Postgame: Look At All Those Minuses

Pat Steinberg
November 12 2010 10:06PM

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Radim Vrbata  of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates with teammate Ray Whitney  after scoring a first period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on November 6, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Calgary Flames were not horrible on Friday night in Phoenix, falling 5-4 to the Coyotes.  In fact, there times when they were extremely effective and dominant.  However, when your captain finishes a deserving -4 and players like Alex Tanguay and Brendan Morrison are well under water too, you're not going to win very many games.

What Happened

Phoenix came out and really carried the first half of the first period, generating a few quality scoring opportunities, only to be turned aside by Miikka Kiprusoff in the Flames net.  During that span, the only Calgary players generating any offence were the guys we had been raving about Tuesday against the Avalanche.  And what do you know, it was one of those lines opening the scoring...Rene Bourque put one past Ilya Bryzgalov at 9:24 of the first period to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.  Following that goal, Calgary really started to turn the tide, and finished the first period up by that score.

The second period was a little different.  The Coyotes tied the game just 94 seconds into the middle frame thanks to Vernon Fiddler, and it started the night of underwater treading for Jarome Iginla et al.  Iginla would cough the puck up on an odd man rush, which would lead to a Lee Stempniak goal the other way at 5:22 before Scottie Upshall converted on a Matt Stajan giveaway at 8:21 to put the 'Yotes up 3-1.  One of Calgary's four powerplays got them back within one, as Ian White blasted one from the point at 12:40.  At some point during the period, Head Coach Brent Sutter dissolved the top line, and it paid immediate dividends, as the Jokinen and Backlund units really started to take over while names like Alex Tanguay and Brendan Morrison were stapled to the bench.  In fact, Calgary went on a 9-0 run of scoring chances after the top line was split up.

The final frame was odd.  Calgary was really impressive up until 12:24 of the period, when Fiddler scored his second of the evening.  Before that, Calgary really controlled everything.  They were dominating possession, had Phoenix running around in their own end, and were forcing them to make some pretty silly mistakes.  Yet, on their first shot of the period, they generated a scoring chance, and Fiddler would follow up on the rebound.  Fiddler shot one into an empty net at 18:22 to put Phoenix up 5-2...Tanguay and Tim Jackman scored late goals to make the score look a little more respectable.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost? Plain and simple...the -4 from Iginla tells you all you need to know.  When Calgary's top line was together, they were absolutely THRASHED at times, especially for that span in the second period.  Unfortunately, regardless of how much you're going to ride the guys playing the best hockey on your team, if your top players are going to be that ineffective and hurt you like that, you're going to lose games.  Fact is, the team fell into a 3-1 hole in the second period and it was too much to ask for them to come back for a second straight night.  Very disappointing to see a -4 on Iginla, a -2 on Tanguay (although it could be -3 if not for the late goal) and -1 for Morrison (could be -2 if not for a late goal).  It's even more disappointing knowing how strong the unit of Glencross-Jokinen-Bourque and Hagman-Backlund-Moss were.

Red Warrior

PITTSBURGH - MARCH 25:  Forward Curtis Glencross #20 of the Calgary Flames skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 25, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
 

I'll go with Curtis Glencross, because it seemed like every time he was on the ice, he was creating things.  Glencross finished with 18:16 of ice time, including a very deserving 3:36 of powerplay time.  While he had no points, he was easily one of Calgary's best forwards AGAIN.  Unfortunately, by the time Sutter started riding his line hard and utilizing them as the top unit, the team was already in a hole.

Sum It Up

Calgary outchanced the Yotes 25-16 at even strength in this game, and had some really impressive spans.  There are some things to take out of this game, and you can probably take a positive from the late goals as well...but when you're going to have games like this from the captain and the top line (when it was together), you're going to lose hockey games.  The Flames are right back at it Saturday night against San Jose...good thing or bad thing?

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#1 Stephan
November 12 2010, 10:39PM
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I agree there were some good stretches. However we don't need any pretty stuff, we need points and we need to make the play-offs. That's all that counts. If you look at the Flames - they are wasting money. They are 1 of 3 teams in the NHL at the max salary cap. How much more does it need until a GM gets fired???? Iginla 7 Mil., produces nothing. Bouwmeester 6.5 and gets burned badly on one Phoenix goal.

From an organization standpoint we are wasting our resources big time and Darryl Sutter has to take this responsibility. He never replaced Cammalari as a big scorer and he pays inefficient players too much money.

Latest after his comment during the conference finals last year: "If we would be an eastern team we would be where Philly and Montreal are right now" you need to fire him. What kind of GM is that? Isn't it his Job to manage a WESTERN team? Didn't he know before the season startet which Conference his Team is gonne play?

Lame excuses.

Stop waisting time and money - get rid of Sutter and bring a GM who can clean house and not only get this team back to winning, but get something (goals and wins) for the players salary.

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#2 R O
November 12 2010, 11:22PM
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Cammalleri? Please.

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#3 dave
November 12 2010, 11:36PM
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When people say that Iginla's drought is a slump, I kinda get annoyed. He has 3 goals in the last 30 games dating back to last season, and has 2 goals in 15 games this year, one of them being a shoveling of the puck on the powerplay into a wide open cage against the lowly Oilers. Jarome's not the same guy he was in 04. If Cammaleri hadnt been here in 09, he wouldve been feeling the heat for not scoring enough that year too. I love Jarome , he's the heart and soul of the franchise, but a change of scenery will ultimatley be best. I suspect he'll be traded around Christmas to either L.A or Pittsburgh.

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#4 SmellOfVictory
November 12 2010, 11:39PM
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R O wrote:

Cammalleri? Please.

You might not like him as a guywhomovesthepuckintherightdirection, but he and Iginla did well together when they were put up against moderate-to-easy comp. The Flames would benefit from that right now. I'd rather he be on the team than Jokinen/Stajan, at any rate.

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#5 R O
November 12 2010, 11:49PM
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This team doesn't have enough PP opportunities nor horseshoes for Cammalleri to replicate his 08/09 season.

Don't buy the flash SoV. The guy wasn't even that good of a Selanne type. Believe your eyes on this.

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#6 SmellOfVictory
November 13 2010, 12:06AM
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I can accept that. I still like him for what he provides, though (albeit not at the 6 million dollar pricetag Montreal gave him).

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#7 Tach
November 13 2010, 12:14AM
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Distrurbing revelations for this evening:

Adrian Aucoin's cap hit is $2 million.

Steve Staios's cap hit is $2.7 million.

Darryl Sutter managed to find one player that makes me miss Adrian Aucoin.

And we gave up a player AND a draft pick to get him.

Maybe this was mentioned by the cabbie that Darryl's kid punched.

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#8 SmellOfVictory
November 13 2010, 12:20AM
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#9 SmellOfVictory
November 13 2010, 12:22AM
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Tach wrote:

Distrurbing revelations for this evening:

Adrian Aucoin's cap hit is $2 million.

Steve Staios's cap hit is $2.7 million.

Darryl Sutter managed to find one player that makes me miss Adrian Aucoin.

And we gave up a player AND a draft pick to get him.

Maybe this was mentioned by the cabbie that Darryl's kid punched.

I think you're onto something. Maybe Brett Sutter is just starting to punch strangers because everything his father does is enraging him.

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#10 hamur
November 13 2010, 12:31AM
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i have been a flames fan forever but i am getting real sick of seeing what is happening with this team , to many overpaid floaters. bouwmeester should be in figure skating what a useless player. iginla needs to be moved , love the guy but time to go. Oli what a joke. Darryl get out and take the rest of the clan with u AND KING TO. please someone make this a respectable team again.I see no hitting ,scoring,heart,clean house.Where are all our young and budding stars , we have none . what a joke. good old hockey days are over now its just figure skating with a puck.

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#11 brew
November 13 2010, 12:43AM
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On paper this is a good team. Kipper is a top end Tendy, and we have an above average D core, we have plenty of scoring (on paper and looking at track records), we have a top notch head coach. I'm getting sick and tired of all this Fire Sutter crap. Its not Darryl putting up Iggy's numbers, its our "best player" I would imagine Darryls trying everything possible to move Iggy. Regehr and Iginla to Pittsburgh for Malkin and someone else to even out the cap numbers on both sides?? Maybe I'm an unrealistic guy but its about time Iggy earns his damn money.

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#12 Nolan Moore
November 13 2010, 01:54AM
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I love Iginla but I'm begining to agree that his time is nearing an end. The problem i see is 2 fold. 1)Darryl Sutter is the last guy I want making that trade and 2) who will replace him? This team has some leadership but they're all old. To say that this isnt Sutter's fault is like saying that it wasnt Adolph Hitler's fault the Germans lost WW2. Of course it was, he was loonie and took loonie risks. maybe not a great example, but i hope y'all get the drift. You have a guy who chose the players, chose the coach, wrote the contracts, gave 11 NTCs to players (remember when Toronto was complaining about 3 or 4?), gave long and expensive contracts to players who didnt deserve it, hires a coach (his brother) who is nothing but negative and speaks inthat monotone drawl. It must be hell to go to the rink and listen to them. I mean in Iron Mike's hayday he'd yell but you know why. Sutter(s) need to go, that includes Brett, and King (met the guy a number of times, great guy but. . ) Team needs to get younger, faster and have a new philosphy.

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#13 T Bird
November 13 2010, 02:43AM
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Nolan Moore, that is the stupidest must out to lunch comment I have ever read. You just compared an N.H.L. General Manager to Adolf Hitler.. Give your head a shake. And to top it off you want to fire a coach because of his mono tone voice. No wonder your commenting on here and not running this team, you'd probably trade Kipper for being a ginger.

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#14 R O
November 13 2010, 08:18AM
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Isn't there a rule about mentioning Hitler in an Internet conversation?

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#15 Robert Cleave
November 13 2010, 08:23AM
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R O wrote:

Isn't there a rule about mentioning Hitler in an Internet conversation?

Godwin's Law, people. I never thought I'd have to link to that on a hockey website, but here we are.

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#16 Gange
November 13 2010, 08:26AM
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Well I didn't see the game. I guess that is a good thing.

Iginla is a -4? I guess that says a bunch right there. If he stays maybe there needs to be a forced break like Ottawa did with Kovalev? Take a couple days, think about what it is you want, come back when your heart and mind are really in it. The last times I have watched him he just has been off. Stating the obvious I know.

It's clear, for the sake of the team, that his ice time must be reduced. A minus four and almost 20 minutes of ice time are telling you something.

As for Darryl, it's time that he moves on. I appreciate his contributions. I was jumping up and down to make the playoffs in 2003/04. It had been a long drought and I was living in Edmonton for all of it. He gave me something to brag about but nothing lasts forever.

Brent, well he's a really strong coach. I don't care about his monotone. When this team plays how he expects them to, they are smothering and force their will on the opposition. Why would we get rid of him??

Is all lost, no. It does appear it is time for a different direction. Remember the definition of insanity.

Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

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#17 Kent Wilson
November 13 2010, 09:50AM
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Tach wrote:

Distrurbing revelations for this evening:

Adrian Aucoin's cap hit is $2 million.

Steve Staios's cap hit is $2.7 million.

Darryl Sutter managed to find one player that makes me miss Adrian Aucoin.

And we gave up a player AND a draft pick to get him.

Maybe this was mentioned by the cabbie that Darryl's kid punched.

Ladies and gentlemen, your comment of the week winner!

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#18 Kent Wilson
November 13 2010, 09:53AM
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R O wrote:

Cammalleri? Please.

He's probably not worth the coin he's making right now, but I'd trade Iginla for Cammalleri straight up at this point. He's a flat out better player than Iginla is.

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#19 CitizenFlame
November 13 2010, 10:12AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

He's probably not worth the coin he's making right now, but I'd trade Iginla for Cammalleri straight up at this point. He's a flat out better player than Iginla is.

At least Cammalleri tries. Iginla has checked out. His compete level has dropped off a cliff. I know that there was a decline in his play since his last 50 goal season, but his current drop off is staggering. It's like someone has a Iggy bobble-head voodoo doll out there. I can't even find a way to defend his play anymore and I have pretty much just given up hope that he is going to turn this around.

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#20 dotfras
November 13 2010, 10:37AM
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When Kotalik gets back, Meyer & Jackman sit, Iginla plays on the 4th line with Conroy & Morrison, they could wreak havoc on other teams & could probably have a better chance at capitalizing in the small amount of minutes they play, Iginla can become the fighter & will never end up a - again.

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#21 Kent Wilson
November 13 2010, 10:45AM
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dotfras wrote:

When Kotalik gets back, Meyer & Jackman sit, Iginla plays on the 4th line with Conroy & Morrison, they could wreak havoc on other teams & could probably have a better chance at capitalizing in the small amount of minutes they play, Iginla can become the fighter & will never end up a - again.

haha...Iginla becomes the first ever $7M enforcer.

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#22 Jeff
November 13 2010, 11:40AM
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I'm done defending the captain. Last night was the last straw for me. I don't see that Brent has any other moves left to motivate Iginla. At this point the Flames would be better off to sit him out and play a youngster in that fourth line role. I can't stomach it any longer. This is far beyond a simple slump IMO.

I'm beginning to wonder if Iginla has asked to be moved? The problem is that if that were the case you'd think he'd be trying hard to show his value...clearly not the case. It just looks like he's biding his time right now. Truly frustrating to watch...Jackman has as many goals.

I remember back to a comment that Brent made a couple weeks back. Something along the lines of "I know exactly what the problem is, but I'm not going to talk about it here". Maybe Darryl is working the phones looking for a deal? He's never been 'gun-shy' before, but this one would unleash a sh-storm of monumental proportions from the masses of Iginla apologists.

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#23 Sean Elekes
November 13 2010, 11:48AM
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Come on boy's there's nothing wrong with the Flames. Everybody is acting like this is a suprise. Same problems as last year, year before and well.........do I really need to go on. Seeing as Darryl Sutter, Ken King, Ownership Group, Coaches, Players don't have one clue what is wrong. To them things will just work out. So, yah I'm not phased one bit as I now watch the Shames lose and keep losing. Playoffs, What playoffs? This team is now being labelled (Identity) as an imploding team. They just keep self destructing over and over again. Iginla is playing allot like he wants to get traded. So I say do it, trade Iginla. This 2010 - 2011 team needs to get rocked for one final time. No fight with these guys, but hey, they're really nice guys and good people. My question is can you play hockey? "Child please".

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#24 nolan moore
November 13 2010, 11:53AM
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Sorry guys didn't mean to aquate the GM to that terrible person. No I don't want to fire the coach because of his voice, although whenever I hear it I want to scratch my ears off. What I'm saying Darryl is ultimately responsible for what is going on. He was the decision maker, and his decisions as of late have failed miserably.

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#25 SmellOfVictory
November 13 2010, 11:59AM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Godwin's Law, people. I never thought I'd have to link to that on a hockey website, but here we are.

It's not an actual Godwin situation here, though. He wasn't comparing Sutter to Hitler in a moral sense (which is specifically what Godwin's law refers to); he was simply using a well-known poor strategist as a comparison for Sutter. It might not be the best comparison to make due to the other connotations (and the fact that Hitler's strategic blunders were of a different nature than Sutter's), but it isn't irrelevant.

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#26 Stephan Haefliger
November 13 2010, 12:04PM
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I am not saying we need Cammaleri back. Not at all. I am just saying the role he had can't be done by enay Flames player we have right now. He never got replaced. Look at the last years and what the problems were. It appears Darryl is always 1 year behind and he "stopped working" at the end of last season...:

2008-2009: we scored a lot of goals, had an awfull D and Kipper had a very bad year (he was 31st overall among Goalies in some stats) However we managed to make the play-offs thanks to winning gmaes 6-5, 7-6 and so on.

2009-2010: We had an outstanding Kipper again. We had a good defense but we lost our offensive power. Iggy was quite, Camalleri has left. We got the goals against down but our goals scored went down even more - we missed the play-offs.

2010 so far: Nothinng has changed really. We still can't score (Guys like Jackman, Conroy look great on the team which shows how much we suck at the front end) and our defensemens (J-Bo in particular) seem to make too much money for what they do. Why not getting an "average" D men ins tead and spend some more on offensive power.

Another thought: I love Kipper last year and this year. He plays outstanding no doubt. However he is among the top 2 or 3 payed goalies in the NHL. In our current situation wouldn't it make sense to trade our big tickets (Iggy, J-Bo and Kipper) while they are worth something and start the rebuild? How many more games do we win a year thanks to a top goalie compared to an average goalie?

Look at the Capitals. They would need an experienced goalie in the Play-offs maybe, but they are at the top of the standings with theyr back up! Maybe our D's rely to much on a top goalie?

Just something to think about...

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#27 nolan moore
November 13 2010, 12:25PM
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I'm waiting for Darryl to say something like, "Huh, I guess I was wrong we're not ONE player away." Remember all those quotes "fool me once ..." Or the one about trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

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#28 FromTheTweetSeats
November 13 2010, 12:27PM
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I think Iggy's playing the way he is caus he doesn't want to be traded.....to Buffalo

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#29 Michael
November 13 2010, 12:35PM
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The problem with Iggy is that not only is he not scoring, but his ongoing defensive lapses are actually hurting the team.

He could get away with weak defensive play when he was producing goals, but now he looks really exposed against even modest competition like the fourth line of Phoenix.

I wonder how much he misses Langkow... Langkow is (and I hope it isn't 'was') a solid two way guy who could score, play grity minutes, and most importantly counter Iggys defensives lapses. None of our current centers have the same defensive side of the game, except maybe Conroy...

Maybe the answer is to change his role, 2nd line power play time, and fourth line play with Conroy, and pray he works himself out of this mess.

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#30 Sean Elekes
November 13 2010, 01:09PM
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You know Jarome Iginla honestly has no other superstar to play with on Calgary. I look at San Jose and see Marleau, Thornton, Heatley. Chicago, Anahiem, Washington all have superstar lines. Why exactly is it that Calgary doesn't have one.

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#31 B
November 13 2010, 01:28PM
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Iggy is still one of the best snipers in the game in my books. However, he has checked out and given up on the Flames and their philosophy and is going to be traded.

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#32 B
November 13 2010, 01:34PM
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...FYI I think the main problem is at this point in his career Iggy doesn't want to grind.

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#33 B
November 13 2010, 01:35PM
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...my best guess is that Iggy and one of our d men are sent off. Not sure what Darryl wants in return though.

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#34 Stephan Haefliger
November 13 2010, 02:42PM
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@ Sean Elekes: I have to agree 100%. And this is exactly why I think our GM should hve been fired a long long time ago. We are 1 of 3 teams at the max salary cap and don't have a Superstar line? Why??? I tell you why: Because we WASTE the money on average players with pretty names: "Iginla", "Bouwmeester", Kipper (as I said, he currently is the best goaltender, but not exactly what the Flames need I think - money could be spend better) Looking at the salaries I think even Sarich and Stajan and obviously Staios are overpaid for what they do.

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