Friday, January 18, 2008


Friday Baseball Standings

The Flames host the L.A. Kings tonight (7PM MT, TSN), and will attempt to get back on the happy side of that black line.

I'm just about done my week-long (month-long? year-long?) tubthumping about Alex Tanguay. A couple last points:

1) The latest speculation regarding a Flames trade (and creating 08/09 cap space) is that perhaps they would like Michael Ryder as a "reclamation project". Ryder, who was +34/-54 at even strength last season, is basically a poor man's Darcy Tucker; effective on the PP, a black hole at EV.

At any rate, besides the relative merits of Tanguay and Ryder, I'm skeptical of this for another reason. The Flames had his brother Daniel in the organization, and he appears to have quit hockey. No one's saying what the specific problem was (or if there is one), but suffice it to say Daniel's head wasn't into hockey.

Now, I don't read a ton about the Habs, but the way I understand it, Carbonneau's criticism of Ryder this season has been regarding the focus/attitude/effort family of issues. I can't believe that Sutter would want to go down this road again, especially if there is a family-related problem that is the/a source of the difficulties.

2) The one area where it's theoretically possible to get better in a Tanguay trade (improve on his performance) is the PP. Question: what position does this new player play? Because RW on the #1 unit is already spoken for, as is LW (Huselius). As is one point (Phaneuf), and pretty much the other point. A natural centre who is a great PP performer (better than Langkow) is really the only way to upgrade that #1 unit.

Past that, you're looking for a winger who can do a better job than Tanguay at creating PP scoring with Nolan, Conroy, Moss, and Lombardi, in the ~ one-third of Calgary's PP time that the #2 unit gets. It's possible, I suppose, but I don't think there would be any guarantees no matter who you acquire. And of course, the player who could do this while duplicating Tanguay's 5v5 performance is not acquirable via trade, is not affordable by contract, and exists only in Ottawa, presently nursing a separated shoulder.

I like the Flames' chances tonight. I went to the last 'Dome tilt v. the Kings with periodic commenter Peter -- thanks again Peter! -- and victory rarely seemed in doubt, even when the lads were down 2-0. Rudy has the L.A. angle, and despite his advice, I certainly will feel bad if the Kings beat my team.

Calgary 5 (Moss, Iginla, Langkow, Phaneuf, Boyd)
Home of the Bodybag 2 (Brown x2)

Go Flames.

[Confidential to R.B. -- please play poorly and reduce Darryl Sutter's temptation to acquire you.]


Heh. Looks like we both had a hankerin' to tackle the same issue.

If Ryder's (Mike Ryder that is) problems prior to being booted off the top line were due to focus/attitude/effort problems, they were manifested solely in his poor shooting percentage. Defensively, he improved significantly this season. Everything he's said in the media has been of the "I understand it's what's best for the team I just need to work hard to get out of it" sort of comment. This is a guy who spent parts of two seasons in the ECHL - I'd need to see some pretty compelling evidence before I'd believe he had attitude or effort problems. I think he just had a terrible cold streak and it's a great time to buy low.

That said, if Ryder had been producing at his usual 30 goal level this season, I wouldn't want to see him get a 5-year contract in Montreal.

Hey Matt, that was good times ... tonight's game looks like better times.

Go Flames.

Apparently Pierre McGuire is a fan of Dion Phaneuf. Who knew?

Buying low is one thing. Trading your 2nd best forward for him is another.

You certainly got your wish re: Blake. He was awful.

Does anyone know where the analysts get this "Tanguay wants out of Calgary" crap?

I've been thinking about this most of the night, and I have to come to two conclusions: we have to make a trade at the deadline, and that trade should be Langkow.

Here's all the reasons I can come up with, in no particular order:

1) We have a lot of breadth at center. Conroy, Langkow, Lombardi, Yelle, Primeau, Boyd. None of them are especially injury prone.

2) We have some depth at center, especially from the perspective that we aren't going to have more than two scoring lines this season. Lombardi is the most talented player on his line, which is bad for a player of his age. He will certainly benefit by moving up a spot. Conroy isn't the player he used to be, but he also isn't a black hole, and I think his play has been improving a bit recently. Those two should be able to fill the top two positions (possibly rotating depending on who's hot).

3) For any general trade we want to improve our team for this season and improve our prospects for the future. No GM is going to get scooped at the trade deadline, which means we're going to have to give up something good to get something good. With our defense fragile to begin with, any trade is going to have to come from the forwards.

4) We have four good forwards: Iginla, Tanguay, Huselius, Langkow. Iginla is obviously not getting traded. Tanguay is signed, and as has been demonstrated, one of the most underrated players in the league. Huselius and Langkow are both free agents this year, and are less consistent players. Combined with the depth and breadth arguments above, Langkow is the clear choice.

5) By offering someone as good as Langkow, we open up trade options beyond 3rd and 4th line forwards, or 3rd pairing dmen. Our top should be a solid defenseman to play with Phaneuf (and do for him what Sarich has done for Regehr). Someone old enough to not make huge mistakes, but young enough to have energy and be injury free. Our second priority should be a good young right winger. Someone at a similar stage in their career as Lombardi.

6) By offering someone as good as Langkow, we open up the possibility of tacking on some dead weight. Specifically, Nilson.

I don't know enough about other players to say what team is going to be a good pick, but if we trade a player of Langkow's ability, it'll have to be out East.

Aren't you glad that you hired Mike Keenan?

Very interesting arguments Ngthagg.

I did a bit of looking at teams, and found a situation that matches what I want: a moderately experienced, fairly stable defenceman, a young RW with potential, playing for an eastern team that's weak on offense and is sitting right on the bubble.

Unfortunately, it's Ference and Kobasew in Boston, and neither me nor my sister can imagine Sutter reversing that trade (even if it was the worst thing he's ever done as GM).

Unfortunately, it's Ference and Kobasew in Boston, and neither me nor my sister can imagine Sutter reversing that trade

i was joking about the same thing just the other day [kobasew just scored SH, btw, as i wrote this.... he's on fire]. terrible trade. absolutely killed the 06/07 team.

re: ryder --if i remember correctly, dan ryder left prospect camp last summer due to 'personal reasons' and the speculation (news ?) was that it was a family thing.... very strange, indeed & could easily have something to do with michael's play this season....

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?