A Look Inside One-Goal Games

One of the biggest rallying cries for how the Flames have improved over the season, at least in terms of their work ethic, has been the sheer amount of one-goal games they’ve taken part in this past season. In fact, the Flames played in 49 games decided by a goal, tying the NHL record.

But how did all these one-goal games come about? And what does the record really mean?


The Flames won 25 one-goal games. Splitting them up into third period scenarios, you get this:

  • Twice, the Flames led by two after 40 and prevented a full comeback (but let them get close).
  • Twice, the Flames led by one after 40 and shut down opponents in the third.
  • Twice, the Flames led by one after 40 and scored enough to maintain the lead.
  • Seven times, the Flames led by one after 40, blew the lead, but won in OT/shootout
  • Four times, the Flames were tied after 40 and won the game outright in the third.
  • Four times, the  Flames were tied after 40 and won the game in OT/shootout.
  • Most impressively, four times the Flames trailed by two after 40, but won the game (granted, three times that was in a shootout).


    • Three times, the Flames led by one after 40 and blew the lead.
    • Two more times, they blew the lead but lost in OT/shootout and at least got a point.
    • Six times, the Flames entered the third tied and lost the game.
    • Three more times, they lost in OT/shootout after being tied through 40 minutes.
    • Three times, the Flames entered the third down by one and couldn’t close the gap.
    • One other time, they did close the gap but lost in the shootout.
    • Four times, the Flames trailed by two and made it a one-goal game.
    • One other time, they trailed by two, forced OT but lost.
    • Once, they trailed by three goals after 40 and nearly came back to tie it.


    A few take-aways.

    • The term “blew the lead” appears too much here (12 times). One-goal leads were rarely safe for this group, which obviously needs to change. Multi-goal leads were rarer, but much safer.
    • The team had mixed results when tied heading to the third: eight wins, nine losses (three in OT). Good teams win in the third.
    • But hey, the team’s “never say die” attitude is evident here: 10 comebacks from two-goal deficits, with half of them resulting in the team getting points (and the other five being a 27th-place team making it close).

    In summation, the “49 one-goal games” record both praises and condemns the Calgary Flames. They had a lot of comebacks, but they also weren’t fantastic with third-period leads.

      • Ed_Ward42

        Gregor reported that they are both done. SN is apparently looking for a new duo. I’ve heard a lot of different names…some good, some not so good. Whoever does colour can’t be worse than simmer tho.

      • BurningSensation

        I had really mixed feelings about Kerr. I liked him a ton on the radio, but found his work on TV to be borderline terrible.

        I never thought Simmer brought much to the mix outside of ‘I used to play hockey at a high level’.

        I never feel good about cheering for people to lose their jobs though, so I hope both bounce back somewhere else and succeed.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      One-goal games were meaningful; the season was entertaining overall. This team was easy to get behind regardless of skill-level. They worked hard on probably 75 of 82 games and in my view that work paid off in good results, all things considered.

      My personal goals for the team were (1.) No blow outs losses and (2.) Win the BoA. They get an A from me.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Am disappointed for Kerr. He lives, eats, breathes the Flames and enjoyed his telecasts much more than the last 5 years.

      I thought he brought a lot of insight, knowledge and humour. In particular I chuckled and appreciated his honest boy-ish enthusiasm and open excitement in seeing the team do well.

      Hands-down the SN Flames play-by-play telecast team was soooo much better than the Oilers group who I found nauseating – they made me want to slit my wrists (of course the Oiler performance did too)!

    • beloch

      re One goal games.. the Flames were great this year – worked hard, kept the games close, and thankfully(!).. did not play a stifling boring defensive system like Sutter!

      As stated by Duthie to the TSN panel the Flames used to be terrible to watch but this year were one of the most enjoyable and exciting teams to watch! And Butler said it was one of the most fun years he’s had (like it should be)!

      What a turnaround!! Full marks to Hartley, the coaches & trainers, and the players.

      • RedMan

        “Butler said it was one of the most fun years”…I agree with Burke who says a players contract does not have the term fun in it.

        “What a turnaround”..they finished 2 spots on the standings lower than last year. A pathetic 27! hmmmmmmm

        • TheoForever

          Cannot go by standings, it is the start of rebuild.
          It was a competitive, hard working team. Our prospects are improving at all levels. Style of play is exiting, way better than under Sutter.
          Pathetic would be Oil or Van season.

        • TheoForever

          Burke’s a smart guy who is a master of providing tough macho quotes which appeal to a certain segment of hockey fan.

          While you may appreciate Burke’s macho statement appeals to your manly sensibilities, there are volumes of studies showing much higher performance & productivity for happy, engaged, supported workers i.e. including athletes.

          Expectations were properly set for a much worse year than what we had. Our prospects, the coaching, and the team culture are much further ahead of plan. Constructive criticism is always welcomed..complete negativism without contructive comment can be deposited on OilerNation..you can find the button above.

          • Big Ell

            Burke is a smart guy because he has an established record for rebuilding teams and making astute trades, Not as you suggest by providing macho quotes. He has been brought in for a reason most likely to get this team back into the playoffs! sooner rather than later!

            As a lifelong Flames fan my expectations as well as Burkes are much higher than yours obviously. This is a bottom 5 team that although has established an identity and drafted some nice young talent the veteran core group is in need of significant improvement. I will always continue to keep the bar raised very high!

            As an FN fan I am entitled to express my opinions. If you are not able to accept fans disagreeing with some of your ridiculous comments than I suggest you turn your computer off and go read a fantasy book!

            • beloch

              The ’12/’13 edition of the Flames was higher paid and arguably had more talent, but they phoned in a lot of real stinkers. That season was also brought to a depressing end by the exit of two stars of the team. This season, although the team has finished lower in the standings, the stinkers have been rarer, the games have been less predictable, and stars have been made, all on a much lower budget. There is a definite sense that brighter days are coming now, whereas last season things looked pretty bleak. If you don’t feel this you probably haven’t been watching enough games!

              As for Burke… Be careful what you wish for! A lot of people seem to think Burke will make minimal changes to this team and simply try to nurture the rebuild, primarily through supporting player development. Neither the owners or Burke are likely that patient. We’re probably going to see some big moves this summer and we probably won’t like some of them very much.

            • T&A4Flames

              I fully agree with your comments. In fact I anticipate that Burke blows up the veteran core. That is his style. He will make a huge impact and many of the moves will be unpopular with the die hards.

            • T&A4Flames

              Whom do you mean by core?
              Stajan: who he just signed to a limited NMC,

              Glenx: who has NMC.

              Hudler: who was the leading scorer.

              DJones: who many here want moved anyways.(also Burke just recently said he thaought DJ was turning his game around prior to the injury)

              McG: Burkes kind of player.

              Backs: Had the best year of his career

              Gio: The captain coming off a career year.

              Wides: again many here on this sight would not mind seeing him moved anyways.

              That I think is the veteran core unless you want to count Smid,and TJB. In order to blow this up he will need to get fair return and have trading partners,

            • beloch

              Your guess is as good as mine. With Byron and potentially Johnnie in the lineup soon I really don’t see a future here for Hudler. He is a great veteran and mentor but he is small. I see a larger body veteran replacing him.

              Glenx Im afraid will be the unpopular trade this summer despite the contract clause. There are ways of making a trade happen as we all know. Glenny is first class but he is often injured and very inconsistent. I think you will agree he is a very streaky player that does not bode well with Burke’s model!

              DJones has an unreasonable contract given his lack of production but will be difficult to move unless you receive another overpaid veteran in return who will hopefully give us more production. We do have the cap space.

              I can keep guessing like anyone else but I do recall Burke saying that Gio and Monny were the only untouchables! Let’s go from there.

            • T&A4Flames

              I’ve been trying to figure out what it would take to get Gudbranson out of FLA. With them poised to likely take Ekblad and having other young D that need ice time, and with Gudbranson looking more and more like a bust he may be a good reclamation project at 22 yrs old. A big right shot that has some offence. We will need to start moving out LW’rs since we have so many. Would Byron be enough to get this done?

            • beloch

              Hudler really had a remarkable year and, since he’s on a reasonable contract, his trade-value is excellent. When that contract was inked many thought it was a bad one. To trade him now would, in all likelihood, be selling high. He’s definitely a candidate for what Burke calls a “hockey trade”. By giving up a very useful player the Flames can get a very useful player in return, but one who fits a different role. The Flames now have obscene depth at LW so it makes sense for Burke to dangle Hudler in the market and see what bites. Russel is another player worth dangling. He’s not good enough to be a second-pairing defender, but a team looking for an offensively gifted third-pairing defender and powerplay specialist might offer something nice for him.

              The Flames have several players who had very disappointing seasons and, if they were traded now, would bring back disappointing returns. David Jones is a RW’er so he’s unlikely to be traded this summer. Wideman will help round out the second pair if he rebounds, so he definitely has a role to play. Glencross, since he plays LW, is probably the most likely to be traded, but I doubt he’ll be going anywhere until closer to next season’s trade deadline. His NMC does mean he’ll probably have to go to a cup contender. He’ll be 32 and likely willing to go cup chasing. Smid is another player who I think will rebound and be worth more next season than he is now, although that isn’t really saying much.

              Backlund and Giordano are not likely going anywhere unless the return is obscene. McG is probably not going anywhere because he’s just not worth that much in trade. He’s cheap, good for the locker-room, and probably close to retirement. Hopefully he’ll spend a little more time in the press box next season. As I said before, I wouldn’t mind seeing him stick with the Flames in a non-player role either.

            • Much of my comment was who makes up the core of the team. As much as I like Hudler and see him as great mentor if Burke can get a good to great return for him I would not be upset.

              Russell we just resigned and I am not sure he is a core member as BoobyO said in his post. I’m not sure the return for him will be great and he may be more valuable staying.

              Glencross is indeed an interesting case, he has value both in trade and as leader; his injury problems this year make him a hard case to deal with. His limited NMC is also a concern and will we get a good return.

              I see Burke in talks on both GlenX and Hudler, I’m not sure he will move both. I do expect him to also look closely at the UFA’s and based on his Kesler move with the Leafs he is not afraid of RFA’s but I suspect a little more cautious.

              It will be an interesting off season. My one concern is without a GM who is he bouncing ideas off of.

            • T&A4Flames

              CP….I think Burke is still surrounded by credible people to bounce ideas even without a GM….Todd Button and scouting staff, Kisio, Conroy, Hartley, etc. Most importantly he has an established NHL network and is very influential given his long term presence in the league as a GM and NHL office.

    • beloch

      Ok, we were the 4th worst team in the NHL this year………not good.

      We looked at all the one goal games to make us feel better…….now let’s look at SOME of the teams we WERE able to beat this year:

      -the Kings 3 times!

      -the Sharks twice

      -Chicago twice


      -the Blues


      -the Oilers a whole lot of times

      -a bunch of loser points to the Canucks.

      Something to build on……


    • beloch

      The Flames league rankings this year:

      Goals for: 23rd
      Goals against: 24th
      Goal differential: 26th

      The fact that the Flames tied the league record for close games when they’re being outscored so badly says one thing to me: They took very few nights off. They showed a fantastic work ethic this season. The only bad news is that they really needed to work hard every night!

      That goal differential does indeed look pretty bad, but consider this: The flames differential is -0.44 gpg. Improving that to 0 would give the team a shot at making the playoffs. That’s a net change of 36 goals per season either scored or prevented. One really good player could make that kind of difference.

      The Flames have several players who are likely to take steps forward next season. During his debut, Gaudreau looked like a legitimate NHL’er to the eye, to advanced stats, and on the scoreboard. Small sample size. Inadequate predictive power. Yada yada yada. I say that kid is going to be good. Is all this going to close that 36 goal differential though?

      The Flames are closer to the playoffs than many people think, but this summer is going to be a pretty important one. The key things Burke needs to do, in my eyes, are to avoid letting Cammalleri walk, shore up the second pairing, resign competent possession players like Galiardi and Byron, and generally improve the team’s possession talent wherever possible.

      P.S. McGrattan for assistant coach or something like that? So help me, I like the guy even if his stat-line is fugly.

      • TheoForever

        Good summary.

        I would add drafting well this year is critical to maintaining continuity in the rebuild.

        The 1st pick is pretty well a done deal (take the last available of the consensus top 4). The key will be to do well with our 4 picks in the 2nd & 3rd rounds, with specific focus to filling the right side of the team (RW & RD) which is amazingly weak.

        I took a look at the top right-handers for the second round, both RW and C (who could be converted to the right side) and D-men.

        Likely the formatting didn’t come through but Button’s list shows right-handers are in extremely short supply. Only 6 RW-C and 3 RD are available.

        For my money I like Spencer Watson (who like Bennett is from Kingston) and Roland McKeown (also Kingston) and Ryan Mantha (with pedigree?)

        Will have to reduced expectations to address the right side holes with this draft. As Burke indicated he will have to do some trades to fill specific roster positions.

        Anyone have can’t-miss 2nd or 3rd rounders they’d like to see picked by Burke & company?

        RK Player Pos. S Ht/Wt GP Pts
        34 Kevin Fiala C R 5’10/180 26 24
        36 Jakub Vrana RW L 5’11/185 19 21
        40 Eric Cornel C R 6’1/186 64 59
        41 Jake Virtanen RW R 6’0/213 68 67
        42 Spencer Watson RW R 6’0/170 61 65
        54 Oskar Lindblom RW L 6’1/191 26 20
        57 Vladimir Tkachev LW R 5’9/156 18 27

        35 Roland McKeown D R 6’1/186 61 43
        48 Julius Bergman D R 6’1/187 27 20
        55 Ryan Mantha D R 6’4/225 48 11

        • T&A4Flames

          If they slide, definitely McKeown with the 34th pick. Or David Pastrnak- RW 6’0. 176lbs. COL 2nd I’m liking Jack Glover RD 6’3 192lbs., 64th Ben Thomas- RD 6’2 194lbs, Travis Sanheim- 6’3 190 lbs

        • T&A4Flames

          Unless Burke can trade up some of these names are unlikely to be there when we pick 34th, 50(?),64th and 80(?),
          If somehow Mckeown is still around at 34 then he has to be taken. He’s ranked 27th(CS) and 20th(ISS). Somehow I missed Mantha’s name on the central scouting list,how high is he ranked(you have to love his size potential 6’4/5″ 220 D). Watson is ranked 59 by central scouting and could be around in the third. Fiala is ranked 28 by iss and could also be around for 34.

          • T&A4Flames

            Yeah I used Button’s Top 60 list from March 9th as it showed right-handed shooters. However some of the rankings are outdated.

            My premise for the article was to puzzle through the vacuum we call our right side in relation to BPA by position.

            Rankings and availability aside it would be great to get one quality RW and RD in this draft, even if it means a trade involving switching picks or a roster player.

            We’re also reaching the saturation point where our ability to absorb more prospects is lessening as our pool bets better. That said, I would place bets currently at 30% for Burke to make a major trade by July 1st involving current roster players and picks in order to selectively add a key quality player or two.

      • RedMan

        except for the fact that TSN liked to start the game right aftet an eastern game and often ended up overlapping and scewing up the beginning of the game.

        i agree with many here… was always a Rob Kerr fan when on the 960, but not as much on tv. I hope he aind up back at the fan and runs the morning show.

    • Rockmorton65

      Their problems holding third period leads doesn’t concern me much. As they increase the talent on this team, combined with experience, they will get better at holding leads. Plus, when they add more firepower, it will be easier to add to a lead, not just defend it.

      • Rockmorton65

        I have to agree with you this team will be better offensively next year and in the years to come. Granlund, Johnny, Poirier,and Sven all have the potential to bring more offensive punch and finish to this team. The young guys who played this year will be better defensively than they were this year and I expect Ramo to be more consistent next year.

    • beloch

      For Flames fans interested, there’s a LOT of fear over on Oilersnation about what Calgary is going to get, what it’s going to look like if the Flames players does better, the impact on the BoA etc.

      75% of the talk surrounds wanting to take Bennett over Draisaitl just so Calgary can’t get him, but fussing over the fact Bennett is similar to the rest of their core while Draisaitl is thick and can work the puck down low.

      Have fun trolling..:)

      • prendrefeu

        “Have fun trolling..:)”

        Honestly even thinking about them is a waste of time. To go over to their blog and take any effort beyond the processing of three atoms of oxygen through my lungs just to make that fallacy of a franchise even more psychologically unstable is another level of time wasting entirely.

        They can dig their own hole. They don’t need our help.

      • beloch

        I suspect the Oilers won’t be using that pick. The club is under intense pressure to improve in the short-term. Packaging their first off with other assets might bring a player back who can help them next season.

        • Ed_Ward42

          Yeah MacT is in tough and the peasants are wanting to storm the Bastille so lots of talk of trading the pick.

          If that is the case I hope Burke is at least inquiring as to the asking price, and also checking in with FLA/BUF/NYI/WPG etc too. A high price would need to be paid, like it was for the Sedins, but it set that team up for a year.

          Would be a dream to get 2 of the top 4 or 5 picks this year.

    • TheoForever

      They are right Bennett is Gilmour kind of a guy.
      He is a better prospect than the german kid.
      Unfortunately Oil need the bigger player.
      I hope we get Bennett but there is a good chance Sabres will take him and then oil would take Reinhart.

      • prendrefeu

        As much as I would like it to be Bennett at #4 I believe you may be correct. I have always thought the Flames will have a decision to make between Draisitl and Dal Colle.

          • TheoForever

            Exactly!! So then it will have to be Dal Colle in my view.

            Wonder if anyone can substantiate the apparent strong desire of the Oilers to draft Draisitl??

            • Ed_Ward42

              I would be over the moon if it is Bennet at 4. Draisaitl’s birthdate scares me, so id lean towards Dal Colle of the two. Though seeing what Nylander did in the second half of the year I would not be opposed to him.

              Here’s hoping the Oilers really have fallen in love with the German Gretzsky

            • TheoForever

              In addition Dal Colle was simply outstanding at the young stars tourney in Calgary. I like his size and will easily put on another 10 lbs before turning pro. He has also played Centre and has been very effective.

              Draisaitl appears to be the riskier pick but no doubt is talented. I like the Flames scouting staff and with Burke’s input they will make the right decision based on detailed fact and analysis not available to the ordinary fan.

          • TheoForever

            While Dal Colle looks like a nice player he’s a half-step down per the scouts, and he’s LW where we have a log-jam.

            I can’t think that Burke would take the risk to jump out of sequence for a winger instead of taking big Draisaitl and building strength down the middle which is the hardest along with top 2 Defenders..

            If you look at the video you’ll see Draisaitl is a big thick body who can cycle it down low, hold off defenders while one-handing the puck, turn on a dime, is a fantastic assist machine with great vision and nifty touch passes..AND who has an NHL caliber wrist shot, is fast and can score off the rush.

            Size, skating and skill..Draisaitl has it all.

    • Big Ell

      I am very happy if Kerr and Simmer are gone. After two years of GameCenter, I think that Simmer if possibly the worst color guy on TV and Kerr is right there too. This is a good day for GameCenter Flames fans.

    • BurningSensation

      With regards to how the draft might go;

      – If you go over to Lowetide (the only Oiler blog you should ever subject yourself to, also – it’s freaking excellent) the commenters there (especially those who have ‘contacts’ with the team) insist that the Oilers are fixated on two players; Ekblad, and Draisatl. Ekblad because he’s BPA (and fits a need) and Draisatl because he’s the big-body pivot with playmaking they lack.

      – Personally, I’ve been very impressed by Draisatl, his skating is at worst average for NHL players (he does lack explosiveness and an elite upper gear), but he gets where needs to OK, and his skillset is otherwise VERY impressive.

      – Both Bennett and Draisatl have essentially similar EV and PP counting stats – there is no edge for either to be found in the numbers. However, Bennett had at least one elite linemate most of the year, whereas the 2nd best player for big Leon was a defenseman – he was doing most of the heavy lifting on his own.

      – There is a significant chance the Oilers simply trade their pick away for immediate help.

      – I suspect that Ekblad and Reinhart (in whatever order) are the top two picks, leaving; Bennett, Draisatl, and Dal Colle as our options. Honestly, I’m happy with any of the three.

      – I can se Burke making a deal to move up to #2 (the #4 + something something) so he can land Reinhart. Burke is kinda bold that way, and if scouting staff insist that Reinhart is worth it Burke will dance as fast as he has to to make it happen.

      – With regards to ‘accellerating the rebuild’ the only way I could see Burke seriously hitting the accellerator is by landing a #1 C in his prime. There are two possibilities that I see as realistic for this to happen; Erik Staal and Jason Spezza. Both have big contracts and flaws, but both are still on the right side of 30, and both fit the bill of legit #1C with size and skill. You could slot either one immediately on to a top line of vets (Hudler and Cammallleri/Glen X for example) and llet the kids take cherry minutes and mop up duties.

      I’d also suggest that landing either player (depending on the cost) would immediately make the Flames a serious contender for the playoffs.

      • Tommynotsohuge

        Good post. Not sure the Flames want to accelerate things for next year given the maturity level of there young talent. I still see next year a critical year for the Flames in terms of player development and astute drafting during a strong draft year. Having said that I see that Burke will make a splash at the 2015 draft table and leave things as they are for 2014 other than perhaps being active in rounds 2-4.

        Trading for a top level goalie and top level Centre will always be on Burkes radar given his history. Will be an interesting 2 years coming up!

      • Big Ell

        Might not signing Stastny as a UFA accomplish the same thing without costing assets? or if you are going to trade for either of them might not RoR be a better option because of his youth and talent.

        I also think they need to add at least one higher level defender to really become a contender.

        • BurningSensation

          – The Stastny thing is definitely a possibility, but while he doesn’t ‘cost’ in assets, he does ‘cost’ in terms of the extra cap hit and term you have to give him to win his services. UFAs and RFAs are not ‘free’ from extra costs.

          – I LOVE your suggestion of going after ROR precisely because he is more versatile, bigger, and defensively responsible than Stastny.

          – I also agree (sort of) with the need for another high-end defender. I think though, that we may already have that guy in-house in Brodie. If he takes another step up the ladder we could have a home-grown Duncan Keith.

          – If you review the Oilers needs, they are pretty obvious; a #2C with size and defensive ability, at least one F for the 3rd line, and likely an entirely new 4th line, a #1, #2, and #3 defender (Marincin might be one of those, but he’s played less than half a season in the NHL), and a younger #1 quality goaltender. That is quite the shopping list they need to address.

          In contrast, the Flames need; a #1 C (Monahan might be that guy in a few years, but he isn’t right now), a F or two for the 4th line (and please, no Westgarths or McGrattans, I mean actual live hockey players), and a #2 or #3 D man (say a Girardi or Niskanen).

          So landing a Spezza or Staal to fill the #1C role would essentially mark the end of the ‘rebuild’ as the rest of the pieces are more or less in place (or relatively easy to acquire compared to a #1C). Growth from the kids would take care of the rest.

          Like I said in the other Lambert thread, this ‘rebuild’ has been going on for a while, and when you look at the gaps we simply don’t have that many to fill – especially compared to our frequently high drafting neighbours to the North.

          • Big Ell

            Good post..thought-provoking.

            Re Flames needs..the key acquisitions (1C, 3D) you list are fairly light. I could agree with them for this year as primary objectives.

            If the goal is to get a Cup, and we have strength thru centre, we need the wingers to step up and provide some quality scoring through the top 9.

            For this we’ve got a timing issue as we need more time to assess Colborne, Byron etc (assuming Hudler, GlenX ae eventually traded) plus developing Poirier, Gaudreau, Klimchuk etc. for prime-time.

            Basically a coupla Sharps, Steens and Carters would help.

            From a development perspective, if we choose a patient Boston/Detroit approach, this will take 2-3 years minimum for the forwards and longer for the D.

            Knowing we are not that patient then speeding up the timeframe and providing shelter for the young guns to catch up makes a lot of sense.

            • BurningSensation

              In truth I think acquiring a #1C is all but impossible unless you draft one. They simply don’t get traded very often (Joe Thornton being the only guy I can think of off the top of my head – and that was a good while back). Toronto has been looking for a true #1 since Sundin left, and Calgary has been searching since Joe Nieuwendyk was shipped out for Iggy.

              But…the rumour mill has both Ottawa and Carolina looking to reset things and both those guys may legitimately be on the market. That said, they would likely cost a fortune, and I honestly can’t see either team doing a deal with Calgary and not also insisting on getting either Gaudreau or Monahan as part of the package (which makes it hard for me to say ‘just go for it’).

              I said both have flaws and they clearly do – Staal has had two ppg+ seasons, and has otherwise been underwhelming. Spezza has a better track record points wise, but is less the physical presence, less the defensive player, and way, way more injury prone.

              So…if we assume that; A. Monahan or Gaudreau aren’t part of the deal, and B. that we aren’t ‘out bid’ by other teams to the point the price is just stupid, I’d say do it. In truth though, the chances are miniscule that either guy gets moved.

              The far more likely scenario is that we draft a C with our #4 overall pick (Bennett or Draisatl), and groom them to eventually play a top 6 role.

              As for the wingers issue, I honestly think we would be fine rolling with what we have, and eventually a Sven, JG or maybe even a Ferland will develop into the guy we need.

              To be a ‘legit’ contender you need to have a core of;

              3-4 forwards who are ‘elite’ (top 5-10 for their position) and preferably two of them should be C’s (Chicago’s ‘problem’ is that 3 of their 4 best fwds are wingers which is why they seem to audition a new #2 C every other week).

              1-2 defenseman who are elite (top 10), and failing that, 4 defenders who are above average (the Vancouver/NYR model).

              An average or better goaltender (Detroit and Chicago both demonstrated that an elite G is simply not required. Sorry Howard/Crawford, but its true).

              We have in hand exactly zero forwards who fit that bill, but a lot of potential contenders (Monahan, JG, Sven, Poirier, Klimchuk our #1pick this year, and maybe even a Granlund)

              Gio and Brodie are solid fits for the D portion, and Ramo/Ortio/Gillies should be sufficient for the goaltending.

            • Howie Meeker

              Agree re need to build strength down the middle, and that you need to draft top #1C/#2C as you generally can’t trade for them.

              Re Staal/Spezza/RoR…acquisition cost would be prohibitive and require top picks & prospects. Believe we are better to draft Bennett/Draisaitl to go along with Monahan and develop these two over the next 2-3 years. We then avoid Chicago’s #2C problem.

              Add in two of Backlund/Granlund/Arnold/Knight/Stajan as #3C/#4C and we’re in pretty good shape to roll all 4 lines aka Boston or Montreal of yesteryear. Would be nice to add size for the #3C as a defensive specialist (UFA Boyle?) but this can be rounded out over the next couple years.

              Agree with Coached Potatoe as well that we have ample top 6 (and top 12) forwards that are good, except for top RW sniper which is still open.

              In goal between Ramo, Ortio and Gillies we’re serviceable for the next 2-3 years.

              Defence then becomes the issue, particularly at RD and also due to the long lead time to develop.

              Given this draft is so weak for defencemen, particularly RD, my preference would be for Burke to package #2 pick and prospects to get a #5 – #15 pick to acquire Alex Tuch, a 6’4″ RW with the US NTDP (great developmental training regime).

              With drafting a top C to pair with Monahan plus shore up our gaping Top 6 RW hole with Tuch the foundation for the Forwards is essentially done with slight tinkering & upgrading on a select basis over the next 2-4 years.

              The focus of the rest of all the picks this year and next, along with UFA or trades, becomes top 4 D-men.

              So in summary..getting Draisaitl or Bennett plus trade to draft Dal Colle (highest price) or Tuch (more moderate price) will essentially complete the rebuild up front, with Goalkeeper looked after reasonably well now and in the future. This then leaves the D to focus on plus selectively tinkering over time.

              Would dangling GlenX or Hudler plus a prospect or a Second be enough to get the pick to draft Tuch?

          • Big Ell

            I get the cost of signing UFA’a but as we have cap space it is worth the look.It’s going to cost both money and assets for either Spezza or Staal anyways. I agree with you on Brodie but I was thinking about the need to upgrade the second pairing and you have mentioned a couple of names I have on my list. I’d prefer to look at rolling four lines having some upgrade in a physical skilled presence than having a defined fourth line. one day I will go into details on why I like this so much.

          • Tommynotsohuge

            Spezza makes $7 million and Staal $8million if I have the right one, what would Stastny (somewhere in between)cost and no assets, RoR will demand that kind of money and assets.

            Personally I would be okay with waiting a year and seeing how the young guys do; we have Backs, Monahan and Stajan with NHL experience and Knight, Granlund and Arnold to compete for that last spot.(plus all of the following have played some center at the NHL,Bouma, Colborne and Byron)

            It’s on defence that I see the need for action. We have Gio and Brodie a good solid number one pairing and then we have Wides, Russell and Smid as signed NHL vets all better suited as third pairing defenders.(second in an emergency). Spoon is the most ready from the kids and he fits the 3rd pairing grouping as well at this time of his career. If we could add the likes of Giardi/Niskaken from your list or trade for say a Myers might we better served.(less costly than either Spezza or Staal I suspect)

    • Tommynotsohuge

      My prediction is The Flames hire George Mcphee after he gets axed by The Capitals. I would be totally ok with that. I also think we could trade our #4 pick and Colorado’s 2nd rounder to Winnipeg for Evander Kane and their #8 where we could draft Virtenen. We might need to sweeten the deal with Byron or someone. Thoughts?

      • Howie Meeker

        Creative ideas but they scare me!

        McPhee does not have a proven track record of success. With Ovechkin as his leader he was not capable of building a champion around one of the most talented players in the world. His teams always seemed to struggle!

        I believe the Flames need a young Niewendyk type and if he is not interested a “talent wizard” who can grow into the managers role under Burkes leadership.

        With regards to the trade we are giving up too much young potential for a proven trouble maker (I acknowledge extremely talented) player!

      • BurningSensation

        – I’m lukewarm on McPhee, but would be ok with it.

        – I still think Joe Nieuwendyk is going to be the guy. He checks all the boxes; experienced, Ivy Leaguer, former Flame, and very very smart.

        – I don’t think Wpg would do that deal. They might if they didn’t have to give us a pick back (and I have to think about whether I would be OK with that….and I am).

        – Instead of offering our pick this year, I’d do the ‘dangerous’ thing instead and offer them; our 2015 pick (the McDavid draft), and a 2nd from this year for Kane.

        – If we could add an Evander Kane AND either E.Staal or Spezza we would be good to go for the playoffs (depending on what the cost for Staal or Spez is of course).

        • Tommynotsohuge

          It would be dangerous indeed, but I tend to agree, with a top line of Cammy (‘re-signed of course), Stall/ Spezza and Kane. A second line of Baertshi/ Gaudreau, Monahan and Hudler. We should be a playoff team no doubt.

          As for Nieuwendyk, he’d be my first choice for sure, but knowing Mcphee and Burke are great friends. I have a feeling that George will be Calgary bound before the draft.

    • Don’t think Eric Staal will be leaving Carolina any time soon. Jordan asked to be traded there so they could play together, and rumour has always had it that Marc wants to play with them as well. And it won’t be in Calgary, you can pretty much guarantee that.

      Spezza wouldn’t be too bad and there have been rumours during at least two of the last three or four drafts that he was coming to Calgary. That never happened obviously and now he’s several years older, and an injury risk. He’s missed a bunch of time with a bad back. Do you really want to trade young assets to get someone who could tweak his already-injured back in game 1 and never play again?

      I personally would rather have the Flames ride out this rebuild without overpaying for someone to help accelerate it. No need to pay $8M per year for a billion years to Eric Staal AFTER giving up a top 4 pick, quality roster player (such as GlenX), and a quality prospect. You know Carolina will be asking for at least that if he really was available.

    • Apparently Mark Spector was on with Jason Gregor and told him that Kerr & Simmer have been gassed. I’ve heard various things but won’t really comment until something official is said by Sportsnet.

      IF it pans out, I’m curious what happens with the regional teams.

      • beloch

        The way I see it, with CBC scrapping it’s hockey staff (because they no longer own the rights to any hockey), pretty much all of the HNIC crew are going to be heading over to Sportsnet. The cream of TSN’s live crews are likely to do the same because covering competitive dart-throwing sucks. The highlight show people might soldier on, but a lot of TSN’s staff is facing unemployment. Thanks to Rogers’ night-of-the-long-knives, Sportsnet has its pick of Canada’s hockey broadcasting talent. Kerr and Simmer might not make the cut.

    • Howie Meeker

      Back to our discussion on whether or not Burke blows up the core(BobbyO’s words) or not. We have discussed the ideas of trades for players like Spezza or Staal, which will all cost us significant assets beyond the core. So I suggested that if Burke’s plan is to significantly upgrade the veteran presence he should look at the UFA’s suggesting Stastny as one example. So I thought I would put together a partial list of UFA’s with their current salaries for us to hash around until a new thread is created. Here it is

      Center: Stastny $6.6, Legwand $4.5, Lewis $1.3, Boyle $1.7, and Grabowski $3.

      LW(I’m not sure this is need) Winnik $1.8, Moulson $3.2, Vanek $5.75, Mason $1.

      RW: Callahan $4.3, Kulemin $2.8, and Setoguchi $3.8

      Defence: Mesaeros $2,Nikitin $2.1, Quincy $3.8, Fayne $1.3, Strahlman $1.7, Diaz $1.2, Niskanen $2.3, Lee $1.1, and Ranger $1.8.

      These are all in millions just in case anyone thinks I crazy. I compiled this list a couple of weeks ago and some of them may have been signed. I have not included any RFA’s but two that I think Burke might be interested in(at least the fan base suggests he might be) RoR and Reimer. Again I’m not saying this list is complete as I have left off all the Flames UFA’s intentionally.

      Personally as I have stated before I would be prepared to let the development of our forward ranks stay the same. I would consider the possibilities on the blueline though. One reason I would not blow up the team is the work ethic and chemistry that seems to have been developed this year.

    • Howie Meeker

      As Ryan pointed out in the article the flames need to be able to “defend” a lead in the third, to me this all points to upgrading the backend as a priority. The real dark horse here is Dennis Wideman and if he comes back next season and lives up the the billing to quarterback the P/P for a full season. If Burke can add to the d-core and upgrade the goal tending with a legit #1 our path to the playoffs will become a lot brighter.

      • Howie Meeker

        Personally I believe Ram will be better next year. His play over the last quarter of the season strongly suggests that he can be an above average NHL goalie. As Burke seems to be determined to keep Ortio as the starter in the AHL next year(he said as much on garbage bag day0 what has to be addressed is who will be the backup on the Flames and will they be good enough to push Ramo and win games.

        If Widesman returns to form he can be a sound second pairing defender, if not we need to add 2 second pairing guys as the rest are sound 3rd pairing guys.

    • T&A4Flames

      This recent talk of accelerating the rebuild by trading some of our young assets for veteran C is kind of annoying me. Would we be talking about this if we didn’t exceed expectations this season? Doubtful. I think most of us were settled in and ready for a few years of suck and high picks.i don’t think Burke means what you are all talking about in terms of accelerate.moving OUT the vets for young players, prospects and multiple draft picks is what I believe is how things are accelerated. Trading away our young assets to get these aging players is what we used to do and it lead us to mediocrity.

      There will be a time soon enough that we can be looking at doing this but, IMO, not for at least another season. Burke is smart enough to know that he is not just rebuilding the Flames but our AHL affiliate as we; the entire organizational depth. When guys like Baertschi and Gaudreau find permanent spots on the big club then their depth will need to be filled with other young draft picks ready to jump to pro, starting in the A. I would much rather see us stay status quo this year then to go out and grab players that will help reach a mediocre
      Level of play again because we think we have fewer holes than what actually exists. I hoop whatever targets Burke is looking at are younger,, Maybe not quite fully developed but are close. Guys like Alex Chaisson or Charlie Coyle. I suggested yesterday looking at trying to grab Erik Gudbranson on the cheap yesterday. These are players we should take chances on, again, IMO.

      I would be highly disappointed if made a trade to grab Staal or Spezza at this stage.

      • Howie Meeker

        Agreed, all this talk about Spezza & Staal & even Kane sounds wonderful but hardly the path this team should take at this time. What I would like to see:

        1/Next year, I want to see roster opening for Gaudreau & Sven on the big team. I know many argue JG should spend 1 year in the AHL, I’m not an advocate of that because my belief JG is ready to develop at the NHL level just like Money did.

        2/I would like to see what it would take to get that Florida or Buffalo pick without giving up our 4th over all. Getting Ekblad & Bennett or Draisaitl would be huge moving forward for this team. Not sure if either of these teams would find a package of Hudler & 2 very good NHL ready prospects like Granlund & someone else is enough or attractive enough, but that would be along the lines of the only major splash we should do.

        3/Otherwise, keep the course. Next year is going to be a win win for us. If we do well & out of the McDavid/Eichel sweepstakes, it means our young kids have made huge steps again. Then we talk about pieces of what it would take to challenge for playoffs. If they digress & we have a poor year, we have a potential future franchise player to slot in at the 2015 draft.

        1 more year before this kind of talk. 1 more year & our top 9 forwards will look so much different than last year with hope turning to anticipation.

        3/ Do not resign Cammi, let him go

      • beloch

        While I mostly agree with you I don’t think Burke does. I believe his mandate is get this team back into the playoffs (at least into the hunt) ASAP. I hope I’m wrong but that is not my read of him.

        Personally upfront I like the potential of Monahan. Backs, Bouma, Colborne,Johnny, Granlund, Sven, Rhino, Knight, Arnold, Poirier,Ferland and Klimchuk and while I’m not convinced that any of them will be generational elite I believe they all can be NHL forwards and more than a few will be high end. Add the veteran presence of Glenx,Hudler, and Stajan and this can be competitive. I am not as comfortable with the future on defense. The Flames have a sound top pairing Gio and Brodie and a group of other vets who are IMO third pairing guys, unless Wides returns to form. The young guys include Spoon who right now is another third pairing guy and really after that Billins and Cundari who are both undersized. The rest including Sieloff are unproven and boy do I hope he gets healthy and then we can worry about him and hockey. Kanzig,Kulak, Culkin and Roy are all a long ways off.

    • Nummin

      I have a hard time believing we will have a shot at a top 5 pick next year, even with Cammy on the way out, as long as Ramo maintains his year end play and our young guys progress a bit. The obvious goals for the team next year are to be better, they will, and develop the young guys (with the flames or with the heat).

      The holes on the flames should be filled by the Heat players we feel should be ready to make the jump (Sven, Rhino, Knight, Granlund), but bring in 1-2 of the right UFAs to make them fight for their spot (perhaps Boyle if the price/term are reasonable). But a Dman is a huge need through UFAs. The guys who just finished junior/college and drafted this year should spend a year with the heat.

      Without some serious dealing by Burke and some position shuffling there’s gonna be a lot of guys we want to be with the Flames end up with the Heat (a good thing).