Let's get something straight right off the bat.
There are two reasons for the Heritage Classic:
1) It makes the NHL a helluva lotta cash. That much we know for sure.
but, more importantly to you and me;
2) The fans LOVE it. And that might be an understatement.
Reading the Globe and Mail this morning, I was quite disappointed but not at all surprised to see a negative column from Allan Maki. Essentially writing off the Classic... That's fine, but rest assured, had this Heritage Classic been held in Toronto he'd be singing it's praises. But, then again, Toronto doesn't have the facility to host a proper outdoor classic - so with the Centre of the Universe unable to be involved, negativity is all we should expect.
The same goes for a puck-daddy blogger who goes by Two Line Pass... never heard of him... but he goes on to lambaste the Classic in what was otherwise a well-written blog. Criticizing the NHL for holding the event in what is "always" a cold time in Calgary, late February. Lack of facts here... Late-Feb is ideal for Calgary as the weather is generally sunny and between -2 and +5, historically.
Regardless, those concerned about the Classic being overdone need not get their panties in a bunch as of yet... It seems Calgary and Edmonton are the only Canadian NHL cities who actually have the means to host the game currently.
Or, maybe Maple Leafs fans should get excited for the the 2012 Heritage Classic........
........ in Regina. (Don't laugh.)
For me, the event was once in a lifetime. Something I considered watching on television but would have regretted the rest of my life. It was a huge, fun party. I've been lucky in the past year plus to have seen the WJ Gold Medal game in Saskatoon, the Canada-Russia game at the Olympics and now, the Heritage Classic. And believe me, although the HC comes in third, it's not by much.
For the rest of the country, you just wait... when your turn comes, you're going to love it.
I wrote about Glencross in my last blog. Trying to explain to fans why he'll be back, but more importantly, why the Flames can afford him... easily.
I know I'd be lucky if more than a dozen people actually read my posts... but I figure if I keep posting it, maybe people will realize the odds are heavily in favor of the Flames bringing Glencross back... even if he demands a hefty raise.
There is only one way Curtis Glencross is not in the Flaming 'C' next season and that is if Curtis Glencross himself does NOT WANT to re-sign.
The Oiler blogger questions whether or not the Flames can sign Glencross before the trade deadline?
Um, is this an issue? Was there some sort of deadline imposed by either Glencross or the Flames? Isn't the deadline July 1st? Is this even the most pressing issue the Flames face leading to Feb 28th? Is it even in the top 10?
When Glencross was a UFA after the Oilers so stupidly let him go 3 years ago, there were only 2 teams that he considered; Pheonix and Calgary.
Yes, GMs from other teams were calling about him earlier in the year. But I should emphasize, WERE. Glencross is a key component on a team trying to make the playoffs. He isn't going anywhere at the deadline and as I've said all year long, he'll be a priority for Flames management.
A raise to 3 mil per could easily be absorbed by the Flames next season. Although I see him signing another 3 year deal for about 7.5.
But, what do I know... I'm just the guy who predicted Glen would sign with the Flames in March 2008, 3 months before he even became a UFA... and then broke the signing right here on Hockeybuzz.
I just shake my head when I think of the players Darryl Sutter acquired last season. However, I'm still a little surprised to see Hagman on waivers.
Not because I think the Flames need to keep him... hell no. But, he can actually put pucks in the net and could be a decent, change-of-scenery, pick-up for other NHL teams in need of some secondary scoring. I thought Hagman would be up for grabs somewhere in the range of a 3rd-4th round pick.
Despite not making any trades, Jay Feaster is putting his stamp on this hockey team... getting rid of the excess baggage. But, what does this mean moving forward.
Well - rumour mongers will tell you the Flames are getting ready to make a high-salary move. I doubt it. But, it's not because they don't have the cap space, which many will say. (If Hagman clears, the Flames will be able to add up to roughly 5.1 million dollars in cap for the stretch run, possibly less with an AHL call-up added, maybe 5 even).
Fact is, Hagman was playing on the 4th line, hardly justifying his 3 million dollar contract. If he goes unclaimed, he'll be heading to Abbotsford and the Flames will make another call-up as they continue to work out the prospects. And, having watched the Heat play on Friday night in the Dome... the only forward worth calling up would be Greg Nemisz. But, what good would it do Nemisz to join Backlund and only play 6 minutes per game? Maybe we'll see Stefan Meyer again? He's more than capable of contributing play equal to that of Hagman on the 4th line.
More importantly, this move will give the Flames even more flexibility going into next season. Proving that complete blow-ups in order to build contenders isn't necessarily needed, rather a Manager capable of making smart managerial decisions.
With Hagman off the books for next season the Flames would sit with nearly 14 million dollars cap space (not including Daymond Langkow, 4.5).
Now, where on earth could they possibly find money to give Glencross a raise?