As the CBC reports, “The Flames did make a pair of minor moves on Monday sending forward Krys Kolanos back to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League and signing forward Tim Jackman to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $612,500 US. ” Whoa. Stop the presses! Calgary re-signed Jackman and sent down Kolanos! They’ve practically changed the face of the franchise!!!!1110!
Minor moves aside, it looks like Calgary kept the team intact through the trade deadline. On the one hand, it seems like they didn’t make any serious attempt to add a centreman for the playoff push, but neither did they trade away the likes of Jokinen or Iginla to start rebuilding. Yes, they did acquire Mike Cammalleri and Blair Jones back in January, while also trading Brendan Morrison away for an AHL defenceman, so you could say the trade deadline came early this year. Oh, and don’t forget that they claimed Blake Comeau off of waivers. Jay Feaster doesn’t want you to forget that.
Yes, the Flames are coming off a rough week in which they gave up 13 goals in three games (not counting shootouts), but they were putting together a pretty decent playoff push up to that point. A major move at the deadline could’ve lit a spark under their asses, but then again, it mighta messed things up. Last year, the team dealt a seventh-round pick to Atlanta for Freddy Modin, who was just as injured as we thought he’d be, and only played four games for the Flames before hanging up his skates for good. I mean, I know Calgary’s been notoriously bad at the draft, but if that seventh-rounder plays more than four career NHL games, then the Jets will have won that one, hands-down.
Mind you, that Modin move was just a blip on the screen compared to the prior two seasons. In 2009, the Flames picked up Olli Jokinen at the deadline, who never really jelled with the team until, well, this season, and that’s after they traded him away and brought him back again. Though Matthew Lombardi’s had his bell rung too many times and Brandon Prust was back with the team in time to be traded away again the following year, the first-round pick Phoenix picked up turned into Brandon Gormley, a solid young defenceman who could be playing for them next season. Calgary also re-aquired Jordan Leopold from the Avs, giving up Ryan Wilson, who’s still on the Colorado blue line, along with a second-round pick that turned into Stefan Elliott, a kid who’s already cracked the club. Leopold had four points in 19 games in Calgary and didn’t re-sign in the offseason as the Flames got manhandled by Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.
As for 2010, well, that season will go down in history as the year they dealt Dion for a steaming pile of shit. Ian White wasn’t a bad player, mind you–but they shipped him off to Carolina the following season. He’s now blossoming alongside Nik Lidstrom in Detroit. Yeah, I’d probably take him over an oft-injured Anton Babchuk any day… As for the rest of our return, Jamal Mayers wasn’t re-signed at season’s end, while Niklas Hagman was such a drag, man, that we straight up cut him a couple months back. So that leaves us with the multi-talented Matt Stajan, he who just scored his third goal of the season the other night. A real bargain at 3.5-million a year–only if you compare him to Scott Gomez! Did I mention that we also gave up prospects Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie for that shit sandwich!?
Sadly, that wasn’t all, as the Flames also dealt Jokinen and Prust (again) to the Rangers for Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins, a pair who combined for nine goals in 61 games, and have since found other employers. Though we did re-sign Jokinen in the offseason, Prust is a decent young player who stuck around in New York, so I’d say they won that trade. Did I mention that the Flames missed the playoffs for the first time since the lockout that year? Is it any wonder that Darryl Sutter got fired last season?
Since replacing Sutter, Jay Feaster has done little to distinguish himself. That Regehr trade to Buffalo in the off-season appears to have been little more than a salary dump, while the verdict’s still out on the Bourque-Cammalleri deal. One thing is certain: if the Flames miss the playoffs for the third straight year, Feaster will hafta start rebuilding, which brings back the bad vibes of Wamsley and Ramage for Hull–and Leeman, Petit et al for Gilmour, Nattress and… Wamsley. Rick Wamsley doesn’t have a front-office job somewhere does he? If so, Feaster might wanna lose his number!
Considering the circumstances, I am cheering for the Flames to make the playoffs this year, even though they’ll probably be one-and-done unless they find some secondary scoring and/or Kipper catches fire. Here’s hoping for a bounce-back game against the Blues tonite. Let’s win one for Al MacInnis!