MORE ON ASSET MANAGEMENT
Between Darryl Sutter and Harry Jay Feaster there were many a blown opportunity to get younger, to acquire the kind of youth and/or picks that can help kick start a rebuild - or, better yet, allow a team to consistently compete.
Dion Phaneuf. Daymond Langkow. Robyn Regehr. Olli Jokinen. Jarome Iginla. Jay Bouwmeester. Miikka Kiprusoff.
All used to be part of the Calgary Flames core - some, keys to five straight playoff appearances (don't laugh! that's good for Calgary!)
The sum of all these parts = 2 Late 1st Rounders, 2 AHLers, Chris Butler, Paul Byron, Matt Stajan and Lee Stempniak. We're talking about a group that should have produced a bevy of high quality picks and prospects. It's because of this failure by the previous regime that it becomes so apparent, the need to extract as much as possible out of the current group. Now, Stajan has already re-signed and although I vehemently disagree, one thing is certain that it is better to re-sign him than to let him walk altogether.
This leads us to Mike Cammalleri, who is reportedly talking extension with Brian Burke. I like Cammy. Good on the power-play, he's got a great shot, he works his butt off and is a nice ambassador for the franchise. But, again, because of the failure of the previous regime, every opportunity should be placed on getting a good return on him. Ideally, you can squeeze a nice prospect out of the LA Kings (Toffoli, highly unlikely, but Vey/Pearson?); if not, Burke should be able to get at the least a 1st round pick out of someone.
The Calgary Flames prospect cupboards aren't bare, but they aren't anything to rest on either. I'd call it above average with a few potential top 6ers and potential starting goalie. This is just fine, but not good enough and certainly not enough to retain 30 year olds when the opportunity exists to trade them for younger talent. Important to keep in mind that Cammy's stock is only likely to go down from here, much like Stajan. Trading assets at their highest value should be something this franchise takes more seriously.
Having said that, one thing I wouldn't rule out on this particular situation though is that Burke is talking extension to make Cammalleri seem less available to possibly stir up some more interest in him. I wouldn't put that past Burke for a second.
But, if the Calgary Flames start 14-15 with Stajan and Cammalleri both on the roster? That'll be a double-down on a wasted opportunity. "Better than letting them go for nothing" will be the best thing we'll be able to say moving forward.
TEAM CANADA GOLD 2.0? Carey Price.
I'd say you won't get too many arguments against Canada putting the strongest team together in Sochi, even though I have 3 or 4 problems with the roster selection, I know they're still the best on paper. But with the roster selection argument getting stale I'll move on to the move that may be necessary in order to give the team its best chance at back to back gold.
Much like Martin Brodeur supplanting Curtis Joseph in 2002, Roberto Luongo supplanting Martin Brodeur in 2010, so should the trend continue with Carey Price supplanting Roberto Luongo in 2014.
First off, this argument may be needless as no starting goalie has been announced as far as I know, so it remains possible that Price could be the #1, but I'd wager a guess that Bobby Lou will get the nod.
Just quickly, here are the stats:
Roberto Luongo: .918 sv% tied 16th in NHL (min 16 starts) / .923 evsv% 23rd in NHL (min 14 starts)
Carey Price: .924 sv% 9th in NHL / .932 evsv% 8th in NHL
*in 2010 Roberto Luongo: .913 18th in NHL / .925 tied 14th
The schedule also makes for a nice little wrinkle because Canada opens with 2 games against weak opponents in Norway and Austria which will hardly allow for the goaltenders to evaluated should they split those games to have a look at each of them. Meaning, I believe that whomever gets the nod as the opening game starter is likely to get the start against Finland and with 1 start against Norway and 1 against Finland, is that enough to make a change? It will be interesting...
All of this is not to say that I expect Roberto Luongo to get the start and need to be pulled or Team Canada make the change, I just feel strongly that Carey Price is the better goaltender of the two and Canada will not give themselves the best chance to win gold by starting Luongo.
Carey Price is having a season that is putting him amongst the best in the NHL while Roberto Luongo is putting up roughly NHL average numbers. The choice should be an easy one, I hope Team Canada gets it right.
I mean, what self-respecting Matchsticks & Gasoline reader wants to cheer for Luongo anyway, right?