FlamesNation Roundtable - 2013-14 Flames Season Preview

Kent Wilson
September 30 2013 12:21PM

 

 

The season is just about upon us. Stock up the beer, fire up the DVR, prep your TV remote for a few angry tosses across the room. It was long summer and in some ways it's likely to be a long season as well. But we're glad it's here anyways.

As is our custom, FN writers got together and discussed a few of the team's key issues heading into action. Christian, Ryan (Pike), Ryan (Lambert), Book of Loob and Justin Azevedo shared their thoughts on where the Flames will place in the standings, who the club's goat will be and what the future holds as Calgary embarks on the rebuild.

1.) Might as well start with this first - Where do you figure the Flames finish in the West and with how many points?

Ryan Pike: The Flames should finish 14th in the West. They'll get around 75 points, which would translate to around 30-35 wins.

Justin Azevedo: Well, in the new Pacific Division they'll be hard pressed to do better than last, but in the Central Division Colorado (no real defence), Nashville (zero forward depth) and Winnipeg (the 3rd worst starter in the league) all have massive holes permeating their lineups. I'm going to say 74 points this season for 2nd or 3rd last in the West.

Book of Loob: Ugh. My guess is 12th or 13th. I think Winnipeg is going to be truly terrible, and I don't like the look of the Coyotes, but the Flames will unfortunately be right there with them partying in the basement as if they're all a bunch of bloggers. Of course, there's no real surprise there, and you don't rebuild without a few hard years, but man, when you take a hard look at it, it stings. I can't see the Flames eclipsing 75 points. Ouch.

Ryan Lambert: They're gonna be dead last and have somewhere between 55 and 60 points.

Christian Roatis: Unlike the masses, I don't see the Flames being as bad as everyone says they'll be. I wish they'd finish 30th (or 15th in the West), but I doubt it.
 
This will be a young, hardworking team that will show up each and every night - which could not be said for the teams of the recent past. They'll battle, they'll grind and they'll win some games, there's little doubt in my mind about that. Not enough to make the playoffs of course - not even close, but just enough to save them the trouble of getting a really good prospect. All this I think comes down to goaltending and if it's a little better than last season, they aren't finishing last. So having said that, I say they finish 12th in the West with 77 points.

(editor's note: I think the Flames will be at around 79 points. Altogether, FN writers predict an (averaged) point total of 73  for Calgary this year)

2.) How would you grade the club's activities this summer?

RP: They had a good draft and grabbed some interesting pieces in the off-season like Corban Knight and T.J. Galiardi. Feaster and his buddies unloaded some bad contracts and some guys that didn't really seem to want to be here and opened up cap space and spots for new faces. In short: they did basically what they had to do.

JA: C+. They didn't add any large contracts, developed young players, traded and signed guys like they should have - my only complaint is that they didn't go for one or two guys on the open market who you could flip for 3rd or 2nd round picks at the deadline after playing them in showcase minutes. Overall, the path is better than it was 2 or three years ago, but the path is still average: hence the average score.

BoL: C+, I suppose. Call it Average+. The team was probably hampered by the public perception of just how bad they were going to be, so if they tried to go after any free agents, which we don't really know if they did, they were probably politely declined. Isn't that right, Mikhail Grabovski?

But there were good things and bad. Obviously getting Backlund and Brodie under contract was imperative, and they were a couple of responsible bridge deals as well, which, apparently, do still exist. Picking up guys like Knight and Jooris are interesting philosophically, and if preseason is anything to go off of, the trade for Kris Russell might be one of the most underrated moves of the summer. The search for a President of Hockey Operations, I think, was a very smart idea, and in doing so, it showed the team was assessing what has been historically a poor management structure and doing something wise to fix it. Whether or not they got the right guy remains to be seen, but I like that they identified that as an issue. And hey, getting the Saddledome repaired as fast as they did, everyone involved in that deserves a lot of praise, because it looks great.

I didn't like the McGrattan deal (obviously), and I'd like to see the team (and league) evolve from this archaic viewpoint that values goonery. I like fighting, but man, this is not the way. The trade for David Jones and Shane O'Brien does not seem like a step forward to me. O'Brien is basically Sarich, and while Jones may be younger than Tanguay, that's about the only real advantage he has as a forward.

RL: Like a C-plus? They were fine. A few of the trades were fairly judicious and cost the team relatively little. The real interesting transactions won't come for another six months or so.

CR: A-. Yeah, I guess I'm Mr. Optimism at FN but there really was a lot to like about this offseason in Calgary. Starting with the draft, which I liked a lot - and even more now that we know Kanzig isn't 100% coke machine - the Flames mixed in safe picks (Monahan, Klimchuck) with boom or bust, off the board type selections (Poirier, Kanzig) to come away with a very nice prospect haul. They also didn't do anything stupid - which around these parts is definitely a plus.

They then stayed out of the atrociously bad free agent pool and made relatively good trades such as trading Cory Sarich for a younger version of himself along with Alex Tanguay for David Jones - who I think will have a better season than Tangs in 13/14, for instance. They also brought in Kris Russell on the blueline which was a move I liked a lot, not because Kris Russell is the second coming of Bobby Orr, but rather because it allows them to season the Wotherspoon's and Cundari's without an itch to bring them up to the show earlier than they should. The other deals made were also the low risk, high reward type, which is exactly what the franchise needs right now.
 
The beefing up of the Hockey Ops department with Brian Burke is also a positive for the team, in my opinion (more on that later).
 
There was nothing spectacular or mind blowing so it can't be an A+, but a number of good smart moves combined with the absence of a gut wrenching transaction adds up to a pretty good offseason for a rebuilding team in my books.

3.) Brian Burke hire - yay or nay?

RP: Way too early to tell.

JA: Eh, his dinosaur approach to analytics and offer sheets bothers me but if it means that Ken King has less overall influence, then that's great. We know how bad both Brian Burke and Ken King can be and, likewise, how good they can be. Ken King on his best day running a hockey team is about equal to Brian Burke working with a 3-day hangover.

BoL: We'll wait and see. I like the idea of the new position, I like any increased distance Ken King has in the operations of this hockey team, I like that Jay Feaster has someone he needs to prove he can do this GM thing to, and I think having hockey minds in the organization is a very smart idea.

But I'm not sure I'm sold on Burke as the guy. I feel like the team is moving forward in a new direction, and Burke does not strike me as a progressive hockey mind. He's as gung ho, it seems, on "being hard to play against" (read: GRITCHART read: COLTON ORR) for me to be totally sold on his hiring, but maybe he can be effective if he truly does not intend to be running the ship like he says. For the record, I believe him when he says he's going to be the background guy, but good lord do I hope he has some classic Burke temper tantrums during his time here, because those are right up there with Tortorella freakouts, and they're fun to watch. I hope I never see a done up tie ever again.

RL: Honestly, if it's just someone to make sure Feaster doesn't screw up, then that's great. If he overreaches that role, I'd start to be a little nervous. I would suspect, if that's the case, the amount of fighters on this team is going to skyrocket.

CR: I like it. It gives the team somewhat of an identity and you can never have enough good hockey minds in your Hockey Ops department. I may reevaluate my answer later in the year when Burke acquires Kessel for a generation of first round picks, but for now I like it.

4.) Iginla's gone, so who do you think ends up leading the team in scoring?

RP: Curtis Glencross.

JA: I would say Cammalleri if I was sure he was going to stick around the whole season, but he's obviously not. Thus, I'm going to say Curtis Glencross. He's basically a 2W on every team in the league (which is odd to think about) and you know management won't be getting rid of him.

BoL: Probably still Iginla somehow. If not him, you gotta think it's going to be one of Curtis Glencross or Lee Stempniak. It seems like they're destined to be the 1st line guys and will be responsible for the bulk of the offense up front. Mike Cammalleri has a shot as well if he stays the year in Calgary, but it's a smart bet to assume he won't be.

And, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Dennis Wideman challenges for the scoring lead as well. Yeah, get ready for THAT.

RL: Matt Stajan.

CR: Curtis Glencross. He'll be here all year and is arguably the teams best forward.

5.) Which kid has the biggest impact this year? Baertschi, Monahan, Horak, Bouma, someone else?

RP: In terms of being an everyday player and chipping in, I'll say Roman Horak. But I think Sean Monahan will impress a lot of people.

JA: I'm going to say Sven Baertschi. At this point, he's the best player on the roster under the age of 23 and will likely get the most opportunity at the NHL level with PP time and a regular shift on, at worst, a 3W position. I've been saying for a couple years that Horak is a player, but I doubt he gets the same chances this year that Sven does. Monahan will go back to junior, Knight will likely spend a chunk of time in the AHL and Bouma will mostly be playing grinder minutes.

BoL: Oddly enough, it's looking like it could be Monahan. While I think it's a mistake, it's obvious that he's starting the year in Calgary, and if he plays past the nine game tryout, it's because he's been too good to send down. He will be given the opportunity to make waves in the league this year, and he looks like he's good enough to actually do it, which is great to see. I really like how Horak and especially Bouma have handled camp this year, and I think they'll be effective bottom 6 guys, which is great, but their impact is not going to be what Monahan's can potentially be. Plus, dude, that hair.

Sven is a wild card. I think he's going to be good, especially if Bob Hartley pairs him up with Backlund, I really like how those two play together. I just don't know if maybe we've set the bar for him really high this year, and it might be tough for him to reach it.

RL: I think probably Baertschi, no matter what his production ends up looking like. If he comes around like everyone expects, then obviously that will be great. If not, then that's going to result in some real concerning decisions that have to be made.

CR: Sven Baertschi. I know he's been a little nicked up and by some accounts resides in the dog house of Bob Hartley, but the kid has undeniable skill and he showed at the end of last year he has what it takes to produce in this league. With a little confidence, I have no doubt Sven will take a step forward and make a considerable impact.

6.) It's the first step of the rebuild. How long do you think this stretches for?

RP: Well, next year it'll continue, but the possibility exists that Johnny Gaudreau, Kenny Agostino, Jon Gillies and Bill Arnold may all join the professional ranks. Presuming some of those guys turn into functional NHLers, the Flames start looking like an alright hockey club in 2015-16 and start emerging from the wilderness the year after.

JA: I think this team bottoms out next year (just in time for McDavid), so at least three more seasons. However, for me the worry is that the prospect stable may look good at this point, but I'm unconvinced it's truly the top-10 system some think it is. There's lots of depth, but depth is very easy to replace.

BoL: I'm an optimist, and I believe in 5 year plans. so 4 YEARS!

I don't believe that a team can't grow and be competitive while rebuilding. Not everyone is as terrible as the Edmonton Oilers. The team has a stronger prospect base than we give them credit for, and management seems to have a set philosophy onto how they're going to build itself for the next few years. If they're smart enough and flexible enough to let that philosophy adapt as times and needs change, it'll only improve the future outlook. If Sven and Monahan develop like we'd hope, there's a positive.

A few other top flight prospects into the mix (hello Connor McDavid) and some smart coaching and management acquisitions would really ramp up the team's ability to be good. I'm not saying they'll be contenders, but it's steps in the right direction. I think the Flames have a better chance of being the next St. Louis Blues and not the next Oilers.

RL: Two years at least, but three-plus if they're smart. They have a lot of work to do to restock the cupboards for both the NHL roster and farm system, because no worthwhile veterans are going to sign in Calgary for some time given everything that's happened the last few years.

CR: I'd like to see the Flames be bad this year and next (because McDavid) and then contend in 2016. Unfortunately I don't see that happening. I think they'll be firmly in the rebuild mode this year and after that, Feaster and Burke will try and accelerate this thing through trade and free agency. Ideally, if they do this rebuild thing right, they'll be back in playoff contention in 3-4 years, but it could be as early as the 2014/15 season.

7.) Are you confident in this management team to lead the club out of the desert?

RP: Depends what constitutes "this management team." For all his faults, Feaster appears to have brought in a lot of smart people to run different things. Weisbrod's drafting crew has put together a couple good drafts - amateur scouting itself has been solid since the 2010 draft. The big question is whether the team's development staff can turn raw kids into NHLers, because what's going to lead the team out of the desert is growing their own core via the draft and supplementing via trades and free agency. If we're running by my timetable above, I doubt the entire management team survives intact through to 2016-17, but that's also just how the hockey business operates.

JA: At this point, no. They've been better than Sutter in some respects, worse in others. I'm unconvinced anyone in the Hockey Operations department actually knows how to build a good team over the long-term. Jay Feaster, Brian Burke and John Weisbrod aren't Tambo (although, sometimes they act like they are) but they're also not Dougie Wilson or Dean Lombardi.

BoL: As I mentioned earlier, I like that management has a vision for the future, but I fear that their biggest undoing might be to stand TOO rigidly behind it and put the blinders on when the right opportunities become available for the team to get better. The Draft was a pretty classic example of that, when Hunter Shinkaruk was still available and the Flames Jankowski'd their pick on Emile Poirier. I feel better about that pick than I did initially, and maybe he becomes an effective NHLer, but in general I don't think he was a better prospect than Shinkaruk (who by the way looks as if he's might stick with the Canucks out of camp), though that remains to be seen.

The steadfast obsession with size and grit concerns me. I would just really feel better if they came out and said "SKILL" was also an asset they would be looking to identify in players when building this team. Again, they've made some good moves, but I'm worried about their ability to make the right ones, because I'm worried they can't identify the right moves that don't necessarily jive with their overall vision.

RL: Moreso now that they've actually committed to a rebuild than, say, four months ago. Intellectual honesty is something they seem to have taken to heart to some extent, but I'm going to need at least one more deadline and draft outta these guys to be 100 percent sure one way or the other.

CR: I am. I think every single person in the organization wants to win and everything they do, is for the team. No personal agendas or priorities. They're all in to win. Feaster takes a lot of (in my opinion, unfair) criticism from fans and media for the moves he's made but when you take a step back and look at it (http://flamesnation.ca/2013/8/6/defending-feaster-hear-me-out) he's been proficient (if not good) on all fronts during his stay as GM. Weisbrod is a savy hockey mind and has helped bring in good talent in the organization and there's no questioning Brian Burke's desire to win. As of today, I'm more than confident this current management group can get the Calgary Flames through this rebuild and back into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

8.) Pick your Flames goat for the 2013-14 and explain why.

RP: If he's on the team, Chris Butler. He's a decent enough defender, but he's prone to mistakes in his own zone.

JA: Man, I didn't want to be obvious and go with Brian McGrattan so of course I'm going to go with Shane O'Brien. He's going to be our new Cory Sarich, but somehow he'll be even worse.

BoL: Well you know I'm going to be picking Brian McGrattan. An NHL roster spot is a coveted thing, and in this day and age they're far too valuable to be wasting on players who provide no real value. McGrattan seems like a lock to make this team, somehow, and in doing so he'll be hampering the competition amongst some of the young guys vying for what ends up being his roster spot, and his three minutes and ten penalty minutes will not help this team win any games. Go away Brian McGrattan.

RL: Karri Ramo. It turns out going to the KHL and being good for a few seasons doesn't automatically make you an NHL starter. Go figure.

CR: It was originally going to be Derek Smith - because he's just so bad and I can't handle him - but now that the glorious decision to send him down has been made, I'll have to go with Chris Butler. Both him and Smith remind me of a defence partner I had in my minor hockey days that would make such boneheaded plays (soft D to D passes at the offensive blue line leading to a breakaway against, passes in front of our net, etc) you wonder why they even play hockey. Both Smith and Butler I find, are unnoticeable all game, outside of two or three really bad decisions or reads and it drives me nuts.
 
It's a shame because they were both actually pretty good when they first got to Calgary, but Smith hasn't been the same since this leg injury and Butler was probably only decent because he was paired with Jay Bouwmeester.

Around the Nation

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#1 Lober
September 30 2013, 12:40PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
16
props

Burke answers "I'm not sure" when asked what the #Flames have in Sven Baertschi. Says he needs to compete in all 3 zones......I don't like hearing that at all. Especially when I just bought a Baertschi jersey. Or this comment means nothing and Sven is the best

Avatar
#2 aloudoun
September 30 2013, 01:40PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
16
props

Sven really isn't helping Burke like him though. To be honest if I was Burke and this is my initial impression of Sven I would be lukewarm on the player as well.

Avatar
#3 icedawg_42
September 30 2013, 03:22PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
15
props

I couldn't care less about McDavid. we all know the Flames aren't getting him.

Avatar
#4 chillout
September 30 2013, 05:47PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
15
props
Colin.S wrote:

So Burke doesn't like Baertschi and is looking to convert Colborne into a third line defensive center stud, yup this is the guy I really want running things. Yesterday everyone was saying Colborne could be a surprise sleeper top 6 forward, especially with the Camm in jury, but looks like the Flames are not even gonna try. MORE BIG DEFENSIVE FORWARDS CAUSE GRIT CHART!!!!!

I wonder if it was Baertschi that Feaster was talking about during the press conference when he said that when Burke and him met for the first time Feaster said: "We really like this player, and Burke said, I don't".

I think I'm going to start calling you drama queen!

worst overeactions to every single thing the flames do or don't do. One minute it's oh my god it's the end of the world....Brodie hasn't signed yet and it's July 1st.

Then it's oh my god it's the end of the world...Kanzig got a couple tips from mcgratton.

Now it's Burke blah blah blah gritchart! ohhhh the humanity!!!!!!

Avatar
#6 Tenbrucelees
September 30 2013, 03:11PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
12
props

Every mention of McDavid reminds me of why I am glad some people write blogs and other people are employed to work for professional hockey teams. Hoping for this guy in two years time is not a strategy. It is a pipe dream.

Avatar
#7 Willi P
September 30 2013, 08:28PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
10
props

"Ryan Lambert: They're gonna be dead last and have somewhere between 55 and 60 points."

No team since the Flyers in 2006-07 has failed to crack 60 points in a regular season. So Lambert, your saying this will be the worst NHL team in the last 6+ years?

Avatar
#8 Dave
September 30 2013, 06:55PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
9
props

This probably isn't the article to mention this in, but Eric Roy has 8 points in 4 games for Brandon. And he's a defenceman. Cannot believe he fell so far this year

Avatar
#9 McRib
September 30 2013, 01:42PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
7
props

@Colin.S

Its interesting you know who reminds me of Sven Baertschi.. Nazem Kadri who didn't have a breakout season until Burke left last year.

My expectations for Sven Baertschi have been lowered after camp, but still think he has the talent to be an offensive force in another year or so, as it took Kadri three years in pro to finally stick in the NHL. Which could mean Sven is at least another year away from breaking out.

Avatar
#10 Skuehler
September 30 2013, 02:06PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
7
props

There seems to be such a home run mentality to solving the flames issues. It has been there for years and seems to be alive and well now - Brian Burke addition, Monahan staying up, McDavid!? being the solution, etc, etc.

What about some consistent line pairings lasting more than a period? What about methodical system to developing talent? What about a procedure and policy manual for FA and trades? What about playing four lines? There has to be more creativity than big moves, home run swings.

Personally I like a lot of Feaster's moves the past 6 months. He's not panicking and seems to have a plan. Bit so many fans and critics think extreme moves are needed. That's just reacting and not proactive. The solutions have to be organization wide. Adding depth and creating internal competition has been an excellent approach

Avatar
#11 RexLibris
September 30 2013, 04:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
7
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

I don't think that particular distinction is all that meaningful on the basis provided. Sucking and drafting high is pretty much a prescribed, albeit last ditch, tactic across the league.

A team has to be truly terrible and, in the current format, somewhat lucky to draft first overall...but the Flames will likely be closer to terrible than competitive the year McDavid is available. I dare say, absent something unexpected, they'll be one of the three most likely clubs to draft him in 2015.

Have you factored in the Burke yet? Four times in his career he has managed teams that have been in position to draft second overall - Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim ('05 lottery) and Toronto.

I think you'd want to look at adding someone with a proven track record of helping to knab (wait for it) a 1st overall pick. My recommendation: Nikolai Khabibulin. He signed for four years and during that time the Oilers picked 1st, 1st, 1st and 7th. He's like money in the draft bank and you don't even have to play him - the Oilers almost never did.

I'll now return my sarcasm to the upright and locked position for landing.

Avatar
#12 Kevin R
September 30 2013, 05:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
6
props
icedawg_42 wrote:

They forced Kadri down probably to deal with his ego as much as his lack of all around play. Wonder if that's what's on the menu for Sven - and if that may be what he really needs...so far it seems to have worked for Kadri.

Thing is, can you imagine the old war horse D Sutter still calling the shots? He regularly called out players during that magnificent playoff run. Players that make huge money sometimes need that bit of extra to get them going, Burke calling out Sven a bit is no big deal. How else do you give these guys the wakeup call. Kent is right, if he isn't full time big part of the team next year, I would start to get worried. Give him a chance & let Management kick rears however the see fit & if that's calling them out, so be it.

Avatar
#13 EugeneV
September 30 2013, 03:00PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
5
props

What is wrong with Kris Russell?

He is 26, played for Canada at the WJHC twice, at the Men's World Championships twice and has NEVER played a game in the minors.

Seems like he is an upgrade over anyone except Wideman, Gio or Brodie (who could still regress this year).

So he is a legit top 4 on our team, and capable of playing first or second unit PP.

All for a 5th pick next year.

Avatar
#14 Christian Roatis
September 30 2013, 04:23PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
5
props

Failing for McDavid isn't a strategy - especially with the new lottery system. It's more of a dream. If you saw what the kid did at U18's as underaged player you'd understand where I'm coming from.

Avatar
#15 schevvy
September 30 2013, 05:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

Re: Sven

Conditioning wasn't an issue, he placed 4th among regulars in fitness testing (MICKIS was #1)

Avatar
#16 loudogYYC
September 30 2013, 08:39PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
5
props

I'm actually kinda glad Burke called out Baertschi the way he did. His attitude on the ice last year resembled the last few years of Iginla, so I hope this rant nips it in the bud before it's too late.

On the bright side, it doesn't look like Sven will be commanding big $$ on his next contract!

Avatar
#17 Colin.S
September 30 2013, 01:25PM
Trash it!
14
trashes
Props
4
props

So Burke doesn't like Baertschi and is looking to convert Colborne into a third line defensive center stud, yup this is the guy I really want running things. Yesterday everyone was saying Colborne could be a surprise sleeper top 6 forward, especially with the Camm in jury, but looks like the Flames are not even gonna try. MORE BIG DEFENSIVE FORWARDS CAUSE GRIT CHART!!!!!

I wonder if it was Baertschi that Feaster was talking about during the press conference when he said that when Burke and him met for the first time Feaster said: "We really like this player, and Burke said, I don't".

Avatar
#18 SVENSANITY
September 30 2013, 01:53PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
4
props

Something to consider with Brian Burke's known archaic old school philosophies that I would like to draw attention to is this.

Brian may have, at least 3 years ago, not been a fan of analytics but I do think he is not completely against it either. Brian is a student of life in that he is always willing to learn and the right people are in place in Calgary to teach him. The thing with Burke is he has to be convinced and you have to show him that the benefits out weigh the risks. Wisebrod will undoubtedly work to convince Burke of how statistics can be used.

On a level I'm personally familiar with having been a part of Dr Paskevitch's lectures myself is also the sports psychology staff that the Flames have hired in the past 3 years. Under Darryl Sutter there was no such thing as a need for the "head doctor" because players who needed a shrink were weak and not viable hockey players. The modern era of the game has changed that. With the salary cap structure and the importance on drafting young talent being at it's highest of priorities in the league having a psychology staff available is important. Keep in mind with the brining up of kids who are just growing up having a sports psychology team is a huge asset. And one of the members of this staff happens to be a well respected man in the sports community with a resume as elite as Brian Burke's himself (having worked with some of the best olympic athletes and teams out there). He is a man who believes in science and statistics and I believe a few meetings with Burke will give Brian some insight and education on how they should be used properly. So it's not beyond reason that Burke's mind can not or may not be changed.

Avatar
#19 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 30 2013, 05:16PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
4
props

Burke going hard after Sven.... i guess we have to wait and see if Sven is the type that is motivated or demotivated by pointed public criticism... as we sit on the outside we really dont know what to make of Svens mediocre preseason... injury? poor linemates? conditioning? attitude? reading between the lines, Flames are starting him in the NHL, while critisizing him. this is, to me, a positive sign from management... it would have been much more troubling had they sent him down with positive words... or no words at all.

Avatar
#20 Captain Ron
September 30 2013, 07:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props

Not sure how many people remember the struggles Glencross had when he was younger. Also went through two other team before landing here. He turned out alright and is arguably our best player right now. Might be the best deal in the NHL too.

Way too early to be worried about Sven. I sure would like to see the coaching staff give him favorable offensive opportunities sooner rather than later though. Let him build confidence and teach him the other two zones as time progresses. Lots of top offensive players struggled early in their careers with the defensive side of the game. Some of them still do.

Avatar
#21 ChinookArch
September 30 2013, 08:47PM
Trash it!
8
trashes
Props
4
props

I was just warming up to the idea of Brian Burke as the Director of Hockey Operations, and then he started talking. Taking a backseat to Feaster - yeah sure! I don't have to like him to respect the job he does, so for now I'll wait.

I can't believe no one has chosen Brian Burke as their Goat this year, he's definitely mine and would have even taken the title from Cory Sarich, if he was still here.

BRIAN BURKE = GOAT

Avatar
#22 Craig
September 30 2013, 01:27PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
Props
3
props

Sven isn't truculent enough....... Colborne will be remade as Dave stevkel...

Burke era begins.

Avatar
#23 SVENSANITY
September 30 2013, 01:58PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
3
props

As for Baertschi well to be fair I have to agree with Burke at the moment. Baertschi has been a little bit disappointing this camp. But this is going to be the case with young talented men. Hopefully, that will be the last time Burke will have to call him out and hopefully he'll prove him wrong.

Avatar
#24 Rubberbadger
September 30 2013, 01:00PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
2
props

RP: In terms of being an everyday player and chipping in, I'll say Roman Horak. But I think Sean Monahan will impress a lot of people.

Horak sent down....

Avatar
#25 Jeff Lebowski
September 30 2013, 02:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

I think Sven needs to understand the 'bigger picture', or mature a little more. He's so far, showed his youth. I like the confidence he's showed in his abilities and in his comments about face of the franchise etc. However, it's a fine line because he hasn't done anything at this level yet. He's putting the cart before the horse a little. The team believes in him but he has to deliver on the ice first before he talks about this or that. He said the right things upon his return last year (no one cares if you were a first round pick etc) but it appears it hasn't totally sunk in yet.

He wants to be good, so he will be good but his focus needs to stay in the present. Presently, he's still trying to establish himself. That should be his only thought.

What do I know, though?

I think he will be a motivated player. I think he can take criticism properly. We'll see. There is lots of time and opportunity for him.

I think Burke likes talent + drive. I don't think he dislikes Sven, I think he wants Sven to show how important being in the NHL is to him. That means on and off the ice (practices, meetings, media etc.)

Avatar
#26 schevvy
September 30 2013, 04:44PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
2
props

I can't believe no one picked a playoff appearance for the Flames come on.

In all seriousness they won't draft top 5 because even during the Young Gun era they never drafted top 5 so I'll believe it when I see it. The goaltending HAS to be better this year, so even if the players are worse if the goalies play average they'll still probably break-even with last year.

MVP of the Flames this year- Mikael Backlund Goat of the Flames this year- David Jones

Avatar
#27 Baalzamon
September 30 2013, 07:04PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
2
props
Rubberbadger wrote:

RP: In terms of being an everyday player and chipping in, I'll say Roman Horak. But I think Sean Monahan will impress a lot of people.

Horak sent down....

Right, because Horak can't possibly ever be called up again since he was sent to the AHL. It's the end of his NHL career.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Am I the only one who doesn't think Christian knows what "proficient" means?

Avatar
#28 Christian Roatis
September 30 2013, 07:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@Baalzamon

the "(if not good)" shouldn't really be there, my bad.

Avatar
#29 Skuehler
September 30 2013, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@Jeff In Lethbridge

I think some of the criticism is against unrealistic expectations more so than on Sven's abilities.

Avatar
#30 redricardo
October 01 2013, 12:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
RexLibris wrote:

MacKenzie reporting that Kessel is going to sign a long-term extension that would pay him up to $8 million a year for 7 years.

That sounds like the kind of deal Burke hates.

Kessel's numbers from last year put him 8th in league scoring, right behind Chris Kunitz ($3.75 million/year) and just ahead of Taylor Hall ($6 million/year).

Kessel is good, but I don't think he's $8 million a year good. Not sure I can grasp the rationalization behind this deal.

My best guess on why Toronto makes this deal...

Trying to establish that they'll pay for winning and to keep the good times rolling! Let's appease the fans that were waiting for years for a taste of the playoffs!!

Let's also ignore the fact that Kessel is a one dimensional player, that doesn't make the players around him significantly better.

And also ignore that Toronto's PDO last year suggested they were lucky to make the playoffs, if the season had been a full 82 game schedule they would have come crashing back to Earth, and instead pretend that we've built a fantastic team.

Avatar
#31 icedawg_42
September 30 2013, 01:46PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Props
1
props

They forced Kadri down probably to deal with his ego as much as his lack of all around play. Wonder if that's what's on the menu for Sven - and if that may be what he really needs...so far it seems to have worked for Kadri.

Avatar
#32 Clay
September 30 2013, 02:19PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

No racial slurs, thanks. (ed)

Avatar
#34 danglesnipecelly
September 30 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Props
1
props

Anyone else feel like Feaster in his press conference today was getting us ready for a Ryan Malone or JM Liles type of acquisition? All his talk of post apex being okay if it's the right type of player IE team leader character guy.

Dreger seams to think Liles is coming to Cgy or Col...

Avatar
#35 coachedpotatoe
September 30 2013, 05:02PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

Looking at the questions and the talent on the Flames I suspect that they will be competitive for the first half of the season but as the trade deadline looms will fall for about 68 points.

B for the clubs grade, very good draft, brought in players who want to be here. Worst decision was resigning McGrattan.

Burke: meh my concern is he might short circuit the rebuild.

Glencross as he plays a regular shift, pk and pp.Also gets to start the year with a line he has chemistry with and will likely play with top kids after the trade deadline.

Sven as I think he will get the message either here or in Abbotsford,

2 more years after this season because we will get an influx from college this year and I expect at least one higher end forward from that group, next year Poirier and Klimchuk will challenge as well some of the guys in Abbortsford, and I suspect we will have at least two first rounders this draft. We have plenty of potential on D and by the end of the season I expect at least 2 of the young kids will be full time NHLers and be an upgrade over Smith and Butler. I also expect that the Flames will identify at least two players in each of the next two off seasons and go after them.

Management is fine as long as they work together and are patient. Us as well.

Sounds like Sven will be Burkes' but for me it's going to be MCgrattan as his presence prevents younger player development. Jackman as well. If we were a team looking to be in the mix I would have less of an issue with either of them but we are suppose to be in a rebuild.

Avatar
#36 Colin.S
September 30 2013, 05:59PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

Regarding Sven, I just think he had a bad pre-season much like Bouma had a REALLY good one. I don't think theres any sane person who think that Bouma will score at the same pace during the regular season as he has in the preseason.

I would love to see a line of Baertschi - Backlund - Colborne to start the season if we are going to keep Monahan on the active roster. If Monahan is sent back to the minors we can move Colborne back to his natural center spot.

GlennX - Stajan - Stempniak.

Baertschi - Backlund - Colborne.

Hudler - Monahan - Jones.

Galiardi - Street - Bouma.

Jackman/McGratton.

Not a line up that's gonna challenge for a playoff spot anytime soon, but I do like that second line, should be exciting to watch.

Avatar
#37 Skuehler
September 30 2013, 08:02PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props
Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

Liles does have a sickening feel of real possibility to it... I would only hope it is to facilitate rebuild rather then "upgrade"

Can't help but feel there is a 2nd chapter to the Colbourne deal. As a stand alone it doesn't make much sense. Fishy. Perhaps the only way the flames and fans would consider making a real trade with the Leafs again would be if they took there turn getting ripped off. Maybe this levels the scales a bit. With a bigger and more even trade to follow. Either that or maybe there are bigger issues going on with the player? Sure TO was desperate to shave cap space, but $600k doesn't seem like a solution. Looks like they were doing us a favour, which is suspicious

Avatar
#38 Clay
September 30 2013, 11:11PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

@Clay

Had no idea the G word was a no go, which is my ignorance. MTV has turned my brain to mush.

My apologies fellas (and ladies, if you're out there)

Avatar
#39 RexLibris
October 01 2013, 12:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

MacKenzie reporting that Kessel is going to sign a long-term extension that would pay him up to $8 million a year for 7 years.

That sounds like the kind of deal Burke hates.

Kessel's numbers from last year put him 8th in league scoring, right behind Chris Kunitz ($3.75 million/year) and just ahead of Taylor Hall ($6 million/year).

Kessel is good, but I don't think he's $8 million a year good. Not sure I can grasp the rationalization behind this deal.

Avatar
#40 Clay
September 30 2013, 02:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I have no idea if Azevedo is an Italian, or jazzy for that matter...

Avatar
#41 Justin Azevedo
September 30 2013, 02:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Clay wrote:

I have no idea if Azevedo is an Italian, or jazzy for that matter...

1/2, eh

Avatar
#42 EugeneV
September 30 2013, 03:07PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Interesting to note that after 5 games in the OHL, Connor McDavid is 3rd in scoring.

3rd among players named Connor that is!

Avatar
#43 RexLibris
September 30 2013, 04:13PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
Justin Azevedo wrote:

1/2, eh

1/2 jazzy?

With a sweater vest that smoking, I'd have ballparked at least 3/4 to a full jazzy.

But I do have a professional appreciation of sweater vests.

Avatar
#44 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 30 2013, 05:18PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

@danglesnipecelly

Liles does have a sickening feel of real possibility to it... I would only hope it is to facilitate rebuild rather then "upgrade"

Avatar
#45 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 30 2013, 05:22PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Re: Sven. Dude's only 21 and a lot of guys aren't ready for full time NHL work at that age, even future stars. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he plays half the year in the AHL again.

I'll start to worry if he isn't a full timer next year though.

i concure.... he is way to young to start panacking... I dont get the critisism, unless its to address attitude or poor fitness/season preperation.

Avatar
#46 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 30 2013, 05:26PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props
Colin.S wrote:

So Burke doesn't like Baertschi and is looking to convert Colborne into a third line defensive center stud, yup this is the guy I really want running things. Yesterday everyone was saying Colborne could be a surprise sleeper top 6 forward, especially with the Camm in jury, but looks like the Flames are not even gonna try. MORE BIG DEFENSIVE FORWARDS CAUSE GRIT CHART!!!!!

I wonder if it was Baertschi that Feaster was talking about during the press conference when he said that when Burke and him met for the first time Feaster said: "We really like this player, and Burke said, I don't".

i wondered who he meant to... I assumed he meant Stajan, but in retrspect maybe it was Sven!

Avatar
#47 coachedpotatoe
September 30 2013, 06:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Skuehler wrote:

There seems to be such a home run mentality to solving the flames issues. It has been there for years and seems to be alive and well now - Brian Burke addition, Monahan staying up, McDavid!? being the solution, etc, etc.

What about some consistent line pairings lasting more than a period? What about methodical system to developing talent? What about a procedure and policy manual for FA and trades? What about playing four lines? There has to be more creativity than big moves, home run swings.

Personally I like a lot of Feaster's moves the past 6 months. He's not panicking and seems to have a plan. Bit so many fans and critics think extreme moves are needed. That's just reacting and not proactive. The solutions have to be organization wide. Adding depth and creating internal competition has been an excellent approach

I have to agree with much of what you say; have a plan. I think Feaster and team have one but I'm not sure Burke agrees with it. Two years seriously identifying what you have and then start to add the missing pieces. I doubt this team will have the type of elite talent that some think is needed to win but I believe you can win with good talent all the way through your line up and rolling four lines is way to so. Bringing in overpriced over the hill malcontents is not a good plan and I hope they get this.

Avatar
#48 RexLibris
September 30 2013, 11:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Dave wrote:

This probably isn't the article to mention this in, but Eric Roy has 8 points in 4 games for Brandon. And he's a defenceman. Cannot believe he fell so far this year

Cody Corbett (Minnesota Wild) has the same number with an even spread between goals and assists.

Still early, some players will take off quickly and then come crashing down.

I was looking at Kyle Platzer's stats earlier today (Oilers, 4th round) and he already has 4 goals on the year when last season he managed a total of 5.

Draft +1 is always an interesting year, but the best tool I've found is to break the season into halves and watch for consistency (a true separating stat for junior players). If Roy continues to rack up assists (he has 7 right now on 8 pts) all through the season at around a .75 ppg pace and his +/- stays north of negative then the Flames could have something very interesting.

Comments are closed for this article.