Flames Could Face Changes – April 2, 2012.

With another season ending in disappointment for the Calgary Flames, their lineup could face a shake-up in the off-season.

 

Is if finally time for the Flames to part ways with Iginla and Kiprusoff?

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Eric Duhatschek wonders if the Calgary Flames inability to win close games could once again prove a red herring for ownership and management to fool themselves into believing the club is close to respectability, while the rest of the hockey world ” see a middle- to lower-echelon club whose primary stars, right winger Jarome Iginla and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, are one year older and one year further removed from their respective primes.” Duhatschek pondered the status of Iginla and Kiprusoff and where they fit into the club’s future, suggesting both are reaching a turning point in their careers with the Flames. He also points out the Flames lack depth in their system to begin their rebuild.

CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak reports the Flames will face changes this summer but it remains to be seen how big they’ll be. “They have six pending unrestricted free-agents currently with the club — Olli Jokinen, Lee Stempniak, David Moss, Tom Kostopoulos, Cory Sarich, Scott Hannan — as well as three forwards due to be restricted free agents in forwards Blair Jones, Mikael Backlund and Blake Comeau.”

CALGARY HERALD: Vicki Hall reports on “ten burning questions” facing the Flames heading into the off-season. Of note: Will coach Brent Sutter return? Should the Flames re-sign Olli Jokinen? Where is the relief for Kiprusoff? Is it time to move him and/or Iginla? Do they rebuild or maintain the status quo?

George Johnson believes Feaster can no long put off making the tough decisions necessary to turn this team around, believing significant changes are in order. Johnson also believes Jokinen’s streaky performance and inability to produce when the chips were down are reason enough not to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve said before, in a fair and perfect world, Iginla and Kiprusoff would retire as Flames. But it’s painfully obvious this team is in need of a significant rebuild, and Iginla and Kiprusoff are their most valuable trade chips. Given the lack of quality depth in their system, moving both guys could fetch good returns in promising young players, picks and/or prospects to commence the rebuild properly.

As for their UFAs, only Jokinen merits consideration for re-signing, and then only if his salary demands are reasonable. Moving “Iggy” and “Kipper” frees up over $12 million in salary cap space (I realize the latter’s salary is a little cheaper next season, but the cap hit of $5.833,333 million remains the same). Perhaps more can be cleared via buyouts (Mike Cammalleri? Matt Stajan?) if they wish to go that route.

The bottom line is the Flames cannot maintain the status quo any longer and hope things will get better. It’s been three seasons of the status quo, with no improvement. Now is the time to commence a genuine rebuild in earnest, using their two best trade chips to kick-start the plan this summer.

15 Comments

  1. Yes, the Flames need to shake things up. Both Iginla and Kipper will fetch a decent return, but they would still need a plan to fill the net. As for paying out Cammalleri, that’s an interesting idea. Where are all the GMs who would have wanted him if Gauthier had been more open about the trade? Why not just fetch that big return for him?

  2. I read somewhere that Kipper’s no movement clause expires at the end of the season this year. I do believe Irving is ready to try out as a starter, and the goalie Romo that they got as part of the Borque/Cammi trade is also an potential starter. My prediction is that Iginla stays, Kipper goes (because he no longer has a no movement clause), and they don’t resign any of the UFA except Sarich (for much cheaper) or Hannan to help the young D. As for Jokanin, I totally agree with George Johnson, that “Jokinen’s streaky performance and inability to produce when the chips were down are reason enough not to re-sign him.”

  3. @ Hannan

    You are right on the money buddy !!
    They will move out Kipper and have some solid youth coming up in Romo and Irving as well as Karlson so as Kippers No movement expires its time to get his value back and move on before its too late …goalies are a very hot commodity this summer so return should be worth it long term .
    As for Iginla you have to listen to offers but if it is not 100% perfect deal you have to keep him for leadership and mentorship moving forward plus he can still get 3-0 plus goals if he has someone to play with ….Mats Sundin all over again no one to play with his whole career!
    Dont resign Jokinen and inject some youth and make it known your moving forward and take the lumos ..cut ties with Stajan too !

    If your forward with the fans you are rebuilding and want to go young it will be beneficial long term ans stilll keep the fan base happy to see some new blood!

  4. Question to Calgary fans…what do you want/expect to get back for Kip?

  5. As I said in the previous thread.

    Trade Jerome; he has one year left on his 7 million deal; that’s huge and really at the end of the day, he could retire as a Flame after a one year absence. In addition, he would either merit a first round pick or another teams top prospect.

    As for Kipper, I don’t know. You could trade him, and get a decent return… but I’m not sure how many teams would like that +5 million for a goalie. But if there was a desperate team, he would get a ton back as well.

    Buyout wise, Stajan is the best bet. Cammi can put up points, and fits the roll of a “skill” player (Calgary doesn’t have many of these, ever). I also think that he is quite trad-able for teams that are looking for more scoring (Where as Stajan, is not).

    Olli Jokinen will demand too much money. While it sucks that you’d have to let him go for nothing, your hand is pretty much forced into it. If Terrible GMs in Burke/Lowe give 5 million for guys worth under 4, I don’t know what sum could keep Olli in Calgary.

    This free agency pool is pretty weak. Parise probably won’t sign in Calgary, so you’re really stuck w/o any real young top tier talent (yes Semin, but he cannot carry a team). The best bet is to draft, pick up top prospects and maybe next years free agency you’ll have the chance to pick someone like Getz up (Who knows).

    Will be an interesting summer!!

  6. I wouldn’t trade Iginla or Kippur.
    First, you cannot find a replacement for an elite goalie and you WILL be terrible without a solid netminder. Maybe the idea is to tank it (hence the need for bad goaltending) but then good luck findin a legit starter down the road.

    Iggy, much lke Kippur, bring credibility to your franchise. Look at how the Leafs havn’t been respectable since they scorched their bridges with Sundin. On the other had, look at how valuable veterains like Alfresson have meant in terms of leadership and respectability.

    In my opinion, it would be a huge mistake for the Flames to trade Iginla. What they should do, is bring in some young talent and allow htem to learn from one of the best Captains/Leaders/Professionals in the league.

  7. I absolutely agree that Kipper could get you an “A” prospect and maybe a pick, but once again how many teams are looking to add an older goaltender given the youth movement in net. Teams are looking more to Halak and/or Schneider and/or Bernier. I think for most teams looking for a goaltender, Kipper is plan B.

    I know it goes against popular opinion, but I don’t think Iginla gets you much. Teams close to contending, LA, San Jose, Buff are looking at the success teams like Pitt/NYR and Phi have had adding younger cheaper players. And I am truly sorry, this legendary leadership from Iggy is all smoke and mirrors to me. He is a solid offensive player with some toughness, a defensive liability and has definitely lost at least one step. Give Glencross his zonestarts and ice time and he scores more.

    Now other than that…..who do you have that gets you anything…..really…..maybe Glencross and Giordano, but I think you want to keep those two. Fine, Baerschi is a good offensive talent, but who feeds him the puck, or takes some of the defensive pressure off him? And I really hate to kick you when you are down, after Baerschi(sp?) you have absolutely nothing in the minors, even TO has more depth in the minors.

  8. Kiprusoff will be a hot commodity for the Leaf’s, Cap’s and TB. The Leafs look to have a #4 to 6 over all pick in this years draft which I’m sure Burke will part with to get a franchise goalie like Kiper to mentor the younger guys and move the Leaf’s into the playoffs next year. The problem is what else would Calgary want besides that pick? Don’t forget Kiprusoff will be 36yrs old but still has 2 years left at a respectable $5M+

    Burke won’t move Gardiner so that’s a no go and with the pick being most likely a top 5 over all he will be hesitant to throw in much more. Now is it enough to get a deal done with TB having a pick around the same area?

  9. The Flames really need to see what mess the Leafs have made of the “semi-rebuild”. They have a lot of pieces that other teams need and would get lots back for them. Would like to see Iginla go back to Dallas, Boemesster(?) to Fla, Kipper to TB. If it happens this year, at least getting back 3 1 sts, 3 2nds and so forth.

  10. Gauthier’s hands were tied in regards to trades for Cammi because of Cammi’s no trade. I think Feaster might have trouble moving him as Cammi apparently like Calgary.

  11. CALGARY IS DREAMING IF THEY THINK WITH THOSE 2 PLAYERS WILL BRING MAJOR RETURNS FIRST KIPPER IS 36YR,IGGIE IS 35 YRS OLD,NO SMART GM.WOULD SELL THE FARM FOR THESE GUYS,WELL MAYBE IF YOUR NAME IS [BURKE]LOL BUT THE TRUTH IS THERE BEST DAYS ARE OVER.

  12. Gotta think the Flames retool this year. It’s been talked about for a couple seasons before, now’s the time. Especially with changes sweeping through MON and TOR, Calgary fans are going to want to join the re-build bandwagon too.

  13. Wonder if Kipper would be a good fit for a team that has a young goalie in their system whose just not ready to start yet. Like TB – Tokarski is a great goaltending prospect but a little green. Kipper would be good for the next 2 or 3 years until he’s ready.

  14. @Andy

    I think your caps lock is broken.

    You’re not in your right mind if you don’t think either of two will get a decent return. We’re not talking Eric Lindros sized packages, but something like a 1st, Type A prospect, Type B Prospect or 1st, 2nd, Type A prospect wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

    Kipper is in the same boat. One thing we know about goalies, the peak late and the good ones play into their late 30′s early 40′s. For him as well, I believe you’d be looking at a top tier prospect and a first round pick. Or a prospect package.

    Are you saying a team like TB wouldn’t kill and give up the farm for a chance with a top goalie. The only reason they’re not in the playoffs this year, is because their goaltending has been horrendous. What about Chicago, Washington, Columbus, Toronto, the Isle?

    What about scoring?
    I don’t think Iggy could be the #1 on a team anymore, but he’s still good for 70+ a season, especially on a line with some actual skilled players.

  15. I see Feaster is leading the band. Let’s all go out to the desert and wallow.