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Roselle Park, NJ • United States • 2012 Years Old • Male
Flames Bring Back Sarich Refusing to Admit the Need to Rebuild

Cory Sarich agreed to a two-year, two million dollar contract to return to the Calgary Flames this morning.

Bringing Sarich back puts some more size at the blue line, but it shows Calgary’s lack of commitment to rebuilding.

They lost prized Swedish defender Tim Erixon to the Rangers in the Scott Gomez trade and after seeing limited time last year is expected to compete for a shot on a team known for their defense.

The Flames tried to replenish the hole Erixon left in their system, but Joey Leach and John Ramage (2010 draft picks) have stayed in the same tall, lanky build that they walked into the Staples Center as 19-year-olds on Draft Day. Both these average prospects weigh no more than 190-pounds soaking wet, which isn’t the size the Flames need guarding their goal.

In one of hockey’s best defensive drafts, Jay Feaster chose to 17-year-old center Mark Jankowski. He is a promising two-way forward with already exceptional passing and through development at Providence should turn out to be a great player. But the Flames are shaky on defense and what’s the point of spending consecutive first round picks on offensive players when they desperately need to bolster their blue line.

They passed up on highly touted defensemen Olli Maatta, Michael Matheson and Jordan Schmaltz, who their respective teams took like they were the first present on Christmas morning.

The Flames tried to address this problem by signing 29-year-old Dennis Wideman and bringing Sarich back until he is 35. He is a tall defensive defenseman who has done everything Calgary asked of him and finished every season with a plus rating since joining the Flames in 2007. He reached his plateau in 2011 with 17-points on the year and his numbers dwindled drastically to closeout last season.

People have argued that he is coming off of a solid year, but he only had a +1 rating and both his hits and blocked shots dropped significantly. He isn’t a goal scorer and his passing isn’t as crisp as his days with Tampa Bay. A two-year contract isn’t a horrible move, but why not finally turn op Christopher Breen or James Martin to showcase their talents in the pros.

All in all, this move leaves me uninspired because just like the signing of Wideman, the only thought that enters my mind is “so what?”

If Feaster actually wants to compete in a fast-paced NHL, it’s time to make a splash in the free agent or trade market and I’m not talking about signing a 34-year-old role player who might net five goals by the end of the year, which seems inevitably to be after the second week of April for the Flames.

Follow me on twitter @rgreco422
June 30, 2012 3:40 PM ET | Delete
Ummm, check your facts, leach is gone, erixon has nothing to do with the Gomez trade, and Breen is not currently pushing for an NHL roster spot, also the jankowski pick is for the center Calgary has been lacking far more than defense , otherwise thanks for writing about the flames.....I guess!
July 1, 2012 10:41 AM ET | Delete
Flames rank right up their with clb as far as total lack of dependable prospects, they should move iggy and/or kipper to get some solid prospects and draft picks example Ottawa. They traded their veterans for picks and prospects even popular guys like Kelly and fisher. Flames management needs to commit to a rebuild cause the flames are going no where.
July 1, 2012 1:01 PM ET | Delete
Always amazes me at how much fans of other teams in the league really care about what Calgary is doing and what direction they are heading. Nice to be the most popular kid at the dance!
July 3, 2012 5:52 PM ET | Delete
Oh man... The flames drafted a d in the 2nd round, his name is seiloff and he played with another guy named trouba all year. Sieloff is a big hitter, not huge but good size. There were a few guys available when Jankowski was picked but no Centers that had that much upside. Huge gamble for sure but he was ranked 14 by tsn's craig button going in to the draft. Got picked at 21, not horrible. Also Sarich is a hard hitter, respected locker room leader that is getting 2 mil. He is a non issue.
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