First things first, I love Huselius, and I think that he is infinitely talented, but I feel that the Flames are going to have to cut him loose for the benefit of the club. Surely the return would be great for Huselius, someone who many claim was robbed of an All-Star game spot, and he could be an impact player for a team that would barely sneak their way into a playoff spot.
The whole reason why I think that this trade would be the best for the club is our cap situation for next season. Before the signing of Dion Phaneuf (which still has to be made official), there was a lot of talk that his contract would be the main factor in locking up both Daymond Langkow and Kristian Huselius. Honestly, Phaneuf signing at all would have put a stranglehold on the contracts of those two.
The Flames have so much money tied up in their back end that it's hard to sign offensively minded players that have the obvious skill to play with Iginla. I'll write out the cap situation of the back end of the Flames just so you know what's up, and for Phaneuf's contract, I'll use the rumoured $6.5M that seems to be floating around.
08/09 Cap Hit: $6.5 million
08/09 Cap Hit: $4.0 million
08/09 Cap Hit: $4.0 million
08/09 Cap Hit: $3.6 million
08/09 Cap Hit: $2.5 million
08/09 Cap Hit: $1.5 million
*Please note that this does not include the 7th defenseman that the Flames will likely be carrying, since they always seem to have problems with injuries on the back end.
Now, that's around $22 million wrapped up in those six players, with another $5.8 million for Kipper's cap hit.
Roughly $28 million tied up in our back end.
Factor in the contracts of Iginla (Cap hit: $7.0 million) and Tanguay (Cap hit: $5.25 million), and we're already at $40 million total payroll. Lombardi (Cap hit: $1.8 million), Nilson (Cap hit: $1.0 million), Primeau (Cap hit: $1.4 million), Moss (Cap hit: $0.5 million) and Boyd (Cap hit: $0.5 million) are also under contract for next year. By my calculations, that puts us at over $45 million for a roster that will look something like this:
_______ - _______ - Iginla
Tanguay - Lombardi - _______
Nilson - _______ - Primeau
_______ - Boyd - Moss
Regehr - Sarich
Phaneuf - Aucoin
Warrener - Eriksson
Even if the cap goes up to around $55 million for next season, we would have to sign three top-six forwards, a checking line guy, a fourth line guy and a backup goaltender. All for under $10 million.
For the fourth line, I would like to see Nystrom get a new contract (he'll be an RFA at the end of the season) and play alongside Boyd and Moss as sort of a youth line.
Tanguay has a NTC, Huselius doesn't.
Huselius has a high trade value after a career year last season, and likely one this season as well.
You all know how I feel on this one, what do you guys think?