Potpourri, February 22




Some thoughts and news items heading into the Trade Deadline week…

– The Heritage Classic managed to be a success, despite some potential set-backs. I don’t know how thrilled the Montreal Canadiens are with the gimmicky premise after losing 4-0, but thems the breaks. Haley Mutch of Matchsitcks and Gasoline got accredited for the weekend and posted some shots of the Flames practicing if you’re interested.

– Once upon a time, Nicklas Hagman was a 3rd/4th line grinder. In his first four seasons in the league, his career high was 10 goals and 28 points. He parlayed a career high 15.2 SH% and 27 goal season back into 2007-08 into a big contract in Toronto, where he was able to stick at the top of the rotation thanks to a dearth of other options. He’s a 31 year-old guy who has never scored more than 42 points in this league and, over time, he was bound to return to role from whence he came.

That time is now for Hagman, thanks to a cluttered left side in Calgary and his overly large cap-hit. The guy is still an NHLer no doubt and could probably fill-out a second or third line role on lesser clubs in this league, but he hasn’t been a compelling figure since arriving, aside from very fleeting outbursts. David Moss, Tim Jackman and even Curtis Glencross faced similar demotions to the fourth-line this season, but were never as invisible as Hagman has been since his re-assignment. Whether he gets claimed or not today, Hagman’s fate is sealed as a Flame. I don’t know if the team will bother to assign him to the minors (I doubt it), but he’ll find a new home one way or the other come next October.

The timing of Hagman’s waiving seems to indicate Feaster has a target in mind for this coming Monday, but the truth is he may just want some flexibility and hoped a team looking for depth before the deadline would scoop him for free. We’ll find out by noon today if that happened or not. 

– Speaking of the TD, we’ll be ramping up coverage this week and plan to have a live chat going the day of. Given all the trades already consummated, it may turn out to be a pretty sedate affair.

A Vicki Hall article on Feaster this morning seems to indicate the Flames will be quiet given the club’s general lack of tradable assets and unwillingness to break up the current "chemistry". We all know the risk inherent in moving futures for rentals at the deadline, but there’s the converse risk of keeping pending UFA’s only to fall short of the post-season (or get pushed out of the first round). Bit of a tough dance for Feaster right now. 

– The Staios! Is! Avaiable! contest is still alive and well. We’ve received over a dozen entries from various readers which we will unvail this Thursday when the contest closes. Still lots of time to get a few more entires in if you’re so inclined.

(It should be noted that Staios in no way deserves this treatment. He hasn’t been terrible in his limited role this year, he didn’t offer himself the contract he currently owns and he didn’t trade himself to the Flames. Also, by all accounts, he’s a really good guy. All that said, the trade for Staios remains a terrible acquistion.)

  • icedawg_42

    I feel bad that Hagman was put on waivers, although it was the right move. I feel even worse that nobody has picked him up… surely he’s not that bad! WTF??

  • icedawg_42

    about 45 minutes till Hagman clears – doubtful anyone will pick him up. If he was pending UFA it would be a no brainer. Im still surprised he can’t fetch even a third rounder, or maybe that’s been offered and Feaster doesn’t think that’s enough (i can’t see that though). Haha – yeah, we kick Staios around more than he deserves, but it’s fun! Out of those dozen submissions, i’ll bet 8 of them are from Vintage Flame haha!

    • Vintage Flame

      “Haha – yeah, we kick Staios around more than he deserves, but it’s fun! Out of those dozen submissions, i’ll bet 8 of them are from Vintage Flame haha!

      Lol – No I’ve only done two! But is that a request for more?

      As for Hagman.. I think I’m done feeling sorry for people that don’t produce. Reading Kent’s thoughts on why he was waived… He’s never had a season of more than 42 points??? WTF and the Flames are paying him 3 Mil? Nope.. he has to go.
      Was really surprised he didn’t get claimed on waivers, but like Bob McKenzie was talking about, it might be die to the fact that if they get him on re-entry waivers, they only pay half his salary, and the Flames pay the other half.

      Regardless, Feaster obviously has some sort of plan brewing. I’m interested to see what it is.. but in the end, as long as we keep winning.

  • Robert Cleave

    Staios, like Sarich is a great 6/7 dman, I would like both of these guys, if their cap hits were much lower. If the team makes the playoffs, we need depth and these guys can come in and perform relatively well.

    As far as I can remember, of the two goals this year and one goal last year that Staios has scored, were all big time clutch goals at important times. They can still perform, but they are definately overpaid for their efforts.

    (Just like Hagman, Kotalik and Bouwmeester)

    Atleast in Bouwmeester the guy can play 30 minutes a game and not look out of place too many times.

    • BobB

      Well, let’s hope it’s a kick in the ass instead.

      I have no ill will towards Hagman, so hopefully he can prove many people wrong, however, I’d be lying if I said I have seen the same consistent influential play from him every game… or even every other game.

      Like you said, he’s a career 16G scorer, so the 27 was a lark.

      9 goals in 57 games is a 13 goal season… yeah, that’s not good enough, but it’s almost twice as many as 5 (cough*STAJAN*cough)

      Hagman on the third line makes sense to me by depth, but both he and Stajan need to be more effective, more often.

  • Robert Cleave

    Millions says Hagman is at practice. I suspect he’ll stay up and go right back to the 4th line unless Feaster can scam someone. I’m not holding my breath, but maybe Joe Nieuwendyk will have another aneurysm.

    • icedawg_42

      So would giving up a 3rd rounder and taking on the salary still be considered a scam? I’d think that was fair game for a ‘reclaimation project’ (expensive one)

      • Robert Cleave

        We get back to the same issue that’s been out there all season league-wide. Teams with the money to make that move have no cap flexibility this year or next, and the teams with space have internal budget restrictions that preclude adding a 3M ticket for a marginal top-nine player. Hagman could just as easily end up like Kotalik next year, hoping for a loan deal to a European team. He likely deserves a better fate, but that’s the current environment for the middle class of NHLers.

        • Indeed. The interesting thing about the market right now is that middle-tier guys with even marginally bad cap hits are seeing their NHL careers compromised by those contracts. I mean, Sheldon Souray passed through waivers at half price this past week as well. The dude is somewhat limited and injury prone, but it’s a sign of the times that NO ONE would take a chance with him heading into the stretch drive because he’s certainly an NHLer with at least one above average ability.

          I saw a comment on Twitter today that posited Matt Stajan would also likely pass through waivers unmolested. That’s probably correct.

          • Robert Cleave

            Agreed re: Stajan. His contract is front-loaded, so he’s getting 4.5M in actual cash for this year and next. That alone would kill interest beyond his play. 2.5M in the last two years of his deal might make a cap-rich/cash poor team bite, but that’s a couple of years down the line.

          • BobB

            Yeah… I was just going to post the exact same thing, no one would take Stajan.

            There is going to be a league wide correction period going on in terms of salary for those middle tier guys.

            If you’re a fringe second/more often third liner and you don’t want to price yourself out of existence… you better not be making over, or much over, 2 million bucks.

            Take note Glenny.

          • everton fc

            What do you think Glencross will ask for? He is worth more than Nystrom, and I think its clear he could get 3-3.5 easy on the open market. But pricing himself internally, he is worth more than Kotalik, and Stajan, so how could we possibly get him to sign a contract worth 2-2.5?

            I don’t think we can afford him at 3 atleast for next year, until the cap space issues are fixed.

          • BobB

            Yeah, I’m certainly not saying that he couldn’t drive himself out of future roster spots like Stajan, Kotalik or Hagman have…

            that’s for GlenX and his agent to decide.

            I mean, 59.4million over 21 players (20 dressing every game) is 2.8 million average.

            If you’re playing on the third line and you’re making 3.0 (Hagman) and 3.5 (Stajan) you’re sucking cap space from the team’s top end.

            That’s where teams will be looking to save money, and if you’ve got a Crosby/Malkin situation… or Ovechkin/Backstrom or Toews/Kane… you’re borrowing a bunch of that money from the third and fourth lines to pay for those top two units.

            If you’re a LEGIT first/second liner like HSedin and Kesler… no prob, but GLenX to me is still an overachieving 3rd liner.

            I wouldn’t pay him a cent more than 2.75, and would hope for less… if he walks… see ya!

            Seriously, we got Tanguay to re-sign as well. Will he sign for 3.5? All our best value deals right now are UFAs… Morrison deserves a small raise and the Conroy treatment for the next 2-3yrs.

            It just makes Stajan’s contract look absolutely stupid.

          • icedawg_42

            I would agree with you there,

            This team has paid through the teeth for its depth players, like Kotalik, Hagman, Stajan. Subtract two of these players we could afford another star player. Use the other three million to give tanguay and glencross a raise. Then we just need to get rid of Staios’s salary, bring in someone from the AHL – pelech, negrin, maybe brodie. And have bouwma playing in Hagmans spot next year, or stephen meyer (or both).

            That should free up an additional 2 mil to give this team some breathing room… Hopefully next year will look a lot more promising after this summer!

  • everton fc

    “We all know the risk inherent in moving futures for rentals at the deadline, but there’s the converse risk of keeping pending UFA’s only to fall short of the post-season (or get pushed out of the first round). Bit of a tough dance for Feaster right now.”

    I’ve read one of Feaster’s weaknesses is losing UFAs for no return…

    As for Hagman… Perhaps he can be moved in combination with another teams salary dump – say straight-up for Boyes, who at $4mill/year, is overpaid.

    Perhaps that’s how you move him.

    Or… you don’t move him, he picks it up a bit, puts more rubber on the net and a few go in for him.

  • icedawg_42

    2-2.5 is about right for GlenX imo – I’d like to keep him around, but if he prices himself above 2.5 then let someone else take that grenade. I still say, if Tanguay is presented with top line and power play minutes, playing along side Jarome, he’d be very agreeable to 3-3.5. He made it pretty clear he regrets leaving the first time, thanks Iron Mike