Create Your Flames Roster

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03:  (L-R) Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff #34, Jay Bouwmeester #4, Rene Bourque #17, head coach Brent Sutter, Daymond Langkow #22 and the Calgary Flames bench look up at the scoreboard during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Arena on December 3, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Flames 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


It’s September again. There’s already a chill in the evening air in town and soon the Leaves will begin to change color. It’s the time of year when young mens thoughts turn to matter of hockey.

As such, it’s about time to start posting rosters. There remains the issue of Calgary’s cap non-complicance, but that’s going to be part of the fun in constructing the line-ups. Who do you demote? Who do you scratch? Until the question is ultimately answered by Sutter, we’re free to speculate.

Without further ado, here’s how I guess (hope?) things will shake out:

Langkow Healthy Option

Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

Hagman – Langkow – Bourque

Glencross – Stajan – Moss

Stone – Conroy – Kotalik


Bouwmeester- Giordano

Regehr – White

Sarich – Pardy


Langkow Hurt Option

Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

Hagman – Stajan – Bourque

Glencross – Conroy – Moss

Stone – Backlund – Kotalik


I’m loathe to put Jokinen and Jarome together again, but part of me knows that’s how things are going to happen initially anyways and part of me hopes they can improve their results if someone else is taking the tough sledding. That someone else would be the Langkow unit in the first iteration, while the hard stuff would have to be spread around if Langkow is hurt. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Conroy get a bump to Bourque’s line with Langkow in the infirmary, pushing Stajan back down with Moss + Glencross and making the second line the go-to "shut down" trio again.

Potentially controversial is my decision to keep Kotalik and skate him on the 4th line. Despite the cognitive dissonance of paying someone $3M to play at the bottom of the rotation, it’s likely the place where he can provide the most value: Kotalik can be completely sheltered at ES with Conroy et al and then would be free to put up results by playing on the PP and scoring the odd shoot-out marker. In addition, keep in mind that the 4th lines as I’ve constructed them would likely be 10 minute/night units with a good chance to mark the scoreboard, rather than the 5 minute/night detriments that many teams still opt for.

My decision to put Backlund on the 4th line in the second option will also rub some people the wrong way no doubt. However, with Langkow out, the tough assignments are going to be more spread out across the top 9 and the kid is still in the "heavy shelter" territory of his career. Backlund + Kotalik could avoid tough match-ups, take some offensive zone draws and probably cause some havoc against other 4th liners. It puts him in a position to succeed without having to skip a few grades. 

No major changes on the back-end, aside from deleting Staios and adding Pelech. This gets the team under the cap and avoids the Pelech-now-waiver-eligible problem. You will also notice that Jackman doesn’t show up anywhere – with the team counting 14 forwards and (with me keeping Kotalik), someone else had to take the short flight to Abbotsford. Jackman can tutor the kids on the farm for his 550k and is good bet not to be snatched up on waivers besides. It’s more probable that Stone will be the odd man out should this all go down, but he’s 50k cheaper and I think I prefer him anyways. Ivanans is retained because we all know he will be no matter how much I protest. He can be subbed in for Stone on the nights when the other team has a dancing bear of their own.

Potential problems? Well, this roster is just 300k under the cap as constructed. That’s certainly enough to start the year, but it’s skin-of-your-teeth stuff and doesn’t leave much room for error or addition as the year moves along.

Anyways, that’s my stab at it. Feel free add your critcisms and line-ups in the comments.

  • Just to be a lil different…

    Niklas Hagman ($3.000m) / Matthew Stajan ($3.500m) / Jarome Iginla ($7.000m)
    Rene Bourque ($3.333m) / Daymond Langkow ($4.500m) / David Moss ($1.300m)
    Alex Tanguay ($1.700m) / Mikael Backlund ($1.271m) / Olli Jokinen ($3.000m)
    Curtis Glencross ($1.200m) / Craig Conroy ($0.500m) / Tim Jackman ($0.550m)
    Raitis Ivanans ($0.600m)
    Jay Bouwmeester ($6.680m) / Mark Giordano ($0.892m)
    Ian White ($3.000m) / Robyn Regehr ($4.020m)
    Steve Staios ($2.700m) / Matt Pelech ($0.600m)
    Adam Pardy ($0.700m)
    Miikka Kiprusoff ($5.833m) / Henrik Karlsson ($0.500m)

    (these totals are compiled using the bonus cushion)
    ROSTER: 22; CAP:$59.4m; PAYROLL: $56.521m; CAP ROOM: $2.879m; BONUSES: $0.425m

  • My question is: Why when the “super-smart” management team in Detroit ‘invents’ these long-term cap-circumventing contracts, everyone applauds, but when “evil” Lou Lamoriello & the Devils sign a deal similar, he’s ‘that bastard that’s trying to ruin hockey’… that’s what makes me most sick about this whole ordeal. I don’t particularly like the Kovalchuk deal, but to me, IF they approved the others, they approve his… simple as that.

    This latest news changes things a bit, and if they void some other contracts as well, then fine (although I don’t understand how they can void a contract like Hossa’s that is already beginning year 2).

  • On Reghr + Bouwmeester –

    I don’t think the Flames will go that route, but the pair fared well according to Bob’s look at scoring chances:

    +33/-28, 52.3% ratio.

    As for the Ducks, I’m fairly certain they separated Pronger and Nieds most of the time. The lone instance of that pairing being consistent was when they faced the one-line Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup finals. Because he considered the rest of the roster relatively toothless, Carlyle doubled up the Norris winners and sent them out against Heatley et al (in concert with his dreaded “nothing line”). It worked too.

  • Re: Stajan.

    1.) The Flames have centers worth $3M (Jokinen) $3.5M (Stajan) and $4.5M. So no matter what happens, there’s going to be an expensive pivot playing on the third line.

    2.) Players should play where they can succeed, not based on trying to squeeze value out of their deals. Do I hope Stajan can be a legit top 6 center? Sure. Problem is, he was fairly terrible taking on quality opposition beside Jarome during his limited stint here, suggesting that’s not his bag (of course, that was mainly true of Jokinen as well, so…).

    Given the Flames depth, I’m fairly certain Stajan will end up where he ought to based on his ability. If it’s the third line between guys like Moss and Glencross, so be it. If he proves he can do better, maybe he’ll skate with Bourque instead against the big boys. Either way, it’s up to Stajan to take the step, not the coaching staff to force pegs into holes.

  • Looking at dustin’s post, I just wanted to query: am I the only person who thinks that White is actually better defensively than Gio? I mean, they play slightly different styles, but from what I’ve seen I thought White was generally more composed on the ice.

    Please don’t kill me, WI. I still love Gio and think he’s great.

  • BREAKING (via Larry Brooks)…

    A well placed source reports that the league has informed the Players’ Assn. that the league will grandfather the recently submitted Kovalchuk 15-year, $100M contract, Luongo’s 12-year, $64M deal that is entering its second season and Hossa’s 12-year, $63.3M deal that also is entering its second season into the CBA under the following conditions:
    1. That the cap hit on future multi-year contracts will not count any seasons that end with the player over 40 years of age. The cap hit would be calculated on the average of the salary up through age 40 only.
    2. That the cap hit on future contracts longer than five years will be calculated under a formula granting additional weight to the five years with the highest salary.

    The league has given the PA, which is being directed by Donald Fehr, until Friday at 5 pm to accept these conditions. If the PA refuses, or if negotiations fail to yeild a common ground, the league has informed the PA that:
    1. It will reject the Kovalchuk contract.
    2. It will move to immediately devoid the Luongo contract.
    3. It will move to immediately open proceedings for a formal investigation into the Hossa contract.
    The NHL owns sweeping punitive powers against teams and players judged guilty of circumvention under Article 26 of the CBA.

  • dustin642

    Line 1: Tanguay-Jokinen-Iginla

    Line 2: Bourque-Stajan-Hagman

    Stajan NEEDS to be given a spot on at least the 2nd line to start in order for him to have a chance at being worth his salary. Like it or not we got him for another 4 years so I want him to play on at least the 2nd line and be able to prove himself worthy.

    Line 3: Kotalik-Langkow*-Glencross
    *If Langkow is healthy, if not sub Conroy/Stone

    This line seems like it would do a fair bit of heavy lifting. Glencross has been a great 3rd liner and is speedy and strong. Langkow needs no introduction and putting Kotalik with these 2 seems to be the most reliable option. If his 2 linemates are going to work their butts off every shift of every game, then maybe that attitude will rub off on him as well? (Wishful thinking, I know) Also Langkow will not be 100% probably all season. Most likely 70-75% tops, which is still very good but I would rather put him in a smaller role at least until he was up to 90-100% (Plus Glencross/Kotalik’s stats will probably be very nice from Langkow’s presence)

    Line 4: Moss-Stone-Jackman
    Scratch: Ivanans
    I left Conroy out simply because he is a 2-way deal and it was just easier. Plus my *scenario* has Langkow as healthy.

    Defense 1: Bouwmeester-Regehr
    Anaheim had Pronger/Neidermeyer together Chicago had Keith/Seabrook Detroit had Lidstrom/Rafalski why not put your best 2 D-men together?

    Defense 2: Gio-Pardy
    I think this will be a good year for Pardy. There is a lot of talk about our depth and he is a depth player, I think he will make a big jump in improvement this season

    Defense 3: Sarich-White
    Scratch: Pelech
    Probably not the prettiest “shut down” tandem imaginable but both of them possess the needed tools to do the job. This is a Defense first team, so having the parings a little different is not going to upset the overall balance of this team.

    This roster is very tight on cap space with only about $250K remaining, but it does have 13 forwards and 7 defense

    • I agree with your first two lines, as most people do, there’s no use signing Stajan to a (correct me if I’m wrong i’m not super up-to-date on salaries bonuses and such) 3.75M$ deal unless he’s going to be top 6.

      Putting Kotalik on the third line, not necessarily a bad move. BUT, putting Kotalik on the third line that does the HEAVY LIFTING, BAAAD IDEA, he’ll bring down Langkow and GlenX.

      Your defensive pairings.

      Regehr-JBO: Don’t have a huge problem with that, but didn’t they try that last season and it didn’t work out very well?

      Gio-Pardy: Giordano is worthy of 3rd or 4th defense man, (maybe even 2nd defenseman, but with Regehr and Jbo around it isn’t going to happen) but do not put pardy on the 2nd defense pairing. We’re paying White 3.99 for a reason. He has to be at least top 4.

      And I think Pardy is starting the year off in Abby.

      Sarich-White: Sarich would do well on the third pairing. Shouldn’t have too much trouble. White is better than 5th or 6th defenseman. Switch Pardy and White around in your scenario and you got one solid D. Nooooow just to find some chemistryyyy hey?

  • dustin642

    $300K is nowhere near enough. presuming the following start the season in the AHL, $300K is:
    – 44 days of mikael backlund
    – 21 days of staois
    – or 111 days of kronwall / young brent.

    for an administration who were hording players on the off chance there would be injuries (following the debacle at the end of 08/09), leaving only $300K for replacement players is simply not enough.

  • dustin642

    If worst comes to worst, the owenership with bury Staios, looks like Kotalik is going to get another chance, but probably on the fourth line depending on how good Moss does. The ownership DOES NOT want to bury Sarich and Staios’ contracts, thats just silly.

  • dustin642





    I want to see a full year of NHL Backlund. Stone is not worthy of the third line, Kotalik and Moss can switch spots don’t rly care as long as the one on the third line is producing more offense. Glencross is not top 6 material, but very good for shootouts.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I’m assuming Langkow won’t be starting the season at this point, and I think that’s a reasonable assumption, so here goes:

    Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

    Hagman – Stajan – Bourque

    Stone – Conroy – Moss

    Kotalik – Backlund – Glencross


    Bouwmeester- Giordano

    Regehr – White

    Sarich – Pardy


    Just took yours, swapped Jackman and Ivanans as 13F, and swapped GlenX with Stone. We can probably agree that Glencross is a better player than Kotalik or Stone, and I think Backlund should have the best linemates he can practically be provided with if he’s going to play in the NHL.

    Also, if we could include trades, I’d have Sarich traded to anyone for a pick or prospect and replaced with one of the not-so-bad FA dmen.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Langkow healthy:

    Tanguay – Langkow – Iginla

    Hagman – Stajan – Bourque

    Glencross – Jokinen – Moss

    Cunning – Conroy – Jackman

    Ivanans is 13th, Kotalik is in Abbostford or KHL/SEL

    Langkow not healthy:

    Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

    Hagman – Stajan – Bourque

    Glencross – Backlund – Moss

    Cunning – Conroy – Jackman

    Ivanans is 13th, Kotalik is in Abbostford or KHL/SEL


    Bouwmeester – Giordano

    Regehr – White

    Pardy – Pelech and Seabrook

    Staios and Sarich are in Abbotsford or have been traded for picks


    Kiprusoff – Karlsson

    The cap hit is $55 at most, if Langkow isn’t healthy and Backlund plays. Lots of room for picking up a playoff rental at the deadline.

    I would like to see Backlund as the #3 centre this year, but then Stajan or Jokinen (preferably) would have to be traded.

  • the-wolf

    Strongly believe that the Flames should just leave Backlund in the minors. He needs a full season there. Let him play on the first line, 20+ minuts per game, pp, pk and all the rest. Plus, the one-on-one coaching he’ll get there is far superior to what he’ll get in Calgary. Having him on the 4th line is a waste of development and his numbers in the NHL and AHL just don’t warrant being ready yet.

    • That’s actually what I think too. However, things might change with Langkow down for awhile.

      It’s certainly possible they might opt for the 700 pound Ivanans-Stone-Jackman line and leave Backlund in the minors. I wouldn’t complain too loudly if they did either.

  • marty

    if lanks is hurt i wouldn’t mind seeing this and im goin to get ripped but oh well

    tanguay – stajan – iginla
    i for some reason think stajan has some up side not a true #1 but since when did we role with them

    Hagman – jokinen – bourque
    maybe some chemistry from olympics can continue for the fins. a big line that wont get the other teams best checkers. line lacks a setup man. also just getting joker away from iggy

    glencross – backlund – kotalik
    this line could be a pretty good offensive line for a 3rd line if chemistry develops. if kotalik could find some open spots my thinking is he could have some alright goal numbers generated by glencross going to the net and backlunds being a decent setup man.

    stone – conroy – moss
    this line would be a little slow but responsible on the back end and stone if healthy creating some hits which could lead to t.o’s

    i agree 100% on the defensive end. im not saying what i recommended is perfect but i think it is somewhat balanced and like you say until a trade, opening day or an injury happens all we can do is speculate. great interactive article kent

  • According to Peter Maher on the Fan960, Kotalik is expected to be at training camp but word throughout the Dome it that he will not be on the roster come October.

    Apparently Darryl was “shopping” certain players at the draft and at the beginning of July to see what, if any, interest there was. Depending on the shape that guys show up inand seeing who is ready to go and slot into whatever position…Darryl believes he can go back to the GM’s he spoke with 2 months ago (and still talks to now) and see if there is still any interest.

    I am with you Kent, as the roster stands today, those are the likely players taking the ice come October and I think the line-ups make sense. We all know it would be good to have more cap room than $300 grand…so I guess we’ll have to see what kind of magic Sutter can perform. I just don’t know if the perceived interest in certain guys that Darryl had talks about in July still exists today.

  • That’s pretty sensible as well Chris.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the two “bottom 6” lines get almost equal ice time, especially when Langkow is out…at least, on the nights that Ivanans isn’t dressed.

  • Tanguay – Jokinen – Iginla

    Hagman – Stajan – Bourque

    Glencross – Backlund – Kotalik

    Stone – Conroy – Moss


    Bouwmeester- Giordano

    Regehr – White

    Sarich – Pelech


    I have a hard time believing that Backlund wont start the season with the big boys. I also don’t think we will see Lankgow until Novemberish. Until he’s off the LTIR the Flames have some breathing room to figure out conglomerate of forwards. This should give Kotalik time to prove him self worthy of a spot or be moved else where (Heat). I think I like the bottom 6 the way they are thou.
    And like Kent said, you never know when you can use a “dancing bear”!

  • That’s how I see the roster as well Kent.
    However maybe throw Reg-White as the top D pairing to play against the heavy’s.

    I like the idea if Lankgow is hurt to have Kotalik & Backlund together on the 4th. Kotalik & Stone are fairly physical so maybe they would have a go at the goons at the other team and be able to get some good chances. But I’d probably rather see Backlund with Moss & Glencross or even Moss & Hagman with Glencross playing on the 2nd line.

    I think without Langkow in the lineup the other team’s top line is going to go to town on us.

    • On the final point: true, although it’ll really depend on the team. Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Ovechkin/Crosby? Yeah. The Flames should still be able to handle the Nashvilles and St. Louis Blues of the world though.

  • Backlund as a 4th line centre??? Flames will never do that! they have said it before if he can not be in a spot where he can use his talents and be a productive offensive player he will play in the AHL. I think you are underestimating how the flames feel about Backlund.

    • Rather than having Backlund at the 4th line center why not put Stone there in the even Langkow cant go? Sure they wont be a scoring threat but do think Jackman would replace Backlund on the roster and the cap space would be increased. Kotalik is a waste on the 4th line but is an option to move up for injuries and can play on the PP/Shoot out.

      I like everything else but make the 4th line:



      That should leave about $1 mill in cap space too right? (I didnt doubt check that just judging off memory of differences in salary between Jackman and Backlund).

    • I’ll echo Duffman in my response: “Sutter says a lot of things”.

      Besides, this is a mix of what I think is possible and what I would prefer. I don’t doubt that Backlund will get some reps on the third line should Langkow start the year hurt, however.