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Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – How would you rate the Oilers’ roster?

Welcome, friends, to yet another edition of the Monday Mailbag where we answer all of your Oilers related questions and give you a few minutes of time killing distraction from whatever it is that you’re trying to avoid. Needless to say, there are plenty of things to talk about as the Oilers look to get themselves back on track after the disappointing 2018-19 season. This week, we look at Mike Smith’s puck-moving skills, roster construction, sports cities, and a whole lot more. As always, I need your questions to make this work. If you’ve got one, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

1) CaptainCanada94 asks – I think if our defence stays healthy, they are a mediocre 4-6 at best in the NHL. How much will the acquisition of Mike Smith assist our defence and alleviate the pressure of a forecheck? Can he alone be an answer to defensive zone issues? How can he impact young defensemen such as Evan Bouchard?

Robin Brownlee:

What do you mean by “mediocre 4-6 at best?” As a group? Do you mean they’re all second- or third-pairing guys? A goaltender who can handle and move the puck is a plus. How much of one in this case? I don’t know.

Cam Lewis:

This question is… a whirlwind. I think, if fully healthy, the team’s blueline is actually solid. The big if comes down to Oscar Klefbom. If he’s healthy, it’s a major game-changer, as we saw last year. In regards to Mike Smith, I have a hard time imagining that his puck-moving will make that big of a difference. I bet we’ll see him fire a pass to Connor McDavid a couple of times in stride for a breakaway and it’ll be really cool, but it won’t compensate for the blueline’s lack of elite puck movers.

Christian Pagnani:

I agree. I don’t think the defence is good enough, specifically with moving the puck. Maybe Evan Bouchard has a wonderful rookie season, but they have too many of the same types playing big minutes. Mike Smith can take some pressure off with his puck-handling skills, but I don’t think he alone changes much.

Baggedmilk:

Uhhhh… Maybe? I said on a podcast that I think Mike Smith will get 10 assists this year so maybe that would be equivalent to a guy on the third pairing. I’m not sure I really understand the question.

Apr 19, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Smith (41) makes a save against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period in game five of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

2) Clint asks – Comparing the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames directly, who has the better overall goaltending tandem?

Robin Brownlee:

I’ll go with the Flames. Talbot and Smith have both been better than they showed last season, but Smith is trying to bounce back at the age of 37, while Talbot is 32. Rittich is .909 in his career and trying to establish himself. Koskinen is .904 and you just don’t know what you’re going to get from him. Too many swings in his performance to trust him, at least at this point.

Cam Lewis:

It’s pretty close. David Rittich did well last year but doesn’t have a track record beyond that. Mikko Koskinen’s track record of being a good goalie in the NHL is, like, 10 games long. I might go with Mike Smith over Cam Talbot? I don’t know. Neither team’s goaltending situation is admirable.

Christian Pagnani:

Flames by a bit. I like the idea of Talbot bouncing back behind Calgary more than Smith behind Edmonton. Rittich is a little bit more proven than Koskinen, too. Neither are particularly good, but one of them should be good enough. I wouldn’t want to bet on either tandem.

Baggedmilk:

I think the Flames do by a bit because I think Rittich is solid, but I would suggest that it’s very close. We’ll see if Smith can steal the job from Koskinen like I predict he will.

3) Ethan asks – Do you guys have any updates on the Oilers building up their Analytics Department? With the NHL implementing Puck and Player Tracking technology next season, does it concern you that the Oilers are so far behind it hiring people to take advantage of this?

Robin Brownlee:

Not sure who the Oilers are talking to in that regard. More concerned with the players being tracked than who is tracking them.

Cam Lewis:

The use of analytics is one thing, but properly implementing them into your overarching and day-to-day strategy is another. I don’t think Edmonton’s front office is overly inclined to use this kind of decision-making, which is unfortunate. They did test the waters back in the MacT general manager era and it didn’t work well for them, so I can’t imagine the organization taking another stab at what would be a fairly big overhaul in the way they make decisions.

Christian Pagnani:

Nope. The hope is the Oilers are building one of the league’s leading groups of analytical persons, but the more realistic scenario is them hiring one or two people to collect data for them. They don’t seem overly concerned they’re lacking any insight into statistics and analytics, but maybe Holland changes that?

Baggedmilk:

If the Oilers aren’t building an analytics department then they’re going to fall behind. They’d be like a guy that shows up to your house with a new KISS 8-track tape and wondering why you don’t have anywhere to play it.

4) Trent asks – As we get into mid-August and NHL rosters look to be more complete, how would you rank the Oilers’ team on a scale of 1-10? Why did you assign this number?

Robin Brownlee:

Don’t like assigning a number. What does ranking the team mean, exactly? One serious defect, like lack of scoring at forward or a penalty kill that is abysmal, for example, can torpedo a roster that is pretty good overall but doesn’t get results because of it. Until the team can play above the .500 mark, it’s no better than 5 out of 10.

Cam Lewis:

Probably a 5/10. The roster is very top-heavy. Having Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Oscar Klefbom means you can compete if everything else goes right. The issue is it’s hard to imagine everything else going right.

Christian Pagnani:

It’s hard to rank a team with Connor McDavid so low, but I have to go with 5/10. They have a great top line and nothing much after that. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will have to drag two players who are most likely not top-six guys. The defence is mediocre and goaltending is suspect. They have a ways to go.

Baggedmilk:

I’ll give them a solid 6/10. Decent but certainly with room to improve.

5) Stefan asks – I was listening to the Real Life Podcast this past week, and the guys mentioned that they would be heading to Buffalo to watch a football game and it got me wondering where is everyone’s favourite city to watch sports? Personally, I went to a hockey game in Montreal two years ago and it was an incredible experience.

Robin Brownlee:

Hockey — Montreal
MLB — Boston
NBA — Los Angeles
NFL — Chicago
Cam Lewis:

The best hockey atmosphere I’ve been to is Vegas. Going to games in Florida are great too because there’s nobody there and it’s easy to walk around. I haven’t been to enough NBA or NFL games to comment. For baseball, I love Dodger Stadium because of the idyllic vibe. Going to Seattle for a Jays game when Canadians invade the city is great too. It’s like a playoff atmosphere.

Christian Pagnani:

I don’t know.

Baggedmilk:

I’d love to go see a game in Montreal. I’d also like to go to Europe to check out a Premier League game and see what the vibe is like for those games. I have some buddies over in England and they are bananas for soccer and I think that would be cool to be a part of.

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  • madjam

    Sorry , but looks like I will have to rate Oilers a 3 out of 10 , and finishing about 9th worst in league standings . Not much faith in Neal gaining form , nor castoffs like Granlund and Gagner . Goaltending suspect along with defence overall . Change in management and coaching unlikely to make much difference on ice production .

  • OilCan2

    I would rate the roster at a solid 9/10. Ken has given the reins to a very good coach in Tippett and has done as much as possible to fill in the gaps. Tippett is known for getting the most out of his players defensively and that bodes well. The cheap hires have speed and skill in Hass & Nyland and Archibald was a mainstay on the best PK in the league last year. The D is healthy and Persson should be able to step in to the bottom pairing. Jones, Bear & Lagesson are in their last year waiver exempt and Bouchard will be pushing them hard for a roster spot in the show. Even if they all start in CA we have some good call ups on tap. Goalies are voodoo but if Smith plays like he did last spring 1A & 1B might prove to be the answer. Forward depth in Benson, McLeod, Marody & Gambardella should provide roster competition and call ups. Addition by subtraction of Lucic & JP will probably improve the vibe in the room too. Finally the vets in Neal, AC & Gags should be able to muster three dozen goals.

    • RJ

      Very positive, but I think most of ON will reserve judgement until we see the players actually perform, and we see players stay healthy into the season.

      When the Oil had everyone stay healthy, they were in the playoffs, but when injuries hit, they didn’t have the depth to keep up.

      I think if they’re still in it by Christmas, then there will be a lot of excitement. But until then, most fans are going to be understandably cautious.

      The biggest question for me is going to be goaltending. If they’re even average (14-16th) then the team is much better. If the starters are in 30th or worse (like most every season), then they’re going to be out of it by Christmas.

  • TKB2677

    I think it’s foolish and wrong to rank the Oilers roster today. I say this because none of us have a clue what will happen. Right now on paper, most of us think the Oilers are thin in top 6 players. But do we know forsure they are thin? No.

    James Neal was a 20+ goal score for like 10 yrs in a row. He was brutal last year in Calgary. Does 1 season mean he’s done? No. He could be but he could have just as easily had a bad year. Just about every real good player has a bad year but that doesn’t mean they are done.
    Kassian scored at a top 6 guy rate playing with McDavid. Based on his career numbers, the evidence says that was a one off but in saying that, over his career, he’s never been given a lot of chance to play in an offensive role? We see lots of players move up the lines. We see lots of players who hit their stride in their late 20’s. We see lots of players who don’t click with other players but with a particular player, it just works. Could Kassian score 20 goals this year with McDavid? Do I expect it? No but if he did would it surprise me? Not necessarily. Maroon was a 3rd/4th liner with the Ducks. It just worked with McDavid, he scored 27 with him, the next year he was on pace for 20. He leaves, back to a 3rd/4th liner.
    What will the guys from Europe do? They have no NHL resume so we don’t expect much. But could they succeed? Absolutely they could. We see lot of other teams bring over Europeans who excel. Holland did it all the time in Detroit.

    What about the other 3rd/4th liner NHLers – Granlund, Archibald. The expectation is they just put up normal numbers. Could they have a career year? Sure they could. Look at Chiasson. Anyone expect 22 goals from him. No chance. We see time and time again guys out of no where on every team have big years. Do I expect it? No but it could happen. Same goes for Gagner. He loves it in Edmonton, he spent a good chunk in the minors last year. He’s a UFA this year. He’s playing for a contract.

    What about the young guys on the team At some point you’d hope a guy like Khaira would pop. Other teams have minor league guys make the team and have an impact.

    So it’s pretty early to rank the roster. Do I expect a ton out of a lot of the guys I listed? No but could a few of them surprise and make the roster a lot better than it looks today? You bet they could.

  • ed from edmonton

    Must be summer time and ON is struggling to get rational question.

    1. What does this question mean? The D is the area of least weakness on the Oil but are a middling at best group.

    2.Definatley the Cowtowners, and for less of a cap hit. I still maintain that the Koskinnen may prove to be the most debilitating of all of PC’s blunders.

    4. One would need to assign a value of 1-10 for every team in the league for this question to have any meaning. All one can say is the Oil roster has too many questions marks to be considered a playoff team. Goaltending a complete question mark, D is mediocre, no 3C and depth scoring is still uncertain.

    • Leichs

      Meh, how many ifs did the Isles have after they lost Tavares? To claim in August a team wont make playoffs is bold, especially a team with two 100 point players

  • DannyGallivan

    Three people are key: Holland, McJesus and Drai. The Oil have one of the top GM’s and two of the top 10 players in the league who are young (22, 23 years) and under long term contracts and 3 excellent centers in McJ, Drai and RNH. Imagine trying to get just one player of McJ or Drai’s quality on your team – we have 2. Like Gretzky, M and D turn 10 goal scorers into 15 or 20 (see Kassian and Chaisson). Bring in three legitimate 20 goal scorers and goal scoring will no longer be a challenge. Be interesting to see how Neal does – we may already have one.

    They have a middle of the road D but they are relatively young and they have a lot of good D prospects coming up. Holland got rid of a boat anchor contract in Lucic and tried to bring in some speed at low cost (no cap space) and with short term contracts so they are disposable (both moves of a competent GM). Not sure it will be enough to make the playoffs this year. Next year H sheds cap space to help reform the team (13 contracts are UFA or RFA – $21M and only one may stay (Nurse at $3.2M)) he was saddled with by Chia pet to help improve the wings and G.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    As for filling out the roster, with so many guys needed and not a lot to work with, I think Holland has done okay there, I mean really what can you do when you only have so much cap space and need a certain number of bodies to fill the holes in the roster. The smart thing Holland though was sign these guys to 1 year deals and most of them are cheap, if they dont work out, they could be traded for a team looking for some cheap help or sent down or after the season is over not re-signed so not a lot of risk.

    Holland managing to move Lucic which many of us thought wouldnt happen…happened, now the Oilers have to hope Neal gets it back on track.

    What I would love to know is what went on with Koskinen in the off season and what is going on with him right now. Did the Oilers and Koskinen try and get Koskinen some help with the problems in his game. How had Koskinen been doing with his conditioning? The biggest concern I have is the goaltending, Koskinen got on a great roll but it was fairly evident that he had a tough time playing a long string of games ( way way too many played in a row and I still cant fathom why they rode Koskinen that hard when they could clearly see he was struggling and never played that much in the KHL ) One would hope the Oilers sat down with Koskinen and tried to figure out an off season game plan to help him fix the holes in his game and what not, my concern though is none of that happened or at least it seems that way because I have seen zip in any media of anything about Koskinen and what he is doing to prepare for the upcoming season. Smith I think is past his prime I still cant fathom why the Oilers thought this was the best option, available to them for a backup and no I still have no faith in Schwartz being the Oilers goalie coach, It will be interesting to see if the goaltending is terrible this upcoming season how long he lasts cause I think he should have been gone

    • GK1980

      Smith can move the puck as has some Swagger and leadership qualities. I think he isn’t as bad as people make him out to be. He won’t be lights out every night but I think he is a decent back up option.

    • TKB2677

      I heard I think a month ago either on Gregor’s show or Stauffer’s show that Koskinen himself asked Schwartz to come over to Finland to work with him. So that’s a great sign. I know people rag on Schwartz but if they listen to Kevin Woodley who comes in Gregor show weekly and who’s very involved in the NHL goaltending community, he raves about Schwartz.

      I also heard that part of Koskinen’s job last season was to babysit Puljujarvi to try and help him. Goaltending is a lot mentally. So he as a new guy to the league, where he has to learn to play goal on a different size rink, playing a different style of hockey with a new team, also had to worry about a 20 yr old entitled player who can’t play. I don’t know if that affected him that much but it was an unneeded distraction so it couldn’t have helped.

    • Esa Beukberger

      I couldn’t agree more about Schwartz. His lack of results just screams pink slip. It seems like a low risk position to roll the dice on and try some new blood.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Here is my take:
    -Mike Smith will get 10-12 pts (more than Lucic).
    -Goaltending Tandem…Rittich is the best of the 4, Talbot will need a 4th year (for a bounce back)was terrible in Edm(2)/Phil, Kosti and Smith will both be good (above .911) for Edm.
    – Oilers ranking, about 16th..makes the average 5/10.
    -Best places to view a game:
    NFL, (The Black hole Oak (it’s scary) or Arrowhead KC (it’s loud and proud).
    CFL, IG Stadium in Winnipeg (Banjo Bowl), loudest fans in the CFL.
    MLB, Minute Maid park, Houston (a real treat), just an outstanding stadium(Modern but Vintage accents).
    NBA, Jurassic Park, (yes outdoors in T.O.).
    NHL, (tie) The Whiteout in MTS Winnipeg (awesome in the playoffs), T-Mobile in Las Vegas, best in league best off ice entertainment. (Reg season).
    Honorable Mention: Xcel Energy Center in St.Paul (An incredible building, best concourse),
    every hockey jersey from the “State of Hockey” on display. Also “4 Crows Nests” in the 4 corners of the building.
    Well thought out always something to see.

  • country mac

    The analytics didnt work under MacT because of a few reasons.

    1. Eakins coached to analytics. He made it a means of system building, when it is suppose to be a tool for roster construction. Heightening your corsi in games as a means of production is idotic and distorts your samples. Properly analyzing all data (not just corsi) to make roster composition decisions is a more effective way to make use of this department.

    2. The team did not full commit over a measurable period of time. Just like anything you try, most of the times you have to learn from mistakes and continue to grow. You dont take small sample sizes and just give up.

  • GK1980

    Mike Smith can move the puck rely well, the question is can he make the saves.

    Lets face it, this is the first year Holland’s team needs to play through Chiarelli’s mistakes. So as of right now the roster is very unimpressive and I suspect another bottom 10 finish. Holland’s hands might not be as tied next summer and maybe he can actually do something to improve the team.

  • HelpMeBabyJesus

    Injuries are going to be so critical for the Oilers this season. With absolutely no depth to fall back on, one or 2 key players going down early in the season will have us out of contention before the end of November….again! Sigh

    • Abagofpucks

      injuries are always a problem for all of the teams in the league, the oilers have had more than there fair share in the last few years. If the villagers lay claim to the injury bug in AB this year i won’t cry about it, they are starting out with the bug and they can run with it all year long.

  • Arfguy

    The filter on this site is terrible. My expectations…

    -down year for McDavid
    -maybe 80+ points from Draisaitl. Nowhere near 50+50
    -10 to 15 goals from all of Archibald, Granlund, Khaira, Kassian and Nygard.
    -Neal to score about 15 to 20

    I have a feeling our defence will be better than last year. I really like the defensive prospects we have in Samurukov, Bouchard, Jones and Broberg. I think Nurse will take another step forward and Benning will be better this year. I am also expecting a good 15-20 points from Persson.

    • Leichs

      “10 to 15 goals from all of Archibald, Granlund, Khaira, Kassian and Nygard”.

      I hope to god you are wrong because this would not be good enough to make playoffs. Not too worried though considering Kass had 15 goals on his own last year. Archibald and Granlund also had 12 each. Thats 39 goals not factoring JJ and Nygard. Although I dont think Kass scores 15 again unless he plays with McD which I hope he does.

      • Arfguy

        McDavid got a pretty serious injury at the end of the season. I’d expect him to lose a step when he starts the season. He might get stronger as the season progresses, but I don’t expect him to scoring through the roof to start the season.

    • TKB2677

      What would you call a down year for McDavid? He’s scored 100, 108, 116 pts in consecutive seasons. If the expectation is that he just keeps beating his career high then I don’t think that is realistic. It’s not the 80’s where scoring 100 pts wasn’t a big deal. Unless he gets hurt or his knee injury from last year really hampers him which it doesn’t sound like it will what so ever. I don’t see how McDavid scores less than 100 given how much he will play and the PP. So if he is around 112, is that a down year? I don’t think so.

      • Arfguy

        My reasoning is that the injury will give him a slow start. If he hits 112 point, then no. That would not be my definition of a down year. My expectation is he’ll be around 90-95 this season.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    1. When our defence is healthy and playing well, they are a solid group to have on a team. As we saw in the 16-17 season, the biggest reason why Talbot was a god, was because he had a healthy defence group in front of him that was doing its job properly. And, as we saw in 17-18 & 18-19, when the defence is banged up and not competant, it doesn’t matter who the goalie is, they’re gonna suck. Last time I checked, Mike Smith is a goaltender, and so his number 1 priority should be to stay in his crease and not play the puck as much as he’d like. Yes he’s good at it, but as we’ve seen numerous times with goalies (not just him) handling the puck is more dangerous than if you just stayed in your crease.

    2. Calgary does. Rittich had a strong campaign last year and Talbot will rediscover his goaltending prowess now that he’s playing behind a healthy competant defence. Smith will (most likely) get injured again, and Koskinen is still a wildcard for me. I fully expect Starret to get a call up at some point this season.

    3. Your guess is as good as mine.

    4. The addition of Neal helps a bit, but overall I’d say that the Oilers lineup now is slightly better than last year. But it’s not much. If I was to assign a number I’m going to play it safe and give it a 5/10. 50% chance this lineup gets us into the playoffs, 50% chance we crash and burn.

    5. I’ve been to 3 cities to watch hockey games. Edmonton (Rexall Place) Toronto, and Vancouver. If I had to choose one that is my absolute favourite, I’d go with Edmonton. Only because I got to chill out in the box-seats with Darryl Katz.

  • Oilerz4life

    You guys should do a Monday Mailbag sometime by answering the questions without reviewing each others answers first. It’s like you’re all sitting around a table going yah ok we’ll all go with about 5 out of 10 on this one, ok we’ll all follow Brownlee’s lead on this one, we’ll copy Gregor on this one. I mean Mailbag is good and everything, but with a room full of experienced hockey guys you could be original. It comes off a bit generic.

    • I hear you. I’ve never tailored an answer based on what anybody else has answered — I don’t review answers — but there is a good deal of repetition.

      That’s based in part on the questions asked. Take the rating the roster question this week as an example. Unless you think the roster is absolutely putrid and deserves 0-3 or that it’s very good or even better than that, it’s going to be in the 7-9 ranges, no? You’re going to get a lot of 5’s, as we did.

      Another issue, at least as I see it, is that over the course of a season essentially the same questions are asked time after time, even if the wording is slightly different. That’s especially true during the off-season. It can be difficult to come up with new questions and, it follows, new answers.

  • Overall I’d say a 5.5/10 as I think they are just slightly above average thanks to connie and leon. Punchers luck could get us into the playoffs with the west the way it was last year, but there are too many question Mark’s to book it. Next year with all the cap space it should be auto pilot to the playoffs if we can add some wingers and koski can grip the reigns between the pipes.

  • 50 Flex

    Hate to give Chiarelli any credit, but the money and term he got mcdavid and Draisaitl at really is the envy of the league now. Obviously he didn’t realize how good those deals were at the time, but hot damn. Unintentional great work

    • Rock11

      The money he gave to Drai was ridiculous then and even though Drai may be performing up to the contract it still is a link in the chain to the cap hell we are in now. You have to remember that at the time the largest RFA contract was in the high $6m range. Chiarelli gave Drai $1.5m more than anybody else in his position had ever been paid. It may end up working out but it was a bad contract when signed.

      • 50 Flex

        You are completely ignoring the term of the contract which is very important. Yeah, they could have probably got him for less, but the term would have also been less. Can you imagine if they bridge dealed Draisaitl and they were negotiating a deal now? He would be asking well north of 10 million. The deal is excellent in every way, even though it was a risky gamble at the time.

    • RJ

      It’s really Drai’s contract that is awesome. 50 G and 100 P doesn’t come around very often anymore, so anything less than $10m is a deal. In some ways it’s really its giving credit to the guys that drafted him (not Chia).

  • Ken McTippett

    It’s tough to rate the Oilers roster right now because we don’t know how Holland’s summer signings are going to pan out yet. Lots of question marks. I rate it “incomplete.”

    • TKB2677

      I agree. How do you rate a teams roster without seeing them play. People are basing it on past performance. Nobody knows when a guy out of no where as a career year (Chiasson) just like no one knows when a guy will fall off a cliff.

      Take the Flames. A lot of things went really right for the Flames. Lindholm was a guy who hovered around 15 goals, 40-45 pts. He had 27 goals and 78 pts. Blew his career high way, way, way out of the water. Could he do it again? Sure but is it likely? Probably not.

      Gio at 35 won the Norris and has 17 goals, 74 pts. He had 13 goals and 38 pts last year. So he basically DOUBLED his points at 35. When you have a Norris dman on your team, does that impact your team big time? Hell yeah it does. What are the chances he does it again at 36? I’d say pretty slim. The 2 previous seasons he had 38 and 39 pts. Gio keeps himself in great shape so I don’t think he will fall off a cliff but I could see him being at that high 30’s points this season. Still pretty freaking good as a 36 yr old but I’d be shocked ifhe came close to last years numbers. Just those 2 guys alone taking a step back slightly will hurt them.

      So I am sure that if an article was written about the Flames today, everyone would be raving about them and their stacked roster. The Flames had 5 guys have career years all at once. They could easily take a step back.

      • Abagofpucks

        I expect their season take a tumble down the standings. 1 more d injury and they might be more like the oilers last year, Not to mention bt might panic and pull a petey. They have to keep TJ now and with hamonic in the last year of his deal to, big trouble for the village on the horizon.

        • TKB2677

          I agree with you. While I think the Flames have a better roster than the Oilers, too many of their top guys blew their career highs out of the water. Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk, Lindholm. Gio all had career seasons and CRUSHED their previous highs. I think all of those guys are real good players and will have good season but I see all of them taking a step back points wise. Plus if you look at the Flames, other than Neal who was in their bottom 6, pretty much every Flame had at minimum a decent year. Even Frolik who they don’t want anymore, was healthy scratched a bit and had some injuries had 16 goals and 34 pts in 65 games. He missed 15 games due to injury. If he stayed healthy, he would have pushed 20 goals and 40 pts as a 3rd liner.
          Everything went right for the Flames and I don’t see a bunch of young guys coming who are poised to explode of players who had bad years but are due for a rebound.