Five things: Only two of which even tangentially connect to the Flames

1. Now things are moving

Shea Weber? Locked up. Rick Nash? Finally traded. Shane Doan? Came out and set a deadline for the Coyotes to figure everything out or else he’s gone.

The logjam that existed when I wrote about the stagnant trade market last week is now no longer an issue, and one suspects that will get everyone up off their asses and onto the phones, as teams now seek frantically offload some of their unwanted contracts before someone else starts giving out offer sheets or trading largely inconsequential pieces for regular 30-goal scorers. We now have about two or three premier free agents left on the market, one of whom no one will sign because he’s Alex Semin. The second Doan signs with the Flyers or the Rangers, pretty much every team will be more or less set with their rosters as far as major free agent transactions are concerned.

Thus, all that stuff about the Flames not being able make moves because no one is interested in doing at this time so should be out the window. And it’s then that we’ll see just how committed Jay Feaster is to keeping the roster as is, which he’s said he’s comfortable with.

Given what Nash fetched, or rather, failed to fetch, one supposes that the trade market is more profitable for buyers rather than sellers these days, and given the number of teams looking for defensive help, can a Jay Bouwmeester bidding war be especially far away?

And okay yes, this is all harping on Bouwmeester, but the reason he’s been talked up is that he’s the one big-ticket contract on the Flames besides Miikka Kiprusoff, Mark Giordano, and Jarome Iginla, who are under lock and key, that wasn’t a Feaster acquisition. Cammalleri, Tanguay, Hudler, Cervenka, Wideman. All Feaster guys.

And okay yes, there’s also Anton Babchuk and Matt Stajan, but it’s important to be realistic about people wanting these contracts. No one wants these contracts and for very good reasons: They — both the players and the deals — pretty much stink.

At least Bouwmeester has demonstrable value. There’s a lot of talk from teams around the league about how "we won’t trade our guy unless someone really bowls us over." But if the Flames don’t get rid of him given an even good offer, they’re making a huge mistake. If that’s what Rick Nash pulls, home-run deals aren’t going to happen. Get used to it.

2. Okay here’s something about that Doan deadline

As mentioned above, Doan came out and said earlier this week that the Coyotes have until Friday to get their ownership situation sorted out at least to the point where he could receive assurances about their viability in the desert.

Hope he wasn’t holding his breath.

I do believe that Doan wanted to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for earlier, and he’s right that, at some point, enough has to be enough. He’s been taking meetings with interested teams for a while now and it’s hard to imagine at least one didn’t knock his socks off with an offer that’s for too many years, too much money and, most realistically, both.

But on the other hand, going from, "I want to see how this vote plays out on July 8," to, "If you don’t have this sinking ship back up to full speed by Friday, I’m gone," seems a bit much, no? It’s like the drill sergeant in a bad military movie who messes up your perfectly-made bed right in front of you, then screams at you to make your bed like he told you.

Now that Doan has seen what’s out there, I can’t imagine a return to the desert, regardless of the Jamison bid’s future — because let’s be honest, how many of these things have we seen already — will be the best possible idea for him as he seeks his cash-out contract.

You can’t blame the guy for wanting out, but the way he wants out sure is crummy.

3. Poor Tim Erixon


4. Some quick thoughts on Rick Nash

I theory, I like the idea of the Rangers going out and getting Rick Nash. They gave up relatively little for a guy who could be a dominant top-line winger alongside a great playmaker like Brad Richards and another goalscoring threat like Marian Gaborik. That top power play unit could be terrifying. It also fleshes out the Rangers’ one true weakeness last season: A mediocre top-six.

(Yeah, Nash is on a really bad contract but the Rangers are basically a plaything for a terribly rich man who can afford to bury tens of millions of dollars’ worth of bad deals in the minor leagues because, well, who cares? If it comes to it, Rick Nash could finish out his Rangers career riding the bus for all anyone cares.)

And with Nash, the Rangers instantly become a team with more credibility than they already had and, given that they already won that division last season, don’t seem less likely to do so again given that every other team in the division is now worse (Flyers, Devils) or in stasis (Penguins, Islanders). This feels very much like an arms race against no one in particular, which, I suppose, is a good way to improve an already very successful team.

I know it’s kind of rote to say the Rangers are favorites in the East and will likely compete for the Stanley Cup next June, but, well, look at them. Good team, money to spend, just went out and got a great wing. I don’t know how Glen Sather does it.

5. Don’t cry for me, Shea Weber

I love love love that Shea Weber is now crying poor because the Predators may or may not give him the no-trade clause the Flyers were going to. Boo hoo it really sucks having $110 million dollars. This is the worst day.

Hey Shea, if you wanted all that money and to get locked in with Philly for the next decade and a half, maybe you should have just demanded a trade instead of signing an offer sheet. The Flyers (and a few other teams) apparently thought a trade was possible before Paul Holmgren said "screw it" and just slid him the offer sheet instead. I don’t recall hearing anything about a trade demand, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

I get it from his end: He wanted a big deal before the CBA expired so he could maximize his earnings. He wanted to go to a city that he knew would spend big money and be a premier free agent destination for the remainder of his career. He wanted assurances that he wouldn’t be traded from there, as Holmgren is wont to do with all long-term signees not named Dany Briere.

But it’s like, hey buddy, you just tried to screw the team you’re now tied to for the next 14 seasons. Why do you think they should owe you something beyond what the CBA mandates they do? If it makes you feel any better, you can use part of the $27 million you’ll receive by next July 1 to get plastic surgery that renders you unable to either cry or pout.


  • Old Soldier

    “We now have about two or three premier free agents left on the market, one of whom no one will sign because he’s Alex Semin.”

    Signed a 1 year $7 million contract with Carolina……

    Poor deal for Nash? Maybe, Maybe not…..depends on what you base it on

    Cap Hit comparables for Nash, Stamkos and Parise. If that is the rational, good deal for the Rangers.

    Stat comparables for Nash (4 years removed from 40 goal season), are Pasqual Dupuis and Justin Williams. Stats are comparable for last 2 years. Good geal for Columbus.

    Intangible argument? irrelevant. Poor team held stats down? Williams played on 3rd line most of the season. Will do better with better players….possible,how much better was Gaborik with Richards, since that was the argument last year.

    As far as Bouwmeester. For the money he costs what does he bring to any team? Is he a shutdown guy? Nope. Is he an offensive dynamo? Nope. Is he a physical force that keeps other players honest? Nope. Bouwmeester is the safest Hockey player in the world. He wont hurt you. He wont help you. He just is…..

  • Old Soldier

    I guess some people don’t consider JBo as a shutdown guy because he was minus whatever the number last season. In JBo’s defence, most worked as a shutdown pair whose partner is significantly better than a number 5 or 6 d-man. Just saying….

  • McRib


    “people knock Wideman’s defensive play because he’s….”

    You sound just like the Kool-Aid Drinkers at TSN and the Hockey News so certain of nothing. I personally comment on what I’ve seen. If Wideman went to any other team it would have been how great a pick up it was, but for whatever reason they all think we should tank for a decade to get a couple unproven first overall picks like Edmonton. They thought the same of Ottawa last year… They were supposed to finish dead last… They did not. The reason Edmonton tanked is because no Free Agent wanted to go there… Dany Heatley ring a bell?

    Having watched Wideman in Boston’s run in ’09 (+32 that year) and with Washington last season he never once glaringly stood out for me, just don’t see what your talking about. John Carlson (-15) definitely did and the whole playoffs, yet TSN continued to sing his defensive praise. Haha.

    “also, +/- is almost certainly the most useless stat in existence…..”

    The Flames drafted Brett Kulak as would any team who selected him, solely on his +/- and upside. In terms of defenseman any scout I have ever talked to mentions a prospects situational +/- second if not first when assessing them. The odd time its irrelevant when a player is leaving the ice or what have you but 9 times out of 10 it is a direct indication. Completely disagree with it being a useless stat, so does every scout I’ve ever talked to.

    Jeff Schultz is +83 for his career and only once in six season has he ever finished in the negatives (Last season -2). Christian Ehrhoffs departure from Vancouver was a major reason why Vancouver went from a Stanley Cup finalist to being eliminated in the first round. Kevin Bieksa +/- after his departure dropped 20 points. Toni Lydman has been a plus player every year outside of those spent in Calgary in our horrendous “young guns era”.

  • McRib


    “His (Wideman) offensive contributions, especially on the powerplay, offset that to some extent..”

    Wideman is a Top 10 offensive defenseman in the league.

    Look at his Point Totals the last five season:
    ’12 (46 Pts), ’11 (40 Pts), ’10 (30 Pts), ’09 (50 Pts), ’08 (36 Pts)
    Ryan Suters Last Five years:
    ’12 (46 Pts), ’11 (39 Pts), ’10 (37 Pts), ’09 (45 Pts), ’08 (31 Pts)

    Suter is making $7.5 Mil, yet Wideman is only making $5.25 but according to THN he is the worst signing of the off season. Haha. Not to mention second assist machine Matt Carle signed for $5.5 Wideman had 7 more goals than him last year.

    Other Defenders Wideman finished ahead of in points last season: Dion Phaneuf, Drew Doughty, Mike Green (last two years Wideman has 55 more points), James Wisniewski $5.5 Million, Brent Seabrook, Ducan Keith, Kris Letang, Brent Burns, Keith Yandle, Kevin Bieksa, P.K. Subban, Tomas Kaberle.

    Our Top.3 Defenders: Dennis Wideman , Mark Giordano, Jay Bouwmeester could easily have 110+ Points that is as productive a Blue line as any. Just don’t see how we are going finish in 10-14 like all the “experts” are predicting.

    • McRib

      Wisniewski was probably the worst signing of all time.

      I don’t, and never did, agree with THN that Wideman was the worst, or even a bad signing. His contract was too much for too long, but it wasn’t horrible, and he fills 3 needs of the Flames’ that I can think of (offense from the blueline, RHS dman, top 4 dman). just don’t expect him to be as good defensively as he is offensively.

  • McRib

    @ Baalzamon: I think based on the numbers it will be a wait & see how Wideman does. We desperately needed a 3-4 RHS dman, thats what we got & as a UFA you have to overpay in $$$ but remember, you gave up zero assets to acquire. The whining will start after year 3 of his deal. Whatever, every team gets stuck with these kind of contracts, nature of the beast.

    @ Mcrib: Reason why the experts are projecting 10-14 is because of what we got down the middle(centres). Personally, I think if we trade JBO we have to have to get a good centre back, so a deal like Backlund & Jbo for Schenn or Courture from Philly would rock & I doubt Philly does that, maybe. Thats why Statsny is a very realistic target centre & he would be a huge upgrade from what we will be starting with as of right now. Our only hope if Feaster does nothing else is hope both Backlund has a huge rebound year & Cerevenka is the real deal or we have a lockout & then we’ll be tied for 1st overall by the end of October:)