The FN Faceoff: July Edition (7pm MT, Live!)

Ryan Pike
July 14 2014 06:50PM

Tonight! Join Ryan Pike, Ryan Lambert and your pal Kent Wilson for some heated discussion of what the Calgary Flames have been up to this summer so far.

Topics of discussion will include: the 2013 Draft haul, Calgary's free agent additions and subtractions, summer development camp, and the curious case of Kevin Hayes (and whether the Flames should pursue him).

Join in via the comments or by watching along!

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#51 suba steve
July 15 2014, 01:54PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

4-5 years is a long time to wait to complain. It's no fun to complain about the obvious; way moreso to form a strong opinion immediately when there's so much uncertainty.

Good luck with that.

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#52 SmellOfVictory
July 15 2014, 01:55PM
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cccsberg wrote:

What's easy doesn't mean correct. If you only take points, or default to points because they are there and you can't figure anything out, that' a problem. Sounds a lot like Oilers fans, justifying every crappy player they have (e.g. Gagner(had)) solely based on point production, when he's terrible at most other aspects of his game.

As an example, giving up 100pts against versus scoring 50 isn't really a positive benefit for the team. Same argument, in reverse against Backlund as a top-level centre in the league.

Where did I say to only use points? I made a point (an entire paragraph) about the fact that I was explicitly NOT saying to use only points.

That said, there's a very clear correlation between points pre-draft and future success as an NHL player.

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#53 SmellOfVictory
July 15 2014, 01:57PM
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suba steve wrote:

Good luck with that.

Good luck with wasting your time on limiting yourself to stating the obvious.

"Chris Chucko was a bust". Man, that makes for exciting discussion, doesn't it!

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#54 suba steve
July 15 2014, 02:09PM
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@SmellOfVictory

Got news for you. Your position seem more excited than "exciting".

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#55 exsanguinator
July 15 2014, 02:22PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Gotta say (and I'm not a Lambert hater), Lambert does better via audio than text, in my opinion. I think you'd be good on the radio.

Agreed. He has a charisma in real life that just doesn't shine through in his articles that I just absolutely cannot stand about 50% of the time.

That's a backliment.

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#56 SmellOfVictory
July 15 2014, 03:03PM
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suba steve wrote:

Got news for you. Your position seem more excited than "exciting".

I find the potential for discussion around these kids to be very interesting. If you don't think we should form opinions on prospects until 4-5 years after they've been drafted, then feel free to stay clear of any discussion related to them until that point in time. Nobody's forcing you to participate.

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#57 suba steve
July 15 2014, 04:09PM
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@SmellOfVictory

I do not mean to attack you (or anyone in particular) but:

My issue is when anyone forms a STRONG opinion (positive or negative) about one of these kids, based upon very little info backing up that opinion.

You have voiced concern about Smith's 40 points (in 64 games), and that's a legitimate concern.

Did you know he scored only 1 point the previous season in 30 games played?

Did you know he started the 2013/14 season as a bottom 6 forward but he worked his way up and finished as a strong top 6 forward. Do you think his point totals may have been higher if he had been top 6 all season? I do.

Did you know he scored 11 points in 12 games in the playoffs this past spring?

So, my argument is that there are a lot of good signs with this player that the Flames were obviously aware of and they considered him their best bet with the 54th pick at the draft. Late 2nd round picks are never slam dunk/sure thing NHLers, so it's not like they had to pass on a number of "sure things" to take him at 54.

If you NEED to pass judgment on this young player and you need to do it now, the least you could do is consider all the information that is available. His 40 points in 64 games, and his height/wt are just not enough.

He will be interesting to follow next season and beyond, I wish him well.

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#58 SmellOfVictory
July 15 2014, 04:40PM
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@suba steve

That's the kind of response I like to see! Now I'm better informed than I was before, so I gained something from the discussion. Some of that information I certainly wasn't aware of, and it makes him more intriguing a prospect than he previously was.

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#59 RexLibris
July 15 2014, 08:57PM
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@suba steve

I had looked at Smith just last week.

His previous OHL season was a big red flag for me, I'm skeptical of players who show that kind of improvement when it is accompanied by size and age in a junior league.

That being said, my conclusion was the same as yours - his will be a season I will watch very closely.

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#60 seve927
July 15 2014, 09:16PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

That's the kind of response I like to see! Now I'm better informed than I was before, so I gained something from the discussion. Some of that information I certainly wasn't aware of, and it makes him more intriguing a prospect than he previously was.

I don't really see any big turnaround. I looked at some of the summaries, he got points right from September with Dal Colle and/or Laughton, about 2/3 of his points every quarter. By quarters he had 10, 12, 9 and 9. Then 10 points in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs against a team they outshot 188 to 107. Then 1 in his next 8 against decent teams. Supposedly while playing on the top line. Playing against guys half his size in his draft + 1 season.

Just another way of looking at it. Can't say I'm intrigued.

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#61 coachedpotatoe
July 16 2014, 06:22AM
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seve927 wrote:

I don't really see any big turnaround. I looked at some of the summaries, he got points right from September with Dal Colle and/or Laughton, about 2/3 of his points every quarter. By quarters he had 10, 12, 9 and 9. Then 10 points in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs against a team they outshot 188 to 107. Then 1 in his next 8 against decent teams. Supposedly while playing on the top line. Playing against guys half his size in his draft + 1 season.

Just another way of looking at it. Can't say I'm intrigued.

Did you see the goal he scored at development camp against guys who are now his peers and Flames prospects. This alone should at least bring some intrigue to all Flames fans.

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#62 seve927
July 16 2014, 07:21AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Did you see the goal he scored at development camp against guys who are now his peers and Flames prospects. This alone should at least bring some intrigue to all Flames fans.

No I didn't see that. I was not impressed with what I did see though.

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#63 piscera.infada
July 16 2014, 07:54AM
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seve927 wrote:

I don't really see any big turnaround. I looked at some of the summaries, he got points right from September with Dal Colle and/or Laughton, about 2/3 of his points every quarter. By quarters he had 10, 12, 9 and 9. Then 10 points in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs against a team they outshot 188 to 107. Then 1 in his next 8 against decent teams. Supposedly while playing on the top line. Playing against guys half his size in his draft + 1 season.

Just another way of looking at it. Can't say I'm intrigued.

I'm still intrigued - but moreso because of what he showed at development camp (thanks @coachedpotatoe). I get the points argument and the passenger argument, but the draft +1 argument is a little flawed (although I do understand this was technically his draft +1 season). In short, Smith is one month older than our favourite Oiler Leon Draisaitl and two months older than Reinhart. They aren't really comparable in terms of skill, but I doubt you're putting that much stock in age relative to points difference between Bennett and Draisaitl/Reinhart even knowing they're 7-8 months older.

The reason the Smith argument was even brought up in the first place (my bad for doing it) was that there is a common thread of argument that he was picked only for size, completely irrespective of anything else. I call total bull on that. If independent scouting services noticed his rise (most of them ended up ranking him around where he was drafted), then there must be more to the prospect than many of the naysayers lead on. That's all I was saying.

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#64 seve927
July 16 2014, 08:08AM
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piscera.infada wrote:

I'm still intrigued - but moreso because of what he showed at development camp (thanks @coachedpotatoe). I get the points argument and the passenger argument, but the draft +1 argument is a little flawed (although I do understand this was technically his draft +1 season). In short, Smith is one month older than our favourite Oiler Leon Draisaitl and two months older than Reinhart. They aren't really comparable in terms of skill, but I doubt you're putting that much stock in age relative to points difference between Bennett and Draisaitl/Reinhart even knowing they're 7-8 months older.

The reason the Smith argument was even brought up in the first place (my bad for doing it) was that there is a common thread of argument that he was picked only for size, completely irrespective of anything else. I call total bull on that. If independent scouting services noticed his rise (most of them ended up ranking him around where he was drafted), then there must be more to the prospect than many of the naysayers lead on. That's all I was saying.

Understood. Of course when kids are in their late teens, months can make quite a difference. If he were referred to as one of the oldest in his draft class, it wouldn't really make any difference to me. I was just responding to the assertion that he went from a bottom 6 to a top 6 forward over the year culminating in a dominant playoff performance, of which I see absolutely no evidence.

Other than that, it's just my honest feeling - I'm not angry, I'm not hoping he fails, I just can't say I find him to be an intriguing prospect. I just don't. I hope that changes.

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#65 FeyWest
July 16 2014, 10:08AM
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@seve927

I realize this takes away from the OP and topic at hand but there's not much going on nor places to discuss... but who of this draft is your most intriguing, not Hunter Smith of course but just curious. (open question to everyone of course).

And with what we know of our current prospects who's most intruguing?

For me, This draft would have to be Brandon Hickey with runner up being Adam Ollas-Mattsson. Brandon really showed well at Dev. Camp and considering he plays in the AJHL he is who I think could be a great steal for where we picked him!

Of our current prospects I'd have to go with Emile Poirier and runner up being Morgan Klimchuk both seem to be projecting well and Klimchuk really surprised me at camp, and think he may be one of our most underrated players and am interested to seeing how both him and Poirier progress in the coming years.

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#66 piscera.infada
July 16 2014, 10:26AM
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FeyWest wrote:

I realize this takes away from the OP and topic at hand but there's not much going on nor places to discuss... but who of this draft is your most intriguing, not Hunter Smith of course but just curious. (open question to everyone of course).

And with what we know of our current prospects who's most intruguing?

For me, This draft would have to be Brandon Hickey with runner up being Adam Ollas-Mattsson. Brandon really showed well at Dev. Camp and considering he plays in the AJHL he is who I think could be a great steal for where we picked him!

Of our current prospects I'd have to go with Emile Poirier and runner up being Morgan Klimchuk both seem to be projecting well and Klimchuk really surprised me at camp, and think he may be one of our most underrated players and am interested to seeing how both him and Poirier progress in the coming years.

Leaving aside the obvious Monahan and Bennett picks:

I will agree with you on Hickey this year. The kid's got great skating, he seems like he could move around the ice at an NHL pace already. If he is able to show his ability to play both offensively and defensively in his college career, we could be sitting on a great prospect, albeit 4 or 5 years away from being an NHL contributor.

In terms of "intriguing" from last year I have to go with Klimchuk. I feel Poirier gets more hype (and for good reason), but just looking at what Klimchuk was able to do last year with a fairly crippling injury in the middle of his season, I can't help but think his ceiling could be higher than we give him credit for. The kid increased his pp/g, NHLe, and % of team scoring; all while lowering his % of pp points and secondary assists. If we extrapolate his points last year for the full 74 games he would have hit 94 points. Additionally, he plays every aspect of the game at a high level.

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#67 seve927
July 16 2014, 10:26AM
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@FeyWest

Agree completely on Ollas-Mattson and Hickey.

On other prospects, I'm really interested in Jankowski's progression and seeing if Ferland can pick up where he left off last year.

Kulak is the most interesting D prospect to me - and with lower expectations, I'll be interested in seeing if Ramage gets any sort of a boost from his playoff performance with Alaska last year.

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#68 FeyWest
July 16 2014, 10:49AM
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@seve927

I'm less knowledgeable of Ferland so that's the only reason I'm not higher on him, it's tough when you're injured, much like Sieloff (Showed he didn't really lose much of a step considering he was out the entire season!) Janko is one of the players I have really high expectations and believe they are achieveable but wanted to focus my thoughts on the others.

I never remember which guy out of Kulak and Culkin I prefer, not for any particular reason, but I think Kulak will surprise a lot of people when he gets his chance on the C Flame's back-end.

@piscera.infada

One of the reasons Klimchuk is kind of "under the radar" is because we forget Poirier was more "controversial" at the time but is blowing peoples socks off with his talents. This could be one of those favorable situations where Klimmer is less scrutinized and hopefully proves to be the reason he comes out of left field and impresses (I think it's already happening) that draft is looking to be very good if not spectacular.

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#69 Baalzamon
July 16 2014, 11:08AM
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@FeyWest

People will soon know all about Klimchuk at the world juniors. Maybe he'll even play on a line with Sam Bennett?

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