FN Weekend Open Thread – Construct Your Roster

 

 

With Backlund in the fold, the Flames have 12 forwards on one way contracts plus a few kids and tweeners knocking on the door (Baertschi, Bouma, Horak, Kolanos, etc.). The blueline is full as well, with nine guys couting one way deals plus probable top-six sophomore TJ Brodie. The only question now is whether Leland Irving will be re-signed and if he’ll back-up Kipper instead of Henrik Karlsson.

So absent any kind of trade, this is the club the Flames will go to batlle with once the owners and players decide on a new CBA. Most of the principles that were here at the end of the season are back, aside from Olli Jokinen. The blueline has more offense thanks to Dennis Wideman and there are a few more question marks up front that could go either way (Cervenka, Baertschi). Jiri Hudler slides in the right side instead of David Moss and Matt Stajan still looks like the odd man out.

Here’s how I see things shaping up this season

Tanguay – Cammalleri – Iginla

Glencross – Cervenka – Hudler

Baertschi – Backlund – Stempniak

Jackman – Jones – Comeau

Stajan

Bouwmeester – Giordano

Butler – Wideman

Brodie – Smith

Sarich/Babchuk

Kipper

The issues up front are obvious: there’s a question mark on every line in the top-9. And it doesn’t seem to matter how you re-arrange things, you have at least one guy who isn’t terribly adept at driving play on every unit (Im making an assumption with Baertschi here, as good as a prospect as he is – almost no one is a good all around player in their rookie season).

You can push Baertschi up with Cervenka to create a sort of "shut down" unit with Backs and Glencross, but then you have a second line you’d likely need to feed Sedin-like minutes to in order for them to succeed (and no Malhotra/Kesler lines to soak up the tougher stuff). Anyways, it will be interesting to see how Hartley cobbles together that puzzle.

On the back-end, we may see the destruction of the Butler/Bouwmeester duo with a new boss on the bench and Wideman in the mix. Another question is which of the 5-7 defenders make the nightly roster: Brodie, Smith, Sarich or Babchuk? Brodie is the cheapest and is on a two-way deal, but has the most upside. Babchuk and Sarich are the most expensive and each brings a unique (albeit limited) skillset. Derek Smith is a capable all around depth defender who is mobile and can add some offense here and there.

So have at it gang. How do you see the depth chart lining up?

 

  • Greg

    Kent I think your suggestions are as good as any… The only tweaks I see are the ones you mentioned. There looks to be a bit more talent in the lineup this year, but we sure are going to be an easy team to play against. I don’t think even adding 1 or 2 “grit” guys would fix that.

  • Parallex

    The above line ups look reasonable if we go in with what we have. But, that roster will get us 12-15th. Too small, too slow and just not good enough so here are some scenarios;

    1. Jay tries to make us a bit better with some tinkering.
    cammy-semin-iggy
    tanguay-hudler-cervenka
    sven-backlund-Stemp
    Aliu-Jones-comeau

    Bouw-Wid
    gio-gragnani
    but-brodie
    sarich

    kipper
    irving

    2. Jay rolls the dice and deals Kipper to make us bigger and tougher in part of a package.
    cammy-tang-igg
    hud-cerv-backlund
    sven-bjugstad-stemp
    aliu-jones-comeau

    bouw-wid
    gio-but
    brod-colby robac
    sarich

    theodore
    irv

    3. We trade Bouw in a package to Stl.
    tang-berglund-iggy
    cammy-hud-cerv
    sven-backlund-Stemp
    comeau-jone-Reaves

    gio – wid
    polack-but
    brod-sar

    kipper
    irv

    4. A mix of 2 and 3.
    5. Now, move Iggy as well as Kipper and Bouw and we will be doing what should be done.

    Beat this post up a bit and give some alternatives.

  • Parallex

    Not looking to suck up to you here, but I had the identical roster punched out on my phone when Hudler signed:

    Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla
    Glencross-Cervenka-Hudler
    Bartschi-Backlund-Stempniak 
    Comeau-Jones-Jackman

    Bouwmeester-Giordano
    Butler-Wideman
    Smith-Brodie

    Kiprusoff
    Irving

    Hoping Feaster can find a home for one of Stajan or Babchuk. The other is likely to be an extra I’d figure. I still think the Flames are in need of a shutdown forward, but lines 2&3 seem to balance out well (offense, defense, size combinations) should the line-up remain more or less the same. Cammalleri isn’t an ideal fit as a first line C… I’m hoping Backlund can step up and contribute between Iggy & Tangs, as I feel Cammy is more of a support player and less reliable defensively.

    I would still target Daniel Winnik.

    In terms of the D, I think Bouw + Gio is a true shutdown pairing, and would allow the team to depend less heavily on Butler & Wideman defensively. I guess Sarich is an extra D man. I’m really not a fan of the signing, as I don’t feel he adds anything outside the occasional highlight reel body check. In terms of winning hockey games, Sarich has too many deficiencies. Fingers crossed they don’t trade Bouw. If they do, I’m hoping you get a solid D man in return – Quincey +?

    Fun exercise

  • Greg

    Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla

    – If Cammalleri gets comfortable at C this is a strong offensive line. Just don’t start it is the d-zone.

    Glencross-Cervenka-Hudler

    – I think Baertschi can replace Glencross as soon as he earns the ice time. I don’t know enough about Cervenka but from the sounds of it he is primarily an offensive player so this is again an offensive line.

    Baertschi-Backlund-Stempniak

    – Stempniak was good with the rookies and can hopefully get Backs/Baertschi rolling. All three players have the capacity for 2-way play.

    Bouma-Jones-Comeau

    – I think (hope) they use Jackman as a 13-forward when they need the size. Bouma is a much more functional player. This is actually an adequate shutdown line in addition to giving the Flames size and energy.

    Bouwmeester-Wideman

    – I haven’t like Gio and Bouwmeester together. I would like to see if Bouwmeester can protect Wideman. And in turn Wideman can get Bouwmeester going. I would also like to see Boumeester return to the left side.

    Giordano-Butler

    – I am not a fan of Butler. He is ‘fine’. Which is a ways from being good. I would prefer to see another D here. Perhaps Brodie if he picks up his play. But in absence of a better option Butler and Gio bring up a respectable second pairing.

    Brodie-Sarich

    – It worked okay last season. Hopefully Brodie reaches the next level this season. I can’t see Babchuk making the roster with Wideman, Bouwmeester, Brodie, and Giordano locks for the PP. No point in having a PP specialist with no PP time. Smith makes a good 7D. He has enough experience not to be overly effected by a lack of playing time. But he isn’t better then anyone on the team except perhaps Sarich, and they need Sarich for his size. Though Smith may rotate in for teams that will expose Sarich’s lack of wheels.

    Kipper-Irving

    – I think it is possible they acquire a vet if they don’t have faith in Irving to win 10 of 20 games. But right now it is Irving’s spot to lose.