Kinda tough to do anything when you have no picks in the first round, and the Calgary Flames didn’t do much (anything) on Friday night, much to the chagrin of many of their fans who were hoping for a big splash. There was plenty of action on the draft floor, headlined by a historic night for Calgary’s provincial foes in Edmonton. However, on day one of action at the NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, the Flames could only be observers.
That’s not to say that Darryl Sutter didn’t try. We heard from the Flames General Manager Thursday, and he said he doesn’t anticipate the Flames doing very much in terms of movement. Well, at least on day one, that held true. However, Sutter was working the room, as any GM would; from FlamesNation’s perch on the draft floor, we saw him talking with Hawks GM Stan Bowman just before the 30th pick. In fact, when Commissioner Bettman went up to announce the trade, I was sure it was going to be an announcement the Flames had moved up. It wasn’t, as it turned out being the Islanders who made the move…but I was hopeful.
There were rumours right when the day started suggesting Sutter and the Flames might be trying to move up to the first round. I asked Darrly following the final pick of the round, and he said it wasn’t going to be easy to move up into the top 30. He also said that a lot of the guys in the mid to late first round are comparable in quality to the type of guy you can draft when Calgary picks in the third round. Sutter pointed to a deep draft with a not a ton of high end talent, but a lot of quality players that can be probable future NHLers.
A few respected writers and hockey media people had thrown around speculation of a Jason Spezza deal involving the Flames and Senators, however that was shot down fairly quickly as well. Ottawa GM Bryan Murray said Thursday there’s nothing going on with Jason, and he reiterated it on Friday saying he hasn’t received a ton of serious interest on his star forward. Will interest from other teams get ramped up on Saturday? Or as we move closer to July 1st? Maybe…but for now, it seems he’s staying put.
When asked about day two of the draft, Sutter says he’s excited and ready to make some good picks with his seven picks. I still believe there’s a strong possibility he moves into the second round, however what that asking price is I’m not totally sure. Make no mistake, it is a deep draft, and some savvy and well researched picks could yield you some steady hockey players down the road.