FGD: DEADLINE TILT

Burke

Today the Calgary Flames (23-31-7) host the Ottawa Senators (27-24-11) at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The game comes mere hours after the annual NHL trade deadline.

The Flames and Senators went into the deadline with two different mantras. The Ottawa Senators, who sit 4 points out of the final Eastern wildcard spot, decided they were buyers in the days leading up to the deadline. The Flames, on the other hand, have been sellers since December.

The Senators added sometimes skillful but often non-existent Ales Hemsky to their roster for a 3rd and a 5th round pick, said goodbye to Cory Conacher (claimed on waivers by Buffalo) and inked Chris Phillips to a new two-year deal to ensure he’d stay a Senator. No Marty St. Louis-type blockbusters but Hemsky could add some scoring depth down the stretch.

The Flames, with such trade pieces as Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Dennis Wideman, Jiri Hudler and Chris Butler, were expected to be very busy during the trade deadline. And, as the story goes, it sounds like the phone didn’t ring once.

Michael Cammalleri, the biggest fish the flames had to trade, was not dealt. Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler were also not dealt. Chris Butler, a serviceable sixth/seven dman on a good team, was not dealt. Ladislad Smid is apparently as good as Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano and was made untradeable early on in the day by Mr. Burke. Stempniak to Pittsburgh has confirmed. In a neat twist of fate, the Flames traded Reto Berra to the Colorado Avalanche for some sort of draft pick. Incredibly, that draft pick was a 2nd rounder. That is an incredible haul for Berra and I think Flames’ fans are satisfied with that one.

So there we have it. The day that was hoped to quicken this rebuild through some savvy trading from the Flames overlord yielded nothing major, but did gain them a couple draft picks.

THE LOCALS

Via www.dailyfaceoff.com 

  • Cammalleri – Backlund – Colborne
  • Hudler – Monahan – Hanowski
  • Bouma – Granlund – Byron
  • Reinhart – Knight – McGrattan

  • Giordano – Brodie
  • Smid – Wideman
  • Butler – Russell

  • Ortio

Cammalleri, sticking with the Flames, finds himself on the first-line with Backlund and Colborne. Still can’t believe he wasn’t dealt.  Moving on…

The great news is we get to see two more AHL kids tonight. Reinhart, who’s been destroying the AHL of late, is back for another call-up. He will play on a line with McGrattan and his Heat teammate, Corban Knight. Knight, from all accounts, has been one of the driving forces of the Heat all year and is a responsible player in all three zone. He’s also well known for his faceoff prowess and I’m curious if that’ll immediately translate to the bigs or if it take some adjusting. (Update: with Stempniak also gone, Ben Hanowski comes up to play tonight.

With Berra heading to Colorado, Ortio will most certainly start this game.  Joey Mac is expected to arrive just before game time to back him up.  

THE OPPONENTS

  • Michalek – Spezza – Hemsky
  • MacArthur – Turris – Condra
  • Hoffman – Zibanejad – Ryan
  • Greening – Smith – Neil

  • Methot – Karlsson
  • Phillips – Ceci
  • Wiercioch – Gryba

  • Anderson

Hemsky will be in the line-up tonight as conveniently he was only three hours away from Calgary when he was traded. He is expected to slot in on the first line with Spezza and Michalek.

Curiously, Bobby Ryan is on the third line with Zibanejad and Hoffman. That’s a strange one. He is an offensive threat if I’ve ever seen one. That’s his role.  What is he doing on the checking line? I have no idea. Also, from everything I’ve heard, he, MacArthur and Turris have been lights-out together.  Very strange, to say the least.

Anderson gets the start in this one and it appears he’ll get the lion share of the workload going down the stretch.

SUM IT UP

The Flames trade deadline was incredibly disappointing. Many moves were expected and basically none were made. On the bright side, the Flames at least didn’t trade for players to make them better right now so hopefully a top-3 is all but a certainty.  

The game tonight will be interesting. One team bolstered their line-up slightly and are hoping to make a go of it. The other team, the Flames, were thinking that there would be many changes to their line-up come tonight and there is basically zero. Should be an interesting to see how the Flames come out of the gates in this one.

Puck drops at 7:30 pm MT on Sportsnet.

    • piscera.infada

      Buffalo stock-piled draft picks – that’s what they do. Florida got a goalie – I’m not sure really what they’re doing, but that’s the way they seem to operate (no real plan, hope something comes together). The Islanders – Garth Snow. The Oilers ran around and tried to do something, but didn’t accomplish a whole hell of a lot – par for the course (if it’s not a first overall draft pick, they’re not really sure what to do).

      So I don’t know about that. I don’t think the Flames did appreciably better, but to say everyone “improved their club”, I’m not sure you can say that. The Flames exit the deadline with two more picks in the 2nd and 3rd round, it’s not horrible.

  • Byron Bader

    I said some time ago that Cammi had no real value on the open market. I guess I was right. If he resigns withe the Flames it will be for less than he is making now. He is still a solid second or third line player.

    • piscera.infada

      Well when you have guys like Kesler available the whole market waits to see where he will land before offering anything for Cammi or any other forward…

      And when Vanek and Moulson are the next guys available, who I might add got terrible value, it’s not surprising Cammi didn’t have much value.

      It’s a negotiation and when you are getting low balled sometimes it’s better to stand your ground just so the message is sent that you will not cave…

      This is why the NHL is playing coy with next Olympics, the IOC caved last negotiations so now the NHL thinks they can get more this time..

      After listening to Burke today, and especially after the two late trades, I wholeheartedly respect Burke and what he is building here.

  • piscera.infada

    I think the most interesting thing I heard today was Burke’s press conference point about precedent. If the market really was driven as low on forwards as we’re lead to believe (of course, you have to then take what Burke said at face-value – although seeing the return for Vanek, Moulson, Hemsky et al., it’s at least fathomable), then “just taking whatever you can get” seems to signal an organizational weakness to the league. It’s sets a precedent that every time you have a player that needs to be moved for whatever reason, you’re willing to take a low ball offer. As such, that now becomes the starting point. If you’re known as an organization that remains realistic without being strong-armed, then it has to put you in a better situation in the long-term.

    I understand this point is debatable. I just found it very interesting – it looks at the long-term ramifications that scrambling to take “whatever” can have. So, no, I’m not saying this makes the non-Cammy deal better or worse in any way. At the same time though, it is definitely a logical position to hold – it signals to me (at least), that this group is thinking about the future, the state\standing of the organization, and the players involved, which is a good sign (although some might argue overly optimistic).

  • Byron Bader

    Like Burke I have been silent most of the day. I readily admit I am not a Burke fan but promised I would judge him by his actions or inactions as may be the case. So first the praise, getting a 2nd for Berra was good but I’mm not sure after listening to Burke that this was all that hard, it sounds like the Av’s wanted him, the Stemp deal was pretty much what most of us expected. So for what he did do I will give him a B. None of us will know what was offered and rejected for Cammi and Butler but he can’t resign them then his grade for that will be a D. (not an F because he will have two positions to fill and I hope he can upgrade on both of them through that route)

    Now he has three important jobs to do:
    1. Get a GM in place that is more than just a yes man and whom other teams will do business with.
    2. Get the college kids signed once their season ends.
    3. Allow the scouts, coaches and new GM(once he hires one) to do their jobs.

    Again I am prepared to wait and see. For all Burke disciples, today was not overwhelming and did not convince us skeptics.

    • piscera.infada

      So what would a better GM do? Trade cammi for a 5th round pick? The market is the market.. I just don’t understand how people can judge Burke when they have no idea what’s offered.

    • piscera.infada

      Couple of thoughts:

      1. Clearly the market was saturated with similar wingers and the market for Cammalleri was limited. If Cammy wasn’t able to fetch a 3rd, he’s probably better off holding him.

      2. In light of the returns today, Burke’s assessment of Feaster is interesting. It’s reasonable to deduct that Burke thought the returns on Boumeester and Iginla were unacceptable, and while we all would agree, Burke (and many other GM’s) found out it’s not as easy as it looks.

      3. Heard Burke on the radio talking about resigning Cammy and starting negotiations with Butler. Ouch.

  • Byron Bader

    I am curious if Burke is planning on resigning Cammy and then retaining salary for cap purposes and would also allow him to be traded much easier to a Contender.

    That might be able to get us that 1st plus we all desire.

    Just thinking aloud here

  • RedMan

    Flamesnation, breathe a sigh of relief that you dont have gillis as the gm. fitting his last move was trading raphael because with his leadership the canucks took it up DIAS.

  • MattyFranchise

    Today Burke added an extra 2nd and 3rd rounder for his scouts to work with in the 2014 draft. The 2015 draft is just as critical and next year at this time I’m confident he will add more pieces. If Burke can sign Cammy that will add an established veteran presence that’s required for his upcoming young players. If not let’s move on.

    When Burke says he hopes to be a Buyer next year at this time that is simply to appease the season ticket holders and sponsors. Reality is that this team needs 2-3 years of rebuild which means drafting top level talent during the next 3 drafts. Let’s have patience and enjoy the top 5 young prospects from Abby that will be playing tonight and potentially Johhny G and Bill Arnold shortly. I’m actually excited about the future.

    • prendrefeu

      ChubChubs is a retard! He probably thinks he could get a 3rd pick for the most useless, stinking pile of cow dung- he plays for the home team and has the lowest Corsi rating in the whole NHL. Guess who ? Hint Hint …..

      • prendrefeu

        Vancouver will POUND the a Flames on Saturday night! Sestito, Archibald, Bieksa will out goon Hartley’s goon squad! The Canucks should bring Brandon Sugden out of retirement!

        • prendrefeu

          Yap yap yap. So what? We’re trying out our future, son. Our future. We really don’t give a damn about your fading hopes.

          Anything creative to say?
          Nah, didn’t think so. Go and take a run around Stanley Park sometime. Maybe trip over a log, and dream about the Stanley Cup that won’t land in your city.

          • beloch

            I agree with Ed Kastelic. Great future – Ron Wilson will be your new coach this summer and Claude Loiselle will be your GM. Ya better get more goons cause you sure can’t dance with the Canucks!

  • RedMan

    the Flames got 2nd and 3rd round picks, and more room for younger players on the roster in Calgary and Abby, but even more, that now have dropped two contracts that can be used for college kids soon.

    Yes, everyone wanted to see Cammy get us a First rounder++, but obviously it didn’t happen.

    This is all a non-issue for me. The Cammy Saga will continue and will be interesting to see how this plays out. Who knows, maybe he becomes a top notch mentor for some up-and-coming undersized college kid next year?

  • Parallex

    Yes. Burke misread the market and as a result got left with no one to dance with and timed out at the end. Burke’s one (and hopefully only) deadline as Calgary Flames GM has to go down as one of disappointment and missed opportunity.

    • RedMan

      what credentials do you offer to substantiate your claim that he misread the market? did you happen to get in a several dozen trade calls from various GM’s so as to know exactly what the market was?

      Can you please identify what opportunities he passed on? or are you just assuming there were awesome opportunities?

      • Parallex

        “credentials”? We need “credentials” to talk about hockey and offer forth opinions now do we?

        Guess the nations may as well fold up shop. Sorry Kent, Ryan, Wayne, and Co. Your going to have remove the comment sections unless all members and guest alike offer forth sufficient “credentials” to demonstrate that they have private access to the backrooms of the NHL.

        All snark aside. If you’re wondering what I’m basing it on, I’m basing it on the observed results of the last few days, media reporting, and Burke’s own words… which I then use to form my own opinions on the matter.

    • BurningSensation

      By what measure is this a disappointment? We picked up two picks in the top 3 rounds, and it cost us Reto Berra and Stemp.

      By any measure, that is a win.

      Giving Cammalleri away for nothing isn’t helpful to the team. Better to resign him and try again next year.

      • Parallex

        I’m faily certain that we could have gotten something greater then nothing for Cammy (which as a result of Burke’s inaction is exactly what we are getting).

        You’re assuming that it fait accompli that cammy will be resigned (and resigned to a contract that doesn’t end up toxic, more difficult to move, or label him negative value). That’s hardly assured.

        C’mon… Burke screwed up by not moving Cammy (and to a lesser extent Butler). Plain and simple.

  • BurningSensation

    @Byron Bader

    “The Flames, with such trade pieces as Michael Cammalleri, Lee Stempniak, Dennis Wideman, Jiri Hudler and Chris Butler, were expected to be very busy during the trade deadline. And, as the story goes, it sounds like the phone didn’t ring once.”

    I don’t think there were was much expectation that the Flames would be super-busy outside of moving Cammalleri. Given the presser Burke gave, the phone did ring, but there was a lot of empty noise on the other end of the line.

    “Michael Cammalleri, the biggest fish the flames had to trade, was not dealt. Dennis Wideman and Jiri Hudler were also not dealt. Chris Butler, a serviceable sixth/seven dman on a good team, was not dealt. Ladislad Smid is apparently as good as Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano and was made untradeable early on in the day by Mr. Burke.”

    That seems to be an uncharitable view of how Smid was handled. The more reasonable view is that the offers Burke got or solicited for Smid were below what he considered his value and rather than cloud the waters, he pulled him off the market.

    For all those who are freaking out that we will get nothing for Cammalleri’s services when his contract runs out, keep the following in mind;

    – Burke and Cammalleri have had face to face meetings about signing a new contract. So Burke has a very clear picture of what the player and agent are looking for.

    – Cammalleri has already come back to the Flames once before because he liked the mgt/city. He has been nothing but positive about Calgary, his role, etcc.

    All of which tells me that a reasonable contract extension for Cammalleri could bee the next shoe the drop.

  • beloch

    Hemsky will likely be a handful tonight, since this will be his first clean breath of air after years of sucking in toxic fumes from the Oilers’ dressing room. It will be a novelty for him to be on team where scoring actually helps instead of merely harming their precious lottery pick!

    Ortio is in it deep now. He’s probably going to play every game until either Ramo returns or he screws up so badly MacBackup is allowed to swap his paper-bag for a goalie mask.

    Corban Knight and Max Reinhart are similarly in for a challenge because they’ve got big Ern on their line. If Hanowski doesn’t impress, I bet Hartley will rotate Reinhart and/or Knight into Monahan’s line.

    Cammalleri… Man. I honestly don’t know what to hope for here. If he plays great down the stretch he might be harder to resign. We can only hope Burke had nearly come to terms with Cammalleri before the deadline and that’s why he wasn’t sold at a bargain-basement price.

  • Rockmorton65

    Burke didn’t say Smid was untouchable. He said he wasn’t in play… He clarified that to mean no one had called him about Smid. BIG difference. But yes, underwhelmed. That said makes flames look good for getting first rounders last year outta Iggy and Bowie

  • Lordmork

    I can’t complain about either the Berra trade or the Stempniak trade, or about the return on either. I was hoping the team would be more active selling, but maybe the asking price for Cammalleri was too high given his recent struggles. I think some people vastly overvalued him.

    That said, whether because of injury or trades, I really like the look of our current lineup from a youth perspective. We’ve been saying that the rebuild began late last season, but now the lineup actually looks that way. I doubt most of these guys are NHL-ready, but I’m happy to see a bunch of young guys with a sprinkling of veterans, rather than a bunch of vets with a sprinkling of young guys. There are some veterans on IR so some of the rookies will go back to Abbotsford soon, but I’m glad to see them play a few games.

    Also, I guess Burke still isn’t happy with Sven? I’d rather see him finish the season in Abby, but they’ve sure called up everyone who isn’t nailed down, except him.

    • beloch

      Burke recently made a point in one his presser’s that call-ups from Abby aren’t necessarily the best available player for a given position but, instead, players who fill a role that matches a hole on the NHL club. I don’t really buy this myself, but he might have said this so that Baertschi doesn’t feel bad about not being called up for goon-squad duty.

      When he was last sent down, a long uninterrupted stretch in Abby was probably considered to be best for Baertschi’s development. His ego gets crushed every time he’s sent down and, although he’s playing better in Abby than he was, he hasn’t really started dominating the way he probably should be. Bringing him up now and giving him 5 minutes a game on the fourth line is just going to stall his development again. It would take significant TOI in a sheltered scoring role to beat playing first-line minutes in Abby for his development.

      Baertschi is where he needs to be. The Heat are going to be relying on him heavily with so many of their offensive players called up. If he can respond to that need, going on a tear in the AHL would be great for his development. He has 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 3 games, so things are looking up for him.

      • Byron Bader

        Theo should give Sven a personal “don’t quit before the miracle” speech. He’s right there. He just needs to focus, work on his all around game while producing offensively in the AHL. His time will come.

        • beloch

          Many fans have been far too hasty in writing Baertschi off. Remember, he scored at 2 ppg in the WHL. That’s pretty awesome! However, he clearly wasn’t ready for the NHL this season. He was sent down mid-December and, by the end of January, his AHL point pace was just 0.313 ppg. That was pretty disappointing given that he was scoring at a pace of 0.432 ppg in the NHL despite not getting great minutes! Baertschi has now improved to 0.552 ppg on the season thanks to scoring at a greatly improved rate of 0.846 ppg since February 1st. Even this is still probably lower than would be expected from both his WHL and NHL numbers. However, the damage done to him in the NHL appears to be coming undone.

          If you were Burke, would you yank Baertschi back up now because you need warm bodies for the goon squad or would you leave him where he is and see how far he rebounds? If you value Baertschi as a prospect, the answer is obvious. For us fans, that means we likely won’t see Baertschi in the NHL until next season, but he will likely be a better player as a result.

          • Byron Bader

            I’d leave him down there for a bit. The notion of not just slotting him in to get eaten alive on the 4th line with McGrattan is a good one. It’s pointless. Let him get the opportunity to shred the AHL for a bit. Call him up for the last 10 maybe.

          • MattyFranchise

            I haven’t looked at the standings lately but won’t the Heat be playing hockey long after the Flames? Or does the AHL post season end a lot earlier than the NHL regular season?

          • Byron Bader

            Oh that’s a good point. Forgot that the Heat were looking playoff bound. If the Heat are in the playoffs I’d let him ride that out. Maybe bring him up for a few games once the Heat clinch to give him a taste of the NHL. Not sure what the playoff sched looks like for the AHL though or how soon it starts.