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I'm ready for the punishment. I can take it. What I'm going to do here is maybe point out why Kotalik should be on the starting roster come October. I know the prevailing thoughts are that he's going to the KHL or maybe being demoted but I will play devil's advocate here and maybe shed some light on why he was traded for in the first place. To be clear I'm not a fan but someone has to stick up for the guy...right?

When the trade was made to bring in Kotalik and Higgins the mind set of the team was that they were going to make the playoffs after these moves. You need two things from a forward in the playoffs, grit and scoring. One could reason Sutter looked at Kotalik as a bit of a reclamation project with upside. The downside to Kotalik was that he was defensively not reliable and not the fleetest of foot and could be liability and flop. Tortarella will tell you what he though of Kotalik's effort in New York, Kotalik was scratched a lot and used as tort's whipping boy often.

When Sutter was pitched Kotalik by Sather I'm assuming he pointed out some of these things.

In terms of scoring Kotalik's upside was pretty good, he has proven he can score averaging 21 goals and 25 points over the four seasons prior to last. Last season was Kotalik's worst season since he broke into the league with 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points and staggering minus 17 on the year. It should be noted that Kotalik was minus 18 in New York and Plus 1 in Calgary so despite being horrible in New York he was not as much of a defensive liability as much in Calgary. Kotalik's prime weapon is a thundering slap shot, there was some speculation he would semi replace Dion's shot on the power play but that never really happened.

In terms of grit Kotalik was credited with 117 hits last year. 117 hits is the same as Nystrom, whom we mainly liked here, and tied with Nystrom for first on the team for forwards.

Outside of Kotalik, David Moss is the best right winger in line to get that 2nd line spot behind Jarome Iginla. David Moss got 17 points last year and was a .26 points per game and minus 9, Kotalik in an off year for him was .38 points per game and a plus 1 for Calgary. Kotalik did that and only got a little more average ice time than Moss, about a minute more. So if you were the G.M. and were asked if you'd like the guy who usually scored 45 points and hits everything on the ice or an unproven young guy who had one good year that did next to nothing last year you might think about it.

The cap hit between Moss and Kotalik are where things go strange for Kotalik, he is 1.7 million more of a cap hit than Moss, in other words that difference pays for Tanguay. Moss has top end potential of also being a 45 point guy if all things go right for him, he just hasn't proven he can do it consistently. Currently the Flames have minimal cap space to afford keeping Kotalik, but it is there at around $650,000.00 left counting him in the roster, of course the White arbitration hearing has yet to be decided and we do not know what is going on out of camp by any means. Who stays and who goes, what young guys make the team and what Veterans get sent to the AHL will greatly affect what happens to everyone. For instance if Staios gets sent to the AHL because Pelech is that good then there is the difference, cap wise, they need to keep Kotalik and then some.

Kotalik has denied the KHL thing and has stated he wants to play in the NHL next season, if he does the case for him isn't as out to lunch as you may think based on what you've just read.

One thought is that Bourque/Hagman could go to the right wing which would allow for two pretty good scoring lines, a third with potential and a great checking line. If this was the case getting rid of Kotalik just makes sense. It still leaves an extra center without a chair at the end of the music but we can assume, at least to start the season, Langkow will not be playing.

Hagman/ Stajan / Bourque
Glencross/ Backlund/ Moss
Stone/ Sutter/ Jackman/Ivanans

This would also allow Backlund to play with speedy somewhat offensive minded players, in addition it might be argued the 2nd line is actually the #1 line with all players being able to score 20-30 goals.

I think Kotalik will not play for the Flames next year but if he does I'm ready to give him another chance based on what I've stated above, admittedly it was horrible to watch last year but let's hope a couple months away and some mental rejuvenation will help him be better if for no other reason than to give him some trade value.

Filed Under:   Flames   Kotalik   Backlund   Bourque  
July 26, 2010 3:31 PM ET | Delete
I'm actually with you on that Sane. If the cap space isn't being used by someone else, I'd be happy to see Kotalik on the right side of that third line, with Moss playing the 4th. It'll be good practice for Backlund, learning how to tee up a one-timer for the guy on that side.
July 26, 2010 3:51 PM ET | Delete
We will see what Whites Arb comes back at but I am guessing approx 3 million is going his way so Kotalik may not fit regardless of skill set.Dont m ind the look of those lines at all so long as Backlund can hit the 2nd line now and then to test him with some better wingers.
July 26, 2010 3:56 PM ET | Delete
Kotalik could have a bounce back year.. and looks really good on that third line. It's just the 3 mil that stings. I have a feeling he will start the season in Calgary. Can anyone tell me why Moss is still here?
July 26, 2010 4:00 PM ET | Delete
If I have to choose between icing Staios or Kotalik, my choice is Kotalik
July 26, 2010 4:07 PM ET | Delete
You guys probably didn't see quite as much from Kotalik as we Ranger fans did. Yes, he has a nice shot from the point....when he gets it on net. He also has a habit of turning the puck over at the point leading to odd man rushes the other way. Defensively he's terrible. I have to think you have better options than Ales. We liked him for about 3 weeks; now we are thrilled he's gone.
July 26, 2010 4:23 PM ET | Delete
I just can't help but think those four lines look to alright. Now that the dust has settled maybe last year was just a series of unfortunate events that lead to a horrible under achievemant by this team. I'm willing to giver er another shot.
July 26, 2010 4:39 PM ET | Delete
gkm, I personally don't want Kotalik on the point. I'd rather see him set up at the top of the circle in an Umbrella formation. BigWaveDave, I agree. Especially with the young depth on D. We don't need a 2.7 million dollar dinosaur back there. This team has plenty of veteran leadership without Steady Steve.
July 26, 2010 5:05 PM ET | Delete
D.Sutter would demote Steve as a last resort though, lot of respect for him and his time in the NHL. Come playoff time players like staios are valuable but he might go the way of Bubba eriksson.
July 26, 2010 5:07 PM ET | Delete
Thats where something would have to give, I think Moss/Regher for a Fleischman
July 26, 2010 5:08 PM ET | Delete
Sign him for the 2.7M he wants
July 26, 2010 5:09 PM ET | Delete
I'd like semin more, the center is pretty clogged! Fleischman is under rated for sure though.
July 26, 2010 5:10 PM ET | Delete
p.s. my usuall reminder if you're on twitter give @shaunevetter @bradleybwindsor and @eklund a follow.
July 26, 2010 6:27 PM ET | Delete
pps looks like frolov to the rangers, pretty good line if he lines up with gaborik.
July 26, 2010 6:40 PM ET | Delete
Sane, are you Ek's source in Calgary? He has Richards coming to Calgary now :)
July 26, 2010 7:15 PM ET | Delete
Richards would be soooo sweeet! But I find it unlikely with the log jam at center already. One would have to think its Regehr/Sarich and one of the centers to go back. So with that said Sane which center do you think it will be?..... Assuming this actually happens. BIG assumption.
July 26, 2010 7:16 PM ET | Delete
I really hope you say someone other than Backlund.
July 26, 2010 7:40 PM ET | Delete
I can't see why you guys hate on Kotalik so much, he wasn't as awful here in Buffalo, I mean 3 million is a bit tough to swallow, but I think he just needs to right coach to really blossom under. I just don't think he fit in under the Rangers system, but I know he did with Edmonton when he was there and tbh he was pretty decent with Buffalo, and that hell of a slap shot is really missed here, Vanek production on the powerplay really struggled without it.
July 26, 2010 7:42 PM ET | Delete
I don't know, I think it's sutter's job to ask about team's best players, so I would bet he has inquired about richards. I think if Richards were to come here a huge piece would have to be some d because dallas is weak back there. Sarich isn't "sexy" enough. Perhaps white or regehr and any forward, I would guess hagman. and I would also bet there's another player involved that shed dollars from Dallas somehow.
July 26, 2010 8:36 PM ET | Delete
if it cost giordano would richards be worth it to you? I think if White signs then yes because we have ample d but opinions will differ!
July 26, 2010 10:53 PM ET | Delete
Sane Gio is only 900K hit how could we absorb Richards 7.8M without giving some back? Not to say the deal isnt intriguing.
July 26, 2010 11:02 PM ET | Delete
I definitely would love to see Kotalik on the flames, if langkow is on long term injury we may be able to squeeze him in... He's huge... only 6'1 and bigger than Regehr.... Now if he could just knock in a couple of goals....
July 26, 2010 11:06 PM ET | Delete
Richards, Brunnstrom, 5th rnd pick --- Regehr, Stajan, Kronvall, Glencross 3rd rnd pick
July 26, 2010 11:13 PM ET | Delete
3 million for a guy who had 5 pts in 26 games with us is very painful. He needs a MAJOR turn around for me to ever consider his being on the roster any kind of good thing. But it's not his fault Sutter traded for him...and I don't blame him if he wants to stick around in the NHL - and thus make Sutter pay that "mistake."
July 26, 2010 11:16 PM ET | Delete
sorry kevin I was implying that gio might have to be part of a deal. Or White.
July 27, 2010 12:50 PM ET | Delete
Hey Sane! Our strength is D
July 27, 2010 12:52 PM ET | Delete
July 27, 2010 4:03 PM ET | Delete
For sure it is, we have serious depth and could lose one or possible even two guys and still be fine.
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