Random Thoughts – October 12th, 2011



We’re in between game days here and there’s a number of minor issues floating around worthy of a note or two, but not of their own, full-blown article. Here’s a few things that have come to my attention…

– Elliotte Friedman recently confirmed that, as suspected, Kyle Turris’ outrageous contract demands this summer were his way of seeking a trade. EF also confirms that the Flames are one of the interested parties, while Don Maloney is sticking to his "we’re not trading Turris" mantra.

Maloney’s tact here is an interesting one. He has a player that is clearly uninterested in playing for the the team and who can hold out indefinitely by not signing anything but an outrageously overpriced contract. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much value in holding out on Turris – might as well find him a trade partner because it appears the to sides are at an impasse.

I think the current strategy might be a savvy one though, for two reasons:

1.) It shows the organization is uninterested in being blackmailed in the future. The Coyotes are a club with a lot of "external issues" which may impugn their reputation in the eyes of upcming RFA’s like Turris – the ownership kerfuffle, lackluster attendance, abysmal finacial support, etc. Giving in to Turris too quickly or easily could provide leverage for agents of future RFAs to pull a similar stunt. As such, we can interpret Maloney’s "we’re not trading Kyle" to actually mean "we don’t negotiate with terrorists".

2.) It also signals that Maloney isn’t desperate to make a move, which means a stronger (or rather: a less weak) trade position. I think the end-game here is to make Turris sweat it out for awhile and then to garner as big a return as possible. Maloney is a GM with a limited budget and relatively fewer resources than pretty much all of his cohorts. He needs to maximize returns of every asset as much as possible. Capitulating to Turris’ extortion and trading him to one of the vulture GM’s hungrily swooping overhead would likely net a poor return.

Maloney also has the luxury to wait things out because Turris remains a periphery figure on the roster. Although his high draft pedigree and young age make him a decent gamble/addition for other clubs, the truth is he has rarely ventured beyond 4th line/highly sheltered forward for the Coyotes. If he were a heavy lifter like, say, Martin Hanzal, the hit to the team on the ice would be a lot more significant and would compel some urgency to find a resolution. 

On the Flames front, I noted previously that Turris would be a worthwhile addition only if he could be had relatively cheap. He doesn’t fill an immediate need and his body of work at the NHL is underwhelming. There’s no guarantee he’ll ever develop sufficiently enough to justify a big investment trade-wise, so any talk of moving a high-end asset (say, Mikael backlund for instance) for him is crazy talk. If I’m Jay Feaster, my interest is genuine but faint.

– Eric Nystrom made it through both waivers and re-entry waivers unscathed. Word came down today that he was dealt to the Dallas Stars for cap floor purposes, but there may be a umber of Flames fans who are surprised Calgary didn’t scoop him up at $700k.

As affable and hard-working as Nystrom is, the truth is he has always been an extremely limited hockey player. Cast as "defensive specialist" because of his willingness to grind and block shots, Nystrom never really shut down anyone during his time in town and he barely outscored other 4th liners to boot. When he was actually placed in the uneviable position of being an honest-to-god checking forward playing tough compeition in difficult circumstances by Minnesota last year, he got his head beat in. 

His value, therefore, is rather limited, especially to Calgary who have a whole host of similar or better players jockeying for a spot on the roster at the bottom end of the rotation. If there’s one thing the Flames certainly don’t need at ths junction, it’s Eric Nystrom. Even at just $700k.

– As Pat Steinberg mentions in the comments to the Dont Panic post, even if the Flames incredibly flaccid opening two games isn’t a true reflection of the team’s ability, the boys will have to figure things out sooner rather than later. Calgary missed the dance by three points last season – or less than two wins. Meaning the Flames really can’t afford to spend the first month or two trying to geth their legs under them if the playoffs are a realistic goal.

  • Those don’t look random. They are appropriate, deliberate and have a purpose.

    1. proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.
    2. Statistics . of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen.
    3. Informal .
    a. unknown, unidentified, or out of place: A couple of random guys showed up at the party.
    b. odd and unpredictable in an amusing way: my totally random life.

    I think you mean assorted or miscellaneous.

    1. consisting of different or various kinds; miscellaneous: assorted flavors; assorted sizes.
    2. consisting of selected kinds; arranged in sorts or varieties: rows of assorted vegetables.
    3. matched; suited.

    1. consisting of members or elements of different kinds; of mixed character: a book of miscellaneous essays on American history.
    2. having various qualities, aspects, or subjects: a miscellaneous discussion.

  • icedawg_42

    Maloney needs to go a little more “Les Grossman” on Turris:

    “Great. Let me get this down. 100 million… Oh, wait! I got a better idea. Instead of a hundred million, how about I send you a hobo’s d~ck cheese?”

    I have trouble seeing who on the Flames roster might make for honest like for like trade bait. I TOTALLY agree that moving Backlund would be stupid.

  • xis10ce

    A trade for Turris between Pho and Cal strikes me as so unlikely to occur. Pho would simply be looking for an asset Cal is unwilling to part with and the assets Cal does have that they would be willing to let go of would be viewed as overpriced by Pho.

    I get the feeling this “trade” rumor will go the way of Smyth and Richards.

  • icedawg_42

    The intriguing thing is that Calgary has 12 pending free agents – pieces are going to have to start moving fairly soon I think – or else they will risk trying to move/rebuild/retool all those pieces at once, that’s a position of weakness IMO.

  • everton fc

    Wonder why Feaster couldn’t package Langkow with some other “part” for Turris and Stempniak? Guess the answer is Maloney’s…

    Since we’ve moved Langkow already, and have a “relationship” w/the Coyotes… Perhaps Turris is attainable.

    I guess it’s something to discuss… ?

  • Bustmeester

    Hold on, the reason Turris can’t or won’t sign an offer sheet is because any offer sheet that an NHL GM would sign is something that Maloney would match, keeping Turris in PHX, so he won’t sign an offer sheet.

    I suppose it isn’t tampering so theoretically Turris’s agent could work out a contract with a trade destination. It seems to me, though, that if I am a competing GM my max asking price for Turris is what I would have to give back in RFA compensation if he signed the offer sheet. Why do I help this puke kid out by giving PHX more than what I would have to if the kid just signed an offer sheet with me? I am a chump to do that.

    So PHX is never going to get more than what they would get in RFA compensation for Turris under a market level deal. But there is more value to PHX in being tough than there is in the RFA compensation? I find that math hard to believe.

    At the same time, it is worth more to Turris to not play in PHX than 1 year of salary and development time plus the risk he won’t play?

    Someone is getting some baaaaad advice here.

  • marty

    flaccid????? that is being kind. if there was only a little blue pill that could make this start less limp the flames could rise up the satandings! anywho i’m with our hebrew friend pat that turris is meh. i would rather the flames wait on morrison or look at the trade route some where else. cough…..start tanking sens….cough.

  • Bustmeester

    I think Maloney has to find a way to trade Turris before he is unable to play this year (when is that date?) The only way I would like to see the Flames trade for Turris is if they got him for cheap. (Turris for Kosto hahaha). No Backlund. If they traded Backlund for Turris I will be very very upset.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    To me there are some parallels to be drawn between how Turris is attempting in forcing a trade out of Phoenix, and how Erixon successfully removed himself from Calgary. Both used a red herring as an excuse not to sign, in order to force their GM’s hand. In the case of Erixon, he used the his signing expiration date perfectly and ultimately changed the negotiations to his favor by doing so. Turris won’t be able to do anything more than out-wait GM Maloney, so I expect Phoenix will simply sit and wait for the right offer. That brings me to another random thought – Maybe, wandering in the desert with no fans or real ownership worry about appeasing has it’s benefits after all. If that’s true, Kyle Turris might be waiting for a while.

    I wonder if the next CBA will address RFA and rookies holdouts to alleviate this kind of stuff from happening in the future. There was a reason both the NHL and NHLPA agreed to these kinds of movement restrictions, and it may be that they need to tighten things up some more. Maybe RFA’s need some kind of arbitration system as well?

  • Bustmeester

    I’d like the Flames to grab Turris… but only if the price is right (i.e. relatively cheap). I see no reason to break the bank on a guy whose proved very little in the NHL as of yet. Really I’m surprised wen I see Backlunds name floated as a return… in terms of talent that seems like just a lateral move for what would be a more expensive contract. Makes no sense on ths end… maybe Nemisz Plus (depending on what the plus was).

    • icedawg_42

      Neimsz plus a third round pick? I could see that value, but if Turris ever hits his ceiling, then that would have been a rip off…

      The only thing that could work out in favor of making a deal like that would be that Phoenix doesn’t want to take on cap hit….2 assets for an unproven holdout?

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Why would you give up on someone like Nemisz for someone like Turris. In the post where Kent addressed Turris he pointed out how he was BARELY keeping his head above water against other teams bottom trio of forwards (if I remember correctly, I read it a while ago). Kent can you confirm this?

        I am not a huge fan of Nemisz but really, he is unproven and still has that potential he may be able to put it all together and continue to develop. Why would you give up on a guy who has potential and will, at a minimum, at least equal the ceiling of that of Turris but can maybe be so much more? Why would you trade him for someone who has proven AT BEST he MAY be able to get better and play in a third line role. Nemisz can potentially still be a second line RW or very good third liner (i.e. Moss is usually a good comparison).

        To me this line of thinking of giving up anything of marginal value for a guy who has proven nothing other than he was a stupid pick in the top 3 is even more stupid. Take off the blinders and realize this guy had a lot of hype in his draft year but never turned into the player they thought he might become. Now he is only 22 but at 21 Backlund was able to work his way up the depth charts and finished the season at the #1 center; he is expected to resume that position when he returns. Turris will not do anything alike and to boot he also has a bad attitude and feels he is owed something and deserves to be traded or paid a stupid amount of money yet has done NOTHING since entering the NHL other than showing he was a terrible top 3 choice.

        At most I would look at giving away a low 2nd round pick but would look for a 3rd in a strong draft. Lets not give away the farm on some magic beans for a kid who would have stupid pressure on him here; he will fail here too. It’s not Phoenix hurting him, he is hurting himself and playing terribly.

        Honestly, if he can’t work his way up the Phoenix depth chart that should tell you what kind of a player he really is. I appreciate a lot of people have a needless desire to get younger because that is what everyone says we need to do when in reality what we really need to do is just get better; age is a meaningless stat in the present. It is an indicator if the ship is LIKELY rising or sinking but other than that it is not an indicator or how good you will be; dont live for the future, you will sound like an Oiler fan and who really thinks that ship will ever really turn around? I.e. look at Detroit, look at Edmonton, NYI, etc. Which team would you rather have? Giving away proven NHLers or a draft pick with potential really early in his career is stupid and will not make the Flames better. Everyone has a stupid irrational fear of age but it doesnt mean anything.

        Turris is a bust, he should not be here because Stajan is better than him. Unless you can trade Stajan for him for the purposes of offloading salary it is a stupid stupid deal. Phoenix doesnt want salary so it wont happen.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        I’d do that deal… although I’d probably prefer a prospect of equivalent value rather then the third in order to free up another roster slot, Howse for instance. But I wouldn’t let that be a deal-breaker.

  • icedawg_42

    I’d love it if we could offload Stajan straight across for Turris. I still think the jury is out on whether or not he’s a bust. Just to make it clear, I dont really want the Flames to take a run at Turris, but if they did that’s the value I could see making Phoenix take a real look. On Neimsz, frankly he has yet to show he’ll ever be an NHL’er, and I dont really think his ceiling is very high even if he makes it. To me Turris > Neimsz (if we’re talking potential)..
    And throw in a 3rd rounder (who could also very likely never turn into a career NHL’er) or I dont see Phoenix even looking at the deal.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I think Turris would be worth a throw of the dice & I think Brent is saying dont sell the farm to get a kid like this. I dont agree that we dont need to get younger, we do, we need to get younger, faster and more talented and kids that are hungrier than some of the complacent indifferent play we have seen from some of our well paid veterans. A prospect like nemisz & a 2013 3rd rounder would be OK, not this year, we already traded our 2nd rounder & this draft is too strong to not have a 3rd rounder either.

      • icedawg_42

        I’m not saying we dont need to get younger I am saying the average age of a team is a pointless stat. Giving up bona fide NHLers for a roll of the dice on some player who has already shown he will not be anything special in the NHL is stupid. Age does not correlate to results. Instead of focusing on getting younger why dont we focus on getting better?

        Case in point, if you had the choice between Selanne and St Louis or Turris and Tavares, who would you rather on your team? Sure St Louis and Selanne are in the twilight years of their career but even at this point they are more effective than most other NHLers, young and old.

        Age simply doesnt mean anything. Because you get younger doesnt mean you will be better. People need to stop correlating the two. Detroit is the oldest team in the NHL and definitely one of the most consistent. Thomas just carried his team to Stanley Cup victory, won the Conn Smythe and Vezina. He is far from young. Age doesnt mean anything.

        The Flames could use some younger players sure, but really they just need new players who are better. The key here is in order to get a super star you need to draft them. You dont need to give up good NHLers for a 1 in a million shot Turris isnt a bag of $hit. Giving up unknown prospects and draft picks for a player who is a known but not good player is AT BEST a lateral move and I would suspect even less.

        Why would you get rid of Nemisz and Howse. They are in their second and first years of pro respectively. It is way to soon to say they wont make the NHL, and decide we should throw it away for the chance to get a Kyle Wellwood marginal 3rd liner type. Will Nemisz or Howse be more than that? Simply put they may be. It is that prospect that they may be better that means you should hold on to them because at the end of the day you will still end up with a Turris type of player.

        Nemisz will make the NHL. I have no doubt he will at least be a 3/4th line guy. Moss is a good comparison. Moss > Wellwood.

        • xis10ce

          Brent, we are both still on the same page, sort of. Thing is, if I didnt have a Stamkos or Getzlaff, Perry,Ryan, I would take Tavares & Turris over St Louis & Selanne. Thats what is going to make Iggy a timeless gunner. I’m sorry, but the likes of Stajan & even to some extent Tanguay wont get the extra prime years out of Iggy. It’ll be Iggy playing with kids like Baertchi & Tavares that get his juices going again. I agree with you, Nemitz or House would not be the ideal return for a Turris from our point of view. If we can offer a Bourque or Stajan, would that appease you? Problem is, Phoenix is very unlikely buying any salary at this point, so we are looking at maybe taking a chance on a Nemitz or House who arent NHL ready for a kid like Turris that is. Problem is, we need to shed many of these middle veteran contracts & create positions where bringing in a Turris makes sense & he fits in. Bringing him in & playing him on a 4th line would be retarded. My friend, Feaster is very much handcuffed with many D Sutter contracts this year & as much as we talk & get impatient & want something to happen, the fun begins at the trade deadline & next June/July1.

  • icedawg_42

    And I agree abut Turris’ attitude, which is something that the Flames do NOT need. – like I said, that’s just my take on what pieces would need to be in play to make Phoenix take a look at it.

  • icedawg_42

    I think you, and a lot of others, are giving up on our young players VERY quickly. Honestly Howse is in his first year of pro. He looked great in junior, he might turn into something pretty good.

    Nemisz wasnt the best choice but he could be good still. These guys are young, it is way to soon to marginalize either of them to the equivalent value of a 3rd round draft pick.

    • xis10ce

      I’m not really giving up on anyone… I just think that Turris is better then Nemisz. That isn’t to say that Nemisz is “bad” (he’s not) I just don’t put him at the same level as Turris.

      As for Howse… everytime I saw him I thought “really good shot, everything else is average or below”. I overall don’t think he looked great in junior. Not to say that none of his other tools will improve but there is also nothing to say that they won’t stay static and grade out at below NHL quality. He’s got IMO a big bust probability and that makes up for the difference between Turris and Nemisz.

  • icedawg_42

    again – i don’t “want” the Flames to do this, im just placing my personal opinion on the value of that trade. But Neimsz had 33 pts in his only full season of pro, and yes he missed basically the entire last season with injury, so we can’t tell yet what he’s going to be, but watching him at prospects camp and training camp sure didn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings.

  • icedawg_42

    Obviously this is an extremely small sample size but in the first two games this year Nemisz has 2 points and 7 shots. If he keeps up that pace I somehow think everyone might change their tune in regards to how much value he holds…

  • xis10ce

    @ Brent G.

    I don’t disagree with you, but I think where most people are coming from is knowing that statistically the average player reaches his peak at age 27. Then typically they decline from there. Some decline much slower than others and there are outlier years like Iginla last year, but as age increases, productivity typically decreases.

    By the same token statiscally the chances of a coin coming up heads 10 times in a row is unlikely too, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

    That being said, this is why I think everyone jumps on the age bandwagon without necessarily looking carefully at the numbers.

    Detroit is more of an exception too, given that they have the longest current streak of making the post season, at 20 seasons in a row they have been doing something right for a very long time now. They’ve continued to succeed from when they were young till now.

    Also regarding you comment about Thomas, I truely believe that the Goaltender position is probably the most forgiving in terms of age, not to take anything away from the likes of Thomas or even Roloson for that matter.

  • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

    Here’s a crazy idea (and I’m just throwing this out there as a ‘off the charts’ idea’)

    what about a package involving Kiprusoff for Turris?

    Here’s the rationale. As pointed out on this site, Kipper’s play over the 3 out of 4 years really has not been up to the standard of top-flight goalie. He has a relatively high cap hit.I’m not sure what his actual pay-out is this year but his pay out drops significantly over the last 2-3 years of his deal while the cap hit reamins at 5.8 (?, correct me if I’m wrong) million. This sort of contract is could be appealing to a team like Pheonix as it would help them reamin close to the salary floor while saving actual money. Furthur to this point, this team has had success with a prominent goalie in the past, maybe they believe they can bring Kipper’s consistency back and reamin competitive for a playoff spot.

    of course other parts would have to be added to the deal, but Calgary would shed money, acquire a decent prospect.

    am I beaver sh*t crazy? or could something like this actually work?