I woke up on Canada Day feeling like it was Christmas day as the NHL Free Agent Frenzy was upon us and all sorts of excitement was about to unfold. Some big moves right off the bat that saw Gonchar sign with the Sens. I saw that Vancouver had thrown a pile of money at Manny Malhotra. I had to look twice when I saw that New York gave Derek Boogaard $6.5 million over 4 years; he hasn’t even scored a goal in 4 years. I didn’t think it was possible for Sutter to top Sather in the race for dumbest GM’s in the league. Little did I know that before the day was out, the entire hockey community would be pointing and laughing at the Calgary Flames.
First off, the Flames signed Alex Tanguay to a one year deal at $1.7 million.
This move did not come as a huge surprise to me as Ken King, the Flames President, had talked up Tanguay during the annual season ticket holder’s dinner this past Monday.
I like the signing for the money spent. Tanguay had some of his best years in Calgary and the only reason he left in the first place was because Keenan had put him into a checking role and Tanguay was not happy with that. He sounds excited to come back and re-ignite his career. There is little risk with the move, as it’s only a one year deal for a relatively low dollar amount. The ‘no-movement clause’ was a little strange given that Tanguay has not really earned that right, I believe, but it does not matter much given it’s such a short term.
Then, as the TSN coverage rolled on, Darren Dreger reported that the Flames were close to signing Olli Jokinen to a two year deal. Then, as the TSN coverage rolled on, Darren Dreger reported that the Flames were close to signing Olli Jokinen to a two year deal.
The Flames are thinking about doing what?
My jaw subsequently dropped to the floor and I thought that TSN was playing a practical joke on the city of Calgary. I was hoping this was just a rumour that some prankster had started while talking it up with his buddies.
Guy 1: “Hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if the Flames sign Jokinen?”
Guy 2: “Yeah, the Flames would have to be brain dead to make that mistake twice.”
Then, the entire TSN panel laughed as the rumour became a reality and Dreger announces that the Flames have officially signed Jokinen to a 2 year deal worth $3 million per season.
When the brightest analysts in the game are speechless and/or start laughing at the move you just made, you know that maybe, just maybe, you made the wrong decision.
Apparently, Sutter admitted that trading him to New York was a mistake. Well if that was a mistake, what do you suppose this is?
He NEVER gelled with Iginla and clearly did not fit in with this team. His production has been on the serious decline since he left Florida. He is as streaky as they come and disappears for weeks and months at a time. Olli skates like an out of control novice player afraid to handle the puck. He scored all of 15 goals last year, 11 of which were with the Flames. He scored 4 in 26 games with the Rangers. Impressive numbers and definitely worth $3 million per season…
Trying to bury my frustration deep down in the dark corners of my soul, I have to look at what this could possibly mean going forward.
Assuming Dawes is bought out after he clears waivers (Sutter said this would happen), then the Flames have roughly $1.5 million to play with when it comes to the Salary Cap.
Does this set up a Langkow deal? You now have Backlund, Jokinen, Langkow, Stajan, and Brett Sutter, assuming he signs, as your centermen. Backlund can not play 3rd line minutes as he needs to develop properly and he needs minutes. There is talk of Jokinen moving to the wing, so maybe that frees up room down the middle. But, all this really means, and I hope I am right, is that Sutter is unfolding something larger and one of the aforementioned centremen will be moved via trade.
Langkow is the only real option, given that Stajan just signed and no one else is going to take him at $3.5 million (I wonder why?), and Backlund is not going anywhere. Stay tuned in the days to come to see if Darryl can get himself out of this quagmire of stupidity.
Dave Hodge stated that Calgary would make the G20 riots look like child’s play when the Jokinen deal was announced and I do not think he is far off. Other reporters and analysts said Sutter should be fired immediately for making such a bonehead move, TWICE!
To quote former President George W. Bush, “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”
Apparently you can.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames