Latest on the Flames and Jets – April 5, 2012.

Is a major rebuild finally coming for the Flames? Will Scott Hannan be part of it? What’s the Jets most pressing need, and which team should they follow as a example?

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun recently spoke to a Calgary Flames source, who told him there’s “no appetite” for a major rebuild akin to that of the Edmonton Oilers, but changes will be coming this summer. LeBrun believes management needs to meet with Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff this summer to determine if they want to stay and be part of the retooling.

CALGARY SUN: Steve MacFarlane reports a number of Flames players are playing for contracts, including forwards Blake Comeau and Lee Stempniak.

Does Hannan have a future in Calgary?

CALGARY HERALD: Kristen Odlund recently reports Flames defenseman Scott Hannan, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, wonders where he fits in the club’s future plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A “retooling” suggests something like the Ottawa Senators did last summer, but the difference is the Senators had plenty of promising talent in their system, while the Flames, for the most part, do not. They need an overhaul, and management is kidding itself if they believe they can “retool” and still retain Iginla and Kiprusoff, who remain their two best trade chips, who could fetch good returns to help them with the significant rebuild they desperately need. Maybe Feaster can wheel and deal and bring in the players he needs without having to part with Iginla and/or Kiprusoff, but I doubt it. The pair could make Feaster’s job easier by requesting to be dealt, but it seems they’re reluctant to do that.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless reports the Jets most pressing need is to bring in a first line center.

WINNIPEG SUN: Kirk Penton advocates the Jets follow the example of the Florida Panthers, who rebuilt last summer primarily through trades and free agency, though not to the extreme of the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The vibe from the Jets front office is they won’t deviate from their plan of rebuilding primarily via the draft and player development, which suggests they won’t make a big splash via free agency or trades this summer. We shouldn’t fully dismiss the possibility, but I get the sense their front office isn’t going to spend any more than they have to. They won’t find a first line center via free agency, but do have some promising young talent they could perhaps parlay into one via trade, provided they wish to go that route.


  1. I find it slightly annoying that Florida is being used so much of an example of how to turn a team around, or comparing how GM’s like Burke can’t turn a team around in 4 years, while Tallon did it in 1 offseason. While I think them making the playoffs is great and that Tallon is a pretty good GM. It is only one season where they are winning the weakest division. They have vast improvement in points yes, but its only one year and alot of things went right. If they are able to repeat this next year then I would start saying they turned it around.

  2. The Jets and Panthers have the fan support of retooling and rebuilding a little slower than the Flames but both thgos eteams are way ahead of Calagary in terms of talent ..Calgary has to break it down and start over who are they kidding ..this years UFA pool is slim to say the least and another NON PLAYOFF team with Kipper & Iggy as a part of it next year would be Management suicide and put the team back 8 – 10 years …what are they thinking ??
    Wrong people in place there.
    They have nothing in the minors and look like the Leafs did 4 years ago and look how that has gone …its no known secret that you have to build a core through the draft !

    This team has solid depth and veteran presence and good coaching they are on par with the Avalanche in development the Coaching is perfect and in 2 years this team should be a power house …some of there brightest prospects will be coming around very soon …and Gudbranson will be competeing for the Norris at some point also !
    This year is a litmus teast but they need to make a serious charge next year as some of there key veterans will be close to expiration! Luongo could be a HUGE piece when he goes there for next season ..because Cory Schnieder is not going anywhere!!!!

  3. Innovator, agreed
    on Florida being a bad example on how to rebuild. People also seem to forget that when Tallon took over the Panthers, he targeted quite a few Hawks players that he had assembled in Chicago before he was dismissed. Adding players like Versteeg, Campbell, Kopecky, Skille, and Madden were a no brainer. Those players already had chemistry from that Stanley cup team. Sure it’s not the only reason, weak division, better then expected goaltending are also reasons…but people just can’t expect every team to go on a free agent binge and catch lightning in a bottle. (see Buffalo, NYR in the past etc.)

  4. I said it here a few days ago and I’ll say it again, the Flames won’t do a rebuild. Not because they don’t need one, but because…crap I don’t even know why, they just won’t. Every year we talk about how they need to trade their top talent for prospects and picks but they stubornly never do. I think management and fans alike hold to much affection twards their star players (can’t blame them) so they won’t be traded. If they do a full rebuild, color me suprised.

  5. I’m no GM nor fan of the Flames, but how anyone with half a hockey mind thinks the Flames don’t need to rebuild is crazy. You’ve missed the playoffs for 3 straight years, and the core of your team is getting old.

    It doesn’t even compute with me how there is any other option but to sell off the older guys for a fresh start.

  6. In before seeing your post Durt, wasn’t posting based on what you were saying.

  7. Regarding the Flames, Feaster may be more interested in protecting his job than in the long-term competitiveness of the team.

    Regarding the Jets, I don’t see them spending much money with their income streams so limited. If Carolina can win the cup, anything can happen. Nashville could be a good comparable.

  8. @ Chris I agree with what you wrote. Well all except for the bit that seems to suggest loungo will be going to Florida. He’s not heading back there.

  9. @ Innovator & Durt

    Just to comment:Please dont take this the wrong way! as I hate to disaagree with people here as opposed to being constructive BUT!

    How can you guys say that success in Florida is bad management and not a good rebuild…its been very successful …Tallon has not sold out ..brought in solid veteran goaltending and has given his youg goaltender of the future good seasoning …shored up his back end with a mix of veteran defense future star Defensive youth so not to have many mistakes and learn good habits …hes sent his star prospects down for more experience and to grow in there young bodies and brought in a former player coach to take over for a solid coach that didn’t fit in last year.

    Each team is different and requires a different approach and this team has a very good young group as opposed to say Calgary that has hardly nothing…so he walked into a good foundation layed out to build upon in a new direction and added sprinkles of true talent and smart hockey players …not bubble gum fixes …this team with an addition of some more youthful star propects that will be ready next yera willl be a force do to desal with for the next 3 years they have solid prospects and the guidance of management and the coach to help build a potential winner here for the first time in 8 years !

  10. @ Icebaer I dont give a ^$#@ what you think ???

  11. Haha! No prob habs FTW.

  12. slap & shot, in my defense I said it was a bad template for a rebuild. I think they’ve done a good job, but it was done so partly on pre-existing chemistry from before. I would caution teams not to go crazy spending on ufa’s, because for the most part, it’ll fail.

  13. Aww now Chris who’s being mean?

    Seriously tho. Lou couldn’t wait to get out of Florida to play for a Competitive preferably Canadian team.

  14. i would be so frustrated if i were a flames fan, clearly management is committing them to another several years of mediocrity (at best).

    calgary, speak up and demand your team gets on a path to respectability.

  15. Wow the Flames need a 1st line center where have I heard that before, oh right for the last 5 years for sure they have been trying to find one. Here’s a hint Calgary SELL SELL SELL.

  16. @ Durt always a good converastion with you !

    The one thing that Tallon addressed that is SOOOO important is to surround and buffer your young talent with proven winners to help them along and he did just that outside of Bostan and Chicago he may have the most players who have won a stanley cup on a team going into the playoffs and this has been what has seen this team through some tough times this year and has gotten them to where they are ….If the Leafs had some veteran experience and a couple of guys with a cup in the room I would debate that the slide could have been cut shorter with leadership and proven winners …this is going to be a huge advantage for the Panthers going forward this playoffs …..Not only that but they are influencing the young talent that they are slowly brininging in that is going to be so valuable on how to play the game and win …the veterans he has brought in are all except for Madden still at the top of there game and very much an impact in the league ! You cant always haver just youth in a rebuild ….look at Edmonton still very much aways away …lots of talent but no guidance from proven winners …….in writing this and thinking about all the teams that have a chance at the cup this year ….this is a year that is reminiscent of years past when the NEW JERSEY DEVILS pull out a miracle win…..weird feeling on the Devils ….Martys last kick at the can its up to him to carry the laod one more time and Parise to earn his new found cash on the block next year and Kovolchuk to earn his contract as well !

  17. @ Icebear

    The past is the past …if asked today of Luongo he would not want to play in another Canadian market …the Canucks HAVE to keep Schnieder they can not let this guy go and if this is the year they need to make the decison to cut bait its has to be with Luongo ….in saying that Luongo gets to choose where he wnats to go if asked to be traded and my theorty is back home to his family in Florida and play with a team ready to break out wher he can be a solid piece moving that club forward and attepmting to go for it again next year by adding in some of there highly touted prospects …all he has to do is walk in and be a piece not the saviour as he has to be in Vancouver …he will get kicked out of the nest at seasons end if Vancouver does not win th ecup …copy and paste!

  18. I think we can determine the success of the Florida (and Ottawa)rebuild if they make the playoffs again next year and the year after. If you make the playoffs once- you don’t impress me. Same with the Blues. Neither of these teams are a lock to be in it next year. Call me when your team is a model of consistency like Detroit, Philly, Boston etc.

    Florida has obviously moved in the right direction, but Columbus and the Islanders have made the playoffs before, too…

    One year of success isnt a rebuild. Carolina won a CUP and now can’t even get an inviation to the dance.

  19. @ Nikk

    Totaly agree but these teams that you just mentioned are obviuosly not at the Detroit or Boston model as 3/4 of the league are not at that point aqnd can only wish to be.
    Blues ..Panthers are a great success story and yes are on the right path and time will tell if ist a cinderella story for sure …Id say ot is more with the Blues than the Panthers as per whats in there system below and thats why I was saying that the panthers build is fast becoming very sucessfull …they have studs on the way up in …Quinton Howden ..Jonathan Huberdeau…Nick Bujgstad …Bracken Kearns…Iiro Pakarinen ..Alex Petrovic..and Goalie Jacob Markstrom ….Id be excited if I was the Panthers G M ….obviously its hopeful but you never know ?????

  20. I think this is the year for Calgary.

    People forget, last year, Dallas & Calgary both had the highest amount of points not to make the playoffs in recent memory. From a Calgary stand point; last summer, most people in Calgary thought that you change a few things, we tweak a thing or two, you win a couple more games, you have 98+ points, you’re in.

    This year was a mess, in regards to injuries and just overall poor performances when the Flames needed it the most. If Feaster knew what he was doing, he’d see that 7 million dollar tag with ONE YEAR remaining. If Jerome is so die hard Flame (Which he is, and which he shows time and time again) he should understand, one year away from Calgary would help the Flames amazingly.

    You could get a huge return for Iginla. And he’s only be away from Calgary for one year. Meaning he plays for another team, for 82 games, get a chance to win a cup; Calgary gets some major pieces back… and all of the sudden in 2014, Calgary has Jerome back wearing the C, at 4-5 million a year, a less bare cupboard and a more competitive team.

    Kipper is a tough trade. It is REALLY hard to get a goalie of his caliber. Anyone with half a mind, know that he’s been a top 3 goalie in the NHL for the past decade, and again he played his butt of this year. Trading him, you’d also get a big return, and it would guarantee you finish 2012-2013 pretty poorly (higher pick).

    This summer Calgary should get a Dman in the draft, I think by Craig Button’s last list, they’re in position to grab Jacob Trouba; and he has 1-2 potential. Additionally, last years draft was pretty solid, if they continue in that manner, they’d actually be able to refill that cupboard quickly.

    If you grab a kid that has the ability to be a top pairing, you HAVE to get rid of Bouwmeester. Very overrated Dman, and although his return wouldn’t be massive (you’d more than likely have to take equal salary back) you could get some important pieces.

    This summer should be interesting!!

  21. Yea I feel bad for Flames fans, they honestly don’t have a bright future in my opinion, they should rebuild its really the only option.

    As for Florida, good for them, but I wouldn’t base any “plans” on their “model,” part of it was luck, in a crap division. Honestly, do you think this team will be able to sustain such results for the next few years? I highly doubt it.

  22. I’m a die hard Flames fan, and I know they need to rebuild, but I’d try to do it while keeping Iginla. The only way I’d trade him is if he went to Stanley Cup contender, like Pittsburgh, or Detroit. He deserves a shot at the cup, and I were Feaster, I’d only allow him to go to a cup contender, maybe let Iginla pick the team he wants. I’d trade Kiprusoff before I’d trade Iggy. Tampa Bay is a goaltender away from Stanley Cup contention, they might be interested in Kipper. Maybe a 1st round pick and a prospect from Tampa for Kipper?

    I’d also trade Bouwmeester and Stajan if I could. Those two take up over $10 million in cap space, and neither is even close to being worth their contract. There may be a one-time buyout in the next CBA, so buyout Stajan if you can’t trade him, and trade Bouwmeester for, well, the best deal you can get for him! Rebuild the defense around Brodie, Butler, Giordano, and Smith, none of those guys are even 30 years old yet. Heck, if Feaster can get rid of Stajan and Bouwmeester’s contracts, he could make a legit run at Ryan Suter! Bring up at least one D-man from Abbotsford next year, I’m sure there is at least one that’s NHL ready, and resign Sarich for cheap as an experienced depth D-man.

    In goal, if they do trade Kipper, I’d sign Vokoun, and have him as the starter, and have Irving start 30-35 games, and see if he’s ready for the big time. I’d trade Karlsson for whatever I could get for him.

    At forward, keep Iggy unless you get a good return for him from a Cup contender. Also keep Cammalleri, Tanguay, Glenncross, Bouma, and Jackman. Resign Jokinen IF he’ll take $3.5 to $4 million per year on a 2 year deal, no NTC/NMC. If he doesn’t go for that, let him walk. Resign Moss for cheap, make him prove he can stay healthy. I think when he’s healthy, he’s a versatile 3rd liner, with some scoring ability, but he NEEDS to stay healthy! Try and trade Comeau’s rights, even if it’s for a 6th round pick, if you can’t get anything for him, let him walk. Bye bye, Lee Stepniak and Kostopoulos. Trade Blair Jones’ rights if you can, or maybe sign him to a two way contract at the most. Resign Backlund, for cheap, and for no more than 2 years, I think there may be some talent there, and I’d give him a chance to prove it.

    For next year, bring up Horak and Byron, and let them know that this is their shot at sticking in the big time! Also, Baertschi should probably at least start out with the big club, and if he needs some work, send to Abbotsford for awhile. A guy I like a lot, and a former Flame, Brandon Prust will be a UFA, I’d bring him back, he’s great 3rd/4th line guy! Oh, I almost forgot, trade Babchuk too, if you can!

    I think, if those changes are made, you clear out cap space, gain some draft picks, get younger, and see if the young players are NHL ready. With that, here is my Flames roster for next season:

    Iginla, Tanguay, Cammalleri, Glenncross,Jokinen(possibly), Moss, Backlund, Baertschi, Jackman, Prust, Horak, Byron, Bouma, Jones(possibly).

    Brodie, Smith, Giordano, Butler, Suter (wishful thinking),Minor leaguer (maybe Wilson or Carson?), and Sarich.

    Goal,(assuming Kipper is traded)

    • I should also mention, Brent Sutter needs to go, and I’d replace him with Jim Playfair. I don’t think he got a fair shake in his first stint here.

  23. I was not putting down what Florida (Tallon) has done this season. What I was saying is that they should not be what everything gets compared to because we have no idea what they will be like next season. All of Tallon’s signing could be terrible next season, their kids could fall back then everyone would be back off that bandwagon. This is why I said if they repeat next year, it’ll be more acceptable to make the comparison. They have made some good moves yes, but they can easily fall back yet again.

    Fleischmann – Career year
    Verteeg – Returned to his better career numbers
    Campbell returned to peak numbers
    Weiss – Consistent numbers

    Those 4 players cracked 50 points then its a 20 point drop off for the rest of the team. They have one of the lower Goals For in the league. They have a better Goals against, but if one of those 4 players falls back again or their D is just a little off next year they are right back to 10,11,12 in the conference. Especially if any of the other 4 teams in the division improve at all.

  24. @ Innovator

    Agree……but some of the Leafs had career years, as well as Stamkos but did not fair well as a team ….there is a team component to the overall factor and talent is a big part of it the otherfactor is Tallons admiossion that he needed veteran guidance and leadership and guys who have been to the dance to infect the young guys who have not…this iwith the fact that they had two veteran goalies in play this year brings the team up to be able to compete night in and night out …most of these guys have been there done that and sometimes that is what pushes you over the edge to get to where you need to be ….point in case …Burke was 2 points out at trade deadline and in his most important time as GM in his career did absolutely nothing ….BIG MISTAKE …regardless of the unforseen collapse he should have added veteran depth and guys who can actually lead on the Ice and have a winning resume at least 2 – 3 guys should have been added at that time to adress that big gaping hole …and in the end it was the youth and lack of on Ice leadership that killed them …

    As a side note Dave Tallon was fired from Chicago for going over the cap in his signings of contracts lets be honest here …. the team that won the Stanley Cup was 99% his team that he built ….not Bowmans ….lets be honest !

  25. That seems to be how it goes sometimes. Takes one person to build it to a certain point then it takes someone else to come in and tweak things to get them to that next level. I think it gets to a point where you get too attached to the players you’ve brought in and developed so it hinders your judgement a little bit which does not allow you to make the moves you need to make. That is what Burke needs to make sure he does not fall into this offseason

  26. The flames could of had some great pieces today IF they traded Kipper and Iginla. If I’m a GM I won’t give up 2 of my best prospects for Iginla

  27. @innovator

    So true thats what happened to Burke at the deadline he got attached to some players and thought that they could do more than what they were capable of ..unfortunately he was wrong and I agree I really hope that he looks at all guys on the roster to be in play and has no emotional connection to guys such as Schenn and Phaneuf ..who really are way overrated ..this offseason can not be about buddies or he mys as well just resign his position to Nonis right now !!

  28. I was at the Buffalo game the other night and Scrivens was fantastic he got pumled with 20 shots in the 2nd period and made huge timely saves that neither Gustavson or Riemer have been making all year to give the guys a chance

    …NOW… Iam not saying this from just one game but I have also had the chance to see Marlies games this winter and can honestly say that Scrivens is the most mobile and technical goalie that they have ..he also has very good size and is the quickest with his pads side to side and up and down movement……..being a former Junior goalie I have a gripp on these traits which brings us to discuss that we are not throwing Riemer under the bus ……………………he kind of did that himself……..not good defense but no timely saves either …..neither him or Gustavson could carry the team on any given night to just steal them a game and get them out of the funk and downward spiral they were in and goalies that are TRUE stars and playoff winners are able to do that at all times of the year …this tells me that he can not steal a playoff series …..

    We will see how Scrivens doesin theer playoff series but in the end if you are going to miove forward with a tender that is going to be mentored you have to go with the best goalie all around and thats Ben Scrivens …..if you dont you will waste it…when you have a small window of opportunity …so you have to get it right !!!!

    I called it at the half way season this year that Scrivens would be the Leafs go to Goalie by seasons end this year but forgot to tell you to Copy and paste !

    In closing ….I really dont see what true legit # 1 Goalie there is for the leafs to get as they dont have much to offer in the attempt.

  29. Tallon was run out of Chicago so they could promote Stan Bowman and bring in his dad as an advisor. of the so called “mistakes” made by Tallon most people point to the signings of Campbell, and Huet. the truth is he was ordered to sign them by team president McDonough to make a “splash” and reinvigorate the fans that the elder Wirtz had alienated before his death. to sign Campbell he had to outbid Atlanta (who traded for Mathieu Schneider as their plan B)and then to sign Huet he had to pay more than Washington. Bowman on the other hand signed Hossa to a contract that would’ve been alright except that it made it necessary to get rid of the depth that won them the Cup. Hossa wasn’t necessary to win the Cup but they haven’t been as competitive since they had to gut their winning team to make space for his contract. now this year he dealt away Campbell’s speed and puck moving abilities to Tallon’s Panthers leading to a lack of depth on Chicago’s backend. this will ultimately prove fatal to the Blackhawks playoff aspirations.

  30. Bruins are a real example how to do a rebuild… go back to the joe thornton trade and then the dealing of his entire clique {smasonov/raycroft/murray/boynton} and you see that step one was a complete overhaul of the ‘loser attitude’ that was holding the team back… along with new gm/new coach

    step 2 didnt matter a hell of a lot who was picked up in those deals… cause the team now had alot of cap room. it targeted who they felt were the top 2 ufa available to build around and went big time after both to get the right building blocks to anchor a rebuild around.

    step 3 the team wasnt against the idea of bringing in retreads and castoffs to plug holes with and see if any of them might work out and we lucked into thomas which was real good for us.

    now most our draft picks that play top roles for us arent high number 1’s… but we had to have success with our 2’s and 3’s and this meant having extra 2’s and 3’s and it meant investing in a farm system/scouting staff

    when the dust has settled… we were able to suffer some set backs like the loss of savard… we went through some growing pains like the defection of kessel and the 3-0 collapse against philly, but there was a master plan guiding the build the entire way.

    contracts were handed out for 4-5 years at a time to the guys that fit together as a team… cap was managed very effectively {other then ryder was there a bad contract in the past 5 years?} and if guys wanted out we sent them packing. if guys wouldnt buy into the system we sent them packing.

    this was never going to be a situation where any 1 player became bigger then the team. we were like 1 goal away from final 4 2 years ago.. and last year won a cup… and this year are a favorite for final 4 again…

    if teams want to figure out the right model for a rebuild it starts with looking ahead 3-4 years down the line and clearing out all the current leadership/star players now at the beginning of your rebuild so that the guys that end up being the core of it later on get a chance to be the leaders/stars when the time is right

    if i was rebuilding calgary right now id deal everyone of value over the age of 20 and plan to bottom feed at least 2 seasons and then hit the ufa market hard after that and if everything goes right 4/5 years from now you got a little dynasty team that could rule the top of the standings for a decade to come cause calgary is a great hockey marekt that would easily attract players to come be around if there was a winning team to play with