't know what I'm talking about you're either 10 or under or you're not a Flames fan.

Now for the actual topic- I was all for Feaster trading all 3 first rounders for #1, because there are greater odds that the #1 overall pick will be an impact player than 1 of 3 of the later picks. Getting MacKinnon would be far better than getting 3 average prospects.

For team president- I'm all for Ken King moving out of hockey ops, and into the pure business side. I understand the resentment for Burke becoming prez, but why so much hate for Campbell? I don't remember him being terrible and I haven't heard his views on hockey, so I can't make a fair judgement.

#itwasin

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#29 Baalzamon
June 17 2013, 05:26PM
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@RKD

McDavid is 2015. Next year's draft would be Sam Reinhart or Aaron Ekblad (or maybe Leon Draisaitl).

Honestly, there's a pretty good chance the Flames will be in on the McDavid sweeps.

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#30 Chris
June 18 2013, 12:07AM
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@FireOnIce: > nhl-draft-pick-value-trading-up

Thanks for posting the link. Great fun.

Not always realistic, though.

I'll trade you my next thousand seventh round picks for a #1, straight up. :)

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#31 Michael
June 18 2013, 09:16AM
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Feaster may have shot himself in the foot by moving JBo at the deadline. Other than dumping the salary, the return was pretty marginal for a top pair d man. A package of our 6th pick plus JBo (maybe eating a portion of next seasons salary) and our remaining first round pick sounds like a much better package for moving up in the draft, than 6 and two late first's. Using JBo as part of a package to secure a potential elite talent would have been a much easier sell to the fans.

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#32 McRib
June 18 2013, 10:50AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Pronman had Landeskog 13th in 2011. If that isn't original, I don't know what is.

Hahaha, He does certainly show originality with degrading guys like Kerby Rychel or Samuel Morin, but hardly ever upgrades guys. That’s where he looses me, yet most of the scouting community is unwilling to go out on a limb and at least Pronman is talking about players other than Nathan Mackinnon or Seth Jones because thats all Sportsnet & TSN seem to care about.

NHL teams that like guys tend to keep quite about the real sleepers, so its nice when someone else is talking about them, Haha. I was at the draft in Minnesota and you couldn't pay people to talk about Adam Lowry or Darren Dietz before hand but everyone in the whole place would talk about Harrison Ruopp (a low ceiling guy that is safe to be a pro pick). Or when Nashville traded up to 89th last year to get Brendan Leipsic the whole building knew what they were doing, ditto for Jackon Houck or Kyle Burroughs this year.

In general his rankings are bang on, but of the top sleepers or "wildcards" for this years draft he just seems to play them all safe. (Emile Poirier, Tommy Vannelli, William Carrier, Ryan Hartman, Adam Tambellini, etc). Lets put it this way, I understand why everyone at Flames Nation hates Mark Jankowski can only imagine where guys like Pronman had him, coupled with NHL Central Scouting’s rankings.

The biggest late riser for me in the WHL this year is Kyle Burroughs who had 17 of his 33 points in the last month and a half and he doesn't even have him ranked in the Top. 250. Guys who have been around for a couple of years Pronman is as good as anyone but people with questions marks don't stand a chance with him.

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#33 Baalzamon
June 18 2013, 10:53AM
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@McRib

Pronman had Jankowski 20th, actually.

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#34 Baalzamon
June 18 2013, 10:55AM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Pronman had Jankowski 20th, actually.

derp I mean 36th haha. What was I thinking?

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#35 McRib
June 18 2013, 01:48PM
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Hahahah. It’s interesting, I read a Mock Draft before we took Mark Jankowski last June, which had him going 15th to Ottawa. That was bold, but people who think we could have gotten him in the second just didn't know the hype this kid was getting, NJ & Boston were drooling over him below us. That’s the only thing that frustrates me with just looking at more analytic rankings is you kind of lose the feel for some of the late risers in the draft (Cough Cough Tom Wilson last season as well), but they are also right more often because of it.

But numbers aside I just can't see Jankowski a toolsy late blooming centre with plus height, not at least ending up as a third/fourth line role playing centre even if his stats were crap this year.

On another note this years draft crop is loaded and the Flames better take the best damn player available, no flyers this year please!!!

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