Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Deadline Day Approaches!

Today's Flames panel is on what the Flames should do at the deadline. And what they will do?

Randy's answer:

What they should do 

I know I am going to get slammed for this, but I truly believe that they should sell, and invest more of the future. Build on the assets they have now. I just do not see them beating out LA this season or Vancouver.

So what does selling involve?

Curtis Glencross 

We really need to get his influence out of the dressing room, the problem is we may have trouble finding a home on him. I have been told that the Flames will find him a home.

Karri Ramo

Simply put, the Flames are not going to re-sign him. Ortio is on a one-way contract next season, and Hiller is locked up for one year. Making Ramo the odd man out. The Flames should send him packing.

Dennis Wideman

This is where I am going to get in trouble with my readers. I feel that the Flames should try to get younger on defense. Send Wideman to a contender. Again, I know I will get flamed for this, but that is life.

Generally, I think the Flames should try to continue to rebuild for the future, and not simply going all out for the playoff push for one year.

What the Flames Will do?

I suspect they will do a little tinkering, for some reason they really don't care what I think! <Sigh> I suspect the Flames will make three moves at the deadline.

Pick up additional top 6 forward

The best option: Chris Stewart

The Buffalo Sabers power forward would be perfect fit. His size would help the Flames with some gritty goals. He needs a new environment, and the Flames may very well fit the bill. He can get the job done.

Go after another 4 or 5 number defence-man.

(Preferably a young one, to replace or improve our last pairing.)

Best options:

Braydon Coburn

Not having the best year in Philly. But I still believe that he can be a solid defenseman in the Flames roster. Not as much pressure. He might very well thrive in the Flames dressing room. A solid upgrade if he becomes available at the deadline.

James Wisniewski 

If the Jackets are serious about taking offers, the Flames should call. James is a solid defenseman. He has some offensive skills to add on the rushing to the ends. He is a solid addition.

Trade Glencross

Of course, the last transaction is that they will trade Glencross.

The Flames may very well have some trouble finding a him a home. The problem is there so many sellers, that teams may very well find other suiters. His rep is not exactly solid, and why would teams take him when they can find another forward with less baggage?

I am sure that the Flames will be able to trade him, I am just worried that we will won't get as much as they want. I have no doubt that he will be traded for a draft pick.

Dearen's answer:

What should the Flames do at the trade deadline?

I am a believer in going for it. In the NHL today it is extremely difficult to make the playoffs any given year. Look at the Kings, they barely make it into the playoffs, but dominate the playoffs once they get in. I am not saying we can compare ourselves to the Kings, but making it in can lead to magical rides. The puck was in.

I would like to see Treliving add to help this current Flames group. I know, I know do not mortgage the future for a rental player. I am not suggesting we trade the likes of Bennett, Monahan or Gaudreau to bring in a player like Evander Kane, who went to Buffalo. But this team needs help if you want to see playoff hockey at the Saddledome this spring. And not just Hitmen playoff hockey.

The Flames in my opinion need to upgrade on Engelland and Diaz/Smid pairing. Bringing in a capable #4 d-man is ideal. But with the current prices, I am not sure that will be possible without mortgaging the future, which I already said we should not do. But if a move makes sense that brings in a Wisniewski or Andrew Ference; I would be in favor. Both Wisniewski and Ference have another year left on their deal and would not be classified as rentals. "Siedenberg" to throw out another name that could potentially be available.

Another area for me is the face off issue. Granted this a significant issue that one center cannot fix. Having a future of Bennett-Monahan-Backlund up the middle is appetizing, so I would not spend a lot now to bring in a temporary center, like Vermette. So maybe this is something we do not address and Granlund, Colborne, Jooris and Stajan rotate behind Monahan and Backlund for the remainder of the season. I would suggest a guy like Letestu or McClement to provide some depth and experience down the stretch.

Another area I want addressed is a right handed sniper. I know I am asking for a lot here. Lupul or Kessel would cost too much and can Lupul even stay healthy for 10 straight games? Maybe more realistic is a guy like Cam Atkinson; but he would not be my first choice.

What do I think the Flames WILL do?

Order a round of coffee, talk about the Canadian Dollar and how it will affect the NHL salary cap. Call to see if Freddie Modin is still skating. Every five minutes Brian Burke comes over the intercom "trade deadline is the day GM's make the most mistakes".

I think we may be in for a quiet day. If Glencross is still around on Monday, we may see Brad Treliving move him for a third round pick. Or maybe he deals him to a playoff team for their disgruntled forward, who knows. But besides Glencross I am not so sure the Flames will be active. It is an easy sell for Treliving to address the media and say "this group has worked hard, and deserves to stay together. We are not going to jeopardize the future, the prices were too high for our appetite".

My only glimmer of hope is that news leaked that the Flames were heavily interested in Tyler Myers and Cody Franson. Treliving didn't want to spend what it was going to take to acquire those guys, but he was interested. This has me to believe that upgrading the d-core is on Treliving's mind.

I don't think we will see a Reto Berra for a second round pick type of move this year.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Flames Report Card Continued

The Flames Report Card continues today. I would like to give the forwards their grades. The lowest grade I hand out is a C.

Mikael Backlund 

Backlund has been outstanding of late. The only concern I have is his injury list. If he stays healthy, the Flames are a much better team.
Grade: B+

Brandon Bollig

Bollig has not been very effective this season. He has to be smarter. He needs to pinch in with the offense. He has to be better; this has not been money well spent. Grade: C

Lance Bouma 

Lance has done everything that has been asked of him. He is the perfect fourth line bruiser. He knows when to hit and sets the pace. He is a spiritual leader of this team. Grade: B+

Paul Byron

Paul has hands of stone. All I can stay is keep trying, Paul. Sooner or later, you will succeed. At least, I hope you will. Grade: C+

Joe Colborne 

Joe has been showing signs of life lately. He is adding some offensive punch. He continues to improve each game. Grade: B

Johnny Gaudreau 

Guardian is an outstanding, gifted forward who can stick-handle through a match box. The guy has more skill than I can count. He has become the Flames forward most counted-on. Grade: A

Curtis Glencross  

Simply put, Glencross has taken way too many days off. He is still lazy at times, with selfish play. But he has shown signs of brilliance this season, which makes me even more frustrated. Grade: C

Jiri Hudler 

Jiri has been connecting with Johnny Hockey on a regular bases. He has been steady all season. His numbers are on a career high. He has been consistently one of the best all season. Grade: B+

David Jones 

Jones needs to get consistent, but when he plays with a chip on his shoulder he is very effective. He has to play with meanness. Jones must use his size and strength more often. Grade: C+

Josh Jooris

If I would have told you Jooris would have 10 goals this season, you would have laughed at me. The kid has been outstanding with his speed. He has brought his line mates back. Raymon and Colborne are connecting with him right now. Grade: B

Sean Monahan 

Monahan is the best center of the season. Mr. Clutch should be his nickname. When the Flames need a big goal, Sean is the one who delivers the most. Grade: A

Mason Raymond 

Has never recovered since the injury. This is really disappointing, because I know what he is capable of. Lately, he has been showing signs of improvement  with his new line mates. Let’s hope he can back to his pre-injury days. Grade: C+

Matt Stajan

Matt has been steady, but not outstanding lately. He is a steady fourth line center who has been doing his job of late. I expect more of him though, he is our leading draw man, which has to continue. Grade: B 










Monday, January 26, 2015

Flames Report Card

Since we are not going to have too many games, I thought we should sit back and look like what we have. So today it is report card time. Do the Flames make the grade?

I will be grading goalies and defense in this blog.

Goaltending

Jonas Hiller

When Jonas has been on his game, there are very few better.  I remember The Game: the performance of the year was against the Hawks. Hiller covered the angles. His rebounding control was extraordinary. Yet his worst performance was against the Panthers. Let’s face facts; he was terrible. Letting in a few bad goals seemed to rattle him. Hiller has to get more consistent. Grade: B

Karri Ramo

Karri has been a solid team player. He has had his times, including a two-game shutout streak. He has been one of the best back-ups in the NHL. If he can continue to give the Flames a chance every time he plays, the Flames will be in the playoff hunt through the season. Of course the Flames have three goalies at this moment. Rumor has it that he will be here for the whole season. Only time will tell. Grade: B

Defence 

Mark Giordano

Mark has been one of the most outstanding D-men in the League. He kills penalties, he is a great skater, and most of all, he knows his position. He knows his role and what is expected of him. He is a true leader. He is the definition of a leader; he does everything that he expects of his teammates. He is outstanding on and off the ice. Grade: A

TJ Brodie

TJ has been a pleasant surprise. I love his skating ability. He is the perfect partner for Gio. His passing skills would match any defenseman in the League. The only blemish on his record is that at times he pitches in at the wrong time, showing overconfidence. Grade: B+

Deryk Engelland

Deryk has really been struggling this season with his speed. He has to pick it up. He has been caught out of position too many times. But he has has a lot more disciplined than I thought he would be. I just want him to be smarter out there on the blue line. Grade: C

Kris Russell

Kris has been one the best shot-blockers in the League. He does what is expected of him and knows his role. He is a perfect parter for Wideman. He is there most of the time to cover up for Wideman. Grade: B

Dennis Wideman

Dennis is on a career year. He has twelve goals this season. He has been very good, adding to his offensive production. He has been very effective in the offensive zone. I have been very impressed with his defensive zone coverage. He has been better than I thought he would be. His speed still gets him in trouble at times. Grade: B

Ladislav Smid

Smid is a stay-home defencemen. He is very adequate, nothing flashy. You get what is expected of a number five dman. He is a what he is.
Grade: C+

Raphael Diaz 



When the Flames signed Diaz, he was an after-thought. He had a solid preseason, I was not expecting more than a few moments of offense from him. Which is exactly what he has given us. His defensive zone coverage is not great, but he fills a need.  Grade: C
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