Five things: About that presser

1. I don’t know what I expected

So Jay Feaster held, as most general managers do at the end of the season, a nice long presser on getaway day in which he talked at length about all the stuff the Flames have planned for the offseason. I was particularly interested to hear this just to see the kind of dancing around Feaster did to explain his and the organization’s state of mind, given that they actually in-real-life referred to it as a "rebuild."

And, well, I was right about one thing: It sure was interesting.

2. Amnesty buyouts

The one good thing, I think, that Feaster addressed more or less right away, was that the team seems rather certain to take advantage of the amnesty buyouts afforded it by the new collective bargaining agreement, despite the fact that the team doesn’t need to do so to become cap compliant.

What this means, in essence, is that he is aware of at least one dead-weight contract on the roster that it would be best to shuffle off away from the Saddledome ice as soon as possible, and not that he actually got around to saying it but one assumes that, in evaluating the team’s existing contracts and the desirability of them versus the contributions of the players carrying them, the guy who seems most likely to go has a name that rhymes with Story Barich.

This is refreshing for a couple reasons, with the foremost being that it clearly acknowledges just how bad some roster players are. Second, it gives some of the kids the chance to step into NHL roles, or at least try to, if they’re not filled by a veteran signing this summer. Though I guess I should say I suppose that’s very much within the realm of possibility, given the amount of cap room the team still has and the mandate from ownership to make the playoffs that will likely either preserve or cost Feaster’s job.

3. Oh my god they’re going for grit again

"I think we saw in free agency that there is a premium on those hard-nosed, physical guys," is a thing Jay Feaster said in response to a half-question about the team’s desire for just that type of player.

He said that he didn’t want to undersell how difficult it is to acquire players like this, which I guess is true, because guys that are both physical and good at hockey are obviously incredibly difficult to come by. And so it would appear, then, that the Flames have designs on once again trying to acquire straight-up tough players, which is to say bad players, which is to say they’re going to lose a lot. Now, given my position as a person who believes they should lose every game for the next two seasons by six, I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but from a purely aesthetic point of view, it makes for a lot of ugly hockey, which isn’t quite so good.

The issue, I think, is what that tells us about the organizational view of those types of players. Namely that they are in some way valuable. They typically are not. And if Feaster and Co. continue to pursue them, they will never achieve the ends they want. Making the playoffs next year when you’re out looking for No. 1 centers (none are coming, plainly. "It won’t be for everybody," Feaster says!) and tough guys (you can get plenty) is laughably implausible.

4. Goaltending for next year

The Flames have indeed had talks about the ways the team will approach its goaltending situation for next season, which is something you’d expect. Not too much to say about the situation except that Jonio Ortio will be the No. 1 guy at the AHL level and the fact that they have Laurent Brossoit under contract indicates he’s probably going to be a professional as well.

Which doesn’t answer a lot about the NHL situation. With that having been said the answers are, I think, pretty clear, even if Feaster didn’t want to tip his hand too much: They’re going to give Karri Ramo a shot with the big club. That much is obvious. Whether it works out is entirely another, but if not I guess there’s newly re-signed Joey MacDonald to lean on. So okay, that’s three spots definitely filled (NHL Nos. 2a/2b, and AHL No. 1). What does that mean for Danny Taylor, who was specifically mentioned by the reporter asking the question? It means either he or Irving is probably packing up and getting outta town, and maybe both depending on what they expect out of Brossoit. Interesting to see how that one plays out. 

5. What we learned?


Asked about how he felt about the job from Bob Hartley and the rest of the coaching staff, Feaster had nothing but positive things to say. The kids loved them and they really helped with development. The power play was pretty good. (Not so much the penalty kill but who’s counting?)

So why did he think the team didn’t succeed this year? If you guessed "The lack of training camp putting them at a disadvantage for implenting the new system, and a lack of practice time," and not "I put together a garbage roster," you are correct. This more or less ignores the success — relative though it may have been — some new coaches had in the league this year. The Capitals and Canadiens won their divisions with new bench bosses, did they not? So for that to be the excuse is pretty much a flat-out joke. Hell, Edmonton had a new coach too, in the same division even, and finished three points up on the Flames.

So if you were worried the management group had really taken anything about roster-building away from that season, don’t be. They haven’t. Of course they haven’t.

Oh and by the way, ticket prices are going up next season. Have a good one.


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  • Parallex

    Yeah, the renewed emphasis on grit/truculance/whatever is annoying. Hardly a predisposition of Feaster alone but I think a team needs to build it’s base of skill first before indulging in boutique qualities of dubious value. If you can get both enshrined in the same person… well have at ‘er but if you can’t… go with the skilled guy first.

    I’m also unsure about compliance buyouts… guy who’s name rhymes with Story Barich does seem like a prime buyout candidate. But he’s also a guy whose primary attribute is grit/truculance/whatever. So what gives here?

    • T&A4Flames

      Yea, re: Story Barich. Was it not rumored that they almost traded him at the deadline? Why give him away for mothing? Unless, of course, “Barich” declined waiving his NTC for said team or said team changed their minds. I honestly don’t see any reason to buy anyone out. Most of our garbage has expiring contracts anyway.

  • Parallex

    King and Feaster are not hockey smart enough. It is a learned skill, not one built on a background living the game. We need that kind of leadership, but not from another Kevin Lowe type. Both the Flames and Oil are flawed with sub par management. I am nervous about how they will approach the draft and free agency.

    • Parallex

      Why would you buy-out Tanguay? He’s still a decent top 6 forward (albeit his two-way game went south this season). Buying him out would be a waste of money. You might not get your ideal return on him but that is a contract that you can trade.

    • T&A4Flames

      I just don’t agree with buying out a top 6 player. His skills can be moved with his contract. I would be content with a mid 2nd rnd’r.

      Maybe Winnipeg could use him?

      • Rockmorton65

        Buying him out is a last resort type move, for sure, but I’m concerned that after his experiences in TB & Montreal, he’s not going to accept a trade to just anywhere. Absolutely, trade him if you can.

  • Im surprised the team is considering the amnesty buy out option since they don’t need cap space and there aren’t a lot of terrible deals left. I actually doubt it will be Sarich as well – he’s got one year left on a $2M deal and the coaching staff hasn’t been shy about sitting him in favor of other options. Doesn’t make sense to pay him to walk away (unless he asks them to, I guess).

    Tanguay might be the only guy who fits the bill since he has so mnay years left on his contract. I’d be very surprised if they couldn’t actually deal him instead though.

  • I’ve come to the conclusion that I should just never listen when Jay Feaster speaks.

    Every time he talks the foundation of the careful edifice I have constructed in which the Flames are run by competent people gets slowly chipped away.

    While it may be the case that the Flames are run by people who don’t really know what they are doing, I can’t really handle facing evidence of that, as it just depresses me way too much. I would like to continue to live in my fantasy world where grit charts are not posted in the GM’s office and the Flames make rational decisions that reflect a keen understanding of the CBA and the market.

    Therefore I will now be boycotting everything Jay Feaster says.

    Ignorance of incompetence is bliss!

  • T&A4Flames

    St Louis has grit, LA has grit, Boston has grit and the Pens went out and filled up on grit before the deadline. Not a great deal of losing going on in those cities.

    • Frankly I couldn’t disagree with you more.

      First, tell me what you mean by “grit” other than an abstract concept that you say teams who are successful have. If you can precisely tell me what grit is, how it plays out on the ice, then we can start to determine if it is what the Flames should be after and what players have a lot of “grit.”

      Second, correlation does not equal causation. I think those teams success has a lot more to do with the fact that they have forwards who dominate puck possession rather than their grit. Indeed Toronto seems to have a lot of “grit” yet they are at best a mediocre team. Grit,even if such a thing exist, is not why those four teams are good.

      • An example of no “grit” is Edmonton. An embarrassment of riches with skill, but no grit = pathetic losers (still). But you are correct, grit alone does not make a team good. Grit/size/toughness is the topping that makes a good team great. Its what Vancouver has lacked for years.

        Feaster focusing on the grit factor right now is a complete joke. What this team lacks is elite talent. No amount of “grit” will help that. Our problem is we have no “grit” AND no skill, and skill is about 10000 times harder to get, and pretty much only attainable by drafting. Unfortunately we seem to have blown our chance at elite talent this year… sigh.

        Every day that passes I lose a bit more confidence in this gong show. It appears as if Feaster has no idea what he is doing. Or he is lying to the fan base and spinning out a big pile of BS to trick us into supporting an extended rebuild.

        I think fans would support another year or two of suck in order to build a true contender. Why lie about it? I refuse to believe Feaster believes 75% of the things he says. If he does… god help us all….

        • Agreed re: this team needing a truly elite talent. That’s why I’m so disappointed by them going on that final win streak – if they hadn’t, the Flames might be able to draft a potentially ELITE SUPERSTAR talent that they sorely need. Instead, we have to settle for a C with 2nd-line potential.

          Deep draft does not infer that all of the first rounders will become superstars. It just means more of the players will make the NHL, in ANY capacity. Sean Monahan will be great, but he’ll likely be a #2C while Backlund slots in at #3C. Flames are still in the same place they were during the Iginla era.

          “Truculence? Where we’re going, we don’t need… truculence”

      • Rockmorton65

        LA – Clifford, Lewis, Greene, etc
        St Lou – Reaves, Chucko, Jackman
        Boston – Thornton, Kelly, Mcquaid, Ferrence, Campbell
        Pitt – Morrow, Dupuis, Kunitz, Murray

        Just to name a few. Their play which includes physicality, energy and intimidation helps wear out other teams, create a team identity ( skilled players play a lot bigger as well) and take other teams off their games. They don;’t always show up positively in the stats that you speak of but yet their coaches keep trotting them out on the ice and their teams keep on winning.

        Grit does exist even if YOU can’t see it and it is a very large part of why these teams win.

        • Those teams don’t win because of those players Clyde. Unles you think moving Thornton, Murray, Reaves and Clifford to the Oilers would instantly make them a contender (it wouldn’t).

          Those are supplementary players at best on teams who have stars and superstars who can dominate the puck. Backes, Pietrangelo, Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Bergeron, Kopitar, Brown, Doughty, etc.

          Now “grit” is a component in many of the best players arsenal, but in isolation it doesn’t necessarily advance the cause. The Flames and Oilers added Brian McGrattan, Mike Brown, Jarred Smithson down the stretch this season. Both teams still suck.

          Grit exists, but the idea that it’s a magical fairy dust that can sprinkled over a crappy roster and will markedly improve it is ignoring the fact that you can be gritty and terrible at hockey at the NHL level. The challenge is t get guys who are gritty and actually worth a damn.

          • T&A4Flames

            They do win because of those players Kent. Not just those types of players but without them you don’t win especially in this playoff torture test where you have to play at a high level for 2 months. There were 80 hits in the Minny game the other night alone. The last regular season game there were 17 between these 2 teams. Skill wise Vancouver was much better than Boston’s skill players. Boston’s grit and toughness won out. Backes is a superstar??? Brown is a superstar?? No, but they are special because they have a big element of grit in their arsenal. Those are the types of players Feaster is talking about. Grit with skill and size. If Pitt wins this year, I am sure one of the 3 you mention will win the Conn Smythe as with grit alone the Pens couldn’t do it. But, why did the Pens target the guys they did in deadline trades? Every one of those players bring a great deal of grit to go along with varying degrees of skill.

          • mattyc

            Kent I would argue that if the Oilers had a handful of competent grit players they would be a contender. Probably not this past year, because their stars are still 180lb teenagers. But probably starting next year its only reasonable to say they would be a contender IF they had 3-4 quality depth gritty veterans. You are correct that “teams don’t win because of those players”, but teams can lose because of a lack of those players.

            I completely agree that grit isn’t magic fairy dust to sprinkle over a crap roster. Feaster should forget about grit, toughness and all those intangibles and just focus on getting elite SKILL. No amount of intangibles will matter on a team without elite talent. Do we have 1 player we could even pretend would make the all star game? I can’t think of one, even as a fan with my kool aid glasses on.

            The Oilers have the opposite problem, and personally I’d rather be in their shoes. It took them 4 years of completely laughable horror to acquire all that skill. We got a long road ahead if we ever want to compete with them before the calendar hits 2020.

            At this point even talking about acquiring grit or character is a complete joke.

          • acg5151

            Grit is something that takes the load off of those superstars if you have it. Look at the Oilers – they do not have a shutdown line they can play when their second/first lines are on the bench.

            Definitely agree that you have to get good grit. The Flames already have some of it – their challenge is to build a first/second line that can score. Glencross, Stajan, Stempniak – if that was the Oilers third line I bet they could have won a few more games.

            What the Flames need to do is not get rid of those, third/fourth line guys that are good over this rebuild – they are hard to find. Imagine if the Oilers had held on to players like that when they had them.

          • seve927

            “What the Flames need to do is not get rid of those, third/fourth line guys that are good over this rebuild – they are hard to find. Imagine if the Oilers had held on to players like that when they had them.”

            They probably wouldn’t have had 3 first overalls. That’s the problem. You can’t have it all. All you can do is try to keep obtaining the best players you can and keep a good mix of veterans, youth, size and competitiveness. Then hope some of those guys emerge as difference makers.

  • Rockmorton65

    What I meant was, that if you can’t move his contract (for whatever reason – NTC, other teams cap issues), you don’t want that element in the dressing room. His attitude sucks right now. If you can’t move him, cut bait.

  • Rockmorton65

    What I meant was, that if you can’t move his contract (for whatever reason – NTC, other teams cap issues), you don’t want that element in the dressing room. His attitude sucks right now. If you can’t move him, cut bait.

  • Brent G.

    In all fairness I don’t think Sarich is going to be bought out, nor do I think he should be. We all agree he isn’t terrific at the sport of hockey but when filling a number 6/7 role and locker room leadership for a bunch of kids I think he does have a place on this team. We are nowhere near the cap so why bother payng him to stay home? Also look at the kids. Cundari may make the jump in a limited role but I don’t think he is a slam dunk better today then Sarich really. Ideally he will get better and needs playing time but I don’t see one unsurping the other assuming neither player is capable of effectively playing a full 82 game season next year. After Cundari there isn’t a lot of anything for injury replacement. The only thing that may push Sarich out was his season ending comments about not feeling wanted.

    I think Tanguay is the better candidate to buyout. I don’t see anyone taking on his contract, his attitude doesn’t seem too positive (it seems obvious he doesn’t want to be involved in a rebuild) and is easily replaced by Hudler and Sven on the roster. In my career experience I have witnessed firsthand how quickly company morale can be destroyed by an unhappy employee; Tanguay could quickly create a toxic environment for the kids. You’re either with us 100% or against us, so get the hell out.

  • Chris Fairfield

    Yes grit is needed. So is skill. So is a strong defense, good goaltending, size, speed and hockey sense. As far as I can see the flames are lacking in all categories. Say we got brandon prust last year, does that change the team or results dramatically?

    The flames are fundamentally flawed in all facets.
    I was bored the other day and wrote down where the current flames roster players are compared to a stanley cup contending team and where the younger players project to be.

    With backland as a #2 two way center, brodie as a #2 future d, baertchi as a #1 or #2 lw, glencross as a good #3 lw, gio and wideman as #3 and #4 d, cammi as a #2 lw and stemp as a #3 rw.. Missing is a #1 c, 2 top 6 rw, a #1 defenceman and a number of depth players. To draft and build that many top level players is going to take years and an astute gm that we don’t currently have. I am very worried, this rebuild will take longer than the oilers.

    • T&A4Flames

      #1 Center – Barkov, Monahan or Lindholme, Jankowski, Granlund
      RW – Gaudreau, Arnold, a Mantha with a pick.
      Def – Ristolainen, Zadorov, Wotherspoon, Sieloff.
      A list of some of what we have and what we could get through draft alone, not including trade. We could have had Jarncroc too but that is another story. Add in some very high picks over the next 2 years. All of this is potential but with this potential there is hope. Hope Jay is the guy to turn this around

  • T&A4Flames

    Question to all you FN posters, would you rather trade our #6 pick and the higher of the STL or PIT pics to move up to say #4 or both STL and PIT picks to get a 2nd top 10?

    • Chris Fairfield

      I think I would prefer to pick #4 and again in the lower 20s rather than #6 and #10.

      Finding that elite talent that we desperately need is more important that two pretty good-very good players. Could also find a gem in the 20s to go along with the top 4 “elite” player if we are lucky.

      That being said, I wonder how receptive other GMs would be towards giving up a top 4 pick if they have the same perception of the draft as our management does.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I’d almost rather just keep all three picks. Getting a second top 10 pick would only be really worth it, in my opinion, if Nurse was available, and moving from #6 to #4 would only potentially be worth it if Barkov is still there (I don’t think Drouin would be worth it). Still, giving up a pick that may be in the low 20s to move up two spots is a pretty big price to pay.

      • T&A4Flames

        That’s what I thought, hefty price tag. Basically we would be moving up to get Barkov I think. I’m not interested in Drouin. I still think there is a chance that Barkov may drop. There are a few factors working against him being drafted higher.

        1. His current shoulder injury

        2. He’s not playing in NA

        3. a few teams in front of us need D as more of a priority.

        If a couple of teams consider these or other concerns/needs, he could be the one guy that inevitably slips in every draft. I would hate to have traded up and give up another 1sr round pick for no reason.

        Is there a huge difference between he and Monahan?

        @ Kevin R

        I agree there as well. Giving up any of our 1st rounders is a last option to move up. I’ve looked at so many moch drafts and they are all over the place. I see a lot of possibilities for movement at this draft.

        I would really like to come away with 5 picks in the top 60. There is a lot of talent in this draft. We could restock in one fell swoop and refocus on the big club.

        • SmellOfVictory

          I’d say there is definitely a substantial difference between Barkov and Monahan; this is primarily based on 2nd hand information (whatever, it’s not like I’m a scout anyway), but the ranking seems to be Barkov -> Lindholm -> Monahan, with Barkov clearly being the best of the three.

          Ideally we’d see Nichuskin (sp) and someone off-the-board (e.g. Nurse, Shinkaruk) taken by Nashville and Carolina, leaving Barkov for the Flames. Don’t know that it’s particularly likely, but it’s not a total impossibility.

    • mattyc

      I would say yes to the Stl & Pitt picks for a top 10. That said, not before I explore eating salary & the Pitt pick for a top 10 or close to top 10 pick. Then use the Stl pick & eat some bad contract for another top 10 pick. Then see if Florida would trade that #2 pick for like a 11th & 9th pick or something like that.

    • mattyc

      I’d trade 6th and the STL pick for 4th in a half a heartbeat. But I don’t think anyone in the top 4 is trading down. No chance.

      Put yourself in the shoes of one of the teams in the top 3-4 picks. Why would they possibly want to trade down? Would we? Never… No chance. If you could have McKinnnon or Druin its gonna take a whole heck of a lot more than a late 1st rounder, which essentially is a 2nd round pick to pass that up.

      But if Feaster can do it, I’ll give him mad props. I just think we are setting ourselves up for dissapointment with this talk of trading up.

        • SmellOfVictory

          Hard to play against = grit.

          That could be a big body. Or it could be an SOB. Glencross has grit. Kotalik had no grit.

          I think the perfect example of how much grit helps is looking at the Oilers, who have zero grit from top to bottom, except perhaps Taylor Hall. They can have 3-4 or 5 superstar talents and they still suck. Thats no grit. I don’t understand what is so hard to understand?

          • Parallex

            Okey… now you have to define “hard to play against”.

            And the Oilers suck because RNH, Hall, and Eberle aside the entire team got outplayed and those three guys can’t play 60min a night.

          • mattyc

            So does being big instantly make you gritty (if you’re small can you be gritty)? How big/ how much of an SOB? Can grit be ‘learned’ (or unlearned?)? How do we decide who’s hard to play against?

            My point is that it seems very subjective to me, how can you decide who’s more/less gritty? My other point of confusion is that it seems narrative driven, as a way of explaining why something happened, without any predictive ability (they won because he was gritty/ has more grit/they didn’t ‘want’ it as much). You could say that the Oilers suck because they have no grit, but you could also argue Hall, Eberle, Horcoff, Brown, whoever are gritty.

          • acg5151

            It is very much intangible, and no size is not the main factor. Thats why I used Kotalik as a recent example we could relate to.

            He was 6-4, 220lbs+ but zero grit, easy to play against. Soft as butter.

            Glencross is a perfect example of grit. Other teams fans hate Glencross. I know both Nuck fans and Oiler fans and they both despise him. Its the same reason we hate Kesler. Or Burrows.

            Whatever the case, talking about these intangibles is completely pointless when our main problem is lacking elite skill. THat is something that can be measured, quantified and is black and white. We need 2 or 3 players who can put up 80+ pts. We have zero. Thats a problem… Focusing on grit now, is like trying to put new fancy rims on you broken down beater car in the ditch. It needs a new engine…

          • BurningSensation

            I’m in a hockey pool that rewards ‘goons’ (we call them ‘tough guys). You get to play two of them on your roster, and count their PIM for 1/4 a point per min (4PIM=1pt) along with their goals and assists.

            When we set this up (some 20+ years ago), one of my buddies asked why we were rewarding players for PIM. The response by myself and others was that grit and toughness were qualities that deserved to be rewarded and the only stat we had that could do the job was PIM.

            Well we still have tough guys in our pool, but my friend was probably more right than the rest of us. A guy like Milan Lucic’s stats already reflect the fact he is ‘hard to play against’ – no need to reward him twice.

            Now that we have possession stats, RelCorsi, etc., we can see more clearly who is driving the play and who isn’t, and you can subtract ‘grit’ from the conversation. It doesn’t matter whether the player is driving possession because he has high end skill (Crosby, the Sedins), or because he is ‘gritty’ and ‘hard to play against’ (Backes, Kesler, Datsyuk). A guy like Gagner can have a boatload of skill but not drive the play, while a guy like Backlund can have less than elite offense, but because he plays a sound two-way game still have great possession stats, and a guy like Ben Eager can benchpress a small bus and eat nails for breakfast, but his ‘grit’ isn’t driving the play in any direction but back towards his goaltender. The detail that matters isn’t ‘grit’ for determining their value.

            Feaster should be looking for guys who drive the play regardless of their style.

    • mattyc

      Id move both lower pics for another top 10, but I don’t know if id move 6 and 20ish for 4.

      Why does everyone think Tanguay’s a whiner? Not sure where that came from, but it would be silly methinks to buy him out – if you want him gone that bad you can trade him.

  • T&A4Flames

    Two comments on the grit/truculence idea.

    While I completely agree that Feaster should not be targetting players solely for the “grit” factor, it is nice to see that the Flames are no longer targeting these types of players in the draft as we saw all too often during the Sutter regime. The renewed focus on selecting more skilled players in the draft is refreshing (that being said, we’ll see what happens in June).

    IF, and it is just speculation at this point, but if Feaster does use a buyout on Sarich, perhaps that would be indicative of an approach that would target tougher/gritier players that can still play good hockey and contribute to the team. Once again, we’ll see how this strategy plays out, but it is definitely concerning at this point in time.

  • Wow people, grit, skill, true grit, John Wayne, whatever. How about, lets just get some very good hockey players.

    Compliance buyouts presently on the Flames, er…. we have none. Anyone with 1 year left that sucks & has more than 5mill & the team has little breathing room on the cap would naturally be a candidate. Cammi would be maybe fit that category, but he is still functional & can be moved at the next TDL for pucks if needed. Flames really don’t have any. So why not look for one. First name that comes to mind with a team with its arse up against the cap is the Wild. Someone by the name of Heatley, 7.5 mill cap hit Wild would love to have. So what would that be worth to the Wild ownership who just ponied up big $$$ to buy Parise & Suter? That buyout is what 2/3rds, 5.0mill. Wild would still need a top 6. Someone mentioned Tanguay is puting & wants to go to a playoff team, maybe Tanguay & our Pitt 1st for Granlund(been a bit of a disappointment for the Wild this year, their 1st (should be better than Pitts 1st) & Mr salary compliance dump. Nice thing about the Flames is they could probably fit Heatley & absorb his hit & hope he plays his way to some trade value at the next TDL.

    True compliance buyouts for teams regretting the contracts that would really put value on absorbing that hit are guys like Lecalvier, Luongo & Bryzgalov. Now Bryzgalov is very interesting, he was actually not a bad goalie in Phoenix & he just didn’t fit in Philly goalie burial ground. Could we get Bryz & Philly’s 11th over all pick for Tanguay? Is that enough/ Can we throw in Brossoit & get Couturier as well? Ramo hasn’t proven jacks%#@, neither Berra. Thing is, if Feaster has this kind of out of the box thinking, why oh why would you sign Macdonald this quick??? God help us.:-(

    • SmellOfVictory

      I hope Feaster is thinking of these type of high reward moves that come with some pain. You aren’t the first to be thinking that way. A friend of mine coaching college out East said he heard there were discussions about a Bryz, number 11, Couturier ( originally it was Read) and either Mezeros or Lauridson for Gio, Arnold plus. This would allow the Flyers to pursue Smith and become instant contenders. Not sure who his source is but the talk is out there near Pha too.

    • mattyc

      Sorry Kevin, but I think you are overvaluing how much teams would give us just to take on salary for a year or two…particularly given that they all have the amnesty buyout option. Getting a very good young player (Couturier/Granlund) along with an improved 1st rd pick for Tanguay and a salary dump does not seem likely. Even if it was Howson on the line, I don’t think Feaster could pull off anything close to that.

      • mattyc

        Well I don’t think any of us truly know what value Cap space will have this summer. It’s gotta be worth something with the Cap going down. I was throwing stuff out there. I do think Bryz & that 11th over all for Tanguay is definitely doable. These are the type of deals that need to be looked at & FFS Feaster has to quit throwing these charity contracts out so friggin quick. The only contract extensions I want to see right now is for Backlund, Brodie & maybe Cerevenka to an Andy Mac type of deal. Nothing else on our team is worth signing until late July.

        • SmellOfVictory

          I think most would agree that this organization is obsessed with making the playoffs at all costs. Rebuilding was not an option, because ownership would rather have a playoff bubble team than 4-5 years outside in an attempt to build a contender (ironical y in an attempt to avoid the rebuild, we spent 4 years missing the playoffs anyway…).

          Anyways, my point is, the obsession for playoffs would appear to be $/gate driven. I don’t think there is any other logical rationale except that making money is priority here, not building a champ.

          So given that understanding why do people keep throwing around the idea of taking on bad contracts and buying them out. If Edwards didn’t want to rebuild because it might cost a few years of playoff revenue why would he want to spent $30-$40 million in real actual $ buying out some contracts.

          Ownership appears to be $ driven, and buying out bad contracts to help other teams isn’t exactly something a $ driven team would do. More likely, they leave huge amounts of cap space on the table and use that savings as a way to rationalize not making the playoffs, but still making money from us suck fans.

      • T&A4Flames

        The interesting thing about Philly deals is the proven willingness of Holmgren to make bold and not always well thought out trades/ contracts. I also think we need to be careful not to overestimate the willingness of owners with some compliance buyout candidates being unwilling to shell out the $ for nothing. Can Philly or Tampa buy out Bryz or Lecavalier? Yes, but might they be willing to shed a draft pick and retain millions? Maybe.

        (Not saying I want Bryz! Just for the sake of discussion)

        • T&A4Flames

          I think a guy like Heatley, as Kevin R suggested, would be ideal to acquire as a salary dump. I wouldn’t do it to buy him out though. We could likely say, Tangs for Heatley and a 2nd. We can cover his salary easily for the 1yr that remains on it. Then move hi at the deadline to a team that is looking for added scoring for a PO run. That, of course, is pending on whether he would come to CGY or not. But, there are likely lots of options for moves like this.

          • T&A4Flames

            I am excited about the possibilities. Maybe not all will happen, but the possibility of trading up in the draft, eating some teams salary for an asset, or scooping up assets that can’t be fit under the shrinking cap are all opportunities for us to make moves. We chose a good year to crap the bed, dump salary and have a bunch of draft picks.

            I am sure some moves will be underwhelming, but it is going to be an interesting summer. Now if these pesky playoffs would just end so we can get on with it haha.

    • RexLibris

      Okay, if we’re going to get into a heated debate over the relative value of Flames players again I just want to say…you started it!


      Couturier is a piece that could net the Flyers a heck of a lot more than Tanguay. I don’t think he qualifies as a throw-in. Besides, Snider has more money than your average, roadside deity. If he wants the Bryzgalov issue resolved, he can pay it out in the amnesty. He’d be mighty testy about it, but it wouldn’t necessarily break his piggy bank.

      Put it this way, if the Oilers asked about Couturier I’d expect Holmgren to want Smid or Gagner, and Hartikainen or a 2nd round pick in exchange.

      I don’t know what Tanguay is worth on the open market, but age, injury and contract length don’t weigh in his favour and those are significant factors for many GMs now. The best time to trade a player in Tanguay’s situation would be to go back in time and send him to the Toronto Maple Leafs circa 2001. They loved the “proven veterans”.

      • Southern_Point

        OK Buddy!!! You swung back.:) I think even a guy like Schneider will think twice before stroking a cheque for 30-40 million to pay a player to go away. I make a few assumptions:
        1/Bryz really hasn’t been that bad in Philly, he just should quit being a comedian with the media in a goalie sensitive market like Philly.2/ If Philly could land UFA Smith, they would pay a price to unload Bryz. Not that many teams like Calgary with oodles of cap space & need for a #1 goalie.

        Yeah Couts may be hard to acquire, but Bryz & the 11th overall for Tanguay makes for a pretty savvy hockey trade. I think Brossoit is a pretty high end goalie prospect that if we threw in him, Tanguay, even our Pitt or Stl 1st for Bryz/Couts & that 1st, you just never know. In your Oiler deal, I don’t think Philly would want that package. Sorry but they are deep at centre with Schenn & Giroux, Gagner is not a fit, Smid is a 3-4 d man at best & they already have that, they need a 1-2 dman to replace Pronger & Timmonen. Hartkannein &a 2nd wont do it. Sorry. 🙂

        • RexLibris

          Ha, I think by the time July rolls around we’ll be longing for these arguments.

          Anyway, I think the concensus we can find between our two proposals is that the Flyers aren’t likely interested in anything an Alberta team would offer for Sean Couturier.

          With regards to Gagner, I think his value is on the RW. He plays above his weight class and never takes a shift off but his defensive game has developed at a snail’s pace. As a winger he’d be a good 2nd line asset. Smid plays like a Flyers defenceman, that is why he comes to mind in that proposal. Hartikainen as well. And the package would be Smid or Gagner and Hartikainen or a 2nd. So they get one from package A and one (or even both!) from package B. Not Hartikainen and a 2nd, if MacTavish could swing that deal he’d get a statue at Rexall Place.

          I have to wonder if the Flyers don’t offer sheet Ryan McDonagh this summer. If Pietrangelo doesn’t get signed quickly you have to think they’ll try for him as well.

          • I have to agree that Couts is just one big Alberta wishful thinking 🙂

            Seriously, I think Bryz & that 11th over all for Tangs & maybe another asset, preferably not any of our 1st’s is a deal worth looking at from both sides. I would have no problem seeing Bryz taking over for Kipper. So if we had the 6th, 11th, the 20th & the 29th picks this year would be fun.

            Yeah I could see philly going after Mcdonagh or Pietrangelo. I was hoping Mcdonough could be a player that Feaster could offer our Stl 1st ++ for. But when Rangers got rid of Gabbi’s hit, they gave themselves a little more Cap wiggle room for next year.

  • mattyc

    Ryan I think you missed the point about grit,
    I do not believe Feaster meant solely fighters.
    The Flames need to get bigger and tougher to play against, not fighting. How many times was Kipper ran over this year with no response. They are a small team and are getting pushed around by the better teams.

  • fretsey

    Definition of Grit

    Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” [2] Building upon biographical collections of famous leaders in history, researchers and scientists have reached similar conclusions about high achieving individuals. Specifically, those individuals who were deemed more successful and influential than their contemporary counterparts typically possessed traits above and beyond that of normal ability.[3][4][5] While ability was still critically important, these individuals also possessed “zeal” and “persistence of motive and effort.”[2] Duckworth and colleagues (2007) believe this dual-component of Grit to be a crucial differentiator from similar constructs. Grit is conceptualized as a stable trait that does not require immediate positive feedback.[2] Individuals high in Grit are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity. Their passion and commitment towards the long-term objective is the overriding factor that provides the stamina required to “stay the course” amid challenges and set-backs. Essentially, the Grittier person is focused on winning the marathon, not the sprint.


  • Hoping Barkov slips.

    If not I think we need to take Nichushkin. Third choice is Monahan – Lindholm doesn’t possess the grit that Feaster is after.

    RE PHI Trade: I see something like Bryz / Couts / PHI 1st for Cammaleri or GlenX / D Prospect / STL 1st / PIT 1st MAYBE working.

    • T&A4Flames

      We are in far to much need for prospects that will play to take Nichushkin with our 1st pick. He scares me way too much that he will never make his way over to North America. Also, he is yet another LW, a position, the only position, that we are loaded up on.

      Barkov, Monahan, Lindholm and possibly Ristolainen are the names I hope to hear with that pick on draft day.

    • BurningSensation

      I like your thinking, but disagree with you on Lindholm ‘lacking grit’. The first comp I read for Lindholm (prior to his showing off his considerable offensive abilities) was ‘Guy Carbonneau’ – not exactly a softbellied Euro type.

      I have him ahead of Monahan because his offensive ceiling is higher.

      RE: Pha trade

      Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age, but I don’t see Philadelphia moving Couturier for anything/anyone.

      Briere will be bought out/traded, and Brayden Schenn has shown he can play on the wing, so Couturier appears to have a clear shot at taking over the #2 center spot.

  • Rockmorton65

    Elliot Freidman recently spoke about how the Jets biggest problem this year was they had no one to set up Kane. The Flames want to get bigger, younger, and more skilled. What about Tanguay, Pitts 1st for Wheeler and a 2nd?

    Winnipeg gets a legitimate top 6 playmaking forward, leadership and a second 1st rd pick.
    Flames get a big body, with…wait for it…grit, he’s young, can score and he addresses both our lack at RW, our glut at LW, and we have the space to lock him up long term. And we get a second. I think this can be massaged into something decent for both teams.

    • T&A4Flames

      I like it. Although I would hate to give up a 1st in that deal. Winnipeg has a lot RFA’s to deal with. I would rather see us give up another player or prospect. I’m sure something could be worked out if WNP was interested in that deal. Then you have to convince Tangs to waive his NTC.

    • That’s an awful trade for Winnipeg.

      1) Wheeler is about to enter the prime of his career, while Tanguay is on the downside of his. 2) Tanguay is a left winger, and so is Kane, so they wouldn’t even play together. Tanguay would be the 3rd best LW on the Jets behind Ladd and Kane, while Wheeler is the Jets best RW. 3)The Pitt 1st rounder will likely be in the 27-30 range, while the Jets 2nd rounder will be pick #44.

      So, you’re suggesting the Jets give up their top RW, who’s about to enter his best years, for an aging LW who would be 3rd on the depth chart, all for the incentive of moving up something along 15 spots in the draft. Not going to happen.

      I could see the Jets targeting Stempniak to play with Kane, but I can’t imagine he’d be available at a reasonable cost.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Re:Grit. Intimidation does play a role on performance. The ability of some guys to stick up for their teammates allows the skill guys to feel more comfortable and hence maximize their skills.

    I’m not advocating employing goons who add nothing else. I’d like a guy like Hendricks from the Caps. The guy can play (watch his shoot out goals to see the skill) and he can fight.

    Refereeing is applied in a subjective way. Some refs let a lot of physical abuse go. Sedins v Bruins.

    There is a difference between taking a hit to make a play compared to taking punches in the face (Marchand is no goon) from other ‘legitimate’ players looking to intimidate, making your skilled guys concerned about their well being.

    Guys take liberties. A team has to address that when the rules ( or application of rules) don’t.

    Possession and skill are a big part of winning. Physical play – intimidation, responding to it, initiating it are as well. I think a well balanced team will compete in all aspects.

  • Southern_Point

    How does this argument over ‘grit’ break out in the comments of literally every article?

    I think part of it is that everyone defines ‘grit’ differently. Look Ryan Reeves, or Clifford wouldn’t put our team over the top. In fact very few players would just magically make our team into a contender.
    However, Feaster could do much worse if he decided targeted David Clarkson during free agency, a guy who could be considered gritty.

    Focusing on guys like that though does nothing to solve the biggest problems the Flames have and that is a lack of truly dominating players. What Feaster needs to think about is acquiring players who dominate possession either through ‘grit’ or skill, which will allow our young players shelter from the opposing team’s best.

    • Parallex

      “How does this argument over ‘grit’ break out in the comments of literally every article”

      Because some people continuelly like to think that if teams add some plug with minimal hockey skills but with “grit” that they’ll magically transform themselves into better hockey teams while other people think that’s silly and have no issue saying that it’s silly.

  • Purple Hazze

    So many here seem to think we absolutely have to move up into the top four in the draft. Name me one year where the first four players drafted all turned into legit NHL superstars? I can’t think of any, even in the deep draft of 2003, Zherdev was taken 4th. I’d say only Jones and Druin look like the legit superstars and both are players we don’t need right now.

    We need a centre, and out of the centers available, Mckinnon, Barkov, Monahon, and Lindholm none of the scream Crosby/Tavares/Stamkos at you. They all have question marks around them, Mckinnon was playing on the 3rd line for Canada at the world jr’s. They all show the potential to become the difference maker we desperately need, so I actually like the 6th position we’re in, take the best of the 4 that’s available.

    In 2003 Anaheim drafted Getzlaf 19th and Perry 28th, so I’d hold onto those other 2 1st round picks as well. We don’t need to get into the top four to get that elite player we need.

    • Southern_Point

      I am thinking this way as well. If anything, use the Pitt 1st + something to acquire another pick from 7th to 13th. I think then we will get 3 pretty high end prospects in our cupboards. Don’t expect any of them to play next year, so we get another few high end prospects next draft as well. The following year, we’ll have the 3 1st rounders & Johnny G sliding in to challenge the roster.

  • Devolution

    I know it is a tool for the teams to use, but does anyone else find it annoying that a player with two years left on a $5M contract just has to slack off and show disinterest in order to get a huge payout and sign with another team?

    I wish real life were that easy.