Random Thoughts - June 20 2014

Kent Wilson
June 20 2014 11:30AM

random-thoughts


We're about a week away from the 2014 Entry Draft and the Flames have 5 picks inside the top-90, including a franchise high 4th overall. It's not hyperbole to say this summer will be a pivotal one of the Flames road back to respectability. If they pick a future star or two and not stub their toe horribly in free agency, it will give the club a much better chance of making their up the crowded Western Conference standings ladder.

Of course, the other key consideration is how they develop and manage their current crop of players...

- There's been talk and trade rumors that have included both Mikael Backlund and TJ Brodie recently. It's impossible to overstate how bad a move it would be to trade either of these players now. Not only are they the only two guys within spitting distance of peak age who are also worth a damn on this roster (23 and 25 respectively), they are also grossly underpaid right now according to the level of their contributions. Oh, and they might even improve.

- Because they have yet to put up noteworthy offensive numbers, some Flames fans and much of the league outside of Calgary don't quite understand how good these two guys are. This will help put things into perspective: last year, on a bottom 5 NHL team, Backlund and Brodie played 458 even strength minutes together, mostly against other teams top lines.

The Flames owned a 59.4% Corsi rate with them both on the ice through those 458 minutes. They scored 62.5% of the goals as well. Those aren't merely good ratios, they are elite. For comparison: last season Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews combined for ratios of 60.1% (Corsi) and 61.% (goals). Other pairings in the same ballpark: Patrice Bergeron/Zdeno Chara and Anze Kopitar/Drew Doughty.

So, in short, the only thing the Flames should be doing with Backlund and Brodie is trying to ink them to long-term extensions as soon as possible. They are two of the pillars around which a new roster can be safely built.

- I've heard a lot of theories about why the Flames were more competitive than expected last year. Many of settle on the Vancouver fight night or team competitiveness narrative. Brian Burke recently claimed as a function that the acquisition of Kevin Westgarth was a key to turning the Flames around because other teams bad guys were loathe to hit the Flames after he arrived.

The truth of it is, the combination of Backlund, Brodie and Giordano was the primary reason the Flames weren't Oiler-esque last year. When those guys weren't on the ice, the Flames mostly got run out of the rink. My hope is the team understands this behind closed doors and covets them appropriately.

- Switching gears, the impending free agent season and the fact the Flames will have to spend a lot of cap space just to get to the floor is both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, they have an incredible amount of flexibility which will allow Treliving to get creative should some teams need to shed dollars to make any moves. On the other hand, it opens the club up to potential blunders like overpaying mediocre players or backing up a dump truck full of money for the one or two white whales in the rather thin UFA pool. There will be some opportunities to supplement Calgary's underwhelming middle rotation depth at both forward and defense, but, like every summer, there are land mines everywhere. 

- The best targets on the back-end currently include: Anton Stralman, Matt Niskanen, Mark Fayne and Tom Gilbert. Niskanen will be the most sought after of the bunch so he's probably out. Stralman probably raised his value with the Rangers playoff run, but neverthless there are indications he's a kind of TJ Brodie-esque diamond in the rough whose value is overshadowed by meh counting numbers. Check out this article by Tyler Dellow to see just how well Stralman seemed to push the play in New York the last couple of years.

Mark Fayne is another unknown guy with solid underlying numbers. That said, New Jersey is probably the strangest club in the league when it comes to their possession rates - they are regularly really good, yet the club is always mediocre anyways. Players who leave usually see their possession rates plummet too (cough Clarkson cough). I don't know what's going in NJ, but it makes me...wary of their middling free agents. 

- Stralman should sound familiar to Flames fans. He was briefly Calgary property back in 2009. They acquired him in the Wayne Primeau deal and then quickly flipped him to the Blue Jackets for a 3rd round pick after training camp. At the time the Flames had two "fringe" guys who were waiver eligible in Stralman and Staffan Kronwall. Sutter chose Kronwall who would go on to play 11 NHL games for Calgary before fleeing back to Europe.

- Of course, we know the Flames are likely going to look to beef up the roster a tad, particularly since the club is poised to get even younger going into 2014-15. Which no doubt means names like Matt Green, Clayton Stoner, Brooks Orpik or Willie MItchell on their radar. Greene is a lumbering third pairing guy at best, Mitchell is 37 years old and Orpik has been on the steep decline for a few years. Stoner has been a fringe guy most of his career - he's 29 and last season was his sophomore year in the NHL. He didn't exactly blow the doors off either. So there's not a lot of upside in the coke machine department.

- In case you missed it, word is Calgary has released Chris Butler (another reason they'll be looking for a body for the back-end). It's the right decision.

- There are whispers Calgary wants to acquire another first round pick, preferably in the top-10 range. Of course, every team would like another top-10 pick, so that's not saying much. Assuming this isn't a complete pipe dream, there are a few potential trading partners worth considering: NY Islanders (5), Nashville Predators (11) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (8).

The Islanders and Predators are both clubs more desperate for on-ice results than another young body. They may be convinced to move their picks for some combination of NHL-ready guys (Glencross, Hudler), one or two of the Flames 2nd rounders and a quality prospect (Grandlund, Baertschi, Reinhart). The Leafs aren't really close to contention but they think they are and they're run poorly to boot, so that's why I included them.

Of course, no doubt when Calgary calls any potential trade partner the other GM is going to ask about Brodie, Backlund, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano first and foremost. Treliving should laugh and hang-up if that happens.

- It will be interesting to see Treliving's moves in the next couple of weeks. He arrived in town with a decent resume but without a GM track record. Meaning, we have no idea about his habits or preferences. We also don't know the degree to which Brian Burke with have his hand on the wheel.

As mentioned, this is a fulcrum off-season for the Flames franchise around which the future of the club will pivot for good or ill. The org really needs the new regime to not mess things up. 

- Finally, a little reminder to take the scouting reports you hear about draft prospects with a healthy dose of salt heading into next weekend. If you ever have time on your hands and want a good laugh, go back to draft coverage that is 5 years old and check out the superlatives and comparisons that are heaped on kids that never amounted to anything.

Scouting is a tough gig since only about 15% of prospects ever make the show (and only a small percentage of them actually become difference makers), so this is not necessarily meant to disparage scouts in general or any pundit in particular. Still, it's a stark reminder that this time of year is mostly guess work and reading tea leaves.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#2 Mezzo
June 20 2014, 01:22PM
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Does anyone else feel like Flames fans are being primed for the selection of Nick Richie? I listen to the Fan960 everyday, and they are increasingly bringing up how some scouts love him, he has endless potential, etc. They even bring on amateur scouts to reciprocate these claims, almost as if to get the masses to say "oh yes he'd be a way better selection than I previously though". There is even a thread about his "rising" stock at Calgarypuck.com

And I'm not buying it.

I understand that he scored a lot of goals, but to be honest, if you put a 6"2, 220 lb playing in front of the net against kids who are, on average, almost 40 lbs lighter (I'm assuming 180lbs is a safe bet for an average weight), I would expect him to be able to score goals and be a factor.

So help me God if Bennett is available and we chose Nick Richie over him I'll be unbelievably upset. To be honest I would rather Dal Colle, Draisaitl, and Nylander over him.

Anyways sorry for the rant. Free Agency wise I would love Stralman, Niskanen, and Fayne. As for aquiring another first round pick I'm weary of the idea simply because you have to trade value to receive value. I currently like our "valuable" pieces (Brodie, Giordano, Backlund, Sven) that are NHL players, and am not in the party of giving up on Sven. I say draft smart and see how next season goes before we start selling off our players. I think we've got a good foundation to build a solid team on, its all about slowly acquiring the right pieces.

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#3 MonsterPod
June 20 2014, 03:00PM
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If we're picking at 4, we should certainly take the German with 105 points over Nick Ritchie.

If we were picking a bit later, like Vancouver or Toronto, I would have trouble taking Ritchie over Virtanen. Both RWs.

Ritchie: 39 goals in 61 games. Huge body. Virtanen: 45 goals in 71 games. 6'1", already 208lbs, almost a year younger than Ritchie and apparently skates like the wind.

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#4 RKD
June 20 2014, 12:10PM
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Yes, trading Backlund and Brodie would be a mistake. I think the Flames could get something decent back for Glencross and/or Hudler. Brad Richards just got bought out, please BB and BT do not bring him here!

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#5 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 02:57PM
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PrairieStew wrote:

The most likely scenario is that the 2 Sams and Ekblad are off the board and the Flames like Ritchie more than they like Draisatl. Trading down a spot or 2 to pick up another pick (2nd or 3rd rounder) , then packaging it with another later pick for another first round pick.

Ugh, no to Ritchie. I don't like his game at all. He's Kassian just fatter.

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#6 Lordmork
June 20 2014, 12:00PM
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The summer ahead fills me with a certain amount of dread. There have been some comments (Like the above about Westgarth, and Burke's apparent high ranking of Nick Ritchie) that really make me nervous that the Flames could make some boneheaded moves.

This summer seems pivotal, and there are any number of ways Flames management could screw it up for years to come, like drafting for coke-machine size, or overpaying in both money and term in UFA.

The best news I've heard lately is Treliving dismissing the rumoured trade for Spezza. That feels like a good sign. So far, I'm pretty happy with the Flames lack of action. I think the team has some great assets (both in players and in cap space) but I hope management isn't in a hurry to spend either.

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#8 Walter White
June 20 2014, 10:03PM
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McRib wrote:

I think the rumours that Florida is shopping Dmitri Kulikov might mean that if they pick first, Aaron Ekblad is their surfefire guy, as they will just slot Ekblad in next year right where Kulikov was.

I hope you are right.....Ekblad in an Oilers jersey would be sickening, especially after all the hi draft picks they have received the last 5 years.

After Ekblad it's a wide open game:

The Canucks fans like Reinhart.

Oiler fans like Daisaitle.

Flames fans like Bennett.

I don't care how it pans out as long as the Oilers don't get Ekblad.......

WW

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#9 Austin
June 20 2014, 01:45PM
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Mezzo wrote:

Does anyone else feel like Flames fans are being primed for the selection of Nick Richie? I listen to the Fan960 everyday, and they are increasingly bringing up how some scouts love him, he has endless potential, etc. They even bring on amateur scouts to reciprocate these claims, almost as if to get the masses to say "oh yes he'd be a way better selection than I previously though". There is even a thread about his "rising" stock at Calgarypuck.com

And I'm not buying it.

I understand that he scored a lot of goals, but to be honest, if you put a 6"2, 220 lb playing in front of the net against kids who are, on average, almost 40 lbs lighter (I'm assuming 180lbs is a safe bet for an average weight), I would expect him to be able to score goals and be a factor.

So help me God if Bennett is available and we chose Nick Richie over him I'll be unbelievably upset. To be honest I would rather Dal Colle, Draisaitl, and Nylander over him.

Anyways sorry for the rant. Free Agency wise I would love Stralman, Niskanen, and Fayne. As for aquiring another first round pick I'm weary of the idea simply because you have to trade value to receive value. I currently like our "valuable" pieces (Brodie, Giordano, Backlund, Sven) that are NHL players, and am not in the party of giving up on Sven. I say draft smart and see how next season goes before we start selling off our players. I think we've got a good foundation to build a solid team on, its all about slowly acquiring the right pieces.

No apology required!! I feel the exact same way!! In my opinion it would be a boneheaded move to take Ritchie. Maybe he does turn into a Lucic, but the risk that he doesn't is way higher, so why take that risk at #4. I would much rather have one if the Sam's , as You never hear anything bad about him, just solid all around with amazing IQ. Bennett competes hard every night no matter what, and Ritchie has consistency issues. Draisaitl scares me a bit but I'd still take Leon over Ritchie. I would even prefer Nylander over Ritchie as well even with the "selfish" knock on Nylander. He's probably the most talented player in the draft. I think the appropriate place for Ritchie to be selected is in the 10-20 area, because honestly the consistency issues scare me, and if he weren't as big as he is, I guarantee he wouldn't even be near the top 10 conversation.

In regards to acquiring another pick, I think it's only worthwhile to get another first rounder if it's a top 15 pick. After 15, there's not that much of a difference between players from the 15-45 slots.

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#10 Primo
June 20 2014, 02:03PM
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Kent...always enjoy your articles. They regularly exceed journalistic standards and your depth of knowledge is outstanding!

I really hope the Flames stay the course and continue year 2 of there rebuild by ensuring high drafting success and astute player trades. Those 2 areas are in my view the critical success factors during the next 2 years of this rebuild!

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#11 BurningSensation
June 20 2014, 08:38PM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

Hmmm...Burke hints they like Ritchie....also hints at wanting another top 10 pick...could he maybe want that pick to draft Ritchie should he be available in spots 6-10?

Just a thought

I'm on board with this thinking.

Get one of the consensus top end (Reinhart, Ekblad, Bennett, Draisatl) and then deal for another mid-late round pick to snag one of the skating mountains (Ritchie, Virtanen, Perlini).

My dream-the-impossible-dream is that the Flames get Reinhart (or Bennett), and then trade up with the 2nd rndrs + 'something' to get a pick to use on Virtanen or Nylander, adding two high-skill guys to the cluster at once.

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#12 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 11:13PM
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MontanaMan wrote:

Burke was recently interviewed on FlamesTV and openly admitted that all hockey people lie leading up to the draft. So don't read too much into what he or the Flames scouts are saying - it's highly likely they are doing nothing more than posturing.

And on the Backlund front, maybe it's me but why does FlamesNation put such value on him? He's been benched in parts of the past two years and although he's a decent second or third line centre, he certainly hasn't done much to give any hope as a #1 guy. Yes, he's got some potential but I personally don't see him doing much in his NHL career and will be destined in a #3 or at best #2 roll. And I firmly believe there's an even chance he's dealt by the draft.

Because Backlund plays guys like Toews to a standstill. He's an excellent 2 way Centre. The odds of him putting up 80 points are very long but he tilts the ice when he's out there. He's one of the best possession guys in the league. That's why we value him so highly. We don't have an elite player outside of giordano right now so someone who can neutralize elite players is very important to our team.

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#13 suba steve
June 20 2014, 01:21PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

load the compensation with performance bonuses... for Brodie and strallman.. them hope they make the big bucks as it means they performed well.

And why would Stralman sign a deal like that with the Flames when he could get guaranteed money with another club, no strings attached?

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#15 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 02:51PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Kent I agree with your assessment of skill and possession being the most important things, but our guys with skill and starting to look like the cast of the smurfs. Does this make a guy like Draisitl more important to us than one of the Sams? For me, it does

Here's the thing - the Flames roster could change quite drastically by the time whoever they pick is a true contributor on this club. Consider what the Flames looked like 3 years ago. Now think about 5 years ago. Construction and perceived needs can change quite drastically when it comes to stuff like size. What never changes is the desire for more skill.

Pick the best guy with the most skill, the most upside. Figure everything else out after that.

Agreed, but is the skill and upside between Draisitl and Reinhart that different? I've seen both guys play a lot and to me the difference is negligible. I haven't seen enough of Bennett to comment intelligently. When I see Reinhart I actually see less skill and a more developed player. He never makes a mistake. Draisitl makes lots of mistakes, but his ability to dominate the puck is something only a few NHLers have. We're talking guys like Kane, Thornton, Jagr, Kopitar ect. He can have the puck for 30 seconds in the offensive zone at times. Granted, he occasionally makes sloppy plays and turns the puck over, whereas Reinhart never does. I wonder though if his ceiling isn't as high/higher than Reinhart's with the right coaching?

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#16 BurningSensation
June 20 2014, 05:29PM
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@Kent Wilson

"He's not real flashy. He doesn't attract you with his finesse so much as his overall performance at all areas of the ice."

A scouting report from the Hockey News...on Jaromir Jagr.

So yeah, sometimes the scouts are a bit off.

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#17 Primo
June 21 2014, 12:30AM
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Nerfer20 wrote:

I'm really hoping for Reinhart... We'd have a great PP unit with Reinhart at C, and Mony on RW for it. I watched too many videos of him doing the Stamkos one-timer from the right circle!!

Ur future 1C & 2C's right there!! Reinhart is a future captain

According to a few Buffalo journalists the Sabres really want Sam Bennett. If you then go through the selections and believe what you hear about the Oilers wanting Draistl then Reinhart becomes a Calgary Flame.

Yah!!!!!!

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#18 TheRealPoc
June 20 2014, 12:29PM
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Solid as always.

Would love to see Stralman come out here. Hell, give him a premium - we need to hit the floor anyway and he's probably a decent return on investment, even with a slight overpayment...which, according to Dellow's analysis, might not even be an overpayment at all.

This UFA class though, in general...ugh.

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#19 Lordmork
June 20 2014, 01:50PM
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@Kent Wilson

Hey, I share a birthday with him!

I read an interesting profile of him, here. http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/05/28/232303/ (As an aside, apparently Dave Tallon likes to ask prospects if they wear boxers or briefs. Awkward) Ritchie is criticized for inconsistency and taking games off. All he has going over the more consensus top picks is size. Picking him when more skilled guys are available would be a nightmare.

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#20 DragonFlame
June 20 2014, 05:29PM
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There are enough good hockey people in the Flames' organization collaborating on who the draft pick will be, and we have no choice as fans but to put our faith in these people. Burke knows enough about managing that he isn't going to override the consensus between the scouts, Treliving, Conroy and Pascal. If, collectively, the group decides on Ritchie then we'll have to find religion and pray to God they made the right decision.

If it's Ritchie, I'll see you in church.

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#21 McRib
June 20 2014, 09:03PM
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May have already been mentioned, but the Flames are flying in Ekblad, Bennett & Reinhart for extended interviews this week. Last year they flew in Monahan, Klimchuk & Petan (Damn I wish we kept that second rounder). I think it is safe to say though if any of those top three are available this year at four they are putting on a Flames sweater come draft day.

I agree with everyone and think Richie's offensive upside is not worth a Top. 5 pick. Interestingly enough though if those three go in order ahead of us do we pick Draistil (Edmonton seems fairly set on him regardless) or Dal Colle... The Flames have had great luck of late taking high character kids and Dal Colle checks off that box (see link below), also Dal Colle has huge upside with a much later birthday (6 1/2-8 months younger) than others available. So I think there is a chance of Dal Colle going ahead of Draistil with our 4th pick... Which thinking of the tandem of Monahan/Dal Colle for years to come is intriguing to say the least. Even if people like Draistil over Dal Colle I think Brian Burke is smart enough to realize Dal Colle's upside over Richie. Also worth mentioning when Brian Burke had a Top. 5 pick with Toronto he took the most offensive upside guy in Morgan Reilly, so I think Richie is really just hearsay from some media outlets trying to get an opinion in. Lets also not forget that Dal Colle is 6'2"+ (plenty of size for Burke), furthermore the fact that Brian Burke isn't even talking about Dal Colle seems like a sign after what he said with GMs sending out confusing messages up to the draft.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=703660

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#22 Byron Bader
June 20 2014, 03:01PM
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Ritchie would be a reaaccch at 4. I would be pretty not pleased if he was chosen at 4 or we traded down for him. There's 4 pretty good players ... they could go in any order ... I hope they take whoever's left. I'd be more ok if they took Ehlers or Fabbri than Ritchie. Virtanen even as he's one of the youngest guys in the draft.

It makes me a little nervous that Burke said there was 4 guys that were obviously a cut above a few weeks ago and now he said there's 5 guys. However, right after saying this he said that a lot of the pre-draft is geared towards lying to other teams about who you're going to pick and how you feel about players. Hopefully he's just trying to sandbag some other team.

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#23 Baalzamon
June 20 2014, 10:43PM
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@McRib

I think Brian Burke is smart enough to realize Dal Colle's upside over Richie.

One would hope.

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#24 MWflames
June 20 2014, 12:17PM
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I know this has been beaten to death, but....

Ritchie sure seems like Burkie wet dream doesn't he?

This team needs a RW with size to compensate for the little guys on the left. I doubt CGY's scouts would support him taking Ritchie over a few others at 4, but getting another first rounder or trading down seems like a move the flames may consider.

I think you're right Kent, Islanders would be the target, as they might want to improve their roster today. What would it take to get it off their hands? Looks like they could use some LWs which could be a match.

Edit: Apparently he's a LW?

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#25 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 02:33PM
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Am I missing something? Don't we have 3 picks in the top 60 and 5 in the top 90? Maybe just a typo.

I agree on Backlund, Giordano and Brodie driving the bus for us completely. I'm interested to see what Glencross does for us this year. I still believe he can be the type of player who drives things north too. Maybe I'm living in the land of 3 years ago though.

Kent I agree with your assessment of skill and possession being the most important things, but our guys with skill and starting to look like the cast of the smurfs. Does this make a guy like Draisitl more important to us than one of the Sams? For me, it does. I'm not saying pick Ritchie or someone else with a lower ceiling because they're big, but that size Draisitl brings could be important for us down the line with other top 6 options being on the lighter side of things. The only guy we have with top 6 potential who plays big is Poirier.

On another note, I'm enjoying the humble pie on the Poirier over Shinkaruk pick....haha

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#26 Jeff Lebowski
June 20 2014, 03:00PM
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Burke mentions on a FlamesTV interview that there is a lot of lying going on in the lead up to draft day. For obvious reasons - you don't signal your preferences before hand in a selection scenario like this. It's straight up idiotic. I think there are game theory tactics that are bowling over people...Yep, I'm talking about Ritchie.

I'm sure Burke loves him but I'm unsure he would pick him over the top 4.

I would love to ask Burke (or BT) this:

Of all the players you've had play on your teams (those that you drafted and those that you inherited) whom would you want drafted to be a Flame?

I mean, all those guys Pronger, Teemu, Getzlaf etc who would he pick first (the scenario is you know how they turn out - or say a guy like Kadri still has development to do - and you get them for 10 years - so you don't just say Teemu because he played the longest - you just want the combination of talents).

Is it Pronger? Niedermayer? I want to know if he values pure skill over some rough and tough combo.

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#27 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 03:20PM
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Dave wrote:

It isn't Burkes draft. It's Brad Treliving's. I'm sure Burke will have one voice out of many but at the end of the Day it's BT's. Just because Burke may (or may not) like Ritchie doesn't mean BT will make his decision based of that.

BT doesn't get final say BB does. Make no mistake about it. Linden is the boss in Vancouver, Shannahan is in Toronto and Burke is here. The new president of hockey ops title just means they can leave for a bit and go hang out with their kids. Those guys are still the decision makers.

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#28 exsanguinator
June 20 2014, 07:11PM
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Speaking of players that were released what does anyone think of bringing in Hiller to tandem with or back up Ramo?

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#29 Burnward
June 21 2014, 09:19AM
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Interesting name floated on TSN...Peter Mueller. I totally forgot about him. I think he'd be worth a flyer.

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#30 Dave
June 20 2014, 03:15PM
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It isn't Burkes draft. It's Brad Treliving's. I'm sure Burke will have one voice out of many but at the end of the Day it's BT's. Just because Burke may (or may not) like Ritchie doesn't mean BT will make his decision based of that.

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#31 MonsterPod
June 20 2014, 03:32PM
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So here's the question: what are Backlund and Brodie worth?

After Corsi, there is really no comparing them to the current crop of Selke nominees and Norris nods past and present. They both lack size and offence.

So if you're right that they should be locked up long term, and if it is understood that Backlund is not a #1 center and Brodie is not a #1 dman, then what is the term and pay?

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#32 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 04:16PM
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Dave wrote:

yes, but there MUST be a decision maker. I think it's clear that it's Brad Treliving at the draft. I think you're right that Burke still signs off on it BUT Burke has given BT the freedom to make that decision.

Agreed. Burke doesn't want to meddle unless Treliving is driving the bus off a cliff. Ie. Treliving wants to take Julius Honka at 4, that gets vetoed. He wants to take Dal Colle over Draisitl and that's fine even if Burke prefers Draisitl.

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#33 Rockmorton65
June 20 2014, 07:27PM
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Hmmm...Burke hints they like Ritchie....also hints at wanting another top 10 pick...could he maybe want that pick to draft Ritchie should he be available in spots 6-10?

Just a thought

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#34 MontanaMan
June 20 2014, 08:08PM
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Burke was recently interviewed on FlamesTV and openly admitted that all hockey people lie leading up to the draft. So don't read too much into what he or the Flames scouts are saying - it's highly likely they are doing nothing more than posturing.

And on the Backlund front, maybe it's me but why does FlamesNation put such value on him? He's been benched in parts of the past two years and although he's a decent second or third line centre, he certainly hasn't done much to give any hope as a #1 guy. Yes, he's got some potential but I personally don't see him doing much in his NHL career and will be destined in a #3 or at best #2 roll. And I firmly believe there's an even chance he's dealt by the draft.

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#35 MonsterPod
June 20 2014, 03:10PM
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Draisaitl... Draisaitl...

Picture it: 1990. Jagr gets drafted 5th behind Owen Nolen, Petr Nedved, Keith Primeau, and Mike Ricci. None of those guys were busts but none were close to Jagr. Why did Jagr drop to 5?

If the Sams and Ekblad are gone, what do you do?

Dal Colle gets lots of praise. 6'2" and can apparently play center too. Lots to like and Burke said they cannot miss on this one, so if Leon's a drifter, it ain't good. But what if he's not...?

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#36 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 04:00PM
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TheoForever wrote:

I was of the same believe. However, recently Burke said that while the decision process is one of cooperative think tank and that he can strongly advocate for whatever, the final decision belongs to Treliving.

They all say that. But they all are at the top of the flow chart. Burke is the boss, the boss might allow his employees certain freedoms, but they don't abdicate the right to final say. Certainly not when you're Brian Burke. Contrary to popular belief Burke isn't dictatorial. He gives his assistants and personnel great latitude. That doesn't mean the buck doesn't stop at his door though. I guarantee you he signs off on all decisions before they're made.

Ie. Burke allowed Treliving to dismiss Ward even though Burke liked him. But I guarantee Treliving needed him to sign off on it. Burke may allow Treliving to make the call, but the power to allow or not allow is his.

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#37 Dave
June 20 2014, 04:03PM
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@DoubleDIon

I get what you're saying. my point is that i believe that the draft will be one of those freedoms that's Brad Treliving has. Yes he is accountable to Burke however Brad is going to make his own decision on draft day. I just think we should base our opinions on what Brad has done in the past rather than what Burke has done in the past.

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#38 Jeff In Lethbridge
June 20 2014, 01:15PM
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@Kent Wilson

load the compensation with performance bonuses... for Brodie and strallman.. them hope they make the big bucks as it means they performed well.

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#39 TheoForever
June 20 2014, 03:55PM
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@DoubleDIon

I was of the same believe. However, recently Burke said that while the decision process is one of cooperative think tank and that he can strongly advocate for whatever, the final decision belongs to Treliving.

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#40 Jeff In Lethbridge
June 20 2014, 04:51PM
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Dave wrote:

I get what you're saying. my point is that i believe that the draft will be one of those freedoms that's Brad Treliving has. Yes he is accountable to Burke however Brad is going to make his own decision on draft day. I just think we should base our opinions on what Brad has done in the past rather than what Burke has done in the past.

Burke wanted a GM he could "mentor"... sounds a lot like Burke wil allow BT the choice, as long as his choice agrees with Burke's.

(Just my humble opinion - i assure you I have no relationship with either of these men nor any insider information, which probably means i would be qualified to contribute to bockeyhuzz's rumors"

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#41 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 04:57PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

Burke wanted a GM he could "mentor"... sounds a lot like Burke wil allow BT the choice, as long as his choice agrees with Burke's.

(Just my humble opinion - i assure you I have no relationship with either of these men nor any insider information, which probably means i would be qualified to contribute to bockeyhuzz's rumors"

Not only to contribute to them, but to actually blog for them...haha.

I agree with your assessment. I think Burke will allow him freedom to a degree, but only when he's close in terms of thought process. If he goes in a different direction entirely, Burke would veto, as is his right as the president of hockey ops.

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#42 Bean-counting cowboy
June 20 2014, 08:06PM
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exsanguinator wrote:

Speaking of players that were released what does anyone think of bringing in Hiller to tandem with or back up Ramo?

I would be ok with this.

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#43 SmellOfVictory
June 20 2014, 01:28PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I'd pay Stralman a bunch too. Of course, the only issue then is you likely have to pay Brodie as much or more once he comes up for his contract.

I think they could conceivably (re-)sign both players for less than 9 mil total if they did both this summer.

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#46 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 03:36PM
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MonsterPod wrote:

So here's the question: what are Backlund and Brodie worth?

After Corsi, there is really no comparing them to the current crop of Selke nominees and Norris nods past and present. They both lack size and offence.

So if you're right that they should be locked up long term, and if it is understood that Backlund is not a #1 center and Brodie is not a #1 dman, then what is the term and pay?

They aren't #1 guys that's true, but Backlund is a power vs. power player. You can match him up against elite players and turn it into a wash. That's extremely valuable when you don't have elite guys of your own to offset the match up. Brodie is a top pairing guy with Giordano. I'm not so sure he would be if he had to drive the pairing. I see him as more of a 2/3 type of guy. I'd happily give Backlund 3 years 10 million when we can extend him. Brodie I'd give 4 years 14 million. Both guys would still be valuable relative to their cap hit. Obviously they'd get more on the open market, but this locks them up for their RFA years plus a couple of extra for the extra dollars.

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#47 DoubleDIon
June 20 2014, 04:09PM
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Dave wrote:

I get what you're saying. my point is that i believe that the draft will be one of those freedoms that's Brad Treliving has. Yes he is accountable to Burke however Brad is going to make his own decision on draft day. I just think we should base our opinions on what Brad has done in the past rather than what Burke has done in the past.

I doubt very much that any one person is making the decision on draft day. BT has been here one month. They've been working on the draft all year. There will be lots of voices in that room. Conroy said in an interview on 960 that him and BT disagree on the order of one player in the top 5. He wasn't sure which way it would go at the draft table yet. So from that comment it's clear that the consensus from multiple people will be highly valued. Button, Burke, BT and Conroy all appear to have a hand in it from those comments. As a side note, Conroy did say top 5, which to me indicates Ritchie is not in the running unless the team trades down.

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#48 Dave
June 20 2014, 04:13PM
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@DoubleDIon

yes, but there MUST be a decision maker. I think it's clear that it's Brad Treliving at the draft. I think you're right that Burke still signs off on it BUT Burke has given BT the freedom to make that decision.

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#49 @TACOcurt
June 20 2014, 05:13PM
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fla 1st for for conditional '15 1st, wideman and huddler with holding cap moneys.

nyi 1st and Reinhardt for gio.

Ana 1st for both 2nd rounders.

never happen but I'd pull that trigger.

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#50 Walter White
June 20 2014, 05:58PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

Burke wanted a GM he could "mentor"... sounds a lot like Burke wil allow BT the choice, as long as his choice agrees with Burke's.

(Just my humble opinion - i assure you I have no relationship with either of these men nor any insider information, which probably means i would be qualified to contribute to bockeyhuzz's rumors"

My understanding is that Treliving has full decision making authority in this years draft!!!!!!!..................................................except in the first 3 rounds where Burke has the final decision.

WW

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