Flames Day One Analysis

Justin Azevedo
July 05 2013 05:34PM

 

Pic via Rob the Hockey Guy

So, with most of the expected signings having been reported and Jay Feaster having talked to the media, day one of free agency in the Saddlesphere seems to be done. There were a couple of new names, a couple of familiar ones and still some UFA targets that haven't signed.

The Old

  • G Karri Ramo: 2 years, $5.5 million. The Flames presumptive starter. If he can provide league average goaltending, this is a very good deal. Even ~.918 goaltending still makes this okay. Ramo has been profiled here.
  • D Chris Butler: 1 year, $1.7 million. A bottom-pairing defenseman likely being given a deal due to loyalty and not much else. He's likely being paid under the assumption he's really 2011-2012 Chris Butler and not 2012-2013 Chris Butler. 
  • RW Brian McGrattan: 2 years, $1.5 million. A fist on skates. See Kent's post for analysis.
  • RW Greg Nemisz: 1 year, $725k. Probably not an NHLer, so this is more of a former 1st round pick/AHL body deal.
  • C Corban Knight: 2 years, $1.8 million. Knight's contract is only $900k in base salary/signing bonuses, but bonuses bring his cap hit to $3.75 million (only counted if he achieves the bonuses). Knight could be the Flames' 3rd line centre, and was profiled in depth here.

The New

  • D Kris Russell: 1 year, $1.25 million. The Flames traded a 5th round pick for his RFA rights as they didn't want to pick up a contract with arbitration linked to it, which they would've had to do had they plucked him from waivers. His underlying numbers are just okay, even as a 5th dman with somewhat sheltered zone starts. Apparently he has some offensive potential (three 20 point seasons), but I highly doubt he'll play well in anything other than bottom-pairing minutes.
  • D Chad Billins: 1 year, $925K. Billins had 10 goals and added 27 assists in 76 games last year in Grand Rapids, for an NHLE of 17. He likely has some upside and will battle for a bottom-pairing spot next year. He'll be 25 when the season starts and was undrafted. He spent 4 years at Ferris State, where he had NHLEs of 14, 9, 14, 23. Strikes me as a Clay Wilson 2.0. 

Yet To Sign

  • C Mikael Backlund
  • C Lance Bouma
  • D Mark Cundari
  • D TJ Brodie

Moneypuck Options

  • C Kyle Wellwood: Has not signed. Probably no longer an option for the Flames due to the amount of bottom-9 forwards they currently possess.
  • C Boyd Gordon: Oilers, 3Yx3M. A liittle more than I would've committed in terms of years but the dollar figure looks about right.
  • C Alexander Burmistrov: Has not signed.
  • C Marcus Johansson: Has not signed.
  • C Jordan Schroeder: Has not signed.
  • RW Clarke MacArthur: Senators, 2Yx3.25M. Good bet for the Sens here, and will be a 2W for them now that Bobby Ryan is in town.
  • LW Viktor Stalberg: Predators, 4Yx3M. I'm honestly shocked he got this much. If he plays 3W minutes, this is an overpayment.
  • LW Nathan Horton: Blue Jackets, 7Yx5.3M. Huge commitment to what was the best winger available in this year's free agent crop. I was thinking 5x5 was going to be the max.
  • RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard: Islanders, 1Yx2M. If he can score 35-40 points this year, it's a bargain. I think he'll probably start on the top line with Tavares and Moulson, so might be the best value signing from this crop. Assuming he can stay healthy.
  • LW Benoit Pouliot: Rangers, 1Yx1.3M. Good signing here by Sather - will fit well on either the 2nd or 3rd line.
  • D Jared Spurgeon: Wild, 3Yx2.6M. Really good value for an offensive top-4 guy. This offersheet would've cost the Flames their 2nd round pick.
  • D David Rundblad: Has not signed.
  • D Mike Lundin: Gone to the KHL.
  • D Alexander Sulzer: Has not signed. Not a lot of room on the Flames due to the amount of bottom-pairing defensemen they currently possess.
  • G Ray Emery: Flyers, 1Yx1.65M. Really great deal by the Flyers here. Should get the majority of starts for the Flyers next year.
  • G Thomas Greiss: Coyotes, 1Yx750K. Jason Labarbera went to the Oilers, so Thomas Greiss has a new home.

Still Available

  • C Derek Roy
  • C Mikhail Grabovski
  • RW Peter Mueller
  • LW Guillaume Latendresse
  • RW Damien Brunner
  • LW Mason Raymond
  • RW Matt Halischuk
  • LW Nathan Gerbe
  • D Jonathon Blum
  • D Ian White
  • D Tom Gilbert

Conclusion

While GM Jay Feaster did well in staying out of the insanity the day had to offer, there are still some gaping holes in the Flames depth chart - 1C and 4D. In my opinion, there's only three players the Flames should be calling from here on out. The Flames are flush on the wings and bottom of the defensive rotation.

During this afternoon's press confrence, Feaster also said they have a second offer out to Backlund and a first offer out to Brodie.

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#1 Baalzamon
July 05 2013, 05:48PM
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"there's only three players the Flames should be calling from here on out"

hm. My guess is Mikhail Grabovski, Jon Blum, and David Rundblad.

Am I close?

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#2 jeremywilhelm
July 05 2013, 05:49PM
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Iggy signed.

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#4 Q
July 05 2013, 05:53PM
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So riddle me this? Jarome chooses from his list at the deadline, screws us over with our return, goes to Pitt, now goes to Boston? You're so dead to me dude! How many players get to give a list and then choose? Hope Boston tanks! No cup for u dude! 6 million? Is Boston out of their frank mind?

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#5 danglesnipecelly
July 05 2013, 05:53PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Iggy signed.

1 year, $6mil for Iggy in Boston

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#6 schevvy
July 05 2013, 06:07PM
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Good for Iggy. Hope he does well and gets the Cup. He deserves it.

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#7 schevvy
July 05 2013, 06:11PM
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@Q

6M is unlikely, cap hit is performance based. Will probably be 5.5M. Still high.

RE: choosing Boston : meh. The deals weren't really that much different. Quite frankly I think he deserved the right to make his decision. Not many teams fail to get their top winger a quality centre FOR 16 YEARS. So, that's my thoughts.

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#9 schevvy
July 05 2013, 06:19PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Exactly. Iggy did what was allowed in his contract. Really not that big of a deal. And again, for me the deals aren't that different.

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#10 Veggie Dog
July 05 2013, 06:20PM
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@Q

He was free to go where he wanted, then and now. Why are you so grumpy about it? We still have the pick and two prospects.

Of course the chance to play with Malkin and Crosby couldn't be passed up. Experiment failed, and Pitt is going to be handcuffed by four big contracts. Boston was always a better fit. Piit relies on two very high scoring lines, and some very skilled players in their prime. Boston has less in the way of superstars, but is physical, and they have many mid-range scorers their. I think it will work well for both of them there.

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#11 Veggie Dog
July 05 2013, 06:21PM
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@Veggie Dog

Oops, their = there.

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#12 schevvy
July 05 2013, 06:24PM
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Also- when Boston comes to Calgary this season I want a standing ovation for Iggy. And a gut-wrenching, tear-enducing tribute. Come on Calgary, you can do it.

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#13 Baalzamon
July 05 2013, 06:27PM
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@schevvy

I imagine the majority of fans would agree. For myself, it would severely damage my soul if Iginla was booed by the C of Red.

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#14 Veggie Dog
July 05 2013, 06:28PM
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@Baalzamon

Me too.

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#15 Veggie Dog
July 05 2013, 06:34PM
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I hope the B's resign Jagr too.

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#16 KetchupKid
July 05 2013, 06:39PM
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I'm wondering now where the "Feaster's going to make a splash" quote came from. Did he actually say something to that effect? If he did, then this is just another example of why he should completely remove himself from the media.

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#17 KetchupKid
July 05 2013, 06:42PM
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Maybe he was just planning on going to the pool after work.

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#18 negrilcowboy
July 05 2013, 06:48PM
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KetchupKid wrote:

Maybe he was just planning on going to the pool after work.

CANNONBALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#19 Baalzamon
July 05 2013, 07:07PM
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@KetchupKid

In Jay's defense, he made more of a splash today than the last time he promissed big changes. Remember "fool me twice"?

On a serious note, Feaster said he had no interest in overpaying for free agents (which basically means he has no interest in free agents). It makes me wonder if he has a trade or two in the works.

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#20 chillout
July 05 2013, 07:08PM
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Q wrote:

So riddle me this? Jarome chooses from his list at the deadline, screws us over with our return, goes to Pitt, now goes to Boston? You're so dead to me dude! How many players get to give a list and then choose? Hope Boston tanks! No cup for u dude! 6 million? Is Boston out of their frank mind?

EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WITH A NTC!!!!!!!!! That's how many players get to choose from a list. How many times do you people need to be told. A ntc is binding only the player can ok a trade. Giving a list of possible teams does not ok the removal of the ntc. The player has to be presented with the trade and sign off on it. Otherwise the NHLPA would be all over that so fast and the deal would get nixed every single time!

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#21 Captain Ron
July 05 2013, 07:09PM
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Feaster and Co. did exactly what I had hoped they would do today which is practically nothing.

For those who didn't like the McGratton signing it is notable that the Habs traded for the veritable scoring machine known as George Parros with his 28 points in the last seven years.

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#22 Baalzamon
July 05 2013, 07:21PM
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@Captain Ron

With how many times Feaster has mentioned how dead the bench was last year, and with all the players coming in that actively want to be Flames (along with McGrattan, who is apparently a popular teammate) I wonder if Feaster is just trying to make a team that wants to play together, and in Calgary. That's really something that has been missing ever since the Ference trade.

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#23 negrilcowboy
July 05 2013, 07:28PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

Feaster and Co. did exactly what I had hoped they would do today which is practically nothing.

For those who didn't like the McGratton signing it is notable that the Habs traded for the veritable scoring machine known as George Parros with his 28 points in the last seven years.

Parros and his seventies porn star moustache will be a big hit with the madams on st catherines street. besides he is a ivy league grad, can advise the players on investments.

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#24 Gange
July 05 2013, 07:28PM
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chillout wrote:

EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WITH A NTC!!!!!!!!! That's how many players get to choose from a list. How many times do you people need to be told. A ntc is binding only the player can ok a trade. Giving a list of possible teams does not ok the removal of the ntc. The player has to be presented with the trade and sign off on it. Otherwise the NHLPA would be all over that so fast and the deal would get nixed every single time!

I think the point is kind of being missed. Jarome was asked to choose teams he would be ok with being traded to. Boston was on that list. If the list need only include Pittsburgh then that's what the list should have reflected.

The point is that he said Boston was an acceptable option, Feaster worked out a good deal for good players, then Jarome vetoed. From my perspective Feaster shouldn't have asked again but Jarome should have stuck to his word. .

I appreciate everything he did in this city for the team and his charitable work. However how he left is disappointing, moreso now that Boston is now an acceptable destination when it wasn't at trade deadline day.

What would this team look like with khokhlachev and bartkowski? I would have loved to find out.

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#25 negrilcowboy
July 05 2013, 07:30PM
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whats the betting line on seguin appearing on doctor drew's celebrity rehab?

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#26 FireOnIce
July 05 2013, 07:32PM
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I wonder if the LA Kings might be a good trade partner this offseason. They lost both Scuderi and Mitchell. Sounds like they could use a good, mid-pairing D-man... hey, what do you know, the Flames have a bunch of those.

The only hope is that they don't offer sheet Brodie. Scared as all hell about that.

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#27 Captain Ron
July 05 2013, 07:40PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

With how many times Feaster has mentioned how dead the bench was last year, and with all the players coming in that actively want to be Flames (along with McGrattan, who is apparently a popular teammate) I wonder if Feaster is just trying to make a team that wants to play together, and in Calgary. That's really something that has been missing ever since the Ference trade.

I think that had been mentioned before and I have no doubt that McGratton will liven things up on the bench. I am in favor of having him around right now.

Good point on Ference. I never did like the fact that he was traded early in his career. One of the first mistakes Sutter made.

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#28 Captain Ron
July 05 2013, 07:40PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

Parros and his seventies porn star moustache will be a big hit with the madams on st catherines street. besides he is a ivy league grad, can advise the players on investments.

Hahaha that's funny!

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#29 chillout
July 05 2013, 07:42PM
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@Gange

No you don't understand the point of the list. The list says I will go to any one of these teams if none of the others are interested. Those are the teams that would be acceptable.

When multiple teams on the list are interested then he gets to choose. There is no legal way around that, sorry but that is the way it is. If multiple teams have offers that are acceptable to the home team then it's up to the player to waive his NTC by signing off on the trade he wants the most.

The list essentially does not exist, all it does is give the GM an idea of who he should be talking to. It means absolutely nothing beyond that. This means that legally the list does not exist so Iggy did not go back on his word or screw anybody over.

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#30 K Theory
July 05 2013, 07:46PM
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@Gange

... I honestly don't understand why anyone is upset about this.

Do you honestly think that we would have been able to negotiate a better deal if Iggy had said "I will ONLY accept a trade to Pittsburgh. I won't even consider anywhere else!"

If anything, the way that this played out probably helped us get a better return than we would have had otherwise (if everyone and their dog knew that Pittsburgh was the only team actually in the running).

Despite what you might feel about the relative value of the two packages (I'm not very opinionated one way or the other over those), it seems so silly to me to complain that Iginla nixed a deal to a city that he probably never wanted to go to anyway. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Feaster et. al. had *very* strong suspicions that this would happen anyway, but were happy to get whatever leverage that they could in the negotiations

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#31 negrilcowboy
July 05 2013, 08:12PM
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with the current flames roster is 27 wins attainable?

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#32 Sean Bennett
July 05 2013, 08:30PM
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chillout wrote:

EVERY SINGLE PLAYER WITH A NTC!!!!!!!!! That's how many players get to choose from a list. How many times do you people need to be told. A ntc is binding only the player can ok a trade. Giving a list of possible teams does not ok the removal of the ntc. The player has to be presented with the trade and sign off on it. Otherwise the NHLPA would be all over that so fast and the deal would get nixed every single time!

What they should have done is what most sane GMs do in such a situation. You write up a legal document in which you ask the athlete to specify which teams he is willing to waive his NTC to go to. You get said athlete to sign the document. You then send him to whichever team from the list you want to. Feaster and company just took Iggy`s word on it, and then paid for it later.

As for Iggy himself, I`m pretty indifferent. I`m a Flames fan, and the exploits of ex-Flames are just a quaint distraction.

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#33 ShutTheFrontDoor
July 05 2013, 08:36PM
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Rundblad for Kulak and Culkin. Burmistrov for Granlund. Plus late round picks to get this done.

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#34 Burnward
July 05 2013, 08:39PM
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@negrilcowboy

We could be very bad next year, for sure. But, it had to come some time.

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#35 Burnward
July 05 2013, 08:40PM
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@Burnward

However, add two-three decent pieces and we could challenge for the post-season. Glad we didn't overspend on day one, but intrigued to see if Feaster has anything on the burner.

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#36 chillout
July 05 2013, 08:48PM
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@Sean Bennett

That pretty much can't happen. I've been trying to tell you guys that's not how it works. The NHLPA would hammer that down so damn fast the GM's head would be spinning. Remember when Redden had offered to renegotiate his contract so he could get out of the minors? Who squashed that? That's right the NHLPA. They don't let stuff like that fly because it can screw over players in the future.

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#37 Ca$h-Money!
July 05 2013, 09:01PM
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chillout wrote:

No you don't understand the point of the list. The list says I will go to any one of these teams if none of the others are interested. Those are the teams that would be acceptable.

When multiple teams on the list are interested then he gets to choose. There is no legal way around that, sorry but that is the way it is. If multiple teams have offers that are acceptable to the home team then it's up to the player to waive his NTC by signing off on the trade he wants the most.

The list essentially does not exist, all it does is give the GM an idea of who he should be talking to. It means absolutely nothing beyond that. This means that legally the list does not exist so Iggy did not go back on his word or screw anybody over.

Most of the time the list does exist. Most GMs get the player to sign off on the list before he starts shopping the player. The player is then bound to any deal the GM makes subject to it being with a team on said list.

This is how it's done the majority of the time as I understand it.

This isn't an Iginla problem, this is a Feaster not doing his homework problem.

It's similar to the Russel for a 5th problem.

It's simialr to the "oops O'Reilly needs to clear waivers problem"

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#38 Burnward
July 05 2013, 09:07PM
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@Ca$h-Money!

The player with the NTC/NMC still has the final say. That wasn't on Feaster.

Justin had a great explanation on the 5th for Russell deal, they wanted to make sure they could work out a deal for him and avoid arbitration. Since they couldn't negotiate a deal prior to today, Feaster couldn't be sure he would sign a deal. How would it have looked if we acquired his rights...then he said, "Nope, I'm going to arbitration." Everyone would have been all over Feaster.

The O'Reilly thing was a mess though.

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#39 Iggy OVERRATED
July 05 2013, 09:33PM
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Q wrote:

So riddle me this? Jarome chooses from his list at the deadline, screws us over with our return, goes to Pitt, now goes to Boston? You're so dead to me dude! How many players get to give a list and then choose? Hope Boston tanks! No cup for u dude! 6 million? Is Boston out of their frank mind?

Couldn't agree more. All this talk about the Flames owing him something...they owed him his paycheque...which he got! Champions lead their teams to vicotry! Pretenders try to ride others coattails to victory! I guess your true identity is revealed Iggy. When you career is done...please don't come back...you are not welcome here. I am a season ticket holder and if they choose to retire your number 12...my seat will be empty at the ceremony. You are not even worthy of the tickets being given away. #overrated

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#40 chillout
July 05 2013, 09:33PM
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@Ca$h-Money!

actually this is a you not doing your homework problem just so you can jump all over feaster.

A GM CANNOT LEGALLY HAVE A PLAYER WITH A NTC SIGN OFF ON A BUNCH OF TEAMS!

This means the list doesn't actually exist. Cannot legally exist. This means it is only a suggestion by the player with the NTC. The GM takes this suggestion and goes out to try and make a deal. When he gets offers that he finds acceptable he then is legally obligated to present the deal to the player with the NTC who can then say yes or no, no matter what list he presented to the GM.

The player could have signed the list, he could have stamped the list, he could also have written his name in blood. It doesn't matter the list is not legally binding.

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#41 chillout
July 05 2013, 09:38PM
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@Iggy OVERRATED

Not really sure what you are getting at. Let me see if I can get it straight. If you play for a team for years and years putting it all on the line, go out and support your community all over the place, give money to all sorts of charity groups you are not welcome in this city?

Sounds a little bit harsh and stupid to me... so if you're not going to use your tickets I'll take them off your hands no problem.

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#42 MC Hockey
July 05 2013, 09:50PM
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Forget the Iggy talk...I hope Feaster gets Grabo or Derek Roy for the 1C role to feed the puck and play on the PP, and hopefully ships out an excess winger (since we have so many) and/or B Jones if Hartley will not play him anyways. Flames really need to lose a forward if Raymond signs as well.

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#43 Vowswithin
July 05 2013, 09:58PM
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Since today was Garbos wedding it could take a few days before he has made a decision. It also could bode well for the flames seeing As how we made little small moves instead of going whale hunting.

Speaking of which might as well call feaster Captain Ahab the amount of whale hunting he has tried the last few seasons...

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#44 EddyBeers
July 05 2013, 09:59PM
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I'm fine with tanking next year. Move extra pieces for picks and prospects. Short term pain for long term gain.

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#45 Burnward
July 05 2013, 10:10PM
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@EddyBeers

We'll find out in a hurry what we have moving forward anyways in the kids.

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#46 Scary Gary
July 05 2013, 10:13PM
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I'm a bit wary of Roy. He's 30, made 5.5 mil last season and will be looking for a decent pay cheque. 44 pts in 82 games last year, 22 pts in 30 this year. I guess it would depend on the term, no more than two or three years.

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#47 Burnward
July 05 2013, 10:18PM
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@Scary Gary

I think I'd overpay a bit for Grabbo on a two year deal if he'd take it. He'll have something to prove next season, then be playing for a new deal the next.

Might be the perfect bridge before Monahan, Backlund, Janko etc. are ready to take the reigns.

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#48 Franko J
July 05 2013, 10:22PM
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I'm not sold on either Roy or Grabrovski as a1C, I think the best fit for a #1 center will come in 2015.

I was hoping for Boyd Gordon to fill out the center position for the Flames.

I'm glad that Feaster didn't go overboard with FA signings. Save the money for a time when this team can use a complimentary piece.

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#49 Burnward
July 05 2013, 10:25PM
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@Franko J

Next year could be very interesting...might be saving our money for then.

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#50 Flamesboi
July 05 2013, 11:04PM
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@Sean Bennett

Obviously you have no idea what a FULL NO TRADE/ NO MOVEMENT CLAUSE means. It's not about what they should of done, the clause was signed and was in effect on iggy's contract. Once the contract is signed, both parties MUST adhere to all of the elements listed on the paper. They can't just tell iggy to give them a list and be sent wherever accordingly to the list.

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