Flames Sign Klimchuk – What’s Next?

Brian Burke didn’t really waste any time getting into his new-ish role, as the Flames announced during Tuesday night’s game that the club has signed 2013 first round pick Morgan Klimchuk to a contract.

Klimchuk’s deal is for three years and an annual cap hit of $925,000. Because he signed during his 18-year-old year, his contract is eligible to "slide" twice (this season and next season) if he doesn’t play 10 NHL games. Picked 28th overall in the latest Entry Draft, Klimchuk is the second Flames pick (after Sean Monahan) to sign on the dotted line.

In terms of signing prospects, the Klimchuk deal is basically the first domino in a series of dominoes that are going to fall in the next few months.

Three 2012 draft picks need to be signed by June 1, 2014: Vancouver Giants defenseman Brett Kulak, Quebec Remparts captain Ryan Culkin, and Swift Current Broncos forward Coda Gordon. With Kenny Agostino of Yale and Bill Arnold of Boston College graduating following this season, the Flames have until August 15, 2014 to sign them. If either Johnny Gaudreau or Jon Gillies could be cajoled to join the professional ranks and decide to leave school, presumably the August 15 deadline would apply to them, as well.

And there’s a small matter of Emile Poirier, the CBA and the "slide rule." (Stick-tap to sureloss at CalgaryPuck for initially pointing this out).

According to Article 9, Section 1, Subsection D of the CBA: (emphasis added)…

In the event that an 18 year old or 19 year old Player signs an SPC with a Club but does not play at least ten (10) NHL Games in the first season under that SPC, the term of his SPC and his number of years in the Entry Level System shall be extended for a period of one (1) year, except that this automatic extension will not apply to a Player who is 19 according to Section 9.2 by virtue of turning 20 between September 16 and December 31 in the year in which he first signs an SPC. Unless a Player and Club expressly agree to the contrary, in the event a Player’s SPC is extended an additional year in accordance with this subsection, all terms of the SPC, with the exception of Signing Bonuses, but including Paragraph 1 Salary, games played bonuses and Exhibit 5 bonuses, shall be extended; provided, however, that the Player’s Paragraph 1 Salary shall be extended in all circumstances.

Emile Poirier turned 19 on December 14. Which means, according to how the CBA calculates ages, 2013 is his 19-year-old year. If he signs an entry-level contract in 2014, that deal is signed in his 20-year-old year…and doesn’t slide. And considering next season he’ll be in a similar position as Ryan Culkin was this year (eligible to play in the NHL, AHL or QMJHL), the Flames would probably like to retain some flexibility.

In other words, expect something to possibly be announced in the near future regarding Emile Poirier, because it’s not likely that the Flames are unaware of these circumstances.

    • piscera.infada

      As @Parallex said in the previous article “Any agent that would recommend that Poirier sign in 2013 is an agent that ought to be fired and find a different line of work as he’d be costing his client hundreds of thousands of dollars“.

      For that reason, it’s doubtful. While it would be in the interest of the organization, I’m not sure that it’s a great idea to get in a pissing match with the player this early into his Flames career, even moreso because of what he’s done this year.

      • T&A4Flames

        So your saying the organization should just defer to the kid and his agent and start off his career by letting him think he can get what he wants with out battling for it?

        • piscera.infada

          No. I’m not saying don’t play hardball and try to get something done. But I’m a little skeptical of it turning into a hubbub. I’ll put it this way, if he’s not signed in 2013, I won’t be jumping off any buildings.

          • T&A4Flames

            No, I won’t get too upset either but I hope they put up a fight. No free rides should translate up to the front office and certainly down to all prospects.

        • mattyc

          Not a battle worth fighting really. Net result is he can be up for a 2nd contract a year earlier (if i understand correctly). Cross that bridge when they get there, since he hasn’t proven he’ll even be worth a 2nd contract.

        • Parallex

          It’s not a matter of deference… why would Poirier sign now when he can just wait two weeks and make some more money earlier? We’re not talking a giant sum of money here (it’ll be peanuts for the Flames, but probably meaningful to Poirier at that point in his life).

          Considering his performance thus far in the Q I actually think the Flames will be pleased with the opportunity to get him to the AHL earlier. Frankly I think waiting until January 1+ would be the Flames just doing right by their prospective employee.

          • T&A4Flames

            Ok everyone. I didn’t say all hell will break loose if they don’t sign him. He likely won’t sign until Jan. I agree it won’t hurt the Flames in anything but a very minor way. I do disagree with the apparent bending over some seem to suggest here. But, maybe Im misreading your thoughts.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    If BB wrote a report condemning certain draft picks or the returned assets in previous trades, how will the new GM handle those assets?

    Will he try and appraise assets (which mature differently) honestly or will he try and support BB’s findings?

    What does BB think of Jankowski? Big centre or waste?

    I hope Calgary smart enough to not blame the kids. I hope BB doesn’t look at prospects and go “none of these kids fit my third line beef template. Jettison. ”

    Draft skill. Sign beef.

    • mattyc

      The only way I see ‘jettison’ is if BB decides someone (like Jankowski) is ‘a waste’, then he’ll leverage them for other assets. Nothing wrong with that, but I doubt he’ll just start releasing picks he doesn’t like until they prove their (lack of) worth.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        What real chance do they have to prove their worth? It seems the report concludes they were the wrong moves.

        How can anyone BB hires be objective? Will they disagree with the head Oompa Loompa’s meticulous, academic and fair findings?

        If you value something to a degree, what is your expectation for fair value? How patient (recall mature differently) did BB say he was?

        Was the GM who shipped out St Louis patient enough? Or did he have his mind made up.

        For all his faults, Feaster showed an ability to learn, to learn from mistakes.

        Does BB give you the impression of being a learner. Or is he the type to think he ‘knows’ what he’s doing? Didn’t he say something to that effect already? How does BB improve? He doesn’t because he thinks he already knows.

        That’s what ego does. It craves validation. It never keeps learning.

        Who or what is challenging BB’s thought process. Weisbrod probably did.

        BB wants underlings. He doesn’t want to be threatened by people who challenge his assumptions. BB has all the signs of a lazy brain. He’s learned enough, now time to apply.

        Imagine if science conducted itself this way.

        • piscera.infada

          Has this report actually been released somewhere? I’m just wondering as who’s to say his issues with Feaster were necessarily based on the prospects we attained in anyway. In fact, Burke has mentioned countless times how much he likes a lot of the prospects Feaster brought here. I seem to recall him saying “much of the future will be thanks to Feaster”.

          It seems to me from what I’ve heard discussed about Feaster, as well as what Burke has said, that a great deal of why Feaster and Weisbrod are gone is due to mismanagement of situation (ie: Iggy, Bouwmeester, ROR, etc.), not based on the return in and of itself in those deals – based more on ‘what’ was brought back, not ‘who’ was brought back.

          As such, I just think it’s a little premature to start worrying that certain prospects are going to get any less of a fair shake than they would have under Feaster. I also don’t see a lot of players acquired to be diametrically opposed to Burke’s “philosophy” anyway.

          You sir, need to take a deep breath, and just let happen what may.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            BB is on record stating draft picks and trade return as justification for firing. (Not to mention internal ie ROR – I assume). He said one can go through transactions and come to own conclusions.

            Which draft picks? Yes he likes some but he didn’t comment on all of them. So there must be some he doesn’t like.

            Read his comments carefully.

          • piscera.infada

            Obviously there will be some he doesn’t like, that’s par for the course. I don’t know why the next step in logic is an assumption that he’ll purge all of our skill prospects – that’s just silly.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            I have to take BB at his word(s). When he states his reasoning for firing Feaster and maintains he wants a blueprint (for a black and blue style) where is there room for the skilled kids Feaster brought in?

            Top 6 you can have smaller players. Does he want size on the top 6 too? The logic I employ follows:

            Baertschi, Klimchuck, Granlund, Gaudreau are prospects on the smallish side. Throw in Jankowski, Reinhart, Poirier, Agostino, Arnold, Hanowski, Ferland (granted the guys after Poirier are probably bottom 6 – but are they BB blueprint bottom 6 – Ferland yes. )

            Who on Flames now sticks?

            Monahan is already a lock there.
            Which of the kids stay? Are there any vet holdovers (Hudler, Glencross?)

            There are only so many spots available (how many spots for smallish guys within that). How to reconcile what BB says with what Flames have.

            If he doesn’t like some, what is he going to accept in return for smaller skilled guys? More Smid trades? Tyler Biggs?

            Yes, I in fact do think he will purge good, skilled kids for truculent crap. When you take over you clean house. Perhaps I’m wrong.

          • piscera.infada

            … And I would agree with Burke that Feaster didn’t seem to have much of a blueprint.

            I don’t however subscribe to the idea that because Burke says “big” it means he’s talking Baertschi out, Gaudreau out, Granlund out, etc. He (Burke) is not stupid, he knows where this team is, if he decides all skilled players need to go for size, than he’s clearly ignoring another thing he has said about this organization from day one, “the need for skill”.

            Obviously he may trade some of those aforementioned prospects, but I also feel it’s silly to just sit on them if there’s a deal to be made that will help this team. I don’t discount there will be some house-cleaning, but to even assume for a minute that he’s going to dismantle all prospect depth for goons and fighters is asinine – regardless of how you feel about his ‘blueprint’. I’m not the biggest Burke fan, but I also believe he’s not idiotic enough to just start throwing away good prospects for bags of sand. That’s just me though. If that’s how you think, that’s your prerogative, and you’re going to need to buckle up for the next few years my friend.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            I initially stated my concerns about Burke, his report which (based on his public description) indicated the mis steps in drafts and trade return ie assets that required F&W to be let go.

            Given that, how could the new GM honestly appraise those assets ? The judgement has been passed. They were mistakes.

            I never stated goons and fighters would be the return. I said truculent players in the mold of Smid or Biggs. With Smid, although I appreciate his game, was a deal that sent out skill and returned grit.

            The matter of details of that trade is not relevant (Feaster may have won that trade). Rather the philosophy of skill for grit.

            When Feaster made Sven his first pick I was elated. Finally some talent that could put the puck in the net.

            No more having a gritty team mixed with a sprinkle of talent as Darryl preferred. It ushered a new philosophy of a skilled team (one that was growing together in Abbotsford – let’s make that clear – F&W contributions are the Heat. The Flames roster, which they were pilloried for – was unsticking Darryl’s mistakes – NMCs, Bourque contract etc.) sprinkled with grit. The Heat were/are a preview of the Feaster vision. What happens when you put a group of high hockey IQ players together? Not a group of small scorers. Kids with hockey brains, some who score and some who do other things but all can read the play on a high level.

            Burke’s vision? Hostile, black and blue, truculence?

            I went to many games at the dome during Darryl’s tenure thinking: I love this team but I dislike the hockey. Up and down the boards. No plays in the middle of the ice.

            That’s the blueprint Calgary is returning to? Yes Burke, is not Darryl but if it quacks like a duck…

            I concede the point, that it is premature to jump here given no GM yet. However, I cringe when I hear/read BB’s comments. He thinks the Heat are doing well but not certain how many are ‘pure prospects’. As if it’s luck. His words.

            I watched the summer camps, Penticton etc. watched how even the unknown, undrafted kids’ games were elevated by the F&W philosophy. I read how outside appraisers remarked how quickly the prospect pool improved (3 drafts to overhaul) how they culled the best from Darryl (Ferland, Buoma, Ortio – FW recognized talent even those they never drafted – perhaps Hanowski, Agostino similar recognition).

            I watched the Heat season unfold. The system was working. Players were developing. Not just first rounders.

            I recall Calgary’s previous development record (cue the sound of crickets).

            I hope I’m wrong but the parallels of Burke to Sutter are too strong.

          • mattyc

            You really shouldn’t take to heart some of the statements made at the press either. BB made a pretty broad & general rationale for terminating Feaster. The draft reference could be from perhaps just the 2012 Janko fiasco. The trades could be the JBO or Iggy or Regehr for that matter. He did not get into specifics. You then jump to all these conclusions that every kid Feaster drafted is going to be jettisoned. Way too much drama & worry IMO.

      • T&A4Flames

        I think you might see a prospect let lapse that will be a bit of a surprise. When Feaster took over he decided not to offer a contract to Joey Leach when the deadline came to sign him or he would re-enter that years draft.

        I think we might see the same thing from Burke, Burke has already publicly stated when he was hired that he had conversations with Feaster where Feaster professed his like of a player and Burke his dislike. With Burkes work in Toronto as well, he probably has had a few scouting reports on some of players or drafting reports that kind of thing, so he may have an opinion or two on those kids already. Will he try to get an assest, probably, but with guys that are already 5,6,7 rounders, not a lot of teams are willing to give any decent assests for guys that are just going to re-enter the draft anyways.

        • mattyc

          It’s certainly possible. Though I think there’s a disconnect between who we *should* have taken (according to Burke) and that a player/prospect should be dumped. For instance, would it be nice to have Teravainen or Ceci or Maata or whoever instead of Jankowski? – maybe… but that doesn’t mean Jankowski is going to be sent packing. Burke may be impatient, and clearly disagrees with some of the moves the Flames made, but I’m sure he knows he’s going to have to work with what he has.

          More generally, I’m not sure we should be taking everything Burke says at face value. I think he says a lot of things for a bunch of reasons (maybe to placate a fan base, get a good quote/quip in, send a message/motivate a player), but I don’t think it necessarily reflects his true beliefs always. The guy’s very bright, and a trained lawyer, he knows how to get ‘full value’ for his words.

  • RKD

    Hindsight is 20/20 but I just looked at who the Flames could have picked had they not traded with Buffalo to move down.

    For starters: Girgensons, and some notable others: Ceci, Hertl, Maatta, and Subban. Let’s see what happens with Mark down the road.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I haven’t been too impressed by Janko either, but it’s a little too early to put him in he Rico Fata Class at this point.

      Maybe (and I mean MAYBE) he’ll figure it out. He’s still a pretty young guy.

      • everton fc

        Fata actually made it to the NHL. Even had one average year with the Pens. I have my doubts Jankowski even get to the AHL, let alone the NHL.

        Just my feeling, of course…

    • everton fc

      The glass is always half empty for you. It appears you have given up on a 19 year old who I am guessing you have never seen play. Im also guessing you not aware that Patrick Seiloff was part of that transaction and he is the real deal. Have you ever seen Seiloff play before you write him off?

      • everton fc

        Seiloff made sense, as a pick, in the spot they picked him. Jankowski did not. He played high school hockey in Quebec. Too much of a dice roll. And yes, I know Seiloff was part of the deal. I think there were better options, then the combo-platter of Seiloff and Jankowski.

        I’ve seen neither play live. I’ve seen Seiloff play on the tube. Time will tell if he is, indeed, “the real deal”.

        My glass was never half empty on Eric Roy. Always full. At least 3/4, prior to the Flames drafting him. Ditto Kanzig. Believe it, or not.

        • T&A4Flames

          Seeing we all have the gift of hindsight, I think if we had taken Maata where we took Janko & Seiloff when we did, we all would be saying Feasty rocks. I’m not all that upset, also to compare Janko to Fata, who was what an 8th or 9th overall pick to 22nd or 23rd. Well you can roll the dice a little more at that pick.

      • RedMan

        might as well throw me into the glass half empty on Jankowski as well. I’ve tried to be positive, but just don’t see a lot of positives.

        And I have never seen him play either. just rely on reports, primarily from here. 🙂

        is that ok with you? 😀

        isn’t it OK to have negative feelings about certain players?

        It’s all part of the fun.

      • BurningSensation

        You can say this about all draft pics really. Not many are shoe-ins. Granted, some have better odds, but outside of the 1st and 2nd rounds I think most prospects don’t amount to much generally.

    • BurningSensation

      Jankowski would have to work extra hard to suck worse than;

      Jason Muzzati
      Jesper Mattson
      Chris Dingman
      Brent Krahn
      Leland Irving
      Matt Pelech
      Kris Chucko
      Rico Fata
      Daniel Tkazcuk
      Chris Biotti
      George Pelawa (who died before playing a game)
      Tim Erixon (who demanded a trade before playing a game)
      Niklas Sundblad (the Swedish Wendel Clark)
      Greg Nemisz

      Throw in the fact that we traded down to get Janko, and that doing so brought in a very decent prospect in Patrick Seiloff and I’d say Janko is almost bulletproof compared to the guys on the list above.

      • RedMan

        A line up of who’s who. A real mix of truculence, goaltending( never draft a goalie in the first round) and some so called skilled players. Makes Feasters drafts look pretty good. The George Pelawa inclusion could have been left out.

      • Parallex

        Why is Sieloff a “very decent prospect”?

        Honestly he really doesn’t seem like it to me… he’s a no offense (even just at the CHL level, where even Robyn Regehr could put up points), relatively undersized, stay at home defenseman that seems to be having trouble staying healthy.

        Seems more very mediocre then very decent to me.

      • everton fc

        I knew someone would toss in a list!

        Hey, I hope Jankowski makes the Hall of Fame. I just don’t think that was a prudent pick. Even with Seiloff thrown in. This fan’s opinion.

        Chucko… Mattson… Pelech… Tkazcuk… Biotti… Sundblad… Muzzati… Great list! Here’s hoping Janko doesn’t add his name to this infamous group! (Agree Pelawa should have been left out, due to the circumstances, but I get the point).

        As for Seiloff… I’m in the same camp as Parallex. Not being overly negative – remember, I think “half-full” when it comes to Kanzig.

        • beloch

          According to one paper I read, the probability of a #14 pick playing 200 games or more in the NHL is 0.55. For a #21 pick it’s 0.43 and for a #42 pick it’s 0.28 [1]. So, believe it or not, trading a #14 pick for a #21 and a #42 pick actually improves your odds of getting a useful NHL’er. For this reason, the Janko move was probably smart, even if what Feaster said about Janko becoming the second coming of Jesus on skates was probably not.

          One thing we should all bear in mind is that, by the middle of the first-round, the odds of a draft pick becoming a useful player are roughly 50/50, and it just gets worse from there. In the time between drafting Phaneuf in 2003 at #9 and Baertschi at #13 in 2011, the Flames picked in the #23-#26 range six times. So far, only one of these picks has resulted in a player, Backlund, who has played 200 games or more. That number might rise to two if Erixon doesn’t wash out. Going forward, that means the odds are stacked against Poirier or Klimchuk becomming useful NHL’ers. If just one of them makes it, that’s actually good!


      • piscera.infada

        Not sure putting guys who died or lost their career to a serious concussion as “sucking” per se.

        Also, the Janko boosters always love to mention Seiloff as though he’s the next coming of Doug Harvey.

        Frankly, even if Seiloff does make it as a regular in the NHL, it will most likely be as a 3rd pairing guy.

        Compared to the players that were passed over, including the much-maligned on this board Girgensons (let alone Teravainen, Ceci, Maata, Hertl, etc.,) even with Seiloff the Janko pick is looking really bad.

        Nor is this a cse of hindsight being 20/20. We’re not talking about picking through and finding one guy who came out of nowhere to defy the odds and become great. We’re talking about a half dozen players who were universally ranked higher than Janko.

        Seiloff or no Seiloff, Feaster and Weisbrod blew that draft by trying to outsmart the rest of the league rather than just taking a consensus pick in a draft that’s started to produce a lot of good 1st rounders.

        Look at it this way. Add any of those players listed to Monahan (a pick they didn’t try to get ‘cute’ on) Baertschi, Poirier and Klimchuk and the future for Calgary looks even brighter.

        BB was right about one thing: theFlames can not afford to blow their picks.

        • piscera.infada

          I agree with you re: Janko wholeheartedly. At the same time though, we need to also remember that Poirier was considered “off the board” as well. Feaster was lambasted on this site for that pick, until people got to know a little more about the player.

          I’m not saying that Janko is defensible at this point. I am saying however, that using “universally ranked higher” as an absolute harbinger of success over and above 20/20 hindsight is awkward.

          For the record, I was big on Girgensons that year. That said, I also hope that Janko works out and proves everyone wrong – even if it’s not with this team. But hey, I like a good underdog story.

          • piscera.infada

            Funny, because I never disliked the Poirier pick.

            Your point is well-taken and I’m not suggesting “universally ranked higher” is the be all/end all, but I do think there was a far wider gap between Janko and most of the other players I listed than between Poirier and say Shinkaruk.

            Not to mention that the respective leagues both guys were playing in at the time, the number of viewings etc.

            Seeing a guy a 1 or 2 times in a Quebec high school legaue and falling in love with a sappy vision of ‘what could be’ had disaster written all over it right from the start.

            Now? We’re stuck with him, nor is it his fault he was chosen where he was, so I hope he takes the proverbial quantum leap as much as anyone.