Five things: What's up?

Ryan Lambert
August 22 2013 08:42AM

1. An interesting question from an unlikely source

One wouldn't normally turn to the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey blog for anything particularly enlightening about the Calgary Flames. David Staples is an unapologetic homer and thus everything he deigns to write about the Oilers' southern neighbors is very heavily tinged with trollisms, as you'd expect. Which is fine, because you wouldn't normally come to Flames Nation or any other Calgary-based site for the kind of unbiased coverage of the Edmonton Oilers.

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Another Flames Option: Flip This Player

Kent Wilson
August 21 2013 10:10AM

Yesterday I jokingly built an all UFA roster as a way to show the sheer amount of decent NHLers who are still looking for work in the late stages of the off-season.The above twitter comment by Oilers fan Speeds made me realize, however, that the guys in question may now be desperate enough to sign a short term "rehab" Calgary given how limited their options are.

This could benefit the team in a couple of ways: more tradable assets or an accelerated improvement curve.

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Building an all UFA team

Kent Wilson
August 20 2013 05:12PM


Mikhail Grabovski

- pic via Aaron Webb


A fun summer time thought experiment.

It wasn't the strongest UFA crop the NHL has ever seen this off-season, which is why guys like David Clarkson were cashing in with major long-term contracts. Complicating matters is a dropping salary cap that has caused a few teams to buy-out NHLers and a few others not to shop too seriously for bodies.

As a result, even though there wasn't a lot of elite talent available, there is actully more than a few useful NHLers still looking for work. There's so many, in fact, that you could probably build a whole team out of them that could at least compete on a nightly basis. Take a gander:

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Setting Expecations: Sven Baertschi

Christian Roatis
August 20 2013 08:48AM



I recently conducted a fan Q&A and the question of "How many points will Sven Baertschi get next season?" came up. I predicted his total would land around 50 but wouldn't really be disappointed if it ended up being slightly below that. Some agreed with me while others thought that 50 points was a little too large of total to expect out of guy in his circumstance.

The idea however intrigued me. How many points can we realistically expect out of a 20-21 year old who just recently tore up the Western league but with only 25 NHL games under his belt?

Obviously we can't accurately predict a precise point total for Baertschi, but we can use history to approximately gauge what an appropriate expectation would be. In order to do this I took a look at past performances by NHLers in their 20-21 year old season using the 04/05 lockout as a starting point to see which group of players Baertschi could best compare to.

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What if Kipper Doesn't Retire?

Kent Wilson
August 19 2013 11:03AM


- pic via Dinur Blum


It's assumed by almost everyone heading into 2013-14 that Miikka Kiprusoff will opt out of the final year of his contract and head back to Finland to fish and be revered as demi-god by his countrymen. The soon-to-be 37 year old netminder suffered through the worst stretch of his Flames tenure in the lock-out shortened season, struggles that were compounded by injury. His below replacement level performance, mixed with the organization's lackluster redundancy in net, resulted in the club's plunge down to the bottom of the Western Conference and kick-started the rebuild. Kipper himself would have been one of the assets moved at the deadline along with Iginla and Bouwmeester, but he leveraged the threat of retiring to short circuit a move to Toronto.

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