168
Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: What holes in the roster need to be fixed?

With the way the Flames have played this season – to say nothing of how they ultimately bowed out of the postseason dance – there’s little to look forward to but next year. So, while the corpse is still fresh, we ask: what changes need to be made to this roster so that this time a year from now we’re all excited and not disgusted?

Here is a rough composite of what the Flames looked like throughout the 2017-18 season:

Johnny Gaudreau Sean Monahan Micheal Ferland
Matthew Tkachuk Mikael Backlund Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett Mark Jankowski Garnet Hathaway
Troy Brouwer Matt Stajan Curtis Lazar
Mark Giordano Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak Michael Stone
Mike Smith
David Rittich

Players that are decidedly not problems are: Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk, Backlund, Giordano, and Hamilton. That’s two-thirds of a first line, another elite winger, a shutdown centre, and a top defence pairing.

That also leaves two full lines, the entire right forward side of the ice, two defence pairings, and two goaltenders that need help. Yikes.

Hope

Frolik typically has better years than this, and is in the midst of posting his worst shooting percentage since he was buried in defensive zone starts in Chicago five seasons ago. It’s reasonable to think he’ll have a better season next year.

Hamonic had to adjust to a new team, but has looked increasingly steady as of late. Perhaps, after his first full season in the Western Conference, he’ll look even steadier over the course of the 2018-19 season.

Jankowski has held his own rather well as a rookie, though of course more scoring would be nice, especially considering the offensive zone starts he gets. But also: rookie. Plenty of potential to have a better season next year, now that he’s experienced the rigours of the big league for almost a full season.

Kulak is in the same boat as Jankowski: plenty of potential, even if, in his position, he isn’t expected to score as much. At worst, the Flames do have a bottom pairing defenceman who isn’t a liability out there.

Concern

Ferland is a pretty good player, but is he cut out to be consistent first line material? If he isn’t frequently putting his effective shot to use, then no, probably not. That doesn’t mean he has to be jettisoned, but it does suggest that if the Flames can put him in a position where they’re less dependent on him having constant success, they may be better off.

Bennett was chosen fourth overall for a reason, and we’ve seen that reason in flashes over the course of his first three seasons. But that’s all they’ve been: flashes. When he’s gotten the chance to perform in the playoffs, he’s been outstanding, but he’s got to help his team make it there first. Is the player who made himself a top draft selection still in there?

Brodie has gone from being a perfect partner for Giordano to flailing whenever he’s paired with anyone else. He’s still an excellent skater, but short circuiting has led to far too many questionable decisions this season, a number of which have resulted in goals against. Is there any hope he regains his prior form, or is it time to cut bait?

Smith has been outstanding for half the season (27 games with a save percentage of .920 or above), and atrocious for almost the whole other half (22 games with a save percentage of .910 or below). Smith helped win 17 of those first 27 games (and ensured at least a point in 23 of them); in the worse half, the Flames were only able to win eight out of 27 times. Can Smith be more Jeykll than Hyde next season?

Rittich is along the same lines as Jankowski and Kulak: a rookie who hopefully has more to offer, though when it comes to goaltending, there’s no safety net. Either he sinks or swims. Jon Gillies is in a similar boat.

Abort

Hathaway should not be playing on the third line. He’s probably alright as a 13th forward occasionally filling in on the fourth line, but nothing more than that.

I’m loathe to say “abort” to the fourth line, because they haven’t been the worst part of the Flames as of late, but they don’t quite fit into the other categories. Brouwer and Stajan clearly can’t play at the levels their salaries dictate, but that won’t be a concern for Stajan much longer; meanwhile, though Brouwer is one of the weaker Flames overall, in reduced circumstances he isn’t all bad.

Lazar is a mystery: while he’ll probably never turn out as good as the Flames must have hoped when they traded for him, as a depth player, there are certainly worse options to have.

Stone simply isn’t adding much to the Flames, and when you take his cap hit and the number of defensive prospects the team has waiting behind him into account, he isn’t providing much value.

What’s most pressing?

The Flames need more scoring power up front. They can improve on Ferland; if that involves Tkachuk playing on the top line, then they’ll need to find someone else capable of playing in a shutdown role. The Flames also need both Bennett and Jankowski to take a step forward; if they don’t, then they’ll be left with an underwhelming bottom six, again.

Brodie has to figure out what’s going on; if that isn’t possible, then the Flames will still be looking to fix their top four – though this time, they may have internal options at the ready.

Goaltending is a total mystery. Do you put your faith back into Smith, Rittich, and Gillies? Can they improve on this season? Because if they stagnate, and the Flames can’t fix their scoring woes, the team may be in trouble next season, as well.

What would you do?

How do you fix the scoring problems up front? Try to sign John Tavares? Trade for Mike Hoffman or Brendan Gallagher after all? Ship out Bennett in hopes of someone better? Hope and pray a prospect will be ready in six months?

What about forward depth? Is what they have adequate? Will Nick Shore make for a suitable regular centre? Would it make sense to re-sign Kris Versteeg?

Can you clear up the defence at all? Is it time to trade Brodie? Or could Brodie perhaps find a new home on the bottom pairing, and make way for, say, Juuso Valimaki alongside Hamonic?

Do you go after Antti Raanta on the free agent market? Do you try to trade for someone else? Or do you maintain faith in the goalies the Flames currently have in their system?

What would you do? How would you plug the holes in this roster?


WWYDW Brought to you by Arctic Spas

Arctic Spas is a proud partner of the Nation Network. Looking for a way to stay warm during hockey season? Check out a local dealer near you.


  • Bigphatn-ts

    This team just needs to add one more player like jvr to play with Jankowski and Bennett or have him play with Monahan and Gaudreau and trade brodie for oliver ekman larsson pkay him with hamilton and move gio with hammer . Trade stone for 2 draft picks or a backup goalie. Easy fixes lol Also management has to be willing to take chances trading some of our younger talent, holding onto prospects till there worth nothing is retarded Tyler witherspoon and lots of other could’ve been used in trades YEARS AGO! why the hell do you keep someone that had a lot of trade value, wait for it to dry up then just let these guys go via free agency is not smart at all.

  • The Fall

    every forward, except Johnny and Matt are playing one line above where they should.

    Tkachuck – ‘first line centre’ – ‘rookie with upside’
    Johnny – Sean – Ferland
    Sam (trade) – Backs – Frolik
    Brouwer – Jank – Hath/Lazar

  • canadian1967

    I like this:

    Tkachuk Patrick Konecny
    Bennett Monahan Foo
    Janko Backlund Ferland
    Klimchuk Shore Lazar

    Mangiapane/Brouwer

    Giordano Hamilton
    Kulak Andersson
    Valimaki Hamonic
    Stone

    Smith/Bernier or Raanta

    Trade
    To Philladelphia Gaudreau, Brodie & Fox
    To Calgary Patrick, Konecny and Jori Lehtera (to make the $ work) and a 2018 or 2019 First (protected)

    Trade
    Frolik somewhere for something (a 2018 2nd?)

  • Jimmyhaggis

    First, try to find a legitimate goaltender, probably by trade. Second, don’t bring back Hathaway, Versteeg, Lazar and all the other usual suspects.
    Brodie is going to be an ideal up tempo d man, under a new coaching staff. Stone won’t be able keep up, so he has to go as well.
    Hopefully Foo and Dube can make the team, they seem to pocess speed and skill.
    The point being, to succeed now, you have to have speedy uptempo players, ie Jets, Leafs, Lightning.
    Easy fix!

  • Big jim

    The problem is most of you see through rose colored glasses Val i’s no different then Kyl no defense only offense will not work at the NHL level kyl has a hard time now with the second line AHL players Will never be able to play in the NHL just watch the place he makes when I send out highlights from Stockton

  • Sterls

    If Tavares is available, Calgary should go hard after him. If it is a sign and trade, send anyone outside of Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk, Hamilton, Gio or Valimakki. Brodie, Backlund, Fox and a first is a lot, but worth it. Slot Tavares with Tkachuk, and have Jonny and Monny as second line guys. If we sign him straight out of free agency, we need to shed salary to afford him, trade Backlund/Brodie/Stone for a Right shot Right winger and picks/prospects. Calgary should finally have two potent scoring lines. Buy out Brouwer I would role with:

    Tkachuk-Tavares-Bennett
    Johnny- Mony- Ferland (or RW acquired)
    Ferland/Frolik- Janko- Frolik or RW acquired
    Dube-Shore-Lazar

    Gio-Hamilton
    Kulak-Hamonic
    Wotherspoon- Andersson

  • Korcan

    I would like Calgary to target Mike Hoffman in the offseason. He is a consistent goalscorer (on a defense-first team) who would also improve our team speed. I also like Brown and Kapanen from Toronto. I think Calgary’s best trading chips are Brodie, Ferland, Frolik, and even though I hate to consider it — Bennett.

    My lines for next season would then be as follows:
    1st
    Gaudreau – Monahan – Hoffman
    2a
    Bennett – Jankowski – Tkachuk
    2b
    Dube – Backlund – Brown
    4th
    Lazar/Mangiapane – Shore – Frolik
    13th
    Lazar/Hathaway
    Gone
    Ferland, Brauwer, Stajan, Versteeg

    My defense pairings:
    1-2
    Giordano – Hamilton
    3-4
    Kulak/Stone – Hamonic
    5-6
    Kulak/Stone – Andersson
    7
    Wotherspoon
    Gone
    Brodie, Bartkowski

    Goal:
    I would like Antti Raanta/Smith
    Gone
    Rittich or Gillies (hopefully the latter)

  • Raffydog

    So you’re saying if Tkachuk isn’t playing on the first line he has to be used in a shut down role. Why? He is one of our most talented players who can actually put up points and you want to groom him to be a defensive specialist. What can’t he play on a second line with Jankowski and Bennett? The few times they played together they looked amazing, even scored a couple times if I remember right. I don’t understand this infatuation with the 3m line, it’s getting ridiculous.

    • JoelOttosJock

      I semi agree with you Raffy. The 3M line would have been great to keep together if the Flames had 2 legitimate scoring lines ahead of it, not with GG or this roster. Ferland is not a top 6 player. The sooner this is put into action, the better. But why couldn’t he play wing on 3M-2.0? He would add some toughness to Frolik and Backlund. This would allow Ferland to be better ised to fit his role of toughness, and the ability to chip in with sevondary scoring. I am true believer that Bennett is the beat option for center on thia team. But, depending on who the coach is, and how chemistry is in camp, that leaves Bennett, Gaudreau, Monahan, Janko, and Tkchuck for the top two lines. Leaving the Flames eith one opening there, fill either trade, free agent, or maybe from within? Now that brings us to the 4th line. I eould have Lazar anchor the line and have Hathaway etc rotate in.

      I would like to see Frolik, Stone and Brodie moved to open spots for kids from within. Brouwer bought out.

      Gaudreau Bennett Monahan
      Tkchuck Janko Freeagent/trade
      Ferland Backlund Prospect
      Prospect Lazar Hathaway

      Gio Hamilton
      Kulak Hamonic
      Andersson Valimakki

    • Chucky

      I think that there is a real danger in regarding it as first second and third line.
      Top offensive line is Gaudrea, Monahan and somebody for now Ferland.
      Second scoring line should be Tkachuk, Jankowski and Bennett.
      Top shutdown line should be Lazar, Backlund and Frolik.
      Energy line does not matter much but it looks like Shore has earned a look, however the qualification should be fast and eager not ponderous and wise.
      Give this a twenty game trail and adjust as required.

  • For Flames Sake

    Has there ever been any consideration to moving Brodie to the wing? I understand this isn’t Pee Wee but his speed and hands could be an asset if protected with a physical linemate like Ferland. Ras takes his spot beside Hamonic and we have an internal fix.

  • Discosis

    Tweaks from my end:

    – I think you can make a deal with Montreal with TJ Brodie and Pacioretty being the two main pieces. I’d much rather have Patch than Gallagher, and I think Montreal really needs that coveted puck moving dman. Could work out both ways, maybe one side needs a sweetener

    – Pretty sure GG gets fired. So many moves depend on who the new coach is and what system they use. If it’s Daryl Sutter then I think Brouwer becomes a pretty valuable player again, just not on the PP!

    -Tavares would be amazing but likely isn’t happening. It would make me feel better about losing this year’s pick though!

    – I also would sniff around Phoenix to see about Max Domi. Maybe a “sell low” deal around Bennett for Domi could play out…

  • KH44

    1) Trade Stone for whatever you can get that isn’t a bad contract. Clear space to bring up Anderson.
    2) Find a right shot right winger for the first line – trade Brodie and/or Bennett if necessary to acquire this. Mark Stone, Brendan Gallagher would be ideal, but a player like Sam Reinhart would work. Riley Nash, David Perron could also fit.
    3) If Brodie is still around, move Brodie to the third pairing, and run three effective pairings
    4) Find another right shot right winger who can play on the third line but occasionally play PP minutes
    5) Going after Tavares is fine, but it would require getting rid of Stone for sure, and in 2019/20, with Tkachuk and Bennett needing new deals, and Brouwer and Frolik on the last year of theirs, and no goalie signed, their would be a cap crunch. Additional moves would be required if the cap doesn’t climb significantly.

  • The Beej

    Oh for crying out loud just get some right handed right wingers in here. Here is shopping list:

    Kapanen
    Marner
    Nylander
    Stone (melnyk is cheap… would Bennett Fox + start a conversation)
    Silvferberg (ducks probably not into it)
    Zuccarello (kinda old though)
    Simmonds (pipe dream)

    The list aint that long and the leafs seem to be our best trade partner. They have 5 rh wingers worth pursuing. Hyman, Brown, Nylander, Marner, Kapanen. If I was Treliving I would work very hard to make something happen here. Potential for a real hockey trade. We can provide defense they have a slew of rh wingers that would all slot somewhere in our top 9.

    I feel some of our prospects are maturing now so the holes further down the roster wont be much of a concern with guys like Lazar Shore and Mangiapane around. Dube and Phillips will start pushing. If anything Hathaway and Lazar may get pushed out.

    Move a Dman for a RW. Start working in the prospects on D and I think things will slot nicely.

    Is Bennett + Brodie for Marner + Kapanen out of line? If we had to sweeten that I would still pursue it. It would create an opportunity for a prospect on D and allow enough good linemates to balance the lines and prioritize player development and chemistry.

    When ready you could have Dube learn the ropes on Backlunds wing and tkachuk play with Jankowski.

  • withachance

    Gaudreau – Monahan – ???
    Bennett – Jankowski – Tkachuk
    Ferly/Lazar – Backlund – Frolik
    Lazar/Ferly – Shore – Mangi/Foo/???

    Gio – Hamilton
    Kulak – Hamonic
    Prospect/FA – Andersson

    Make 2nd line wholly scoring focused. Third line will be one of the best third lines in the league (shutdown or in general). I’m still holding out that Lazar can be serviceable in bottom 6 (being the most snakebitten player ever – energy guy at the worst a la Paul Byron). I’d trade Brodie if the new coach wont play him on his off side, perhaps with Stone we can get some RW in. I don’t think the management should be going for picks right now, as that means we need to wait even longer (through the primes of our core) to get an impactful player. Dump the garbage (Brouwer, Bartkwoski, Glass, Stewart) and get a new coach. Stay the course and don’t panic.

  • TheGrimRipper

    Fire all coaches except Gelinas. Move one or two D for a scoring right shot RW. Don’t bring back Versteeg or Stajan. Promote some young D. Buy out Brower if you can’t find a way to get rid of him.

  • flames2015

    We really need to clean house of the over abundance use of 4th line players. The team is going nowhere if we don’t. The first change is obviously coaching. I am reluctant on giving up on Brodie and Bennett until we see what they can do under a different regime. But if dealing brodie can get us a impact forward, I’d do it. Hathaway should stay in the AHL, no to resigning Versteeg (prone to injuries), would trade Stone and possibily Frolik. He had an off year, but at this point I don’t see him producing what’s worth his salary. Better money spent elsewhere.

    We need at least 2 more impact players upfront to add to the offense. Get someone like JVR for the first line. And trade/sign for a right shot RW that can replace Frolik on the 3M. Or try Benett with backlund and tkachuk, and sign someone for Janko and Ferland. I would resign Shore for 4th line center. Bring up someone from stockton for the LW on 4th line. ( Dube, Klimchuk etc) and have Brouwer/Lazar rotate on RW/pressbox. Anderson is a no brainer to replace stone.

  • Flames fan since 83

    There is a lot of concern for all the 4th liners we have. Yes, too many, but they are not what is ailing this team, now or going forward.
    Only Lazar and Brouwer are signed. Stajan, Glass, Hathaway, Stewart, Versteeg, Stewart, Shore are all done if we so choose.
    Our main concern is our middle guys, and one top right wing.
    We all agree on finding a top RW.
    For me, our middle D pairing is a problem. Unfortunately, Brodie needs to go. His value on the trade market out weigh his value on our second pairing. Plus we have internal help to fill in. I too am ok with moving Stone if the opportunity presents itself. (maybe in a package to bring in a top line RW).

    Unlike WW, I really like Backlund. The Fall said (and I agree) that salary can be based on about 1-1.2 million per point scored. If Backlund reaches mid 40 then he is in the ballpark of what he is worth. It’s tie for Backlund to be seperated from defensive specialist Frolik. Frolik is not a very good goal scorer. (not that Backlund is). But Backlund is a very, very good set up guy. He see’s the ice and makes great plays. If he had another “finisher” along with Tkachuk, Backlund will be easily in the 50’s for points.
    Wondering if that RW for Backlund is internal? Maybe Bennett or Ferland (I don’t think Ferland is first line material). Or maybe convert Jankowski?
    I think I like Shore, but I haven’t seen enough yet to be sure. Hopefully they play him more so we can get a better idea.
    Last, I agree with everyone that we need a coaching change.

    • Stockton's Finest

      Hathaway as 4th line RW. Trade a defenseman for picks, re-sign Wotherspoon as 6/7, move Kulak to pair with Hamonic, have Andersson and Wotherspoon as bottom pair.
      Think Bart is done, so maybe Goloubef as 6/7.

      • Flames fan since 83

        good suggestions. We forget that Hathaway is basically a rookie. He scored in the AHL. Maybe he finds a bit of offence and is a good fit on 4th line. I like his physicality even if he loses more fights then he wins. Unlike Troy, he’s not afraid to drop the gloves.
        I also agree that Spoon can be a 6/7.

  • Trevy

    That’s an excellent assessment of who’s deemed our actual core going forward and who we can either trade or cut bait. IMO, and I’ve said this all along, I would try and secure a true RW for the top line for sure. The 3M line has fizzled and run it’s course. Clearly Tkachuk drives the play and Backlund feeds off that, whereas Frolik is only along for the ride. Therefore, he must go and be replaced with Bennett and give them a long look. Janko and Ferly can be two cogs of the third line along with someone with some offensive abilities, such as Mangi or Foo, worse case, Lazar. The fourth should be Shore and Brouwer along with either Hathaway or Versteeg, if we resign him. He would be cheap and possess some good skill. Trade Brodie and Frolik to find the help up front along with a prospect, after all, you’re not going to get a true top six player with these two as bait. Keep Andersson and try and sign Raanta for sure. Finish that off by hiring a veteran coaching staff and away we go for 18/19

    • Nick24

      Backlund is far from a player that feeds of Tkachuk. Both are very good. How are people still questioning Backlund’s value at this point? Yes, Frolik has had a rough season, but he isn’t going to shoot under 5% again next season. Seems more reasonable for Frolik to revert to his career norms, next season. Putting Jankowski and Bennett on the second line in place of Backlund and Frolik is insane. How does anyone see that as an improvement? Both have struggled against 3rd Line competition this year, so what evidence is there that suggests they’ll be more prolific against better opposition?

      • canadian1967

        Frolik is 30. Who says he isn’t in decline? He LOOKS pretty terrible out there. Way more brain farts than past seasons in our end and this is likely because he has lost a step and is now under pressure 1/2 a second earlier and isn’t coping well with the pace of the games.

      • canadian1967

        Backlund had 24 NHL games played in his first 3 years after being drafted 1 G 9 A 10 Pts
        Backlund had 73 NHL games played in his fourth season after being drafted 10 G 15 A 25 Pts
        Backlund had 41 NHL games played in his fifth season after being drafted 4 G 7 A 11 Pts
        Backlund had 32 NHL games played in his SIXTH season after being drafted 8 G 8 A 16 Pts
        Remember that in his 6th season after being drafted he got to play 1/2 a season in Sweden (effectively 1/2 a season in the minors) during the lockout. This will have played a big part in his future progression I’m sure (too bad Sam couldn’t benefit from something like that, like our Captain did?)
        Backlund had 76 NHL games played in his SEVENTH SEASON after being drafted 18 G 21 A 39 Pts
        Backlund had 52 NHL games played in his EIGHTH SEASON after being drafted 10 G 17 A 27 Pts
        Backlund had 82 NHL games played in his NINTH SEASON after being drafted 21 G 26 A 47 Pts
        Remember that “Backs” played with Frolik and quite often with Bennett in his BREAKOUT 6th NHL season as a 27 year old.
        #Draft+9

        Bennett had 174 NHL games played in his first 3 years after being drafted 36 G 33 A 69 Pts
        Bennett HAS 77 NHL games played in his fourth season after being drafted 11 G 15 A 26 Pts

        Forget the Corsi argument for Backlund’s first 6 underwhelming NHL seasons. We’ve seen what use Corsi is this year.
        There is NOWHERE in the standings where they they give you a point for out “muffinig” the other team.
        You need to outscore the other team. PERIOD.
        Backlund is MINUS 20 this season and got signed to a 6 year $30M contract! UNTIL HE”S 35!!

        Mikael Backlund is now a good (NOT great) NHL player; but it took him until he was 27 to become one.

        Don’t give up on Sam Bennett!!! His ceiling is still reachable and far higher than Mikael Backlund’s ceiling.

  • BendingCorners

    Handedness matters. Not just on the PP where a mix of RHS and LHS lets the puck be moved more easily and makes one-time shots more likely, but in all situations. The coaching staff made things worse and should be replaced, but the team has eight top nine forwards and none of them are RHS. It would be great to get rid of all the 4th line guys and bring in four top-nine RHS and have twelve top nine forwards, but I think that’s a fantasy. The cap gets in the way, so picking up the missing RHS means moving out some LHS. And yes, cleaning up the 4th line so it has young cheap guys instead of overpriced old guys is also necessary, not least because it helps with the cap issue. Johnny, Mony and Chucky are here to stay and Backs is probably not going anywhere for the next three years. That means replacing two of Bennett, Frolik, Ferland and Jankowski with middle-six (or higher, if possible) RHS and probably getting one more top-line RHS by moving a defenceman or two, possibly with a prospect attached.
    That adds up to a fairly significant makeover of the team and some good players will get moved out, but standing still won’t bring the Cup to Calgary.

  • Nick24

    The Flames should look into bringing in Philipp Grubauer or Antti Raanta for help in the goal tending department. One of the two could easily split the games with Smith, or you could let Smith back one of them up. Smith just seems too volatile to bet another season on. Bringing in another top-six forward would be fantastic, too. There is a lot of interesting things that the Flames could do to try to improve, be it trying out some of their WHL grads on the forth/third lines with some combination of Foo and Mangiapane. Looking at Benoit Pouliot, Reily Nash, Rick Nash, or Micheal Grabner may also be worth it if you want to try to shore up more depth in the forward ranks. Provided they can get one of these players for $2-$3 million range for 2 or so years. The Flames should also look into moving a defenseman. Be it Stone, Brodie, or Hamonic.
    As for Bennett, figure out what you want to do with him. If they keep him, he should get a prolonged look on the top line. If they won’t really see what he can do they should move on.

  • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

    I think my overall strategy would be “less is more” based on a first move of new coaching staff. We don’t entirely know what we have until we use them right.

    First priority for me after that is scoring punch from the right side. Two things there. There isn’t much available in UFA’s unless you are a Grabner fan so I think this has to be trade (Brodie is my bait and I would add Bennett to get a top line option.

    Next D has to get sorted. Phat Ras has to have a spot so Stone has to go. Kulak moves up to Brodie’s spot with Hamonic. That leaves 3rd pair LD as open. As much as I’d like to think that Valimaki can slide in there I think that is optimistic. TSpoon is worth the shot but somehow I think we would find that lacking so perhaps we go UFA on a short term contract. Could Cody Franson fit on a one year deal? He’s a right shot but could be a good investment until Valimaki or Kylington can roll. Trade Stone for a pick. With his salary it’s probably a 3rd maybe a 2nd.

    Third, depth forwards. We need some spaces for kids. I think one goes beside Backlund just not sure who is going to grab that. Could be Klimchuk, Foo, Dube. Move Byng and Ferly with Janko to make a beast line. 4th line I’d like to see Shore get the shot at centre. Mangiapane on LW and perhaps Foo or Lazar on RW. Ideally Brouwer is bought out.

    G is an issue. I don’t want to go shopping again but it might be necessary. The kids don’t seem to be ready yet Smith isn’t a rock either. I would want to check out what’s available before deciding here.

    • Bawcos

      I also almost agree 100%. It took me 2-3 years to fall in love with Brodie and 18 months to fall out of love. My prob with trading Brodie is Gio. What happens if he (Gio) falls off a little, or a lot. Brodie is a safety net ’till a LD is secured beyond Giordano. In terms of the WWYDW goes…Get Kovalchuck for a prove it contract (meaning 1 year – whatever the price) No need to buy out Brouwer ’till next year – rather have the 1.5M carry two years not four (They have a lot of cap space in 2018/19). Trading Stone (hello Ottawa) is a must – coaching change is a must. But who? Tippet?

      • Bawcos

        Sorry, lines w/fantasy pick up Kovalchuck look like:
        JG – SM – MT
        IK – MJ – SB
        MF – MB – MF
        who care’s
        MG – DH
        TB – TH
        BK – RA
        G- stay with it – hope that Smith gets some help(workload)
        I’d love to keep Wotherspoon at least as a #7

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Agree almost 100% …. Just No to Cody Franson, I’d rather go with youth, thus Spoon. or someone with bite like Ian Cole, but I’m not sure he is UFA.
      IMO…

  • Jessemadnote

    We need right handed forwards who can score goals and we have for quite a few years now. I don’t know how you go about getting that but I know our right handed forwards combined for 11 goals this year.