January 27 2012 09:11AM
If you missed it yesterday, make sure to check out Cam Charron's article on Scott Gomez and why the Canadiens most expensive forward is probably better than you think.
Brief summary: Gomez drives the play north. The Canadiens have the puck more when he plays and they tend to win more. His lack of goal scoring coupled with his outrageous cap hit stains his public perception, but the truth is he makes the team better.
Cam's analysis made me wonder if there is any way the Flames might get their hands on Gomez. His cap hit is certainly a problem, but his skill set is something the team currently lacks and desperately requires: the ability to drive possession at ES. As anyone who has watched the Flames the last month or two can attest, Calgary doesn't spend enough time in the offensive at 5on5 these days. Adding Gomez at center would help tilt the ice.
The $7M cap hit represents both an obstacle and an opportunity: the former, because Gomez is obviously overpaid at that price and would eat up a huge chunk of cap space. The latter because it is the reason he would be available at all.
Obviously Gomez at half rpice would be far more preferable. At some point the Canadiens might choose to do the waivers/re-entry thing with Scott if they feel the cap space would be better spent elsewhere, but there's another way the Flames might be able to figuratively cut the cap hit "in half".
Trade Stajan for Gomez. Darryl Sutter's folly has two years left on his contract at 3.5M (cap hit) per season. Absent a buy-out or demotion, the Flames are probably stuck with that deal. Unless, of course, they move him for another "problem" contract like Gomez.
Sather's misstep also only has two years left. Gomez's cap hit is $7.35M, but the real dollars drop to 5.5M and 4.5M starting next season so the actual financial commitment isn't as quite as intimidating.
The difference between Gomez and Stajan in terms of cap space is $3.85M. That would be the net addition and "true" cap hit for the Flames if they somehow made this trade, assuming no other parts are involved. Considered from that perspective, it's not as insane a proposition as it seems on it's face.
Of course, this is all speculation on my part. It's possible the Canadiens have no interest in trading Gomez at all, or at least not for an expensive spare part like Stajan. There is also obvious other risks to adding a 31-year old with a huge contract and an apparent inability to put the puck in the ocean. I think it's an idea worth considering nonetheless.
Something to think about during the festivities this weekend. If the Flames want to remain competitive during this transitory period, they'll need to start getting creative.