Why so sad Flames fans?
The Flames have been reflecting on their season, hitting the golf course and lamenting on what could have been. It’s obvious to most Flames fans the Flames would have run rough shod over the playoff competition, especially the Canucks. Especially them.
Now we look forward on the next season but I sense from most of you a pessimism in lieu of optimism. I believe this is because we look at the team from last year, where they finished, seeing only one major deduction and no substantial additions and wonder what the plan was?? How is this better?
There are a few things to consider here, addition by subtraction for one. Ales Kotalik is not on the team anymore and forget he was super expensive for what he gave there are other more subtle factors to consider, the team’s on ice goals for were negative per 60 minutes with him on the ice and positive with him off it five on five. His minus 7 probably indicated that he was not giving as good as he got but the underlying stats also underscore that the team did better with him off the ice five on five. This is no surprise to anybody who watched a game last year with Kotalik but the numbers back it up. There are other factors here as well, Steve Staios is gone and is being replaced with a more mobile Brett Carson. In fact the entire defence will look different this year. This is scary because it’s change but there may be a great upside, Regehr was a solid rock on the defence and will continue to be for the Sabres however how much longer is Rocket Robyn going to be able to keep up? His legs have been noticeably slower the last couple of years and one has to wonder if having a few young quick defensemen who can move the puck as well might not actually be an improvement. Carson was targeted by Sutter as the big young puck mover he wanted, along with Giordano, Brodie and Bouwmeester gives the Flames a few options for moving the puck. Mikkelson, Butler and Sarich make up the more defensive side of things.
The one guy fans want to see gone is Hagman but no one really hates the guy, he works hard, he just has had some bad luck here. Hagman had very consistent scoring seasons prior to Calgary and scored 20 or more goals for the prior three seasons, in fact this was his worst year for scoring since 05/06. Most of the unconfirmed rumours surround Hagman and a price tag of a third round pick. If he gets traded I would suggest it’s during the pre-season if another team has a top six go down and needs a replacement. It obviously could go down prior but I would assume if it hasn’t yet the market is probably aware of him and just not moved.
So really if the big deal is that we lost an aging defenseman for a younger mobile two way defenseman and we have too many scoring wingers then we are not really in a position to be that pessimistic are we? I think the big question remains if there was a plan? Was this all willy nilly? Well prior to the draft I blogged about Feaster’s to-do list and he accomplished those things. They were getting more top 100 picks (as was the case with the Erixon debacle), Draft a very solid prospect which Beartschi is, and acquire a number one center which he tried to do. He also moved salary in Regehr and gave this team room for when trade deadline comes.
If the Flames find themselves well out of the playoffs at trade deadline sit back and watch all of those UFA’s go. Langkow (if healthy), Hagman, Moss, Jackman, Nonstopolous, and Sarich could all go. This could be more of a fun season than anyone thinks!
Why would anyone want those players when the deadline approaches? Let alone pay anything substantial for them?
Langkow in his last full season wouold have been 5th on Toronto in scoring, Hagman would have been 9th. Those were their worst season in recent memory as well. Sarich 11 would be second on the leafs and the best defensman in that regard. Just a few reasons.
Sadly, no teams will want to acquire any of those guys because they don't improve any squads going into the playoffs. They're all AHLer's and Langkow is just an old man.
Broadstreet- he may be, this season will be very telling, if he comes back he`s a premier two way center. I would disagree with Sarich as he does improv teams for the Playoffs as does the depth of Hagman. The grinders like Jackman and Koostopolous are built for playoff hockey.
I would rather keep Jackman, totally agree this could be a fun trade deadline. Lots of E4's
I'm having trouble posting my own blog. When clicking submit the blog simply just saves my writing as a word file but it does not submit to Myhockeybuzz. Do I need a season ticket in order to post my own blog? If not please help me with my problem.
aarif- I get this question a lot, I'm not sure why. sometimes it just takes a while. The one thing is that it has to have three tags all seperated by a comma.
Sarich is a useful piece, but not at the salary being paid. Saying he'd be anything to the Leafs is hyperbole considering they have their own overpaid defensive depth guy in Komisarek.
Also, having watched Carson in Carolina and Butler in Buffalo... I feel like you might be mixing talent sets. Carson is big, strong skater who can make an outlet pass, but is not offensively gifted... at all. Butler is smaller and less defensive, but with better offensive instincts. If one of them were to emerge as a puck mover, my money is on Butler.
Addition by subtraction only works if you replace the subtracted people with more consistent players. The players you have "replacing" these roster spots are very inexperienced and not exactly the highest skill level....
A-Mar- Sutter had stated he liked Carson's play for his puck moving ability, I just said he's more mobile than Staios. Butler has played minutes with Mayer and I feel will be counted on for being a more two way defensman. Sarich at the deadline will not be a massive cap hit keep in mind and going UFA so low risk. Gretz- Kotalik while playing was a liability on the ice, he playe 27 games I think, the team is better with him gone. Who is replacing him that has less skill?
myers...sorry for the typo