Thursday, June 28, 2012

What the Flames don't want you to know

I was going to do a blog on the Flames needing a first line Centre, but a little trade happened yesterday in the Stampede city. That seems to have gotten the Flames fans’ danders up. The Flames have acquired Dennis Wideman from the Washington Capitals in exchange for minor leaguer Jordon Henry and a 5th rounder in 2013.

This sure has gotten the ire of most Flames fans. Yea, there is much gnashing of teeth, many threatenings, and some have even come to question Feaster’s mental stability. Behold, there is much wickedness among the Flames fans, threatings of crashing down the doors of the Saddledome. You might say they are not happy.

Some people seem to remember that Feaster said there would be no “No Movement Clauses” handed out. Yea, people have come to call him a smooth talking lawyer, who has two tongues. Yea, people have gone a little too far, even calling him a politician.

Yea, the ire of the fans doth not come with the trade, it comes with the $5.25 million and the NO MOVEMENT CLAUSE. (I had to capitalize that to make it look important.)

So my sources had to go undercover to get some classified documents. Yea, these classified documents are the Calgary Flames Bylaws. It seems these documents clearly point out that we must sign all new players with NMC clauses and give them exorbitant amounts of money, and do the belly dance. Once in a while, the dance turns the players off, so the management now brings in authentic belly dancers instead of Jay actually doing the dance. (I am using big words to make myself look important.)

The owners did a lot of research before they added this clause into the by-laws -- they asked 5 people off the streets -- and found the only way they can get people to come to Calgary is to give them a whole bunch of money. The no movement clause was put in to make it look like the players want to stay. Good image. We have worry about what the people think nowadays, you know.

So now that we have Wideman aboard, Jay can try to make a trade. Oh wait; he can't, because everyone seems to have a NTC/NMC. The Flames are researching to see how this happened. We will get back to you with their findings.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Flames + Wideman = $26.25

Feaster says “expect moves” and he delivers.

Flames acquired the rights to Dennis Wideman for Jordan Henry and a 5th rd pick. Then the Calgary Flames announce they have signed the 29 year old right handed defenseman to a 5 year $5.25mill deal.

Right after that the Flames also announce they have re-signed Blake Comeau to a 1 year $1.25mill deal. The money is right and the term is good for Blake to prove his 20 goals was not a fluke.

But let’s get back to Wideman. His stats show he is not afraid to shoot the puck and QB a power play. Clearly the Flames needed to get better on the power-play and add a right handed shooter. Well they have taken that step and did so before other teams could get their hands on Wideman. Dennis had 46 points last season. He is not a defensive guy, and let’s not pretend he is. In his career he is a -39 but average almost 0.50 points per game played. Clearly he will be paired with someone like Gio, a reliable guy who can allow Wideman to be offensive when needed.

Money and term in this deal is what most people will talk about. 5 years is a long time and 5.25 million is a lot of money. But with the weak UFA class and the Flames needs to improve this team, this is a good deal. He is 29 not 34 years of age. Wideman was going to be highly sought after and likely would have received slightly more on July 1st.

Don’t forget James Wisniewski got 6 years at $5.5mill per season last year from Columbus.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jankowski it is!

Flames draft Mark Jankowski from Stanstead Quebec Prep School. Flames made this selection after trading the 14th overall pick to Buffalo for the 21st overall pick and the 42nd overall pick.

Jankowski is a prospect that is going to take time. He is a project.  Some fans will be angry and some will be eager to see what Mark Jankowski becomes. I believe if this is who Flames management and scouting staff felt was the best prospect available outside of the top 10, then I will support the decision.

Jankowski was asked who he models his game after. He responded saying “I like the way Malkin plays”. This came after Flames management said “he looks like a young Nieuwendyk”. Comparisons are easy, remember Kris Chucko? Needless to say, we are going to have to be patient. Mark Jankowski will likely take 3-4 years before he can potentially crack the Flames line up.

Jankowski played hockey against the weakest competition compared to any other first round pick. Now he will go to the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. We will quickly find out how he handles better competition and he will have an opportunity to grow and gain experience rapidly.

The Jankowski selection makes it two consecutive years where Randy Workman guessed the players the Flames would draft. It shows you how Randy (@thefanblogger) is not afraid to make a bold educated prediction. He clearly did his homework and had some inside info. Well done Randy!

Flames will select in the second round due to the trade they made. Pick number 42 now belongs to the Flames. Stay tuned to Flamesjambalaya for your Flames news.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flames Panel Draft Style

Today I want to pick the brain of Randy. Last year Randy picked Sven Baertschi as his choice and who he believed the Flames would draft. So let’s see if he can do it again!
Obviously, the mentality come draft day, has changed with Jay Feaster being the GM. Last year he added skill with Baertschi & Granlund while securing a stay at home defense man in Wotherspoon, from the Portland Winterhawks. Feaster was forced to trade Erixon to NYR which allowed for Wotherspoon and Granlund to join the team’s prospect cupboard.
I have a few questions for Randy before we ask him for his pick as the Flames first round draft choice.
Randy will be basing his selection on the Flames remaining in the #14 selection spot.

Randy, does the signing of Roman Cervenka (signed one year deal) affect at all who Feaster and Button will select?

ANSWER: No, not all, Dearen. The Flames still want a playmaking centre. Roman is not signed as a number one centre.  This does not change what the Flames will do at all. Feaster knows the Flames are weak down the middle.
                -I agree Randy. Plus Cervenka is only signed for one year and who knows how he will adapt to the NHL game.

TSN has Craig Button, the brother of our head scout Todd Button. Craig has stated that he believes the Flames will draft Radek Faksa, a skilled centre from the Kitchener Rangers. Randy, does Craig Button have some inside info? And what are your thoughts on Radek Faksa? Keep in mind, last year Craig Button stated the Flames would draft Zach Phillips.

ANSWER: I've met and talked with Craig a few times.  I trust Craig Button as a hockey insider.  He has quite a few contacts. Faska is a very skilled player. I like his ability with the puck. He is a great passer and has great potential.  But I don't feel that he is the best centre for the Flames.

                -Many centers are projected in the first round. So Faksa may not be the centre they pick.

 I know some believe Griffen Reinhart or Matt Dumba could be around come pick #14 (although I highly doubt this). Is it at all possible Feaster will draft a defenseman in the first round? Perhaps Cody Ceci or Lampus Lindholm?
ANSWER: The only way the Flames would draft a defensemen is if Reinhart was still there. Which won't happen, Reinhart is just too gifted to still be there at pick #14. The Flames' top priority is a playmaking centre.
                -I agree that Reinhart will not be available. Yet for some reason, I feel the Flames will draft a d-man.

Randy, which prospect will slide down the table? Some reports indicate that Alexander Galchenyuk could be that guy.
ANSWER: Mikhail Grigorenko, Center (Quebec). His attitude seems to be a problem. Scouts have really backed off with this kid. He has all the talent in the world, but does not have the attitude to go with it. I am surprised at the value drop of this prospect. He is, in my opinion, the best skilled center in the draft. If he continues to drop, the Flames might very well grab him.
                -Interesting…although I believe his skill and size may be too much to pass on if I was Montreal. Matt Dumba’s name keeps being tossed around at different numbers by scouts. Perhaps the stud from Red Deer drops out of the top 10.

Here we go, Randy -- who should and who will the Flames draft with the 14th overall selection in the 2012 NHL entry draft?

ANSWER: The Flames really might trade down. Outside the top 10 picks, the Flames are seeing much drop in talent between numbers 11 to 25. The only way the Flames don't trade down is if one of Dumba, Reinhart or Grigorenko is there. But in my opinion there is no way any of those three will still be there at 14. 
In the real world, the Flames' best option, if they don't trade down, is Mark Jankowski, and he is my pick.  The problem is; he won't be there.   He is a terrific centre, who has the potential to be a number one centre. If they do trade down, look for them to go after Zemgus Girgensons. Zemgus is a skilled offensive centre, who needs some help with his all-around game. He is not a complete player yet, but has the potential to be one. I just think the two Quebec centres have more skill than Faksa. 
I should also tell you that from what I have been told, the Flames really love Henrik Samuelsson, and would love to get a 2nd rounder to draft this kid.  He has tons of ability to make the big play. Henrik has some dazzling moves, and the Flames love his grittiness.

                -There you have it Randy has selected Mark Jankowski from Stanstead. Last year he picked Baertschi and this year he has chosen a centre man to go along with Sven.

I on the other hand will go with Cody Ceci from Ottawa. If available, and I believe there is a high chance he will be at 14; he is too good to pass up. Explosive puck moving defenseman with size (which he does not yet know how to properly use) and could be a power play QB. He has been compared to a Brent Seabrook & Brian Boyle. I see him being more offensive than Seabrook.

Couple more twitter predictions from Flames fans:
@mwalsh20 – Mike also picks Cody Ceci for the Flames if they stay at #14.
@cecilekayce- Kayce believes the Flames will select C Radek Faksa at #14.
@justinbeatty777 – Justin was stuck between Faksa & Maatta and decided to go with D Olli Maatta.

I want to thank Randy for taking the time to once again give us his insight. Last year Randy hit the nail on the head and this year he goes with a bold pick. On Friday June 22 we will find out who the Flames draft with their first round selection. That’s if Feaster decides to not trade away the pick. There are some rumblings out there that the 14th overall pick is available.

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Martin “Eliminator” Gelinas

Randy Sportak is reporting that Martin Gelinas will join the Flames coaching staff.

Gelinas is most remembered by Flames fans for his 2004 playoff heroics. Martin was the man who scored / didn’t score the Stanley Cup clinching goal in game 6.

Martin Gelinas played over 1200 NHL games, reaching the 30 goal mark twice in his career. But mostly, Martin was a hard working forward that could play in all situations. The Shawinigan native will be a solid addition to the Flames new coaching staff. Hopefully he can coach the current Flames to scoring key playoff goals!

Gelinas on joining the Flames coaching team- "It's exciting for me. My heart has always been here from 2004 on. You never forget what you accomplished."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Flames Potential UFA Targets

Flames Potential UFA Targets
With July 1 less than a month away and guys like David Jones making 4 million per season now; could be a wild summer. 

The Flames hiring of Bob Hartley, seems to show the Flames are focused on making the playoffs this coming season. And so they should be. But is our roster good enough to make that happen?  Not with the current roster in my opinion. So let’s take a look at potential candidates for the Flames to sign.

Dennis Wideman- 29yr old from Ontario had 46 points last year playing for the Capitals. Wideman can help any teams’ power play and we all know the Flames need it. Contract wise, Wideman is likely looking for a longer deal that will allow him to stay in one location for a few years. Last year he made just under 4 million and with the UFA market this year he will likely demand more than that per season. Right handed shooter, something the Flames desperately need!

Matt Carle- the 27 year old American had a cap hit of 3.4 million the last four years and will want more than that next season. Carle has only missed two games in the last three seasons and has put up some solid numbers. But remember he played for the offensively talented Flyers. I am sure there will be plenty of teams wanting his services including the Flyers. A mobile guy who could solidify the Flames back end, with the likes of Sarich and Hannan likely not returning.

Chris Kelly- another Ontario born player who could help the Flames as a third line center and key face off man. Kelly is a gamer and has shown that he can put the puck in the net if need be. He is 31 and will be 32 in November so if the Flames do make a move on him let’s hope it is not a long term deal. His faceoff abilities would be a welcoming addition.

Ryan Smyth- yes that guy again. How many years is this now where the Flames and his name are being mentioned together? But believe it, if Smyth goes to UFA status the Flames will likely be mentioned as a likely destination. Reports indicate that Ryan and Oilers GM Tambellini are not close on a deal. We all know who he is and what kind of player he was. Now at the age of 36 and declining production is a trip South by Smyth worth it for the Flames? Iginla will likely welcome such a move and at the right price this could become reality.

P.A. Parenteau- a talented winger who could receive a massive raise this summer. Parenteau was a late bloomer and at the age of 29 is about to finally cash in. Many teams are believed to be interested in his services if he does indeed not resign with the Islanders. Parenteau’s agent has expressed his clients desire to remain in New York but still no contract has been signed. He could be that top 6 forward that Feaster will be coveting this summer. But at what price…

In conclusion I believe we will see some more ridiculous deals this summer just like last year and that could result in Feaster looking at trades to change his roster instead.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Observations on Hartley becoming Flames Coach

Here are a few observations about the Flames news. The hiring of Bob Hartley pretty much means the rebuild project is, well, totally gone. There is no way we have the Flames starting over; which basically means one thing -- crap!

Basically, the Flames are going for it again and again. They are fighting for a last playoff spot. They are hoping that we can play Kipper for another 70 game season, and hope he can steal 45 wins. And pray that he can actually steal 50 wins.

This much we do know: the Flames still want another top-6 forward, and they are trying to shop Jbo. They want more cap space in the off-season. Hartley wants offense now.

They realize that the system is not working. The problem is clearing cap space to make the changes they need. The easiest way they can do this is by trying Jbo.

Looking ahead to the draft, the Flames want a top line centre, but they have to clear cap to do it. They want a first line centre. They have failed for eons and eons. Last time we had a first line centre, we traded him to Toronto. That number 93 guy played with the '89 team who won the cup. The only difference this year is that the Flames have finally realized that this system they have sucks, and it is time to fix it.

I just wish it would have been a full rebuild


Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.