Showing posts with label thefanblogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thefanblogger. Show all posts

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tick Tock, Tick Tock!



It’s the most wonderful time of the year. All of the General Managers are tucked in their beds while visions of Vanek, Raymond, or Brad Richards dance in their heads. Or maybe Ehrhoff, as he became a free agent today.  

So my blog today is on the different options the Flames will have during the off-season. The Flames are looking for... let see… oh, that's right... everything. Seriously, they need pretty much everything.  So they first of all have to set their priorities. My  blog will concentrate on goalies, defence, and a center.

Back-up Goalie or 1B Goalie

I think the first need is a back-up goalie. The Flames have a couple of options. 

Free agent  options

Thomas Greiss

Thomas has a history with the GM. He is a solid net-minder who is not outstanding, but he is solid and dependable in his game. He a solid option who is good for 30-35 games. I really like this option. He is exactly what the team needs. The key point here is that the Flames can offer him something. Most of the other teams can't give him an opportunity to play.

Chad Johnson

Chad was outstanding for the Bruins last season.  He simply gives the team a chance to win every night. Another good, cheap option for the Flames. Chad is a goaltender who plays a solid game and rarely gets caught out of position. He is a late bloomer who is capable of being a solid back-up.

Justin Peters

Peters was outstanding  for  Carolina last season. He was battling for head job there on a team with three goalies. The Canes could not find a home for him. He would battle Ramo for a starting job. I am not sure he would be willing to come to Calgary as a back-up.

Defenceman

The next need for the Calgary Flames is a solid defencemen, which the Flames could really have used last season. Especially now that it looks like Butler will not be in a Flames uniform next season. Some of the best options I could see the Flames getting are:

Tom Gilbert 

Tom was a solid offensive dman who fit well for a while in Edmonton, but never really fit in with the Panthers. If he could just get back to where he was as a Oiler. Apparently, it is out there there that the Flames have interest in him. He may well be a asset to the Flames defence.

Matt Niskanen

Niskanen may well be the best dman on the free agency market. I love this guy’s game. He is a great option for the Flames, who need a good powerplay quarterback. I know you are thinking the Flames do not have salary cap problem. I sure do hope they at least talk. Matt could score 10 goals and 50 points and really help a dried-up powerplay. 

Anton Stralman

The main problem is how much Stralman would cost, but I like his game. He is an offensive dman, who would be a solid, top-four dman. He would stabilize our defence, and help our defensive zone coverage. I love his ability to stay calm and not panic. 

Kyle Quincey 

Kyle Quincey may very well be the most gifted defencemen out there. Kyle can pitch in with the odd assist and goal. Kyle should be affordable. The Flames can give him a bigger role, and more ice time. 

Center

I really hope the Flames try to get a second-line center. I prefer a veteran who can help Monahan, and maybe take him under his wing and give him some hints on improving his game.

Paul Stastny

Simply put: the best option out there. Stastny is the best of the bunch. If the Avs cannot sign him, the Flames need to put this man under contract. Give him the money he wants and get it done. He is a solid center with the the skill to add the supportive scoring the Flames so badly need.

Jussi Jokinen

Jussi can play wing or center. Versatility is essential in his game.  He also may take less money to sign. I love his ability to help in the penalty-killing.  His speed his a vital asset to the Flames, who need to get faster.

Brad Richards

I know I am going to get slammed for this, but I really think Brad’s ability could help the Flames. I think he can score 20  goals and get 50 points for the Flames. He could really help Monahan and help him get the experience he needs. 

CONCLUSION

I could mention plenty more, but these are the first options. I know some of you are going to ask about Bolland. I just like Jokinen better. There are plenty of options out there. 

The Flames are going to be busy. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

Image: Flickr CC license: Aldaron "Parliament Clock" (modified)


Monday, April 28, 2014

Flames hire Brad Treliving as new General Manager

The Positives

Burke went into this process with this process with three basic objectives. The biggest would be to get a great hockey mind. Someone who knows good young talent when sees it. He also had to make sure he got someone from the type of organization the Flames would want to model themselves after. 

No objective could be achieved without the others. In Burke's mind, the Flames are a good young solid team with potential. Something the Coyotes started out to be. We needed a man who specialized in good young talent. The Coyotes are a very good young team, who have gotten that way by developing good young talent. So who better to get than the man who was in charge of that process? 

Brad will be a huge asset in the draft. Remember Burke's complaints about our drafts? We have to hit more homeruns. Our drafts have to be bigger, more skilled players. We have to more diligent in finding the superstars. Brad Treliving specializes in developing young talent. He knows young talent when he sees them and knows what to with them when he sees them. Basically, he relates to the young talent.

Burke is very good at negotiating for developing stars. He knows how to bring in the big names. His hockey savvy is finding ways to make a deal work. What he needs help with is finding diamonds in the rough. Let's put it this way--he can make a diamond into a shinier diamond. What he lacks is getting it to the diamond stage.

The Flames have always had problems developing their own. That is why they have always had other team's prospects. Brad fills the gap here. The Flames drastically need to start developing their talent. The process has reevaluated. They have to clean up the mess in the organization. Mr. Treliving is a good start to get back where we were.

What does this mean in the rebuild?

Basically, it is telling us we are rebuilding, with a hint of retooling. The main reason Burke wanted Treliving is because Burke is really in charge. Brad's job is really closer to Head of Scouting, in charge of the rebuilding. 

Burke will be in charge of the retooling. All transactions will go through Burke. In other words, if Cammy resigns, it will because of Burke. He is a very good salesman. I am sure he could sell me anything he wanted, and make me think I wanted it. So yes, Brad might still be puppet, but we have a very good, devoted GM who has a mind of his own.

Monday, February 3, 2014

On the road we go

As the Flames head out on the road, there is a lot to be happy about. So in this blog I am pointing out the bright spots I see. For example, on the defense, Mark Giordano. The team captain has done everything that has been asked of him. He is working on a career year. His nine goals lead the defense, and his twenty-eight points. He is a plus three, which is a miracle on this team. He is pretty much the leader of this team, on and off the team. He has been a stabilizing influence 

Let's stay on defense for bright spots. Well, my second bight spot for the defense has to be Kris Russel. Love the guy’s play. He has an edge to his style. He has been outstanding this season in his own end. If it was not for his injury, his numbers would be that much better. He has a terrific shot, with some underrated speed. I cannot imagine where the Flames would be without him. 

Let's move up to the forwards. The Flames have a few bright spots. The first I have to mention is Mikael Backlund. He is playing the best he has ever played as a member of the Calgary Flames. How about that overtime winner against the Wild? He has been outstanding, especially in the penalty killing. His knowledge of the game has grown, he thinks two moves at a time. There is no panic in his game. He is a confident, smart center.

I think it's time to admit that Jiri Hudler has been our most consistent forward. He leads the team in scoring with his forty-two points. He just knows how to win. He passes with true skill. He has great skill getting in and out of traffic. I am sure he could skate through a hay stack and find fifty needles! 

Sean Monahan just recently went through a dry spell. But to his credit, he fought his way through it. He is still young, but has a ton of skill. He tries his best every night and he has plenty of heart. He never quits, no matter what the task.

Now the hard facts.

The Flames have to stop giving up with ugly mistakes. They have is a bad pattern of turnovers. They have to stop the giveaways and stop blowing the leads. The Flames must play to win and not to lose. They must continue to play with chips on their shoulders. They must not allow themselves to be pushed around. No more playing like pansies.

Randy 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

My thoughts on Cammy

Today blog is on my thought of the future of Mike Cammalleri. Obviously, the Flames will trade him, but to where? What happens if the Flames do not trade and re-sign him. 
 
So let's first discuss the reasons the Flames would keep the scoring forward. 
 
The first one is simply an economic one. The Flames need payroll. The Flames have to add to just to get to the floor. With Cammy, they will at least get $6 million, which is a good step to getting there.
 
The second reason is simply that the rebuild is over. Sorry, if Burke is thinking of doing that in the off-season, he is crazy. Burke will have to do some major brown nosing to get this done. There is no way Cammy signs here unless the Flames make some bold moves.
 
The more plausible transaction would be trading Cammy for assets. This is the option I would pick. So, here are the three top teams to deal with, in my opinion.
 
1. Pens
 
The Pens need one more scoring forward. If the Pens have one weakness, it's the secondary scoring. Cammy would be a perfect fit for Brandon Sutter. Cammy may be the key piece for the cap run.
 
Dream compensation
 
We would never get it, but my dream would be Beau Bennett, the picture-perfect power forward. Again, there is no way we get him. 
 
2. Kings
 
They cannot score. No punch at all. Cammy will be an instant cure. This is the team who are the most desperate for him, 
 
Compensation
 
Say it with me: Tyler Toffoli. This kid has everything. Again, not much of chance, but I would ask. 
 
3. Wings 
 
The Wings are a borderline team. Cammy might very well push them over the line. He is a quality sniper who would be vital to their success.
 
Compensation
 
A top prospect and a first. Or, if it's a player, Joakim Andersson. He is a good, young centre that we could build around.
 
 
Two more teams on honourable mention list:
 
Ducks and Flyers.
 
 
My prediction:
 
Cammy will be traded, I just do not see that he wants to stay. I think the Kings are the most desperate to get him. But the problem is, it will cost him more with the Kings in the division. But they are my team of choice to acquire him.

   

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Heads will roll

Burke is having temper tantrums, saying it is not acceptable. Really, what did he expect with this team?
 
It's called a rebuild. The Flames do no have the depth to make up for the injuries. But that does not mean our players have to take days off. They have given up this season, shutting out the coaching staff.
 
What the coaching is selling, no one is buying. What is he selling? Their offense is disorganized; no one knows exactly what they are doing. Unless their offensive strategy is players running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Of late, the fans are celebrating if the Flames manage to score. Here is a hint – maybe we should shoot the puck at the net once in a while. 
 
Another problem is our size. But the way the Flames are doing it, they are not getting any better. Bigger players who can only do one thing are replacing the smaller players. On the bright side, the penalty killing is getting tons of practice. 
 
Then there is the guaranteed three or four giveaways a game, which gets turned into two goals a game. Guess what? We cannot score two goals a game! Which begs the question: if it is not the coaching, whose fault is it? If it is the players, then how about the scouts bringing in the players?
 
Dare I say the coaching has to take some of the blame? The players continue to be put into positions they have never been in. Colburn, for instance, getting thrown into the powerplay. He looks confused and has no idea what to do. For that matter, what did Ramo do to get benched? Both goalies are constantly pressured: win or sit. To add onto this, they realize if they make a mistake, it's another loss. 
 
They are expecting success from players getting thrown into impossible situations. Giving Butler over 20 minutes a game is ludicrous. How can you blame him for failing? It's not his fault that he is getting all those minutes. If he is that bad, why is he out there? He is a solid number 5. No one excels when they are put into a position to fail. 
 
So if heads are going to roll, dare I ask whose heads? Yes, I agree something has to happen. There are necessary player changes. But I hope some management or scouts have to pay too. 
 
So, Mr. Burke, the clock is ticking.
 

   

Monday, January 13, 2014

Let's Play GM

I have sat and held my tongue for most of the season, but let's face facts; most of these players will be gone at the end of the season. So let's play GM. Only, we will do it the hard way. Instead of playing "who goes?" I am going to play "who stays?" It is easy to determine who goes. That is the whole team, except Monahan. But we all know that someone has to stay. We have to have some players to build this team around.

The biggest concern is getting up to the cap floor. Mostly because we're going to have to overpay to get players to come. Why do you think Burke has spent time telling people the rebuild has been speeded up? I will tell you why: no new players are going to want to come to a rebuild team. Burke has to sell this team for the off season.

So with the cap situation, the Flames very well have to keep some expensive players. Another factor Burke has preached is that the Flames have to get bigger and better. He has constantly put that message out since taking over. So who do the Flames attempt to keep to build for the future? With that in mind, I might make a case for these five players. Some may surprise you. I purposely left the obvious ones off the list. This blog is meant to make you think outside the box.

54 David Jones

When David plays his game, he gets his hands dirty. His corners game is more than adequate. He is a solid defensive forward who pots a goal now and then. If he can pay more offensively, he could be a viable asset to have around, 

19 Blair Jones

To me, Blair Jones is a typical fourth-line player. He knows his role, and plays it rough, at the same time trying not draw dangerous penalties. He has been our best centre on the draw. His best asset has been his penalty-killing. He may be the best third line or fourth line forward out there. 

3 Ladislav Smid 


I hate to stay this, but he has been a very pleasant surprise. He has been a stable influence on the defensive core. At times, Ladislav has been the best stay-home dman on the team. Has been rock solid in his own zone. 

32 Paul Byron

Something happened to Paul. Dare I say he grew up this season? There have been games where he has been the best player on the ice. I know he is not a Burke player because of his size, but his heart is all Burke. If the Flames players all had the heart that Byron does, we would have 30 Energizer Bunnies on this roster. This is one player I really hope we keep. 

17 Lance Bouma 

Hits and hits, and then for a change of pace, hits again. Lance backs down from no-one. He is rock-solid. He is a fast skater who plays a robust game, with a touch of nasty. He is the kind of player who would eat nails for his coach, and then spit them out and do it over again.

Last word

The way the Flames have handled Sven is pure bush league. All Burke has done is embarrass him and he never bothered to explain to Sven what was expected of him. Free Sven.

Now, as for the deadline, be prepared for a surprise. These deals may not be picks, look for some bodies coming too. Maybe for salary, and maybe for winning next season. This year's draft is very weak. The Flames might push for young players rather than picks. Also, the Flames have to keep above the cap floor at the deadline, so keep that in mind. 

So tell me, who is your unsung hero? Which player would you keep that is not a ‘given'? 

Randy


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Flames Preview 2013


On today's Flames panel, we have two questions.   How will the Flames do this year? Which Flames players are you expecting to have breakout years?

My answers to start with:

How will the Flames do this year?

This season will not be pretty.  Simply put, they just do not have the talent. But I am excited about the young talent.

For example, our two blue chips Centers, Corban Knight and Sean Monahan; both have exceptional talent, but need time to develop. Backland will be the number one center. The problem is that Mikael would be, at best, a number two center on most of the other rosters in the NHL. 

On the wing, our leaders in Cammy and  Glencross, and to some extent, Hurdler.  These three have to put up the numbers in order for the Flames to succeed.   Glencross has to a be a less of a selfish player.  He must become more of a complete player

Goaltending is a worrisome spot for the Flames. We're relying on an unproven goaltender in Ramo. Joey will be a stable influence who may play more games than people think. 

Defence is our strength, led by Gio, Wideman, and Brodie. There will be a war for spots four through six at camp. 
 
This season, the Flames are simply cellar dwellers. Young talents need time to develop. There will be growing pains, but I see light at end of the tunnel.

Which Flames players are you expecting to have breakout years?

My pick for breakout player is Jiri Hudler, who knows how to win. He is going to play in another gear this season. Look for him to take this team and run with it. He is in this for the long haul. He knows his role and embraces it.


Dearen's answers

What are your expectations of the Flames for this coming season?

Simple- I expect the team I cheer for to make the playoffs. I do not and cannot cheer for my team to suck or tank it to get another top draft pick. I understand that on paper our team is weak and when I was in Vegas last week, the Flames were paying 150/1. But anything can happen, games need to be played and the Blue Jackets had the same talk around them last season. Plus, have you seen ticket prices to a Flames home game? You ask people to pay that price; you better put a decent product on the ice! Realistically, I may be disappointed with that mentality but if you dress 20 players each game who work hard, anything is possible.

Which player do you expect to have a breakout season?

T.J. Brodie. His play over the past two seasons has many Flames fans taking notice. I however, would like to see a major improvement. In my opinion he had a good 10 game stretch last year when the games did not matter. My big question here is if he can do that for 82 games against top lines? With Bouwmeester gone and the team accepting that young players will make some mistakes while they grow into established NHL’ers, Brodie has to take the next step. No doubt he is talented and contains a lot of upside and I hope we see him take that next step and he should. I believe with another off season gone by and more minutes available, TJ Brodie takes a major step and becomes a vital part of the Flames for the future.

Colin Dambrauskas from Hockeybuzz:

How will the Flames do this year?
 
It seems that the consensus has been that the Flames will, without a doubt, be basement dwellers in the NHL this upcoming season. Although this is likely not far from the truth, I expect the Flames while coached under Bob Hartley to be a strong character team that works hard and makes it tough on their opponents. Despite missing a lot of top end talent, the Flames will need to play a smart and physical game in order to keep games as close as they can. A strong defensive system, along with a group of guys who buy into their coaches plans, could help them succeed to a few spots out of the NHL’s metaphorical basement.
 
Which Flames players are you expecting to have breakout years?
 
During the process of a rebuild, having breakout years for most players is quite a feat. I say this not only because of the amount of uncertainties which is expected coming into this season, but also because of the mindset which most guys will carry. It is no secret that the Flames are amidst a rebuild, and as a result, players may exercise a little more reluctance towards giving 110% than they may have displayed in previous years. With that being said, I expect guys like Mikael Backlund and Karri Ramo to be the two biggest  “breakout” players this year given their experience levels. Being rather weak down the middle, the Flames need Backlund to take his game to another level and prove to the organization that they made the right choice keeping him around. The same can be said with respect to Ramo as the Flames have a dying need to replace the games and minutes logged by former tender Miikka Kiprusoff who has unofficially retired. Ramo has been playing overseas in the KHL and has not played an NHL game for about four years, despite being labeled as one of the best KHL goalies in recent years. While expectations may be somewhat low for the netminder as he accustoms himself to the NHL ice once again, I fully expect him to come in with a purpose; earning a starting position in the NHL.

Honorable mentions: Baertschi, Cundari, Stajan  


Shaune Vetter from Hockeybuzz:

How will the Flames do this year?

It's interesting listening to the complete and utter lack of expectations for the Calgary Flames this season. After so many seasons of what can arguably be called inflated expectations, the complete lack of any chance the Flames have in being anything but a lottery pick is quite sobering. 

Sure, a person could trot out the turn-around of the Blue Jackets last season and base an argument around their great season, which admittedly ended in a sideline seat and a worse draft pick then that club should have possibly had, but the key to that season was the change in attitude of the team on a day-to-day basis.

That's what the Flames fans hopefully have to look forward to! For almost a decade the Flames were a team that simply couldn't find the consistent game they needed in order to be more than an also-ran. Even think back to the playoff appearances after the Cup finals run: The Flames simply weren't able to do what it took when it mattered most, and a lot of that can arguably be attributed to the general attitude of the organization.

It's time to turn the page. It's time to see what some new blood can bring and to see if the team can learn how to win consistently. Sure... It'd be great to imagine a scenario where they turn the world on its side, use the Calgary flood as motivation, surprise the hockey world and at least complete for a playoff spot, but the simple truth is that this is a team that could struggle, but has a chance to at least learn to put for a consistent effort on a night-to-night basis that should benefit them moving forward.

Consider this: If they could find a way to become a team that teams really didn't like playing against again... Not because they won all of the time, but even in losing, they made sure you had to fight for every puck and every inch, wouldn't that have to be considered a huge step forward, regardless of whether or not they even get a sniff at a play-off race?

Which Flames players are you expecting to have breakout years?

When Sven Bartschi was an emergency call-up  2 years ago he immediately made an impact by  netting 3 goals in 5 games, Flames fans were salivating at the possibilities the Swiss prospect would be able to deliver. Of course, somewhere between the fanfare of spring and fall of 2012, something derailed and reality set in and the kid with the boatload of talent and some arguably unfair expectations had a bit of a stumble. It took some time for the kid to get his legs under him at the pro level, but after putting up 26 points for the Heat in the AHL, he was back with the Flames to finish the season and had regained some confidence by putting up 6 points in the Flames last 5 contests.

Although he shouldn't be expected to maintain that pace in 2012-2013. Sven should be able to continue to improve his complete game at the pro level and start to show that he might just be able to turn into a top 6 forward in this league. His work ethic hasn't been questioned, and now that he's a little stumble followed by a little success, he's in a better position to be able to understand what it takes to be successful at the NHL level.


The last word from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun:

How will the Flames do this season?

I see no scenario in which they finish anywhere but last in the NHL this year.

And that's a good thing.

Winning shouldn't be the goal or the focus - developing young talent should be. 

Even the staunchest of fans has to agree this team will be terrible.

The team has struggled for the last few years and now they're without a world class goaltender (even if Kiprusoff did return he would continue to struggle) and their best scorer in Jarome Iginla and have not replaced either with any proven commodities.

Which Flames player are you expecting to have a breakout year?

Curtis Glencross.

He will be given unprecedented ice time and opportunities to shine.

I think he's been capable of scoring 30 goals before but now there is nothing stopping him.
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.