Sunday, May 31, 2015

New Feature: Funny Sunday Video

I have a new feature to announce!

I just love how Bettman, with just a hint of sardonicism, says "AND" before he says Dumoulin's name as if there was another huge piece to announce.

Every Sunday from now on, I'll showcase a funny, recent, hockey video and break it down. It can be anything, as long as it's related to hockey, and I'll be taking submissions through my twitter account, @GlenGlencross.

This week, we have this monstrosity from the IIHF World Championships.

Turn down your volume.

- We open with a few generic shots of the players standing around during the national anthems before we get to the real hockey acti- WHAT IS THAT?

- In what sounds like a segment from Bad British Commentary, our two commentator friends start shouting like they're extras in a bad Roland Emmerich movie during a scoring chance after previous silence while the players were setting up.

- "OH, WHOOOA!" 

- Then we have the commentator talking about a "Moore" while Tyler Ennis has the puck, which is odd since there wasn't a "Moore" on either team. Nevertheless, the commentator quickly makes up for his mistake by calling Ennis' goal afterwards with a series of jumbled shouts in which he misidentifies the goalscorer. Oh, well, it's only the first period, he surely has plenty of time to make up for it.

- "WRAPAROUND! WHOO!"

- During a one-timer by the Russians, at about 0:44 of the video, the commentators feel the need to remain silent, as usual, while a great scoring chance develops. As the shot is taken, a singular, resounding "OH!" comes from the colour man. 

- Sidney Crosby's goal is narrated by another singular "OH!" followed by screaming. It's at about this part of the video when I started to wonder whether these guys were mic'd up while watching the game in a bar.

- Claude Giroux's breakaway features the following commentary: "Oh, Giroux! CANADA! ...Oh." They sound so disappointed.

- "TYLER SAGWEEN!"

- At approximately 1:17 of the video, Tyler Seguin hits the post on an empty net. The announcers call this a "GREAT SAVE BY BOBROVSKY ON SAGWEEN!" 

- At about 1:38 of the video, something becomes apparent - the announcers actually are commentating the game, they're just doing so seemingly as quietly as they possibly can. Like, not in their whispering voice. It sounds like they're two baby kittens having a hushed conversation in a showing of a movie that's taking place in a library. 

- Finally, at about 1:47, the Russians get on the board. The commentator reacts to this by simply asking, "was it a deflection?" recursively until the video fades into an ear-splitting techno music-filled ending.

So, that's that. Let me know what you thought of this video in the comments section below, and feel free to submit ideas for more future videos.


The Case for Mark Giordano's Next Contract

Candice Ward - USA Today Sports

Mark Giordano is currently the longest tenured Calgary Flame. He's been with the organization since 2004, and has played consistently for the Flames since 2008 (the only other Flame to play here that long is Mikael Backlund, who was drafted in 2007 and played his first NHL game in the late stages of the 2008-09 season). Giordano is also the Flames' captain, and is considered by many pundits to be one of the best defensemen in the League. However, he's also 30 (and 33 when the new deal will take hold), and an eight-year deal (or one with a similarly long term) may possibly result in Gio retiring before the completion of the deal, resulting in costly cap-recapture penalties, or, in a more likely case, his play deteriorating top the point where his contract becomes a burden rather than a bargain.

So, below, let's discuss the future of Mark Giordano's tenure with the Flames, and whether he should aim for one of three options (and whether Treliving and Burke should even consider them).

Option 1: Longer Term

This is obviously not Treliving's first choice for Giordano's contract, but the way that Gio might see it is that he might only have one big contract left and so he should try to make the big money last as long as possible. Of course, this is also unlikely because the longest contract that Treliving has ever handed out was five years long to T.J. Brodie, but Giordano is, by leaps and bounds, the best player on the Flames and can probably muscle out a six-, seven-, or even an eight-year deal.


What Giordano will want (in this scenario): 8 years, 67 million, 8.375 AAV


What management will want (in this scenario): 6 years, 51 million, 8.5 AAV


Management will be willing to bring more money to the table if it means more flexibility for them in the future, but Giordano may be looking for more security. They have to balance it the right way. The means are there, and Giordano loves playing here, but he'll still command a huge raise from the four million-per he's commanding right now. Which brings us to another option...

Option 2: More Money

There is absolutely no doubt about this: Mark Giordano is a superstar, and deserves to be paid as such. Elliotte Friedman was on the Fan 960 last week talking about a new contract for Dustin Byfuglien, and how he and his agent will point to Dion Phaneuf's monster deal (his AAV is 7 per) and start there. Byfuglien is far better than Phaneuf, and should command over 7.5 million per at his next payday. Well, Giordano is even better than Byfuglien, and talks have been going on that he may be in for a new contract with an AAV of over 9 million. Now, of course, this is only feasible if Giordano sacrifices term or is willing to do one other thing (more on that in a minute), but it's not out of the ballpark.


What Giordano will want (in this scenario): 5 years, 47.5 million, 9.5 AAV


What management will want (in this scenario): 5 years, 45 million, 9 AAV


I don't think that the two sides will be very far apart if they choose to go down this route - it's a win-win. Giordano gets more money quicker, and management gets more flexibility in the future. One more possibility, now...

Option 3: Front-loaded Contract


If you don't know what a front loaded contract is, Marian Hossa's deal is a good one to look at. (If you do know what one is, skip this part - it's a bit crazy.) He signed it as a free agent in 2009 at age 30, for 12 years at a total of 63 million (AAV 5.25 per). However, for the first seven years of the contract, he makes 7.9 a season (excluding the shortened 2012-13 season). The year after that, he makes 4 million, then for the four years after that (2017-18 - 2020-21) he makes only 1 million a year. In total, this adds up to 63 million, but the average value is 5.25 million, so that's the cap hit, only because of the four years at the end which the team, at first, assumed they wouldn't have to deal with because they thought Hossa would have retired by then - of course, in the aforementioned lockout, they added something called a cap-recapture penalty, which punishes the team that signed the player if said player retires before the end of the contract (see: Ilya Kovalchuk).

Whew. That was a mouthful.


What Giordano will want (in this scenario): 8 years, 69 million, 8.625 AAV
Breakdown: Years 1-4: 11 million a season. Years 5-6: 7 million a season. Years 7-8: 5.5 million a season.


What management will want (in this scenario): 8 years, 54.5 million, 6.8125 AAV
Breakdown: Years 1-4: 8.5 million a season. Years 5-6: 6 million a season. Years 7-8: 4.25 million a season.


Pretty similar. I think that if the two sides decide to go down this path, which they likely will, they'll have pretty similar opinions on what to go with. I think the above makes the most sense for both sides, because in all likeliness, Giordano will still be around by the time that the contract is up (although his skill might have deteriorated), so the Flames won't have to deal with any penalties.

Of course, I have no affiliation whatsoever with the Calgary Flames, so the above three scenarios are just what I think will happen. When the Flames inevitably re-sign Giordano in a few weeks, feel free to link back to this post and laugh at me, but I see these three options as likely. Post a comment below and sound off on what you think the Flames and Giordano should do this offseason.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

10 Options for the Calgary Flames in Free Agent Frenzy

Charles Leclaire - USA Today Sports

Hello, and welcome to Glengarry Glencross, a blog devoted to covering the NHL in general, but specifically Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here, you can find daily - well, maybe daily - coverage of the big topics in the NHL, whether it be the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Free Agent Frenzy, the NHL Draft, the Trade Deadline, or the next #PodiumWatch. Whether it be the middle of December or the middle of August, I’ll always be here with a mix of humour, blogging disguised as journalism, and random thoughts that I won’t be able to find another place to put.

The subject of my first-ever article is one covered endlessly thus far - free agency, and who the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs should target.

The Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs were two of the NHL’s biggest surprises this past season - in the case of the Flames, it was because they jumped from virtually the bottom of the barrel, standings-wise, to the second round of the playoffs seemingly before you could say “unsustainable”, and for the Leafs, it was, to be frank, because they surprised us with a glimmer of hope and were still in the playoff picture by Christmas, and then took away that hope by firing the coach that had gotten them there. Or, as is the case with the Leafs, a “normal scenario”.

These two teams are not without their respective needs, however - the Leafs certainly have more, but the Flames also have their fair share. These voids can be filled in free agency, however, and both teams have multiple players that they can target.

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames need some more depth on the right wing, as well as a couple of defensemen to shore up the third pairing.

Who they should target:


Defence


Mike Green


I know, I know, I know. Green’s 30 at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, but he’s still in the early phase of his prime and can still prove a potent offensive threat on the Flames’ blueline. Signing Green also allows Calgary to move Dennis Wideman for potential help on the wing.

New contract: 4 years, 23 million - AAV 5.75

Some may call this an overpay, but with the shorter term, Green will command more. It is a slight paycut from his current, expiring deal, but Green may take a hometown discount - he is from Calgary.

Other options: 

Andrej Sekera - didn’t really get much of a chance with the Kings after his rental acquring due to injury, but is still a good offensive defenseman.

Christian Ehrhoff - the Penguins likely won’t resign this oft-injured defenceman. Is coming off of a disappointing “show-me” year with a 1-year contract, so may take less to prove himself.

Jeff Petry - a likely target for the Flames, Petry flourished after leaving Edmonton for Montreal.

Cody Franson - not my first choice, but is still a good puck-mover and relatively young.


Forward


Michael Frolik


Frolik is coming off a year with the Winnipeg Jets where he helped them reach the post-season with a strong performance in the regular season where he scored 42 points for the second consecutive season. Frolik finished fifth among all Jets forwards in points in 2014-15, and could be a good fit on the second or third line, depending on where David Jones slots in next year.

New contract: 3 years, 11.5 million - AAV 3.83

Frolik commanded 3.3 million last season and, with his good performance, should be able to secure a deal with a longer term this season. He is still only 27, so the Kladno native should still have some good years in him as he enters his prime.

Other options: 

Justin Williams - he’s older, and would likely play on the third line, but has good experience and was another player who wasn’t wholly awful like the rest of the Kings last year.

Mike Ribeiro - proved he still has plenty of gas in the tank after a very strong showing in Nashville last year, plus he wouldn’t be able to kill the Flames anymore.

Carl Soderberg - good, young, and a chance to take advantage of a cash-strapped Bruins squad.

Curtis Glencross - hey, why not? Eh, just kidding.
No, really, Treliving, don’t do it. Please - and if you do, lowball him hard.