Photo Credit: Andy Camp/Adirondack Thunder

Kings sign Stepan Falkovsky

Free agent frenzy has claimed another victim, and oddly enough it is Stepan Falkovsky. The 6’7″ Belorussian defenceman has joined the LA Kings on a three-year ELC after spending the previous year with the Flames’ ECHL affiliate.

Falkovsky, the Flames’ 2017 seventh round pick, played the entire year with the ECHL Adirondack Thunder after playing for the Ottawa 67s the year before. In Adirondack, he put up an unprecedented 21 goals in 54 games, good for third on the Thunder and first among defenders in the ECHL.

Falkovsky was unsigned by the Flames, only on contract with the Stockton Heat. As he is 20 years old, he’s eligible for free agency. The Flames needed to offer (not sign) him an ELC by June 1 to retain his rights for another year, and apparently did not (Pike speculates that they only offered him another AHL contract).

Read more: Prospect wrap-up: Stepan Falkovsky

Without knowing the Flames’ mindset, I would imagine that they were not convinced that Falkovsky was going to repeat his 20 goal success, which seems to be a fair evaluation. Until he went on a hot streak in a goal-friendly league, he wasn’t much to call home about.

And given the Flames’ impressive AHL depth and the long route to the NHL for Falkovsky, it is very likely that he did not like his future chances in the organization. He was likely to be a third pairing guy in Stockton next year, so he moved on. It’s not much of a consequential move.

    • Juan Valdez

      I’m thinking it’s more of a case where the player refused to sign believing he would have a better chance of playing in the NHL by signing elsewhere.

      • Juan Valdez

        Never mind. It looks like an ELC was not extended by the Flames. It’s a very strange decision taking into consideration the fact that Falkovsky just had a monster season in the ECHL. The ECHL may be a goal friendly hockey league, but it would have been nice to at least see what kind of numbers he would have put up in the AHL before allowing him to walk away for nothing.

  • McRib

    Weird move again overlooking a player with upside, like Ryan Murphy why not at least see what he could do in our system (the ECHL is not a league to properly asses a player) before completely giving up.

      • McRib

        “Murphy is not an NHL defender and he’s had 3 years to prove it..”

        According to what, non traditional uneducated bitter Carolina fans?!?! Because by most analytical possession figures Murphys play took a HUGE jump up last season and in a sheltered role he was a positive NHL possession defender with a great assist rate. Murphys is also just entering his prime, which would speak to this improving trend. Why did Minnesota sign him almost immediately if he has no worth?!?!

        Time will tell, but you will never find a diamond in the rough if you’re unwilling to take a chance on young players with upside. It’s called buying low, however all we have done this off season is buy high, bringing in older players who are coming off bad years (Stone, Hamonic) or goaltenders who were playing on bad teams with the hope they have more worth (Lack, Smith).

        Lastly shot in the dark? I have been following Murphy for years, I know NHL Scouts who were shocked he fell out of the Top. 10 his draft year. Someone who once showed that kind of upside, who last year was trending in a positive Top. 4 direction as he is just starting to enter prime isn’t a “shot in the dark”.

  • T&A4Flames

    This angers me. This could end up burning us in the end. At 19 to put up all those points even if it’s just the ECHL, that’s promising. He looked good at the Penticton tourney last year too. 😡

    • McRib

      We were too busy signing another overrated college Free Agent in Josh Healy, to remember to re-sign someone we drafted just LAST SUMMER with five times the upside of a 22 year old NCAA defender!!!

      Treliving was taken aback when asked about Falkovsky, if I was a betting man I was say they fumbled this one.

  • MarbledBlueCheese

    So, what would this guy have had to do to make a case for himself as a possible long-shot success? Goal-a-game in the league the team put him in?
    This is head-scratching. Again the team devalues its own asset property and pays through the nose for outside help.

  • Kevin R

    OMG Based on this thread the sky is falling. Falkovsky was a sure fire Norris contender.
    Lets get the pitch forks & torches & burn the Saddle Dome down! Maybe that was why they did it, bait an angry mob to burn the Saddle Dome down & they’ll get a new building a lot quicker. That Ken King is freaking diabolical!

    • Cheeky

      I dont think its about the sky is falling but more of the notion that without many picks we need to rely on depth prospects. Now we have 1 less that actually looked somewhat promising…

    • MarbledBlueCheese

      No, you’re right, it’s totally good that the team which has lost handfuls of draft picks this week is letting promising prospects walk away for practically no reason.

      • Kevin R

        Perspective, he was an ECHL prospect & former “7th” round pick. How D prospects are ahead of him? I count Kulak, Tspoon, Vitimaki, Fox, Kylington, Andersson, maybe Healy. Yeah Ok, we missed the boat of possibly having a guy that would be 7 or 8th on our defensive prospect list. Maybe the team felt they had enough D prospects they have committed contracts to & passed on a longshot kid over what they feel for others that have a better shot seeing the NHL ice? But here I see head hunting , horrible asset management, whatever. If people want to lose sleep over this one, I suggest drinking heavily before going to bed at night. LA have zip in their cupboards, at least the kid is going to get a better shot with them.

  • Coffee

    I was at a market and grabbed a water bottle. My buddy and I went to the cashier and the clerk said it was $13 for the bottle! I freaked! My buddy said I should get it anyways, maybe trade for a juice or pop later.

    • Lucky 13

      I wouldn’t trade the water (albeit overpriced) for the pop. You just end up dehydrated again.

      Perhaps after drinking said water return the empty bottle to the market you purchased it at for a full refund. Based on cost, you should demand at least $3.50 in return..

      In all cases don’t discard the bottle, that’s poor asset management!

      See the parallel… always get something back if at all possible.

  • Mullen Mania

    Disappointing…. I was excited to see this kid in the AHL this year, with high hopes. Sure, this likely is not going to be a significant loss and likely the majority of defence prospects ahead of him won’t make the show either, but why draft him? He could not have had a much better year given the overfill of defencemen in Stockton, may have been better to take a long shot rightwinger. I guess the decisions are separate and made at different times with different info available. Happy to give an AHL contract, but Flames Don’t judge him worthy of an NHL contract. Could be right move. However, with no assets in return and this kids potential going to a heated rival it does sting for this fan. An over reaction? Most likely, but still disappointing; certainly nothing to cheer about.

  • JusAFlamer

    Just seems odd that they “just” drafted him, and no ELC
    yes a lot of the late round picks are basically shots in dark but surely they couldve picked someone, anyone they figured they might give an ELC to (or someone that didnt need one)

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    I’m not sure why I hurt over this loss but I hope he fades away into the night and doesn’t come back to haunt us. For some reason I feel like we made a few mistakes with prospects over the years we are going to look back on