Iginla twists the knife

Call it a deluxe, adding-injury-to-insult edition of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. In addition to scoring a goal (two of them actually), setting up a couple of tallies and getting into a scrap on Saturday night, Calgary captain Jarome Iginla also managed to give the Edmonton Oilers a paper cut and then pour lemon juice on it.

You’d think the Oil would be completely numb and far beyond the stage that anyone could hurt them by now. After all, the Copper ‘n’ Blue’s rational fans have all conceded that the 2009-10 campaign is a writeoff and the resigned supporters have already started to cheer themselves up with the knowledge that either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin is likely on his way to the provincial capital. Some of the more masochistic members of Oilers Nation have even learned to take great delight in the month-long series of losses and the brutal hockey being played by their hapless heroes.

And yet, as totally anesthetized as the Oil appeared to be, Iginla and the Flames found an inadvertent way to give Edmonton fans a good swift kick in the future generations. Beyond the wince-inducing historical element of completing the first sweep in Battle of Alberta history, Saturday’s Calgary victory means next to nothing in 2009-10 scheme of things for the Oilers. However, the result of Iginla’s bout with Sheldon Souray — a broken hand for the Edmonton blueliner — represents a mustard stain on the blueprint for the rebuilding project.

Souray’s trade value was already a fairly questionable matter but Saturday’s mishap really puts a crimp in the Oilers’ hopes of obtaining something useful (or at least expunging $9 million from the next two seasons’ payrolls) before the trade deadline. Iginla, of course, had already incurred the wrath of Edmontonians by slamming Souray into the boards on Oct. 8 and knocking the rearguard out of commission for a month. That incident was obviously the motivation for Saturday’s settling of accounts, with disastrous results for Souray and the Oilers. Of course, even before the fight and the injury, Souray hadn’t done anything to enhance his trade value. His giveaway leading to Dustin Boyd’s second goal was part of a minus-2 night that dropped his season figure to minus-19.

For Calgary, one measly win in the past 10 games leaves the club in a surprisingly stable condition. Thanks to the fact that the teams that are currently directly ahead and behind them in the Western Conference standings (Nashville and Detroit) have also been staggering, the Flames hold down eighth spot in the West and are just one point out of seventh.

The bad news is the Flames have no dates remaining against Edmonton and Toronto, against whom they were a combined 8-0 this season. Calgary is 19-20-8 against the rest of the NHL.

  • Eddie Shore

    I don't think anyone here understands the whole cake and eating it too metaphor, but you complain we don't make any moves, but if you dissect the trades today, it's not like it's a slam dunk win for any of the 3 organizations involved.

    Hagman is a young Comrie, no guarantees he becomes a 30 goal scorer, and Phaneuf, is a Dr.Jekyll, Mr.Hyde,cornerstone/bust of a player.

    Gigeure may still be a starter, but no better than Gustaffson/Toskala. Blake is a salary dump.

    Other than Phaneuf, to trade any of these players for Souray/Horcoff/Visnovsky would just be ammo to the Tambo haters.

  • Jason Gregor

    These deals (and the Gomez trade in the off-season) show you can move almost any contract; it just takes imagination and the willingness to take risks.

    Interesting move by the Leafs, as it seems that Phaneuf and Kessel will be Burkie's cornerstone guys. It'll make foor good tabloid stuff to see them wilt under the Toronto media microscope…

    Lowest point in the history of the Oil franchise? You betcha! Can someone check Tambo for a pulse?

  • vishcosity

    I'd like to see Oilers finish the season by putting all Oiler organization and coaching on sabbatical, and finish the season with any 5-10 Oilers fans to take over reign of running this club ! One thing is certain , they can't do any worse than present incumbents are doing here, or the other bottom affiliates . I feel the Oiler fans will do a much better job of turning our fortunes around .

  • Milli

    ya, i'll take Sutter's tinkering, Burke mouth over tambo paralizing fear. It seems that deals can be made, just not by us. After lastnight, the misery continues. Onky good news, TSN is saying Iggy's out indefintley with concussion like symptims….finally a possitive!!!!

  • vishcosity

    A few weeks ago I suggested that 1976 was a tougher time to be an Oiler fan. After watching last night's game and then reading this article, now I'm not so sure. When Sundin et al decided to not waive the NMC, I figured TO was smoked for years to come. Now, with Souray back on the IR, it all seems like the same arrows are pointing here. Unless offer sheet karma burns us for samwise, I can't see how it can get much worse.

    Hearing that phaneuf is now in the eastern conference somehow seems to strangely bury the sting.

  • Lofty

    Guys,

    Brian Burke does it again!

    If you can trade Toskala and Blake there's no excuse for Tambi's inactivity.

    To land Kessel,Phaneuf,and Giggy and only feel the loss of Ian White is outstanding.

    Fact is Brian Burke does what he says he'll do, we have Geppetto pulling the strings in Etown.

    • Jason Gregor

      Nate,

      Hagman is the key in this deal. He's put up some decent numbers on a crappy Leafs team. He had 27 goals last year and already has 20 this year. I'll bet he plays LW with Iginla.

      THe picks for Kessel were way too much, but you are correct in that Tambellini has done nothing. He needs to pull the trigger now, just to inject some hope in the dressing room.

      • Eddie Shore

        …he will, eventually, when he wakes up from this nightmare…

        meanwhile we can watch Pit-Det and remember why we love hockey.

        and then we start crying again when we realize out beloved Oilers are no longer in the same league with these guys.

        it will be hard to re-build if you don't bring some serious leadership in the dressing room…

    • Eddie Shore

      Maybe Tams and rest of upper management are as slow as an iceburg ; but maybe thats a good thing ,as every move they do make turns into another worse disaster !! The comfort level of management and players are the same now . Every part has found their niche and frolicking in their comfort levels – no need to excel throughout entire organization . A full building will do that ! Move anybody ? I think they all have NMC ( no movement clauses) – management and players alike ,until they decide they want out ! Add coaches and scouting personnel to that comfort list as well .

    • Shaun Doe

      I think some might feel the loss of their first rounders in the 2010-2011 might be a loss too especially when they are slated to finish 2nd last at this current date. However, you are right about moving Blake and Toskola. If these guys can be shipped for a decent return then I am sure we can move some of our problems for picks at the very least. Perhaps the hold up on our trades is that we are asking for picks rather than players. In a cap era teams would likely want to keep those picks. Regardless, I would like to see SOMETHING happen, hopefully not something crippling.

        • Shaun Doe

          Yeah I guess trading away our #1 pick for a high scoring UFA wouldn't be crippling or packaging some of our young affordable players for an injury prone locker room cancer would be a step in the right direction. I get that synacism is the flavour of the day but actually look to the future. I would like to see Tambi keep that in focus over salvaging some respect in the last games of the season.

  • Arby

    So happy to finally talk to a flames fan about how bad the team I love is. Thank you for your article during this otherwise so pleasant hangover. Great? Idea? Wanye?

    • Jean Lefebvre

      In regards to the Flames making the playoffs, it's hard to argue your assertion. There's no doubt Calgary has hardly looked like a playoff team this month and that with Detroit doing the chasing, eighth place is anything but secure.

      • Reggie

        Well, I would rather have a GM who sits on his hands rather than one who gives away the farm for nothing. Sutter just got fleeced by Burke.

        This is a re-do of the Gilmour trade to Toronto. The Flames get an RFA (White) and two UFAs – Stajan and Mayers. Only Hagman is signed until 2012/13.

        Don't you think you should do more than just a stop gap trade when you give up a young stud defenceman ?

        • Lofty

          Flames win the deal hands down. They get the rights to White and Stajan and Hagman are very good young players. Calgary gets rid of a cancer in the room and a big contract.

          The leafs did give up some valuable picks but they got Kessel, only time will tell if this was a mistake. Tambo has done nothing and waited so long to move Souray that the inevitable happened and now will be staying in Edmonton and doing nothing to help this team progress.

          • Reggie

            The salary issue is probably true in that they lightened up the cost of their back end considerably. They did achieve that.

            I just thought they would get more scoring for Phaneuff.

          • Mr. Brightside

            If I recall correctly, there was a issue 4-5 years ago, when most pundits thought that Calagry would have to part with one of iggy, kiprusoff, or regehr. When they resigned Phaneuf long term, then brought in Bouwmeester, you had to think Darryl Sutter was just stockpiling assets so he could better tinker with his lineup. Thing is though, this trade does not make them any more of a danger to win the cup in my opinion.

            They won't finish top 4, and good luck beating one of Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver. Hell, I already feel bad for Phoenix,Colorado, and LA, should all 3 teams make the playoffs