You are Flames Management, you are at the entry draft and looking for solid prospects to fill your cupboards and you don't have a first or second round pick but you do have a lot of later round picks. One school of thought says that you could draft guys that have shown promise in their first eligible year, like Max Reinhardt who had a terrific last half of the season. The other school of thought says pick the most talented player who in this years draft was Kabanov however he dropped very far because of some major attitude and family issues that were reminisant of Lindros. The last thing you can look at is the players that were drafted the previous year who did not sign their contracts and re-entered the draft or are free agents due to their age. We saw Calgary sign a couple of these free agents already in Breen and Cameron, good signings both.
So we know the Flames know that these players exist, the issue is why they didn't look at them in the draft.
For instance if I was to pose a question to you saying that you could draft one of two players, one showed promise and one is older and further along in his development and has proven goal scoring ability at his level. What do you take?
Joel Broda was a Calgary Hitman, he literally played under the nose of Flames management and scored 39 goals last year, however the Flames picked Reinhardt with 20 goals. The previous season Broda scored 53 goals and still fell to the fifth round.
Now maybe the NHL knows something we don't about Broda, maybe he has an attitude or maybe he doesn't play both ways but you would have to imagine that he's be worth picking at some point in the draft given his proven ability. Now he signed on with a team in Austria. Sounds fun to me!
It also begs a question. The lure of the KHL/Europe and how it will affect young players. You have to wonder if that will prevent more draft picks from signing on, would you go play in the minors for a pittance of what you could make in Russia tax free?? Playing with men, some ex NHL players. Europe is more fun to live in than Scranton I would have to think, why not get your seasoning there? It worked for Giordano!
I guess it's all water under the bridge and the amateur scouting staff is being overhauled so maybe we'll see a shift in philosophy next season.
White in arbitration getting one year is not a horrible thing, he'll likely not re-sign in Calgary once the year is completed if that happens though. Giordano needs to be extended, he is a must keep player and depending on this season might command Regher money so having Bouwmeester, White, Regehr, Sarich and Gioradano next year is simply too much tied up on defense. Two or Three of those players are what is affordable for defense with one dimensional players like Sarich and Regehr being the most disposable. Sutter has stated that it's only reasonable to have three highly paid D on a team which makes you think if White signed a one year deal he'd be happy with that given that Staios, White and Pardy would then all be UFA. It still leaves at least one defensemen to move but that may not happen until next season, I'm hoping sooner though.
White was one of Toronto's best D when he left but at the beginning of the season that wasn't the case, he was a benched player for a bunch of games, he played really well here though so hopefully they can come to a sane contract for a few years before arbitration hits.
The Flames have mentioned three players over and over again as players that are pushing for a roster spot, they are Backlund, Negrin and Pelech. I believe and it is probably common sense that their making the team depends largely on what moves happen over the next two months.
Backlund is a guy B. Sutter really likes but he is also a guy that is not a third or fourth line checker, if you have a third scoring line then he has a chance, if he has Hagman and Glencross on his wings there may be something there. Once Langkow is healthy I wonder where he fits though? There is the possibility of Backlund playing the wing with Stajan and Hagman, the question then becomes is he the center we thought he was?
Negrin and Pelech are the Flames best two NHL ready prospects for Defense. One is offensive the other is defensive. if there is a move in the off season that moves a defenseman out then that guy's role will be filled by one of these two. If Regehr gets moved for instance then Pelech, being a defensive defensemen, will have the inside track.