Weekend Open Thread: Draft Week Scenarios

Ryan Pike
June 21 2014 09:00AM

Lads and ladies, we are now less than one week away from the Most Important Draft in Calgary Flames History*.

*- Well, since last year's.

There's a LOT of chatter in hockey circles about movement at the top end of the draft order.

So what happens? I can, with absolutely no insider info, speculate three main scenarios.

FLAMES DRAFT 1ST AND 4TH

Calgary utilizes organizational assets (later picks, prospects, roster players) to trade with Florida in exchange for the 1st overall pick. Calgary drafts 1st and 4th, in a similar manner to the Vancouver Canucks in 1999 Draft selecting 2nd and 3rd. Brian Burke and Brad Treliving are seen by TSN cameras high-fiving, Flames pick Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett and the rebuild is fast-tracked. Edmonton weeps.

(There's also a version of this where they trade down to 10th or so and use the assets they get for trading down to get 1st overall also. They draft Aaron Ekblad and one of the second tier guys like Nikolaj Ehlers, Haydn Fleury or Nikolai Goldobin. Edmonton weeps.)

Likelihood: Low.

Why?: The price tag to get 1st overall straight-away would be steep. We're talking next year's 1st rounder and/or a high end roster player. And Sven Baertschi. And other stuff. To get both Sedins, Brian Burke sent Bryan McCabe (who was good then) and a future 1st rounder to Chicago for 4th overall, then flipped that pick with two 3rd rounders for the 1st overall pick, and then traded down to 2nd on the condition Atlanta wouldn't take a Sedin. That's ridiculous, and I'm not sure it can be pulled off again, nor am I sure the Flames have the stomach to part with the assets required to do it.

FLAMES TRADE UP

Calgary takes their 4th overall pick, add a prospect and/or roster asset (Hudler?) and trade them to Florida in order to move up to 1st overall and get Aaron Ekblad. Edmonton weeps.

Likelihood: Low to moderate.

Why?: The price would be lower, and Florida would get a Flames roster player or prospect, as well as one of the top four guys in the draft. Everybody wins. Calgary's defense gets massively upgraded for the future. I'm not 100% sure Calgary does this, though, as the interest around 1st overall may bid the price above what Brad Treliving cares to give. "Hudler and Baertschi and 4th overall? Screw it, we'll see who's left when we pick 4th."

FLAMES STAY PUT

Calgary makes no trades, drafts 4th, picks whoever's left from the vaunted top 4.

Likelihood: Moderate to high

Why?: They don't give anything up and they gain an asset. The bidding war for 1st overall may become stupid, causing the Flames to "settle" for 4th and one of the Sams or Leon Draisaitl.

FLAMES TRADE DOWN

Calgary accepts an offer from a team drafting below them that wants one of the top 4. They get an asset, most likely a second or third rounder, to drop in the draft order.

Likelihood: Moderate

Why?: Remember the bidding war? Well, Calgary could be a beneficiary if someone a team below them covets falls to 4 and that coveting team makes a stupid big offer to get them to move down. And Colorado gave Calgary a second round pick for marginal NHL goaltender Reto Berra, so let's not pretend it's not possible. The Flames' management have mentioned a "top 6" rather than a top 4, and likely they have a liking towards someone like Jake Virtanen, Nick Ritchie or Michael Dal Colle. While they probably like Sam Reinhart more, if somebody gives you a chance to add to your prospect depth and give your scouting and development staff more kicks at the can, you can be convinced to "settle" for Virtanen and a second (for example) rather than Bennett or Draisaitl.

Teams often make foolish decisions when they're on the clock and have their Draft Goggles on.

What do you think is the most likely scenario next weekend?

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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 BurningSensation
June 22 2014, 11:33AM
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Reidja wrote:

I really think Flames fans should heed this post above. Not because I love Ritchie, truth be told I've never seen him play live (like many of you, I suspect), but because none of you have that knowledge of the player. Ostracizing an 18 year old because you liked one of the other 18 year olds who you also don't know much about, other than regurgitated scouting reports and YouTube videos, is bad armchair GM stuff. I love the speculation and hope that somehow we can wrangle one of the Sams or Ekblad too but this is really the time to let the guys who get paid, do their job. Should we take Ritchie, tell me he will be a bust 3 years from now when you have expirience to back up the opinion.

There is no 'bad' armchair GM stuff, because there is no 'good' armchair GM stuff.

Just enjoy it for what it is.

That said, I agree that people should chill a little with the panic over Ritchie potentially being our pick at #4. I don't see it, but at least one team's scouts had Ritchie as the top player in the draft per Boomer in the morning.

The red flags for me;

- wasn't a ppg - late bloomer - older prospect - only took off offensively when he was with an elite linemate

But maybe the kid turns into a goalscoring young Todd Bertuzzi, and at #4 that's about the best you could hope for.

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#52 The Sultan
June 22 2014, 12:20PM
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Burnward wrote:

Just for funsies...

If Draisatl is Kopitar and Ritchie is Lucic...which would you prefer?

Seems to be the best case scenarios for both.

I take Lucic.

I'll take Kopitar over Lucic every day of the week. Draisatl over Ritchie. The Flames need to draft BPA, and regardless of whatever fetish they have over size, there is a clear top 4, and I'd even say a clear top 5. You have Ekblad, the Sam's, Draisatl and Dal Colle, in whichever order you choose to perceive them in.

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#53 Baalzamon
June 22 2014, 01:26PM
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Burnward wrote:

Just for funsies...

If Draisatl is Kopitar and Ritchie is Lucic...which would you prefer?

Seems to be the best case scenarios for both.

I take Lucic.

You're welcome to him. Kopitar all the way.

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#54 Reidja
June 22 2014, 02:14PM
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@BurningSensation

I disagree that trashing an 18 year old's career on the public record is not "bad" armchair GMing. It's at best petulant and at worst shameful. I have no time for posters who would treat a kid like that. Folks should show some common sense and at least acknowledge their limited repotoire of live viewings of the kid (i.e. likely none) and thier ability to divine the future (zero) when posting troll-level negativity about a player who has yet to play a single pro game. End of rant.

Boy would I be stoked if Edmonton somehow let one of those top 3 guys slip to us. I almost feel like the rumour that thier managment like Driasaitl over the Sam's was a plant to get Flames fans hopes up! It's a Lowe blow if you will. Ah ha haha ha.

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#55 Jeff In Lethbridge
June 22 2014, 03:38PM
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DragonFlame wrote:

For everyone who insists it's BB and BT's draft, please read:

http://flames.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=723052

Give the man (Burke) some leeway. He's not going to step in and undermine the scouting staff if they don't think Ritchie is the BPA.

It's kind of like the CEO at the Royal Bank trying to explain to a teller how to do their job. While the words may carry weight, the bottom line is the CEO would suck behind the counter, because they've likely never done it.

If you recall, Brian Burke came in and reviewed the drafting and trades of the last number of years which all culminated in the firing of Jay Feaster. It wasn't the scouts that were fired it was Jay Feaster. The Scouts will put their list together but the man whose job is on the line is the one who makes the decisions even if the decision is just do agree with the scouts.

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#56 Jeff In Lethbridge
June 22 2014, 05:19PM
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DragonFlame wrote:

You are attacking people the minute you compare them to WW.

Were I WW, my grammar and punctuation would leave something to be desired.

OK, I believe you... :-D

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#57 Jeff In Lethbridge
June 22 2014, 06:37PM
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Alt wrote:

Everyone knows WW has multiple personalities? I didn't know that!

How dare someone with multiple personalities attack you!

You with your impeccable pronunciation and grammar.

Maybe I should reword that to read "multiple profiles" ;-)

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#58 wot96
June 22 2014, 07:39PM
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If we are content with the Shelbyville Strategy for a year, Calgary does trade a top six forward and an asset or two, whether picks or players, for a second but later first round pick. That second first round pick probably won't play in the NHL next year and there is a good chance the first first round pick won't either.

Any scenario in which the Flames trade one of their better (or expensive) roster players for a later first round pick also involves having to spend more in free agency regardless of what they do with Cammy even if they keep some salary of whomever they trade. They would have to spend even more on some rebuild rentals if they don't resign Cammy.

With the roster the Flames have, some expect them to regress (though I'm not sure that happens if Johnny G is playing and the Flames resign Cammy). However, if the Flames regress, that would push Calgary into one of the top three spots next year, barring being torpedoed at the lottery. If Calgary trades a Hudler or Glencross and doesn't resign Cammy, I don't see them getting better.

In so doing, they might have a chance at the generational talent at the very top in 2015. Hitting the cap floor this year will be hard unless they keep salary.

So who's okay with regressing slightly to pick up better chance at a generational talent next year?

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#59 ?
June 22 2014, 07:52PM
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DragonFlame wrote:

Well, for those of you convinced that Burke is running the show and only likes BIG players, please look at the guys drafted AFTER Nazim Kadri in the 2009 Draft:

This is all from Hockey DB:

7) Nazim Kadri 6.0 188 8) Scott Glennie 6.1 200 9) Jared Cowen 6.5 230 10) Magnus Paarjarvi-Svenson 6.3 208 11) Ryan Ellis 5.10 179 12) Calvin de Haan 6.1 187 13) Zack Kassian 6.3 214 14) Dmitri Kulikov 6.1 196 15) Peter Holland 6.2 185

So, let's see . . . seven players are taller than Kadri and 5 players are heavier.

Damn, why didn't Burke draft Jared Cowen or Zack Kassian?

Career numbers between Kadri and those two "truculent" individuals:

Kadri: 113 points in 177 games Cowen: 33 points in 158 games (okay, he's a D) Kassian: 5o points in 156 games

I reiterate, those of you who insist Burke will do nothing but undermine the scouting staff and the consensus of some very smart hockey people (because he doesn't like "flag football") and will tell his staff it is, "Ritchie or no one," are so out-to-lunch it's laughable.

If it's Ritchie, I assure all of you that it is the consensus of a lot of people who are well-paid and know a lot more about hockey than you and I ever will.

Tyler Biggs

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#60 Ianberg1
June 22 2014, 09:15PM
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I think the Flames stand pat in the draft order and take the top available player. I think there will be a surprising pick in a later round that generates more commentary here at FN.

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#61 KH44
June 22 2014, 10:45PM
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My prediction: we will keep the pick, if its a Sam at fourth we take them, if not, its Dal Colle.

With the first, fifth and maybe a couple other top ten picks available, it could be a wild draft and its going to be fun.

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#62 CTibs
June 21 2014, 09:52AM
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A scenario not mentioned here is the Flames keeping #4 and acquiring a lower 1st round pick. It's not the most likely scenario, but it's still something to consider. There are plenty of teams with mid round picks that want to move down, and the Flames could take advantage of that for an inexpensive price.

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#63 Baalzamon
June 21 2014, 09:57AM
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The only thing that scares me about the possibility (apparently very real) of Reinhart falling to 4th is that the Canucks probably go hard after that pick. I'd rather the Flames just kept it with Treliving announcing Reinhart's name on the podium with Burke making this face at Benning & Linden.

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#64 suba steve
June 21 2014, 10:04AM
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I just hope that any deal involving the Flames moving their 2015 first rounder is OFF the table (barring an obscene overpay). The reported strength at the top of that draft just seems way more valuable than what the pick might get them in next weeks draft.

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#65 piscera.infada
June 21 2014, 11:57AM
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@T&A4Flames

Mentioned it before, apparently Nashville is looking to get immediate, established help for #11 overall. Look at their forwards, either of Hudler or Glencross would be an immediate upgrade in their forward ranks (that team was just horrible). They're over a barrel too, if they don't start winning immediately, no one wants to come out to their games, so they likely (and reportedly) don't care too much about prospects. They want a bona fide NHL player. Toss in a second, a third, or two, and make it happen.

That is my most likely scenario. Get another pick at 11, if they want too much don't do it. But that should be the mantra from management - if they can acquire a pick without giving up a lateral asset (ie. Baertschi, #4 overall), then do it.

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#66 FlamesinToronto
June 21 2014, 05:58PM
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I'd have no problem trading Glenncross or Hudler. This team is still far away from being a contender and it be nice to get assets back for these players while they still have value. That being said, i think it be insane to trade the 4th overall pick and move down. This organization desperately needs elite level talent.

It really does get pretty insane leading up to the draft when you see fans taking such strong and over the top opinions on players they've seen once or twice. I have zero preference when it comes to who the Flames draft out of the top 5 names being presented, my only hope is they would pass on Ritchie based on everything I've read up on him.

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#67 coachedpotatoe
June 21 2014, 05:58PM
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The great thing is that by this time next week we will have a better understanding of bt/bb direction for this team. I suspect we draft at 4 and pick either who is left from the big 4. The ground work will have been done and I suspect the draft floor will be rather fluid depending on what happens ahead of number 4, I expect if Florida trades #1 the price will be higher than the flames would be willing to pay. However I also guess that the Flames might be prepared to over pay for a 7-11 to try and get Ritchie. It will be fun.

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#68 MonsterPod
June 22 2014, 05:48AM
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Well, the good news is that most pundits agree there are a top four in this draft and then a drop off. And we pick #4. So yay.

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#69 herringchoker
June 22 2014, 07:01AM
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Hey Guys here my take. Please leave everything alone. Take your fourth pick and get the best player available. Do not draft for need yet. Do not move Glenny or Hudler for a second first round pick...this draft is to iffy at best. I believe if you move Glencross or Hudler it needs to be for a Nino Niederreiter (when he was in NY) type of prospect. Under 24, former high prospects needing new surroundings. Especially ones that fit organizational needs like defense. Use a Glencross or Hudler as a trade to team with for example a deep prospect base in defense....pull out one or two solid prospects and a salary dump.Try and make sure the salary dump is at least a leader even if he's past his best before date.

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#70 MonsterPod
June 22 2014, 01:50PM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Most of us are having fun speculating about this draft and that's great but I wonder about whats going on with the rest of the roster. We currently only have one goalie signed and need to finalize this; getting some RFA's signed should have been done by now, that ground work should have been done even before BT was hired. I also wonder what Cammi is hearing from other teams in the preUFA kicking tires period; maybe what the Flames have offered sounds good by the time this is over.

Back to the draft speculation: If it's Draisaitl at 4 it would not surprise me to see the Flames trade down or reach for someone else; if it's any of the other guys they use their pick. That's my guess listening to interviews with coaches from around the CHL, head scouts from the various agencies and listening to the Flames management team. It sounds like Florida is holding out for the right deal: if the Leafs as rumor did offer Dion, Kadri and their first and were turned down I can't see us being in the discussion. Florida probably turns this deal down for two reasons; Dions' salary and how low the Leafs pick is and they don't think their guy will still be there with the Leafs pick. I personally think Florida is overvaluing this years pick. In saying that I think the two Canadian teams withe best chance of landing this pick are Vancouver and Ottawa as both have a veteran high end piece that wants out and a drat pick that makes sense for Florida.

When will we see a discussion about the prospects at 34( we need to treat this as a late first rounder), 54 and 64 as this is where this organization can make some serious gains for the futures.

There aren't a lot of RFAs being signed right now, including Subban. I think this stuff takes time and they have months to do it. I don't think it's anything to worry about or any kind of early knock against BT.

The Cammy thing has never made sense to me. The only reason why he would possibly want to stay in Calgary is if he and his family just loved the city that much. He's 31. This is likely the last time he will be able to really cash in on free agency and the crop is thin this year. He could also go to a contender and a city with better weather (I love you Calgary, but admittedly, some players say 'no' to the snow).

I understand his veteran presence and all that, but he's small and he's clogging up the left wing that has Glencross, Baertschi, Gaudreau, and maybe even Poirier wanting minutes. And we the fans long to see these players, especially Johnny Hockey who is obviously not third line material. Let's bring in a veteran top four Dman to add leadership. We need that player anyway.

And I don't understand how TO can be offering Dion in deals. Surely he has a NTC in that monster new deal. I doubt he would want to go to Florida.

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#71 MonsterPod
June 22 2014, 01:52PM
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Monaertchi wrote:

I generally agree with your comment above, but we don't actually know for sure that "they aren't stupid" or that they think that "There is no magical GM shortcut to this rebuild".

I hope for astute moves, but I'm certainly not ruling out BBBT (sorry @FireItUp, this is happening) going for size and truculence over NHL level skill.

I dunno. I feel pretty confident at this point that Brian Burke is not stupid.

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#72 MonsterPod
June 22 2014, 02:04PM
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BurningSensation wrote:

There is no 'bad' armchair GM stuff, because there is no 'good' armchair GM stuff.

Just enjoy it for what it is.

That said, I agree that people should chill a little with the panic over Ritchie potentially being our pick at #4. I don't see it, but at least one team's scouts had Ritchie as the top player in the draft per Boomer in the morning.

The red flags for me;

- wasn't a ppg - late bloomer - older prospect - only took off offensively when he was with an elite linemate

But maybe the kid turns into a goalscoring young Todd Bertuzzi, and at #4 that's about the best you could hope for.

Neutral armchair GM here, like you said...

I can't help but think people are being a bit hypnotized by Ritchie's size. I still feel Virtanen would be a better pick at 6,7,8.

We'll see what Van and TO think next weekend.

The knock on Ritchie is his skating, and according to reports, Virtanen is an excellent skater. Size AND speed in a sniper? Sign me up.

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#73 MonsterPod
June 22 2014, 02:10PM
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Prayers for #34:

MacInnis. And he can wear #22.

Sanheim.

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#74 Kevin R
June 22 2014, 04:24PM
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DragonFlame wrote:

Finally, Jeff in Lethbridge, if you do a little math, you might come to the conclusion that BT's dad is worth somewhere around 600 million dollars. His son, Brad, really doesn't need the work.

So, tell me, why would a multi-millionaire's son leave a good gig in Phoenix if he was only going to be a "shadow" GM here, which would be a sideways' move?

You worry way too much.

One thing many aren't mentioning when they are Burke bashing & making Feaster a victim. Rangers just dumped a huge pile of $$$ on Brad Richards of which, Flames Feaster actually offered him more $$$ in the wheel barrel than the Rangers did. I don't think Murray Edwards would have been too happy about writing that buyout cheque.

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#75 Ed Wailin'
June 22 2014, 06:39PM
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I'm hoping for the player that can do the most pull ups at 4... ;)

In all seriousness though, I hope they keep 4 (price for ekblad is too high) and get another in the top 20. With those hopefully get Reinhardt/Draistl and Ritchie/Virtannen, take some risks with the rest of the picks, and then make a run at Fayne or Stralman to shore up the d. I also think there is some real potential to fleece TO in there somehow as well, gardener would be nice.

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#76 DragonFlame
June 22 2014, 08:07PM
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? wrote:

Tyler Biggs

This was addressed by Burke somewhere here http://video.flames.nhl.com/videocenter/

To your comment, Biggs was 22nd overall, not a top five, six, or even a ten.

Biggs, at 22nd, has been no bigger a bust than most of the Flames' first round picks over the past ten years.

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#77 Alt
June 22 2014, 09:18PM
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DragonFlame wrote:

As you are all convinced a "blowhard" like Burke cannot possibly right the "good ship Flames," allow me to introduce to you one Ken Dryden, a rather articulate individual *who knows a thing or two about winning Stanley Cups (let alone he's a best selling author).

Ken Dryden lasted two whole years.

Following Mr Dryden were Pat Quinn (who looks good with a cigar in his mouth), John Ferguson Jr (I guess he had a famous dad, but he wasn't particularly good at running a hockey team), Cliff Fletcher (I expect the Leafs were hoping Cliff could reenact history and pillage the Flames on a five-for-five trade).

Then there was Brian Burke, left to deal with the mess the Leafs' bureaucracy left behind.

So, Burke doesn't kiss butts and he rubs some people the wrong way. He managed to do some good things for a team operated by a bunch of politically correct teachers otherwise known as the OTPP.

Burke did not mess up the Leafs. The Leafs messed up the Leafs. That is what happens when a team goes public and hands over the reins to people who know nothing about hockey but think it's okay to spend millions on railway technology that is doomed (see Railpower) and hand out B's and C's to students who deserve D's and F's.

After all, the man works, backs up his mouth (most of the time) and the one organization he didn't improve (and that is open for argument) is so top heavy in political correctness (thanks to the Teachers Union) he never stood a chance.

I don't care if you hate Burke. But most of the trashing I see here is out in left field from a bunch of people who ought to consider a teaching profession in Ontario. *Sorry about the thing about winning Stanley Cups, it was in reference to Kevin Lowe

I don't like or dislike Burke! Nor do I pretend to know what he might be thinking.

IMO he has had success at trading players in the past, which is where a GM needs to have success and appears to know how to sign contracts.

I don't buy into all the hype that Burke will play the autocrat and dictate to his underlings who they can or can't draft.

Burke knew what he was walking into when he signed with Toronto (centre of universe)just like the rest of the optimistic fools before him.

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#78 McRib
June 23 2014, 11:33AM
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@DragonFlame

Agree completely, Top. 10 Picks (Nazim Kadri, Morgan Reilly) are very different than 22nd Overall picks (Biggs) in an average year. Burke showed twice in Toronto that when he had a high first rounder (a most likely surefire NHL player) he took the most skilled player on the board.

It's funny everyone criticizes Burke for that Biggs pick, but at the time Biggs was a consensus first rounder and was excepted to go in that range. Also that was a very weak draft year and many of the picks right after Biggs are looking like busts as well (Joe Morrow, Matt Puempel, Phillip Danault, Zack Phillips, Nicklas Jensen, etc). You can hand pick a couple second rounder’s that look great (Boone Jenner, Brandon Saad, etc), but a lot of teams passed on them after Toronto as well and there were things keeping those guys from being consensus first rounder’s on draft day (mediocre skating, inconsistent play) that those two fixed in the next few seasons and rewarded the teams for taking a chance on them. But Boone Jenner was not a first rounder by anyone on draft, Brandon Saad was a Top. 10 to start the season, but by the time the draft day rolled around he was a second rounder on almost every NHL Teams board.

When Calgary says they have a consensus Top. 5, I really think they are talking about Michael Dal Colle not Nick Richie. It just seems like they are trolling the media with Nick Richie. I really don't see us taking him and if anything Brian Burke has learned with Tyler Biggs pick that size isn't everything in evaluating talent. Not to mention AGAIN that Michael Dal Colle is 6'2"+ anyway.

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#79 Franko J
June 24 2014, 12:15AM
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Plenty of good comments.

I agree with most bloggers at FN that it is better to stay the course at 4, take whoever out of the top 4 and make some trades to compliment or enhance our our other picks in the draft.

Building a contender takes more than one good draft. Last season Monahan, this year who knows, next year, too far off. Not since the 1980's has this team drafted any quality, legitimate, bona fide prospects in the system. Yes rebuilding or retooling is painful and it sometimes hard to take, but I would rather see the management do it the right way and build a team that will constantly compete for chance at the Cup, rather than a team that has one good run in the last 24 years.

The only way to do it is through the draft and developing homegrown picks.

Picking at 1, 4, or 24 doesn't guarantee anything, however, hopefully choosing the right player to compliment the current core group and developing them properly sure does help make a rebuild a little easier to the end goal of winning the Cup.

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#80 dotfras
June 24 2014, 10:49AM
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I'd love to see us get a couple more picks in rounds 2-4. The general consensus is that this year is a weak draft, which means that these picks could potentially carry less value in the eyes of GM's. Our scouts have done a great job over the last few years finding guys after the first round (Brodie, Gaudreau, Granlund, Gillies, Wotherspoon).

There is a ton of diversity in where different scouts/orgs have players ranked. It would be nice to have a few extra picks to give us more chances to find later round talent.

Is there going to be any 2/3/4 round coverage on the site, as to potential targets?

Ben Thomas is a guy that stands out for me. Plays for the Hitmen. Good size and offensive upside. AND he shoots right!

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