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Just how bad will the Flames be next year?

Aug 14, 2013, 11:41 AM EDT

Jay Feaster AP

Headline on PHT (Mar. 28, 2013):

Jay Feaster doesn’t want to call Flames rebuilding

Headline on PHT (June 14, 2013):

Feaster admits team is rebuilding

So when we ask how bad Calgary will be next year, it isn’t meant to ridicule. To the contrary, it’s a totally legitimate question, to which a lot of Flames fans are hoping the answer is, “Really, really bad. Like…the worst.”

The Flames already got three first-round picks at this summer’s draft: Sean Monahan (sixth overall), Emile Poirier (22nd) and Morgan Klimchuk (28th). But that was only the beginning, if you believe the general manager.

“I don’t think there’s a quick fix,” Feaster said, per the Calgary Sun. “The fact of the matter is we have to do a better job as an organization in drafting. We think over the last three years or so that we’ve done a better job. But not enough players are pushing through right now.”

The Flames, of course, traded away two of their best players in Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester last season. It’s also expected that goalie Miikka Kiprusoff will retire.

Granted, there’s still the likes of Mike Cammalleri, Jiri Hudler, Mark Giordano, and Dennis Wideman, but on paper, this team has big question marks in multiple areas. As in, pretty much every area that exists.

In 2013-14, the Flames will be in the Pacific Division with the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers. The consensus is they’ll be hard-pressed to finish anywhere but last. Which, again, is what many fans are hoping.


It’s Calgary Flames day on PHT

  1. ethanmacleod1685 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I predict they will be the worst team next year

    • bullwinkle88 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      It’s going to be a neck-and-neck race with the Buffalo Sabres. I can’t wait to see who wins!

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Throw the Panthers in the race as well.

  2. ethanmacleod1685 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    It’s like how much more worse can they get……. and the answer is none, none more worse

  3. mathieug79 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Bad enough that the Flames twitter account has already started posting scouting reports on next years projected top 10 picks.

  4. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    I don’t think there’s any illusions in this city that the team will be good, realistically we know they’ll be picking in the top 5, most likely top 3, I think what people here want to see is the young guys being competitive every night (a lot of nights the last few years it looked like the vets didn’t care and were just going through the motions for the check) and also seeing some of the young guys getting better as the year goes on, if those two things happen it will be a successful year, at least in comparison to the last 5.

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    And if they draft well, theings can turn dramatically in a few years – if they can also develop the players they draft well.

    Case in point, the Blackhawks had REALLY sunk. Cheap, aloof owner would not spend and thoroughly alienated the fans, leading to low attendence.

    And they were able to draft Toews and Kane with their high picks. Rocky Wirtz took over when his dad died, and the combination of the picks and ownership transition led to where the Hawks are today.

    From 2003-4 to the cup win in 2009-2010, their points went up progressively – 59, 65, 71, 88, 104 to 112

    • davebabychreturns - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Unless you have Pittsburgh Penguins like timing (22 seasons with 10 top five picks and four of them were legitimate generational, use any superlative your like type of talents.. Lemieux, Jagr, Malkin, Crosby) even drafting at the top of the draft a few times isn’t enough.

      Case in point with that Blackhawks team you can’t stop bringing up, Keith and Seabrook weren’t high picks, nor were Brouwer or Byfuglien or Hjalmarrson or Bolland, guys like Versteeg and Sharp were acquired and broke out in a big way and Marian Hossa decided to gift the Blackhawks a lifetime contract at vastly less cap than a player of his impact deserves.

      Just look at the Capitals for an example of a team that drafted high, drafted pretty well and still couldn’t put it all together.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        I agree with both of you, the primary thing any team needs is to draft well, not just in the first but hitting on a few players in later rounds as well, every good team is built on a base of their own draft picks and they e usually hit on some 4th and 5th rounders in that.

        But it’s tough to just win a cup with that, once you’ve got your core you need to eventually augment it with some key acquisitions (on good teams this is usually 3rd and 4th liners) to complete things.

        Right now the Flames are obviously still in the mode where they’re acquiring that core through the draft, but with a little luck hopefully those players will progress and in 3 years they’ll be in the acquiring periphery players phase.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Davebaby, Several quite valid points, thanks. I was pointing out what CAN happen, and was clear on the IFs involved.

        And I had not thought about that aspect of Hossa’s contract. And that helps partially explain they amnesty buyouts were used for Montador and Olesz and not Hossa (some writers had speculated they wouold buy him out due to the big risks). Hossa contract was apparantly “legal;” at the time with a long term and pay front-end loaded after other teams did it. But the rules changed retro-actively with the new CBA, leving the Hawks in a big bind if he retires before the contract term. But they stuck with him.

        FYI, I use examples to illustrate points, and honestly the only intent in this case was to say “it could work out well”. And I’m realizing I likely have been bringing them up too much. Forums like this and Yahoo can be mutually educational if used appropriately, so I’ll make an effort to make sure I stay respectful of others. Constructive criticism received.

      • davebabychreturns - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Just teasing you “endusersolutions2013” – I was in the “it’s Calgary Flames day” post on this blog commenting about how as a Canucks fan I miss being able to hate this time so if anyone knows how to shoehorn an unrelated team into the discussion it’s me.

      • davebabychreturns - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Sorry, “this time” = “this team”

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Well, I took you seriously anyway.

      • ray2013 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        You bring up the Penguins as an example as a way to build through the draft. The Penguins got a few once in a generation type talents with Lemieux, Jagr, Malkin and Crosby, like @davebabych noted.

        But you’re also stuck with drafting who is available when your specific slot comes up. Even though the Oilers were able to acquire the first overall pick three years in a row, even the most ardent Oilers fan will admit that not one of their recent top picks (Hall, RNH, Yakupov) is in the same category as the four Penguin players listed.

        So the Flames need to bottom out, secure very high draft picks AND have once in a generation talent available for them to really follow the Penguins model. They would also need to have some mix that works for long-term development. The Oilers finally used their #1 pick on a defenceman that allows them to balance out their lineup a bit in terms of a future core.

  6. bullwinkle88 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    The Flames need Connor McDavid. But sorry, Buffalo will get him.

    • txflame - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      Connor McDavid is not draft elligible until 2015. The top rated prospect for 2014 is Sam Reinhart, son of former Calgary Flames defenceman Paul Reinhart.

  7. superman4u2nv - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Their is no way to stop the bleeding, might as well Chang the scotia bank saddle dome name to the TAMPAX SADDLE DOME!!!!!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      How many times are you going to post this?

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      I’m guessing this line was really funny in your head, unfortunately it didn’t translate to even being remotely funny to anyone else, can’t wait to read your next “gem!”

  8. tdrusher225 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    How does Jay Feaster still have a job?

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      Jay Feaster is actually doing a decent job of turning this thing around, the damage was done by Darryl Sutter (great coach but a horrible GM) who decided to trade away draft picks for poor veterans and gave bad contract, many of which had no trade clauses, to veterans that didn’t deserve them. After the 03-04 cup run (on a team built mostly by Craig Button) the Flames were very unrealistic, instead of continuing to add younger players to the core and growing the franchise to become they team they wanted, they thought they were a team that was 1 goal away from the cup going forward, so they started adding vets to push them over the top, when in reality they were only half way up the mountain.

      Jay Feaster took over a team that was in the bottom 3 in organizational depth and has turned it into a team that’s ranked 10th now, he’s also taken a team that was facing salary cap nightmares to a team that’s going to be close to the floor this year.

      His biggest misstep however was hiring Bob Hartley, I don’t think he’s the right coach for this team, or any young team for that matter. I know of at least 1 NHL player, who’s from Calgary, who immediately put the Flames on his no trade list when they hired Hartley because of how Hartley had treated him when he was a rookie, and he’s said of the teams on his NTL that the Flames are they only one he won’t at least consider as long as Hartley is here.

      • tdrusher225 - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        The fact that it has taken the team this long to philosophically shift into rebuilding (although they didn’t really have a choice due to how awful the roster is) has been pretty pathetic to watch. Perhaps it’s an organizational problem, but Feaster has played a major role in the team continuing to avoid any form of rebuilding and thinking that he had a team that could be successful. His track record speaks for itself and last year’s continuation of mediocrity, the Ryan O’Reilly situation, as well as the fact that it has taken the team this long to trade Jarome Iginla and the debacle it turned into this year he has put together a performance that merits firing. After the train wreck of a season they’re getting set for, he’ll be out of a job before season’s end.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      I agree with you the O’Reilly thing was a debacle, and on its own should have probably cost him his job, however you’re pushing too much blame on Feaster when in reality the blames lies with the director of the Flames ownership group, Murray Edwards. Edwards was the one pushing that the Flames were close and needed to continue with the aging core, he was (is still?) very close to Jarome Iginla and wanted the team to push to win for Jarome and wouldn’t allow them to approach Iginla about a trade, when in reality the Flames were nowhere near winning and Iggy’s best chance to win was for him to be traded to an actual contender. Should that have happened sooner? Absolutely but I think Edwards and to a degree Iginla himself were in denial and refused to admit what the situation was.

      Now I don’t by any means think Feaster has done a great job here, the O’Reilly debacle and hiring of Hartley point to the opposite, but the truth is he has done some good things for this organization and doesn’t deserve nearly as much scorn as he gets.

      • tdrusher225 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        That’s fair, it should probably redirect scorn coming his way. However, it also establishes that he’s just a puppet who is pretty much just doing whatever management tells him to. If that’s the case then it’s probably not his fault. But that shows me that you should be bringing in a GM with some level of gumption and willingness to put his own stamp on the organization. Not a figurehead who has no say in the direction of the organization.

        Jay Feaster may be getting unnecessary criticism, but has accomplished and proven so little that it still doesn’t warrant him keeping his job.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      I think the problem starts with the fact that their president is a former newspaper exec and is not a hockey guy, he’s done good things off the ice, but obviously he’s hired bad hockey guys, but because of the lack of a hockey guy it’s led to Murray Edwards meddling. That’s one of the reasons Flames fans were pretty excited in June when it was rumored that Ken King would be moving from the hockey team to being in charge of all of the Flames holdings and their effort for a new building. Brendan Shanahan turned them down and the flood happened so it seems like King will stay on until the Saddledome is good to go, but it looks like the plan is still to bring in a hockey guy to take over as president of the team, hopefully this will keep Murray Edwards away and also stabilize things as the rebuild keeps going forward.

      On that note John Davidson would have been perfect for the position, I’m still disappointed the Jackets got him.

  9. afrancis55 - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Jay Feaster makes Paul Holmgren look like a genius

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