Mulligan (from Wikipedia): A mulligan, in a game, happens when a player (or General Manager) gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action. The practice is also sometimes referred to as a "do-over".
With the torch and pitchfork crowd in full effect here at FlamesNation lately, I decided to try and lighten things up; have some fun. OR… maybe even further enrage the masses. Let’s pretend the deal’s the Flames made last winter were never made. Let’s give them a mulligan on the Phaneuf deal, the Kotalik deal, the Staios deal & the Boyd deal.
With recent news of Jason Spezza possibly being available, and given the obvious need (in my opinion) for the Flames to add a gifted play-making center, what if the Flames still had Dion Phaneuf (and his cap money to spend) as bait. Would the Sens bite? I’d have to think so.
So let’s forget about Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White, Jamal Mayers, Ales Kotalik, Chrisopher Higgins & Steve Staios for a second (if only it were that easy), and let’s assume they still have Dustin Boyd, Keith Aulie, Brandon Prust, the 3rd rounder they GAVE to the Oilers, Olli Jokinen’s cap space, and of course, Neon Dion himself. Let’s escape the reality of the Flames plight and drift off into fantasy land. What would you do given these circumstance this off-season?
Here’s What I’d Do
- Dion Phaneuf & Dustin Boyd to the Sens for Jason Spezza & Brian Lee
- Brandon Prust, Keith Aulie & 3rd round pick to the Leafs for Niklas Hagman
- Sign UFA defenceman (Dan Hamhuis) with Jokinen’s $
- Worry about moving ONE bad contract – Cory Sarich (instead of 2 or 3 – Sarich/Kotalik/Satios) to make room for Rene Bourque’s new deal
- Go to the beach
Wouldn’t this have been a far more productive way of doing things?
Back to Reality
While some in Ottawa believe Trading Spezza would be a disaster for the Senators, I think it would be an obvious coup for the Flames if they were able to land him. Money aside, he’s everything they Flames have needed for the past 5 years – a set-up man for Iginla. And with Iginla’s (supposed?) decline, he needs the help now more than ever. Imagine having Spezza-Iginla eating up the mid-tier competition while Langkow-Bourque do the heavy lifting.
So is there any way they could make this happen now? Doubtful, at best. For starters, Matt Stajan’s $3.5M would have to head the other way. And perhaps even Ian White, but as a RFA looking for north of $3M, would the Sens be willing to spend Spezza’s money on Stajan & White? I doubt it. Perhaps Mark Giordano’s cap friendly (for one more year) contract of $891,667 would be of more interest to the Sens. But unless the Sens took back another (bigger) contract, the Flames would have to shed even more salary than they currently have to. Also, we know they lack the necessary draft picks to include in such a deal, and they’re not exactly stacked with prospects, but would you be willing to offer up Greg Nemisz as part of the deal?
So how ’bout it Nation… given the current condition of the Flames, would you pick up Spezza and his 5 remaining years at $7M if the money worked? Or is that simply just too much money to spend on one player for this organization given the other big money, long-term deal’s already in place? Up north in Edmonton, they’re already floating rumours of "big game hunting", with a recycled offer from last summer’s Heatley fiasco of Dustin Penner, Andrew Cogliano & Ladislav Smid for Spezza.
I know its wishful thinking, but what if Daz still has some magic left?
Another Random Thought
I wonder if it may be in the Flames best interest to re-sign Eric Nystrom. I may be a tad biased, as I’m a fan of Nyzerman, but say you give him the $1.5M he’s looking for, and then look at moving Curtis Glencross (maybe to move up a bit in this year’s draft). Although I’m also a fan of Glencross, he only has one year remaining at $1.2M. What will he want after that? The way I see it, if you re-sign Nystrom and trade Glencross for an asset, then you’re ahead of the game (as opposed to losing Nystrom for nothing and then possibly losing Glencross next summer anyways). Maybe I’m out to lunch… what do you’s figure?