We rounded up a few more fan ask questoins via Ask FM this week. Watch for the call-out on twitter around Thursday or Friday of every week if you have something you’d like FN writers to talk about. Alternatively, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). This week we look at Burke’s future, share some observations on Kris Russel and discuss a potential rule change
1.) Do you think Brian Burke will be our full time GM at some point?
I think it’s a distinct possibility. During rebuilds, a lot of bodies tend to fall along the way, especially if they get long or messy. Just look up north and count how many coaching and executive changes the Oilers have made since Kevin Lowe ran the good ship Oilers agroundsome some 7 odd-years ago.
If Feaster can conduct a quick turn around, he’ll be fine. If this thing gets ugly and the masses start assembling pitchforks, he’ll be one of the first guys torn down to appease them. In that case, Burke likely takes over.
2.) What are your thoughts on Kris Russell?
I haven’t seen him much this pre-season, but based on his career so far he’s not a really compelling player. Russell’s results since he broke into the league are consistently mediocre, both from an underlying and counting numbers perspective. He’s a guy who seems like he could be another "Dan Boyle" type of defender: undersized, but strong enough offesensively to be a difference maker. He’s never made that leap though.
In terms of scouting, so far I like Russell’s mobility, but he seems to get pushed around and overwhelmed in his own end a lot. He strikes me as a guy who could probably work on the third pairing in an ideal situation.
3.) When will the NHL implement a rule punishing players for carelessly/ on purpose kicking their skate up in the air as they are going down after a hit? Some player will get seriously hurt by this! A player should be held responsible for damage their skate does, just like their stick, don’t you think?
The NHL’s issue when it comes to this sort of discipline isn’t implementing rules, it’s enforcing them. Slashing another player with a skate could easily fall under some of the exisiting ordinance (roughing, intent to injure, etc.), but the league tends to struggle to apply consistent discipline, particularly when mens rea (intention) is involved. Aside from acts like McSorley on Brashear and Bertuzzi on Moore, it’s often very difficult to prove intent on the part of the accused in hockey.
4.) To date, how would you compare Monahan to the other top picks?
If you mean from his draft class, we don’t have enough information. If you mean from other, recent drafts….we don’t have enough information. Sean Monahan hasn’t played a single regular season NHL game yet. We have no real idea how good he’ll be.
From what we’ve seen, Monahan looks like the guy who was described in every scouting report we read though – a smart, savvy center who plays a highly developed game for his age. There are similarly glowing reports about most of the kids picked at the top of the rotation this years as well – Seth Jones is going to make the Preds out of camp. Ditto Jonathan Drouin, Aleksandr Barkov and Nathan MacKinnon in their respective markets. Valery Nichuskin is piling up highlight reel goals in Dallas, Darnell Nurse was outstanding in Edmonton and Elias Lindholm is forcing the Hurricanes to consider holding onto him. Heck, Hunter SHinkaruk and Bo Horvat are going to get at least 9 games in Vancouver to start the year as well.
The 2013 draft was considered one of the most talent dense in recent memory and the early returns seem to be justifying those projections. That said, it will take a least 3 years before we can really start comparing these kids.
5.) Realistically speaking when will the flames be competitive again?
At best, the Flames may start worrying other clubs again in three seasons. Realistically, it will probably take five before they are anything more than plucky basement dwellers. The rebuild can be hastened by a kid or two exceeding expectations or the club pulling a miracle trade, but those are long-shots.
6.) What is the scope (sic) on Hudler, I have not noticed him much this preseason?
I’ll assume you meant "scoop". Hudler has been injured for almost the entire preseason, so he hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impression.
Of course, Hudler is a completely known commodity so it’s not like the exhibition round was going to change anything. A capable middle rotation 40-45 point guy, Hulder probably isn’t in the long-term plans of the team at this point. My guess is he’d like to get out and move to a contender sooner rather than later, but for that to happen he’ll have to play hard and demonstrate his worth to pontential trade partners while the club finds its way.
With three seasons left $4M per year, he may have to play out at least 2013-14 before he garners significant interest around the league.
7. Last year and the year before Floob had #GOBLAIRJONES and hi Brust Army. With Brust gone and GoBlairJones likely to be stuck in Abby all year.. whose should Floob’s new awesome Flame be? (No Matty Franchise is not acceptable as answer)?
I will let BofL answer that in the comments.