Five things: This is that

1. Just the thing they do now

Monday night, you’ll recall, was arguably the worst Flames performance of the season, and that’s saying something special given the stinkers they’ve mailed in already in their first 14 games. That shootout loss to Minnesota springs to mind as a pretty bad one, as does the loss to Colorado, as does the loss to St. Louis.

But at least there’s a pattern beginning to develop, and we can start to draw something from that. Ludicrously small sample size aside, one thing I’ve noticed in a lot of these games is that when the Flames play poorly (which is obviously "often"), Bob Hartley goes on some little rant and rave about how some guys on this team take the night off — the postgame scrum in Phoenix stands are evidence enough of this phenomenon — and then as if by magic, Calgary goes out and plays extremely well in the next game. And so forth.

The Colorado loss gave way to the utterly dominant and unlucky shootout loss to Chicago. The Minnesota shootout loss was followed by the 7-4 blowout of Dallas. The humbling from the Blues was answered by that amazing third-period comeback over Dallas (those guys again!).

Of course, this serves two purposes, neither of which are particularly beneficial to Calgary. The first is that it keeps them firmly and deeply near-.500 all season long, in the familiar position of just barely out of the playoff hunt. That’s obviously nothing new, and not going to change any time soon. The second is that it gives everyone a chance to ruminate on the various "what-ifs" that these win necessarily create. If the Flames can go out and push around Chicago, for example (though still ultimately only settle for the loser point), then they can’t be so far away from being actually competitive. All they need to do is put it all together every night for the entire season and boy howdy it’ll all go great then.

Even the dimmest observers of the sport, on the other hand, will tacitly acknowledge that there’s no way in hell any team, let alone Calgary, can play at the level to which the Flames occasionally climb for all or even most of a season. The push they’d need to clamber back into the playoff picture at this point is gargantuan, made all the tougher by the intraconference schedule. As of Wednesday afternoon, they were the a smaller distance from last in the league as they were a Western Conference playoff spot (four out from Dallas’ eighth-place in the West but three up on Columbus’ 30th in the NHL).

Which way do you think they break the rest of the way? I have my own theories on it.

2. What I don’t understand

Blair Jones was waived the other day, and there was significant consternation among the Calgary fanbase about it. Which is a thing I will never understand.

Okay, Jones was useful in his role. Maybe slightly — SLIGHTLY — more than useful, but not so much that anyone would ever mistake him for anything more than a servicable fourth-line center. And people were ready to storm the Saddledome with pitchforks and torches because Blair Frickin Jones got waived. Roger Millions, meanwhile, said he totally understood the outrage.

Meanwhile, this team has gotten older and older and older, continued to deteriorate in quality despite assurances that they were rebuilding on the fly — i.e. half-committing to two things at once, and we all know where half-measures get you — and the breathless defenses of such a plan by the fanbase have continued any time I’ve said one bad word about the job Jay Feaster is doing. I wonder if it’s that crap about the importance of Blair Jones’ presence in the lineup that arose last season because the Flames were winning at a far better clip with him, totally by accident I’m sure, than without.

I understand the most popular and/or unassailable guys on teams are usually defensive forwards and backup goalies, for whatever dumbass reason, but if the biggest problem you have with Flames transactions in the last few seasons is that they tried to send Blair Jones down, then it’s time to reassess what you want from this sport.

3. Take it behind the barn

Speaking of guys getting sent down: Leland Irving. Man, that kid can’t catch a break, and you gotta think that the idea of having him ready to take over as a No. 1 NHL goaltender at any point in the future is now deader than Calgary’s playoff chances this year.

It was never an easy route for Irving to begin with, given that he was likely going to have Miikka Kiprusoff standing in his way for most of the early part of his career. But he’s been a pro now for four seasons, and there has never been any point at which you could say his numbers even approached being above average. His best single-season stats came in 2010-11 as a 22-year-old, when he went 2.30/.913, which aren’t bad but certainly aren’t enough to encourage one to foresee any great NHL seasons at this point in his career.

Yeah, maybe I’m saying this all a little too soon, given that he’s not turning 25 until April and only has 13 NHL games under his belt, but you gotta think that when we’re looking at a Kiprusoff-shaped hole in the side of the Saddledome at some point in the relatively near future, they’re not going to turn to Irving to fill it. Unless they’re dumb. Which I haven’t ruled out, obviously.

4. Iginla vis a vis Alfredsson

Earlier this week, Pierre LeBrun had an item about the Boston Bruins (and presumably 18 or 19 other teams with playoff aspirations league-wide) would be very interested in acquiring the services of Daniel Alfredsson. The Senators, by the way, are obviously done for the year given that Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson are both on the shelf more or less for the remainder of the year.

Of course, it’s up to Alfredsson. The Sens wouldn’t trade Alfredsson unless he was cool with it. This paragraph in particular, though, caught my attention:

"What if he wants to come back and play another season? That’s another possibility you can’t discount. If he does play another season, would he want to try to win a Cup elsewhere and return to Ottawa for a final year? All things to consider."

Right up until that part where it says Ottawa, it could very easily also be about Jarome Iginla. In fact, all the particulars of the article could be. Iginla’s done as much, if not more, for Calgary as Alfredsson has for Ottawa. He’s an institution. He’s a highly-valued player. He’s going to garner significant interest at the deadline when Calgary is ultimately out of the playoff chase. His GM is going to be reluctant to trade him.

I’d imagine that Iginla would generate more sniffing from opposing GMs, given that he’s younger and probably seen as a far better option, particularly on the power play (hint hint, Boston). You gotta think there will be a significant market for both, though. I have no doubt that Bryan Murray is wise enough to at least consider his options here. I am less certain about Feaster doing the same.

5. Holding a hand out…

You might remember a few months ago I participated in a fundraiser for a youth tutoring and writing center in my home city of Boston at which kids from underserved schools get homework help and a little bit of coaching when it comes to creative writing. For more information on that, you can go here.

Well, that nonprofit, 826 Boston, is once again holding a fundraiser, and would like to raise a total of $20,000. Last time out, I raised a little less than $4,000. This time around, I would like to approach that figure once again.

I’m not exactly sure what the story is with the fundraiser, except to say that all proceeds go to help players in a spelling bee to cheat — thus, "Spelling Bee for Cheaters." Anyway, you can donate to my page by clicking here.

And once again, in an effort to encourage people who like my writing (see also: dummies) to make contributions, I will once again take to my own dumb blog that I never update, and write daily posts that make fun of all kinds of hockey things which are stupid. In my experience, it’s a pretty rich vein in general.

You don’t have to give a ton of money or anything like that. Every little bit helps, as I’m sure you know about nonprofits in general. If you have the resources to donate, I would really love it if you did.

  • RexLibris

    1. Yes

    2. Agreed.

    3. Too bad. Feel bad for the kid.

    4. Anyone hopeful about a big return for Iginla needs to take a look at what happened when Feaster traded Brad Richards to Dallas. I would be losing sleep over the possibility of Feaster crafting any trade of Iginla.

    5. Hats off to you, sir. Very nice.

    • RedMan

      Well Rex, that #4 point of yours was a real typical Oiler thing to say seeing Iggy’s contract is expiring in 129 days & we are not about to get another GM for the purpose of trading Iggy as we fall out of playoff contention. You sir are just trolling, I otta…………….:) Difference between Feasters trade of Richards is the fact Tampa had recently won a Cup, where this is the other side of the spectrum. Really, a 1st & a good NHL ready young player is hardly complex & really wont get criticized.

      • RexLibris

        I never said they should fire Feaster just to find someone else to trade Iginla, just that the organization has painted itself into a corner. I think at this point I think you’d be better off having him re-signed than risk whatever Feaster felt was fair market value for Iginla.

        Feaster would likely ask for too much, get the cold shoulder from any number of GMs, then try to play the waiting game only to lose to the other GMs who would probably correctly call his bluff that the organization can’t afford to lose him to free-agency for nothing more than any interested buyer can’t afford not to have him for a playoff run.

        I’m not trolling. Seriously, I’d openly cheer for the Leafs before I ever let myself do that. 😉

        • RexLibris

          Starting to think losing Iginla for nothing is better than re-signing him. No true change will happen until he’s gone. I’m more convinced of that than ever.

          Luckily, there are other teams who will take him off our hands for us.

          But check out the Outlaw Sports segment where they question whether or not, or at least how much, Iginla really cares baout winning vs. lifestyle and comfort factors. It’s all in his hands. And then Feaster’s hands. We’re doomed.

        • jeremywilhelm

          Mr Rex. Dont make me leave my computer & come hurt you:=) How many times have we debated the value of Iginla & you think I place way too much value on him. Now you are end arounding me here by saying Feaster cant be trusted to get a 1st & prospect for him. I think expectations are all pretty close & if Feasty boy can extract any kind of overpayment, he may become a mayor candidate. Cmon. You are posting with your Oiler heart here. Resigning Iggy you know as much as me that would be to the detrement of the Flames unless he signs for 50% of what some other moron GM will give him. Another point I heard is that Iggy sold his house last year & has a condo. Sounds pretty transient to me :=)

          • RexLibris

            Okay, deep breath… 😉

            Let’s put aside the value of Iginla, because much of that is in the eye of the buyer.

            My basic comment is that, if it comes down to crunch time and the Flames aren’t getting the offers they want from prospective buyers, I suggest that the power may not rest in the seller this time. This isn’t like the Kovalchuk deadline deal where everybody and their dog knew he was on the trade block and Lombardi and Lamoriello had a bidding war over who would add him. Irrespective of return, I suggest that Feaster has not traditionally been shown to be the most astute at making profitable deals involving franchise players (and arguably even some of the minor deals have been at best a trade-off of benefits for either side). His record does not lead me to believe that he is going to knock some deal out of the park. If he does, good on him. I just want to sound a note of caution in advance of what may yet be a very emotional event for Flames fans.

            I’ve got something coming on this whole topic that, I hope, comes across not as an Oilers fan, but as an impartial observer. I look forward to seeing what you have to say.

    • beloch

      I actually agree with you Rex on point #4…

      I don’t trust Feaster when it comes to dealing Iggy, or anyone else for that matter… so I tend to be a bit cautious on that, especially when Iggy’s value is worth more to the team than some unproven prospect…

      What pisses me off the most is hearing that there is actually great talent around the league that is available…(Ryan O’Reilly, Nino Nieddreitter, Ben Bishop) that might come at a steep price, but surely has to bee better then forking out millions of dollars to the likes of (Stajan, Comeau and Babchuk, who is in the press box)

      You can point the finger at any player you like, but as far as I’m concerned, Feaster needs to wake up… I liked the Hudler, Wideman and Cervenka signings.. but man did he screw up by not trading anyone at the deadline last year, and trading down at the draft.

      • RexLibris

        I’ve raked Feaster over the coals for not making moves at last year’s deadline. I really did think that the Flames would see the position they were in and capitalize on it.

        To be perfectly honest, as an Oilers fan I was somewhat glad they didn’t, as it would have been the wisest move and probably done wonders for the team’s future.

        However, that aside, let’s tie in a common theme in the Iginla/Feaster drama for comparison: Dallas and Joe Nieuwendyk.

        Now, two years ago Nieuwendyk refused to trade Richards because the Stars were in a playoff hunt and he even went so far as defending his refusal to trade the expiring UFA by saying “lots of teams could use Richards right now, but so could we” (I’m paraphrasing). Seemed defensible, but it was utterly wrong-headed.

        Now, ask ourselves as hockey observers: are the Flames in a somewhat similar situation with Iginla this year? They have a star player who means everything to the franchise, is an expiring UFA, and who holds a special grip on ownership.

        A stark and unblinking look at the real situation would suggest that emotions and loyalties need to be set aside and an honest decision made that best fits the organization, not the egos involved.

        I have little faith that a trade scenario will originate within management or ownership, unless the fan base loudly and unequivocally demands it. No, I think if a trade begins to take shape it will be initiated by Iginla himself, and I can’t say one way or another what the chances of that may be.

        • seve927

          According to Eric Duhatscheck, Iginla and the Flames agreed to not talk contract until the off-season. If the Flames fall for that and actually risk losing Iginla for nothing, especially given that the team sucks, then they’re even stupider than I thought.

          And if they do re-sign Iginla, prepare for at least 3 more seasons of ever-increasing misery.

          I imagine the Flames as the Titanic headed for the proverbial iceberg. Except, in this case, every passenger on board is standing on the decks for days or even weeks, frantically waving their arms in the air and pointing towards the giant chunk of looming ice while the captain of the ship still refuses to change course.

    • Captain Ron

      Rex, regarding point #4,

      I think your suggestion that we should all worry about how Iggy is handled because of some thing that happened in Tampa along time ago is laughable. You might be losing sleep but I’m sure not. I am very comfortable in saying that any Iginla trade will involve more than just Jay Feaster. Every level of ownership and management will be part of that discussion and debate. Feaster, Weisbrod, Conroy, Edwards, Hartley etc etc. Guaranteed that Feaster does not have the authority to craft any Iginla trade on his own. There is zero chance of that happening.

      If and when Iginla becomes officially available the phone will ring loud and often. My bet is that if it happens you will be the one that is surprised by the generous return he brings back to the team.

  • RedMan

    did you say, “When they (Flames) are out of the playoff hunt”?

    I’m pretty sure we just crossed that threshold.

    Yes, a five game winning streak could pull them back into contention for 8th spot… but seriously, this is no time to tell jokes.

    Time to sell.

  • xis10ce

    I don’t think Jones is the next saviour of the Flames, but come on now, we’re talking about a team that is WEAK at the centre position as is with Backlund out a month. And whats worse is there are several wingers (Comeau/Begin) that make Jones look like a hockey god in comparision. The whole thing just doesn’t make sense. I guess Jones would have been better off if he spoke French like Begin, maybe he should take a class or something to get in Hartley’s good books.

  • RedMan

    The optimist in me thinks that if they can only get every team in the league to trade for and then play Richard Bachman whenever they play the Flames that the Flames have a very good shot next year of winning it all. Outside of that the team sucks.

    The changes that need to be made to the team need to go deeper than a couple of players. We need to talk about a whole removal of players that have been here the last few years. Bring in a new mindset and let young energetic players play in the lineup.

    Unless Iginla decides that he does not want to be close to family for a couple of months I dont think that he goes to the team and says he is okay with being traded. There is no way that the Feast pulls himself away from the dinner table to go and ask Iginla if he wants to leave. The team and the organization are set. Iginla will sign a three year deal for $5.5M average this summer.

    Irving is finished in this organization after this year. They had very little faith in him before and have completely lost it now. Man we rock when it comes to developing prospects.

  • RedMan

    Ryan, not sure if you have been following the Senators at all, but last I looked, Ottawa has won their last 2 games. Also, Mr Alfredson is 40 years old & carrying his team to victories. I doubt Ottawa will part with him as long as they are fighting for top 8. Boston will be buying a major piece, I doubt its Alfi, & he mentioned Getzlaff or Perry or B Ryan. Anaheim arent letting those guys go without a major roster piece coming back. Why would Boston do that? However, for Iggy, a 1st ++ with no need to move salary is probably the deal that will happen if Iggy agrees to move on. By the way, has anyone heard how the contract extension talks have been going with Iggy? Iggy may have already told them to move him, maybe why he played so good in front of all those scouts.

  • xis10ce

    @Shutout & @Kevin R:

    The real issue here is leadership. Iginla is no Alfredsson in that dept. for reasons that are painfully obvious.

    Iginla HAS to be part of a rebuild because his shadow over the room and the org as a whole is just too large. The only way to get any meaningful change is for Iginla to move on and new leadership be declared.

    The only other way is for a bonafide superstar who can outscore Iginla in his sleep to walk into the room and basically tell Iginla to get out of the way, there’s a new Sheriff in town. Since that’s not going to happen, see paragraph above.

    As for Hudler, I think he’s being dragged down with the mediocrity that is the team’s ‘star’ players combined with some natural regression of percentages.

  • xis10ce

    If we drafted today we would pick 6th. We will will pick around 8th – 12th by the time the season ends. Likely not in the top 5. We are bad, but there is a good handful who are worse. The top end of the draft pool is something we could easily miss out on (lottery included). So we may not get any mercy from the suffering. We are in hockey purgatory.

    Go Stamps GO

    • Captain Ron

      I loathe this attitude. So many fans have this attitude. We aren’t good enough to be good, but too good to be bad. And then admit defeat and that we are screwed forever…

      Why don’t we instead demand that Feaster do something. Since we know the team can’t improve, the only thing to DO is get worse. Its not that hard, and has a long term play.

      I know Kent thinks trading Iggy and Kipper will have a small factor. I disagree. I think it would cause the team to implode. But fine, if you don’t think that’ll do it, trade a few more guys.

      Load up on as many 1st rounders as possible and do not accept anything but draft picks in any trade you make. This will leave huge holes on the team which you fill with your marginal AHLers. Let them have a try out if they want.

      We get 3 or 4 first rounders this year, finish bottom 3. Boom next year, our ‘re-tool’ is over and we caught up without an Oilers style mega suck.

      Screw hockey purgatory, thats what happens when we just sit by and ‘see how the chips fall’. I hate falling chips. Thats what this team has done for 5 years and we just suck forever.

      • seve927

        Okay……….. so you hate the status quo but dont think much of trading old players for future hopefully core players(picks & prospects) & sucking for years even though we have sucked for years. Trying to figure out which side of the pickett fence you are trying to get comfortable on.

      • RedMan

        KURT said:

        “…We get 3 or 4 first rounders this year, finish bottom 3. Boom next year, our ‘re-tool’ is over and we caught up without an Oilers style mega suck.”

        even with 3 or 4 firsr rounders in one season draft – it’s pretty lofty expectations to assume that POW – our “re-tool” and we are caught up with the Oilers… this is actually funny!

        The Oilers don’t have 3 or 4 first rounders – they have “3-or-4” FIRST OVERALLS, and they STILL SUCK!!!

        and by the way, at this rate we ARE ALREADY finishing bottom 3rd!!! AAARRRGGGGHHHHH HELP US!!!

  • loudogYYC

    Regarding the 2nd point, I think the reason Jones being waived was such an issue for fans is because that’s how bad the team really is.
    If he were an easily replaceable and forgettable piece, I wouldn’t give a puck about the whole thing. Instead, he’s our most effective faceoff centreman and one of the hardest working athletes on the ice, that’s what’s lacking here.

    The Calgary Flames Golf & Country Club (CFGCC moving forward) is Iginla’s team in the room, on the ice and in the boardroom pretty much. I agree with @the-wolf that nothing can change here until he’s no longer the face, voice, opinion and mood of the entire organization.

    Nick Kypreos nailed last week when he compared Modano and Iginla and said these guys get comfortable for some reason and don’t want to change anything.

    Iginla is comfortable with his accomplishments as an athlete and his adoration as the face of a laughable franchise. How that makes him a good captain and leader is way beyond me. I love the guy, one of my favorite players of all time, but he HAS to go.

    • loudogYYC

      Amen brother, you hit the nail on the perverbial head. Iggy’s career has seen the Flames appear in 52 or so playoff games, 26 of which came during the cinderella run to the finals. its been noted that the country club atmosphere prevails, frankly the lack of refuse to lose sounds the alarm. The turnstile of coaches (playfair,keenan,butter,hartley) leave no imprint into the identity. Whats permanent is the smiling aw schucks we lost media snipets.

  • RedMan

    I don’t know where to start. I have a problem with management’s decisions regarding waiving one of only two healthy centers on the team, and ballooning our contract numbers by signing Begin and one of Taylor/Macdonald. The fact that we re-signed Sarich, Badchuk, and Comeau when we could have walked away, now spending $5 million to have them this season is also stupidity. But my real problem is that, after witnessing the above, I have no faith in this current management group to actually make the important/proper decisions that face us in the next five weeks. We need to make changes. I don’t mean moves to get us to ninth place again this year, I mean moves that will allow us to fight for first place in 2-3 years. When I look at Feaster and company, I feel like we’re in an old western movie headed for a gunfight….and we have only brought a $7.00 jack-knife.

  • Michael

    1 – we have changed the players, changed the coaches, (any both over and over again), but not changed the results. It’s time to change the strategy

    2/3. Feaster simply has the wrong job, move King to run the bigger sports picture, give Feaster King’s current job, and hire a real GM – and maybe one who can even count (one dedicated center, two dedicated centers…..).
    Jones seemed effective in his role, wonder what the behind the scenes ‘real’ reason is for his demotion. Not sure Irving was really given much of a chance. I would have rotated Mac and Irvine until Kipper returned, then decided futures….

    4/ Trade deadline, its time time time to change strategy, and make a blockbuster to finally address the core. Iggy plus a major piece (one or a combination of a first rounder / Sven / Brodie / roster player) for a younger elite first line center that we can rebuild around.
    Doubt moving Sven or Brodie would be popular but for the first piece I wouldn’t exclude them

  • RKD

    1. If certain players don’t show up, there’s nothing Hartley can do about that, if Sutter couldn’t get these guys up for games then how will Hartley?

    2. Blair Jones is a far better option than Blake Comeau.

    3. The organization clearly is moving forward with Danny Taylor and Rammo. Leland can only make it if a guy gets injured and he shine, other than that he’s not back.

    4. If Ottawa is able to keep winning, Murray will keep Alfie but if they slide he could be moved. If the Bruins don’t land him, then I think they could make a pitch for Iggy.

    This whole transition period isn’t working, adding guys like Cervenka, Hudler and Wideman has upgraded the team’s skill in the top 6 but it would be hard for anyone to argue this team is more competitive. You can’t have a team full of veterans and then a few rookie players and expect a turnaround. Brodie has made the leap to NHL regular. I’m more concerned about the forward ranks, Baertschi was the only regular before he went down. Backlund was looking great before he went down. Horak and Street are effective but not top 6 NHL players.
    Some might disagree but at least one line should be all kids.

  • beloch

    Travel helps us appreciate more about the world, but it also makes us more aware of what we have at home. In education there are many entrenched methods of encouraging people to shake up their routine. Conferences, sabbaticals, yearly reviews, etc.. They sometimes seem like a waste of time, but often you gain perspective that helps you take your performance to the next level.

    Iginla has played for Calgary his entire career. Maybe he’s earned the right to finish his career here. However, if the playoffs are out of the picture, it’s in both the team’s best interest and Iginla’s as well to trade him. I’m not just talking about Iginla potentially taking a run for the cup with a championship team. I’m talking about a freakin’ Sabbatical. Get him out of the Flames system for even just a couple of months and he’ll gain valuable perspective that could energize his play next season. He’s been the leader for so long that maybe it will do him good to get behind another team’s leader for a little while. If Iginla is traded, he could easily resign with the Flames this summer and bring back what he learns.

    Send Iggy on a friggin’ sabbatical.

    • beloch

      Personally, I’m against bringing Iginla back if he gets moved.

      1) To me he’s the biggest leadership issue they have;

      2) He won’t add anything at this point in his career that will really help Calgary. We’re chock full of 2nd and 3rd liners.

  • beloch

    Re: Team performance.

    This is small sample despair. It’s a small season, so yes, it is probably too late to make the playoffs this year. However, by most metrics (points earned being the most notable exception) the Flames have taken a step forward. They’ve gone from being outshot nightly and consistently failing to control play to a team that outshoots their opponents more nights than they don’t and which has pretty good puck control, albeit they still can’t win face-offs to save their lives.

    Where the team has been snake-bitten is shot% and sv%, i.e. luck. The Flames PDO is still in the basement and we know that will correct, although perhaps not in time to save this season. The Flames *are* a better team than their position in the standings indicates.

    The most egregious error made by Feaster has been his failure to adequately address the backup goalie situation. None of his predecessors did this either, so he’ll likely get a mulligan on that from the owners. If Feaster gets the can over this, it will probably do the Flames more long-term harm than good, unless the owners have a freakin’ magical unicorn-farting superstar GM waiting in the wings.

      • beloch

        It’s true that the Flames haven’t picked up any free superstars lately, but it’s rather hard to do that. Feaster might have given bad contracts to some players, like Wideman and Hudler, although they’re actually earning their pay this year, unlike some of Dutter’s contracts. Most of Feaster’s moves have made the team younger and more skilled. Early evidence indicates the team is drafting well. They’re not trading away as many picks as they used to, although they really should be trading *for* them now. The prospect system is in the process of being restocked, although some of them are long-term projects. The almost complete lack of prospects in Abbotsford is really Dutter’s fault. If he had drafted decently we’d have several players ready to jump up playing there now instead of still being in college or junior. Under Feaster, the Flames have gone for high-risk long-term reward over short-term guaranteed mediocrity (e.g. Gaudreau, Jankowski). It’s going to take time to turn the farm-system around after the neglect it received under Dutter. It’s not going to help us this season, and it’s not going to help us much next season, but rebuilding the Flames prospect system is probably Feaster’s biggest accomplishment so far. Doing this will allow the Flames to generate talent instead of being perpetual scavengers.

        It’s not a blow-em-up hard-rebuild like some want to see, but how many teams have actually made the choice to blow it up when they weren’t actually forced to do so? This year, the Flames might actually be clearly out of the playoffs at the trade deadline for the first time in a decade. That will free Feaster’s hand to make some good trades. The Flames have pieces that are worth a lot more at the trade deadline than they would be in the off-season. If Feaster stands pat again this year, I’ll be in line with the rest of you calling for his head. Right now though, I think he’s done a much better job than Dutter did and believe we could do a *lot* worse if he were shit-canned over a bad season.

        Here’s the kicker though. For those of you calling for his head now, it’s because you believe he messed up and the Flames are truly awful now. So what do you want? You want a hard-rebuild. That means the team *has* to do exactly what it’s doing right now: Lose. Also, the magical unicorn-farting replacement for Feaster that you want would have to do the exact same thing Feaster is doing now to maximize return on his assets: wait for the trade deadline. Would you be happy if the team were *winning* now, even though you claim there’s no future with the aging core or prospects to win the Cup even if they do make the playoffs? What would honestly make you happy? Seriously. Turning a team like the Flames into a cup-contender is not going to happen overnight. Have a friggin’ beer and relax.

  • seve927

    Random information and/or thoughts:

    Omsk wins 5-0 in game 1. 25 saves for Ramo.

    Someone made the suggestion recently that Iggy and JayBo should be packaged to get a better return. I liked the sound of that, espescially as it applies to Pittsburgh and Morrow, Harrington, Dumoulin. We could actually probably get somebody as good as Bouwmeester in the next couple of years in a deal like that, plus a couple other good assets.

    I think that a team like Anaheim (just an example, anyone playing over their heads right now) might be a good trade partner – one that has started the season off hot, but is bound to cool off, and maybe be forced into a desperation move (give up their 1st) to try to right the ship. Then go on to miss the playoffs as their percentages continue to regress, giving us another lottery pick? A couple of those deals and you’ve got 3 shots out of 14 at a 1st overall.

    Beyond the obvious 2 that that prompt trade discussion ad nauseum: Glencross? Just a thought, really good when he’s good but he seems part of the inconsistency problem. Cammalleri – could still be good in the right situation, but not a good value. Cervenka – turning him into a pick would make the signing look pretty savvy as a way to gain a free relatively high draft pick.

    We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks, but I’ve always wondered if the plan, or maybe the backup plan if it didn’t work, wasn’t to just load up on veterans that could be turned into draft picks at the deadline.

  • beloch

    Much to agree with in Lambert’s piece, except the last sentence of point 4. It is not Feaster’s wisdom which will determine if Iginla gets moved. Three other individuals control that fate and their initials are M.E., K.K. and J.I.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Without question, Iggy, Kipper, JBo, Glencross, Tanguay, Cammy, and even Gio must be actively shopped. Starting now. I’m not suggesting they will/can/should ALL be moved. There will be a good return out there, although I don’t trust our management team to get it. Obviously all spare parts here now, and everyone excluding Reinhart in Abby, also need to be made available. Keep Baertchi, Backlund, Brodie, and our crop of Junior/NCAA prospects. The clock is ticking Feast…

  • jeremywilhelm

    Please trade Iginla. Not because he can’t or won’t play or because he is a good asset to help re-tool, but because I am pretty scared this is gonna go the way of Sundin, which will only succeed in making the Flames seem even more like the JFJ era Leafs!!!!!!