If Calgary was as terrible as some of you guys claim they were last year, they must of been really lucky to of finished 5 points out of the playoffs. So lucky to have 247 man games missed which was good enough for 6th highest in the league. Only Pits had more injuries and still made the playoffs. They had a very tough season and had a legit shot to make the 8th seed, adding 1 legit top 6 forward (Hudler- I don't care who he played with last season he is still a top 6 guy), 2 potential top 6 guys in Cervenka and Baertschi and Wideman, who yes is overpaid and mostly offensive but is a proven NHLer who will score goals and improve the powerplay.
The flames have improved from last year and are generally a hardworking grinding team with great goaltending. The biggest weakness last year was injuries and lack of scoring which one is luck and the other they addressed IMO.
Also I think Garrison is total risk, he is being billed as a reliable shutdown guy with a great shot.....kinda like Ballard was being billed minus the great shot but with offensive abilities. He could also turn out to be like Bieksa who got a late start in the NHL but turned out to be one of our best dman over the last few season. No guarantees either way as he just does not have enough experience in the NHL to know for sure. To be claiming that he was signed to a good contract is a little premature, I think was a calculated risk by Gillis who I do trust but its a risk all the same.
Below I quoted Mike Smith trying to find players in strange places. A better example was the last Oilers team who made the finals. It was a good mix of a solid goalie supported by a well crafted balance of various key elements. No doubt Pronger was THE key guy. But; speed, size, play making, penalty killing, and scoring was made up via an eclectic group which included Pisani, Samsanov, Horcoff, Raffi Torres, Ethan Moreau, Ales Hemsky.. But really they creatively (and cheaply) mixed talent with speed and size on every line. Where they did not have star power, they were also a near impossible match up on physical abilities.
I do not see any such capacity on the flames.
Your talking a need a C and RW. 3rd line C is a need no doubt. If Burrows stays with the Twins and Booth on the 2nd line with Hanson possibly pushing in that slot where does the RW need come from. I am more concerned with the 2nd line LW. Raymond is a gamble and I don't see Higgins as a fulltime 2nd liner even tho he did well last year.
Calgary is in an awkward spot; they have budget problems. And to their misfortune its not cuz their short on money.
So Feaster is looking to secondary markets looking for cheap talent and physical abilities. When I grew up controversial GM Mike Smith found Zhamnov and Selanne in secondary markets for Winnipeg. And he ultimately failed. Imagine how Feaster will do banking on Cervenka and Bartschi? Look, their not a bad gamble, but they're also not Selanne. But it's too much to expect them to rejuvenate the Flames!!!
My opinion anyway.
Hansen on the second, get real, we are missing a second line RW plain, and. simple. While we're at it Burrows shouldn't be on the first line. Our top 6 is a mess. Booth is the second line LW, you just mentioned him.
Raymond is a joke.
And Higgins is no second liner, you got that right.
In a perfect world, Burrows is the worlds best 3rd line LW. But Hansen is, unfortunately, our top natural RW until Kassian arrives.
Depth chart on LW;
Booth (feel free to interchange him and Burrows, Burrows the better player, Booth as fast and 30 lbs heavier).
Lapierre (really a centre but?)
Depth chart on RW
And so far only Burrows has been really good playing the off side?
An ideal trade is Lou and a LW (to ultimately make room fro Jensen) for a big RW! Big, because only Booth (who wont be the guy for this reason) is big on the left side, so we need to make up for it on the right...
Edited by Canuck Surfer, 18 October 2012 - 05:18 AM.