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Canada, AB • Canada •
I'm going to take a little break from the Flames for a day, unless this becomes a trade day, and take a look at some of the issues going on right now.

Have you ever bought a lotto ticket and wondered what would happen if you washed it or something and it won? Or if you answered the skill question wrong and they pulled the plug on your ticket? Have you wondered how desperate and angry you would be for that money, well the best part is not we can have a name for a happening like that. We used to use, "pulling the rug from under your feet" or even just plain old, "ripped off" but now we can use, "Kovachucked" or if you prefer, "Bettmened". A term used to describe someone who has played within the rules yet been denied what was owed to him. Ilya's Contract was stupid and flew in the face of the spirit of the CBA but it is within the rules, it might get ridiculous now though if he wins the arbitrator ruling, teams signing guys to play till their 60 just to lower the cap hit and saying, "hey man...I'm within the rules!"

The hilarious part is that the NHL Players Association is filing that grievance against the league for stopping the contract when they should be applauding it! It will be their members who pay escrow and penalties for low revenues that will suffer...but hey at least Ilya's happy right?


Neimi not getting 2.7 million after winning the cup is an atrocious mistake. Kiprusoff plays half a season with the Flames, goes to the finals and gets that much in a walk and a little later cashed in huge. Neimi is a cup winner and can't get 1/4 of what Luongo is making who has won nothing? Yet they will match an offer sheet for Hjalmarsson for over 3 million who is a great defenseman but was not a pivotal force in winning the cup either. Turco is well past his prime and when a goalie is past his prime there is not coming back, Niemi isn't the only goalie in the Hawks system but he was a massive reason they won. During that series with the Sharks didn't he have a couple games of over 40 saves or something? The Preds were peppering him in the playoffs and he stood up to it all. This move will be as costly as any other they have made. It would be strange to see the cup winning goalie with no where to play this year but that might happen, the popular choice is San Jose right now though so we'll see.

Speaking of the Hawks one has to wonder if one superstar is worth a team. Kane and Toews are both undeniably talented but if trading one of them to another team for a great draft pick and prospects meant keeping a larger portion of your team together you have to wonder if the right decisions are being made. Case in point do you keep Kane, who is insanely talented or Toews the leader or do you trade one of then to maintain a long and steady stream of reoccurring talent and keep a couple key components like Dustin Byfuglien and Kris Versteeg? I know at first glance it seems a crazy question, of course Kane is so good you keep him... but if it means team depth, your starting goalie and a stop to further youth having opportunities it is a question to at least ask.


Lee Stempniak. Here's a guy who with the right fit could get you 25-30 goals in a season and yet he's still floating around out there and the possible teams either don't want to spend money or have a full roster. The Cap era is crazy. A guy who got 27 goals last year playing for Toronto and Phoenix should not be UFA but yet there he is, one has to wonder what he was asking for? Another Stempniak issue is his lack of playoff experience, he's a guy who could help your team get there but is he a guy who can do it when it counts and history says no.

Filed Under:   Kovalchuck   Stempniak   Hawks  
August 4, 2010 10:23 PM ET | Delete
If you ever saw Stempniak playing for the Leafs, you would probably not question why he's still available. This isn't to say he is a bad player, but that he is likely looking to capitalize on his 27 goal output and any teams kicking the tires are a little concerned that he could turn back into the 10 goal scorer he was in Leaf-land.
August 5, 2010 4:35 AM ET | Delete
You really shouldn't compare Kipprusoff's playoffs in 04 to the playoffs Niemi just had,
August 5, 2010 8:44 AM ET | Delete
If you look how he did with St. Lou and pheonix you wonder if Toronto wasn't the problem not Stempniak. Kipper was maybe the best goalie i've ever seen in that run, how many 1-0 games were there? The result and the circumstance are what i'm comparing, not so much who is a better goalie.
August 5, 2010 7:11 PM ET | Delete
Niemi has really only had one season, he was lucky to get the 2.75 offer. The market on goalies is obviously shrinking.
August 10, 2010 11:40 AM ET | Delete
Anyone else think that Stempniak would be a good addition to the Flames? Did he have any Chemistry with Stajan or Hagman?
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