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Canada, AB • Canada •
There's a record in Calgary that has been skipping since Joe Nieuwendyk was traded to the Dallas Stars in 1995.

We need a number one center.....we need a number one center...we need a number one center. It's like the unofficial anthem of the Flames. If an anthem does ever get written it will be something like,"Star Spangled Center" or "O'centermen" or "God save our centerman".

The Flames go through Centers like Philly goes through Goalies, like New York spends money, like Edmonton fans go through teeth. (AHHH just kidding Edmonton fans...)

Here's a list of some of the "number one" centers Calgary has been subject to:

Dave Gagner- Not a bad player I have to say but no Joe Thornton either.

Andrew Cassels/Jeff Shantz for a couple years- Cassels-Again a good player but nothing flashy, had a career high 22 goals in Hartford... not exactly Crosby. Shantz-Arguably the worst center to ever patrol the top line.

Marc Savard- This guy was special, at the age of 23 and 24 was putting up 31-42 assists with the Flames and had chemistry with Iginla which is very rare. Was traded when he didn't get along with coach Gilbert for a Russian who never played and then Gilbert was fired... so goodbye G.M.

Craig Conroy- A player who was more known for his defensive play suddenly was awesome- 75 points in his first full year with Iggy, taking a dip the following year with 59 points...and another dip to 44 points and another year at 46... you get the idea, Conroy was/is a decent player who had a couple good season playing with an elite scorer but I don't believe he made Iggy better.

Daymond Langkow- Langkow has a good skill set, great hand/eye, gritty, decent speed, great defensive play but a number 1 center? His 77 points in 06/07 was followed by 65 points which was followed by 49, followed by 37...see the trend?

Matt Stajan- 57 points last year, mostly with Toronto and seriously this is not a number one center.

* Note Jokinen never played a full season here but I guess should be included in the list as he did play on the top line. Stillman was listed as a center but almost never played that position here.

SO... Taking a look at the lost above I see one guy, Marc Savard, who I would consider a number one guy. An elite passer who can score and take faceoffs is, by definition, your number one center. The Sutter era has seen three defensive forwards be the top line guy in Langkow, Conroy and Stajan (sans Jokinen) who have some offensive upside and perhaps this is where the mind set could use a little changing. Right now the Flames Center ice looks like:


Higgins, Conroy, Nystrom and Sutter are all free agents without contracts as of today so I can not list them as part of the team. Not exactly Crosby, Malkin, Staal or Briere, Carter, Richards is it? It takes center skill and lots of it to get to the finals these days and the Flames are still lacking and the record will keep skipping:

We need a number one center...we need a number one center....

Filed Under:   Flames   Shantz   Sutter  
June 9, 2010 2:10 PM ET | Delete
The one trade (prior to the last two years) I never understood was Savard.**heavy sigh**
June 9, 2010 2:48 PM ET | Delete
June 9, 2010 2:48 PM ET | Delete
June 9, 2010 2:48 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
June 9, 2010 2:53 PM ET | Delete
Spezza is our man, make it so!
June 9, 2010 2:57 PM ET | Delete
P.S. now that Toskala is out officially from the flames plans I would like to submit my resume for the back up job. I could lose 6 games a year and get paid league minimum as well as the next guy!!
June 9, 2010 2:58 PM ET | Delete
Hey Jord- I've found when it doesn't post it was too long. try splitting it up.
June 9, 2010 3:00 PM ET | Delete
Spezza might fit! They'd have to take langkow and sarich or langkow and Kotalik back though to make it work.
June 9, 2010 3:06 PM ET | Delete
June 9, 2010 3:07 PM ET | Delete
Sorry computer glinche the Flames have need a number one center for some time and it won't be fixed this season. Sutter thinks that team is set sigh.
June 9, 2010 3:09 PM ET | Delete
Flamestr-Sutter's head is on the block this season, i would bet money he brings in at least one huge name via trade. Even if he hast to stick money in the AHL to clear cap.
June 9, 2010 4:26 PM ET | Delete
Why no mention of Cammalleri? Iginla is a more creative passer than he is a creative shooter. That's why he and Cammy were gold. Honestly, picture what a Jarome shot looks like: streaking down the wing in a straight line and wrister or slap that either goes into the logo of the goalie or off the defenders stick. ughhh
June 9, 2010 4:57 PM ET | Delete
Pipes makes me sick when hear Cammy name we essentially gave up Cammy for Jbo. Saneopinio the main problem with Sutter is there is no pressure in him changing right now as long as there is no pressure he won't change. Also I am pretty sure one of the big contracts have been asked to waive, and the Flames are trying to get a first round pick in the draft.
June 9, 2010 4:58 PM ET | Delete
That is When I hear Cammy's name.
June 9, 2010 6:47 PM ET | Delete
Cammelleri was actually a left winger with the flames, Jokinen was their center or Langkow. Columbus will trade their pick if the offer is right.
June 9, 2010 7:06 PM ET | Delete
So will the Islanders.
June 9, 2010 7:26 PM ET | Delete
What price do we pay for a soso 1st rounder this year? Sutter blew it, lets get past 1st rounders in the lineup.
June 9, 2010 7:45 PM ET | Delete
That is problem I suspect it will cost a prospect and two roster players.
June 9, 2010 10:01 PM ET | Delete
I would bet on sutter trading for a 1st rounder, and trying to draft a C. I hope he just goes and clears space for a) Marleau, or trades for b) Spezza
June 9, 2010 10:06 PM ET | Delete
Iggy has showen he can play with anyone, even though the other guy might not produce. so why not try to find guys who can play with Borque, and Backlund and put iggy on the 2nd line with whoever!?
June 9, 2010 11:46 PM ET | Delete
Spezza would be sweet If we sent Jbo there would be white wash on Cap .
June 9, 2010 11:57 PM ET | Delete
Id rather package Regher
June 9, 2010 11:57 PM ET | Delete
June 9, 2010 11:57 PM ET | Delete
June 10, 2010 12:00 AM ET | Delete
June 10, 2010 12:01 AM ET | Delete
That works to .
June 10, 2010 12:08 AM ET | Delete
Regehr Stajan would be better. Regehr Negrin Hagman for Spezza and Regin? :)
June 10, 2010 12:22 AM ET | Delete
I want to see Spezza in a Flames sweater.
June 10, 2010 2:31 AM ET | Delete
Flamestr I have to disagree, there is huge pressure on Sutter. This is his make or break season. I will put 99-1 odds that he gets fired if it doesnt pan out this year. Job on the line? that's pressure if I've ever seen it! Spezza is heartless, im wary of him in the Flaming C, but who knows!!!
June 10, 2010 12:44 PM ET | Delete
I think spezza is a fantastic player but has become jaded under murray...who I think leaves a lot to be desired. Change of scenery might make him a 90 point guy. I'd LOVE to see him in a c.
June 10, 2010 3:23 PM ET | Delete
All you guys with blank responses, you need to trim your content. MyHockeybuzz doesn't accept large posts. It should warn you, but it doesn't. Just another 'feature' of this site.
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