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.
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.