With the recent pick ups of Fredrik Sjostrom, Brian McGrattan and now it looks like Nigel Dawes, Darryl Sutter is following his usual routine of sneaky pick ups during the summer season.
Looking at the three less than flashy pickups, as opposed to J-Bo, each one can offer a great upgrade at their position.
Knowing Sutter’s history over the past five plus seasons he has always had a spot for a goon on his roster. Someone who will drop the gloves and shake things up when the team is in need of a boost, someone who can protect some of our higher paid players. Last year the Flames had Andre Roy, an over the hill brawler, who to most fans chagrin could not stay on his feet for more than the first three seconds of a fight. Isn’t balance a VERY important aspect to fighting? So Darryl brings in McGrattan who has made stops in Ottawa, Phoenix and now Calgary. He will be a great upgrade from Roy and he knows his role; play limited minutes but is ready to shake things up when called upon. And now the Flames have an answer to Steve MacIntyre, something I am sure Sutter considered.
Fredrik Sjostrom comes back to the city where he played his junior career. He adds speed to our penalty kill, something we lost a little of with the departure of Lombardi at the trade deadline. He is also bigger than most people remember him, standing six foot one and 218lbs. A big, strong, fast forward who knows the defensive game, Sjostrom, who although is a career -30, has been never worse than a -11 in any given season and that is not too appalling considering he played most of his professional career with a terrible Coyotes team. A solid third line addition.
Nigel Dawes, an RFA, who was put on waivers by Phoenix after he opted for Salary arbitration. It was reported by TSN that he was looking for a one way deal for just under one million. It seems as though Dawes will be officially a Flame by weeks end and he will be a great addition who provides tremendous offensive upside. A standout in Junior for Kootenay of the WHL and for Canada at the WJHC, Dawes averaged over a point a game in each of his last three seasons in Junior while helping Canada to a Gold medal in 2005. This acquisition comes at an interesting time where the future of Dustin Boyd, currently an RFA with the Flames, is up in the air. Does this mean Boyd is out and Dawes his replacement? Boyd, 23 years old; Dawes 24. Both players with similar history in Junior and both have struggled to find a place in the pro game. This is my theory at least.
Although all these pick ups are not game changers, each one serves a distinct purpose for the 2009-10 edition of the Flaming C.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames