Is Jesse Puljujarvi worth “blowing away” the Columbus Blue Jackets?

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Oh Elliotte, how you tease us. 

The screenshot above is from Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts column, and it’s one that undoubtedly perked up a lot of interest around these parts.
The Columbus Blue Jackets may consider trading down from the third overall spot. The spot affording whichever team there to select Finnish wunderkind Jesse Puljujarvi.
Let me in on this action. 

Blow Them Away

Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch did throw a little cold water on the whole thing a day later with this tweet.

So, what exactly does that mean, “blow them away”? What will blow the Columbus Blue Jackets away? 
Obviously a deal including any of Calgary’s core (the Gaudreaus, Brodies, Monahans, Bennetts) would, but Brad Treliving isn’t in the business of making deals for the sake of making deals, and a Sam Bennett for the third overall pick is a sideways move at best. It would also be dumb and make me unhappy. Nor am I convinced that would even get a deal done, frankly. Columbus has a history of attempting to solve their problems through trade and that trade blowing up in their face (see: Carter, Jeff).
Of course, there’s also the flipside where fans assume packaging a Mark Jankowski with the sixth overall pick will move you up to the promised land of Jesse Puljujarvi. Columbus would really have to love Jankowski and we already know John Weisbrod works in BC, not Ohio. Some prospect you deem expendable in Calgary isn’t going to do the trick. Frankly, anyone off the Flames’ trash heap won’t do the trick; Columbus wants – rightfully – quality in return. 
The Jackets, despite being a middling team the last few seasons, are approaching a cap crunch with many of their core pieces needing new contract extensions, and a host of bad contracts hogging cap space. They’ve been rebuilding all but one season since they entered the league nearly two decades ago, so some urgency to win with this group – or at least find some measure of success – is no doubt burning. 
The trading of Ryan Johansen may have shored up their blueline via Seth Jones, but it left a glaring hole at centre. When Brandon Dubinsky and Alexander Wennberg are your top two centremen, yer gonna have a bad time.
They need NHL centremen in general, as well as a top line pivot.
Centremen are at a premium in the National Hockey League, and elite ones even more so. No one will just gift you a 1C without serious value in return (look no further than the Johansen/Jones deal).
Teams need to draft their franchise centreman, and it just so happens there are some pivots in this draft that hold such potential; they’re just ranked a little lower than third overall.
So, Calgary’s sixth overall pick is the starting point. Duh.
While extra picks are nice (I’m talking about Calgary owning 10% of the second round), I don’t think the Jackets are willing to trade an almost surefire top line RW for futures. They’d want something tangible, and it needs to be good on top of that.
Columbus is stupid deep on the wings, which is good because the Flames aren’t and would have nothing to offer in that respect. Their needs lie down the middle, as mentioned, and on the blueline as well.

Down That Middle

The Flames have just recently rebuilt the middle of the ice that was in absolute shambles for years, so what is the appetite to sacrifice some of that? 
Getting back to the tangible talk, the Jackets are likely not terribly interested in Calgary’s scrapheap of centre ice prospects. 
Bill Arnold has yet to sniff the NHL since his one-game stint with Gaudreau at the end of the 2013-14 season. His ceiling is third line centre anyways; that’s not vaulting you up to the top three.
Mark Jankowski? I realize a love affair with him has been ignited since he signed, but Jankowski isn’t likely to amount to anything more than a third line centreman, not to mention the immense risk associated with him. Same thing as with Arnold, he’s not the type of asset that convinces a team to move on from a Jesse Puljujarvi.
I would write about Joe Colborne, but that’s a bit of a waste of time seeing as the only time he ever looked like a serviceable NHLer was on the wing, and Columbus doesn’t need any more bottom six wingers. 
So, you’re left with Mikael Backlund. If I’m Columbus, knowing the Flames don’t part with their other two quality centremen, Backlund is the guy I’m targeting, assuming I intend to bolster my weaknesses with the third overall. 
Backlund is a bonafide middle six centreman and can effectively play against opposing teams’ top lines, not to mention just enjoyed a breakout offensive campaign. With Backlund and Dubinsky taking on the top two lines of any Jackets opponent, it frees up Wennberg for a more offensive role, which he’s significantly better suited for. 
Backlund wouldn’t be a sexy pick up for Columbus, but like he’s done in Calgary, he would be an extremely effective one. 
Then, if the sixth overall is used on a centreman, the Jackets have turned their pivot position into a strength with just one deal. That must be tempting, at the very least.

The Defence 

From a weakness to a strength over the course of the summer, the Flames have stockpiled a nice little collection of prospects on the blueline, and at all levels, too. 
Brandon Hickey and Rasmus Andersson are both premier prospects outside of the pro-ranks, while Oliver Kylington and Brett Kulak headline a strong pro-class of defence prospects in the organization. 
Could the Flames package a Rasmus Andersson and Tyler Wotherspoon to the Jackets along with the sixth overall for the third overall? There are any number of combinations you could concoct using the Flames’ blueline prospects to put together a good looking package for Columbus.

But – emphasis on the but – that then leads to the last, and frankly the most important part of this discussion.

Would It Be Worth It? 

The biggest problem with trading away a Rasmus Andersson, as mentioned just above, is that then you no longer have Rasmus Andersson. 

The guy who pushed for an NHL job as an 18-year-old and looks to be trending towards that 4D spot the Flames need to fill, is gone. Sure, there are other guys who can push for NHL jobs, but prospects are anything but sure things – quality AND quantity when it comes to them – and getting rid of promising ones is never a preferred action.

If you trade Mikael Backlund, then the same thing happens. You no longer have Mikael Backlund and, this being a worse scenario than trading a defenceman, there is no one to succeed him. I just outlined the Flames’ paltry depth of centre ice prospects, and if Backlund goes out the door, the Flames would have to turn to free agency more than likely to add an another centreman. Given the cap situation, it’s unlikely they bring in anyone of Backlund’s value.


So, as attractive and tantalizing it would be to add a player of Jesse Puljujarvi’s calibre, the guy being picked at six is also going to be a damn good prospect, and devastating the depth you’ve worked so hard to build up may not be worth the jump.
I’m honestly not convinced a Calgary Flames team with Jesse Puljujarvi but without Mikael Backlund is that much better than the reciprocal. Maybe by a bit, but not by a lot. 
And if the sixth overall turns into a player, then this team is far better suited to keep Backlund, Andersson, or whoever else might be extorted by Columbus.
I’ve obviously been spitting out blind speculation about who, or what, it may be the Jackets would demand to move down to six, but if they need to be “blown away”, it’ll no doubt be a lot.
Maybe it’s Backlund AND Andersson? Or some combination of quality pieces the Flames have assembled. Would you deal the three second rounders to move up to third overall? Would Columbus even consider that? Remember, the New York Islanders once offered their entire draft to move up TWO spots, from fourth to second, in 2012. 
I don’t say this often, because I love trades and I love Jesse Puljujarvi even more, but if the Flames have to willingly succumb themselves to a fleecing in order to move up three spots in the 2016 NHL Draft, they should simply forget about. Alex Nylander will do. 
  • freethe flames

    Trading up would great; overpaying for the pick is not good asset management. It does not make sense to rob Peter to pay Paul. It is not like we have an NHL 3rd line center ready to replace Backs and if that is the Blue Jackets top need then there might be a bidding war. (You mentioned “I realize a love affair with him(janko)has been ignited since he signed) Really there is a mixed reaction to Janko; a few love him, most think it was a major mistake and a few have a wait and see attitude(this where I have always fit in).

    Draft day could be interesting if he is in play. There may be other options out there as well. The top 3 play in the NHL this year but it is less likely that the rest do, but one never knows.

  • EhPierre

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Our 6th pick, our 2 2nds, and Backs should be enough. If the Jackets still need another push, toss in Kylington and that’s as far as I would go

    I agree that losing Backs will hurt us but if the reports are right in that Tre is looking for a coach that will play a puck possession game, and if one of Arnold or Jank ends up being a decent third line centre, then them and Frolik will minimize the damage while Puj ends up tearing the league with JG and Mony.

    Let’s not forget that Backs’ contract ends in 2 years in which he’s going to be needing a raise from his current $3.575 mill salary. Would he still be playing at a consistent level in 2 years time or will he drop off? Might as well capitlize on him now when his value is as high as it is

    • freethe flames

      If we trade Backs who plays at this position? Here is the list of centers we have signed: Stajan(IMO the game has passed him by),Bouma(we were so impressed with his play last year that some are screaming for him to be bought out), Bennett, and Janko(he is a rookie). Everyone else is a either a UFA (Grant who might be the most ready) or RFA (Jooris another guy who had a down season, Shore, Hamilton and Arnold). I left Monny off because he plays a completely different role and really do we want Bennett in that role?

      If Backs, the 6th and one of the later second round picks is not enough then I think it’s an overpay unless you can find some type of package deal that works for both teams.

    • cberg

      Like the basic premise of the trade, but believe that Backs, our 6th plus Kulak/2nd should get it done. Look we are trading up 3 spots, not like we’re trading straight up for the pick. If we did that, then OK, go crazy.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    I would do that Backlund deal…

    I think you are selling Colborne short.
    His 19 goal campaign is a good accomplishment for the big guy with silky soft hands who scores in the shoot out.

    Yakupov has never scored 19….RNH has only once scored more than 19…..

    I actually like a Colborne trade for Michael McCarron from the habs…


    • freethe flames

      McCarron has 20 NHL games and 2 points; while I see his potential I wonder if the cost might not be too high? I wonder if Poirier(we know how Montreal loves their french speaking players) and something minor might not get it done. Didn’t Culkin play in the Q?

      • The GREAT Walter White

        If Poirier and Culkin gets that deal done; absolutely.

        I think they will want more for McCarron. Don’t let his one goal in 20 games deceive you; he has shown good hands in the past and his size and grit is exactly what the Flames need.


        • freethe flames

          So Poirier and Bouma?
          Does he translate into a top 6 RW or is he a 3rd/4th liner? Would a trade with Ottawa for Chiasson for Bouma be something that might work. I like the idea o moving pieces to address needs. BT has said always draft BPA regardless of need b/c you can always trade for need. I would like to see that happen to address our need at RW.

          • everton fc

            Culkin’s not yet proven at the AHL level. It’d take Poirier, perhaps Kulak, for McCarron. Maybe. But I don’t see the Habs moving him, though I could see the Habs interested in a guy like Bouma.

            What about Bouma and Jooris for McCarron and a prospect? I still don’t see where Chiasson fits here, as Frolik’s a better RW. To me, Chiasson’s a 3rd line RW, best case scenario. But I’d take him on RW over Bouma on LW. And we have Prybil… Frolik… Is Prybil our 1st line RW? Then I see Chiasson perhaps w/Backlund, if Frolik plays w/Bennett (I’d rather run w/Shinkaruk than trade for Chiasson, but Chiasson is an interesting idea, I agree)

            Backlund is a 2nd line centre on many teams… Monahan or Bennett would get you the Jackets 3rd. If we want to move into a spot where we regularly make the playoffs and become a dynasty, Backlund is a guy I say “keep”. If he were with the Wings or Devils in their glory days, he’d never have been moved. We can rebuild wisely, without moving Backlund. And a look at the Jackets roster, I see a need at RW, just like us…

          • Kevin R

            You know, everyone wants to keep their good players until they are no longer any good. But we live in a cap world. Backlund has an incredibly great valued contract but for only 2 more years. So make the assumption that Gaudreau is 7.0mill, Monahan 6.5mill, Gio 6.75mill, D ham. 5.75mill, Bennett signs @ 6.0mill, Brodie 4.6mill, Frolik 4.3mill will all be on the books in 2 years when Backs wants to be paid like a top 2 centre. I add this up to about $41mill on 7 players & we haven’t even added a #1 goalie yet.

            Pitt couldn’t keep Jordon Staal when they had Malkin & Crosby running their top 2 lines. Staal was that elite 3rd line centre playing in the shadows of Crosby & Malkin. Could that be similar to Backlund behind Bennett & Monahan. Eventually, Backs will want to get paid & Im guessing his next contract will be it. We should learn from history that you can’t have that imbalance in your cap structure. Sounds cold & trading Backs would hurt huge, but to get a 18 year old top line RW when you have centres like Bennett & Monahan takes priority than the fantasy of keeping Backlund past the next 2 years as your 3rd line centre.

          • Primo

            haha agree on your comment about Mccarran…the influence of Walter to control a blog..amazing.

            I don’t believe ‘no trade’ causes are worth the paper they are written on. A GM simply needs to tell the player he is no longer in the plans and if he refuses to waive the clause then he will press box games, ride the pine and perhaps periodically paly on the 4th line in the AHL…Me thinks he will waive….

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Maybe you think Backlund and Andersson can get it done but no way Columbus would even slightly entertain that deal.
    It’s nice to dream but do you really think another team couldn’t offer up something better than that?
    It would take a young player like Bennet maybe even in a multi player swap, but if Calgary doesn’t offer up quality in return you’re not going to get the 6’4″ 210 pound winger who may be a franchise defining first line winger who can use his size to cycle a puck and his top notch skating to beat guys ,to go along with a great shot.
    In the western conference his size to fight off guys and control the puck is pretty attractive.
    So as much as you really like your players if you don’t give up top shelf players you are not getting Pulijarvi in a trade.

    • FireScorpion

      “…if you don’t give up top shelf players you are not getting Jesse in a trade.”

      Really? Wow that is quite insightful coming from an Oilers fan who’s team has resisted trading anyone of any value whatsoever for YEARS. They missed out on Jones because they didn’t want to part with anything. The Oiler fanbase is King of the we want this and that and that for a bag of milkbones.

      Don’t think you are teaching us something TrainingBar

    • cberg

      Well Backlund is a 2C, great defensively that counters other team’s top lines and has offence, while Andersson is a high-scoring Top2 D prospect. Ummm, I would have to disagree with your poor assessment. From an Oilers equivalent basis you’d likely be talking RNH and Nurse. Whether CBJ would be interested? Hard to say.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        Why do you and the other know it all WW always have to bring up the Oilers. I think you must be closet Oiler fans.
        My poor assessment you speak of is a direct quote from Central Hockey Scouting . You must know more than they do.

        • cberg

          Yeah I did like watching the Oilers. Something satisfying watching a hockey horror show, plus get hints on the things you never, ever want to do if you want to have hope of rising above the basement of the league in the next decade.

  • everton fc

    I’d might take McCarron for Colborne, but the Habs need his physicality. Badly.

    But I’d not move up to get the Finn, by moving Backlund. He’s part of the core, in my opinion. Simply to much being offered here, for the Columbus’ pick. But BT may have other ideas, as the #6 isn’t going to lift the Cup in Calgary.

    And I agree with some here – Colborne’s season wasn’t a complete fluke. Bouma’s was, two years ago. Bouma never showed offensive skills. Colborne was known to have them buried somewhere in his game. And Bouma benefited from ice time with Backlund.

    Poirier to Montreal w/a defender or a pick for McCarron? Might be worth a phone call. But I can’t imagine the Habs moving him. The Habs could use some goaltending, though. Something to consider, if a team wants a guy like McCarron. And I think McCarron may be a better NHL player than Nichushkin, meaning I’d take the former, versus the latter, if a deal could be done.

  • Kevin R

    I think Backlund would absolutely interest the Jackets. I think we have to absolutely entertain Backlund, the #6 & 1 more piece(maybe the #35) to get that RW. At #6, Nylander won’t be stepping in anytime soon to get us where everyone wants to be next year or even the year after. Personally I would take Juolevi over Nylander. If you want to take the next step, you don’t hang on to a projected 3rd line centre like he’s what you are building your team around. We are building our team around Monahan & Bennett. If no one thinks Monahan & Bennett aren’t our top 2 centres going forward, then trade Bennett for the pick straight up & build around Monahan & Backlund as your top 2 centres. Backs plays a very intelligent solidly defensive game & chips in at different times of the season with some needed offence. But Bennett & Monahan are my top two centre dogs for the future. I would rather search for a decent #3 Centreman & hopefully Janko or Arnold or even Jooris steps up to the challenge than trying to find a top line RW.

    As Mr Train97 likes to put it, the offer has to be solid but if Backlund, the #6 & the #35 can’t get this deal done, I pass & pick the #6. But our top 2 lines will be in the same state of affairs as last year. Nothing changes.

  • StarkRaving

    If I’m CBJ, I’m only trading my 3rd OA for a young centre with first line upside and an affordable contract. The only player we have like that is Sam Bennett, and I’m not prepared to trade him.

    Vancouver might have a better chance at trading up. I think Jared McCann is expendable.

    I’m sure EDM would be eager to move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but that’s pretty steep to move up one spot.

    • Kevin R

      Oilers arent in as dire straights to draft the Finn, they have relatively young wingers of Hall & Eberle & Yakapov. They need that #1 D & trading up to #3 wouldn’t even be on their radar unless they want to blow everything up all over again. I seriously doubt that. Backlund is exactly what they need, a top 2 centre & they would get the #6 to draft another high end centre prospect. Backlund is still young, he has 2 more years at a very very Cap friendly salary & he is still an RFA at the end of 2 years, so some control.

  • KiLLKiND

    If I’m Treliving I find a way to get this deal done. We don’t have to hope we get lucky and the guy he wants falls to him. We go out and select a top line RW and hope even harder that Winnipeg takes Puljujarvi and we get Laine. The highest price I’m willing to pay.

    6th, Backlund, 35th, 53rd, 95th and 2017 3rd and 2017 4th.

    That would leave us with Dallas’s 2nd pick 1 3rd, 1 4th and lose 2 picks next year.

      • Baalzamon

        Especially considering that Puljujarvi barely managed to crest half the production Sasha Barkov posted at the same age in the same league.

        Would you do that trade for Barkov? I wouldn’t.

    • Kevin R

      Too much. I know WW might not agree but Backlund is a bigger piece than you think. How many cap friendly 27 year old 2nd line centres are available that are defensively sound available. Add in a very very good prospect at #6 & personally having to add the #35 to me is the overpayment but acceptable.

  • beloch

    Vollman’s NHLE conversion factor for the SM-Liiga is just 0.29, which some have found suspicious. It gives Puljujarvi a NHLE of just 14.7 (including playoffs), which is damned terrible for a forward expected to go in the top three! For comparison, Nylander’s NHLE is 37.1. However, even if you double that factor, Puljujarvi’s stats still don’t seem to explain his position in the draft rankings. His size might, but haven’t the Flames learned not to draft for size by now? Puljujarvi had a good time at the WJC, but small sample sizes can be deceptive.

    Were the Flames picking at #3, I’m not convinced they should take Jesse Puljujarvi. I know he’s ranked at #3 by most, but the stats just don’t seem to support it. For a pick that high you really should insist on a player who has proven he can score, not just some big kid who looks like he might one day be able to score.

    Obviously, I’m not in favor of giving up significant assets to acquire a player who I think may turn out to be a disappointing top three pick.

    • Baalzamon

      the NHLe for SM-Liiga is definitely suspicious. Vollman gave the Finnish Junior league .32 or something. How could the top league in the country be worse than its own junior league?

      And the Allsvenskan having a higher translation factor than the SHL? Vollman’s numbers got wonky all of a sudden.

      • beloch

        As I said though, even if you double the liiga’s conversion factor (which is probably overgenerous), Puljujarvi’s numbers still don’t look like they belong in the top 3. As far as I can tell, this kid had one good tournament and people are ready to draft him in the top three because of it. That’s just not smart.

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    Last night Tkachuk got 1 assist against Red Deer but he had a whopping 10 shots on net.
    I did not attend this game in my wonderful city of Red Deer but a friend of mine did and he said that Tkachuk’s linemates ,Marner and Dvorak definitely drove the play.

    • Baalzamon

      Lots of folks around here said the same thing. Don’t know why they’re all acting so surprised. Pretty obvious that Marner’s the straw that stirs the drink in London.

      • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

        I’m looking forward to watching them play live vs Brandon on Monday night .
        Marner had 5 points last night while Dvorak had 4. The best line in junior hockey right now.

  • EhPierre

    I love how I get trashed the most for bringing Backs up as a trade option and then later in the comment section people are offering Backs as a trade option again but with props this time

  • EhPierre

    Now I know it’s TSN but during the Draft Lottery, they were going through Matthews, Laine and Jesse and they said that Matthews is a generational talent, Laine can be the next Ovi in the sense that Laine has a wicked shot (which is absolutely true) and Jesse plays like Blake Wheeler.

    I know it’s TSN and it should be taken with a grain of salt BUT I don’t really want a Finnish version of Wheeler on our team if it means giving up a solid centre in Backs plus our extra picks/players. I much rather pick Nylander who is one of the most talented players in the draft this year; the only knock on him is his two way play and his strength

    • T&A4Flames

      “BUT I don’t really want a Finnish version of Wheeler on our team”

      What’s your issue with Wheeler? 6’5″ 225lbs 26 goals and 78 points last year and 60-80 points the last 3 years. Yea, nobody wants that.?

      • piscera.infada

        While I agree with you regarding Wheeler, I think that comment speaks more to the fact that Wheeler was a project–and honestly, that’s what Puljujarvi screams to me. I know people love to throw out that he’s “NHL ready”, but many of his comparables in terms of production don’t flesh that out as fact. Following the Wheeler comparable, it took him years, and a change of organizations to finally start showing his potential. Wheelers been great for the last three years, but there were a lot of lean development years there as well.

        There’s a ton to like about Puljujarvi, but he’s hardly the “sure-bet” I think is required in order to give up a great utility middle-six centre, two high picks, and a prospect of Anderssen/Kylington’s ilk. That’s a lot to pay to move up three spots and get a prospect that while it appears he should be better than Nylander, Tkachuk, or Dubois, hasn’t proven he is by any metric. It’s too expensive for my taste.

        • Kevin R

          Surprising so many are not willing to look too far ahead either. Pulji may not be guaranteed, but a buddy of mine went to the WJC & emphatically came to the conclusion that both these Finn kids were absolutely the real deals. The first “ledge” of players that most analysts & scouts have confirmed before there is a drop in quality of prospect is the top 3, Pulji included. That’s good enough for me. What are the odds that Flames will be able to pay Backlund his 5.0 to 5.5 mill in 2 years time at age 29 as a 3rd line centre? I don’t want to make the same mistake as we did with hurler & Wideman after their monster year the year before. They both had trade value last summer, Backlund just came off a career year. The best time to parlay his top value is now. A projected 3rd line centre of the future of our team for a projected top line right winger, I do that all day long.
          In two years, we will probably be discussing what trade value Backlund will have & how we lost a lot of our leverage in the trade return because he’ll be 29 & wanting a long term big payout deal. Pick your poison.

          • piscera.infada

            The thing is, Backlund and six alone isn’t doing it. Now while agree with your premise that Backlund may well be too expensive in two years time, you have to look at the deal thusly: a potential top line winger (Puljujarvi) for a potential top line winger (Tkachuk, Dubois, Nylander), Backlund, whatever a second round pick turns into (probably #35), and a potential top-4 cost-controlled defenseman (in Anderssen or Kylington–CLB probably picks who the “best” one is). That is likely what “blowing the Blue Jackets away” looks like.

      • EhPierre

        I don’t have an issue with Wheeler and my bad if my post came out in a way that implied I didn’t think Wheeler wasn’t good, because he is. My issue is, is Wheeler (Puju) worth a 6th, Backs, our (couple) seconds and possibly Anderson/Kylington? I don’t think so.

        Matthews and Laine is definitely worth it but Puju? I would be more content having two solid 1A/B lines with JG and Mony along with Bennet and Nylander and one of the league’s best third lines with Backs and Frolik.

        If we do go for Puju then we’d get an elite 1A but no good second or third line albeit if someone from the farm doesn’t show up.

        It’s important to think ahead rather than just next season alone.

  • GodsGotSandals

    I don’t think its worth it. If we get nylander probly he doesn’t play next year but who cares we aren’t going to the cup next year anyways. Ditto trading for a goalie.

  • T&A4Flames

    People on here seem to be missing a key to a trade that was brought up in Christian’s blog; the Jackets need cap space. Everybody thinks our cap space will be in dire straights after signing Mony and Johnny but it won’t. The jackets are over $65mil going into next season and need to sign some players, including Seth Jones.

    I’d say we could take a bad contract, add Backs and #6 and perhaps a late 2nd. I hate considering Backs for trades but this one I would consider. Also, I didn’t believe he’d fit in to the criteria CLB would need as a top C but Christian gave a good look at the possibility. Wennberg is pretty skilled. I think there’s a deal to be done here. You need to take risks and unlike Beloch, I believe in Pulju.

  • knappsacked

    In keeping our pick, and drafting the best winger available, i like how our lineup is setup in pairs.

    Xxxx-bennet-2016 first round pick

    Thatstwo lines who can score. And one shutdown line that chips in offensivly. The gaps can be filled in with:prybil, ferland, shinkaruk, mangiapane.

    assuming we get nylander, this is my projected lines

    Johnny,mony, prybil
    Mangiapane/ferland, backs, frolik
    Mangiapane/ferland,stajan, jooris/hathaway

    • T&A4Flames

      I hope that line up is something for a couple of years from now. Nylander should not be a consideration for next year. In which case, we should not include Stajan then.

    • freethe flames

      Of the second tier forwards the one closest is likely Doubious, Nylander is probably two years way.


      I like Mangiapane but I suspect he will need at least have a season and probably the same for Prybil.

      There are a lot of ? marks on this team; watching the playoff suggest there is a real need to have 4 lines. We currently have 2/3 of a high end line, 1/3 of a solid second line, a solid 3rd line and a whole lot of issues on a fourth line.

      BT needs to find a way to add some depth. Move some people fill some needs. He has said that some of the minor changes will make a difference. I think there are trades out there to be made that can help.

  • freethe flames

    Has Laine play at the worlds closed the gap on Matthews? If I’m a Jet’s fan I am excited about what the next few years can look like. They have a lot of young talent and Laine makes them even scarier; plus they also have another first rounder at 20.

  • freethe flames

    While I would love to have Puljujarvi; is it essential for this team for this team to move forward next year?

    Do Johnny and Monny need another star on their line or just a true complimentary RW? Last year the Flames tried to make a square peg fit a round hole. (Ferland a LW) How would a Chris Stewart(unrestricted low cost) or a Kevin Hayes (restricted, moderate cost to acquire moderate cost to sign) look?

    Bringing in an upgrade to the 4th line or an alternative to the third line could push Frolik up to play with Bennett. Say a Chaisson, Connolly or a Tom Wilson. Chaisson would be relatively cheap to acquire and sign.

    In order to make any real changes BT has to move some contracts and be allowed to buy some guys out. Hopefully Smid retires; that would help significantly but if he is considered healthy enough to play then he can be bought out($2.6 in savings) and replaced from within or by acquiring a guy like Wiercioch for next to nothing. Buy out Raymond($2.1 in savings) and replace him with a lower cost possession player who can be a complimentary piece. Trade or buyout Wideman($4m) and replace from within or a low cost UFA. The same goes for Stajan($2.1m in savings this year). Trade Bouma for some RW grit. Bollig to teh aHL.

    They all can be replaced from within or through UFA’s that will likely cost less than the savings. UFA’s who could make us better are available and here is a short list: Lewis, Riley Nash, Ryan White, McGinn, and Matt Martin; none of them are the sexy home run but all them would allow us to play 4 solid lines. There are also some RFA that might not be too expensive to acquire and sign.