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I think everyone is too harsh on Englelland. It's not a good contract, no question and even the flames admitted that but does it really matter? They've got a boatload of cap space even with that deal and for the next 3 years I cannot see that deal preventing them from doing anything they want to do.

Considering he is in a new place with a new team and carrying a free agent deal I think Englelland played ok. I agree that he and smid are not the greatest match but that's more circumstance then anything IMO but I also think they can and will get better. It's still very early for two guys that have never played together and are likely use to playing the same role.

The contract & the fact Engelland fills a position that didn't need filling are the problem. If worried about hitting the floor I could see overpaying for 1 year rather then waiting until he's desperate & ready to sign for minimum but the 3 years is a bad move. Every summer there are UFAs happy to sign a contract that pretty well pays double what they made in the last 3 years total. He was a minimum $ player for a reason so paying 5 times as much per year & then making it 3 years was ludicrous.

 

Nobody wants him on that contract so it's play him (here or minors) while he puts a dang near 3.0 hit drag on the cap. I'm hoping we keep Smid over him if there is a dance partner out there.

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 Either that or bite the bullet and put Engelland into the AHL.    

 

The only problem is that it looks really bad (both from a business and player managment perspective) to sign a guy to a contract like that and then bury him in the minors, especially so soon.

 

But I agree with you - bringing in Engelland to pair with Smid was a bad move. Both players have similar strengths, but also similar weaknesses - they do not complement each other well, and together, they are not mobile enough for today's NHL. The only good reason for bringing in Engelland is if you think he could be an improvement on Smid and take over his role, but at the moment, Smid actually looks the better of the two.

 

This will sound crazy to some, but I think Butler would have been a better match with Smid. And he would have been much cheaper to boot.

 

I do think Smid/Engelland will get a bit better with time. I can even live with them both for the remainder of the season, since they don't make the difference between us contending or not. But they are absolutely not a long term solution. Neither are second line material either, so the only solution is to move one of them and replace with someone better/more mobile. You can't really judge with such a small sample, but I would say by the end of the season, you keep whichever player is looking better, and move (if possible) or demote the other guy.

 

 

On the Wideman issue, I'm also in favour of moving him. He's by no means bad (when he's on his game, at least), and offensively he's quite good, but with his age and skillset, I don't see him as a long term piece of the Flames. So I agree with Cross - if you can move him now for someone who might be better in the future, then do it. Even if it weakens us in the present. He doesn't seem to have the greatest consistency, so say sell high rather than waiting until he flops and his contract becomes even more of an anchor.

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It's been a great start to the season and fun to watch, but I think it needs to be said that, from a rebuild perspective, we have major holes at defense.

#1 reason: Gio and Wideman really won't be in their prime (if they're even in the NHL) for the best years of the rebuild. My guess is Wideman will have retired, and Gio might be a heart-and-soul 2nd or 3rd string defenseman by that time.

#2 reason: We're over-achieving, which is common for a young team a the beginning of the year. IMHO, Gio is our only true first-string defenseman. Wideman, Russell, and Brodie are all currently over-achieving. And that's great. But we should temper our expectations a bit. If Brodie and/or Russell can continue their excellent play, they may solidify themselves as true second-line defencemen.

Playing the odds, I think we can expect that one of Brodie or Russell will emerge as a strong second-string defenseman and still be in their prime for the peak years of our rebuild. Which means, that in our top four positions, we can say we have One of the four covered. Maybe two, if we're really, really lucky. But IMHO, we are still missing two first-string defensive prospects and this is probably the organization's greatest pressing need to solidify the success of the rebuild.

Brodie has played at that level most of last season. Plus he has been put in circumstances that are tough to fake your way through. Young guys don't tend to flourish when thrown against the toughest competition. I think his play currently is an accurate reflection of his ability.

I agree that D is our weak link though. We have zero marquee D in the system. On wing we have guys like Gaudreau, Baertschi, Poirier, etc. At C we have Monahan, Bennett, Granlund, etc. At goal we have Ortio and Gilles.

The only D in our system that looks like an NHL player is Wotherspoon, and he looks like a depth guy. Our other guys have a long ways to go to show they can even play in the NHL.

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I think everyone is too harsh on Englelland. It's not a good contract, no question and even the flames admitted that but does it really matter? They've got a boatload of cap space even with that deal and for the next 3 years I cannot see that deal preventing them from doing anything they want to do.

Considering he is in a new place with a new team and carrying a free agent deal I think Englelland played ok. I agree that he and smid are not the greatest match but that's more circumstance then anything IMO but I also think they can and will get better. It's still very early for two guys that have never played together and are likely use to playing the same role.

The guys is redundant. We didn't need to overpay for a physical bottom pairing D. I agree the salary isn't an issue from the perspective of our cap. But it does make the contract immovable.

I don't see Smid and Engelland getting better as a pairing. Watching the two of those trying to clear the zone is painful. They keep putting the Gaudreau line out with them and they can't get anything going because they don't have a strong first pass or decent zone exit. Both of these guys need a mobile partner, but that means putting one of them on the second pair and that isn't a smart move.

I think Hartley started the season with them apart because he knew they weren't a good match. But he has recognized these guys weren't able to manage the top 4 minutes and he was forced to put them together.

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Or is it the offense?  Many people have been crapping on the Flames D recently, fairly or unfairly.  We’re only 9 games in, BUT 9 games is a significant chunk (11%) of the season and to the surprise of many, we have only lost 3 games thus far.  We're getting tremendous goaltending, but Hartley has this team playing entertaining, exciting and winning hockey.  So let’s talk about the D.  What do you like?  What do you dislike?  Below is a snap shot of the top point producers thus far for the Flames.

 

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Amazing that 4 of the top 7 scorers are defence.

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There were questions all around for the Flames beginning in the summer. Who would step up on D? Who would score with Camalleri gone? Well the simple fact is that the team is scoring by committee. The Flames are currently scoring at an average of over 2.5 goals per game with being held to only 1 goal twice so far. As for the Flames defence, there are a couple of players really showing their worth. It is interesting that Russell is not getting much focus, even though he is currently a +6. Brodie is definitely stepping up and Wideman is playing well. Gio is Gio.

The Flames started fast last year, the same as this year, but then they ran into the injury wall to key players for extended periods with less depth than they have this year. Gio, Wideman, Cammy, Jones, Russell all went down with injuries along with others early on. Calgary has a solid 7th D in Diaz now who could fill in for injuries and a couple of prospects could hold their own now on call ups. Calgary didnt have anyone to really cover for the loss of Cammi. Huds carried the team virtually by himself. This year Colbourne has really gotten going, Johnny Hockey is showing Flashes, Jooris is on the score sheet, May Ray and the list goes on. Even with the once again injured Jones, his play seems to not be missed. There is now far more depth on the team to carry the load, even if some of that depth is simply another year of experience for some players.

If the Flames can continue this work ethic and chemistry while avoiding the key player injury bug, they could turn out to be a dark horse towards a playoff push. I don't consider them a cup contender, but they could actually compete for the playoffs. Whether people think that is good or not is a separate question.

I agree with your assessment. What will be interesting to see if, and when BT is able/willing to pull the cord on some trades, sending out some of our performing vets for prospects and picks. I know as is we might push for a playoff spot, but over the longer term I think we'd be better making the 4-6 trades and bringing in a couple top prospect D and picks.

One thing I have noticed that has changed this year is the reduction of the dump and chase. There is more of the D carrying it into the O-zone. They also use the trailing forward to break the trap. It is so much better than the old Butter methods.

I have been critical of Wideman in the past, but he is living up to his reputation as a offensive D-man.

What I still agree with is selling while his value is high.

Yes that trailing forward is working well. Agree we should be trying to offload Wideman while he is doing well.

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I don't see any chance of any team trading up this draft.  It's too deep. going by the experts who've been touting it for the last 2 years.  If the Flames manage to snag Hanifin by pure compete, I won't be too sad.

 

Wideman as it sits wouldn't be worth anything at the draft table.  He's a serviceable D-man, but any trade involving him would require Calgary getting beans back with his massive contract, or it would require taking on some of his payroll.

Hey, he's scoring, can move the puck and play serviceable D. Even at 5+ mm he's not out of line with some younger D. If a contender loses a D to injury he could be a great filler.

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I agree with your assessment. What will be interesting to see if, and when BT is able/willing to pull the cord on some trades, sending out some of our performing vets for prospects and picks. I know as is we might push for a playoff spot, but over the longer term I think we'd be better making the 4-6 trades and bringing in a couple top prospect D and picks.

Yes that trailing forward is working well. Agree we should be trying to offload Wideman while he is doing well.

Considering the current "value" of defense on the trade market, Wideman would (should) be able to command a decent return. Sure he is providing offense right now, and hasn't been as bad on defense so far. We need defense prospects. Our top 4 only has 2 guys under 30. By the time we are contenders, our top 4 will only have 2 guys in their "prime", with Gio starting a slow decline.

Dallas, Boston, Anaheim, San Jose and Philly all need defense right now. New Jersey has soured on Larsson.

BT has an opportunity to win a trade by offloading Wideman for prospects and a pick, and/or offer up something from the farm for Larsson. The Wideman trade might require retaining some cash, if only to stay above the cap floor.

This is the year to pull the trigger on a Wideman trade, in my opinion. We may not be as good without him, but over the next 3 years, will he be provide enough leadership, winning attitude, and offense/defense to make keeping him the right move?

Hate to say this, but trade Sven for Larsson.

Trade Wideman to:

Dallas for Jamie O. and a pick (optional)

Boston for Joe Morrow and a pick

Philly for Schenn's

Ducks for Emersen Etem ++

Just some suggestions.

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I don't agree that Englelland is redundant or doesn't fit a need. IMO in the offseason a big need for the flames was a physical dman and another RH shot and he fits both. Yes would it be better if he was a true top 4 dman of course, but which dman exactly was out there that would have filled that need and would have signed for the short term deal Engelland got? I agree that the flames likely saw either Smid or Russell in the top 4 but he and Widenan playing well to get her is forcing their hand to a degree.

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The guys is redundant. We didn't need to overpay for a physical bottom pairing D. I agree the salary isn't an issue from the perspective of our cap. But it does make the contract immovable.

I don't see Smid and Engelland getting better as a pairing. Watching the two of those trying to clear the zone is painful. They keep putting the Gaudreau line out with them and they can't get anything going because they don't have a strong first pass or decent zone exit. Both of these guys need a mobile partner, but that means putting one of them on the second pair and that isn't a smart move.

I think Hartley started the season with them apart because he knew they weren't a good match. But he has recognized these guys weren't able to manage the top 4 minutes and he was forced to put them together.

The player we want Engelland to be isn't redundant. But a physical bottom pairing D that lacks mobility is redundant. Regardless of the hand he shoots with.

I agree that options weren't there. But our bottom pairing is a liability.

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The player we want Engelland to be isn't redundant. But a physical bottom pairing D that lacks mobility is redundant. Regardless of the hand he shoots with.

I agree that options weren't there. But our bottom pairing is a liability.

Can't say that I've noticed enough to write him off at this point. I'll have to pay more attention.

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 Considering the current "value" of defense on the trade market, Wideman would (should) be able to command a decent return. Sure he is providing offense right now, and hasn't been as bad on defense so far. We need defense prospects. Our top 4 only has 2 guys under 30. By the time we are contenders, our top 4 will only have 2 guys in their "prime", with Gio starting a slow decline.

Dallas, Boston, Anaheim, San Jose and Philly all need defense right now. New Jersey has soured on Larsson.

BT has an opportunity to win a trade by offloading Wideman for prospects and a pick, and/or offer up something from the farm for Larsson. The Wideman trade might require retaining some cash, if only to stay above the cap floor.

This is the year to pull the trigger on a Wideman trade, in my opinion. We may not be as good without him, but over the next 3 years, will he be provide enough leadership, winning attitude, and offense/defense to make keeping him the right move?

Hate to say this, but trade Sven for Larsson.

Trade Wideman to:

Dallas for Jamie O. and a pick (optional)

Boston for Joe Morrow and a pick

Philly for Schenn's

Ducks for Emersen Etem ++

Just some suggestions.

 

I gotta agree with you, if Wideman plays like an all star this year or overachieves then we might get someone really valuable for him and we should definitely pull the trigger (unless we are fighting for a playoff spot?).

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Well…. we outshot the Habs 38-19 and lost 2-1 in the SO.  We were 0/7 on the power play.  Hartley had 3 dmen on the PP atleast once to generate offense.  I don’t think you can blame the defense on this one.  Hey, someone has to stand up for defense, sadly, most here want to trade half of them away.

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We won't see Wideman, Glencross, or any of our vets traded unless it's in a hockey trade (vet for vet). Not until we are clearly out of the playoffs.

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We won't see Wideman, Glencross, or any of our vets traded unless it's in a hockey trade (vet for vet). Not until we are clearly out of the playoffs.

Yeah, I'd bet that is right, although I think some moves should be made with the guys riding the pine. I think some of the prospects are better and would help the team even this year.

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Well…. we outshot the Habs 38-19 and lost 2-1 in the SO.  We were 0/7 on the power play.  Hartley had 3 dmen on the PP atleast once to generate offense.  I don’t think you can blame the defense on this one.  Hey, someone has to stand up for defense, sadly, most here want to trade half of them away.

In a rebuild, you make moves to help you out long-term. You sell when value is high.

Saying that, the Flames will likely avoid any major trade while riding a .500 pace. Unless it is a total overpayment from the other team.

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Brodie has played at that level most of last season. Plus he has been put in circumstances that are tough to fake your way through. Young guys don't tend to flourish when thrown against the toughest competition. I think his play currently is an accurate reflection of his ability.

I agree that D is our weak link though. We have zero marquee D in the system. On wing we have guys like Gaudreau, Baertschi, Poirier, etc. At C we have Monahan, Bennett, Granlund, etc. At goal we have Ortio and Gilles.

The only D in our system that looks like an NHL player is Wotherspoon, and he looks like a depth guy. Our other guys have a long ways to go to show they can even play in the NHL.

 

Thanks kehatch,

 

Maybe I am being a little hard on Brodie.  I'm on the fence.

 

Here's the thing:   When we're thinking of a rebuild, I feel we should think in terms of  where the players will project on a contender.

 

So when I project Brodie out, I'm thinking more of where he would fit in on the LA Kings roster, than how he fit in here last year.

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Thanks kehatch,

Maybe I am being a little hard on Brodie. I'm on the fence.

Here's the thing: When we're thinking of a rebuild, I feel we should think in terms of where the players will project on a contender.

So when I project Brodie out, I'm thinking more of where he would fit in on the LA Kings roster, than how he fit in here last year.

If Brodie was on the Kings he would be playing alongside of Doughty on the top pairing.

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Hmm.  I dunno.  Do you honestly think he'd be able to dislodge one of Muzzin, Martinez, or Regher?

 

I can see some making the arguement for him dislodging Regher.  I would disagree.   But even then, I feel like they have way better talent who would dislodge Regehr before giving Brodie a chance.

 

Honestly I don't think they'd have room for him in the top 4.  And I think they have better, younger talent knocking on the door.

 

I think it would be tough for Brodie on a contender's top 4.  Almost good enough, but not quite.  Almost young enough for the team to have patience.  But not quite.    

 

That being said, he is still young enough to get better.   I do think it is possible for him to be a solid second-liner on a contending team if he continues to improve.   I don't see him a a first-liner on a contender.   Which is fine, it's just something the Flames need to address soon.

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Thanks kehatch,

 

Maybe I am being a little hard on Brodie.  I'm on the fence.

 

Here's the thing:   When we're thinking of a rebuild, I feel we should think in terms of  where the players will project on a contender.

 

So when I project Brodie out, I'm thinking more of where he would fit in on the LA Kings roster, than how he fit in here last year.

 

To be fair, I think Brodie will be a top 4 D in LA for sure and possibly top 2 if he keeps pushing over the next few years.

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Giordano had a career season in his 30s and he is getting even better as Brodie is getting better. A lot of people give Giordano a lot of credit for Brodie play. I think it is more the other way around

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Hmm. I dunno. Do you honestly think he'd be able to dislodge one of Muzzin, Martinez, or Regher?

I can see some making the arguement for him dislodging Regher. I would disagree. But even then, I feel like they have way better talent who would dislodge Regehr before giving Brodie a chance.

Honestly I don't think they'd have room for him in the top 4. And I think they have better, younger talent knocking on the door.

I think it would be tough for Brodie on a contender's top 4. Almost good enough, but not quite. Almost young enough for the team to have patience. But not quite.

That being said, he is still young enough to get better. I do think it is possible for him to be a solid second-liner on a contending team if he continues to improve. I don't see him a a first-liner on a contender. Which is fine, it's just something the Flames need to address soon.

I think you are seriously under rating Brodie. He's a top 4 d on virtually any team in the league without question. Gio does not carry Brodie, they just play off each other extremely well and both of them raise the game of the other.

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