Flames Potential Trade Partner: Washington Capitals

Kent Wilson
July 07 2011 02:07PM

 

 

While the UFA market is mostly tapped out, a few other potential avenues of improvement still exist for Feaster and the Calgary Flames. The latest may be the Washington Capitals and their precarious cap position. Washington boasts a number of things the Flames need, so a cap friendly trade for them might be benefical for both clubs.

In a post at the score today, Sean Tomlinson discusses the Caps budget problems

Brouwer’s signing is just the latest of what’s becoming an impressive summer for Washington general manager George McPhee, who added some grit and grind in the form of Jeff Halpern, solved his goaltending leak with the signing of Tomas Vokoun, plucked Joel Ward fresh off of his impressive playoff performance, and slotted in Roman Hamrlik on the blue line.

But there’s a cost to all of that spending that goes beyond the number signed on each players’ dotted line. Brouwer’s two-year deal valued at $4.7 million and at a cap hit of $2.35 million annually puts the Capitals $1,805,128 over the league’s $64.3 million salary cap (thanks for giving me a headache with all of those numbers, Capgeek). Teams are permitted to go over the salary cap by as much as 10 percent during the offseason, extra weight that has to be shed prior to October.

 McPhee's problems extend beyond his current cap crunch. The club has yet to re-sign RFA Karl Alzner, who may come in anywhere between $2 million and $3 million per year. As such, the Caps may be looking to dump up to $5 million in cap space before the season starts.

Washington's desperate position has led to whispers of McPhee shopping Alex Semin. The explosive left winger has just one year left on his deal worth $6.7 million. While obviously injury prone and not the best figher in the world, Semin is a legitimately elite offensive forward. He has never scored less than 26 goals in the NHL, despite never playing more than 77 games in a season. His underlying numbers are frequent amongst the best on the Capitals, meaning he's not simply a Kovalchukian PP specialist who is a black-hole at 5-on-5. Though he has a reputation as soft and one-dimensional, his year-over-year possession rates say the puck stays in the offensive zone when he's on the ice.

As such, Semin would obviously fill the Flames enduring need to add another elite forward to the rotation. He is 27-years old, so right in the meaty part of his career-arc. Obviously Calgary would have to drop further salary to add Semin *cough* Hagman *cough* , but it would be worth the upgrade.

The Capitals have other, slightly less shiny baubles that may be up for sale as well. They could spare themselves the trouble of signing Alzer by dealing him instead. His addition would add another true top-four defender to the Flames stable. Despite being just 22-years old, Alzner faced the toughest competition on the Caps blueline last year and had the most difficult zone start ratio (49%). He's not going to score you many points, but the dude is legit already.

Denis Wideman and Eric Fehr might also be available, although the former is just okay given his $3.875 ticket and the latter would not really address a Flames need since he is more of a middle-rotation forward (albeit a younger one with some upside).

It's impossible to know just what these players would cost to acquire, although we can be sure the Captials would be looking for draft picks and prospects since they can't afford to take on any more salary. If either Semin or Alzner is available, I think the Feaster would do well to at least inquire - both fill legitimate needs and wouldn't cost a valuable roster player.

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 Domebeers.com
July 07 2011, 02:15PM
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You are nuts, boyee.

If Feaster thinks Byron is worth a second round pick, I cringe to think what he would give up for these real NHLers.

On a serious note, wait till the season ends, sign Semin for free (ie just costs money not draft picks). Use the picks to trade for Weber.

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#2 Domebeers.com
July 07 2011, 02:18PM
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Although I love the thinking behind this article.

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#4 olddouchebag
July 07 2011, 02:28PM
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@Domebeers.com

We've had enough the personal attacks 'round these parts Im afraid. interact in a civil fashion or have your comments embarrassingly co-opted by the editor. Like this.

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#5 Sincity1976
July 07 2011, 02:37PM
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Green won't be available. Alzner won't be available. Backstrom won't be available. Its fun to speculate and put up proposals, but that is pretty much certain.

Its possible Semin would be available. It is also likely WAS clears salary through other means and leaves their top line alone.

One suggestion I read is Bourque for Semin. It makes some sense.

WAS gets a top 6 forward back to replace Semin that fits into the system they are trying to implement. The also drop 3.4M off the cap, which along with Poti to the LTI or a smaller roster move, will solve their cap woes.

Calgary gets a 1-season trial on Semin and either 3.3M in salary relief next off season or an elite scorer on the roster.

At the end of the day I think there are better trading partners for WAS so I don't consider this likely. But you never know I guess.

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#6 everton fc
July 07 2011, 02:58PM
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While I would think it odd for the Caps to take Bourque for Semin, I'd consider that move.

But would Semin re-sign here? I don't think he would, and if he did, what's the price tag? He's making 6.7 mill now. And he's injury prone (not unlike Bourque, by the way)

Would we really move Bourque for a one-year rental player, which Semin may turn out to be?

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#7 Walter Sobchak
July 07 2011, 03:00PM
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@Kent Wilson

Does Semin have a NMC or NTC? I'm going out on a limb here and saying it's going to cost the Flames a prospect and a 1st. The Caps want no money back here. However I keep hearing that the player available is Green. I know on Oilersnation we've been hearing Green.

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#8 Grimerica
July 07 2011, 03:08PM
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@WES I don't know about Green. I know Mcphee flew into calgary to meat him and Backstrom for lunch at the airport to talk about the new signings and the upcoming season, seems doubtful he'd make the trip if he was planning on moving him

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#9 Walter Sobchak
July 07 2011, 03:11PM
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@Grimerica

Thanks for the info. I'm just not sold on the Caps moving Semin.

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#10 Colin
July 07 2011, 03:21PM
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Any one of Alzner, Green or Semin is fine by me as long as it doesn't cost us our first rounder or one of Reinhart/Baertschi/Backlund, if we can make the trade work any other way I think that would work. The only thing is even for just 1 year Semin is gonna command a big package. And considering what guys like Erhoff and Wisenieski commanded this offseason, to get a guy like green will cost the farm. Alzner might be the easiest and cheapest option and probably the best fit for our team as he can easily move to that 3/4 spot. Be a lot easier if we didn't waste that 2nd rounder in that stupid trade.

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#11 FireOnIce
July 07 2011, 03:29PM
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If the Caps got a 1st and 2nd for Varlamov, I would concur with other posters in saying we may have to give up a 1st + prospect. I am not down with this for a rental player who probably prefers the Eastern conference or the KHL.

That being said, picking up Alzner or Semin for say, a 2nd rounder and Bourque, or a 2nd and GlenX, likely wouldn't be too bad.

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#12 Tach
July 07 2011, 03:33PM
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It's funny you should post this, because I was just trying to figure out the Washington depth chart and if we had anything they might need.

A) I don't know why we would try and offer sheet Alzner at $4 million per or so for 4 years. He is a young Regehr and fills our need perfectly. I know giving up a 1st and 3rd rounder sucks, but Alzner has given every indication of being worth it.

B) If the big fish deal is for Semin, I fear our spears will be too dull to snag him. 28 other GMs can read these articles and will have bigger and better prizes to offer. For example, Edmonton could ship out two of Omark, Hartikainen or Paajarvi without really hurting their depth chart and also package a pick or another prospect in there too. Plus Calgary would need Washington to take some salary back, making any offer we give less attractive than teams like Florida or Nashville that would be happy to simply take on the one year salary.

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#13 shutout
July 07 2011, 03:37PM
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I think that a trade with Washington would be an excellent idea. Is Alzner worth a first round draft pick? Right age, good skill, but if the Flames are terrible then they might end up giving the Capitals a top 10 pick.

What about a deal that sees Calgary trade its first round pick plus Hagman for Semin and Alzner? Probably not enough for the Capitals since a team like Florida or Winnipeg would pony up more for Semin to help them get to the cap floor and be more competative.

Calgary needs to look at Alzner and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

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#14 Kevin R
July 07 2011, 03:41PM
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No way I would give Bourque up for a 1 year rental. No one helped us when we were in Cap hell, if anything we got bent over pretty bad in the RR deal. If Wash need/want to sign Perrault & Alzner & want to dump Semin to do it, the return is already that cap space. Hagman or Stajan, they can take there pick & thats it. If they want value back then lets talk deal. We had to give our 2nd & RR to get rid of 3.0Mill of Kotalik for 1 lousy year. So Hagman(or Stajan), Nemitz for Semin & Perrault. If they want to throw in Alzner then I would replace Hagman/Stajan for Bourque & a 3rd rounder in a heartbeat. But Im sure they can probably get a better deal from the Leafs or Florida. We just arent in a position to parlay our cap space for anyone until next year.

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#15 Colin
July 07 2011, 03:46PM
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I say Calgary trys and gets its original 2nd round pick back from Buffalo and Offer sheet Alzner which is probably the easiest of all the options. Maybe give Buffalo a future second and another very late pick to get back our second and then give Alzner a max RFA contract where we only give up the 2nd round pick and see if the caps are willing to match that high. If we are able to offer sheet Alzner for a 4-5 yeard deal at 3Million or so, that is SO WORTH a 2nd round pick, guy can easily step into that 3-4 role and nicely round out or defence. That means we'd be two more years without 2nd round picks, but I think Alzner is worth it.

I less high on Semin only because of the package it would take to get him, and that would most likely include our first and that could be bad, cuase a couple of key injurries at bad times could make us a lottery team.

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#16 First Name Unidentified
July 07 2011, 03:57PM
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It is one of my dreams to have Alzner on our team. IMO, he is the perfect 21 yr old replacement for Reggie.

I would gladly give up a 1st + Bourque for that kid and sign him up for like 10 years.

If Feaster can pull this kid out of Washington, he will become one of the greatest GMs to ever work for the Flames, in my eyes.

......ok, I exaggerated a bit, but I love the kid.

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#17 Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea
July 07 2011, 04:04PM
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Nice article. Since we keep twisting all your other posts into discussions about WSH you might as well write an article about them.

I think some of the previous posts are overvaluing our assets (like the Leafs fans always do) and undervaluing Semin and Alzner. If WSH took a first for Alzner I would be very tempted waive my policy about not trading high draft picks.

Both Semin and Alzner will cost us a top six forward and a high draft pick and Alzner may be untouchable. Schultz is the more likely of the two young d-men to be available, although I have also heard the Green rumours. Flames are wrong place wrong time for Green as we don't have the horse power up front to complement his skills and he would be wasted here.

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#18 karim
July 07 2011, 04:05PM
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I haven't seen enough of Semin, but would he not disappear in the (seemingly more defensive minded) Western Conference? We've seen other players from the Eastern Conference *cough Stajan, JBo cough* struggle after coming to Calgary.

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#19 Knee high
July 07 2011, 04:18PM
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Alzner looks even better

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#20 Michael
July 07 2011, 04:33PM
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Feaster gave up a second round pick to dump the remaining one year of Kotaliks three million dollar salary.

If you apply Feaster logic to Washington, shouldn't Washington be giving up a high draft pick plus Semin to dump his remaining one year / $6 million salary?

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#21 Kevin R
July 07 2011, 04:34PM
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karim wrote:

I haven't seen enough of Semin, but would he not disappear in the (seemingly more defensive minded) Western Conference? We've seen other players from the Eastern Conference *cough Stajan, JBo cough* struggle after coming to Calgary.

My sentiments. Why I would be reluctant to give up anything significant to get him. I know what Prairie Chicken is saying but the Caps are now in cap hell & the price for that is severe. But gulp, if we were to give Bourque & a 1st rounder for Semin & Alzner, 2 things, we dont have thecap space to do this deal without saying goodbye to Hagman & no way I would do it with a 2012 1st rounder, it would have to be our 2013 1st rounder seeing we dont have our 2nd. This is going to be a great draft next year & not to have a 1st or 2nd is unacceptable.

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#22 Dr. Nick
July 07 2011, 04:35PM
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@Kent Wilson

I'm not sure if Semin is crying, yawning or about to turn into the Incredible Hulk in the picture.

As for trade options, I would think Ovie would have some influence on who gets traded, and I don't think he would like Semin traded. If they do trade Semin to the Flames, I hope that the Flames recognize that Semin is a winger who has played with top quality centers, which the Flames don't have so would he put up the same numbers with the Flames? Plus he is a UFA at the end of the season. I mean if we are going to be giving up our chances to build up our prospect pool by giving up draft picks, shouldn't it be for someone who is an RFA at the end of his contract such as Mike Green. They might not be shopping him, but it would give the Capitals the cap space and it would give us some contract control, plus a quality defensemen.

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#23 Knee high
July 07 2011, 04:46PM
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"I hope that the Flames recognize that Semin is a winger who has played with top quality centers,"

Not so. He occasionally gets time with Backstrom and Ovechkin, but he's usually carrying the 2nd line by himself, with a progression of guys like Brendan Morrison, Jason Arnott, Tomas Fleischmann (yes, really) and Marcus Johansson.

Despite that, Semin lead the Caps in scoring chance ratio and has elite ES scoring numbers, as well as elite PP production rates. I'll be very upset if Semin gets traded for anything less than an impact player that can carry a line; the Caps have Vokoun on the roster for a song, for one year. Why would they neuter their second line for that year?

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#24 SmellOfVictory
July 07 2011, 05:35PM
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I would accept a Semin/Bourque trade. Semin is the better overall player, but apparently salary dumps can be worth a fair bit as well, so maybe it'd be considered fair value by Washington.

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#25 First Name Unidentified
July 07 2011, 05:50PM
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Is it just me or anybody else also noticed that he (Semin) has never been given an extension longer than 2 years. (twice 2 yr, twice 1 yr extensions). I wonder why?

Also, he was suspended by the Caps, i think, in 2005 for not reporting to the AHL team. Plus, he has never really played a full season healthy. I'm not too keen on Semin, but will take Alzner any day. Did I say that already? I did, lol

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#26 grpunk
July 07 2011, 05:51PM
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What do you guys think the chances are of signing brendan morrison for a halway decent deal again this year

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#27 Dr. Nick
July 07 2011, 05:52PM
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@Knee high

Let me rephrase what I said when it comes to the centers Semin played with. Any center that Semin has played with, has had more skill than any centers the Flames currently have on their roster.

As for the elite ES and PP numbers and his ability to find scoring opportunities I am not denying that, but I think the Caps had a lot better transition game than most teams. So, while Semin could find scoring chances, he wasn't rushing end-to-end and then playing keep away. Other players gave him the time and space to get those chances, which I don't think the Flames could do.

I think that the Caps will be looking for a bounty of goodies for Semin and McPhee might be person who can get it, that is why I said if we are going to give up a lot to help the Caps it should be for a RFA. As for your expectations on the return for Semin, sometimes you don't get what you want. Every Flames fan thought we would get more than we did for Regehr, and I don't think anyone expected it would take a second round pick to get rid of Kotalik. The fact is the Capitals have a serious cap problem, and they need to solve it and unfortunately every NHL GM knows it.

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#28 rain dogs
July 07 2011, 06:08PM
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To Calgary: Alex Semin 2nd round pick

To Washington: Matt Stajan 1st Round Pick

Feast-man... make it happen.

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#29 Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea
July 07 2011, 06:16PM
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@rain dogs

Semin is waay too sketchy (performance, personality, likely to re-sign with Flames) to give up a likely top 10 pick in what is shaping up to be a great draft in 2012. Feaster must be talking to McPhee you would hope...

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#32 44stampede
July 07 2011, 08:23PM
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I had no idea that Semin was good beyond the normal boxcars. It does bode the question: why not lock the guy up for longer if you were the caps?

If we can get an elite talent while not giving up too much...why not? We have seen some pretty strange things happen this past year.

I am still blown away on the lack of return on one of the best shut down defenders in the league at a reasonable cap hit- Reggie in case you were wondering. I realize he is not exactly young but it does make you wonder how much cap space is worth.

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#33 RKD
July 07 2011, 10:42PM
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Regardless of a salary dump, I think Feaster would have to pay a steep price. I'm not sure I could see McPhee give up Alzner and Semin for Bourque and Hagman. Hopefully, Ted Leonsis is generous like Pegula. Ted's got deep pockets too.

Plus, Semin will be a UFA at the end of next season with a high price tag and I doubt the Flames would re-sign him.

Also, I'm not totally convinced Feaster has full autonomy. He's probably got a deal then goes to Ken King who then talks to Murray Edwards who then talks to 19 other guys and then it all filters back in reverse.

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#34 rain dogs
July 07 2011, 10:49PM
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@Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea

Perhaps.

When I first wrote that, I had included the name of one of our prospects as well.

We had to tack on a second to get rid of Kotalik and got nothing back.

I'd give up a first to ditch Stajan as long as I got something back... Semin would be fine return in my eyes.

As well, Stajan would likely waive his NTC to go to Washington since they are stacked.

I'd give Washington two picks (or a pick and prospect) and Stajan just to get rid of that ineffective, overpaid _______________.

Even if Semin didn't come back next year. With Stajan, Kotalik, Sarich, Staios, Hagman and Ivanins off the books we'd be in good shape.

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#35 everton fc
July 07 2011, 11:19PM
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I wonder if Green is obtainable? He's a hometown boy who may just want to come home. Is he worth a first round pick and a prospect?

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#36 PrairieStew
July 08 2011, 02:26AM
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rain dogs wrote:

Perhaps.

When I first wrote that, I had included the name of one of our prospects as well.

We had to tack on a second to get rid of Kotalik and got nothing back.

I'd give up a first to ditch Stajan as long as I got something back... Semin would be fine return in my eyes.

As well, Stajan would likely waive his NTC to go to Washington since they are stacked.

I'd give Washington two picks (or a pick and prospect) and Stajan just to get rid of that ineffective, overpaid _______________.

Even if Semin didn't come back next year. With Stajan, Kotalik, Sarich, Staios, Hagman and Ivanins off the books we'd be in good shape.

Capspace for next year is nigh on to useless, have you seen the list of players available ? Brent burns and patrick sharp and not much else.

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#37 the-wolf
July 08 2011, 06:58AM
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Seems like the issue is really this: how much is cap space worth? According to Feaster it's a lot.

I would not give up our 1st next year for Semin. Too short-sighted.

Alzner I would definitely pursue. After losing Phaneuf, Erixon, Regehr and Aulie we could really use a guy like Alzner, but I wouldn't go the offer sheet route. I think it's a crumby way of doing business that will come back to haunt later.

That said, it wouldn't surprise me to see Green being the one that goes.

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#38 Vintage Flame
July 08 2011, 09:01AM
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There is hopefully no way Calgary givea up it's 1st round pick for Semin. I agree, as Kent put it, the dude is good. But Flames just can't afford to trade it's first for a guy that is UFA in one year. That being said if the Flames can make a deal to Wash to get tgem out of Cap hell, then go for it.

I like the idea of Hagman going back the other way. Half of Semin's salary opens them up to sign Alzner. If Calgary could say deal Hagman, their 3rd and maybe a pick in 2013 for Semin and Wash's 2nd next year, I'd go for that.

I would also love to see the Flames snag Alzner. Love this kid. I watched him with the Hitmen and I agree that this kid is like a really young Regehr. I would be happier about gettin Alzner than Semin... IMO.

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#39 Vintage Flame
July 08 2011, 09:05AM
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everton fc wrote:

I wonder if Green is obtainable? He's a hometown boy who may just want to come home. Is he worth a first round pick and a prospect?

What really makes me shake my head is Mike Green was drafted at #29 by the Caps. To put that in perspective, the Flames took Chris Chucko at 24...

That being said.. flames can't give up 1st and prospect to get the Caps under the Cap!.. Makes no sense.

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#40 Luc
July 08 2011, 09:39AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

What really makes me shake my head is Mike Green was drafted at #29 by the Caps. To put that in perspective, the Flames took Chris Chucko at 24...

That being said.. flames can't give up 1st and prospect to get the Caps under the Cap!.. Makes no sense.

and you think the caps will take HAGMAN and a 3rd for one the best players in the league JUST to make room? my friend be realistic.

we dont have the horses to get semin realistically. thats why id go for alzner. giving only only prospects with exceptions of (as colin stated) backlund, reinhart, and baertschi. plus the kids a stud.

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#42 everton fc
July 08 2011, 09:59AM
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I like Green. Think he could be a nice fit here, at home. Hagman going the other way for Green... maybe a pick in the 2nd/3rd round of a deep 2012 draft...

As for the Flames taking Chucko over hometown boy Green.... Typical.

Could Stajan or Hagman, a first/second rounder in a deep draft... and a prospect... Get us Semin AND Green? One can dream on a Friday.... Look at what the Flames gave up to get Butler and Byron. People call it a "salary dump"... This would give the Caps all the space they need. (Again, one can dream...)

Just how over-stocked are the Caps? That's everyone's question for McPhee (loved when he went toe-to-toe w/Tochett years ago and stood his ground. One of the great scraps of yesteryear. As good a GN as he was a role-player, in my opinion...)

(No other thoughts on Desbiens? He's my 2011-2012 Jackman storyline. You heard it here first, regardless of how my prediction turns out!)

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#43 everton fc
July 08 2011, 10:00AM
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I really like Gleason. And Peverly.

The Flames will keep Moss, me thinks.

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#44 JF
July 08 2011, 10:01AM
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I'm not interested in giving up futures for what would likely be a 1 year rental (Semin). Plus it's not like we have a ton of cap space ourselves we'd have to move more then Hagman/Stajan in order to fit him in.

Alzner on the other hand I would take. But since I figure Washington would want to deal him for zero money back we're stuck with having to offer high picks (which we're short on) and/or blueish chip prospects (which we're also short on).

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#45 everton fc
July 08 2011, 10:01AM
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No one would move Backlund for Alzner? I would.

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#46 Vintage Flame
July 08 2011, 10:12AM
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Luc wrote:

and you think the caps will take HAGMAN and a 3rd for one the best players in the league JUST to make room? my friend be realistic.

we dont have the horses to get semin realistically. thats why id go for alzner. giving only only prospects with exceptions of (as colin stated) backlund, reinhart, and baertschi. plus the kids a stud.

Actually what I said was Hagman and 2 picks. It's not unrealistic considering Wash gave up a 1st for Troy Brouwer? In a salary dump situation you can get some pretty good deals. Not to mention if Was wanted him back tehy cold easly tender him an offer next year when he becomes a UFA.

I also said I would prefer the Alzner alternative if choosing between him and Semin.

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#47 Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea
July 08 2011, 10:23AM
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Granted, the Flames draft record is not strong especially when compared to the Caps. They have been uncanny with their late 1st and 2nd round picks. However, I don't think it's fair to slag the Flames for picking Chucko over Green. Can you tell me which of the late 1st rounders this year will pan out? How about those in 2010? 2009? After the first three picks it gets very difficult. That said, I think Semin was picked 13th...we can only hope the same for our Swiss boy.

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#48 Prairie Chicken by-the-Sea
July 08 2011, 10:27AM
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I am doing an about-face, but I would trade our 2012 1st rounder for Alzner. He went no. 5 and what are the chances we'd get a stud like that in 2012? I'd take the sure thing. I also think that we will be pleasantly surprised with Butler this year (in spite of Feaster saying the same thing yesterday!).

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#50 ALL THE WAY IN
July 08 2011, 10:55AM
Trash it!
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trashes
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props
Kevin R wrote:

No way I would give Bourque up for a 1 year rental. No one helped us when we were in Cap hell, if anything we got bent over pretty bad in the RR deal. If Wash need/want to sign Perrault & Alzner & want to dump Semin to do it, the return is already that cap space. Hagman or Stajan, they can take there pick & thats it. If they want value back then lets talk deal. We had to give our 2nd & RR to get rid of 3.0Mill of Kotalik for 1 lousy year. So Hagman(or Stajan), Nemitz for Semin & Perrault. If they want to throw in Alzner then I would replace Hagman/Stajan for Bourque & a 3rd rounder in a heartbeat. But Im sure they can probably get a better deal from the Leafs or Florida. We just arent in a position to parlay our cap space for anyone until next year.

Couldn't agree more. Bouque is an awsome cap hit, for a player that can score 30+ and kill penelties and I would be very upset if it went through. But in the same token, If we were to miss the playoffs Semin will be worth a lot more to team which are looking to bulk up at the trade deadline and possibly expedite the rebuild, if we are going that route. If we can someway, somehow get rid of Stajan's contract... who am i kidding? There is only one GM that would take Stajan's contract and Sutter is currently unemployed.

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