A lot of rumors have been swirling lately about the state of the Calgary Flames. With Darryl Sutter making moves left and right this off-season, most notably the acquisition of Jay Bouwmeester, fans and analysts alike have raised the question 'is Dion Phaneuf on his way out of Calgary?'
Now before we jump to conclusions let's review the situation the Calgary Flames are in. As of this moment the Flames have just over 22 million tied up in defense (4th highest in the league). The Abbotsford Heat have two young D men in their system who made their NHL debut last season. Negrin and Pelech, held their own and looked like they could be NHL ready in a year or two. Lastly in the first round of the draft this year the flames took yet another Defenseman in Tim Erixson. Although none of those players could fill Dion's shoes it does show that Calgary has a future in their defense core, and are extremely deep.
Despite the depth of the Flames Defense, if you have followed Calgary sports over the last few years you know that Darryl Sutter doesn't often do what you expect he should. In the most recent interviews Sutter continuously brings up the fact that he was upset at the Flames defensive play last year (3 GA/G) and that has to change.
It seems to me that the beef up on defense is likely to last through the 09/10 regular season, and perhaps much longer down the road. Can I guarantee that will be the case? No; you can bet these rumors will spring a few phone calls to the Flames' GM and he wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't hear them.