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Calgary Flames Drafting and Development: Your Analysis

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Demko has done his time. He's showing huge poise in a pressured time. I was pissed that BT passed on the number one rated goalie (Demko) in favour of McDonald. He, barely showed up in the ECHL!  If goalies are a crap shoot then just draft the first rated goalie if u have the chance. Yes, I know other great goalies were drafted later but that's all luck.

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9 minutes ago, Irocke99 said:

Demko has done his time. He's showing huge poise in a pressured time. I was pissed that BT passed on the number one rated goalie (Demko) in favour of McDonald. He, barely showed up in the ECHL!  If goalies are a crap shoot then just draft the first rated goalie if u have the chance. Yes, I know other great goalies were drafted later but that's all luck.

Knowing the Flames at that time, Demko would be working at a Dairy Queen if they’d have gotten their hands on him.

 

I’m kidding of course. At the time it was an obvious mistake, McDonald wasn’t even a good junior goalie. Management under Feaster always thought they were the smartest people in the room and that pick proved it

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Ok let's not get too ahead of ourselves, Demko had a couple of good games, but he is still rocking a career 3.02 GAA and a .906 save%. He is a backup goalie.

 

At the draft, Demko and MacDonald were rated really close it wasn't like MacDonald was a stretch, and Demko isn't a goalie that would have changed the course of the Flames.

 

 

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I thought it was a mistake at the time too, Macdonald over Demko, but I think the flames gambled on the upside which is not the end of the world. While Demko looked fantastic these last few games most of his career progression has been towards a solid tandem/backup goalie. See if that changes and it always can with goalies but I would agree that 3 games doesn’t make a career even though they were very impressive. 
 

At the time I think the flames were poor at scouting the US which is likely a reason why they rated Macdonald over Demko. The positive is I think the Flames do a much better job scouting the US now. 
 

2014 was also one of those awkward drafts you have when you are between GMs. They almost always turn out to be busts. 

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5 hours ago, cross16 said:

I thought it was a mistake at the time too, Macdonald over Demko, but I think the flames gambled on the upside which is not the end of the world. While Demko looked fantastic these last few games most of his career progression has been towards a solid tandem/backup goalie. See if that changes and it always can with goalies but I would agree that 3 games doesn’t make a career even though they were very impressive. 
 

At the time I think the flames were poor at scouting the US which is likely a reason why they rated Macdonald over Demko. The positive is I think the Flames do a much better job scouting the US now. 
 

2014 was also one of those awkward drafts you have when you are between GMs. They almost always turn out to be busts. 

I heard Burke in an interview..  apparently Demko was coming off 2 Major Hip surgeries.. they decided it was too big a risk that he could fully recover 

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13 minutes ago, phoenix66 said:

I heard Burke in an interview..  apparently Demko was coming off 2 Major Hip surgeries.. they decided it was too big a risk that he could fully recover 


would be plausible as the Flames tend to avoid drafting players with injuries. Little more conservative that way. 
 

He did have issues going into the draft  but got surgery after his draft year and apparently has been fine and pain free since. So that’s still a miss from the flames imo with the scouting process. 

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Just now, cross16 said:


would be plausible as the Flames tend to avoid drafting players with injuries. 
 

He did have issues going into the draft  but got surgery after his draft year and apparently has been fine and pain free since. So that’s still a miss from the flames imo with the scouting process. 

Yeah but if we had taken him you know his hip injury would come back 😛

 

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1 hour ago, rocketdoctor said:

Yeah but if we had taken him you know his hip injury would come back 😛

 

Yep.. and if I recall the 2 were very close in ranking . It wasn't a total reach to take McDonald

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1 hour ago, phoenix66 said:

Yep.. and if I recall the 2 were very close in ranking . It wasn't a total reach to take McDonald

 
Really not that close.   http://www.mynhldraft.com/2014-nhl-draft-prospect-rankings/

 

People were upset on here when it happened, and we told ourselves the ranking were close but they weren't.

 

I can understand passing on Demko.   What I can't understand is everyone else they had to pass on to land on MacDonald.

 

Namely, Pettersson.

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The more I think about it, my main issue with the way things have been done over the last 5-6 years, has nothing to do with drafting, and more to do with development. In particular the development of two players. Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett.

 

Bennett's development or lack there of has been talked about ad nauseam on here, so I won't go too in depth there, but between his rookie year and his playoff performances he has shown that he can be a top 6 player in this league if given a chance, he just hasn't ever been given that chance, except a period or two here and there. This team's present and future would be much different had the team developed its highest draft pick in team history. They way he was developed was basically to be a bottom 6 grinder and to date that's what he has been. I still think he can be a solid top 6 center.

 

Now with Sean Monahan, we have a player who was being compared to Jonathan Toews when he was drafted, but somewhere along the lines he stopped being developed as a two way center and ended up being a one trick pony. That being said he is very good at that one trick. He has turned into a premier goal scorer in this league. I also think he is a bit under rated as a play maker, though there is room for improvement there as well. What concerns me the most is that he was touted to be an all around player with a competitive drive, that's not the player he is today.

 

Quote

Sean Monahan’s scouting report:

Monahan has the intelligence and vision that make him a gifted playmaker. He can spot the open man and makes those around him better. Although he’s not naturally aggressive in terms of physical play, he plays with a competitive drive and will put his team on his shoulders.

He’s more of a playmaker than a scorer, but he’s got a quick release and an accurate shot. Monahan developed a reputation for playing his best when it matters most. His skating is an area needing improvement, but he plays a complete game with intensity and a drive that should make him a successful pro.

 

This is scouting report prior to the draft on sportsnet.ca. Either this report was really wrong, though most of the scouting reports read exactly the same, or his development went sideways somewhere down the line. Can he still be the gifted playmaker, who plays a complete game with intensity and drive? Or has that passed? I don't think he has the skating ability or the puck skills to be a play driving center, the missing intensity and drive are what's the most troubling to me.

 

Imagine if these two players were developed to be what we expected them to be when they were drafted. We would be a contender for the Cup year in and year out.

 

Now I will acknowledge that the players have to wear some of the blame here as well, development is a two way street, it's not all on the team when players don't develop.

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I would put Gaudreau in this bucket too as it's the trio of them not panning out as hoped as the major reason the Flames are spinning their wheels. Go back to 15/16 and it was looking like Gaudreau/Monahan were already top 50 players in the NHL and Bennett was coming, now none of them are there.  I don't think you can point to one thing for this, and IMO you don't point at the organization for either Gaudreau or Monahan, but I do wonder about injuries. I feel like just about every year Monahan as a late season injury he has to take care of and I wonder if that has always delayed his off season training, or gotten him away from trying to train to be faster.  that's always a thought, and in terms of Gadureau i personally feel he flat lined more because I just don't get the sense he does everything off the ice he needs to do in order to be the best on the ice. If Gaudreau/Monahan played like top liners in the Dallas series there is no question in my mind the Flames win the series. 

 

I really think the whole lack of drive or intensity is unfair though. he doesn't show it in some ways you want maybe but it's there. This is a guy who plays through injuries, inlcuding not calling his GM back after the Flames shut him down, is 4th all time in game winning goals for the Flames, and IMO plays well in the playoffs (minus the Avs series). Sure he isn't physical and i think he comes across as laissez faire, but I think he wants to win bad and he generally shows that in his play, for me anyway.  I agree he won't be a play driving skating if he can't fix his skating but I'm always now really wondering how things would have been if he didn't get stappled to Gaudreau. Did his game perhaps modify to play off Johnny's strengths and was it at the detriment to other areas. 

 

I think the Flames should be open to anything to improve their team but I'm more open to moving Gaudreau than I am Monahan and I do think you could still get some of that scouting report back. part of my thinking is looking at St Louis. Everyone likes to point at Bennington as the big moment that they became a cup contender but I don't agree. He was a huge part no question but for me what made the bigger different was Ryan O'Reilly went from being a really good center to be being a game changer. I've always put ROR and Monahan in a similar category of player. 

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It’s worth remembering Johnny came in to the league a bit older having gone the college route. As such, a good chunk of his development years were finished by the time he played his first nhl game.

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10 minutes ago, cross16 said:

I would put Gaudreau in this bucket too. There are lots of different things you can point out as to why the Flames are where they are right now but IMO the biggest is the trio of Gaudreau-Monahan and Bennett. Bennett didn't develop(not all on him but agree with Jtech i won't ague it again) and Gaudreau and Monahan flat lined from where they were pointing in 15/16. While he still had issues with skating Monahan was looking like a more complete center, he was their best player against the Ducks in 2017, and rather than continuing to develop he kind of leveled out. I don't think you can point to one thing for this, and IMO you don't point at the organization for either Gaudreau or Monahan, but I do wonder about injuries. I feel like just about every year Monahan as a late season injury he has to take care of and I wonder if that has always delayed his off season training, or gotten him away from trying to train to be faster.  that's always a thought, and in terms of Gadureau i personally feel he flat lined more because I just don't get the sense he does everything off the ice he needs to do in order to be the best on the ice. If Gaudreau/Monahan played like top liners in the Dallas series there is no question in my mind the Flames win the series. 

 

I mean I've always disagreed with the comp to Toews as I didn't see that in Monahan. I always pictured him as the Staals, but I also think he gets a bad rap for this lack of competitiveness and honesty I think its BS. He is very competitive, he just doesn't show it in the ways we want (using his body) but there is no doubt in my mind he wants to win and wants to win bad.

- Plays through injuries almost every year. Flames shut him down one year and he didn't talk to Treliving for a week

- 4th all time for the Flames in game winning goals. He's 3 behind Newy. 

- While the Avs series wasn't great, all other playoff series I've always thought Monahan played well. The results weren't there this year, but I really liked his game. 

 

so I don't agree that he is missing intensity or missing drive I think that's unfair. I agree he won't be a play driving skating if he can't fix his skating but I'm always now really wondering how things would have been if he didn't get stappled to Gaudreau. Did his game perhaps modify to play off Johnny's strengths and was it at the detriment to other areas. 

 

I think the Flames should be open to anything to improve their team but I'm more open to moving Gaudreau than I am Monahan and I do think you could still get some of that scouting report back. part of my thinking is looking at St Louis. Everyone likes to point at Bennington as the big moment that they became a cup contender but I don't agree. he was a huge part no question but for me what made the bigger different was Ryan O'Reilly went from being a really good center to be being a game changer. I've always put ROR and Monahan in a similar category of player. 

 

I like ROR example, and maybe I was being harsh. A big part of how I judge a players compete or drive, is how they play away from the puck. Right now that might be the biggest area of weakness for Monahan, he has his moments were he comes back hard and uses his size and strength effectively to win puck battles, but he doesn't do it effectively.

I think what separates a ROR, a guy who is creeping into Patrice Bergeron level IMO, is that he wants the puck more than anyone on the ice and he is willing fight for it. I want to see more of that from Monahan.

 

As far as Gaudreau goes, I think he has been doing the same things since college, but the league has adapted to what he is trying to do on the ice. I just don't think he has adapted to how the league is now playing him. IMO he is most successful when he is attacking the center of the ice, he is settling for the outside, which takes away most of his playmaking options.

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1 hour ago, cross16 said:

I would put Gaudreau in this bucket too as it's the trio of them not panning out as hoped as the major reason the Flames are spinning their wheels. Go back to 15/16 and it was looking like Gaudreau/Monahan were already top 50 players in the NHL and Bennett was coming, now none of them are there.  I don't think you can point to one thing for this, and IMO you don't point at the organization for either Gaudreau or Monahan, but I do wonder about injuries. I feel like just about every year Monahan as a late season injury he has to take care of and I wonder if that has always delayed his off season training, or gotten him away from trying to train to be faster.  that's always a thought, and in terms of Gadureau i personally feel he flat lined more because I just don't get the sense he does everything off the ice he needs to do in order to be the best on the ice. If Gaudreau/Monahan played like top liners in the Dallas series there is no question in my mind the Flames win the series. 

 

I really question Gaudreau's off ice antics and training.  I won't get into the rumors, just that this summer was the first time he seemed to even commit to training.

He got a Peleton and spent a lot of time roller blading.

Hmmm, shouldn't conditioning already been his top priority, since he isn't one to do weight training or extreme workouts (tire/ropes, etc.).

He's not going to have tree trunks for legs, but I would hope that Skittles isn't his method of training now.

MSL should be a model for him, not Evander Kane. 

  

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3 hours ago, JTech780 said:

 

I like ROR example, and maybe I was being harsh. A big part of how I judge a players compete or drive, is how they play away from the puck. Right now that might be the biggest area of weakness for Monahan, he has his moments were he comes back hard and uses his size and strength effectively to win puck battles, but he doesn't do it effectively.

I think what separates a ROR, a guy who is creeping into Patrice Bergeron level IMO, is that he wants the puck more than anyone on the ice and he is willing fight for it. I want to see more of that from Monahan.

 

As far as Gaudreau goes, I think he has been doing the same things since college, but the league has adapted to what he is trying to do on the ice. I just don't think he has adapted to how the league is now playing him. IMO he is most successful when he is attacking the center of the ice, he is settling for the outside, which takes away most of his playmaking options.


 

a part of me wonders how much of Gaudreau’s lack of adaptations are also coaching. Coaches should be pointing out or discussing new ways of doing things to create success in other ways. That’s not all on coaching but I also think a player needs to be able to take pointers or ideas to help them succeed.

 

we need Gaudreau to play like an 85+ point getter and not a 65+ guy.

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1 hour ago, robrob74 said:


 

a part of me wonders how much of Gaudreau’s lack of adaptations are also coaching. Coaches should be pointing out or discussing new ways of doing things to create success in other ways. That’s not all on coaching but I also think a player needs to be able to take pointers or ideas to help them succeed.

 

we need Gaudreau to play like an 85+ point getter and not a 65+ guy.

we don't have the right coaches to show players shortcuts.. Most all of out talented former players want nothing to do with the current Flames owners/management

 

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9 hours ago, JTech780 said:

The more I think about it, my main issue with the way things have been done over the last 5-6 years, has nothing to do with drafting, and more to do with development. 

 

Agreed so the million dollar question is, how do we fix this for our next rebuild?

 

It kind of seems like this is a problem from ownership down.  The mandate to win at all costs means coaches are forced to go with their favorites rather than giving the young kids an opportunity to make mistakes and learn.

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30 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

 

Agreed so the million dollar question is, how do we fix this for our next rebuild?

 

It kind of seems like this is a problem from ownership down.  The mandate to win at all costs means coaches are forced to go with their favorites rather than giving the young kids an opportunity to make mistakes and learn.


 

that’s what scares me the most about being a fan of the organization. The owners expect playoff hockey every year and don’t try to win. They want to skip to mediocre playoff hockey.

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I just watched a Trade Tree video of the Lindros trade ti the Flyers and wow! The Avs really worked that one and built what should’ve been a full dynasty with it when you see all of the players and draft picks that came from it. It’s worth a watch. 

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1 hour ago, robrob74 said:

I just watched a Trade Tree video of the Lindros trade ti the Flyers and wow! The Avs really worked that one and built what should’ve been a full dynasty with it when you see all of the players and draft picks that came from it. It’s worth a watch. 

 

That trade imho was a lot closer at that time than it is now.   It was lopsided for only two reasons:

  • Lindros's concussions
  • Nobody had any idea how good Forsberg was.

 

Lindros really was the dominant player in the NHL for several years after that trade.   But his career wasn't long enough to see the fruit of it.

 

Forsberg, was...right up there with him and Lemiuex.   All the links are dead.  But, Forsberg was ranked to be picked in the 2nd round.   Europeans were very poorly scouted back then.    When the Flyers picked him in the first round, there was an outcry and people wanted the GM's head.    He was not meant to be central to this trade but in hindsight he was every bit as good as Lindros or better when factoring in his concussion.

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6 hours ago, jjgallow said:

 

That trade imho was a lot closer at that time than it is now.   It was lopsided for only two reasons:

  • Lindros's concussions
  • Nobody had any idea how good Forsberg was.

 

Lindros really was the dominant player in the NHL for several years after that trade.   But his career wasn't long enough to see the fruit of it.

 

Forsberg, was...right up there with him and Lemiuex.   All the links are dead.  But, Forsberg was ranked to be picked in the 2nd round.   Europeans were very poorly scouted back then.    When the Flyers picked him in the first round, there was an outcry and people wanted the GM's head.    He was not meant to be central to this trade but in hindsight he was every bit as good as Lindros or better when factoring in his concussion.


 

no no, did you search the trade tree on YouTube? It’s just insane how all of the parts of the trade were kept or moved to get other parts and maybe those parts were moved for others. Not just the trade in itself. I should probably find the link and post it.

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10 hours ago, robrob74 said:


 

that’s what scares me the most about being a fan of the organization. The owners expect playoff hockey every year and don’t try to win. They want to skip to mediocre playoff hockey.

I don't agree.  What is more appealing 2 playoff games or 10+.  Yes they want to get the guaranteed 2 but I don't think they don't care about the other 10 million or so from a deep run.  I think they are trying to get there, they don't pay coaches not to coach or players not to play if they are content with their performances.  They want to win, how they are going about doing it can be questioned for sure but these are big ego guys who want to increase their brand, their brand grows with banners, we can look at the Chicagos and Pittsburghs and say it is an easy blueprint to follow, or you can look at the teams that have just won (St. Louis and Washington) who only took over 40 years to do so, add in the teams that still haven't Vancouver, Buffalo, Arizona/Winnipeg, Florida, Ottawa, CBJ, Minnesota, and teams that haven't won in over 30 years Flyers, Islanders, Leafs.  This isn't an easy league and misery loves company.

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34 minutes ago, sak22 said:

I don't agree.  What is more appealing 2 playoff games or 10+.  Yes they want to get the guaranteed 2 but I don't think they don't care about the other 10 million or so from a deep run.  I think they are trying to get there, they don't pay coaches not to coach or players not to play if they are content with their performances.  They want to win, how they are going about doing it can be questioned for sure but these are big ego guys who want to increase their brand, their brand grows with banners, we can look at the Chicagos and Pittsburghs and say it is an easy blueprint to follow, or you can look at the teams that have just won (St. Louis and Washington) who only took over 40 years to do so, add in the teams that still haven't Vancouver, Buffalo, Arizona/Winnipeg, Florida, Ottawa, CBJ, Minnesota, and teams that haven't won in over 30 years Flyers, Islanders, Leafs.  This isn't an easy league and misery loves company.

The Hawks and Penguins plan wont work any more as all their big pieces were obtained pre lottery. Which out of the remaining options the Flames are probably closest to Philly and/or the Nucks. They may make some noise occasionally, just enough to give the fans hope and enough to keep the idea of rebuild on the back burner but eventually come up way too short. In these days of draft lotto (which needs to be done way better) planning your future on lotto luck is as ideal as planning your own future on winning the 6/49.

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