Thoughts, Unsorted

 

 

 

There’s lots of stuff going on in Flamesland today, so while I don’t do these types posts often I figure it’s a good time to throw down some thoughts in no particular order.

– If you’re getting excited about the Flames 5-0 pre-season record well…don’t. I hate to be a wet blanket (or not, since I do it all the time), but pre-season records mean absolutely nothing when it comes to predicting regular season success. If you don’t believe me, observe the Edmonton Oilers, who are also undefeated. If memory serves, the Toronto Maple Leafs were a perfect 7-0 last year as well.

– On the Mike Peca/Jay Bouwmeester/Ken King thing. Tempest in a teapot. I understand King’s desire to defend his player, but his comments have done nothing but strengthened the response of the fourth estate (who have rapidly closed ranks around Peca and probably for good reason) and brought undue attention on the comments themselves. Outside of earnest messageboard fans, no one would have remembered Peca’s criticisms today had King not made a big deal about them.

On the comments themselves, I would tend to disagree with Peca’s assessment of Bouwmeester, but in the broad scheme of things I would prefer analysts who don’t pull punches and tip-toe around because of the potentially fragile sensibilities of their targets. So defend his right to say it and all that.

– Anyone curious about my assessment of the game last night can scroll through the comments in the game thread below. Matt Pelech’s performance is one worth discussing in particular however given the club’s tangle of defenders at the bottom end of the rotation. Feel free to append your own thoughts in the comments of this article.

To my eye, Pelech visibly struggled against a fairly hum drum group of players last night. He had a sequence of three straight shifts where either his decision making or skills got him in trouble: a poor read in the defensive zone, leading to a quality chance against, a penalty (which was subsequently scored on) after a bad Kronwall pinch that exposed Pelech’s lack of speed (he couldn’t close on the opponent fast enough ) and then an egregious neutral zone, cross-ice pass that killed a break-out and caused the action to move South.

Pelech played on the Flames "third pairing" with Kronwall and was obviously one of the worst defenders on the club. On a night when Bouwmeester and Regehr didn’t dress, Pelech’s ice time was still limited and highly managed by the coaching staff. There’s no ice times from the game last night, but there were large stretches of the contest where Pelech was stapled to the bench. That’s not a good indication for a player trying to grab a roster spot, especially considering the level of competition from last night.

This leads to the Pelech vs. Pardy discussion which has cropped up now and then, both here and around various water-coolers. There’s some sentiment that the former may be chosen over the latter to make the team this season, which didn’t make much sense to me at the time and makes even less sense to me after watching Pelech closely in Saskatoon. The kid isn’t ready and, at 23 years old, one begins to wonder what his ceiling is. Pardy, on the other hand, is a known commodity: a capable enough 3rd pairing guy. Pelech may be perceived as the asset with the higher ceiling (mostly due to his draft pedigree) but he hasn’t proven to be an NHLer yet and there isn’t a big enough difference between the two guys cap hits to compel the organization to take that gamble. Pardy has more experience, is better currently and costs marginally more money. There’s no real cap benefit to keeping Pelech over Pardy and, at this point, there’s probably a greater risk of Pardy being claimed on waivers than the kid. Most of the arrows point in the wrong direction for Pelech.

– Speaking of Kronwall, the big Swede was predictably waived today. That leaves all the NHLers plus Brodie and Pelech in camp.

– I expect other cuts shortly, including Greg Nemisz who again looked like a lost boy amongst men last night. He’s at least several years away.

– Some hopefuls having decent camps despite not having a prayer to make the line-up? Stefan Meyer and Jon Rheault. I imagine they’ll be pretty important guys for a young Abbotsford club this year.

  • Robert Cleave

    I wonder if the club shouldn’t actively look to trade Pelech? He has to clear waivers, he might still have cachet among GMs that fixate on draft pedigree, and he doesn’t look like he’s ready to play on a team that wants to make the playoffs any time soon. The Flames screwed up last year when they traded Stralman, but Stralman was a much better player. I don’t believe shipping Pelech elsewhere would be a bad move for either party at this point.

    As for the Bouwmeester deal, Ken King at most should have quoted that line from the Big Lebowski about it just being, like, your opinion, man, and then let the matter drop.

    • marty

      i was thinking the same about stalman rc. i didn’t understand the move last year and certainly don’t now even with the defensice depth. i just keep thinking that if stralman wouldn’t have been traded steady steve wouldn’t be here. and that would make me happy.

  • Yup. Bouwmeester can look after himself. He doesn’t need Ken King (a former media guy!) riding to his defense. That was just weird. It is only Mike Peca after all…

    Pelech was bad.

    Nice to know that there are guys like Meyer on the farm that can be called up to fill in if necessary.

    Looking forward to the real games starting now that I switched from Bell to Telus and have Sportsnet One/Flames now!

  • If anyone is to be traded, shouldn’t it be Staois, I realize that the cap hit isn’t an issue right now, but I think D Sutter should be spending his time making ammends for his horrible trade. I think the Islanders need another defensemen…

  • …Ken King made the wrong move. First, what Peca said wasn’t character assasination, it was a review of Bouwmeester as a player. Second, Peca isn’t important enough to respond to. Message: Mr. King, you are the President of a professional sports team, Mike Peca is a analyst/color guy for TSN. Get over it.

    …Bouwmeester’s physical game is below average and his hockey sense is average. His skating and passing are phenomenal. Overvalued? You be the judge. But what you see is what you get.

    …preseason is about evaluation and development. Everybody’s record is 0-0 when it’s over.

  • everton fc

    Random thoughts from a fan…

    If Pelech doesn’t clear waivers… this might not be a bad thing. He has no trade value. Why would he?

    Pardy has played well the past two games. As for Meyer, I think he has earned a spot on this roster. So has Brodie. Rheault has not. But he’s had a great camp. I like him. and Cunning. Not much press on Sutter making the team. Is he a shoe-in? I do like him…

    Staios to the Isles/Caps/whomever would answer many prayers.

    Keep Brodie and Pardy. Demote Pelech.

    I think we will not regret Sarich on our blueline this season. Just a thought. I always liked him. Think he has heart, even if he makes the odd “gaff”.

    Back to Meyer… he’s not injury prone to my knowledge. Stone is. Often. Meyer has also shown jump, with a physical side. Meyer can also play centre. Just sayin’.

    I posted this earlier on a different thread – a 4th line of Meyer-Conroy-Stone/Sutter/Jackman would not be a bad one. I know everybody’s down on Jackman, but I like him. I think he’ll do well here. Ditto Kotalik, who seems a decent guy. We should be pulling for both. I think Stone will spend much time on the injury list…

    Nemisz… here’s hoping he doesn’t end up like Chucko, and now, perhaps, Pelech (too slow for the NHL, me thinks…)

    Honestly, Peca’s comments vs. Bo… Fair. Has he shown any of the attributes here Peca accused him of lacking on the air? King’s rebuttal seems standard fare; for the coach or GM… but it does show loyalty, which is what Flames players like about this organization.

    Finally… on another thread I mentioned D.J. King or Aaron Asham as better “tools” than Mr. Ivanans. Both King and Asham can actually handle the puck. They can play hockey. King’s only 25. Ivanans (31) could be the next name on the waiver wire. He’s simply expendable. Send Ivanans and Staois to the Caps for King. (Just dreaming!)

    Over and out.

  • Graham

    Having Langkow and Stajan out has ‘eased’ the immediate cap crunch (meaning we don’t have to bury Staois in the minors for cap relief, at least for now)

    Pelech hasn’t really looked ready, Brodie is questionable, but honestly, a year or so in the minors is what he needs…. so does this mean we are back to a unchanged defence corp;
    Bouwmeester, Regehr, Sarich, White, Gio, Staois and Pardy?

    It’s nice to see the prospects get some ice time, but if we don’t have to bury Staios, I bet the Sutters will default to form, and go with the vetearns. (and deal with the cap issue if and when it becomes an issue)

    • I agree that’s the most probable outcome. The Pelech situation is somewhat more pressing, just because the team risks losing him on waivers. Not that that would be a huge loss, frankly, but it would be nice if the organization could get something out of the dollars and time they’ve poured into his development.

  • One thing the Ken King Komments showed is that the organization, right now, is hyper-aware of the way it is being percieved, and hyper-sensitive to it.

    I bring this up because, given the current emotional state of the team, do you think they would put themselves out there to get laughed at again re: sending down Pelech and having him claimed?

    • I get the feeling the Flames have more or less always been “aware” of negative press and have usually wielded the big stick behind the scenes to correct things (ever wonder why Roger Millions isn’t the PBP guy anymore?). That said, their vigilance may be ratcheted up after the whole missing-the-playoffs thing, thus this rather public outburst.

      On Pelech, Im hoping that player valuations and proper asset management principles are guiding Sutters decisions and not simply optics.

        • Neither did I, but he wasn’t moved out of PBP (on both SNET and Flames PPV) so they could make room for Kerr and Loubo.

          I’m not going to get far into rumors here, but the implication from what I’ve heard was the Flames weren’t unhappy with his treatment of the club on occasion.

      • “On Pelech, Im hoping that player valuations and proper asset management principles are guiding Sutters decisions and not simply optics.”

        One would think that the 09-10 trade deadline (and most of the 09-10 Offseason) would have dashed those particular hopes. Honestly, if Stajan & Lanks being hurt solves our immediate cap crunch I see no reason to expose Pelech to waivers during camp… if he can’t hack it wait until other teams have set their line-up and have even less incentive to claim him.

  • Bob Cobb

    @ everton

    I’ve enjoyed watching the coming out party for Brodie like everyone else. But my stand is that he should have a year in Abbotsford. Alot of people have said he’s earned a spot on this team…to which I ask:

    Which Spot? Is he a #5 or #6 D-man? Do you have him as #7 and send Staios to the AHL in order to make room on the roster and under the cap? If he’s down to #6 or #7 how does that help his development? Getting 5 minutes of ice time does not allow for a lot of room to grow. By his own admission he has a lot to learn (still turns the puck over from time to time) and a year in the A would continue his developement where he’s likely be top 3 for sure…if he continues as he has he’s a good bet for #1 in a short amount of time.

    As for Pelech, I don’t think anyone would be surprised to see him sent down. There’s still time but after last night I can’t help but wonder if he’s taken a step backwards.

    As for Kent’s post I agree with most that Kent said. I was actually surprised that Ken King would be the one to say something, I would have thought that Feaster would have been trotted out to make some type of announcement. Anyone notice lately that aside from the odd time on the Fan960 that Darryl’s mug has been more adsent from the media than in the past? I’m not saying that’s a bad thing…we all figured that was a major factor for bringing in Feaster.

    I’m hearing word that the Flames our hoping to be icing a more or less full fledged NHL line-up this Sunday, while some of the guys with nagging injuries will sit tomorrow and let the youngsters (and those on the bubble) have one last chance to impress tomorrow in Edmonton. Granted that could change but we are officially one week from D-day where Darryl has to make some decisions to get us under the cap.

    • Bob Cobb

      I completely agree with you in regards to Brodie. The jump from junior to the pros is too much of a tranistion for 99% of the players.

      Having a year in the AHL would help his development and confidence going into next season.

      Just think guys like stamkos and tavares, they had subpar 1st years as they adjust, they could have easily turned into busts like so many other great young kids that get rushed too fast. (Will be keeping an eye on Edmonton)

      As for the darryl Sutter situation, how long tell he moves up to Co-President with Ken King, and lets Feaster take over the reins? 2 years?

      • PrairieStew

        The day Jay Feaster becomes GM of the Flames is the day one of two things could happen.

        (1)Darryl retires from hockey.
        (2)Ownership forces King to fire him…at which point Ken would either quit or be fired himself for refusing to terminate Sutter.

        Darryl already holds the position of V.P. of Hockey Operations…that’s as close as he’ll get to being on Kings level.

        • I know King’s commented many times that Darryl’s not going anywhere, atleast any time soon, so one would think ownership like Darryl.

          That’s why I figure he’d be a lifer in the organization from here on out, but with Feaster taking on more responsibility over time.

          Hopefully Feaster can start getting us some draft picks that make it out of the AHL alive…(Too many Chucko’s in our organization)

  • Agreed… Pre-season doesn’t predicate regular season success but it means alot to the guys in that room right now. They needed the confidence boost, and as a supporter, I needed to see it too.

    Looks like they are going to be carrying their torches going into the season and unlike other teams that had good pre-seasons only to falter, this verteran club is not getting too high.

    My division crown prediction stands.

    Torch ’em boyz!!

  • BobB

    Just gonna throw this out there re: Ken King.

    I don’t know if King’s actions were the right ones, but, I agree that Peca was out of line.

    It’s fine in my mind as an analyst to say:

    “JBo plays a soft game and I enjoyed playing against him because he’s not a hard nosed guy”…blah blah blah…whatever.

    But to say “6 years ago there was all this hype about the guy and I didn’t see it then and now it’s 6 years later and I still don’t see it.” (not verbatim)

    is pretty low. That’s basically calling the guy shit, in gentle words. I think it is unprofessional. Assess a guy’s play. Sure, comment on his strengths and weaknesses. Don’t sit there and say he’s always been an overrated player that wasn’t very good then and still isn’t now.

    Criticize if it’s deserving (ie. Cooke being a worm) but a turn-over isn’t worth that extra jab. It was that extra “Ya know actually, now that were talking about it…” that I think TSN should address behind closed doors.

  • Bob Cobb

    Bouwmeester, overrated, wont put up the numbers in Calgary that he did in Florida because of style of play between the 2 teams and the fact that he is now in a more competitve division for that matter. Roger Millions and all Calgary media for that matter are homers, and Peter Loubardious, how can you even handle listening to that guy, he sounds like Kermit the Frog on helium, the guy is terrible. Ill take Kevin Quinn, Rob Brown and Gene Principe anyday over the Flames sportsnet broadcast crew.

  • everton fc

    @Bob;

    I hear you. Brodie may have to go down. Staios is a character guy. I don’t think either option hurts us much, on the ice…

    That said, a Sarich/Brodie pairing might work…

    If Pelech clears waivers… I guess our defence is set. Thoughts on Meyer? Anybody?? I think he’s earned a spot on the roster. He’s done his time in the AHL – I think it’s time. (Funny, if you look at the scouting on Meyer, he’s seen as lacking speed. He’s shown lot’s of jump in pre-season, though)

  • marty

    im a domebeer’s fan and he is not going to like this comment but i like loubo doin flames games. ya he has some funny qwirks but most anyone does. i truly miss when we had bertuzzi over to cammelari, to lombardi over to pardy and skeeeyores!!! anyways back to the random thoughts i really hope nemisez finds his game as well, can’t wait to see how those guys do in abby. i really hope that tj brodie gets a spot. pardy looks to be having a bit of a bounce back year but i think the flames would be better served to gamble on the kid making the jump to the pros at least at the start. It is only the preseason but the pp has struggled and im not saying tj is the answer but could provide a spark even if it is on the second unit.
    Also i hope with the news today that stajan doesn’t need to go under the knife. this is good news i hope. i hope it is not as bad as first thought and he can return soon, in saying that tho i hope the first game back he doesn’t get hit once and then has to go for the surgery route. anyways one week and then it’s go time. go flames go and can’t wait to talk about meaningfull games

  • Still a funny clip. You’d think a guy with the actual name “Millions” would end up with a nickname like “Money”, “Cash”, “Dollar bills” or something, but he had to go and label himself “C&cksucker”.

    Greatest broadcasting nickname anywhere.

  • PrairieStew

    Everton fc

    Sarich is still a decent player – which is why he is the guy that will likely be traded. Staios is untradeable unless you actually give stuff up to get rid of him. For Sarich you may be able to add a non roster mid level prospect, which at this point is what is needed. In either case at $2.7 or $3.4 it is way too much to be paying someone on the third pairing.

    Brodie is not going to deliver anything more than what we are expecting from Gio or White, so keeping him around to play little or get banged up makes no sense(170 according to Flames website – a full 40 lbs smaller than Drew Doughty, who I thought was kind of a smallish d man) . Go down – prove to me you can be an AHL allstar or the rookie of the year and we’ll pencil you in to next years lineup, especially if we lose one or both of Gio or White to FA.

    See above re proper terminology for Ivanans.

  • Darryl will move to “President of Hockey Operations” and Feaster (or someone else) will move up to GM. Its exactly parallel to Kevin Lowe’s progression with the Oilers.

    The best part is it worked so well for the Oil. Remind me again… they won something big last year, right? What’s the opposite of the President’s Trophy?

  • palooza

    I worry about Brodie going down to Abbotsford to play with a bunch of guys that he just leapfrogged on the orgs depth chart. I don’t think it’s quite as much about the team down there as it is in show.

  • MC Hockey

    Hi all, Still not sure that having Langkow and Stajan on LTIR actually solves the salary issue. Under the NHL CBA, the salaries are not removed from the cap, they can simply be replaced up to their value. But the team still has to be under teh cap at start of year meaning I hope Staios, Sarich, or even Regehr (given the right return on a trade to an Eastern based club) can be done. Blockbuster could be in the offing.