The Calgary Flames and the inverted Pyramid



We continue the mediocrity series today by looking at the Flames forward’s possession rates and how they compare to each other and to other quality teams in the league. The results are rather unambiguous and illustrate why the club is both better than the NHL’s weaker thans as well as a step behind the elites.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

In general, normal corsi rates are a pretty good representation of a players ability to move the puck forward, particularly when issues like quality of competition and zone start are accounted for. However, the playing-to-score effect can skew certain players rates to the left or right, depending on how often they play in a given game state (be it playing from behind or ahead). When playing from behind, teams and coaches tend to play more aggressively, thereby inflating corsi rates. When playing with the lead, teams tend to play more conservatively, thereby lowering their corsi ratio. This effect is fairly persistent across most teams across the league.

Of course, some players get tapped on the shoulder more or less often depending on the circumstances. Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen were some of the team leaders in terms of ice time with the team down by one goal last year (over 200 minutes each). Those three players also led the forwards in terms of playing while down by 2 or more (140 minutes each).

This is why it sometimes makes sense to consider score-tied corsi as the best indication of a players possession rate. It eliminates the PTS effect, leveling the playing field. It’s this metric I will use today to examine the Flames forward corps. First off, here are the players ranked lowest to highest*. Again, the higher the number the more time the puck spent in the offensive zone when the player was on the ice.  

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

*stats courtesy Hockey analysis and behind the net

NAME Corsi Tied

As you can see, the Flames first couple of lines were more apt to be at .500 or above. A ratio of .500 means an even split down the middle: a coaches goal is for every line/player on the club to be at least at or above 50%. If we add in quality of competition, the table becomes even more meaningful:

NAME Corsi Tied CORSI Rel QoC*
TIMJACKMAN 0.559 -1.033
DAVIDMOSS 0.553 0.599
MATTSTAJAN 0.529 0.206
NIKLASHAGMAN 0.525 0.214
OLLIJOKINEN 0.502 1.006
JAROMEIGINLA 0.499 0.787
ALEXTANGUAY 0.485 0.893

*On the right is "relative corsi quality if competition". Relative corsi is corsi rating of a player corrected for the relative strength of his team. This is done by subtracting his corsi rating while he’s on the ice from the team’s corsi rating when he’s on the bench. For example, if Player X is on a lousy team, he may have a corsi rating of -2/60 while he’s on the ice. However, if his "off-ice" corsi rating is -10, his relative corsi is (-2 – (-10)) +8/60 because the club’s general possession improves by 8 corsi/60 with him on the ice. On the other hand, Player Y on a good team has a +2/60 corsi rating while he’s skating, but an "off-ice" rating of +10/60. This time his relativel corsi would be -8/60 because the club’s possession rate fell by that much. 

As you can see, many of the Flames who faced the dregs in terms of opposition placed highly in terms of corsi. On the other hand, the guys who saw tough competition (Jokinen, Iginla, Tanguay, Bourque, Morrison) were mostly underwater. Glencross and Moss are the only two forwards on the club who swim against the tide somewhat by maintaining good corsi ratios despite seeing a middling-to-high quality of competition. On the other hand, Stajan and Hagman’s corsi rates are "good" at an absolute level, but extremely underwhelming when taken in context of the team and who they play against.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

In some ways, the results are intuitive: guys who play against other guys who are good at moving the puck north see their corsi ratios drop. The guys who don’t, don’t. Of course, that is part of the reason to pay the big bucks to the top-end of your roster – so that they will be able to at least battle other team’s stars to a draw, if not win outright.

To further flesh out the details, I will add zone start ratio and each player’s cap hit:

NAME Corsi Tied CORSI Rel QoC ZS% Cap Hit $M
MIKAELBACKLUND 0.574 -0.168 54.3 1.2
TIMJACKMAN 0.559 -1.033 57.7 0.55
DAVIDMOSS 0.553 0.599 53.8 1.3
CURTISGLENCROSS 0.534 0.648 51.4 1.2
MATTSTAJAN 0.529 0.206 53.0 3.5
NIKLASHAGMAN 0.525 0.214 51.1 3
TOMKOSTOPOULOS 0.525 -0.813 51.7 0.651
OLLIJOKINEN 0.502 1.006 52.9 3
JAROMEIGINLA 0.499 0.787 52.9 7
ALEXTANGUAY 0.485 0.893 55.4 1.7
RENEBOURQUE 0.472 0.9 52.6 3.5
BRENDANMORRISON 0.452 0.771 50.7 0.75

The zone start shows the ratio at which each player started his shifts in the offensive versus the defensive zone. As you can see, Brent Sutter spread things out more or less evenly across the entire spectrum last season. He prefered guys like Jackman and Backlund start at the good end a little more often, but he also tried to get Jarome and Alex in a position to succeed whenever he could. Brendan Morrison’s team-worst possession numbers make a bit more sense in this context as well: not only did he face some of the tougher comp overall last year, he also started the most often in the defensive zone than any Flames forward. The difference isn’t huge (he wasn’t buried like, say, Manny Malhotra was in Vancouver), but it’s enough to tilt the scales a bit. At this point in his career that assignment is likely beyond Morrison. Good thing he had the best percentages on the team to float his boat in those circumstances.

In general, you can see what I call the Flames "inverted pyramid": the top-end of the roster – typically what you would call the "tip" of the roster pyramid – ranks near the bottom of the team in terms of possession. This is the opposite of what you’d expect to find when glancing at the payscale or at the results for other, quality teams in the league. Here is Detroit’s forward corps, for instance:


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

NAME Corsi Tied CORSI Rel QoC ZS %
PAVELDATSYUK 0.612 1.175 47.7
KRISDRAPER 0.575 -0.507 48.8
TOMASHOLMSTROM 0.57 0.325 53.3
DARRENHELM 0.564 -0.7 50.4
JOHANFRANZEN 0.549 0.697 49.6
HENRIKZETTERBERG 0.545 1.383 47.6
ANDREWMILLER 0.534 -0.88 56.5
JUSTINABDELKADER 0.53 -0.596 58.3
JIRIHUDLER 0.525 0.262 57.3
DANIELCLEARY 0.522 1.069 50.7
VALTTERIFILPPULA 0.514 0.301 50.2
TODDBERTUZZI 0.513 0.738 50.7
PATRICKEAVES 0.511 -0.269 49.2
MIKEMODANO 0.5 -0.222 55.4

Many of Detroit’s top-six forwards (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Holmstrom and Franzen) face the best the opposition has to offer but still have better than average corsi ratios. Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen make the bulk of the dollars up front for DET and they drive the play north despite tough circumstances. 

NAME Corsi tied CORSI Rel QoC ZS%
KYLEWELLWOOD 0.634 -0.17 51.3
RYANECLOWE 0.597 0.116 50.7
LOGANCOUTURE 0.586 0.219 51.2
JOEPAVELSKI 0.568 0.581 44.5
TORREYMITCHELL 0.558 0.207 48.4
PATRICKMARLEAU 0.535 0.998 47.5
JOETHORNTON 0.527 0.664 51.8
DEVINSETOGUCHI 0.513 0.69 55.5
DANYHEATLEY 0.512 0.423 50.9
BENEAGER 0.478 -0.146 50.4
JAMIEMCGINN 0.438 0.25 44.9
SCOTTNICHOL 0.433 -0.294 39.6

The Sharks are slightly more ambiguous, with some of their middle-tier guys (Pavelski, Clowe and Couture) leading the pack. That said, Marleau and Thornton saw the toughest competition and still managed decent rates of possession. Marleau in particular did well since he tended to start more often in the defensive zone.

**Item of interest – Notice where Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley land on the chart: of the Sharks regular top-six players, they both had middling-to-below average corsi ratios. Both were also traded by Doug Wilson to the Minnesota Wild this summer.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

In the case of both the Sharks and the Red Wings, it’s clear that their most expensive forwards were seeing other big guns and spending more time in the offensive zone nonetheless. This pattern mostly repeats across the league when it comes to very-good-to-elite teams: their big guns move the puck in the right direction, even in tougher circumstance. This wasn’t true of the Flames last season, however; Calgary’s top-six were mostly underwater (at least whenever they weren’t trying to overcome a deficit in the third period).

The good news is, the club probably boasts one of the better middle rotations around, from Glencross and Moss down to Jackman and Backlund. Many of the Flames bottom-enders crushed their counterparts, something that has been true of the team for a number of years now and will probably continue to be one of their primary strengths in the near future, particularly as Backlund continues to develop (and depending on how much ice-time P3L gets on the 4th unit).

The problem this causes for the roster as it’s currently contructed is obvious: if your top-end players aren’t, you know, top-end, then you will have problems competing with the best in the league. We’ll likely explore this issue further in a subsequent article.

  • PDumes

    It baffles me at how in the middle this team is. Can anyone think of another team in the modern history that is like the Flames?

    Not good enough to be Cup Contenders, but not bad enough to be picking in the Top 5, and it’s been like this since we won the division in 2006.

  • RexLibris

    Hey Kent,
    So here’s my question for you: given that the Flames have a number of expiring contracts over the next two years, are short on organizational depth, and need to find a way to elevate them above their current ranking and into the group of dominant teams, what steps, specifically, would you have them do? I don’t mean vague statements like “draft better, trade undervaluing players for proven contributors” and so on. I mean KK fires Feaster and says “Kent, fix this for me”. For instance, should the Flames look at trading 1st round picks for second line offensive forwards and instead focusing on collecting second round draft picks? Or another example would be to clear cap space and go out and try to accumulate the best free agent talent to surround Iginla and Kirpusoff and try to win now? I keep hearing a lot of analyses of what’s wrong and what fans don’t want, but nobody seems to offer up a realistic proposal of how to fix it (realistic does not mean trading Stajan and a 4th round pick for Alex Semin). The reason I’m asking is I’m trying to get a perspective of what direction Calgarians want the Flames to move in.

    P.S. I made a point of not mentioning the “R” word (rhymes with tree-guild).

      • the-wolf

        The problem I have with this is that the entire idea in sports is to win it all. Calgary has obviously demonstrated that they are well below what it takes to win the Cup. Ergo, anything but status quo is the only logical step to take.

        I’ve said this for years now, the longer they wait, the harder it is. Already the team has lost their chance to do a rebuild ‘on the fly’ ala Paul Holmgren. Calgary’s only hope now is to choose to do a partial rebuild or they will eventually be pushed into a full rebuild due to age and lack of impact prospects. The idea being that the return will evolve into something that is truly top-line, complementing our strong 2nd tier players. But the development gap is time-consuming and really, I’m not even sure the team hasn’t already passed the partial rebuild stage.

        Increasingly I get the feeling that the Flames are like a TV channel stuck on re-runs and all the new remotes in the world won’t change it and we’ll all just have to sit and watch until the owners go buy a new TV, which won’t be until the old one completely breaks.

        Of course, given the team’s penchant for trading futures in order to stay ‘competitive’ (whatever that means), none of this is surprising. Sports, like the markets, go in cycles, you can either choose to take advantage of the dips or be wiped out by them. Calgary’s refusal to even acknowledge these dips will eventually drop the team to the very bottom of the league.

          • the-wolf

            Wow, your reply is really intelligent. Don’t come up with a counter-argument, just sling sarcasm.

            Am I not allowed to voice my opinion on an open forum? Is that not the point?

            Or maybe you can enlighten us all with your solution?

          • Arik

            You think the ultimate goal for the Flames is to stay medicore?
            If you havn’t noticed, the Flames have alot of cash to spend, along with an few roster spots opening. The post D. Sutter era has come to an end and it has taken a couple of years to clean up.
            Flames can easily expedite a rebuild with having players like Kipper, Bouwmeester, and Bourque as trading chips (mind you the Regher trade IMO was a botched by Feaster). And if the Flames do not come close to a post season berth, FA’s like Langkow, Moss, Hagman and Sarich etc have a slightly higher value at the deadline.
            The future isn’t as bleek as your making it to be!

    • BobB

      I wanted to reply to this but got all confused.

      I would create two lists. In column “A” all the players on the team that are currently providing us with “nashville-like-performance” (for lack of a 400 word long-explanation-term)

      In column “B” all the players who aren’t.

      The end of season goal (which really would have been done last year) would be to rid ourselves of every player in column B, for whatever going assests could be re-accumulated. Preferrably picks, Nashville-target players and cap space. AFTER that, I would spend to the Cap on Value-High End UFA’s.

      If that’s not possible… fair enough. BUT, that’s the goal.

      I also don’t see that as a “tree-guild”, just smart asset management.

      Players currently in Column “B” in order of trade necessity/value:

      Matt Stajan (NTC),
      Jarome Iginla (NTC),
      Cory Sarich (NTC),
      Nik Hagman,
      Anton Babchuk,
      Bredan Morrison,
      P.L.L. Leblond

      Players who were in column A that are now gone:
      Robyn Regehr

      Unfortunately, Feaster has messed up with four of those 8 players IMHO, although perhaps I can let BMo slide due to term and $$$

  • BobB

    I’m confused why Jokinen was termed “mostly underwater”

    His corsi wasn’t great, but it was above .500 and his quality of competition was high.

    He smashes it when looking at CorsiRelQoC, no?

    His corsi tied is average… like a Modano or even a little worse than Healtey. But relative to QualComp it’s Marleau-like or Cleary-like.

    I’m not trying to say Jokinen is anywhere near that effectiveness (cause I see the raw-corsi tied) and the zone start.

    I’m just trying to understand why he was lumped in with Iggy who looks worse across the board, no?

    Perhaps, I’m reading it wrong, but the conclusions are confusing me. If we had no names and only those four data points, do we all agree we would want Jokinen on our team before Iginla? (I understand one would do more investigation….but for my comprehension of this data…)

  • BobB

    Maybe I should just ask:

    On that list Jokinen has the best Corsi Rel QoC correct? I mean, the higher number in this case is better, right? cause that’s how I know it and see it with Datsuyk.

    Doesn’t that mean that although his Corsi wasn’t great, it’s in some large part because of the competition he was facing?

    Is that number an adjusted corsi number, or only a Qual Comp number?

    The more I think about it, the more I have no idea what’s going on.

    • I was talking about the Flames top-enders as a unit mostly. Jokinen was the best of the lot at 50.2%, while everyone else was underwater. Although I’m guessing if we adjusted for starting position, he’d be marginally under 50% as well.

      • BobB

        Ok, I got that… but related to MC Hockey’s question.

        What is that CORSIRelQoC number expressed in?

        It’s expressed in a standard corsi differential, correct?

        So, Jokinen has a positive Corsi of +1.006/60 relative to his quality of team and his quality of competition,

        Which, really is the most telling Corsi number, no?

        Jokinen was our best forward at moving the puck forward when considering all factors. His zone start is a little favorable, but not greatly more than his comparables and Sutter didn’t really bury anyone like Scott Nichol or Datsyuk. At his contract it’s not terrible. It also tells me looking at his Corsi On numbers…. that no matter how good/bad he was his line and he got killed by other teams when they were out there.

        Which also tells me, that if Jokinen is our best CorsiRELQoC… yikes! And I think…. the point of the article. Why we’re mediocre!

  • MC Hockey

    Hi Kent, Still trying to fully understand. Two questions:

    1. I assume that Corsi Tied (in graph 1) and CORSI Rel QoC (all other graphs) are the main measurements we should care about with higher being better…yes? Or did I oversimplify?

    2. When explaing CORSI Rel QoC under chart 2, can you use say Backlund and Iginla in explaing the calculation explained as per below quote? I found this quote confusing as did not use percentages or decimails like the charts. By this quote, I mean:

    ” For example, if Player X is on a lousy team, he may have a corsi rating of -2/60 while he’s on the ice. However, if his “off-ice” corsi rating is -10, his relative corsi is (-2 – (-10)) +8/60 because the club’s general possession improves by 8 corsi/60 with him on the ice. On the other hand, Player Y on a good team has a +2/60 corsi rating while he’s skating, but an “off-ice” rating of +10/60. This time his relativel corsi would be -8/60 because the club’s possession rate fell by that much.”

    • Sorry, I can see how this can be confusing. Corsi can be expressed in both a ratio or a differential. I got the corsi tied numbers from hockey analysis, which is in ratio form. The quality of comp numbers is from, which uses differentials/60 minutes.

      A .500 corsi ratio = a 0.0 corsi differential BTW.

  • Arik

    Jokinen is not the best at possession; here’s the numbers for Balanced Corsi Relative for the 2011 Flames (Bal. Corsi Rel. is basically Corsi adjusted for zone start and relative to the team)

    Jackman 14.18
    Backlund 11.75
    Moss 3.80
    Giordano 3.23
    Sarich 1.92
    GlenX 1.72
    Stajan (!) 0.61
    Kostopoulos -0.86
    Hagman -1.00
    Babchuk -1.99
    Bouwmeester -3.77
    Iginla -5.39
    Jokinen -7.91
    Tanguay -9.49
    Morrison -9.74
    Bourque -10.39
    Regehr -12.00

    thanks to Eric T. at BSH for these!

    • BobB

      But that has nothing to do with the competition they saw. Look at Regehr. Plus, it isn’t tied is it?

      Those numbers seem to have little to do with Kent’s above graphs. That’s what I am looking at is vs Qual Comp., Tied. Thanks for confusing things though!

      I guess I should say that Jokinen is “our best” with Bourque and GlenX and maybe BMo, because there CorsiRELQoC numbers are likely similar when adjusted for zone start. Everyone else seems behind a little to a lot.

      • Arik

        I’ve found that ZS is really a better indicator of where and who a player plays against. There’s actually a few issues that are cropping up with QualComp lately that lead me to trust it less and less.

        • BobB

          I’d like to hear based on what?

          Because Tim Jackman by your numbers should be facing the toughest competition and Regehr the easiest?

          Or you read it the other way around? and negative is better?

          You provided a bunch of numbers contradicting my conclusions based on Kent’s numbers.

          That makes me worried about your or his numbers.

        • SmellOfVictory

          TOI is pretty nice for that as well. It’s not going to be 100% correlated, but obviously the guys on the ice for 20 min per game are going to have to face at least 2nd line comp given how often they’re out.

  • the-wolf

    Hah, so I was right the first time, it was sarcasm.

    As far as the Flames staying mediocre, all I can say is that they’re doing a good job of it. Outside of one miracle run we haven’t gotten past the first round since ’89.

    2 years out of the playoffs and several first round exits since the lockout.

    A core that has proven conclusivley that it can’t win, but the team refuses to change it.

    No impact prospects.

    No high draft picks.

    Their best players in their mid-30’s.

    To me, that’s mediocre.

    Thank you for at least giving an opinion this time.

    • Arik

      The past is just that, the past. We’ve traded Phanuef and Regher, so you insisting that the Flames are married to their core is just incorrect. And you pretty much just repeated what I was arguing the first time. Nobody can argue that the team over the 5 years (on paper) was very well designed and just missed the mark on where chemistry was concered. Four different coaches in seven years probably didn’t help. And like I said, we have trading chips and money to solve any future woes we may have.

      • the forgotten man

        As I have said before, Players come and go. The “elephant in the room” with this organization is the upper management. It does no good to stockpile draft picks and have 30 million in cap space when you have sub-par managers/administrators utilizing these precious resources…they tend to just fritter it away.

        Hopefully Kent you will include a long overdue comprehensive review of the Flames Management (Ken “huckster” King, Jay “sock puppet” Feaster, Tod(d) Button, Rich “why is Stajan out of shape” Hesketh etc.)

        The time, really, was last year and this year for the Organization to have purged all the above and brought in some credible hockey minds to manage this team’s affairs back to its previous glory. Sadly, 10-15 years from now, we will look back and pinpoint last summer when King and Sutter should have both been shown the door and Nicholson (Prez) and Yzerman (GM) should have been shown any money necessary
        to bring them aboard. As is typical with the Flames, they show a penchant for failing to “seize the moment”.

        Unless someone on this forum can show me how Ken King has the hockey pedigree and smarts to build a Stanley Cup winner, then sadly all other discussion regarding player transactions/draft picks/cap space is moot.

        That said, this is Sports Entertainment at the end of the day, and one will continue to watch and follow the Flames irregardless of the depths that K-squared takes us to.

        Thanks again Kent et al. for your continued insights into the Team, but please when is the Management Review? Can’t wait.

        • SmellOfVictory

          Not to speak for Kent, but I wouldn’t imagine there will be a management (Feaster) review until at least the end of the off-season, and perhaps even the end of next season. Seeing the initial moves made isn’t enough to go off of in terms of gauging a GM.

        • the-wolf

          This I can certainly agree with. Poor management will screw even the best of plans.

          Couldn’t have phrased the part about this organization “failing to seize the moment” any better.

          But…….am I the only one here who thinks that Iginla is part of the problem and not the solution? Yeah, he’s put up some numbers over the years, but the decision to make the Flames ‘his team’ has, IMO, proved disastrous.

          To me, the real leaders in the 2004 run were Darryl himself, Gelinas, Ference, Commodore, Donovan, etc. and the problems started in 2006 when we began jettisoning all that leaderhsip.

          Which, in a nutshell, is my problem with Iginla – doesn’t win when it really matters (last 10 games of the year), doesn’t lead by example by playing the system (pick any coach/time frame), takes shifts/periods/games/chunks of the season off, is below average at best defensively and his entire idea of leadership is dropping the gloves every so often and mouthing off at the opposition at the end of a game that’s already a lost cause. But he sure can shoot that puck.

          Just me, maybe, but IMO this team will never move forward until they move him.

          The problems being that he’s losing value as he ages and management here are sure to screw it up royally.

  • RexLibris

    Thanks for the feedback, it’s rare to actually hear what a Flames fan would do in this situation.

    A Holmgren-ian approach is actually what I was thinking would probably appeal mostly to the fans as it’s sort of a quick dip to gain altitude (if you’ll forgive the airplane metaphor). The plus side of that strategy being that you already have something that Philly hasn’t had since Nixon. A goalie.

    I like The-Wolf’s suggestion with the one problem of, how do you do a rebuild when you’ve got very little to offer that would enable that kind of return? Without giving up Kiprusoff or Iginla, there isn’t much left to part with that other GMs are going to find so attractive. Bouwmeester is so expensive that it would require taking money back, and you don’t want to get rid of Brodie, Giordano, or Backlund until you know what you have. I think the rebuild is more likely to happen when the contracts expire, warm bodies are shuffled into the vacant positions, and the ownership wakes up one day and says “what happened”.

    If it were up to me, I’d suggest first improving the scouting dept, and then moving any 2nd and 3rd line expiring UFAs this year I could for picks (not prospects, I would want to choose my own talent based on my own criteria), sign some decent UFAs during the summer like Phoenix does to inspire a blue collar attitude. (Most informed fans, regardless of city, appreciate effort as much as talent) Then sign Iginla to an extension at a reduced rate so that he can retire a Flame and build from the defense out. I don’t know if it would work but at least it would be a direction, rather than saying you’re committing to youth and then trading picks.

    As for RFA-ing someone like a Stamkos, honestly I think the Flames are WAY past the one-1st-line-centre-away-from-winning stage. As for trying to sign Parise, it’s a bleak hope if you’re waiting for Uncle Lou to somehow screw up, and there are going to be a lot of teams lined up with offers if it does happen. That’s putting a lot of hope into something that may never happen. Banking on UFAs to come in and be re-invigorate your team or change it from also-ran to contender lately has been like Fool’s Gold. Besides, if you load up Iginla’s line with a Stamkos type you still don’t have the depth and secondary scoring on a nightly basis to get you through. It could become like Ottawa was with Heatley, Alfredsson and Spezza. Great line, but shut them down and that’s it. Now, I’m an Oiler fan, so if you want to send over 4 1st rounders and make everyone forget the Dustin Penner offer sheet I’d say go ahead, but I don’t think that’s the answer. IMHO.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Wolf & All the way in are spinning similar webs. I think we have some really good pieces to start a tree build or reload with. Gio & JBO(whose a little expensive but bonafide top 2 dman) are great players to retool the blueline around. Karlson, Leiland & Ortio give us hope that we have some young upstart goalies that may be able to do a good Rinne imitation.
    Iggy has his choice, either retire a Flame or move to a contender. That conversation should take place next June or if it gets ugly by Feb & we’re out of the playoff race, the discussion happens earlier. If Iggy isnt doing his usual carry us on his back to mediocrity, a lot of fans & media are really tough on him. If he wants to stay, I say extend to a 5 year Tanguay type of deal & Iggy becomes the Flames Yoda.We owe him that & should support any decision he makes IMO.
    Kipper becomes a great trade for some team next June as well where contract starts to really decrease below cap hit & his NMC expires. We can get a really good return.
    If Langkow comes back OK, if we dont trade him, then resign him to 3rd line $$$ & he’ll be awesome with a great cap hit.
    I say lets see how Backlund, Brodie, Butler, Karlson, Bouma fair with lots of ice time, responsibility and tough minutes.
    Bottom line is, what Iggy wants to do will determine the type of tree build Flames do in the next 12 months. Who knows, maybe the K4B’s above will get us to the playoffs this year. Who knows, wouldnt that be something.

  • Craig

    @Arik and @Rain Dogs

    I think you have to take into consideration all the stats to have any real indication of effectiveness. Joker’s numbers arent great under Arik’s analysis, but the context needs to have Qualcomp aswell to know what level of competition he was againt, meaning he wasn’t as terrible as his adjusted Corsi ratings would suggest.

    Maybe some of these stats are flawed but they all need to be taken into consideration to have the whole picture in context. From what I can see from all of these numbers which I’m just starting to understand is that Joker was decent not great, and that the Flames top players did not excel against the top competition. This is why this year I’m excited to see Langkow back so that Joker can take on weaker comp with GlenX and Moss and hopefully eat it up.

    I don’t know if this post clears anything up or just confuses more hahahaha

  • everton fc

    “I like The-Wolf’s suggestion with the one problem of, how do you do a rebuild when you’ve got very little to offer that would enable that kind of return?”

    “Wolf & All the way in are spinning similar webs. I think we have some really good pieces to start a tree build or reload with. Gio & JBO(whose a little expensive but bonafide top 2 dman) are great players to retool the blueline around. Karlson, Leiland & Ortio give us hope that we have some young upstart goalies that may be able to do a good Rinne imitation”

    You don’t move Iggy, or Gio. But if they are not shopping Bouwmeester, I don’t get it.

    Ditto Kipper. I’d shop him. I posted on another topic about Kipper to Florida, w/Hagman for perhaps, Santorelli or Weiss, and picks. Bourque’s another I’d shop; I like him, he’s a local guy, provinicially speaking… But like Pardy, he may be damaged goods…

    Good teams (like the Red Wings, and now Stevie Y in Tampa)… good organizations… Have excellent scouting. We haven’t in years. I am not convinced we do now, but time will tell, quickly. But there have been good players available thus far – risks that have little downside – like Bergfors and Upshall, to name two, that we passed on. We signed a goon frm the Devils… for about the same price as Bergfors… Give this some thought.

  • everton fc

    “To me, the real leaders in the 2004 run were Darryl himself, Gelinas, Ference, Commodore, Donovan, etc. and the problems started in 2006 when we began jettisoning all that leaderhsip.”

    Spot-on, Wolfman. The Ference trade, to me, always seemed like a watershed moment. The way it was handled, who we picked up… Brutal. When you jettison your leaders (like Regehr)you better be able to replace them with the same.

    We have not done this.

    So to move Iggy makes no sense to me. Never has. Kipper, to me, isn’t one of the core leaders. Nor is Bouwmeester. Nor is Bourque. I’d shop all three. Perhaps there will be a dip… Perhaps not.

    Also… We need to free up roster space for some of these young guys, so we can assess them, and possibly move those who don’t fit our long term goals. To me, Feaster will never be an Yzerman, nor a McNab, nor a Fenton, nor a Holmgren, a Nill… A Holland…

    Which isn’t good enough, obviously.

  • RexLibris

    I’m not here to troll, but I have to say that a lot of the problems that the Flames have bear a striking resemblance to what my Oilers were facing four years ago. A team stuck in mediocrity with no direction and no way of improving. The best thing we could have done after the ’06 run would have been to tear it all down and rebuild. Half our team bolted anyway (Pronger, Peca, Spacek, Samsonov, etc) but instead we spent the next 3 years trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again with the constant refrain of needing to find a sniper or a top centre to compliment Hemsky. The surge that Gagner, Cogliano and Gilbert had at the end of the ’08 season only prolonged the holding pattern. It wasn’t until we had new ownership that wasn’t tied to playoff income that the directive came down about rebuilding. Even then, in his first year Katz tried to chase down Hossa with a ridiculous contract offer. All the comments I’m reading here now are almost verbatim for what I read in ’07 and ’08. I’m in no way saying that you guys are going to do exactly the same thing we are or that we were smarter for figuring it out, just that, when it came to a rebuild fate kept blocking all the other exits and in all likelihood, when the time comes for Calgary, it’ll be done in your own way.

    The biggest similarity I can see between the two situations is that it looks like ownership and administration need to get out of their own way and quit trying to win their way with their guys because they’re too proud to see the writing on the wall.

    It could always be worse. You could be Leaf fans.