When Push Comes to Shove, Burke Will Eat A Contract But Not His Pride

Steve Macfarlane
March 09 2014 10:14AM


(courtesy puffycoombes)

Don’t try to bully a bully.

That’s the statement Brian Burke made to his fellow hockey executives this week while stubbornly clinging to Michael Cammalleri despite the knowledge that the pending unrestricted free agent is almost assuredly moving elsewhere come July.

In Burke’s mind, something is not always better than nothing. Especially when that something means you will be perceived as weak or easily manipulated.

Burke, who admittedly lacks a patient bone in his body, also is minus a give-a-crap molecule when it comes to what hockey fans might think of him versus the way other general managers—acting or otherwise—view him and his hockey team.

"I think an organization has to have a reputation at the trade deadline that you're not going to give people away," Burke told those gathered at the Saddledome all day waiting to hear how high a pick was brought in for Cammalleri.

"The fact we didn't give him away is something next year's deadline and 10 years down the road people will remember.”

They’ll remember, but will it really matter? The Flames are still stuck with an asset that depreciates by the day.

The next opportunity Burke will have to peddle Cammalleri will come after the season ends. Maybe some team will want the opportunity to secure his negotiating rights exclusively before July 1. But how much will they pay at that point, with no guarantee they’ll be able to sign the soon-to-be 32-year-old who is looking at cashing in for maybe the final time as a free agent?

It’s a risk Burke — whose constant suggestion Cammalleri might somehow choose to stay on in Calgary is so steadfast that some might even start to believe it — is willing to take. Pride is more important than practicality, apparently.

Generally I’m all for people sticking to their principles. But in this case, in the early stages of a massive rebuild where every extra draft pick provides the opportunity to add a prospect or the flexibility to make a future trade to help the team, it makes no sense to swallow a sandwich you don’t really want just to keep your frenemies from finishing it for free.

It’s tough not to respect Burke, mostly because his gruff and inflexible nature demand it. His live hit on TSN during which he rightly grumbled to James Duthie that the TradeCentre host was putting words in his mouth was absolutely priceless.

But there is a contradictory element to his post-deadline answers that leads you to believe by reading between the lines that it wasn’t a case of sticking to his guns with Cammalleri’s price — which dropped during the day as the market dictated the returns on rentals to be far less significant than years past — it was a matter of time. Caught up in negotiations at the higher price, he was stuck without a seat in the game of free agent musical chairs.

His belief in the importance of draft picks takes the legs out from under his argument against giving Cammalleri away.

"If you look at how championship teams are built, they are built largely through the draft," Burke said, going on to suggest he considered second- and third-round picks extremely valuable, and proving it when he picked up one of each by trading away goaltender Reto Berra and winger Lee Stempniak, both of whom had expiring contracts.

Cammalleri would surely have fetched no lower than a third-rounder as a starting point. The Edmonton Oilers got a third and fifth by shipping Ales Hemsky to Ottawa. That beats the goose egg that was certain to follow in the summer.

Burke knows that his shot of signing Cammalleri — which will mean giving up money, term and maybe most importantly a blueprint for success somewhere within that long-term picture that the player has confidence in — is next to zero.

His saving grace was the unexpected return for Berra and Stempniak, and the fact that the on-ice product is full of rookies that are so intriguing to watch that they’re looking far into the future, well past the summer’s certain loss of a certain winger who once scored 39 goals in a Flames uniform who will walk away for nothing.

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Covered the Flames on the newspaper beat from lockout to lockout and continue to do it on my own terms. Follow me on Twitter at @MacfarlaneHKY
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#51 Justin Azevedo
March 09 2014, 03:56PM
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? wrote:

How come everyone was so against overpaying a little for TJ Brodie in the summer in order to retain him longterm and get this team good value down the road, but is fine paying Cammaleri MUCH more than he is worth just to keep him around?

qft

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#52 suba steve
March 09 2014, 04:46PM
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Lober wrote:

His son passed away following birth.

My wife and I lost identical twin boys at about 6mo gestation in 2001. Was the worst thing that ever happened to us. We made it through and now have a 12yr old daughter that never would have been born, had those boys lived.

I hope that the Stajan's come through this and have a similar story to tell (in about 13 years). Really hard stuff to live through though, my stomach is in knots just thinking about it again.

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#53 Kevin R
March 09 2014, 05:05PM
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OMG! I am so sorry to hear about the news to the Stajans, my heart & prayers are with them.

I for one am so disappointed we were unable to get any value for Cammi.I would love to know what was the best deal on the table for him. When you think Hemsky was getting maybe a 5th rounder & they got an extra 3rd because they ate 1/2 of his salary, because Melnyk is a cheap bastard. I guess BB didn't feel his employer should eat a few million for a lousy extra late mid round pick. Guys, the sellers market turned out to be a flea market. Those were pretty sad returns on some pretty quality rental players.

I guess Kent, Steve, & Rex, if you feel Cammi walking away with us getting nothing is so bad, how much damage can be done to the organization with one less 3rd round pick this June? I don't know, but if we cant get at least a 2nd & 3rd round for Cammi after eating half his salary, I say shame to some of the GM's who could have used Cammi to get into the playoffs & will be outside looking in. Phoenix is one. Anaheim another, hell even Vancouver should have coughed up a 2nd & 3rd for a half priced Cammi the way they are scoring.

Consider one thing, it's looking like the cap is going to be significantly lower because of the fall of the Canadian dollar, some are guessing $67mill. Cammi may not have as many suitors come July as he thinks & Calgary is going to look pretty attractive to UFA's looking at getting a decent paycheque. & I doubt we will have to overpay if this happens. I suggest we wait until August before we rant about this kind of stuff, a lot can roll out a lot differently than many expect.

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#54 BurningSensation
March 09 2014, 05:14PM
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? wrote:

Flames already have many capable veterans. Overpaying for Cammaleri won't have much of an impact on the kid's careers.

Of these 'many capable veterans', how many are 1st line RW?

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#55 Howie Meeker
March 09 2014, 05:32PM
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What's funny is all the players that screwed up the deal are still UFA's at seasons end so even though the cap ceiling is going up competion for the best dollar, contract length and franchise will be stiff with this group of players. I'm sure there will be some great opportunities knocking at Mr. Burke's door before the draft selections begin, Cammy or not.

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#56 coachedpotatoe
March 09 2014, 05:36PM
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The Stajan family loss puts everything else in perspective. Prayers for him and his family as well as his team mates who will be concerned and mourning with Matt.

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#57 MontanaMan
March 09 2014, 05:43PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

That's just, like, your opinion man.

Anyways Burke will be judged on the Cammy thing based on what happens next. If he signs him to a beneficial contract or moves him at the entry draft, it's probably no big deal.

If Cammalleri walks for nothing in the summer, though, then it's a failure, regardless of how many other middle tier assets the team might have. It's not a giant failure, but a third round pick is greater than nothing at all.

I totally agree with this statement. We can't judge Burke's decision until this all plays out. If he gets a decent return at the draft or signs Cammy to a good contract, it's a win. If he walks for free, it's a loss. I don't buy this "reputation" ploy. A GM's role is to maximize the return on an asset thoughout the year, not just at the trade deadline. If Burke got squeezed due to Vanek, Moulson and others, he misread the market and over estimated Cammy's value and should have moved him earlier. Many on this site have hammered Vancouver's management team for their handling of Luongo but maybe they were never offered full vaule and didn't want to impact their reputation as tough negotiators.

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#58 loudogYYC
March 09 2014, 05:46PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

Of these 'many capable veterans', how many are 1st line RW?

None are, Cammo included. He's been a LW all his career.

He's still a very useful and dangerous forward, he just needs higher quality linemates. I bet you Anaheim goes after him at the draft or the deadline.

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#59 Derzie
March 09 2014, 05:52PM
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We'll see who's right in June. Until then, guess work. I'm the the "Burke is all bluster camp". Guilty until otherwise proven.

p.s. Jesus Christ Franchise, that news gutted me. There's nothing to say but we're behind you.

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#60 Greg
March 09 2014, 06:29PM
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@Kent Wilson

Is there a way to structure a Cammalleri contract to make it more enticing as a rental? Like a 1 year, $6M contract where $5M is paid as a signing bonus? Trying to think of how you could structure it so it's appealing to Cammalleri to sign and get paid, helps the flames get to the cap floor, and makes it very attractive for another team to add him as a rental without needing much cap space.

Although, I guess if you were going to go that route you'd be better off throwing the bank at a Vanek or someone who'd attract more offers at the deadline.

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#61 Greg
March 09 2014, 06:31PM
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Also I second everyone else's comments. That's gut wrenching news about stajan. Condolences to him and his family.

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#62 Ssamz
March 09 2014, 06:34PM
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I also think failing to trade Cammi was a failure, and it is quite possible, as the author suggests, that Burke's pride was the main reason for it. On the other hand, given the weak market for sellers, I don't know whether this was a huge failure. If we assume that Cammi could have gotten us a return like late 3rd, it is not a big of a deal. Yes we may have picked the next Brodie, but also, more possible, picked a career Ahler from the pick. Better to have that pick, but not a deal that would break the franchise.

The author might be right that BB's pride was the main reason for failing to trade Cammi, but this mistake won't cost as much as say waiting too long for Igilna. I hope BB will not miscalculate the market in the future and will make better judgement, but everyone make mistakes. And although mistakes should be pointed out, we don't need to overreact, especially when it is about a minor mistake.

Also on reputation, it is quite possible that the return on Berra is a result of Burke's reputation as a hard bargainer, giving him the upper hand on the negotiation table. I'm just speculating here, but I think it is highly likely.

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#63 Ssamz
March 09 2014, 06:36PM
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Plus, my sincere condolence for Stajan family. It is definitely a sad news to hear.

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#64 chillout
March 09 2014, 07:30PM
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I love how the only explanation most people have for a trade involving cammi not happening is Burke's ego.

That is idiotic. Who knows what was going on and who was talking to who.

It wasn't just Burke waiting till the end of the deadline to make deals. It was all the players in the bigger names. It could be Burke almost had a deal but maybe it was complex and they just ran out of time. These things happen when the player you are offering isn't one of the top rentals. Everybody is in the hunt for the other guys and time just runs out when those options disappear.

Just love how the armchair GM's would just order another team to give up assets for our guy. No idea there are things called negotiations and calling back and forth between other gm's to see if they are still in the running for this guy or that guy and more back and forth. You guys have no clue what goes on.

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#65 Lordmork
March 09 2014, 08:03PM
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Adding my two bits to the condolences for the Stajan family. I wish them strength.

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#66 Skuehler
March 09 2014, 08:16PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

"Don't worry Donny, they're just nihlists"

Kent, would you put Burke's chances of signing Cammalleri above 10%? If you do, then the odds of signing Cammalleri are better than the odds whatever 3rd rnd pick we got will be an actual NHL player, and basic math suggests Burke's better keeping Cammalleri and trying to sign him (or trade him prior to the draft) than it is to trade him.

Your math is logical but it's not the main issue here. When you bring in a guy like Burke, create a position for him and he fires the GM for his low returns on trades than their are high expectations you will do much better. Burke didn't have the hammer in negotiating with other GMs. He doesn't have the hammer now dealing with Cammi. This could have all been anticipated and if it was going to be a buyers market, Burke should've signed Cammi. That's why he is here. Feasted would've got a low return on Cammi dealing from a weak position, he would've been criticized for it but h would've got something. If Cammi walks it is a big fail for Burke. He can't do a sell job and paint it any other way

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#67 Justin Azevedo
March 09 2014, 08:22PM
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@Skuehler

exactly. there's three possible outcomes here:

-burke trades cammalleri at the draft -cammalleri signs here again -cammalleri signs somewhere else

the flames get no assets if the third happens, will likely be stuck with a large contract for a poor asset if the second happens and the flames will likely get a reduced asset (compared to a potential deadline deal) if the first happens. there's not many positives there; unless you're hoping that he nets 30 next season and you can deal him for a better return than this year; but i find that unlikely to happen.

i feel like burke really screwed the pooch

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#68 coachedpotatoe
March 09 2014, 08:58PM
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I see that Sven did not dress for the last two games for the Heat, does anyone have a reason why?

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#69 FlamesFan1489
March 09 2014, 09:08PM
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I think people are way overrating Cammalleri and the return we "should have". I think I'm one of the only ones who thinks Stempniak would give us a much better return than Cammi. Outside of a playoff run 4 years ago, Cammi hasn't necessarily been a game changer. This year he also got a nasty concussion and outside of that, his numbers are underwhelming. If I was a playoff team, I don't think I would offer much for an undersized player who hasn't shown much finish in the last 2-3 years, especially for a cap hit that could hinder callups if the team falls into a situation like we did in 2009. Not just looking at his +/- but he really doesn't lend to a 200 foot game either. I think Flames fans and the media might be guilty of the same thing as Oilers fans brewing up fantasy trades for Hemsky and Gagner (a 3rd and a 5th could have even been an overpayment for Hemsky as well if he doesn't re-sign).

I'm not surprised that Cammi wasn't dealt. I think I would have been upset if Stempniak wasn't dealt however. Much more consistent numbers. And getting a 45-50 pick for Berra was a steal.

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#70 sb
March 09 2014, 09:09PM
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suba steve wrote:

My wife and I lost identical twin boys at about 6mo gestation in 2001. Was the worst thing that ever happened to us. We made it through and now have a 12yr old daughter that never would have been born, had those boys lived.

I hope that the Stajan's come through this and have a similar story to tell (in about 13 years). Really hard stuff to live through though, my stomach is in knots just thinking about it again.

I would like to pass on my thoughts and own story to Matt and Katie at this time. My wife and I lost our baby girl at birth too and it was at that time the worst thing that ever happened to us. We were told to wait awhile before trying again due to the emotional strain this had on us. We knew now how valuable the miracle of life really means. We refused to wait and had a daughter fifteen months later.

PS : I am an older person and have four daughters now ages 31 to 38 waiting for our sixth grandchild.

PSS: Matt and Katie it maybe hard to understand now but stay with the game plan it is only the first period.

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#71 BurningSensation
March 09 2014, 09:18PM
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Skuehler wrote:

Your math is logical but it's not the main issue here. When you bring in a guy like Burke, create a position for him and he fires the GM for his low returns on trades than their are high expectations you will do much better. Burke didn't have the hammer in negotiating with other GMs. He doesn't have the hammer now dealing with Cammi. This could have all been anticipated and if it was going to be a buyers market, Burke should've signed Cammi. That's why he is here. Feasted would've got a low return on Cammi dealing from a weak position, he would've been criticized for it but h would've got something. If Cammi walks it is a big fail for Burke. He can't do a sell job and paint it any other way

A. Has Burke indicated that he fired Feaster for any specific reason? I know the chattering masses like to suggest this, but for all I know Feaster looked at Burke's daughter the wrong way.

B. It is ALL ABOUT THE MATH. There is no point in trading Cammalleri for a 7th rnd pick, even if you are 99% certain he won't resign. Why? Because the chance of that 7th round pick becoming a player is way, way, way, less than 1%, and therefore you have a better chance holding on to Cammy than letting him go. That's it.

C. I don't want my GM 'selling me' anything. I want him to improve the team by taking reasonable risks. I liked Feaster for his moves, but hated him for always trying to 'sell' me on them (best player outside...., Janko will one day be among the best of this draft class, etc.). I liked the moves he made just fine, it was the inept attempt at a 'sales job' that always made me want to throw something at him after a presser.

D. 'If Cammy walks it is a big fail for Burke'. Yeah, no. It would be a missed opportunity at landing a 3rd rnd pick in a weak draft. I've tried to see how this could possibly be portrayed as a 'big fail', but it simply isn't.

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#72 Kmp
March 09 2014, 09:39PM
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I believe Burke should have shipped Cammy for a 3 rd, if that in fact was the best offer he got. While the pick might not ever pan out, it could be packaged with a 2nd for a late 1st or with another 3 rd for a 2nd. Plus Moving him would create playing time for the kids down the stretch, one less guy playing on the 4th line with McGrattan.

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#73 Captain Spaulding
March 09 2014, 10:03PM
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removed for content - ed.

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#74 loudogYYC
March 09 2014, 10:41PM
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Greg wrote:

Is there a way to structure a Cammalleri contract to make it more enticing as a rental? Like a 1 year, $6M contract where $5M is paid as a signing bonus? Trying to think of how you could structure it so it's appealing to Cammalleri to sign and get paid, helps the flames get to the cap floor, and makes it very attractive for another team to add him as a rental without needing much cap space.

Although, I guess if you were going to go that route you'd be better off throwing the bank at a Vanek or someone who'd attract more offers at the deadline.

Yep, I'm pretty sure the Flames can give Cammalleri a $5MM cap hit by paying him a $2MM salary and attaching the remaining $3MM to a simple incentive bonus.

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#75 Skuehler
March 09 2014, 11:52PM
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FlamesFan1489 wrote:

I think people are way overrating Cammalleri and the return we "should have". I think I'm one of the only ones who thinks Stempniak would give us a much better return than Cammi. Outside of a playoff run 4 years ago, Cammi hasn't necessarily been a game changer. This year he also got a nasty concussion and outside of that, his numbers are underwhelming. If I was a playoff team, I don't think I would offer much for an undersized player who hasn't shown much finish in the last 2-3 years, especially for a cap hit that could hinder callups if the team falls into a situation like we did in 2009. Not just looking at his +/- but he really doesn't lend to a 200 foot game either. I think Flames fans and the media might be guilty of the same thing as Oilers fans brewing up fantasy trades for Hemsky and Gagner (a 3rd and a 5th could have even been an overpayment for Hemsky as well if he doesn't re-sign).

I'm not surprised that Cammi wasn't dealt. I think I would have been upset if Stempniak wasn't dealt however. Much more consistent numbers. And getting a 45-50 pick for Berra was a steal.

This isn't really about Cammi and any specific return. It's about Burke - his experience, reputation, expectations, organizational objectives, actions so far here in Calgary, the less than spectacular results so far and the disconnect between these aspects.

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#76 beloch
March 09 2014, 11:52PM
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My condolences to the Stajan's. My parents had a still-born child before I was born who they still grieve for. All I can say is that they didn't give up and that's why I'm here.

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#77 Skuehler
March 09 2014, 11:56PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

A. Has Burke indicated that he fired Feaster for any specific reason? I know the chattering masses like to suggest this, but for all I know Feaster looked at Burke's daughter the wrong way.

B. It is ALL ABOUT THE MATH. There is no point in trading Cammalleri for a 7th rnd pick, even if you are 99% certain he won't resign. Why? Because the chance of that 7th round pick becoming a player is way, way, way, less than 1%, and therefore you have a better chance holding on to Cammy than letting him go. That's it.

C. I don't want my GM 'selling me' anything. I want him to improve the team by taking reasonable risks. I liked Feaster for his moves, but hated him for always trying to 'sell' me on them (best player outside...., Janko will one day be among the best of this draft class, etc.). I liked the moves he made just fine, it was the inept attempt at a 'sales job' that always made me want to throw something at him after a presser.

D. 'If Cammy walks it is a big fail for Burke'. Yeah, no. It would be a missed opportunity at landing a 3rd rnd pick in a weak draft. I've tried to see how this could possibly be portrayed as a 'big fail', but it simply isn't.

I'm just guessing here but I don't think Feaster was fired for his and his depts drafting. We all know he wasn't able to get huge returns for Jbo/Iggy/Kipper and the ROR almost disaster. So he had issues with negotiating high value for assets. Burke should be a clear improvement. I don't see it.

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#78 Danglesnipecelly
March 10 2014, 12:20AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

I see that Sven did not dress for the last two games for the Heat, does anyone have a reason why?

I think Sven is injured, as is Elson now to. They dressed nine defence men today and played three of them as forwards. Abby is in shambles with all the call ups and injuries and dropping like a rock in the standings...

Too bad, they had a great season going up until recently. As much as it's fun to see the kids get a shot at the NHL level part of me would rather they stayed in the AHL and had a deep playoff run. Maybe they still will...

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#79 ultrathinzigzags
March 10 2014, 03:32AM
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this is NOT a massive failure in not dealing Cammi. Geez, boohoo we don't have an extra 3rd rounder oh the failings of Burke! Leaving the franchise teetering on a bottomless abyss pffff

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#80 Jeff In Lethbridge
March 10 2014, 08:32AM
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OK, I think for the most part we all agree that Cammy has been "a good soldier", that he has provided a good example of attitude and professionalism, conditioning and commitment to the young prospects.

But with injuries that made it hard for him to prove his trade value, we either take underwhelming returns because that's "something" or we keep him, sign him and play him. That is "something" too.

By Keeping him, we have a player who can play #1/#2 RW (or center if needed). Is there a player currently in the system whose progression is blocked by Cammy holding this spot? If not, I prefer him staying for the value he adds to the rebuild by staying.

Of course, Cammy has a say in it now - and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Cammy's tough season and recent decline in production (from injury or general decline?) will affect his own ability to attract interest and drive value up when he hits free agency as much as it affected Burke's at the trade deadline.

Like it or not, Cammy's best value may, for both parties, be in Calgary.

YES - A first round pick I'd of liked, a second and b-prospect, OK. A 3rd? not me.

I'd rather see him signed, mentor the little guy coming up on how to play in the big league, and in three years, he'll still be worth a 3rd if he is at least average or better, but if he has a great 2.5 years, may actually get the good return we hoped for this season as a rental to a contender.

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#81 piscera.infada
March 10 2014, 09:16AM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

I'm not entirely sure about the Cammy situation. I vehemently don't believe it's the "large failure" or "absolute failure" many people seem to bill it as. I also don't see him resigning here. The truth is, I'm largely indifferent about it.

Sure, we can say "take anything" and "Burke misread the situation". I agree with that to an extent. However, I'm fairly certain that if Burke took a third-round pick an hour before the deadline approached he would have been pilloried by people saying "you hold out longer for bigger return". I imagine this is where he ran in to trouble. He probably did have an offer for pocket change at some point but assumed he could do just that - he (literally) failed in that degree.

@Chillout wrote: " Everybody is in the hunt for the other guys and time just runs out when those options disappear... Just love how the armchair GM's would just order another team to give up assets for our guy...".

I completely agree with this sentiment, it's great to say "Burke didn't get anything", "he wasn't able to leverage a return". But they are contradictory statements. Yes, he literally "failed" (literally, as in he failed to do it), but everything we've heard about the whole situation is that he failed to because he was trying to leverage better assets.

All tolled though, I am extremely skeptical that a third, fourth, fifth round pick would have enough of a bearing on the rebuild to claim that Burke's inaction "failed the rebuild", "failed the organization and the fans", or is some sort of harbinger of terribleness to come. Sure, that third round pick could turn in to a great player, but if he deals Cammy at the draft for a sixth rounder, that pick could turn in to a player... It's all relative. We're all disappointed that the fantasy scenarios we all thought would (or could) be out there weren't out there. I'm not sure we as a fanbase could have been satiated by a third round pick.

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#82 Parallex
March 10 2014, 10:06AM
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@piscera.infada

"I'm not sure we as a fanbase could have been satiated by a third round pick."

Given how the market shaked out I think getting that third would have fallen under the catagory of "understandable". It would have demonstated that Burke isn't the "wizard of trades" that his more ardent boosters try to make him out as (but then failing to trade Cammy demonstrates that anyways).

Something is better then nothing. The only way this isn't a fail on Burke's part is if he somehow manages to resign Cammy to a short-term deal (Two or Less Years) prior to Free Agent Frenzy.

Also: I would like to add my name to those extending their deepest condolances to the whole Stajan family. That is such heartbreaking news.

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#83 chillout
March 10 2014, 10:24AM
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Also speaking of how things sometimes fall apart and teams run out of time. What about Anaheim? Do we really think all they wanted to do was ship Penner out of town? Pretty sure they ran out of time when the Kesler deal they were gunning for fell through.

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#84 mattyc
March 10 2014, 10:36AM
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@piscera.infada

That's about how I feel. A third round pick etc. is small change in the bigger picture. No one flipped out when we traded a 4th for 0 NHL games from Lane McDermid. The difference between a 3rd from a contender and the 4th from the Flames is like 5-10 spots.

Not ideal, but hardly a catastrophe.

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#85 Parallex
March 10 2014, 11:26AM
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@mattyc

1 NHL game actually. Nobody "flipped out" but I know several people thought it was a poor move at the time.

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#86 Parallex
March 10 2014, 11:29AM
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@chillout

Yeah, I was surprised by that too... although at the time I thought they were going after Vanek.

Incidentially, I know a lot of people are blaming Snow for the market bottoming out on UFA's at the deadline, but listening to various sports radio programs I more get the impression that it was Gillies (via Kesler) that did that.

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#87 piscera.infada
March 10 2014, 11:33AM
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@Parallex

Hockeycentral in Toronto had an interesting interview with Snow a few days after the deadline, and he said the same regarding Kesler. I could see how that could freeze a whole bunch of teams. If Pittsburgh's deal for Kesler works out, thus (by all indications) Philly gets Edler (as apparently those two deals were dependant on each other), then I'm sure suddenly a lot of teams in the east (and to a lesser extent, the west) are in the sweepstakes for Vanek, Moulson, and Cammy.

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#88 the-wolf
March 10 2014, 11:56AM
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I agree with Burke over the writer of the article. Cammi is not worth so much that the Flames couldn't afford to lose him vs coming across as a pushover. More trades for futures will come, the team can't just take the best offer and call it a day.

It was one of Feaster's faults. He was seen as an easy mark. You cant play hardball and then cave in to market pressure. Or else people will stop believing you will hold the line and wont take negotiations seriously.

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#89 Parallex
March 10 2014, 12:24PM
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@piscera.infada

Yeah, it makes sense.

Gillies dangling Kesler removes the most motivated buyers (either directly or as part of a domino effect) from the marketplace and all of a sudden the supply largely outstrips the demand.

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#90 TRAV
March 10 2014, 02:21PM
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I see this as pretty simple really. The draft overall was decent because of the great return for Berra and solid return for Stemp. The Berra move was an example of getting a above average return for a player who has been very average to below average thus far. I think that if anyone on here as asked what they would take or expect for Berra a 5th would have been widely accepted as a solid return. A second is a steal.

Not getting a good return for Cammy is disappointing Not an epic failure but disappointing. Burke wanted to trade the asset and was unable to achieve this goal. Plain and simple is it a failure... Yes. We have know a ll season long that Cammy was an asset who they wanted to move for a return. At some point in the season it would have been ideal if he could have been moved for a mother asset as I think that there is an above average chance that we lose him for nothing.

In the scheme of things I think that the Berra trade and the Cammy non trade sort of balance each other out. Our trade deadline was okay. I don't see this as anything that I will waste much energy losing sleep over.

Finally it's tough to really know the whole story unless we are in the room. As WW pointed out we are all just speculating on what the offers actually were . Tough to accurately evaluate when we are guessing at the scenarios. I

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#91 TRAV
March 10 2014, 02:23PM
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TRAV wrote:

I see this as pretty simple really. The draft overall was decent because of the great return for Berra and solid return for Stemp. The Berra move was an example of getting a above average return for a player who has been very average to below average thus far. I think that if anyone on here as asked what they would take or expect for Berra a 5th would have been widely accepted as a solid return. A second is a steal.

Not getting a good return for Cammy is disappointing Not an epic failure but disappointing. Burke wanted to trade the asset and was unable to achieve this goal. Plain and simple is it a failure... Yes. We have know a ll season long that Cammy was an asset who they wanted to move for a return. At some point in the season it would have been ideal if he could have been moved for a mother asset as I think that there is an above average chance that we lose him for nothing.

In the scheme of things I think that the Berra trade and the Cammy non trade sort of balance each other out. Our trade deadline was okay. I don't see this as anything that I will waste much energy losing sleep over.

Finally it's tough to really know the whole story unless we are in the room. As WW pointed out we are all just speculating on what the offers actually were . Tough to accurately evaluate when we are guessing at the scenarios. I

Sorry for typos. Terrible at typing on mini iPad.

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#92 EugeneV
March 10 2014, 04:57PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

The Stajan family loss puts everything else in perspective. Prayers for him and his family as well as his team mates who will be concerned and mourning with Matt.

Who the hell trashed this post above?

Too bad I never got to meet my little brother Edward who died at birth, or our 1st and 3rd who never made it out of the womb as well.

Hockey is a game.

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#93 Skuehler
March 10 2014, 07:04PM
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chillout wrote:

Also speaking of how things sometimes fall apart and teams run out of time. What about Anaheim? Do we really think all they wanted to do was ship Penner out of town? Pretty sure they ran out of time when the Kesler deal they were gunning for fell through.

If the nhl trade deadline is such a gong show than why not set your own internal deadline for the org. Have meaningful talks with the parties that are involved and seriously interested and hammer things out. Once your main objectives are reached than have some fun on deadline day and pull off trades like the Berra one. It just doesn't wash to blame Gillis. Burke needed to take control of the situation. He certainly had options and experience to be able reach the organizations goals. It seems like Burke was either unprepared, too passive, got called on his bluff, or didn't have the ear of other GMs. While we can only speculate about what happened the outcome is clear for all to analyze.

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#94 Skuehler
March 10 2014, 07:28PM
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piscera.infada wrote:

I'm not entirely sure about the Cammy situation. I vehemently don't believe it's the "large failure" or "absolute failure" many people seem to bill it as. I also don't see him resigning here. The truth is, I'm largely indifferent about it.

Sure, we can say "take anything" and "Burke misread the situation". I agree with that to an extent. However, I'm fairly certain that if Burke took a third-round pick an hour before the deadline approached he would have been pilloried by people saying "you hold out longer for bigger return". I imagine this is where he ran in to trouble. He probably did have an offer for pocket change at some point but assumed he could do just that - he (literally) failed in that degree.

@Chillout wrote: " Everybody is in the hunt for the other guys and time just runs out when those options disappear... Just love how the armchair GM's would just order another team to give up assets for our guy...".

I completely agree with this sentiment, it's great to say "Burke didn't get anything", "he wasn't able to leverage a return". But they are contradictory statements. Yes, he literally "failed" (literally, as in he failed to do it), but everything we've heard about the whole situation is that he failed to because he was trying to leverage better assets.

All tolled though, I am extremely skeptical that a third, fourth, fifth round pick would have enough of a bearing on the rebuild to claim that Burke's inaction "failed the rebuild", "failed the organization and the fans", or is some sort of harbinger of terribleness to come. Sure, that third round pick could turn in to a great player, but if he deals Cammy at the draft for a sixth rounder, that pick could turn in to a player... It's all relative. We're all disappointed that the fantasy scenarios we all thought would (or could) be out there weren't out there. I'm not sure we as a fanbase could have been satiated by a third round pick.

It's not a huge failure for the Flames. It's Burkes failure.

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