YOU BE THE GM 2
THE FUTURE FREE AGENTS: TO SIGN OR NOT TO SIGN
Today's blog is on Calgary's Unrestricted Free Agents - well actually, the top three possible unrestricted free agents after this season. The question is: To sign or not to sign? You make the call.
Stats thanks to NHLPA.com
Mikka's stats from last year were: 74 games, 40 wins, 24 losses, 7 shutouts, 2.46 goal against average, and a save percentage of .920. Much has been said about the downfalls of the Flames in the Defensive zone. Word out of Calgary has it Kipper was not the Kipper of the previous season. The Flames went from 1st to 11th in goals against, but went up big in the offensive zone. Could the drop in Kipper's numbers be because of the change in the Flames' game? Any Goalie would take Kipper's numbers any day, yet it was only an okay year for Kipper. It begs one to ask: “How good can Kipper be?” Kipper won the Vezna a couple of years ago when Calgary was responsible in their own end. The main problem Calgary has is that after Kipper, there is a huge drop, with only the young kids to back him up. So does Calgary take a gamble and let him walk, or sign him and give him the big bucks? You make the call.
Daymond's stats from last year were: 33 goals, 44 assists, 77 points, 44 penalty minutes, and whopping plus minus rating of plus 23. He had a career year last year; he was joined at the hip with Kristian, giving the Flames the best second line in years. He killed penalties and was used on the 2nd power play unit; Daymond did everything that was asked of him by his coaches. He is a very smart Center, who thinks well and often covers for the mistakes made by his line mates. Langkow was probably Calgary’s best center last season, offensively and defensively. If memory serves me right, he was the Frank J. Selke Trophy representative for the Calgary Flames as the best Defensive player. So does Sutter sign him or let Langkow walk? You make the call.
Kristian's stats last years were: 34 Goals, 43 assists, with a plus minus rating of plus 21, 26 penalty minutes, and 14 power play goals. Kristian is a magician with the puck, no doubt about it. He is a great asset on the power play. Kristian had a career year with goals and points last season. Kristian’s history with Keenan is well publicized, but when Keenan was in Florida, he was GM and not Coach, making this point moot. Kristian did have issues in his own end, taking time off in the defensive zone. If memory serves me right, coach Jim Playfair did bench him last season, including not dressing him for a game. He does things with a puck that I didn’t think were possible. No doubt he has the talent offensively, but can he bring his defensive game to a new level? One of the most impressive is his plus 21 - not bad for a guy who was supposed to be a defensive liability. Does Sutter resign him or let him walk? You make the call.
These three players are the biggest unrestricted free agents that the Flames have. Kipper is among the top 5 goalies in the NHL, while Langkow and Juice both had career years last year for the Flames. Kristen and Daymond worked together like best friends, and that gave the Flames their best 2nd line in years. I have no doubt that Sutter will want to sign all three, but do they have the cap room? They still have to sign Dion, and that won’t be cheap. If money were no object, the Flames would sign all three. Unfortunately, we live in a cap world, which leaves Daryl with some very tough decisions. I am very happy that I am not the General Manager. As the AllState people say, we're in good hands with Mr. Sutter.