Flames Deadline Primer 2012

 

 

With the Flames dropping a few games in a row and falling to 11th in the West but still within striking distance of a playoff spot, it’s hard to guess what will happen tomorrow. And judging from the conflicting messages Jay Feaster has sent the last few days, Calgary’s management isn’t too sure either.

Sale Items

Calgary has a few pending UFA’s that might demand some sort of return if they go the sell route.

Olli Jokinen, C – Joker is having his best season in years and has likely reinvigorated interest in his services when it was seriously suggested he might flee to Europe as a free agent to summers ago. He’s simplified his game a bit since Brent started calling the shots and his counting numbers have been helped by some of the best percentages on the team.

Jokinen is the one piece who could attract a real return (think first round pick), but it’s unlikely the Flames will move him. He’s leading the team in scoring and the depth behind him has been decimated by injury. The only way Feaster deals Jokinen is if he decides the playoffs are out of the question.

Scott Hannan, D – It’s clear this yearr that the former top pairing, shut-down defender is slowing down. Hannan has spent most of his time on the second pairing for the Flames and he has some of the worst underlying numbers on the blueline. He’s not terrible mobiel or capable with the puck, but Hannan is still useful on the PK and could still help out in a depth role on a lot of bluelines.

Like Jokinen, Hannan may be considered too useful to the Flames short-term goals to move. Unless the Flames grab another defender to play in the top-4, Hannan is probably not going anywhere.

Cory Sarich, D – After speding a lot of time as a healthy scratch, injuries evenutally got Sarich back into the line-up on the third pairing and he has stuck ever since. Sarich is even more immobile than Hannan and there are times it’s clear the game moves a bit too fast for him these days. He also struggles with chronic pain/injury issues.

All that said, Sarich can still hit like a mack truck when he catches someone and it useful when kept on the third unit and paired with a partner who can skate. The return for Sarich would be modest (3rd rounder), but there might be a market for him.

David Moss, RW – Mosser has spent most of the season on IR, although he’s close to returning. He may be of interest as a depth option to a playoff squad if the Flames decide they aren’t going to re-sign him. An unspectacular player in many regards, Moss is the nevertheless a smart, efficient forward who plays within himself and rarely makes a mistake.

Because he’s been hurt all year, Moss won’t command any kind of notable return if he’s made available. My guess would be a mid-round pick.

Lee Stempniak, RW – The former Coyote was having a pretty decent season before being felled with knee issues. He’s out until late March, so there’s little chance teams will have interest in renting him.

Tom Kostopolous, Tim Jackman, LW/RW – The pluggers are functional 4th liners who can hold their own against many other depth options in the league. It’s possible one or both won’t be re-upped by the team in the summer, but it’s unlikely there will be much interest in their services at the deadline either. The only way I see either Jackman or Kosto traded is if they end up as part of a packakge deal.

Flames Needs

Let’s face it – the Flames need just about everything. The club doesn’t have a lot of draft picks or futures to dangle, however, so if they go looking for an addition or an upgrade, they’ll have to find a partner that’s looking for something they’re selling. It’s possible (Chicago may want Sarich or Hannan for example) but it limits the numbers of viable partners significantly.

If Feaster decides to "buy" tomorrow, it should be for more than mere rental players: either a guy signed for seasons beyond this one or some who the team is interested and in confident in re-signing. Another "7th rounder for Modin" type trade isn’t pointless.

  • Feaster had better be on the phone with Ville Nieminen, Krystof Oliwa, and Chris Simon’s agents. Bring back some of the 04 Cup run boys and let’s go on a crazy, unpredictable run to the Cup.

    Coooommmeeee ooonnnnn!

  • Jokinen is the leading scorer partly by virtue of good fortune, especially with the man advantage. He may be overvalued right now and, if so, might be a great player to move.

    “the depth behind him has been decimated by injury”

    The team has lost a lot more than 10% of its forwards! It would be lovely if they were only down 1.2 players.

    I’d hang on to David Moss, an otherwise capable guy that will no doubt be undervalued.

    Excellent analysis, by the way, especially of Scott Hannan.

    Any chance someone would want Anton Babchuk or Matt Stajan?

  • beloch

    So far, Feaster seems to have taken a slightly longer view than Darryl Sutter did. He’s made lateral trades that brought the Flames youth (e.g. Lanks for Stemps), didn’t hurt the club in the short-term and will likely help in the long-term. The Bourque-Cammalleri trade looked to be pretty firmly rooted in the now, but Ramo might be an important piece in the future and Cammalleri, despite his salary, has more potential upside than Bourque did (plus Cammy is 6 months younger to boot). The trades that look the worst were ones he made to free up cap space (e.g. the Regehr trade), but even there he managed to get the team younger. He’s also made some intelligent claims off of waivers. He picked up Brendan Mikkelson and then moved him for Blair Jones, and Blair Jones for nothing is certainly something. Comeau hasn’t exactly lit it up during his stay in Calgary, but there’s no questions the lineup over the last month or so would have looked even scarier without him.

    The biggest fear a lot of fans have is that Feaster will trade picks and elite prospects like Baertschi in order to rent a pending UFA veteran for a cup run that may be over before round 1 even begins. I think this is unlikely since it would run against a rather clear pattern of seeking out younger assets. Despite the public “win now” message, I think Feaster is carrying out a soft rebuild with the full blessing of the owners. Making the playoffs during a rebuild of any sort is, of course, a good thing, but it’s not worth pulling the rebuild off the rails to make it happen. That’s the last message you want to send to fans though, since most want to see their team do well now, not five years from now. Also, one need look no further than Edmonton to see why the ‘R’ word is so scary.

    All that being said, predicting what Feaster will do is a little harder than figuring out what he won’t do. All the noise he’s been making in the media about the Flames making reporters busy at the deadline if the team’s performance doesn’t improve? Probably just posturing to let the league know he’s open to offers. I think he could easily choose to stand pat. As said above, with the playoff race still undecided the team needs its trade-able assets too much to sell them off and they clearly can’t trade away any more major picks or rookies so they can’t be buyers either. If Feaster does make a major trade, it will likely be another lateral one like the Bourque-Cammalleri trade where both teams get something they want without either team really being sellers or buyers. However, I’d expect it to be far more likely that he moves some minor, superfluous parts like Karlsson or Babchuk (fingers crossed) for whatever he can get.

  • Given the price of players right now, I have no problem with with Feaster doing nothing when it comes to “buying” at the deadline. Sometimes the best move is to make no move at all.

    If we’re being “intellectually honest”, I really don’t think that this team is going to make the playoffs. I would prefer to see us become sellers.

    I have a feeling that it will be a quiet day for Calgary.

  • Greg

    I would love to see a jokinen for a first deal tomorrow. Anything less than that wouldn’t be worth the optics of giving up too early (has to be an “offer we couldn’t turn down”) and you may as well role the dice on the playoffs. If it does happen though, then the playoff race is definitely over and you may as well move a Hannan or whatever else you possibly can for whatever you can.

  • T&A4Flames

    I asked this on an earlier thread, but, did anyone claim Clitsome from CLB? Is there any sort of rule regarding waiver pick ups? I think I heard something regarding not being able to pick up until Monday. I think that would be a good pick up for us.

    • loudogYYC

      Teams have until tomorrow at 10AM MST to claim Clitsome off waivers. So Feaster would have to move out an extra body by then.

      Maybe Jokinen, Hannan and a 3rd to Chicago for Mark McNeil, Frolik and a 1st??

      Capgeek.com says Olli has a NMC but Steinberg said its a limited NTC on the radio the other day. I hope we find out tomorrow.

  • Parallex

    Even if the Flames were willing to move Olli I don’t think Olli is eager to be moved. Really, I think that in terms of waiving NMC/NTC’s Olli is the most likely to say “no”.

    Most guys when asked by the media about trade rumors avoid bringing up the clause if they have one… Olli didn’t shy away from it at all a few weeks back.

    Functionally, the guys the Flames have won’t fetch much of anything (if anything at all), or they can’t be moved (for one reason or another), or shouldn’t be moved.

    It’s gonna be a quiet deadline for us I feel. Maybe we’ll move one of Hannan or Sarich but that’s about it.

  • RKD

    My guess is that Feaster and co. stand pat. Even though the Flames dropped to 11th they are still very close to the eighth spot.

    Feaster’s huffing and puffing on TV was probably more of a motivator. Unless, he really believes the Flames fooled him again this year. We’ve seen nothing to the contrary in terms of an organizational shift. The youth movement has been nice but it hasn’t translated into consistency.

    You probably get the most return for Jokinen, but I can’t see them trading their most consistent player and top point getter.

    Hope they can move Babchuk, I would like to see Frolik, Roy or Weiss here. I doubt Weiss though with the Panthers in a buying mode.

    Chicago needs a d-man, but they might go after one of Souray, Visnovsky, or Spacek.

  • SmellOfVictory

    Hope the rumours of Calgary picking up Grabovski as a rental are false. No more trades with Toronto!!!!!

    It really is kind of ironic, Calgary may want to be a buyer but they cant. They have no more limit left on their credit card. Our injuries coming back is about the extent of us buying players to help this lineup. They cant really make seller moves because if they did, most of the uFAs will aggressively shopped and there would be a huge market for Kipper & Joker. Trading Iggy requires way more time & the decision to shop him obviously hasnt been made. If either of those two guys get traded, that makes the statement we given up on the playoffs. Given Minny & Vanc & Anaheim won, that isnt good.

    So the big mystery will be, how much is Feaster willing to sell tomorrow. If nothing happens, we miss the playoffs I wonder what Jay will say when challenged “Hey Jay, you were fooled twice, shame on you! Now what?”

  • Franko J

    I’m agreeing with most of the bloggers that Calgary will be pretty quiet on trading day tomorrow.

    While they still toy with Flames fans emotions by being a few points out of a playoff position, Feaster is in a very difficult position to trade players because:

    1. Too many players are injured.
    2. Too many players are tied into limited or no trade clauses.
    3. NO assets such as legit prospects or draft picks.
    4. Too many other teams have better veteran players than the Flames to offer to potential buyers. (Sorry I think Flames fans overvalue players on this team and other GM’s in the league know when to stay away from lousy contracts with mediocre players ie Stajan, Babchuk, and Sarich).
    5. Feaster best assests are “hands off” according to ownership / management.
    6. IMO Feaster and the Flames will be more likely to make trades during the off season at the draft when they are in a stronger position to trade with multiple teams rather than a few teams.
    7. Last point: The Flames management is probably trading players for the new head coach and coaching staff in the off season.

  • Franko J

    If Iggy gets moved it’ll be in the summer, but Feaster has been very contradictory in what he’s said. I almost think he’s fighting guerilla warfare against the owners in that he’d like to rebuild, but isn’t allowed to.

    Despite the ‘win now’ message, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the Flames won’t sell the farm for one last run, which is good, as long as they don’t stand pat. I can hold off until the summer, but if we coeme back next year with no big moves (one way or the other), I’m gonna vomit.

    Trade Kipper, Joker and Iggy and hope we can still tank into the bottom 5.

    We have youth in our bottom 6, we now need to make the right moves to bring it into our top 6.

  • Franko J

    “Another ‘7th rounder for Modin’ type trade isn’t pointless.”

    I read this three times, and I don’t get it. Another “7th round for Modin” type trade is the most potent example of pointlessness I can think of?

    Were you serious here Kent? A typo?