POST-GAME: All Good Things are Wild and Free!

 

They say at the moment when death is imminent there is a sort of calm that comes over the mind, that is liberating and can be described as uninhibeted  freedom.

One has to wonder how enraged Flames fans were tonight, even though the outcome was expected. What would be even more interesting is how it long it took those same fans to experience that numbness, or that wave of liberation as to what exactly is left for this team and where exactly they are going.

Justin titled the FGD: Choose Your Own Path, and I suspect he was making more reference to the fanbase than the team itself. The Flames seem stuck in a path that they can no longer determine, they no longer have that freedom, rather they are on the wild run… kind of like a runaway train?

If you’re still reading this, then let’s see how it all played out…

The Rundown

I don’t think anyone should have been surprised that the Flames came out in this one looking extremely tentative tonight. For the first half of the period, they seemed to be afraid to take any chances in fear that it might cost them on the scoreboard.

Instead, they would play it safe, trying to make the perfect pass which in turn cost them valuable scoring chances because they held the puck far too long. They were fortunate to get their first scoring chance just 17 seconds into the game and then wouldn’t see another for ten minutes.

A pretty low event period that almost got interesting when Bouwmeester walked into a slap shot from the blueline, that didn’t quite find its way into the net. Almost though.. almost.

When you don’t make things happen, things happen against you; and tonight would be no different. At 16:56, Jared Boll (*sigh*) would wire that sniper like slap shot that he is oh so known for, over the shoulder of a helpless Miikka Kiprusoff. In his defense though, he probably wasn’t expecting TJ Brodie to cough up the puck in front of him, or for his teammates to sit and watch as, yes, Jared Boll put the Jackets up 1-0.

The Flames edged Columbus 3-2 in scoring chances, but in fairness both of the Jackets chances were higher in quality than any of Calgary’s. Calgary went 65% in the faceoff circle and still got out-shot 9-7, but that’s what happens when you are tentative and are looking for the "perfect" play all the time.

Not sure what was said in the dressing room during the intermission, or who did the talking, but someone needed to respond in the second period.

When you need someone to answer the bell, you rarely have to look past Curtis Glencross. Undoubtedly, Calgary’s best line once again to the reins of leadership with Stempniak  doing the majority of the work and Glenx doing what #Scorface does best… pumping up that shooting percentage.

For the next 11 minutes, the Flames would bask in the glow that was their tying feat. And then reality would have them come crashing down harder than Jared Boll running Kiprusoff for the third time of the night.

Over the course of a a minute and fifteen seconds, starting at the 13:05 mark, Columbus would put three consecutively passed Kipper, stomping on the hearts and most likely any hope that was held by any Flames fan out there.

The start of the third wasn’t pretty as the team came out looking like they were short-handed. Let’s face it the team’s play at even strength has seemed short-handed at the best of times. If the 3 goals in 1:15 wasn’t enough, Kipprusoff looked absolutely shell-shocked after the opening five minutes.

It would take nothing short of a Herculean feat to dig themselves out of this one. Since the Hockey Gods are clearly not behind the Flames, there would be no Herculean anything….

I took an intermission of my own until I was snapped back to consciousness when Colton Gillies extended the deficit to four. At this point, the clock couldn’t run out fast enough….

Why the Flames Lost…

I’m not sure how many different ways we can go over this. Night after night, game after game, it’s the same old song and dance.

 

Red Warrior

Tonight I am proud to say we are bringing back the "Red Warrior". It’s just too bad that for the second night in a row., no one really deserves it.

However, given that we are bringing back the warrior honours, I can’t let it debut with no one.

So I’m going with Curtis Glencross tonight. He got the Flames only goal and has been the one guy on this team that has much of anything left to offer.

Now unlike an earlier misconception that was blatantly taken out of context on twitter earlier today, I am not saying that anyone on this team doesn’t care or isn’t just as troubled about the losses piling up faster than PETA can protest the latest videogame. What I am saying is that night in and night out, Curtis has come to play for this team.

For the past month.. hell, for the past 4 years, fans have taken their turns at throwing pot-shots at various players on the team; from Iginla right down to Kiprusoff. The one name I can honestly say I’ve never seen thrown around when it comes to effort, is Glencross.

For that reason, and twitter be damned… Tonight’s Red Warrior is Curtis Glencross.

Scoring Chances

Flames chances:

BJs chances:

 

Scoring Chance Summary

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 19:27 Iginla shot 10 16 22 7 51 72 10 24 12 5 26 34 5v5
Away 1 10:07 Bouwmeester one-timer 42 13 11 7 51 72 18 22 20 4 7 34 5v5
Home 1 6:37 Anisimov slot 42 13 11 7 51 72 18 15 22 5 26 34 5v5
Home 1 3:04 Boll goal 42 13 11 6 47 72 13 17 40 5 26 34 5v5
Away 1 0:17 Cervenka shot (PP) 18 13 6 33 72   10 20 40 4 7 34 4v5
Home 2 19:14 Johnson shot 18 19 71 7 51 72 10 24 12 4 26 34 5v5
Away 2 15:37 Glencross goal 9 24 13 6 47 72 18 22 20 4 7 34 5v5
Away 2 14:16 Cammalleri slot 18 19 71 20 33 72 13 17 40 5 26 34 5v5
Away 2 14:08 Iginla in close 18 19 71 20 33 72 12 13 40 4 7 34 5v5
Away 2 12:16 Cammalleri shot 9 24 40 7 51 72 13 17 40 5 26 34 5v5
Home 2 11:45 scramble 42 13 11 20 33 72 18 22 20 4 7 34 5v5
Home 2 9:13 slot shot 10 16 22 6 47 72 13 17 40 5 26 34 5v5
Away 2 7:24 Begin post 9 24 40 6 47 72 15 16 25 6 27 34 5v5
Home 2 6:55 Foligno goal 18 19 71 7 51 72 13 17 40 5 26 34 5v5
Home 2 6:05 Foligno slot goal 18 19 71 7 51 72 13 17 40 5 26 34 5v5
Home 2 5:41 Anisimov goal 42 13 11 20 33 72 18 22 20 4 7 34 5v5
Home 2 3:44 Johnson high slot (PP) 16 18 71 7 51 72 20 40 4 5 34   5v4
Away 2 1:08 Cervenka in close 9 24 40 6 47 72 10 24 12 4 7 34 5v5
Home 3 19:16 Brassard (PP) 16 18 71 7 51 72 18 22 4 26 34   5v4
Home 3 17:02 Atkinson in close 10 13 11 7 51 72 10 24 12 4 26 34 5v5
Away 3 16:00 Cammalleri high slot 9 24 40 6 47 72 13 17 40 5 7 34 5v5
Away 3 9:14 Cervenka slot 18 19 71 20 33 72 10 24 12 4 7 34 5v5
Home 3 8:33 Calvert drive 42 13 11 6 47 72 18 22 20 4 7 34 5v5
Home 3 6:46 Gillies goal 10 16 22 20 33 72 13 17 40 4 7 34 5v5
Away 3 4:37 Jackman drive 9 24 40 6 47 72 15 16 25 6 27 34 5v5
Home 3 1:56 Johnson shot 18 19 71 7 51 72 15 16 25 7 26 34 5v5
Away 3 1:13 Wideman (PP) 10 42 7 51 72   10 24 12 5 26 34 4v5

 

Blue Jackets Player Summary

# Player EV     PP     SH    
6 NIKITIN, NIKITA 17:33 3 5 02:18 0 0 00:56 0 1
7 JOHNSON, JACK 14:40 6 3 05:53 2 0 02:26 0 1
9 GILLIES, COLTON 12:00 0 6 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
10 LETESTU, MARK 15:29 3 1 00:11 0 0 02:06 0 1
11 CALVERT, MATT 11:01 6 1 00:00 0 0 00:16 0 0
13 ATKINSON, CAM 11:25 6 2 00:01 0 0 00:44 0 1
16 BRASSARD, DERICK 12:06 2 1 04:45 2 0 00:00 0 0
18 UMBERGER, RJ 12:38 4 3 04:31 2 0 00:44 0 1
19 JOHANSEN, RYAN 12:49 4 3 03:22 0 0 00:12 0 0
20 ERIXON, TIM 15:51 3 3 01:55 0 0 00:00 0 0
22 PROSPAL, VINNY 13:03 2 1 03:29 0 0 00:00 0 0
24 MACKENZIE, DEREK 12:19 0 6 00:00 0 0 00:42 0 0
33 AUCOIN, ADRIAN 17:53 3 3 00:00 0 0 00:50 0 1
40 BOLL, JARED 11:34 0 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
42 ANISIMOV, ARTEM 08:48 5 1 02:53 0 0 02:00 0 1
47 PROUT, DALTON 17:25 3 5 00:17 0 0 00:06 0 0
51 TYUTIN, FEDOR 13:54 6 3 05:37 2 0 02:26 0 1
71 FOLIGNO, NICK 12:42 4 3 04:48 2 0 00:00 0 0
72 BOBROVSKY, SERGEI   12 11   2 0   0 2

Flames Scoring Summary

# Player EV     PP     SH    
4 BOUWMEESTER, JAY 16:37 5 6 00:58 1 0 06:18 0 2
5 GIORDANO, MARK 18:49 4 5 02:13 1 0 04:34 0 1
6 SARICH, CORY 12:19 2 0 00:00 0 0 00:43 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 16:00 6 5 01:09 1 0 01:33 0 0
10 CERVENKA, ROMAN 14:51 3 2 02:21 2 0 00:00 0 0
12 IGINLA, JAROME 14:45 4 2 02:13 1 0 00:00 0 0
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 13:51 4 5 01:01 0 0 00:00 0 0
15 JACKMAN, TIM 08:37 2 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 08:44 2 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 COMEAU, BLAKE 13:50 3 5 00:19 0 0 02:06 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 11:51 2 4 00:00 0 0 02:47 0 1
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 10:21 2 3 00:50 1 0 03:22 0 1
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 12:03 2 4 00:00 0 0 02:40 0 1
24 HUDLER, JIRI 15:07 3 2 02:13 1 0 00:00 0 0
25 BEGIN, STEVE 07:50 2 1 00:00 0 0 01:51 0 0
26 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 20:35 3 8 02:24 1 0 02:52 0 1
27 SMITH, DEREK 13:17 2 0 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
34 KIPRUSOFF, MIIKKA   11 12   2 0   0 2
40 TANGUAY, ALEX 13:46 4 5 01:09 1 0 03:14 0 1

 

Blue Jackets Period Summary Scoring Chances

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 2 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 7 6 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 5 4 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Flames Period Summary Scoring Chances

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 6 7 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 4 5 3 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

 

Sum It Up

I’m going to keep this one short tonight. Here is the hard facts of reality.

The biggest thing that plagues this organization is probably the hardest slap in it’s face. This team just isn’t good. It’s not that it’s not as good as they thought, they just aren’t good… period.

When the Flames are fortunate to catch a tired team that is is forced to play their back-ups on the second night of back-to-backs, they still have to be at their best and have a mistake free night to maybe pull out the "big win". However if the Calgary Flames are unfortunate enough to face a team, any team, that has it together and is on their game, then they just don’t have a chance.

That might be tough to hear, but I’m sure it’s even tougher for the boys to come to realize. But like I said before once the wildness of that realization comes to pass, there will be that relief, that calmness, that freedom to finally focus on what they need to do.

It’s not going to be a fun plane ride home, but at least they are going home. There is no doubt now, that for Murray, Ken and Jay.. it’s decision time.

Flames next opponent will be the St. Louis Blues on Sunday at 6:00 pm. Catch the game on SNET-W and the Fan 960.



  • Brent G.

    Decision time? I can see nothing happening, and “the return not being sufficient” being the excuse. Maybe its time for some reflection into what players on a 28th place team are really worth.

  • Colin.S

    I bet we here the same BS from management about how we can still go for it and that season ticket renewal was at 98% so KK is doing a great job and nothing needs to change…..

    I really hope that this season some how gets some sense knocked into them and make some serious changes, not just these rotating pieces they keep trying to add.

  • Chris Fairfield

    A lot of weird feelings about last night. On the one hand I hate seeing the team I have loved since they moved here hit this low. It’s really a scary dejavu of the young guns era. Now that was bad hockey & just no hope in sight. The dollar was bad, economy rough & I had to maintain my Season Tickets to a crap product to do my part so we still had a hockey team. The dollar & economy dictated the downfall of this team. 2004 was like being dipped in holy water. The dollar has been good, the Alberta economy rock solid, no worries about a hockey franchise in Canada. The downfall has been we blindly followed management who gave us that spiritual spring right back to the burning pits of Hades. The pillars of that hope for the last almost 10 years are no more. It’s a sad feeling to see the end of an era that started so good. On the other hand I’m excited, we saw where this path was going for awhile and now I have to agree, this whole Iginla saga is now tiresome and is having an impact on the whole team. Its wrong on so many levels, its wrong management dont work out a deal to move him sooner than later, its wrong to put 1 player above the team & if the decision is Iggy’s & we are waiting for his “decision”, Iggy for the love of Mike what are you waiting for. Move on & go win your Cup. It certainly wont be here next year & the window for the next 3 years is closed tight. That takes you to about the end of your career. My only excitement falls in the hope that everyone does the right thing & the fact the Cap has given the NHL as much parity as you could possibly hope for. Spending wisely and good hockey moves can shorten the time of suffering quicker than ever. We dont have to have that hopeless feeling of the young gun era. Now we must move on & find a new spring of holy water.

    • Mullen Mania

      Well put! The one difference this time from the Young Guns Era is that Ownership has shown the willingness and ability to spend money. Hopefully this indicates they want to win (but seemingly don’t know how). I pray we see a change in direction. This will not be a one year bounce back IMO, but if good decisions are made the hockey will be competitive and exciting sooner than later. All moves need to be made with the future in mind and improving the lineup even if takes three years before it comes together as a competitive team, put pieces in place that give it a chance to become a contender. Continuing to spin our wheels has taken us through this slow decline and a sad end to an era. Time to embrace the future!

  • Chris Fairfield

    If Kent is still reading through this post, an idea for a future article. A lot has been made of the Flames woes because of poor drafting and not drafting enough. I’m curious if this holds true in that if we held onto all those draft picks we traded/lost what would those draft picks become(plus or minus 10 picks or so, like who could we have drafted in the the 10 picks above or below where we should have drafted) and would those draft picks become NHLers?

    Like if we held onto all the players we drafted or signed as Free agents, we could have Fowler, Phanuef, Giordano and Brodie on D right now.

    • supra steve

      That’s a real tough assignment. Looking at all players available at the #14 pick in 2012, how could you possibly predict who the Flames would have taken, had they actually made that pick? Some players that they may have taken will turn out great, others will not be NHLers. Perhaps, they would have taken Janko even at 14th. What if Janko had been taken at #20 by PHI? Who would the Flames have then taken 21st? Same deal with past draft picks, there are always some players that fall through the cracks, and occasionally you land one (eg. Theo, G Suter, maybe Gaudreau). Looking back at what you could have had is just asking for a lot of pain.

      • Matty Franchise Jr

        It may be a tough assignment, but I’m sure Kent could handle it, look at the team that he covers, writing that article couldn’t be much harder than watching the last 3 flames games.

        Also yeah it’s a little hard with maybe the first round pick that got traded(trade to PHX or the trade down), but still you can look at guys at where we were suppose to pick(or above and below) and give some analysis of what our current roster had the potential to look like if we didn’t consistently give those picks away for mediocre rental players.

        Like for example, the reason I bring it up, is that the Oilers just signed Travis Ewanyk I believe, I think Kent mentioned it on twitter and I was curious who that was, turns out its the guy that the Oilers drafted with our third round pick in the Steve Staois trade. Is that guy suddenly going to make the Oilers a playoff team, no, but still it’s interesting.

    • Greg

      I agree, I’d like to read that if it were offered.

      Also, I’d like to see some analysis on where the flames would be right now if they had even average goaltending this season. Still not great I’m sure, but I gotta think there’d be 3-5 more wins and we’d be in a playoff spot. Still want to see Iggy set free, but I don’t think this team is as terrible as it looks and I wouldn’t go nuclear on the rebuild. Yet.

  • Old Soldier

    You are a homebuyer, and you decided to buy a house in a very limited market. The only house available has had an interesting history but the last two decades havent been kind. The previous owners have tried a littany of “quick fixes”, new paint, new carpet, some tile here and there, but the cracks and rot that the paint, carpet and tile were hiding are growing and can no longer be hidden by “cosmetic” changes. You buy the house, knowing it needs some “fixing up” so what is the logical thing to do?

    Take out a second mortgage, call Holmes on Homes and strip it to the original frame and rebuild.

    Common sense.

    So with the state of the Flames for almost that long, why is everyone looking at trades and free agents…..those have been done.

    The place to look. Your own roster. 3, count them, 3 home grown drafted Flames players have played for the Flames this year, and that is including Baerschti. As a comparison, the Oilers have had 15 different draft picks play part or all of the season with the big club.

    Chicago has had 12 of their draft picks play with the club this year.

    Pittsburgh has had 13 of their draft picks play with the club this year.

    To me, an outsider, this is the whole root of the problem and the reason why it cant be a quick fix.

    I know that Flames fans like to hype their picks (Johnny hockey et al) but they are still rated 28th by THN and 29th by HockeyProspectus.

    Fire every scout you have. Go and plunder other clubs and overpay for their best scouts (not their old free agents). Start using your picks wisely, and building a foundation of talent in all positions.

    Hire a pro scout to watch each and every AHL team and try to steal under the radar players from other teams in minor league deals.

    This is just a dumb old soldier talking, and I know it wont happen, which is a shame, because I may have grown up a Oiler fan, I am also a BOA fan and I was posted in Calgary for 10 years and force fed the Flames in the 80’s and 90’s and learned not to “hate” them too much.

    Good Luck Flames.

    • the forgotten man

      Fully Agree and a topic that I have been harping on for the last 3 years.
      The is no salary cap on the scouting department or upper management. Napalm the entire Flames Scouting Dept. In all honesty what have they really reaped…can it get any more incompetent?
      The Flames are a Cap Team and what is there to show for it? Is there a more incompetent, heartless group in all of pro sports that is a cap ceiling team? 3 random bloggers from this site could get as much or more production from an NHL roster if given a 60+million dollar budget…napalm the entire upper management team.
      Seriously, the group in place has led us to today, it is absolute madness to think that they are going to get us out of it. If the Flames Ownership Group has even an ounce of integrity then pink slips should be flowing at the Dome this coming offseason…anything less is a middle finger salute to the fan base and more importantly the season ticket holders.

    • Harry Crack

      Excellent points . An old adage goes that if your Farm system is weak , your Team is waiting to be weak. We are still feeling the effects of Duhryl’s extreme incompetence as a GM. Awesome coach , horrific executive.

  • Derzie

    John Davidson was available in the summer. Calgary ignored the slam dunk opportunity. He went to Columbus. Only appropriate that the Jackets drive the nail in our coffin on their rise back to respectability. Nobody from Edwards on down deserves to stay in their position to guide the Flames back to the light. We missed a big chance this summer.

  • Chris Fairfield

    The time is now. Iginla, Kiprusoff, Tanguay, Cammalleri, See what we can get for bums like Butler and Smith, demote or release MacBackup and bring up Danny Taylor. When Iginla was on the bench during the 2nd and they were down 4-1 after the 75 second barrage, Iginla was smiling and talking to Glencross, 5 seconds later he was seated beside Jackman and the smile was erased. For the good GM, changes would have and should have already been made, but for this organization, it is will be more pain and frustration, and, no moves, it is well past the point of any shakeups. I can’t even get angry anymore because these results are expected.

  • Brent G.

    I hope but fear I don’t see them doing anything of consequence. I just have no faith in this team doing what is right and necessary and will blame injuries or some redundant excuse to not make changes. Honestly Iggy needs to go regardless of return for his sake and the Flames. Nothing can happen until he moves on.

    • Hitch_27

      This is what it is. We’ve all seen it coming and hoped it wouldn’t, but it has, alas, the team sucks.
      Burn it to the ground? Maybe, but you have to be careful what you wish for.
      The Flames will draft who they draft, (check out 2003) sign who they sign or trade who they trade, like it or not. We have no say in that.So what can we do?Seasons tickets holders: Complain, non renew

  • RexLibris

    Elliot Friedman in an interview on 1260 today speculated that the trade negotiations for Iginla have begun, but that all parties involved are doing their best to keep things quiet.

    —-

    So then, here is the $64,000 question – do fans believe that the Flames can have one bad year, draft high, and then rebound like the Senators, Flyers and Canadiens?

    Or, do some believe that the team is lacking in virtually every category of core player and that the only way to address these issues are by committing to an organizational overhaul?

    My two cents? If Feaster or King in their interviews or conversations with fans start to bring up the prospect of a quick rebound, call them on it, because they are grossly incorrect.

    • T&A4Flames

      Depending on who goes and the return, yea, I believe they can rebound. The west is more difficult to contend in so it will be harder than OTT & PHI, IMO. I think that there is enough vets still and leadership if Iggy goes. A bit of luck and some savvy moves, we can at least battle for 8th still. At least it should be with a younger group with some hope for the future.

      • RexLibris

        They have been exposed this season for having extremely poor goaltending and a severe lack of NHL centers.

        What assets do you see them bringing in this off-season to offset those deficiencies to the extent that they could climb overtop of the seven or eight teams currently ahead of them in the standings?

        Ottawa had Spezza, Alfredsson, Karlsson, Anderson and a host of other prospects upon which to draw for their quick rebound. The Flyers had a group of forwards like Carter, Richards, Giroux, and a solid defensive corps to dress.

        As Kent has said before, the Flames need everything. I don’t see how they could possibly go back to a playoff borderline team in a single season given the obstacles ahead of them and the kinds of purchases that are required.

        I will be very interested to see what Feaster does (if he is still around) this summer. This was his roster that bottomed out, does he have the competence to fix his own mistakes?

        • T&A4Flames

          Honestly Rex, I think a change in the on ice leadership would do a lot, and that isn’t a shot at Iggy or Kipper etc. they have carried this team for so long and they look tired and as they go so goes the team. Its like cleaning out that basement that you’ve stared at for months and it wears on you unknowingly. Then one day you go to town on it and at the end you feel like a weights been lifted from you. Trades for those 2 will invigorate as much into the team as it will for Iggy and Kipper. I’m sure, like the Oilers when they traded Smyth, it will be a sting, but I think we retain enough vets to push through the next year. I don’t think EDM had that.

          A for what assets may help, I said it before, luck will play a big part. I’ve toyed with the trade proposals, mostly to the high end, not realistic possibilities, but you never know, especially in such a strange season. Add a decent UFA or 2 in the summer and we are ok. If Ramo is the real deal, that will go a LONG way.

          I didn’t say we would be fighting for the cup, just that we could realistically battle for the 8th spot again but with a younger, more enthusiastic group. A group that includes players that have a lot of room for growth.

          • Chris Fairfield

            I think Ramo will be the real deal as he has expressed a willingness to get another shot and has something to prove , is young and if we can swing the Iginla for Bernier deal, that would be a pretty good 1-2 punch for next year.

          • RexLibris

            That is a fair point. I’m not sold that leadership is entirely to blame, but heaven knows that it has been an Achilles’ Heel for the roster since the Darryl Sutter coaching days.

            One thing I should point out though, right after the Oilers traded Smyth they went something like 2-19 over the remainder of the season, tanking all the way down to 25th overall and just missing out on the draft slot that won the Patrick Kane lottery.

            I would not be the least bit surprised if the Flames had a bit of a resurgence once Iginla was dealt. As you say, there may now be a significant weight lifted off their collective shoulders.

            I think Ramo has to be the real deal for the club to survive next season. Even at that, the defense would need to improve significantly as well, especially if they subtract Bouwmeester this season or summer.

          • the forgotten man

            Is that really what anyone wants? Getting back quickly to being a perennial bubble team?? I’d way rather take a few years to rebuild properly and shoot to win a cup and be a powerhouse. But for some reason most fans are hellbent on a quick retool and getting back to being a team that is good but not great, struggling to get into the dance each year and then praying for lightning in a bottle…. Sigh

            St. Louis, Chicago, LA – the powerhouses of the west took many years of methodical piece by piece building thy started with elite high draft picks.

            Like Rex pointed out, trying to say you are going to do an Ottawa or Montreal retool is completely flawed. These teams had ELITE talent in place already (price, subban, Karlsson, spezza, Anderson). They weren’t retooling with an empty cupboard from ground zero.

            Toronto is probably a good example of trying to quickly rebuild. Now they are an average team, fighting for a playoff spot who are going to get run over by Pittsburgh and their team of superstars thy was built slowly from 2002-2007

            It seems like that’s why fans want… Personally I am willing to endure 2-3 years of pain so the Oilers don’t run our show for the next decade.

          • RexLibris

            As a quick note, when the Oilers started their rebuild Lowe was asked how long he thought it might take. He suggested somewhere between 5 and 7 years from the bottom to the “finished product” that would hopefully sit at or near the top of the Western Conference.

            The Flames are likely to take at least three years. I’d wager five.

          • Harry Crack

            The Oilers are on schedule. They will be a Force for the next 7-8 years. How are we gonna be a force if we never start actually reconstructing? Do we want to be Chicago or Pittsburgh , or Edmonton ( all full rebuilds) or just be perennial “just abouts”?

          • RexLibris

            The Oilers are still facing some very serious roster problems. The defence, top 4/5 of 6, and goaltending are coming along, but they need size and some stronger supporting players. Okay, any supporting players.

            They have options internally, but years away.

            As for the Flames, agreed. But most fans seem to vehemently deny its necessity. It is fine to cite the ability of other teams’ management groups as evidence that smart, long-term trades are a possible, but for this management group?

            I’m not even certain that the scouting and development departments are necessarily up to the task of a successful rebuild. You have to hit not just on your 1st, but your 2nd, 3rd and so on down the line. The loss of the Flames’ 2nd this year is really going to hurt that process.

          • Harry Crack

            I hear you 100 percent Rex !! Based on what past performance are we as Flames Lemmings supposed to believe that anyone in the Flames Scouting chain can handle the true and imminent nature of their task now ??? GM Duhryl put zero value on “planting the garden” how the heck should we expect fruit now ?

          • RexLibris

            It began with ownership (Katz) in December of 2009. Tambellini used the term, and began some of the contract moves in January of 2010.

            Player trades like Grebeshkov and Staios for picks were the signals. Vishnovsky was traded out for Whitney and a pick, getting younger and cheaper. So on and so forth.

            I wrote a recap of the rebuild last year: http://oilersnation.com/2012/9/12/on-rebuilding-part-nine-the-edmonton-oilers

            If you want to get an idea of the factors that had to go into a perennial also-ran team trying everything just to make itself relevant finally realizing that they needed to do something different, then this is probably a good source.

            So from approximately midway through the 2009-2010 season to today, we have essentially four years.

            In year four of the most traditional rebuilds (Pittsburgh, Chicago, etx) you generally have a small improvement in the standings, an improvement in special teams or defensive awareness with a corresponding improvement in goal differential, and the clear establishment of the new core in place of the veterans.

            The Oilers are lagging in their defensive development and goal differential this season, and to some extent their place in the standings, although this season is hardly a fair barometer in that regard. The rest of the process is coming along more or less as I would expect for a team facing their shortcomings.

            The next stages are crucial and often separate the teams that succeed in rebuilding and those that are mired in perpetual losing.

          • RedMan

            2 to 3 years of pain? so you are a proponent of retooling on the fly with tinkering? because, if the Flames sell off their six best (i.e. complete rebuild) then i am pretty sure you can expect a lot more then three years of ‘pain’. for evidence, just look at the joke up north! what are they at, 8 years of ‘pain’ and counting?

          • Danger

            Much like us Edmonton was in denial and not rebuilding for a few years of suck… So their rebuild started in 2009 making this the third year. Taylor hall was the year they traded away all vets and brought in transition players to fill in for a few years while they build.

            You can’t say its 8 years, otherwise you’d have to say our rebuild is already 4 years in.

            I predict next year the oilers are decent/good. So that’s 3 years of pure a$$ followed by 2 years of playoff bubbling followed by powerhouse for 5 years. Oilers are on track. If we start now we can be where they are now in 3 years.

          • Danger

            Much like us Edmonton was in denial and not rebuilding for a few years of suck… So their rebuild started in 2009 making this the third year. Taylor hall was the year they traded away all vets and brought in transition players to fill in for a few years while they build.

            You can’t say its 8 years, otherwise you’d have to say our rebuild is already 4 years in.

            I predict next year the oilers are decent/good. So that’s 3 years of pure a$$ followed by 2 years of playoff bubbling followed by powerhouse for 5 years. Oilers are on track. If we start now we can be where they are now in 3 years.

          • RexLibris

            Sorry to interrupt, but the Oilers didn’t really trade away a great number of veterans. Simply put, they didn’t have many left who were worth anything.

            This is partially why many Oilers fans have been saying that the Flames could have sped up the process by beginning it a year ago when Iginla and Kiprusoff had greater market value.

            I would suggest that 2013 marks Year One for the Flames – with the provision that this depends on Feaster’s, King’s, and Edwards’ next moves. If they try to pull a quick turnaround, we may need to re-evaluate.

          • RexLibris

            Ok we’ll I’m not totally up to speed on oiler stuff (I try not to!). But my point stands that their rebuild isn’t dragging on for 8 years like Flame fans like to proclaim. So many around here point up north and laugh and say its taking 6-7+ years. But they didn’t really start a planned rebuild that long ago.

            It’s very much like us. We will miss for 4 years now. So do we say we are 4 years into a rebuild now??? No that’s ridiculous.

            I’m so tired of fans here pointing up north and saying how long it’s taking and that its not working as an excuse to not do this proper. This is a pivotal point in flames history and if we just do a half a$$ed job because we don’t have the guts to endure a few years of pain, or use false facts about other teams like the Oilers then we will change just enough to get back to being a perennial bubble team for eternity.

            Personally I don’t think I can take it… I’m so tired of mediocrity. At least in the past we could laugh at the Oilers. Now they are gonna start mocking us and its gonna suck. Lets fix this right.

          • RexLibris

            Getting the fan narrative right in the beginning is important.

            Fans in Edmonton knew when things really began, and it drove me insane how those outside would say that the team has been rebuilding for ten years.

            You don’t rebuild a team by offer sheeting Dustin Penner, or trying to trade for Dany Heatley, or giving Marian Hossa a 10-year contract offer.

            That is what teams do when they are in denial, and a good portion of that was due to the ownership issues with the Oilers at the time.

            The EIG saved the Oilers. They deserve more credit than they may ever receive, but financial restrictions caused a kind of incipient short-sightedness that became habitual.

            The end result was that Robbie Schremp, Taylor Chorney and Robert Nilsson were considered some of their best prospects.

            Not a good place to be.

            The Flames rebuild may start this April. Depending on what their management does by way of trade. If they prioritize the draft and publicly acknowledge that they need to take some time to straighten things out, then set the clocks.

            If not, if they purport to be able to quickly set things right with a few deft moves and signings here and there…

            If they couldn’t trade well or sign high-end free-agents before, why on earth would they be able to do it now?

          • RexLibris

            Agree completely Rex. My big fear is that mgmt/ownership will try the Toronto style fast track rebuild. That’s for sure the overwhelming sense I get from fans. People have given in to the reality of rebuilding but want to do it fast and with very little pain. Some people are talking about doing it smart and being back in the playoff hunt NEXT year… Sigh.

            For some reason we seem to fear an Oilers rebuild like the plague…. Maybe I’m more supportive of a deep/proper rebuild because I have a lot of Oiler buddies. I have witnessed their emotional response firsthand. Before Taylor hall they were beat down and dead (like us now). The past few years, of scorched earth rebuild have been laughable to us outsiders. But my Oiler buddies are jacked. Sometimes frustrated yes, but generally so excited and hopeful. I want that hope. I think we will be surprised with how exciting it is to cheer for Jonathan druin or Nate McKinnon instead of some old declining veterans.

          • RexLibris

            Curious Rex, if the Oiler rebuild technically start in 2009-10, what players do they have today & be considered part of the new team moving forward? I think Horcoff, Hemsky, Gagner, Whitney, not sure who else. There were really no high end assets to trade to jump start it quicker. Saying this because we are seeing the Flames at the same crossroads as the Oilers. So if we consider a major rebuild for the Flames, how does that compare to the Oilers witht he pieces to start with & the pieces to kickstart it with. The players to be part of the future, & I do caveat this as being a very debatable list amongst Flame fans, would be Sven, Brodie, Backlund, Gio(I think we have to keep him), Glenx(I think he should be our next Captain), Ramo, Hudler, Wideman. I almost think we can include Gaudreau on this list because I truly think next to Sven, he is our #2 best prospect coming up & will be playing on the Flames within the next year or 2.

            So at last I come to my point. Not only do I feel we have a few more pieces moving forward than the Oilers did, but look at we have for the kickstart as compared to what the Oilers did: Iggy, JBO, Kipper, Cammi, Stemps, Cerevenka(I think he can be worth a 2nd or 3rd rounder to a team like Ottawa or Dallas).
            Now I dont want to get into returns because thats when we turn from beer drinking buddies to throwing beer at each other. But I do feel there are at least 2 & maybe 3 1st rounders coming out of that, in an excellent draft. I think in 2 years this team can make improvements & 3 years challenge for playoffs/bubble again, except we will be young & full of potential. Now of course this is predicated on smart drafting & trade decisions by hockey people. I still dont understand people people bashing our drafting these last few years. We had the most representation the Flames have had in years at the last World Jr’s & we have some decent kids all with a shot of becoming solid NHL’s. Jankowski is questionable but I am satisfied about our drafting moving forward. The thing Feaster scares the hell out of me is how well he can extract overpayments out of the above list & quit signing stupid pidly contracts. The Sarich, Babchuk deals add up to a very solid 3-4 dman or a top 6 forward. Depth dmen, for what??? Nothing a Breen or Carson couldnt do.

          • RexLibris

            “There were really no high end assets to trade to jump start it quicker.”

            I’ve been saying this since the Flames rebuild argument began. The Flames have or had assets the Oilers did not.

            Oilers veterans who are in the picture at the time of the rebuild were Gagner, Smid, Hemsky and Horcoff.

            The Flames veterans who get grandfathered into a new roster, in my view, are Glencross, Giordano, Hudler, Tanguay, Backlund and Stajan. Glencross will probably need to be traded further down the road. You’ll need a Glencross in four years’ time, but in four years’ time that player won’t be Glencross. Best to use him when you need him and sell high before his value crashes (Kiprusoff as an example). Tanguay has limited value and the team that provides the most for right now are the Flames. Same with Stajan and Hudler. Those three are the line you roll out to face the murderer’s row of opposition. They’re older and can handle it, the ice time won’t cost them any developmental lessons, and it provides breathing room for any younger players.

            Baertschi needs to spend an entire season in the AHL. Don’t rush him. Fill his roster spot with a half-way decent UFA (LW version of Stempniak, for instance).

            Same with Gaudreau. Let him finish his college career. I wouldn’t put on the Flames roster for four years. The AHL roster in three years, perhaps. You have everything to gain by letting them mature slowly, and everything to lose by rushing them.

            “Now I dont want to get into returns because thats when we turn from beer drinking buddies to throwing beer at each other” lol, agreed!

            I don’t think that any team will be willing to forfeit their 1st or even 2nd in this year’s draft to the extent you mention.

            Let me put it this way: when the last CBA was ratified with the salary cap, the successful teams were those that prioritized the draft and understood the value of a continual pipeline of talent.

            Fast forward eight years and those same lessons apply with recent history being a very persuasive tutor for the slow kids at the back of the class (Leafs, Oilers, etc). With the cap set to drop next year, I don’t see why it would be in any other team’s interest to give up those picks, especially for this draft year.

            A savvy GM would negotiate higher draft assets by offsetting the term: delay the year involved in exchange for a move up.

            This brings us very close to discussing returns, which we’ve agreed is verboten, so I’ll move on to Feaster and his habits.

            He seems to prefer to create complex packages in the belief that diversifying the return protects against the risk of a failed trade. Think of the Cammaleri deal, for example. Including the 2nd got back Ramo. Not a bad exchange, but I suspect that if one were to break the deal down into it’s component parts, Cammalleri for Bourque straight across would have been possible. And Ramo for a 3rd round pick, or lower, is probably closer to market value at the time. Remember, Lindback went for a 2nd at the time, and he was playing in the NHL as a backup.

            Then look at the Regehr deal. Feaster felt he had to include his toxic asset in Kotalik wrapped in an incentive, the 2nd round pick, all under the pretense of the Regehr move so that he could return Smith and Butler – a 3rd pairing defenseman and an AHL level prospect/project.

            Then let’s look way back to the Brad Richards deal, probably the best comparable we have for Feaster dealing a franchise player. He got back Mike Smith (considered a bust until coming to Phoenix and working with Sean Burke), Jeff Halpern (recently put on waivers), Jussi Jokinen and a 4th round pick. The pick was traded to the Oilers and became Kyle Bigos, a college defenseman.

            Now, I’m not certain that Feaster is the one doing the real negotiating on this alleged Iginla deal, but I would suggest that looking at those trades, and weighing that against the Flames management’s preference to avoid a total rebuild, one cold expect that if any assets are moved they are going to be in exchange for a variety of assets returning in pursuit of a more immediate benefit.

            Feaster has not made a habit of prioritizing draft picks as compensation for relinquishing players.

            I will be most interested in seeing not just what Feaster does, but what he attempts to do. This will communicate the management’s ultimate strategy and reveal the results of their internal assessment of the team. If they try a quick fix, then we know they believe the problems to be superficial. If not, then they have ascertained that the issues are more systemic.

            April should be a very emotional month for Flames fans. In all sincerity, I don’t envy you the next six weeks.

            Draft day could be another story, though.

    • Big Ell

      I agree. A quick rebuild is out of the question.

      The Senators rebuilt and were able to keep some talented guys like Spezza and Alfreddson. They also had way more top level prospects coming up at the time Cowan, Silfverberg, Lehner, Karlsson, Wiercioch, Zach Smith etc.

      That Flyers team still had Gagne, Pitkanen, Carter, Richards. They didn’t have a ton of prospects apart from Giroux and Downie but a bounce back season was probably expected.

      I think the Canadiens are a slightly better comparison because they had questionable prospect depth like the Flames. But their young core was so much stronger with Pacioretty, Subban, Price, Plekanec etc.

  • RexLibris

    Boy, it wasn’t long ago that all we heard was “intellectual honesty” seems everyone has long forgotten that statement …. time to bring it back. There is absolutely no hope for this team ….. career the rest of the season and we squeeze into 8th ….. who wants a team like that ….. burn it to the ground, the time has clearly come.

  • RexLibris

    great to see your warrior captain having such a delightful time. so who goes first hartley or iggie. after what i seen tonight captain crunch is more of a leader than captain iggy.

  • Jeropotato

    I am an Oilers fan. Just sayin’
    The Flames could conceivably catch the Oilers and dominate the league in less than 5 years if they hold a fire sale.They will draft in the top 3 this year-FACT. They have th assets to acquire 4 more first round picks if they move Camm, Iggy,Kipper and JayBo. Probably a couple 2nd rounders as well as a few good prospects. Maybe they can turn 1 into a Jonathan Bernier, who knows?
    Point is, they will be terrible next year too, but good golly that could be a good chunk of their core put together in just over a year. Scary.Glad it wont happen.

  • Kevin R

    Enough is enough! Flames management need to trade Iginla immediately because this whole speculation media circus is undoubtably affecting the whole team. The other pieces can be traded closer to the trade deadline, with Jerome, they cant afford to wait that long. Cmon King, we all know the decision has already been made. Get it done. Get the list of the teams(Iginla has provided already) GMs on the phone on the way home, all night, tomorrow morning & until this gets done. Get the bidding war going & just take the best offer you can. & if some of the twitter out of Boston is true & there is Hamilton + a 1st on the table, for Gods sake take it!!!!

    • T&A4Flames

      Who’s twitter? I have been lobbying for Hamilton for weeks but I never would believe that BOS would put him up. I did hear that Chiarelli said Subban and Spooner would not be traded. No mention of Hamilton.

    • T&A4Flames

      ken will resign jarome, hartley will be fired is most likely what will happen. no other explanation to the captain laughin while the jackets are bitch slappin ya.

  • Chris Fairfield

    Oilers fan here *dodges flying chair*. Speaking from experience, there will be serenity in the knowledge that your team will not make the playoffs. You will feel no stress watching games for a while.

    I do sincerely hope your re-build is a quick one. I hope one day Alberta is death valley for visiting teams and the BOA means something again like it was in the classic battles of the 80s.

    BTW don’t draft Jones, I don’t want him running the Oil for the next 15 years.