It hasn’t been the highly active off-season most fans were hoping for, but there have been a few items that have crept into the news for Flames-land.
While some of the news reaching the fan base has brought about smiles, there are also the ones that have left people still shaking their heads wondering if anything will ever change or worse yet saying, “What now?”
HERE WE GO AGAIN…
It seems the rumours around the Flames having another major deal in the works just won’t go away. According to Brendan Savage of Mlive.com, the Detroit Redwings are reportedly ‘talking’ about Bouwmeester, with the Flames to see if they can work out a deal. What would be coming back the other way hasn’t yet been mentioned and is thus left to speculation and wishing.
It’s no secret that the Wings have to be concerned about their back-end, with the departures of Lidstrom and Stuart. The fact that they missed the boat on Ryan Suter has to weigh heavy on the organization as well. However, one thing the Wings have never done is panicked and made a move that they didn’t feel was absolutely the best things for their team. This brings us back to JayBo.
If it is true, it makes a lot of sense from the perspective of the Wings to go after Jay. It also makes sense from the Flames’ perspective if they are hell bent on shedding defensemen, contracts and a bit of salary. What might ultimately kill the deal between the two clubs is that neither is in a rush to make a hasty decision about a lofty contract.
It’s from this perspective that I breathe a sigh of relief for both the Flames and Bouwmeester. By no means am I in favour of dealing the NHL’s ‘Iron Man’; or doing anything that remotely helps the Red Wings. However, if Feaster is bound and determined to trade him, then I’m glad he’s not “Phaneuf-ing” on any deals. It probably also helps that in spite of anything discussed, it will still be the decision of Jay whether he waives his NMC. Regardless, it seems like talks are heating up.
Other suitors have included the Philadelphia Flyers, after losing out on Shea Weber, and recently Andrej Meszaros with a torn Achilles tendon. With no replacement for Chris Pronger, the missed Weber opportunity and the Meszaros’ injury, it’s not inconceivable that the Flyers might be interested in the likes of Jay Bouwmeester.
Last month, the Nation Network’s own Jonathan Willis brought up another scenario that is sure to get a rise out of Flames’ and Oilers’ fans alike. Could the Oilers and Flames work out a trade involving Bouwmeester? There is no doubt that the Oil still needs help on the back-end, and JayBo would probably be a really good fit in Shelbyville. While the trade may make sense for the Oilers, there just doesn’t seem to be likelihood from the Flames perspective.
What would even be the suggested return for the Flames to even consider trading their #1 rear-guard to a division rival that is already going to be nipping at their heels in the standings? Surely Feaster is going to want someone, or more likely someones, that Tambell.. err Lowe just isn’t going to be prepared to give up. Willis suggests that the likely return would involve names like Hemsky, Whitney, Nick Schultz and even Sam Gagner. How do any of these names help the Flames now, or in the future to make the deal enticing? Hemsky and Whitney are 28 and 29 respectively, older than should be considered to make the deal appealing and not to mention too injury ridden.
Sam Gagner is only 22 and could look at playing significant minutes for the Flames, but again, while Edmonton may be willing to move that affordable youth, is he even a guy Feaster would look at. I’m thinking not.
As JW says, “Naturally, any such deal would also likely need to include good prospects”; I just don’t think that is a road that the forever re-building Oil wants to walk. That in conjunction with the Flames, demonstrating a no urgency attitude in dealing JayBo, and the deal just seems nothing more than ‘what-if’ talk around the water cooler. Nothing to get charged up about…
SPEAKING OF CHARGES…
No, I don’t mean Michael Ferland. I think Ryan Pike did a good enough job covering that. We’ll add more after we hear more; but it’s good to see the Flames standing behind Ferland on this and he is very adamant about his innocence.
Something to get charged up about is happening with the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp. Three Flames prospects all made the final cuts for the team and all three suited up for the team’s first exhibition game against Finland.
Both John Gaudreau and Patrick Sieloff registered points in the 5-4 win for USA Blue and Jonathan Gillies played the second half in relief of John Gibson; facing nine shots and allwoing three goals.
The Flames also have goaltender prospect Laurent Brossoit on the roster for Team Canada in the 2012 Friendship Series, which will see two games scheduled in Yaroslavl Russia and two games in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canada took game 1 this morning, 3-2 with Malcolm Subban in net, but Brossoit will get his chance between the pipes as well.
It was a long season for Laurent with the Edmonton Oilkings, and it appears that it’s not slowing down that much in the off-season. Flames fans should definitely be enthused about his work ethic and dedication to his trade. Last month, Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald talked about how Brossoit has piled on the miles.
“The thing about Laurent is that he has a great work ethic,” Malarchuk said. “He’s a great athlete. The goaltending technical part is pretty dang good, but his athleticism is pretty impressive. What I like about him and this may be trivial, but for a young guy he uses his stick well. Nowadays, that’s kind of a lost art.”
– Clint Malarchuk
The key for Malarchuk and the Flames will be to harness that energy and focus and perhaps temper some of Brossoit’s exuberance before they can get him into the organization’s fold. “He’s played a lot of hockey,” marvelled Flames goalie coach Clint Malarchuk. “Before he goes home, I plan to talk to him. I want him to continue his conditioning — and he is in good shape — but maybe scale back his on-ice stuff for a little bit. Give the body time to recuperate.”