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kehatch last won the day on September 13

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  1. Zadarov-Gubrandson would be a terrible pairing in my opinion. I also don't think you can put Valimaki on the top pair with Tanev, he hasn't shown he is ready for that and It think that derails him much more then putting him on a third pairing with Gud. If Valamaki shows up in camp and forces the coach to him more minutes then that changes things, but right now I think its Valamaki-Gud / Valimak-Stone and some combination of Tanev, Andersson, Hanafin, and probably Zadorov.
  2. Lines have been really consistent so far, with just one change on D. We will see if they last the first few preseason games, but it's interesting to see Sutter stick with it through the first week. Tkachuk-Lindholm-Coleman: This line should match up better then the Monahan line against top competition. Interesting to see Sutter stick with Lindholm at C. Gaudreau-Monahan-Mangiapane: I am a bit surprised to see Sutter put a small player with Gaudreau/Monahan. But Mangiapane should handle the skill, he has the D game, and the work effort should be a good fit. Dube-Backlund-Pitlick: I don't love this line due to a lack of offense. If Dube takes a step they might generate some points, but barring that this line will struggle to score. They should be strong defensively though. Lucic-Richardson-Lewis: Good fourth line as long as they don't get mismatched with a high speed line. Lots of size, energy, and decent defensively. Ritchie: Obvious 13 forward. I just hope he doesn't end back up on the top line. Hanifin-Tanev: I like this much better then when Zadarov was with Tanev. It's a proven top 4 pairing and out best shot of having a legitimate top pairing option. Zadorov-Andersson: Unless these guys take a jump forward this line might struggle. It lacks speed overall. I do like the match if defense / offense. Hopefully both guys take it to another level this season. Valimaki-Gudbranson: This one is fine if they don't get caught against the top lines. Hopefully it clicks because Valamaki needs to find another level this season. Otherwise hopefully Sutter is ready to sit Gudbranson and bring up Stone (who was great with Valamaki last season) Kylington-Stone: Both are good 7D options.
  3. The ownership still has a bunch of moves left before they have to rebuild. This season they are giving Sutter the types of players they want to see what he can do with this core. If that doesn't work they can fire the GM, or they can trade a core player or two in a hockey trade. Sure, if none of that works and they can't extend Gaudreau / Monahan doesn't recover from his surgery / Tkachuk refuses to sign or falls off / the young D doesn't materialize then maybe we see a string of three or four seasons of missed playoffs and ownership is forced into a rebuild. But these things aren't particularly likely, and even if they occur a rebuild isn't going to start overnight. For now this is a mid 20s team that is in the playoff mix every season, and there is very little reason to believe that won't continue to occur for at least the next few seasons.
  4. I didn't suggest that finishing 20 is fine, or that the Flames are the youngest team in the league. I said that there isn't anything to indicate the Flames are all of a sudden going to have a steep drop off and start picking bottom 5. Not while they are spending to the cap and still have a core in their 20s. And as long as the Flames continue to be in that scenario, ownership won't sign off on a rebuild. Especially this ownership who have shown the reluctance to rebuild previously.
  5. I think as fans, we like to put simple explanations forward to keep things easy. "You need to have a first overall to win the cup" or "You need X number of ELCs" or "You need X caliber player as X,Y, and Z positions". I have done it. You have done it. Its how we set up context for an argument or discussion. But the reality is, you need the best players and the best team to win and there isn't a specific recipe to achieving that. That said, we all know that the best place to get the best players is the draft. The best way to get the best players in the draft is to draft higher and more often. And the best way to get the highest and most picks is to rebuild. I agree with you that the top SC teams had a lot of great players to complement the other great players they got in top spots of the drafts. But those teams still had the great players they got in the top spots of the draft. The issue with the Flames is we don't have the strong base the consistently great teams do. We don't have the top players at any position, and the two we have that can occasionally be in the conversation are at the least important position (LW). Could we find those players outside of a top 3 draft pick? Possibly. Its why people like me are advocating for Eichel. But its a lot harder. Some fans look at it like this. Are we good enough to be legitimate SC contenders with the base we have? No, then lets rebuild. Its that simple, and it leads to a lot of the arguments describe at the paragraph "The only way too ..." or "If we don't then terrible thing X,Y will occur". The owners don't look at it like that though. Playoffs and big name players is where you make your money. When you don't have those two things, then you rebuild to get those two things, but certainly not before. For coaches and GMs, if you can make the playoffs you might be the next 04 Flames, 06 Oilers, 20 Canadians, or even better 19 Blues. The GM and coaches aren't going to have a job through a rebuild.
  6. 12 isn't a doom or gloom scenario, and is pretty consistent to where the Flames could pick. Since 2016-17 we have finished 16, 20, 2, 19, 20. Outside of the 2018/19 anomoly, we have been pretty consistent. To this point, the Flames haven't done anything to get significantly worse, and the team is young. It's a big leap to "catch up" to the bottom teams whom are actively rebuilding, especially for more then one season. As long as the Flames spend to the cap and maintain their young core we will be in the mix for a playoff spot and will most likely continue to finish in the 20-10 range.
  7. I don't get the doom and gloom to be honest. The Flames weren't a bottom 10 team last season and I don't think they should have a big drop off this season. Will they be better then mediocre? Maybe not. But I don't think they are going to be terrible.
  8. Our D is average, with the potential to be good. Tanev was one of the best shut down D in the league last season. Hanafin is a good 3D already, but had the potential to grow. Andersson had a belated sophomore slump but I expect to see him take a step forward. Valamaki really responded to Sutter in the final 10 games. Zadarov will be good under Sutter. I think Mackey raises some eye brows this season (in a good way). We are missing that elite number 1 guy and I am not convinced any of the young guys will become that type of player. But the D is deep and well balanced.
  9. Call me 'skeptically intrigued' about this season. On paper, we are worse. We lost our captain and top D and our response was to use the cap to rebuild our bottom lines and pairings. For a team with a lot of holes, and one where even the GM was promising core changes, that's lead to a big snicker across 31 fan bases (and a lot in fan base 32 as well). But I agree with you. The rebuild of our depth was designed around a proven and elite coach who seems to have faith in the team. If last years team played like a proper Sutter team for the full season then we would have made the playoffs. The biggest issue with the Flames has been them underplaying and under achieving. The coach and additions may give us the identity we need to right that ship. That said, a lot needs to go right. The coach and additions need to have that positive impact. A bunch of players need to rebound, including Markstrom, Monahan, and Tkachuk. A young D or two need to step up. And the Flames need to figure out where to find goals, because they certainly didn't bring any in this summer. We also need to deal with our best players expiring contract. I really don't know what to expect from this team. Best guess is they make the playoffs as a low seed. But they could win the conference or be bottom 5 and neither would shock me.
  10. The Flames have only missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons twice since coming to Calgary. Both were long droughts of multi season misses. Last time, it took 4 seasons of missed playoffs, a mostly retired Kipper, and an expiring Iginla for ownership to rebuild. Even then, they avoided the term 'rebuild' as much as possible with Feaster using one of his made up words to make it sound like something else. With an arena on the way and a young core, I think it will take more then a second season of missing the playoffs for the Flames to rebuild. But who knows, if we lose Gaudreau, Tkachuk refuses to sign, and Monahan doesn't rebound that may fast track things.
  11. I think so. I think there is about a 0% chance the Flames go full rebuild. Last time ownership agreed to a rebuild we were well on our way to a fourth consecutive playoff miss. Iginla was on an expiring contract, Kipper had all but retired, and they were out of options. This time our core is young, since Gaudreau made the team we have made the playoffs 4 out of 7 seasons, and two of those misses were while we were still building. With an arena on the way I can't see ownership agreeing to a rebuild unless something catastrophic comes up. But I do think there will could be significant changes. Tkachuk, Mangiapane, and Gaudreau are all on expiring contracts, and Monahan only has one additional season. That is a big chunk of the core and a big chunk of potential cap. If the Flames have a poor season, they will almost certainly make some big changes. Especially if any of those guys aren't looking for a long term extension.
  12. Eichel is better. A rough 'tier' of Cs looks something like: McDavid, MacKinnon, Matthews, Crosby, Draisaitl Bergeron, Eichel, Shcheifele, Barkov, Aho Point, Tavares, Malkin, O'Reilly, Pettersson, Kopitar, Backstrom, a few others Monahan along with a rather large list. I would put Lindholm here as well if he plays C. You can shuffle a few guys around the list I guess, but Eichel is levels above Monahan. Injury is a concern for Eichel for sure, but it is for Monahan as well. Monahan put up fewer points then Backlund last year, and that was his second season in decline. I certainly understand the concern about giving up futures, especially from a team that may need to rebuild or retool soon, but I look at it this way. In 2013 Feaster offered three first round picks, one the 6 OA, for MacKinnon. It took MacKinnon 5 years to really find his groove (bringing him roughly to the age Eichel is now). That trade would have amounted to Monahan, Klimchuk, and Poirier for MacKinnon. This is an opportunity to do the same to get an elite C, but this time one that is just entering his prime. Look at it another way. The Flames spend years in a rebuild and came out with Monahan, Gaudreau, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Hanafin, and a few D with potential. Gaudreau is the oldest guy on that last and he just turned 28. The Flames can spend 5 years rebuilding again hoping they get luckier then last time (and hope they get an Eichel caliber C). Or potentially they could add one of the elite Cs, possibly without even losing any of the core pieces listed above. A final way to look at it. The Flames likely will not rebuild. The ownership drug their feet as long as possible last time with a core much older and much less competitive then the one we have. We have already heard they are trying to extend Gaudreau, and we saw this summer that they didn't trade anyone. This time they have a new arena on the way. Even if a rebuild was the right and best chance, if the Flames won't do it then it doesn't matter. In which case fixing your biggest hole makes sense. I know the price for Eichel is 4 1st round picks or equivalent. But nobody is paying that which is why we are talkin about this in September. Whatever it comes too, the Flames should be making a serious offer for him. You have a bunch of high caliber D ready to break out, a couple of strong goalie options, and some value wingers you can use to further tweak the team if necessary. The Flames could use what they have and retool over the next 2 seasons and come out a contender. Are there risks? Sure. But a rebuild is at least as big of risk, and staying the course is a guarantee not to contend.
  13. The Flames can likely trade Lucic next season if they want to. Most of his salary is a signing bonus next season. As of July 2 there will only be 1 million in actual salary owing.
  14. The head coach reached out to Gudbranson in July trying to get the player, and the GM just signed him to a 2-million dollar deal. He isn't going to the AHL. Also, Mackey is a young waiver eligible player. If he isn't in the top 6 then he will be in the AHL where he can get ice time and continue to develop. Based on your response to TD, I appreciate that isn't what you would do, which is fair. But that is what the Flames will do.
  15. I always enjoy reading takes on prospects, so thanks for linking. I don't really agree with the write up though. First, Coronoto isn't listed, and neither is anyone else from the 2021 draft class. Strange for something written in August. I also have trouble listing Phillips and Ruzicka as untouchables. I know he is just taking a different approach to saying they are in our top 5 prospect list, but using the term untouchable? Phillips could very well be on waivers in a few weeks.
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