Somebody should be hired to be a translator for the Calgary Flames General Manager Daryl Sutter. Seriously, we should develop a new language called Suttereze. If we had a translator, then we could understand than what the Flames General Manager means. Daryl has been telling everyone that will listen that he is not trading any of his good players. Does he really mean is not going to trade any of his players? Seriously? Another theory is that maybe he's playing the General Manager Game. Simply put, the offers he is getting for his players are not enough. Maybe Daryl does not want to give away his players for nothing. What Daryl Sutter said can be perceived in so many different ways by so many different people. Therein lies the problem of figuring out what Sutter means.
Judging by what has happened to the Calgary Flames so far this season, they are the same team, except for a new back-up goalie. But how many of us can actually take Daryl Sutter at his word? Or better yet, assume that you know what he means? You do not want me to break out up the word assume, do you? But I will tell you this: if Daryl does not trade any of his so-called best players, I am not sure he can improve his team. Everyone has heard the old adage that you have to give something to get something. So unless Mr. Sutter can snow all of the other general managers, the Calgary Flames will have a hard time improving the team without trading one of their assets.
If you ask most people, they know the gentlemen meant when he said his best players. They would tell you they are the core. But when you think about who are the best players on the Calgary Flames, they are not necessarily the core. When you think of the best players, you have to pencil in Iginla, and Kipper, who are part of the core. But you also have to pencil in White, Gio, Bourque, and even – dare I say - Eric Nystrom. Did you notice I missed some of the core? So if Daryl Sutter is thinking like I am, at least some of the core is available.
Which players are the core? The consensus is that Iggy, Kipper, Regehr, and Jbo are the core. I have talked to some people who have put Stajan, Bourque, and Lankow there too. And therein lies the problem. Matt Stajan as the number one center? Matt has never been proven as a number one center, and this may be too big of a challenge for him. Another issue is that with the emergence of Backlund, Langkow could be the third line center. Daymond would be one of the most expensive third line centers in the NHL.
Let's discuss the backup goaltending issue this season. Does it really matter who the Flames have as back-up? They will just play Kipper 70 games and run him ragged. What's my point? Why not find some rest this year for Kipper and break the cycle? My pick would be Antero Niittymaki. I feel he is the best one out there in the free-agent market. The only problem with him is that he would be hard to fit under the cap. But I guarantee he would play more often for the Flames.
One thing about Sutter, he never shows his hand, yet he's been known to do some major deals on draft day. One year picking up Tanguay, and last year, picking up Cammy. I truly think that the Flames will be trying to get a first-round pick and saving some salary. Yes, I know what he said, and frankly I put more stock in what Daryl has done in the past than in what he says. The assets to get this done are Regehr, Jbo, or Hagman, and some prospects to sweeten the deal. Anyone notice that the Flames have been signing some prospects lately? There may be more than one reason for that. Trying to find new homes for Jbo and Langkow may be hard to do, due to their NTC contracts and salaries.
Other assets will be not as hard to dump, but it would not be as profitable for the Flames to do so, if you know what I mean. Their salaries would not bring as much relief to the cap issues of the Flames, and of course I am talking about Nigel Dawes, David Moss, and Adam Pardy. Did you notice I did not bring up Corey Sarich? That is because I am one of the few who loves the way he plays. I still think he can be a valuable asset to the Flames this season. Sutter can deny it all he wants, but he knows this team needs some tinkering and a facelift. Daryl is very good at s. The problem is that 29 other sharks are just as good at doing their jobs..
Until next time, take care.