1. Former Head Coach and GM Darryl Sutter has been rumored to be the next Head Coach for the Los Angeles Kings. King’s GM Dean Lombardi recently fired Terry Murray and is seeking a permanent successor. There is an old connection between Lombardi and Sutter, dating back to their days in San Jose that has fueled the speculation of Sutters imminent hiring.
2. Time for a blow up? Calgary is currently eleventh in the Western Conference after 30 games, and sits three points removed from a playoff berth. It is reasonable to think that Calgary could finish in a top eight spot. History has also shown, anything can happen in the post season, as history is filled with underdogs beating the odds. But Calgary is a veteran laden team, and time is running out on this current group. The value of key players who could accelerate a rebuild is dwindling. So the question is; ride out this group of veterans and pray for a miracle, or trade assets and look towards the future?
3. Since being claimed of waivers, Blake Comeau has played ten games, and has one goal, and three assists. Is he failing to meet your expectations, or is this the best you could hope for from a waiver claim?
4. Iginla and his no trade clause. This is always a sensitive subject for both players and management to deal with in the media. Both sides are saying the right things of course. The Flames are not asking Iginla to waive, while Iginla won’t ask for a trade claiming he wants to win a Cup in Calgary.
A trade is still possible however, and here is how.
Both sides come to the realization by the trade deadline, that Calgary will likely miss the playoffs. The team will say it is not what they wanted, but is best for the franchise. Iginla will say he wanted to win a Cup in Calgary, but knows he has to move on to realize his dream. It is best for Calgary, he is sad to leave; Calgary has the best fans, thank you for everything blah, blah, blah.
5. The best trade partners for an Iginla trade:
Washington Capitals - Offers – Alexi Semin (makes the cap work and deal expires after this season) Colorado’s first round pick (recently acquired for Sergei Varlamov, possibly a lottery pick, possibly Nail Yakupov) and Dmitri Orlov (top prospect)
Buffalo Sabres - Offers – Drew Stafford and a pair of prospects such as Marc-Andre Gragnani, Brayden McNabb, Luke Adam, and Zack Kassian.
Los Angeles Kings (potentially reuniting Iginla with Sutter) – Offers Dustin Penner (like Semin makes cap work and contract is expiring) and a pair of prospects such as Jonathan Bernier, Andrei Lokitonov, Tyler Toffoli, and Viatcheslav Voynov
6. The best trade partners for a Mikka Kiprusoff trade: (who’s NTC expires after this season so he would waive to go to a contender)
Tampa Bay Lightning – Offers Mathieu Garon and a top prospect such as, Brett Connolly, Carter Ashton, or Vladislav Namestnikov (GM Jay Feaster would be familiar with many of his former clubs players, and prospects)
Any contending team which suffers a season ending injury to their starting goalie would also be in play
7. Rene Bourque is day-to-day with the flu. When he returns, look for surprise rookie Roman Horak to be sent down.
8. Back-up goalie Henrik Karlsson is injured and out six to eight weeks. Prospect Leland Irving has been recalled in relief. He has yet to start a game but could get some action while the Flames are on the road and have back-to-back games in Florida.
9. Is there a trade market for team leading scorer Olli Jokinen?
10. Matt Stajan is the lone remaining player from the Dion Phaneuf trade. In 24 games he has zero goals, five assists, is minus -5 and has 28 penalty minutes with a cap hit of $3.5 Million through 2013/2014. They will have to ride out the contract or buy him out.
11. Anton Babchuk is the only other remaining asset (acquired in trade for Ian White) from the Phaneuf trade. He has only played eight games due to injury and being a healthy scratch six times. He has zero goals, three assists and is plus -1 with a cap hit of $2.5 Million through 2012/2013
12. When top prospect Tim Erixon held a gun to Flames managements head and demanded a trade, it looked as if the team took a bath in the deal. But rookie Roman Horak has played very well in 26 games with two goals, seven assists for nine points and has a plus -4. Calgary also received two second round picks in the deal.
13. Jay Bouwmeester is on pace for another disappointing season. In his final year as a Florida Panther, he scored 15 goals and had 42 points. In his first two full seasons with Calgary he has seven goals and 46 points. In 30 games this season, he has one goal and nine assists and is on pace for 26 points.
14. Brendan Morrison is red hot! In his last four games he has seven points. Morrison is centering the second line between Alex Tanguay and Rene Bourque in Tampa on Thursday night.
15. Is Mikael Backlund a bust? Flames fans and management have hung their hopes on Backlund as their best (If not only) prospect. He has not progressed as hoped. Last season he managed 25 points in 73 games. This season, he missed the first 14 games with a finger injury and since returning he has played in 16 games and has two goals and three points and is minus -5. Backlund has been given auditions on the top line with Iginla and failed to produce. He is currently centering the third line between Blake Comeau, and Lee Stempniak.