Face-Off (1.0)

Hey all, Going to start a new idea on the blog here, which I am going to unabashedly call Face-Off...

Periodically, GMs can post a concept or hockey related thought or question for discussion. Other GMs can then post their thoughts, and give their arguments or evidence for or against the original idea posted! So to get us started:

 Is Johnny Gaudreau's present season performance the best-ever rookie performance by a Calgary Flame? 
Why or why not? Provide evidence to back up your response! 



wildwolf said...

Interesting concept, Who is the best rookie. My initial thoughts went to Niewendyk, Fleury and Suter.

Fleury while a point a game in his rookie year only played 36 games as was a mid-season call up. It was his sophomore year that really showed what he could do with a very similar stature as Guadreau.

Then there is Nieuwendyk who with over 50 goals and 90+points certainly takes the lead. The era was much higher scoring but to finish third in scoring on one of the most stacked teams in hockey at the time is impressive. He would have had to fight and show consistancy and skill to maintain the ice time he received to score that many points.

But I go to Gary Suter. His 68 rookie defenceman points tied him with the established Al MacInnis but this was a 1985-86 flames team that did not have a point a game player except for the injured Hakaam Loob. This position is much harder to be elite in at an early age. The Flames were a much more defensive team at that time compared to many of the rivals (Edmonton, Winnipeg). Suter also added 140 plus minutes in the penalty box and was still able to maintain a positive plus minus. Sure he was able to capitalize on the Flames solid power play led by the MacInnis cannon but he earned the right to be there and got the ice time as a rookie defenceman.

My choice is Gary Suter.

A similar discussion was held on this blog


Cameron said...

I think it is hard to argue for any Flames rookie season being better than Joe Nieuwendyk's 50 goal 02 points, but once you adjust for era of play, it starts to look like Johnny Hockey is in the conversation.


(Also I am a frequent commenter at Flames Nation under the name 'Burning Sensation', just so you know).

So between Darren Hayes (also an excellent place to go for your Flames fix), and Flames Nation, there is a lot of data to work through.

For me though, the reason to pick Gaudreau is this;

His contribution to the team's offense is well outsized compared to Nieuwendyk. The team Nieuwendyk joined was loaded with elite offensive performers (inlcuding several All-Stars like MacInnis, Loob, MacDonald, etc.), but the team Gaudreau joined is being lead by Jiri Hudler.

Now, Hudler is a nice player, indeed he is a really nice player, but nobody is going to confuse Jiri Hudler with an All-Star. That Gaudreau is making his Calder run alongside not-an-All-Star Hudler and sophmore Monahan speaks volumes about where he is at.

And apologies to Gary Suter, but he got to share the ice with the super-duper mega star Al MacInnis, and a host of other very good D-men, so Suter was more a passenger than a driver in any pairing.

But our Johnny is THE MAN.

Moriarty said...

When you are led by "the hobbit" and by basically another 2 sophmores like tj Brodie and Monahan as well as ramo in net and then lose youe leader Giordano, regardless of the gawdy pts put up joe or suter; IT is hard to argue against Gaudreau!

Bladerunner said...

Not a lot of extra to comment - really close between Nieuwendyk and Gaudreau for sure. I love both! Fence sitter I know.

Side note - my favorite Flame of all time is still Joey Mullen although that has nothing to do w Calder conversation.