Friday, August 31, 2007


Bad Idea Jeans: Flames Edition

My irritation over the Flames failing to sign up Mark Giordano is, regrettably, not fading away with time.

For starters, good on Metrognome for some pretty prescient speculation a few days before the bad news.

Next, a brief recap of Giordano's Flames career:
There's a couple of things to take out of all of this:
  1. Mark Giordano is not a minor leaguer. His abilities on the offensive end exceed at least half of the D-men in the league. If the biggest thing he needs to improve is defending against NHL forwards (and it is -- he was never abused last year, but he did look overmatched on occasion), then he ought to be doing that in the NHL.
  2. At the end of last season -- in the most important games of the year -- he was a better option than David Hale. There is no imaginable reason how this assessment could have reversed over the summer. In terms of offensive potential, these two could not possibly be further apart on the spectrum (Hale has zero(!) goals in 157 NHL games). Am I blind, and Giordano is that big a liability defensively? I know Hale can't be that good, because Lou Lamoriello gave him up in exchange for turning a 5th-round pick into a 3rd-rounder, i.e. nothing.
If I'm an NHL GM, and I can put a d-man who projects to score 12-15 goals over a full season for less than $1M into my starting 6, I figure out a way to get that done. Apparently Darryl Sutter sees things differently. The Eriksson signing seems like an exact duplicate of last year's Zyuzin signing -- hey, we'll pick up a solid vet who doesn't make too many mistakes (how'd that work out by the way) and who can maybe chip in on O once in a while (how'd that work out by the way).

On Monday, Lowetide wrote that "Being a high draft pick has always (imo) given players an extra chance...". I don't think there's any doubt about that, and the undrafted Giordano seems to be the victim of the flip side of this. I'm just one man, but I'm not sure what else he needs to do to prove he belongs.

That issue notwithstanding, it looks like what this boils down to is that my assessment of Giordano's defensive liabilities (minor, part of developing as a major leaguer) is a lot different from Sutter's assessment (severe & intractable). It must be -- because otherwise there's no reason in the world why Giordano wasn't signed up and slotted into the 3rd pairing.


Matt, for Giordano to stay, Sutter would have had to get over his nostalgic affection for Warrener. Giordano would be a better, cheaper option not only because of the skills you mention, but with the additions of Sarich and Aucoin, the Flames seem to have enough size and grit at the back to mitigate his shortcomings physically. Warrener had his time, but his slowness really showed last year, particularly chasing quicker forwards around on the PK. I'm not sure this is an error of Lydman-esque proportions, but it seems like a waste of a cheap, homegrown talent.

I think Bob's right. The Sutter affinity for Warrener (and Warrener-esque) players may have been the culprit here. Hale and Warrener just AREN'T superior options to Giordano to my eye, but then I don't tend to value "rugged, no-nonsense work ethic" above results.

I wonder how much Warrener has left in the tank, and if he can bounce back. I sure hope he does, I really like the guy.

yaaaaaaaaaaawn ...

lets start the season already!

Everyone is ready for the season when all I can find on this site is whining about some butt-hole 7th defensemen. Get over it.

10-4 good buddy, I'll telex the commissioner and tell him to get the season started post-haste.

Can't start the season until everyone has revealed their new clothes.

Yeah, Matt, quit questioning Sutter with all your thoughtful, analytical bullshit so we can all get back to the misspelled opinions and DEADmonton COILERS quips that make BoA's Calgary threads such a beacon.

Turn off your brain and give the morons what they want.

Anyone else think it could be a case of Sutter throwing good money after bad? Guys he goes out of his way to sign for or trade (Hale, Zyuzin, McCarty, Amonte) seem to get far more leeway than guys that seemed to get the Flames by happenstance (Lombardi (revenge draft), Giordano(undrafted)).

Is that a trend or am I way off?

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