Kotalik to Sign in Russia?

Kent Wilson
July 09 2010 09:00AM

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 09: Ales Kotalik #26 of the Calgary Flames skates during the NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on February 9, 2010 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

 

According to Russian journalist and twitterer Alessandro Seren Rosso, Lokomotiv is considering signing boat anchor Ales Kotalik.

Should that happen, it would take immense pressure off of Darryl Sutter to find a place to stash Kotalik's burdensome contract for the next two years. It would alo render sending Steve Staios to the minors a bit more probable this October. More good news. 

It wouldn't surprise me if Sutter has gently prodded Kotalik to look for options elsewhere this summer (it's the KHL or the AHL, Ales). If that happens, Darryl will take his place next to lucky Lou in New Jersey as a guy with the uncanny ability to shed his cap errors. Of course, I'd prefer he not make them in the first place, but at least it seems he can slide out of them when they happen. 

In terms of real money, I'm not sure if this would be a "loan" where the Flames would still owe Ales his salary, or an outright "suspension" where his departure means total financial relief. First, we'll have to see if the signing actually happens and then assess the details afterwards.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
Avatar
#1 CitizenFlame
July 09 2010, 10:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Gange

I agree with that, Sarich is still a capable 4th d-man but not worth the dollar value. If Sutter makes Kotalik disappear on say a loan, then I would be inclined to say he is getting some of his mojo back.

I think that Sutter may have went crazy for a couple of months because even if he manages to slip out of this noose, the trades still don't make sense. Trade Jokinen for two guys who didn't help you make the playoffs, and you had to get rid of (not quite Higgins situation) and Staios... not sure what to make of that, other than you're paying heavily to have a player/coach on the farm. As for Sarich, well he's overpaid, but out of 30 teams in the NHL find me one that doesn't have at least one similar contract.

Avatar
#2 Graham
July 09 2010, 09:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

A ray of sunlight in Flames Nation!

Hopefully we don't end up paying him, but either way, we are looking at a $3 million reduction in our cap space. Makes the signing of White a little more pratical.

On paper, I assume we are looking at Bourque playing RW on the second line?

Avatar
#3 dotfras
July 09 2010, 09:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Such good news!

Avatar
#4 Gange
July 09 2010, 09:13AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

This would be a very good thing. Sending Staios to the minors would be another good thing. I can almost feel hopeful again.

Avatar
#5 walkinvisible
July 09 2010, 09:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

i spend alot of time hating on darryl but i will freely admit that if staios ends up in abby, then that trade not only makes sense but is actually SMART. a guy like staois in the mix with the team's green blueliners (see what i did there ?) can ONLY improve and accelerate development of a large contingent of potential nhl defensemen (negrin, pelech, seabrook, possibly brodie).

also, can someone please tell me why tömi mäki is still on this list ? http://flames.nhl.com/club/roster.htm?type=prospect

Avatar
#7 Greg
July 09 2010, 10:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Hope Floats! If all 3 boat anchors go away (Kotalik, Staois, Sarich) we can definitely afford to sign White, and I'm thinking there's enough room left to fit in Kariya too :)

Avatar
#9 Gange
July 09 2010, 10:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Greg wrote:

Hope Floats! If all 3 boat anchors go away (Kotalik, Staois, Sarich) we can definitely afford to sign White, and I'm thinking there's enough room left to fit in Kariya too :)

Not 100% sure I've consider Sarich a boat anchor but I think he's easily expendable.

The other two, I totally agree with you.

Avatar
#13 Gange
July 09 2010, 11:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
CitizenFlame wrote:

I agree with that, Sarich is still a capable 4th d-man but not worth the dollar value. If Sutter makes Kotalik disappear on say a loan, then I would be inclined to say he is getting some of his mojo back.

I think that Sutter may have went crazy for a couple of months because even if he manages to slip out of this noose, the trades still don't make sense. Trade Jokinen for two guys who didn't help you make the playoffs, and you had to get rid of (not quite Higgins situation) and Staios... not sure what to make of that, other than you're paying heavily to have a player/coach on the farm. As for Sarich, well he's overpaid, but out of 30 teams in the NHL find me one that doesn't have at least one similar contract.

I can't think about the Kotalik trade. It broke something inside me trying to understand that type of logic.

Glad I'm not paying the bill for that directly. Of course when ticket prices go up...

Avatar
#14 Hellfire
July 09 2010, 11:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Gagne would be a great addition to the team if the rumurs are true and the flyers will let him go. I guess we will have to wait and see if Kotalik signs in russia. Let cross our fingers and hope he does. While we are at it we can hope sutter gets us a Gagne or Frolov.

Avatar
#15 Bob
July 09 2010, 12:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Kent, can you or anyways with the proper resources dig up information on Marcus Nilsson? In 2008 the Flames put him on waivers, and when he went unclaimed the Flames "loaned" to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL. I just don't know how that affected the cap situation for the Flames.

Avatar
#17 Bob
July 09 2010, 12:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I've got to stop doing this at work, my spelling and grammar on that previous post is horrible, sorry about that.

I wanted to comment on Gagne for a minute. My main concern is his salary combined with his penchant for being injured for a portion of the season. I like him as a player, but to pay someone over $5 million and maybe get 60 games and then be a question mark for play-offs...tough call, not sure about that. I agree with those that say it's not fair to tag an athlete as injury prone, but with some guys that's just the way it is (see Sammi Salo).

Avatar
#19 Dano0049
July 09 2010, 01:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

WOW! If we can get another good winger (see: Kariya or Frolov) that can create plays and score for the price of Kotalik that would be AWESOME! Sucks for the owners that they have to pay Kotalik's salary if he plays overseas on a team that wanted to sign him, think that is BS. But whatever it takes to get rid of his cap hit I say is addition by subtraction. Good luck in Russia Kotalik. You are a decent player your contract just sucks, don't forget to hug Slats on your stopover in NY.

Avatar
#20 Bob
July 09 2010, 02:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

You're concerns about Gagne are valid. He's a bit of a band-aid.

Flames are in "gamble" mode right now though. They're trying to remain play-off competitive in the short term and Gagne probably helps them do that if he plays most of the games. That's perhaps a sizable 'if', but that's how things are in CGY at the moment. Lots of ifs.

We better be careful about what we say about all of this...we don't want to sound too "Negative".

Regarding post #19...I wonder how much $$$ Kariya is looking for. If we're willing to give Tanguay $1.7 million to play 2nd or 3rd line minutes, I wonder what it would cost for Kariya to do the same? As you said Kent, the Flames are in gamble mode and I can't help wonder if from an offensive stand point if Kariya could be a better gamble than someone like Gagne, just because of the health stand-point (and money of course).

Not sure about Frolov...I just can't see him suceeding under Brent Sutter's system.

Avatar
#22 R O
July 09 2010, 03:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I think he really means it, Kent.

Avatar
#24 Graham
July 09 2010, 04:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

The Flyers are looking to move Gagne because they have cap issues, and want to replace him with a cheaper, younger Zherdev.

This means that they are not going to take on any additional salaries in a trade, which rules out the Flames moving a roster player like White in the deal. More than likely they are going to want good prospects / draft picks.

I'm not sure Sutter would move another first rounder, and we don't really have an impact type prospect to move the other way.

Avatar
#25 R O
July 09 2010, 04:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I haven't paid attention myself but I've recently learned that Kariya blows.

(Can't wait for someone to tell me how he's actually top 10/30/60 though)

Gagne would be real nice given his 1-year left. There's a little bit of a risk of our higher-ups giving him a juicy extension, otherwise it's a damn good bet. I am doing the math here, I'm still not totally sure if Sutter could have made the play had he kept his powder dry on Jokinen. But the possibility is intriguing.

C'est la vie.

Avatar
#26 SmellOfVictory
July 09 2010, 05:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

Ponikarvosky and Frolov are guys I would consider also (although that jams things up a bit on the wings). If the rumors that Gagne is available are true, I wouldn't mind the Flames taking a crack at him.

Frolov seems to be the best of the four (if gotten for a good price). Poni I have my doubts about, Kariya is too old to be a long-term roster addition, and Gagne gets injured as often as he scores.

Avatar
#28 jay
July 09 2010, 06:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

a ray of light, even tho its far from a sure thing. still... sending staios to the minors, which i freely admit would be cool, but if he hadn't made that bone head trade to start with we wouldn't be in this mess. GRRRR.... why did we pick up staios again? oh ya we needed a stronger D on a team with no O. /rant done

Avatar
#29 Section 216
July 09 2010, 07:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I'd stay away from Poni and Frolov.

Give a crack at Stempniak don't think he's do for a raise, just to see if his Phoenix play was a fluke or not.

But Gagne is on the top of my wishlist.

Avatar
#30 Bob
July 09 2010, 08:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
R O wrote:

I haven't paid attention myself but I've recently learned that Kariya blows.

(Can't wait for someone to tell me how he's actually top 10/30/60 though)

Gagne would be real nice given his 1-year left. There's a little bit of a risk of our higher-ups giving him a juicy extension, otherwise it's a damn good bet. I am doing the math here, I'm still not totally sure if Sutter could have made the play had he kept his powder dry on Jokinen. But the possibility is intriguing.

C'est la vie.

I might not go so far as to say he blows, but as Kent pionted out, he's lost a step or two.

So I bring up this point. Kariya is a former top player who's best days are behind him, he's been plagued by injuries, he's near retirement and is willing to sign a one year deal. Sounds like the type of player that Darryl likes to bring on every year.

In all seriousness, if you look at his stats from an offensive stand point, he's still capable of putting upwards of 15 goals and 40 or more points playing 2nd or 3rd line...IF HE STAYS HEALTHY. Absolutely, Gagne would be an immediate 1st line player and would be expected to pot 20-25 goals and hopefully twice as many assists...IF HE STAYS HEALTHY.

What do we want more of...top line production or more production from our bottom 2 lines? (in a perfect world all the above, I know). Are we going to get any of that with our current roster...time will tell. Anybody have any good, positive news to pass around???

Avatar
#31 SmellOfVictory
July 09 2010, 08:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

In other news, the Sharks have given Nik Hjalmarsson an offer sheet to the tune of 4 years for $14 (3.5M/year) according to McKenzie on Twitter.

Interesting move by Wilson. It'll cost him and first and third plus a good chunk of dough if the Hawks walk away. I'm betting that he's betting they match, however.

Just to be a jerk? Haha.

Avatar
#33 SmellOfVictory
July 09 2010, 10:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Well I suppose it means he thinks 3.5 is a (perhaps borderline) fair price, at least. I liked what I saw of Hjalmarsson, but I wonder if it wouldn't be worth it for Bowman to let SJ take him off their hands and have to sacrifice the picks.

Avatar
#34 R O
July 09 2010, 10:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

$3.5M sounds like a huge overpay for Hjalmarsson. Maybe not relative to the market for this type of defensemen but some decent UFA defencemen have already signed or re-signed for way less (Bouillon, Jurcina) and more than anything Chicago needs to put together a bottom 6 F corps that doesn't suck.

I don't know, I don't want to pay White that scratch and I think he's a better Dman that Hjalmarsson.

I expect Niemi will get a hugely undeserved raise too. (Lawrence will say I should qualify that: more un-earned than un-deserved. Fine distinction but a distinction nonetheless)

It's a hihgly risky bet by SJ but I expect CHI's management team will put pen to paper and Wilson will be laughing. It's a damn shame that the Sharks didn't go all the way, there's fewer things worse in hockey than seeing the team built through patience and care beaten by the team built through years of sucking.

Avatar
#36 Gange
July 10 2010, 11:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

DAMN IT KOTALIK!!

Just realize that if you want to play it's in the AHL or KHL. Then NHL is done for you.

Kent, take him for coffee and explain this to him please.

Avatar
#38 SmellOfVictory
July 10 2010, 11:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Speaking of LWs, Dreger says the Flyers might put Gagne on waivers if they don't find a trading partner. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH

Avatar
#40 Greg
July 10 2010, 07:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

I should clarify that I don't think Sarich himself is a boat anchor. I think he's a solid #4/5 guy. In fact, I thought his presence would have made the rumored Savard-Regher trade palatable as in my mind, he's 80% of Regher. But having both Regher and Sarich on the roster at $7.7M is too much for a team that's offensively challenged. Moving his contract (for a 6th round pick???) and re-allocating those dollars to another 2nd-tier offensive player such as Kariya or Ponikarovsky would give me more confidence in our offense. I loved the Tanguay signing, but I don't think he alone fixes our offense.

For that matter, I don't think Staois or Kotalik are boat anchors either. Staois as a #6/7 defenceman, or Kotalik as a #3 RWer are both fine for me. Problem is, they are both 2 pay grades higher than that.

As it stands though, it looks like we still have Kotalik. I would far rather have another bonafide 2nd line winger for his price tag, but I guess the difference isn't the end of the world. We'll just have to hope he gets back to a 15-20 goal range.

Gagne's an intriguing possibility. If Philly can't find a trading partner, do you think there's anyway a Kotalik + 2nd rounder would bring him here? Would Philly accept that to save $2M?

Avatar
#42 Robert Cleave
July 10 2010, 09:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Kent Wilson wrote:

I looked into the Gagne thing today. If you trade Glencross for Gagne, Kotalik has to go away somehow, Staios has to be replaced by Pelech...and even then the club has to cut another $1.5M from the cap (assuming a 3.5M reward for White).

I'd like to have the guy, but the cap issue is really, really tough.

The dollars don't really work unless Hagman heads out the door, IMO. That 1.5 million you mentioned in your scenario would almost certainly mean Sarich gone for a cheap-ish replacement as well, and there are only so many moves that a GM can make in one summer. There just aren't that many teams that have both a) cap space and b) the internal budgetary flexibility required to take on significantly more salary than they ship away. The Flames can't give away Kotalik for that very reason, and that's the main reason Sheldon Souray is still Oiler property. You want to move an iffy contract? Be prepared as a GM to only get offered iffy contracts in return.

Avatar
#44 walkinvisible
July 11 2010, 10:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Kent Wilson

@kent wilson

and this is PRECISELY the reason that dumping the nigel dawes contract is completely ridiculous IMO. versatile, useful winger that can play top comp and minutes for $850K ? duuude, let's get rid of that guy for SURE....

(i cannot believe he's still on the market)

Avatar
#45 B
July 11 2010, 01:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
walkinvisible wrote:

@kent wilson

and this is PRECISELY the reason that dumping the nigel dawes contract is completely ridiculous IMO. versatile, useful winger that can play top comp and minutes for $850K ? duuude, let's get rid of that guy for SURE....

(i cannot believe he's still on the market)

...Dawes doesn't work tremendously hard and he is an average skater. On the positives, he has a good offensive hockey sense and a good shot. Hagman is faster, has a better shot, and works harder than Dawes so he's out.

Comments are closed for this article.