Flames Sign Roman Cervenka

Discussion in 'Hockey Talk' started by RJ*, May 2, 2012.

  1. RJ*

    RJ* Member

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    This is a really interesting signing, as he plays centre, and apparently has some skill. I'm curious to see how his game translates into the NHL.

    I think it means that either Olli Jokinen doesn't get re-signed or Matt Stajan will be buried in the minors/traded. 3.7 million seems a little steep, but I'm curious to see how this pans out.
     
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  2. Madman

    Madman Administrator
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    His salary is technically only 925k + bonuses.

    He'd pretty much have to be the best player in the league next year to max out his bonuses - so don't think they lost 3.775 in cap room right off the bat.

    I think it's a great signing.
     
  3. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Is this the playmaking centre that Jarome Iginla has needed since he first got here in 1995 If Cervenka is, then it only 17 years for the Flames to do it... :exclamation:
     
  4. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    From the Calgary Herald this morning:

    Flames snag coveted Czech forward

    One of world’s best not in NHL, Cervenka adds sizzle at centre

    By Vicki Hall, Calgary HeraldMay 3, 2012

    Centre Roman Cervenka put his name on the map with the Czech Republic during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and cemented his reputation as an elite player by becoming an all-star in the KHL.

    Photograph by: ALEXANDER NEMENOV , AFP/Getty Images


    To even the most casual hockey fan, the need for help up the middle for the Calgary Flames is as obvious as the puck is black.

    In hopes of shoring up such a blatant deficiency, the Flames looked to the other side of the planet Wednesday by signing Roman Cervenka from Avangard-Omsk of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

    The 26-year-old is considered one of the best players in the world outside of the National Hockey League. And the Flames — desperate to improve at centre — aggressively courted the five-foot-11, 201-pounder.

    The one-year deal was consummated Tuesday with the assistance of an interpreter.

    On cue, after the news became public, Flames fans hit twitter to simultaneously celebrate — and fret — over the signing.

    Some older European stars — like Colorado defenceman Jan Hejda — succeeded in the NHL after playing their early-20s on the other side of the Atlantic. But Hejda is the exception to the rule.

    The Flames, and their suffering faithful, can only hope Cervenka fares better than the suspended Alexander Radulov — this season’s KHL scoring leader who is in all kinds of trouble in Nashville.

    “He’s a mature young man,” general manager Jay Feaster said of Cervenka. “He’s a guy that’s been pursued for a number of years by NHL teams and he has waited. He’s thought about it. This isn’t a snap decision. He’s a very cautious guy. He does a lot of research. He has talked to a lot of players from the Czech Republic who are, or have, played in the league.

    “That’s the biggest thing. He has done the work on his end to be certain he’s ready to come over.”

    A late bloomer by any standards, Cervenka’s one-year cap hit is $3.775 million. The breakdown: a base salary of $832,500, a signing bonus of $92,500 and potential performance bonuses of $2.85 million,

    With that kind of money, inquiring minds clearly wonder whether the Flames have opted against trying to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Olli Jokinen, 33.

    “I’m not going to address any of our pending UFAs or RFAs,’’ Feaster said.

    “From a club perspective, this is about improving the skill of our hockey team,” Feaster said. “You know we need to get younger. This is a 26-year-old player. He’s a highly skilled player. From our perspective, it’s about adding a guy who can slot in and play in our top-six. This isn’t about our pending unrestricted UFA’s.’’

    In 2010-11, Cervenka led the KHL with 31 goals in 51 games on a line with Jaromir Jagr for Avangard Omsk. During 2011-12, the Prague native recorded 23 goals during the regular season and added 22 points in 20 playoff games.

    The five-foot-11, 200-pounder represented the Czech Republic at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

    “We were one of a number of teams that were pursing him,” Feaster said. “We made a presentation as far as where we see him on our hockey club and how we seem him fitting in and why we felt we were the best spot to begin his National Hockey League career.

    “We were fortunate he did decide to choose Calgary.”

    Assistant general manager John Weisbrod flew last month to Russia to watch Cervenka in the playoffs and came away comparing him to St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald.


    “For us to sign him to an entry-level deal and not give up any assets to add that kind of skill, it’s an exciting signing for us,” Feaster said.

    Cervenka played in Omsk this season with goalie Karri Ramo, acquired by the Flames in the trade that saw Rene Bourque and prospect Patrick Holland go to Montreal. Ramo has one year left on his deal with Omsk.

    “Member clubs of the National Hockey League are not permitted to buy a contract out there,” Feaster said. “As much as we would love to have him come over and play right now, he is under contract to Omsk for another year.

    “Barring something we would not foresee — and Omsk deciding they didn’t want to have Karri back — he will be back there and playing there next year.”

    So Ramo will have to wait, but Cervenka is Calgary-bound.

    “He’s a skilled player,” Feaster said. “He skates well. This is a player who has very good hands. He has very good vision. He’s a guy who has demonstrated he can score goals at a very high level of play.”

    © Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
    Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Fla ... z1tobVDyK8

    Looks to me like a great sigming by "Feaster/Famine", and I agree that this probably spells the end of Jokinen's career as a Flame...unless they can sign him to a "hometown discount" and move Matt Stajan.

    They might be able to do one of those things, but accomplishing both is, I think, unlikely.

    TM
     
  5. Red in the rockies

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    Nice to see the Flames take a risk to upgrade Skill.
    If he can come in and Play Center and solve an issue there thats great.
    Salary is good.. if he makes the full amount with the Bonuses that can only mean the Flames got a great player.

    This goes against what we have seen from the Flames the past few years. Nice to see something different.
     
  6. Newton

    Newton Member

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    I wonder if some of the Russian agents were like "ummmm based on how Radulov is spoiling the dinner over there, we should sign this right now"
     
  7. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    Now if only they could have signed Fabian Brunnstrom a few years back, they'd be set...

    Seriously though, while I'm glad they're finally taking some chances to find skilled players, we really do have to take a wait and see approach on this. What excites me more than the signing itself is the changing philosophy of the club under Feaster that it represents.
     
  8. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Good to see us doing something. THis is a natural fit with Iggy now that it is pretty clear he's coming back, unless a deal goes down next month at the Draft. If Darryl was running the show, this deal would never have happened. As far a Jokkinen goes, he has become a very solid 2 way player. We need him on the team. It's grunts like Stajan who are over paid that drag the Flames down, not Ollie. The guy works hard every night & he should be rewarded. Not overpaid but rewarded.
     
  9. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    Good point about Olli, he's turned into a nice all around player. He'll never be the high powered offensive player we thought we were getting a few years ago, but that's all in the past now. If we evaluate him solely for what he is right now, not past disappointments, he is still a useful player and he seems to have great chemistry with Curtis Glencross. Together they form probably the best two-way tandem on the team if you ask me.

    The other thing management has to ask themselves is whether they think Glencross would be as effective without Jokinen, because the fact is that the best seasons of Glenny's career have come when they've been together. Coincidence? Maybe, but can they afford to take that gamble when the team is so hard up for offense Glencross was their #2 goal scorer last year behind only Iginla? Obviously I wouldn't overpay to make sure Jokinen is back, but if he signs for about the same dollar figure as last year, I think it's probably pretty solid value for a decent #2 center.

    Now if only he could learn how to win a faceoff or two because this team is perennially brutal. When your best faceoff man is a winger (Iginla) and he's only a tad above average, you know there's a problem.
     
  10. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    The best centreman Iggy ever had was Craig Conroy. As he was never a number one centre wherever else he played, Sutter let him go which was a mistake as the two had developed a lot of chemistry. As Ollie & Glencross have that chemistry together, letting Ollie go would be a mistake. Not that the Flames haven't made plenty of those in the past.
     
  11. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    I don't know what you're talking about. Marc Savard and Martin St. Louis never amounted to much anywhere else. :p
     
  12. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Especially St. Louis, right Christoph? Look at what he has done in Tampa. We also had a couple of goalies early on in their careers we gave up on who became all star players elesewhere.
     
  13. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    I hate to play "what-ifs", but wouldn't St. Louis, Savard and Iginla, all in the prime of their respective careers, have made for a fun line combination? Oh well, I guess you win some and you lose some. San Jose probably wonders if they would have won a Stanley Cup if they'd held on to Kipper instead of Nabakov for all those years. I'd say their chances of getting over that conference finals hump would certainly have been improved at the very least.
     
  14. iso_55

    iso_55 Member

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    Yeah, you're right. I see a few ex Flames in the playoffs & I jusr shake my head.
     
  15. Rids

    Rids Member

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    Don't worry Derek Morris will take his regular two penalties tonight against the Preds to extend that series. Like clockwork.
     
  16. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
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    Well, Rids, that was almost a prescient prediction on your part...;)

    Derek Morris was involved with a goal.

    Just not one scored by the Preds.

    That count? :D

    TM
     
  17. Rids

    Rids Member

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    Crazy ending to that playoff run. Preds just dried up like a puddle in the sunshine.

    Love the official scoring on the Morris goal though: Derek Morris (1) Slap
     
  18. Christoph

    Christoph Member

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    Hey, he's got Al MacInnis' shot so what do you expect? :p
     

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