Friday, June 22, 2007

Pre-draft thoughts

Update, 4-something PM: Seems like we've thrown in Steve Marr into the deal as well. Not particularly high on the depth charts back on the farm, and it frees up an additional spot on the defence there, which might point to what we'll be looking to draft over the weekend. Essentially, it's just one big meh.

Update, 11-something AM: Scratch any negative thoughts about that trade. Aucoin for Zyuzin. Boo-YEAH! I was a bit wary of having to spend another draft pick (of which we have few) to get Aucoin, and this gets rid of our problem child.

I meant to get this out earlier, but such is life...

By now, people are expecting Darryl Sutter to pull another "Alex FREAKING Tanguay" style move. Out of the blue, completely unexpected, and something which will challenge the team's critics to think again.

Adrian Aucoin wasn't it. Aucoin is a predictable acquisition, which doesn't particularly excite nor worry me. There's the connection to Keenan/Sutter. There's the veteran presence. They're probably hoping he'll contribute some form of leadership to the dressing room, to help address the issues with discipline the team had last year.

Most importantly, this signals to me that management expects Hamrlik to be gone. Like Hamrlik, and Marchment before him, they will expect Aucoin to mentor Dion Phaneuf and the other young blueliners in the organization. There were concerns towards the end of last season that Phaneuf's development was starting to stall - you only had to look at guys like Weber, Seabrook and Barker to see other young d-men starting to make bigger splashes than our Dion.

Once we know for certain what the Flames gave up in return for Aucoin, I'll be able to deliver a verdict on the trade. Right now, given that Aucoin is a touch cheaper than any price Hamrlik or Stuart would demand, I understand he's the kind of guy we'll have to settle for.

What? It's not Bryan McCabe for more than $7M a year. It could be worse, ok?

The other rumour which seems to be persistently floating around out there is Montreal's Kovalev for Tanguay. My reaction is generally no effin' way. While Tanguay has at times seemed to be an awkward fit for the Calgary Flames, he had an astoundingly productive year and showed decent (not great) chemistry with most of the guys he played with in the top two lines. Kovalev? I'm not certain Sutter, especially with Keenan on board now, has the patience for another Huselius-style reclamation project.

Now! On to the fun stuff. Today is draft day, of course, or at least the day they'll get the first couple of rounds done.

The pantry seems to be pretty well-stocked in terms of goalies (any theories as to why Krahn was re-signed?) and forwards - I'd expect some stolid, strapping young d-men to be added to the larder for the most part.

I'm not expecting us to unearth a wunderkind or a diamond in the rough. We don't have the picks this year for that. I would expect Sutter to go for a guy who already has connections to the league. Brandon Sutter (Gotta collect them all, though I don't think he'll last that long in the first round) is an obvious one, as is Maxime Tanguay, and Colton Gillies. Given that the logistics of getting Taraktukhin to North America were a bit of a gong show last year, I'd expect him to take a flier on any Russians (and I'd expect this to be the general trend for all teams).

Considering the scarcity of Calgary Flames draft picks this draft, I also won't be surprised to find Sutter moving young, relatively cheap bodies (Moss is one I identified, Hale or Giordano could potentially be others) to get a pick or two in the second or third rounds.

Hold on to your hats, kids - I expect this to be a fun day.


  1. Kovalev for Tanguay would be absolutely ridiculous. Inconsistent malcontent for sweet-scoring young star? There's no way that happens straight-up.

    Now, toss in Michael Ryder and we're talking.

  2. I know! Yet this is one of those rumours which has been popping up persistently in the mainstream media. Perhaps Dave misidentified who's on 'shrooms...

  3. They are actually only doing the first round tonight, which I think is a little annoying... of course, that is mostly because I won't be home to watch it... but maybe the PVR will get us a good pick at 18th (even though it is no longer undefeated)... I prefer the draft to happen on a Saturday afternoon (for hockey and football), so I can just sit and veg with a beer or four while watching it...

    If they trade Tanguay to Montreal for Kovalev I'll be pissed (and not in the good way)...

    I had posted on this thread earlier, but it must have been at the same time that you were doing your update... weird...

  4. The Tanguay for Kovalev won't happen unless Kovalev makes a lot less money.

    I heard the rights to talk to Smyth could be dealt here, and if that's true, then the Tanguay for Kovalev is a money dump.

    I won't be holding my breath though.

  5. Montreal's Kovalev for Tanguay

    I don't think I would cheer for this team anymore if this trade happened. Even with Ryder included in the deal.

    And I hope the Flames stay away from Gillies. He sounds like a jeans model to me: everyone says he's got all the tools, but his junior numbers are extremely underwhelming. I mean 30 points and -20 in 65 games this season? There are better players to be had out there.

  6. Agreed, getting Kovalev would just make me angry, salary dump or not. There are better options out there.

    ST - good to have you back! Weirdness about your other comment - you're probably right about my update clobbering it :(

  7. The Flames organization seems to be doing everything they can to shore up for next season. I hope they can re-sign Iginla and Kip but I bet both of them will wait to see how life under Iron Mike goes.

  8. Shmee, I would expect Iggy and Kipper to not re-sign anything till as late as possible anyways since that strengthens their bargaining position, and with the state of Calgary's coaching, I didn't expect that part of the organization to be a deal-maker of any sort. Yet.

    Life will be interesting next year...