FlamesNation Mailbag: Back in the win column
Photo credit:Mike Gould
By Ryan Pike22 days ago
The Calgary Flames won a game on Saturday night, snapping their six-game losing streak and beginning the month of November on a positive note with a couple pretty effective hockey games. As await how they’ll fare in the remaining 12 games this month, let’s dive into the mailbag!
So here’s my general stance on the club’s goaltending: it’s been fine, and the defensive foibles of the players in front of them have been similar to last year – with “big mistakes” at bad times – that it’s tough to really put their numbers on the goaltenders themselves. (The goaltending results are as much a product of the team’s turnovers as their individual performances.)
Eventually, the Flames need to work Dustin Wolf in. He’s excellent. But from an asset management standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to sell low on Jacob Markstrom or Dan Vladar, or rush Wolf into a team environment where they’re still trying to figure 0ut their defensive scheme. Whenever Wolf arrives, you probably want him to have the ability to be a difference-maker; the way the Flames are playing in their own end right now, that’ll be tough to do.
If you’re the Flames, you’re probably hoping for something along the lines of a first-round pick, a good prospect and a roster player of some kind. The Flames don’t have a ton of defensive prospect depth beyond Jeremie Poirier and Ilya Solovyov, so getting some help in that realm would probably be a benefit. But if you’re the Flames, you’re probably looking to maximize the assets; if you get draft picks, you can either use them to grab prospects or package them to fill holes in your roster.
The good thing about Yegor Sharangovich is that he can play all three forward positions – he’s better at the wings than centre – and he can be used on virtually any line. He’s basically a poor man’s Paul Byron; I don’t know if there’s anything he’s excellent at, but he projects as a really effective complimentary player. You probably don’t build a line around Sharangovich, but he can really fill in a lot of different roles effectively in a pinch.
The short answer is “it depends.” The Flames offered him a contract during the off-season and he opted to go to Washington for a fresh start. If the Flames were able to put in a claim, there’s probably some value there. But in the context of a team potentially embracing a youth movement, would the Flames opt for 25-year-old Phillips over giving more reps to guys like Martin Pospisil (23), Matt Coronato (20), Connor Zary (22), Cole Schwindt (22), Adam Klapka (23) or, when he’s back at 100%, Jakob Pelletier (22)?
I don’t think the Flames can do a full tear-down because some of their contracts are challenging to move. And with the players the Flames have locked in for the long haul, they’re probably too good to completely bottom-out as teams like Chicago or San Jose have recently done.
Can they flip key assets, add some picks, and load up on some younger players via trades and the draft? Sure! It could freshen the team up, and you never know which young player is going to blossom into the team’s next big star. And that’s probably a more feasible course of action than jumping through complicated hoops to get out from under some of their lengthy contracts.
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