Kotalik to Sign in Russia?

OTTAWA, ON - FEBRUARY 09: Ales Kotalik #26 of the Calgary Flames skates during the NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on February 9, 2010 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)


According to Russian journalist and twitterer Alessandro Seren Rosso, Lokomotiv is considering signing boat anchor Ales Kotalik.

Should that happen, it would take immense pressure off of Darryl Sutter to find a place to stash Kotalik’s burdensome contract for the next two years. It would alo render sending Steve Staios to the minors a bit more probable this October. More good news. 

It wouldn’t surprise me if Sutter has gently prodded Kotalik to look for options elsewhere this summer (it’s the KHL or the AHL, Ales). If that happens, Darryl will take his place next to lucky Lou in New Jersey as a guy with the uncanny ability to shed his cap errors. Of course, I’d prefer he not make them in the first place, but at least it seems he can slide out of them when they happen. 

In terms of real money, I’m not sure if this would be a "loan" where the Flames would still owe Ales his salary, or an outright "suspension" where his departure means total financial relief. First, we’ll have to see if the signing actually happens and then assess the details afterwards.

  • Gange


    Just realize that if you want to play it’s in the AHL or KHL. Then NHL is done for you.

    Kent, take him for coffee and explain this to him please.

    • I suspect Sutter has someone on it right now. Perhaps making him an offer he can’t refuse.

      At least I hope he does. Whatever persuaded Darryl to make the trade in the first place may persuade him to keep the guy in the end.

  • I should clarify that I don’t think Sarich himself is a boat anchor. I think he’s a solid #4/5 guy. In fact, I thought his presence would have made the rumored Savard-Regher trade palatable as in my mind, he’s 80% of Regher. But having both Regher and Sarich on the roster at $7.7M is too much for a team that’s offensively challenged. Moving his contract (for a 6th round pick???) and re-allocating those dollars to another 2nd-tier offensive player such as Kariya or Ponikarovsky would give me more confidence in our offense. I loved the Tanguay signing, but I don’t think he alone fixes our offense.

    For that matter, I don’t think Staois or Kotalik are boat anchors either. Staois as a #6/7 defenceman, or Kotalik as a #3 RWer are both fine for me. Problem is, they are both 2 pay grades higher than that.

    As it stands though, it looks like we still have Kotalik. I would far rather have another bonafide 2nd line winger for his price tag, but I guess the difference isn’t the end of the world. We’ll just have to hope he gets back to a 15-20 goal range.

    Gagne’s an intriguing possibility. If Philly can’t find a trading partner, do you think there’s anyway a Kotalik + 2nd rounder would bring him here? Would Philly accept that to save $2M?

    • I looked into the Gagne thing today. If you trade Glencross for Gagne, Kotalik has to go away somehow, Staios has to be replaced by Pelech…and even then the club has to cut another $1.5M from the cap (assuming a 3.5M reward for White).

      I’d like to have the guy, but the cap issue is really, really tough.

      • Robert Cleave

        The dollars don’t really work unless Hagman heads out the door, IMO. That 1.5 million you mentioned in your scenario would almost certainly mean Sarich gone for a cheap-ish replacement as well, and there are only so many moves that a GM can make in one summer. There just aren’t that many teams that have both a) cap space and b) the internal budgetary flexibility required to take on significantly more salary than they ship away. The Flames can’t give away Kotalik for that very reason, and that’s the main reason Sheldon Souray is still Oiler property. You want to move an iffy contract? Be prepared as a GM to only get offered iffy contracts in return.

        • Yup. Despite the rough UFA pool, this was a bad summer to be burdened with anchor contracts and no cap room – beyond not begin able to get rid of them, of course. Because of Staios/Sarich/Kotalik, the Flames missed out on the CHI sell-off and are probably not going to be in on Gagne. They could have made the team better for relatively cheap this year, but they’re stuck trying to clean up their own messes instead.

          • @kent wilson

            and this is PRECISELY the reason that dumping the nigel dawes contract is completely ridiculous IMO. versatile, useful winger that can play top comp and minutes for $850K ? duuude, let’s get rid of that guy for SURE….

            (i cannot believe he’s still on the market)

          • …Dawes doesn’t work tremendously hard and he is an average skater. On the positives, he has a good offensive hockey sense and a good shot. Hagman is faster, has a better shot, and works harder than Dawes so he’s out.