Five things: A shocking amount of Flames items

1. Busy busy busy

At this point in the year, it seems logical that most teams would try to keep things pretty quiet, not too intent to tip their hands with relation to trades, front-office shakeups, or really anything else. There’s the odd exception, of course: New York signing Alain Vigneault as coach, Colorado talking to anyone and everyone about exactly what they’re going to do with the No. 1 overall pick, a few big contracts for Russian players out of Los Angeles and Detroit.

And yet Calgary has been a topic of conversation for about a week now, for various reasons, and it’s nice to some extent to see the extents to which the team is now willing to go to make sure they are at the very least not boring. So without much more ado, I guess let’s get right down to the thing I think will probably be most important for this organization going forward. 

2. Shanahan or Campbell coming aboard

That’s the rumor right now: One of them is going to be leaving the NHL’s head offices and likely heading to Calgary, which tells you how nice it must be for both of them at the NHL’s head office these days.

Getting Ken King out of his job seems like a good idea at this point simply because he’s — if nothing else — a symbol of all the years of frustration the organization has gone through in the last several years. Getting an actual hockey guy into the role, meanwhile, seems like a great idea. Someone to say to Jay Feaster, who is himself not necessarily a hockey guy, "I don’t think that’s a good idea and here’s why," would be a welcome addition to the front office.

Now, as for the fact that it’s Shanahan, who has never held a front office job in hockey, and Campbell, who was more or less forced out of his job because of some very embarrassing emails and has been skulking in the shadows ever since, well, the optics aren’t necessarily great. That’s they’re the last two guys to take on the rather thankless task of telling players and teams who’s getting suspended and for long and why will probably make the hire a little more mockable, as will the fact that Campbell’s last job with an actual team came at a time when you still had to call a phone number to connect to the internet.

Again, this is a change that needs to be made. I think it’s a positive. It’ll be mocked to some extent, mostly because it’s incredibly easy and fun to mock the Flames, but getting more hockey people in an organization oddly devoid of them can’t be a bad thing. Well, okay, it might be. But I’m all for the gamble at this point.

3. Trying to trade all the picks

Here’s another thing that I think people laughed at a little bit, and which I thought was a great idea. The Flames need a top-end player. They miiiiiiight get one at No. 6, but it seems a little unlikely to be one that would help right when the puck drops on 2013-14.

Colorado was also right to tell Jay Feaster to take his three picks back to the bus station and get lost, because it wouldn’t have been an especially good look for the team picking first overall to dump that pick without something significant (say, a good roster player) coming back the other way. With that having been said, Calgary might have been able to sweeten the deal a little more, but that they didn’t is also fine.

The idea of a Nathan MacKinnon or Seth Jones in Calgary is obviously an enticing one, but the same could be said of their being in Colorado. Another good gamble by Feaster in my book.

4. No buyouts?

Okay this is less of a good gamble but I guess the team doesn’t care because they won’t be anywhere near the salary cap and will need all the warm bodies they can get next season, but nonetheless I was a little surprised by this revelation from Feaster last week.

I figured someone on the roster, an older defenseman who sucks and is on the last year of his deal JUST TO PICK SOMEONE AT RANDOM, might be a candidate, but again, I see the need to just keep guys on the roster and maybe take the value in "having someone to show them what it takes to be a pro" or whatever. That’s all fine. There will be plenty of rookies on the team.

5. Corban Knight will probably make this team next year

I love love love this trade, and it’s a really great thing for Calgary to pull off just to take advantage of Florida being in rather a precarious situation. Obviously I’m not one to give Feaster any credit, and I don’t think he’s any good at trading (or much of anything, really) in general, but this was great stuff.

Knight is an very, very good two-way center for North Dakota. He excels at the faceoff dot and logged heavy minutes. Here’s a real stat I dug up on him ahead of the NCAA tournament when I was writing my EXCELLENT PREVIEW for Puck Daddy: He took 1,024 draws in just 40 games, and won 591 (57.7 percent). That was more wins than the next-closest guy on his team even took total. That’s how much he was relied upon by a very good college hockey team this year.

Obviously, quality centers are a bit of a rarity with this team, and honestly, I wouldn’t be shocked if this kid gets an extended run-out with the big club this year. He’s going to be 23 when the season starts and now seems as good a time as any to see what he’s got. We’re none of us getting any younger.

  • RexLibris

    Weisbrod’s name has come up a few times in relation to the Bruins’ success these past few seasons in relation to his work at the draft.

    I decided to take a look at the Bruins draft history to ascribe to Weisbrod the prospects chosen from within his geographic focus (keeping in mind that scouting groups tend to work collectively, but it is usually up to the local guy to do the leg work and rank a preliminary list).

    So from 2006 to 2011 the picks, and rankings taken from a variety of sources, are as follows:

    2006: Phill Kessel, 5th overall from U. of Minn. Concensus ranking before the draft had him in the top five. Not likely a draft position wherein one could say that Weisbrod “discovered” him, more likely a broad choice made by the majority of scouts with the backing of management.

    2007: Tommy Cross, 35th overall, Westminster H.S. Conn. Listed 5th in Boston’s blueline depth chart at Hockey’s Future, a 6.5 C grade. *I tend to be very skeptical of this source for rankings, but the depth charts are generally fair.

    2008: Mark Goggin, 197th overall, Choate Rosemary Hall, Conn. Last on their C depth chart and ranked 6.0 D. NCAA career to date: 35 gp, 12pts.

    2009: None directly attributable.

    2010: Justin Florek, 135th overall, North Mich. U. 3rd on LW depth chart, 6.0 C, wore the “C” in his last NCAA year.79 AHL gp, 31 pts. Projects as a depth LW with size.

    2011: Brian Ferlin, 121st overall, Indiana Ice USHL. 7.0 C, second on RW depth chart. NCAA, 60gp, 45 pts. Projects well as depth RW with size. Rob O’Gara, 151st overall, Milton Academy, Mass. 6th on D depth chart, 6.5 D. One year in NCAA, 37 gp, 7 pts, -5, 32 PIMs. Large defender, projects as bottom pairing, with possible 2nd pairing shutdown ceiling.

    Weisbrod has done some decent work, but his work with the Flames is only beginning and we’ll have to wait until he builds up a body of work to determine whether he is capable of handling the duties of being a Head Scout (his role, for all intents and purposes).

  • aloudoun

    The Flames need a for sure home run with this 6th overall pick and I think Nichushkin is not a sure thing… and plus I would rather see them take a center. For me this is my dream

    Mackinnon
    Barkov
    Lindholm
    Droiun

    (excuse the spelling)

    • Truculence

      Very, very good point. I`ve read scouting reports by McKeens, Pronman, and future considerations and it is interesting to see how most of them are enamored with `potential`, as opposed to accomplishments.

      This guy is the epitome of a high-risk, high-reward prospect. I`d say there is a 25 percent chance this guy becomes an elite forward in the vein of Malkin or Ovechkin, a 25 percent chance he becomes a Semin-type player, and a fifty percent chance he is a bust like Alexander Svitov and Alexandre Volchkov (both were top five Russian picks, as well, that were touted as snipers or can`t miss forwards).

    • Truculence

      Very, very good point. I`ve read scouting reports by McKeens, Pronman, and future considerations and it is interesting to see how most of them are enamored with `potential`, as opposed to accomplishments.

      This guy is the epitome of a high-risk, high-reward prospect. I`d say there is a 25 percent chance this guy becomes an elite forward in the vein of Malkin or Ovechkin, a 25 percent chance he becomes a Semin-type player, and a fifty percent chance he is a bust like Alexander Svitov and Alexandre Volchkov (both were top five Russian picks, as well, that were touted as snipers or can`t miss forwards).

  • BurningSensation

    @Rex Libris

    This conversation brings to mind something I’ve been meaning to ask an articulate Oilers fan, are you happy with how the Oilers are constructed?

    I ask because I look at the team and see precisely 6 pieces (Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, Schultz-the-good, and Klefbom) that I think are good fits. The rest looks like a total mess.

    For example, as bad as I think Calgary is, I see them as being in a much better situation with their rebuild than Edmonton. The Flames currently lack the centerpieces of their rebuild (in particular, a #1 C, a #1 W, and a #1 D), but otherwise have nice secondary pieces already in place (Gio, Brodie, Baertschi, Backlund, Glen-X, Cammalleri) or on the way (Gaudreau, Gillies, Wotherspoon, Brossoit, Jankowski, Arnold, Reinhart, Knight, etc).

    Getting an ‘A’ grade talent this year, and hopefully a couple of B+ guys later in the draft will go a long way towards setting up the future of the roster.

    But for Edmonton, there are holes at #2 C, an entire 3rd line (though PRV may be one of them), a #1 D, 3-4 D, and G.

    Compounding the problem is that Hall and Nuge are rapidly burning through their ELCs, Eberle has likely reached his ceiling (I am not one who sees him as a perpetual PPG guy), and overall the roster is on the smurfy side and lacking in guys who can do heavy lifting.

    How would you assess where the Oiler rebuild is currently at?

    • Avalain

      This seems a bit much… I typically enjoy your comments, but really? we are better off right now than Edmonton???!? I’d trade teams teams straight up 1000 times out of 1000 and I believe 30 GMs would as well. Sort of sums up that argument… Not saying Edmonton has done ,uh well beyond sucking, and I know we can do better. But saying all they have is Hall, Eberle, RHN, Yakupov and Schultz but the rest is a mess is a good laugh. Is that it?? Poor Edmonton, they must sure wish hey had some depth players and Tim Jackan like us..

      • BurningSensation

        It’s a matter of how you judge the way the rebuild is going.

        I definitely prefer the EDM top 6 players to ours, but outside of those six guys, I think the Oilers are in a bad way. Not only that but the six players they have aren’t good compliments to each other, and the pieces don’t fit.

        By contrast, Calgary could make the playoffs with almost the same roster from last year plus some league average goaltending.

        A rebuild is about more than just; finish last, draft 1st, wash, rinse, repeat, Win Cup!

        In Calgary’s case, I don’t put the date of the rebuild on Feaster finally announcing one, I put it on the day they dealt Regehr. Since then the team has gotten younger, added draft picks, rebuilt the AHL team, hired advanced stats guys, a draft guru, etc.

        If you took three excellent prospects (say; Barkov, Nichushkin and Nurse) and added them to Calgary’s current situation they would be competitive much faster and longer than Edmonton adding a similar number of players.

    • RexLibris

      While I have some misgivings over some of Tambellini’s moves, or lack thereof, I think his generally conservative demeanor was best for the team during the initial building stage. It prevented moving any of the picks or young players for veteran help.

      The downside of that though was that it also prevented him from moving any of the veterans for better bottom six help.

      Some have criticized the Oilers’ drafting for them not selecting a defenseman with a 1st overall, while others have suggested that they ought to have traded away one of those picks for an immediate NHL-ready player.

      My opinion on that is that there was never a defenseman who was as good as any of the forward prospects. And trading a 1st overall for an NHL player is highly unlikely to return equal value.

      As for comparing situations between the Oilers and Flames, they are at different stages in their respective life-cycles. The Flames have a decent supporting cast, though I don’t think it is as strong now as it has been in years previous. What they lack is elite level talent, arguably the hardest thing to acquire. They have some prospects who may yet prove to be second-line top-six in Gaudreau and Baertschi. With luck they will be able to find a first-line forward in this draft and add one or two potential depth players.

      If I take off my fan-hat for a moment and try to judge which of the two teams is in the stronger position right now I think it has to go to the Oilers simply because they have a core. The Flames have all the complimentary pieces but nothing solid around which to build, and as Kent has noted on several occasions, that is the most difficult task for a GM.

      Here is a caveat though, neither team is in a particularly strong position right now. The Oilers have some major roster issues facing them and there is a tonne of talk about them trading one of Smid or Petry as well as Horcoff and Hemsky in addition to letting go of Whitney, Fistric, Petrell, Jones and Khabibulin. I’m not suggesting those latter names should be kept, but those are a lot of bodies to lose over one off-season.

      If we online armchair GMs are right in that the Oilers plan on trading the 7th overall for Jake Gardiner and then acquire a center like Johansen for Hemsky, prospects or more picks, then the roster has taken a step forward. But there are significant challenges ahead and it is difficult even for our online community to imagine that all this can be accomplished in one summer by a rookie GM.

      I’m not overly concerned about ELCs right now as I sincerely believe the cap is going to quickly rise back to $70 million. Also, Eberle is very likely to be the first of the core to be traded, if it comes to it.

      As for the Flames, the best way to acquire the top talent they need is by drafting, however the time involved in pursuing that route means that any bottom six depth they have today is likely to be irrelevant once those prospects are ready. This coming season will go a long way to determining the viability of the Flames’ rebuild. I know this will make me unpopular here, but I would suggest that should they finish the season drafting outside of the top five it would not be in their best long-term interests.

      There aren’t any real trade options that I can see available to bring in top talent unless it involves trading away multiple 1st round picks and as you mentioned, they have a good collection of support players although their likely market value is not equivalent to the young talented players the team requires (like B. Schenn, Couturier, etc).

      All this said, I also believe that Feaster will try and avoid this route and attempt to rebuild the team along lines similar to Burke, avoiding a bottom finish and looking for talent through trade and free-agency while targeting younger players in both cases.

      Either way, I suspect that Alberta will be providing plenty of storylines for hockey fans over the next few years. At long last, it will be exciting to be a fan of either team if for no other reason than it will be a change from the past few years.

    • BurningSensation

      Knight essentially forced their hand. By staying in College the full four years he was elligible to become a free agent if Florida didn’t sign him.

      Calgary was among several teams that approached Florida about him, and Florida granted permission to those teams to speak with him on the condition that Florida would get some sort of compensation if a deal could be reached with the player.

      By all accounts I’ve read Calgary and Edmonton where the two teams that Knight agreed to speak with about signing on, and Calgary’s offer of a 4th was something Edmonton couldn’t match (having a lesser 4th rnd pick than Calgary and no 3rd).

  • BurningSensation

    @Rex Libris

    “But regardless of his declaration of coming over to North America, there is still some risk involved.”

    I’d say there is less ‘risk’ involved with Nichushkin’s passport than there is with Barkov’s surgically repaired shoulder, or MacKinnon being a natural center at the next level.

    • RexLibris

      See, I’m actually the opposite. I know, you’re amazed.

      I have no concerns about Barkov’s shoulder, as I’ve seen a few of these rehab over the past few years. And MacKinnon doesn’t strike me as any less of a “natural center” than many others I’ve seen in that position.

      The center position still has a wide range of possible types from the Nugent-Hopkins to the Duchenes to the Malkins to the Getzlafs. There isn’t a cookie-cutter type, provided they have enough intelligence to read and react to plays defensively and cover the ice from net to net.

      I’ll add one more thing about Nichushkin and risk. If the Flames drafted him June 30th I think he’d be on their opening night roster in October. No argument. He is good and arguably NHL-ready.

      My question is whether he is still on their opening roster five years from now. I’m not trying to call upon the ghost of Radulov, but I do have some questions.

      I think some of our disagreement in this regard also stems from our relative points of view. The team I cheer for is in a position that they are looking for specific integral pieces at this stage, and that impacts my outlook. The Flames are in an entirely different mode right now and really, why not take a shot on Nichushkin.

      My original comment wasn’t meant to suggest that they should pass on him, but rather just sending along some information that I thought might be of interest to the FN readers.

      I’d love to see Feaster call Nichushkin’s name at the draft. It’d be a big, bold move and, like I said, make things interesting in the BoA again.

      At the same time, I’d like to see the Oilers trade the 7th overall for a young NHL-ready player to fit into the top six forward or top four blueline rotation.

      Like I said, different situations and different perspectives.

      • BurningSensation

        “I have no concerns about Barkov’s shoulder, as I’ve seen a few of these rehab over the past few years. And MacKinnon doesn’t strike me as any less of a “natural center” than many others I’ve seen in that position.”

        None of which I disagree with. I would add though, that we have seen literally dozens of Russians come over to the NHL after being drafted, and only once has a Russian bailed on his team. It’s akin to pointing to the one guy who never really got right after shoulder surgery as a reason to assess Barkov as ‘risky’.

        I also agree he would undoubtably be on the opening night roster. He had the NHLE of a 20 goal scorer as a 17 year old, and his tool kit is ridiculous.

        I don’t think it’s all that ‘bold’ a move to take him though, especially once he declared his intentions to play in the NHL. He’s been far less coy about playing in the NHL than Kuznetsov in Washington, and Kuznetsov is pretty much a guarantee to be a Captial post Olympics,

        I think that the Oilers should use their pick at #7 – as there is a guarantee of talent being there, but I also think they are making a HUGE mistake in not flushing out Gagner for a better fitting piece. The Oilers can’t fix all the holes in their roster just by moving #7, so better to tackle them one at a time and make the pick rather than trying to make a quick fix trade from a deep draft.

  • the forgotten man

    Getting Lindholm or Monahan works for this year…Flames need to tank this coming year yet and try to pickup a bonafide 1C or dynamite winger…I just don’t see this team legitimately contending for the next 10 years without a couple of more studs in the lineup…watching the playoffs, one realizes how deep in the s$&t this team actually is. I am looking long ball here… Here’s to tanking this coming year…bottoms up.

    • RexLibris

      I wondered about the Flames taking Lindholm, letting him play over in the SEL for another year (something he has said he will do anyway) and then just running their roster this season with a sell-off at the deadline. It would likely garner a pick around #3 or #4 overall and let them add to their prospect pool while others (Jankowski, Gaudreau, Lindholm, Gillies, Wotherspoon) continue to develop.

      It isn’t likely they are going to rebuild with 1st overalls, but a collection of top five picks and some solid depth picks could get the job done.

      Patience will be key, and we’ll have to see if Feaster’s words will match his actions.

  • BurningSensation

    @Rex Libris

    “Given Feaster’s penchant for gambling, I can absolutely see he and Weisbrod selecting Nichushkin at #6, assuming he is still there”

    Given Nichushkin is widely regarded by the scouts and agencies as being anywhere from the #2 to #5 prospect on the board, how is taking him at #6 a ‘gamble’?

    We could have a top end talent fall into our lap!

    • RexLibris

      We’ve covered this before.

      Nichushkin isn’t a gamble in terms of talent, only whether that talent is available and can mesh with the team culture.

      Cherepanov fell for some similar, albeit more pronounced, reasons and the lack of a transfer agreement at the time. Sadly he was never granted the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.

      I think it would be really exciting for the Flames to draft Nichushkin. It could set up another layer of rivalry between the two teams to have highly-touted Russians facing off against one another.

      • BurningSensation

        “Nichushkin isn’t a gamble in terms of talent, only whether that talent is available and can mesh with the team culture”

        What more can the kid say that would convince you he is interested in coming over to play in the NHL?

        The ‘mesh with the team culture’ concern is interesting, since one of the more common complaints about the Flames has been it’s culture.

        That said, maybe it’s just me but I flat out don’t buy arguments about culture involving Russians if they aren’t also made about Fins, Swedes, or kids from Quebec.

        • RexLibris

          “That said, maybe it’s just me but I flat out don’t buy arguments about culture involving Russians if they aren’t also made about Fins, Swedes, or kids from Quebec.”

          We agree.

          When I talk about team culture, I mean it in the same way that I have had reservations about North American players based on how they act within a team dynamic.

          This isn’t a Russian thing, its a personality thing.

          • please cancel acct

            I love this post .It,s profound in a knowing way how cultures crossover in the NHL.

            Russians in my world are different than Swede’s and Fins and kid’s from Quebec (CANADIANS)

            Russian culture is unique and does pose difficulties for player’s trying to achieve success in America.

            ,s

  • RexLibris

    Datsyuk had a horrible interview as well, but on the opposite side of the spectrum. He was shy, reserved, rarely made eye contact. Even looking at him today, his appearance isn’t an inviting one that might make a GM or scout “feel good” about the interaction.

    Kent had an article a year or more ago about manager’s inabilities in this regard.

    The interviews obviously serve a purpose, but I’m just not sure, given some of the questions that have come out, that it is entirely necessary.

    Similar to the draft combine, I don’t think the top end guys necessarily need to do all the testing. I think it is more for some of the deeper drafted guys to stand out or prove a point about themselves.

  • RexLibris

    Gregor interviewed the head of ISS today who commented that Nichushkin came across as arrogant and entitled in his interviews.

    Not certain what that is worth to readers here, but I suspect it will have a polarizing affect on some GMs. Some will see it as confidence and interpret it as a positive character trait, others will deem it a liability.

    Given Feaster’s penchant for gambling, I can absolutely see he and Weisbrod selecting Nichushkin at #6, assuming he is still there.

    High risk, but certainly a high reward.

    • BurningSensation

      IIRC Ovechkin was way, way, beyond cocky in his interviews.

      Not to mention the kid is doing the interviews in his second (or third) language.

      If I were 6’4″, 205, could fly down the ice like he can, and then dangle like a smurf of 5’9″, I’d be cocky too.

      • BurningSensation

        Do I ever agree with your thoughts. The NHL is the elite league. I dont care what nationality you are you have been dreaming of playing in the NHL. If the Flames draft you are are in an exceptional group of teenagers around the world that has a 1 in 750 chance of playing in the NHL. Screw the KHL, it is secondary and they know it. if the Flames draft you its them or the Siberian desert. Enjoy your opportunity!

      • RexLibris

        It might also be cultural, or agent training, or just plain ego.

        Who knows. It was an offhand comment, but those kinds of things stick out to me.

        He’ll likely be one heck of a player. But regardless of his declaration of coming over to North America, there is still some risk involved. And this coming from someone who vehemently speaks against any sort of xenophobic fear-mongering at drafting Russian prospects.

  • BurningSensation

    Just hearing about El Niño wanting a trade off of the Isle! Lets go Jay! Get on the horn! Any thoughts on what we would need to give up? We are so weak on RW that I think this is a great fit with the Sven connection and all!

  • BurningSensation

    I am honestly happy with any of the/my top 7;

    1. MacKinnon
    2. Barkov
    3. Drouin
    4. Jones
    5. Lindholm
    6. Nichushkin
    7. Monahan

    Nichushkin has tools that can take your breath away;

    That is what my friends and I call ‘Fear My Wingspan’

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Everything I read and hear is the same: the first 3 are pretty much unanimous: MacKinnon, Jones, Douin, and the forth is either Barkov or Nichushkin, and it wouldn’t be hard to see Barkov get picked in the top 3 either. So, it’s pretty easy to envision a scenario where the Flames are left choose from 2 of Nichushkin, Lindholm and Monahan.

      For me, Nichushkin is so damn risky! I just hope he gets picked up early, or Darnel Nurse sneaks into the top 5 and Barkov falls to the Flames.

      • BurningSensation

        Barkov (or a trade up to get MacKinnon) is my dream scenario. Barkov is everything the team needs except for elite speed.

        But outside of Feaster trading the pick away outright, I just don’t see a bad option at #6. In my worst case scenario we draft Monahan and pray he’s closer to Ron Francis than he is to Mike Fisher.

    • Cowtown 1989

      Loved the highlight package but couldn’t help notice the vast majority of goals were individual efforts swooping in around slower moving D (Seth included) using said wingspan to tuck the puck in. I wonder how that will translate to quicker and more aggressive NHL defensemen. Love the high end skill but we may be better suited to build around a Monahan or Lindholm as Jay has stated how hard it is to get a 1-C. Nichushkin looks like a young Ovie.

      On a side note, does Cammy or Tangs fetch us a second?

      • BurningSensation

        What was interesting to me was how Nichushkin was beating EVERYBODY wide, not just slow footed coke machines (Jones for example is a gifted skater and Nichushkin schooled him).

        The other thing was how comfortable he was handling and shooting in tight spaces.

        I wouldn’t have any problem at all if Nichushkin was our pick. None. His tool kit is exceptional.

      • Avalain

        I think Cammy for sure would net us a 2nd but I think a prospect would be more desirable. Especially if, as Roger Millions suggests, the target might be Ottawa. They’re loaded with forward prospects. If we can’t draft Hartman I’d sure love to trade for Noesen!

        Tanguay being older and with more term on his deal won’t get us too much I don’t think.

      • Avalain

        This is exactly what I was thinking. Most of the goals were basically the same move. He’s simply overpowering the defense and that worries me, because there’s a chance things like that won’t work at the NHL level.

        Of course, if he can still manage to do this at the KHL level then maybe there is hope. It still worries me though.

  • icedawg_42

    I think Stajan centers Glencross and Stempniak next season. They used that line a lot last year, liked it, makes sense that they’d use it some more.

    Backlund probably plays with Hudler and Baertschi (I guess). Since it sounds like Cammalleri and/or Tanguay will be gone.

    So I suppose that leaves Knight to play with Tanguay and Horak (or maybe Reinhart instead of Tanguay).

    I’m looking forward to The Carbon Knight next season, though I’m trying not to expect too much. Maybe he’ll at least win a few draws.

    • RexLibris

      That first group sounds like a good 1st line for this team, let them go against the toughest competition and get their heads bashed in (worst-case scenario) because you aren’t going to ruin their development now.

      The 2nd line gets a decent push and some fair to good competition to keep pushing their development without having any really tough hills to climb, at least on home ice.

      The 3rd line is up in the air. Certainly you want Knight, if he makes the NHL, to start as a 3rd line guy and putting him with Horak gives you a solid work ethic duo. Tanguay? Who knows. He might be a buyout, but we’ll see.

      The 4th line will just have to try and keep the puck out of their net and the noses on the faces of their teammates at this stage. Anything else will be bonus.

  • BurningSensation

    Yeah, but I heard Lindholm has a better chance at being a #1C than Monohan. I hear Monohan is maybe a #3 to start & upside to #2. I’m sure that could be debated big time. If Carolina happens to scoop Lindholm at #5, leaving us Monohan & Nichushkin, the Russian sounds like a potential franchise forward. That’s a tough call & maybe Knight sways the Flames to opting for the Russian. I think Barkov & Mckinnon are your shoe-in #1C material & then maybe Lindholm. All 3 could very well be gone by #6.

    • icedawg_42

      So in that scenario the choice would be between Monahan and Nichushkin. Hmm. That IS a tough one. I myself had read Monahan could project to be a #1 C – but not elite. I still think there are a few red flags on the Russian kid…but as nothing more than a Flames fan, I’m pretty far from the whole story.

  • Avalain

    I don’t know, I think our pick at 6 could fight for a spot. Then again, in my head the draft happens as follows:

    1. Jonathan Drouin
    2. Seth Jones
    3. Zachary Fucale
    4. Darnell Nurse
    5. Valeri Nichuskin
    6. Nathan MacKinnon

    That can happen, right?…right?

  • icedawg_42

    I’ve been a big Stajan detractor for his time in Calgary. He earned a lot of grace last season. Given how he played last season, how do you see him at #3? He’s the most veteran center on the team and pretty much the only forward scoring at a first line rate for the team last season.

    / I think he at least starts the season as #1 center. Backs at #2 which leaves Knight at #3 (at best) – and I’m fine with that.

    • beloch

      Stajan has been playing like Stajan ever since he came to the Flames. i.e. Thoroughly mediocre. When he first came to the Flames his ice-time was slashed in half, his sh% (i.e. luck) tanked, and he looked correspondingly awful. Last season his ice-time was upped, his sh% normalized, and he looked a lot better. His underlying stats have remained more or less constant (and mediocre). I’m willing to give him some kudos for coming through that “whipping boy” phase without turning into a basket-case, be he’s no #1C.

      Backlund’s ceiling is probably a mediocre #1C, but he shouldn’t be relied upon to be available for the entire season. Sufficient redundancy to replace him appears crucial at this point. He appears to be a lot like Moss in that respect.

      The Flames still need centers, especially an elite one. Backlund looks a lot better on the 2nd line. Matt Stajan is 29 and probably isn’t going to be a very productive player in 3-4 years once the Flames rookies come into their own. He might be a useful piece for the next couple of seasons, but trading him sooner rather than later will maximize his value. If, later next season, the Flames’ top-6 looks like it can survive without Stajan he should be moved.

    • Avalain

      I think piscera meant that Knight will top out as a #2 center, which means we still really need to try for a #1 center with our 6th pick. Getting him doesn’t change our needs substantially.

      • piscera.infada

        I meant he MIGHT (if we get lucky) top out as a #2 centre. I think he will be a great #3 (fingers crossed).

        But exactly, it changes nothing about our draft at all. The Flames have stated BPA for close to a month now, so that wouldn’t change it anyway.

        Not to mention, as has been stated here numerous time. You can never have too much depth at centre.

        • icedawg_42

          I agree with that. Realistically I hope they draft Lindholm, even though he’s decided to play another year in the SEL. Monahan, is probably just as NHL ready, so either way I suppose we *could* see the #6 pick play, but there’s no way he’d slot in at #1

  • piscera.infada

    I see Backlund getting #1 line(not sure what that is in Calgary these days) & Knight getting #2 line. Stajan will be #3 with moveme up depending on how Backlund & Knight fair. Whoever we draft #6, I don’t see them on the team come Sept.

    Cant help wonder if the Knight trade & signing allows the Flames to lean toward picking Nichushkin if both he & Monohan are available at #6.

    Getting King out of Hockey ops is a great thing & whether its Shanahan or Campbell or Burke or whoever, this is a good thing. King has his fingerprints on a lot of things that have gone wrong & why the on ice team is where it is. Any President with Hockey knowledge would never have let Dutter run the way it was run for so long. Personally, King should have been gone with Darryl. Edwards still has value keeping King & to save him, getting King out of the sightlines of the mob is mandatory. It’s a win win, would be just nice to get the right guy, which would have been last year.

    • piscera.infada

      I don’t think Knight really changes your draft in any way. Knight is what, a #2 centre – if he blows everyone away? I don’t think you pass over a center at the draft this year unless somehow (via massive league conspiracy) Monahan, Barkov, Lindholm, and MacKinnon are all gone by #6. But then you get Drouin, Jones, or Nischukin.