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Could Be An Interesting Start To The Season


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#1 kehatch

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:31 PM

Assuming hockey gets going this season it could be interesting for the Flames. A couple of notable points:

The play of Backlund

Backlund has finally broke out offensively ... in the tier 2 Sweden team. Backlund has 19-points in 10-games. Despite playing almost half as many games as everyone else he is in the top 5 in overall scoring. He is well ahead in the PPG category.

There are a number of notable NHLers in the league. Including Kopitar, Berglund, and Read.

Obviously Backlund still needs to do it at the NHL level. But so far he is making a case he should be a top 2C next season.

McCarthy threatening to overflow the D

Hartely is a fan of McCarthy convincing the Flames to give him an AHL contract. So far he hasn't disappointed. Given his play in Abbotsford, the support of the head coach, and the need to add size there is a very real chance he is going to get an NHL contract and a chance to make the line-up.

That leaves the Flames D at Bouwmeester, Wideman, Giordano, Butler, Brodie, Sarich, Smith, Carson, Babchuck, and McCarthy. Assuming the group is healthy it is going to make the job of selecting the 7 or 8D for the NHL roster a difficult one. It could force Feaster to make a move.

Brodie showing top 4

Feaster said he was expecting Brodie to be top 4 this season. So far in Abbotsford he is playing at a different level then the other D. It will make line combinations interesting. It may also give Flames management the confidence they need to make a move.

Horak is on fire

The Flames already have an excess of forwards. But it is going to be tough to deny Horak a spot on the opening day roster. The already full forward roster gets a player fuller. And Byron, Nemisz, and Bouma are potential NHL players on the Heat IR while Aliu and Bancks will also make a case to make the team.

Changes to the contract system

The NHL is proposing a system that would count the cap for NHL players demoted to the AHL. This means the opportunity to demote players like Carson, Babchuk, and Stajan is limited as they would still count against the cap.

Irving

Irving has been given limited opportunities to get starts in the AHL. Ward and Feaster have both indicated Taylor may get an opportunity at the NHL level. It may add another player to the mix for the back-up slots.

Decimated D on the AHL

If Brodie and McCarthy are moved to the NHL that leaves the Heat with Piskula and Breen supported by a mix of Lamb, McKelvie, Martin, Callahan, and Tuzzolino. Yikes.

Contracts

Assuming they sign McCarthy and Irving to NHL contracts they will be at 49-contracts.

Tough to predict line combinations at this point, but my best guess is:

Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla
Baertschi-Backlund-Glencross
Horak-Cervenka-Hudler
Comeau-Jones-Stempniak
Jackman

Giordano-Wideman
Brodie-Bouwmeester
Butler-Sarich
Smith-McCarthy

Kipper
Irving

Out: Babchuk, Stajan, Carson

If they don't have a penalty free buy-out period this year (and maybe regardless) the Flames may be forced to move Bouwmeester to accomodate Cap and roster size. They may also be forced to buy-out one (or both) or Stajan/Babchuk just to be cap/ roster compliant.

#2 PokernHockey

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

If they don't have a penalty free buy-out period this year (and maybe regardless) the Flames may be forced to move Bouwmeester to accomodate Cap and roster size. They may also be forced to buy-out one (or both) or Stajan/Babchuk just to be cap/ roster compliant.


Both the current NHLPA and NHL offers have mechanisms for this years salary cap to not go down. The NHLPA want the difference "taken off the top" while the NHLs last proposal was that this year the cap would still be 70 million.

there is simply to many teams that would be in trouble and (assuming they play this year) not enough lead time for the cap to be reduced this year.

Other then that though I agree, it will be interesting.

If anyone other then Irving is our backup this year I would put money on him being down with the Flames.

#3 kehatch

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:03 PM

The Flames are currently at (if they sign McCarthy):

CAPGEEK.COM USER GENERATED ROSTER
My Custom Lineup
FORWARDS
Alex Tanguay ($3.500m) / Mike Cammalleri ($6.000m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)
Sven Baertschi ($1.425m) / Mikael Backlund ($0.725m) / Curtis Glencross ($2.550m)
Roman Horak ($0.800m) / Roman Cervenka ($3.775m) / Jiri Hudler ($4.000m)
Blake Comeau ($1.250m) / Blair Jones ($0.650m) / Lee Stempniak ($2.500m)
Tim Jackman ($0.613m) / Matt Stajan ($3.500m) /
DEFENSEMEN
Mark Giordano ($4.020m) / Dennis Wideman ($5.250m)
Jay Bouwmeester ($6.680m) / T.J. Brodie ($0.742m)
Chris Butler ($1.250m) / Cory Sarich ($2.000m)
Derek Smith ($0.775m) / Steve McCarthy ($0.800m)
Anton Babchuk ($2.500m) / Brett Carson ($0.575m)
GOALTENDERS
Miikka Kiprusoff ($5.833m)
Leland Irving ($0.688m)
Henrik Karlsson ($0.863m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $70,200,000; CAP PAYROLL: $70,262,916; BONUSES: $3,726,250
CAP SPACE (27-man roster): $3,663,334


That puts them over the cap depending on how the bonus cushion is covered under the new CBA. Also, if the proposal goes through players like Walter will count against the cap as their AHL salary is over the maximum.

I agree that there will be some sort of cap relief. There has to be. However, that doesn't mean the cap won't drop some.

Unless there is a season full of injuries the roster space is a problem. Cap space could be a problem depending on the new CBA.

#4 PokernHockey

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

The Flames are currently at (if they sign McCarthy):



That puts them over the cap depending on how the bonus cushion is covered under the new CBA. Also, if the proposal goes through players like Walter will count against the cap as their AHL salary is over the maximum.

I agree that there will be some sort of cap relief. There has to be. However, that doesn't mean the cap won't drop some.

Unless there is a season full of injuries the roster space is a problem. Cap space could be a problem depending on the new CBA.


I'm not disagreeing that the flames would need to make moves, heck should make moves. However your proof is based on them signing more contracts. They are not "required" to sign McCarthy.

And again, both sides current proposals have no cap drop this year. the last NHL proposal specifically said that this year would be played under the old CBA for cap purposes.

My comment was because you said the flames could be forced to trade Jay, etc.

If they choose to try to sign someone else, the new CBA will have nothing to do with any adjustments that have to be made (compared to being up against the cap under the old one)

#5 kehatch

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

I'm not disagreeing that the flames would need to make moves, heck should make moves. However your proof is based on them signing more contracts. They are not "required" to sign McCarthy.

And again, both sides current proposals have no cap drop this year. the last NHL proposal specifically said that this year would be played under the old CBA for cap purposes.

My comment was because you said the flames could be forced to trade Jay, etc.

If they choose to try to sign someone else, the new CBA will have nothing to do with any adjustments that have to be made (compared to being up against the cap under the old one)


It isn't just the cap (and we still don't know if it will change some). The NHL is attempting to remove cap circumvention tools from teams.

The NHL proposal counts any 1-way NHL contract even if demoted as well as any 2-way contract with the AHL salary over 105K regardless if they are on the big club. That means a portion of Irving's, Byron's, and Walter's contracts will count and all of players like Babchuk's, Stajan's, Carsons, and Karlsson's will count even if playing in the AHL.

There was also some chatter about removing the bonus cushion. That removes the Flames ability to defer 3.1-million.

The cap may also change. The NHLPA prosposals call for a gradual reduction in the cap through a variety of ways. The NHL calls for an immediate reduction to 50% with associated salary rollbacks. There is nothing to say that the final destination won't include a smaller rollback or a partial reduction in cap year one. The last number I heard was they could drop revenue sharing to 53% without existing contracts exceeding the cap. This doesn't effect every team. But it will the ones with the higher payrolls and the Flames are currently #4.

That said the cap may not change, the PA may not authorize the proposed changes to AHL salary, there may be penalty free buy-outs, they may implement the proposal to allow cap to be traded (giving an option for relief), etc. And if the Flames do have cap issues that doesn't mean it is Bouwmeester that gets traded.

I am just speaking hypothetically since that is all we can do at this point. I just think it is a bit of an assumption that the new CBA won't impact the Flames relative to their cap situation.

#6 another_one_bites_the_dust

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:19 PM

Contracts

Assuming they sign McCarthy and Irving to NHL contracts they will be at 49-contracts


I assume you mean Taylor? Irving is already under contract.

Tough to predict line combinations at this point, but my best guess is:

Tanguay-Cammalleri-Iginla
Baertschi-Backlund-Glencross
Horak-Cervenka-Hudler
Comeau-Jones-Stempniak
Jackman

Giordano-Wideman
Brodie-Bouwmeester
Butler-Sarich
Smith-McCarthy

Kipper
Irving

Out: Babchuk, Stajan, Carson




I can almost guarantee you, you won't see Glen-X on the RW. Bärtschi maybe, as he has played RW in Abbotsford the year. With the chemisty he is developing with Horak, I'd imagine you would see them in an energy role on the 4th line, or a 3B line. I also don't think Gio will be alongside Wideman, Just my thoughts.


My line predictions would be:


Tanguay - Cammalleri (Cervenka) - Iginla
Glencross (Cammalleri) - Cervenka (Backlund) - Hudler
Comeau (Glencross) - Backlund (Stajan) - Stempniak
Horak (Comeau) - Stajan (Jones) - Bärtschi

Jackman


(The wingers on the 3rd and 4th lines interchangable. Ideally looking to see a Horak - Backlund - Bärtschi line.



Bouwmeester-Wideman
Giordano - Brodie (Butler)
Butler (Brodie) - Sarich (Smith)
Smith - Babchuk

#7 kehatch

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:42 PM

I assume you mean Taylor? Irving is already under contract.


Indeed. That is what I meant.

I can almost guarantee you, you won't see Glen-X on the RW. Bärtschi maybe, as he has played RW in Abbotsford the year. With the chemisty he is developing with Horak, I'd imagine you would see them in an energy role on the 4th line, or a 3B line. I also don't think Gio will be alongside Wideman, Just my thoughts.


Lines are academic at this point. Even Hartley won't know the pairings until he has had a chance to work with his team. That said:

Glencross has played RW a fair bit. But either of them on the RW is fine.

I don't think you are going to see either Baertschi on the fourth line. Hartley likes to throw his top end prospects into the mix in a scoring role. Sutter might have had him there while he earned his spot. But I think Hartley is going to go the sink or swim route. They can always send him back to the Heat if he is over his head.

I also don't think you are going to see Baertschi with Horak and Backlund. There is zero size or experience on that line. You are begging the other team to take liberties. Glencross is one of the few players we have that can protect Baertschi while still keeping up.

I wasn't initially sold on a Gio-Wideman pairing. And really any of Bouwmeester, Gio, Wideman, Butler, and Brodie are interchangeable. But the Gio-Wideman pairing is growing on me. I don't know if Gio is strong enough to play with Brodie or Butler. Bouwmeester managed the top pairing next to Butler last season and I think there is a bit more faith in him doing that.

#8 The_People1

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:16 PM

It's going to be very interesting.

Backlund could take a top 6 role but Cervenka has sort of been "promised" that spot on the 2nd line. How will he react if he's put into a lesser role? We seem too soft in the top 9 regardless. It would be nice to add some muscle into the line-up.

#9 Carty

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

It's going to be very interesting.

Backlund could take a top 6 role but Cervenka has sort of been "promised" that spot on the 2nd line. How will he react if he's put into a lesser role? We seem too soft in the top 9 regardless. It would be nice to add some muscle into the line-up.


I think Cervenka would be unlikely to re-sign with the Flames if he ended up in a 3rd or 4th line role... As you pointed out, he has been given the indication he will be on the 1st or 2nd line, and I have to believe that opportunity is one of the reasons he signed that kind of contract...

Ideally, it would be nice to get Cammy back on the wing where I think he will be more productive...

And yes, the Flames have been short on muscle and grit for far too long...

#10 DirtyDeeds

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

re:

Contracts

Assuming they sign McCarthy and Irving to NHL contracts they will be at 49-contracts.


I think you meant to say if they sign "McCarthy and Taylor". Irving has already signed a NHL contract.Edit: I see after reading on that Tawdge already covered that point.

What stands out about all this is the change around we have had. By change around I mean the once solid depth we had on the farm on Defence is no longer to be seen. Even from just last year our depth in that position seems weak.

It makes me wonder why we let someone like Brian Connelly just walk. I was all for sending out kudos to Feaster for getting him when we traded BMo and picked him up. To turn around and just let him walk is not the best of asset management. The only reason I can see that makes any sense is the high number of contracts we are carrying and someone had to draw the short straw.

#11 kehatch

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:00 PM

Something else interesting. Many of our NHL ready C prospect are excelling .... at wing.

Horak is the AHL goal scoring leader. Playing RW.
Backlund is leading his team in points and the league in PPG. At LW.
Cervenka was putting up his usual solid numbers. Also at LW.
Heck, even Jankowski is playing wing.

It is going to be interesting to see if the Flames force Horak, Cervenka, and/or Backlund back to the C position or let them continue at wing. Personally I like Horak at wing. I don't know enough about Cervenka to have an opinion. I like Backlund at C, but if he has more success at wing then so be it.

#12 Carty

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

Something else interesting. Many of our NHL ready C prospect are excelling .... at wing.

Horak is the AHL goal scoring leader. Playing RW.
Backlund is leading his team in points and the league in PPG. At LW.
Cervenka was putting up his usual solid numbers. Also at LW.
Heck, even Jankowski is playing wing.

It is going to be interesting to see if the Flames force Horak, Cervenka, and/or Backlund back to the C position or let them continue at wing. Personally I like Horak at wing. I don't know enough about Cervenka to have an opinion. I like Backlund at C, but if he has more success at wing then so be it.


I hear ya Kehatch...

Now if the new CBA includes a rule change that eliminates the center position... We've got it made... :lol:

#13 Flyerfan52

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

^

Can we add the old 6th skater as rover? :)

#14 Carty

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

^

Can we add the old 6th skater as rover? :)


Posted Image

#15 PokernHockey

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:42 PM

^

Can we add the old 6th skater as rover? :)


Pfff, you have always been allowed to have a sixth skater as long as you don't want a goalie. Heck, some teams (Oilers, playoff pens/flyers) are so confident in their abilities they don't even bother putting on the 6th man for most of the game.

#16 kehatch

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:44 AM

I hear ya Kehatch...

Now if the new CBA includes a rule change that eliminates the center position... We've got it made... :lol:


That might be okay for us!

Players that only play wing:
  • Iginla
  • Tanguay
  • Glencross
  • Jackman
  • Baertschi
  • Stempniak
  • Comeau
Players that only play C:
  • Stajan
Players that play wing or C (* on the ones that arguable should play W):
  • Backlund* (producing at W in SWE)
  • Cervenka* (plays W in Europe)
  • Cammalleri* (small sniper that player wing most of his NHL career)
  • Hudler* (horrible face off guy, played wing for most of his NHL career)
  • Jones (wing or C)
  • Bouma (wing or C)
  • Horak* (performing much better on Wing. Ward says he likes him better on the walls then down the middle - when asked to project Horak)


#17 ScottMacMahon

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:13 AM

I assume you mean Taylor? Irving is already under contract.




I can almost guarantee you, you won't see Glen-X on the RW. Bärtschi maybe, as he has played RW in Abbotsford the year. With the chemisty he is developing with Horak, I'd imagine you would see them in an energy role on the 4th line, or a 3B line. I also don't think Gio will be alongside Wideman, Just my thoughts.


My line predictions would be:


Tanguay - Cammalleri (Cervenka) - Iginla
Glencross (Cammalleri) - Cervenka (Backlund) - Hudler
Comeau (Glencross) - Backlund (Stajan) - Stempniak
Horak (Comeau) - Stajan (Jones) - Bärtschi

Jackman


(The wingers on the 3rd and 4th lines interchangable. Ideally looking to see a Horak - Backlund - Bärtschi line.



Bouwmeester-Wideman
Giordano - Brodie (Butler)
Butler (Brodie) - Sarich (Smith)
Smith - Babchuk


I tried making what i thought our opening day lineup would be like, but (as everyone knows) we have such an overflow at forward and especially on the left wing, that it makes things extremely difficult, especially since their has been a huge push of promising talent and players who will fight for playtime coming up from Abby. This is a good thing when it comes to injuries, but makes everything (especially the fourth line) SO difficult to predict.

Offense
Line 1: Tanguay - Cammi - Iggy
Line 2A: GlenX - Cervenka - Hudler
Line 2B: Baertschi - Backlund - Horak
Line 3/4: Comeau - Stajan/Jones - Jackman/Aliu
(Others: Byron, Bouma, Nemo, etc)

Id like to see Horak and Bear on the same line as they've shown chemistry in Abby, however that makes things complicated as that line seriously lacks some grit and itd be easy for those younger players to get taken advantage of, so to speak.

Defense
Bouw/Butler
Gio/Wideman
Brodie/Sarich
(Others: Babchuk, Smith)

#18 another_one_bites_the_dust

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

Id like to see Horak and Bear on the same line as they've shown chemistry in Abby, however that makes things complicated as that line seriously lacks some grit and itd be easy for those younger players to get taken advantage of, so to speak.



True, but the whole team really lacks grit, There is gonna be a soft line no matter how you look at it, May as well have a skilled, speedy energy line. Look at the Oilers, their top line has to be one of the softest in the league, but if you have puck control and can outskate your opponent, you avoid the contact.

Besides, in Bärtschi's brief 5 game stint, he showed, although he is smaller, he isn't a pushover, I'd even be happy with Cervenka in between the two, But then again, an all Czech line of Horak-Cervenka-Hudler looks pretty awesome too.

LOTS OF DEPTH THIS YEAR!!! That's for sure!


Oh, and I think your d-pairings are bang on what they'll be opening night at least, but I'd still like to see J-Bo and Wideman together, probably will only be on the PP though.