As Calgary slowly inches back towards the .500 mark, the team and its players are being frequently mentioned in trade rumours around the league. Which is not unnatural – when a club underperforms expectations this severely to start a season, a couple of things become more likely:
1.) A coach gets fired.
2.) A significant trade is made.
Option one isn’t really available to Treilving given he just hired this entire bench crew.
And as we’ve mentioned a few times around here, the Flames need to be careful when it comes to investigating the trade market right now. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.
The club’s recent modest upswing might deter any rash decisions on the part of the front office. Despite their considerable struggles, Calgary is just a couple of points out of the wild card spot in the West (at the time of writing). If they can continue to string together a few good stretches to end the calendar year, they will at least look competitive heading into 2017.
In the mailbag today we look at the Flames’ progression, the impending expansion draft, and Mark Jankowski’s potential role with the big club.
— Floor pouf owner (@bradu40) November 25, 2016
Not that I recall, but then a team firing assistant coaches isn’t memorable enough stick in the memory. As far as I can tell, assistant coaches are typically hired and fired in unison with broader moves, like changing over the bench boss or clearing out members of a former regime.
As mentioned in the introduction, it’s unlikely Treliving will fire any of his handpicked crew as early as mid-season. Everyone is likely to get at least a season to prove they can get things turned around.
— Ryan Gee (@redricardo) November 25, 2016
We took a look at the Flames’ rolling averages last week, so it’s not likely much has changed. The good news is the Flames are a solidly mediocre possession club so far this year, which is an improvement over last year. The bad news is their expected goals and scoring chance ratios badly lag their possession rate – they are bottom five by both of these measures according to Corsica Hockey.
Over time, possession and scoring chances tend to reconcile: either persistently good possession drags up a bad scoring chance rate or the corsi rate proves to be false and crashes back down to the lousy chance numbers. Usually in cases like this the bigger number is the more accurate (corsi), so if the Flames can continue to have at least middling outshooting, there’s a chance they’ll improve the chance ratios as well.
— Cory Exner (@ChapDadX) November 25, 2016
I don’t think anything major has changed since the summer. Micheal Ferland has likely cemented himself in the “protect” side and they might worry a bit more about what to do with Brett Kulak, but that’s about it. I’ve heard some suggestions the Flames should expose Mark Giordano because his contract is starting to look risky, but that’s bonkers. Giordano is an asset you try to trade if you don’t want to gamble on his deal, not give away for free.
The same goes for Sean Monahan if you’re having second thoughts about his second contract.
— Scott MacMahon (@Scott_MacMahon) November 25, 2016
I imagine they’ll ease Jankowski into action rather than dropping him in the deep end. I can see him bumping one of Hamilton or Stajan to the wing in his debut and playing with the likes of Hathaway, Shinkaruk and/or Chiasson, in part because Janko is untested at this level and in part because there’s no reason to rush him into the top six.
He’d have to displace one of Backlund or Monahan to do be a top six centre, which isn’t going to happen even with Monahan struggling. And I don’t think they shunt Jankowski to wing – they’ll definitely want to see if he can work down the middle.