January 20 Potpourri




It’s another random thoughts post! Some stuff going on in Flamesland worth a few words, I think.

– On Kipper: Dude is going through a really rough patch and he isn’t totally blameless, but there’s no way he’s actually .768 SV% goalie, which is his save rate over the last five games. I personally abandoned the cult of Kipprusoff several years ago, so this isn’t merely a plea to excuse the struggles of a long beloved star. He’s not the guy who won the Vezina back in 2005-06 anymore, but he certainly isn’t the worst puck stopper in the league now either.

*Related* some interesting stuff from Elliote Friedman on the radio this morning. The topic was the possibility of trading Kiprusoff during the now inevtiable rebuild and Friedmann wondered aloud if this season is "a blip" rather than "the start of the decline". That’s the wrong question to ask because the decline started five years ago. Kipper’s SV% over the last four seasons has been: .906, .903, .920 and now .897. The "blip" isn’t this year’s nominal save rate, but rather last year’s notable .920. As such, Kipper is a lot closer to being league average than elite these days and that’s been true for awhile. He has numerous other qualities, of course: experience (if you value such a thing) and durability come to mind.

That noted, Friedman claimed there will likely be interest in Kipper should the Flames shop him for a couple of reasons: one, there’s almost always a club willing to take a bet on a fading star because they think it’s possible to "fix" him. Secondly, Kipper’s cap hit remains high (5.83M for three more years), but his actual salary in dollars falls from $6M next season, to $5M in 2012-13 and finally down to $1.5M ’13-14. According to Friedman, Kipper’s NTC also disappears next season as well. The rapidly decling salary and the absence of a restrictive NTC no doubt make him a less risky gamble. 

Of couse, Friedmann also said (quite sensibly) that the potential return would be rather limited. Chances are, the biggest "return" in dealing Kipper would be freeing up a bunch of cap space.

– Zach Bogosian has been fed to the wolves by the Atlanta thrashers this year. In my article on Dustin Byfuglien for the Score, I noted that Bogo was the guy eating pavement so Buff could play more often in the offensive zone. He had a ZS ratio of 36.8% at the time and was facing a lot of big guns besides. His ZS number has since increased to 42.0%, but that remains the second lowest ratio on the club (ahead of only Johnny Oduya). His possession numbers are garbage, but I don’t know many players in the league who could overcome that mountian, especially on a bad corsi club like the Thrash. What’s also sinking his stock is a PDO of 98.7, which will all know is a good bet to regress back to 100 at some point in the future.

As a result of bad luck and terrible circumstances, the Thrashers have been scratching the 20-year old, former 3rd overall draft pick recently. Keep in mind, Bogosian lead the Peterborough Petes in scoring as a 17 year-old with 61 points in 60 games. He has over 100 NHL games under his belt and isn’t even 21 yet. He’s a legit talent and there’s a chance he could be available given their treatment of him recently. If ATL is looking to flip the kid for a more established blueliner, Feaster should be calling Dudley a couple of times a day.

– The loss last night sunk the Flames playoff hopes down to lottery ticket territory: 2.8% according to Sports Club Stats. I’m guessing Feaster started fielding calls from other GM’s half way through the third period. I know Brent Sutter and the players have to continue to talk about staying competitive and pushing for a playoff spot, but that’s just coachspeak. Let the remaking of the team commence.

*Related* I don think any player on this club is sacrosanct. Trades shouldn’t be made just because and we’re not talking fire sale here, but all reasonable offers should be considered. The days of "the core" being off-limits are gone. Give away the bad bets if you can (Jokinen, Stajan, Sarich, Staios), shop some pending free agents and fringe players, but also, don’t hang up the phone if someone wants to discuss the big money guys. The days of building around Iginla have passed.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I support many players being traded for Bogosian. Regehr, JBo, Sarich+someone (Hagman?).

    @everton fc: It’s true that there are a fair number of blueliners in the system compared to forwards, but picking up Bogosian would allow for one of them to potentially be traded for a forward prospect if need be, and realistically he’s likely better than all of the Flames’ defensive prospects at this time (at the very least he’d be top 2 currently).

  • OilFan

    The question I ask why would LA trade a young upcoming player for older players i.e Iggy ? The way the CBA is set up teams don’t make those trades very often.

  • the-wolf

    Like I wrote before, I don’t believe the ownership group will allow Feaster to do anything of substance (ie. trading of any significant players) until they believe he is the GM going forward. With the “acting GM” tag on his name, they won’t allow him to dismantle this sinking ship. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing is done until the summer when either Feaster or someone else is the full time GM. I would rather something done sooner rather than later so I know if I can raise my Flames flag in front of my house from half mast or not.

  • OilFan

    I would love for the Flames to pick up Bogosian, but I wonder what Rick Dudley would want in return. Maybe, you could deal Robyn Regehr or Cory Sarich? Or maybe throw Matt Pelech with a couple of picks(oh wait, we need those) Maybe u could deal Staios(ha ha, the UNWANTED ONE).

    A couple things that do worry me about Bogosian is that his cap hit is 3.375m, and the fact that hes an RFA at the end of this season. You would think that during summer negoations for a new contract the Flames could lower the cap hit, but even if u got it to around 2m$, and maybe a 3 year deal, that leaves u with Bouw at 6.68, Gio at 4.02, and Bogo at 2m. Oh yeah, and Regehr at over 4 million as well. Unless, of course, Reggie is the guy getting traded for Bogosian.

  • OilFan

    I could give a rat’s ass about what Kipper brings back. Keep him or trade him to clear salary. He won’t bring much back, so as trade bait he will not improve the team.

    The most important thing is that we need financial flexibility, a change in organizational ideology, and promising prospects. Right now, our defensive prospects are solid. Have watched Brodie in Abby, and the kid has tremendous vision, while his defensive game has been improving. Erixon also is a great all-rounder. I assert that one or both should see full-time action in Calgary next year.

    Outside of Nemisz and possibly Howse, we don’t have any top 6 forward prospects. Thus, if we tank properly this year (which I believe we will, despite the critics, thank god), a top 5 pick is waiting. Any one of Landeskog, Coutourier, Nugent-Hpokins, and Huberdeau have tremendous upside and will eventually round into top line forwards. We need one of them!!

    Secondly, try trading a core member for another middling first rounder, as guys like Saad and Armia, who are legitimate top 6 forwards, will be available.

    Brodie, Erixon, Nemisz, Howse (who is tearing it up again on a shitty team), along with two of the aforementioned players in this year’s draft will bring a great injection of youth and skill in the next couple of years.

    This development coupled with cap flexibility to bring in UFAs will hopefully accelerate the rebuild process, as happened in Philly.

  • the-wolf

    @Kent, sorry, but when it comes to Kipper I’m just not buying the whole stats argument. To me, it’s meaningless and misleading to say the least. None of those stats reflect the quality of the shots he faces or how hopelessly hungout to dry he often is, how badly the score would’ve been without Kipper there, the timing of some of his biggest saves to keep it close, etc.

    Anyone who watches Kipper regularly would have to rate him in the top 5 goalies over the last several seasons.

    This season is really the first that I’ve seen him play ‘poorly.’

    Not to say I wouldn’t trade him, but the assertion that he’s been on a big decline I disagree with. And I’m no cult hero worshipper either.

    RE: Bogo, I’d lvoe to have him. The kind of young, offensive D we sorely need in the pipeline, especially if the team rebuilds in a scorched earth manner.

    I think Atlanta would take regehr for him, he fits their system and tema dynamic, big and tough stay-at-home type who would probably pair well with Byfuglien.

  • the-wolf

    LA is an interesting situation. On one hand they’re still sort of regarded as legit Cup contender (not favorite). On the other hand, the team isn’t even in the playoffs right now. This poses a bit of a conundrum and LA needs to find a way to get into the playoffs this year if they can (at a reasonable cost). The fan base is great for them right now and they don’t want to risk losing that, also it’s important for the development of the team and their youth to take that next step forward and to gain playoff experience.

    So while my ideal dream of nabbing 2 top prospects from them is just that, I actually think they’d give up more than just Schenn. I’m fairly convinced we could get Schenn and their 1st for Iggy.

    Because, as much as LA won’t bid against themselves, they’ve also painted themselves into a bit of a corner and Iggy can definately help take them over that hump.

    • the-wolf

      But would iggy want to go to LA? As you said they are not in the playoffs right now and in my opinion iggy would only accept a trade if he could go to a legit cup contender and I don’t think LA is that

      • the-wolf

        I think he makes them one. Still not a favorite, but I think he definately adds enough to make the playoffs and be a threat. They’re better than first round fodder anyways.

  • Iggy on the Kings gives them that boost for sure. He also has Canada teammates Smyth & Doughty there which might entice him even more.

    @Oilfan A team would give up young players to take a chance on Iggy because he still has what it takes to get it done in the NHL. He isn’t the world beater that he used to be, but he wouldn’t have to be in LA. He’d face middle comp with capable line mates.

  • CitizenFlame

    Why would Regehr want to go to Atlanta? He has a no trade clause as well and I’m pretty sure wants to win a cup as badly as Iggy. If these guys are waving there no trade clauses they aren’t going to do it to go play for a middling team with no fans. I’m sure they would all wave their no trade clauses if asked but not to just go anywhere.