The FN Faceoff: July Edition (7pm MT, Live!)

Tonight! Join Ryan Pike, Ryan Lambert and your pal Kent Wilson for some heated discussion of what the Calgary Flames have been up to this summer so far.

Topics of discussion will include: the 2013 Draft haul, Calgary’s free agent additions and subtractions, summer development camp, and the curious case of Kevin Hayes (and whether the Flames should pursue him).

Join in via the comments or by watching along!

      • SmellOfVictory

        Referring to me? Because as I said, I’m not a hater. I do find that he can be a bit much in text, and that’s why I like his audio/video approach; you can hear the dry humour a little better, and his analysis/editorializing flows quite well.

        • Mort

          No… I was referring to anybody who’s so critical of Lambert.

          As for the dry humour aspect, I’ve always seen it, which is why I don’t hate Lambert as much as so many people. Some people would sooner tell him to go die in a fire than realize he’s just being facetious or something.

          Anyway, I don’t think it’s his opinions that people hate about him, but more the way he words them. He words his arguments in such a way that anybody who disagrees would easily get riled up.

          • Burnward

            It’s a lot easier to hide behind written words than when you have a camera in your face.

            We know his deal and no one hates him…his style just isn’t suited for hockey minds that think above the average TSN/Yahoo user.

            It is what it is.

    • MattyFranchise

      Agreed. He has a charisma in real life that just doesn’t shine through in his articles that I just absolutely cannot stand about 50% of the time.

      That’s a backliment.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Completely agree with Lambert on the Austin Carol pick. Why pick a guy who’s not going to be chosen by any other team. Why not take a flyer on a really young kid?

    • Franko J

      I liked who LA picked in the 7th round in Austin Watson and Jacob Middleton. If there was the fear of losing Carroll to another team, why didn’t Treliving make a trade at the draft for another 7th pick?

      Again with the Flames picking and placing a GM in charge so close to the draft really exposed his inexperience. Next year hopefully will be better.

      • piscera.infada

        Is word not out that they are trying to get Fram signed to something? I thought I heard that on the Fan (although, I’m not sure how the undrafted signings work). All in all I agree with you, but it’s also a seventh round pick. I guess if you feel comfortable with someone why not? They probably saw a lot of him playing in Victoria along with Kanzig – and by all accounts he was great for the Royals this season (moreso his uptempo, though on the forecheck game then simply putting up points). My point is, he’s a seventh round pick, I’m not losing any sleep over it.

  • MWflames

    I think the best thing we learned about the new management this summer is that, regardless of the players signed in FA, they have a 2-3 plan to become really competitive. Thats certainly optimistic, however, not unreasonable. This tells me that they will try and let the kids marinate in the minors for quite some time which is probably the best thing more often than not.

    As a flames fan I would like to agree with Kent’s optimistic view on the Engelland Signing etc. which is mostly about protecting the kids. But I think its more realistic that Lambert is right. They just beleive in BIG. With that being said, I beleive, Burke’s Flames will always have a fighter or two in the line-up, and the low minute players will almost unanimously be BIG. I guess we just hope we can find guys that can play at least a little bit. Bouma is an excellent example of what you want. Some skill, works his ass off, Big, and you can use his fresh legs on the PK saving your big guns for the more favourable ice time.

    IIRC correctly, Burke’s Leafs had a few of their penalty killers come from the bottom lines right??

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Good start to the discussion. Think the focus on bigger at the moment is more to balance out the Flames prospect than an over-riding philosophy. I guess we’ll see.

    Yes they did lose games because they were too small. Most of the California games they got pushed around for extended periods…

  • FeyWest

    Looking forward to more Faceoffs as always, the discussions and opinions stated are all very entertaining and thought provoking. Hats of to you gents!

    In the grand scheme of things right now this year there has been a lot of fluctuation in management and I think it’s a bit early to close this chapter off saying we know the conclusion.

    I’m with ccc and just think it’s to try to offset us a bit, gives a bit of size variety and hopefully we get a good mix of past drafts and this draft working out so we’re more balanced going forward. (But if there is recurring skeptical draftings and signings I’ll concede the “Size Fetish” that Pike so eloquently stated)

    There are a lot of questions going into next season but I’ll agree on paper and by FN’s opinions we don’t look to be the next Stanley cup winner for at least 2/3 years.

    Secondary Question to FN: I can’t believe we’re back to Sutter days because I was not as excited as I am now, is it all just illusion because we have exciting prospects? or is it because we actually have prospects?

  • RexLibris

    Big players don’t make an impact??

    Getzlaf, Perry, Ovi, Benn, Thornton, Malkin, Jagr. All 6’3 or over. All but Malkin and Perry are over 225lbs.
    3 of the top 5 scoring def were 6’4, 6’5 and 6’6 and all over 235lbs. And, none of them were named Chara. The game is getting bigger. Still room for a skilled guy at any size but size is important.

    • SmellOfVictory

      They explicitly said that the number of big guys (over 6’4, specifically) who make an impact is very small, and it is an accurate statement. They also explicitly said that, while big players who make an impact do exist (and they’re nice to have) it’s rare to find one, and constant unicorn hunting is generally going to leave you with a lot of busted prospects.

      • SmellOfVictory

        That is bogus. More and more big players are making impacts all the time. Bigger guys are playing hockey now. When Larry Robinson was playing, he was a monster at 6″3 because that was big back then. Bigger, skilled players are becoming more the norm

        • SmellOfVictory

          Population statistics. Do you know how tall 6’4 is? It’s in the 95th percentile for North American males. That means for anyone larger than that, you’re drawing from a maximum talent pool of 5% of the population.

          When you have a smaller maximum talent pool, you have lower odds of one of those individuals becoming a pro-level athlete; especially in a game like hockey, where speed and agility are at least of equal importance to size. This isn’t basketball where height directly influences your ability to get to the hoop, or football where you’re within ten feet of your opponents on set plays and your goal is to simply clog up a big chunk of the field or block the football from their grasp half the time. It’s a fluid game with a net shorter than the people playing it.

          And that’s ignoring the fact that, by and large, size is detrimental to those other important facets of hockey: being taller means a higher centre of gravity and thus less balance on your feet. Being heavier means your skates dig harder into the ice, and that inertia is likely to detract from your ability to accelerate.

          Now, NHL players are still bigger than the average man on average, because it’s still physical and it certainly does no favours for the smaller man in the majority of cases, but the fact of the matter is that the mean height for NHL players is between 6 feet and 6’2, and that number is unlikely to climb with any great speed over the next few decades.

          • Burnward

            This goes against every trend in every other professional sport.

            Big men are becoming the norm because of the evolution in training and their ability to move past the “limitations” of their size.

            Pro athletes are getting bigger. Fact. Deal with it.

            That’s not too say that smaller players can’t have as much of an impact. But if every other team starts rolling out 6’4 guys who can skate, hit and score at a decent pace…you better be damn sure I want the Flames to follow suit.

            Also…you ever been in the corner with a 6’3, 220 pound grown ass man bearing down on you?

            Not a fun place to be if you’re 5’10, 180.

          • Burnward

            And,just look at the rosters for LA, Anaheim and Dallas for next year. Remember, the playoffs are a 2 month war of attrition. You need size. Clifford and Nolan are no better than Bollig. Just on a better team

          • SmellOfVictory

            BiggER. The fact still remains that there are not a lot of guys who are 6’5+ in existence, in comparison to the general population. For the second time: the NHL average is NOWHERE NEAR 6’4. So every team is not going to start rolling out 6’4 guys who can skate, because there are not nearly enough of them who can play elite hockey to fill all of the teams in the NHL.

            Also, sources? Where are the studies on these trends? Or average heights/weights over the last few decades? I sure as hell haven’t been able to find any, so if you can provide some, I’ll certainly give your argument some weight.

            How about this: you provide a list of 90 NHL forwards and 60 NHL defencemen who are above 6’4 and could be considered top 6 forwards or top 4 defencemen. That means you’d only have to provide enough to furnish half the top 6 fwd groups and half the top 4 defensive groups with “big guys who can skate”, and given your logic that sports are getting bigger and huge dudes are absolutely taking over I’m sure it’ll be easy enough to do, right? (just making a point that being able to list a handful of elite players who are large does not mean that the majority of good players are large)

            Here, let me help you with something.

            Three teams above 6’2 average height in the NHL. One is garbage (Toronto) one is mediocre (Winnipeg) and one is a low-end playoff team (Tampa). Maybe the Flames should be like those guys! Or how about the next biggest team, the Coyotes? Should the Flames try to emulate their massive playoff success instead? Most big teams suck, and the Kings and Ducks are exceptions to that rule.

          • piscera.infada

            Completely agree with you on the height thing. Outside of that though, are the Kings not number 1 in weight with St. Louis number 2?

            All that is besides the point for me though (sorry for splitting hairs), as I don’t really subscribe to the height/weight argument. The biggest thing for me is that (at least as it stands now) the Flames size seems to be heavily stratified throughout their lineup – bottom line, last pairing. Perhaps that’s the imbalance the organization is trying to offset.

            While I agree, not every transaction should be whale hunting for a big guy, I’m sceptical of the argument that just because a guy is big means he doesn’t have any skill. For the same reason I don’t see the past draft aside from Carroll as being a valuation of size irrespective of skill.

          • SmellOfVictory

            That’s the thing: I don’t think anyone, be it Kent/Ryan/Ryan, or myself, is arguing that being big means lacking skill. It just means that you don’t draft a forward who has 40 points in juniors just because he’s huge, when there are other forwards who have 50% more points still on the board who are average height. The argument is simply being made that large, skilled players are a lot more rare than people want to admit, and therefore wasting top 60 picks on big dudes – who, aside from being big, are fairly mediocre prospects – is a bad idea.

            And before someone decides to misinterpret THAT argument (not a jibe at you; I’ve been seeing a lot of other misinterpretations of my statements), I’m also not saying draft only based on production. However, given that no one here is a professional scout, it’s a lot easier to use production as an analogue for projected ability than it is to go into stupidly minute detail about what scouts think is projectable, etc.

          • piscera.infada

            Oh, I completely agree with with the second part of that. I also understand that you’re speaking directly about Hunter Smith, and as you say “no one here is a professional scout”. To wit, he shot up many independent scouting service rankings which tells me there is something there. As such, I think it’s premature to say he was drafted only because he was big, and thusly over players that are more skilled (solely based on counting stats) because those players are smaller. I just don’t see an overarching trend at this time – but that’s just me. If it continues to be an issue where the organization is reaching even further into the abyss for size, I’ll be right there with those screaming “truculence!” while sobbing.

            I’m with you, I don’t believe a team has to be massive in order to compete at the highest level; but I also refuse to take the other side of that token and say that smaller teams are inherently more skilled, thus better. It’s all about team make-up, and I honestly have no issue with the organization taking a few stabs in a weak draft at some bigger players if they truly feel that augmenting their line-up is necessary.

          • SmellOfVictory

            My hope is sort of related to your final point: that this draft was seen as quite weak beyond the first round, so perhaps the Flames though “if we’re going to throw darts in a weak draft, let’s do it at big guys”, in which case I’m not going to cry too hard.

            And certainly, for a giant dude who didn’t score a lot Hunter Smith is intriguing. But I just didn’t like him that early (with the pick they used to trade for Bollig he would’ve been perfect, in my opinion).

          • SmellOfVictory

            4-5 years is a long time to wait to complain. It’s no fun to complain about the obvious; way moreso to form a strong opinion immediately when there’s so much uncertainty.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Good luck with wasting your time on limiting yourself to stating the obvious.

            “Chris Chucko was a bust”. Man, that makes for exciting discussion, doesn’t it!

          • SmellOfVictory

            I find the potential for discussion around these kids to be very interesting. If you don’t think we should form opinions on prospects until 4-5 years after they’ve been drafted, then feel free to stay clear of any discussion related to them until that point in time. Nobody’s forcing you to participate.

          • supra steve

            I do not mean to attack you (or anyone in particular) but:

            My issue is when anyone forms a STRONG opinion (positive or negative) about one of these kids, based upon very little info backing up that opinion.

            You have voiced concern about Smith’s 40 points (in 64 games), and that’s a legitimate concern.

            Did you know he scored only 1 point the previous season in 30 games played?

            Did you know he started the 2013/14 season as a bottom 6 forward but he worked his way up and finished as a strong top 6 forward. Do you think his point totals may have been higher if he had been top 6 all season? I do.

            Did you know he scored 11 points in 12 games in the playoffs this past spring?

            So, my argument is that there are a lot of good signs with this player that the Flames were obviously aware of and they considered him their best bet with the 54th pick at the draft. Late 2nd round picks are never slam dunk/sure thing NHLers, so it’s not like they had to pass on a number of “sure things” to take him at 54.

            If you NEED to pass judgment on this young player and you need to do it now, the least you could do is consider all the information that is available. His 40 points in 64 games, and his height/wt are just not enough.

            He will be interesting to follow next season and beyond, I wish him well.

          • SmellOfVictory

            That’s the kind of response I like to see! Now I’m better informed than I was before, so I gained something from the discussion. Some of that information I certainly wasn’t aware of, and it makes him more intriguing a prospect than he previously was.

          • seve927

            I don’t really see any big turnaround. I looked at some of the summaries, he got points right from September with Dal Colle and/or Laughton, about 2/3 of his points every quarter. By quarters he had 10, 12, 9 and 9. Then 10 points in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs against a team they outshot 188 to 107. Then 1 in his next 8 against decent teams. Supposedly while playing on the top line. Playing against guys half his size in his draft + 1 season.

            Just another way of looking at it. Can’t say I’m intrigued.

          • RexLibris

            Did you see the goal he scored at development camp against guys who are now his peers and Flames prospects. This alone should at least bring some intrigue to all Flames fans.

          • piscera.infada

            I’m still intrigued – but moreso because of what he showed at development camp (thanks @coachedpotatoe). I get the points argument and the passenger argument, but the draft +1 argument is a little flawed (although I do understand this was technically his draft +1 season). In short, Smith is one month older than our favourite Oiler Leon Draisaitl and two months older than Reinhart. They aren’t really comparable in terms of skill, but I doubt you’re putting that much stock in age relative to points difference between Bennett and Draisaitl/Reinhart even knowing they’re 7-8 months older.

            The reason the Smith argument was even brought up in the first place (my bad for doing it) was that there is a common thread of argument that he was picked only for size, completely irrespective of anything else. I call total bull on that. If independent scouting services noticed his rise (most of them ended up ranking him around where he was drafted), then there must be more to the prospect than many of the naysayers lead on. That’s all I was saying.

          • seve927

            Understood. Of course when kids are in their late teens, months can make quite a difference. If he were referred to as one of the oldest in his draft class, it wouldn’t really make any difference to me. I was just responding to the assertion that he went from a bottom 6 to a top 6 forward over the year culminating in a dominant playoff performance, of which I see absolutely no evidence.

            Other than that, it’s just my honest feeling – I’m not angry, I’m not hoping he fails, I just can’t say I find him to be an intriguing prospect. I just don’t. I hope that changes.

          • FeyWest

            I realize this takes away from the OP and topic at hand but there’s not much going on nor places to discuss… but who of this draft is your most intriguing, not Hunter Smith of course but just curious. (open question to everyone of course).

            And with what we know of our current prospects who’s most intruguing?

            For me, This draft would have to be Brandon Hickey with runner up being Adam Ollas-Mattsson. Brandon really showed well at Dev. Camp and considering he plays in the AJHL he is who I think could be a great steal for where we picked him!

            Of our current prospects I’d have to go with Emile Poirier and runner up being Morgan Klimchuk both seem to be projecting well and Klimchuk really surprised me at camp, and think he may be one of our most underrated players and am interested to seeing how both him and Poirier progress in the coming years.

          • piscera.infada

            Leaving aside the obvious Monahan and Bennett picks:

            I will agree with you on Hickey this year. The kid’s got great skating, he seems like he could move around the ice at an NHL pace already. If he is able to show his ability to play both offensively and defensively in his college career, we could be sitting on a great prospect, albeit 4 or 5 years away from being an NHL contributor.

            In terms of “intriguing” from last year I have to go with Klimchuk. I feel Poirier gets more hype (and for good reason), but just looking at what Klimchuk was able to do last year with a fairly crippling injury in the middle of his season, I can’t help but think his ceiling could be higher than we give him credit for. The kid increased his pp/g, NHLe, and % of team scoring; all while lowering his % of pp points and secondary assists. If we extrapolate his points last year for the full 74 games he would have hit 94 points. Additionally, he plays every aspect of the game at a high level.

          • seve927

            Agree completely on Ollas-Mattson and Hickey.

            On other prospects, I’m really interested in Jankowski’s progression and seeing if Ferland can pick up where he left off last year.

            Kulak is the most interesting D prospect to me – and with lower expectations, I’ll be interested in seeing if Ramage gets any sort of a boost from his playoff performance with Alaska last year.

          • RexLibris

            I had looked at Smith just last week.

            His previous OHL season was a big red flag for me, I’m skeptical of players who show that kind of improvement when it is accompanied by size and age in a junior league.

            That being said, my conclusion was the same as yours – his will be a season I will watch very closely.

          • supra steve

            What’s easy doesn’t mean correct. If you only take points, or default to points because they are there and you can’t figure anything out, that’ a problem. Sounds a lot like Oilers fans, justifying every crappy player they have (e.g. Gagner(had)) solely based on point production, when he’s terrible at most other aspects of his game.

            As an example, giving up 100pts against versus scoring 50 isn’t really a positive benefit for the team. Same argument, in reverse against Backlund as a top-level centre in the league.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Where did I say to only use points? I made a point (an entire paragraph) about the fact that I was explicitly NOT saying to use only points.

            That said, there’s a very clear correlation between points pre-draft and future success as an NHL player.

          • supra steve

            Agreed.

            Which goes back to Kent’s point earlier. Size irrespective of skill is a foolish way to go about evaluating talent. That said, I don’t feel it’s a ridiculous notion to assume that, given 2 players of equal skill, I’d take the one with size over the smaller one any day of the week.

            There are absolutists on each side of the argument; Those that believe size is the silver bullet and those that believe going after size is the pursuit of neanderthals. Both are ridiculous positions. Each player should be taken as a case by case example.

            Bottom line IMO is that the flames need size AND skill. The good news is I think we have a really good mix of both on the way.

          • Mort

            An interesting point SoV. CDC Growth Chart for 2000 for US males at age 18:
            – 6’2″ is at the 95th percentile
            – 6’1″ at the 90th percentile
            – 6’0″ at the 80th percentile.

            The CDC chart is not specific for 6’4″ males but is has to be at the 99th percentile, meaning less than 1% of all US males are 6’4″ or taller.

            Even at 6’2″ which is becoming quite commonplace in hockey, only 5% of males are taller. Further extrapolating how many of them skate and play hockey, and the fact that the average height of playoff contending teams is ~6″1″ with half of the players being over this height…and this means you are likely trying to draw 400 NHL players from a pool substantially less than 1% of 6’2″ or taller men still playing hockey at that age.

          • SmellOfVictory

            Canada supplies ~50% of the players to the NHL. So you’re saying that, out of ~150 available skaters from Canada’s talent pool, there were 10 who were taller than 6’2 and of Olympic calibre? I don’t see how that supports the “size is an absolute requirement” argument. If anything it supports what I’m saying: size is somewhat rare, and size plus high-end skill is an even rarer combination. And that’s ignoring the fact that this video, and my argument, is calling guys larger than 6’4 “big” players; the 6’2 number was just an upper end for the NHL mean. I’m not saying most 6’2 guys are going to have trouble skating at an NHL level.

            I’m adding qualifiers like “by and large” for a reason. Some guys are borderline huge (or on the low end of it) and can still play hockey well; I am absolutely not arguing against that. Some can even skate incredibly fast for their size (Nichuskin or Burns, for example) and can learn to have excellent balance. But that said, you look at big dudes, and the majority of the time their size presents a tradeoff: Kopitar, Thornton, Chara, Seabrook, Perry, Getzlaf etc. etc. are all anywhere from barely average to slow skaters as far as the NHL is concerned, and they’re high-end players as much in spite of their size as they are because of it.

    • “All things being equal, it’s preferable to have size. The problem is when decision makers focus on size, they tend to forget about the other part.” I said this, or some version of this, in the video. I am pretty specifically referring not to specimens like Malkin, Ovechkin or Perry, but to guys like McGrattan, Bollig, Gadzic and ahem Deryk Engelland that pepper the bottom rotation of bad teams because “they need to get bigger”.

      I’ll say this again, one more time – the issue isn’t “size” per se. It’s the weighting of size to the detriment of playing ability in roster construction.

      • FeyWest

        I swear Kent “Functional Toughness” just makes me chuckle every time. You didn’t just hit the proverbial nail on the head, but it’s what HAS to be the focus when everything else is equal.

        Just cause you’re big doesn’t make you good.

        But my opinion is these kids (Bennett not included) are at least 3-year projects before we can see what they can amount to, and if BT’s philosophy is “Development” then I will give him about that amount of time to show what it’s worth and walk the walk.

        I just have a feeling BB’s influence will exponentially drop (or at least linearly) as BT gains experience. I don’t want our management/coaching to be fluctuating as much as our Northern examples and think 3 years is a good settling time.

    • piscera.infada

      Are you talking about this season?

      Top 5 in points were (NHL.com)
      1. Crosby 5’11” 200lbs
      2. Getzlaf 6’4″ 221lbs
      3. Giroux 5’11” 172lbs
      4. Seguin 6’1″ 195lbs
      5. Perry 6’3″ 212lbs

      Top 5 in goals were (NHL.com)
      1. Ovechkin 6’3″ 230lbs
      2. Perry 6’3″ 212lbs
      3. Pavelski 5’11” 190lbs
      4. Pacioretty 6’2″ 217lbs
      T-5. Seguin 6’1″ 195lbs
      T-5. Kessel 6’0″ 202lbs

      Only 1 player (Getzlaf) at 6’4″ or over and no one over 235lbs.

  • MonsterPod

    Size size size.

    Yes, the Flames were tiny. Yes, they need to get bigger. And yes, a big bottom six and big bottom pair does not a big team make.

    But it also comes down to the player. Size AND style.

    Kopitar is a big boy in LA and he uses his size well, but it is Brown who hammers everybody and scares peoples into turnovers. Brown is 6’0″.

    We all love Backlund, but we can admit he doesn’t put anyone on their heels. Gary Roberts and Backlund are the same height and weight.

    Steve Ott is listed at 6’0″ 189, and while he’s not a top 6 forward, he brings an element to the game beyond his average build.

    Feaser’s Flames didn’t just lack size, but snarl. Bennett racked up a lot of PIMs to go with his 91 points. The kid has snarl.

    I know all y’all already know this, but there are lots of big, soft players out there too.

    Chris Breen recently evaporated from the organization as an example.

  • FeyWest

    I think that having all of the size in our organization may help the smaller players develop. Increasing the average size in development camp and at camp in Penticton ect can help ready our smaller players. Also, I think a lot of the tough guys are on our team just to protect our young guys so they can develop and not to help us win. I think they are thinking that protecting our young players developing is more important than winning. Hopefully the tough guys with less skill will be out of the lineup in a couple years when we are hopeful of making the playoffs.

  • piscera.infada

    I’m just spit-balling here so bear with me, but is it possible that some of these horrible players are signed simply as a function of insulating some of the younger players who do get opportunities? I mean, it’s entirely possible that the sinister Brian Burke believes that these players are great and actually have more to give. However, it stands to reason that if the organization has come to terms with the fact they’re likely going to be bottom-2 bad in league, they may feel that having your Monahan’s, Gaudreau’s, Granlund’s, etc. shouldering the load is not entirely beneficial.

    Honestly, who would you rather have address the media following an 8-0 shellacking at the hands of the Blackhawks? A 20 year old Sean Monahan who made a couple of bad plays, or Derek Engelland who got burned on multiple occasions?

    I won’t say this is anything more than just a crazy theory, but it seems to me that there could be some merit to it. The last thing you want to do is run a team into the ground over 82 games, all while telling your young guys “this is all on you”.

    On a different note, I found it interesting how often we hear “Burke is reverting back to a Sutter-esque fetishization of size and character”. Yet one of the recurring arguments during the size conversation above was that Sutter realized with the Kings that those big players who can’t play wont help you win the cup so he sat them (Westgarth) or made them expendable. Just find it interesting, that’s all.

  • MonsterPod

    Lambert’s idea about the flames signing the same type of players when we are ready to compete isn’t true in my opinion. I think that the types of players they acquire in 3 years when we are in the next stage of development will be different.

    • piscera.infada

      Yah, I didn’t really understand how that was “logically” a given either. It seems as though; logically once your situation changes, you’ll approach it differently. That is assuming Burke and Treliving are logical actors though.

  • MonsterPod

    Due to the Long Term Athlete Development model and better coach education, we will continue to see bigger players not only coming into the league but coming in as impact guys. Recognition that hockey is a late development sport and that big guys take even a bit longer will aid this. We are seeing less of a rush to throw a big 15- 17 year old into strictly a physical role because he can’t keep up to the quicker, smaller kids at that stage of development as was the norm in the past.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Wow: I just read 30 people saying the exact same thing, but still arguing about who is right……..

    In short: the Flames 2014 draft sucked…….period.

    WW

    • FeyWest

      I just think it’s a little premature to say it was a flop. It’s a good test for our development group going forward AND you’re basing the “suckage” off of what… stats (Poorly tracked for the most part G/A/Pts notwithstanding) and opinions of others (which I see both sides of the coin around the webs)?

      Unless you’ve seen each and every eligible player extensively, it’s a little over the top extreme. I always go back to Poirier as an example, we may be surprised and we may not, but time will be the factor.

      I just wanted to be sure to have a decent discussion with ya and while I can agree the draft wasn’t what I had envisioned, I’ll let the kids prove why they should have been drafted and not the other way around.

      *Edit* if you’re looking for short term gain then 1 draft is controversial, but if you end up seeing a few drafts that are supposed to supplement our future team then the overall picture looks way better, we’ve got so much variety now and in a couple years we’ll see what more we’ll have /endrant

  • SmellOfVictory

    So we went into the off season with 2 second round picks (one was a prime second rounder) and 2 3rd round pick and whatever trade value Cammi had.

    Have a look at we walked away with……..

    Piss poor return.

    I’m so happy/ relieved they did not go off the board with #4.

    WW

  • FeyWest

    @seve927

    I’m less knowledgeable of Ferland so that’s the only reason I’m not higher on him, it’s tough when you’re injured, much like Sieloff (Showed he didn’t really lose much of a step considering he was out the entire season!) Janko is one of the players I have really high expectations and believe they are achieveable but wanted to focus my thoughts on the others.

    I never remember which guy out of Kulak and Culkin I prefer, not for any particular reason, but I think Kulak will surprise a lot of people when he gets his chance on the C Flame’s back-end.

    @piscera.infada

    One of the reasons Klimchuk is kind of “under the radar” is because we forget Poirier was more “controversial” at the time but is blowing peoples socks off with his talents. This could be one of those favorable situations where Klimmer is less scrutinized and hopefully proves to be the reason he comes out of left field and impresses (I think it’s already happening) that draft is looking to be very good if not spectacular.