STOKING THE FIRE – In Search of a Hot Ember…

 

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.”

  • I just don’t buy it that the Flames are gonna get rid of Bouwmeester. Sure, there may be talks, but sometimes I talk about being a millionaire; Doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen. I feel the Flames are going to want a top package that includes a good player, pick and prospect, and I don’t think any teams are going to give that up.

    • Vintage Flame

      That is entirely possible. The only hope the Flames have at getting a big package like you described is if two teams like Detroit and Philly start bidding him up to the Flames.

      If only one team is involved, the trade won’t bode well for Calgary.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Nice to see some content out of you VF. I hope Kent isn’t paying by each piece you write.

        My take on Bouwmeester is simply this. He is the Flames best defensive defensemen by a wide margin (no off offense to Giordano). The fact that he is over-paid by $2M or so is no longer hurting the Flames, plus there are bigger salary problems on the blueline that do hurt the team (see Babchuck and Sarich). Fans may not like the way Bouwmeester goes about he is business, but rationally speaking it’s effective. If the Flames trade him, they need a good defensemen to come back. Failing this will make Kipprusoff a nightly shooting gallery, and we’ll start using words like porous and oiler-like to describe the blue line in Calgary. If he needs to be moved so be it, but exact heavy price and ensure this is not a salary dump.

        • ChinookArchYYC

          Well said buddy, my sentiments exactly. I think the top 4 D we have going into this year is better than last year with Wideman in the fold. I also am looking forward to the new dynamic of our top 6. So really, if the return isnt excellent let them sign Hannan & McCabe. if the return sucks & its a salary dump, then we have other problems.

        • Vintage Flame

          Sorry about the hiatus guys especially after being away once already. Kent was nice enough to give me some time off to deal with a family death. Rest assured that I am back full time and there is more coming.

          It’s no insult to Gio to say that JayBo is our best defenseman. They have different styles, and both are effective in their own rite.

          Personally I find the whole JayBo is overpaid argument tiresome. There are plenty of players in the league that share that critique and constantly singling out Bouw or is a cop out. IMO.

          There is no doubt that he would have gotten this money or more from a number of other teams when he was signed by Sutter, so was Darryl an idiot because he did it first? I hardly think so.

          If Bouw gets dealt there is z STRONG possibility that the Flames lose no matter what they get in return. What he is worth in return is anybodies guess, and true we probably over vallue him some what… but there is no denying that with the kack of neccessity to move him, Feaster should have the leverage to make a suitable deal that helps us now OR moderately now and more in the future.

  • Vintage Flame

    The Flames will do what is in the Best interest of the team, now, and always. If Bouwmeester does go, it is because he cant handle Hartley`s system, and the return can. Same goes for all the Jabber of Leafs looking at Kiprusoff. (Though please God No )

    • Taylor was almost guaranteed to get signed. He was excellent for the Heat. In the event that somebody refuses to report to Abbotsford for whatever reason or gets claimed on waivers (and a contract possibly clears up), he could get a cheap NHL deal.

      If that happens.

  • Incidentally, former Flame Stefan Meyer has reportedly signed with the Schwenninger Wild Wings of Germany’s secondary league.

    Meyer is an unrestricted free agent who spent the majority of last season with Farjestads of the Elitserien. He played 16 games with Calgary in 2010-11.

    • IIRC correctly, Meyer wasn’t half bad when he played for the Flames. I remember him being a bit like Brodie; showed well in camp, played in exhibition and the first few regular season games, then was sent down.

      I recall thinking he was pretty good (for what we had at the time) and would eventually stick to the bigs. Seems that I also recall people around here agreed.

      Why did he split?

  • Michael

    The Flames have very few big ‘chips’ left to dangle, so if you trade JBo, you ideally want to package him for a #1 center, or a high end prospect. Thats a hockey trade, but if Feaster’s motivation is financial (reducing our salaries) he is likely to accept a lower return. Having a second or even third team in the bidding may even turn a ‘financial’ trade into a worth while return.

  • RKD

    Everyone is saying the Flames won’t get good return for Jay-Bo given the uncertainty of the CBA and the fact the Flames could have to shed salary if the cap goes down.

    I would hate if Feaster didn’t get good return for Jay-Bo. Darryl royally screwed up the Phaneuf trade, how on earth could we digest giving up Jay-Bo for average return or less.

    This is our time to take from Detroit, I would really attempt to pry Val Filppula. He’s making $3 million next season, the only bad part is that he is a UFA next summer.

    Hopefully, with Hudler here that could entice him to sign a longer term deal here.

    • Reidja

      If the cap goes down, shouldn’t NHL salaries go down with it? It’s not going to be a case of cap teams getting rid of contracts to get under the cap I hope. What a mess that would be. Hearing what Kerr said on the fan sounded like the Flames rights holder trying to brace us for a lower return then we might expect. I’m worried that Feaster may screw this one up badly.

  • RKD

    The Flames seem to want to target the 25-28 age range, for obvious reasons, so I can see them going after Filpulla for that exact reason.

    No way the Wings trade SMith, he has way too much potential, is young and the entire idea of the trade is to add D, not swap them.

    I also think they would prefer not to move Nyquist or Jarnkrok as they are also young and have high ceilings. And again, I think the Flames don’t have the patience to wait and see ona young guy, they want ‘now.’

    So, even though I’m not the biggest Filpulla fan, I can see them going that route. Not saying that it would be 1-for-1, but as a major component.

    On the other hand, how many complimentary bloody wingers do the Flames need? Obviously Datsyuk and Zetterberg are going nowhere, so who on Detroit would that leave?

    • “The entire idea of the trade is to add D, not swap them”

      This may or may not be true, depending on what the Wings want to do. Do the Wings want to win once more with this core (Datsyuk, Franzen, Zetterberg, et al.) or do they want to build for the future?

      My thought is that they want to win at least once more before these guys age out. JBo for Smith does that. It’s a stupid long-term move, but in the short-term it may prove good.

      Why would the Flames want Smith though? A good young d-man? This team needs freakin’ offense, a center, something! If we’re going to wait on Janko, then maybe getting Smith would be good.

  • Well if its Filppula, then if we get a 1st rounder, so be it. 1st rounders in next years draft seem to be a very very good thing. Also, what happens if there is no season, dont they do a lottery, then we have 2 chances in the lottery. Anybody know what happens, surely Oilers dont get another 2nd overall & potentially 4th first overall pick by default in that scenario?

    • About the 2005 lottery draft:

      “Teams were assigned 1 to 3 balls based on their playoff appearances and first overall draft picks from the past three years. According to the draft order, the selection worked its way up to 30 as usual; then instead of repeating the order as in past years, the draft “snaked” back down to the team with the first pick.”

      Flames have NEVER picked in the top 3/5, and ended up getting hosed. They got to pick 26th (because of their Cup appearance the previous year) and took Matt Pelech. Then our second rounder went to SJ (for Kipper). It was awful.

      If this happens, Oilers will SOMEHOW end up picking first (despite it not being possible), Pittsburgh will pick second, Rangers will pick third, and all Canadian teams except the Leafs will be taken behind the chemical shed and summarily executed. Kansas City Flames, Seattle Canucks, Las Vegas Jets, Houston Canadiens, Dakota Oilers, and the Hartford Senators.

    • SmellOfVictory

      The Flames’ own pick would get 3 balls in the lottery (just an estimate, but likely a roughly ~7% chance at 1st overall), plus another ~2% chance due to the ball from either Detroit or Philadelphia.

      The entire draft order would be determined by lottery, so it would be entirely possible (but highly unlikely) that the Flames would end up with both 1st and 2nd overall, or any other combination of two first round picks. The Oilers would have ~2% chance at getting 1st overall, but would most likely end up in the bottom half of the draft.

      • Thx man. Maybe we should go to Canmore & start searching for lucky rabbit feet:-). Bring your gun. How sweet would the #1 & #2 picks be. Sure gets the wheels turning about how to achieve that & what would you be prepared to give up to get that.

  • BurningSensation

    In a JBo deal I’m hoping we can get two guys from the following list;

    Jarnkrok
    Nyqvist
    Smith
    Pulkkinnen
    Jurko
    Tatar

    I don’t love the idea of Filpulla as the centerpiece of the return, first because I doubt his ceiling hasn’t already been reached, but also because his contract is up too fast. He’d be Stajan part deux.

    If Philly puts either Coutourier or B.Schenn on the table I say ‘Yes’ and hangup the phone.

  • SmellOfVictory

    If there was ever a draft to get #1 and 2 overall in, this would be it. MacKinnon and Jones, if they live up to billing, would form the core of a very good team.

  • SmellOfVictory

    the general feeling around internet land seems to be that the Flames won’t get much of a return for Bouwmeester. I don’t understand why that is.

    the Flames are under NO pressure to move him. None. At all. If Feaster doesn’t like the offers that are out there, he’s perfectly happy keeping the other Jay around.

    Meanwhile, the teams like Detroit and Philadelphia NEED an upgrade on D. And not just a bandaid like they could get in free agency either. Someone who can play big minutes (though I imagine Colaiacovo will go to one or the other of those teams).

    If Bouwmeester gets moved, I don’t think anyone in Flamesville will be disappointed at the return. If he doesn’t get moved… he doesn’t get moved.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Hockey fans are, by and large, an unsophisticated, mentally dull bunch. They see a guy who was highly-touted come out of Florida, get overpaid, and underperform, and decide that he is thus useless. They decide that he has no redeeming qualities because he’s “heartless” and doesn’t hit people enough; additionally, the greatest hockey player of all time, Mike Peca, trash talked him.

      • SmellOfVictory

        “additionally, the greatest hockey player of all time, Mike Peca, trash talked him.”

        lol yeah, I always wondered why no one ever deplored the guy for that quote. First, because it was a totally classless thing to say about another player, and second because Peca NEVER scored a single point against Bouwmeester EVER. Yeah. Easy to play against. We believe you Mike.

        I’m sure that if Bouwmeester was actually classless enough to make such an asinine comment about another player, he’d have something very similar to say about Peca. Fortunately, Bouwmeester isn’t classless.

        sorry, I felt like ranting, apparently.

    • I think this is a little naive. This is way too logical for reality 100% of the time. How many times have we seen just the opposite happen? How much pressure were they in to move Phaneuf? He had his “locker room cancer” rumor but that is a terrible reason to move a major chip for peanuts. I know these are different GMs but Feaster, IMO, is no brainiac.

      I am just hoping he does exactly what you are suggesting is automatic.

      I also happen to think that the $$ in the contract has more “value” then a lot of us give credence to. Salary cap and $$ going out seem to really affect the trade value much more than I would have thought.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        naive? well, maybe. I’m still pretty young.

        then again, I’m also [usually] pretty cynical. Oddly, not always where my favourite team is concerned, though. I guess everyone needs something to be optimistic about.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    what if Bouwmeester went to the Blues in exchange for Alex Steen and Roman Polak? (I’d have said Patrik Berglund, but the Blues might be reluctant to move him, given his youth and skill). Polak’s underlyings have pretty much gotten progressively worse every year for some reason, but he’s a large right-shooting defenseman who plays physical. Imagine him on a pair with Giordano.

    Also, Steen is awesome, and can play center (though I don’t think he has for years).