Earlier this off-season, I noted the Flames had a rather grim future because their roster featured next to no players in their prime years. Of the regular skaters who played for Calgary last year, the 28 and over demographic scored 83% of the points while accounting for 73% of the cap budget and more than 70% of the ice time.
The good news is, the Calgary Flames are apparently well aware of this issue.
“One of the things we talked about during the year is that we have quite a gap in our age and the balance of our lineup. We have all these 33-, 34-, 35-year-old players, then we’ve got some young bucks we really like, 19-, 20-, 21-year-olds. So we’re really missing that middle gap that sort of drives the train.”
That’s John Weisbrod explaining the decision to walk away from Joey Leach this morning. Clearly, the Flames want to give precedence to either guys with higher ceilings than Leach, or guys who are closer to that sweet spot between 23 and 27. Weisbrod notes that Calgary has a lot of pro contracts in the organization already, so the club is down to prioritizing certain players over others.
I find his explanation satisfactory for the decision. Further, it’s nice to know the Flames are fully aware of the unbalanced nature of their roster and are taking steps to correct it. The challenge, of course, is to do something about it.
Some other interesting items from Vicki Hall’s story:
– "There is simmering discontent about the (high) US content of the Flames front office."
This is news to me, but I suppose silly nationalistic sentiments aren’t unknown in the game. And to those grumbling about Americans in the Flames front office I say: stop being ridiculous. Feel free to criticize the decision makers when they do something wrong or engage in sophistry, but I think we should be past the point where we inspect a guys birth certificate as a way to determine if he is capable or worthy of the position.