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.... You read it here first: Iginla and Kipper will start the season in Calgary.

A few more crystal ball gazing ideas come to you when you absorb this information.

The first being that Olli Jokinen will probably be re-signed. I know this flies in the face of what Eric Francis thinks but there are a few factors here to consider when discussing Jokinen. He was the best Flames center last year until the very end, his chemistry with Glencross is apparent and not something to be thrown away. He would be affordable for the points he brings and the Flames are not in cap trouble. It is kind of exciting to realize that the flames are not in cap trouble for the first time in a very long while. Sarich not being re-upped is basically paying for Cervenka this year. Even if Sarich does sign it will be in the 1 million range, money is fine. Another reason Jokinen will fit is that there is heavy speculation that there will be a one time amnesty buyout in this most recent CBA, it would be prudent for the Flames to payout Stajan at 2/3 of his contract and not take a cap hit. It would leave the Flames with Jokinen, Cervenka, Backlund and _____ as a center group and while not earth shattering, not horrible either.

Some might argue buying out Bouwmeester is a better investment and there is some aspect of it which may make sense but despite his dollar to point ratio Bouwmeester is a good defenseman, just expensive. Stajan is not very good and expensive.

This opens up the Flames to have this year to make some noise. The management can easily justify moving Kiprusoff at the deadline if the Flames are out at that point. Kiprusof is interesting in that he has a huge value right now, Darren Dreger has said probably more than Iginla. The issue, as always, is if the team could stay in the hunt without him. Usually when you’re team has to rely that heavily on your goalie you need to look at other issues but for some reason the Flames just keep leaning on him. The return could be great for Kipper but if the pattern holds we will see 34 in the net on opening night. Initially when Ramo was acquired in the same trade that brought Cammalleri here my initial thought was that Kipper could be moved and a Halak/Elliot scenario could happen in Calgary involving Ramo and Irving. I was not aware that Ramo was signed in the KHL for next year as well, this is another reason I see Kipper staying this season. Ramo put up incredible numbers in the KHL over the last two years and they actually got better from the season prior. He can now call Omsk team mate Cervanka to find out what NHL life in Calgary is like.

Cervenka is an interesting signing for a myriad of reasons. Most have been discussed, the fact the Flames are looking in new areas like the KHL and college, the fact he’s 27 and when playing with Jagr was really good, his salary hit and more. What I find interesting is that it’s an admission that the UFA crop this year is weak, that addressing their center ice issues was not likely via trade or any of the “normal” routes. It says the Flames did not want to part with their first overall pick for a center and recognize the value there. Cervenka is so low risk and high reward it’s hard not to like it, a line of Tanguay, Cervanka and Iginla where Tanguay plays the set up man is actually pretty enticing. A second line of Jokinen, Glencross and Cammellari is equally nice. This would set up a third line of Backlund, Beartschi and perhaps Stempniak. That is half decent in my opinion.


Click the link below to read the full blog including the draft and UFA thoughts as well as the coaching search and direction of the team.

Filed Under:   Flames   Cervenka   Jokinen  
May 3, 2012 12:58 PM ET | Delete
May 3, 2012 1:44 PM ET | Delete
i don't see how jokinen fits in any more. The end of the season did show he doesn't have the gas to keep going at a high scoring rate. And he's not a first line center (rather go with Cammy). Jokinen on the 1st line means iggy ends up taking half the face offs. Cammy/Backland/Cervenka/Jones works. Adding a strong faceoff winning centre would be more important then adding iggy. Cervenka is our new goal scoring Center and one with youth. Jokinen can move on and should have been moved last year.
May 3, 2012 2:09 PM ET | Delete
I'm with Numbear, I dont want Joker. Let the new kid centre Iggy
May 3, 2012 2:10 PM ET | Delete
May 3, 2012 2:53 PM ET | Delete
I agree, it's pretty much what I laid out. Tanguay, Cervenka, Iggy and then Jokinen, Glenx and Cammy. Cammy is not a center, he's a scoring winger, his stint at center is probably done. Jokinen did falter down the stetch but having just one decent center means more attention. Cervenka is an unkown so keeping Jokinen seems reasonable.
May 3, 2012 3:38 PM ET | Delete
I heard from a very unreliable source that Iggy gave Feaster two teams he'd accept a trade to. They are Edmonton and Dallas. I thought that was stupid and couldn't possibly be true. To see Iggy in an Oilers jersey would break my heart. Then I thought of what they could offer for him..first overall and a young stud perhaps. I might be able to get over that. What do you think?
May 3, 2012 3:47 PM ET | Delete
keeping him leaves us at last in faceoffs though. its a huge problem. I think Iggy's faceoff percentage was better then jokinens last year, was it not?Let him go, go for Stoll (or gaustad). he fills a need.tanguay/cervenka/iggycammy/stoll/Glencrossbaert/backland/? (go for jones or parenteau. fill with Neminsz/akim or Stemp if they have to)bouma/jones/jackman.and hopefully the new CBA allows them to deal with stajan.
May 3, 2012 4:37 PM ET | Delete
Cervanka said in an interview today that he was brought in to fill Olli's slot. I doubt they re-sing Olli. I doubt they can get rid of Stajan. Jones looks like he will stay and then there is Backlund and Horak.
May 3, 2012 5:36 PM ET | Delete
Reinhart might be able to earn a spot on the big club with a strong camp too.
May 3, 2012 6:51 PM ET | Delete
horak I think needs time, and same with reinhart. We are weak winning in the faceoff circle (broken record), rookies in the center won't help that out.I like horak and reinhart, they should get a few games (ahead of stajan). But time with the Heat I think will help them out more.
May 4, 2012 11:47 AM ET | Delete
Joninen's prouction and back checking last year I think give him a shot at being re-signed. His fo% is not the largest factor is considering his contract but rather a negotiation point. Having Cervenka, Backlund, and stajan will be too risky for the ownership to approve. It would also put the flames in a weak stance when negotiating free agents.
May 6, 2012 10:09 AM ET | Delete
Why would Edmonton trade a pick or a young prospect for Iginla? They can sign him as a ufa after next season. At that point they will be a legit Top 8 team and not give anything to the flames.
May 6, 2012 12:59 PM ET | Delete
Good Blog.. I agree with you about Jokinen - have to protect the asset, best scenario is he is resigned without a no trade clause 4-4.5 per year. I think Kipper and Iginla will start the season next year...Hopefully Cervenka can fill a top 6 role... I would like to see Comeau stay... he hits everything and should come cheap with his low numbers from last year. I could see Backlund Baertshi Comeau as having that dynamic
May 6, 2012 1:08 PM ET | Delete
I would like to see us move up in the draft into the to 10... not sure what that would take.
May 9, 2012 5:37 PM ET | Delete
LOL @ Flames in 6 04. Iginla for the first overall and a young stud...... good luck with that. Not saying impossible, but Feaster would not only have to get Tambi drunk, but he would have to Roofi his drink too.
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