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In a search for a number one center, the Calgary Flames might be staring the solution in the face everyday.

Backlund? No, maybe one day though.
Langkow? Too inconsistent and small.
Stajan...hahaha no.

How about Jarome Iginla? Instead of finding someone to play with the most prolific scorer on the team why not find a winger for him! Think it's crazy? Hear me out.

If I was to tell you some #1 centers in the league like Stamkos, Tavares, Getzlaf and Connolly all have comparable face off percentages would you believe me? It's true, at over 50% at home and 43% on the road his average face off percentage is comparable to those guys if not better. Jarome uses his power to acquire the face off win and the nice part about this is that he isn't the guy who has to rush the zone, he just has to pass it. And he CAN pass it, remember the Olympics?

Iginla went from playing with Cammelleri and scoring 54 assists to playing with everyone on the team and getting 35 assists while actually keeping his goals very similar (32-35), the simple fact of the matter is that Jarome is a very capable...CENTER.

There was a reason Jarome was so effective with Cammalleri and that is that Cammy took the heat off Jarome to score goals but also game Jarome an outlet, a legitimate outlet, where more often than not the puck would be in the net and the red light would be glowing.

The problem with this scenario is that if we're being honest with ourselves we have a lot of "good" wingers but not enough "GREAT!" wingers for him to play with like a Mike Cammalleri. The nice thing is that instead of looking around the league amongst a handful of centers that are compatible with Jarome, which is a fruitless quest so far, it's much easier to find guys who can score from the wings where the league has multitudes of options.

On a previous blog I mentioned trading Kipper and got some heat for it but in a scenario where a team like Washington, who's owner stated that their goalies were outplayed as a reason for elimination, would pay huge for Kipper. Just imagine a line where Semin lines up with Iginla and say Hagman? That is a first line my friends and if they could score Varlamov in a deal too, hey...even a good goalie back there. If Calgary were to package Regehr or Langkow and Kipper to Washington I would imagine a huge return and hey while you're at it let Boston know what you're shipping to Washington and see if maybe they want to make an offer?

There is a box here in Calgary that, as fans we have to get out of. It's comfortable to imagine Kipper and Regehr here because they have been forever...but we are still sitting at one cup. What is here is not getting it done. So if we want to have our favorite team win we should try and think outside of the box and wonder what the possible scenarios are, they are out there, and try to be okay with them.

One possible scenario (and actual rumor) is that Sutter got the feeling Kotalik would go to the KHL rather than playing in Alberta and Calgary as they were a team on his "do not trade me here" list. That is wishful thinking but if true would make me not think Sutter was a total idiot for that trade. Kotalik shot it down but what else was he going to say?

I know lately I've been coming up with some ideas that are uncomfortable for us to think about but if we want change we have to stop thinking about the same players doing something better and start thinking about injecting new players who do something different. The same old just isn't paying off.

Filed Under:   Flames   Semin   Iginla  
April 30, 2010 1:28 PM ET | Delete
There is no way Washington coughs up Semeon Varlamov in any trade with Calgary. This is a top prospect and a legitimate threat to become a top netminder in the league. Looking back, would anyone trade a young Lundqvist, a young Kiprusoff, a young Luongo PLUS a top line forward for an older goalie their youngster could potentially replace? Keep the opinions sane, my friend.
April 30, 2010 1:50 PM ET | Delete
The problem with Iggy playing center shows up in the defensive end. You'd have to pair the 2 offensive guys with a 3rd solid defensive winger, and teach him to play the defensive center role... it sounds like a bit of a gong-show.
April 30, 2010 1:52 PM ET | Delete
Honestly, if Iggy took every faceoff and played with Langkow and a guy like Semin on the top line I think it could be a great fit. Langks is a good centerman, he's just terrible on the faceoff.
April 30, 2010 1:53 PM ET | Delete
a-mar. kipper, luongo were both traded, and washington wants to win now...
April 30, 2010 7:37 PM ET | Delete
I am sick of this trade Kipper crap. Yea, trade your MVP to improve the team.Please stop, k thanks.
May 1, 2010 1:05 PM ET | Delete
It doesn't mean that George McPhee is going to throw away any sense of the future! I can see some basis for a Kiprusoff for Semin trade... but there's no way that Calgary is going to get the kind of assets its going to need for Kiprusoff from Washington. There are too many other (cheaper) options out there for a team to pursue: Ellis, Vokoun, Emery, Theodore, Nabokov, Turco, Mason, Nittymaki
May 1, 2010 1:07 PM ET | Delete
Neither Luongo nor Kiprusoff were traded WITH a top line forward for another tender. Luongo was traded FOR a (supposed) elite forward in Bertuzzi, and Kiprusoff was traded for a pick. The point was that you wouldn't trade any of these guys after two NHL seasons WITH a 40 goal scorer for an older, more expensive goalie. Not everyone makes trades like Sutter.
May 1, 2010 4:10 PM ET | Delete
Kipper was traded because he was the third stringer behind Toskala and Nabokov in San Jose, nobody knew he had the potential he had. Not remotely comparable. As for Luongo that was one of the most idiotic trades of all time made by one of the biggest idiots in NHL history. George McPhee isn't an idiot. Trading Kipper would get the Flames nowhere. As for this Iggy as a center nonsense, it doesn't solve anything. The Flames would still have the same forwards as before just slightly reshuffled.
May 1, 2010 4:12 PM ET | Delete
Also, uh huh Washington's gonna pay $7M for Iginla on the second line, sure.
May 2, 2010 7:01 PM ET | Delete
Why would boston make an offer for kipper?? rask is almost as good as kipper already...come on at least think before you write these blogs
May 2, 2010 10:35 PM ET | Delete
Amar: If you read what Leonsis, washington's owner wrote, he stated that goaltending was one of they key reasons they lost. Semin is on a one year contract along with Varlamov, kipper is signed for several, if anything he would be trading for the future here. All of the guys you mentioned prove my point that there are goalies not name kiprusoff that can do the job if you have a good enough team! Vokun couldn't come in and play here? Ellis? Mason? Why not?
May 2, 2010 10:46 PM ET | Delete
Boston would need to trade salary as well for sure, and trust me they need to, they need to sign about 14 guys with 10 million. that about $715,000 on average leaving them NO room. I never mentioned rask though so maybe I'm not the one to think things through.
May 2, 2010 10:48 PM ET | Delete
kasper, man... not you!! Just read what I wrote, I just said it's easier to find scoring wingers than number one centers. I also said they'd have to aquire that scoring winger as our current guys don't cut the mustard. Jarome is nopt the power forward we used to know, his game is changing, let's use it!
May 2, 2010 10:49 PM ET | Delete
If we keep doing the same things with the same players guys, be prepared to bang you head against the wall for years. I love Kipper! If he got traded for a huge return I wouldn't blink though.
May 3, 2010 5:47 AM ET | Delete
Contracts don't mean these players are going to be given away. I listed 'tenders because there are so many other options that aren't going to cost the Caps a top six forward and an elite netminding prospect. It doesn't matter that Varlamov isn't under contract because his rights are under Capitals control for several more years. Semin alone is worth at least Kiprusoff, possible more. Look at the return on elite scorers like Kessel and Kovalchuk!
May 3, 2010 5:49 AM ET | Delete
and Tomas Vokoun is an elite NHL goalie... were I calling the shots, he'd be my first goaltending target because A) he's under contract for 1 more season at a reasonable hit thereby not blocking Varlamov's path and affording cap flexibility... and B) he's put up sterling numbers on a brutal Panthers team, he could only be better on a legit contender.
May 3, 2010 5:51 AM ET | Delete
In the last 5 years Vokoun has never had his SV% dip below .919 ... without playing for a playoff contender... .919, .920, .919, .926, .925
May 3, 2010 10:17 AM ET | Delete
The caps thing was just an idea a-mar, it's all just talk but the thought that you could trade kipper and get an elite scorer still remains, and as you say a guy like vokoun could be signed. Or really a lot of other goalies. anderson at the beginning of this year was a waived three time nobody...
May 3, 2010 3:35 PM ET | Delete
I do agree that Iggy should be played differently. If we'd build a system around him as a shooter (think the Sharks with Heatley or the Wings with Hull) he'd get back into the 40-50 goal range. His assists would drop off a ton though. Either way, he's still not a centerman.
May 3, 2010 3:37 PM ET | Delete
I also don't believe that we'd get fair value for Kipper. At least not in the off-season. If you want to build a trade with Washington, the chip would have to be either Regehr or Jaybow.
May 3, 2010 4:16 PM ET | Delete
I don't want a player like Semin who fights like a girl and wilts in the playoffs/Olympics. Give me Backstrom (like theyd ever trade him, but still) and I'd give up Regehr or JayBo, a Stajan or Hagman, a Nystrom and a prospect.
May 3, 2010 5:31 PM ET | Delete
Semin's fighting is AWESOME!
May 4, 2010 12:34 PM ET | Delete
Backstrom is as close to untouchable as they come... only Ovechkin holds more value to the Washington franchise.
May 4, 2010 9:30 PM ET | Delete
We have a kid playing incredible on the Heat
May 5, 2010 4:29 PM ET | Delete
May 11, 2010 12:12 AM ET | Delete
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