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  1. 6 likes
    Can't we just accept this was a trade that at least appears to have worked out for both teams? We went from not even being close to the playoffs to winning the division a year later, and the biggest roster change was this trade. Carolina made it to the second round, so win-win. Of course, Ferland is likely to sign elsewhere, as is Fox, and Hamilton only has 2 years left before he's a UFA. Meanwhile, Lindy and Hanifin are locked up long term, so I still like our side a bit better in the long run.
  2. 6 likes
    Hey all, I just saw this. I was away on vacation and popped in to talk some hockey when I saw this thread and my jaw dropped to the floor. I just have to say how deeply this has affected many here and myself included. I know I'm a fan of a rival team, and it's a team that FF52 disliked very much, but he and I always had great discussions and although we may have disagreed on many things between the two teams, we both shared a love for the game of hockey and the BOA and had so many great discussions and debates. My prayers go out to his family and friends. There literally is no replacing an upstanding forum member like FF52, that is is a hole that is impossible to fill. Rest in peace Larry, we may have been on opposite sides of the BOA, but we were always friends. I will both miss and never forget you.
  3. 4 likes
    I would still put Calgary ahead Even if Fox does sign there , we knew he wasn't signing here ..so there is no loss there ..he was a tipper that got the trade through Neither Hamilton or Ferland gave Carolina anything we didn't know they could do Ferland scored goals, showed flash of physical play..got hurt..disappeared .. same way he played here . Somebody will pay him 5+ M this summer .. love the guy , but he's not 5M to me We knew what Hamilton is .. he logs high minutes , gets points, will never play physical He is a true#1 .. but there were other reasons he got traded .. he was addition by subtraction in many ways Lindholm, excelled ..showed he can be more than he was in Carolina and hes still growing Hanifin is where Hamilton was at 22.. we forget he's the same age as Kyllington.. this was his first season playing top 4 defensive minutes ..got 30+ points on the 2nd pair. He is way ahead on his development , nowhere near his peak At this point I look at performance over expectation.. Carolina got what they thought they were getting... We got more than we expected.. for me that puts us in the lead
  4. 3 likes
    Alright I am on the Phillip Tomasino bandwagon. Though I don't really get why he is being ranked as low as he is, and would expect him to be gone by our pick. He has elite skating ability, very good shot and very good hands. He is a RHS C who won't turn 18 till after the draft. He was 2nd amongst all draft eligible CHL players in 5v5 points and 1st in points/60.
  5. 3 likes
    I think there’s a relatively low chance Hamonic is traded. BT gave up essentially Noah Dobson for him. I can see him re-signing as early as this summer. He also brings an element to the Flames that no other D has. Brodie can be easily replaced in-house by a guy like Valimaki or Kylington. Guys like Hamonic are a needle-in-a-haystack these days It’s also written by Seravali who’s a total clown IMO
  6. 3 likes
    We seem to be inventing problems for a first round exit. Mony has been one of the team's best scorers, but now he doesn't play "heavy" enough. He shouldn't have to. Heavy is bottom 6 guys and our depth, although skilled, isn't heavy. At the start of the year, everyone seemed to want 4 scoring lines and that seems to be how the team was built. I beg everyone remember, this was our first kick at the cat. We don't need to go crazy moving a bunch of pieces imo. Stay the course and don't over react. It's disappointing, but if we're being honest, were we ready to kick aphids in the playoffs? Not yet. Take your beating, move on with the experience. Most champ teams go through it.
  7. 3 likes
    This. Both teams got what they wanted. Calgary needed a bit of a culture shift, as did the Hurricanes. While Dougie was the best player, there was at least enough questions about his attitude that it came out as a sticking point from multiple reporters, and was mentioned multiple times by various insiders. Ferland was going to want a big raise, and we sold high on him (as much as we all loved him, with his injury history, especially with concussions, it was a good move). We got 2 players, one was basically where Dougie was at when we got him (except on the left side), the other was a very versatile forward who filled a lot of needs for us (RHS, can play C or RW. Plays PP and PK, defensively responsible. All at the cost of a bit of physicality), and we got them for a good price, on good term. The Flames have got to be happy with what they got, and you know Carolina is happy. Sometimes you've got to accept that a trade had literally no loser in it.
  8. 3 likes
    The point I was making is that Neal doesn't fit with the current make up of the team and never did. If he was RW to Gaudreau and a power center, then it would easily have been him getting the 34 goals instead of Monahan because he and Mony play a very similar style. He likes to be set up for the shot in the slot as a sniper when room is made. He did not have a passer or space made for him during the season so he could never play his game. Mony also couldn't put up the same offence when the other teams shut down his space to shoot. Give Neal a good passer and a net front / board banger on his line and he could likely earn his contract. Putting him with D first centres (Backlund, Jankowski, Ryan) and energy guys (Bennett, Hathaway) just won't get the job done. He just doesn't fit those players. The problem is, the Flames just don't currently have the roster players to make it work. Could Dube be the center for Neal if they had a good passer (Mangiapane?)? Maybe. Given more time together, could Bennett be the guy to create the space for Johnny and Mony? Maybe if he can start converting chances and reign in his energy a little. The goal is to build a team that plays to everyones strengths. Right now there are a lot of talented pieces that just don't quite fit right. It is up to Treliving to fix that either through UFA or trades. I don't have all the answers, I just call it as I see it.
  9. 3 likes
    I don't know what we can say we really learned, until we get all of the info out of the team, some of which we may never get. I won't try and limit this comment just to the playoffs but to the season as a whole. We did learn that Rittich had an injured knee for most of the second half of the season. It is a big reason he is not going to the worlds this year. We can therefore understand that his slightly diminished play, and added starts for Smith, were a result of this injury. We have seen over the past few years, that when Johnny starts to be hacked and slashed, his production falls off. Without line mates providing him more space, and the loosening up of reffing on slashes to the hands, Johnny gets effectively nullified. Without the elite passing of Johnny or a similar player, Monahan becomes much less effective. He is more of a pure sniper, similar to my understanding of Neal, rather than a player who creates and drives the play and chances themselves. Johnny needs a center who drives the play and can really push the defenders back to open up more space for him. To really get to the next level, Monahan is not the center Johny needs. Monahan needs a winger who will pressure the D to give him room in the slot and can get him the puck. Lindholm Showed he had another gear throughout the season. Not overly physical in the regular season, but when offence was lacking, he picked up the physical play, throwing his weight around and continuing to be good defensively. I see a long, positive future from him with continued growth. He is a very good all around talent who doesn't really excel at any one thing. Not an elite passer or sniper but can make plays and score goals while still being solid defensively. Neal just doesn't really fit this team as it sits right now. He doesn't fit with Johnny and Monahan because he and Monahan are too similar. Backlund doesn't create enough space on the 2nd line and while Tkachuk is a skilled playmaker, he is too busy being a pest to really focus on his offence. Janks, Benny and Neal were relied on more for defence and had too limited time to help Neal be successful. Putting Neal on the 4th line simply is not a good financial move. If the team was to trade Monahan or Backlund for a player more suited to the style needed for Johnny and Neal, such as a skilled, fast, power forward type C (not sure who), then I could see both players elevating their game. I would not be against trading Neal for a decent return. I am sure there are teams who would take a shot on Neal, but they will definitely low ball the Flames in a trade based on this past season. Frolik and Peters for some reason don't always see eye to eye. Does this mean Frolik is traded? It really depends on what happens up and down the lineup. Peters did seem to keep the 3M line together regardless the game or situation, so maybe the issue was less with Frolik and more just looking for a small change. Only time will tell. Backlund is still quality NHL player, but he is definitely not the offensive force we hoped he would be, and he had some major gaffs defensively in playoffs. Is he simply a player who tires too much over the season and is burnt out by playoffs? Is he slowing down or just not as good as we thought? I don't have the answer here, but maybe a change needs to be made to reduce his ice time. Tkachuk continues in his development. Playing second to Johnny means he may never reach full offensive potential with the Flames, but he is definitely improving his play and proving his value to the team. Getting smarter about how far he can push the edge. Janks is a solid PKer. He may not be the strongest, fastest, or most offensive 5 on 5, he is a player who is very beneficial to the team. He may never make top 6, but he is still young and improving. Also a reasonable cap hit, so no need to move on. Keep him and let him keep developing. Benett is not showing that he should get a massive contract, nor that he is more than a third line, energy guy. Can he still improve and get better into the top 6? It is possible as he is still very young and there is definite growth. Keep him at the right cost. May need to find better fit with line mates. Smith at the right cap hit could be re-signed based on playoff performance. I wouldn't sign him to big dollar starter money, but lower cost backup to help Rittich continue to grow would not be a terrible move. Mangiapane, Hathaway and Ryan all showed good flashes. I felt fine having Ryan on as he can move up and down the lineup to cover injuries and not look fully out of place. Mangiapane continued to show solid growth and will continue to develop. 3rd liner easily, if Gaudreau or Tkachuk moved either side or traded could see Mang 2nd line. Hathaway does well as a 4th liner but I don't see him doing much more and I wouldn't pay him too much to keep him. Czarnik adds speed and some skill. Need to get him in the right position to succeed with the proper ice time. What that is, I don't know. Gio is Gio but for how much longer? Brodie showed last year that he is not terribly versatile. Giordano really helps him. He is a good, puck moving defence man but makes some big mistakes at inopportune times. Either his ice time needs to be protected or he can be traded for assets. Andersson may be slightly less offensive but has an advantage defensively, is younger and costs less. Has shown at least good chemistry with Bio, but then, who doesn't? Hanafin still being young has some lapses in play. Gio has proven that age on defence usually improves a player. While he is far from perfect, he handled the season as well as we could really expect, is not super costly and fits fairly well with the team. He has shown good chemistry with Hamonic, a solid warrior on D who is worth the cap hit, even without any big time offense. Valimaki, Fantenberg and Kylington all showed NHL capabilities in limited viewing. It will be difficult to chose between the 3 unless we see other movement in the D corps. They are all too good for AHL and so with limited spots, somethings gotta give. Kylington is the most offensive so far, Fanta is the most Defensive while Valimaki seems to be the most balanced with the highest ceiling. Prout makes for a reasonable #7 D man, so really at least 3 D from the current roster need to be moved. Stone has become basically obsolete for the Flames. Not due to a lack of ability, sadly he was injured, but at the cap hit and with both Andersson and Hamonic stepping up, I think Stone no longer has a spot with the Flames unless Brodie, Fanta and Kylington all get moved out. He simply costs too much to be a #7. I won't predict what will change for next season. While there are many great pieces in place, some don't fit the current team and there are pieces missing. It's almost like the Flames are 2 or 3 different puzzles mixed together with pieces missing from each puzzle to complete the picture. Sometimes improvement by subtraction is a good thing, which we have seen in the past. In this case, there is not an real example of simple subtraction to change the team, nor a simple addition. There is a need to look at which puzzle pieces fit in the puzzle they want to assemble, find the missing pieces, the excess pieces and how to exchange the excess for the missing. I don't know which pieces are which, good thing I am neither the GM or coach. Prospects who could make moves next season to the big club, or be used to get needed pieces include Dube (Bottom 6 C for now), Quine (Bottom 6 LC), Joly (RW may need AHL time). I don't see Phillips, Lomberg or Zavgorodniy seeing much NHL time as long as both Johnny and Mang are on the team. Add Czarnik and Ryan, the Flames already have 4 players 5'10 or smaller so unless they play really aggressive and physical, I don't see the Flames adding 5'7, 5'9 and 5'9 to the line up regardless of the skill. There might be a goalie who pushes enough to not re-sign Smith or not bring in a new tender but none of our prospects seem to have grabbed that opportunity yet. Just my thoughts though.
  10. 3 likes
    I prefer Kapanen. He skates. My dad watches every leafs game and he feels Nylander ruined them this year. When he came back the chemistry was ruined as they played nearly half a season without him. Their scoring went down... etc. And then I think it’s like our problem, when a scorer isn’t scoring, what else does he bring? For 7m he didn’t bring enough away from the puck. I guess a part part of that is missed training camp, then the month or so to get up to speed. I prefer Kappy because he’s a worker. He’s big, fast and has enough skill to compliment the 2nd line.
  11. 3 likes
  12. 3 likes
    Agree 100% and have also said as much. Answering politically correct is the best practice for those with no balls or back bone,Props on the man, whether he comes back or not at least you have the TRUTH. The man has won a cup been through the trenches played the series and watched first hand the Hash Rate whooping we just received. Respected him before as a player and that has enhanced with his answer. Frohlick gave you a solid effort every night, we have to many passengers. Hopefully these questions were asked at the player meetings in the room. Our GM has done a well so far, but really when players and arm chair GMs like myself and others on this board can agree with this view, your GM can not be blind to it as well, Truculence#
  13. 3 likes
    I gotta say I'm with Mac on this.. except I dont think hes as tradeable unless we give up salary or sweeteners and If I were BT Id be unwilling to do that I would put a bulk of the blame on the team and coach here Neal is not Brouwer.. hes not a player who had a good year , and got paid for it . you don't forget that over 1 summer But the backlash was that they expected him to just " work himself out of it ".. there should have been more effort made to helping him work out of it - put him on the top line when games are in hand - ditto more prominent role on the 1st power play I disagree that Peters put him in good situations - I saw him on the PP many times where the puck never got anywhere near his position , he'd be in the middle and the play went around the perimeter - Neal is a shooter .. he needs to be given the puck . his job is to be where the pass is going to be given to him.. Jankowski, his center for most of the year , is also a shooter we also finished 2nd in the league with him on the roster , we have the luxury of being able to work with him more
  14. 3 likes
    Agreed. After watching closely last night I realized there isn't too much fault for Gaudreau. In addition to what you are saying here he is getting no help from his linemates. Avs are taking away his space as soon as he crosses the buleline which would actually work well for his linamtes to then get invovled and he's looking for them. The problem is they are often behind the play and by the time they gain the zone the gap is closing and Gaudreau's only option is to flip the puck to an open area and the hope his guy can go and get it to start the cycle, and unfortunately too many times in this series the board battles is getting lost. They need some more speed and to switch Monahan out and give Johnny a pass option so that the D would back off, this is exactly what's happned with Mackinnon and why he is getting more space, you have to respsect the pass as much as Mackinnon himself. At least he's played a great two way game and has been engaged every game. More than you can say about a lot of this team.
  15. 3 likes
    Originally I was disappointed in Gaudreau’s playoff performance the same way! Then I realized the Avs are simply shutting him down. He gets no time and space, meanwhile McKinnon gets to fly all over the ice. I put part of the blame on the coaching strategy, they should should have atleast adjusted and played Mckinnon the same way the Avs are shutting down Gaudreau. Gaudreau does need to toughen up but can’t fault him when he’s getting nearly double teamed.
  16. 2 likes
    I see it differnetly. While I agree that there should have been more tinkering with line combos/pp, the Flames did make multiple system adjustment throughout the year. A huge reason they struggle out of the break is they switched their system, and it was also a key reason the top line went cold. The Flames stopped being such a rush team and tried to become a more dump and chase grind away team, and they made some adjustments with their D to stop giving up all the odd man rushes they gave up in the first half of the year. I don't think it was a case of they weren't ready or needing to adjust, they simply needed a better game plan and better execution when it mattered.
  17. 2 likes
    Not a fan. I think he's a very junior-esque player, he is a talented goal scorer with great hands but his skating isn't that close to elite, his spacing defensively is off, and his problems are exacerbated by his lack of all-around effort (a.k.a. only gives a crap in the offensive zone). To put it mildly, he's a bit of a *****. Insert whatever 5 letter swear you like. Kids like that can turn it around in theory, but from my experience those types of prospects don't ever turn around for you. Kids who don't already have a heart and balls of steel need a kick in the Hash Rate to get it, and usually that ends up being a trade after a few years of struggling. He's a perfectly normal and even likable guy otherwise, but by the time players like that turn into quality assets they've already moved to another team and you don't even see the benefit. Kaliyev isn't the worst in this draft by any stretch in that regard but even in a world where draft prospects who have warts or problems with consistent effort tend to have that ignored in favor of skills among the public eye, Kaliyev is noticeably not an energetic player. Things like that are innate traits and habits aren't easy to get rid of, and a guy who is willing to bail on a puck battle often finds it a slippery slope because the moment you are OK with losing once, what's the difference in losing another? What's the difference between this corner scrum and the last one? I could be wrong, but I'll take a kid with fire to go along with the skill, because it's not like his level of talent is so high I'd live with the rest of his game. Give me the kid who would rather die than quit on this play, every play. To be honest, that's partly why I'm not a huge fan of Suzuki either. You don't have to be big or strong to be a pain in the Hash Rate to play against, so guys who play a perimeter game or expect others to do the work are huge pet peeves with me. I don't ask for much but you better be willing to try and do everything you ask of your linemates yourself or else you're a selfish player.
  18. 2 likes
    I understand, but then I think the worry could be that if we wait until next year and he has a similar season, he becomes a definitely untradeable player whereas now he teams might think it’s just the fit, or that we used him wrong. I can’t see teams wanting to chance it if he’s still playing like poop then.
  19. 2 likes
    Sorry But i dont Share this View of giving up on him yet i seen this the previous Season with Hamonic being with a new team now this is the same scenario new team new coach it takes time i think James Neal know he can be alot better and will be when the season starts i just know how hard it can be to go from team to team and adjusting is easier said then done i Know im Gonna take Heat for he is a Professional player but sometimes it is alot easier said then done if after next season there is no Improvement Fine move him but give him that year leeway to get adjusted to the team and the coach
  20. 2 likes
    Personally I would keep Czarnik. Highly underutilized last year, if he was given a regular shift this season it could really help our forward depth. I've seen some suggestions around the web that we trade Bennett. While he probably isn't top 6 material, he's one of the only guys who upped his game for the playoffs. On a team where the give-a-crap meter was lacking in the playoffs, we can't afford to lose one of the only guys who brought it this year when it counted most.
  21. 2 likes
    I think we can do better than Armia for Brodie. Armia is an ok player, but he really isn't anything more than a bottom 6 role player. He isn't a guy that is going to play in our top 6. If I am trading Brodie I want a top 6 forward or picks in return.
  22. 2 likes
    A guy who has done nothing but struggle with the cap for 5 years goes to a team struggling with the cap. lol
  23. 2 likes
    It has nothing to do with the fans priorities. The Owners have always supported a rebuild with one caveat. Make the playoffs at all costs. This is the reason we are where we are. Management is free to take the team through a rebuild with full budget as long as Flames make the playoffs. BT made the choices he did because he saw progress. He did basically nothing at trade deadline because the team he has assembled performed beyond just about everyone's expectations during the regular season. BT did not see the needed changes. He is a hands on guy that doesn't hear/see the problems until after the results. Hindsight is 50/50 after the fact. I agree wih JJ on most of his points. We don't developed goalies and cling to our goalie coach and his methods like he was a god(guru according to George Johnson). BT Sticks with the status quo. He could have had Fleury.. He passed at the asking price... BT is a budget GM. too frugal to buy a competant long term goalie so we wander in the desert looking for a rookie or bargain to step up. We need a bigger stronger #1center that will bump all our centers down. Until we are ready to move on from the 3M line I don't see our top 6 improving much. BT will tweak it however. Neal was supposed to be that for 1st line RW. I disagree with JJ on the D however. All our D prospects that were given a chance stepped up this season. They are young and need more time is all. I just don't see a need to break down the D. We gave up Hamilton and tried Brodie back in his old spot on right side top D. We can move him down the pairings but he has not responded well to that solution in the past. I am of the opinion we need a top line center and a top 6 RW. We need to find and pay for a true #1 goalie. Has to be now and before next expansion draft. Then we need to tweak the D. Anyone who plays with Gio excels and looks better. Our youth is not ready for top 4 yet. There is more but this is good place to start.
  24. 2 likes
    I know both players are very similar in alot of aspects, stature, point production, etc, but unless he's scoring Czarnik seems invisible. Maybe that means Mangi is trying harder or Czarnik has more to give but I still lean to keeping Mangi if it comes down to one or the other.
  25. 2 likes
    So we would be moving the two best pieces in the trade (Tkachuk and Chabot) and ending up with two 2nd/3rd liners. Would have to take a pass on that one. Kapanen and Johnsson are a bit over rated IMO. The both have good speed, but benefit from playing with Matthews and being pumped up by the Toronto media. They are good players, but they are Frolik level players.
  26. 2 likes
    It still continues to be a good trade for both sides Flames got two quality young players for 6 years Hurricanes got Dougie, who is one of the best offensive defenceman in the league. Ferland was good for them too and this season they reached the 2nd round. Who cares about Fox Both teams would do this deal again I think
  27. 2 likes
    And Fox would be a side swipe we'd be trying to deal with, when we have bigger fish to fry. Getting him out of here early was a good move. He'd be a headache.
  28. 2 likes
    I think we also need to evaluate this trade for what it sets the team up for in the future. Currently Hamilton is helping their playoff run, but Ferland is mostly a non factor. Dougie had a pretty bad first half this season as well, which is somewhat familiar to us as fans. Lots of tools, and when he uses them watch out, but he doesn't always use them. Next season though, the flames still have Lindholm and Hanifin, but Carolina likely only has Hamilton and a couple of draft picks. Three years from now, we still have both guys and Carolina has just the draft picks and anything they might get from a potential Hamilton trade. The trade made us younger and gave us two reasonably priced pieces locked up long term, extending our window for success and giving s certain level of cost certainty.
  29. 2 likes
    Ideally BT finds a way to trade Neal. If BP wants a speedy talented team and you already have Monahan and Tkachuk we shouldn't keep Neal around. I prefer not to keep Monahan at C because I think we saw proof this season he can't handle it. I believe Tkachuk would be versatile enough to make the switch to RW on the top line. I would love to be able to put my faith in Bennett back at C between Gaudreau and Tkachuk for a few reasons. First I think the compete level on such a line helps Gaudreau play to his full advantage. Secondly if Gaudreau and Tkachuk can't make Bennett a producer again then nobody can. Lindholm I think is our best player and you could play him anywhere, but if they would move Monahan to LW I would have Lindholm C this line. Kapanen on RW would be a great addition for these two. Would Brodie for Kapanen work for both teams, worth trying ?
  30. 2 likes
    im seeing a trend, not just in us, but other teams as well.. breaks are bad we rested players , Tampa sent theirs on vacation before the playoffs.. we slumped this year and last after being hot going into the AS Break and 5 day break after I know the union wont let the team do anything , but id say they need to find a way to keep the focus on the hockey.. its too hard to turn it back on Not sure if we do it now, but if we dont , we need to start doing the 7 game segments again .. or put more emphasis on it .. spend the year playing 7 game playoff series .. soon as you win 4 ..start another one
  31. 2 likes
    not picking on you , just used yours as an example , but I don't get the love to Trade Czarnik I see a lot of ..Mangiapane as well His results were probably very close to what his expectation was . He was a top AHL player, making the jump to a full year in the NHL. Id say he even showed better in his first main exposure , than Mangiapane did Hes what you need to be able to fill other areas -- he's cheap , talented , and only getting better .. you NEED these players if you're going to spend higher in the Core area I fully expect and I think we need more out of his next step next year , but we signed him for his potential, not for what we expected him to do this year I personally would not be open or looking to move him any time soon Mangiapane is the same boat-- currently cheap .. productive when he gets the chance Its actually guys like this that are going to make it possible to Pay Tkachuk
  32. 2 likes
    As we get further away from the ending of the season and the emotion of that starts to dissipate, I find myself becoming less concerned with the roster construction (though I would like to see some tweaks.), and becoming more concerned with why the team didn't show up to play. When I look back at it, I don't think Colorado beat us because they had the better team or better roster, they beat us because they came ready to play playoff hockey and we weren't. I think we are capable of playing playoff hockey, we just need to be able to flick that switch when the calendar turns to April. There are lots of excuses that can be used, Peters has never been a head coach in the NHL playoffs, we don't have much playoff experience, we clinched too soon and thus didn't have to play any meaningful games for a long time. That last statement might have some merit when you look at the fact that all 4 division winning teams went out in the 1st round, and the wildcard teams who had to be playing at playoff level intensity just to make the playoffs all made it to the next round. The difference in Colorado's intensity level and ours in the 1st round is the difference in intensity levels between the playoffs and regular season. I would be more concerned if it was a couple of players not showing up, but when the whole team doesn't bring their level up that speaks more to a team that just wasn't ready for the playoffs. I think you think you make tweaks to the team, but I think you give this team and coaching staff a chance to fix the mistakes next season.
  33. 2 likes
    To be honest, we won a lot of games to end the season but that was barely beating teams outside of the playoffs. Luckily the 4th line was going. I really don't see our team as this dominant entity others think. Possession Stats always back us up, but I see it as, us coming from behind a lot. Sticking to the game plan is good to comeback, but slow starts haunt you in the playoffs. We started bad, to the Pens game. Got rolling and then bad habits crept back in by Christmas. Coach was upset and wanted to practice to iron it out. Ok good. We did that until the all star break, but the first line went MIA, then the depth finally woke up, but the 1st line only showed very occasional glimpses of breaking out of the funk they were in since then, but never did. And that’s a killer. I think there were a lot of good things that happened, but it wasn’t this amazing dominant season everyone is claiming. The team was good and played through some deficits...
  34. 2 likes
    What’s with all the love for leafs players? There’s 29 other teams out there too! As far as Marner is concerned, I think he’s staying put, and I think Dubas is going to revisit some of those teams who had interest in Nylander for a summer trade. I don’t see Nylander as a playoff performer, and we need to focus on acquiring that. I see some have shown interest in Kapanen, and I like the player as well. He’s an RFA without arb rights it seems, but I think the Leafs are going to have trouble fitting him in next year... there may be an opportunity there but I’m not giving up Mangiapane for him.
  35. 2 likes
    Top end players don't always fit with a particular team. Hamilton may have woken up a little more this season after being traded away from another team due to reasons other than on ice performance. Maybe he just fits the Carolina systems / mentality better. Maybe its the fact that Carolina is not exactly a hockey market so there is less pressure or less magnifying glass on him all the time so he can be looser. Who knows the reason. Lindholm did better in Calgary than Carolina. Neal has been a regular 20+ goal getter up until this season where he just didn't fit. Many people blame Neal, I blame the fit and only the fit. He was brought in to play likely top line with Johnny and Mony which would never be a good fit since Mony and Neal are too similar, they just simply play different positions. Neal also doesn't fit with Backlund and Tkachuk simply due Backlund being more defensive and is mostly offensive opportunistically if something happens his way without making offense happen. That is not a bad thing, for a defence first job, but it doesn't help Neal. Lindholm is also not the center for Neal. Right now, the Flames do not have that player and I don't have enough knowledge to know who that would be. The Flames also do not have the correct complimentary RW for Johnny and Mony. Lindholm worked early on, but it was more because of skill and necessity rather than ideal situation. Hanifin is young and on a good contract. His attitude seems to fit better than Hamilton's. His current mistakes he should learn from and continue to grow. Remember that most D don't hit their stride until late 20's. Until we can have a more direct comparison between the 2 players, it is tough to say who won the trade in that respect. We can all accept that Lindholm was better than Ferland, if only due to injuries and long term contract. Lindholm had 38 more points than Ferland, including 10 more goals and was a +30 to Ferland's +13. Lindholm also played 10 more regular season games and 5 playoff games to Ferlands 3. Lindholm is also 3 years younger. Hamilton got 18 goals, 39 points and an even +/- this season over 82 games at 25 years old. In 80 games, Hanifin had 5 goals and 33 points (only 6 fewer points) and +18 at 22 years old. Hamilton was better offensively in Calgary in all 3 seasons than he was for Carolina this season. Hanifin did better with Calgary this season than any season in Carolina. Hanifin also improved his +/- while Hamilton dropped. Hamilton's first year in Calgary at 22 years old, he was - 14 and the best he ever hit was +12. Hanifin played 2nd pair D with lower minutes as well, not to mention Hamonic is not going to improve his offense whereas Giordano definitely helped Hamilton. So if we really look at everything just from basic stats, Hamilton did not do much better than Hanifin and in some stats did worse, while Lindholm blew away Ferland in every stat except maybe hits. Calgary ended up with 8 more games played, 32 more points, +35 better in +/- and 6 years younger. Add in contract certainty of 2 players under 5 mil each for 6 years compared to 1 play at nearly 6 mil for 3 years and the other for just under 2 mil for 1 year, and that is again looking better for the Flames. We are not even accounting for the potential player fit issues and I would say the Flames won the trade so far. In 2 more years, we can look at the numbers again. If Ferland walks in UFA and Hamilton is difficult to re-sign while the Flames still have 4 more years of Lindholm and Hanifin... the writing will definitely be on the wall.
  36. 2 likes
    I definitely believe TO should be hot for TJ.. if we could pry Kapanen , I'd be thrilled
  37. 2 likes
    To say regular season doesn't matter isn't exactly true. Without regular season performance we could not be in the playoffs. I've said this before, and I'll say it now. The initial trade I feel we upgraded forward (Lindholm>Ferland) but downgraded D (Hanifin<Hamilton). At the same time, I feel like Hanifin is where Hamilton was when we got him, though a bit different in style (Hamilton more of a goal-scoring D, Hanifin being more like Brodie in the aspect of being a better passer rather than shooter). This season, Hanifin has developed a fair bit more than he had the last few years, and there is no reason to doubt that he won't continue to grow the next couple years (much like Dougie did with us). Don't get me wrong, I feel like Dougie has more potential to be a #1D, but at the moment, I feel like the difference isn't that much at the moment. The biggest issue with our playoffs I feel is two-fold. The amount of playoff rookies (Hanifin, Ryan, Lindholm, Janko, Hathaway, Valimaki, Andersson, with Rittich who never saw minutes, but was also a playoff rookie) and a head coach in his first playoff as head coach (and even assistant coaches in their first NHL playoffs as assistant coaches). No matter how many times people get told that the pressure amps up, and it becomes harder, it's one of those things that if you do not experience yourself, you never truly understand. The second part is a bit more on the coaching (but players as well), and that is failure to adapt to the play. When the zone entry didn't work, instead of adapting, they went with the same strategy over, and over. The players on the ice should have adapted to that, but also, the coaches should have pushed a change their as well.
  38. 2 likes
    Nylander is like his old man, and if we are going for a culture of no-shows then he’d be perfect for this team.
  39. 2 likes
    Marner is a more realistic target. Unsigned, carries less value than Matthews, plays mostly on the wing I believe. Probably still need to start with Johnny and TJ as going the other way. Or we could look to Nylander. Burned relationships plus down year could equal a reasonable ask. Maybe Backlund + Brodie. Would need to move Lindholm back to center, but a line of Johnny-Mony-Nylander or Tkachuk-Lindholm-Nylander could be pretty good.
  40. 2 likes
    Playoff experience is irrelevant. That's what I learned tonight. CAR took down the defending champs with a roster with 11 players that hadn't played in the playoffs before. That excuse can't cut it around here ever again, nor should it ever have been a sufficient excuse.
  41. 2 likes
    That's pretty close to how I would place them also. Personally I would move Lindholm and Hamonic up one tier. Lindy for his versatility and Hammer for the grit and fearlessness.
  42. 2 likes
    Maybe the biggest positive this playoff season is seeing Sam Bennett elevate at a critical time. Led the team in points with 5, showed effort and heart, and limited minutes most games. We need more of that, and it makes me happy he is a flame.
  43. 2 likes
    This! i was considered as being too negative all year when pointing out team deficiencies in a lot of the victories, but that’s because if you don’t clean up warts, they tend to show up when you least want them to. I didnt want them to show up in the playoffs. Slow starters, we barely even got started... bad giveaways.... I don’t need to name everything. I am not saying this to say I was right, it was more the desire to clean up the warts.
  44. 2 likes
    It isn't wrong at all to put your best foot forward. Organizational influence and culture is important and you have to gauge what is most important to you at the given moment, it's too easy to say that one way or another is better when reality is much more nuanced than that. At the time, the Flames decided that a no-quit mentality was worth more than a higher spot in the draft, and given that the 5th overall pick was Elias Lindholm who didn't break out until this season, it's pretty safe to say that the end result would be basically the same because at that point it would have been very difficult to move into that top 4 that late in the season. I get into this with my coworkers a lot, whether you can draft superstars with late picks and whether that's a sustainable way to build a winning team. It's not impossible and yes you see the odd 4th rounder turn superstar, especially in Calgary. But it is much much harder because while you can find superstars late in the draft, those are rare enough that if you are reliant on late picks solely in order to become a contender you end up relying on lady luck a lot more. High picks aren't valuable because of the reward, they're valuable because of the (lack of) risk. You're almost always guaranteed a capable NHL player if you're drafting in the top 5, and a good GM and coach is able to turn that into success on a more consistent and reproducible basis than teams that miss on their high picks or trade them and end up having to try and find top 6 and top 4 players with 3rds, 4ths and 5ths. Right now the Flames have a couple of glaring holes as a result of being the latter, rather than the former. One is that the picks they do have aren't really that impressive in the grand scheme of things. Monahan, while a good 6th overall pick, has had his overall development stunted and isn't a great all-around player. Bennett has been a disappointment relative to draft position. They didn't have a pick in 2015 because they traded it for Dougie Hamilton. 2011 was Baertschi, 2010 was traded for Jokinen, 2009 was Erixon who left and then busted and 2008 was Greg Nemisz who also busted. Between 2008 and 2015, the Flames drafted exactly 1 top 6 NHLer with a 1st round pick, and some of those were real good picks to work with. That is the core of this current team and that's a big reason for why this team has, up to this season, struggled to put together consistent depth options up front and on the backend without trading for or signing older/established NHL players. Bring that up to 2018 and the number goes up to 2 with Tkachuk and a possible 3rd in Valimaki. The Flames have to decide what they are going to be, and whether or not they can win with this group. I think they're closer than this team has been in almost 30 years, but there's also a gap between the Flames' best players and the league's best players, and all of the Flames' top players have some sort of flaw that needs addressing before you can really look at them and say "I'm comfortable in believing they are favorites to win the big one". That was my thought before the season and I don't think that changes because of the Flames' regular season. Again, you don't need to tank to draft a star, just look at Mathew Barzal out of the Islanders who went mid-first or David Pastrnak of the Bruins who went late 1st, but you need to be lights out with the opportunities you get and the Flames haven't done so. I do believe that the players this team is built around are capable of being key players on a contender, but I didn't see the 100% confidence, poise and buy-in needed to do so at any point this season (Johnny floating around and being the last man in on your TV screen in the playoffs, for example, has been happening all year to some extent). The disappointment comes from raised expectations which is somewhat unfair, because our playoff result is basically what we were expected to do before the season began. Colorado is also a better than 8th place team who suffered a horrendous stretch of games. What the Flames DO need is a star player in a different mold than a Monahan or Gaudreau, someone who is capable of taking some of the offensive and defensive load away from the other core players. I had hoped that Bennett would be that guy but with what we have now the only thing the team can do is knock this upcoming draft pick and next year's pick out of the park. This team can win and a lot of it will come down to summer development and good trades. Also, let me end with this: I don't regret winning the games ever. Where the Flames have shorted themselves is using the assets they have, not missing out on the assets they didn't get. MacKinnon is a huge favorite of mine but he wasn't making it here; he's just very very useful as a measuring stick for what the team is trying to build talent and character-wise.
  45. 2 likes
    Nope, because that just shows the gap between the Flames and a Cup winner is 3 whole wins in a series. Seems easy, but those 3 wins are an overall massive gap and won't be made up without contributions from everyone in the lineup. There were too many passengers and not enough real gamebreakers on this team to make it work. I remember watching MacKinnon destroy the CHL in the playoffs in 2013 and thinking if he brought half of what he showed there consistently in the NHL playoffs he'd live up to his billing as one of the best gamebreakers drafted in the 21st century, and here we are.
  46. 2 likes
    One area that the coaching staff really needs to address is the special teams. We had the 18th PP and the 19th PK, that's not good enough in either category for a contending team. The PP in particular drove me crazy, from the bump back play to being far too stationary in the offensive zone, there is a lot of work to be done. If you look at teams like Tampa or even Colorado, the puck is constantly on the move and so are the players. Our PP I way to stationary and doesn't open anything up in the middle of the ice, everything they do is on the outside of the ice. With our ability to win faceoffs, we should have been a much better PK team, I think some of it comes from poor goaltending at times. I would also suggest that we are again way too stationary, need to push the pressure and make the other team have to make high end skill plays to beat you. 5v5 we were amongst the best teams in the league, so I don't see much of a need to change that aspect, but our special teams need to improve a lot if we want to continue to be a contending team. The importance of special teams ramps up considerably in the playoffs as well.
  47. 2 likes
    Most realistic target for a 3rd line C could be Haula. Vegas will need to trim cap, Haula likely won't cost much as he has essentially missed this entire season. He was also Neal's C in Vegas which could help your 5.75 investment
  48. 2 likes
    I agree with cross16 that league parity exists and any team has to maintain the effort to play their best hockey. Where we ended up in the standings had a lot to do with other teams struggles throughout the course of the season. I didn't think we played all that great all season and were a team getting to know the coach and our team mates. I learned that BT and BP need to keep building this team so they improve on the good aspects discovered this season.
  49. 2 likes
    In a nutshell, the evidence for teams winning cups through rebuilds is extremely strong. There is no easy way to win a cup. And there's nothing easy about a rebuild. And there's plenty of examples of rebuilds that don't work (look up North). But let me be clear, Most of the people asking for a rebuild, are not asking for something easy. They're not looking for a quick fix. And they're not doing it out of anger or an over-reaction. Rebuilds are painful. And, yeah. Too much for a lot of fans to stomach. The arguement of "easy" can be used both ways. Lots just want to go home, have a beer, and konw their team has a chance every night after a hard day's work. Rebuilds aren't for them. Some have bought season tickets and need to entertain clients on the regular. Rebuilds are not for them. Rebuilds are for those fans who want the highest possible chance of winning a cup (which is still by no means a guarantee) and are willing to wait for it.
  50. 2 likes
    I echo that. Even with the end result I had a blast following the flames this year. They were exciting and entertaining and for me that's what being a fan should be. Not going to have the result you want every year but I see some fun seasons on the horizons for this franchise and that's exciting.