The Flames new manager actually only has a few things to take care of and any credible G.M. should be able to get these things done.
Let’s touch on the G.M. bit for a second first. The fact Feaster hasn’t been anointed the holy one speaks to the probability of at least a due diligence search for a G.M. That search could involve Jim Nill, the assistant in Detroit. Let’s say hypothetically that the Flames hire him, one of the conditions is that he probably won’t be able to take part in the draft, Feaster has been here, knows the system, hired new amateur scouts. It could be that Feaster is still being retained as an assistant G.M., a role I think he is perfectly suited to. I’m not saying anything definitive but Feaster has great plus sides, his contract negotiation experience, his cap knowledge , his prospect knowledge after a year and his media friendliness. After seeing his plus side you can’t ignore his drafting and trading record is very poor though. The G.M. NEEDS to be strong there.
So regardless of who is at the helm let’s deal with several issues surrounding the Flames.
1. Tanguay: Look I’m not sure why everyone always wants to retain UFA’s on a team that didn’t get the job done. Tanguay was a steal last year but remember when he was paid 4+ million? He was an anchor. So Tanguay being resigned at around 2.5-3 million is a target the G.M. should shoot for.
2. Glencross: Curtis Glencross has speed, a scoring touch and a bit of a nasty attitude. When he’s on his game. The issue is, and his being benched through the season shows, he’s not always that guy. His asking price is fair but he wants 5-6 years. Flames brass have been pretty adamant that they only sign three or a maximum of four year deals. Glencross could be replaced I believe and his rights might be worth a pick at the draft, chances are they can’t afford to keep him so they might as well get something for him. The G.M. should try and get SOMETHING for Glenx. (I will miss the “Glencross will make you wanna jump jump” chants though)
3. Karlsson: The “Calgary Tower” said he would take a discount to stay and I would take him up on that offer, he showed he’s a capable back up at this level. Irving finally got a great year under him but would need at least one more before hopefully becoming our Cory Schneider.
4. Sign RFA’s: Irving, Pelech and Baldwin need to be re-upped. Pelech and Baldwin would probably be in the NHL on other teams that actually allow their young talent to play. Pelech is mean, a player you like to see against opposing forwards. Other RFA’s have probably run their course in this system and need out, Carpentier and Armstrong have never shown what Sutter thought they had. Chucko is UFA and while it’s flushing a first round pick he is not ever going to be in the NHL again, he did have one game I think.
5. Kotalik: Find resolution and closure to this cancer. Kotalik has remained a pro throughout this ordeal to his credit but he needs to be gone. Europe, loaned to another AHL team, whatever. I do not think a buyout makes sense at this point as his stain would be left on this team for another two years and the cap needs work.
6. Cory Sarich: While very much a serviceable defenseman Sarich is not worth 3.5 million. They would save real dollars if they bought him out and free up cap room to the tune of 2.2. million. Young guys like Brodie, Pelech, Pardy and even Seabrook should get a look.
7. Kipper: If you retain Kipper, and you have to admit merit to both sides of the argument, then he must be the Vezina Kipper. He must not play every game. If you trade Kipper then the return has to be epic. Very tight line here and no room for a mistake. He would have to get a proven scorer, preferably a center and a first round pick. Anything less is not worth his experience.
8. Cap Room: The G.M. must focus on shedding albatross contracts of Hagman, Stajan, Kotalik and Sarich. They have to have the ability to cut fat off this team very quickly.
9. Philosophy change: The leader of this team needs to allow young fast players to enter, for too long older slower experience has been valued over youth and enthusiasm. Every good team has a good mix of both.
10. Get the new arena plans off the ground, a 17th ave. mall/ arena complex that is the crown jewel of the new east village would be incredible, something to rival Glendale’s and obviously put to shame whatever Edmonton puts up. It wouldn’t be hard… it’s in Edmonton. (oh no he didn’t!)
Some of these things are easier said than done of course but as an outline of there is not a plan in place to deal with this then next year could be very long.