If the Flames had an info-mercial for the draft it would sound like this:
A guy with a "NHL GM" name tag picks up the phone and says, "Gee... I wish I could improve my team right away instead of drafting, I think we can win now but just are missing a few pieces..." sigh.
(appearing out of nowhere and obviously reading off queue cards) D.Sutter, "WELL... fear not my friend, I have some players for you...
Want a center? Can't afford Marleau for 6+ million a year? How about Langkow? in 2006 langkow had pretty much the same stats Marleau did, in 2007 he had BETTER stats than Marleau and in 2008 was playing on the second line getting 50 points and basically crapped the bed last year. He's only not scored 20+ goals twice since 2000 and twice got over 30! That is pretty consistent! All you have to do to have this fiiiiine two way Centerman is send us your first round draft pick, hell we'll even throw in one of our 4th rounders as well! (five second pause and then some strings making Sutter smile which is organically not realistic)
Other GM, "OKAY!! Thanks!!"
Sutter-"Hey do you need Defense too? We hear it wins you cups right? Well we have tons of it and nothing to show so if you want to share we can send you a premier shut down guy! Tired of Gaborik walking around your D? Tired of forwards pounding your small defense into the boards, try a little "rocket" Robin Regehr!! This limited time offer will only cost you a 2nd round pick and top prospect! Why overpay and get in a bidding war for Hamuis when "Rocket" Robin will be 1-2 million less!!
Look, two deals with me and you saved yourself 3-4 million in cap room!!"
Other GM- "WOW!!! GREAT!!"
On the plus side I will be in Las Vegas on the down side I will be at the airport during the draft. The draft for me is one of the most pivotal days of the year for a club, minor moves will later be reflected upon and they will stand out as some of the franchises greatest moves and greatest folly's. Next Friday the Calgary Flames go into the draft with a very specific list of priorities, they are:
1. Deal for a first round pick if possible.
2. Try to shed an unwanted contract.
3. Actually draft good players.
4. Acquire a center that can score goals.
Things look gloomy for the Flames as it stands one week prior to this draft but as usual there are more variables than just how many picks a team has and salary cap. One specific thing that might really help the Flames is the mediocre free agents available, there are about four guys everyone will want and everyone else are just guys who may or may not fit. The other consideration is that most teams are already fairly committed to next years salary and the last consideration is that there are a few teams in even worse situations than the Flames cap wise.
So to start this I will predict a very quiet July first free agency period for the Flames.
The Draft is where things will happen (or shortly before).
Pieces of the Flames that actually earned their keep will be the biggest targets for trades, the issue is there wasn't many. There are a few untouchables unless there is something so blockbuster it could not possibly be refused (read:Malkin,Crosby, Ovechkin etc.) and the likelihood of that is very slim.
Players with Value are:
Regehr- Premier Stay at home D, experience- cup finalist
Sarich- Stay at home D, experience and a cup
Bourque- lightening fast big player with scoring (probably not going anywhere but would draw a lot in return)
Stajan- Basically a cheaper Langkow
Hagman- Goal scorer
Langkow-2 way center
Bad contracts are:
Kotalik- plus side -he can get 20 goals, bad side- everything else
Staios- A warrior, shot blocker and leader but old and paid too much.