Before reading on i would like to introduce the Calgary Flames Drinking Game, it's pretty simple, every time there is a Flames press conferance you do a shot when Sutter says, "To be honest". Prepare for a hangover my friends....
on to the blog...
I feel confused. At first I thought I have just lost some perception, sometimes it's hard to take a step back and see what is going on but the reality is the Flames are confusing right now.
AFTER the draft they hire Jay Feaster, I'm confused by this because Jay is not an AGM. He is a GM, in fact he is a cup winning GM. My confusion is why hire him after the period that trades are being thrown at you and using his insight into drafting? Does this not lead us to think that Sutter has this year to be #1 in the nw?
I see Jokinen coming back, Tanguay being signed, Kotalik up in the air, rumors Sutter is still calling teams about major players and Langkow's uncertain neck injury. I see Backlund being possibly shoved down the ladder again despite Brent Sutter liking him and his style. I see Dawes being waived even though he was cheap and productive albeit a little defensively liable and I see too many players signed to 1 way contracts.
Right now the only move that made real sense to me was Karlsson. The Flames needed a mature back up and even though he doesn't have NHL experience he does have elite level experience in Sweden where he was very good. He was cheap and has huge up side. If you see him in net he reminds me of Turek, say what you will about Turek he was pretty good, especially as a back up!
Every Flames fan I talk to is basically waiting for the move, we all feel as though nothing is done, there has to be something else right?
Why bring in another center when we have several that are capable? Jokinen, Langkow, Stajan, Backlund, Sutter... one too many and none fit where they are supposed to. Backlund is a playmaking center, not a checker but with Jokinen, Langkow and Stajan you have too many players of the same ilk. With the Cap being tight it seems to suggest that the Flames will send Backlund to the minors again even if they trade a center away. Langkow is a Sutter favorite and is actually a pretty decent player in more than one regard and once he returns, likely in late October, there will be three centers for the scoring lines.
The glut on defense is another thing that I have a problem wrapping my mind around. There is a lot of talk about Pelech and Negrin pushing for jobs on the Flames, this from the hourse's mouth... That seems really far fetched right now considering that Regehr, Bouwmeester, Sarich, Giordano, Staios, Pardy, Kronvall and presumably White, after arbitration, will be one one way contracts. I would personally love to see Pelech in as he is a mean defenseman but unless no less than 2 or 3 defense get moved they have no shot. All things being equal the guy with a one way contract will stay. Having said that one big rumor is Staios being waived to go to the AHL, i don't see this happening, it's not Sutter's style. He respects the veterans and Calgary has to maintain a good reputation as a player friendly club so they can score the best ufa's...like Tanguay.
Another confusing thing was signing Ivanans to a two year contract, he's a pure enforcer, I'm not sure if he's actually ever gone after a puck. Enforcers have their role and he is a good one to have but is he worth a two year contract? To me enforcers now should be able to play the puck as well and Ivanans doesn't fit that mold. They also signed Tim Jackman who also racks up a lot of majors. I like Jackman a little more as he offers some 4th line qualities that are decent like hitting and checking but did they need him too?? Why not bring up a guy who wants a chance? Why draft players?? They only thing Calgary has drafted, aside from a select few, are checkers, the last thing we need is to go sign one! What about an agitator like J.D. Watt? I know they want size and team toughness but it seems like Chucko is a wasted draft pick so why not try him out as a checker? The one thing he has shown is that he is strong on his skates. Either way I think the Flames should have signed one or the other but not both.
Presuming that one of those two guys is playing every night, who plays with them? Stone, McMillan, Glencross, Ivanans, Jackman, Glencross, Sutter and Moss will be the bottom feeders. A line of Stone, Sutter and Jackman would be hilarious to watch I would really like that just to see how many hits per shift occur. That would leave Gelncross beside Stajan and Moss on your 3rd line. If that played out the 2nd line would be Bourque, Langkow and Hagman. The first being Tanguay, Jokinen and Iginla. Not horrible but not crazy awesome either. Backlund, as I said, on the outs.
So we have management in confusion and possibly lame duck, defense over stocked, forwards being underwhelming and no room for the much needed push from the younger guys who are not so young anymore.
Is there more to this master plan? or is this it.
Once Kovalchuck signs and Kaberle gets trades a bunch of trades and signing will probably occur and we'll know by that point. I nothing happens then I am a little disappointed that this will be the 2010/2011 Flames TO BE HONEST. SHOT!