At the wheel of a rudderless ship

Ryan Lambert
August 29 2011 04:18PM

 

With Daymond Langkow traded, Jay Feaster has to figure out what the hell it is he thinks he's doing. And fast.

The problem I have — as any observer of the Calgary Flames, partial or impartial,  with a brain should — with the Daymond Langkow trade is that it quite literally doesn't make any sense from any angle.

Now, I understand that Feaster claims this was a move made to improve the team but unless I'm missing something, Lee Stempniak is in no way better for this or any hockey team than Daymond Langkow. It's very, very possible that he knows something we don't about Langkow's neck, of course, but that would obviously out in that whole "pending a physical" part of the deal, nullifying the trade and wasting everyone's time.

So, what is this trade? It is, in theory, a swap for a younger guy with a smaller salary and a contract free of a no-movement clause, which Langkow had to waive to make this happen. But that younger, cheaper, more moveable guy is appreciably worse than Langkow. Don Maloney said he thought Stemniak would get 20 goals "in a bad year." He had 19 last year. So much for buying low.

But what it also accomplishes, apart from freeing up money and making the team worse, is to highlight that Jay Feaster is, once again, torn between blowing the whole thing up and trying (and probably failing) to make the playoffs.

Again, he says he wants to play in the postseason (presumably so the team can get pummeled by Vancouver or San Jose or Detroit or Chicago). I'll take him at his word on that. But between the Regehr trade and this downgrade in forward talent, that's not exactly evident. Calgary was a bubble team last year that got off to a terrible start but probably deserved to miss the playoffs. But if Miikka Kiprusoff improved and the offense stayed the same, the Flames could have easily snuck in this coming season. Hell, it probably would have happened with a healthy Langkow rather than a replacement-level center getting more minutes. The nothing-to-play-for Flames went 3-0-1 with Langkow in the lineup last year and looked markedly more organized than they did without him.

But saying you want to make the playoffs is quite a different thing from taking action to reflect those desires. To this point, they are, obviously, opposite things. What this looks like, in reality, is the Flames dealing from a position of not-much-strength (center) to acquire an iffy player who will be asked to play second-line minutes and presumably fill David Moss's spot on the right wing, which, given his defensive abilities, is, y'know, not desirable for a team that wants to improve defensively. It's essentially moving David Moss to center so that he can be replaced with a player the organization hopes can be as effective in his all-around game as David Moss.

Between this and the Regehr trade, this is starting to look like a selloff of movable pieces, but a rather passive one. You can't say you want to get better as a team, then address the team's painfully glaring weakness (defense) by trading the No. 3 defenseman for relative peanuts and a quality two-way center for a right wing who, yes, scores about 19 goals a year, but also doesn't drive possession.

So no, this team hasn't really gotten better overall in the offseason, excepting the addition of Scott Hannan, who may or may not be able to replicate Robyn Regehr's success, such as it was. And if Feaster thinks it has, he's nuts. But the problem is it also hasn't gotten worse to the point that a true, if unpleasant, selloff of players other teams may want for picks and prospects (so the team can return to an acceptable quality down the road) is a feasible option either. If anyone of note from the team were traded now, they'd be outside the Saddledome with pitchforks. Especially because Feaster keeps talking loudly to anyone that cares to listen about making the playoffs in 2012.

And so the Flames will continue to be what they have been: mediocre, and probably just not-good-enough to make the playoffs at all. But more importantly, they will continue to be what they have been since Feaster started: directionless.

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Graham
August 30 2011, 10:14AM
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People need to decide what they want here:

October-April "This team is too old, too slow, too expensive. Blow up the core, rebuild/retool!"

In the meantime: Feaster and company ship 12 million cap dollars out of town. All of which were north of 31 years old, have battled injuries in recent years, and were - to some degree - willing to part ways with the Flames. 2 of these players were considered part of the core, and in exchange, the Flames have gotten younger, qucker and less expensive.

August: "WTF is Feaster doing? He's trading away our serviceable veterans for younger alternatives??? Our team isn't as good without Langkow & Regehr."

... You don't say. I get that everyone wants to trade Stajan & Hagman for draft picks but this isn't a video game. I'm a big fan of Langkow, but frankly: I don't know how there was any interest in the market because of all the uncertainty with his injury, age, and high cap hit. There was interest, so you deal him - get younger/faster, and save 2.6mill of cap space in the process. You're almost never going to get promising young prospects or top-line centers in return for your aging veterans on a non-playoff team. You're likely going to give up the best player in the deal. This is what a rebuild/retool/re-whatever feels like. You were begging for exactly this, and it's happening - so get used to it.

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#2 Sincity1976
August 29 2011, 05:42PM
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Overreaction. Feaster got decent value for Langkow. And he is directionless. He is clearly looking for the big fish to go between Tanguay and Iginla and is maintaining cap flexibility to do it. He tried to get Richards. I don't know if he goes after Lecavlier, Spezza, Stasney, or someone else but I think he will give it a shot.

If you are going to clear cap space there are worse ways then unloading aging players with bloated contracts. Even if they are effective aging players with bloated contracts. The return has been fair, especially for the Langkow deal.

That all said I agree we are worse following this team then we were before it. I would also like to hear Feaster come out and say "we were looking to move X player". This "we really didn't think about moving X player, but a team came along with an offer and we went ... aha, didn't think about that one." It doesn't inspire confidence.

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#3 Sincity1976
August 29 2011, 05:43PM
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@Sincity1976

Whoops. Meant he is NOT directionless. I guess I should start signing in so I can edit these darn things.

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#4 lifeistooshort2liveinEdm
August 29 2011, 05:54PM
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Really Lambert? Now that Vintage is here is there any chance that you can be cut?

Yes if Langkow circa 2006 was being traded this looks like another bad deal. But I think we all know that is not the case. If you don't believe me, go watch Langks '08 playoff performance. He was about as effective as a lambskin condom, and a lot more expensive (yes, I know he didn't actually get paid for playoff games so save your witty reparte).

As far as Stempniak goes, this is EXACTLY the type of guy we want to bring. Multi-use, and limited risk. Yes we have even worse depth at centre, but I will take this trade all day, every day. If Moss/Backlund/Jokinen don't respond well to the added icetime this year, I'm ok with that. It was time to fish or cut bait with our centre corps regardless, and we will have a much better idea of where we stand going forward.

Before you write another article, maybe ask Kent to do it for you.

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#5 Sworkhard
August 29 2011, 05:57PM
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Sometimes you have to part with good players to improve your club long term. Both Langkow and Regehr fit into that mold. They are good players, but won't be in their prime in a few years when the team potentially has a chance to go somewhere in the playoffs. They can be big difference makers in the playoffs right now, but considering we missed them for the past two years and have started a rebuild for the future, these moves make sense.

It's a time of transition for the team right now, and anytime a team starts moving younger and trying to rebuild without completely crashing and burning, people will scream how the moves are only making the team worse. You argue it's only a one year deal and doesn't make the team better. You argue that as we likely don't have a use for the cap space at the start of the season, it's a stupid move. Your probably right about it make the team worse, but only for this year.

However, cap space is critical for any team trying to rebuild and acquire young talent. If the only deals we can make as the season goes on are player vs player deals, we won't have any chance of grabbing a difference maker for a bargain when a team decides to blow things up in a panic during the year. In addition, there has been almost no talk about winning the cup this year from management, as they didn't even make the playoffs last year. If you can't move out older players for younger players with more potential, that's not likely to change. Then there's still the conversation about making room for prospects when short term injuries occur (ie 3-4 game injuries that don't qualify for LTIR and happen early in the season).

I do not expect this to be the last move that's unpopular with certain people, but this teams goal is to make the playoffs and create a culture of winning while developing our prospects and giving them a real chance at making the NHL. That's a tall order for any team in our position and I get the sense that creating a winning, fun environment and giving our prospects a chance is of a higher priority than winning the cup this year, as the cup won't be won before a winning environment is fully established. By looking at this trade in terms of what it can do for us in 2-3 years instead of a right now, both this trade and the Regehr trade make a lot more sense.

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#6 Justin Azevedo
August 29 2011, 06:10PM
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I look forward to another non-playoff year.

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#7 Tim
August 29 2011, 07:02PM
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I think some of you, especially the author of this article need to wake up! No one is going to give a prospect or a pick for a guy that is a)35 years old, b)is at best an unknown commodity c)a+b+4.5million cap hit. Like him or not Feaster got fair market value.

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#8 JayD54
August 29 2011, 09:22PM
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It seems that there are a lot of folks whose view of the current state of the Flames reflects a 'glass half empty' perspective.

I, for one, think differently.

For example, the trade executed today provides over $2.5 million in cap space and returns a very serviceable winger who plays well in both ends of the rink, has demonstrated that 20 goals is a reasonable expectation and makes the club younger. All of these are positives when comparing the roster of wingers to that of last year.

Yes, we had to give up a player who I really enjoyed watching in Flames livery, a guy who you knew would give you all he had every night.

But, Flames fans, change is what we have been looking for and now that it is arriving, why the complaints? By being so close to our team, perhaps we have some over estimation of what an individual Flame may call for on the open market (although disappointed in the return for Regehr, I will keep an open mind on Butler and Byron). Mr. Feaster appears to be putting his own plan in play. Its about time we allowed it to show itself on the ice before harping that he hasn't done anything good.

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#9 joey joe joe jr shabadoo
August 30 2011, 01:03AM
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what is it with these blow-hards already proclaiming Feaster has 'no idea'what he's doing? What nonsense.

Take a good long look around. This year isn't about 'getting better' it's simply about putting themselves in the position to get better in 2012. This deal is a wash. The Flames end up trading an (at this point in time) unkown asset for a player who can play top-9 mins.Stempniak is cheaper, younger, and only has one year left on his deal with no NMC/NTC which would be much easier to move down the line should the flames want to. Furthur more, this probably ensures Backlund will see some quality mins this season, something I think most Flames fans have wanted to see.

Some have brought up the suggestion the Flames could've heald on to Langkow till the deadline, and yeah maybe they could've. But then again Langkow could've told the flames 'forget it, I'm not going anywhere'. Afterall he does have a NTC and as a result has a bit of control in regards to where he's going, and when he's going. Feaster probably had a window and a few teams Langkow would go to and he acted on it.I'm not sure what you would expect the Flames to get for Daymond Langkow at this point in his career.

I don't really see how this trade warrants the "Feaster has no idea' response. It is way too early to start this BS. A year from now, you could probably make that claim, but lets be honest here. Feaster and the flames are still trying to clean up Sutter's mess. If you expect them to turn Chicken Sh*t into Chicken salad in less than a year, you're delussional.

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#10 Kent Wilson
August 29 2011, 04:20PM
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I'll say the deal only makes sense if management assumed Langkow was broken and not going to return in his previous form. If so, this is all defensible to some degree.

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#12 mslepp
August 29 2011, 04:33PM
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I agree with many points in this article in regards to Jay Feaster.

Although, technically, the addition of Lee Stempniak DOES make the Flames better than last season. Maybe not better than a Flames team with a healthy and productive Lanks, tho.

But, bottom line, Feaster lost this trade when the Coyotes came calling. And that's unacceptable (but par for the Feaster course).

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#13 matt wilson
August 29 2011, 04:41PM
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Langkow is a great player with a high cap hit. I wasn't sold on this trade at first, but i can see where they're (Management) coming from. At 1.9 for Stempniak you're essentially adding him to the team at no cost (considering Langkow only played 4 games last year). He's young, he can score, and it's a one year term. These are all things that the flames need at this point, and will help them in the long run if the plan is to re-build or re-tool for the future. Loved Lanks, he was one of my faves, but we all knew things would be changing.

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#14 Shutout
August 29 2011, 04:45PM
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The organization is at a crossroads they dont want to be. They desperately want to make the playoffs and as such they are determined that they are not going to move their most tradeable commodity in Iginla. If you are afraid to trade Iginla because of fan response than you are not looking at rebuilding but are instead trying to make the playoffs. The problem is that logic looks at the current team, and current core, and says that this is a group that is not good enough to make the playoffs and is therefore a team in need of change.

So all of the moves that they make are always at cross purposes. Ryan could not have said it any better that they are a team that is in need of a solid direction.

Maybe Feaster smells a deal coming into training camp or when the cap has to be met and is making sure he has the available space to take advantage of the situation to make another deal.

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#15 Graham
August 29 2011, 04:46PM
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Given the return, the only way this team is better without Langkow and Regehr is in the financial world, not in the hockey world.

With the death of Harley, you have to wonder if the other owners are pushing for a reduced payroll. Feaster has pulled another Regehr type move, replace a key part with a cheaper, but less effective option...

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#16 Nolan Moore
August 29 2011, 05:08PM
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Is it at all possible, that Phoenix buys out Langs and Calgary signs him to like a 1 year $1m?

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#17 SmellOfVictory
August 29 2011, 05:12PM
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Nolan Moore wrote:

Is it at all possible, that Phoenix buys out Langs and Calgary signs him to like a 1 year $1m?

There is literally zero percent chance of that occurring. You don't trade for an expensive player in order to buy them out.

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#18 Casey
August 29 2011, 05:13PM
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Langkow is 34 years old and has played 4 games in the last 18 months and is set to make $4.5M on a contract that is up at the end of the year. The guy has very little value as far as I'm concerned. The odds of him getting back to his old level of play are minimal, and he is one hit away from retirement (or paralysis).

I really didn't see Langkow having a major role this year. At least I certainly wasn't banking on it.

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#19 Kevin R
August 29 2011, 05:14PM
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Ryan, I think there is more of a plan than you think, it just hasnt been advertised yet. There seems to be a common denominator: -Hannan 1 year term -Morrison 1 year term -Butler 2 year term -Babchuk 2 year term -Glencross 3year term (1 year longer because of the discount) -Stempniak has 1 year left Tanguay was the only anomole & that was he needed that top line player with Iggy but also needed a decent cap hit & at 3.5mill per Tanguay will not hurt us. This looks like a team that can go rebuild/reboot in a New York minute. If we struggle come January & even the Oilers are ahead of us in the standings, Feaster can really shift gears awful quick. Pieces we need to be Cup competitive cannot fit until more contracts fall off after this year. This team short of Regehr, is the same that had that run last year. If they horribly underachieve, I would say the fan base will be ready for a rebuild/reboot & no one would be untouchable. Feaster is smart, when in doubt, let the team performance direct the hard decisions to come. 3 years of no playoffs screams change all over it & no one can blame Feaster with that reality staring at us. My evaluation of Feaster starts at the end of February.

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#20 Section205
August 29 2011, 05:31PM
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Ryan, this article is a bit over the top, as is your style, but you are right that this trade on its own does not improve our team on the ice. We lost a rare, two-dimensional forward capable of playing tough minutes.

Stempniak is a decent player and is cheap. Now we have room to make 1 or 2 more deals.

Feaster needs to use the space to improve the forward group (defensively, in particular), but what causes you to doubt that Feaster is headed that direction?

I would be unpleasantly surprised if this is the lineup for game 1 of the regular season. Wouldn't it be great if everything could get done at once via 3-way-trades?

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#21 Frank
August 29 2011, 05:58PM
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I agree with this article 100%. I soured on Feaster the second he forced Conroy into retirement, only to trade a draft pick for Freddy Modin some weeks later. Imagine what a Pittsburgh, Philly, Wash, Detroit etc would have given for a guy like Lanks come deadline time. Dont want to wait that long? Then Im sure any team with early injuries down the middle would have given up something more tangible than the likes of Lee Stempniak. No body in their right mind would think that this team has improved in any fashion over the summer. At this point, nothing short of a mirracle season will get this bunch into the playoffs.

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#22 Frank
August 29 2011, 06:02PM
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Hey lifeistooshort2liveinEdm ,

Way to attack the contributors. Just what we need here. You must be a Canucks fan.

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#23 lifeistooshort2liveinedm
August 29 2011, 06:22PM
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For sure Frank. That's why I said Lee was exactly the kind of guy WE should bring in. As a self-loathing canucks fan, I like to troll flamesnation and identify myself with the team.

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#24 Frank
August 29 2011, 06:42PM
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Hey lifeistooshort2liveinedm,

Then perhaps you should think twice before making personal attacks on the article contributors. Take that BS to some other website where that kind of Canucks mentality is encouraged.

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#25 maimster
August 29 2011, 06:48PM
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I completely agree with the tenor of this article. This move does not appear to make this team better - it's not a disaster, of course, and Stempniak is fine. But if you're on a one-year plan (make the playoffs this year and hope, and then worry about the "new" Flames next year when all the contracts expire), this is a questionable move. And if you're on the long-term plan (hope to make the playoffs this year but not really expect to because you're building for the future)...well, this move doesn't fit in with that either.

I really need to sit and think hard to determine if there really is a plan here.

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#26 MC Hockey
August 29 2011, 07:12PM
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I think some of y'all are missing the point of this trade. Three things justify the trade: Money, Future, and Depth.

1. Depth: I think Feaster was telling the truth when saying we had centre-ice depth so Langkow was tradeable as you have Backlund, Jokinen, Morrison, Moss (likely), even Kostopolous, and also up-and-comers like Nemisz at Centre....but I also think the owners asked him to spend less (see #2).

2. Money: Here is some math on owners saving some of it. I have heard a few times in past years (perhaps someone can second me) that every playoff game brings around $1M in extra revenue to the team owners. Thus if you want to break even or not lose so much money in a year when you may miss the playoffs, then save about 2.0 to 2.5M in salaries. But, if a trade deadline, things look good, then perhaps add back those salaries (via trade).

3. On future: Removing last season's 4-game mini-season, Langkow's basic statistics (G & A)are declining every year steadily and he is 35 in late September so getting a much younger 28-year old scoring winger will replace DL's offense while Brendan Morrison can replace his other skills. And if Stempniak sucks, well, he is only $1.9M and contract runs out in 2012 also. Also, we need to give players like Nemisz, Horak, and others a chance to learn to play centre in the NHL, not just the AHL (perhaps on the 3rd line in NHL when injuries happen).

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#27 MC Hockey
August 29 2011, 07:42PM
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Agree with Sincity1976 in his post and re-post which said: "Overreaction. Feaster got decent value for Langkow. And he is NOT (corrected) directionless. He is clearly looking for the big fish" (for Iggy and Tangs)...AGREED..and using capgeek.com we see that next year some top centres like Parise, Semin, and even Kunitz are all availble as UFAs.

Then Sincity says "If you are going to clear cap space there are worse ways then unloading aging players with bloated contracts. Even if they are effective aging players with bloated contracts. The return has been fair, especially for the Langkow deal" AGREED, you can clear alot of space via one guy in Langkow who may be overpaid or get re-injured....and you need to the team to get younger soon

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#28 ChinookArch
August 29 2011, 08:16PM
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@Kevin R

Well put. I'm not happy about this trade, but I like your theory on short- term contacts giving the Flames the flexibility they need to make changes.

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#29 KingJafi
August 29 2011, 08:52PM
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The Feast doesn't know what the flip he is doing. That's a fact. He never has and probably never will. But the owners don't have a clue what they're doing either cause they gave the guy a job in the first place. I dont cheer for my teams to tank but if the Flames are bad enough this year, hopefully we will all be rewarded by a major house cleaning top down. And honestly I hope Weisbrod doesn't weasel himself into a GM job like he did with the Magic and Feaster did with the Lightning and the Flames. Everyone needs to go...and that includes K Squared.

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#30 RKD
August 29 2011, 09:57PM
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I'm not in ownership, but the thinking is their window to win a Stanley Cup is still open, despite the fact the Flames had 4 first round exits and two missed playoff seasons.

They refuse to trade Iggy and Kipper because they feel those two can still lead the charge and bring them a Stanley Cup.

They don't want to blow up the team, tank for a few seasons and build through the draft.

Right now, the trading of Reggie and Langs is a more passive rebuild. Feaster keeps saying he won't trade Iggy, but maybe he's being blocked.

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#31 Subversive
August 29 2011, 11:08PM
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I firmly agree with this article (since I just blasted Steinberg for his, I thought I should speak up and support yours). There's just no reasonable defense for this trade.

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#32 Vintage Flame
August 29 2011, 11:29PM
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As much as I am discouraged that Langkow is leaving, I can't say I'm surprised. Many people were convinced that it was going to be Langkow centering the Iginla line, and that very well may have ended up being the case.

I'm personally discouraged by the trade because of the effect Langks had when playing with Bourque or any underwhelming winger for that matter. Part of the speculation was that if Bourque was to have a bounce back year it would largely have been because of #22.

However, there is no guarantee that Langks was coming back as the same player he was 18 months ago. I believe he could do it, but it was by no means a guarantee. Sure the Flames were 3-0-1 in Langkow's return last year, but that easily could have been the euphoria of having Daymond back and also the hot streak they were already on.

All-in-all, I'm not that broken up with the deal, much to the same reasoning as the Regehr deal. Langkow doesn't fit in with the direction the Flames are going. As a UFA, he would have been pretty hard to deal at any point this season. I think Feaster made a pretty decent move when Phx came calling.

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#33 the-wolf
August 30 2011, 06:43AM
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Not sure I understand the argument thant ther'e no guarantte re: Langkow's play. Is there one re: Stempniaks? Or is there a guarantee Langkow won't be his usual effective self?

And as far as being ready to do a rebuild at any time, that just lends credence to the cross-purposes of all these moves as RL stated. You're going to do a rebuild, but have failed to maximize (in a pure hockey sense) the values of Regehr or Langkow (who would've been worth a decent deal at the deadline).

To me, you keep your team from last year, plus Langkow, and go for it based on the "great second half theory" and then, if it fails, trade everyone for max value at the deadline.

But this, I don't see how you accomplish either goal.

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#34 icedawg_42
August 30 2011, 08:12AM
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I think you are being too harsh on this deal. It's ONE year either way. At least this way if a "bigger fish" swims by, they can cast in and try to hook it instead of watching it swim by. Is the on-ice team better today? of course not. I dont like the glut of "2A/2B line" guys that this team has had for the better part of 2 seasons now, any more than you do - but change is painful. 1.9 million is not a kick in the nuts to look at a guy for a season. If he doesnt pan out, then add another name to the mix of contracts that are off the books at the end of the season. Langkow has long been a "core" piece of this team, and rightly so, but you aren't going to make ANY dent in this mess by moving like for like - aka moving Hagman to bring in another Hagman. This probably is another 9-11 finish in the making, but it was going to be anyway. Maybe Feaster/Sutter have designs on taking a run at Suter or something to that effect. Bottom line is that you can't make any significant changes, without making...significant changes. Not every trade is going to immediately improve the on ice product

And as far as maximizing trade value for these players, we have no idea what the market for Reggie or Langks was at all - we all know that Reggie was actively shopped..which means presumably the Flames got the best deal they could. No GM is going to take a bath on a trade just to help the Flames make the playoffs

Geez - I don't think I've ever agreed with Joey-Joe Joe before - mark your calendars everyone lol!

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#35 rubbertrout
August 30 2011, 08:18AM
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@Sworkhard

My issue is that on the one hand the management says they are in a "win now" position. Getting worse doesn't help this.

If they are changing horses mid-stream and saying this is a move for the future--which is entirely onconsistent with their stated objective--that is dumb too. Langkow's cap hit is off the books next year. They could have rode it out until the end of the year. Plus, if he had a chance to make another playoff run with a contender I think he'd have waived the NTC for a playoff run. With a fairly modest amount of cash left on the deal by deadline day the team may have received some kind of return for him.

Iggy and Kipper are on the downward slide of their careers. Making a middling move like this for the "future" is horrible asset management.

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#36 icedawg_42
August 30 2011, 08:39AM
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@rubbertrout

methinks the "win now" thing is just lip-service for the season tickets holders. I personally wouldnt want to come out and say "Yeah - we're retooling and we figure we're 4 years out of the playoffs" - just my take.

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#37 Scott
August 30 2011, 09:45AM
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How can anyone say this is good for the long term goals of the team? Langkow was a UFA at the end of the year and so is Stempniak. So looking long term, at the end of the season whether we traded Langkow or kept him, we are the exact same team. Therefore no long term improvement, and everyone knows that this trade did not improve the team these year as well. So no short term gain, no long term gain. To me that sounds like a bad trade.

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#38 Domebeers.com
August 30 2011, 09:49AM
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It's a good trade if it gets Ken King and Feaster out of the Saddledome by the end of the year.

I just want to reflect on the fact that we have traded 3 players fromt he mythical core that Darryl assembled, Dion, Langkow, and Reggie, and what have we gotten back? Stajan, Butler, Byron, Stempniak, and Badsuck, sorta. Thats the type of return that will set a franchise back 5 years or more.

Everyone involved in those moves should lose their jobs, and to date, only Darryl has.

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#39 icedawg_42
August 30 2011, 10:39AM
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@Graham

Well said.

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#40 Dano0049
August 30 2011, 10:43AM
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IMO it sucks to see Lanks go but him getting reinjured, or worse, and him being half the player he was before the injury were concerns that the org and fans had. I hope that he has a good year and that he can retire healthy and happy in Phoenix after this season.

I also hope that we make the playoffs but not making the playoffs this year and getting a higher pick is fine with me as well, it is a deep draft and we need more prospects. Then we re-tool in the off season through FA and trades and get back in the playoffs next season with a hopefully better team that can make a run and not just get punted in the first round. My point being, I don't really think this trade makes us that much worse or that much better but having the flexibility for trade deadline, waivers or unforseen sell offs is great for us and isn't something we are used to having. Who knows maybe Stajan and Stempniak or Stempniak and Bourque have chemistry and make each other better. We could have a Maple Flame Line of Hagman-Stajan-Stempniak if the chemistry shows.

In my mind line combos are now as follows: Tangs-Backlund-Iggy Stempniak-Pumpkin Head-Bourque Glencross-Moss-Jackman Hags-Stajan-Kostopolous Extras PL3, Bouma

Gio-Bouwmeester Hannan-Butler Babs-Sarich Extra Carson

Defense may be switched around a bit.

Who knows maybe someone goes on a tear in the preseason and moves some of these guys around (think Howse, Niemez, Brodie, Bouma etc).

Sorry for the long post.

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#41 the-wolf
August 30 2011, 10:53AM
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Graham wrote:

People need to decide what they want here:

October-April "This team is too old, too slow, too expensive. Blow up the core, rebuild/retool!"

In the meantime: Feaster and company ship 12 million cap dollars out of town. All of which were north of 31 years old, have battled injuries in recent years, and were - to some degree - willing to part ways with the Flames. 2 of these players were considered part of the core, and in exchange, the Flames have gotten younger, qucker and less expensive.

August: "WTF is Feaster doing? He's trading away our serviceable veterans for younger alternatives??? Our team isn't as good without Langkow & Regehr."

... You don't say. I get that everyone wants to trade Stajan & Hagman for draft picks but this isn't a video game. I'm a big fan of Langkow, but frankly: I don't know how there was any interest in the market because of all the uncertainty with his injury, age, and high cap hit. There was interest, so you deal him - get younger/faster, and save 2.6mill of cap space in the process. You're almost never going to get promising young prospects or top-line centers in return for your aging veterans on a non-playoff team. You're likely going to give up the best player in the deal. This is what a rebuild/retool/re-whatever feels like. You were begging for exactly this, and it's happening - so get used to it.

No offense intended, but poppy cock. You're arguing apples and oranges - desired direction vs. proper asset management. It's the latter a lot of people have issues with.

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#42 Tonelli's Stache
August 30 2011, 01:45PM
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This article seems extremely reactionary and this trade doesn't provide the justification of the theme of the article. It's obvious the trade frees up money but we have no clue whether this make the Flames worse or more competitive.

One of the statements was a little surprising: "The problem I have — as any observer of the Calgary Flames, partial or impartial, with a brain should — with the Daymond Langkow trade is that it quite literally doesn't make any sense from any angle."

I think that the trade does make sense from several angles and fits the strategy of getting younger and providing cap flexibility which may or may not work out but is certainly something I am looking forward to experiencing.

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#43 Scott
August 30 2011, 03:22PM
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@Tonelli's Stache

Getting younger and cap space is nice, but if your skill level decrease, it will result in less wins. I think that's what makes this trade awful.

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#44 Jeff Lebowski
August 30 2011, 06:37PM
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I could not DISAGREE with this article more. Quite simply the Flames direction has needed the kind of changes Feaster is making since 2005. Feaster is unwinding the terrible contracts that have bogged this team down for years and have left them in the non playoff wilderness for the past two seasons. Even aesthetically the Flames have been playing an unappealing brand of hockey favoured by Darryl Sutter that was only tolerable because they managed to have some success on the ice. To put it simply, in the past the Flames have been a team built heavily on grit and defensive play with a little bit of skill sprinkled in. Now they want to have more skill entered into the equation. It is a fine balance and I think Feaster has done well to shape the team into one that will be successful in post lockout NHL. Feaster knows that offensive hockey (creativity, scoring off the rush) is the style that the league is trying to favour (rule changes since 05 and the things they are looking to tweak now ie making nets shallower to create more space behind the nets for offensive chances etc). If that is the case then you need offensive skill players. They are the hardest commodity to find and therefore the most expensive to own. You can NOT tie up money like $4.05M and $4.5M on players like Regher and Langkow who only bring defensive value to a team when you can get players of similar value ie Hannan and Stempniak for 1/4 the price. If you look at NHL rosters including the Flames how many players came through the Flame's system (drafted and developed)? Not many. The Flames previous indentity or philosophy has not been well recieved by the market otherwise you would see these types of players around the league let alone the Flames own roster. So with this in mind Feaster decided to draft for skill this year. Rudderless ship? No freaking way. There is not just one way to reshape an organization ie sell off everything and start accruing prospects and short term loses in order to get high draft order. Edmonton chose that path mostly because they were way off from making the playoffs and they couldn't get free agents to go there. Calgary is close as witnessed by their point totals in their last two years. What Feaster is doing is chipping away at the bad contracts and opening cap space for players that can put up numbers. Look at Tanguay: for what he can do for Iginla and the Flames offense (lead the powerplay) Feaster got him for $3.5M. Stellar! Regher and Langkow turn into Hannan and Morrison plus the kids we got in return and at the salaries for the latter two. Stellar! You clearly overvalue Regher and Langkow (and other defensive players like them) and the current market does as well. Feaster is just bringing the Flames up to speed with the current philosophy and market of the NHL. Some say that is young and cheap but really it's offensive and at a premium. Eventually the young offensive players get paid well. You can get the value Langkow et al bring to the table for dirt cheap (Really that just means experinced older players that will do any role to stay in the league). I would love it if he could do the same for the contracts of: Bouwmeester, Stajan, Hagman, Sarich and possibly Bourque (what kind of production will he be putting up at the end of his deal?. If he could turn those contracts into offensive assets (while getting cheap replacements) that would be amazing for this franchise.

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#45 Frank
August 30 2011, 11:21PM
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Amen to Domebeers! Both King and Feaster need to be given walking papers after this season. King is a newspaper guy who somehow landed a job with the flames, and there's a reason Feaster didnt land a GM job after leaving Tampa. God help us if Feaster is ever allowed to move Iggy!

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#46 the-wolf
August 31 2011, 07:20AM
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Frank wrote:

Amen to Domebeers! Both King and Feaster need to be given walking papers after this season. King is a newspaper guy who somehow landed a job with the flames, and there's a reason Feaster didnt land a GM job after leaving Tampa. God help us if Feaster is ever allowed to move Iggy!

If he does, it'll be to free up cap space and for a marginal player in return. It'd be fun to see how lauded he is then.

I'll state it again. People don't generally have a problem with who Feaster moved, they have a problem with the returns. 2 different things.

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#47 CitizenFlame
September 01 2011, 12:37AM
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the-wolf wrote:

If he does, it'll be to free up cap space and for a marginal player in return. It'd be fun to see how lauded he is then.

I'll state it again. People don't generally have a problem with who Feaster moved, they have a problem with the returns. 2 different things.

How are you rating the returns without letting them playout? What's the basis of your time frame? It may take Butler 2-3 years, but what if he turns into the shut down #2-3 d-man? He'll be what 27 and entering the prime of his career? Or Stempniak is what he is, but the $2.6 mil saved in the trade allows the Flames to bring in a more expensive trade option in mid season? It's too early to call these failures.

A rebuild doesn't have to be entirely through the draft. It usually consists of drafting & developing well, while including shrewd FA signings and trades; which can't be judged in August.

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