Twas the night before draft weekend. Our new contributor, Dave Cameron, chimes in with me on what he'd like to see the Flames do this weekend in Pittsburgh.
Realistically, who is the one guy you're pulling for at #14?
GW: Hard to say. The most sensible move would be to key in on a D man, but I am so easily drawn by skilled forwards. If, for whatever reason, Grigorenko were to drop, I wouldn't hesitate to take that risk. You'd get a top-3 talent in the middle of the first round. More realistically, I would go for Derrick Pouliot. I see him as more skilled than some of the names on forward in that range (Faksa, Gaunce). Watching a handful of Portland games this year, I was very impressed with his creativity and puck skills - something the Flames could surely use.
DC: I'm pulling for Zemgus Girgensons. Looking at many of the first rounders, Girgensons is described as a fierce two way player, his NHL comparable would be Rod Brind' Amour. The guy is a force in the weight room, but his two way game is undoubtedly present. Winning key draws, tough along the wall, and would be a great addition. Girgensons is the type of player Darryl always "said" he wanted to draft, but they didn't pan out (see Kris Chucko). Girgensons is a surefire two-way NHL player for the future.
Should the Flames move an asset to trade up?
GW: I definitely wouldn't. I think one guy out of the top-10 will fall to the Flames at 14. In most drafts, I'd be all over trading up. This time around, there doesn't seem to be as much certainty as to how it will play out from pick 1-20. So, I'd prefer the Flames ride it out and see who falls in their lap.
DC: Yes, but only if it involves maintaining youth. Unfortunately, I believe the Flames will not be able to move an asset to trade up, The integral pieces of this team going forward are what interest other teams, not the David Moss and Anton Babchuks. Maintaining Baertschi, Brodie, Giordano among others is key. I believe it is more important to make the proper choice at 14, and as Feaster has said, stick to the list of taking the best player available.
Should they add another pick in trading down?
GW: This is something I think they will (and should) do. Potentially finding a way to select twice (1 F, 1D?) in the top-40 would be ideal. Easier said than done, though.
DC: No. There are some intriguing names in that first round, prospects with a high ceiling. Although a drop exists outside of the top 2 (people will argue the drop occurs after the top 4 or 5), these are still quality prospects. As an organization, it's better to take a chance on a first rounder, rather than two seconds, as the possibility of that player actually making your roster and an impact some day is significantly better.
What roster player would you like to see dealt at the draft?
GW: I think the Flames are in a tough spot here. They've made it clear Kipper and Iggy will be sticking around. Looking at the rest of the roster, you'd be selling low. I would look to deal Jokinen's rights, potentially for a mid-round pick. I would hold off on the salary dumps until after July 1, when teams become more desperate to add pieces. To comment on the speculation, I would NOT look to deal Bouwmeester or Backlund, simply because they are more valuable to the team than the market.
DC: Que the Matt Stajan responses, but not from me: I have a Stajan jersey. He picked up his game down the stretch last season, and his market value sucks. All the talk about Bouwmeester being traded brings up mixed emotions. Is his contract bloated? Yes. Does he act uninterested in interviews, thus affecting the perception of him? Yes. Do the Flames have anyone that can play shutdown minutes half the game? No. J-Bo is an important part of this team, and should only be dealt in a deal that comes with an immediate (potential) replacement for him and those minutes.
Out of the guys under contract, one might suggest Glencross would be a candidate to be traded. Even though he had a great season after signing his new contract, I still have doubts as to whether or not he can continue to produce at that clip.
Either way, not dying to get rid of anyone on the immediate roster, but hoping that a philosophy shift with youth will bring this group out of mediocrity.
Follow Dave on twitter @dcam94, Dome Ice Advantage @WiswellMRU