Brodie Deal All Part of The Plan

Over the past decade, it’s often been tough to be a Calgary Flames supporter.

The 2004 Stanley Cup Final appearance may have indicate to team ownership and management that the team was better than it was. As it stands, Darryl Sutter’s post-lockout chasing of a Stanley Cup stands as an example of almost Shakespearean tragedy – despite the good intentions, there wasn’t a strong plan in place, and the fact that the team found it so hard to sign and retain key players from the outside of the organization speaks to a league-wide perception that the group was tilting at windmills.

In a sense, that’s why the T.J. Brodie signing is such a nice sign for the organization.

Brodie is locked up through the 2019-20 season – which sounds like science fiction in terms of how far away it is, but it’s actually pretty close. If one presumes that “The Plan” is for the Flames to improve over the next two seasons until they’re (hopefully) a playoff bubble team in 2016-17, the players they’ve signed thus far can be seen as their foundation.

Players, Organization-Wide, Signed For 2016-17
(R- RFA after season, U- UFA after season):

  • Goalies: Nobody
  • Defense: T.J. Brodie, Deryk Engelland (U), Ladislav Smid (U), Dennis Wideman (U), Patrick Sieloff (R), Brett Kulak (R), Ryan Culkin (R)
  • Forwards: Mason Raymond (U), Matt Stajan, Brandon Bollig (U), Sam Bennett, Emile Poirier (R)

And presumably we’ll have new deals for the intervening RFAs like Lance Bouma, Mikael Backlund, Paul Byron, Tyler Wotherspoon, Joni Ortio, Sven Baertschi, Bill Arnold, Johnny Gaudreau and some others, as well as a nearly guaranteed new deal for captain Mark Giordano. (And a good chance exists that Jon Gillies and Mark Jankowski will be under pro contracts by then.)

If you look at the players in place, what is there?

A rock-solid top defensive pairing in Brodie and Giordano signed long-term for less than what P.K. Subban makes, as well as Kris Russell as a solid third man. If the team can find a decent right-handed defender to play with him on the second pairing, the defense is solidified for awhile. (Or you can get Noah Hanifin or Oliver Kylington to play the off-side if you draft them in June).

The team currently has two strong goaltenders, along with a few options behind them (in the form of Jon Gillies and Joni Ortio). Theoretically, one of them could develop into something worthwhile. Ideally two, but let’s not ask for too much here.

Up-front, the club has a lot of offensive-minded players with potential (Gaudreau, Baertschi, Bennett) and a few two-way players who have had recent success (Backlund, Colborne, Monahan) and guys who can move between defensive or offensive deployments (Byron, Raymond) and some bodies who have value as penalty kill and energy guys (Bollig, Bouma). Matt Stajan could be the elder statesman of the center group in two years, and he’ll at least be a solid face-off guy.

The plan isn’t airtight. Heck, we’re about two or three moves into its employment, so the potential for management to go off-course is still extremely high. But the Flames have a lot of cap space, even after signing their second or third-best player (right now) to a long-term deal, as well as many contract spots to work with. They have several pieces that are good now, and a bunch of prospects that could develop nicely or be leveraged as assets to fill in gaps throughout the line-up. (And believe me, there are gonna be gaps.) And they don’t have any key internal assets that are likely to be lost as UFAs in the next few years, Ramo and Glencross not-withstanding.

The other key is the cap hit. Brodie’s deal is extremely affordable and gives the team a lot of options moving forward. It also seems to be indicate a kind-of internal salary structure is beginning to formulate. Fourth line guys get fourth line money – indicated by the Lance Bouma deal – and the powers-that-be appear to be erring on the side of signing bubble guys like Paul Byron to short-term, lower-salary deals to incentivize their seasons. As a result, outside of a few inherited bad deals like David Jones’ or Dennis Wideman’s, few of the guys being brought in have deals that violate this internal salary structure – the notable exception is Deryk Engelland, which has been defended on the grounds that he’s the only real physical defender on the team (and a rare right-handed shot). Regardless, when you take a look at who’s being brought in, and their terms and salary and roles, most of these guys make sense.

T.J. Brodie forgoed three years of potential unrestricted free agency to sign in Calgary. As Kent noted, he signed eight months early. His cap value would only escalate as his importance to the Flames became more and more obvious. He likely gave up a lot of money to stay here long-term, and that money will give the Flames flexibility to sign more assets in the future.

To be bluntly honest, it doesn’t matter one bit if Kent or I think the Calgary Flames have a plan for the future or buy into what it is. It primarily matters if the players do, because they’re the ones that the team needs to convince to be the building blocks and carry it out. Based on the evidence presented by the circumstances around the Brodie signing, early indicators are that so far, they do buy in.

But we are still a long way until the plan is fully implemented and there’s a lot of opportunities for things to go sideways.

  • prendrefeu

    2016-2017 as playoff bubble?

    Not sure what you’re talking about man, the Flames will be lifting the Stan Lee Cup in 2016. You’ll see.

    Otherwise, good signing, good post.

  • Colorado Flames

    One thing to keep in mind. There will be roster moves. Every team has them every season whether it be trade, free agent signing,ect. I think a good majority of the players now will be here in a few years time but some will be gone for sure. There will be new players too. Let’s hope Treliving stays the course and doesn’t trade the future to help compete for a 7th or 8th playoff spot like Sutter did.

    One thing that worries me….I know the season is early but since the Flames are off to a pretty decent start better than most expected, let’s say they finish 11th or 12th in the Western Conference. With the east having weaker teams they might be drafting in the 8-11 spot. It’s a deep draft and you can still get really good players at that spot but it’s not as easy as drafting Sam Bennett at #4. The scouts will have to determine who they think is best available. In the past drafting in those spots has not worked well for us. I’m very optimistic that the direction of the team will be different than in the past but one can hope that history doesn’t repeat itself.

    • T&A4Flames

      With regards to your comments on the drafting it’s obvious we are not going to be drafting in the bottom 5 this year. This team is simply too good. Darren Haynes (Flames from 80 feet above) has written an exceptional article on this.

      Unfortunately we will finish in the middle of the pack and the pressure will be on the scouts to ensure we draft some excellent players and also on BB/BT to try and secure some additional picks through trades given that 2015 will be a strong draft year.

      Let’s move out some of this deadwood on defense and at the very least bring up Wotherspoon and later Seiloff and start developing these guys.
      Ditto for Grandlund..he is ready now let’s speed up this rebuild!

      • Brent G.

        The flames aren’t even 10% into the season. They have had success out of the starting gate but pretty much every game they’ve won so far can be attributed to outstanding goaltending; Hartley explicitly said it himself. That’s not to say they will finish 30th (hello Oilers) but a top 5 draft pick is likely. I would put money on it.

        They are one key injury away (ie to Gio, Brodie, Backlund) to being very exposed to a free fall.

        • T&A4Flames

          I have always said that the Flames would gain instant success for the next 15 years if they were able to draft one of McDavid or Eichel…unfortunately it is not going to happen regardless of potential injuries…too many other weaker teams than the Flames…Oilers, Sabres, Panthers, Jets, Leafs, Hurricanes……

          Good on the Flames as goaltending, prospects, coaching etc are just too good to finish in the bottom 5. With the new lottery formula if you finish anywhere outside of 29th unlikely you will be able to draft one of McDavid, Eichel or Hanafin.

        • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

          Agreed.

          Last year the Flames stated out well also, they were unbeaten in regulation in their first 5 games 3-0-2 and then finished October at 5-5-2.

          They also benefited from goaltending that kept them in the game until they managed to work themselves back into winning positions.

          Look at the successful 6 game road trip:

          gm 1 at Edm W 5-2 outshot by 40-26 & 14-11-15 by period Ramo sv% 95.0
          gm 2 at StL L 4-1 outshot by 39-24 & 9-19-11 by period Hiller sv% 89.7
          gm 3 at Nsh SOW 3-2 shots Cgy 28-21 Ramo sv% 90.4
          gm 4 at Chi W 2-1 outshot by 50-18 Hiller sv% 98.0
          gm 5 at CbJ L 3-2 shots Cgy 31-26 Ramo sv% 88.5
          gm 6 at Wpg W 4-1 outshot 35-29 13-6 in first Hiller sv% 97.1

          Ramo GP 3 W 2 L 1 GA 7 Shots 87 save% 91.95
          Hiller GP 3W 2 L 1 GA 6 shots 124 save% 95.1

          Cgy shots for 151 against 211 differential -10

          Cgy goals for 16 S% 10.6 against 15 S% 7.11

          Corsi events for/against 257/361 Differential -14.86 so even worse corsi wise than the shots for/against say.

          Remember that we were getting buried early on in the Edmonton game before scoring 5 empty net goals.

          Chicago outshot us 50-18 and had a corsi for of 96!

          We were VERY lucky to beat Chicago and then won against Edmonton, Nashville and Winnipeg 3 bottom tier teams that are only marginally ahead of us, if at all.

          Last year we then went on to lose 10 games in November after the positive start in October.

          I think that the team should be looking to use some assets to gain some more things we need like young stud D-men and 1st – 3rd round picks, possibly with use of our cap space and strong starts with our UFA’s.

          players to trade:

          Karri Ramo valuable chip Hiller stays to compete with Ortio and then Gillies in a couple years.
          Curtis Glencross if he will waive
          Sven Baertschi
          Devin Setoguchi
          Ladislav Smid
          Dennis Wideman

          Needs:

          20-23 year old D-men pref with #2-4 potential
          20-23 year old RW’ers pref with #1-2 potential

          • everton fc

            Teams would be interested in Glencross and Wideman. Baertschi’s stock is dropping, me thinks. Other’s are out-performing him on the farm, right now. He’s a -4 w/no points in 5 games. Perhaps a move would re-energize his career. Maybe Smid would garner interest. I doubt Setoguchi would have trouble clearing waivers.

            On the farm, Granlund and Ferland look ready. And I am really impressed with Dustin Stevenson on defence. At least “on paper”. Big, tough, seems to be scoring points. I hope he makes it. From Gull Lake, SK! Gotta love it!

          • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

            Any momentum Baerstchi once had is now completely gone. Some might attribute it to character, but fact is, some players just have a hard time gaining inertia after having their career stalled. Trash all you want, I still like the guy, but lets be realistic and face the facts: Baerschi is never going to make the Calgary Flames.

            With Glencross and Raymond there, Gaudreau already there and having to play out of position, Ferland chomping at the bit, and Bollig not going anywhere soon, where exactly does Sven fit?

            I’m not worried about Klimchuk, he’s two years away IMO, at least, maybe three. Glencross will likely be moved by the deadline, but that still doesn’t leave anything close to a top 9 spot for Sven. You combine that with his play in the AHL and I think he’s a goner. Lighting it up in Adirondack was his last hope. That hope is extinguished.

            So, move him now, while he still has value and grab a young D prospect like Gormley (not to beat that horse too hard). Please, before Sven’s value plummets.

            Personally, I blame Burke and his absolutely assinine and completely ignorant remarks in the media when he got here. As well as Sven’s treatment once Feaster was fired. Demoting him obviously did not work, contrary to what many on here think.

            However, while in my mind Sven would’ve stayed up and Raymond never signed, that’s not the reality. Sven’s time as a Flame is over.

          • icedawg_42

            Sadly I’ve had the same thoughts recently about Sven. I still believe he’s got it in him to be a good NHL’er – but not here. Flames should move him. He needs a fresh start far away from Burke and the damage he’s caused.

          • scoopz

            Honestly, it’s five games. You’ve got a young kid there trying to prove he belongs and probably feeling the pressure to perform so he can get back to the big club sooner rather than later.

            This may be a case of gripping the stick a little too hard and It’s tough to say he’s playing bad just looking at the counting stats. Keep in mind, putting the puck in the net is this kid’s strength; he’ll come around and has improved in the other areas of his game as well. From an organizational standpoint, the pressure on this kid has subsided a great deal, but that in turn puts the pressure to succeed squarely on Sven’s shoulders. Same thing happened last year after getting sent down an he was able to finish the year strong.

      • Colorado Flames

        Bennett is the only draft pick in the top five that the Flames had in their Franchise history!
        I agree that the Flames are not in top 5 draft territory this year again. The fat man did allright following the “shoot for 8th place at all costs” Sutter era.

        Agree to dump the deadwood like Wideman and Setoguchi…not quite sure about Jones yet – he has been injured often to be able to evaluate properly.

        Granlund and Ferland up front and Wotherspoon and Seiloff on defence we will be seeing before the season is a writeoff.

  • Brent G.

    I think the future looks really bright for the flames but one thing that should be kept in mind is that all of the aforementioned players will not be success stories. Fans of teams always seem to over value their prospects and allow imaginations to flourish when thinking about the high water mark for these players potential. Some of these players will, no doubt, be great but all of them reaching those marks are unlikely.

  • prendrefeu

    A great day and a good top pairing…. Small bodies… need depth at D. if they stay healthy playing all the big bodies in west. Need a if Colborne can be a centerman, perhaps we have the depth. Right side concerns me, right shooting D…. Lots to be concerned for…

    Here we are again looking like a bubble team. Too early to tell. Injuries, games getting tighter as standing spread out… God I hope we are in on the sweepstakes. Backlund as your 4th line pairing ala Richards and L.A with Colborne sliding to the wing permanently would be music to my ears. Need dearth down the middle, not just depth.

    Let’s go flames.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    EDIT:

    A great day and a good top pairing…. Small bodies… need depth at D. Hope they can stay healthy playing all the big bodies in west. If Colborne can be a centerman, perhaps we have the depth. Right side concerns me, right shooting D…. Lots to be concerned for…

    Here we are again looking like a bubble team. Too early to tell. injuries, games getting tighter as standings spread out… God I hope we are in on the sweepstakes. Backlund as your 4th line pairing ala Richards and L.A with Colborne sliding to the wing permanently would be music to my ears. Need dearth down the middle, not just depth.

    Let’s go flames.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Couple of more key ingredients moving forward to 2017 and beyond including grooming a good young goaltender who can play 60 games per year; big stud centreman; power forward. Lots of improvement needed throughout the lineup but adding a few pieces each year and patience is the key.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    The oil just copied a page from CGY play book. Breakaway pass that looks like a pass up the boards but they split the d instead. Like Hudler early in 2nd vs WPG.

    I think Gio made it up on the spot for Jooris. I think Mayson’s GWG inspired all this.

    CGY better find a way to defend. TBL will try.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    I know that some of you are now looking for Backlund to sign a new contract. This is very interesting when looking at future planning and center depth.

    2016/17 Flames centers
    1. Sam Bennett
    2. Sean Monahan
    3. Mikael Backlund
    4. Matt Stajan
    4. Michael Granlund
    5. Lance Bouma
    6. Bill Arnold
    7. Corban Knight

    If T.J. Brodie is worth $4.65M for 2016/17 what should our 3rd line center be paid? Probably no more than $2.5Mper I would hope, but will Backlund sign for that? Not long term.

    What could we get for Backlund in a Brian Burke auction?
    a 1st? yes. more? yes.

    Should we keep Backlund? yes. But only if he will sign for the right cap hit. The right cap hit for a 3rd liner. In the pre salary cap days he would be going nowhere, but those days are over. He is a luxury going forward.

    I saw enough in Sam Bennetts’s play to believe he is our most dynamic player. Right now. Even ahead of JG.
    It is so nice to have a real #1 like him finally.

    • everton fc

      Centre-depth:

      Stajan will be gone. Knight can’t crack this lineup. Bouma can play wing, and often does. He’s safe. If Arnold can develop into a David Moss-type player, he and Bouma on a 4th line would be interesting. Having Bennett, Monahan, Backlund and Granlund is the challenge. For Backlund. Granlund may have more offencive upside. Can he play wing? Can Backlund?? Might be the only way they both play on the same roster.

      Good challenges to have. I think Granlund can score more than Backlund.

      Totally off-topic, I hope we can draft Ryan Pilon – another great Wheat King on the backend. I have a good vibe still about Eric Roy.

    • jeremywilhelm

      If your third line center is a shut down defender and also adds 40 points a season in todays NHL he is worth more than 2.5, I like Bennet also but it wil be 2-3 years before he is the player you describe at the NHL on a nightly basis and will need to be sheltered.

    • everton fc

      If your third line center is a shut down defender and also adds 40 points a season in todays NHL he is worth more than 2.5, I like Bennet also but it wil be 2-3 years before he is the player you describe at the NHL on a nightly basis and will need to be sheltered.

      • EugeneV

        Yes, it says 2016/17 in the comment.
        Right now Backlund IS our best center.
        2-3 years from now?
        Not so much.

        I just think now is a very good time to SELL HIGH on Backlund.

        JMHO

    • SmellOfVictory

      Backlund is the 1st line centre for at least another season, and realistically probably at least one more beyond that. And then in three years he’s still probably the 2nd line centre, unless the Flames do draft a high end centre this draft. He’s easily worth the 3.5-4 million per season that he will likely get based on past production.

      Even at 4-4.5 million, if he ends up being a 3rd line centre after a few years it’ll be fine value given how good he is as a two-way hard matchup centre.

  • jeremywilhelm

    The Flames aren’t going to be world beaters, but they may draft out of the top 5. And if that happens, you laugh and take Dylan Strome and run away with him, because that kid is gonna be dominant.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Well FN was all doom and gloom about the bridge deal, writing that it would result in difficulty signing brodie to an affordable long term deal. Looks like FN was wrong on this one.

  • Colorado Flames

    We could still draft McDavid even if we were to finish in the middle of the pack. and finish higher than everyone predicts. The odds of teams out of the bottom 5 winning the lottery have increased. It’s very unlikely but it is possible. THAT would be something!

  • Burnward

    How about putting a little bit of the onus on Sven guys? This “Burke ruined Sven” theme is silly to me.

    If Sven is going to be a pro he’s going to have to take it. If he doesn’t, that’s on him.

    • icedawg_42

      instead lets hire him, announce publicly that we think he sucks, and stick him in the mailroom. Ok that was cheeky, but I don’t feel he’s gotten his fair shot. Anywhoo – congrats to Brodie, and the Flames on a steal of a deal.

      • piscera.infada

        I won’t argue that Sven didn’t get a fair shake, but maybe he should take some notes from Brodie. Take your lumps, get better, and you’ll be up. Brodie wasn’t given the reigns to first pairing minutes immediately, he also wasn’t the “golden-boy” immediately. He worked his way through the ranks, and used that time to state his case. I’ll repeat what I’ve said on this a thousand times: the onus is on the player to prove he belongs in the organization, not for the organization to prove it’s right for the player – that’s what UFA is for, if you make it that far.

        At no time did Burke say “he sucks”. He was asked a direct question about what he thought of Sven as a player, he responded with “he shows flashes, but needs to play a full 200 foot game”. Tactless? Certainly – do it privately, but the media doesn’t always allow you to take that route, especially when the question was asked pre-Monahan, when Baertschi was the “hope” for this organization. But don’t turn this into “Burke said he’s horrible, branded him a ‘loser’ with a cattle prod, and then broke his legs, thus setting back his development”.

        • Burnward

          I agree with everything except that Burke’s quote was tactless. That’s a completely accurate assessment of Sven’s game. If that was the first time he had heard that then someone was blowing smoke up his ass.

          • piscera.infada

            I agree with the assessment being accurate, but it was still tactless. Burke’s been around the media long enough to know how it works (and that’s why he is somewhat at fault here). He was asked the question, but he could have just as easily said “he has things to work on, we’re communicating that to him”. He knows that when you openly criticize a player with that much hype, the media is going to blow it up and suddenly the headlines will read: “Burke says Sven Baertschi is the worst hockey player in the history of the NHL”.

            That all said though, it’s still on Baertschi to take the criticism and perform.

          • Burnward

            Agree.

            So before we write him off, what is Sven’s deployment in Addy like? Is he being deployed in situations in Addy where he is going to have to show up defensively? I.e., is he sporting a big -4 because he is not being sheltered and is playing against the other team’s best line? Because he might just have to do that if he is ever going to play serious minutes in the show.

            I would like to see him in Calgary rather than somewhere else. If it means he takes a place from Glennie or Mason Raymond or even Johnny, that would be fine with me because it means his overall play has caught up with offensive talent.

            The Wolf might be right but I still think it is too early to give up on the guy.

          • piscera.infada

            The Wolf might be right but I still think it is too early to give up on the guy.

            Agreed. But, I mean, if you were to be offered a Gormley in exchange, that’s hardly giving up – it’s need for need. Giving up would look something like the Islanders trading Nino for Clutterbuck. If that happens, I’ll be right there with everyone on Burke and Treliving.

            In other news, looks like Gaudreau is starting with Monahan and Ryamond tonight. I like that line. A lot.

        • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

          Muy post could’ve been worded better. While I think what Burke did was stupid (but that includes the demotion and not just the remarks), I do hold Sven accountable. Which is part of why I think he should be moved, because he’s not responding and he’s not getting it.’

          I will say this, when you look at what Feaster’s regime thought of him and how quickly Sven was sent down after Feaster was fired, in combination with the remarks, there does seem to an organizational antipathy towards him. If you’re a young player and believe that the coach and management are never going to cut you a fair break, that affects you. Same as it would at any job.

          So, I don’t mean to put all the blame on the team, but they haven’t exactly helped the situation. Thekid had solid possession numbers and was .48 ppg or something like that. Every bit as good as Monahan was, so what was the differnce?

          My point is that neither side seems happy, Sven’s not producing and there’s a plethora of players and prospects on the LW that are ahead of Sven, so cut bait now (assuming a fair return) and fill an organizational need (also one of my main points).

          @playstation – yes, I do.

          @burnward – not saying that at all. Refer to icedawg’s comment.

    • Burnward

      More like “let’s offer the talented kid an apprenticeship, give him some tough love after he performs well on some early projects and then announce he sucks sh*t to everyone in the company and bury him because his new boss is an a**hole” who has some shiny new toys.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Why are people all, “He said mean things to Sven, now Sven’s ruined! Waaaaa! I already bought 47!!! Waaaa! Still?!!? that was 2013!

    Man up.

    So many crybabies, it’s like a perpetual daycare.

    People think it’s supposed to be easy. Nope. You want it to be difficult, challenging, hard as hell. I want a team who want it to be a challenge – for it to be effortful.

    People just don’t get it. Once he learns to drive himself, to be relentless, to keep kicking until the door caves in he will be unstoppable. This isn’t new, human progress depends on this:

    “You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing.”
    -Rene Descartes

    Mastery, of a skill, a profession takes time. Some people theorize 10 000 hrs. Who knows? However it could be some need less, some need more. Patience, practice (discipline) and Sven gets there.

    This isn’t a video game, where whenever you turn it on the player plays at 85 level. You learn to be a pro – not necessarily all at once. Continually.

    Imagine if this was a daycare. Would we boot kids out because they haven’t mastered finger painting as well some others? Shoe tying is sub par – ship Timmy outta here!!He needs a change of scenery!!! He’s too slow, he’s too small his fingers will get crushed in a shoe tying competition!

    It seems some people have already identified the roster moving forward. The future roster. Are you nuts?!!? You have no clue how this will unfold.

    Do not get ahead of yourself. There is a specific sequence – a process.

    It’s like some of these games where they were outshot, outplayed. I think they were so determined to prove pundits wrong about where they finish, their ability to score goals- all they could think about was making plays. BUT you have to do all the little things right first.

    Don’t forget the sequence:

    Clean exits, controlled entries, support each other from their end, through nz, into o-zone, TOGETHER !!! (when they are on – you see their shape – a box +1 or as my bro says 1-2-2- anyway you see that box). When they play as a unit, supporting, you see periods 2-3 of the WPG game. When they try and jump the queue, get ahead of themselves you see period 1 of those ugly games.

    The recipie is start simple, maintain the structure the box. If things get going against you, return to your structure. Get a footing and build from this box.

    Once established, you can grow from the box – complicate the attacks.

    Don’t start complicated and then go back to simple in the third. That’s ass backwards!!!

    Less ‘out of the box’, especially early! When you abandon the box, things are just messy, unorganized. Instead of supporting, you see one guy vs 4 opponents. Not good. Anyway they seem to have figured it out, based on WPG. Keep it rollin!

    Return to reality. Calm down. And just watch

    • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

      What I find strange is that the same people vehemently against moving him are the same ones fixated on this ‘tough love’ approach as though it’s a given that Sven will just figure it out one day ala Nazim Kadri, light up the AHL, get called up to Calgary and score 3 in 5 until the end of time.

      I don’t mind the tough love approach. I like Sven as a player. I do think, and yes it is conjecture on my part, that the organization has been harder on him than other prospects. Since Burke arrived, it’s like they were bound and determined to teach him a lesson in maturity when the reality is he was doing just fine at the NHL level given his age and experience level.

      However, I don’t think you read my 2nd post that clarifies my original post. While I don’t think much of his handling and I don’t think it helped the situation, the main thrust of my argument is that the team is not very high on him, there’s next to no room at that position and we have an organizational deficit at defence. Ergo, move him.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        I understand your point, you make it well. But you are making a huge assumption:

        The team is not high on him.

        I can understand this. As fans, we want it to see it all now. He’s ready and we don’t want to see a FA or older guy.

        There is no way I can say definitively that you’re wrong. You could be right – as you’ve been in the past.

        However, I see prudence in CGY approach. Everyone has to earn an NHL spot. I believe, firmly, you can’t just plug guys in because you want them to do it. They have to earn their way. Self discovery. It is powerful. Look at Jooris.

        Hartley has it set up exactly right in my books. The NHL is cut throat competition. Anyone who plays has to earn every shift – none gifted. You have to show some fight first.

        Look at JG, everyone was wailing about benching, 12:00 TOI no PP. But at that point JG was doing squat EV. How can you just give him PP time? No way.

        But Hartley knows what’s what. The game before JG benching you could see JG initially hesitant – no PP time – then he had one shift where he made something happen AND he got some PP time. He had to show something first.

        Sven played well in preseason. He just didn’t get the bounces. But he’s still so young so you can be a little more patient. Seasoning. So that when he’s ready – like Kadri – he just sticks. It will happen. I just feel it. This is my assumption.

        I’ve read that Sven has been playing well on the farm. It’s only a matter of time.

        • Kevin R

          I think there is more to this. The worse thing that happened was Sven getting that emergency call up & the fans embraced him like the second coming of the Messiah. This created an expectation for the kid that was just snatched away when Burke came on board. & before Burke came on board, the issues i think had already begun,i.e. attitude toward the rookie camp. Again we can speculate all we want, but I think Sven has turned the internal button off to the coach & to Management. He has pedigree & lots of potential yet. He is probably viewed by other teams as NHL ready & in bad need of a change. This whole thing has Kyle Turris written all over it & now he is on the #1 line in Ottawa. I’m with Wolf, this kid is going to be a decent NHL player, he just isn’t destined to hit his ceiling with Calgary. If BT was smart & was there for the Turris fiasco, he should probably go back to Phoenix & point out the similarity of Sven to Kyle & extract Gormerly in a deal. Each achieving organizational needs, both players have the same draft pedigree(in fact both 1st rounders were 13th overall) & put an end to this saga. Because if Sven doesn’t snap out of this & we go into the summer, we will probably have a Mexican standoff with him when it comes time to signing the next contract next July1. I don’t think anybody will feel short changed with Gormerly coming back in a straight up deal. Personally I would see what Jersey would want over an above Sven to get Larsson. If it’s reasonable like a 2nd or Reinhart or Agostino, I’d do it. JMO

          • piscera.infada

            Sven and Agostino for Larsson!? I think Gormley’s the better prospect, IMO. I know I’m in the majority here, but I really like Agostino – he’s a keeper for me. He seems like the kind of player who has a bit of an edge, great leadership skills, and will be able to play throughout the line-up. Really, really like his game.

          • Kevin R

            Larsson was a top 5 pick & has a higher ceiling than Gormerly, but again we can argue all night & be able to prove zippo. One thing to remember is Larsson is a RHD making it a slightly higher organizational need. Either way, we are pretty thin in defensive prospects in the pipeline. As much as I am hoping Tspoon & Seilloff turn out, we have to assume they are replacement bottom pairing until proven otherwise Brodie style. So I would not be disappointed in the least if we see a Sven for Gormerly swap straight up.

          • piscera.infada

            Fair enough. I’m not a Larsson fan. Which is strange because I have an affinity for Swedish defensemen. He just doesn’t do it for me when I’ve watched him, he looks sloppy. I know much was made in his draft year about being able to process the game at a high level, but I’ve yet to see that. That said, TV viewings, and I’m not a New Jersey fan. I wouldn’t be horrified with acquiring Larsson, but draft pedigree doesn’t prove much. I’m still holding out for Agostino though, I’m a big ol’ fan of him.

  • RKD

    I just hope that the young forwards can develop and progress substantially. Part of me wishes that a young forward would be alongside TJ’s development. No matter though, Brodie’s ceiling is very high. In two years, he will still be a young man and hopefully our young forward have made some progress in developing. Put in Wotherspoon and Sieloff and see what they can do and if they can be regular d-man then build a new d-corps around them. By that time guys like Smid, Wideman, Engelland, etc. have all found new homes. We will need to drop some deadweights on this team. Still, BT will need to go to free agency or trades to supplement the young forwards.

  • piscera.infada

    @ the wolf

    One thing i would like to add to the Baertshi discussion is the message sent to him by Feaster.

    Feaster threw him in the lineup right away and I think he kind of thought he already had a spot on the team without any need for hard work and improvement.

    Whereas I think the message sent to guys like Reinhart and Granlund was much different. These guys have been working on aspects of their game and it shows. I would say that Granlund has surpassed Baertshi.

    I am not a supporter of differential treatment of prospects and i think it is partly why jay is gone. This has not helped Baertshi.

  • piscera.infada

    One really nice player for the Flames to get in this year’s draft would be Rasmus Andersson, currently playing for the Barrie Colts. 8 points in 10 games. Mobile, toolsy, right handed. Me like.

    The only rub is no one can seem to agree on where he will be taken… I’ve seen him as high as 5th and as low as 35th…

  • Kevin R

    The problem with that, IMO, is Backlund is 25. The perfect age that the team is in such short supply of. When Calgary is hopefully ready to compete, Backs will be in his peak years. I think he’s exactly what they need.