Meet the 2014-15 Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames finalized and announced their 2014-15 opening roster this afternoon. But with 23 bodies on the team, it can be a bit hard to keep them all straight. In an effort to provide clarity on who’s who on the 2014-15 Flames, here’s a handy primer put together by FlamesNation’s crack team of researchers, reporters and hired goons.

#1 JONAS HILLER (GOALTENDER)

  • 32 years old; from Felben Wellhausen, Switzerland (population 2,600)
  • $4.5 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired as a free agent signing this past off-season.
  • 326 NHL games played (all with Anaheim)
  • Might be the only active NHLer wearing Koho goalie equipment.
  • Has represented Switzerland in two Olympic games.

#4 KRIS RUSSELL (DEFENSE)

  • 27 years old; from Caroline, Alberta
  • Alternate captain
  • $2.6 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired in a sign-and-trade deal with the St. Louis Blues last off-season.
  • 432 NHL games played (Calgary, St. Louis and Columbus)
  • Good offensive player, but under-sized. Third-best defender on the team behind Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie.

#5 MARK GIORDANO (DEFENSE)

  • 31 years old; from Toronto, Ontario
  • Team captain
  • $4.02 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired as a free agent to help Calgary fill out their shared AHL team prior to the 2004-05 season
  • 449 NHL games played (all Calgary)
  • Unsigned, undrafted player has somehow worked his way into an NHL captaincy and Norris contention

#6 DENNIS WIDEMAN (DEFENSE)

  • 31 years old; from Kitchener, Ontario
  • $5.25 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Acquired via trade with Washington (Feaster sent a pick and a player for his rights)
  • 627 NHL games played (Calgary, Washington, Florida, Boston and St. Louis)
  • Power-play specialist, primarily.

#7 T.J. BRODIE (DEFENSE)

  • 24 years old; from Chatham, Ontario
  • $2.125 million cap hit through 2014-15 (pending RFA)
  • Calgary’s fourth round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
  • 185 NHL games played (all Calgary)
  • Has progressed from a green tentative player a few seasons ago to being Calgary’s best non-Giordano defender. He’s still only 24, so there’s no telling how good he’ll get with a bit more experience.

#8 JOE COLBORNE (CENTER/RIGHT WING)

  • 24 years old; from Calgary, Alberta
  • $1.275 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired from Toronto last season on the day before rosters needed to be finalized with the league
  • 96 NHL games (Calgary and Toronto)
  • Has filled out and added some weight in the off-season so he can be better in the corners. Now he’s thick in addition to being crazy-tall.

#11 MIKAEL BACKLUND (CENTER)

  • 25 years old; from Vasteras, Sweden
  • $1.5 million cap hit through 2014-15 (pending RFA)
  • Calgary’s first round selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft
  • 246 NHL games (all Calgary)
  • Calgary’s best center, or would be considered it if he could stay healthy. Good at everything, strong two-way player, and offensive game chugs along really well when he’s feeling confident.

#13 JOHNNY GAUDREAU (LEFT WING)

  • 21 years old; from Carney’s Point, New Jersey
  • Bonus-aided $1.85 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Calgary’s fourth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft
  • 1 NHL game (Calgary)
  • A scary-good NCAA player (175 points in 119 games) despite being smaller and younger than his opposition.

#15 LADISLAV SMID (DEFENSE)

  • 28 years old; from Frydlant, Czech Republic (population 7,600)
  • $3.5 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Acquired from Edmonton in the second trade ever between the two bitter Alberta rivals
  • 530 NHL games (Calgary and Edmonton)
  • Perfectly acceptable stay-at-home defender. Doesn’t have a lot to offer beyond that, but he’s good in his own zone when on his game.

#16 BRIAN McGRATTAN (RIGHT WING)

  • 33 years old; from Hamilton, Ontario
  • $750,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Acquired from Nashville a few seasons back for minor-league defender Joe Piskula (Brodie’s AHL partner)
  • 309 NHL games (Calgary, Nashville, Phoenix and Ottawa)
  • Resident plugger is renowned for being good in the room but doesn’t offer a heck of a lot on the offensively or defensively.

#17 LANCE BOUMA (CENTER/LEFT WING)

  • 24 years old; from Provost, Alberta
  • $775,000 cap hit through 2014-15
  • Calgary’s third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft
  • 121 NHL games (all Calgary)
  • All heart and hustle, Bouma’s developed a niche as a shot-blocker and penalty-killer. Hopefully he can develop his (to this point) non-existent offensive side.

#18 MATT STAJAN (CENTER)

  • 30 years old; from Mississauga, Ontario
  • $3.125 million cap hit through 2017-18
  • Acquired from Toronto in the infamous Dion Phaneuf trade
  • 715 NHL games (Calgary and Toronto)
  • Arguably the team’s best all-around center, but Backlund likely supplants him if he stays healthy.

#19 DAVID JONES (RIGHT WING)

  • 30 years old; from Guelph, Ontario
  • $4 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired form Colorado in an off-season trade last year
  • 320 NHL games (Calgary and Colorado)
  • Completely fine third line guy who got a big contract from Colorado because he scored 20 goals. Hard to tell what he is right now because he was hurt most of last season.

#20 CURTIS GLENCROSS (LEFT WING)

  • 31 years old; from Kindersley, Saskatchewan
  • Alternate captain
  • $2.55 million cap hit through 2014-15
  • Signed as a free agent years ago when the Edmonton Oilers decided they didn’t want him
  • 436 NHL games (Calgary, Edmonton and Columbus)
  • Rugged winger with good hands around the net. He had awful injury luck last season and desperately wants/needs a full season without any missed time.

#21 MASON RAYMOND (LEFT/RIGHT WING)

  • 29 years old; from Cochrane, Alberta
  • $3.17 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Signed a free agent this off-season
  • 456 NHL games (Toronto and Vancouver)
  • Speedy winger with good scoring touch. Injuries may be a minor concern, but if he’s healthy he’s a huge boost for the Flames and can be used anywhere on the top three lines.

#22 DEVIN SETOGUCHI (RIGHT WING)

  • 27 years old; from Taber, Alberta
  • $750,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Signed a free agent this off-season
  • 459 NHL games (Winnipeg, Minnesota and San Jose)
  • Two-way player with an offensive touch. He’s scored 20+ goals in the past, but in recent years has been used as a complementary asset.

#23 SEAN MONAHAN (CENTER)

  • 20 years old; from Brampton, Ontario
  • Bonus-aided $1.775 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Calgary’s first round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft
  • 75 NHL games (all Calgary)
  • Big, strong 19-year old, 20+ goal-scoring rookie added muscle over the off-season, presumably so he can be bigger, stronger and score more goals. It’s not an awful plan.

#24 JIRI HUDLER (LEFT/RIGHT WING)

  • 30 years old; from Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • $4 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Signed as a free agent a few summers ago
  • 526 NHL games (Calgary and Detroit)
  • Not overly physical, but this skilled Czech just figures out ways to get to the net. Led the Flames in points last season.

#25 BRANDON BOLLIG (LEFT WING)

  • 27 years old; from St. Charles, Missouri
  • $1.25 million cap hit through 2015-16
  • Acquired in a draft-day trade with the Chicago Blackhawks
  • 125 NHL games (all Chicago)
  • Physical bottom-six fixture for Blackhawks. Has a beard and a Stanley Cup ring. A key component in Calgary’s “tougher to play against” stance, but he’s also a situationally useful player (PK, defensive zone starts).

#29 DERYK ENGELLAND (DEFENSE/RIGHT WING)

  • 32 years old; from Edmonton, Alberta
  • $2.917 million cap hit through 2016-17
  • Signed as a free agent this off-season
  • 243 NHL games (all Pittsburgh)
  • Big, physical, right-shooting defenseman. Basically similar to Ladislav Smid, except he plays physical all the time.

#31 KARRI RAMO (GOALIE)

  • 28 years old; from Asikkala, Finland (population 8,400)
  • $2.75 million cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Acquired by trade with Montreal (in the six-asset Rene Bourque/Mike Cammalleri deal).
  • 88 NHL games (Calgary and Tampa Bay)
  • Positionally-sound, calm goaltender. Doesn’t rattle, doesn’t get caught out of position much. He had some injury issues last year, and recurring hip issue this off-season may lead to some injury concerns in the future.

#32 PAUL BYRON (LEFT/RIGHT WING)

  • 25 years old; from Ottawa, Ontario
  • $600,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending RFA)
  • Acquired from Buffalo Sabres in Robyn Regehr trade.
  • 81 NHL games (Calgary and Buffalo)
  • Small and agile, Byron’s a good forechecker and a strong penalty-killer. Might not be able to progress above third line status due to his size, though.

#33 RAPHAEL (RAFFA) DIAZ (DEFENSE)

  • 28 years old; from Baar, Switzerland
  • $700,000 cap hit through 2014-15 (pending UFA)
  • Signed as a free agent after attending camp as a try-out player
  • 145 NHL games (NY Rangers, Montreal and Vancouver)
  • Power-play specialist.
  • MonsterPod

    Sven and the rest of the kids did not get fired so let’s chill out. They are just starting the season in the A.

    Would I love to see them on the team? Of course. They’re the future, not Setoguchi or Raymond or even Glencross or Stajan. But that’s because I’m a spectator. Overall, I’m glad management is doing what’s best for the future and for their development.

    I don’t mind David Jones, but he’s made of glass, and one of the kids will be coming up soon. Probably Ferland would replace him. We’ll see.

    Eventually this year we’ll see Sven and Granlund, maybe Wotherspoon and eventually Poirier. In the meantime we’ll just have to watch every move Johnny G makes and lose our minds.

  • prendrefeu

    2015: Fun team to watch, tough team to beat, rebuild mode, awesome work ethic, #gritchart, the kids grow.

    2016: Stan Leeb Owl Champions. THE CUP IS OURS.

    It’s happening.

    Go Flames Go!!!

  • everton fc

    A few thoughts:

    1. This looks very much like an expansion roster. Again. “Just sayin'”

    2. Baertschi did not earn a spot on the roster in my opinion. Byron earned his, last season. Obviously not the same type of player; Byron’s attitude actually fits the Burke-style team better. He’s small, but aggressive. He’s not as aggressive as Scotty Nicol, but can play a similar role in this league. Maybe. “Perhaps”. With more offencive potential

    3. David Jones is a proven NHL player. Overpaid, injured last season, probably a bad pickup by Feaster. But he’ll get 20 goals this season. To think he’ll be “parked” in upstate NY is ludicrous

    4. Setoguchi is another player you’d see on an expansion roster. But if he gets his head screwed on straight, and buys into Hartley’s system, he may be fine here. For the price, if he pots 15 goals and 30 points… I’ll take that for $750K

    5. If Bouma continues to progress, and finds 10 goals somehow each season, he should get a letter. He plays like an alternate captain already.

    6. Russell not only deserves the letter, he’s a good fit for it. A class guy, a true leader, who comes to play, and never has a bad word for his team or teammates. I’m a big fan. Caroline’s produced twoof my favourite Flames, if I count Jimmy Vendermeer!

    7. With the emergence of Ferland, Granlund, and particularly Jooris… Even Arnold… Guys like Reinhart, Knight, Hanowski… Maybe Agsotino… They may have taken a significant step back in their chances of making the team anytime soon. Especially Knight and Hanowski (I was never on the bandwagon of either, but always hope I’m wrong).

    8. Jordin Tootoo was signed by the Devils!

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I think (hope) the latest Sven drama is overblown. I’m a huge believer in Sven. He will continue to mature, he will be a great Flame … Soon. When I watch Sven with friends or family, EVERYONE comments on his natural abilities. He’s stronger and improving all facets.

    I do think, the team needs to consider their vision wrt lineup construction.

    I think they have organizational pieces to ice 4 lines with a threat to score. (The following might be crazy talk) to the point where TOI can be fairly even. So top 6 means less. If you catch my drift and what Detroit did during Bowman days.

    It’s BT’s call.

    But to me, the number of heads up guys in this org is mind boggling. Agostino looks really good. Arnold etc. I know it’s unlikely that all kids get here but this org is flush (every team needs piece here or there).

    But if you are tied to a very defined roster alignment ( 2 enforcers min) how goes CGY put it’s best foot fwd?

    I’m not saying they’re (youth) ready now. But they are close.

    Why stick to this model? It looks like it’s not the way the game is headed. Ferlands are what is needed but how much fighting is needed? At the expense of spots for guys like Sven, Arnold, Agostino , Max etc on bottom 2 lines.

    BT had some 4 line to score alignments in preseason. It was fantastic!

    Bowman’s Wings were a machine. A Machine !!!

  • Grant

    I look at this a little differently than some on here. The Flames are not the Kings or Bruins or Blackhawks. If they were, I’d have no problem with any of the cuts. However, the Flames are in a stated rebuild. Therefore, what’s best for the future needs to be weighed against the fact that Seto has more career goals than anyone else. Question: Are the Flames building around Seto? Or Jones? Do we care about the future of Seto and him getting back on track, or devloping youth? I suppose that depends on how much Seto can come back, but it’s a longshot IMO. Priorities, is what I’m saying.

    In that sense then, the idea behind a rookie outplaying a vet in training camp and taking his job right then and there makes a lot of sense to me. No one has advocated (using an extreme example of the type offered up on the radio) that had Wotherspoon somehow had a 3 point night in the pre-season, that he should replace Gio, who let’s hypotetically say had a poor training camp. That’s ridiculous, it’s swinging the pendulum to the extreme and no one has stated such.

    Basically everyone on this site is glad that Glencross, Hudler, Stajan and Raymond are on the team to shelter the kids. No problems there. It’s the guys like McG, Jones and Seto where, not having earned their spots in camp and having looked instead like hot garbage while also having trended down in their careers the last couple of seasons, that should be replaced by more skilled, younger, eager, harder-working players that have spent considerable time in development leagues and are now ready to get some NHL development time. You know, because it’s a rebuild. If those young guys can’t cut it, try another young guy, but at least you know what you have or don’t have. Then, the appropriate moves can be made.

    Working in Jooris and Sven along with Gaudreau out of camp is not a huge deal to me. It’s not handing guys spots or following the path of the Oilers. These guys are not 18 year olds.

    We’re also not Detroit of 5 years ago where we can have players stay in the AHL until they’re 24, 25, 26. I don’t know, myself, I’d rather see Knight on the 4th line insead of McG, for example. Again, 2 or 3 prospects a year makes sense, I’m still not sure how they plan to add so many new bodies next year.

    Some on here say that the team is loaded with vets because management wants them to tank, while contradicting themselves by then saying a losing environment is bad for the kids? Which is it? BT’s presser gave me some confidence there will be lots of changes coming throughout the season and perhaps soon. The fact that I have reservations and am anxious about it (I’ll believe it when I see it) stems from following this club since its inception, I guess. Here’s hoping.

    • everton fc

      I agree with this post. While my post may have made it appear I want Setoguchi on the roster vs. Ferland (I don’t), the organization does. And he’s cheap. If he finds some respectability, if Jones can find his touch again (I think he will if he stays healthy), you are still probably outside the playoffs come trade deadline-time, so you move them. Or, they get waived/cut due to poor performance. Time will tell. I’d like to see Ferland and Jooris get first looks over Sven, because they earned it. Sven should/will get a longer look so the organization can decide if he’s a fit. I think this will happen. Sooner, than later, probably as injuries mount vs. guys getting cut and waived.

      I don’t think Hartley is a coach who will allow a team to tank. Not who he is. Not who Burke is. BT appears cut of the same competitive cloth.

      Remember when everyone hated Stajan. I see very few posts like that, these days. Seems Jones is the new Stajan. Mainly because of his price-tag. I don’t think we’ve seen his best game yet. And if we don’t, Ferland and Jooris await. And I’d much rather see guys like Reinhart, Knight (who I’m not 100% sold on), Agostino, others… Get regular minutes.

      I’ll say it again, Jooris as Weisbrod written all over him. A good bit of scouting. And he’ll bulk up more, as time progresses.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Key takeaway from BT presser:

    -BT sounds sick as a dog. Somebody needs to stick a flu shot in his arm or the man will pass out before the 2nd period.

    CGY – the fanbase – needs to unclench. EVERYTHING is unfolding perfectly.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Wow! This whole Draisaitl vs Bennett shananagins. WHO. GIVES. A. SH@T!! It’s like listening to a couple of children bicker over who’s dad is stronger! Both will be fine. Move on already.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    With the McDavid sweepstakes talk – I have a silly question:

    Everything written states the ENTIRE DRAFT is a deep one. So why tank? If it’s deep, you’re gonna get a good one.

    Have the Pens won the last 10 Stanley Cups? OK, unrealistic. Have they been in the last 10 SCF? Semis?

    Depth. Don’t tank. Get more draft picks.

    UNCLENCH!!

    • Grant

      Obviously it would be great to land McEichel in the draft this year, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Flames picked up a good defenseman like Noah Hanifin.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        Yeah and Barzal looks good too. I mean it’s like 2013. We were all pleading to move up and get Barkov etc

        We got Monahan. I’m happy with this outcome.

        The point is. CGY has a process. Plug n Play after you’re part of the program. It might be now, it might be tomorrow but when ready you will be at your best.

        It’s a process, it’s a process, it’s a process.

        The EDM route? Laughingstock. Hextall talks about it at his Philly debut! They all talk about it!

        Why are people crying for the sake of crying?

        Don’t you get it yet? The kids are pushing through. Only a matter of time.

        Oh not ‘you’ backburner. I meant in general.

        • McRib

          Can you please explain more about how this “process” works as I’m hoping to stay along for the ride to better understand what is different about Flames rebuild than Oilers.

          I’m assuming you agree with plugging in Monahan. If so, how are you differentiating that this move is acceptable but past moves of Oilers plugging in higher drafted people was so glaring a mistake.

          Also, given that Burke is ultimately driving the rebuild blueprint, how are your explaining the end result in Toronto where they desparately failed in building a puck possession team?

          Are you suggesting that Flames organization has some latent deep insight in rebuilding teams and Burke is going to assimilate this insight?

          Or, that Burke has had a epiphany?

          • Jeff Lebowski

            EDM has done nothing but given even if it wasn’t deserved. From Gagner to Hall.

            6×6 and all that.

            EDM is relying of their 1 rd picks to make it. Because they have not drafted well in the subsequent rounds.

            EDM rolls on the ice. Mind games.

            CGY played Monahan 3 rd line + special teams. Stajan + Backlund took on the heavies.

            CGY has used the bridge deals. Keeps incentive to improve and self motivate high.

            CGY has 4th rounders (JG in lineup tonight baby) on the cusp – Ferland et al – because they are good. Better than other team’s first rounders. Drafting. CGY is FLUSH!

            BT is the GM. The coach has instilled a work hard, and learning environment – from kids to vets lots of teaching.

            Lastly, I make this prediction:

            With the first overall pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft the stinky, greasy, EDM Coilers are proud to select – and subsequently ruin:

            Vladimir Tkachev!! What?!!?? Katz’s kid ate him?!!??? We missed it!!!

            It really mimics the two cities:

            EDM is run like a government owned (government town) enterprise. All talk. Style and no substance.
            CGY is run like a business (where are the head offices). Results. Accountability. Process.

            I know you know this.

            False Alarm!! Vladdy was just hiding in that afro!!

          • Jeff Lebowski

            Thanks. That was an interesting start to a comparison in the models.

            However:

            You have claim that Edmonton gave when not deserved but that this was detrimental can be doubted. I’ve compared career progress of Gagner with two draft slot positions either side of him and Gagner had more points and more points per game. Until Seguin got to play with Jamie Benn, Hall’s numbers were better. Did Edmonton advance beyond deserved place? You may be underestimating how terrible the starting place of this rebuild for Oilers.

            Edmonton’s draft record. I’m presuming you are talking prior to Stu Macgregor taking over. If we are comparing the organizational draft record, I’m not convinced Flames come out ahead. In the post Suter and Stu Macgregor eras, this is all too early to make a call on.

            Don’t know what you mean by “rolls on the ice”.

            Haven’t analysed the bridge deal situation so thanks for the variable to go assess. However, the Oil have top end talent locked up to very reasonable contracts. If you pay for longer contracts at end of bridge deal, then the player maximizes their return. If you are assessing composition of end result when these teams are on top, I’ll take the value contract over the inflated contract (e.g. P. K. Subban).

            Your point about CGY being on cusp with fourth rounders sounds like you are peddling “hope”. That CGY has drafted better, this seems like a saw off to me. Yes, Calgary ahead in some areas and in others the Oilers.

            Yes, I understand that BT is GM, but does anyone believe this rebuild is operating against Burke’s agenda?

            We need more data on this theory about rushing development. (I’m for playing Nurse NOW. I’m a fan of Sven and I’d be supremely choked that he isn’t playing in Calgary. I see no evidence that the Flames have made Sven a better player than the one I saw single handly dismantle an Edmonton Oil King team.)

            Can I get back to you on bridge deals.

            Otherwise, this is going to come down to drafting from what you’ve provided so far.

          • Grant

            The only data you really need is to understand that there are not many 18 year kids who are physically or mentally mature enough to make the leap to the NHL.

            One of the conditions upon having Monahan play last year was that he had to live with his mom!

            Nail Yakupov and Sven Baertschi obviously have the skill to play, but the mental focus and professionalism that come with it, the responsibility to train hard on and off the ice, listen to coaches and continue to develop their game is not quite there according to the coaches. That’s fair I think.

            The Hall and RNH were give 6 million a season at 21 years old. PK Subban was 25 before he saw that kind of contract.

            I guess you’ll have to see if there skill will be enough to take them to the playoffs, or if they will need to add some depth.

          • McRib

            I don’t mean to answer for Jeff Lebowski, but if I could throw in my two cents..

            Feaster started the rebuild not Burke.

            The insight is simple: Edmonton thought that if they threw a couple of first round picks on the ice, that all of a sudden they would be reliving the Glory days of the 1980s. They failed to realize that a few superstar draft picks can’t carry an NHL team on their backs, they are still need time to develop, and to be surrounded by good players.

            Everyone knows this was a mistake, that’s why you are still in rebuild mode.

            Calgary won’t just throw the rookies to the wolves every night.

          • Kybb79

            Yes SS I read post 89. The theory is that players are pushed over their head.

            There are all kinds of problems with that theory though. Given we are talking top draft positions where Oilers have done this, you’d have to look at the large sample size of first overalls to find out how often they begin career immediately. Have a look at those numbers and you’ll see that the Oilers aren’t an exception.

            You also have that these players have been advanced beyond their age groups their entire life, and the overtraining hasn’t hindered their development at previous levels.

            Top ten draft picks are overachievers and their preferred development arena is not back in junior.

            Isn’t the organizations best coaching, best understanding of the game, best competitive environment on the big stage? There is a natural weeding out if the player truly can’t handle the situation.

            This appears as the easy explanation and the Flames could probably benefit from the Oilers experience, so the diagnose needs to be precise.

            It’s not the best to study this from anecdotes but it useful at times to plug the test cases into the theory.

            How are Flames rationalizing playing Monahan, and how do they feel about Sven’s slower more restrained development?

          • McRib

            Yes I read 147 and what you provided is not data it is speculation.

            Data will show that more than half top ten draft picks in last ten years burn rookie status in draft year or D+1. This isn’t an Oiler phenomenon, sorry.

            Is there a correlation that these top ten draft picks produce better when they come into league in D+2 or later? Can’t find that.

            Of course those players seriously undersized may have increased risk.

            As a generalization the data doesn’t support your position.

          • Kybb79

            A good place to start: I think the data of which you speak of for top ten picks are based on individual factors such as: age, maturity, and quality of competition in their Junior years.

            Monahan was Captain of a crappy Ottawa 67’s team. Where Hall was surrounded by great players in Windsor. They both had enough skill to be drafted in the top ten, same age, both played three years in the OHL. I think they were both the highest draft picks made by the franchises at the time.

            The coaches wanted to set Monahan up for success by sheltering minutes, and creating certain conditions (billeting). The rest was dependent on how hard Monahan trained during the off-season, so he was in great shape. Again, special conditions paved the way for Monahan to play last year, so that’s why he made the team.

            I’m not sure Hall made the team under that much scrutiny. From what I remember, they pretty much handed him the keys to city, on a desperate team which is not hard to do. Some players thrive under those conditions, but I don’t think there was any chance he would spend any time in the AHL, or play sheltered minutes.

            Is a process necessary? Did that delay Hall’s development in any way? The only stats I can give you is that the Oilers although loaded with talent are still loosing, so what’s the reason? Who’s to blame? Where’s the accountability?

            Until the organization addresses some of the underlying issues, instead of just throwing a muddle of high draft picks on the ice and telling them to take the team to the promised land, they will never have success.

            When the Oilers don’t make the playoffs this year, who will be the first to go? I vote Eberle.

          • McRib

            Thanks @backburner.

            Interesting to hear this perspective.

            Have to retreat and do some introspection to see if I can detect what you describe about Oilers position of privilege theory.

            As far as Oilers still losing there are many hypotheses. I’ve wanted to believe it was just a reflection of how low the Oilers had allowed the entire organization to sink, all the way through to farm team and scouting, and that the rebuild had to begin from scorched earth and as a slow incremental improvement. Given Feaster and Burke were/are ideologically opposed to that, it has been difficult to see where the Flames roadmap is an improvement.

            Maybe you’ve clarified a point of differentiation. Does it really make the difference? hmmm…

  • Grant

    Even though Calgary has just started their rebuild you do realize that this will be the 6th season in a row that they have missed the playoffs.they still have a long way to go. The playoffs are not right around the corner Flames fans!!

    • Jeff Lebowski

      See the thing with this is, Subban is better than Hall. It shouldn’t have ended up this way but it has. Where were they drafted?

      It ended up this way because of the contract routes. You are saddled with a sub optimal Taylor Hall. Don’t get me wrong, he might be good. BUT he won’t ever be as good as he should have.

      Why?

      You took away the incentives with the early dough. He’s doing enough to get by now.

      Every year, same thing. No clue about the 200 ft game. Why bother? He already got paid.

      Oh what could’ve been….. le sigh.

      • Grant

        Now I know you are out of your mind. Possibly the best left winger in hockey and only getting better.What an asinine conclusion of Hall’s talent. The last 3 years the 6th most points in the league!!! There is not one flame half as good as Hall. Name 2 left wingers that are head and shoulders above Hall!

  • MonsterPod

    It’s pathetic how these coilers come over here to sniff our collective crack.

    Fact is, I don’t even know what’s going on up there because I don’t care. I would like the Battle of Alberta to come back, but as it is, if I have a choice to go see a game at the Dome, I want to see Chicago, Boston, Philly, MTL, etc. I would take about 20 teams before I’d choose an Oilers/Flames game.

    They stink and their whole organization is the joke of the league.

    When I’m done studying the Flames, I look at Pitt, Philly, Boston, LA, SJ, even the Nucks to see how they’re filling their holes. I never look at Edmonton. I though Yakimov was a typo for Yakipov.

    I’m even more interested in the Jets roster and which direction they’re heading, whether the stuff with Kane is cooling off or not. The Coil is off my radar so it’s all the more annoying when their loser fans troll around down here trying to drum up attention for their dithering alumni-managed bottom-feeding franchise.

    The only reason this pointless Leon/Sam debate is possible is because they drafted 3rd overall. Aren’t they tired of that yet? It never looks good when you brag about your welfare cheque.