On Rebuilding and such

Kent Wilson
April 04 2011 02:46PM

 

 

While the Flames are still battling the fates to squeak into the playoffs, the topic of trading major assets and going into "full rebuild mode" currently dominates most Flames fans discussion. From sports radio to twitter, the real concern is for what the team is going to do beyond this season.

The poll at right suggests a majority of fans is ready for scorched earth: tear it all down, trade any and all marketable assets, gather the futures and begin again. There are, of course, risks associated with such a strategy: there's absolutely no guarantee that tanking for draft position and moving players for picks will garner you a future Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin. Patrik Stefan isn't a guy you want to stake the future of your franchise on, for instance. What's more, rebuilding properly requires more than simply acquiring notable kids in the draft. The outfit up north probably has three of the best forward prospects under 21 in the league right now. However, the comic duo of Tambo and Lowe still have to prove they can competently build around their various pillars in order to drag the Oilers out of the basement. If all it took to make an elite NHL roster was to suck hard for awhile, well...the NY Islanders would be a juggernaut.

I am, of course, painfully aware of the Flames current predicament having tirelessly cataloged the previous regimes various failings: no cap space, aging roster, limited prospects, bad contracts throughout etc. I'd like to emphatically deny a couple of things at this juncture however:

1.) That the rebuild necessarily be of the "scorched earth" variety

2.) That trading one or more of the perceived core of the club represents the aforementioned.

I'll posit here that "rebuilding" doesn't have to equate stripping a club to it's foundation. It is only perceived as such because the highest profile "rebuilders" engage in the great purges and purifications. Often because they have no alternative - they are terrible in whatever iteration they take, meaning there is nothing to lose from napalming the roster. The Oilers were a cap team last year after all. The scorched earth narrative/strategy was only deployed when it became clear that Tambellini had assembled the worst team in the league by accident.

The Flames, with all their faults, aren't the Oilers. They battled for the playoffs this year and last and probably will next season. They are competitive if not favorites. There are quality players here of all stripes and at various positions. It's true there's no real marked improvement to be assumed going forward, but the club is miles away from falling off a cliff as well.

A rebuild, therefore, may be able to proceed in a gradual, step-wise fashion. Prune the bad contracts where possible and replace them with better value ones. Play and promote notable prospects in a manner that puts them in an environment to succeed and ensures development. Finally, consider which big contracts have the most value in the market and contemplate dealing them for returns. This can occur in a slow, measured fashion wherein returns are maximized and mistakes avoided or limited. Meaning: the Flames don't have to trade Iginla et al. all at once, nor do they have to move them simply for the sake of change. But they should certainly entertain meaningful offers.

The reluctance to move Iginla at al. springs from the apparent void their absence would cause in the line-up. One question I'm often asked when discussion trading Kiprusoff, for example, is - "who would you replace him with"? This, of course, is a query emotionally loaded with all that Kipper has meant and accomplished as a Calgary Flame: the 2004 cup run, a Vezina trophy and countless highlight reel saves. That all seems irreplaceable. The mind panics when contemplating a future without Kipper in net. Like stepping into a car without brakes.

The truth is, what Kiprusoff has done as Flame will never change - his accomplishments remain indelibly burned into our collective consciousness and inscribed in the past. However, what he was shouldn't be confused with what he is currently: a 34-year old goalie with a couple of years left on his his contract and a mediocre save rate in three of his last four seasons. He costs the club more than $5M in cap space a season. The goalie market is saturated and plentiful. Replacing Kipper's past results is impossible. They remain fixed. His current results and likely those he'll manage as he approaches retirement are another matter entirely. 

The same is - or will be - true of Iginla and Regehr now or at some point in the near future. The Flames organizational cornerstones are capable enough players, but past their prime and are no longer nodes to build around. They are big money deals more than core players at this point. "Five Dollar milkshakes" to use an old short-hand concept. Their pasts are immovable, irreplacable, but their futures are not. Dealing all of them is certainly not a necessity going forward. Nor, though, is keeping all of them.

"People build teams in certain ways. I've always traded for futures - not pasts." Said Sam Pollock, the architect of the Canadiens dynasty. He wasn't talking about "the fall for Hall" or any other version of tanking either. Few GM's in league history struck the balance between grooming players to their peak and then leveraging their resumes for notable returns (all while maintaining the club's ability to win games) like Pollock.

As such, I think there's a mid-point between status quo and scorched earth. It's that sort of balance I'd like to see the organization strike going forward.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Monaertchi
April 04 2011, 02:56PM
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Yes.

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#2 marty
April 04 2011, 03:00PM
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I agree Kent. To me it comes down to what bad deals can you get rid of? (Kotalik,hagman,stajan,sarich,) via whatever means (khl,abby,buyout or trade) that would be step one. Step 2 is who of the core do you trade? Maybe if you can get rid of enuff of the bad contracts you can keep them all. Looking at the goals for this team if tangs is re sign can score enuff but the goals against must come down. Depth defensmen seem to be what this team needs. Sarich,staios,pardy,mikkelson were either playing more mins then they should or were playing limited roles so the top 3 had to play more. If the team can find some better depth a d it would help. Also langkow in the lineup could help out the top line and the pk in regards to defensive play. It will once again be a very interesting off season and the beginning of a new gm stamp on the team let's hope its a good one.

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#3 backburner
April 04 2011, 03:00PM
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Players to keep - Iginla, Tanguay, Glencross, Backlund, Bourque, Jackman, Kostopolous, Giordano, Morrison, Moss and Langkow.

Everyone else - meh.

Wow that was easy?

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#4 icedawg_42
April 04 2011, 03:01PM
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The truly sad part lies not in what the Flames may have to move to secure a better future - but in what they will be unable to move, thereby securing a painful future (cough cough Hagman/Stajan). Has Jay Feaster (if he does indeed become the full time guy) done anything in his past that suggests he's the type of guy to part with the big pieces? He's on record saying he will not mess with the "core"

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#5 Domebeers.com
April 04 2011, 03:10PM
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JBlow needs to go to. If your trading the real players off this team, there is no reason to continue paying the guys 35 million. It would be like paying a closer big money on a team with no chance, just a waste of money.

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#6 Gange
April 04 2011, 03:11PM
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Agreed. I could see Kipper going however I fear worse results but so be it.

Trading Iggy at this point seems like folly. He's going to score 40 this year and I'm not sure how to replace that. My thought is to bring in a high level prospect and have Iggy mentor like Steve Yzerman did in Detroit.

The question is, How do you get that prospect?

I'd dangle Bourque out there.

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#7 thymebalm
April 04 2011, 03:15PM
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You said that people balk at trading Kiprusoff asking who will replace him, but I think it's a fair question.

Karlsson, Irving, and Ortio are not ready to be NHL starters, and beyond two star goalies in Bryzgalov and Vokoun who will likely go to contenders, who's left in the Free Agency pool that can keep this team competitive for the next 3 seasons?

And if the goalie market is truly saturated, how do you trade a high salary long contract goaltender without getting screwed over by diminishing returns? Who is going to give you top dollar if goalies aren't worth top dollar anymore?

Is 6.3 million that unreasonable between the pipes when the salary cap continues to rise?

In the Jenga game of rebuilding, pulling out the goaltender piece could leave us like ottawa, or edmonton, or columbus or st louis or toronto or tampa bay any of those other teams endlessly searching for consistency from a starter.

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#10 Brent G.
April 04 2011, 03:30PM
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I definitely dont agree with the "scorched earth" rebuilding process. There are examples of teams that have rebuilt through this method but really unless you are getting a crosby, ovechkin or Toews it doesnt work. Hall, Eberle or Pajaarvi will never be confused with any of the three aforementioned players and thats why this rebuild hasn't shown any improvement for Edmonton and likely wont until they get a player of that ilk.

Fact is, to have a team that will grow and improve you need established NHLers to build around and help teach the kids. Watching Edmonton trade away any good player possible doesn't make sense. It still baffles me why they would trade Visnovsky for Whitney. Both are years beyond being considered a prospect yet they moved Visnovsky to save $$$ I assume but got a much less player in return. The Oilers would have gotten a lot more competitve having Visnovsky around to play as well as teach the current D on the roster.

That all being said, the Flames should entertain offers for the big three players. I dont think they should trade them all but would certainly look to remove Kipper from the mix and likely Regher as well. At this point trading Iggy isnt better for the team but it is likely better for Iggy. They were talking about this on the Fan 960 this morning and they were right. How many players would rather have a Stanley cup than a HHOF induction? Iggy is likely in this category. Luckily for him he wont have to choose between the two but he does want a cup. This wont happen on Calgary for several years from now and it would be a shame for him to pass up the opportunity to win now.

Iggy deserves a trade to a contender! Thank him for everything but he is too nice of a guy to ask for it and they need to realize its the best thing to ever happen to him.

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#11 rubbertrout
April 04 2011, 04:00PM
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I floated this out on ON a while back.

J-Bou for Souray plus picks/prospects (Teubert plus the King's first?)

Obviously it would depend on what the picks and prospects were for both sides.

J-Bou's contract is one that the Flames would likely want a do-over on given his lack of offensive production. Simply put he is too well paid to be a defensive shut down guy (and some would say he's not even that).

Souray could play minutes next year but his cap hit is gone after that. The Flames gain 1.2 M in space next year plus have a guy who can play minutes (also at a bloated contract but the actual cash is lower next year) and then save 6.6 M a year for the next three years after that.

Basically Souray on the Oil is a lost cause. They've shown that they won't play him and are willing to eat his contract. He is kind of a throw in to give you a guy who can still log some minutes and would be a good PP guy (he or Babchuk would be the shot from the point on either PP1 or PP2 depending on what happens with Babchuk.)

What the Flames get with this deal is a lot of cap space. They are hamstrung by bad contracts and NMCs and NTCs. If J-Bou had a better contract or the Flames didn't have the cap mess that they do now then obviously they would get more of a return for him. He is just south of being Brian Campbell but with a longer term deal (of course I think Campbell is not quite as good as J-Bou but it is comparable). Right now they have 18 plus M committed to 4 players on the blue line next year (one of whom is Sarich). The Flames wouldn't want to deal with the Oil if there was a ton of money or term coming back (like Gilbert) but the three years of cap relief gets them out of the mire they are in.

The Oil has cap space to burn right now.

I know J-Bou has a NMC but he certainly hasn't got what he bargained for in coming to Calgary either. I doubt when he signed he really thought the flames would miss the playoffs last year and (likely) miss them again this year. He might not want to go to the Oilers but that would depend largely on what TambLowe are able to do this summer. He is from up there originally so he might not have the same Edmonton hate many players do. Bringing J-Bou speeds up the Edmonton rebuild significantly but also helps get Calgary of the cap mire that Dazza created.

If ownership and J-Bou buy in the experiement can be written off as a failed Daryl signing. Most of the fans likely wouldn't bitch too much about it (unless the Oil came on like gangbusters).

Probably a pipe dream but the Flames did trade for Staios.

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#12 Tach
April 04 2011, 04:05PM
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Kent,

I think your approach is exactly correct insofar as the approach to take in evaluating which pieces to hold onto, which to move and which to acquire.

I disagree with your characterization of Iginla as solely a big money contract and not a core player. While his contract is a big money ticket, and I don't think he can be characterized as a "value" contract under the cap system, I don't see his contribution declining over the next two seasons such that the Flames are more likely to be a better team if he is traded.

My thought experiment is this - if Iginla were to be traded for anything less than another team's current or probable future "core player" (I am looking at you Brayden Schenn), would the Flames be a better team? I don't think the answer to that is "yes" for the next two seasons.

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#13 the-wolf
April 04 2011, 04:06PM
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A few points:

- 3, 4 years ago I was loudly promoting a partial rebuild, if you will. Philly has done it with success, dipping just long enough to grab the like of Carter, Giroux, Richards and VR. Ditto Anaheim who scored Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan.

However, getting these players still meant falling to the bottom for awhile. They never went scorched earth as a philosophy, but they did suck pretty bad in the standings.

However, both teams had the foresight to rebuild sooner rather than later.

Calgary currently has a pair of 35 year old centers with injury issues. They have only 2 legit #1 line players in Tanguay and Iginla and no impact prospects.

Calgary, IMO, has passed the partial rebuild stage. Even with eliminating bad contracts which, lets not forget, cost the ownership an awful lot of money, there's not a great market for UFA's out there.

Also, 2004 is a distant blip. The luster has worn off on this team considerably and it is not the prefered destination that it once was.

Therefore, one can conclude that death in the NHL comes not from being at the bottom of the league, but from being in the middle of the league. Never good enough to be a contender, never bad enough to get quality talent in which to rebuild around.

Partial vs. scorched earth aside, the real issue seems to be philosophy. Those teams willing to rebuild to some degree have success. Chicago, Anaheim, Philly, Washington and even Vancouver (though it's been a lengthy process)are all recent winners or legit contenders. LA is in the mix.

But look at those teams that refuse to rebuild and go by the philosophy of 'win now, always.' Calgary has done it since '89 and aside from one miracle run haven't made it past the first round in 21 years. Columbus and Minnesota may pick high but they rush their prospects instead of developing them properly, all in a an effort to be immediately competitive.

The greater risk and the real risk, therefore, is in not rebuilding at all. Standing pat and staying in the middle of the pack is certain death. We obviously aren't good enough to win the Cup and we can't get much better picking where we're at.

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#14 oilers1974
April 04 2011, 04:10PM
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The Oilers scorched earth consisted of the following. Grebeshkov for a 2nd. Staios for a third (thank you). Moreau on waivers. Pisani expired. Osullivan for an expiring player. Souray to the minors. Yup, scorched earth. Perhaps one of the reasons the Flames would not undergo this same procedure (not withstanding the no trades) is that you would get very little in return for big tickets and in many case would likely not find any takers. 3 years of Kiprusoff at 5.83? Are you kidding? He has a 906 S% 3 of the last 4 years. You can find that goaltending on the waiver wire. 3 years more of Bouwmeester with his 23 points and his shutdown -1? Not to mention ridiculously bad play on your most important road trip of the year. Gee, I wonder why he hasn't made the playoff since Bantam. You might get a 2nd for Regehr and possible a third for Corey(healthy scratch)Sarich. And sorry to tell you but Iginla is not worth 7 million for two more years. He is consistently outchanced and remind me again, aside from 2004, how many playoff series' has he won? And FYI, first ballot hall of famers are either over point a game players or guys who have won something, of which he is neither.

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#15 Tears of RED
April 04 2011, 04:11PM
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I love how the radio guys said that the Flames should position moving Iggy as "out of respect for what he has done". Yes, Iggy would love to play for a cup contender, but is probably too proud to ask for a trade. However, he isn't a jackass like Sundin who would refuse a trade. Iggy understands the organization's position and if he is asked to help with the rebuilding without him, then he will oblige. He said so last spring.

From my POV, we should keep Iggy. Since the possibility of resigning GlenX is looking bleak, Flames should try to trade GlenX prior to July 1st to a team willing to negotiate with him (ala what the Flames did with JBo and Florida) for a pick. Pick should be conditional upon him signing... ie. 2nd rounder, else 5th, blah... Get some thing instead of nothing and hope for a diamond in the rough now that Dsutz isn't in charge of at the draft table.

IMO, Bourque is way too inconsistent and does take a lot of dumb penalties. Package him and Stajan/Hagman for a 1st and prospoect if you can it. If not, keep him.

I'm not a fan of Babchuk so let him walk unless he's around $1M. For $2M, the Flames might as well let Brodie and Erixon learn on the job. Brodie can probably develop to be a better PP QB than Babs will ever be. Erixon can be the next shutdown Dman to replace Reggie. Speaking of which, I think Reg should be move for a young top 6 forward who is a bonafide centreman, or a top 4 Dman with more mobility.

If the new GM can rid of two bodies and a couple of fat contracts by draft day, the team will be in position to sign/draft players and reload for the Fall.

Love being an armchair GM, don't you?

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#16 Phil
April 04 2011, 04:13PM
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The Flames demise can be summed in on year. 2003. That was the can't miss draft and they botched it. Yes they got Dion but now have nothing to show for it. Franchise players could be had in round 1 and 2, and they missed on both.

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#17 Tach
April 04 2011, 04:15PM
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re: Bouwmeester for Souray

Not the worst idea I have ever heard, but the Flames only really need the cap space for next year, and I think Souray is two big of a downgrade from Bouwmeester to make $1.2MM in cap space worth it. The Flames would basically still need to sign another quality defender, and they would have to do it for $1.2MM.

After next season, Jokinen, Langkow, Hagman, Kotalik and Sarich all come off the books. Also, Kiprusoff's salary falls to $5 million and then $1 million in actual money in 2013/14 so he may be movable to a budget team trying to get to the floor (if there is a floor after 2012). Similarly, Stajan's contract falls to $2.5 million in 2012/13 so he could also be moved to a budget team in theory after that.

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#18 Tears of RED
April 04 2011, 04:22PM
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A couple of reasons why the Oilers didn't scorched earth: no one wants Horcoff and Gilbert. And no one will want Shabbybulin either. Got too excited about Gagner and Cogliano. Good thing Eberle and Hall looks like they're keepers, or else finishing 28th to 30th will make Edmonton the official City of Chumps.

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#19 rubbertrout
April 04 2011, 04:23PM
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@oilers1974

I think you are forgetting the multiple years out of the playoffs and draft scores (both Eberle and Pajaarvi would have gone higher if the drafts were done over again) plus getting Hall last year was huge.

Even as an Oiler fan I know that Iggy is a sure fire first ballot HOFer.

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#20 T&A4Flames
April 04 2011, 04:28PM
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I think next years direction is somewhat on Iginla's shoulders (just like everthing else). If he decides he wants a chance at the cup in next 2 years (remaining on current contract), then we may as well pick up some very good prospects and picks. At the end of those 2 years, perhaps Igi would sign his last contract with the Flames to show the kids how to be a professional. I hope he takes this path because I think it would be for the best of all involved. I would hate to see Iginla squander his last few truly productive years on a middling team. At least give yourself a chance, Jarome. I'm sure all Flames fans would love to see it regardless if it's with Calgary or not. This senario is best for all; Jarome gets a shot at a cup, the Flames get some good prospects to build on and in 2 years, we get the best "professional" in the game back to mentor the kids.

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#21 oilers1974
April 04 2011, 04:44PM
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@rubbertrout

What does who they draft have to do with getting rid of contracts? Multiple years out of the playoffs, same question. Look at players with numbers similar to Iginla's not a lot of first balloters. Didn't say no Hall of Fame bud. And fortunately Tears of Red, Edmonton won't have salary issues till those ridiculous contacts are off the books and even more fortunate, most of us accept what has happened and have very little expectation. And before you get too carried away with city of chumps (I'm not even going to count Cups) How many playoff series has each team won since their last cup? Enough said.

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#22 rubbertrout
April 04 2011, 04:44PM
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@T&A4Flames

I think Kent commented on this point a while back. Iggy might not be considered the greatest asset going forward. He's had a bounce back year (from how he started it at least). People aren't going to unload top prospects for him period.

Whatever the return is there are going to be people that say it isn't worth it. Unless you can totally fleece someone no way are you getting a top prospect(s) for iggy at this stage of his career.

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#23 negrilcowboy
April 04 2011, 04:49PM
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welcome to all the suddenly enlightened, the smoke and mirrors show named rene bourque has been exposed. i have been lamenting about this flattire for some time now, bad contract has become unmovable contract.

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#24 rubbertrout
April 04 2011, 04:51PM
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@oilers1974

"scorched earth"

You aren't getting rid of everyone if you have a bunch of guys in the system as prospects.

The Flames don't have anyone in the system worth mentioning in the same breath as the Oilers young guns. The Oil didn't need to do as much to make the team better over the past couple of years by dumping contracts because they had some young, cheap talent waiting in the wings.

It has been "scorched earth" in Edmonton for quite some time. It isn't just the last two years. being out of the playoffs and picking up young talent is part of the total rebuild--see Chicago--In any event being the worst team in the league for the past two years despite having good prospects sounds like scorched earth to me.

As far as Iggy goes I guess we'll have to wait and see. Playing most of his career in the "dead puck era" with no real "star" to play with will be in his favour if people look at his numbers.

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#25 FireOnIce
April 04 2011, 05:54PM
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Iginla has a lot of value, despite his age and somewhat diluted numbers. Beyond the whole "one of the top scorers in the past 6-10 years despite having no one to play with", he is still well respected in this league as a leader and as a professional. That goes a long way for GMs and owners: on the ice, in the locker room, and in the community. No, we wouldn't get a Crosby or a Stamkos for him, but we could still get quite a deal if Feaster (or Hakan Loob!! Come on Flames!) don't screw it up.

I would personally not trade Iginla. Yes he deserves a ring (a la Ray Bourque) and perhaps he may be "too nice" to ask for a trade, but what if we could do better, get a couple prospects up, surround him with better support than Kotalik, Hagman, Stajan, and Sore Itch, and go on a run next season? Or even the season after? Iginla loves Calgary and Calgary loves him. Let him finish his contract and then he can decide to go play for the Wings, or Penguins, or WHOEVER.

As I've said before, I think Regehr is a better trade chip. Similar leadership abilities, still a good D-man, and the whole, playing after breaking both legs, story amazes many. Package him with Bourque or Stajan or someone, find a dumbass GM, and get things moving.

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#26 JF
April 04 2011, 05:55PM
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Flames to keep...

Iginla Langkow Tanguay Moss Backlund Jackman Giordano Bouwmeester (Barely)

Guys to ditch...

Kotalik Stajan Hagman Joker Kipper (Yes it hurts to say that but it is what it is) Sarich Staois

On the Fence...

Bourque Glencross Regher Koustopolis

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#27 CitizenFlame
April 04 2011, 10:45PM
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@rubbertrout

What about Bouwmeester to Atlanta for Bogosian? Would this type of deal be possible?

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#28 Vintage Flame
April 05 2011, 01:18AM
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Wow.. Great article Kent.. And you were complaining about trying to find a topic to discuss today?? Nice clutch choice.

I'm always pleasantly surprised when I get to look at things differently or from another perspective. The idea of a "rebuild" to me always went hand in hand with cleaning house, throwing in the towel, blowing it up, trade everyone... basically, go Edmonton [ack!]

I still don't believe moving Iginla this year is wise. Not for nostalgic reasons [though the feeling is there] but more for strategic. I still think Iggy would be a good mentor for new talent coming in. Like Gange mentioned before, in a sort of Stevie Y aspect. While this carries inherent risks due to Iggy's increasing age, if they take this route it most likely means making that final commitment to keep him until he retires. [Not so bad, in my biased, non-objective opinion.] Now I think everything I just mentioned goes out the window with the bath water if Iggy's asks for a trade. If that happens, under no circumstances do I begrudge the decision. If he want to go out the Ray Bourque way.. I don't blame him.

As for Kiprusoff.. I think this is where I've had my sort of epiphany. I will admit I've had my blinders on when looking at the Kipper dilemma. Never thought we should trade him, remember all he has done for this team, but the comments Kent made about the past vs. the future needs of this team, turned the ole light on in the attic.. I do like Kipper and I thik he is still a #1, somewhere, just maybe not here, or in the West even. he might flourish in the East with someone. Hello Washington, if you're listening. But the fact remains he is getting up there now in age, and I really don't want to have to call myself an idiot for making fun of the Oiler fans and Dwayne Roloson and then have to take a harsh look in the mirror. As for who replaces him.. Who knows, Vokoun? Bryzgalov? Whatever, I'm not paid to make those decisions so I won't.

I think now, the best way for the Flames to go about this.. um.. transition, is to approach it more like a chess game, rather than yahtzee. Move what you can while making smart decisions, no Phaneuf trades. I think we have seen the last of GlenX, Babchuck and Morrison. i also think Calgary could trade Sarich and perhaps their most attractive bait, Regehr. What we get for them? Who knows, again I'm not paid to make those negotiations, so I won't venture a guess, but if the Flames staff want to continue collecting their paychecks, they'll move smartly. i don't think they can afford to be timid. If the right deal comes around for Iggy [ie. Brayden Schenn and gang] they have to look at it, but I think there are still a lot of pieces on the Chess board to move before we start bringing out our King.

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#29 Sean Elekes
April 05 2011, 02:02AM
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@Kent Wilson

I'm okay with trading Jarome Iginla as long as it's not for Corey Millen.

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#30 Pat Steinberg
April 05 2011, 02:30AM
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I still think Regehr gives the Flames the best value in return. I don't even include Iginla in the conversation, as I'm fairly convinced he's not going anywhere at any point.

Kiprusoff gets you nothing at this point. Quite honestly, the only way you get value for a 35 year old high priced goalie coming off an average season is if a team is desperate for a goalie near the trade deadline.

Regehr is a player teams like Washington, San Jose and more would love to get their hands on. His brand of d-man may not be prevalent anymore, but his shutdown abilities would be welcomed among a few teams.

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#31 backburner
April 05 2011, 07:17AM
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@oilers1974 You sound like an annoying Oilers fan trying to justify your own existance by pointing out irrelevant stats that have nothing to do with the article... am I right?? The only stat you need to care about is that the Oilers will finish in last place this year... even over the Islanders. Now go away!

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#32 Monaertchi
April 05 2011, 08:41AM
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thymebalm wrote:

You said that people balk at trading Kiprusoff asking who will replace him, but I think it's a fair question.

Karlsson, Irving, and Ortio are not ready to be NHL starters, and beyond two star goalies in Bryzgalov and Vokoun who will likely go to contenders, who's left in the Free Agency pool that can keep this team competitive for the next 3 seasons?

And if the goalie market is truly saturated, how do you trade a high salary long contract goaltender without getting screwed over by diminishing returns? Who is going to give you top dollar if goalies aren't worth top dollar anymore?

Is 6.3 million that unreasonable between the pipes when the salary cap continues to rise?

In the Jenga game of rebuilding, pulling out the goaltender piece could leave us like ottawa, or edmonton, or columbus or st louis or toronto or tampa bay any of those other teams endlessly searching for consistency from a starter.

I couldn't agree more.

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#33 Todd
April 05 2011, 08:58AM
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van players better than Iginla: Bure, Linden, Mogilny, Larionov, Tony Tanti, and Kesler.

Match up:

Line 1: Van > Calgary

Van: D.Sedin, H. Sedin, Burrows

Cal: Backlund, Iginla Tanguay

Reason: Umm Soon to be TWO Art Ross trophy winners on the line. Enough said.

Line 2: Van > Calgary

Van: Kesler, Hansen, Moose

Cal: Jokinen, Bourque, Glencross

Reason: Kess is THE MOST underrated player in the game today. Even Don Cherry had a nice segment on him last week on HNIC. He would totally be your first line center, and help get Iggy to 100 points.

Line 3: Cal > Van

Cal: Langkow, Jackman, Kostopoulous

Van: Toress, Lapppy, Maser

Reason: Just barely you guys take it. Maser has had a so so year, but the only guy I like on your team is Jackman. That guy plays hard every night. He's a poor man's Kessler.

Line 4: Van > Cal

Cal: Bouma, Stajan, and Niemez

Van: Tambo, Glasser, Higgy.

Reason: You have THE MOST OVER PAID 4th line center in the game. LOL What is he getting 600k per goal? Higgy has been an awesome pick up, and Tambo has the speed to stretch the D.

So Calgary if the Habs lose tonight your season is done!

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#34 Monaertchi
April 05 2011, 09:00AM
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Guys that I think make the team worse because of their presence: Stajan, Hagman, Kotalik. The new GM must make these guys, and their contracts, go away.

Guys that I think are nowhere near worth their contract: Bouwmeester, Bourque, Sarich, Staios, Ivanans (I guess). The new GM should seriously consider ways to make these guys go away, or not come back as the case may be.

Guys that I think have out-played their contract: Tanguay, Morrison, Jackman, Giordano (already fixed for next season). The new GM should try to re-sign these guys to reasonable contracts. Although, perhaps BMo is too old and is fully replaceable now that Langkow appears to be back from retirement.

I think the rest of the team did a reasonable job considering the circumstances they were put in. This includes Iginla, Jokinen, Regehr, and Kiprusoff. I'm not saying any of these guys shouldn't be traded, but that it wouldn't be the end of the world either way.

Full disclosure: I have said frequently in the past that Iginla should be traded before his value drops any further. I think he's had a bit of a renaissance this year and his value is probably higher than what it was last summer. I would definitely not be adverse to trading him this summer.

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#35 everton fc
April 05 2011, 09:22AM
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We lack depth. Depth in Abby, and depth up here. Both offencively and defencively. Compare Mikkelson and Carson to Boynton. The Flyers picked up Boynton for depth, with a very low cap hit. We picked up Carson...

Look at Modin. We picked him up for depth. He's gibbled, one of the walking wounded who can't string together more than a few games in a row without a breather for "maintenance"... Yet, we picked him up... For depth... While forcing Conny into the press box.

So what do the Flames do?

I agree JBo needs to go. For the price, he's not worth it. Reggie and Gio are the leaders on defence - not JBo. Why people want to move Regehr still boggles my mind. Same people who wanted to move Moss... Iginla... Who called Jackman Thing 1 (or was he Thing 2?) Regehr is a perfect building block. People just don't get it...

Sarich... as a 5-6 guy, he's good. I have always like Sarich. He makes the odd mistakes, but he comes to play, hits hard often... He's a decent guy, and I think a good leader. We need more good leaders...

Still don't see Backlund as more than a third line guy... But Malhotra has done well in that role over his career. As long as the organization doesn't get their hopes up to high with Backlund...

I lvoe Langkow, but please tell me next year is the last year of his contract! Like Conny, he should get a job in the organization. We could certainly use some decent scouting...

Which brings me to the root of our problems for years, and the only way to rebuild - we need better scouting. We have drafted poorly. Feaster's deadline moves did nothing for us - we are one of the hottest teams in the league, and if we can/could have got into the playoffs, I think we would (could?) see a little more than a first-round exit. We need to rebuild via the draft and trades for young talent. JBo, perhaps Glencross if he decides to play hardball, perhaps Karlsson, if Irving is ready... We are probably stuck with the likes of Hagman and Stajan, and I think Olli didn't disappoint. If we can maintain our second line of Glencross/Jokinen/Moss, we have something right there to build on, short term, as all three are getting up there in years...

I think we need to give Brodie and perhaps Erixon a chance. Bouma deserves a long look as a fourth-line guy - we'd have a fourth line I'd trust with him sandwiched between Kosto and Jackman. Or is Jackman a third line wing? I wonder sometimes...

Like some have said, our present core is respectable. We obviously need someone to centre Iggy and Tanguay. Could JBo be the bait? And we need a better defined third line. I see Morrison as one third line wing - he is too old to be a centre - less skating on the wing. He said this himself - he'd prefer the wing, at this stage of his career. Could he help Stajan become a decent third line centre? Perhaps. Could putting Jackman on one wing help Stajan "grow a set"? Perhaps...

Can we afford Hagman as a fourth line wing? We might have no choice. Kosto/Bouma/Hagman may be our fourth line...

What we need, as fans, is a bit of patience, so all these bad contracts can run their collective course. In the interim, we do what we can to dump baggage and bad salaries, be it the waiver wire, for low picks, or off to Abby.

Last thought - if we had a better start... Think of where we'd be now, with the current cast of characters... At least we now have solid second and fourth lines. As good as any, I think.

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#36 NateBaldwin
April 05 2011, 09:31AM
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Oh Todd, it's fans like you that prevent me from cheering for Vancouver. It's a shame because they really are a fantastic team, but I just can't bring my self to associate with certain types.

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#37 everton fc
April 05 2011, 09:31AM
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One more comment:

If our centres were Langkow,Jokinen,Backlund,Stajan - In other words, Stajan becomes a fourth-line guy, if we can't move him... So, lines like this, in a rebuild year, abandoning the scorched-earth philosophy, which will not work:

Offence: Tanguay/Langkow/Iginla Glencross/Jokinen/Moss Bourque/Backlund/Morrison Kostopoulos/Stajan/Jackman Bouma/?? as filler (Hagman waived)

Defence(Assuming JBO can be moved for a high pick) Giordano/Regehr Erixon/Brodie Sarich/Babchuk

Does this work under the cap? Sure, defencively it'd be a risk... And having that much salary as a fourth line centre - not good, but so what? It might be our only option.

I'd watch this team... and rebuild around it. Who says Stajan doesn't have a comeback year, and then has some value?

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#38 Milli
April 05 2011, 09:50AM
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Note to Flamers: Nobody is gonna trade for Kipper, his best days are behind him and he makes a fortune. Sutter is no longer a GM so shipping old guys to him is impossible....And Tambo's got Khabby.....

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#39 Milli
April 05 2011, 09:50AM
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Note to Flamers: Nobody is gonna trade for Kipper, his best days are behind him and he makes a fortune. Sutter is no longer a GM so shipping old guys to him is impossible....And Tambo's got Khabby.....

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#40 Milli
April 05 2011, 09:50AM
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Note to Flamers: Nobody is gonna trade for Kipper, his best days are behind him and he makes a fortune. Sutter is no longer a GM so shipping old guys to him is impossible....And Tambo's got Khabby.....

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#41 hatchet
April 05 2011, 10:52AM
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The flames only hope is that some other team signs Darryl Sutter as gm and takes all his players back . Goodluck. Screwed for next five years.

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#42 backburner
April 05 2011, 01:31PM
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@Todd (good name for a Vancouver fan)

Canucks will never win the cup.

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#43 positivebrontefan
April 05 2011, 01:31PM
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Milli wrote:

Note to Flamers: Nobody is gonna trade for Kipper, his best days are behind him and he makes a fortune. Sutter is no longer a GM so shipping old guys to him is impossible....And Tambo's got Khabby.....

Somebody in here's got a bad stutter.

Calgary makes my day...That is all.

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#44 who is alright?
April 05 2011, 05:40PM
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Kent, there are a couple things I dissagree (respectfully) with you about.

1) Tambellini assembling the worst team by accident.

I think Katz and Lowe were fully aware that the fact that they could get away with taking full advantage of the edmonton oilers for a 5th consecutive season without losing a single seat in the house. So they purposely went 10 M under the cap and dressed an average age of 26.7 (including 2 players averaging 38). Why, i believe the average nhl games of experience per players the oilers dressed against vancouver was 91 games.

2) The Islanders would be a juggernaut of a team. The Islanders made SEVERAL years of terrible draft picks, and are spending 20M under the cap as it currently stands. If you look at capgeek.com - the majority of teams in contention are all spending to the cap right now. So Not a fair comparision for the flames OR the oilers.

I guess you could say the same thing about Atlanta, however, Atlanta has done a tremendous job trading away all of their top draft picks over the years - which goes against a rebuild strategy.

I think you've made one of the most fair assessments I can think of for this hockey team. It's too bad most of the fans just want to tear the place down. When Smyth was traded from the Oilers, Edmonton was 3/4 points out of the playoffs with 21 games left. The only won 2 games in the remainder and went from 9th to 13th.

If the Flames trade Iginla, I would suspect that the heart and soul of this team will fall apart - as it did in edmonton.

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#45 RKD
April 05 2011, 09:30PM
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We know Sutter was obsessed with getting a #1 center and finally did with Jokinen. I believe he got Jokinen a year too late. If Feaster is given the reigns, one has to wonder if that need for a #1 center is still top priority. Maybe he will go after a Carter or Spezza in the offseason. I've heard buzz about J-Bo and Bourque to NJ for Parise and Zajac because or the Sutter connection but moreso the fact that NJ cannot sign both guys because of the Kovalchuk deal.

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#46 Sean Elekes
April 06 2011, 12:23AM
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@RKD

RKD, I like that trade very much. I'm getting wet just thinking about it. NJ needs a puck moving D-man; haven't had one since Scott Neidermyer. What a great way to move money off the cap.

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