It’s been asserted by more than a few people that today is "The Most Important Day In Calgary Flames History", which, by the way, isn’t true, but is one of those fork in the road moments for the organization, and need not be taken lighlty.
Flames fans, rightfully so, are TERRIFIED about the developments about to unfold today. Many of them are looking at their watch and wondering if it’s too early to hit the sauce. For the record, I’m writing this now because it’s too early for the liquor store to be open.
In an effort to kill time and to agitate an entire fanbase, I thought I’d take a minute to offer a little bit of a Draft Primer that touches on the picks held and some of the rumours surrounding the Flaming C.
Those Three Firsties
photo via Mika Kylmäniemi
The Flames, as you all no doubtedly are aware by now, hold the 6th, 22nd, and 28th draft picks in the first round. There’s been endless debate as to what should happen to those picks, and needless to say, none of us anywhere have any damn clue as to what is going to happen. The Flames drafted Mark Jankowski last season, so the brass has set a precedent of erratic behaviour that really none of us have a read on.
That said, assuming none of the picks are traded (more on that later), there’s a fairly good consensus that the 6th overall pick should yield one of Elias Lindholm, Valeri Nichushkin, or Sean Monahan, with the outside possibilities of Alexsander Barkov or Rasmus Ristolainen getting casual mentions as well.
Jay Feaster, allegedly a GM, has said some petrifying things regarding this pick. As an example, he’s been quoted as saying that it will be a factor if the player selected isn’t willing to come over to North America right away (via Ryan Rishaug), likely speaking to either Nichushkin or Lindholm, both of whom are better options for the Flames than Sean Monahan, but you know, ENIGMATIC, so…
Another dumb thing that’s been rumoured relatively heavily this morning is the 6th pick going to Philly in exchange for Braydon Coburn and (something else). I don’t know what the other piece involved would be, but it’s not going to be Sean Couturier, and Braydon Coburn is not worth giving up the 6th pick for, so if this happens, I hope you’ve got your Jager Bombs ready. We’re going to need to drink to forget.
There’s whispers of a deal between the Flames and the Winnipeg Jets as well. there’s no word as to what or who is involved, but it’s got to be Olli Jokinen, because why wouldn’t it be? Don’t trust whatever you see, and if you happen to be in Jersey right now and see Jay Feaster, hit him. Right in the mouth. When you do it, you can say something awesome like "I’m supposed to tell you that Lanny sent me" or something. I don’t care, just knock some sense into the man.
picture via slidingsideways
On the positive side, there have been rumours as well that the Boston Bruins, inexplicably, are looking to move young Tyler Seguin, and that the Flames are in on him. I’m not sure where the rumour originated from, but it’s been talked about enough to talk about here, so shut up and listen!
The deal seems to be Seguin for the 6th, and the adorable Johnny Gaudreau. I know you all know that Flames Nation is high on Johnny Hockey, and if he were traded, a lot of you bought your Gaudreauby Baker shirts and are now nothing but rags to you, but make no mistake, if the Flames could pull off THAT deal, it’s a total win. The Bruins allegedly souring on Seguin is their own misguided vision, not Calgary’s.
There’s a lot of bunk rumours out there that Seguin has a bit of a coke problem and some attitude, and certainly some of the things he says and does will not make him seem like a generally good person, but rumours are rumours, and hockey is hockey, and Seguin can play hockey. He had an off year (this season doesn’t count anyway), but this is a Number 1 center waiting to happen, and the relative uncertainty surrounding Gaudreau makes the risk worth it.
22 and 28
No one has a damn clue what’s happening with these picks. Our own Ryan Pike and Christian Roatis have profiled several potential targets for the Flames at these picks, and do a better job profiling any of them than I would, so you should check those out if you haven’t yet.
The stronger likelihood here is that these picks get dealt. I don’t know to whom or to where, but while distressing, it’s a lot less to be concerned about than mismanaging the 6th pick. Still, have an extra shot or two ready just in case.
ALL THE PICKS
The Flames will also strut their stuff at the podium for picks 67, 135, 157, 187, and 198. There’s not a whole lot to note in here, because drafting past even the second round is pretty volatile. Of note, with that third round pick, there’s an outside chance the Flames could draft Jordan Subban, but this is mostly interesting because of the name, and not as much because of the player (not that he isn’t good)
Also, assuming the team didn’t foolishly draft a goalie in the first round (oh yeah, a real possibility. We all joke, because we’ve run out of tears), this might be where the team selects a goaltender, if they truly believe they need one, which, I don’t know, I guess you can never have too many. If a Jussi Saros or Calvin Petersen is still available, it’s worth a look at.
Pic via Jennifer Kuhn
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Flames are one of the teams interviewing newly employable Vincent Lecavalier today. There are apparently about 8 or 9 teams interested in Vinny (including Atvomobilist, one of the worst and poorest teams in the KHL), but you’d have to believe only a portion of those teams are doing more than kicking tires.
The Flames, I’m sure, would love to sign Lecavalier, and honestly, if it were on a one year deal (two max) at a responsible dollar figure, I’d be okay with it. It seems unlikely that that would be the case, however, as the more teams in on him, the higher the price tag, at which point Feaster and friends should just casually bow out. The team is finally absolving itself of a bad contract era, and bringing in a new one is no way to usher in a new aeon of Flames hockey.
I know I haven’t presented an overly rosy portrayal of how this day could shake out for your Calgary Flames today, but I just really don’t trust the decision makers on this team. Given the rumours swirling around the team, some dumb quotes by Jay Feaster, MARK JANKOWSKI, and so on and so forth, it’s hard to have any kind of confidence inspired.
That’s why I’m off to go stock up on supplies. The draft kicks off at 1 PM Calgary time. Make a game out of it. Do your own thing. Me, I’m going to build a bunker out of empties and I’m preparing to hide in it until Connor McDavid is draft eligible.