Did the Flames/Penguins Get Value in the Iginla Deal?

 

 

Objectively assessing a trade can be difficult and the common belief is that whomever receives the best player in the deal wins. This isn’t entirely true as assets can develop, emerge and teams can go through many changes that aren’t immediately obvious or quantifiable.

The first pronouncement on the Iginla deal was that the Flames got the short end of the stick. Many fans and observers were underwhelmed with the initial return for Iginla. However, since he has now signed with the Penguins’ divisional rival – the same one that shut both he and the team that traded for him out in the conference finals – the scales would appear to be tipping back in the Flames’ favour at this point.

Now seems as good a time as any to take another look at the overall deal and reassess the value received on either side relative to the costs and risks involved.

 

The Deal

First, the trade itself: March 28th, 2013 – to the Penguins Jarome Iginla. To the Flames the rights to Ken Agostino, rights to Ben Hanowski, and a 2013 1st round pick.

I have listed the trade as it appeared on that day, including the rights to the players and a 1st round pick whose place was as yet undetermined for the purpose of highlighting the exact nature of what Feaster and Shero negotiated.

The Penguins got Iginla for 28 games, 13 regular season and 15 post-season during which he chipped in 11 regular season points (5-6-11) and 12 post-season points (4-8-12),averaging over 15 minutes a night in the post-season. He was a contributor in the Penguins’ run to the end of the regular season and was a factor in their first two post-season series wins, but was shut out during the conference finals against the Bruins managing only five shots and going -4 on the series with only 2 penalty minutes.

He was not alone amongst Penguins forwards in this regard as Sidney Crosby, Evgeny Malkin and other star players were effectively kept under wraps by the Bruins during the Conference Finals.

The trade benefited the Penguins by providing depth to a team that is clearly within their window of opportunity to win championships. Ray Shero is under pressure to capitalize on the talent they have assembled at this moment and produce a legacy of winning before the inevitable decline. In this way the trade was a responsible use of assets and, disappointment and defeat aside, was a reasonable bet on a player with a consistent record. 

From the Other Side of the Table

Going the other way, the Flames got two prospects ranked around the middle of the Penguins’ system by Hockey’s Future and a 1st round selection. The Flames’ development system this spring was facing a shortage of capable prospects at or near ready to jump to the NHL. They have some promising forwards in the system but most are several years’ away from challenging for an NHL job. Hanowski addresses this need and the inclusion of the 1st round pick is a given for any team trading away franchise core players and that is fully cognizant of their imminent need to rebuild. Agostino is still in the NCAA with one more year of eligibility in Yale and is also close to making the jump to the AHL.

Both Hanowski and Agostino are forwards who projected well in the Penguins’ system as bottom six-support players who can contribute offensively and play an intelligent game. Shero deemed them expendable on account of the aforementioned window of opportunity, despite the fact that this left the team with a noticeable shortage of left wing prospects in the system.

The 1st round pick turned out to be 28th overall and returned prospect Morgan Klimchuk, a player whose resume carries some of the same attributes as Agostino and Hanowski: someone who displays hockey intelligence, brings offense to the game, plays a competitive style and appears to display a strong work ethic. He also projects to be a good complementary player who can contribute to a strong team.

 

Cost

The cost to the Penguins wasn’t insignificant as they now have a weak prospect base on the left wing and felt confident that the 1st round pick would fall somewhere between 27th and 30th.

To the Flames the cost of the deal had more perhaps to do with organizational pride than anything. The Flames franchise defined itself by Iginla for the last decade and the act of trading him away signaled a move that had been resisted, denied even, by every facet of the franchise for the past few years. That being said the alternative would have been to lose Iginla to free agency and thus watch as a core asset turned to ash in their hands.

Who Won?

On trade day the Penguins won the trade. The day they were eliminated from the playoffs the deal was more or less even, following the draft the deal swung in Calgary’s favour and the moment that Iginla signed with the Bruins as a free agent it was a clear win for the Flames. Years from now, if none of Agostino, Hanowski or Klimchuk play more than a combined 100 NHL games the deal would probably look like a horrible loss for the Flames, but as revisions and hindsight take their toll on the deal one needs to be mindful of the weak position from which Feaster bargained

If any one of the players the Flames got in return for Iginla becomes an NHL player who can legitimately play in the top six or post a career of 600 NHL games or more then the deal becomes a win for the Flames. Iginla’s career numbers were based on his time in Calgary, and aren’t likely to change significantly now that he has left. The team didn’t sell a young star too soon, and had benefited from every ounce of his value internally before finally finding him a new home. Any fault one finds in the trading of Jarome Iginla should be centered around waiting too long to make the move, and less so on the deal once it was finalized.

Did the Penguins get value in the move? Arguably no, as they likely would have made it as far as they did with or without Iginla. He was a contributor but is past the stage in his career where he could carry a team through a playoff series on his own.

Did the Flames get value from the deal? Iginla was an expiring UFA and it was clear to everyone that he was not going to re-sign in Calgary. Therefore, logically it would have been a good move to trade him for the rights to Linus Omark and a signed Gino Odjick helmet. Given the state of the Flames franchise heading into a complete rebuild and faced with the prospect of losing an asset without compensation, the only reasonable thing to do was to trade him. When one factors in the veto power Iginla had in negotiating his final destination the return is understandable, laudable even. The Flames got value for Iginla though, not because of any superior negotiating power, but because their backs were against the wall and they had only two options.

Perhaps as the years go on and Hanowski, Agostino and Klimchuk develop, and as Iginla’s career gradually winds down, perceptions will change.

Around the Nation

  • RexLibris

    Feaster won the IGGY deal simply if the return plays more games than the Icons meager time in the Steelcity. Afterall, the assets gained go forward in helping the organization at both the major and minor league levels we hope.

  • Tommynotsohuge

    Watch Klimchuk become the next Eberle in a few years and that the Iginla trade was the best thing to ever happen for this franchise. Wishful thinking, I know, but the possibility is there.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I’ve saw similarities between klimchuck and Eberle thought I was the only one. Late first rounder ,clutch ,good hands was a regina pat. Spent sometime growing up in Calgary.

      • RexLibris

        Klimchuk sounds like a different type of player than Eberle.

        The similarities you mention are somewhat circumstantial (Pats, late 1st round pick, place of residence).

        What I have heard regarding Klimchuk is that he is an agitator more than that quiet goal scorer.

        That being said, the difference between what a player is on draft day and what they become can be night and day. Willie Mitchell was an offensive center who had to reinvent himself as a defensive forward.

        Jason Smith was drafted as an offensive blueliner, Sheldon Souray as a prototypical shutdown man. Cogliano was a speedy sniper and seems to finally have learned that his future lies as a two-way defense-first forward who can provide some offense along the way.

        There is no doubting that Klimchuk comes with CHL offense in his draft pedigree, but as that translates to NHLE isn’t always direct.

        • McRib

          “What I have heard regarding Klimchuk is that he is an agitator more than that quiet goal scorer.”

          Klimchuk is the absolute definition of a quite goal scorer for me his ability to sneak into scoring areas going unnoticed until its in the back of the net are identical to Eberle. Look at his totals for Canada at the U18s playing with good linemates unlike in Regina. The comparisons stem a lot further than just Regina Pats bottom first round picks for me. Not to mention they train together in the offseason I think Eberle’s work ethic/drive to be an NHLer is rubbing off on Klimchuk in a big way. But Klimchuk has gotten to where he is for a natural goal scoring ability. Yet playing on a weak team has shown him he needs to work on other aspects to be a Top. 6 NHLer, but in no way is an agitator role natural for him I think its something he has tried to develop.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    On the trade:

    3 months aft the Iginla trade leaves me feeling roughly the same. I frankly don’t care whether the Pens got value, that’s their problem. Feaster gets a +1 for making the trade, and at the right time (near the deadline), another +1 for getting some return for an aging ‘post apex’ player. He gets final +1 for addressing the Flames very limited prospect list. He gets -1 for making it know the Flames were looking for a prospect, a 1st round pick and a player. I would argue that this limited the Flames in getting the best return possible. Another -1 for insisting in a 3 for 1 trade guaranteed a watered down return for each player, meaning he preferred quantity over quality.

    My grade of a B will stand regardless of how each player performs over their respective career. If Klimchuck turns into something special, it will solely a reflection of the Flames ability to draft in the late round of 2013.

    • BurningSensation

      I have to disagree with your ‘minuses’.

      Feaster did the right thing in trying to create an ‘auction’ for Iginla, especially since there were so few possible destinations for him to go, and with Iggy holding the NMC. Letting everyone know what the ‘price’ for Iggy was (3 assets, including a 1st rnd pick), made sure that the auction would guarantee a quality return. I say ‘guarantee’, because getting a 1st for Iggy would have in itself been a fair return, and the other assets would then be gravy for the goose.

      Feaster followed the same process with Bouwmeester. He created an auction for his services, put a basement price on him at 3 assets including a 1st, and then took the best deal he could get that met that price (again, given the NMC).

      Alll in all, Feaster got both quality and quantity in those two deals, so I’d say that the process he used was solid.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        BS, sometimes when I read your posts I could swear your on the Flames payroll.

        No, it’s either quality or quantity. That’s a normal reality of a free market. I’ll grant you that Feaster created a market, where as we came to understand, there was none (Iggy’s veto made that a certainty). Why not start with 3 players and then improve the deal for both sides, by getting less better players. My biggest issue is that the Flames were never going to get better than a 25th overall, and Hanowski likely does not become more than a career tweener.

        The Bouwmeester trade was simply worse. In short, a top defensive talent going into his prime with like 6 – 8 yrs left in the tank for magic beans (read lots of them).

        • BurningSensation

          Not much surprise, but I totally disagree.

          The quality portion of each deal lies in the 1st rnd pick, the quantity lies in the ancillary parts Feaster managed to extract.

          Poirier and Klimchuk are the key pieces in both of the deals, with Agostino, Hanowski, Bera and Cundari representing the depth players good teams have in their pipelines.

          Iginla got us 2 college prospects and a 1st rnd pick in a deep draft. In return we gave up not even 20 games of his services.

          Bouwmeester got us a 1st, a potential backup goaltender (or better) entering his prime, and depth defender. Not bad for a guy who just signed a ticket for over $6M a season and no playoff games on his resume.

          In both cases there was no ‘free market’ for their services as both had NMCs, and big ticket contracts that needed to be renewed.

          As for the getting ‘better players’ by reducing the asking price from 3 assets downwards, there is no evidence that ‘better players’ were on offer even if we reduced the request. For example I don’t see Ty Rattie popping loose from StLouis in any Bouwmeester trade, nor do I see a Derek Pouliot or Beau Bennett being available in the Iggy deal no matter what else we asked for.

          So, yeah, Feaster got quality (1st round picks) and quantity (the rest of the assets) in those deals. I’d say he made out like a bandit all things considered.

          • McRib

            BS, I am with in that I don’t think better players were ever a possibility here:

            The Blues and the Pens were going for it so that means that any roster players are out of the equation.

            With everyone on the Pens and Blues getting paid they are going to lose some players which means they will need their top prospects to stay in contention so that rules out guys like Maatta and Rattie.

            Calgary is going into rebuild which begins with the draft – so any of these deals started with the centerpiece being first round pick. In a deep draft these firsts are valuable. A lot of teams in contention chose to retain their picks.

            So we have a first round pick as a starting point: Calgary gets a good prospect in Agostino and a guy in Cundari who should be able to function in the NHL as an Andrew Ference type. Add in Berra who is really a question mark.

            The returns don’t knock my socks off but Feaster did ok. I think as a lot of fans do, Flames fans are overvalueing our players which is normal. A 36 year old Iginla and Bouwmeester who struggled (let’s be honest here – he is talented but he was billed as a top line Dman and he does indeed struggle when facing top competition) are not going to fetch us a top young player.

            But… if Klimchuk and Poirier turn out as top six forwards… if Cundari can take that 4/5 spot and Agostino… who knows really… he has the size and battle to likely be a 3rd line guy, if his offense tranlates he could play on the 2nd line. That’s likely a best case scenario. But for guys who were going to walk as UFAs, I don’t know that better deals were out there.

  • Tenbrucelees

    It’s all very well saying that with hindsight, Iginla should have been traded 3 years ago but that wasn’t in the conversation at the time. Management certainly weren’t even considering it as until last spring they were trying everything they could to get in the playoffs, no matter how short term that decision proved to be. And could you imagine fan reaction if he was traded 3 /4 years ago? I just don’t think it was a realistic possibility/feasible at that time.

    • piscera.infada

      Trading Iggy was never the sole issue in and of itself. The issue was thinking we could make the playoffs with a weak roster. Thus, Iggy should have been traded “3/4” years ago, and it likely would have saved a ton of belly-aching. I understand the feasibility argument and I sympathize, yet I’m sure had we got some young studs (for lack of a better term – what Iggy would have been worth 3/4 years ago) maybe we wouldn’t be where we’re at, at this particular juncture.

      To keep this in perspective, I would have been among the angry mob had we moved Iginla 4 years ago, but I could have dealt with the return – I’m sure.

      That said, I also don’t feel that the return we got for him at this stage was all that ‘doom-and-gloom’. I’m a big Agostino fan, I doubt Hanowski will ever turn into anything, and I’m not sure about Klimchuk (we should give him a season or two before we start hedging bets). I have friends that attend Yale and watch their games near-religiously. They all come back with glowing reviews Agostino – and they aren’t all Flames fans.

      • BurningSensation

        “To keep this in perspective, I would have been among the angry mob had we moved Iginla 4 years ago, but I could have dealt with the return – I’m sure.”

        Keep in mind that if the Flames had dealt Iggy 4 or so years ago it would have been Sutter (he of the Phaneuf debacle) making the Iginla trade. There is simply no guarantee (at all) that Sutter wouldn’t have cocked up the Iggy trade as badly or worse as he did the Phaneuf trade.

  • RKD

    Though the trade appears underwhelming, the reality is we weren’t going to get a whole lot for Iggy. People are delusional if we thought Shero would give us a Depres, Bennett or Maata. GMs aren’t willing to pay steep prices like they used to for rental players. Had he been traded two to three years ago we could have gotten better return but with a guy like Sutter at the helm he probably would have botched it as bad if not worse than the Phaneuf trade.

    The organization failed both Iggy and Kipper, they never surrounded their star players with a strong supporting cast. You can’t win a Stanley Cup that way. Recycled overpaid underachieving veterans was painful to watch season after season. Now we are collecting kids like candy, hope a few high end guys pan out and in couple years we have a new young talented core and surround them with a strong supporting cast.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Washington traded Filip Forsberg for a 31 yrs old Martin Erat, so good returns for old players do exist. The obvious trouble with trading was the NTC/NMC in his contract. In the end, this limited the teams that would qualify for the trade and then the return.

      • RKD

        Fair point but the Capitals are in a win now situation they would rather a proven roster player then Filip Forsberg. They aren’t rebuilding now so I guess they considered him expendable.

  • RexLibris

    We got next to nothing for the greatest player in Flame history. That is extremely poor asset management. A realistic organization would have traded him 2-3 years ago and really kick started this rebuild.

  • RexLibris

    Iggie trade, I believe we got more for him than he was worth at the time of trade. He was not coming back, he was a distraction for the team, had been a problem star for at least 2 coaches. I loved Iggie for early years but I had not been a big fan of his hockey since the Olympics. I believe his public image( and he did a lot in this city and for the Flames)became more important than his game. I had only expected a 2nd rounder for a rental which is what he turned out to be. Good luck to him in Boston, but no tears here.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Edmonton got three first round picks, even a blind squirrel couldn’t screw that up. They have nothing more than the first round picks. Schultz is offensive but lacks what they really need, defense. Goaltending is below average and no prospects in the system. I don’t see the oilers making the playoffs again this year, with that line up.

    The Flames have some prospects in the system at every position. If we had one first round pick I would put our rebuild ahead of them.
    Calgary will likely finish and draft bottom three next year. They will likely gain more prospects or picks by getting rid of the other post prime player (Camalleri, Hudler, Glencross).

    The Flames are heading in the right direction and will be just fine in 2-3 years.

    Calgary always will be a more attractive place than Edmonton.

  • The Last Big Bear

    With regards to the deal, I think this is one of those trades where both teams lost.

    Pittsburgh didn’t get the difference maker they needed, and Calgary got a poor return for their top asset.

  • Brent G.

    We really cant compare whether the Bruin deal or whatever other of the 2 offers that were on the table was to compare to. Bottom line the return gave us an important 1st rounder & some prospects. The cap space gained I originally thought was huge is kind of insignificant right now other than to Edwards. Don’t need to beat a dead horse but Jerome should have been traded at least 2 years ago when we could have gotten some important pieces to a swift rebuild. I miss the good ole days of having a decent playoff team more than I miss Iggy. I only have regret we didn’t surround Iggy with a few more up & coming young stars while Iggy was in his elite days. I regret that whether it was Iggy or Ownership(it no longer matters)dragged out the inevitable longer than what it should of been. I know I will get slammed for this, but these last memories of Iggy have been frustrating & perhaps slightly tainted all the good he represented for our organization. Not the ending I envisioned after that magical 2004.

  • RexLibris

    Soooo, what your saying is to hold off on a sixteen part series using a game-by-game comparable analysis of the effect of Iginla’s departure from the Flames as seen in shot differentials, on-ice save %s, WOWYs for Tanguay and Cammalleri, and TOI availability for for Lee Stempniak?

    Rats, I had some really sweet graphs made up too.

    😉

    Summer seemed a good time to trot (no pun intended) this idea out and then pretty much put it to bed for the coming season. I’m sure there will be some hullaballo when he visits wearing Bruin colours (probably a video tribute, etc), but I don’t think I’ve anything left to say on the matter.

    BTW, heard through the grapevine that Feaster was on 960 today suggesting that the Flames are in a better position right now than the Oilers were when they began their rebuild in 2007.

    If so, anyone have a link?

    • beloch

      The summer of 2007 was suck+0 for the Oilers. This summer is suck+3 for the Flames. We’re definitely behind the Oilers in officially declaring a rebuild.

      On the other hand, you may recall this post on nhlnumbers:

      http://nhlnumbers.com/2013/8/2/eastern-conference-linetier-vs-team-production

      Calgary has three lines rolling above the team average adjusted Corsi. Edmonton’s best line, with all it’s first-round pick superstars, just barely breaks above Calgary’s average. Edmonton’s other lines are all waaaaay worse, sucking the Oilers team average way down into the tear-drowned depths of disgrace. It’s not even funny how badly Edmonton drops off after their top line! The Oilers got absolutely clobbered last season and goal-tending is the only reason they didn’t pick higher than Calgary at the draft.

      So Calgary currently has two more mediocre lines than Edmonton does and their fourth line, while crap, is still a heckuva lot better than Edmonton’s fourth line, probably even when McGrattan dresses. That’s good. Edmonton’s top line, which is still very mediocre, is likely to improve, but most of Calgary’s top six players are post-apex and need to be traded. That’s the bad.

      At this point, Edmonton’s biggest challenge is shoring up everything but their first line without a whole lot of resources to do it with. Calgary’s big challenge is to trade post-apex mediocrities for youthful mediocrities that will still be viable when their new talent starts to get good. In this sense, I see what Feaster is saying. The Flames still have some material to work with.

      • RexLibris

        The Oilers rebuild started in the winter of 2010 (January to February).

        They may have been terrible before that, but unless management actively seeks to prioritize internal development and the draft then they are just being a bad team.

        The Flames began that process this past spring. Some have argued for sooner, but I believe that it was a retooling with less focus on restructuring their core group.

        By that calendar the Flames are approximately three years behind the Oilers. However, as I mention above, comparing rebuilds directly isn’t necessarily productive. There are a multitude of variables to take into account (winning the draft lottery, health and progression of prospects’ development, etc).

        The Flames are at step one, that is probably the better way of phrasing it.

        • Robb

          I suppose you’re correct in stating that they “actively” began a rebuild in 2010 but it certainly wasn’t the beginning of their rebuild. I don’t think it’s unfair for Flames fans to compare the Flames team of now to the Oilers after the 07 draft.

          Actually if I’m being completely honest, I think if you told people that the Oilers’ rebuild began in “winter of 2010” they might think you were crazy. It started in 2007 whether they wanted it to or not.

        • BurningSensation

          “The Oilers rebuild started in the winter of 2010 (January to February).

          They may have been terrible before that, but unless management actively seeks to prioritize internal development and the draft then they are just being a bad team.

          The Flames began that process this past spring. Some have argued for sooner, but I believe that it was a retooling with less focus on restructuring their core group.”

          The whole conversation of ‘when did the rebuild start’ for both teams is somewhat problematic.

          From my perspective, the Oilers didn’t seriously think of a rebuild until they bottomed out and landed Taylor Hall. It was only then that they stopped trying to land a white whale (Heatley, Nylander, etc.) to bring them back to relevancy.

          For the Flames, I have long argued that the moment that Feaster dealt Regehr was the moment that the ‘rebuild’ was in effect. It signaled that;

          – The core was going to be changed

          – Bad contracts were going to be jettisoned (Kotalik) in an effort to attain financial flexibility

          – Prospects and younger player coming back in return were going to be a priority

          All of which are key signs that the team is heading in a new direction.

          There is certainly validity to the charge that Feaster was trying to suck and blow at the same time by insisting that the team could make the playoffs as he retooled the roster, but, it is also clear that the Sutter ‘old guard’ was on notice that their time was short.

          The Iginla trade wasn’t the start of the rebuild, but it was the most obvious signal that one was taking place.

          How long do rebuilds take? That depends. The Islanders have kickstarted rebuulds several times over the last decade and a half with little success. The BlueJackets have done so at least three times as well. Ditto the Thrashers. Pittsburgh retooled over five years or so, but had to win the lottery to get Crosby (that said, Malkin alone would have been sufficient to rebuild around), after false starts with guys like MA Fleury 1st overall (instead of Erik Staal). Chicago’s rebuild hit several bumps in the road what with the drafting of Cam Barker 3rd overall, but they lucked into Towes (who went after Jordan Staal and Nik Backstrom), and that catapulted them into relevancy (with Kane and Keith playing a significant role there too).

          Rebuilds are as much about luck as they are planning and execution. If Gaudreau (a 4th rounder) turns out to be a 1st line player, it speeds the rebuild up. If Monahan tops out as a Mike Fisher type center, it will slow the rebuild down. Only time will tell., but from my perspective the Flames mgt are doing the right things process wise to make the rebuild work.

          Did Calgary win the Ignila deal? Hands down. Klimchuk, Agostino and Hanowski is a very nice package to get for 20+ games from a HOF winger on his last legs, and at the end of his contract.

          One other note, Once upon a time Calgary traded Kent Nilsson to the Stars for a 2nd rnd pick. That pick became Joe Nieuwendyk. When Joe Who was traded to Dallas we got Jarome Iginla. Iginla now gives us Klimchuk (and Agostino and Hanowski). Kent Nilsson is the player that just keeps on giving!

          • RexLibris

            Daryl Katz announced the Oilers were rebuilding on the radio in February of 2010. They traded Penner, Grebeshkov, and Staios around the deadline and thus began their rebuild.

            With Regehr, while I agree that it signalled a change, I believe it was also a salary dump intended to allow Feaster to bring in someone else via free-agency. A short while later he went for Brad Richards, then signed Dennis Wideman.

            Now you mention the Oilers stopping their hunt for a white whale as being a sign of their shift to full rebuild, certainly if the Flames were trying to sign Brad Richards to a contract not too dissimilar from what he has in NY, that counts as a whale hunt on par with the Heatley and Nylander moves.

            Feaster traded Regehr in his first summer as GM, but anytime a new GM takes over there is a rash of roster moves as he shifts the team towards his own model. The hiring of Hartley, a noted veterans’ coach, is no different.

            I think Feaster tried to tie his shoelaces (rebuild) while his feet were still moving (make the playoffs).

            If we wanted to pin down a date, or a week even, then the tipping point into rebuild was probably on or around February 28th when they offer sheeted O’Reilly. The moment Sherman made his decision it forced the Flames onto one path or the other. Add O’Reilly and I suspect they try to re-sign Iginla under the argument that he now has a real center with which to play. Without O’Reilly they are forced to play out the season and by trade deadline the writing was on the wall.

            Chicago got very lucky twice, once in having Toews fall to them, second in winning the draft lottery in 2007 to move to 1st and take Kane. As you say, management is part of it, but sometimes luck means more.

            Probably best to give it a few years before adding another chapter to the Iginla Book of Generations.

        • Brent G.

          I am obviously very biased on the matter of comparing our rebuilds. There are many different factors included in so even trying to compare is a tough thing to do. For example, say either team manages to get a player like Crosby obviously that will push things along a lot quicker then drafting above average players with the first overall. There is a huge element of luck there.

          That being said, despite belief of many on here, Feaster is a smart man. I like to believe where he is at an advantage is that we are attempting our rebuild after the oilers and can see first hand the mistakes they made and learn from them. To say they are ahead today is moot because the differences of what can happen between step 1 and completion is huge so it’s irrelevant who is ahead at the same early stages.

          At this point in the rebuild I like the moves Feaster has made (Iggy, jaybo, tanguay) and very likely will make (cammalleri, hudler, Stempniak, stajan) to help push along the rebuild quicker. The oilers were bottoming out and were still insistent on keeping players like hemsky for absolutely no benefit and even resigned him to a contract that could only be deemed stupid before the ink dried. Now he is not tradeable at all, poor asset management. Horcoff and Whitney are very similar stories.

          • RexLibris

            The best offer they had for Hemsky at the deadline was a 2nd and a 4th from Nashville. I think Tambellini was right to retain the asset and wait for a better deal.

            At the very least it appears as though there is a better GM to negotiate a deal now than there was two years ago. I suspect they move him at the deadline when the cap hit is less onerous and the value on productive wingers goes up.

        • beloch

          The Oilers picked Eberle and Gagner before 2010, so that’s pretty good groundwork to get done while sucking in denial. Hopefully the Flames will be able to say similar things about Baertschi and at least one of their other prospects.

          I’m not convinced we should start a rebuild-clock from the moment a GM has a teary-eyed presser and finally admits to the public that his team has a problem. I think that’s cutting GM’s far too much slack. I say start the clock at suck+0 and see how fast a good GM can recognize the situation and get everyone on board with turning things around. Edmonton did not do it quickly, and Feaster isn’t exactly leaping out of the gate either!

          • RexLibris

            I’d disagree with the rebuild clock only because if a team denies it is in a rebuilding phase they may tend to make very bad long-term decisions. Such as submitting offer sheets or trading draft picks, even depth ones, for inconsequential players who don’t move the team definitively in the right direction.

            Also, my look at the rebuilds came up with one surprising detail: rebuilds almost invariably begin with ownership. In fact, there have been cases where management initiated a rebuild without the knowledge of ownership and subsequently lost their job, despite it being the correct call (Don Maloney in Long Island).

          • Brent G.

            If we are counting the Iggy trade as the beginning we had backlund, Brodie and baertschi already in the pipe and is a safe bet to say all three will make a difference at an nhl level. In comparing Eberle and gagner to the 3 B’s I know which I would prefer to have as a starting point; I’m sure everyone on this site would tend to agree.

    • piscera.infada

      He never suggested that. He was specifically addressing the Brodie deal and the need for flexibility when it comes to contracts at this stage of the rebuild.

      He did mention something about liking the situation they are in as far as prospects – having some younger kids who are a year or two (or three) out, in addition to having some guys ready to push the NHL depth chart (Baertschi, Knight) and for spots with the big club (Horak, Reinhart, Bouma, Cundari, etc.). There was also mention that they are looking at things differently than perhaps other teams have at the same point in their rebuild cycle. But he never said, or even implied (for that matter) that they were in a better position.

      The one thing he said that really stuck with me – and I know it was a bit of a point of contention around here a couple weeks ago – was that he wouldn’t put a time-frame on the rebuild (even when pressed for an answer multiple times). Instead, he stated that it’s up to those young players to decide when they’re ready to be the future of the franchise. I actually found it quite refreshing.

      • RexLibris

        Thanks for the info. I only heard about it second-hand and through Edmonton media, so just a few frames of bias there.

        His refusal to put a timeline on things is refreshing, but he has said so many things that have later come back to haunt him that I think I’d be very, very wary of the official line. I also suspect that he doesn’t want to start the clock because management is expecting something in the range of three years. They have expressed impatience over this roster in the past few years, so it is difficult to see that changing significantly now.

        My estimate, based on comparables and looking at the overall franchise needs, would be in the five-year range to get back to playoff contention. Between now and then anything can happen either positively or negatively.

        I don’t like blanket comparisons of one rebuilding effort to another, but the general timeline of five to seven years recurs through several recent examples, so that might be a reasonable guideline.

        • piscera.infada

          I get where you’re coming from on that. As I mentioned a couple of threads ago though, I’m fairly certain he could trade Camalleri for every first round pick in next year’s draft, state it exactly as such, and there would still be belly-aching over why he didn’t as least ask for all 30 second round picks as well.

          I also assume that the reason he didn’t put any sort of official timeline on things is because he doesn’t want it to come back to bite him. I think he’s prepared (as ownership is) for the long haul. I don’t buy this impatient ownership scenario – at least not any more than I do if the argument was made for the Oilers, Panthers, Isles, or any other team in the league. There has been a noticeable change in the organization’s rhetoric from the now debunked playoff mandate until now.

          I will agree with you on the comparison argument though. I don’t think you can compare re-builds without it getting frivolous and nit-picky. I wish people would stop claiming that we are in ‘x’ shape compared to the Oilers (or any other team, for that matter).

          We are definitely at step one – how many steps there are is yet to be seen.

          • RexLibris

            I view it as basic asset management.

            Identify a goal (develop league-average defense, acquire and develop a bona fide first and second line center, develop enough prospect depth to outfit at least four of a bottom six, and add at least two wingers who can play in your first two lines).

            By 2010 the Oilers had Gagner, Eberle, Hemsky, Horcoff, Gilbert, Petry, Smid and Dubnyk as decent NHL players or solid prospects (Petry and Eberle). Horcoff was miscast as a top six center and Gilbert and Smid were playing too high in the order.

            The additions since then have been to simultaneously flesh out an NHL roster and a development system. There have been some hits and some misses. But things are in far, far better shape then they were three years ago – miles behind them but miles to go.

            The Flames needs aren’t all that different, but they have managed to accumulate a few prospects to insulate their development system (more goaltending prospects, one or two forward prospects and a few good core pieces in Backlund, Brodie and Baertschi). What they need is elite-level talent at defense and center. Defense can be drafted almost anywhere, but the centers generally need to come in the top five draft slots.

            I don’t think the Flames are in terrific trouble, but they are at, for all intents and purposes, the ground floor. Barring catastrophic setback they should be able to capitalize on a weak team and add at least one more elite prospect this coming spring.

            I had said about a year ago that the worst thing for the Flames is that they will be rebuilding in such close proximity to their provincial rivals. Management would do well to stop using Edmonton comparisons altogether.

            Let’s see what happens next.

    • The Last Big Bear

      Does that surprise you? Right or wrong aside, the man just cannot keep his mouth shut. I can only imagine him being with the Flames in some capacity during the height of the B of A in the 80’s. WW3 would’ve broken out.

      • RexLibris

        Feaster is good at providing media content, I’ll give him that. He has written quite a few verbal cheques over his short time as Flames GM (Intellectual Honesty, Fool Me Once, Post-Apex, etc).

        I don’t think he would have escalated the BoA any more than Sather, Semenko, Risebrough. It was already a seething pit of hatred and animosity.

  • Demetric

    @Rex – re: TSN, hardly comparable.

    @Kent and Rex – the timing on this article was good now that the playoffs and development camp are over, so don’t get me wrong, but any further analysis now needs to wait a couple of more years at least.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I can agree with this article. I’ve laways maintained the return was OK, but he should’ve been moved ages ago.

    And now, someone please take a shotgun and shoot this dead horse before it gets beaten any more.

  • I think it was a good bet by Shero. I tend to assess the trades when they happen and I was a big fan of it as I think it gave us the best chance to win a Cup on paper! My collection of paper Cups however isn’t worth much.