1042018 NHL Draft
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Flames 2019 First Round Targets: an introduction

After a year away, the Calgary Flames are back selecting in the first round at the 2019 NHL Draft. Selecting at 26th overall, there are a lot of players that the Flames may be interested in picking.

With an interest in shedding some light on the Flames’ first round pick, we’ve dug in a bit and found some answers to the bigger questions surrounding the 26th overall selection.

Is this a deep draft?

Flames director of amateur scouting Tod Button answered this to CalgaryFlames.com’s Ryan Dittrick earlier this month (during the team’s scouting meetings):

I think we’re going to get a good player at 26. I think it’s a deep draft. Our job isn’t to figure out whether or not it’s a deep draft or try to take ourselves off the hook – our job is to find a good player, and there are plenty of good players that will be there at 26 and past 26. That’s what the meetings are about now, getting them in order. The higher guy we can get at 26, the better off we’ll be. It’s a good draft, a deep draft, and going into the later rounds, the guys are excited about some of the guys we’ll have a chance to get there, too.

Speaking to scouts around the league and from some of the independent services, the draft has a well-defined top two, then a pretty solid next 6-12 players. After that, it sprawls out a bit. Conceivably, the quality of player the Flames will take at 26th overall won’t be terribly different from somebody taken around 45th overall.

That said, there will be some high quality players available for the Flames in the first round.

Who will be gone when the Flames pick?

The simplest way of figuring out who will be available when the Flames head to the podium is by figuring out who won’t be. With that in mind, we skimmed eight recently-published draft rankings to see who will likely not be on the board at 26th overall.

The rankings used were from Sportsnet, the International Scouring Service, Dobber Prospects, the Sporting News, The Hockey Writers, McKeen’s, and the Athletic’s Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler. The rankings skim revealed 16 players that were unanimously off the board at 26th overall and six more that were off the board on a majority of these rankings.

  • Unanimously unavailable were Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko, Bowen Byram, Alex Turcotte, Trevor Zegras, Dylan Cozens, Vasili Podkolzin, Kirby Dach, Peyton Krebs, Cole Caufield, Alex Newhook, Cam York, Arthur Kaliyev, Ryan Suzuki, Matthew Boldy and Philip Broberg.
  • Generally unavailable were Victor Soderstrom, Thomas Harley, Raphael Lavoie, Ville Heinola, Moritz Sieder and Nils Hoglander.

That’s 22 potential prospects most likely off the board before the Flames pick, so it’s probably best not to get emotionally attached to any of them. (But we’ll be taking a look at a few that could slide close to 26th overall a little bit closer to draft weekend.)

What do they need?

The Flames tend to draft the best player available – they were already pretty chock full of good young defensemen in 2017 when they drafted Juuso Valimaki – rather than focusing on a particular need. But in the event that they’re torn between two equally talented players, they may err on the side of shoring up a weak position.

Here are the Flames prospects that are in the entry level system or are currently unsigned draft picks:

  • Goaltenders (3): Nick Schneider, Tyler Parsons and Artyom Zagidulin
  • Left Shooting Defense (4): Juuso Valimaki, Oliver Kylington, Carl-Johan Lerby, Andrew Nielsen
  • Right Shooting Defense (2): Rasmus Andersson, Alexander Yelesin
  • Left Shooting Forwards (9): Dillon Dube, Adam Ruzicka, Martin Pospisil, Emilio Pettersen, Demetrious Koumontzis, Linus Lindstrom, Mitchell Mattson, Milos Roman, Filip Sveningsson
  • Right Shooting Forwards (5): Luke Philp, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Glenn Gawdin, Matthew Phillips, Eetu Tuulola

Across the board, the high-end depth is a bit shallow – particular in goal – and they’d probably prefer to give themselves a few more right shooting options both at forward and on defense.

What do they value?

On the April 1 edition of Boomer and Warrener in the Morning on Sportsnet 960 The Fan, Flames general manager Brad Treliving discussed what the team looks at when they’re acquiring young players:

When we came in, we set our criteria. The two things we look at more than anything is hockey sense, how you think the game. You need a speed and skill package, but you need to be really ultra-competitive. And if you’re smart, and you compete, I don’t care how big you are because you’ll find a way to maximize whatever skill-set you have. So we’ve gone in with that pretty consistent theme and criteria for how we look at our guys.

In other words, speed and skill are important, but what sets prospects apart in the team’s eyes are their hockey sense and their competitiveness.

What places do they typically draft from?

Since Treliving joined the Flames, they’ve drafted 30 players. The team’s most successful areas for drafting thus far have been the Ontario Hockey League (Sam Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk, Rasmus Andersson, Andrew Mangiapane) and the Western Hockey League (Juuso Valimaki, Dillon Dube).

Last year’s draft was heavy on American-based players – two from the United States Hockey League and one from Minnesota high school. This year’s draft is considered a strong one for the WHL and USHL, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Flames go heavy on those two leagues.

With all of this framing done, we’ll be spending from now until the draft examining several potential first round draft selections in the lens of what the Flames have and what they value.

  • freethe flames

    Maybe by draft day the Flames may have added to their haul; maybe they move the first for a young talented RW as part of a package; who knows. I have always been an advocate of if two players are on the same shelf; virtually equal you go over organizational need. Let’s remember that a guy drafted at 26 is most likely 2/3 years away from turning pro. There are some exceptions to that rule but that is generally the case. Temper our expectations.

  • Skylardog

    Going off topic for a moment, because I was away for the past couple of weeks.

    I have been in the back country and I am just reading some of the articles posted while I was away. I have also taken the past month to sit back and let the disappointment of a horrible end to the Flames season settle. Two articles caught my eye in particular, the one on Peters and the one on Treliving.

    The one thing that made Peters successful during the regular season was his willingness to shorten up the bench. He seemed to have a handle on who was going within the first few shifts of a game, and based it on individuals not lines, with players from multiple lines often sat in favour of the guys that seemed to be going. It was a very organized blender.

    Yet in the final 30 games of the season and playoffs, all that was lost. Looking back, the blender may have been the only thing that Peters added to the success of the team.

    Peters was the benefactor of a core that was all having career seasons for the first 50 games. A border collie with a note in his mouth could have had as much success coaching this team. When you have 6 of your top players just rolling, it is hard to fail. But when they did come back to earth, he had absolutely no answer for all the ailed the Flames in the final 2 months.

    He never figured out how to get Neal going, never assessed Rittich’s capability as a starter, never determined if his lineup was putting out the best 20 players when the playoffs hit. He never gave Janko the opportunity to see if he had what it takes to be a top 2 centre. There was no imagination, no experimentation to get more out of the line up. The only line that was never tinkered with is the one that needed it the most. How could a professional coach not see that in January? How could anyone not see that by April?

    Most of all, he allowed stagnation to fester, whether it be Neal, Bennett, Janko, Frolik, or the top line. He could not see the issues arising, when it became clear to me and many other in January that we were headed for trouble.

    Look at how well Carolina has done without Bill. They started slow, and built up, improving game to game. In contrast, the Flames came out of the gate struggling for the first 10 games as they always seem to do, then ripped it up before gradually fading into mediocrity. The more Bill was at the helm, the worse this team did. He is a clear improvement over GG, but a bad hire none the less.

    And that brings us to Treliving. All he can do, is sign core guys to reasonable hometown deals. He is awful at free agent signings, has not addressed clear issues with top 6 scoring (Lind in for Ferly out is a wash), failed to address properly our goaltending situation, has failed to make key deadline deals to give the team a chance in the playoffs, and has blown our development through the trading of top draft picks for players that should have commanded much less. As for drafting, it is not Treliving that should get credit for guys like Valimaki, it is the scouting staff. Fantenberg was a waste of a move that simply cost us a draft pick and blocked young players from playing. Good player as a 6th D, but what in the world was the point? We needed forwards desperately.

    And now we will see Tkachuk blow his only strength (signing discounts) out of the water. Matty and his agent will dictate what happens, including whether he is a Flame at the beginning of next season.

    And then we have 2 coaching hires that are going to prove to be awful. GG was a clear mistake in every aspect and made no sense. Peters was hired with a narrow view that did not involve the proper searching and vetting. There is a reason Carolina could have cared less that he walked.

    Two strikes in the coaching decisions usually spells the end of a GM. In Treliving’s case, only being able to sign guys at hometown discounts does not make him a good GM; that is what a good assistant GM should be able to do. He needs to go.

    Peters will follow him out the door a year after Tre is gone. Not sure any of that is happening soon enough to salvage the cup window we think has opened.

    Sorry guys, without MAJOR changes, this team will falter next season. Those changes likely need to start at the GM position. We know that isn’t happening before next season starts.

    We will not get career years out of the top 6 players again all at once. They will make the playoffs, but not contend for the top spot in the West, or the Pacific. There are no second round appearances in our future

    We must have a top line centre and a top 6 RW to make this work. It will not get done. To make matters worse, the cupboard is getting bare and we have nothing in the way of playoff series wins to show for it.

    And as a result, the window for a cup has closed.

    • Jimmyhaggis

      I think Peters has to get some credit for the way the team progressed this season, but it it became obvious he was out coached by Colorado, he had no answers. Neil didn’t work out because Neil didn’t put in the effort.
      And for Tre, we’ll I’ve said before he makes a splash with big trades that usually turn out out to be neutral deals. He never addressed our goaltending needs before the season and the stellar play of the rest of the team masked that weakness, we were lucky. In his interview on the Fan he said he looks for speed and skill, but he forgot, size. And how can we forget the 2 disastrous free agent signing.
      Ownership have been patient with the GM’s, so I can’t see a change this year.

      • everton fc

        Neal is not Peters’ fault – if BT has a glaring weakness, it’s free agent signings – too old/too much money… and so on. If Skylar’s comment on the Assistant GM being the go-between for these hometown discounts, I do wonder how Conroy would do here, as GM. (By the way, I’ve always appreciated your two-cents, Skylar).

        Back to Peters. He was wise enough to bring in Ryan – that was a wise move. A little pricey, but Ryan earned his income, last season. We won the trade w/the ‘Canes, as well. There’s two, for Peters. Do we can Cooper in Tampa, because he exited early? I think the issues are more so with the type of team we have – who built it – versus the coaching staff, which, to my eyes, has vastly improved. The only thing I would challenge, Skylar, is Jankowski. I, too, think he has more to offer. But he doesn’t seem to “Wow”, either. Is Jankowski better than Backlund? I haven’t seen evidence of that.

        • Skylardog

          Neal is Peters fault. He was never given the linemates he needed to succeed. Lind gets 13 goals at 5v5 on JGs right side, Neal would have gotten at least that and more if deployed there at the beginning of the season, even if moved up and down from the line over the coarse of the season. See below as to why it should have happened in relation to how Lind and Ferly were scoring at the same pace at 5v5. Neal would have done that too.

          Neal is now a 4 more year albatross at $5.75M per because of Peters thinking on how it should go down from the opening night. Neal has now folded up his tent and called it done as a result. Wrong on his part? Yes, but totally avoidable if he started the season on the top line.

          Peter’s favoritism of his Carolina guys will kill us in the long run. Ryan is good but being paid far too much as a 4th liner. Don’t think for a second Peters wasn’t instrumental in the Flames going out and overpaying for a 4th line center we didn’t need.

          • withachance

            I agree here. Neal’s usage really affected his game. Yes, yes I know Neal didnt play to the level where he deserved time with Johnny and Monny, but one has to wonder.

            I think the Carolina players did well. Hanifin was a bit inconsistent, but Ryan was a stud. I’d pay 3.1M AAV all day everyday for a bottom 6 center that can play PK effectively and lead the league in faceoff percentage. A championship team ALWAYS needs dependable centers that can play up in the lineup and win draws consistently and play special teams

          • Kevin R

            WTF! We finish 2nd overall in the league but that isnt good enough. Every & I repeat, every top seed was eliminated in the first round. Expectations seem to be a wee bit unrealistic considering expectations of maybe sneaking into the playoffs were on the table when the year started.

            I go to these games I can tell you you straight up the team played a way more structred game, in both the D zone & on the forecheck than what I watched the previous two seasons. Hindsight sure is king!

          • Sterls

            I disagree that Neal is Peters fault. I don’t fault Treliving often, but he had to know that Neal was a top line or bust player. He wasn’t going to be on a shutdown line, and would be wasted playing third line. Only way the Neal move made sense is if he could play with Johnny and Monny, and even though he didn’t see much time up with them, it just didn’t work. Can you imagine if Peters decided to force that line rather than put Lindholm in that slot for a good portion of the year? The Flames wouldn’t have had the season they had. Neal was a mistake, pure and simple. I also disagree regarding the Carolina players. When they came over few people expected much out of them, and both of them were bright spots on the team this season. I don’t see how based off of this season, they will ultimately be a issue in the long run. Ryan shouldn’t be our 4th liner, Janko should. If anything Peters showed Janko special treatment by keeping him in that role even though Ryan was vastly outplaying him, especially late in the season.

          • freethe flames

            So Skylar how would have you used Neal? Neal’s game was horrible from the first exhibition game on and throughout most of the season. My only thought of how lines might have gotten Neal going was Johnny/Lindy/Neal, but then what have Tkachuk and Monny together? or Go Bennett with Monny and?

          • Skylardog

            So free…

            In the first game of the season, Neal replaced Lindholm on the top line after a very bad start by Mony, JG and Lind. With Neal they scored. I remember the celebration of JG and Neal. It was like they had found something special.

            Then Peters goes back to Lind on the top line in game 2.

            Neal played 4:07 on the top line in game one. After that game, Neal, Mony, and JG had a CF% of 77.78 with a CF/60 of 102.02 and a CA/60 of 29.15. They had a GF/60 and 14.57 and had 4 shots on goal versus 1 against.

            Neal didn’t score but did get an assist on that goal.

            At that point the line with Lind instead of Mony was -2 with no goals for in 7:45 of icetime.

            Is that not a start for Neal on the top line worth some serious experimentation? Instead, they put him with a rookie in Dube and Janko, and things head south real fast. Is it a small sample? Yes. But why based on this play is it a small sample? They were kicking butt on the ice.

            After 2 games they had played just 33 more seconds together.

            They did get 8 more minutes together over the next 4 games, but only as a blender option not as a set line to start a game. Lind got 36 minutes in those same 4 games with JG and Mony. They were still -2 at that point.

            I knew this and saw this in October. I was watching for it. It was horrendous how Peters chose Lind over Neal with no reason based on play to make that decision.

          • HOCKEY83

            Why is it that it’s not Neal’s fault because he didn’t get to play with the top line but when it comes to bennett he should be producing even though he doesn’t get to play on the top line. Should be the exact opposite as Neal has always done well up to last season and has not always played on the top line whith whatever team he was on. Neal is a very experienced regular season and playoff player where he plays should never result in the season he had this past season.

          • cjc

            Look at Neal’s underlying numbers over the last several seasons. They were declining and it hit hard this year.

            Looking at the line combos, JG/SM/JN had a GF% of 42.86. JG/SM/EL had a GF% pushing 60. Granted Neal had a much smaller sample size, but that is a pretty stark contrast. Lindholm was just better there, and he gave that line an alternate face-off option.

          • HOCKEY83

            The sample size was non existent. Neal played 2 mins less a season and played less games over his last 2 seasons before he came to calgary of course he would drop off a little but he kept getting his over 20 goals and that’s why they signed him to get 20 + goals. He didn’t play on the top line in vegas or Nashville.

          • everton fc

            Yep. Got that. Wouldn’t mind that. I’ve been somewhat critical of BT at times, here.

            I still think Neal’s issues were either a fluke, and/or he came to camp “out of sorts”. I have faith Peters’ will improve. I am not amazed the ‘Canes went so deep, as we had trouble w/them at times, when we played them. It does make one wonder, though – were they one year away, with or without Peters, or were they held back, because of Peters….

    • Baceda

      Lindholm for Ferland can hardly be called a wash, Lindholm put up 78 points compared to Ferland’s 40 in Carolina or his 41 last year as the Flames top line RW.
      You make some good points here for sure but it seems like your month away didn’t dilute your disappointment, Peters and Treliving aren’t perfect but this feels a bit hatsh

      • Skylardog

        Actually it is more of a wash than you think. The point difference comes from PP time, Ferly had very little while Lindholm had tons of it. Ferly was one of the best PP guys on the Flames but was inconsistently deployed by GG on it. Elias was a mainstay on the top PP unit.

        At 5v5 they were near identical. Even more so when you factor in playing time. The top line with Ferly was also superior defensively. Here are some of the numbers.

        Top Line at 5v5
        Mony-JG-Lind in 2018-19 3.79 GF/60 2.55 GA/60. That is a GD/60 of 1.24
        Mony-JG-Ferly in 2017-18 3.32 GF/60 2.04 GA/60. That is a GD/60 of 1.28

        Those numbers are so close it is barely discernable. But Lind got the benefit of higher scoring in 2018-19 overall in the league.

        As for points at 5v5, Lindholm posted 13 goals, 25 assist for 38 while Ferly put up 14 goals and 20 assists for 34. But Ferly did that in less time played at 5v5. In terms of points per 60:

        Lindholm 0.71 Goals/60 and 1.36 Assists/60, total of 2.08 Points/60
        Ferland 0.85 Goals/60 and 1.21 Assists/60 total of 2.07 Points/60

        Again, Ferland did that in a season when goals were harder to come by. Lindholm also got prime linemates when away from JG and Mony while Ferly was relegated to 4th line duties with plugs when dropped down the line up.

        Things are not always as they seem. We needed to move on from Ferland, and I like Lindholm, but the differences are near invisible when all factors are weighed in. Deployment, linemates and usage in key times are such big factors. What about the physical presence? Defensive realities? Lets be clear, I like the trade that brought Lindholm here. But the top line was no better with Lindholm as compared to Ferland when you consider both ends of the rink. It should bring into focus that almost anyone can be JG’s right winger.

        And thus my frustration with a coach that is blind to on ice realities. Anyone can pot 20 on JGs right side if they have a decent shot.

        • withachance

          If we are talking special teams, Lindholm also plays PK, which Ferland didnt touch. If we are talking about other factors, what about the ability to play center?

          Have you considered maybe Lindholm got more playing time on the PP because he is simply better on the PP than Ferland? What about sample size? Ferland had less ice time, could it be his numbers would depreciate if you stretch it out to Lindholm’s ice time?

          I love Ferland when he was here, I low key wish he could somehow make his way back to Calgary, but let’s be absolutely real here, Lindholm is just a much better player than Ferland is.

    • Al Rain

      Wow, that’s an amazing number of certainties to know about what’s going on in hockey clubs, other people’s minds, the future. When I go to the backcountry I only see squirrels and trees and stuff.

    • cjc

      I agree that Peters is not the coaching genius some believe he is (my position on him since day 1 FWIW). I think good players do what they do, regardless of coaching (see Columbus, Tortorella).

      But the fact so many players had career years was no coincidence. Gaudreau, Monahan and Tkachuk are all talented offensive players just entering their primes. While I am not sure Lindholm will reach the same heights again, he is still young and entering his prime. Giordano had a bit of a unicorn year, and I don’t think we should expect that again. But we have 3-4 very promising young D that should soften the blow a bit, and Dube and Mangiapane could be future top six options.

      Neal’s struggles are not on Peters. That was a bad signing, not bad coaching. Janko didn’t get to be 2C because Backlund had a great year, period. I am not sure Bennett and Janko were allowed to “fester” – these are just players who have middle six written all over them. Peters did mishandle Frolik.

      Treliving hires the scouting staff and has final say on who they draft, so he deserves credit there, even if it’s just for listening to their advice. And what’s Tre supposed to do about Tkachuk – hope that he’s mediocre so he doesn’t break the bank? Having to sign a franchise cornerstone is a good problem to have (though the cap issues created by bad signings are on Treliving).

      The team isn’t all sunshine and roses, but it isn’t so woeful either. They have problems, but there are ways to fix them.

    • withachance

      Welcome back Skylar.

      Like it or not, BP was a Jack Adams contender and changed the way this team played to benefit its players and led the team to win the western conference. His adjustments in-game was great, but the hot start of some of the players really limited how he reacted to his lineup before games I think. He definitely do need to work on those adjustments but you cant say the man didnt tinker and make adjustments through this season. He was outcoached in his first playoff appearance, and I expect him to be better next season.

      Lindholm was an upgrade over Ferland. How do you know a forward signing would have helped the team in the playoffs? Everyone just assumes a forward signing in the trade deadline would push the team over the top, but would it seriously have made a difference when the team got reverse swept basically? The main signings I look at is Stone and Zucharello. VGK is now in cap hell and Zuch got injured immediately, helped in the playoffs but was never going to be a long term solution. Im so glad Tre didnt sign any rentals in the trade deadline because that means he’s not handcuffed to do work at the draft. Like it or not BT has drastically changed the team for the better since he took over. His two big FA bets were busts, but at least he swung for the fences. We trash the guy for not making moves at the TDL but when he does make risky moves and they dont pan out, we trash him for making the risky moves?

    • Raffydog

      Couldn’t agree more. I’ve been saying this for two years now. Treliving has no idea how to build a championship team. He hasnt addressed any of the major issues with this group, and has serious issues with handing out big money to less than stellar players. As for Peters, I thought he was going to be a good fit, then the all star break happened, and he looked completley lost to me after that. Had no answers, no ideas, and got stuck spinning his wheels come playoff time. I said at the end of the playoffs that the window has closed on this team, and I’ll go one further, and predict the Flames will not make the playoffs next year. They are to soft, low on talent, and the rest of the league has figured out how to beat them easily. Looking forward to the next rebuild though.

    • Beer League Coach

      Wow! Mr. negativity. I guess ownership should fire BT & BP and bring Mr. Lowe who knows a little bit about how to win. With him as GM we could then rescue MacT from his Siberian hideout and guarantee us at least a couple of first overall draft picks in the next few years.

      I am not about to give up on Brad Treliving or Bill Peters. Last year was a huge improvement that I doubt anyone could duplicate next year. All I expect is to see a continuous improvement. That starts with the draft in June and then avoiding any overpayment for any washed up former star from other teams. Let those guys infest the roster of our northern neighbour to continue their streak of futility. If we sign any FA on July we should go for those who fix a problem like RH shots, forwards and defence, with some size and ability to play a physical game. Any trades that BT makes should be made to regain cap space and bring in players who can shore up our weak spots. Trade expendable veterans and pick up more draft picks. Do not trade draft picks for veterans who are simply here to pick up a pay cheque in the last couple years of their career.

      • Skylardog

        I picked 3 Colorado Avalanche and no Flames in my playoff pool. You think I couldn’t see the issues in a season when we finished first in the West? Even in January when the team was rolling, the cracks were showing. I was hopeful and excited about the playoffs, but quietly, without saying a word, strongly in Raffy’s camp as to how the playoffs would go.

        Yet they have such a good roster. The problem now is cap. Injuries can and will also raise their head in the seasons ahead. We had a rare opportunity this playoff season when all the star were aligning. We failed to take advantage. We failed to bulk up for a playoff run.

        It will be harder to shed cap than many think. Frolik is near untradeable in the offseason, Brodie maybe, Neal is a lost cause now and untradeable. We have no starter in net, although a potential number 1 that I think will be fine. There is no goalie help coming soon in Stockton. Even the defense core down there is near bare. And we have not won a single playoff series in 4 years…

        • Jobu

          Frolik
          – had a great World Cup,
          – is a solid veteran PK presence
          – wants to play somewhere else
          – is at a very reasonable price. We could even retain salary if need be…

          He is very VERY tradeable.

          • withachance

            Yep. GMs have a different mindset than fans. They value cup wins, standing around the league, experience and other information that we as fans arent privy to. Florida has a ton of cap space and coach Q loves the guy. Could be something there

          • Skylardog

            Frolik is tradeable but his value is limited in the off season. At the trade deadline, his value will sky rocket because of the type of player he is. He should have been shipped to Boston at this TDL. Instead the Bruins took Coyle. Fro would have been perfect fit.

            The problem is we need cap space soon or now. Teams know this and will not be willing to give up much to take him off our hands. We may even have to eat salary to get rid of him over the summer. Why move him to free up cap space then eat salary?

            Teams rebuilding don’t want a vet for something like a young player with potential or a draft pick. Teams that contend don’t want him on the roster for the whole season.

            It is all about timing.

          • withachance

            Skylar, hindsight is bliss. Think of the reaction and optics if the Flames traded Frolik at the TDL, the second overall team trading a key component of their shutdown line.

            Trading away a good player for the playoffs would’ve been terrible. Not sure what exactly you want from BT. On one hand, you wanted him to acquire a top 6 forward during the TDL, now you wanted him to trade a way a key part of the forward depth at the TDL???

        • Jobu

          To further hammer the point, Frolik is also
          – JUST exiting his prime
          – is not a long term commitment
          – is a consistent 30-40 and a +24 while playing on multiple lines (including the fourth line)
          – consistently is one of the best players in regards to fitness testing

          OK – Jobu done now… 😀

    • Jobu

      You say its entirely the players that had career seasons and not anything to do with the coach, and in the same breath say that its the coaches fault for them slumping at the end.

      Double-standard much?

      • Skylardog

        No – Players playing well and all the coach needs to do is open the gate and let them out.

        But when it gets tough, the coach needs to step up and make the necessary adjustments to make it all work. I have said this many times.

        For 31 games the top line struggled to end the season, but they still took a regular shift night after night and into the playoffs. Only a bad coach would allow that to happen for that long.

          • Kevin R

            Waaaaayyyyy out in left field. I have the highest expectation for this team going into next season then I have had for many years. Now if we see flatlining over the next two years, then some serious big changes will need to happen. Gaudreau will have 1 year left & Monahan 2 years left on pretty attractive deals & will be wanting raises.

      • Puck Head

        Peters was saddled mostly with players from Feaster and Tre who were here before he arrived. If the composition of the team was different it would have been much easier for BP to make adjustments at the end of the season and into the playoffs. We need players with more intensity, including a 1C and 1RW. Once you make changes to the top line there is a trickle down effect which will drop players to lines where they are better suited.

        That said, the lack of forechecking, hitting, and a defensive system that allowed the AVs fast and free entry into our end is on Peters.

        • Skylardog

          Not true on the Feaster era saddling this team.

          Only Gio, Brodie, JG, Mony, and Backs remain from the team Tre inherited from Feaster. So in other words, the core. Everyone else is new.

          Isn’t it this core plus Tkachuk that is the reason we feel we have a cup window?

          Janko is also from that era.

          Benny, Ras, Tkachuk, Mangi, Vali are some of the key, and well drafted guys Tre has brought in.

          But the fact is, Tre has cleared out the deadwood from before his tenure, so if we have issues with intensity or top 6 depth, it is all on Tre. We are 5 full years into his time here.

    • Derzie

      Why the trashes for Skylar? Every point he makes is backed up by results. The good run that we had in the middle of the season is the pivot point. Is that who we are or was that a fortunate run. My take is that something soured behind the scenes. The sense of ‘team’ seemed to fall off right around the all-star break. One or 2 players going cold is one thing but the whole balloon deflating suggests there more to it. Character is on display when things are going really well or really poorly. Maybe some heads got too big. Maybe a rift opened between the Carolina/Flames camps as to why they were successful. When Lindholm mocked the Carolina crowd, that raised a red flag. Maybe he’s a bit of a diva. It’s all speculation on my part, but the boys who get the millions need to figure their sht out. Window open. Changes required to keep it open.

      • 🐃💩

        Doesnt mean the results are right or that we believe in such nonsense. Someone could spin it that Smith had a great year..when most use the eye test and think he was bad.

    • Skylardog

      Such a fickle group we are at times.

      We have spent the last 2 seasons begging for a scoring RW. We have spent the time since Kipper retired looking for a true long term solution in goal. These have been ongoing needs throughout Treliving’s tenure, and yet remain unaddressed.

      He has worked patchwork deals, for unproven or aged goalies, tried questionable older veterans on the wing who have already shown a downturn in their game, signed them to expensive long term deals when guys here on the roster have to fight for every last penny they can get.

      We carried TEN capable defenseman into the playoffs, but only had 5 forwards capable of playing in the top 6. Yet the tenth defenseman was acquired at the deadline when it was clear he was not needed and totally unnecessary. He fails to file a deadline deal on time. Really – a paperwork mistake?

      And yet though we all talk about the shortcomings in the line up, ones we can all see from our TVs, Tre still gets a pass from almost all of you. We can see the small line up, the slow players, the lack of toughness and grit – the lack of intensity. And it is never addressed.

      We have won just 1 playoff game in 4 seasons. Yet have blown draft picks and the future to get here. It is supposed to be about the post season. How is that working for us?

      He hired GG – nuff said…

      Can we please be done with the BT love affair and realize that he has taken this group as far as he can, or should be allowed?

      • Off the wall

        It’s nice to have you back Skylar!
        I agree, we have basically improved incrementally. But we sacrificed a lot, even to get where we’re at. And I don’t think any of us have been more disappointed, than the results of this years postseason. Myself included.

        We should really give you a nickname though. I like “Hammer”. I’m sure Hamonic won’t mind…

      • withachance

        We got that scoring winger in Lindholm, Rittich looked pretty decent until he got his ghost injury…

        I think you’re getting a strong reaction from the community is because you seem to have a very strong overreaction to underacheivement in the playoffs, when the team is clearly trending in the right direction and needs work in the offseason, but nothing as drastic as firing the GM

      • Jobu

        You assume the Zucker deal was his fault.

        Lindholm has effectively proven to be a top line RW.

        Rittich has shown good numbers as a starting goaltender (when not hurt).

        So where is all this coming from?

    • deantheraven

      Had to stop at the border collie analogy for lol.
      You’re right about a lot here, Skylar. The only point I will not contend is them making the playoffs but not as 1 or 2.
      Your glass is not only half full, but it seems to be cracked, and the crack slants your view toward management. Fair cop on the personnel decisions, but I supported Tre standing pat at the TDL if no game changer was available at a reasonable cost. Most would say (then and even now) that they were 1 or 2 pieces away from being where STL is right now. The core is very good, not complete, but they play for each other and for BP. That shouldn’t change come September.
      Don’t give up on Tre yet. His best trade days are still ahead of us.

  • supra steve

    Flame late first round selections over the last 15 years:
    2004, #24 Chucko
    2005, #26 Pelech
    2006, #26 Irving
    2007, #24 Backlund
    2008, #25 Nemisz
    2009, #23 Erixon
    2012, #21 Jankowski
    2013, #28 Klimchuk
    2013, #22 Poirier

    Don’t get your hopes up for Flames #26 pick in 2019. It’s possible they land an impact NHLer, also very possible the pick never plays a game.

    • Beer League Coach

      All of those picks go back to the days of Darryl Sutter and Jay Feaster. Don’t hold Brad Treliving responsible for those mistakes. It was Tre and our current amateur scouting staff that got us Mangiapane in a late round after picking Andersson and Kylington in round 2.

    • Baceda

      Those are all under old GM’s, plus if we can pick out guys like Andersson, Dube, Kylington, Mangiapane, Gaudreau etc. in later rounds than I think we have a decent chance at getting a good player at #26. But really it’s all a big crap shoot anyway

    • cjc

      This is why I thought they should move their first – it was never going to be higher than 26th overall. And a pick in that range is worth about the same as a pick in the 32-46 range. If you look at how other teams have picked in the 20s, it doesn’t get much better.

      Keeping the pick is a reasonable option, too, particularly since the team will need fresh talent in 2-3 years.

  • Off the wall

    My darling wife decided to be a Good Samaritan a few days ago.
    We had just finished a nice meal at the Pub and this old lady pulled over to ask us for directions. Being old -school, the woman only had a MAP and a flip phone cell.

    No wonder she was lost. Of course, my sweet wife decided that I should ride with this older woman and we would follow Mrs Otw ( by GPS) to the address she was looking for. Because I had a few brews in me, and a slight buzz, I went along with it. I didn’t realize I’d be riding shotgun with Ms Magoo.

    She was driving this huge SUV, could barely see over the dash and now I’m in for 4 minutes of hell. First off, she made a U- turn right in the middle of a busy street, stopping traffic on both sides. Oh gawd, what the hell did
    Mrs Otw sign me up for? I quickly fastened my seat belt and grabbed the dash. Yeah, she took off without allowing me to fasten-up. I should have got out!

    We follow Mrs Otw, who is driving nicely, yet Mrs Magoo is right on her ass. I kept looking for a brake pedal, apparently passengers don’t have that luxury.

    We enter a traffic circle, it’s busy.
    Mrs Magoo is so intent on following my wife, that she ignores the yield sign and is narrowly missed being hit by another vehicle.

    Ms Magoo says, “I was here first“ while my face has changed from rosy cheeks, to white.. as a ghost.

    Because my wife had to make a few stops at stop signs, I knew I was in for some more treats to follow. Ms Magoo doesn’t like stopping, she likes braking so hard that if I hadn’t had my seatbelt on, I’d be kissing the dash. Slam, put the gas pedal down and get back on Mrs Otw ass.

    When we finally reach our destination, Ms Magoo yanks on the e- brake and then puts the SUV in park. Huh? I’ve never seen anyone do that before.

    On the way to our destination, Ms Magoo tells me she’s 87, and has been driving for 75 years. I quickly did the math. Yeah, at 12 years old she got her license. I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen. She probably drove a tractor for 65 of them, based on her driving skills. And I was the lucky guy who witnessed it.

    Mrs Otw was beaming for doing her good deed for the day, that I didn’t have the heart to tell her I almost died in 4 short, harrowing minutes.

    Today’s lesson- Never get into vehicles with anyone, no matter how sweet and old they are.

    I’m so glad to be alive, that I’ve got nothing negative to add to this blog.

    Treliving is great, the players are great and Peters’ is the best coach ever! Our farm team is stacked with talent and we’re going for the Cup next season.

    You see how delirious I am..

    • Skylardog

      Here is mine

      Our first, Janko, and Mangi for Zib. Throw in Czar for good luck, add Frolik for a 4th as well. The Rangers can turn Fro into a conditional second at the trade deadline.

      • Off the wall

        Skylar, Border Collies are very smart. They always look ready for action. I’d personally like to see a Flames Collie in the dressing room.
        Who can’t love a dog? Works in prisons…

        If Carolina can have a PIG, why can’t we have a DOG?

        • Skylardog

          I suspect you guided my mother to her destination. She is 87, drives an SUV, and scares the crap out of me when I am in the car with her. She has now taken to putting her foot to the floor when she leaves a stop sign of traffic light. She would use a map…

          And by the way we have a dog. His name is Harvey. He looks a lot like my Jagger.

          • Off the wall

            Haha, your mother doesn’t live in Victoria by any chance does she? I’m guessing not, cuz I’m pretty sure this one got her license in a plow- field, 75 years ago.

            Harvey is good, but he’s a mascot. I want a real dog.. you know the kind that rip your arms off when you walk them 😉

      • 🐃💩

        I’d attempt a Janko and Brodie for Gallagher.

        Frolik to Columbus for a 2nd round pick in next years draft and a conditional 3rd the following year if he resigns.

        I would also dangle Monahan and our 1st for a possible upgrade at center.

      • freethe flames

        Sky: Zibby is high on my list and has been for a long time; I had hoped that last year blockbuster was going to be with the Rangers. He would be a huge add but it is very unlikely to occur; one he has to waive his claus, 2 the Rangers will want the right package and the Flames would need to add the cap space. Your offer might need to be Bennett instead of Janko and if so I would rather keep Mangiapane. Benntt and Froliks space would creaet some cap space as Bennett will likely be between $2,25 and $2.75.

  • moodyblue2

    For those calling for BT’s head, I would just like to say he would be snapped up very quickly by a lot of teams. He is highly recognized as one of the top gm’s. I would put BP in the same category. It would be crazy to switch things up now.

  • BendingCorners

    If memory serves, Skylardog posted his expectations just before the season started, and he doubted the Flames would improve enough to make the playoffs. For most of the season they exceeded his prediction and then finished the season more or less in line with his forecast. He ended up being (sort of) half-right, and maybe he is again. The team performed better than expected and still needs work, but it is much better than it was four years ago. I’m not nearly as pessimistic as the dogs are.

      • BendingCorners

        Could be. You wrote it so I think it’s better to trust your memory, not mine. The team still out-performed for a big chunk of the year, so I am optimistic that with a few changes they will do well next year and (hopefully) go deeper in the playoffs.

      • The Red Knight

        Ahhhh I said first place finish in the pacific!! Also said going into playoffs that they weren’t tough enough for playoffs! 2/2 ,also I predicted Boston to win the cup could 3/3 soon ,should have bet the farm this year !

    • Rudy27

      It’s definitely preferable to be on the upswing in the later half of the season going into playoffs (e.g. SL Blues). However, we did finish second overall to a great Tampa team. If a team gives up more goals in the third period but still wins, they still get the “W” and 2 points! Not sure why we lost momentum after the All Star break. Maybe the players started believing the press about how good they are and stopped doing the things that brought them success. Example, to me it looked like the first line created more offensive opportunities early in the year by playing much better defense than in past years. I didn’t see that same commitment in the last couple of months.

  • Mickey O'Reaves

    “And as a result, the window for a cup has closed.” – Skylardog.

    That may just be the most unintentionally amusing piece of prose ever written on Flames Nation.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Now, back to the article. I was hoping to see some players that the Flames actually have a shot at. You list those who won’t be around but nothing about who MAY be around. Names? Positions? Stats? Help a brother out. One of the names I heard awhile back was Vlasic’s “little” brother who is a RHD and goes about 6’2″ and about 205. Would be nice to have someone like that on our blue line in a few years.

    • Puck Head

      If Thomas Harley slides down to us I bet that Tre nabs him. He’s a big, fast, LHD who is a playmaker with Mississauga in the OHL. Can’t ever have enough high end D in the prospect pipeline.

      Ideally though, it would be nice if Tre could trade for a couple more picks in either the first and/or second rounds. Would be reassuring if we could send a D, C and RW to the Heat from the first two rounds.

      • The Red Knight

        Definitely always draft for the best available player! Can always trade at a higher value for what you want or could upgrade on the d position and make another prospect available at a higher trade value and trade for what you want.

    • Franko J

      I think he is the nephew of Vlasic. If the Flames keep their pick at 26 it would be a player who is going to take a few years to develop and most likely won’t suit up for the team until probably the 2022-2023 season.

  • The Red Knight

    The write up , missed Kylington as one of Trevling s good draft picks , seems like the Johnny/Mony contract s aregoing fast , Johnny will get a raise but is Monahan worth more?

  • Franko J

    My choices would be:
    Forwards:
    Bobby Brink
    Brett Leason
    Philip Tomasino
    Brayden Tracey {sleeper pick}
    Defensemen
    Tobias Björnfot
    Matthew Robertson
    Moritz Seider
    Lassi Thomson {sleeper pick}

    Any one of these choices I would say are a good bet in making the NHL in a few years.