The Deadline Cometh



Monday morning breaks with the Flames sitting in 15th in the Western Conference, albeit with a few games in hand on everybody else. The California swing went about as expected, though they lost by perhaps a slightly wider margin than one may have initially guessed. I can’t even say the Flames played all that badly given the circumstances and their roster, but that’s the state the team is in.

A lot of Feaster’s off-season bets have fallen gently to one side or the other this year, but the truly team deflating gamble turned out to be the goaltending. Kipper has been both injured and terrible to start the season and with absolutely zero worthwhile redundancy behind him, the Flames puckstopping has been its undeniable Achilles heel. The rest of the roster has various issues, but there’s little doubt the club would at least be in the thick of the playoff battle with at least league average goaltending. 

They aren’t, though, and with just 25 games left in the season there’s precious little time to right the ship. You can count on, well, no hands the number of teams who have crawled their way out of the basement and into a playoff spot with the quarter of a normal regular season to play in the modern NHL. It’s not over, but it’s over.

Meaning unless Feaster sells his soul and the Flames win the next 10 games before the end of the month, the club’s true priority should be the trade deadline, the June draft and the future beyond. According to Elliotte Friedman, Jay is still adamant that the Flames will not pursue a "tear down" rebuild model. Which is fine by me, depending on how the team defines "tear down". Calgary need not raze the thing to the foundations and trade every halfway useful vet at the deadline for magic beans. What the org does need to do, however, is get over the idea that Iginla and Kipper are elite can be ridden back to the top of the standings. These aren’t players to build around anymore – they are former stars nearing the twilight of their careers and need to be dealt with as such. If the club can’t be ruthlessly, brutally honest and unsentimental in this regard, I’m not sure they will be able to traverse the very rocky terrain that is looming on the horizon.

The challenge facing the team now is finding new stars. The failed Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet demonstrated (on a number of levels) just how difficult it is to get above average NHLers at or before their prime without drafting them. Signing difference makers on the open market is difficult (because they are rare) and often prohibitively expensive as well. It’s sometimes possible to trade for quality players, but then one needs to have the trade assets to make that happen. The draft is perhaps the only viable option left, the accompanying risk being destroying the team to the degree you can’t build it back up again, even if you draft new high-end talent.  

So the issue for the Flames isn’t if they are going to rebuild or not – they’re going to have to, to one degree or another, starting very soon. The organization’s inability to pick and develop worthwhile players (my guess is no team in the league has less home grown skaters on their roster than Calgary) has led them to the precipice. The question now is: can limit the pain to a short-term Flyers or Kings-like rebound or do they completely run aground like the Oilers and spend 5+ years scrambling around the league’s basement?

    • Stockley

      I have no issues with their drafting the last couple years under Feaster, even if I do wish they’d been a little more conventional/less risky with their 1st last summer.

      Last year’s signings haven’t been terrible. Hudler has done everything you can really expect from him, Cervenka has shown flashes of brilliance when Hartley lets him play, Wideman has more or less been as advertised. I’d have no real issues holding onto JayBo at this point since he’s showing us the sort of player we thought we were getting when Dutter signed him. Pretty much everyone else in the veteran department can go in my opinion. The only guy who seems to consistently get points is Tanguay, the rest are beyond streaky when it comes to scoring. Iggy looks like he’s had it. If it takes such monumental failure to have the captain do the right thing and ask for a trade I’m all for it; since ownership/management are in denial and refuse to wear the villain’s black hat and ask Jarome to politely take his puck and go elsewhere.

  • Stockley

    The sad and unfortunate thing about all of this is that management (more likely the owners) refuse to acknowledge this sinking ship and make the neccessary changes. I think we would have to be out of 8th by 15+ points for them to even consider selling off assets.

    I for one am expecting a thoroughly underwhelming and disappointing trade deadline for the Flames… most likely standing pat. Would love to be surprised though!

    • Stockley

      The only thing worse than standing pat would be selling off young assets and picks for stop-gap solutions geared at getting them into the playoffs. It scares the crap out of me to even consider it but given their recent track record it would not shock me if this team started trying to bring in rentals in another misguided attempt to lose yet another 1st round series.

  • Parallex

    Free Agency this year is really mediocre with few quality free agents up for grabs. For guys under 30 you’re looking at Perry and Semin. After that there are some decent NHL’ers but nothing to write home about.

    • Stockley

      I think if the Flames were interested in Semin they would have at least tried to sign him last summer. Sadly I doubt Perry would be remotely interested in coming to Calgary, even if they threw the max in term and salary at him.

  • Colin.S

    Fun Fact, for anyone thinking about Trading Kipper, I doubt there’s a big market for him anymore. Or at the best we could get a mid round pick. With his early season play+injury, I don’t see a lot of teams lining up with good prospects to pry him from Calgary.

    With Iginla’s recent play however, we could still get a bunch from other teams. PIT still seems like the most likely target, BOS, CAR, MTL seem like other decent landing places, I could see LA, DET or CHI in the west as well.

    The biggest problem however is going to be Management and Ownership who don’t want to go down the Oilers route, and can you blame them, as many 1st overalls as the Oilers have they are 1 whole point above us in the standings. At the point the oilers are, I believe most other rebuilding teams had made the playoffs or in a few circumstances won the cup already. Does Management/Ownership feel they can do a better job getting OUT of a rebuild? It’s easy to start a rebuild, it’s hard to get out of one if your management sucks(see EDM).

  • Parallex

    What does anyone think the chances are that Iggy signs back with Calgary this summer if he goes out as a rental at the deadline (just playing devils advocate, he can stay where ever for all I care)

    I am guessing A team might structure the deal accordingly so there are conditions upon re-signing.

    I really hope Iggy tells management he will totally sign back in the summer (not knowing if he will, or even if he isn’t going to) and then maybe they will be into letting him go before deadline.

    • Colin.S

      I don’t think whatever team that deals for him at the deadline is going to want him back to be honest. It’s one thing to pick him up as a rental, it’s another to try and fit a former team captain and fit him into your teams structure, probably hard for Iggy to no longer be the “guy” on the team as well. I suspect he resigns with Calgary in the offseason no matter what happens this season.

  • Parallex

    It’s has to be a combination of everything. A rebuild from the top (Management, Scouting) down.

    Everyone can agree that the Flames are in desperate need of prospects. So I wouldn’t be opposed to trading any player worth anything at the deadline (J Bo, Cammalleri, Iggy, Kipper, Stempniak, Butler) for a truck load of prospects and picks.

    The problem is, once you are a crappy team, it becomes harder for you to attract UFA’s, but luckily for Calgary they will always have money to spend, and most likely overpay for some new talent in the off season.(Bozak, Clarkson)

    I think if it is done right, this year could be a real turn around and they won’t need to spend + years and counting sucking Edmonton styles…

    Question is.. do we want Feaster to rebuild this team??

  • Colin.S

    The boat has a lot of holes in it. The biggest holes are ownership and management. We all know that and the frustrating part is that they have continued on in denial anyway when they should know better. Karma is arriving at gate #12 shortly but we will all suffer the damages.

  • I think what the Flames need to be worried about is that they look a lot like the 2007-2009 Oilers. Hovering around the outside looking in and thinking if they tweak it just a little bit they can make another run.

    Speaking as an oiler fan that went through 3 seasons of 30, 29, 30 in the league, with a reasonable prospect of repeating this again despite some pretty good young talent, I hope for the Flames’ sake they recognize the path they are on.

  • Colin.S

    Forgive me if this was covered elsewhere already, but did anyone else witness the evisceration on After Hours on CBC?

    2 owners, the President and the GM in the room after the game. Enough said.

    • ChinookArchYYC


      It was brought up on the Post-Game thread. My take was it was a bit over the top. Stock, Weeks and Healy were clearly unprepared to have a intelligent discussion and very clearly don’t watch many Flames games. As they don’t have a clear understanding of what’s right and wrong about the team. Instead they just piled on, with uneducated, pub-level generalities about the Flames and how they need to blow it up. I would rather have heard from either or both Friedman and McLean, who usually bring up new ideas and insights. Unfortunately, the professionals couldn’t get a word in edge-wise.

      I’m for a rebuild too, but listening to those clowns was like listening to 3 drunks at the pub pontificating about politics and religion.

      • Avalain

        Dont totally disagree with your opinion of HNIC clown show but I think thepoint of Wolf was, how do you think the 2 owners, Pres & GM with clients & corp sponsors felt listening to that on Nat TV?

  • This is what I would do:

    Kiprusoff to Toronto : Colbourne
    • Toronto needs to make the playoffs and would like to perform well in the playoffs.
    • Toronto has two young goaltenders but they have been inconsistent.
    • Kiprusoff is the perfect insurance policy
    • Colbourne is young, big, plays center, has skill but has not been able to crack the NHL
    • Kiprusoff is not at top form and getting anything more than one asset will be tough

    Cammalleri to Boston : Ryan Spooner, 2013 2nd round draft pick
    • Boston has the size and physical play on the wings
    • Boston has the character and grinding depth
    • Boston needs some pure offense and skill
    • Spooner is only 5’10” so does not fit with the Bruins model of players
    • Spooner is young and skilled
    • Cammalleri brings the skill and scoring offense, but with his contract it means you won’t get an equal return and we may need to bring back a bad contact to make the 2nd happen or we settle for a 3rd round pick

    Iginla to Pittsburgh : 2013 1st round pick, Olli Maatta or Derrick Pouliot, Tom Kuhnhackl
    • Pittsburgh needs the size and scoring on their wings
    • Pittsburgh needs the skill that will stand up for Crosby and Malkin in a battle
    • Maatta or Pouliot are at the top of the Penguins defenseman prospects
    • Kuhnhackl is a big winger that has some skill and can score at the lower levels. Not a big time prospect like Bennett but enough potential for Calgary and I am not sure that you will get elite level NHL playing talent back for Iginla

    Bouwmeester to Detroit : 2013 1st round pick, Gustav Nyquist, Landon Ferraro
    • Detroit needs to upgrade their defense and Bouwmeester will fit into their puck possession style of play
    • Nyquist has not been able to make the jump to the NHL and is at a make or break age despite the excellent offensive numbers he puts up in the AHL
    • Ferraro might never turn out but there is third line scoring potential and is a good balance to the size of contract that Bouwmeester has

    What Feaster will do:

    2013 1st round pick to Colorado : Paul Stastny
    • Colorado needs to drop salary because of O’Reilly
    • Stastny has not been the offensive force he once was
    • Calgary needs centermen and Feaster needs to try to get the Flames into the playoffs
    • By bringing in a talented centerman they can hopefully convince Iginla to resign with the team because they have a centerman for him and next year they will be able to compete better for the playoffs because they will have a full year with Hartley and with Stastny

  • @Kent – What are you referring to with the LA short term rebound? They were terrible for 6-7 years. Lombardi was almost fired for being too patient. He waited a LONG LONG time before he started trading prospects (Schenn, Simmonds etc) for veteran help.

    I’d say the LA rebuild is about 100% opposite of what the Flames organization wants or has the balls to do. An LA style rebuild would have the Flames competing for the Cup in 2021 at the earliest.

    People always talk of this “mini-rebound’ or ‘re-tool’. Can anyone give me an example? 1 single example where this worked? I honestly can’t think of any. Philly a few years ago tanked one year after a massive failure of a year. But their down year was the anomaly, they weren’t perpetually trending down with an empty cupboard of prospects and nothing to trade.

    Unless I can see examples otherwise I’d say that a rebuild takes time. 3-5 years minimum and there is no way to shortcut it. St. Louis, Chicago, LA – the best in the West. They ALL went through 5+ years of terrible basement dwelling.

    If mgmt had been smart 2 years ago we’d be 2 years in and half way done. But now, even though we’ve missed the playoffs for 4 years we are at ground zero and have a long long long road ahead.

    Personally I think its worth it though. I’d rather cheer for a bunch of skilled prospects learning their way with hope for for the future instead of a bunch of washed up, downward trending entitled veterans with zero hope.

    • Good point. Not sure why Kings came to mind. Vancouver back when they drafted Hodgson and recently Montreal are perhaps better examples.

      It’s entirely possible the Flames bottom-out completely. As you say, if they had begun the steady rebuild 2 or 3 years ago they might have been well on their way at this point.

        • Derzie

          Look at the team first before responding with sarcasm.

          Drafted: Karlsson, Phillips, Spezza, Smith, Zibanejad, Cowan, Greening, and Lehner.

          Traded for: Anderson, Michalek, and Turris.

          Draft well and make trades that benefit the team and fill holes. A couple of years ago the Senators were going to be the team at the bottom having to rebuild. They made trades for older assets, brought in younger players, and have drafted pretty well.

          I have no problem using them as a model for how to change course quickly and remain competitive.

          • everton fc

            You are dreaming…..! They changed course quickly but not from the position our flames are in.

            Who would we trade away to get young prospects??? Oh ya, and we also need to draft the next Norris trophy superstar D man in the draft. The only problem is that we need to draft him 3 years ago. Ottawa’s ‘re-tool’ occured after Karlson’s 2nd full season.

            If Feaster had traded Iggy 2 years ago like he should have we might have been on the Ottawa path. But you cannot ‘mini retool’ from the bottom with no assets, no prospects, an empty cupboard and nothing of any value to trade away.

            Colorado was willing to blow up their entire salary structure to keep ROR. And he isn’t even an elite or first line young player. How the heck do you think we are going to inject skill and youth?

            What is Iggy gonna get us? A 1st round draft pick who will take 3-4 years to start contributing. Same for Kipper, if we are lucky.

            I’m not saying a re-tool is impossible for any team. I’m saying its impossible for a team like the Flames. Re-tools happen when a good team has a bad year and corrects its course.

      • SmellOfVictory

        You’d have to pry Bryan Murray outta Ottawa. He’s probably the best pound for pound best GM’s in the league. He built Anaheim to win the cup, not Burkie. His moves are beyond shrewd. He’s like Lou Lamorrello’s Jedi prodigy love child. Ottawa model is more like Bryan is an awesome GM and that is about all there is to it. He preys on week GM’s, ala Kyle Turris, Ben Bishop. Even when he’s given a flaming pile of dog bleep, like the Heatley saga, he wins the trade somehow picking up a Michalek. The guy not only fills the void, but pots 35 while the smoldering doggy bag is left on the Minneapolis turnpike. He’s got a keen eye and can find gems in later 1st rounders and beyond and knows how to develop them. He finds solid players in all leagues. Calgary and Edmonton have Mr. Dithers and Peter Griffin running the insane asylum.

      • SmellOfVictory

        Ottawa is a stretch at best. They drafted a superstar Norris trophy player in 2008. Sorry we don’t have that. They will miss the playoffs this year. Is that what you want? To get back to the good old days when we could sneak into 8th place each year?

        My point stands, that for every miracle ‘mini retool’ team, there are 10X examples of teams who spent 5+ years in the rock bottom basement on the way to the top

        I guess the question is do you want to become a true contender or get back to being a middling team struggling for playoff spots and praying for a miracle run.

        Chicago, Pittsburgh, LA, St. Louis – they all went through 5+ years of basement. Not middling miss the playoffs. Right in the basement.

  • I think Feaster can say all he wants about not doing a rebuild, but it seems like he could be thrown into one. I know as an Oiler’s fan the Oil have play .700 hockey to have a sniff at Lord Stanley’s Mug Playoffs, and albeit the Flames have two games in hand they would have to win a high percentage of their remaining games too. I think the Flames and Oilers are in the same boat. Poor management at the top, the Flames however have way better veteran talent then their northern counterparts.

    I think the Flames could do it the easy way or the hard way. A young center like McKinnon or Barkov, or Stud D like Jones could be a small consolation prize for either of our two franchises.

    I am curious as to whether Feaster is still in denial, and we will know if he is by whether Jarome is in Calgary at the deadline. Frankly I’d love to see Jarome finish his career as a Flame, but a couple lost assets is the cost, and the possible meandering in the proverbial desert abyss. Rebuilding blows, it seems you take one step forward followed by two steps behind.

  • Derzie

    Unless you are able to draft incredibly well and continue to replenish your team with one or two young players every off season and the occasional free agent acquisition the only way that you can retool/rebuild a team and remain competitive is to trade away aging superstars for young players and prospects that will help to excellerate the process.

    For all of the math and statistical talk around this forum it should be a fairly easy model to develop a formula for. Trading away a player such as Perry, Nash, Carter, Richards, etc that are in their late 20’s will bring you back a package of 4 or 5 assets with at least one or two of them being in their early 20’s. Player in their early 30’s will bring back 3-4 assets (this is where we would have been three or four years ago if we had traded Iginla for a package like Carter, Giroux, etc). A player in their mid to late 30’s is going to get you back a package of 2-3 assets.

    Now the older the player is the less return you get on the ice and the less return you get in a trade. Teams need to start having less emotional attachments to what a player has done and start to look at the metrics of what a player accomplishes compared to the return he brings.

    Of course all of this is a moot point without the proper general manager at the helm. Gilmour, Phaneuf, Hossa, Richards, etc trades get made all the time. But they usually happen when the team waits until the last moments and then panics in deals or worse ends up getting negatively emotional about a player(s) and does knee jerk reactions. This said; just because bad trades have happened, is not a valid reason for not exploring or making trades in the future.

    Iginla and Kiprusoff should have been traded two and three years ago to maximize their returns and speed up the cycle. If you are only moving out one big piece a year then you are not going through a scorched earth rebuild. The Flames almost have to do that now because the only alternative is slowly sinking into oblivion. Bouwmeester is a player that should be held onto if you had made other trades early on and had a couple of lines of young prospects playing in the farm with promise. Right now his trade might be the big catalyst to help recover some assets that will help fill in the gaps.

    Will we have to overpay to bring in a PM Bouchard in the summer to help back fill talent? Yes we probably will. And with the right deal we can probably get him the same way that we got Hudler and Wideman this last summer. Difference is that these moves need to be supplemental moves to bring in young talent.

    The offsetting piece to all of this is moving the too come future for the immediate future when it comes to young players. This year is shot so we dont trade away our first round pick. But if we acquire another first round pick then it or next years first round pick needs to go for a player like Niederreiter, Paajarvi, or McNeill and then move some second and third round picks for players like Thomas, Rattie, Ashton, Grimaldi or Rask.

    Be bold and burn the candle off at both ends; that is the only way this franchise will generate enough heat and light to rebound quickly and become competitive. Bring back players in their early 20’s that have the next half dozen years to be with the team and reach their primes. Bring in a rounded set of prospects in both forwards and defense and trust that Ramo can be almost as good in the NHL for the next three years that he has been in the KHL the last three.

    Strike while the iron is hot or all will be lost. The iron was hottest three years ago. This is the last chance this franchise will have to make quick and decisive moves that will replenish and strengthen the team. To do nothing now will condemn us to a half dozen years of bleakness, darkness, sadness, ineptness, and a long slow painful rebuilding process.

    What say thee?

    Go out as men swinging and fighting, or perish as mice doing nothing?

  • everton fc

    “Question is.. do we want Feaster to rebuild this team??

    “I just don’t trust current management’s abilities to tear this thing down, nor to build it back up again.”

    Bingo on both fronts. The tear-down, the blow-up, starts up top. With the GM.

    Murray was also a good coach. And Feaster’s no Murray when it comes to GMs.

    I’ll continue to throw out Jason Botterill’s name as a possible replacement for Feaster. Jankowski was a poor pick, considering the Flames immediate needs. My opinion, of course. Henrik Samulesson’s certainly turned into a player with the Wheat Kings. Big kid, too. Closer to ready than Jankowski.

  • RKD

    15th in the Western Conference says it all, the optimist would say the Flames have two games in hand but that’s a moot point.

    This isn’t just a three year to four year issue, this team has been decline after losing to the Ducks back in 2006. It will be 4 first round exits, followed by 4 years of missing the playoffs.
    We are seeing the same results, tons of mediocrity, running into a hot goalie, hearing cliche answers after every game, using recycled veterans to keep trying to squeak into the eight seed.

    They’ve changed the coach, changed all the supplementary players, Feaster finally moved a third of the core by trading Reg last summer. Only Iggy and Kipper have remained constant and now they are both past 35.

    While a lot of us are for an Iggy trade, what is his value? Look at the return Nash got, Carter and Richards yielded better. Any trade involving Iggy will be a underwhelming return. The Pens are interested in Iggy send him there to have a chance to win a Cup. Kipper has really struggled, he’s only had 10 starts but a GAA of 3.43 and .867 save % is pretty bad. He needs to get back into a groove and fast. The Flames could get better return for guys like Jay-Bo, Giordano, Glencross, and Stempniak.

  • everton fc

    Gio’s been average-at-best, the last season or so. Wonder what his value is?

    Glencross and Stempniak have earned their keep. They are the type of players we need.

    Kipper should have been moved off-season. But we were going for the playoffs, remember? Iginla certainly has value for a team looking to win it all this year, and next. He’s our leading scorer. Once/if he’s moved, we have no offence.

    We are in quite a pickle. And Feaster’s made it no better. Because he’s incapable. My opinion, of course, but do you all really trust he and Weisbrod with a rebuild, to get us to an elite, or at least consistently competitve status, which is what you shoot for, not simply 6-8 spot and the playoffs.

    Off topic, amazing what a new coach has done for the Ducks. Not to mention the Leafs.

    • everton fc

      I think RKD has it right. Iggy & Kipper are going to get us very minimal returns.

      And like you said Glencross & Stempniak are players we like. But to get much in return, we need to trade away some of the guys we want and like. Glencross, JBo would get good returns. On top of Iggy & Kipper we could really load up on picks and prospects. Thats why I see no way out of this except a burnt earth rebuild. People talk of retooling on the fly, but the bottom line is that the only players we could use to attract much trade value are players we need to keep. 1 step fwd, 1 step back. Forever….

      The solution is to take 2 steps back, be patient and hopefully in 2-3 years take 5 steps fwd. But make no mistake about it, we would capital SUCK (see Edmonton Oilers) for a few years.

      The alternative is to keep the guys we want, trade Iggy for a 1st rounder and then start praying that Sven can turn into an elite superstar somehow.

      Oh ya, also we have no goalie. None.

      • everton fc

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d move Glencross and Stempniak, but again, they are the type of players we need. Has nothing to do with liking them. But I agree with you.

        I was never a fan of Feaster, and voiced it here often. Of course, I also thought Desbiens would be a good fourth-line mucker, so there you go! I also thought we were moving into a too-small/no grit scenario. And we seem to draft that way now. I don’t like this, and we can see the lack of grit has us getting pushed around by most opponents.

        And yes, we have no goalie. Agreed. Would like to see Taylor get a run. Laurent B. looks to be a good prospect. But at the current, NHL-level, we have no depth between the pipes.

        Nor do we have depth on the farm. Horak and Baertschi. Perhaps Reinhart. Perhaps Speed. Then it thins out, quick.

        Expansion team. That’s what we look like, and play like. We cannot afford to have the duo of Feaster and Weisbrod involved in a rebuild. The ROR debacle is more proof. We need a new GM with some hockey sense. An ex-player. And a whole new scouting staff. Turnarounds can happen quicker than most think, with these two components firmly in place.

        (And I still say we need players like Derek Dorsett to blend with players like Baertschi. Perhaps Ferland becomes one such player. Here’s hoping so)

        • everton fc

          Completely agree… It all points to a SLOW fix. We need to develop some grade A talent from within. Colorado was willing to blow up their entire salary structure to hang on to a young 2nd line C. Puts into perspective how hard it is to get guys like that…. Imagine trying to get a #1 C? Its impossible….

          Like most people I like to laugh at the Oilers. But the other day when mocking my Oiler buddy for the Oilers continued suckery he started talking about how no matter what, their rebuild has forever reshaped the team with elite talent that will help them for 10+ years. Pfft I said…. Then he proudly proclaimed that there is no combination of any players on the Flames that would result in a trade for any one of Nugent Hopkins, Hall, Eberle, Yakupov OR Schultz. He dared me to come up with a trade of any number of players on the Flames that would result in a trade for just 1 of those 5 young kids.

          I thought he was an idiot, but as we started to discuss it, I couldn’t make a trade offer that made sense. I mean trading 3, 4 or 5 Flames for just 1 of their 5 kids. If JBo didn’t make so much $, it might have been possible. Otherwise no chance.

          Anyways my point is just to point out how HARD it is to get elite talent. How do we expect to get elite talent when we have nothing to trade? I think Sven has proved he is a good player but not elite. Expecting elite out of anyone else in the system now is a stretch. So the only thing left is to draft. Its literally the ONLY way. And by draft, I mean draft high. Top 2.

          We need to admit where we are, and then have some patience. Feaster is not that guy, he said so himself.

          • RexLibris

            As we say in the Capital Region: Welcome to Oil Country.

            No prospects, no veterans worth a young star, poor management and a decade or more of pathetic drafting finally coming home to roost.

            As Rubbertrout already stated, sounds like the Oilers of 2007-2009.

            I’ve been voicing concern over the path they’ve been on for some time here. To many I think it has come across as trolling. But essentially it is because I have seen this all play out before. The only difference was that the Flames still had some chips to cash in before leaving the table.

            Last year, even at the draft, Kiprusoff could have been worth a 1st round pick to a team. Now? With poor play, coming back from an injury, questions about his remaining mileage, and facing potential retirement this summer, his value is likely not in the same range.

            As Kent has stated, a wiser man might have scanned the situation two years ago and taken stock of the Flames future and begun the painful task of ending the Iginla era. The return could have been phenomenal. Now I suspect that it is better if Iginla stay if only so that fans don’t feel insulted by what could be perceived as a very diminished value.

            Fate has blocked most of the other alternatives for this team. I still believe they will finish higher than the Oilers this season, and likely between 12th and 10th in the West. But this will be the last year. They’ve nearly missed their last remaining window of opportunity for controlled change.

            With apologies to Dylan Thomas, there are indeed times to go gentle into that good night.

          • everton fc

            “a wiser man might have scanned the situation two years ago”

            2 years ago I was screaming to trade Iggy & Kipper. Last year I was screaming even louder. I have been calling for a rebuild for 2 years. Now we are f&*ked.

  • everton fc

    Finally people are seeing the truth when it comes to Jay Feaster. He’s a smith talker, but had very little hockey sense. He’d be much more suited in Ken Kings position as president. The longer he’s making hockey decisions, the longer we’ll be waiting for a legit playoff team. I still find it funny how quickly everyone was willing to give Feaster a pass for the debockle he created in Tampa! Thanks to a boatload of luck, Brad Richards (thankfully) singed with the Rangers, and the O’Reilly incident had the potential to be the biggest blunder in NHL management history! THIS is the guy we want to be at the helm, stealing out team into the future? No amount of positive thinking will change the fact that the true poison is the Flames owenership & management group; but the sad truth here is that as long as there’re making money hand over fist, the likelyhood of positive change is highly unlikely.

  • beloch

    The fate of Flames first round picks under Dutter:

    2010 – Traded to Phoenix for Olli Jokinen who was traded for Ales Kotalik (had negative value and was dumped in a package deal with Regehr) and Christopher Higgins (Played 12 games as a Flame and left as a UFA. Has kept a 0.5 ppg pace with Panthers and Canucks ever since).

    2009 – Drafted Tim Erixon, who has played 36 NHL games to date and is now 22 years old. Probably not a great pick. Feaster’s influence: When forced to panic-trade Erixon, he managed to get Horak (Age:21, NHL Games: 67) as well as two 2nd round picks used to acquire Markus Granlund and Tyler Wotherspoon. Dutter botched this pick, but Feaster at least partially fixed it.

    2008 – Flames initially traded this away for Cammalleri, but traded Cammalleri to Montreal to get it back (although they went from picking 17th to 25th). Who did they pick? Greg Nemisz. Yeah…

    2007 – Michael Backlund.

    2006 – Leland Irving (Probably won’t be resigned)

    2005 – Matt Pelech (played 5 NHL games, left as UFA)

    2004 – Kris Chucko (“retired”).

    2003 – Dion Phaneuf (Good pick, but traded away by Dutter. All that remains in the org is Matt Stajan.)

    Under Dutter, the Flames traded away just one 1st round pick, and used the remaining 7 themselves. The only one of these picks currently on the team is Backlund. Matt Stajan is the only current roster player obtained in trade for a former Flames 1st round pick. Significant players obtained in trades related to 1st picks who were allowed to walk as UFA’s include Olli Jokinen and Christopher Higgins. Feaster rescued a few prospects from the Erixon debacle. 4 of Dutter’s 7 1st round picks have turned out to be complete failures.

    Bottom Line:

    Dutter’s record: Eight 1st round picks -> Two roster players (one occasionally acceptable and one made of glass) and three low-end prospects.

    Feaster’s record: Two 1st round picks -> One high-end prospect and one complete gamble.

    The most exciting Flames picks under Feaster have, surprisingly, not been 1st round picks. That gives me a little bit of hope. Dutter’s 2nd-round and beyond picks who are currently active in the NHL include TJ Brodie, Brett Sutter and Brandon Prust. That’s pretty much it.

    So, is Feaster drafting better? It’s too early to tell, but it seems clear he couldn’t draft much worse than Dutter did! Baertschi looks more high-end than Backlund, who is arguably the best forward Dutter drafted. However, his struggles this year indicate he’s not out of the woods yet! Feaster hasn’t really drafted any D of note, and really needs to. TJ Brodie is looking good, but there’s *nobody* else in the pipes!

    So, what should Feaster do now? Trading Kipper and Iginla probably wouldn’t hurt the team as much as fans fear. These could both be traded without the Flames necessarily going to the league basement for a few seasons. Trading any of the Flames top 4 D would guarantee an extended implosion if the trade didn’t bring back a top defensive prospect. The Flames have nobody in the system ready to step up in the next few years.

    In the unlikely event that Feaster decides to sell this year, he will have to choose between focusing on making the team competitive in a few years, or making them competitive *next* year. If he goes for *next* year he might trade veterans *and* picks for high-end prospects. Players who aren’t ready now, but will be soon. Trading for picks would be a more long-term approach, but I honestly doubt Feaster or the Flames ownership places much value on “long-term”, so this sort of trade is unlikely to happen. The short-term approach is probably less risky, but the long-term approach could lead to a higher payoff if Feaster has indeed turned the drafting process around.

    • Avalain

      “2003 – Dion Phaneuf (Good pick, but traded away by Dutter. All that remains in the org is Matt Stajan.)”

      That pick sounds good in isolation, but the 2003 entry draft had a lot of depth. In picking Phaneuf, he didn’t pick Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, etc.

      So, well, it wasn’t a bad pick. But it could have been better.

  • RexLibris

    Well, just look how long it took for us to get to this point & now everyone wants a quick rebound. We are way past a quick rebound, should have started last year when Kipper was going great & Iggy wasnt just a rental. Too bad too sad. For those that dont want Feaster doing this, well its too freaking late. Action has to happen & soon. Worst case is we wait on some of the few assets we do have & they get injured & then we get dick!

    We can get the best returns for Iggy & JBO & Kipper & Gio & Cammi & anyone else deemed valuable enough to get a return worth making a trade in the next 3 weeks. We dont have time to fire the GM & get someone else. Feaster needs to get overpayments on every deal possible & as long as he is just going after picks(1sts & 2nds) & very good non roster prospects from other teams, there is no reason he cant get the overpayments. Maybe if its pointed out to Murray that the team will probably be run at just above the Cap min for the next few years while we groom the next wave of Iggy/Kipper heros & new t-shirts/jerseys + pocket an extra 30mill while we are at it because the stupid lemmings(fans) can be hyped & sold a different flavour of Kool-Aid. He may like the idea. Me I prefer Crown Royal Black if they change flavours.

  • aloudoun

    Ive heard that a team needs at least 10-11 players developed in their system to win a cup. The Flames have 3 in the lineup right now… and one of them is Begin. (which im not sure you can count)

  • aloudoun

    I think teams will overpay… there is already a bidding war between some eastern teams for Iginla. The draft is deep, I think teams wont mind packaging a couple draft picks as they know they can still get talent in the later rounds. As for Kipper, everyone knows what an athlete he is, regardless of the Flames performance this last stretch.