Sunday, June 29, 2008

In Favour Of Andrew Burnette

Despite the off season lull some bloggers have kept really busy, and Mirtle in particular has been pretty effective at giving everyone a lowdown on the July 1 free agents and their essential stats. Because Matt has so eloquently explained that the Flames have no 2nd line, it seems to me the FA season strategy should be to find cheap players who can play decent competition and put up even strength points. I think Andrew Brunette fits the bill:

One of the things that most caught my eye was Mirtle's lsit of EV/60 UFA/RFA scorers.

Number one on the list was Mats Sundin (2.74/60), no real suprise there. Marek Svatos (2.59/60) gets an honorary second because he's an RFA. Next on the list is Brunette (2.56/60). That's damn impressive. His quality of competition wasn't the highest at 0.1, but it's good enough for second line ice time. His quality of linemates wasn't stunning or anything like that so I don't think we can chalk up his strong EV/60 to that.

The best part about Brunette is that he wasn't only scoring a lot of points, but he was completely outplaying the opposition he was playing against. His GAON/60 was one of the worst on the team at 2.86, but his GFON/60 was 3.57. Only Statsny and Forsberg were ahead of him, and they were playing with much better team mates.

His corsi number was negative (-3.1) but I think that's a minor quibble. His stats have been pretty consistent since he broke into the NHL, scoring between about 50-80 points per year.

If I had a vote for the Flames top UFA target, Andrew Brunette would be it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Finally Happened

After the Flames traded away Alex Tanguay a week ago, a lot of great hockey analysts around these parts have made some great points.

1. Mike Cammalleri is not a replacement for Alex Tanguay.
2. The Flames no longer have a second line
3. This move was made a necessity due to a long line of bad deals

I agree with all these arguments. Firstly, I'd like to admit that I personally advocated for a Tanguay trade after the playoffs. I think MG made a very good point at the time though, that deal away Tanguay and the Flames probably don't even make the playoffs, that without his presence the already paper thin depth of the Flames gets that much thinner, and he was (is) obviously correct.

Look at the mock lineup Matt has put together. Now that is ugly. Matt, I think, is overly optimistic.

Actually, 4th line aside, I don't mind this lineup. Iginla w/ Cammy and DL is a solid #1 line and PP unit; Lombo between RF and Moss should be able to keep the puck going in the right direction as much as the wrong one, and maybe pot a few goals; I definitely prefer Boyd as a centre, and with Gelinas and Nilson on the wings I think that's pretty workable as an ongoing proposition.

I'm happy with the D; my present mindset is that The Warrener is still serviceable as a 3rd-pair guy. Naturally, I'd love it if Pardy or Negrin or Pelech or somebody stepped up in training camp and bumped Eriksson even further down the depth chart.
The first line, as always, is respectable. The second line? Well, I like Lombardi, and Fedotenko provides all Flames fans with some painful memories. But as much I love Moss, he is not a second liner. Neither is Gelinas, or Boyd, or etc. There are no other 2nd liners on that team (theoretical as it is).

The defence starts out not bad. Regehr, Phaneuf, even Sarich. But watching Aucoin last year he is no longer a top 4 guy. He's too slow and his decision making has gotten pretty bad. He played 5th highest QOC for Flames defenceman (Phaneuf, Regehr, Eriksson, Sarich were ahead) and did ok, (+/-ON/60 0.94, CORSI 1.4) but I wouldn't be willing to give him much, if any more responsibility. Plus, Eriksson and Warrener are still there.

Darryl Sutter might want to take a cue from one of the most incompetent franchises in sports history. The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken time during the past week and a half to start buying out dead weight. Wellwood - gone. Tucker - gone. Raycroft - gone.

Calgary has a lot of deadwood, and if there's any chance of this team competing this year in any regard, they need to get rid of it.

Darryl Sutter, if you can hear me, buy out these contracts:
Anders Eriksson - $1.5 million
Rhett Warrener - $2.35 million
Wayne Primeau - $1.4 million
Adrian Aucoin - $4.0 million

This will give you room to put together a legitimate lineup.

If the Flames don't buy out at least 2 of these contracts it will be proof that it's finally happened. The Flames are more incompetent than the Leafs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Draft Day Resources

Browsing the internet today I found an absolutely fantastic blog for everyone looking to get some first hand scouting reports of WHLers. NHL Draft Notes is 'A Western perspective on the NHL Draft, Prospects, and the NHL Scouting Community' from Michael Remmerde, a scout and contributing editor of Redline Reports.

He goes through most if not all of the top draft eligible WHLers and Tier II Jr. league players for this draft.

MG had another excellent pre draft post in which he goes through ESPN's mock draft. They have Calgary selecting Jordan Eberle. Here's NHL Draft Notes' perspective on Eberle. Not entirely encouraging, and this note is particularly damaging:

Casual player - effort level is never there. (Source)

Of one of MG's potential mock draft guys, Joe Colborne:

Certain first rounder, and probably right in the middle near the 15th pick. I'm hearing there may be a team or two drafting near the end of the first that are trying to move up to pick him. In any case, it seems unlikely he slide lower than the 16th-18th overall range. (Source)

You can also read about Matt Calvert here and Kyle Beach here.

You never know what you're going to find on that there internet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If You're Looking for Great NHL Draft Coverage

Look somewhere else.

I mean seriously, I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the tremendous coverage being undertaken by the good blogocitizens of these parts. Lowetide has four draft week posts already. This is a great quote taken from Draft Week Post 3:

The 2002 trade that saw them send Jochen Hecht to Buffalo for 2 second-rounders featured Darcy Regier looking like he was about to pass out with glee on the draft floor. Seriously. (Lowetide)

In Draft Week post 2 Lowetide gives us Desjardins NHL Equivilents on some of the top prospects heading into the draft and Draft Week post 1 gives us some insight into where Kevin Lowe likes selecting his players from.

YKOil has done so much on the draft in the last two months I have barely scratched the surface. I think there must be 100 odd hours of work at play there.

On the Flames side MG has done a couple fantastic draft posts. One is a 5 year review and one is a preview for the upcoming draft. I think in the review MG is actually a bit too kind to Sutter as his performance review is pretty bad by the numbers.

Hoping to get a Flames/Oilers draft comparison done here in the next couple days. Wish me luck...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stephen Colbert Says It Best

Everything seems better when you have the HNIC theme playing along with it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I tend to try and leave my personal criticisms of networks and policies etc. out of this blog, but this is absolutely devastating. I feel a piece of Canadian History and a part of my life is being written off the books simply for the sake of a few dollars.

"What has long been known as Canada's "second national anthem," CBC's Hockey Night in Canada theme song, will no longer be used.

Thursday night's Stanley Cup final game six was the last time "dunt- da-dunt- da-dunt," was played, according to the song's composer. CBC has announced the corporation is moving in a "new direction."

The theme, one of the longest running in broadcast history, was composed by Dolores Claman in 1968. The current licence expired at the end of the 2007-2008 NHL playoffs and the news release said CBC has decided not to renew.

It costs the CBC $500 to use the theme for each game broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada."(Source)

Alberta's premier responds:

"'This is ridiculous," Stelmach said as the Alberta legislature's spring session wrapped up Thursday...Aside from O Canada, the Maple Leaf Forever, really the Hockey Night in Canada theme, I mean we hear it everywhere, even during the summer...You get to a barbecue in rural Alberta and somebody strikes it up after a good volume of O Canada, and it's going to disappear?'"(Source)

Draw your own conclusions. There is a facebook group called "Save the Hockey Night in Canada Song!" that's already been started. I suggest if you care you join.