When I saw that Ian White signed, the first thing I read after it was referring to what moves the Flames were going to make to allow this to happen. So to be clear, they don't need to make any. Simply demoting expensive players under the guise that they were outplayed in camp would suffice. In reality having two guys in your minors who are legitimate nhl'rs would be a huge bonus for a club in the playoffs, if Kotalik and Staios do get demoted you have to admit they are pretty great back up plans. The issue becomes are they okay with being back up plans and the answer is probably not. There will be injuries this year and at some point someone may take a flyer on a guy like Staios, who is perfectly able to play on most teams. Kotalik has a big hit in terms of salary but he may actually get a team 25 goals, in fact he has proven that he can on a pretty consistent basis. If that sort of move happens I could see it around Christmas time or even the trade deadline but probably not before camp as most teams are set.
The next thing that White's contract makes you wonder about is next year, it seems obvious to fans that Giordano and White are the two best defensemen this team has and now Giordano and White both become unrestricted free agents next year unless a contract can be worked out. Looks like Feaster, who is the Flame's contract guy now, has his hands full already! Regehr and Sarich are two pretty good shut down guys but have almost no offensive upside which is a pre-requisite in the league now, Bouwmeester is expected to have a bounce back year this year and if he does would be very welcome to stay. To me it seems like Regehr and Sarich become the odd men out, the Flames have defensive defensemen in the system who could take their position for 3 million less a year, and because they actually have some trade value it seems logical to move them. If White and Giordano both sign extensions for 4 million + and Bouwmeester is making 6+ million then there is no option but to punt Regehr and Sarich. Collectively their 7 million could pay for the rest of the defense, it's just simple numbers. By trading Regehr and demoting Staios the Flames would have saved around 6.7 million and really the defense wouldn't have changed much.
But as I said they simply have to demote Staios to keep the team as and demote Kotalik to make it comfortable so they are not really in a position where they have to trade now, the owners will support the money in the AHL if it means winning.
What happens if they don't win is a totally new blog.
P.s. if anyone sees white ask him for $5.00...exactly what he's short of three million, how many team mates have already asked him is anyone's guess.