Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Danny Kristo traded to Calgary to reunite with Corban Knight?

Sportsnet's Roger Millions quotes new Flames signee Corban Knight in a tweet that "Danny Kristo could suprise" at the draft in New Jersey next Sunday.  Kind of obscure, and he hasn't clarified what that means.  If we're going to conjecture, let's go ahead and do so with gusto, since what better time is there for that than a couple of weeks before the draft.

I think the logical inference for a draft nerd like me, is that he was wooed to sign with Calgary with some 'nudge nudge, wink wink' allusions to a trade being in the works with the Canadiens whereby the Flames would acquire him and reunite them as linemates.  It might make sense in that Calgary is desperately thin at the NHL level, and may not be able to wait three or four years for a late-first rounder to pan out.  Danny Kristo holds a more immediate promise, especially if paired with a player he already has some good chemistry with.

The Flames have the #6, 22 and 28 picks in the first round of this year's draft, which is nice, but Jay Feaster has been told by owner Murray Edwards that he expects the Flames to be in the playoffs next season.  So Mr. Feaster may feel a need to convert the lower first-rounders, who won't play in the NHL for at least two more seasons, into players who are developed and ready to go.  Such as a 2008 second-rounder who played for Team USA at the World Championships, and flashed some encouraging signs.

The Canadiens meanwhile can flip a valuable player who maybe doesn't complement what we have on the farm right now, and go back to the well for one that does.  Since there are a lot of big forwards in the late first and early second, maybe that's taking a step back to be in a position to take two steps forward.  Or, that extra pick might be packaged to move up in the first round.

I'd like it if we could be the recipients of throw-ins this time, maybe pick up longshot bruiser Michael Ferland, or some late-rounders.

And as an aside, I have to say also that it's kind of cool that Corban Knight turned down the South Beach babes and year-round golf and sunshine to go to Calgary.  I take stories like his and Justin Schultz positively.  While Mr. Knight's decision may have more to do with the Panthers' prospect depth at centre (hello to you, Nick Bjugstad, you'd have looked great in a Canucks uniform), and less to do with him wanting to play in a hockey market, it's still encouraging that some young players prefer Canada over surf and palm trees.


  1. Hi Normand,

    As you say its all conjecture but I agree with your analysis. However I do wonder how trading Danny Kristo, to Calgary for just a draft pick may help the Habs with their lack of RW depth? If Bergevin trades Kristo and provided Michael Ryder is not re-signed, its not looking good on the right side;

    -Brian Gionta, 34yrs
    -Brendan Gallagher, 21yrs

    Assuming one of these RH shots are moved to RW on the 4th line;
    -Ryan White, 24yrs
    -Gabriel Dumont, 21yrs

    -Michael Blunden, 25yrs
    -Steve Quailer, 23yrs
    -Patrick Holland, 20yrs
    -Sebastian Collberg, 19yrs

    Blunden and Qualier are 4th liners. Holland & Collberg are just not ready. Dumont is more capable than White to possibly move up to the 3rd line RW slot but I am not sure the Mgt will rush him or want him there. Hes better suited learning the ropes on the 4th line. Kristo is the better long-term fit in the top-9.

    He has already been invited by Team USA to the WC, so there are some people who feel he is already capable to play in the NHL right now. Ideally he would be given at least 1 season in the AHL to learn the pro game but at 23yrs old he is already physically ready but doesn't have the experience.

    In 2014, if Brian Gionta is not resigned then the Habs are going to have an even bigger problem with Brendan Gallagher as the only proven RW and RH shot on the team. You can always move a LH shot to play RW but then the problem is still there with only 1 RH shot.

    So if Bergevin does trade Kristo to Calgary; I think it will be to bring in a proven RW and pick. 2 Scenarios

    TO CALGARY - Danny Kristo / Habs 1st Rd (#25) / A Spare Part (Kaberle, Weber or Budaj)
    *REASON: Flames trade down but still have 3 1st round picks but also add 2 players. Depth move.

    TO HABS - Calgary 1st Rd (#6)
    REASON: Habs make this move and package the #6 pick with a player/B-level prospect (Leblanc / Ellis / Dietz) for a proven top-6 RW. (Bobby Ryan, Chris Stewart)

    TO CALGARY: Danny Kristo, One B-Level Prospect (Leblanc/Ellis/Dietz) and #25 pick
    *Flames have alot of holes to fill. Kristo with Corban and Leblanc to form a 2nd line and still get to have 3 first round picks.

    TO HABS: #6 Pick Overall, Curtis Glencross
    *Habs can pick impact player. Glencross fits nicely as a 3rd line RW.

    What do you think?

  2. Generally, I don't think we need to chase after a specific player or position to beef up our roster, ie: we need a Top 6 RW for our team to contend. I say we keep our picks and assets and develop our kids, and if we take a few losses along the way next season, I'll take that in return for a more solid foundation.

    Scenario 1: If we can swing a deal like that, and can receive the #6 pick for Danny Kristo and our first, I say we keep it and get a great young player, instead of turning around and flipping it for a Chris Stewart, as good as he is. The prospect will be cheaper, and have more upside.

    Also, be aware that reading the Flames' fan blogs, they're just as desperate as we were last season for a front-line top shelf forward prospect, to replenish their system. They don't have much on the farm, and they're already souring on Mark Jankowski, he didn't develop the way they'd hoped this season, and he's not signed yet. So I don't think the #6 pick is in play, a straight Kristo for #22 or #28 (with some evener-outers) is more likely.

    Scenario 2 is unlikely for the additional reason that Curtis Glencross took less money to sign a long-term deal in Calgary with a NTC. He's the owner of a huge ranch in Southern Alberta, and so are members of his family, and he loves the western lifestyle, and won't waive the NTC.