It has been a scorching rumour and topic in Calgary for the past year or so now in Calgary- What should the Flames do with Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff? As per Capgeek.com, the Flames have five UFA’s and four RFA’s this upcoming off-season. There’s no secret that the Flames are a team constantly stuck somewhere in the hunt for the 8th seed in the playoffs or slightly below that spot. With a team that’s aging and a Northwest Division that’s getting a lot younger and much improved as each year passes, it’s time for the Flames and the fans of Calgary to move on from their emotional attachments.
Jarome Iginla needs to be traded. After analyzing the roster and play, the Flames have only a handful of players worth keeping beyond this year. Calgary doesn’t have many, if any, top-level prospects, so a rebuild is going to be extremely hard, but not impossible. Iginla could draw in a first round pick and a NHL-ready player to fill a void either on defense or offense. On the defensive side, I have only Bouwmeester, Wideman, Giordano (all who are 29 years of age), and TJ Brodie (age 22) worth keeping. There is room for improvement on the defensive side of the puck, but having four out of your starting six, isn’t bad compared to some teams and with the talent they do receive from those four guys, it’s probably the least of their worries.
For the offensive side of the puck, where they would be more likely to draft and get a NHL-ready player for Iginla, I have the following forwards staying on board and safe from trades: Cammalleri, Hudler, Tanguay, Glencross, Baerteschi, Stempniak, and Backlund. All of the forwards, with the exception of Alex Tanguay, are at the age of 30 or under (Capgeek). Trading away Iginla could bring in a guy through the draft who can make an immediate impact, as well as solidify another position up front from a player who’s already proven.
As for Miikka Kiprusoff, who is 36 years old with a 5.833 million annual cap hit, according to Capgeek.com, not only frees up salary space, but could give you an answer in net as well. Maybe they trade Kiprusoff to a team like Ottawa, acquire Ben Bishop, with the pick or prospect deal pending. Calgary could then add a key player or two through free agency and offset a complete rebuild by trading away to franchise cornerstones.
I understand how attached Calgary fans can be to these two franchise players and the love they have for them. However, this team, at this moment, is not going to go anywhere except for being stuck where they have been for a couple years. The time is now to make a move and avoid a complete rebuild in Calgary. If the Flames wait any longer than this season on holding off on such moves, they will be another year older, as they watch the young studs in Edmonton, Colorado, as well as always top-heavy Vancouver, and a getting better Minnesota team surpass them and stay looking up from a very, depressing and lonely, bottom seed in the Western Conference.
With all that being said, I do NOT think the Flames trade Miikka Kiprusoff. I believe the Flames go out and get goaltender Ben Bishop, who’s a highly-touted prospect around the league, and trade for him this season, and he will remain a back-up until Miikka’s final days, whenever that may come through an eventual trade, or through retirement.
Your POTENTIAL 2013-2014 Flames
*player is acquired through a trade:
Trade 1-Flames trade: (RW) Jarome Iginla, Penguins trade: (D) Simon Despres, (LW) Beau Bennett, 1st round pick
Trade 2- Flames trade (D) Jay Bouwmeester, Flyers trade: Couturier, Grossman, 3rd round pick
Trade 3- Flames trade: (C) Matt Stajan & 4th round pick, Senators trade: (G) Ben Bishop
**player acquired through free agency
NOTE: draft picks are not placed on roster from first round, because it's impossible to tell where the Flames picks will land.
What to look for if Kiprusoff does get traded-
1. Do the Flyers buyout Bryzgalov? I’d say yes. I’d also like to point out if this happens in the off-season, the Flyers might possibly have the money to land both Bouwmeester and Kiprusoff. However, this would cause them to rely in a couple prospects filling 3rd and 4th line spots, as well as bottom-pairing on D. However, a player like Bouwmeester will eat up a ton of minutes, so you don’t need to be too concerned on your bottom pairing. The prospects would have to fill the void left from Couturier (if traded) and a couple others.
2. Do the Caps go in on Kiprusoff? Again, I would say yes. If the window has not already closed on the Caps, which I think it has, they will be very interested, as will many other teams.
3.What teams would really be in on a guy like Kiprusoff? Flyers, Capitals, Panthers (if no Luongo move), Blue Jackets. Blue Jackets have had interest in Kipper for a while, however, they might baulk at the asking price for a 36 year old keeper.
4.What is the asking price? Very similar to Iginla’s in my opinion, but maybe not quite as steep as a first round draft pick. I would say the fair-market asking price is a roster player (goaltender coming back to Calgary), prospect, as well as a 1st round pick.
Overall, this is more than likely not an in-season trade for Kiprusoff. Iginla, I believe will happen before the trade deadline. This is a very-early look at what the Flames Roster could look like in the 13-14 campaign.