Kipper Staying in Calgary Highlights Flames Failures



pic via Cats Five

TSN reporting this morning that Kiprusoff has opted to remain in calgary for the rest of the season and will likely retire in the off-season.

It’s a disappointing end to the Kipper saga, even if we assume the return from Toronto was going to be marginal. When I was penning "trade Kipper" articles in the past, this was my ultimate fear – that the team would hang on until the asset was drained of all value. I’m not going to begrudge Kiprusoff this final stand, but it’s astonishing how completely the Flames former cornerstones have crumbled with almost nothing to show for it. Right now, the best return for a former core player (aside from a couple of first round picks) is…Lee Stempniak.

Since 2010, the Calgary organization has shed Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regher, Daymond Langkow, Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester and (soon) Miikka Kiprusoff and all they have to show for that collection of formerly high priced, high-valued players is a collection of middling prospects, the aforementioned picks, Lee Stempniak, Chris Butler and Matt Stajan. What a disaster.

The Flames inability to draft and groom their own players internally is a big reason they stand on the percipience of the abyss currently, but make no mistake – the club’s almost total failure to appropriately leverage their high-end pieces is another big issue.

  • RexLibris

    I find fan narratives very interesting.

    One that I see emerging in contention with past comments is that fans do not want the Flames to proceed with an Oilers-style nuclear rebuild.

    That ship has sailed and the Flames are undergoing a greater (by degrees of impact player) change than that which the Oilers underwent in 2009-2010.

    Another interesting trend seems to be some resentment towards Kiprusoff. If this were the last year of his contract, after which he were retiring, would some fans still be angry at him for not accepting a trade?

    Were I a Flames fan, my only regret for him would be that he is leaving the game at a low ebb, rather than at his peak. Let him walk away with dignity and celebrate him for his efforts and accomplishments.

    • Scary Gary

      “That ship has sailed and the Flames are undergoing a greater (by degrees of impact player) change than that which the Oilers underwent in 2009-2010.”

      Yes, because the oilers didn’t have any impact players. They had some brutal contracts that Lowe had inked and no one would take their garbage (Horcoff, Pisani, O’Sullivan, Comrie etc). Man that team was brutal, when Dustin Penner is your best player you’re going to finish 30th. That being said we may indeed finish 26-30 next year.

      “Another interesting trend seems to be some resentment towards Kiprusoff. If this were the last year of his contract, after which he were retiring, would some fans still be angry at him for not accepting a trade?”

      It’s a business, Kipper has a year left and does not hold a no trade clause; don’t have your agent float a report out there that you’re going to retire if traded, brutal.

    • Excuse me while I laugh my ass off. That’s hilarious. Bryzgalov, pontificating on the size of the universe, and Mason, praying he’s not a sieve night-in and night-out.

      I’ve seen the assertion several times that Kipper’s family “is not healthy”. Does anybody ACTUALLY know that? The original Kypreos report just said that Kipper didn’t want to move because of his family. That doesn’t imply health issues, that implies a new father who is moving to Finland this summer and not Toronto. Let him take his ball and go home.

  • RexLibris

    I’m really ticked at Tambellini right now.

    There are opportunities right now to gather together a few more picks for extraneous pieces and management is going to “stand pat” because they feel they have a shot at a playoff spot.


    They could have acquired Jussi Jokinen for a conditional 7th round pick (presumably), instead they get Jerrod Smithson. Right.

    • Dunno why they didn’t take Jokinen off waivers either. Half price for a year and change on a faceoff and shootout whiz isn’t too shabby. And no one wanted Ryan Whitney?

      If I was Marion Gaborik, I wouldn’t waive my NMC/NTC to go to Columbus from New York. Unless they make him captain in CB.

  • RexLibris

    Luongo pulled off the ice at practice. Toronto?

    With the number of 2nd round picks moving this year I am beginning to believe that the much-ballyhooed depth of this draft is perceived (by GMs and scouts) as being entirely in the 1st round.

    This could make for some interesting moves at draft day as well.

  • Today has been great so far. I’m just laughing and laughing and laughing.

    Kekelainen is making his mark on CBJ now. Gaborik, Leighton, Comeau in, and garbage out. Multiple first round picks.


    … /sarcasm

  • Purple Hazze

    A lot of angry and emotional fans in Calgary right now, which is understandable considering no one knows what to make of our beloved Flames anymore. We all knew it wasn’t going to be pretty when this happened! There’s a lot of reasons why we find ourselves where we are today:

    1. The previous GM – this is the biggest reason, poor drafting and development record leaving our cupboards bare along with questionable signings and trades.

    2. Iggy – A lot of people fail to recognize the fact that Iginla is one of the reasons why we toiled as a bubble team the last 3 years instead of starting the rebuild. He is the reason why we brought back Tanguay, Cammi, and Oli. He felt “the answers were in the dressing room” and refused to be part of any re-build so trading for prospects and picks became a non starter.

    3. Ownership – For giving that kind of power to one player to control the direction of a team. But in all honesty I can’t say I can blame em, for not wanting to trade Iggy, he made them a ton of money, has been the face of the franchise, in their eyes he earned the right to be a Flame for life. I can’t think of any example of a franchise player being moved where both the player and ownership want him to remain … usually one will want the trade, and when that finally happened this year, Iggy was traded. With Iggy gone I don’t see Edwards interfering much with Hockey operations going forward.

    I don’t put much blame on Feaster, I think he’s done a pretty decent job of navigating the minefield of being the GM of an organization that was already on a downward spiral. He’s made good moves and questionable ones, as all GM’s do! … Mike Gillis traded away their future franchise centre for a bag of pucks and has since been desperately searching for a centre since the move, talk about LOL or how about Philly gutting their core to invest in a goaltender that just plain sucks.

    Its going to be 4-5 years until this team is relevant again, expecting anything but was unrealistic on the part of the fans. LA, Chicago, Pittsburgh were bad for a number of years before they won the cup, they didn’t just turn it around in 2 years with a simple re-tool. People will point to Philly and Ottawa as examples of a quick turn around, but neither team has won a cup or is a cup contender.

    Maybe I’m just a glass half full kinda guy, but right now I’m looking forward to a lineup next year where we’ll have Backlund/Glencross/Stempniak to play the tough minutes and Barkov or Mckinnon/Sven/tanguy as the 2nd line. We’ll probably finish in lottery territory again, but that’s just part of the slow process of building a team from scratch.

  • Double Dion

    If we draft one of the big 4, one of Morrissey, Pullock or Erne and Petan then all is forgiven. If we make idiotic off the board picks, I’ll be very unhappy.

  • RexLibris

    dood, i’ve been saying Calgary can’t draft. so obvious. developing is another matter, but ima assuming since we are hopeless drafting, we aren’t much better with the developing. so its much better to trade for prospects that someone else developed. how else can we get anywhere… oh wait …we could fire Feester the melester and get rid of king of the castle.