It’s a new round of Fan Ask. As always, submit your questions here to have them answered.
Do you see Hartley getting a extension after next season?
Honestly, no. Two main reasons: first, he hasn’t really done anything thus far that really demands the Org to extend him. He will have presided over three years worth of non-playoff teams in all likelihood. Secondly, Burke has no attachment to the original hiring and we know he likes to have coaches that are on the same wavelength as he is. On top of that, there will be a new “GM” and he’ll likely want his guy.
I don’t think its a huge loss to let Hartley walk. He’s one of those 40 or so guys who are basically interchangeable as NHL head coaches. Unless you have a top-10 coach, there’s not much difference.
How likely is it that Coda Gordon gets an ELC?
Coda Gordon is scoring at a healthy pace right now for the Swift Current Broncos, with an NHLE around 30. Gordon is known to have a wicked shot but ever since he broke his femur – in his draft year, no less – there’s been concerns about his speed. The hockey graveyard is riddled with players of that description, but that doesn’t mean he’s a goner.
Based on the pace he is scoring at, I find it hard to believe they wouldn’t give him an ELC. Dudes have gotten them with less. The only reason I. Would see the club passing is if they were at like 49 contracts and he would be 50; but that would take very inept management – okay, yeah, I guess that could happen.
Give it to me straight, Doc – should I be worried about any of the Flames’ NCAA prospects refusing to sign?
In my opinion, no. There’s only 4 players that have really distinguished themselves right now, so we’ll just look at them.
There’s two guys graduating this year – Kenny Agostino and Bill Arnold. Both are PPG players and later round picks. Long-term, both are probably going to top out as third liners. I can’t see why the Flames wouldn’t want to sign and why they wouldn’t want to sign with the Flames.
Jon Gillies still has two years of eligibility left after this one and both parties know where he stands in the organization. He’ll get an immediate shot at the starting job when he signs. Once again, there’s no reason why the Flames should not want to get him under contract and with the Flames, more than with pretty much any other team in the league, he’ll get a shot right away. I expect him to stay in the NCAA for at least one more season.
John Gaudreau is obviously the name most people are worried about. Gaudreau is ridiculous in just about every aspect of the game and seems to have a sky-high ceiling, so it’s fair that people would be worried about another team poaching him. I’m not concerned, however – I’m not expecting him to sign with the Flames this year as he goes back for his degree and a chance to play more hockey with his brother. The Flames officially have until August 15th, 2015 to sign him.
Is Burkie going to be the Flames GM in all but title? Is the GM he hires just going to be the guy that does all the leg work on the moves that Burkie wants?
As much as he says that he will stay away and be hands off, I have a hard time thinking that this team isn’t going to look exactly the way Burke wants it to. I don’t believe any GM he hires will be able to work autonoumously. I can’t see how it won’t be exactly the situation we just left. The guy Burke hires will likely be a GM who performs in his image – exactly what’s been done with Dave Nonis in Vancouver and Toronto.
As long as the word “Hockey” is in Burke’s title, he’ll be the one making the impactful decisions. Seriously, does anyone really think that Burke would green light a move he disagreed with?
Which vets might actually fit into the Flames’ future? It’s difficult to assess the team when you’re getting points because of guys who are likely gone soon.
Unfortunately for the Flames, they can’t just trade everyone and draft Connor McDavid next year. The salary cap means that the Flames will have to keep a decent amount of talent just to reach the floor. (I believe $55.1 million is the floor for next year, so the Flames will have to spend at least $21 million on 10 guys.)
Wideman, Smid and Giordano are all long-term players on the back end. Wideman’s contract is too unruly (although he provides near-equal value right now), Giordano is too important and Smid is too Burkie. O’Brien is done when his contract is. I would re-sign Russell yesterday but who knows where he stands with the new management. Unless one of the current goaltenders (Roy, MacDonald, Rämö and Berra) makes a convincing argument to stay (by not sucking) I don’t see them sticking around too long either.
Up front is a little more tricky. Anyone making less than a million per has little to no trade value and no real value on the ice. I would not keep any of them. Glencross makes too little and has a no-move clause. I think he finishes his contract here. Cammalleri and Stajan both have pretty good value right now and I can’t see why either would want to resign in Calgary at this point if their main motivation is the Stanley Cup. I expect both to be traded at the deadline.
Jones just can’t move around the ice effectively, but he’s a big body – so there’s one reason no one else would want him and one reason the Flames want him. I might make him a compliance buyout in the summer, honestly. Stempniak should be cheap to re-sign and I don’t think he carries the same free-agent weight that Stajan and Cammalleri do. I would try an keep him, but I view that as a 50/50 shot at best.
Hudler is the last guy. I think if you can get a first round pick plus a good prospect for Hudler right now, you do it. I think his scoring pace comes back down to about 50 (he’s at 66 right now) and I don’t know how else you could maximize his value as an asset over the life of his contract. The only reason I’d be hesitant about him being traded is that it might mean a huge UFA overpay.