Jump to content
The Official Site of the Calgary Flames


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by kehatch

  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.
  16. I think (hope) if it comes down to Zadarov and Gudbranson sharing a pair that they are calling up Mackey or Stone! The Gudbranson signings sort of feel like the Regher pick up in LA. Totally different situation given Regher's issues were related to age, but still similar in that he was struggling but performed pretty well under Sutter. As for Zadarov, he is more Warrener. He has a decent NHL resume, and a good chance to take it to the next level playing for Sutter. I know it sounds like I am overvaluing the coach. Maybe I am, but I don't think so. The guy knows how to deploy these guys, and I think both will be fine under him.
  17. I think the one way contract was a compromise to get the player signed for two seasons. It only impacts the owners payroll, not waivers or the cap. I also think Mackey will play 60 plus games in the NHL this season. He is NHL ready. The summer line ups always look congested, but injuries are going to happen as early as camp and he is the first up on the left side. I think Mackey and Valamaki are going to take big steps forward this season. I am less certain about Andersson, but still hopeful. Kylington I have written off. But full disclosure, I wrote off Mangipane once upon a time ... Hopefully Kylington proves me wrong again.
  18. I guess we will see. Sutter isn't an idiot and can tell the difference between Valamaki making a mistake and Gudbrandson making a mistake. He is also a bit underrated as a development coach. There have been some very good players developed under his watch. Valamaki progressed a bunch under Sutter, and he spoke very positively about the experience. Again, I am not in the Gudbrandson fan club. I am also certain that both Treliving and Sutter are more then aware of his short comings. But I get the desire to have a physical shut down guy on each pair. Would I have preferred someone with a better set of metrics and more offensive upside? Absolutely. But the Flames have a lot of young puck moving two way D men. The keywords being 'young' and 'puck moving'. Adding two more RH shot defensively focused D gives the team a lot more options, especially with Mackey primed to make an entrance. There is also the question of intangibles. I am an analytics proponent, so I normally hate the word. But the Flames have a culture issue that needs to be solved. We need some more 'intangibles' and this guy brings them. Call me cautiously optimistic, with a side dish of healthy skepticism.
  19. kehatch


    Lets try and move onto something more positive. I think there are some (gasp) reasons for optimism right now. For a few reasons. Almost every team is bad at drafting and developing goalies I looked at each NHL teams drafted goalies from 2005 through 2014 drafts. This covers ten drafts over the cap era without getting into guys who are still developing. I considered any goalie with at least 100 NHL starts as a success. 207 goalies were drafted over those 10 years. 16% of them played 100 games or more. Remove the career back-ups and your at 11%. Remove the guys who broke out with another team and you are at 9%. A third of the league went 10 drafts without getting an NHL goalie, just like Calgary (though Brossoit will likely break the 100 game mark, just not with Calgary). The point is, Calgary isn't unique in our lack of finding NHL goalies in the draft, and our struggles don't translate to a permanent curse. Tampa drafted and developed the best goalie in the NHL. They have drafted 28 goalies over the entire franchise and that was their only hit to date. We have a number of prospects worth paying attention to We have had prospects to get excited about in the past. I get the 'fool me once' tone, but its been a bit since we have had two AAA prospects and prospects across multiple levels. (NHL) Vlader was only moved due to to congestion in Boston's crease (sound familiar) and was moved versus losing him on waivers. He looked great 4 of the 5 NHL games he started for last season (and 5 was a throw away). His pro numbers are really good, and its tough to find many in the know who don't think this guy has NHL upside. A lot of Boston fans are really upset they lost him. (AHL/Junior) Wolf's numbers are insane. The Hockey Writers have him ranked as the 4 best goalie prospect in the NHL (one spot behind the guy who caused Vlader to be traded to Calgary), and that is pretty consistent across the league. Most prospect rankings have Wolf as our fourth best prospect, behind our three first round picks. If he wasn't a bit on the short side (for a goalie) he would be ranked higher. I know that height is an issue, but he isn't that short. Saros, Halak, Quick, Grubaur, etc are all similar height. (Others) Lets face it, the best goalies are often the ones we didn't expect. Sergeyev is a great dark horse prospect. He has passed every test handed to him, he just needs some tougher tests. Chechelev has put up some good numbers in Russia and is making his way to NA. Parsons was highly touted as a prospect before injury, but he rebounded well in the ECHL last season. I keep hearing good things about Werner even though his resume doesn't really scream future NHLer. I get that every team has these types of prospects, and most won't work out. But the Flames have a lot of bullets in this gun significantly improving the chance at a hit. The point is we will have valid prospects at the NHL level, AHL level, and one representing each of the last three drafts. Two of those prospects are highly ranked, with one of them listed as one of the best goalie prospects in the NHL. Meanwhile, we have no need to rush any of them as we have a legitimate NHL starter in net. Don't worry, be happy .... I know enough not to overplay the goalie hand. Its possible none of the guys above work out. But I can't remember the last time Calgary was this flush in legitimate NHL players and prospect at the G position. The history is a concern, but as I said above, that isn't unique to Calgary and some of the best goalies in the league were drafted and developed by teams who historically struggle doing that. I think goal tending prospects is an area of strength for the organization right now. It certainly isn't inline with the general tone of this thread.
  20. I don't know. He got 4 a season ago, and this is a 1 year contract for a 29 year old. I think your paying a bit to keep the term at one year. Obviously he wasn't in ultra high demand or he wouldn't have signed in September. That's reflected with a sub 2m contract for only 1 season. But I am sure he had options. Nearly every team wants to add a RH shot D going into camp. He might have even taken a small pay cut to play in Calgary. He wants to redeem himself to set up for the next contract. Coming to a team where the coach wants you, and where the coach plays a style that complements you, makes sense for the player.
  21. It doesn't look that bad Imo. Maybe it's how you have them paired? 1. Hanafin-Tanev 2. Zadarov-Andersson 3. Valamaki-Gubrandson E. Mackey-Stone A. Kylington-Welinksy Kylington and Welinksy are going to provide depth from the AHL. Mackey can also easily be sent down, his salary is small enough to fully bury and he is waiver exempt. Stone's salary also can be buried, he isn't waiver except though. I expect Mackey will be sent down and be the first call up if there are injuries.
  22. kehatch


    The Flames haven't been successful drafting and developing goalies. No question, I am not disputing that. My point is that every team has their David Rittich's and other veteran goalies. And every team has their long list of Ortios and Brossoits and Gilles that didn't make it. Every team also has a dreadful hit percentage on drafted goalies. You mentioned the Blues as a team strong at developing goalies. That's fair, they have had three starters through their system in the last two decades or so (and a whole bunch of failed attempts as well). Looking at them though all shared starts with 30 something AHL vets and all were in their mid 20s (or later) when they broke into the NHL. Binnington spent 6 seasons splitting starts. Jake Allen went 4 seasons doing that. Bishop spent 9 seasons. Further Bishop never cracked the Blues line up, Allen is average, and Binnington has crashed to earth after his magical playoff run. There isn't a secret recipe and there isn't one way to develop goalies. The Flames need to be better, absolutely. But their failures isn't because they are too old, or because they have taken shots on guys like Rittich/Ramo/Berra, or because there has been too much competition.
  23. Gudbranson is a defensive D that struggles in his own end at times, and that's a tough package to sell. But he makes the Flames tougher to play against and, along with Zadarov, adds an element we didn't have. I think he is going to fit nicely into a role this season. I won't be shocked if we are regretting the signing in December, but I actually expect we will be pleasantly surprised with him. I guess we will see. As for the timing of the signing suggesting the Flames are out on Eichel, maybe. It could be a spend of the final cap space, and a sign they are done. But it could also be a sign they may be trading a D and wanted the depth. Most likely the two are unrelated and this is just adding some last off season depth.
  24. McDavid, McKinnon, Crosby, then maybe Draisaitl and Matthews are the best Cs in the league. Right below that you have a short group that includes Bergeron, Barkov, Schiefle, and a few others. Eichel is in that group when he is healthy, and he is 24 years old. Monahan is a strap drop below those guys. That's not a slight, I like Monahan. But he isn't Eichel. If the Flames are confident in Eichel recovering, then yes I would give those players up for Eichel. If the Flames won the lottery and got the first overall pick we would be super fortunate to draft a player of that Caliber.
  25. kehatch


    Before drafting Vasilevskiy in the first round, the Lightning drafted 16 goalies the previous 12 years. Of them one played more then 100 NHL games, and that was Kari Ramo. Vasilevskiy himself went on to play two seasons in the KHL, the first as a back-up and in the second he shared starts. His following two seasons he bounced between the AHL and NHL, and finally got the net following a Ben Bishop injury in the 2016-17 season. I appreciate the Flames haven't been stellar at drafting and developing goalies. But the suggestion that Rittich playing 43 games over two seasons in the AHL 'clogged up' the system or impacted Ortio's development is insane. They didn't even play in the AHL at the same time. The suggestion that Ortio screams a missed opportunity is also a little bonkers. He had one strong year in the AHL in his D+5 season. He was rewarded with 9 NHL starts. The Flames gave him 6 then 22 NHL starts the following two seasons. The net was his to take and he fell short. Finally, the doom and gloom around the Flames is silly. There are MANY NHL teams (see Tampa) that struggle in this area. The odds just aren't good due to the delay in goalie development and the importance of the position. Their failure to date doesn't exclude success tomorrow (again, see Tampa). The Flames have a number of good options in the pipeline right now. That is good news.
  • Create New...