News and Notes – June 2 2014

It was a quiet weekend for the Calgary Flames but a fairly busy one in the hockey world, as we now know that the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers will face-off in the 73rd best-of-seven Cup Finals.

By wonderful coincidence, the Flames won the season series against both the Kings and Rangers. That and a toonie gets you a cup of coffee nowadays.

Let’s catch up on a few things, shall we?

ACES CHASING THEIR CUP

Game 3 of the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Final is tonight, with the Alaska Aces and the Cincinnati Cyclones tied at one game apiece.

Olivier Roy was injured in Game 1 and is done for the series. Based on the organization’s fondness for Joni Ortio and its…whatever towards Roy (indifference?), I doubt he’s back next year. He’s had good ECHL numbers (13-7-0, 2.10 GAA, .922 S%) but his AHL numbers were so-so (7-8-1, 3.31 GAA, .901).

Meanwhile, John Ramage is third in Aces playoff scoring. He has 13 points in 17 games. Kane “The Franchise” LaFranchise has 10 points in 11 games. Turner Elson has 8 points in 17 games, while pending RFA James Martin had 0 points in 11 games, but hasn’t played since the semi-finals.

CODA GORDON GONE

The Flames didn’t sign 2012 6th rounder Coda Gordon by yesterday’s deadline, so he’ll go back into the draft. The club previously signed Patrick Sieloff (2nd round), Brett Kulak (4th round) and Ryan Culkin (5th round), while college kids Mark Jankowski (1st round), Jon Gillies (3rd round) and Matt Deblouw (7th round) can’t be signed until they leave school.

Gordon had 71 points in 59 games this year as a 19-year-old, but he played primarily with some combination of Graham Black (97 points), Colby Cave (71 points) and Nathan Burns (34 points in 28 games). I got the impression from people who watched a lot of the Swift Current Broncos that Gordon was good, but not the guy driving the bus. And with so prospects on the left side in Calgary and Adirondack (and centers moving to the wing because of center depth), I can’t blame either side for not coming to a deal. It’s probably best for everyone.

ERIC ROY OFFERED

One of the CBA’s recurring quirks is this: teams retain the rights to drafted major-junior players for two years…as long as they offer them a contact by June 1 of the next year.

That’s it. Just an offer.

So, the Flames offered 2013 fifth rounder Eric Roy a contract. He’s under no obligation to agree to it, it’s primarily a paper transaction to retain his rights. The team already has signed (deep breath) Sean Monahan, Morgan Klimchuk, Emile Poirier and Keegan Kanzig. They don’t need to make offers to college kids Tim Harrison and John Gilmour, or European draftee Rushan Rafikov, as they’re exempt from the wacky rule.

  • Lordmork

    I know a lot of people are regarding John Ramage as “No longer a prospect of note” after his last season, but he seems to be having a fairly productive ECHL playoffs run. Maybe he can use it as a springboard for next year.

      • SmellOfVictory

        Great instincts, or just decent instincts? I’ve always thought he was a pretty unimpressive dude who got drafted at least in part because of his last name.

        Also, prepare for Sieloff to be Ramage 2.0 (minus the last name and plus better skating, but still a complete bust).

  • Jeff Lebowski

    The rumour is Calgary is trying to deal for #1. I think every team would investigate what it would take, so I don’t think they are necessarily hell bent on making the deal, rather doing some due diligence.

    Having said that, do people think:

    A) A deal could get done without trading #4 so CGY ends up with #1 and #4

    B) Given a Flames prospect ranking of say 1-20 (and the specifics of the ranking is not what I’m concerned with) what rank is the highest a person would be willing to relinquish in some combination? Would you trade a top 5 prospect to move up a top 10?

    The question I’m asking is along the lines of assigning value. In the NFL for example they have a value chart (http://www.draftcountdown.com/features/Value-Chart.php)

    assigning a numerical value to draft picks, so you know what to get in return.

    Further to this point, what value is assigned to actual NHL players?

    I’m wondering how people truly assess a first round pick compared to other assets?

    I’m sure it can get quite complicated with %success factored in but is the first round pick’s value highest before it is actually used on a player?

    A thought experiment:

    Would you trade Monahan now for the 6th overall pick he was taken at LAST year, knowing what we know now?

    Would you trade Monahan for the 1st overall LAST year?

    Would you trade Monahan for 1st overall THIS year?

    Forget organizational need for a moment – just think asset:asset

    What is the (and when) the highest possible value asset a team can possess?

    • piscera.infada

      I don’t think you could get both. The argument seems to be that word on the street is Florida really likes Nylander. So, if they can move back in his range, and get a player that could help immediately, they would give up the #4. I think it sounds fine on paper, but because of the allure of the first overall pick, they’re probably going to want a prohibitively costly package just to move up 3 spots. As such, I don’t think it happens, but you never know – If Treliving/Burke really want someone, then it might be possible.

      To answer the later questions. Yes and then no. Monahan is good, but Mackinnon is still the better player. This year, no, because I’m not sure any of the top-4 are appreciably better – any of them could surely turn out better, but at this point, it’s too much of an unknown.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        Thanks for answering. That’s the thing…the unknown value

        #1 OA is such a highly valued asset – why? You don’t know (maybe some you do – Crosby but is Ekblad?). The fact that there doesn’t seem to be a runaway consensus (BT comment about top 5 but order unknown)

        So to give up known quantities for an unknown doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do.

        For a manager, not being dumb should be priority #1. I think, with this draft specifically, there will be a propensity for people to feel certain when really they shouldn’t. I hope Calgary isn’t one of those teams. Why give up real value (prospect) for …?

        Mine is an uneducated opinion regarding these draft prospects. If BT feels in his gut that Ekblad is going to be elite – hands down the best player from this class – then go with your conviction and make the deal.

        However, with what is in the public record (other draft services) it seems this is NOT the case.

    • SmellOfVictory

      A) Technically yes, but it would be prohibitively expensive. I imagine it would involve Giordano or one of our favourite prospects. I’d personally be down with it if they could do something not painful like Hudler and Russell (I know the optics would be bad on Russell since he was only recently re-signed), though.

  • DragonFlame

    @ Jeff Lebowski

    Let’s try and formulate a reasonable proposal in which Florida might consider dealing the number one pick to the Flames:

    First, it will take a swap of picks.

    Second it will take at least one of the Flames’ top youngsters (Brodie or Gaudreau) or a combination thereof (Wotherspoon, Baertschi, Granlund). Or it may also require a combination of the above plus Calgary’s first round pick next year.

    Aside from the names and options mentioned above, what do the Flames have to offer, realistically? Second round picks? I don’t think that will cut it, personally.

    As much as I’d like to see the Flames move up and acquire the first over-all pick and get Ekblad into the fold, if either Gaudreau or Brodie are involved, I don’t know if that’s such a wise decision.

        • Bean-counting cowboy

          Bingo. Also as Smell of Victory writes, they want established players rather than picks – I have heard this also.

          With the log-jam at LW in the system I’m thinking to get the # 1 overall it would take our 1st overall + Glenross or Hudler + Colorado’s 2nd round pick to move up.

          If Burke/Treliving really like a guy (Ekblad) – I could see them pulling the trigger on a deal like this. Ekblad definitely fills an organizational need and is physically mature enough to play in the NHL next year.

          With his exceptional status he has already played 3 seasons of CHL hockey – it would not hurt him to go up to the bigs. If it’s me at the helm, I do this deal and play the kid in the show next year. The Flames have something the Oilers don’t (a top defense pairing). Ekblad could slot in below these two and take on softer competition. Nashville had a similar high end pairing which allowed them to put Jones in the show right away (although I would say Jones was more ready than Ekblad).

  • SmellOfVictory

    It’s possible next years first gets thrown in. The idea of getting another crack at McDavid is appealing and it depends on how confident BT is that the flames will do well next year.

    Next years first plus Sven?

    Then this year the flames draft Eckblad and Bennet or Reinhart or Driasitl

    It would mean the flames would have had 5 first round picks in the previous 2 drafts (3 top ten). That’s how you rebuild quickly…

  • TheoForever

    Flames are going to be worse in 2014/2015.
    To give up 2015 a guaranteed top 6 pick for the #1 pick in 2014 that is not as good as those 6 picks in 2015 is nuts, to add something more is even worse.

    To give up #4 + Brodie is complete overkill as Ekblad is not a franchise player, and experts cannot decide if he is #1 or #2 or #3 or #4 dman.

    To give up Johnny or Sven + #4 to move to #1 is insane.

    Nobody knows which of the top 4 guy is the best and to give up good assets to move up to get the guy that you could be able to get at 4 is nuts.

    • PrairieStew

      Will they be worse ?

      1. Ramo played his best after the Olympic break – 55 games of that makes you competitive.

      2. MVP Giordano missed 18 games – whilst in the lineup he made everyone better.

      3. On December 1st people were speculating that Mikael Backlund might have to be moved. After that he played the best hockey of his career

      4. Joe Colborne looked like a lost puppy until at least Christmas. After playing his first real NHL season he now looks well established

      5. Cammalleri won’t be missed that much. His production will be replaced by the most prolific college scorer in 20 years in John Gaudreau

      6 Glencross missed half the season. His presence changes the depth chart for wingers positively

      7. Chris Butler played 82 games for the Flames last year. This year hopefully it is 0.

      8. Lots of competition in the bottom 6 – with development seen from Reinhart, Knight, Granlund and additions of Agostino, Arnold, Wolff and Van Brabant.

      9 Dennis Wideman is a decent second pairing guy that missed significant time last year as well.

      Having said all that I wouldn’t trade this years pick either – #4 could be as good as #1 anyway. None of Brodie, Monahan, Johnny or Sven should be moved at this point unless Florida is offering #1 for Sven and second rounder.

      • TheoForever

        I believe Flames overachieved, there could be regression.

        The thing about losing veterans like Stempniak, Cammy is that they can make plays under pressure and kids tend to make mistakes.

        For Johnny to fully replace Cammy will take a few years.

        Many guys could take step back Gio, Brodie, Monahan.

        There will be injuries.

        Ramo is still a question mark.

        I would expect Colborne, Backlund to be better.

        I just don’t see Flames being better.
        Perhaps if they add Vrbata and a top 4 dman and a backup as good as Ramo.

        I do know one thing, if I’m the GM I would not gamble my carrier by trading a top pick in 2015 that could turn into one of the golden 3 boys.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    The thing with the notion that Flames will be better next year hinges on some huge assumptions:

    1- No regression from youth who ‘established’ themselves. Monahan, Colborne

    2- No regression or inconsistency from Ramo.

    3- No major injuries to key players (Gio + Brodie)

    4- Calgary’s ‘surprising’ performance was all on them and NOT on opponents underestimating them.

    To me, it is impossible to account for these with any kind of certainty.

    So with this in mind PLUS this is still a REBUILD you DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES trade first pick next year. The only thing you do is try and get another first rounder next year in addition to your own so that you can package both first rounders to move into a position of top 3 (unless you are already there).

    This all kind of surrounds the notion of price. How is the price of something really determined? S v D? Really? There is a book called Priceless by Poundstone (?). Great read.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_05/b4165077443953.htm

  • Tommynotsohuge

    I would be ok trading #4, Colorado’s 2nd rounder and maybe Byron for 1st overall. The problem is, we are in need of a Bennett or Reinheart. Not Ekblad, even though he is an incredible dman and I’d love to see him in Flames colours. Our odds are almost as good at getting the best player at #4 than they are at #1.

    • TheoForever

      Ive been trying to figure a deal that would work since FLA rumours hit news… its tough… any deal that makes sense for the Flames like the deal you just proposed is not something FLA would bite on. Conversely any deal that FLA could not turn down would be a complete overpayment.

      If you think Ekblad is the real deal then maybe you can justify paying a high price.

      Likely, no deal goes down between FLA and Calgary because there is no real consensus top pick that is head and shoulders above the rest so it just doesnt make sense for Calgary to pony up assets when the guy at 4 is comparable to the guy at 1.

    • T&A4Flames

      Actually, I’d argue we are in more need of an Ekblad than a Bennett or Reinhart. We have good C depth now with Mony, Backs, Stajan, Granlund and Reinhart (who I think will both become wingers in our organization), Knight, Arnold and hopefully Janko.

      Potential top pairing Dmen= 0

      I would certainly say adding another future top 6 C would be nice. But it’s not our current biggest need, IMO.

  • DragonFlame

    The bottom line is this:

    Florida has the number one pick and the Flames do not.

    Were I Florida management I am only making a deal if another team is willing to be stupid about what they are offering in return.

    You don’t offer up the number one pick to the competition unless you are made an offer that can’t be refused.

    I really don’t think the Flames are in any position to make that kind of offer.

  • TheoForever

    And even if FLA is interested in players over prospects … who do we offer. They are not going to give up their pick for Glencross or Hudler… and even if they were interested in Hudler it is kind of an overpayment to give up a top 6 forward for a few spots in the draft.

  • Craig

    I think the big reason I would not trade the number 4 is that there is a very good chance that one of the here players at some point ranked #1 will fall to the Flames.

    You need to really value, let’s say Ekblad, to trade away an established player and a pick to move up to get him. I don’t think it’s worth it when there’s a good chance one of the Sam’s falls to #4.

    to be clear, is the value of Ekblad over Bennett really as much as Sven and a second? or worse case scenario Gaudreau and 2015 first?

    Absolutely not.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Sven and a second? No. gaudreau and a 1st? No. Hudler and Col 2nd or our 3rd? Hmmmmm…. Maybe? “Speeding up the rebuild” means identifying and targeting our new core and moving out vets when given the opportunity. i agree, No reason to move established prospects to move up, but Ekblad is the right hand D we need for future top pairing with Brodie. I am with T & A, we need Ekblad more than either Sam. You don’t see teams move up to the 1st pick much anymore because of the prohibitive cost. With the lack of consensus this year, I think teams could do it cheaper.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        But do you think FLA actually bites on Hudler and a second. Dont get me wrong i like Hudler but these types of players are available in aFA… cant see FLA move their pick for a guy they can add inFA.

        Again… cant see a move that makes sense for either team.

        • Bean-counting cowboy

          Prior year leading scorer on the Panthers? Nick Bjugstad with 38 points…. Flames leading scorere? Jiri Hudler with 54. He would likely immediately become their leading scorer – by a large margin.

          They were talking on the Fan this morning about how that pick is almost a given to be moved as ownership is desperate to add immediate help down there. This is the epitome of “selling high” with Hudler.

          Why wouldn’t they if there is no great perceived difference among the top 4 this year? If CGY wants the D-man and Florida is happy with a forward – why not?

          • supra steve

            The fly in this ointment is the 28 other clubs that will also be in on the availability of the #1 overall pick. This pick is not as valuable as last years (or next years), but it is still quite valuable…more so than Hudler and a late 2nd.

          • Bean-counting cowboy

            But you have to remember that there are only two other teams with a higher pick than Calgary to move up (ie Florida still could get the best player in the draft at the #4 slot). It drops off after that. The advantage CGY has above any other team in the 5 – 10 draft spots is the quality of that #4 pick.

            You might be right in that it may cost more to move up, but if I’m the Flames, that is all I offer, because of the equal quality of the top 4 as previously mentioned.

          • jeremywilhelm

            That leaves the Sabres and the Oilers as our competition.

            The Sabres being in the same division as the Panthers makes them unlikely.

            The Oilers don’t have much to trade in terms of quality NHL players and have no other picks past the first round to sweeten the pot.

            So we are the front runners…..

            WW

  • Craig

    I agree there is little measurable difference between CAL’s #4 pick and FLA’s #1 pick, and there would be little reason to trade up, give up a Top 6 asset and likely another pick too.

    The only way I can see CAL trading in to the first round is to get ANOTHER FIRST ROUNDER IN ADDITION TO the #4 pick, with the pick being used to select either Tuch or Virtanen at RW OR Fleury, DeAngelo or McKeown at RD.

    The price for a mid-late 1st round pick will still be high…likely a Top 6 player, a prospect and a 2nd or 3rd rounder.

    Essentially the Flames would be trading a 50 point or 25+ goal scorer in Hudler or Glencross (assuming his agreement), plus a prospect (ranging from Agostino to Granlund) plus a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

    In return the Flames would be getting a Top 6 Fwd or Top 3 Defender …in 2-4 years.

    Adding a Draisaitl/Bennett PLUS a Tuch (RW) OR DeAngelo (D) in 1 draft, on top of 3 1st rounders last year, would likely position the Flames to start being successful in ~2 years.
    The question is…is this worth waiting for OR is there another way to rebuild the team faster without mortgaging the future by selling out prospect pool…?

  • Jeff Lebowski

    2. Brian Burke then sent the No. four selection and a pair of third-round picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top overall pick. [Ed. Note. — According to Burke, this wasn’t easy.]

    3. Next, Vancouver sent the top pick to the expansion Atlanta Thrashers for the No. two selection and a conditional 2000 third-rounder. The deal was that the Thrashers would take Stefan, leaving the Canucks to take the Sedins in sequential order

    http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2010/10/16/looking-back-at-the-1999-draft-and-how-vancouver-drafted-the-sedins/

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I say that the Flames should wait until Pittsburgh hires Pierre McGuire as GM and then Brian Burke and BT should be able to convince him to trade Crosby or Malkin for a song.

  • everton fc

    Glad to see Eric Roy was offered a contract. I hope he signs.

    As for the Panthers 1st, I don’t think they move it unless they get a 1st back, and an established/above average everyday player. Or two. I tend to lean on the side of the Flames staying where they are. I think Burke will escalate the “rebuild” via free agency. Not saying I approve… Or disapprove…

  • jeremywilhelm

    There is almost nothing that would make sense, that I would trade TJ Brodie for (obviously a Stamkos or a doughty or something ridiculous, you would).

  • MWflames

    I like the idea of going after Ekblad this year. As defenceman take longer to develop than forwards, get Ekblad this year and take a top flight forward next year. More players making more impact sooner. Sound Plan.

    However, in terms of trading up, I think everyone seems to be blowing out of proportion what a fair trade would be. Brodie or Sven or Backlund + 4 OA? That is ridiculous. Preposterous in fact, and nobody should be wasting their breath worrying about that sort of situation. History tells us that teams are not willing to pay all that much to move up a few spots in the top ten. Especially in year like this where the top 4 are disputed, and not as elite as other years, and picks 4-12ish seem to be quite consistent and deep. Florida is not going to be able to trade down into the top ten and claim a future top pairing defenceman or top flight forward. No GM will offer that. It won’t happen.

    If there is a trade down between calgary and florida, the assets that will be tossed around will be 2nd and 3rd rounders, mid teir prospects (Max, knight, granlund, wotherspoon), or nhlers (smid, wideman(retained), russell, hudler, d. jones or maybe even byron). I honestly beleive, some combinations of those assets would be a great deal for florida to move down 3 spots and lose very little prospect quality, just less selection essentially. If that were to happen, I see them pulling off another very similar deal to move down to 6-10 range. But unfortunately almost all young nhl ready players that’s ready for top four minutes, is most likely going to grow into a quasy first pairing defenceman at the very least in his prime. Just don’t see any GM paying that much for it. So my bet is that the pick doesn’t get moved, and if it does, I believe most people will be pleasantly surprised at what the deal is.