Weekend Open Thread: Two Weeks Out

Well, as the expected date of the beginning of rookie camp – September 11 – inches closer and closer, the Calgary Flames have continued to add older bodies, inviting defenseman Sheldon Brookbank to training camp.

Looking at the past few months ’round these parts, adding Brookbank isn’t an unexpected addition. I mean, the club has added a lot of veterans: Jonas Hiller, Deryk Engelland, Mason Raymond, Brandon Bollig and Devin Setoguchi all fit that mold. None of them are small men. All of them are experienced. Heck, Bollig and Brookbank have Stanley Cup rings.

But at the same time, these guys are taking spots that could be filled by, say, (off the top of my head) Joni Ortio, Tyler Wotherspoon, Mark Cundari, Markus Granlund, Max Reinhart or someone else of that ilk.

So what’s your take on the veteran-ing of the 2014-15 Flames? Are you apprehensive about young’uns being “buried”? Would you rather Calgary’s young core spend some time in Adriondack, giving the Baby Flames a potential murderer’s row of strong forward prospects? Is the argument somewhat moot because the inevitable slew of injuries will give these youngsters a chance to play in the NHL anyhow?

  • RexLibris

    I like this model of player development the Flames are implementing. It is similar to the Red Wings process of ensuring players are fully developed before they make the leap. Lessons learned from the Oilers failure is that they were forced to play their young stars at the NHL level before they were ready and have essentially ruined many careers.

    The Flames vets, if they prove well, can be moved at anytime for draft choices in 2015 which happens to be the strongest draft in recent memory.

    As a Flames fan I support the current rebuild strategy. As well BB/BT have quickly instilled a culture of ‘prove yourself first’ before you play/or be paid as an NHL’r.

    • BurningSensation

      It all sounds very good, and I actually agree that players need to prove themselves and that the Oilers have done it wrong and ruined a bunch of careers. I’ll hopefully be pleasantly surprised in a couple of months when it proves itself to be reality. Until then, I have my doubts and think things will work out very differently.

  • RexLibris

    I’m torn between the two options of all vets versus multiple prospects playing. I believe that the second option would make the team much better than the first, and that although prospects “beating out” vets sounds good, the practical reality of doing so, including waiver issues and the cap floor are going to make it difficult. And I mean difficult not in the sense that it is hard to do, but that management will be loathe to do so to a vet…

    So what we’re left with is a poor vet team with lots of opportunity for prospects once injuries happen. To me that is disappointing. Although we like to say this is like the Detroit model, the main difference is Detroit never had terrible teams above all those simmering prospects, so its not quite the same.

    IF BT could assure us all that the BEST player gets the spot (earns it, cap floor issues aside) I’d be much happier. However the way I see it now is that there is essentially 0% chance that Sam Bennett makes the team, no matter his training camp, and virtually 0% chance that Johnny Gaudreau absolutely makes it based on what he’s accomplished to date(College, Worlds). These things are hard to swallow given that the vets seem to have already been given their spots, and may only lose it if “beaten out” by a prospect.

    Well, at least two things are positive. If my concerns become reality the team will definitely be in the running for a top draft pick next year, and Adirondack should have a great year.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      Between what you and Wolfe said I totally agree. The only thing I really would like to add is that the salarycap floor is mostly a red herring if you play with capgeek. I spent a few minutes this morning being a capgeek gm and found out if you send say Eng and or Djones down most of their salary still counts against the cap. The chance of many teams picking them up is slim as both contracts are relatively high for what they would bring to a team.

      There has been much talk about adding players via salary cap additions so I went to capgeek and looked at the teams over and near the cap; over the cap Boston, Chicago, Phil, and Tampa; both Boston and Phil will get relief form LTIR but I’m not sure about the others. The teams near the cap less than $2m left are LA,NYR,Pitts,TML, and Washington.
      Is there a good match with any of these teams based upon our assets and our needs that make sense for both teams? Does anyone have any real suggestions?

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        Tampa’s Ohlund at 3.6M has not played in nearly 4 years so will also give them LTIR relief but Chcago needs cap relief legitimately via trade or demotion or buyout but 5 D-men and several forwards are on NTCs so hope the Flames get Leddy from them but at what cost?

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    I understand the competition argument, but it’s gone too far. They needed to keep 2 spots up front open for rookies, even if one or both of those spots were rotating different guys through for trial sessions/experience. Now, there is at most one, but technically none, spots for rookies open. Thank goodness Monahan made it last year. Forcing Gaudreau to play in the minors for the sake of adamantly adhering to philosophy with no from for exceptions is stupid. JG is ready now. Either give Baertschi a legit shot or move him; forcing him down there another year is ignorant. I’ve always said that Reinhart and Granlund could use another year in the AHL, but what happens next season. You can’t suddenly bring in Reinhart, Granlund, Gaudreau, Baertschi and let’s say an Arnold or Agostino all in the same season. Plus Bennett?

    Bottom line – you can still create opportunity while forcing competition among the ranks. In fact, one without the other is both fruitless and meaningless.

    • Trevy

      I am not off base with your post but there will be lots of opportunities to roll the young players in & out of the lineup. Let the losses mount up & the injuries to hit & we’ll see a lot of different faces this year. But if we have so many 20-21-22 year old decent prospects, let them compete for the spots instead wayward vets that have had their chances & not made any significant impact at the NHL level.

      I agree with your other thread post in that I don’t see the point of Brookbank. We need a 3-4 dman something fierce & if they are unattainable via trade, then we need to give one of our young high end forwards to get a kid that is NHL ready & has a top 4D potential. If there is any part of our rebuild that needs accelerating, its the blue line.

  • RexLibris

    I don’t mind the addition of veteran bodies forcing the prospects to win the position.
    being awarded a spot due to the fact that we don’t have another option (see Draisatl, Leon-Edmonton Oilers)is never the path you should choose to take.
    The fear for me is what height is the bar set at for the prospect to win the job?
    Hopefully there will be little reluctance ro sit the veterans in popcorn row or send them to the AHL; I actually think the contract structure is advantageous in this regard.
    Which team in their right mind will pick up Engelland’s contract off waivers if the decision is made to send him down??

  • T&A4Flames

    I like that there is competition for all players to not just make the team but to fight for ice time. If some kids have to put in another year in Addy, so be it. They should have a solid team and that can only add to individual confidence.