Five things: Wellity wellity wellity

Ryan Lambert
July 18 2013 10:35AM

1. Just about done

I was reading Christian Roatis's recent breakdown of what could, at this still-early stage, be the Flames' roster for the 2013-14 season, and short of adding someone out of the blue within the next week or two, I'd say that his projections look more or less where the team will stand between now and October.

Overall, I have to say I'm pretty happy with it, because I think it looks exceptionally bad, and that's what I think the Flames should be going for. Admittedly, there are some who would disagree with this (because they are babies), but I don't know how anyone looks at a roster featuring a starting six of Glencross, Backlund, Cammalleri, Giordano, Wideman, and Ramo and says to themselves "this is a team capable of competing for something that isn't the worst record in the league." Those are all perfectly acceptable players, in theory, but with divisional realignment being what it is, the Flames are going to be in tough to even scratch desperately at the door to the conversation for a playoff possibility. No one they add at this point is going to catapult them into that area, either.

Even if you're insanely optimistic that those guys can compete against some of the top-end talent on the Kings, Canucks, Coyotes, Sharks, Oilers and Ducks (and they're not; Calgary's starting six is worse than all of those teams'), a second line and pairing of Sven Baertschi, Corban Knight, and Jiri Hudler with TJ Brodie and Mark Cundari can't exactly fill you with a ton of confidence. Those five players combined have played 584 combined NHL games, and 451 of those are Hudler's alone. These are all guys that project well enough, one supposes, but this team's issue will obviously be high end talent, largely because it has none of it.

2. The Monahan Conundrum

Another thing you might notice in that lineup post is who the No. 3 center looks to be. It's Sean Monahan. And isn't that interesting?

Again, the eternal optimists among Flames fans will almost certainly say that it can't be a bad idea to get the kid into games at the NHL level and see where that gets you, especially considering the dearth of other options available. Certainly, the club is already looking to sign him to his entry-level deal (though this is standard operating procedure and does not guarantee him a spot in Calgary), and the local media is already softening the beaches for such a move. But the idea that he could be playing more than the 10-game tryout with the big club is a very bad one for a number of reasons.

The first of these is that it flies in the face of something John Weisbrod said just over a month ago about how the team would not be looking to rush the No. 6 pick into the NHL. I didn't see one second of development camp so I can't speak to how "ready" he is, but let me just note once again that everyone thought Mark Jankowski was "ready" for college hockey because he was dominant at the same camp last year and then he turned out pretty much not to be. Putting stock in that kind of thing seems a very Flames-y, and overall bad move.

Moreover, the cautionary tale of what Sam Gagner is going to get this summer should be a pretty good reason to dissuade the Flames from bringing an 18-year-old into the fold at this level. Gagner is going to get paid. And as Neil Greenberg points out, unless you think you're going to get an above-average performance from a kid at that age, you'd do well to keep him in junior from a future financial standpoint. Monahan seems rather an unlikely candidate to be above-average in the NHL next season.

3. A few words about "advanced stats"

I don't know what it is, exactly, that kicked off the latest round of insipid discussion in the hockey analytics community about the need to make what people sometimes refer to as "advanced stats" like Corsi and Fenwick and zone starts and PDO and so forth more accessible. Their solution for doing this somehow isn't making a greater effort toward outreach or anything like that, but rather rebranding them with names that are easier or more fun to remember.

This is of course stupid. People aren't sitting there saying they don't understand corsi because they don't know what that means. They're saying they don't understand, fundamentally, that it's any shot attempt recorded. Any old one at all.

The other problem with this is that any cosmetic changes made to the statistics are being made primarily to appeal to idiots, and when you do that, you're really undermining your own credibility to some extent. Ideas don't have to be marketable to be good, they have to be proven to work. We are only just now starting to see corsi, fenwick, and other measures be applied in real ways that actually explain anything to The General Public. I was joking yesterday that corsi could be POOP (Player On-Ice Opportunity Production), PDO could be PEE (POOP Evaluation Equilibrium), and fenwick could be BUTTPOOP (Blocks Uncounted Toward Total POOP), just to underscore how childish the idea is.

Doing more to prove the metrics can be used on a predictive basis to reasonably evaluate players and entire teams should be the focus (and germane to that point: When teams like the Flames and Leafs stop investing energies into being "tough to play against", etc., fan insistence on such will go away as well). Calling them a different thing accomplishes nothing other than in-fighting.

4. The trade market?

One thing that I think is interesting not only for the Flames but league-wide is just how slow the trade market has been, especially considering the number of guys teams may be looking to unload. For instance, can you believe Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller are still both with Buffalo? Can you believe the Flames haven't 86ed Mark Giordano or Mike Cammalleri?

I don't know why things are so gummed up (maybe cap concerns), and in free agency too. One has to hope, I guess, that once one domino falls — perhaps your Mikhail Grabovskis of the world — that others will go too. You'd think anyway.

5. No one wants to come to Calgary

My bud Justin Bourne wrote up a list the other day, ranking all 30 NHL markets in order of their appeal to unrestricted free agents. Boston topped the list.

Calgary bottomed it.

Sayeth Bourne: "Why on earth would I do this to myself over the next three years? Team isn’t going to win for awhile, the old building just flooded and wasn’t a palace to begin with, and it’s cold as s**t there in the winter. Nice city in the right season or whatever, but…why? Seriously, why would I choose Calgary?"

Tough but fair, really. I said it last week — and somehow caught flak for it — but this team is going to be Oilers South for at least three years, maybe (probably?) more. And while that's all for the better in the long run, for right now, it's going to be very disquieting for the locals.

Around the Nation

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Domebeers.com
July 18 2013, 10:45AM
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"but this team is going to be Oilers South for at least three years, maybe (probably?) more."

Awesome you wrote that, because it gives me a segue to remind everybody about how low character the management is:

Quoteth Jay Feaster: "I’m sorry — Edmonton finished where last year, caller? Want to wager on where we finish relative to Edmonton this year? I’m tired of this question, I’ll tell you very honestly. I’m getting a little sour. How many teams . . . every year, for the last 10 years, five years, eight years, have finished in the bottom five, bottom seven, bottom 10? They’ve had a pick anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 year after year after year after year, and they still wander in the desert. And they’re no closer to getting out than they were 10 years ago.

“You know what? I look forward to the Battle of Alberta for the next X number of years. If the idea is, ‘Burn it to the ground,’ then Ken can find another manager to do it."

Said quote will never get old.

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#2 SmellOfVictory
July 18 2013, 12:03PM
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I support the rebranding of advanced stats to POOP, PEE, and BUTTPOOP.

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#3 the-wolf
July 18 2013, 11:44AM
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All great points and of course Feaster is a hypocrite, he wishes to remain employed.

I find it hilarious as I read on here every day that Kanzig is somehow the next Chara simply because his skating isn't quite as bad as advertise, Monahan and Gaudreau the next Toews and Kane, etc, etc.

While, at the same time, the Oilers suck and their 1st round picks will never get them anywhere but the bottom again, but, lo and behold Knight is somehow a 2nd line NHL center and Calgary will be back in contention in just 3 years.

I'm as big a fan as the rebuild as anyone, but there's going to be a lot of disappointed and/or impatient fans around here.

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#4 RexLibris
July 18 2013, 11:55AM
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Flames finish: when the since-retracted "we'll be competitive next season" comment was made the first thought I had was "have they not looked at the divisions next year?". The Flames are in danger this year of doing what Kent has often criticized the Oilers for (and in some cases, rightly so) of rushing prospects and some young players because they lacked the foresight and depth to slot in veterans.

On Monahan: ditto. I thought the same thing looking at their depth chart and hearing some of the stuff coming out of development camp, and was reminded quickly of Weisbrod's comments. Then again, should anyone be surprised anymore when the Flames management team says one thing and then shortly thereafter does something completely at odds with the statement, only to then suggest that they were open to the possibility all along.

Oh, intellectual honesty, how you tease me so...

Advanced Stats: rather than bring the bar up and expect more from fans (and media) let's lower it to the basest level. Sounds about right. I'm not a baseball fan, but I do respect how the fan base accepts and embraces their statistical landscape. Hockey fans are not less intelligent.

On the trade market: I suspect the Grabovski signing is holding some things up, as well once the arbitration hearings finalize there should be some more movement as there will be another buyout window.

Calgary as a pariah: Edmonton had the same thing five years ago. It says nothing about the city, but many people decided to take the opportunity to deride the city all the same. Calgary is a beautiful city, lovely place to live and work. If players don't want to go there it does nothing to diminish the municipality or the citizens.

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#5 Scary Gary
July 18 2013, 02:45PM
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Interesting, everyone is welcome to their opinion.

I could see the post-apex players not wanting to come to Calgary as we won't be a cup contender for some time and the more desirable free agents would prefer to win because, well, winning is fun; however, to believe a hockey market like Calgary that spends to the cap, has a committed fan base, pretty good ice quality (see Boston), and is ranked as the sunniest large city in Canada (on average 2,405 hrs of annual sunshine) would rank 30th of 30 NHL teams for playing desirability seems a bit far fetched.

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#6 They're $hittie
July 18 2013, 02:49PM
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McRib wrote:

Oh the city of Detroit just went bankrupt they were the 11th on most desirable franchise list 19 spots higher than the Flames, Hahahahahaha.

What a joke if a list of it wasn't all about quality of a city it would be understandable, but only an ass hat would put a franchise that has a hard time selling out because people cannot afford a $20 ticket, as a desirable place to go.

Wow, settle down.

This is a survey of where players want to play. Not about which city is best. You are being a homer as everyone is to their city. Have you lived in all 30 NHL cities? NO. Than please do not quote like you know what they are all about based on a weather map you have watched once or twice a month. You said Calgary has the rockies than ripped Denver. I guess they don't have mountains.

What does a booming Economy have to do with Millionaires whose monies are based on a fixed percentage of the leagues revenues and are not tied to a local economy.

As stated in other comments, weather is weather and one degree between to cold cities is not going to be a difference.

Next, Players have disposable income. If a player plays in Edmonton he has the option, money and time to live in St. Albert, Sturgeon County, or Strathcona County (to respute you argument about edmonton being a poophole). I have almost been stabbed in Calgary as well.

Finally, players have the means to travel to cities around NA and for Euro players back to their country in the off season.

Where a player wants to play is based on MONEY, Guaranteed spot on roster and not getting sent to the AHL, teams future or immediate ability to win, role on the team (players dont want to be stop gaps), arena, facilities and level of interest by the team.

Please get off your holier than though I am God because I live in Calgary attitude and stop trashing the great cities of the NHL. This article has nothing to do with the Calgary itself but with the Flames.

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#7 McRib
July 18 2013, 02:54PM
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@piscera.infada

It was bazaar he basically ranked the most desirable franchises off of what the best teams are heading into the season and hand picked obscure statements about those teams citys.

The fact that Montreal isn't Top. 3 is soly because he cannot speak French?!?!?! Montreal is 80% English, you are hard pressed to find someone that can not speak English in Montreal.

I don't loathe the City of Edmonton (I do think it is much rougher than Calgary), but everytime I'm up there something happens to me. I guess the biggest thing is I don't drive a truck!! Hahah.

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#8 Ramskull
July 18 2013, 02:59PM
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1) Yes the chances are the flames are going to be bad. Your insight into their lack of high end talent is earth shattering......

2) How do you come to the conclusion that Jankowski wasn't ready for college? He put up half a point a game as an 18 year old freshman playing out of position on a defence first hockey club that had a winning record. It's almost pathetic how you wish failure on an 18 year old because you have a personal dislike for the GM that drafted him high. The guys drafted from 13th onward in 2012 have not shown any more promise than Mark with the only exception being Teravainen and it's unknown if his size will hinder him from being an NHL regular (not a problem for the 6'3" 190lb Jankowski). It must really get to you that he got a junior camp invite. As for Monahan, if he's too good for Junior and not good enough for the NHL what do you do?

3. I have two problems with your love for the chucker stats. The first being that standards of measurement are not consistent from rink to rink. The second is that you can observe much of what they tell you without having to rely on the math.

4. Why would the flames 86 Gio? Do you need something new to complain about?

5. Thanks for providing us with Bourne's meaningless opinion on someone else's personal decision. What would you even base this on?

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#9 Michael
July 18 2013, 03:31PM
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One of the 'yet to be determined parts' of both the JBo and Iggy trades was how Feaster was going to use the freed up cap space. Its looking more and more likely that it will remain largely unused, which means I dislike the 'return' even more than before.

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#10 If Only HIs Name Was Olli Postandin
July 18 2013, 04:18PM
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"We are the second sunniest major city in North America... The opposite of Vancouver."

You haven't been to Vancouver in the last decade, have you?

I have yet to experience a summer here where it wasn't sunny for a majority of the period from July until October. May/June are usually 50/50.

As for the rest of the year...being able to go skiing despite the fact that it is usually 10 degrees outside is pretty awesome if you ask me. The sprinkling of sunny days reminiscent of fall are pretty cool, too.

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#11 @Gingras34
July 18 2013, 10:54AM
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Definitely agree that Calgary isn't a desired place to be right now. I do believe once the team begins to have success again, it will be.

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#12 Burnward
July 18 2013, 11:03AM
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I stopped reading at "Monahan derp, derp, derp Jankowski."

The headline to point five made me feel good about my decision as I came down here to write this.

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#14 piscera.infada
July 18 2013, 11:32AM
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@Gingras34 wrote:

Definitely agree that Calgary isn't a desired place to be right now. I do believe once the team begins to have success again, it will be.

I agree. That was my problem with Bourne's article and subsequent interview on The Fan. He was looking at the UFA's choice in a vacuum. It seems to me that there would be great latitude in a player's decision to play for a specific team. Obviously, the first characteristic a player would look for would be team success (which Calgary has little to none to offer). I firmly believe though, that other factors pull in Calgary's favor. When (and if) the team gets its crap together and fixes this mess, I would assume other things - like pervasive hockey culture; good, clean city; the chance to be treated like a sports god; etc. - will make Calgary a better 'draw'. Bourne's stupid little comments about 'the weather' and 'cities being devoid of culture' were what really tore me up about that article. I think it comes down to success of the team, stability of the franchise, and then all those other things we know and love (see above, taxation rates, whatever). So, yes, Calgary should very well be last. His comments make it sound eternal - that is a completely capricious argument.

Also, his obsession with the rink being ruined seemed like a bit of an un-savory jab - if you ask me (but no one did).

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#15 Kmp
July 18 2013, 11:56AM
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I would be among the optimistic few. They have enough solid two way wingers to carry a couple of young centers, Horak and Knight would be my guesses. The real question marks are defense and goaltending, who knows maybe they exceed expectations. Phoenix doesn't have stars and they went to the conference finals2 years ago.

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#16 Monaertchi Gaudnett
July 18 2013, 11:57AM
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Off topic, but very interesting article:

http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2013/07/is-gary-bettman-responsible-for.html

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#17 Tach
July 18 2013, 11:59AM
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Did Matt Stajan die or something?

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#18 Brent G.
July 18 2013, 12:05PM
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the-wolf wrote:

All great points and of course Feaster is a hypocrite, he wishes to remain employed.

I find it hilarious as I read on here every day that Kanzig is somehow the next Chara simply because his skating isn't quite as bad as advertise, Monahan and Gaudreau the next Toews and Kane, etc, etc.

While, at the same time, the Oilers suck and their 1st round picks will never get them anywhere but the bottom again, but, lo and behold Knight is somehow a 2nd line NHL center and Calgary will be back in contention in just 3 years.

I'm as big a fan as the rebuild as anyone, but there's going to be a lot of disappointed and/or impatient fans around here.

My favourite is how people on here are looking at the high-water mark of the potential of these prospects and suddenly thinks this is imminent. In the Backlund article someone actually hoped he wouldnt be that good because we need top draft picks for the next couple of years; as if he is going to single handedly catapult us into playoff contention.

It's good to see the potential of these prospects and imagine for the future but also keep in mind given the odds, the majority of these players will never make a significant impact at the NHL level let alone become that 1st line center we are so desperately in need of. Edmonton is the key example of over evaluating their players because the planets will align and some stupid non-factor is what will make it happen.

I'm not trying to rain on anyones parade here but I do think we need to stop talking like we are going to have too many 1st line centers to manage. Calling Monahan the next Toews may happen but dont make those comparisons 1 month after being drafted when he has really done nothing of relevance.

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#19 Primo
July 18 2013, 12:07PM
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As painful as it is for us Flames fans your article is bang on! On the rebuild we can learn from the helpless Oilers that finishing last does give you a chance at top elite young talent but more importantly you need to surround them with some vets who not only want to be in Calgary but will support the young guys for the next few years. Flames management acknowledge this hence the strategy to sign vets from this area.

Finishing 27-30 and trading the Cammy's, Wideman's, Butler's selectively at the right time will ensure some elite young drafts/prospects again this year. Suck it up Flames fans we need to so this X 3!

From a business perspective the team will be competitive again around the same time the new building is set to open and the need to sell seats and executive boxes at astronomical prices! Perfect timing KK!

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#20 TRAV
July 18 2013, 01:05PM
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I'm always disappointed when writers resort to name calling. Seems to take away from the validity of the debate when this is the tactic resorted to. I don't disagree much with the points expressed but I don't care much for the way they were expressed.

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#21 McRib
July 18 2013, 01:13PM
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"My bud Justin Bourne wrote up a list the other day, ranking all 30 NHL markets in order of their appeal... Calgary bottomed it.

Why on earth would I do this to myself over the next three years? ...."

The fact that Edmonton is 18 and Calgary is 30 is a complete joke if we have troubles with our rink what do you consider Edmonton to have?? Lol. The fact that Rexall wasn't condemed 3+ years ago baffles me. If Calgary is cold in the winter. What is Edmonton??? Not to mention the amount of snow Ottawa or Montreal get. We are the second sunniest major city in North America... The opposite of Vancouver. Home to the Canadian Rockies with a flourishing economy. It's called a Chinook... I've spent time in Toronto at University and Calgarys winter climate has twice as many mild days!!!

The fact that Colorado is 12 with one of the cheapest owners in the league and a team filled with players that quit on the coach last season makes me seriously question if this idoit has ever been ouside of Vancouver period. Florida or Carolina is not last place...

Seguin choose Calgary over Edmonton as recently as a month ago, but our ownership vito'd the trade. Edmonton is currently trading former Top. 10 picks for injury prone PP specilists to try and imporve the club... They offered more for just about ever major free agent this year and no one budged an inch, outside of Andrew Ference... Huh.

Of all of the cities he ranked the biggest suprise on this list is Vancouver at 8, no one wants to go there and they are two years away from being in a bigger hole than us. Every team in the league cannot stand the Canucks swim team they have assembled. In the last three or four years what major free agent have they signed??? The team was built through Burke & Nonis drafts. Gillies is doing a great job of drafting busts and signing post apex players though, thats what you get when you have a former agent as a GM.

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#22 piscera.infada
July 18 2013, 01:40PM
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@McRib

In his defense (or maybe not) his team is the Islanders (as per his Fan interview yesterday). So ya' know. Centre of the universe and all.

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#23 McRib
July 18 2013, 01:51PM
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@piscera.infada

I understand Calgary is not going to be that desirable for the next couple of season and even though I have a lot more optimism than the Ryan Lambert's of the worlds that look at the situation from the most negative aspect. The Flames are in no way 30th least desirable franchise.... Sorry but its not even close!!

The New Jersey Devils will be lucky to still be a franchise by years end with the money they are loosing, having been to Newark for the Draft the city is a slum!!! Whoever thinks NJ is a better looking destination over Calgary is clueless, not to mention other non-hockey markets like Florida, Carolina, Phoenix. Looking at Ottawa two years ago young players like Kyle Turris jumped at the chance to get more playing time in a Canadian city. We might not be desirable for post apex free agents that we didn't want anyway, but we are a good sell for younger players.

Our situation is entirely different from Edmonton, there was some major questions marks for that franchise in terms of moving to Seattle, as well as getting a new building and such that made them very unappealing outside of drafted players. Also have you been to Edmonton... I don't mean to be rude, but Calgary is twice the city. Someone stole my license plates off my car there a few weeks ago, Lol. Who does that, I was there for the a night on campus. The other time I was in Edmonton no word of a lie someone tried to stab me outside of a bar, because I told them to stop staring at my girlfriend. For all those reasons, I think we are positioned much like Ottawa's rebuild and the Gustav Nyquists of the world that Detroit might not be able to sign would look at playing with us as a major positive.

A booming Canadian Market like Calgary is never going to be in the Bottom Ten in my opinion. I have to disagree with Columbus being so low, that is a franchise on the upswing in an amazing city. Clearly me and the author have very different tastes because Philadelphia is no where close to even the Top. 15 for me. Been there twice and outside of good hockey fans the city itself is filled with the most brash and ignorant people on the planet. Its an absolute hole in my opinion, still cannot get over how the NHL Draft is in NJ and then Philly on back to back years there are no two markets in NA that are less appealing for me. Just want to go back to Minnesota every year!!

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#24 Avalain
July 18 2013, 02:25PM
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@McRib

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you here. I don't necessarily think that Calgary should be at the bottom of the list, but the only real reason for that is because Calgary treats their players very well. Everything else is going against us.

Think about it this way. There are a bunch of reasons why any particular player will choose the location they do.

- Money. Of course, this one was wiped out for the sake of argument. - Weather. - Family. - Travel requirements. - Level of competition. - Fame. - Other things I probably forgot

Now here's the flaw in your logic. Players won't generally rank all of these on the same scale. Yes, the weather here is better than Edmonton. But that doesn't matter in this case, because if weather is an important factor to that player they will end up in LA, or Florida, or any of the many American cities where frozen water falling from the sky is a joke told by people who like to walk uphill both ways. So neither Edmonton nor Calgary is going to lure in any of those players. But what Edmonton does have is a budding future (in the eyes of the player), and that is enough to jump Edmonton up 10 places or so. Being in a place that looks like it has a great future is tempting to people.

The issue is that UFA's simply don't want to sign up at the beginning of a rebuild. We're at least a few years out of being really competitive and that few years could very well be the entire length of the players contract. So, basically, if someone cared to come here as a UFA they could sign somewhere else for a few years and come here as our rebuild was finally kicking into gear.

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#25 McRib
July 18 2013, 02:27PM
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Oh the city of Detroit just went bankrupt they were the 11th on most desirable franchise list 19 spots higher than the Flames, Hahahahahaha.

What a joke if a list of it wasn't all about quality of a city it would be understandable, but only an ass hat would put a franchise that has a hard time selling out because people cannot afford a $20 ticket, as a desirable place to go.

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#26 piscera.infada
July 18 2013, 02:37PM
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@McRib

Hey man, you get no argument from me - then again, I'm a born and raised Calgarian who lived in Vancouver (yuck) for 5 years and then moved back. So yes, I think Calgary is a better destination than many other 'markets'. That said, I'm hardly un-baised.

The article was written about those marquee free agents, not the Corban Knight's of the world (although he transcends all marquee players in all sports). I just sympathize with a (possibly?) un-baised reporter claiming that because the organization is approaching, at, or just rising from rock-bottom (depending on how you look at it) it is likely the most difficult place to lure these 'types' of players to.

I agree with you though (as mentioned in my post above) that these other factors - weather, cultural diversity, small houses, big houses, nightlife, amount of dogs vs. amount of cats, playoff beard bylaws, amount of wheat fields in a 400 kilometer radius, taste of drinking water, amount of annual snowfall, amount of annual rainfall, the likelihood the apocalypse will strike in said city, or the proximity of the worlds largest terracotta sausage - do nothing but belie the point the writer was trying to get at. They just come off as thinly veiled jabs at the city he's talking about.

On another note, if you're having that much trouble in Edmonton perhaps you should just keep quite while you're up there. I go there quite often and I have never had anything stolen from my car, or been anywhere close to a bar fight - but then again, I don't make it known to everyone that I loathe the city.

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#27 McRib
July 18 2013, 02:40PM
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@Avalain

"But what Edmonton does have is a budding future (in the eyes of the player), and that is enough to jump Edmonton up 10 places or so. Being in a place that looks like it has a great future is tempting to people."

Edmonton doesn't seem that tempting to people at all... As they made the biggest offer to multiple players during free agency and no one worth while choose them.

I wouldn't group us in with Edmonton, as their Billionaire egotistical owner refused to even put up 10-20 million of his own money to secure a new rink that the city had already volunteered 100s of millions towards. People are staying away from them for a good reason. Outside of a few unproven first overall picks Calgary has Edmonton beat on everything else.

I wasn't talking about UFAs personally I don't ever want UFAs!!! Stanley Cup winning teams never sign UFAs, look at Chicago! Desperate teams looking to get to the top over spend and ruin themselves. I was talking about trading for a couple RFAs that want to grow in a positive situation with an increased role. Much like Kyle Turris wanted to in Ottawa.

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#28 Kevin R
July 18 2013, 02:49PM
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5 things back: 1/We just jettisoned 3 franchise pillers teams build a hopeful contender around. Yeah the roster is full of NHL complimentary players & unproven talented young guys trying to make their mark & earn the big$$$. Add all that up & yes we are not going to have a playoff bound team this year coming up & next year after. That's OK. If we don't get a top 3, it means some of our new guys are playing pretty good.

2/Monohan is a non issue. He will get his 9-10 game cup of coffee & depending on how he does during that 9-10 games, will most likely be sent back to the OHL. If he stays, you can get the bat out & criticize the GM's decisions then.

3/Advanced stats have been very interesting reads that I have enjoyed. Not totally sold on 100% accuracy. My education at University is in Environmental/Industrial/Pyschobiology & Sport Pyschology. I have made my money & work in a total different field. But I have always felt that performance is linked to multiple influences, environmental, psychological, genetic factors that could possibly be profiled & the advanced stats could work well measuring some of these profiles. I enjoy the reading & as advanced stats evolve to predict players performance, I cant wait to see how it will explain performances afterward.

4/Trade market has been really boring considering. I do agree, once all the arbitration rulings shake out & we get into August, the cap issues will have to be addressed. We can only hope things pick up in August.

5/I am a native Calgarian & Justin Bourne can go f@#* himself. It's too bad you even acknowledged his drivel on this site. Not exactly rocket science that established players that are UFA's are well enough into their career to know their window is closing & are drawn to teams that are playoff contenders. Duhhh! Do a survey of young guys wanting a chance to make the NHL & wow, holy smokes, Oilers & Flames are going to be near the top of the list for desired destinations. I hate these surveys. There are 690 NHL jobs available for hockey players in the whole world that can possibly pay them 7 figures per year. If I was one of those 690, I wouldn't care. So Justin Bourne, I salute you by hanging a big rat!

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#29 McRib
July 18 2013, 03:04PM
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@They're $hittie

"You are being a homer as everyone is to their city. Have you lived in all 30 NHL cities? NO."

I have not lived in all 30 Cities, but I have spent time in all 30 NHL Cities as it was a goal to watch a game in all 30 rinks.

I ripped Denver because they have horrible ownership!! No because its a nice city!

That was the point I was trying to make as the author of the article ranked Calgary dead last because its "cold" and "our stadium got flooded". He didn't mention anything like our owners have some of the deepest pockets in the league and we are one of the most booming cities in NA. Or that we have as passionate of a fan base as any in the entire NHL. If you think Calgary is a tough sell then fine, but I don't!! You can calm down the only city I ripped was Newark, NJ. Honestly I was recently there for the draft, the cab drivers didn't know where the rink was because they usually refuse to go into the city and cops had to escort fans in from offsite parking lots.

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#30 beloch
July 18 2013, 03:07PM
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@the-wolf

The Oilers' 1st round players, plus one or two others, are fine and would be right at home on a championship team. Unfortunately, the rest of the team built around them seems to be designed to keep grabbing lottery picks and, so far this summer, MacT hasn't done nearly enough to change that.

The Flames, by comparison, have an excellent supporting cast but little high end talent. Much of that supporting cast is post-apex, and the goal should be to move them so that players of similar value remain within the Flames system. Feaster is likely just smart enough to do this, although he's obviously not going to net an optimal return.

The real test of a GM is what he does when the team is chasing the cup, not what he does in a rebuild forced upon him. He should always plan for the future rather than wasting long-term resources to gain a tiny edge in the short-term. Feaster, like Sutter before him, continued to squander resources to chase the playoffs! He has proven his lack of worth and needs to be replaced by the end of the rebuild. I fear what he'll do once the Flames start making the playoffs again.

One last thing: The current Flames roster may lack high-end talent, but it has a lot of depth and is largely not designed to dive for picks the way the Oilers' roster is. Most of last season's veteran core is intact and the killer B's are on the upswing. This team was sunk by league-bottom goal-tending last season rather than succeeding at failing in spite of hot goal-tending, as the Oilers did. If Feaster, irrationally, stands pat and Ramo doesn't suck, the Flames will likely not pick very early.

My big fear is that Feaster will keep all the vets into their decline and ride hot goal-tending to some early playoff exits. A couple seasons of that and the Flames will be in a far worse position than they are now.

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#31 Sincity1976
July 18 2013, 03:15PM
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1) For the Flames to be contenders next season they need to: a- Find a couple of top 6C, b- Find a couple of top 3W, c- find a couple of top 2D, d- find a starting goalie, and e- Mesh as a team that can play a consistent game. And they have to find that internally because free agency is closed to them and trades are too expensive.

Is it possible that Baertschi, Backlund, and Monahan all become impact top 6 forwards next season, Brodie has a Karlsson like transition to a top 2D, Ramo proves to be a starting NHL goalie, and the added pieces all mesh into a team? Sure. I could also win the lottery next week and the week after. But any practical person knows the Flames are going to suck next season.

2) I give the Flames a bit more credit in this area. They have walked the talk in not rushing prospects (for the most part) and I don't think they are going to rush Monahan next season. I think he gets a 9-game sniff and barring something exceptional returns to the CHL.

3) Clearly you never marketed anything. The advanced stats community has almost went out of their way to make advanced stats inaccessible. Perhaps to preserve it from being main stream and staying elitist (not accusing the Kent's of the world who have tried to sell them to the masses). Changing the names, making definitions clearer and more accessible, and just generally making the entire thing easier to digest would absolutely improve its mass appeal.

4) We should get another rash of trades. I don't know if it is going to be following development camp, RFA offers, a key UFA signing, a salary dump, or regular camps. But something will set it off. My guess is once the RFA signings are done will prompt the next round of signings/trades. GMs are in no rush and they are focused on internal business atm.

5) Even when we are winning we aren't a prime destination. Smaller city, cold weather, western based Canadian team, etc. Right now everyone knows we are going to be terrible and we are going to focus on kids over vets.

Not only are we appealing to UFAs one has to wonder if vets like Hudler, Cammalleri, Stajan, Glencross, Giordano, Wideman, Stempniak, etc aren't going to try and bolt to greener pastures sooner rather then later. Especially with Feaster going on record that the kids get preference over the vets.

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#32 piscera.infada
July 18 2013, 03:46PM
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@Michael

Smfh. Yes, with all those grade-A free agents out there to sign. All cap space does is allow for larger flexibility in the future. The Clarkson's and Grabovski's of the world aren't going to propel this team to a legitimate contender anyway, so why not save it for a rainy day instead of just throwing it away?

Hell, Feaster could've traded for all the bad contracts he wanted to secure both the first and second overall, and you'd still probably be pissy about something.

The whole cap space to take on bad contracts for assets could still happen, but it's not like any other team pulled off that kind of a deal. It seems to me that the whole idea behind it was just wishful thinking on the fan's part.

I get it, you don't like Feaster, but what was he supposed to do with the cap space when there a) wasn't anyone worth spending it on where this team currently stands, and b) no one was trading away their expensive 'mistakes'. Should he just set it on fire?

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#33 beloch
July 18 2013, 03:47PM
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@Michael

Picking up pricey post-apex UFA's does nothing to help the Flames rebuild at this early stage. Offer-sheeting RFA's would result in some nasty contracts that are as likely to hurt as to help down the road. The best use for this cap space would be for the Flames to take on some bad contracts bundled with prospects and picks. Unfortunately, the summer trade market has been a real snooze-fest so far. One can only hope Feaster is doing more these days than trying to convince Brodie's agent that last season was just a fluke.

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#34 Relax
July 18 2013, 03:57PM
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With a group of younger guns and Hartleys offensive system the flames may not win a lot of games but they should be entertaining to watch. As long as they work and push the play north they should keep games close.

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#35 Avalain
July 18 2013, 04:19PM
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McRib wrote:

"But what Edmonton does have is a budding future (in the eyes of the player), and that is enough to jump Edmonton up 10 places or so. Being in a place that looks like it has a great future is tempting to people."

Edmonton doesn't seem that tempting to people at all... As they made the biggest offer to multiple players during free agency and no one worth while choose them.

I wouldn't group us in with Edmonton, as their Billionaire egotistical owner refused to even put up 10-20 million of his own money to secure a new rink that the city had already volunteered 100s of millions towards. People are staying away from them for a good reason. Outside of a few unproven first overall picks Calgary has Edmonton beat on everything else.

I wasn't talking about UFAs personally I don't ever want UFAs!!! Stanley Cup winning teams never sign UFAs, look at Chicago! Desperate teams looking to get to the top over spend and ruin themselves. I was talking about trading for a couple RFAs that want to grow in a positive situation with an increased role. Much like Kyle Turris wanted to in Ottawa.

See, this may be why you're having such a problem with this article. He isn't saying no hockey players want to come here. He's very specific. He is explicitly talking about an elite UFA in the 29ish age range and taking money out of the equation. Basically a guy who can go anywhere for big money, hitting their peak or even just over.

With this in mind, the whole thing doesn't really matter that much because these are not the sort of people Calgary wants either. They cost a lot of money and will be on the downslope of their career by the time we actually need them.

As for no one worthwhile choosing Edmonton, well, they aren't exactly ranked 1st on the list. They aren't even in the top half.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I agree that Calgary is going to appeal to players like, well, Corbin Knight, who want to crack the lineup sooner.

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#36 Victoria Flames Fan
July 18 2013, 05:01PM
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Calgary as a city is pretty desirable - low taxes, relatively affordable housing market, ranked high on livable cities indexes, great recreational opportunities, entrepreneurial spirit, hotbed for hockey etc. but you're right - at this point it will be at least 3-5 years before there is a potential contender coming out of Southern Alberta.

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#37 Christian Roatis
July 18 2013, 05:10PM
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The reason Calgary is undesirable right now has to do with the hockey rather than the location and politics. Remember 5 or so years ago when Calgary was the UFA hotspot? Well the only thing that's changed since then is the quality of hockey. Once the rebuild is complete, the Flames will have no trouble attracting free agents once again.

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#38 beloch
July 18 2013, 05:45PM
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Players like to win, but they like being paid even more. Alberta's low tax-rate still makes the province highly desirable to UFA's looking to stash a little next-egg away for their retirement. $5M in Calgary is a lot more than $5M in Vancouver or New York!

The real reason UFA players' agents aren't lined up outside Feaster's office is that they know the Flames don't need or want vets at this stage in their rebuild. It's that simple. Why apply where you're not needed or wanted?

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#39 T&A4Flames
July 18 2013, 08:40PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Flames finish: when the since-retracted "we'll be competitive next season" comment was made the first thought I had was "have they not looked at the divisions next year?". The Flames are in danger this year of doing what Kent has often criticized the Oilers for (and in some cases, rightly so) of rushing prospects and some young players because they lacked the foresight and depth to slot in veterans.

On Monahan: ditto. I thought the same thing looking at their depth chart and hearing some of the stuff coming out of development camp, and was reminded quickly of Weisbrod's comments. Then again, should anyone be surprised anymore when the Flames management team says one thing and then shortly thereafter does something completely at odds with the statement, only to then suggest that they were open to the possibility all along.

Oh, intellectual honesty, how you tease me so...

Advanced Stats: rather than bring the bar up and expect more from fans (and media) let's lower it to the basest level. Sounds about right. I'm not a baseball fan, but I do respect how the fan base accepts and embraces their statistical landscape. Hockey fans are not less intelligent.

On the trade market: I suspect the Grabovski signing is holding some things up, as well once the arbitration hearings finalize there should be some more movement as there will be another buyout window.

Calgary as a pariah: Edmonton had the same thing five years ago. It says nothing about the city, but many people decided to take the opportunity to deride the city all the same. Calgary is a beautiful city, lovely place to live and work. If players don't want to go there it does nothing to diminish the municipality or the citizens.

Flames finish/Feaster: saying we'll be competitive and expecting playoffs is 2 completely separate things. I wouldn't get all up in a huff about that. As for not having the vets a la Oilers, how do you figure having Cammi, Glenx, Hudler, Jones, Galiardi, Stajan, Gio, Wideman etc is not a geoup of vets? In fact I'd say Feaster did exactly what Tambi failed to do, add a solid group of bottom 6rs to play the tough minutes and give the kids space.

As for CGY comparing to EDM as a viable place to play, I'd say EDM took a kick in the teeth that CGY hasn't had to yet experience. The Pronger thing then Nylander and then it snowballed with Heatley etc. Being so close I guess CGY took a bit of a hit to its rep but no where near what EDM got.

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#40 MC Hockey
July 18 2013, 11:14PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

I support the rebranding of advanced stats to POOP, PEE, and BUTTPOOP.

I think EVERYONE does as well, but is afraid to say so.

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#41 RexLibris
July 18 2013, 11:24PM
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@T&A4Flames

Your last point is sort of what I was getting at.

So Calgary is on the bottom of some UFA desirability list? Is this as psychologically damaging as getting picked last for softball?

Edmonton got beaten up for years, essentially from the summer of 2006 (Pronger leaving) until sometime around 2010 (Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi make their debut).

Calgary has bottomed out on one list.

It stings, but seriously there is nothing wrong with the city. I mean, it isn't as though you're Oakland.

Edmonton is a beautiful city too. Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, Nashville, Tampa Bay, all nice places to live. Even Detroit has some great things emerging from their post-apocalyptic exodus.

I'm a little sympathetic to Calgarians when I hear about this, but at the same time I would hope this would engender some perspective and sympathy when similar statements are bandied about in regards to Edmonton and other Canadian cities. This isn't levelled at you specifically, so please don't take that as personal criticism.

Regarding Feaster helping the kids, center is a very tough position to learn and Monahan and Knight are already penciled in by most observers as being right behind Matt Stajan on the depth chart. Regardless of their wingers, that is a tough hill to climb this early in their careers.

What if they keep Monahan on the roster? Stajan can be fed to the wolves at home, but away games are going to be difficult. Feaster could have tried to add a veteran center, even if it meant one that was woefully unsuited for 2nd line duty, if only to keep the younger players a little more sheltered.

Antropov, Grabovski, Connolly, Gomez, and Wellwood are all available centers who could have been signed and slotted into that 1/2C role alongside Stajan. They won't win many games, but they can help Knight acclimatize to the NHL game, and allow Monahan more time to develop.

Feaster hasn't surrounded any young kids with veterans, he's slotted kids into roster holes of his own making alongside veterans who are left over from his great retooling exercise from last season. Where some describe intent, I see only response to circumstance and misjudgement.

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#42 T&A4Flames
July 19 2013, 12:02AM
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@RexLibris

Again Rex I disagree with your last paragraph. Yes there are some of the reclamation projects still around and yes , some of these kids may get slotted into holes. But eventually they have to be. Trading for Jones, SOB and Galiardi in my estimation is more about adding bigger and stronger support players than it was about moving out the vets. Unlike EDM, please take no offense, Feaster is trying to add better support for the incoming talent. That is where I believe that Tambi failed and where CGY is trying to do differently. Guys like Jones, Stemp and Glenx can play up and down the line up as needed and allow Hartley to ease the kids into tough situations. Hall, Eberle and RNH were expected to carry the mail from day 1.

As for acquiring a more experienced C, I still think Feast and Brod are waiting out other teams for salary dump opportunities. It won't surprise me to see Monahan start the season in CGY, but If he plays more than 9 gms, I would be really surprised but it would be because he earned it.

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#43 TheoForever
July 19 2013, 12:48AM
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The statement that Jankowski wasn’t ready for college is completely incorrect, because the stats show otherwise. He was extremely young but had a good showing. The fact that he was placed #25 in the re-draft and invitation to team Canada camp support it. Feaster picked the right guy and added Sieloff to boot.

The moves Feaster made have been positive overall. He is building a tough team that will give an effort and will not be pushed around, while he waits for his prospects to develop. This should make the rebuild less painful to watch. Hard to ‘boo’ a bunch of guys that give it all game in and out.

In the previous reincarnation Feaster tried to make the playoffs because his boss Edwards told him to. Would anyone do otherwise?

Finally, Calgary is not last on the UFA list, but low because of the rebuild. City is nice, weather is not as bad as in some cities. If you consider that many teams refuse to spend to the limit thus limiting any chance of winning championship, Calgary is definitely not last. Only a BC boy or an Oiler fan would think that.

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#44 ?
July 19 2013, 12:53AM
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@Michael

Well, to be honest, all that 'creating cap-space' talk from the Iginla and JBouw deals by Feaster was never warranted. Dealing Iginla gave the Flames 7mil in cap space for the remainder of LAST season. It gave them cap space for a short amount of time, which was kinda pointless; Iggy was still slated to become a free agent July 5th anyways. The cap space that was 'part' of the return was redundant. So, looking back, I'm not really a fan of how Feaster tried to spin the fact that the Flames had flexibility post-Iginla deal, because they would have had that anyways. But whatever, I'm getting off-topic

When you think about it, although they did free up some space, what could they really do with it? Overpay for mediocre free agents like Bozak? Offer sheet some RFA's to huge deals and potentially surrender multiple draft picks, including next years first rounder, which looks like it's gonna be a top 5 pick? The only thing that they could have done was acquire some expensive contract, like Lecavalier's, along with some picks/prospects, and used a compliance buyout on it. However, with the trade market being as slow as it has been, I'm not sure this was a reasonable expectation.

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#45 Franko J
July 19 2013, 03:38AM
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What a hornet's nest of controversy Bourne has stirred up.

All I can say is there are so many variables when it comes to players choosing to play for a certain team and to rank for 1 to 30 is for good conversation and debate. Otherwise, whether it is Calgary, Edmonton, San Jose, Vancouver, or New York or Boston, if a player is a free agent, it is based more on individual desire and opportunity to play. Without a doubt the money is a major factor as well.

Off the ice and away from the rink, every NHL city has intangibles that attract free agents and all players alike. However, at the end of the day, I don't care what any player says it is the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup. If the team looks like a dud on the ice, no matter what the enticement might be, players will look elsewhere to play. Every player wants to play for a winner.

For the Flames while it might appear that this upcoming season and maybe for the next few years looking like a team with no chance at competing for a playoff spot let alone a playoff contender, I like to idea of hope. Whether it is justified or not, I looking forward to seeing how the Flames current roster will play in 2013-2014 season. Couldn't be any less appalling from has been witnessed the last few years. As cliche as it is: the game is played on the ice and not on paper. Just think, as right now there is only one team carrying around the cup this summer while like the Flames the other 29 teams are trying to figure out how they will be the team doing the same thing next summer.

As for Monahan, I say wait until training camp and evaluate his status then. There is no need to rush him to the NHL, if he is ready play him, if not send him back to junior. Ultimately it is what he does or doesn't do on the ice which will determine his spot on the roster. Preferably I don't think he is quite there yet and I would like too see him compete for a spot on the world junior team and actually make the team.

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#46 Ca$h-Money!
July 19 2013, 07:26AM
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McRib wrote:

"My bud Justin Bourne wrote up a list the other day, ranking all 30 NHL markets in order of their appeal... Calgary bottomed it.

Why on earth would I do this to myself over the next three years? ...."

The fact that Edmonton is 18 and Calgary is 30 is a complete joke if we have troubles with our rink what do you consider Edmonton to have?? Lol. The fact that Rexall wasn't condemed 3+ years ago baffles me. If Calgary is cold in the winter. What is Edmonton??? Not to mention the amount of snow Ottawa or Montreal get. We are the second sunniest major city in North America... The opposite of Vancouver. Home to the Canadian Rockies with a flourishing economy. It's called a Chinook... I've spent time in Toronto at University and Calgarys winter climate has twice as many mild days!!!

The fact that Colorado is 12 with one of the cheapest owners in the league and a team filled with players that quit on the coach last season makes me seriously question if this idoit has ever been ouside of Vancouver period. Florida or Carolina is not last place...

Seguin choose Calgary over Edmonton as recently as a month ago, but our ownership vito'd the trade. Edmonton is currently trading former Top. 10 picks for injury prone PP specilists to try and imporve the club... They offered more for just about ever major free agent this year and no one budged an inch, outside of Andrew Ference... Huh.

Of all of the cities he ranked the biggest suprise on this list is Vancouver at 8, no one wants to go there and they are two years away from being in a bigger hole than us. Every team in the league cannot stand the Canucks swim team they have assembled. In the last three or four years what major free agent have they signed??? The team was built through Burke & Nonis drafts. Gillies is doing a great job of drafting busts and signing post apex players though, thats what you get when you have a former agent as a GM.

Garrison was a big deal. Hamhuis. Both are from BC so perhaps your point stands.

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#47 T&A4Flames
July 19 2013, 07:54AM
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Re: Bourne's rankings, its one man's opinion. Who cares.

Did he do any actual investigating and player interviews? Didn't read the article but heard the 960 interview. Didn't sound like it.

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#48 SydScout
July 20 2013, 09:39PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Re: Bourne's rankings, its one man's opinion. Who cares.

Did he do any actual investigating and player interviews? Didn't read the article but heard the 960 interview. Didn't sound like it.

Clearly he did nothing in the form of basic research. Given calgary is near the top of the worlds most liveable cities, above all bar two nhl cities and others such as Sydney Aus (climate argument is a no brainier there), this moron Bourne hasn't a leg to stand on in that argument.

I'd be trusting the Economists Intelligence Unit over a schmuck with no insight whatsoever. Calgary is a great city.

Argument over, lets move on.

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