Weekend Open Thread: Race to The Cap Floor

Ryan Pike
May 10 2014 09:15AM

A good many people, myself included, have spent the first part of spring actively contemplating the future of Dennis Wideman.

It's no small wonder. To be charitable, he didn't have a good season. To be blunt, he wasn't very good at all. We'll dig into the team-wide possession stats a bit next week, but let me spoil it for you: however you slice it, Wideman wildly under-performed.

He's also making more than any Flame not named Mike Cammalleri, and he's on the richest deal on the books for next season. He's been floated out there as a prime compliance buyout candidate, as who wants a third-pairing blueliner making $5.25 million on the books?

Well, probably these guys might.

THE CAP

The salary cap is projected to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $68 to $71 million next season, depending on the impact of the fluctuating Canadian dollar. That would place the cap floor between $52 and $55 million.

MONEY ALREADY SPENT

If you look at one-way deals and players that are virtually guaranteed to be on the NHL roster next season, here's how Calgary's roster works out.

Goalies: $2.75m (1 body) - Karri Ramo $2.75m

Blueline: $17.495m (5 bodies) - Dennis Wideman $5.25m, Mark Giordano $4.020m, Ladislav Smid $3.5m, T.J. Brodie $2.125m, Kris Russell $2.6m

Forwards: $17.7m (7 bodies) - Jiri Hudler $4m, David Jones $4m, Matt Stajan $3.125m, Curtis Glencross $2.55m, Mikael Backlund $1.5m, Sean Monahan $1.775m, Brian McGrattan $0.750m

If you add that up, you get approximately $37.945 million committed to 13 players, leaving 10 roster spots needed to be filled with between $14 and $17 million needed to be spent to hit the floor.

Okay, let's go one step further.

If you look at Calgary's many, many restricted free agents, there are three players that have basically forced Brad Treliving's hand - Joe Colborne, Lance Bouma and Paul Byron. While I can't figure out precisely how much they'll each make individually, let's operate under the not-so-terrible assumption that the three of them combined will earn around $4.5 million.

That gives the Flames 1 goalie, 5 defensemen, 10 forwards and 7 roster spots to fill with between $9 and $12 million left to hit the floor. If you presume they bury Shane O'Brien's contract in the AHL again (I think they buy him out), knock off another million. The three most likely bubble players to make the team - Tyler Wotherspoon ($925k), Max Reinhart ($878k) and Markus Granlund ($925k) all have cap-friendly deals.

And even with those three (or their equivalents) in the NHL, you still need to fill four NHL roster spots and spend a minimum of between $6.25 and $9.25 million to hit the bare minimum of NHL payroll.

SO?

Can you fathom this ownership group (1) paying Dennis Wideman his money owed to play elsewhere and then (2) having to probably wildly, wildly over-spend to hit the cap-floor?

Even without buying out Wideman, it'll be incredibly difficult for the Flames to hit the cap floor without going out of their way to add salary from somewhere or to really, really encourage some of their rookies with incentive-laden deals (like Sven Baertschi, Corban Knight or Johnny Gaudreau) to spend time in the NHL to take advantage of their resultant cap hits.

In short: Dennis Wideman has a bad, bad deal for what he brings to the table, or at least for what he brought to it last year. But I cannot foresee a buy-out in his near-future for the simple logistical reason that I can't see how the Flames can manage the cap situation a compliance buy-out would produce.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#51 Stubblejumper
May 11 2014, 11:43AM
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Jeremy wrote:

Getting to the cap floor won't be too tough. The team needs to spend a few bucks in FA but with perfect talents like the D-man from Pittsburgh Niskanen available, yeah they'd overpay for him, and the oppertunity to sign a couple players on 1 year deals who the team can ship out at the deadline who cares. The rebuild plan for me is 1 more year of development and then enter the accelerated program. The reward is really great for rebuilding patiently right now.After the 2015 draft where hopefully we get a shot at McDavid or Eichel then start to sign some high end players, or trade for such.

Completely agree with the timing.

One more year of patient prospect development, get a shot at McDavid/Eichel/Hanifin(?), and late in the year organize the pieces (deadline trades, 1 key acquisition?) then look to become a playoff & cup contender starting in 2015-16.

Trying to trade (using high picks & good prospect depth) to move up this year is too early and a mistake that will negatively damage the team for years to come compared to where we could be.

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#52 T&A4Flames
May 11 2014, 12:30PM
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beloch wrote:

There are two things a lot of people posting here seem to think that I just don't understand.

1) The team must either make the playoffs or tank for McDavid. Anything else is a failure.

If the team "succeeds" in sucking more than any other NHL team, the odds are still 75% against the Flames picking first. McDavid might be a generational player, but the odds that he'll be a bust are not negligible. Is it really worth stalling the progress of a club for an entire season for such a meager payoff? Make no mistake, there is a heavy price to pay for deliberately tanking. The feel-good end to this season, both for players and fans, is absolutely aberrant. I guarantee you that nobody in Calgary will be happy to finish fifth last in the league again for a very long time. On the other hand, going from fifth last to the playoffs in one season is exceptionally difficult. A return to mediocrity is likely a necessary intermediate step.

2) This team must trade rookies for veterans to improve.

The Flames still have a handful of quality veterans who are unlikely to last through the rebuild. Glencross and Stajan are both likely to bring a decent return and, believe it or not, left wing and center are currently positions of depth for the Flames (Note how many natural centers have switched to the wing for a chance to play with the NHL club). Glencross/Stajan would be missed, but both would bring back a quality return, potentially in a position the Flames are currently short on. Trading Glencross for a quality second-pairing defender seems like a smart move in particular, especially with Gaudreau demonstrating that he can look damned good playing 16-17 minutes a night against World Cup caliber competition.

The Flames would likely finish higher next season than they did this season if Burke/Treliving spent the summer trout fishing. They're not going to do that. They will make what Burke has called "hockey trades", and they will probably spend a little on UFA's too. Brace yourself for mediocrity fans. Just remember that it won't be the same kind of mediocrity that was a symptom of delaying the rebuild. It will be the kind that comes between sucking and rocking.

I'm not saying I'm hoping for a tank season but, regarding point #1, finishing worst in the league may only give a 75% chance of McDavid, but it does give a 100% chance of either McDavid or Eichel. Just think like you're garaunteed Crosby or Malkin.

Just sayin'

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#53 Rockmorton65
May 11 2014, 01:06PM
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There's a way to rebuild without taking 5-10 years, and without mortgaging the future. This off season provides a unique opportunity to the Flames, they just need to get a little aggressive. Smart, but aggressive.

1. Ask the Avalanche for permission to speak with Paul Stastny, on the condition of trading for his rights. If a deal can be worked out, trade Colorado their 2nd back to them for his rights. A 2nd is a bit high for a UFA's rights, but its good karma. We wont be drafting a guy like Stastny in the 2nd round. Plus, then we can say we turned Berra into Stastny.

2. At the draft, offer the 4th overall pick for a guy like Zach Bogosian. If Winnipeg agrees, it solidifies our 2nd pair for a long time.

3. I agree with the idea that we should also see if we could get Evander Kane for our 2015 first. With Stastny, it gives us 2/3 of a legitimate top line for the first time in a long while. 4. With Kane and Stasty in the fold, bringing Cammy back shouldnt be too difficult. Instead of asking him for a "hometown discount", give him a "loyalty raise". Again, good karma.

5. The acquisition of Kane makes Baertchi expendable. I would contact a team with a few solid D prospects looking for a good winger prospect. I'd inquire about the likes of Lindholm in Anaheim, Larsson in NJ or Sustr in TB.

6. To further address the getting bigger issue, a free agent I'd pursue aggressively is Vrbata. Provides many of the same things Hudler does, but is bigger and stronger.

7. As has been mentioned repeatedly, Im in favor of trading Hudler and Wideman, once their roles have been upgraded. Prospects preferably, but adding picks for future drafts could work well too.

8. See if the rumors are true about Carolina looking to trade Cam Ward. Cant imagine it would require much if he is available. He seems like an ideal "change of scenery" player. If he doesnt take the starters job from Ramo, he would make an ideal backup.

With these moves, heres what we go into the season with:

Kane-Stastny-Cammy Glencross-Backlund-Vrbata Gaudreau-Monahan-Poirier Bouma-Stajan-Colborne

Giordano-Brodie Russell-Bogosian Smid-Wotherspoon

Ramo Ward

Players can move up or down the roster as their performance dictates, not because they are the only option. Kids are allowed to develop on the third line until they are ready to move up. And we have two solid lines to carry the mail until they are ready.

In: Kane, Stastny, Vrbata, Bogosian, Ward Out: two 1sts, Baertchi, Hudler, Wideman

Not only is this a playoff team, thats a team that can play with the Hawks & Kings in the playoffs. It is also a team that has prospects that can grow in an unrushed system.

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#54 Dc
May 11 2014, 01:50PM
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@Rockmorton65

Boooo terrible ideas

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#55 Dave
May 11 2014, 02:47PM
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@T&A4Flames

Just remember that the team with Malkin & Crosby has one cup since acquiring them. It's not the only way to do things. Ovechkin doesn't have a cup either. Generational talent is not the only recipe for success.

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#56 BobbyO
May 11 2014, 04:09PM
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@Rockmorton65

Yikes...aweful ideas. Glad your not my GM! Take up curling.

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#57 McRib
May 11 2014, 04:39PM
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@Rockmorton65

This is insane!?!?!? Trade our next two top 5 picks for Evander Kane (entitled/lazy) and Bogosian (injury prone/awful defensively)... Both of these players could hardly help Winnipeg finish ahead of us in the standings with a much better team!!! The only Winnipeg Jet I would trade this years 4th pick is for Trouba and that ain't happening for a number of reasons. Both Bennett and Draisitl have a great chance of not only being much better than Kane who was a 4th overall pick in a terrible draft year, but they may even be better as early as next year. Evander Kane would be lucky to be a Top. 10 this season. Lets not even get started on where a Zach Bogosian would go in next years draft he would be lucky to be a Top. 20 with how strong it is. Miss out on a Bennett/Draisitl and McDavid/Echel two potential franchise players for Two of the biggest disappointment Top. 5 picks in years...... Yikes!!!!!!

Honestly Lindholm for Sven.... We couldn't even get Lindholm for Gaudreau and a first he is one of the top up and coming defenseman in the league period. Also Can Ward is a horrendous goaltender he got hot for one playoff run. Joni Ortio is a better goaltender than him already Karri Ramo is significantly better!!! Carolina started to win when Ward was injured. I actually think this would make us a worse team than not doing anything for next year and a much worse team for oh about a decade.

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#58 BJ
May 11 2014, 04:42PM
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@Rockmorton65

Unfortunayely what you suggest does kind of mortgage the future.

Also The Jets want players not picks. If we are improving their is no way they trade Kane for what could be a mid round pick as you suggest.

Here is my alternative:

Packkage Baertshi with Glencross or Hudler for Kane. Keep our 1st round picks

Sign younger UFAs like Kulemin to hiigher dollar short term deals.

I agree we should be aggressive on all fronts... but we need to keep drafting and developing.

Your Stastny idea isnt bad but I doubt he comes here and I think Cammy goes...

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#59 T&A4Flames
May 11 2014, 04:58PM
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@Dave

But they're legitimate Cup contenders year after year. The just haven't found the proper formula more than 1year. A generational talent doesn't win you a cup on its own, but it sure gives you a major push in that direction.

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#60 coachedpotatoe
May 11 2014, 05:23PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

There's a way to rebuild without taking 5-10 years, and without mortgaging the future. This off season provides a unique opportunity to the Flames, they just need to get a little aggressive. Smart, but aggressive.

1. Ask the Avalanche for permission to speak with Paul Stastny, on the condition of trading for his rights. If a deal can be worked out, trade Colorado their 2nd back to them for his rights. A 2nd is a bit high for a UFA's rights, but its good karma. We wont be drafting a guy like Stastny in the 2nd round. Plus, then we can say we turned Berra into Stastny.

2. At the draft, offer the 4th overall pick for a guy like Zach Bogosian. If Winnipeg agrees, it solidifies our 2nd pair for a long time.

3. I agree with the idea that we should also see if we could get Evander Kane for our 2015 first. With Stastny, it gives us 2/3 of a legitimate top line for the first time in a long while. 4. With Kane and Stasty in the fold, bringing Cammy back shouldnt be too difficult. Instead of asking him for a "hometown discount", give him a "loyalty raise". Again, good karma.

5. The acquisition of Kane makes Baertchi expendable. I would contact a team with a few solid D prospects looking for a good winger prospect. I'd inquire about the likes of Lindholm in Anaheim, Larsson in NJ or Sustr in TB.

6. To further address the getting bigger issue, a free agent I'd pursue aggressively is Vrbata. Provides many of the same things Hudler does, but is bigger and stronger.

7. As has been mentioned repeatedly, Im in favor of trading Hudler and Wideman, once their roles have been upgraded. Prospects preferably, but adding picks for future drafts could work well too.

8. See if the rumors are true about Carolina looking to trade Cam Ward. Cant imagine it would require much if he is available. He seems like an ideal "change of scenery" player. If he doesnt take the starters job from Ramo, he would make an ideal backup.

With these moves, heres what we go into the season with:

Kane-Stastny-Cammy Glencross-Backlund-Vrbata Gaudreau-Monahan-Poirier Bouma-Stajan-Colborne

Giordano-Brodie Russell-Bogosian Smid-Wotherspoon

Ramo Ward

Players can move up or down the roster as their performance dictates, not because they are the only option. Kids are allowed to develop on the third line until they are ready to move up. And we have two solid lines to carry the mail until they are ready.

In: Kane, Stastny, Vrbata, Bogosian, Ward Out: two 1sts, Baertchi, Hudler, Wideman

Not only is this a playoff team, thats a team that can play with the Hawks & Kings in the playoffs. It is also a team that has prospects that can grow in an unrushed system.

Ina=sanity someone else said, boy they are right. Stastny is a fee agent and if he would like to come here all it would cost is money. Kane no thanks I think we have some guys who will be better in a couple of years. Lose the next two first rounders (have you been drinking Sutters koolaid?) Others have suggested Spezza and I said this is crazy, so Kane would even be more insane. We are better off pursueing UFA's than any of your trades. Again if we can move Hudler, Glenx, or Wides for younger versions @5-28 year olds fine but don't sell the draft picks and the prospects. Ward might be fine and would be an upgrade over Joey teh Goalie but the long term picture features Ortio and Gilles.

Please don't try and rush this rebuild with crazy ideas.

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#61 clyde
May 11 2014, 05:31PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

There's a way to rebuild without taking 5-10 years, and without mortgaging the future. This off season provides a unique opportunity to the Flames, they just need to get a little aggressive. Smart, but aggressive.

1. Ask the Avalanche for permission to speak with Paul Stastny, on the condition of trading for his rights. If a deal can be worked out, trade Colorado their 2nd back to them for his rights. A 2nd is a bit high for a UFA's rights, but its good karma. We wont be drafting a guy like Stastny in the 2nd round. Plus, then we can say we turned Berra into Stastny.

2. At the draft, offer the 4th overall pick for a guy like Zach Bogosian. If Winnipeg agrees, it solidifies our 2nd pair for a long time.

3. I agree with the idea that we should also see if we could get Evander Kane for our 2015 first. With Stastny, it gives us 2/3 of a legitimate top line for the first time in a long while. 4. With Kane and Stasty in the fold, bringing Cammy back shouldnt be too difficult. Instead of asking him for a "hometown discount", give him a "loyalty raise". Again, good karma.

5. The acquisition of Kane makes Baertchi expendable. I would contact a team with a few solid D prospects looking for a good winger prospect. I'd inquire about the likes of Lindholm in Anaheim, Larsson in NJ or Sustr in TB.

6. To further address the getting bigger issue, a free agent I'd pursue aggressively is Vrbata. Provides many of the same things Hudler does, but is bigger and stronger.

7. As has been mentioned repeatedly, Im in favor of trading Hudler and Wideman, once their roles have been upgraded. Prospects preferably, but adding picks for future drafts could work well too.

8. See if the rumors are true about Carolina looking to trade Cam Ward. Cant imagine it would require much if he is available. He seems like an ideal "change of scenery" player. If he doesnt take the starters job from Ramo, he would make an ideal backup.

With these moves, heres what we go into the season with:

Kane-Stastny-Cammy Glencross-Backlund-Vrbata Gaudreau-Monahan-Poirier Bouma-Stajan-Colborne

Giordano-Brodie Russell-Bogosian Smid-Wotherspoon

Ramo Ward

Players can move up or down the roster as their performance dictates, not because they are the only option. Kids are allowed to develop on the third line until they are ready to move up. And we have two solid lines to carry the mail until they are ready.

In: Kane, Stastny, Vrbata, Bogosian, Ward Out: two 1sts, Baertchi, Hudler, Wideman

Not only is this a playoff team, thats a team that can play with the Hawks & Kings in the playoffs. It is also a team that has prospects that can grow in an unrushed system.

Interesting ideas. Although, it is not what I hope the Flames do, it would accomplish what you would like to see. Lindholm or Larson would be very good pick ups. Lindholm would be very hard to swing a deal for but it would be nice.

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#62 KingQuong
May 11 2014, 05:38PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Pretty sure the only Staal available is Marc, and the scuttlebutt has always been that all of the Staal brothers want to play together. Doubt that will be in Calgary. If anything, Marc will get traded to Carolina.

I 100% doubt Eric Staal will play in Calgary by himself. We'd have to take on 3 Staal brothers (not a bad thing) and a bajillion $$ in salary.

4 Staals Eric, Jordan, Marc, and Jared. And I'd take all of them but there is talk of Eric and Ward being moved. Eric is a 70 point guy who checks plays defense can make plays and snipe, he's a super versatile player which is why I thought he should've been on team Canada despite his down season. Regardless he's a great player I'd love to have on the flames, could teach Monahan a thing or two also. Oh yeah he can also play RW.

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#63 Rockmorton65
May 11 2014, 05:48PM
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@McRib

When did Bennett & Draisatl suddenly become franchise players?

Okay, maybe not those players I mentioned specifically, but the idea of making bold moves to improve our team now AND in the future makes a lot more sense to me than pissing away another year for a long shot at McDavid. If tanking meant McDavid was guaranteed, I'd at least listen. But, with the odds of getting him being horrendous, I'll take my chances with proven entities, provided they meet certain criteria. Under 25, proven first line players who can take this team to the next level.

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#64 Primo
May 11 2014, 06:41PM
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@Rockmorton65

@Rockmorton.....

Not sure how long you have been a Flames fan but your proposals resemble the Darryl Sutter hockey model. Sorry we are not pissing away the few high end draft choices that we have ever had for some over paid players that are hockey stars in your mind and will immediately bring us into the playoffs. Sorry been there done that. You can have your Staal brothers!

We continue on current track of developing our young hockey players and solidifying our culture of hard work and positive attitude. If it means we finish 30th overall and secure a generational player that may never come our way again then so be it!

Finishing 23, 20, 18 overall next year gets you absolutely nothing in a rebuild year. Gunning for the playoffs next year is ridiculous!

2015/16 makes more sense!

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#65 coachedpotatoe
May 11 2014, 07:06PM
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Primo wrote:

@Rockmorton.....

Not sure how long you have been a Flames fan but your proposals resemble the Darryl Sutter hockey model. Sorry we are not pissing away the few high end draft choices that we have ever had for some over paid players that are hockey stars in your mind and will immediately bring us into the playoffs. Sorry been there done that. You can have your Staal brothers!

We continue on current track of developing our young hockey players and solidifying our culture of hard work and positive attitude. If it means we finish 30th overall and secure a generational player that may never come our way again then so be it!

Finishing 23, 20, 18 overall next year gets you absolutely nothing in a rebuild year. Gunning for the playoffs next year is ridiculous!

2015/16 makes more sense!

Primo: We actually agree on something. Rockmorton65 proposal would be abandoning the rebuild not just trying to accelerate it.

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#66 Kevin R
May 11 2014, 07:17PM
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Trying to give Rockmorton the benefit of the doubt, in that, any trading of our 1st rounders have to be for 22-25 year old players that have a very good probability of being future core players for the Flames. Not Spezzas or Staals. That being said. We have both feet in bed with this rebuild, no point rushing out half cocked. My opinion is the exact opposite, I think we give up more, veteran & one of our hopeful prospects for another top 5 pick, even top 9 if we can get Ritchie. We have something really good going here with youth, lets keep it going.

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#67 Primo
May 11 2014, 07:24PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Ina=sanity someone else said, boy they are right. Stastny is a fee agent and if he would like to come here all it would cost is money. Kane no thanks I think we have some guys who will be better in a couple of years. Lose the next two first rounders (have you been drinking Sutters koolaid?) Others have suggested Spezza and I said this is crazy, so Kane would even be more insane. We are better off pursueing UFA's than any of your trades. Again if we can move Hudler, Glenx, or Wides for younger versions @5-28 year olds fine but don't sell the draft picks and the prospects. Ward might be fine and would be an upgrade over Joey teh Goalie but the long term picture features Ortio and Gilles.

Please don't try and rush this rebuild with crazy ideas.

CP..agree. As talented as Kane is he would be very expensive to acquire and would be nothing but trouble!

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#68 Primo
May 11 2014, 07:28PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Trying to give Rockmorton the benefit of the doubt, in that, any trading of our 1st rounders have to be for 22-25 year old players that have a very good probability of being future core players for the Flames. Not Spezzas or Staals. That being said. We have both feet in bed with this rebuild, no point rushing out half cocked. My opinion is the exact opposite, I think we give up more, veteran & one of our hopeful prospects for another top 5 pick, even top 9 if we can get Ritchie. We have something really good going here with youth, lets keep it going.

You lost me at "trading of our 1st rounders....

That is a non-starter for me! It is proven trading 1st rounders for established veterans has a high probability of failure on a long term basis. That has been tried here in the past and we have lessons learned by simply looking at where we have finished in the standings the last couple of years!

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#69 Rockmorton65
May 11 2014, 07:31PM
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@Primo

"Secure a generational player". That's what my problem is. There is absolutely no guarantee of either McSaviour or Eichel. The only way to get one of them is to finish dead last in the league. Are you proposing we aim to be worse than Buffalo was this year? That would require a huge step back. If Monahan hits 50 points, Johnny G scores 40 goals and wins the Calder and we draft 10th overall...that's a GOOD thing.

If we could use this years or next years first to get a 20-25 yr old d man who can play in the NHL with the potential to be top 4, I say we look at it. I'm not saying trade our picks for a 32 year old top 4 D in decline. But if you can add a Paul Stastny for a 2nd round pick, you do it. What I'm hearing is " don't do it or we won't get McDavid!" If you can improve your team smartly, you do it.

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#70 suba steve
May 11 2014, 07:45PM
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Primo wrote:

You lost me at "trading of our 1st rounders....

That is a non-starter for me! It is proven trading 1st rounders for established veterans has a high probability of failure on a long term basis. That has been tried here in the past and we have lessons learned by simply looking at where we have finished in the standings the last couple of years!

Also, looking at Burke's history with trading away first rounders for a young "star" to make his team better immediately, but not quite good enough to be a playoff team...it would take some pretty huge balls for him to go back to that strategy again. I'm counting on him having learned from past mistakes.

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#71 Primo
May 11 2014, 07:54PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

"Secure a generational player". That's what my problem is. There is absolutely no guarantee of either McSaviour or Eichel. The only way to get one of them is to finish dead last in the league. Are you proposing we aim to be worse than Buffalo was this year? That would require a huge step back. If Monahan hits 50 points, Johnny G scores 40 goals and wins the Calder and we draft 10th overall...that's a GOOD thing.

If we could use this years or next years first to get a 20-25 yr old d man who can play in the NHL with the potential to be top 4, I say we look at it. I'm not saying trade our picks for a 32 year old top 4 D in decline. But if you can add a Paul Stastny for a 2nd round pick, you do it. What I'm hearing is " don't do it or we won't get McDavid!" If you can improve your team smartly, you do it.

Can you guarantee that Paul Stasny or the Staal brothers etc will be huge contributors and instantly make the Flames winners and take you deep into the playoffs???

There are no guarantees but I can tell you 30 NHL teams pay millions of $$ to have scouts and systems in place. McDavid & Eichel are the real meal deal and have been evaluated and analyzed by 30 teams for over a decade! They have the same read as a Gretzky, Crosby and Lemieux.

Of course there are no guarantees and no one is suggesting we throw the season. Flames continue on current course. They are only in year 2 of a rebuild and have a really solid foundation of young players who are no where near being ready for the NHL as solid contributors. Let's learn from the Red Wing model of showing patience and developing young talent. Flames must continue to fill the cupboards with young elite stars just like the Penquins and Blackhawks did and where are those teams today?

A generational player like McDavid/Eichel will enhance the development of Johnnie, Arnold, Sven, Reinhart, Poirier etc but making all the players around them better. That is what generational players like Crosby do.

If we can secure one of those guys without impeding our rebuild progress then let's do it!!

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#72 coachedpotatoe
May 11 2014, 08:05PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

"Secure a generational player". That's what my problem is. There is absolutely no guarantee of either McSaviour or Eichel. The only way to get one of them is to finish dead last in the league. Are you proposing we aim to be worse than Buffalo was this year? That would require a huge step back. If Monahan hits 50 points, Johnny G scores 40 goals and wins the Calder and we draft 10th overall...that's a GOOD thing.

If we could use this years or next years first to get a 20-25 yr old d man who can play in the NHL with the potential to be top 4, I say we look at it. I'm not saying trade our picks for a 32 year old top 4 D in decline. But if you can add a Paul Stastny for a 2nd round pick, you do it. What I'm hearing is " don't do it or we won't get McDavid!" If you can improve your team smartly, you do it.

Unfortunately you said way more than that in your original ramble, but my question is why would you trade for a UFA when he might be had for nothing. A second would be a big price if he backs out which he could do. If you only do one of these things without destroying the core fine, but your original list was much larger than this and IMO rather outrageous. Again based upon your logic that we can't be assured of a generational player we can't be assured that the defence you would trade for would be a top 4 guy for an extended period of time. It's clear you would abandon the rebuild and try the Sutter approach where I think we need to build before we can make haphazard trades, we are least two years away from having enough depth throughout the organization to consider giving up a first rounder or even a high second rounder.

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#73 Rockmorton65
May 11 2014, 08:18PM
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@Primo

You're playing with fire. The ONLY way we can get either one is to finish dead last. To do this, we have to finish worse than at least 2-3 teams who will be intentionally tanking for the same reason. You would have to shift the culture in the dressing room. You would have to make sure that Monny, Johnny G and Ramo don't improve for an entire year. You would need to lie to the players, media and fans that all is good for an entire year.

We could have played Joey Mac for all 82 last year and we would still have finished higher than Buffalo and Edmonton.

I too, think we should build on the gains made this year, which include a rise in the standings. Now if that means trading for young talent that not only improves our future, but also helps us win now (aka improve in the standings), you look at it. If not, improve through drafting. It would be irresponsible of the GM to not look at what teams would offer for the 4th overall, because we secretly want to suck this year.

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#74 MontanaMan
May 11 2014, 08:22PM
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Primo wrote:

You lost me at "trading of our 1st rounders....

That is a non-starter for me! It is proven trading 1st rounders for established veterans has a high probability of failure on a long term basis. That has been tried here in the past and we have lessons learned by simply looking at where we have finished in the standings the last couple of years!

Disagree with the mentality "we won't trade our draft picks".

No guarantee on draft picks - go through the past five years of first round picks and find out how many have made a real impact. Not many. Now drafting in the top 4 is a good position to be in but you need to be realistic and compare the draft possibility with the existing player reality. In my mind, a Travis Hamonic for a first rounder is worth considering. He's proven, he's young, he's light years ahead of a first year pro and you've got him for almost as long. No you don't want to trade all of your picks and I'm dead against trading them for 30 year olds but if a good young player is offered, I would consider it.

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#75 Rockmorton65
May 11 2014, 08:35PM
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@coachedpotatoe

Trading for a Sheldon Souray in a run for the playoffs is a "Sutter" move. If we can get a young player who can grow with our existing core and contribute to this team for the next decade is something else. It's not "haphazard" as you suggest. It's very calculated. When I talk of moving this years first, I'm talking about for a 20-25 year old player who can play on our top two lines right now and has something approaching elite potential. Maybe Bogosian was a bad example. I was thinking he was a very good, young d man with top 2 potential, who is locked up long term.

You don't move that pick for a bag of spare parts, you move it to get an elite or soon to be elite player that you can lock up long term. I would in no way, shape or form advocate a "Sutter" rebuild just to get into the playoffs.

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#76 BobbyO
May 11 2014, 08:44PM
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MontanaMan wrote:

Disagree with the mentality "we won't trade our draft picks".

No guarantee on draft picks - go through the past five years of first round picks and find out how many have made a real impact. Not many. Now drafting in the top 4 is a good position to be in but you need to be realistic and compare the draft possibility with the existing player reality. In my mind, a Travis Hamonic for a first rounder is worth considering. He's proven, he's young, he's light years ahead of a first year pro and you've got him for almost as long. No you don't want to trade all of your picks and I'm dead against trading them for 30 year olds but if a good young player is offered, I would consider it.

Darryl..that's you isn't it?

Should you not be preparing for a game against the Ducks tomorrow evening rather that writing in on Flamesnation??

Shame shame...

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#77 coachedpotatoe
May 11 2014, 08:50PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

Trading for a Sheldon Souray in a run for the playoffs is a "Sutter" move. If we can get a young player who can grow with our existing core and contribute to this team for the next decade is something else. It's not "haphazard" as you suggest. It's very calculated. When I talk of moving this years first, I'm talking about for a 20-25 year old player who can play on our top two lines right now and has something approaching elite potential. Maybe Bogosian was a bad example. I was thinking he was a very good, young d man with top 2 potential, who is locked up long term.

You don't move that pick for a bag of spare parts, you move it to get an elite or soon to be elite player that you can lock up long term. I would in no way, shape or form advocate a "Sutter" rebuild just to get into the playoffs.

This makes more sense than your original post. However I still think you pursue UFA's before trading assets and you avoid head cases at all costs.

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#78 madjam
May 11 2014, 09:01PM
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How are you going to finish below Oilers and Sabers next season ? If you want to finish that low then do as the Oilers are doing . Get rid of your veterans for peanuts and have your young stars play with half your AHL squad for most of season . New coach each season also helps to confuse/retard the progress of your young stars /players . Oilers plethora of so called generational players is not exactly bringing them positive results . Oilers have very little veteran depth in comparison to most contenders .

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#79 coachedpotatoe
May 11 2014, 09:14PM
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The whole discussion on when to shift gears from from a slow rebuild to an aggressive one makes for interesting discussion. I for one believe we need to stack the cupboards significantly more if we are going to turn this organization around. Drafting well and developing players well for me is more important at this time than chasing the playoffs; in a year or two I could see this as an option. If the chemistry and work ethic this team showed this season continues to be the routine then this team will have a chance for marked improvement especially if the hopes we have for many of the prospects comes true. Indeed we could use a solid 24-28 year old defender or two for that matter but would I trade the farm for one this year probably not. I also think we need to acquire or develop a stud on the RW, we have so much potential on the LW we need to do this.

I have said it many times if we started the season upfront with what we have signed and our own RFA signed I would be okay with that. We have 6 established forwards, 4 emerging forwards and this would allow us to allow our prospects to develop both in the NHL and AHL as the need to. However I would be disappointed if at the end of the year some of the veterans were not moved and a younger leadership core allowed to emerge either via trade or natural selection. Again I look at it from a nontraditional perspective and say roll four lines with skilled guys, vets and energy guys on each line rather than the traditional load up two lines, have a third line that might be a checking line and a fourth line that is considered n energy line but might only play 3-6 minutes a game.

on the back end we have a solid top pairing but after that it's questionable. Wides was rollercoaster last year and never really recovered from his injury. Russell had a breakout year but his lack of size limits his effectiveness. Smid would be an adequate 7th but he is someone whom we could upgrade on. Spoon showed promise but will be prone to mistakes. If we are going to throw money after free agents this is where it needs to go. If we are going to make any significant trades this is another area to do so.

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#80 Stubblejumper
May 11 2014, 09:23PM
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2014-15 should focus on being the Year of Development...to develop all prospects with less than 200 NHL games experience.

2015-16 should be the Year of Improving to become a Playoff Contender with the goal of positioning the team to be a Cup Contenter by 2017-18.

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#81 Primo
May 11 2014, 09:53PM
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MontanaMan wrote:

Disagree with the mentality "we won't trade our draft picks".

No guarantee on draft picks - go through the past five years of first round picks and find out how many have made a real impact. Not many. Now drafting in the top 4 is a good position to be in but you need to be realistic and compare the draft possibility with the existing player reality. In my mind, a Travis Hamonic for a first rounder is worth considering. He's proven, he's young, he's light years ahead of a first year pro and you've got him for almost as long. No you don't want to trade all of your picks and I'm dead against trading them for 30 year olds but if a good young player is offered, I would consider it.

Toews, Sharpe, Kane, Malkin, Crosby, Brown, Quick, Suter, Parise...hmmm all draft picks when their respective or original teams were "rebuilding"...I could name 20 more examples but I'm bagged and going to sleep.

Great discussion by all!!!

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#82 T&A4Flames
May 11 2014, 11:08PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

"Secure a generational player". That's what my problem is. There is absolutely no guarantee of either McSaviour or Eichel. The only way to get one of them is to finish dead last in the league. Are you proposing we aim to be worse than Buffalo was this year? That would require a huge step back. If Monahan hits 50 points, Johnny G scores 40 goals and wins the Calder and we draft 10th overall...that's a GOOD thing.

If we could use this years or next years first to get a 20-25 yr old d man who can play in the NHL with the potential to be top 4, I say we look at it. I'm not saying trade our picks for a 32 year old top 4 D in decline. But if you can add a Paul Stastny for a 2nd round pick, you do it. What I'm hearing is " don't do it or we won't get McDavid!" If you can improve your team smartly, you do it.

You're putting too much stock in this last season. For all intents and purposes it was a successful season and an no enjoyable one. CGY was able to establish an identity of hard work and never give up attitutude. There was some individual success as well. But there is still so much to do. If we trade our 1sts, it can only be for young guys between 20-25at the oldest. If we can move vets for slightly younger vets, that is possible. But you're talking about trading futures for a player that maybe makes us better now and maybe for a few more years.

Every successful team these days need to have good youth on ELC's. You start trading 1sts too early in the rebuild, you're giving up that opportunity.

With 2 more successful drafts with high picks, we are on track with a flow of youth going through the system. Then you can look at trading 1st and 2nds to add pricy vets.

I'm blown away by this talk of trading youth and picks for vets. We just....began....moving...away...from....that. The very thing that put us in the position to NEED to start a rebuild.

I'm not sure of anyone else, but when this rebuild was declared, I strapped in for a few years of suck. Yes this past season was very encouraging but we need to add quite a few more high end prospects to make this rebuild last for more than a decade.

So please stop looking at the short term excitement and think long term.

"If you can improve your team smartly, you do it." Agreed, but maybe we need to discuss what "smartly" is.

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#83 loudogYYC
May 11 2014, 11:44PM
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@Rockmorton65

It's gonna take a Phaneuf-like contract of $7Mx7 to sign Stastny; plus Kane's $5.25M, Bogo's $5.1M, a likely $3.5M for Vrbata and Ward's $6.3M and then you'd still have huge holes at 1RW and 4D with now limited cap space and 4 of your best trade assets gone in 2 top 5 picks, Hudler and Baertschi.

I'm sorry but that's a terrible proposition for a team that still wouldn't make the playoffs. There's a very good reason the Hurricanes are looking to move Ward and it's not cuz he's an all-star goalie. All the other players are useful but not worthy of top 5 picks or their bloated salaries, relatively speaking.

The Flames won't be a playoff threat until at LEAST 2016, so until then there's no need or benefit to trading picks for problems.

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#84 MontanaMan
May 12 2014, 08:33AM
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BobbyO wrote:

Darryl..that's you isn't it?

Should you not be preparing for a game against the Ducks tomorrow evening rather that writing in on Flamesnation??

Shame shame...

It's worked so well for the Oilers hasn't it Bobby O. But our management and scouting group is superior to the Oilers? Check out our first round picks in the past 10 years and tell me how that's worked out. And we still have Button leading the scouting group.

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#85 Scary Gary
May 12 2014, 08:55AM
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I'd still likely take Michael Leighton as a backup from the KHL over an over paid Ward.

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#86 dotfras
May 12 2014, 10:11AM
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Is it June yet?

Loving the playoffs but just can't wait til the seasons over and we start making moves.

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#87 Kevin R
May 12 2014, 10:19AM
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dotfras wrote:

Is it June yet?

Loving the playoffs but just can't wait til the seasons over and we start making moves.

How ironic would it be for Flames to get Phaneuf back for Wideman & unite the last 2 standing of that nostalgic trade? Ha, would that be a resign Jokinen moment?

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#88 PrairieStew
May 12 2014, 11:04AM
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Sorry I missed this thread.

Last week I proposed taking on a contract in order to both meet the floor and gain further assets. Instead of overspending on UFA's ( "We as a group of GM's make more mistakes on July 1 than any other day " - B. Burke) why not profit from other people's mistakes ? Would Toronto give up their 2015 first round pick to rid themselves of Clarkson ?

I would want assets in exchange for Cam Ward too.

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#89 FeyWest
May 12 2014, 11:42AM
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@Kevin R

You know Jokinen is a UFA this year right? ;D haha but I've said it in many posts, just say no to Jokinen... and for that matter Phaneuf too, don't need to relive ghosts of the past

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