28-In-28: Falcons - Endangered Species?by SICHL Insider | September 20, 2015, 9:12 PM ET
Well last but not least, the Winnipeg Falcons! 28 teams in more than 28 days but we are at the end! What is in store for the former 13-14 Continental Cup champs this year? Will this Falcons take off in 15/16 or be grounded due to the big FA losses this season. Let's look see!
Falcons current cash position -$425k
- The team had 94.2% attendance last season which is 5th best in the league.
- Winnipeg generated a little over $65M in non-playoff revenue ranking them middle of the pack in the SICHL.
- Their $3621 per seat places them 6th in the league.
- Costulator predicts the Falcons revenue to remain neutral this season.
- Winnipeg had playoff revenue last season and Costulator is predicting that Winnipeg does not make the playoffs this upcoming season.
- Expected Season Revenue $65M with no anticipated playoff revenues.
Based on the roster here is the Costulators forecast of the Falcons expenditures:
- Current Roster 38.5M, Expected farm team costs 1M.
- Franchise Player 7M, RFA resignings 10M.
- The Falcons don't have the cash to sign high level UFA's but it is expected they will sign a couple depth forwards and dman. 2.5M •Expected team expenditures in the $57-59M range.
- Forecast Bank Balance for the Falcons = $5M
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Nine UFAs in Winterpeg! Problem is the Falcons need to keep the bulk of them. Jagr, Elias, Chara, Glencross, Enstrom and Lundqvist and little cash on hand to go FA shopping. My guess is that GM Bourassa signs Lundqvist using the FP provision based on age and value. Young Jake Allen is not ready to assume the reigns just yet.
Restricted Free Agents:
On the RFA side of the coin the Falcons also have nine with the more important resignings including Palat and Krug.
I won't give this team a specific strength or weakness based on its current state. This is a team that just got old and is at that crossroads now of starting over. Time to move out the rest of the old guard in players like Datsyuk, Nielsen, Plekanec, Carle, and even Letang and Callahan. Start building from the ground up with the likes of Saad, Pastrnak, Palat, Allen, and Kapanen. They need picks and cash and scrubs to fill out their roster until the glory days return to the Peg!
In the System:
Top 3 prospects include:
1. Jake Allen - Talented netminder with excellent lateral movement and technically sound positional play. Limits rebounds and plays square to the shooter. Needs to work on glove hand. Projects as a true #1 goalie. Projected to backup in Winnipeg in 15/16.
2. David Pastrnak - Talented and exciting offensive winger with tremendous skating ability. Pastrnak is a natural goal scorer with good hands and skilled with the puck. Needs to get physically stronger and improve his defensive zone coverage. Pastrnak is expected to play a bottom 6 role in Winnipeg this season.
3. Torey Krug - Offensive defenseman with top 4 talent but a little on the smallish size. Lots offensive ability and plays a big mans game doing what it takes to win; shot blocking, hitting and battling it out in the corners. Barring any big signings, Krug will be playing a top 4 role in Winnipeg in 15/16.
Those are three pretty solid young players to have in the system! In additional to the aforementioned, the Falcons also have Kasperi Kapenen but not much else after that. GM Bourassa has some work to do moving forward.
Michel has five picks in the SICHL draft including his 1st rounder the 13th overall which could land a player like Jake DeBrusk, Jakub Zboril, Zachary Senyshyn, Matthew Barzal or even Kyle Connor. Their first round selection (Pastrnak) last year was a solid pick so one can assume GM Bourassa will have done his homework.
While I was unable to reach Michel for comment, I did manage to speak to a fellow Canadian Conference GM to get his thoughts on the Winnipeg situation. He said "The Falcons are in a very tough spot. Two championships on 5 years have come at a high price and it's probably time to pay the piper. Massive contracts, huge deals and going all on has left the team with almost no depth whatsoever and even less in the bank to work with. The Falcons can barely ice a team but to their credit, there are some impressive players in the organization. They need to rebuild is obvious but does their GM see it that way?"
Well I have to agree, it's time to start the rebuild process. As I mentioned above under Strength/Weakness, it is time to move out the remainder of the old guard and bring in picks, prospects and cash. It will be a cold winter in the Peg this season but there could be an eventual return to glory someday down the road!