Random Thoughts - On Kanzig and Brodie

Kent Wilson
July 15 2013 01:39PM

 

TJ Brodie
- pic via kkthemook

 

A couple of bits are causing some consternation in Flamesland these days - specifically my takes on TJ Brodie and Keegan Kanzig.

For Brodie, there's a lot of push back on my interest in inking him long-term. Not an unreasonable reaction to tell you the truth - the issue at the heart of the debate is risk vs reward. If you don't rate Brodie as I do or are uncomfortable with the level of risk involved, you won't have much interest in a 7-year type commitment. And fair enough.

I'll say again I don't think a short-term bridge deal is a necessarily a bad play and if the Flames go that direction (which I assume they will), I won't be upset. My presumption is there's more upside to be ahd in locking him down long-term and buying UFA years cheaply now versus what I assume they will cost down the road.

Let's put it another way - 7 years sounds like a long time, but Brodie is in RFA territory for the next 5 years of his career anyways - meaning the Flames will almost certainly be paying him something between now and when he can potentially go UFA. The extra commitment in a 7 year deal is the additional 2 years which are completely optional from the team and player perspective.

So the key question on a long-term deal based on the parameters I previously established are:

1.) How much more expensive is Brodie at 3.5M/year versus a cheaper, bridge contract?

2.) Will Brodie be cheaper/more expensive than 3.5M to re-sign as an RFA after the bridge deal expires?

3.) How much will it cost to buy Brodie's UFA seasons in the future vs now?

Personally, I think there's a non-trivial chance given Brodie's underlying numbers, his comparables and a raising cap that he costs more than 3.5M post-bridge contract. If Brodie is top-3 on the Flames blueline in terms of ice time and points for the next couple of seasons, his future pricetag rises incrementally with each step closer he gets to unrestricted free agency. 

One need not compare Brodie to PK Subban, Alex Pietrangelo or Drew Doughty to project a future 5M+ cap hit. There are defenders in the league who make five bills or more who aren't perennial all-stars or established, high impact first pairing guys. For example, James Wisniewski ($5.5M), Matt Carle ($5.5M), Paul Martin ($5M), Alexander Edler ($5M), Mark Streit ($5.75M), Tobias Enstrom ($5.75M), Tyler Myers ($5.5M) and of course Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5.25M). While some of these guys resigned as UFA's, keep in mind the closer a player gets to UFA in the current market, the more likely a team is to pay UFA market price to retain the player. The Kris Letang extension is a recent example of this effect.

In addition, many of these players were inked when the cap was lower. Cap Geek has a list including their percentage of cap hit in the first year each deal was signed, with the range settling between 6.77% and 9.33%. If Brodie's bridge last two years and he is a top-3 blueliner for the Flames over that period, it's not outrageous to assume he could settle into 6.5-7% of cap ceiling territory. That would put his next deal conservatively at $4.5-$5M, depending on where the cap settles out two or three years from now.

So that's where I am coming from on this issue. Again, if Calgary inks him for something $1.75M for the next two years, it's not a terrible move. They'll likely get really good value out of him during the contract at that price and the deal protects them should he take a step backward or fail to actually develop any further. On the other hand, if he continues his rapid ascent up the depth chart and especially if he gets a 35-40 point season under his belt, look for his pricetag to probably triple when the bridge ends.

- On a related note, it's ironic that the Josi contract put me in mind of this deal for Brodie because I don't actually like the contract for Roman Josi. He is the same age as Brodie, played roughly the same number of games and appeared on Nashville's first pairing last year, but his underlying numbers are nowhere near as good. As a rookie his possession rates were meh. With Weber on the top pairing this past year, he mostly got beat up. Oh, and when he wasn't skating with Weber, his rates were even worse.

Josi is also getting $4M/year from the Preds which I would consider on the high side for Brodie (3.5M or less would be my comfort zone for him at 7 years), making it an even worse bet.

- Next, my panning of the Keegan Kanzig pick. It's true I had not seen the player play when the Flames called his name in the third round. It's possible though not probable he's a diamond in the rough like Zdeno Chara, rather than a immobile goonish type player. If so, I will naturally be thrilled if Kanzig turns out to be a monster shut-down guy in the show and perhaps that sort of upside is worth tossing a long-bomb in the third round now and then.

But I'm not sure some folks realize just how long of a long-shot Kanzig is.

Third rounders make it to the NHL at a rate of about 10-15% overall. If we limit our investigations to defenders - specifically, defenders who score at a low rate like Kanzig, the odds shift to lottery ticket territory. I noted this article on defenseman scoring in junior and future NHL success around the time of the draft, but failed to link to the follow-up which includes a few more details.

Here's the key graph from that post:

This shows all the defenders picked in the 51-100 range from the CHL between 1999-2008. As you see, this where a lot of the low scoring guys tend to get chosen. As you can also see, not one of them who scored anywhere near Kanzig's rate (0.1 points-per-game) played a meaningful number of games in the show. One guy managed just north of 20% of all games available, but most of them cluster around never even getting a cup of coffee. 

Considering the entire data set (including first and second rounders), there was one successful pick of 105 players over a near decade of drafts who scored between 0-0.2 PPG and crossed the 40% game played threshold (but not 50%) highlighted in the graph. That's a success rate of less than 1%.

Furthermore, you can count on one hand the number of very big men (over 240 pounds) who have been useful at the NHL level beyond the mucker/goon role since the first lock-out in 2004: Zdeno Chara, Dustin Byfuglien, Andy Sutton and Hal Gill - and I'm stretching things a bit to include Gill and Sutton who were mostly 3rd pairing guys. Tyler Meyers is in the conversation as well given his height, although he's not quite 240+ (yet). 

It's a short list not only because men of that size are rare, but because huge dudes are often hampered by issues of speed, agility and dexterity. While hockey is a game of strength, violence and intimidation, it is also a game of speed, agility, decision-making and split second reactions. Just as small guys tend to have challenges at the one end of the spectrum, giant man mountains tend to struggle at the opposite end.

Of course, none of this means Kanzig won't be that rare outlier like Chara because sometimes you win the lottery. From the available data, though, it currently seems like the Flames converted a 10-15% chance at an NHL player to a less than 1% chance for the privilege of wishing on that outcome.

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39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
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
July 15 2013, 02:25PM
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Another thing to keep in mind on Brodie is that he is currently fighting for a spot on the roster and will be fighting for a big contract come next negotiation. If you give him a long term contract that motivation disappears.

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#2 Jeff Lebowski
July 15 2013, 08:11PM
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When you watch Kanzig in these scrimmages, remove the size and stats from the equation and see what you get.

Was he unable to keep up with the pace (which is high with these higher end players and some cases older guys) of play?

Was he a play killer on offense? Did positive or negative things happen for his team when he touched the puck?

Did he play a lot and do you think coaches were sheltering him from the better skaters?

Did you see him make any skilled plays (smart or skilled passes?) or was it just smacked off the glass or around the boards every time? Was he ever up in the play, did he just hang back? Did he get some shots off?

The issue was not, can he make te NHL (clearly that's difficult for anyone) the issue is, Feaster and crew are idiots for taking a useless goon. It's that continuing narrative that is assumed. Its obvious. They are dumb, look here's another reason why. A big, immobile lug who can only fight. A coke machine. Completely against the principles of selecting players who give + Corsi. Instead continuing draconian aspirations of adding to gritchart.

To me that assessment was horribly wrong. Big time wrong. I'm not saying he will make it but there are aspects to his game which are ALREADY clearly better than his draft day assessment.

I enjoy this site, I learn things but sometimes the narratives, bias and "thinking fans" approach are heavy handed. At the same time there s still intelligent analysis and thought provoking content.

If we are going to criticize we should also accept criticism.

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#3 joey joe joe jr shabadoo
July 15 2013, 08:33PM
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'it currently seems like the Flames converted a 10-15% chance at an NHL player to a less than 1% chance for the privilege of wishing on that outcome.'

so you're saying there's a chance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

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#4 RexLibris
July 15 2013, 10:47PM
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I agree with Kent's take on the Kanzig pick, not for any ideological bias against large, bruising defenders, but for the reasons mentioned in the article.

The Flames need depth and talent at every single position. Arguably more so going into this draft than two-thirds of the rest of the league.

Kanzig may well become a Scott Stevens type defenseman, or the latter-day version thereof. But the percentages suggest that it was a very risky pick with a non-negligible rate of success. Based on the reports of the other talent available and the needs of the team in other areas, as well as the relative ease with which these types of players can be acquired (depth stay-at-home defensemen with minimal offensive upside) this was a poor use of assets during a critical period.

If the Flames were set on adding a defender, Keaton Thompson was taken later in that round and arguable has shown a more significant upside to his game thus far. If we were to expand the options to include forwards we are left with many possibilities including Anton Slepyshev, JC Lipon, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Ryan Kujawinski to name a few.

When contrasted with the picks like Eric Roy and Tim Harrison, the pick simply looks that much more aberrant.

Cheer like heck for him, and I hope he has a healthy career, but the chances of him making it outside of even the AHL are slim.

Now, to recap, I am in no way suggesting that Kanzig is a bust, a useless knuckle-dragging pylon out on the ice merely to break faces, nor a bad hockey player or undeserving prospect. Simply that, based on rates of return and organizational needs, this was not the proverbial itch that needed to be scratched.

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#5 Mark
July 15 2013, 11:02PM
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Personally I see the Kanzig pick like this... If he punches at least 1 Oiler in the face, the third pick is everything I wanted it to be and more.

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#6 Burnward
July 15 2013, 11:04PM
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@RexLibris

I guess I look at the "odds of him making it" argument a little differently.

If it's 10-15 percent regardless of who he is...I'll take a shot on the tough, stay-at-home type of defenseman here a lot of the time over the smaller, offensive style defenseman.

That though is just because I believe players like Kanzig can be very important to a team.

I know that's a softball to the advanced stats disciples, but tis how I feel.

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#7 Mark
July 15 2013, 01:52PM
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Good article Kent. Always love reading ur opinion even when it contrasts with the Fan guys. No one is necessarily right or wrong but love the debates

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#8 mk
July 15 2013, 01:53PM
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This. This is why I read here. An attempt to quantify a decision with many variables and take an educated guess at its value. Props KW.

Edit: IMO the risk for Brodie with a long term deal is not that he doesn't improve, its that he regresses. If he continues his current play, he's worth the $3-3.5M. If he gets measurably worse (possible but unlikely given the evidence), well then our d-core is really in trouble. :)

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#9 LanderW
July 15 2013, 01:59PM
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I like your thinking, Kent, but I've always been the sort to like long term deals. All your arguments are sound as far as I'm concerned

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#10 RossCreekNation
July 15 2013, 02:03PM
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Another perspective: right now, you could own his tights for up to 8 yrs. If a 2 yr bridge deal were agreed to, you could theoretically own his rights for up to 10 yrs. So where do you lose more value - having to give him a raise in 2 yrs or having to give him a raise in 7 or 8 yrs?

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#11 TheRealPoc
July 15 2013, 02:03PM
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Nice article, well done.

FWIW, I think Kanzig has looked very solid through the 2 scrimmages, and that's been a considerable surprise for me.

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#12 Bean-counting cowboy
July 15 2013, 02:06PM
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mk wrote:

This. This is why I read here. An attempt to quantify a decision with many variables and take an educated guess at its value. Props KW.

Edit: IMO the risk for Brodie with a long term deal is not that he doesn't improve, its that he regresses. If he continues his current play, he's worth the $3-3.5M. If he gets measurably worse (possible but unlikely given the evidence), well then our d-core is really in trouble. :)

Agreed.

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#13 Clyde
July 15 2013, 02:09PM
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Just glanced briefly at the 2000 and 2005 drafts alone. Big def with similar stats as Kanzig and taken in that range included Kurt Sauer, Derek Engelland ( 6th round), Phil Oreskovic and Mark Fraser.

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#14 Sincity1976
July 15 2013, 02:22PM
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On Brodie I hear where you are coming from. But it in an academic excercise. If Feaster inked Brodie to a 7-year contract for anything north of an AAC of 2.5 milion Bettman would be knocking down his door. He hasn't earned that type of contract and you can't pay that type of term of potential. The guy has played 100 games of mostly sheltered minutes in the NHL. Josi's contract pushes the limit of sanity but at least you can attempt to justify based on his results in pro and a season as Weber's partner.

On Kanzig, once the player is selected he ceases to be a statistic and becomes a prospect. I don't care where he was drafted. All I know is that he looked decent in development camp and I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses.

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#15 TRAV
July 15 2013, 02:31PM
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Love the response Mr. Wilson. It's clear that a third rounder is a long shot and a big/hulking third rounder is even longer. I didn't think that Kanzig was as good today as Saturday but he is better than I had expected. My sense was that many people on here (myself included) had presumed that the only thing to this guy's game was goonsmanship. In fact that is what that stats had supported. In watching him I believe that there is some potential beyond this. Made some good passes, threw some hits, got some shots through, skated better than I was expecting and cleared the front of the net well. I guess for me he went from a guy that I thought was a terrible prospect and selection to a player that I am curious to watch develop. I think that most people would say that he showed better than they would have predicted. Was he a good third round selection? I don't know enough about the other players who were available to say nor do I really know what other teams thought of this guy. It certainly has made me more cautious of drawing absolute conclusions about players whom I have never seen play. .

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#16 BJ
July 15 2013, 02:44PM
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@ Kent

A little confused... couple questions about Kanzig?

Why is our 3rd rounf pick subject to so much scrutiny this year? is it due to Subban being there when we pickrd or are fans just watching this draft more closely than in the past?

This seems to me a pick out of need... a lack of big shutdown D in our system... but i thought this is exactly what Feaster is opposed to?

Unless I am missing something and Flames scouts project him to be a decent NHLer? ....or are they trying to swing for the fences?...the idea being that if Kanzig does make it to the show he would be a dominant force?

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#17 piscera.infada
July 15 2013, 02:52PM
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Probably not the best place for this question; but what is the deal with Pronman's man-crush on Rafikov?

I just find his glowing statements about a guy drafted in the 7th round and little bit odd. He says in his West Draft Analysis article that he could be an everyday NHLer? Any idea where this comes from with this guy?

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#18 Baalzamon
July 15 2013, 03:10PM
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@piscera.infada

Rafikov is Russian. Players do fall solely because they're from Russia.

Pronman was extremely high on Anton Slephyshev, who passed completely through the 2012 draft until the Oilers got him this year.

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#19 piscera.infada
July 15 2013, 03:12PM
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@Baalzamon

Oh, I get that. It just seems like there are more people high on him than I would have thought. I obviously have little to no idea what his game's like - but it's definitely a pleasant surprise to hear.

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#20 Baalzamon
July 15 2013, 03:32PM
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@piscera.infada

Well, to be fair Rafikov had a pretty unimpressive season statistically (outside the U18's). My guess is people just like toolsy defensemen (and Rafikov is reportedly a very good skater with solid puck skills).

My feeling is he was a pretty solid pick for a 7th rounder. I have hope that his Russianness is the only reason he was available that low, haha.

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#21 Clyde
July 15 2013, 03:34PM
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TRAV wrote:

Love the response Mr. Wilson. It's clear that a third rounder is a long shot and a big/hulking third rounder is even longer. I didn't think that Kanzig was as good today as Saturday but he is better than I had expected. My sense was that many people on here (myself included) had presumed that the only thing to this guy's game was goonsmanship. In fact that is what that stats had supported. In watching him I believe that there is some potential beyond this. Made some good passes, threw some hits, got some shots through, skated better than I was expecting and cleared the front of the net well. I guess for me he went from a guy that I thought was a terrible prospect and selection to a player that I am curious to watch develop. I think that most people would say that he showed better than they would have predicted. Was he a good third round selection? I don't know enough about the other players who were available to say nor do I really know what other teams thought of this guy. It certainly has made me more cautious of drawing absolute conclusions about players whom I have never seen play. .

If you look at Kanzigs offensive stats alone and factored in his size which is what kent has done, then the forecast is gloomy. But, the factors he is using are going to slant it that way. How many people at that size even play hockey? Of course there is a small sample size of players over 240 lbs. I named 4 def with similar stats from 2 drafts alone who have or currently are solid contributors. Take a look at defenders taken in the 3rd and 4rth round from the 2005 draft alone Pretty impressive group of contributing nhl def. I'm not saying he will make it but I don't think this was a poor selection especially after what he displayed at this camp

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#22 RKD
July 15 2013, 03:59PM
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I'm okay with either a short term deal or a long term one. Even though Brodie had a great season, we need to see more from him. Rewarding player for past performances is what hurt this organization with guys like Jokinen and Bouwmeester.

Darryl put this organization in salary cap jail and Feaster had to undo all these contracts and probably even now regrets giving guys like Hudler and Wideman four and five year deals respectively.

I'm just concerned about if the Flames will have the money to lock Brodie up in 2-3 years on a longer term deal. If you sign him to a longer deal now you might not have to pay him a lot more in a couple of years. In 2-3 years the Flames maybe looking to target more players via free agency and it could mean they may have to tighten the purse strings more. Brodie won't take a hometown discount. If he's a star in two years, the Flames would be wise to pay him a lot more and give him a long term deal. Glen X is a UFA in two years, if he plays as well as he is now, there's no way he's taking $2.55 million.

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#23 ?
July 15 2013, 04:06PM
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@Clyde

" I named 4 def with similar stats from 2 drafts alone who have or currently are solid contributors. "

Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but who in the world is Phil Oreskovic?

EDIT: Nevermind, looked him up, career minor league guy, has 10 games of NHL experience (from 2009) and has spent more time in the ECHL than the NHL.

Also, no offence meant, but all of the other guys you listed top out at bottom pairing defenceman in the NHL, and that's being generous.

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#24 clyde
July 15 2013, 04:14PM
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? wrote:

" I named 4 def with similar stats from 2 drafts alone who have or currently are solid contributors. "

Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but who in the world is Phil Oreskovic?

EDIT: Nevermind, looked him up, career minor league guy, has 10 games of NHL experience (from 2009) and has spent more time in the ECHL than the NHL.

Also, no offence meant, but all of the other guys you listed top out at bottom pairing defenceman in the NHL, and that's being generous.

No offense taken. I added Orekovic as he was similar in stats to the other 3 and to Kanzig and he was in one of the 2 drafts I looked at. But, his 10 games is a lot more than what this site feels Kanzig can bring. The other 3 were and are 4-6 def. I would love to have a big, mean, defenseman in that spot, wouldn't you? Also, I only used 2 drafts following the guideline of poor offensive stats and ample physical size.

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#25 beloch
July 15 2013, 04:26PM
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@Clyde

I'm not sold on the notion that larger players are inherently inferior. Size and reach can give a shut-down defender some serious advantages. Has anyone actually run the stats and found that a lower percentage of larger prospects make it to the NHL (i.e. controlling for the distribution of full-grown rather than draft-sizes of prospects)? You may be right that larger players seldom make the NHL simply because there aren't many larger prospects to begin with!

Kanzig's low scoring is undoubtedly a concern though. He was a self-described defensive defender, but he certainly seemed to be taking a lot of shots in the prospect development camp. It may also be true that he's grown quickly and is still adapting. Regardless, it's up to him now. This will be a very important season for his development. If he hasn't surpassed his 2012/2013 season total by December he should probably take some MMA classes to fall back on.

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#26 Tach
July 15 2013, 04:36PM
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One other point that I would make in support of Kent's Brodie argument is the importance of efficiency in a salary cap league and the timing of that efficiency.

In a capped league, the teams that are going to do well are those with the most players contributing above their cap hit. You can do this by either having outstanding stars that essentially out perform any contract (the Crosby, Toews, Bergeron type player) or having awesome young guys outperforming their contracts (think 2007 Getzlaf and Perry).

You also want to cluster as many of those guys together when the team is competitive. So it is irrelevant, essentially, right now to the Flames if Brodie is an "efficient" cap hit. They aren't competitive and have loads of space. Even if he turns out to be overpaid for for 1 or 2 seasons, it is irrelevant to the goal of winning the Cup.

When it will matter is in 3-5 years when the Flames (hopefully) begin assembling a cluster of efficient talent. If the Flames are having to pay Brodie market rate for performance, it is irrelevant to their chance of success. Presumably such talent could be had on the UFA market.

It is what I find so frustrating when I hear some media say " This is the dumbest idea ever." They look only a the risk of an overpay in years 1-3 and give almost no credit to the potential value when it might actually matter.

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#27 Ed_Ward42
July 15 2013, 04:39PM
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Couple thoughts on Kanzig

1) I think a lot of the backlash to Kent's Kanzig take is totally understandable.

First, Kents argument runs into the age old problem of being based on probability. Kent is rightly pointing out that the chances Kazing makes it are pretty slim. He's marshaled some convincing data but until Kanzig either does or doesn't make it to the show, one can always argue that for whatever reasons Kanzig is the exception to the rule. Especially as I will note in point 2 when we have an incentive to argue that Kanzig is the exception to the rule.

Second, as of right now pretty much all us Flames fans have to latch on to is the hope that our young guys turn into something great. All fans have a natural inclination to overvalue our own prospects and ignore the evidence that most prospects just don't make it. But more than any other fan base we really have to hope and dream that every pick turns into an NHL body.

Therefore its really hard for Flames fans to admit that Feaster might have played the percentages poorly on Kanzig. It's way easier to defend the Kanzig pick than to admit that Feaster may have made an error in the ONE thing Flames fans can put their hopes in. This reaction is totally expected and totally normal. Hell I have my own Flames prospects that I probably totally overvalue. If you don't have faith in the prospects its makes it pretty dam hard to be a Flames fans.

When you throw these two things together I think you have the recipe for some understandable push back.

2) If you're interested in supplementing Kents thoughts on why Kanzig was probably not a good bet this is a good article to check out.

http://thats-offside.blogspot.ca/2013/06/defense-defensemen-and-draft.html

3) To throw my two cents into the Kanzig debate I would've much preferred the Flames go after Jordan Subban. I'm not opposed to a guy like Kanzig being in the system but I think we could've had him and Subban. What's different between Kanzig and Chris Breen a guy who we acquired as an undrafted FA?

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#28 Dave
July 15 2013, 04:42PM
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@Tach

you can use the same argument the other way too. That if you sign him long term at 3.5 and he regresses to a bottom pairing Dman. Then you've reduced your cap efficiency by tying up 3.5 mil over the long haul. Essentially what it comes down to is how do you manage your risk. At this point we can't know where "true value" is regarding Brodie. We'll only know that after his best years are behind him and then it's too late. The best Feaster can do is guess and hope he's right.

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#29 mattyc
July 15 2013, 04:56PM
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@Ed_Ward42

Agree completely with #3. Proven skill is a lot more difficult to acquire than proven size. If I was drafting I would focus all my energy at taking flyers on skill guys. Throw a bunch of hail marys in rounds 3-7 and hope someone sticks. Role/character players can be had on the undrafted, UFA, etc. routes (and are more interchangeable anyways).

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#30 chillout
July 15 2013, 05:19PM
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@Sincity1976

Just to clarify in case you're confused, we're talking about T.J. Brodie of the Calgary flames and one of our best defensemen last year who didn't play sheltered minutes at all. Also he is not fighting for a spot on the roster. Not sure who you have him confused with but either way you're thinking of the wrong guy.

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#31 SydScout
July 15 2013, 05:55PM
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Maybe I dont understand how the draft works but surely we could have got Kanzig in the sixth round and Harrison undrafted. Both don't appear to be players that wouldn't have been available at those points.

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#32 Baalzamon
July 15 2013, 05:58PM
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@SydScout

That's the criticism, though it's hard to say with Harrison. Even if he had passed through the draft, he probably would have simply re-entered next year.

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#33 ultrathinzigzags
July 15 2013, 06:15PM
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So does anyone know the deal with tomorrow at Winsport? It would appear to be the last day? The Flames TV interviews make it sound like today was their last chance to interview the guys though? Are some leaving and some staying for tomorrow? And the Sun says the groups get rearranged for tomorrow.

I just can't get the gist of it lol ..

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#34 HongKongHockeyFan
July 15 2013, 06:16PM
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Just a few thoughts after viewing today's scrimmage:

1. Second scrimmage was much more competitive and entertaining then Saturday's scrimmage.

2. Turner Elson! Wow, this guy was flying. This guy has skills, smarts, speed and competitiveness. In my mind, he is the guy that has surprised me the most in terms of his overall skill. Grandlund has also been good. Monahan has lived up to expectations. I also liked Poirier, I can see why Flames mgmt was excited about him.

3. Jankowski is definitely looking like a longer term project. Seems to show flashes but I'm just not sure he'll ever develop good playing making skills. Maybe he simply doesn't have a high hockey IQ, especially when compared to Monahan. That said he did get in some good spots today and has some good scoring chances. So we'll need to keep our fingers crossed that he'll keep developing.

4. Sieloff has lived up to his billing as gritty, fearless hitter. If he continues to develop, he'll definitely be a bonus for the Flames to have.

5. Linden Penner also looks like he some potential. Hopefully, they can sign him to contract. He certainly has made the most of his opportunity.

6. I didn't come away overly impressed with Corbin Knight again today. I'm obviously not seeing the same things others are. I'm not saying he was bad but I just didn't see anything that got me too excited.

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#35 McRib
July 15 2013, 07:08PM
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@HongKongHockeyFan

Corbin Knight didn't impress offensively for me at this tournament, but he also got fairly limited ice time in my opinion. The Flames needed to see some other players who situation is a lot more pressing so they really took it easy with him, worst case he is off to Abby to start this season. Knights time will come in the Penticton Tourney and Main Camp. Plus I loved what I saw from Knight defensively he was on the ice every time Agostino & Jankowski seemed to be and he shut them down both days.

Today Mark Jankowski beat the goaltender but hit the post twice and had another two good chances in front. Easily one of Blacks best players. He has so much potential in my eyes he slipped into the slot multiple times both games and got shots on goal off balance. If things went differently he walks away with three-four goals from this camp. He is in the same boat as Emile Poirier & Morgan Klimchuk considering his age he needs more work, but the potential is there big time for all three. 1995 are not expected to do much considering some guys are five years older than them at this camp. Thats why Linden Penner was sooo impressive would love for the Flames to sign him, but like I said earlier he would throw away any college aspirations by doing so. Lets hope the Flames can convince him to go to the WHL and get him inked, as he is most certainly going to get drafted next year if we don't.

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#36 aloudoun
July 15 2013, 07:16PM
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After watch both scrimmages I am beginning to get really excited for the future. Even Abbotsford should have a pretty decent roster this upcoming season.

Trying to figure out the lines this year makes my head hurt.It looks like at some point this summer they will move out some bodies in exchange for a salary dump and some picks. We need to give the kids a chance and it seems like there are to many bodies. Does that seem logical?

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#37 McRib
July 15 2013, 07:21PM
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Nice article Kent, as I also think that NHL teams hold big defenseman with no offense in too high of regard with the hope of becoming the next Zedano Chara. Honestly though I would rather spend a third rounder on Kanzig over spending firsts on Samuel Morin or Nikita Zadorov this year. Even if we took him a few rounds early.

What you said about minimal offence defenders being drafted is definitely correct in that sense as Andy Rogers, Sasha Pokulok, Vladimir Mihalik, Mark Mitera, David Fischer, Ty Wishart, Nick Petrecki, Keaton Ellerby are all very recent examples of big 6'3"+ first round defence projects becoming busts.

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#38 Jibmeister
July 15 2013, 07:30PM
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http://www.cochraneeagle.com/article/20130619/COE0903/306199969/-1/coe/pay-kiprusoff-more Unrelated, but found this article about kiprusoff hilarious.

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#39 clyde
July 15 2013, 08:22PM
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McRib wrote:

Nice article Kent, as I also think that NHL teams hold big defenseman with no offense in too high of regard with the hope of becoming the next Zedano Chara. Honestly though I would rather spend a third rounder on Kanzig over spending firsts on Samuel Morin or Nikita Zadorov this year. Even if we took him a few rounds early.

What you said about minimal offence defenders being drafted is definitely correct in that sense as Andy Rogers, Sasha Pokulok, Vladimir Mihalik, Mark Mitera, David Fischer, Ty Wishart, Nick Petrecki, Keaton Ellerby are all very recent examples of big 6'3"+ first round defence projects becoming busts.

And, then you also have Mike Sauer, Adam Mcquaid, Cody Franson, Mark Fraser, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Robert Bortuzzo, Steven Kampfer, Justin Falk, Brayden Mcnabb, Alex Urbom, David Savard and Dalton Prout drafted as low scoring def in that 60-100 range who either very good def or show signs of becoming one. I don't think anyone expects Kanzig to be Chara but I think this scouting staff sees something in this kid beyond the offensive stats and who is to say that someone else didn't like him which forced the Flames to use their 4rth pick on him.

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#40 clyde
July 15 2013, 08:28PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

When you watch Kanzig in these scrimmages, remove the size and stats from the equation and see what you get.

Was he unable to keep up with the pace (which is high with these higher end players and some cases older guys) of play?

Was he a play killer on offense? Did positive or negative things happen for his team when he touched the puck?

Did he play a lot and do you think coaches were sheltering him from the better skaters?

Did you see him make any skilled plays (smart or skilled passes?) or was it just smacked off the glass or around the boards every time? Was he ever up in the play, did he just hang back? Did he get some shots off?

The issue was not, can he make te NHL (clearly that's difficult for anyone) the issue is, Feaster and crew are idiots for taking a useless goon. It's that continuing narrative that is assumed. Its obvious. They are dumb, look here's another reason why. A big, immobile lug who can only fight. A coke machine. Completely against the principles of selecting players who give + Corsi. Instead continuing draconian aspirations of adding to gritchart.

To me that assessment was horribly wrong. Big time wrong. I'm not saying he will make it but there are aspects to his game which are ALREADY clearly better than his draft day assessment.

I enjoy this site, I learn things but sometimes the narratives, bias and "thinking fans" approach are heavy handed. At the same time there s still intelligent analysis and thought provoking content.

If we are going to criticize we should also accept criticism.

Very well said.

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#41 Burnward
July 15 2013, 10:18PM
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Holy hell guys. Can we just chill on the Kanzig "Coke Machine" stuff for a while.

Yes, he's a very big kid who has waaaay more penalty minutes than anything else and isn't the smoothest skater yet.

That being said, he's already the toughest kid in the WHL at 18. That's pretty impressive. A scary defenseman who can keep pucks out of his own net isn't the worst thing in the world.

I think we should be pulling for him to smash those little Oiler forwards for a decade.

He's proven he can play hockey at this camp, now let's just relax and see if his game catches up to his body. There is no rush on him.

Finally, one plus I think he has going for him...and probably had a factor in Calgary selecting him is Dave Lowry as his coach. I can't see him giving us bad information. He has to see something in him.

Let's all just let this pass and stop calling a kid a bust based on a FRICKIN' STATLINE!!!

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#42 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
July 15 2013, 10:45PM
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Burnward wrote:

Holy hell guys. Can we just chill on the Kanzig "Coke Machine" stuff for a while.

Yes, he's a very big kid who has waaaay more penalty minutes than anything else and isn't the smoothest skater yet.

That being said, he's already the toughest kid in the WHL at 18. That's pretty impressive. A scary defenseman who can keep pucks out of his own net isn't the worst thing in the world.

I think we should be pulling for him to smash those little Oiler forwards for a decade.

He's proven he can play hockey at this camp, now let's just relax and see if his game catches up to his body. There is no rush on him.

Finally, one plus I think he has going for him...and probably had a factor in Calgary selecting him is Dave Lowry as his coach. I can't see him giving us bad information. He has to see something in him.

Let's all just let this pass and stop calling a kid a bust based on a FRICKIN' STATLINE!!!

Really good point with the Dave Lowry angle. Never though of that.

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#43 clyde
July 15 2013, 11:05PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I agree with Kent's take on the Kanzig pick, not for any ideological bias against large, bruising defenders, but for the reasons mentioned in the article.

The Flames need depth and talent at every single position. Arguably more so going into this draft than two-thirds of the rest of the league.

Kanzig may well become a Scott Stevens type defenseman, or the latter-day version thereof. But the percentages suggest that it was a very risky pick with a non-negligible rate of success. Based on the reports of the other talent available and the needs of the team in other areas, as well as the relative ease with which these types of players can be acquired (depth stay-at-home defensemen with minimal offensive upside) this was a poor use of assets during a critical period.

If the Flames were set on adding a defender, Keaton Thompson was taken later in that round and arguable has shown a more significant upside to his game thus far. If we were to expand the options to include forwards we are left with many possibilities including Anton Slepyshev, JC Lipon, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Ryan Kujawinski to name a few.

When contrasted with the picks like Eric Roy and Tim Harrison, the pick simply looks that much more aberrant.

Cheer like heck for him, and I hope he has a healthy career, but the chances of him making it outside of even the AHL are slim.

Now, to recap, I am in no way suggesting that Kanzig is a bust, a useless knuckle-dragging pylon out on the ice merely to break faces, nor a bad hockey player or undeserving prospect. Simply that, based on rates of return and organizational needs, this was not the proverbial itch that needed to be scratched.

Based on the stats measured in the article, I can see why you would agree.

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#44 Kevin R
July 15 2013, 11:22PM
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Kent, if you can get Brodie to sign a 7 year deal @ for 21 mill, then OK, that is a well priced 3-4 dman. If Brodie has any kind of agent, who is his agent by the way, there is no way they take that deal. They'll give you a 4 year deal max at 3.0mill & anything long term at 4.0mill per is a big risk. I wont crucify Feaster on this one, I would like to see a 2 year deal with a healthy increase & then go after some of those UFA years if we are still feeling the warm & fuzzies at that time. If he makes over 5 mill per at that time, well we have ourselves a nice gem.

Kanzig, big deal, its a 3rd rounder, not losing any sleep on that one. Still wishing we took Hartman over Klimchuk.

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#45 Burnward
July 15 2013, 11:32PM
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Re: Brodie

As long as he's on our roster, I'm happy. I wouldn't cut him a large deal yet though. Let's make the kid earn his big money.

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#46 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
July 16 2013, 12:19AM
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Mark wrote:

Personally I see the Kanzig pick like this... If he punches at least 1 Oiler in the face, the third pick is everything I wanted it to be and more.

I second this. If he follows that punch with another, I'll consider him a steal!

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#47 Lordmork
July 16 2013, 09:34AM
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According to the Calgary Herald article on the camp.

Fittest players at camp (in order) - G Laurent Brossoit, C Turner Elson, C Roman Horak, LW Bryce Van Brabant, C Josh Jooris.

I'm really quite high on Brossoit. I really hope we've got something special there. Also, I like the look of Turner Elson, and it sounds like he's impressed some viewers as well, from the comments here I've read.

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#48 everton fc
July 16 2013, 09:47AM
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Lordmork wrote:

According to the Calgary Herald article on the camp.

Fittest players at camp (in order) - G Laurent Brossoit, C Turner Elson, C Roman Horak, LW Bryce Van Brabant, C Josh Jooris.

I'm really quite high on Brossoit. I really hope we've got something special there. Also, I like the look of Turner Elson, and it sounds like he's impressed some viewers as well, from the comments here I've read.

Good to see the invites came fit. Says a lot (potentially) about their character. Everyone seemed to like Jooris. Perhaps a contract in Abby?

Elson also impressed, and came fit. Should be rewarded, if possible. Really good to see Horak came fit. Shows something.

And I think Brossoit could indeed be something special.

Curious if a lists exists stack-ranking all the "campers", by fitness level. Would love to see that list!

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#49 Monaertchi
July 16 2013, 10:31AM
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Is it just me, or are many commenters missing the point of the article on both Brodie and Kanzig?

Brodie has done nothing but improve every step of the way, and given his age there is no reason to believe that he won't continue to improve for several more years at least. So, you could save a little now with a short term contract but you'll probably have to pay through the nose later if you want to keep him. Or you could spend a little more now (when we are already way below the cap) but for a longer term and save money in the long run. Money that will be needed for Monahan, McDavid (hopefully), but not Kanzig.

Kanzig is a defenceman who scored a point about once every ten games last season, 0.1ppg. That means that given a recent decade long history, he has almost 0 chance of being an NHLer. Normally guys drafted around where he was have a 10-15% chance of getting to the NHL for an extended stay. So the Flames turned 10-15 into almost 0. Darryl, is that you?

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#50 Purple Hazze
July 16 2013, 12:06PM
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Kent I believe your logic is flawed in assessing the probability of Kanzig making it to the NHL. You are assuming Kanzig's probability of making the NHL is dependent on past players of his caliber. But Kanzig is his own person with skills/personality/work ethic etc so his probability of making the NHL should be independent.

For example, if I'm sitting at the roulette wheel and 5 red numbers come up in a row, the probability of the next number being red is not 1.5% ( the odds of 6 red numbers occurring in a row) history has no context here, and the past does not predict the future, the odds of the next number being red is still 50/50 because it is independent of the 5 numbers that came before it.

The odds of Kanzig making the NHL are not decreased because the last 10 big d-men drafted in that range failed to make it, they were their own people with their own skill sets etc and they have no impact on the odds of Kanzig making it to the NHL.

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