Peddle: The play of Chuck Kobasew has been nothing short of amazing this season. There was a lot of talk around Flame-dom of Chuckles losing confidence in his scoring touch, is he back on track to becoming that scoring winger he was drafted for?
Tod Button: Chuck certainly had a good year with Lowell. Being counted on to score and contribute every night while facing the opponent's checkers and/or top defense pair is certainly something that is good for his development. Now with the playoffs on he will face even more scrutiny from his opponents. As for confidence it is impossible for me to know where he is mentally. He is a driven kid who wants to be a player that is counted on in the clutch. I think being around the great run we had last year would do nothing but fuel that fire to be a regular contributor. Scorers will go through some down times scoring so they have to be able to contribute in other ways. Whether it is by sound defensive play, physical play or some other way that helps the team win. Chuck has it pretty good in that he can watch Jarome day in and day out and see what he does besides score. It is also worth noting that when we drafted Chuck out of Boston College he did contribute to that team winning the NCAA's that year with play other than scoring. As well when we drafted him, because of his size we felt, and he did too at the time, that college would be good for him because he needed to build up the size and strength needed to play how he does at the NHL level. Had he stayed his 4 years this would have been his 1st year Pro!
Adam Peddle: In 2002 the Flames and Oilers swapped Jarret Stoll and Matthew Lombardi. Did Flames management target Lombardi only after the Oilers took Stoll? Or was Matthew the player the Flames were targeting all along?
Tod Button: We certainly tried to sign Jarrett right up until the deadline that year. When we realized he didn't want to sign with us we tried to trade him. When that fell through (remember the broken fax machine?) he had no choice but to re enter the draft. We actually had some time for Matthew his draft year. Edmonton took him in the 8th round I believe, a pretty good pick as it turns out. After two more years of watching him I think we had a better idea of what he could bring to the table at the NHL level. Our Draft meetings that year were concluded prior to Jarrett going back into the draft. We met with Matthew a couple of days prior to the draft in Toronto and told him we had interest in him. So to answer the question, we took Matthew because we liked him and because we thought we could get a player who was ready to turn Pro and may help us in the short term rather than waiting for a few years.
Adam Peddle: Can you comment on some of the prospect that have joined the Flames family via the UFA route? Richie Regehr, Dustin Johner, Carsen Germyn, Mark Giorano all have joined the Flames from signing as unrestricted free agents. Do you as head scout have any input on which players you wish to give a chance to? Or is this a Darryl Sutter thing?
Tod Button: We try to be as thorough as possible when watching all levels of play. There are always guys we have on our Draft list who don't get picked so we may try and sign them to a tryout. Even if they don't come to our camp we continue to monitor them and watch their progression through their Jr. or College careers. Richie Regehr and Dustin Johner are guys we liked as Jr's., but didn't know where they fit at the NHL level or if they fit. So many of these kids that are top over agers want to chase money or don't want to turn Pro because they don't want to lose their schooling money. When Darryl came aboard he stressed to all the Scouts that we need to pay attention to these kids (Older Jrs./Western Canadians/Calgarians) and that he wanted to give these kids the opportunity to play Pro. What we sold these kids was the opportunity, nothing more. They have seized that opportunity and we will see where they go from here.
Carson Germyn had already played a year pro in Norfolk. He had played for Brent in Red Deer and obviously Brian knew of him playing in Norfolk. Sometimes you can find those gritty hard working team guys that don't get a lot of ink but whose character can help bind a team together.
Mark Giordano was a kid who can classify as a late bloomer. He only played 2 years in the OHL and was a kid that when we watched him we liked him. We didn't necessarily think he was a surefire NHLer but thought if we gave him an opportunity he could at least be a solid Pro for us something we will need going forward in Omaha.
As for the process we have a list that we add to and subtract to as the years go on. Germyn was a pro so that would go to the Pro Scouts. The players coming out of Jr and College the amateur scouts try and identify them and then we will send Tom Webster or Ron Sutter in to get another perspective. Our list at January had 20 players on it. It has been whittled down and we have done the due diligence on them so we will see how many we can get to a development camp and then see where it goes from there. The other part of the process that is important is contacts. By developing contacts you may get a tip on a player that also may have not gotten much notice. Darryl obviously has lots of contacts throughout the hockey world and especially in the West so he adds a lot to this process as well.
Adam Peddle: Will there be a development/prospect camp this summer? Any talks?
Tod Button: We would like to have a development/prospect camp but we are still in the process of finding out what we can do with no CBA in place.
Adam Peddle: Any players finishing up there College/CHL careers that the Flames are not going to offer a contract to?
Tod Button: That will all depend on how a new CBA plays out. Then we would obviously let them know before we let you know.
Adam Peddle: Who for you is the Flames dark-horse prospect? A guy that isn't being given a lot of press but in your eyes has a real NHL future?
Tod Button: Adam Pardy
Adam Peddle: What prospects do you see being closest to stepping into an NHL line up?
Tod Button: Outside of Chuck Kobasew I would say Dion Phaneuf and Eric Nystrom
Adam Peddle: Is it policy of the Flames to draft the best player available or draft for team need? Do the Flames draft for positional need or go with the best player available to them?
Tod Button: We do not have a definitive policy. Everything you do scouting wise over the year is based on Depth Chart projections and where you see an area of weakness or an area that may need depth. It is based on who may be leaving via free agency. It is based on what is available out there and where you are picking and how many picks you have. It is based on what you may be able to get in a trade. There are just so many factors that come into play. There certainly are points in the draft where you are picking for need. The 2003 draft again is a good example. We wanted a defenseman at 9 but if one of the 3 we had rated there wasn't available we weren't going to the 4th defenseman on our list.
Adam Peddle: Can you give a write up of players us fans here in North America here next to nothing about; Fred Winker, Pierre Johnsson, Emanuel Peter, Jyri Marttinen?
Tod Button: Fred Wikner- Quick strong skater. Is an aggressive player who likes to hit. Projected as more of a physical grinding type than a point producer although he did play on the top line for Vastra Frolunda this year. (Swedish Jr. Elite Champs)
Pierre Johnsson - Very passionate player. Loves to play. Likes to hit and play physical yet is not huge for this type of player. Skating is ok. Works and competes and although a long shot he will give it everything he has to make it.
Jyri Marttinen - Like Johnsson a long shot but he also is a player who loves to play and you can see it when he plays. He is physical and has improved his puck play over the last couple of years. At 5' 11” he plays hard in the trenches but size is an obvious drawback for the style he plays.
Emanuel Peter - Big thick strong kid. Has missed a lot of time with injuries. Good leader and work ethic. Defensive player. Like the other 2, a player who isn't afraid to put a hard days work in. Competitive but needs to improve skating, especially quickness, to make it over here.
Adam Peddle: With a new Farm team in Omaha will the Flames try to “stack” the farm team with as many young prospects as possible? Or bring in who you think is ready?
Tod Button: Both. We have lots of kids who are ready to turn Pro. Of the JRs. some have an overage year left so those players we would have to determine whether they are ready. The College kids we would obviously want to give them an opportunity to play in Omaha. As I've stated we have some Europeans we would like to bring over. We also have some kids who are playing in Lowell and who are under contract that will play in Omaha. It will be good to have our own development team again and the timing is right because we feel we have some prospects to stock the team with.
That's all folks, hope you've enjoyed this. Huge thanks to Ken King, Tod Tod Button and the entire Calgary Flames organization for letting us do this.