Create Your Flames Roster

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03:  (L-R) Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff #34, Jay Bouwmeester #4, Rene Bourque #17, head coach Brent Sutter, Daymond Langkow #22 and the Calgary Flames bench look up at the scoreboard during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 3, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Flames 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

It’s September again. There’s already a chill in the evening air in town and soon the Leaves will begin to change color. It’s the time of year when young mens thoughts turn to matter of hockey.

As such, it’s about time to start posting rosters. There remains the issue of Calgary’s cap non-complicance, but that’s going to be part of the fun in constructing the line-ups. Who do you demote? Who do you scratch? Until the question is ultimately answered by Sutter, we’re free to speculate.

Without further ado, here’s how I guess (hope?) things will shake out:

Langkow Healthy Option

Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

Hagman – Langkow – Bourque

Glencross – Stajan – Moss

Stone – Conroy – Kotalik

(Ivanans)

Bouwmeester- Giordano

Regehr – White

Sarich – Pardy

(Pelech)

Langkow Hurt Option

Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

Hagman – Stajan – Bourque

Glencross – Conroy – Moss

Stone – Backlund – Kotalik

(Ivanans)

I’m loathe to put Jokinen and Jarome together again, but part of me knows that’s how things are going to happen initially anyways and part of me hopes they can improve their results if someone else is taking the tough sledding. That someone else would be the Langkow unit in the first iteration, while the hard stuff would have to be spread around if Langkow is hurt. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Conroy get a bump to Bourque’s line with Langkow in the infirmary, pushing Stajan back down with Moss + Glencross and making the second line the go-to "shut down" trio again.

Potentially controversial is my decision to keep Kotalik and skate him on the 4th line. Despite the cognitive dissonance of paying someone $3M to play at the bottom of the rotation, it’s likely the place where he can provide the most value: Kotalik can be completely sheltered at ES with Conroy et al and then would be free to put up results by playing on the PP and scoring the odd shoot-out marker. In addition, keep in mind that the 4th lines as I’ve constructed them would likely be 10 minute/night units with a good chance to mark the scoreboard, rather than the 5 minute/night detriments that many teams still opt for.

My decision to put Backlund on the 4th line in the second option will also rub some people the wrong way no doubt. However, with Langkow out, the tough assignments are going to be more spread out across the top 9 and the kid is still in the "heavy shelter" territory of his career. Backlund + Kotalik could avoid tough match-ups, take some offensive zone draws and probably cause some havoc against other 4th liners. It puts him in a position to succeed without having to skip a few grades. 

No major changes on the back-end, aside from deleting Staios and adding Pelech. This gets the team under the cap and avoids the Pelech-now-waiver-eligible problem. You will also notice that Jackman doesn’t show up anywhere – with the team counting 14 forwards and (with me keeping Kotalik), someone else had to take the short flight to Abbotsford. Jackman can tutor the kids on the farm for his 550k and is good bet not to be snatched up on waivers besides. It’s more probable that Stone will be the odd man out should this all go down, but he’s 50k cheaper and I think I prefer him anyways. Ivanans is retained because we all know he will be no matter how much I protest. He can be subbed in for Stone on the nights when the other team has a dancing bear of their own.

Potential problems? Well, this roster is just 300k under the cap as constructed. That’s certainly enough to start the year, but it’s skin-of-your-teeth stuff and doesn’t leave much room for error or addition as the year moves along.

Anyways, that’s my stab at it. Feel free add your critcisms and line-ups in the comments.

  • I’m pretty okay with skating close to the cap too. I think the 08/09 debacle had more to do with the fact that we couldn’t put anybody on LTIR at the end of the season.

    I mean 300K prorates to about 1.5M if my math is correct so that’s enough for three replacements. Obviously you don’t want to come less than 100K as you may not even have enough prorated for injury replacements.

    But at the start of the season, the risk seems low and the utility of the saved cap dollars marginal. We can talk about trade deadline 2011 but let’s try to get there with a healthy lineup and a coach with sensical game plans first, shall we?

  • Agreed on 08/09 debacle… but if they suffer a couple short-term injuries early on, wouldn’t it affect their ability to call up reinforcements?

    The effect on the game wouldn’t really matter anyway. If a good player goes down for a few games (e.g. Bouwmeester) then I don’t think it really matters whether Pelech is able to draw in or if Pardy has to play more minutes. In fact I’d wager Pardy would give us a better chance to win.

    I mean I wouldn’t want to play another game with 16 skaters but surely that’s got to be considered the far outer marker in the range of reasonable expectations. Having to dress 11F and 5D… small impact compared to not being able to replace the impact of whoeverwent down.

    Another reason the 08/09 cap situation was overblown IMO. Losing your best centre and Dman (Lanks, Regehr), well, replace them with kids or don’t replace them at all, you are going to lose games.

  • Sorry make that “14 skaters”… which is what I think it was? I forget. Tried to erase the memory of a dominant season lost to bad goaltending and cheaters.

    In any case the numbers don’t really matter as much as the quality of whoever goes down.

  • I agree Kotalik makes the team and Skates with Backlund in favorable matchups.

    Salary cut is between Sarich and Staios. Sarich stays.

    Conroy is nowhere near the starting roster regardless of Langkow.

    Moss is falling off the depth chart and fast.

    Prediction: 5th place with the Division in reach.

  • Conroy is nowhere near the starting roster regardless of Langkow.

    Moss is falling off the depth chart and fast.

    Damn, thanks for the tip.

    I don’t know much about hockey, see I didn’t realize that Conroy and Moss were such bad players. All I ever did was watch the games over the past few years, I mean by the way they were keeping plays alive and generating scoring chances I could have *sworn* they were good.

    So, thanks. I needed that reality check.

  • dustin642

    Conroy on the second line is a bigger laugh than Kotalik/Langkow/Glencross. I like the guy and all but this is not 2006, he is old, slow, and wearing down. I hope that he pulls out a big one for us this year but not many are counting on it. If they were he would not be here for league minimum on a 2-way deal. Sure Kotalik is not a “heavy lifter” but putting him on a line with 2 very capable linemates does make sense. Ideally I would have him gone to the KHL or traded away and use his cap $ for someone a little more useful, but it does not look like that is going to happen. No team will trade for him and no Ownership group will want to pay him to play in the AHL. And why waste Jokinen on the 4th? Sure everyone can be bitter at the guy for not living up to the hype. But has anyone ever lived up to the hype out here? Any big named high end player via trade or free agency ever really fulfill the role that was expected of them in Calgary? Outside of Langkow (who will not be close to 100% for at least a few months in to the season, and should not be put in that role if he is anything but 100%) he is the best option for a #1 center we have. Spreading out the talent is really the only option that we have, we do not have a “big 3” top line. What we do have is depth. As crazy as that sounds…

  • dustin642

    Tell me, on the balance of scoring chances, how do you think Conroy did in 09/10?

    I mean reasonable people don’t need to know that Conroy outchanced his opponents, playing quite difficult icetime for a guy his age, because they saw how good he still was on the ice in putting the puck in the good end.

    But the numbers bear it out anyway, Conroy went 143-139 at even strength.

    (Incidentally Lanks went 202-160. Surprise surprise, a guy who looks like a good player on the ice is helping the team win. Give him Kotalik as a linemate!)

    And of course scoring chances lead to goals so a guy who outchances his opposition (especially in more difficult icetime) is going to outscore them over the long run. And, dammit, I coulda sworn I heard somewhere that you win by scoring more goals. So let’s bury the guys who do that at the bottom of the roster, presumably give them less icetime and crap for teammates. Winning formula.

    The mouth-breathers have taken over now, it seems.

    • icedawg_42

      I think connie is still a good clutch face-off guy…and clever on the PK – he sprung Glencross a few times last year.

      I wouldnt want to see Backlund on the 4th line, he’s a skill player not a mucker. Dont know where else he slots in with this lineup though, so if it takes another development year in Abby, im fine with that.

  • icedawg_42

    Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla

    Hagman-Langkow-Bourque

    Glencross-Stajan-Backlund

    Stone-Conroy-Moss/Kotalik (depends on who is demoted/traded)

    Jackman and Ivan the terrible as scratches.

    A third line of Glencross-Stajan-Backlund would eat up other third lines with their speed and skill IMO.

    If Langkow is hurt:

    Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla

    Hagman-Stajan-Bourque

    Glencross-Backlund-Moss/Kotalik

    Stone-Conroy-Moss/Kotalik

  • icedawg_42

    Opinions really are like buttholes.

    I’m just hoping that the simple minds and low brows aren’t connected to the team in anyway. We’d be well and truly screwed, with lines of thinking like “3 goals…” without context like “on probably 30+ individual scoring chances”.

  • Reidja

    It’s not rocket science it’s hockey man. How many 3 goal scoring forwards are playing in the league? I guess you know something that no one else knows.

    Why not put conny up with iggy RO? And Moss too. Yeah, and jokinen’s a 4th line center.

  • Reidja

    Tanguy – Jokinen – Iginla

    Hagman – Backlund – Bourque

    Glencross – Stajan – Moss

    Stone – Conroy – Jackman

    JBo – Gio

    Reg – White

    Sarich – Staios

    That’s how I’d like to see it start but I’d fully expect to see Backlund drop down to 4th line if it goes poorly (with Stajan upto 2nd and Conny upto 3rd). When Lanks comes back center would have to be re-evaluated across the board.

  • Reidja

    The really perplexing thing here is why garbage opinionaters like #48 even bother to come here at all.

    I mean Kent’s a pretty plugged-in blogger, his content really should only appeal to those people who’ve got a clue.

    Somehow that’s not the case. I thought “Kotalik as Langkow’s linemate” was as off-the-rails as it could possibly get. Then I saw the response to Conroy’s EV scoring chances and I knew I was wrong. It can, and will, get a lot worse.

    I feel for Kent. He’s a way more industrious and patient blogger than I am or ever will be, he deserves better.

    • In order to expand the number of knowledgeable fans around, it would behoove you to be a little more polite. Most people who come here either do believe in the type of analysis that Kent uses, or at the very least are willing to potentially buy into it. Your acerbic retorts to people you see as being ignorant are only going to help maintain the relatively small size of the group of fans who you feel you can speak to without developing a nervous twitch.

      Everything would be a lot easier if everyone was on the same page all the time, but since that isn’t the case and it’s nice to have at least a solid base of contributors, keeping a collegial atmosphere would be swell.

  • Reidja

    You are amazing RO. I’ve seen you be disrespectful responding to numerous post (name calling etc.). You continue to do it. Can you justify having a forward with such anemic production at this stage of his career as your second line center. I’m interested to hear.

  • Clearly Darryl isn’t going to read this blog, so really none of our opinions serve a purpose outside of creating discussion. There’s no need for insults (unless it’s an Oil or Nucks fan posting).

    I’m hoping Backlund has worked hard this summer so he’s able to make the jump. David Perron was picked 2 spots after Backs in 2007, furthermore PK Subban who was picked in the second round that year looks like he’ll be steady with the Habs this year. Wayne Simmonds was also drafted last in the 2nd round that year.

    With guys drafted the same year as him looking to make a solid impact on their teams this year, I would think that Backlund should also get that chance.

  • My formatting got messed up. Will try again.

    I kept Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla together. I am very pessimistic that Jokinen and Iginla will find chemistry. However, this is our best chance to put together a solid number 1 line. And lets face it, the Flames are going to put them together for at least 20-games.

    I promoted Glencross to a 2A line with Langkow and Bourque. I think this line can do a majority of the heavey lifting and still produce. On 2B I put Hagman-Stajan-Kotalik together. Stajan and Hagman have good chemistry, and I think Kotalik is a good fit there.

    On the fourth I have Stone-Conroy-Jackman. I would prefer Moss, but the salary doesn’t allow it. I could keep him and it would technically fit. But I would rather have some flexibility going into the season and towards the trade deadline.

    D is pretty predictable. Same as Kent’s but with Pelech in the 6-slot. I think he has more upside then Pardy. That said, I expect the two of them to share the role pretty evenly unless one of them wins the position.

    If Langkow is out Stajan jumps to his spot and Backlund fill’s Stajan’s.

    That all said I still think the Flames move a D (other then Staois on a bus) and find a way to fit Backlund on the roster.

    Line-up:

    CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR

    FORWARDS
    Alex Tanguay ($1.700m) / Olli Jokinen ($3.000m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)
    Curtis Glencross ($1.200m) / Daymond Langkow ($4.500m) / Rene Bourque ($3.333m)
    Niklas Hagman ($3.000m) / Matthew Stajan ($3.500m) / Ales Kotalik ($3.000m)
    Ryan Stone ($0.500m) / Craig Conroy ($0.500m) / Tim Jackman ($0.550m)
    Raitis Ivanans ($0.600m)

    DEFENSEMEN
    Jay Bouwmeester ($6.680m) / Mark Giordano ($0.891m)
    Robyn Regehr ($4.020m) / Ian White ($2.999m)
    Cory Sarich ($3.600m) / Matt Pelech ($0.600m)
    Adam Pardy ($0.700m)

    GOALTENDERS
    Miikka Kiprusoff ($5.833m) /Henrik Karlsson ($0.500m)

    BUYOUTS: Nigel Dawes ($0.141m)

    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled using the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $58,349,995; BONUSES: $0
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $1,050,005

  • SOV:

    I don’t know about you but a solid base of “duh-hunh, 3 goals in 63 games” contributors doesn’t do anything for me.

    And:

    Most people who come here either do believe in the type of analysis that Kent uses, or at the very least are willing to potentially buy into it.

    I don’t believe that in the least. I think that FAN960 ad for FlamesNation directs a lot of the after-hours callers here. I’m sure you could go through the archives of even a couple of weeks back and find clear evidence that many (over a third at least) of posters are indeed using arguments that are in direct contradiction to Kent’s way.

    SinCity:

    That’s cute. Your opinion of Jokinen and Conroy is noted, and discarded. And it is most certainly not liked.

  • That Conroy, he was so winded and tired and slow-looking. Yet he still managed to play difficult icetime for the Flames and outchance the players he faced.

    He’s done, that Conroy. Get us a centre who will be outchanced in similar icetime, like Jokinen. Because it’s appropriate to use players who will be outchanced and outscored when we’re trying to win games.

    We’ll surely sink, or sink, with players like Jokinen.

    • dustin642

      Yeah, that Conroy was sure an all around amazing player last season. I mean with his scoring chances being counted at 143-139 at EV (like you said) he must have amassed what, like 35-45 goals? No??? Only 3 eh. Huh, well surely he finished on the + side of +/- with all those scoring chances. No? he was -6. Oh. Well too bad that the Flames have Matt Stajan and Olli Jokinen, because they were out chanced when counted at EV. Even though they converted more of their chances into POINTS (which I am pretty sure play a fairly significant role in winning) they just didn’t do it in the right way I guess.
      Stajan and Jokinen may not be world beaters but neither is Conroy – He is good, and at one time was very good, but not anymore. He can still hold more than his own and that is why he will fill the roll of center on the 4TH LINE very nicely. Jokinen and Stajan can and will score more than Conroy and thus should be deployed within the top 6. Langkow playing with Kotalik and Glencross may not be the best move but if Kotalik is as bad at hockey as you say he is, wouldn’t you want him playing with someone who is as good as you say he is in Langkow, with another dependable player like Glencross as well? No? Oh yeah thats right, lets just send Kotalik out there with no one else. Just literally him on the ice against the other teams 5 skaters. That way we can tear into him and bash what a terrible player he is. If we are stuck with him (like we ARE) and our GM was stubborn (like he IS) and pushed his brother/coach to PLAY him (like he WILL) wouldn’t it make sense to play him on a line where you would not have to worry about his linemates?
      But I forgot. I’m not here to talk about the Flames, I am here to be called a moron and called names, and read about how everyone that does not agree with you is an idiot. I certainly do not know everything there is about hockey. Compared to people like Kent I know very little. I am ok with it, thats why I use this site, because I like being able to run my (low brow) idea past people that I view as smart and care about the Flames as much as I do and see where I might be wrong. That is how you learn. I hope your brow wasn’t too low to get the point I was trying to make. Just remember to breathe out your mouth. You might need a new shirt because your white collar isn’t hiding your red neck very well.

  • Reidja

    “We’ll surely sink, or sink, with players like Jokinen.”

    So what’s the point here? You don’t like the team? In fact you think it’s so bad you’d peg a 3 goal scorer into the second line.

    There may be a fundamental problem with the way this team is built that a world of analysis (read staring at your belly) will not fix. So say that. Pretending to know the winning formula before a puck’s been dropped is, forgive me, naive.

    But I bet you knew that. Everyone else sucks right?

    For what it’s worth I hope Jackman gets a shot to contribute. The team lacks an edge (qualitatively).

  • Reidja

    The Joker/Iggy has been done and failed. Tangauy wont fix the problem. This is mine.
    1 – Iginla – Backlund – Borque
    2 – Tanguay – Jokinen – Hagman
    3 – Glencross – Stajan – Moss
    4 – Kotalik – Conroy – Jackman
    Ivanans

    On Defence
    Gio – JayBo
    White – Reggie
    Sarich – Pardy

    Id put Staios in Abbotsford and when Langkow returns demot Kotalik, putting him on the top line and moving the lines around where needed. But that is wishful thinking. Those of us who think Staois and Kotalik wont be around are dreaming. Sutter made the move and he’ll keep it. I wonder sometimes if Backlund is destined to the “A” because of his salary? Putting Stajan, a $3M man on the 3rd line, can you say FAILURE? This team has alot of “IF’s”. What if the team doesnt bounce back offensively? What if in game 2 Kipper breaks a leg?