(Checks to see that it’s actually Wednesday…it is. It’s been a weird week, okay?)
Brad Werenka…where is that guy anyway? I think he teaches at some sort of hockey camp somewhere, so he’s probably in line to get a coaching job with the Flames somewhere, right? Right, Jacques Cloutier?
So anyway, I didn’t watch it, but the results of the Pierre and Craig Super Friends Good Time Mock Draft Party is up on TSN, and if you read it, you will see why Craig Button isn’t your Calgary Flames general manager anymore and how Pierre McGuire is kind of a rube.
Now granted, for most of the Top Ten picks of the draft, they managed to hammer square pegs into square holes. It’s probably more defensemen being drafted than you’d want to see that highly, but this is what this year’s Draft is going to be. It’s after that Top 10 (I’ll actually say Top 11, as Teravainen at 11 for Washington would be a steal) that things start going a little sideways. Seeing as this is a Calgary Flames blog, I think, as you’d imagine, I’ll pretty much just be focusing on what #thosefuckersatTSN think the Flames are going to do.
But let’s recap. Here are some of the names we’ve heard prominently as players the Flames could target with the 14th pick: Alex Galchenyuk (HIGHLY UNLIKELY, but he’s been ranked anywhere between 3rd and 17th, so he’s a bit of an enigma), Morgan Rielly (pass), Radek Faksa (<3), Olli Maatta (WHATSAMAATTAYOU?), the aforementioned Teuvo Teravainen (The Galchenyuk factor: no one knows where the fuck this guy will get drafted), Cody Ceci (whatever), and Zemgus Girgensons (to keep up the Latvian contingent on the team with the departure of Raitis Ivanans, greatest player in the history of the game). There’s some talk of Brendan Gaunce, I guess, and with everyone expecting Mikhail Grigorenko to drop that he MIGHT be available at 14, but I doubt it.
TSN has Galchenyuk, Rielly, Faksa, Maatta, Teravainen, and Ceci being drafted before Jay Feaster gets his chance to step up to the podium and
guarantee a playoff spot make the team’s selection. Which means, theoretically, Grigorenko, Girgensons, and Gaunce (the G-Men!) still out there, nervously sitting in the Pittsburgh crowd pleading with their respective deities that the camera doesn’t pan to them looking tense and about to cry, fervently hoping amongst hopes that their girlfriends don’t dump them if they slip into the second round.
Which is good news for Calgary, assuming they hold onto that 14th pick. Surely, with this in mind, Craig and Pierre are likely to pick one of those thr…
14: Calgary Flames
Player: Derrick Pouliot
Team: Portland (WHL)
Pierre McGuire’s Notes: “Great puck mover and skater. He’s played three years of junior before being drafted which is also a plus.”
Wait, what? What in the Gino Reda is going on here?
If this has any bearing on what ACTUALLY happens at the draft, everyone, EVERYONE, needs to be fired.
I know that any player you select at the 14th spot is going to be a crap shoot (especially with the Flames shoddy draft record), but the strongest prevailing draft theory is you always select the best player available unless you have a very specific need that somehow can be addressed immediately with your draft choice (ie, you’re a shitty team and you draft Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in successive years). I don’t doubt that Derrick Pouliot could turn out to be an effective and serviceable defenseman in this league, but I’d hardly consider him the best available option given who’s still out there.
Putting aside the fact that there’s a lot of evidence to suggest drafting a defenseman in the first round is not the strongest strategy, in Calgary’s case, it’s especially critical that the team stock it’s thin cupboards with players that can be devloped into gamers this fanbase can get excited about in the coming years (Sven Baertschi anyone?)
I don’t know that Pouliot is that guy. I don’t know that ANY of these gentlemen is that guy, but I like Grigorenko’s odds better than Pouliot. This isn’t a Sutter team anymore. The days of picking up the WHL farm boys this early in the draft doesn’t cut it anymore.
Then again, Pierre McGuire did suggest the Habs would trade PK Subban and their 3rd overall pick to the Oilers for their first overall pick, so let’s take this mock draft with a mock grain of salt.
Here’s the funny thing about all these Jay Bouwmeester/Mikael Backlund trade rumours: No one has speculated on any ACTUAL trades. A lot of scribes out there have surmised that one or both players would fit on this team, or that team (or that team!), but as far as what the actual return you could get for any of these players has gone largely unheralded.
Which leads me to two conclusions:
A) There is currently no deal in place for Jay Bouwmeester or Mikael Backlund. Usually when we hear about players being on the move, the rumours are substantiated with a team (usually the Leafs) and players/picks/prospects that would be booking a flight for Calgary. Again, this is pure speculation on my part, but because we haven’t really heard anything credible about who’s interested in Bouwmeester and what he would cost, you would have to think that GM’s are either not inquiring about him, or they have and didn’t like the price tag. Which I think is directly related to my second conclusion:
B) Nobody has any kind of idea what Jay Bouwmeester is worth. (It’s certainly not his contract, but this is the NHL) Bouwmeester is a tough one to gauge. What was once a highly touted, Top 5ish in the league blueliner in a market on a bad team where no one cared or paid any attention to how well he may or may not have been playing, Bouwmeester has very obviously had his stock drop considerably since being a whipping boy in Calgary. He doesn’t score anymore, but he still plays 30 minutes a night against the opposition’s best forwards and does relatively well against him. The fact is Bouwmeester is a talented player who is on hard times in Calgary, and he would be an asset to a lot of teams (including Calgary, by the way). But that contract will always be his scarlet letter. If he made even 2 million dollars a year less he’d be everyone’s hero. He’d be Mark Giordano.
He’s never REALLY been traded before (trading for his rights don’t count). He’s never really been the subject of trade rumours like this before, so there’s no book on Jay Bouwmeester. No precedent. And I’ll bet a lot of GMs are hesitant to trade for him because they’re not entirely sure what would be overpaying to get him. It is admittedly very difficult to tell if he’d flourish in another market next season.
And I’ll tell you what, I’m loathe to trade him. For two reasons. The first being, losing Bouwmeester requires you to pick up two top line defensemen for next year, and good luck finding those without having to bend over to get them.
But more importantly, the closest thing the Flames have had to this Jay Bouwmeester trade situation is the Dion Phaneuf fiasco, and this fanbase still has wounds that re-open every time we watch Matt Stajan step in for a faceoff. Holy lord god, you’re making it really hard for me to be happy about your Stanley Cup win, Darryl.
Posted in Hlushko Hodgepodge |