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.)