Meet the 2014-15 Calgary Flames

Ryan Pike
October 07 2014 01:57PM

The Calgary Flames finalized and announced their 2014-15 opening roster this afternoon. But with 23 bodies on the team, it can be a bit hard to keep them all straight. In an effort to provide clarity on who's who on the 2014-15 Flames, here's a handy primer put together by FlamesNation's crack team of researchers, reporters and hired goons.

#1 JONAS HILLER (GOALTENDER)

  • 32 years old; from Felben Wellhausen, Switzerland (population 2,600)
  • $4.5 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired as a free agent signing this past off-season.
  • 326 NHL games played (all with Anaheim)
  • Might be the only active NHLer wearing Koho goalie equipment.
  • Has represented Switzerland in two Olympic games.

#4 KRIS RUSSELL (DEFENSE)

  • 27 years old; from Caroline, Alberta
  • Alternate captain
  • $2.6 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired in a sign-and-trade deal with the St. Louis Blues last off-season.
  • 432 NHL games played (Calgary, St. Louis and Columbus)
  • Good offensive player, but under-sized. Third-best defender on the team behind Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie.

#5 MARK GIORDANO (DEFENSE)

  • 31 years old; from Toronto, Ontario
  • Team captain
  • $4.02 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired as a free agent to help Calgary fill out their shared AHL team prior to the 2004-05 season
  • 449 NHL games played (all Calgary)
  • Unsigned, undrafted player has somehow worked his way into an NHL captaincy and Norris contention

#6 DENNIS WIDEMAN (DEFENSE)

  • 31 years old; from Kitchener, Ontario
  • $5.25 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Acquired via trade with Washington (Feaster sent a pick and a player for his rights)
  • 627 NHL games played (Calgary, Washington, Florida, Boston and St. Louis)
  • Power-play specialist, primarily.

#7 T.J. BRODIE (DEFENSE)

  • 24 years old; from Chatham, Ontario
  • $2.125 million cap hit through 2014-15 (pending RFA)
  • Calgary's fourth round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
  • 185 NHL games played (all Calgary)
  • Has progressed from a green tentative player a few seasons ago to being Calgary's best non-Giordano defender. He's still only 24, so there's no telling how good he'll get with a bit more experience.

#8 JOE COLBORNE (CENTER/RIGHT WING)

  • 24 years old; from Calgary, Alberta
  • $1.275 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired from Toronto last season on the day before rosters needed to be finalized with the league
  • 96 NHL games (Calgary and Toronto)
  • Has filled out and added some weight in the off-season so he can be better in the corners. Now he's thick in addition to being crazy-tall.

#11 MIKAEL BACKLUND (CENTER)

  • 25 years old; from Vasteras, Sweden
  • $1.5 million cap hit through 2014-15 (pending RFA)
  • Calgary's first round selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
  • 246 NHL games (all Calgary)
  • Calgary's best center, or would be considered it if he could stay healthy. Good at everything, strong two-way player, and offensive game chugs along really well when he's feeling confident.

#13 JOHNNY GAUDREAU (LEFT WING)

  • 21 years old; from Carney's Point, New Jersey
  • Bonus-aided $1.85 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Calgary's fourth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1 NHL game (Calgary)
  • A scary-good NCAA player (175 points in 119 games) despite being smaller and younger than his opposition.

#15 LADISLAV SMID (DEFENSE)

  • 28 years old; from Frydlant, Czech Republic (population 7,600)
  • $3.5 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Acquired from Edmonton in the second trade ever between the two bitter Alberta rivals
  • 530 NHL games (Calgary and Edmonton)
  • Perfectly acceptable stay-at-home defender. Doesn't have a lot to offer beyond that, but he's good in his own zone when on his game.

#16 BRIAN McGRATTAN (RIGHT WING)

  • 33 years old; from Hamilton, Ontario
  • $750,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Acquired from Nashville a few seasons back for minor-league defender Joe Piskula (Brodie's AHL partner)
  • 309 NHL games (Calgary, Nashville, Phoenix and Ottawa)
  • Resident plugger is renowned for being good in the room but doesn't offer a heck of a lot on the offensively or defensively.

#17 LANCE BOUMA (CENTER/LEFT WING)

  • 24 years old; from Provost, Alberta
  • $775,000 cap hit through 2014-15
  • Calgary's third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
  • 121 NHL games (all Calgary)
  • All heart and hustle, Bouma's developed a niche as a shot-blocker and penalty-killer. Hopefully he can develop his (to this point) non-existent offensive side.

#18 MATT STAJAN (CENTER)

  • 30 years old; from Mississauga, Ontario
  • $3.125 million cap hit through 2017-18
  • Acquired from Toronto in the infamous Dion Phaneuf trade
  • 715 NHL games (Calgary and Toronto)
  • Arguably the team's best all-around center, but Backlund likely supplants him if he stays healthy.

#19 DAVID JONES (RIGHT WING)

  • 30 years old; from Guelph, Ontario
  • $4 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired form Colorado in an off-season trade last year
  • 320 NHL games (Calgary and Colorado)
  • Completely fine third line guy who got a big contract from Colorado because he scored 20 goals. Hard to tell what he is right now because he was hurt most of last season.

#20 CURTIS GLENCROSS (LEFT WING)

  • 31 years old; from Kindersley, Saskatchewan
  • Alternate captain
  • $2.55 million cap hit through 2014-15
  • Signed as a free agent years ago when the Edmonton Oilers decided they didn't want him
  • 436 NHL games (Calgary, Edmonton and Columbus)
  • Rugged winger with good hands around the net. He had awful injury luck last season and desperately wants/needs a full season without any missed time.

#21 MASON RAYMOND (LEFT/RIGHT WING)

  • 29 years old; from Cochrane, Alberta
  • $3.17 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Signed a free agent this off-season
  • 456 NHL games (Toronto and Vancouver)
  • Speedy winger with good scoring touch. Injuries may be a minor concern, but if he's healthy he's a huge boost for the Flames and can be used anywhere on the top three lines.

#22 DEVIN SETOGUCHI (RIGHT WING)

  • 27 years old; from Taber, Alberta
  • $750,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Signed a free agent this off-season
  • 459 NHL games (Winnipeg, Minnesota and San Jose)
  • Two-way player with an offensive touch. He's scored 20+ goals in the past, but in recent years has been used as a complementary asset.

#23 SEAN MONAHAN (CENTER)

  • 20 years old; from Brampton, Ontario
  • Bonus-aided $1.775 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Calgary's first round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft
  • 75 NHL games (all Calgary)
  • Big, strong 19-year old, 20+ goal-scoring rookie added muscle over the off-season, presumably so he can be bigger, stronger and score more goals. It's not an awful plan.

#24 JIRI HUDLER (LEFT/RIGHT WING)

  • 30 years old; from Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • $4 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Signed as a free agent a few summers ago
  • 526 NHL games (Calgary and Detroit)
  • Not overly physical, but this skilled Czech just figures out ways to get to the net. Led the Flames in points last season.

#25 BRANDON BOLLIG (LEFT WING)

  • 27 years old; from St. Charles, Missouri
  • $1.25 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired in a draft-day trade with the Chicago Blackhawks
  • 125 NHL games (all Chicago)
  • Physical bottom-six fixture for Blackhawks. Has a beard and a Stanley Cup ring. A key component in Calgary's "tougher to play against" stance, but he's also a situationally useful player (PK, defensive zone starts).

#29 DERYK ENGELLAND (DEFENSE/RIGHT WING)

  • 32 years old; from Edmonton, Alberta
  • $2.917 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Signed as a free agent this off-season
  • 243 NHL games (all Pittsburgh)
  • Big, physical, right-shooting defenseman. Basically similar to Ladislav Smid, except he plays physical all the time.

#31 KARRI RAMO (GOALIE)

  • 28 years old; from Asikkala, Finland (population 8,400)
  • $2.75 million cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Acquired by trade with Montreal (in the six-asset Rene Bourque/Mike Cammalleri deal).
  • 88 NHL games (Calgary and Tampa Bay)
  • Positionally-sound, calm goaltender. Doesn't rattle, doesn't get caught out of position much. He had some injury issues last year, and recurring hip issue this off-season may lead to some injury concerns in the future.

#32 PAUL BYRON (LEFT/RIGHT WING)

  • 25 years old; from Ottawa, Ontario
  • $600,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending RFA)
  • Acquired from Buffalo Sabres in Robyn Regehr trade.
  • 81 NHL games (Calgary and Buffalo)
  • Small and agile, Byron's a good forechecker and a strong penalty-killer. Might not be able to progress above third line status due to his size, though.

#33 RAPHAEL (RAFFA) DIAZ (DEFENSE)

  • 28 years old; from Baar, Switzerland
  • $700,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Signed as a free agent after attending camp as a try-out player
  • 145 NHL games (NY Rangers, Montreal and Vancouver)
  • Power-play specialist.
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Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames since 2010. He's Senior Contributing Editor at FlamesNation, a Senior Writer covering the Flames and the NHL Draft for The Hockey Writers, and a correspondent for the Fischler Report. He's just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
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#151 backburner
October 08 2014, 03:27PM
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Grant wrote:

Even though Calgary has just started their rebuild you do realize that this will be the 6th season in a row that they have missed the playoffs.they still have a long way to go. The playoffs are not right around the corner Flames fans!!

We already know that we're not making the playoffs this year. What you need to worry about is whether the Flames will finish ahead of the Oilers in the standings.

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#152 backburner
October 08 2014, 03:30PM
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Grant wrote:

Ya now look at what Subban is making. In the big picture Hall is now a bargain!!

Hall and Nuge only got offered that contract because that's what Kane and Toews were making.. Hmmm which two players would you rather have?

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#153 Grant
October 08 2014, 03:31PM
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backburner wrote:

We already know that we're not making the playoffs this year. What you need to worry about is whether the Flames will finish ahead of the Oilers in the standings.

So calgary is on the same slippery slope and Edmonton has way better talent that will start to gel this year and it may be another 3 or 4 years before Calgary makes the playoffs.

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#154 backburner
October 08 2014, 03:34PM
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Grant wrote:

So calgary is on the same slippery slope and Edmonton has way better talent that will start to gel this year and it may be another 3 or 4 years before Calgary makes the playoffs.

Yup... keep drinking the KoolAid.. and when Edmonton sucks this year, what will be your excuse?

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#155 SavardianSpinorama
October 08 2014, 03:34PM
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@backburner

Backburner, don't get into a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

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#156 backburner
October 08 2014, 03:37PM
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SavardianSpinorama wrote:

Backburner, don't get into a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

This has gone on way too long lol.. I really should get back to work!

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#157 SavardianSpinorama
October 08 2014, 03:43PM
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OiledStatGuy wrote:

Can you please explain more about how this "process" works as I'm hoping to stay along for the ride to better understand what is different about Flames rebuild than Oilers.

I'm assuming you agree with plugging in Monahan. If so, how are you differentiating that this move is acceptable but past moves of Oilers plugging in higher drafted people was so glaring a mistake.

Also, given that Burke is ultimately driving the rebuild blueprint, how are your explaining the end result in Toronto where they desparately failed in building a puck possession team?

Are you suggesting that Flames organization has some latent deep insight in rebuilding teams and Burke is going to assimilate this insight?

Or, that Burke has had a epiphany?

Read post 89.

It was explained without prejudice.

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#158 Grant
October 08 2014, 03:44PM
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backburner wrote:

Hall and Nuge only got offered that contract because that's what Kane and Toews were making.. Hmmm which two players would you rather have?

No !! they got offered that deal Cuz they knew the salaries were going to skyrocket. They paid higher in the beginning but now those contracts are considered deals. Had nothing to do with what Kane and Teows were making.

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#159 Grant
October 08 2014, 03:47PM
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backburner wrote:

Yup... keep drinking the KoolAid.. and when Edmonton sucks this year, what will be your excuse?

They only miss the playoffs this year cuz our division is absolutely stacked but will be hugely improved from last year!

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#160 Grant
October 08 2014, 03:50PM
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backburner wrote:

This has gone on way too long lol.. I really should get back to work!

Please go back to work cuz you've probably done eff all today!

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#161 MonsterPod
October 08 2014, 04:04PM
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Grant wrote:

You guys are making it very difficult to be nice on here😃

So go away Grant. Go be positive on the Oilers boards instead of negative on ours.

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#162 backburner
October 08 2014, 04:05PM
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Grant wrote:

They only miss the playoffs this year cuz our division is absolutely stacked but will be hugely improved from last year!

The only way you can rationalize cheering for the Oilers.. yay.

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#163 backburner
October 08 2014, 04:06PM
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Grant wrote:

Please go back to work cuz you've probably done eff all today!

Holy crap! We agree on something!!

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#164 Grant
October 08 2014, 04:16PM
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I thought I was being positive!

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#165 MonsterPod
October 08 2014, 04:22PM
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It's pathetic how these coilers come over here to sniff our collective crack.

Fact is, I don't even know what's going on up there because I don't care. I would like the Battle of Alberta to come back, but as it is, if I have a choice to go see a game at the Dome, I want to see Chicago, Boston, Philly, MTL, etc. I would take about 20 teams before I'd choose an Oilers/Flames game.

They stink and their whole organization is the joke of the league.

When I'm done studying the Flames, I look at Pitt, Philly, Boston, LA, SJ, even the Nucks to see how they're filling their holes. I never look at Edmonton. I though Yakimov was a typo for Yakipov.

I'm even more interested in the Jets roster and which direction they're heading, whether the stuff with Kane is cooling off or not. The Coil is off my radar so it's all the more annoying when their loser fans troll around down here trying to drum up attention for their dithering alumni-managed bottom-feeding franchise.

The only reason this pointless Leon/Sam debate is possible is because they drafted 3rd overall. Aren't they tired of that yet? It never looks good when you brag about your welfare cheque.

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#166 MonsterPod
October 08 2014, 04:37PM
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McRib wrote:

Agree, the draft definitely had a defined Top. 4 that were all very close.

However if you asked scouts who had the most upside of the group Sam Bennett would have been without question number one... Leon Draisitl would have been number two because of his size and hockey IQ (see Jagr Comparison).

Aaron Ekblad is what he is a big safe 2/3 defender with a great shot, he doesn't have homerun upside becuase his passing isn't good enough to be an Elite 1.

Sam Reinhart is exactly what Buffalo needed a future leader that can spread out the ice, but skating will hold him back from being an Elite Centre in the league, on a Stanley Cup Caliber team he will end up as a great second Centre.

Ekblad has not played a game yet. His passing can improve. Everything can improve.

Was Chara projected as a #1? Was Keith or Lidstrom? Weber was a second round pick when Phaneuf went #9 overall in '03.

We can't say that Ekblad will not be an elite #1. We have no idea.

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#167 Jeff Lebowski
October 08 2014, 05:37PM
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Grant wrote:

Ya ya you all think that the 5'5 150 pound Gaudreau is gonna save the day!! Lol😁

Like you thought Vladdy Hockey would?

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#168 Jeff Lebowski
October 08 2014, 05:41PM
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Grant wrote:

Ya now look at what Subban is making. In the big picture Hall is now a bargain!!

See the thing with this is, Subban is better than Hall. It shouldn't have ended up this way but it has. Where were they drafted?

It ended up this way because of the contract routes. You are saddled with a sub optimal Taylor Hall. Don't get me wrong, he might be good. BUT he won't ever be as good as he should have.

Why?

You took away the incentives with the early dough. He's doing enough to get by now.

Every year, same thing. No clue about the 200 ft game. Why bother? He already got paid.

Oh what could've been..... le sigh.

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#169 Grant
October 08 2014, 06:44PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

Like you thought Vladdy Hockey would?

Edmonton has plenty of talent we don't need to bank on a midget who can barely ride the bumper cars at the stampede..

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#170 Grant
October 08 2014, 06:50PM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

See the thing with this is, Subban is better than Hall. It shouldn't have ended up this way but it has. Where were they drafted?

It ended up this way because of the contract routes. You are saddled with a sub optimal Taylor Hall. Don't get me wrong, he might be good. BUT he won't ever be as good as he should have.

Why?

You took away the incentives with the early dough. He's doing enough to get by now.

Every year, same thing. No clue about the 200 ft game. Why bother? He already got paid.

Oh what could've been..... le sigh.

Now I know you are out of your mind. Possibly the best left winger in hockey and only getting better.What an asinine conclusion of Hall's talent. The last 3 years the 6th most points in the league!!! There is not one flame half as good as Hall. Name 2 left wingers that are head and shoulders above Hall!

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#171 SavardianSpinorama
October 08 2014, 06:53PM
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@Grant

I don't know, myself. Why don't you tell us on the Oilers Nation site so we can all go over there and troll?

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#172 SavardianSpinorama
October 08 2014, 06:58PM
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http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2014/10/08/tsns-ray-ferraro-carves-oilers-management-its-been-too-long-its-been-too-dysfunctional-its-been-too-bad/?cid=dlvr.it-twitter-edmontonjournal

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#173 Burnward
October 08 2014, 07:04PM
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Sweet Jesus. Oilers fans are sure doing their best these days to help everyone forget that was once a proud franchise.

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#174 Burnward
October 08 2014, 07:05PM
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@Burnward

Embarrassing.

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#175 Kybb79
October 08 2014, 07:19PM
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Oiler Trolls go back to your dugout or go see what your wife is doing maybe she is at the flames game lol

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#176 OiledStatGuy
October 08 2014, 07:55PM
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@SavardianSpinorama

Yes SS I read post 89. The theory is that players are pushed over their head.

There are all kinds of problems with that theory though. Given we are talking top draft positions where Oilers have done this, you'd have to look at the large sample size of first overalls to find out how often they begin career immediately. Have a look at those numbers and you'll see that the Oilers aren't an exception.

You also have that these players have been advanced beyond their age groups their entire life, and the overtraining hasn't hindered their development at previous levels.

Top ten draft picks are overachievers and their preferred development arena is not back in junior.

Isn't the organizations best coaching, best understanding of the game, best competitive environment on the big stage? There is a natural weeding out if the player truly can't handle the situation.

This appears as the easy explanation and the Flames could probably benefit from the Oilers experience, so the diagnose needs to be precise.

It's not the best to study this from anecdotes but it useful at times to plug the test cases into the theory.

How are Flames rationalizing playing Monahan, and how do they feel about Sven's slower more restrained development?

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#177 backburner
October 08 2014, 09:49PM
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OiledStatGuy wrote:

Yes SS I read post 89. The theory is that players are pushed over their head.

There are all kinds of problems with that theory though. Given we are talking top draft positions where Oilers have done this, you'd have to look at the large sample size of first overalls to find out how often they begin career immediately. Have a look at those numbers and you'll see that the Oilers aren't an exception.

You also have that these players have been advanced beyond their age groups their entire life, and the overtraining hasn't hindered their development at previous levels.

Top ten draft picks are overachievers and their preferred development arena is not back in junior.

Isn't the organizations best coaching, best understanding of the game, best competitive environment on the big stage? There is a natural weeding out if the player truly can't handle the situation.

This appears as the easy explanation and the Flames could probably benefit from the Oilers experience, so the diagnose needs to be precise.

It's not the best to study this from anecdotes but it useful at times to plug the test cases into the theory.

How are Flames rationalizing playing Monahan, and how do they feel about Sven's slower more restrained development?

see post 147

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#178 backburner
October 08 2014, 09:58PM
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Grant wrote:

Now I know you are out of your mind. Possibly the best left winger in hockey and only getting better.What an asinine conclusion of Hall's talent. The last 3 years the 6th most points in the league!!! There is not one flame half as good as Hall. Name 2 left wingers that are head and shoulders above Hall!

Benn, Parise, Sedin, Lucic, Landeskog, Sharp, Kunitz, Pacioretty, Neal. I would take any of these guys over Hall. (See +/-).

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#179 OiledStatGuy
October 08 2014, 11:32PM
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@backburner

Yes I read 147 and what you provided is not data it is speculation.

Data will show that more than half top ten draft picks in last ten years burn rookie status in draft year or D+1. This isn't an Oiler phenomenon, sorry.

Is there a correlation that these top ten draft picks produce better when they come into league in D+2 or later? Can't find that.

Of course those players seriously undersized may have increased risk.

As a generalization the data doesn't support your position.

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#180 Quintana
October 09 2014, 05:25AM
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SavardianSpinorama wrote:

Oilers one win away from a Stanley Cup and Chris Pronger and his wife can't leave soon enough?

LOL to Edmonton!

Dump.

How old are you? 12 or 13 years olds?

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#181 backburner
October 09 2014, 07:59AM
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OiledStatGuy wrote:

Yes I read 147 and what you provided is not data it is speculation.

Data will show that more than half top ten draft picks in last ten years burn rookie status in draft year or D+1. This isn't an Oiler phenomenon, sorry.

Is there a correlation that these top ten draft picks produce better when they come into league in D+2 or later? Can't find that.

Of course those players seriously undersized may have increased risk.

As a generalization the data doesn't support your position.

A good place to start: I think the data of which you speak of for top ten picks are based on individual factors such as: age, maturity, and quality of competition in their Junior years.

Monahan was Captain of a crappy Ottawa 67's team. Where Hall was surrounded by great players in Windsor. They both had enough skill to be drafted in the top ten, same age, both played three years in the OHL. I think they were both the highest draft picks made by the franchises at the time.

The coaches wanted to set Monahan up for success by sheltering minutes, and creating certain conditions (billeting). The rest was dependent on how hard Monahan trained during the off-season, so he was in great shape. Again, special conditions paved the way for Monahan to play last year, so that's why he made the team.

I'm not sure Hall made the team under that much scrutiny. From what I remember, they pretty much handed him the keys to city, on a desperate team which is not hard to do. Some players thrive under those conditions, but I don't think there was any chance he would spend any time in the AHL, or play sheltered minutes.

Is a process necessary? Did that delay Hall's development in any way? The only stats I can give you is that the Oilers although loaded with talent are still loosing, so what's the reason? Who's to blame? Where's the accountability?

Until the organization addresses some of the underlying issues, instead of just throwing a muddle of high draft picks on the ice and telling them to take the team to the promised land, they will never have success.

When the Oilers don't make the playoffs this year, who will be the first to go? I vote Eberle.

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#182 OiledStatGuy
October 09 2014, 04:49PM
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@backburner

Thanks @backburner.

Interesting to hear this perspective.

Have to retreat and do some introspection to see if I can detect what you describe about Oilers position of privilege theory.

As far as Oilers still losing there are many hypotheses. I've wanted to believe it was just a reflection of how low the Oilers had allowed the entire organization to sink, all the way through to farm team and scouting, and that the rebuild had to begin from scorched earth and as a slow incremental improvement. Given Feaster and Burke were/are ideologically opposed to that, it has been difficult to see where the Flames roadmap is an improvement.

Maybe you've clarified a point of differentiation. Does it really make the difference? hmmm...

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