Outdoor Implications?

Pat Steinberg
August 05 2010 12:41AM

CALGARY, AB, CANADA - AUGUST 4: Steve Staios of the Calgary Flames puts on his jersey at the NHL Heritage Classic Press Conference at McMahon Stadium on August 4, 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

So, the NHL unveiled their plans for the Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, an event we will get into later on this week at FlamesNation.  The Calgary Flames used Curtis Glencross, Cory Sarich and Steve Staios as their faces at McMahon, which I thought was slightly amusing.  Two of those names (Staios and Sarich) have been extremely popular names this summer when it comes to where the Flames could trim salary...maybe it is wishful thinking?

I know our own Kent has been one who's been in favor of finding a way to get the $2.7 million owed to Staios off of Calgary's cap for this season, most likely by burying him in the American Hockey League.  Others have been in favour of trading or doing the same with Sarich, who will count $3.6 million against the cap this season.  So what do we make of them being two of the public faces of such a special event on Wednesday afternoon?

Well, probably not a whole lot to be honest.  Could we really squint to read between the lines, and say they must be in the plans if they were on hand?  Well, I guess we could...but I've always been of the opinion that both Sarich and Staios will be regular members of Calgary's blueline for the upcoming year.  That's not because I think it would be the smartest or best thing for the team going forward, but more because that's the feeling I get from being around the decision makers over the last number of months.

Darryl Sutter sent a younger defencemen, along with a draft pick to Edmonton to acquire Staios.  Regardless of what we think about Sutter's future planning ability as of late, with this particular move, I really think Darryl felt Staios was a good addition to his team for the remainder of his contract.  Do I agree in that thinking?  Well, no I don't at all, but I really do believe Sutter wants him here, which is why I just don't see him making the move to demote Staios.  The fact that Steve was the man to put on the vintage sweater on Wednesday, to me, is immaterial.  Although I do like the sweaters...but that's for another time, as I know many don't!

I'm a little less convinced on the Sarich front, but I still think there's a good chance he's on Calgary's blueline come opening night.  We all know it won't be easy to move the guy via trade, so I think we can throw that out.  Yes...Sarich for a fourth rounder would be GREAT...but who's doing that at this point?  The minors are an option, at least from the outside, but no one can be sure whether Calgary ownership would be willing to pay Sarich's type of money in the AHL.  Knowing that Darryl is a fan of the guy, I'm not counting on Sarich going anywhere.

Obviously, this is just one opinion and one train of thought, but it might be tough for a guy like Matt Pelech to crack this roster.  It might take a trade involving someone like Robyn Regehr, which Kent wrote on earlier, and which I don't think anyone can rule out at this point.  But, regardless of their appearance at McMahon Stadium on Wednesday, I think both Sarich and Staios are members of the Calgary Flames this season.

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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 Kent Wilson
August 05 2010, 12:46AM
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Steinberg casts his implicit vote for Kotalik being the lone demotion this October.

It's certainly possible.

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#3 44stampede
August 05 2010, 03:03AM
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With all the discontent in Beantown with Ryder, why not Sarich for Ryder? Similar cap hit. Not sure how many years Ryder has on his contract but if it's the same...why not? This is assuming we can't just trade him for a pick and take the cap relief.

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#4 Kent Wilson
August 05 2010, 07:45AM
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44stampede wrote:

With all the discontent in Beantown with Ryder, why not Sarich for Ryder? Similar cap hit. Not sure how many years Ryder has on his contract but if it's the same...why not? This is assuming we can't just trade him for a pick and take the cap relief.

Because both teams are looking to drop salary, not swap salary.

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#5 Kent Wilson
August 05 2010, 07:47AM
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As for guys who appeared for this press conference, it's entirely possible they were the only Flames in town right now.

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#6 bill
August 05 2010, 07:57AM
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I hope they serve happy meals with this Flames jersey, because Ronald Macdonald called he wants his pants back.

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#7 Malkin
August 05 2010, 09:52AM
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Staios was used because he has played in an outdoor game before with the Oilers. Still, it would look pretty bad if they use him for photo-ops and then a few weeks later he's in Abbotsford. My vote is hes around come October, he's too much of a Sutter guy.

Flames should sign Ty Conklin to keep his magical outdoor games run going.

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#8 mikeH
August 05 2010, 09:53AM
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Staios played in the game last year, so maybe its logical to have him at the presser to talk about the experience.

Plus, I think he used to play for the Calgary Tigers in the 1920s, and he's hoping Darryl will keep up the nepotism for one more season when his grandkids become eligible for the draft.

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#9 walkinvisible
August 05 2010, 10:56AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

As for guys who appeared for this press conference, it's entirely possible they were the only Flames in town right now.

i'd totally considered this as a possibility...

also ? mikeH is effin' hilarious. :)

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#10 Bob
August 05 2010, 12:30PM
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@Pat Steinberg

@ Steinberg @ Kent

So does that mean Feaster's comments last week about Kotalik attending training camp and being part of this team are all part of a smoke screen? Obviously neither Jay nor Darryl are going to come out and say that they plan to ship Ales to Abbotsford or loan him to the KHL...but where do you cut salary?

Reg is the current attraction as it pertains to salary dump...but while that would put us back under the cap, it doesn't leave that much wiggle room. And while we wonder the cap implications of a Regehr trade, we should keep in mind that Darryl may have to bring back some salary, thus putting us closer to the ceiling (if not over again). Also, I think most of us hope Backlund makes the team, and I believe right now his cap hit is not currently included in the equation. So trading Reg does not solve all the cap problems. We don't know what's happening with Kotalik, and Sarich and Staios are being used to advertise the outdoor game, leaving most to feel they are staying put.

I enjoy playing Armchair GM as much as everyone else...but I have to admit I haven't a clue what or how Darryl is going to get this one solved. It could very well be that he's got it all planned out, but is it going to be a solution the fans are happy with?

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#11 Reidja
August 05 2010, 02:05PM
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Kotalik can not be on the team next season. Jay Feaster said he'll be at camp, yes, and he will continue to say Kotalik will be at camp right up until the day that they decide what to do with that sorry contract. That's Jay's job. The philosophy of playing the cards close doesn't change just because you bring in someone who the media like to talk to. Jay isnt towing the line - he swallowed the end of it.

The massive cap problem the flames have right now is made all the worse by the fact that it is now August. If Sutter wanted to get value for the assests he has to move, he would need to have done it in, oh I don't know, June.

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#12 Kent Wilson
August 05 2010, 02:56PM
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@ Bob. The Flames said the same thing about Eriksson the year they demoted him to the AHL. "He'll have a chance to fight for his place in camp" or some variant.

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#13 Bob
August 05 2010, 03:10PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

@ Bob. The Flames said the same thing about Eriksson the year they demoted him to the AHL. "He'll have a chance to fight for his place in camp" or some variant.

True enough. But what was his salary? I honestly don't recall but would wager it was not near $3 million. Whether it's the AHL or on Loan, the Flames would still be paying a guy $3 million to NOT play and count against the cap, and some have suggested they may not want to go that route. Would they not have been better off to buy him out?

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#14 Kent Wilson
August 05 2010, 03:31PM
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Bob wrote:

True enough. But what was his salary? I honestly don't recall but would wager it was not near $3 million. Whether it's the AHL or on Loan, the Flames would still be paying a guy $3 million to NOT play and count against the cap, and some have suggested they may not want to go that route. Would they not have been better off to buy him out?

Eriksson was 1.5M.

On a buy-out, Kotalik would have cost the Flames $1M in cap space over the next four years, so it definitely would have cured things in the short term. Unfortunately, that's no longer an option.

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#15 44stampede
August 05 2010, 07:05PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Because both teams are looking to drop salary, not swap salary.

Yes Kent...I do understand the cap problems of both teams. Simply offering a solution to our forward depth in relation to defense. At least it would help the balance.

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#16 Nolan
August 06 2010, 01:04AM
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I truely think that Darryl is too stubborn to admit failure. He will keep Staois in town (he loves the guy, probably sign him to a 4 year extention), Sarich was one of his first signings, Reggie is his man, Kotalik, well we all know how the Sutters feel about him "led the team in hits". I honestly think the way he thinks he'll get under the cap is sending Backlund back to the minors and that Langkow will be on the LTIR for a large chunk of the season. Because according to him they were only "1 player away" and he signed 4 players that will obviously put them into the contenders category.

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