Five things: The more things change

Ryan Lambert
July 03 2014 09:36AM

five-things-1

(author's note: if you regularly complain about how negative i can be, don't read this post)

1. Getting Bennett

Given all the different rankings of the top four prospects in the league, it really wouldn't have been too shocking to anyone if any of those guys went in any particular spot. That Sam Bennett fell to Calgary, though, is perhaps the least surprising because he couldn't do a pull-up and he's not a big center like Leon Draisaitl and he's not a bigger defenseman like Aaron Ekblad.

That this was the No. 4 prospect in the mix is something, I think, that is very good for the Flames. The kid turned 18 just days before he was drafted (he's a June 20, 1996 birthdate), making him some eight months younger than Draisaitl, seven months younger than Sam Reinhart, and four months younger than Ekblad. In some ways, you have to think that gives him a little extra value, even beyond the fact that he still scored a boatload of points, and led all draft-eligible players in even-strength points per 60 with 3.5. (Draisaitl checked in at 2.9, Reinhart at 2.8.)

This is a very nice get for the Flames at No. 4 because it wouldn't have been out of the question to take him at No. 1. The team should be very excited, because three years from now, a 1-2 punch down the middle of Bennett and Sean Monahan will probably be very solid indeed.

With that having been said, for the love of god keep him in junior next year. Like, 100 percent, make sure he is back with Kingston next year getting heavier minutes against better competition. Maybe let his strength improve to a place where he can do one (1) pull-up. That's what should happen.

Again, I know it will never happen. And I know that people think because Monahan scored 22 goals that his being up with the big club for the duration was viewed as a success, but even if you look at it from a strictly-hockey standpoint (and you shouldn't), you have to consider that his sky-high shooting percentage isn't going to be replicated now or ever, and his piss-poor possession numbers are only going to continue. On a team that got buried every night in possession, Monahan got buried-er, and that was against some of the softest competition Bob Hartley could find him. Among forwards, only Brian McGrattan had it easier.

I bring this up because if you keep Bennett with the big club for all 82, he's going to face the same fate. And he's probably not going to shoot almost 16 percent, so there goes the production angle.

Beyond the hockey-playing, though, there's also the fact that, as with Monahan last year, you're burning a year of Bennett's entry-level deal on a season in which this team is going to be a tire fire. Probably better than last year — mainly because Hiller can't be as bad as what the clown car in the crease provided last year (but we'll get to that in a minute) — but let's say they finish eighth from the bottom of the league. 

What's the point? And "experience against NHLers" isn't a valid answer.

2. The rest of the draft

This is why I have significant concerns about Treliving's ability to make good decisions in player evaluation. As the comparison goes, a potato could have drafted Bennett, and if he works out that's going to paper over the fact that the rest of the draft was a disaster.

For one thing, you don't pick a goalie that high. Let alone based on one U-18 tournament, which seems to have been the case with Mason MacDonald. I've never seen the kid play — and boy do you hear that a lot about every prospect you think wasn't worth the pick, as though those naysaying the naysayers all saw Johnny Gaudreau play a few dozen times before he got drafted out of the USHL so now they can say, "See, I knew it." — but I have seen Thatcher Demko play a bunch and if you're going to take a goalie there (you shouldn't), doesn't it stand to reason that you take the kid who put up better stats playing against grown men than someone who got lit up in the Q? Whatever, it's dumb to draft a goalie that high, so if you're basically throwing the pick away regardless, I guess there's not much of a difference.

Then there's Hunter Smith who, why waste a pick on a guy who's big and tough? The Sharks proved yesterday if you want you can get one for real cheap and it doesn't cost you a shot at controlling the rights to a player who might actually be good one day. The guy can't score in junior. When your career upside seems to be AHL fourth-liner, maybe don't waste a second-round pick on him. Ludicrous.

Outside of that, the draft is mostly teams taking fliers on players. If they work out, great. The vast majority of them don't. Really can't bother criticizing any of them too much unless they're Hunter Smith types, because you should never draft guys who can't score in junior.

3. Signing Hiller

In theory, adding a goalie who's fairly reliable in his averageness is something that the Flames should have done a long time ago. I am not, however, sure why they did it now.

A thing this team doesn't need is a 32-year-old goaltender who is going to actually be good. Again, I don't see the point if he's still going to get lit up every night, because of how bad the Flames are going to be. They had a goalie, more or less. All they needed was a backup. Karri Ramo posted the exact same save percentage as Jonas Hiller last year, so there's no real reason to bring aboard a $4.5 million player for two years to do the exact same thing as the guy you're already paying $2.75 million.

Maybe Ramo regresses a little bit under the weight of more games, but the Flames really couldn't have asked for much more from him. And moreover, they should want to ask less from him (or Hiller) because the smartest thing they can do right now from an organizational standpoint is be bad. Fans don't want to hear that but it's true. Want a better chance at being the future home of Jack Eichel or Connor McDavid? Having a good team save percentage doesn't help.

A redundant move and little else, probably done for no other reason but to get to the cap floor. That really isn't the best way to run a team.

4. Signing Engelland and trading for Bollig

Uuuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh wwwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

5. Signing Raymond

Now this is a deal I like and I get. Mason Raymond is a good, solid hockey player. He's coming to his hometown. Nice all around.

He drives play forward pretty well (plus-1.2 corsi relative for his career, which you take). But I have seen him being characterized as a scorer, and if you think that about Mason Raymond I have some bad, bad news for you.

He's going to put up 40-something points, no doubt about that, but if that's what you think is even a second-line forward's production, you're a little off on that. Since his career began, his points per 60 is in Dave Bolland, Olli Jokinen territory, RJ Umberger territory, and David Legwand territory. In short, not great. Not bad, but he's not going to drive the bus for you going forward.

I like the signing overall, and I'm glad he got three years, and the money seems more or less correct for a "Please sign here we need help" contract. Fine with it across the board. But a "scorer" isn't really a good descriptor. On the Flames? Sure, he'll be like top-3 in points I bet. But not overall.

What I'm saying is: Don't get your hopes up.

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#101 ?
July 03 2014, 08:45PM
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@DragonFlame

"Lastly, has Colton Orr ever been part of a Stanley Cup winning team?"

Has Deryk Engelland?

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#102 DragonFlame
July 03 2014, 08:46PM
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@Baalzamon

Dumb.

Please.

Now you are using Jarome (instead of Colton Orr) to justify your dislike for Bollig?

Please.

Jarome accomplished nothing where it comes to the playoffs. Kiprusoff stood on his head for a mediocre team that had no business battling for the Stanley Cup to begin with.

Please.

Game Seven . . . Stanley Cup Finals . . . check the stats . . . . it was zeroes across the board for "Jerry."

Please.

When you start an argument comparing a so-called goon vs another so-called goon then bring in Jarome with what you think is a sledgehammer, end-of-debate exclamation point . . .

Please.

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#103 DragonFlame
July 03 2014, 08:53PM
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? wrote:

"Lastly, has Colton Orr ever been part of a Stanley Cup winning team?"

Has Deryk Engelland?

We are talking about Bollig and Colton Orr!

FFS!

Read, think, respond.

This is not about Jarome and Engelland!

It is about Bollig and Orr!

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#104 dotfras
July 03 2014, 09:08PM
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The whole "we're screwed because Burke/Treliving only like Truculent players" camp has been awfully silent after that Byron signing today.

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#105 Baalzamon
July 03 2014, 09:09PM
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@DragonFlame

I'm doing nothing of the kind. You thought that a couple nice goals proved that Bollig was more than a thug. They do not, and I used Orr to demonstrate that that was not the case--AND YOU AGREED!!! You said that Orr was nothing but a thug. That is a true statement.

But then you said that Bollig must be more because he played for a cup-winning team. I said that was irrelevant. I then indulged in an ill-advised ad absursum argument where I postulated that you must think Bollig is automatically better than Iginla, who has also never played for a cup winning team.

But in that last reply, the way you put down Iginla implies that you actually do think Bollig is better than Iginla because the Lightning managed to shut Iggy down in one game.

Bollig looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and moves like a duck. But hey, he scored a couple dandies and played 10minutes a night for the Blackhawks. He must really be a moose.

Goog grief.

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#106 mattyc
July 03 2014, 09:11PM
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clyde wrote:

Hedberg played 373 games and has a .901 lifetime save percentage while getting the second game of back to backs most of his career.

agreed... marginal talent, but looked like Hasek for a month.

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#107 mattyc
July 03 2014, 09:12PM
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@dotfras

c'mon - Byron injured a Sedin. He oozes truculence.

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#108 seve927
July 03 2014, 09:17PM
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Baalzamon wrote:
except maybe Sieloff and Wotherspoon

Brett Kulak has a higher ceiling than either. I realize he was picked in the 4th round, but let's be honest here; he's coming off a 0.91ppg season.

Also everyone, can we just clear something up right now? It's Mason McDonald, not MacDonald.

Yep. I was just saying we haven't had many 2nd round D picks. The ones we have are at the top of the D depth charts (I agree Kulak is right there too). Obviously round 2 isn't the only place you can get them, but when you're barren, I think it's the best bet for replenishment.

Mason McDonald. I'll take your word for it and not make that mistake again!

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#109 clyde
July 03 2014, 09:29PM
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mattyc wrote:

agreed... marginal talent, but looked like Hasek for a month.

373 games as one of the top 60 at his position is marginal? Ok.

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#110 DragonFlame
July 03 2014, 09:36PM
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@Baalzamon

Nonsense.

If you think for one second that I THINK Bollig is going to make up for the goals the team lost when Cammi signed with NJ, you are sadly mistaken.

What is so wrong with the Bollig signing? He cost the Flames an eighty-something pick in the draft. Who cares?

As for Iggy, you brought him in to the argument, not me. Iggy had one glorious run, but was it due to his exploits or Kippers? I would suggest it was far more of the latter.

What has Iginla done in two kicks at the cat since he left the Flames (never mind Iggy probably cost Feaster his job when he undermined a deal where Jay had spent a considerable amount of time working something out with Boston).

Iggy couldn't even help Boston get past the Canadiens!

That wasn't his fault, right?

Iggy also failed getting Pittsburgh past Boston.

But, yeah, Iggy is a winner and he just chooses the wrong place at the wrong time.

There are ten players in the Flames' system right now I would rather have than Jarome.

Giordanno, Brodie, Monahan, Bennett, Gaudreau, Wotherspoon, Poirier, Baertschi, Granlund and Bollig.

Iginla?

Nice job crapping all over a team and city that treated him like a king during his stay (until Iggy decided at the trade deadline last year none of that mattered).

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#111 dotfras
July 03 2014, 11:49PM
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Wotherspoon over Iginla? Haha.

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#112 Loxeus
July 04 2014, 07:39AM
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This was widely known as a draft that lacked depth of good prospects (especially compared to last year's and next year's). If the likelihood that a 2nd round player makes the NHL is less than 1/10, the success factor between Brandon Hickey and any of those other 2nd round D-men is probably not all that different. I also don't think taking a goalie high in this type of draft is necessarily a bad thing. From management's perspective, if none of the players early in the 2nd interest you and you know you want Hickey anyway, why not take the goalie you want early? At least this way we don't need to worry about taking a goalie next year in a better draft.

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#113 RedMan
July 04 2014, 10:45AM
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Why do some here feel like they have to attack everyone who doesn't agree with their every statement, as though the disagreement is personal, the future of civilization depends on them being as ignorant and nasty as they dare???

this site has really gone downhill with the addition of some of these guys... name calling, hyperbole, extremes, with ignorance and arrogance and main virtues, but really just by a few guys...

Then when i say "a few guys" I really wonder if this really means one guy with multiple accounts. I mean, you can even "hear" the same person under multiple names... answering oneself with different accounts, even arguing with oneself for some reason.

Am I the only one who thinks this?

If you agree, please PROP this comment, if you think not, please TRASH this comment...

In the old days, it was alcohol that made someone an instant A-hole - nowadays it is the internet, and specifically the comment section

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#114 theCalgaryJames
July 04 2014, 11:57AM
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RedMan wrote:

Why do some here feel like they have to attack everyone who doesn't agree with their every statement, as though the disagreement is personal, the future of civilization depends on them being as ignorant and nasty as they dare???

this site has really gone downhill with the addition of some of these guys... name calling, hyperbole, extremes, with ignorance and arrogance and main virtues, but really just by a few guys...

Then when i say "a few guys" I really wonder if this really means one guy with multiple accounts. I mean, you can even "hear" the same person under multiple names... answering oneself with different accounts, even arguing with oneself for some reason.

Am I the only one who thinks this?

If you agree, please PROP this comment, if you think not, please TRASH this comment...

In the old days, it was alcohol that made someone an instant A-hole - nowadays it is the internet, and specifically the comment section

Totally… "Some People" need to learn how to have a debate like an adult. I don't mind being disagreed with but back up your opinion with evidence and don't fly off the handle like an arrogant, petulant child every time someone challenges your opinion.

I'm with you JIL. The discourse here lately could use an adjustment.

…don't be "Some People"

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#115 DragonFlame
July 04 2014, 05:18PM
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RedMan wrote:

Why do some here feel like they have to attack everyone who doesn't agree with their every statement, as though the disagreement is personal, the future of civilization depends on them being as ignorant and nasty as they dare???

this site has really gone downhill with the addition of some of these guys... name calling, hyperbole, extremes, with ignorance and arrogance and main virtues, but really just by a few guys...

Then when i say "a few guys" I really wonder if this really means one guy with multiple accounts. I mean, you can even "hear" the same person under multiple names... answering oneself with different accounts, even arguing with oneself for some reason.

Am I the only one who thinks this?

If you agree, please PROP this comment, if you think not, please TRASH this comment...

In the old days, it was alcohol that made someone an instant A-hole - nowadays it is the internet, and specifically the comment section

I assume you are referring to me, Jeff.

All I said was Bollig scored some nice goals, then all of a sudden I am receiving comparisons to Jarome Iginla when I asked if Colton Orr had won a Cup.

I don't know if Colton Orr scored nice goals, but the stat sheet says Colton Orr has played 476 games, 24 points and 1186 PIM's. So broken down that is .05 PPG and 1 point for every 49 minutes in penalties.

Bollig has played 125 games, 14 points and 201 PIM's. Broken down, that is .112 PPG and 1 point for every 14.35 minutes in penalties.

Furthermore, Orr played in 54 games last year and no points, while Bollig played all 82 and, while I agree Bollig is not going to set the world on fire with his scoring prowess, given the chance on a stacked team, he managed to accumulate 14 points. Orr's best season was six points.

People can point to the fact Bollig saw limited time in the playoffs. Look who Chicago was playing: St Louis and LA with Minnesota sandwiched in-between. Now, who is Calgary going to be facing in the 2015 playoffs? Very likely, no one, so the Bollig "not much ice time (or sheltered ice time) in the playoffs" argument is a non-issue, to my way of thinking.

Bollig will do just fine in a Flames' uniform, and I fully expect he will surpass Colton Orr this season both in career goals (Orr has 12) and career points.

The Flames will be calling up plenty of non-truculent players this year from the Heat. Nothing wrong with having guys like Bollig look out for them. I really don't want to see the likes of Tom Sestito or Zack Kassian taking liberties with the Flames' flock of smallish forwards.

The Flames are not going to make the playoffs this year, but it's still in the team's best interests to protect their prospects so they are still alive when it's time they do.

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#116 DragonFlame
July 04 2014, 07:32PM
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"Then when i say "a few guys" I really wonder if this really means one guy with multiple accounts. I mean, you can even "hear" the same person under multiple names... answering oneself with different accounts, even arguing with oneself for some reason."

For those of you who don't know, I am "Jeff in Lethbridge" and I love arguing with myself via multiple accounts.

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#117 DragonFlame
July 04 2014, 07:43PM
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You see, because if i WAS someone other than Jeff in Lethbridge, I'd have trashed the post just to make it legit http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2hedcp5&s=8#.U7dX8vRDuao

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#118 DragonFlame
July 04 2014, 07:48PM
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So, Jeff in Lethbridge is DragonFlame!

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#119 DragonFlame
July 04 2014, 08:52PM
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You guys are not on my team!

You cower at the first person who doesn't agree with you and cover up your dismay with anonymous "thumbs down."

Hockey is a tough game.

You agree with this until someone disputes your reasoning.

My name is Jeff, I come from Lethbridge, and I have multiple accounts.

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#120 EugeneV
July 05 2014, 04:51AM
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the-wolf wrote:

5 reasons I'm ok with the Smith pick:

1) He self-admitted to pulling his head out and has started taking training, nutrition and lifestyle very seriously. In bed by 10 every night,no more partying, works specifically on skating, yoga, 2-a-days, boxes, you name it - he's doing it with serious commitment.

2) He was previously buried and never had the opportunity or circumstances to produce.

3) When given the opportunity and circumstances he actually did something with it and produced around a p/pg in the playoffs showing that he may indeed have some hands after all.

4) His hockey IQ is good. This not a 'dumb' player.

5) He can skate ok, though it does need to improve. However, his frame and history suggest that added strength will accomplish this to the necessary degree.

Plus, he was only eligible for the 2013 draft by 4 days as a 95/09/11 birthday, so he is nearly a full year younger than Monahan and Poirier.

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#121 EugeneV
July 05 2014, 05:31AM
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Parallex wrote:

Oh I put zero value on GAA. Like you said it's influenced far to much by team quality. The stat I look at for goalies is SV%.

Well, sorry, but that's just silly.

If a goalie faces 70% of his shots from outside scoring areas, you would expect them to have a high sv% vs a goalie who faces a much higher number of shots from scoring areas.

Surely the thing you would value the most is athleticism and technique?

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#122 EugeneV
July 05 2014, 05:46AM
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dotfras wrote:

Wotherspoon over Iginla? Haha.

I think he means right now, today. you know 37 year old lead footed Jarome.

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#123 DragonFlame
July 05 2014, 08:45AM
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EugeneV wrote:

I think he means right now, today. you know 37 year old lead footed Jarome.

Thank you, EugeneV, that's exactly what I meant (I am answering this with full knowledge JIL will automatically assume you are me . . . sorry about that).

I really don't get why Flames' fans have been so forgiving towards Iginla, considering what he did to the team at last year's trade deadline. Boston offered a first rounder, Matt Bartkowski and Alexander Khokhlachev, which I would have to argue was an upgrade from what they received from Pittsburgh. Bartkowski is playing pretty much full time for the B's and given where Calgary picked Poirier, he'd likely still have been available with Boston's pick at 29.

Iginla gave Feaster four teams and Feaster dealt with Boston in good faith. Then, Iginla pulled the rug out. And no one here seems to have an issue with that except me.

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#124 seve927
July 06 2014, 09:41PM
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DragonFlame wrote:

Thank you, EugeneV, that's exactly what I meant (I am answering this with full knowledge JIL will automatically assume you are me . . . sorry about that).

I really don't get why Flames' fans have been so forgiving towards Iginla, considering what he did to the team at last year's trade deadline. Boston offered a first rounder, Matt Bartkowski and Alexander Khokhlachev, which I would have to argue was an upgrade from what they received from Pittsburgh. Bartkowski is playing pretty much full time for the B's and given where Calgary picked Poirier, he'd likely still have been available with Boston's pick at 29.

Iginla gave Feaster four teams and Feaster dealt with Boston in good faith. Then, Iginla pulled the rug out. And no one here seems to have an issue with that except me.

Yeah they'd have still picked Poirier. Hopefully they would have gotten Klimchuk as well as that's the pick they got from Pittsburgh. Or actually I think they'd have been better off with Steve Santini or Madison Bowey. But Klimmer looks good right now.

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#125 RedMan
July 08 2014, 09:50AM
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DragonFlame wrote:

You guys are not on my team!

You cower at the first person who doesn't agree with you and cover up your dismay with anonymous "thumbs down."

Hockey is a tough game.

You agree with this until someone disputes your reasoning.

My name is Jeff, I come from Lethbridge, and I have multiple accounts.

thanks for outing yourselves, but you didn't need to, as your actions speak for themselves loud and clear.

Most of us enjoys being a troll once in a while, myself included (especially when we share a thread with Oiler's Nation), but you take the responsibility to a new level! :-)

Whatever is driving you, just realize I don't judge you.

If you are using this forum to deal with some serious stresses in your life, and these stresses are what cause your swings in mood and behaviour here, just keep coming and venting... no worries. I've had a pretty rough year or two myself, and have been very thankful for distractions like FN.

Just try not to get personal or attack others - this would be greatly appreciated! We are all Flames brothers and fellow Canadians ;-)

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