A look at the Flames from the East!
For my blog on the Flames today I am very excited to be working with Todd Cordell. Todd is a NHL/NJ Devils writer and staff manager for sportshaze.com. I respect Todd’s opinion highly and look at him as an honest and very knowledgeable hockey man.
Since Todd views the Flames with an outside eye, I wanted to ask him some questions that I receive a lot from Flames fans. I felt that by doing so, maybe we could see this from a different angle and see how the Flames are viewed outside of the Calgary area! Here are the questions I asked Todd and his answers;
1. From an outside view on the Calgary Flames, what movable assets do the Flames have?
Answer: Based on salary and everything aside from Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr, I think that Anton Babchuk, Alex Tanguay and Niklas Hagman are the most valuable players the Flames have that other teams would want come February if they're made available.
I think that come February a lot of teams that are close or in the playoffs would like to add a nice cheap offensive defenseman like Babchuk. I know Babchuk was just acquired, but I have been told by several people that if they are out of the playoff race, they will look to move him at the deadline.
FJ: Interesting answer, I looked at Babchuck as a cheaper option for Sutter to sign to an extension than Ian White. But when you have Brodie, Pelech, Negrin and Seabrook who are almost NHL ready and with a guy like Erixon coming up, I can totally see Babchuck being expendable come deadline day.
2. Whose job is on the line with the Calgary Flames and why? Do the Owners love Daryl Sutter too much?
Answer: I think Brent Sutter is on the hot seat to be honest. Based on what I have heard, the Flames ownership group believes that Daryl Sutter has the players to get the team to the playoffs, and it is Brent Sutter's job to get them there.
FJ: I can’t argue that, the team has totally under performed. I really like Brent and I hope he stays but if he is the issue than maybe the Flames have to once again make a change.
3. When you saw the Flames play the Devils, what stood out the most to you when it came to the Flames? Good and bad.
Answer: To be honest nobody really stood out good or bad. What stood out to me was the Flames knack for taking bad penalties. They didn't take a ton but they took them at bad times, luckily for the Flames, the penalties didn't really cost them.
FJ: I think every Flames fan will agree this team has taken some bad penalties and at bad times. Also Glencross can be blamed for a large chunk of them. I love this answer because it shows that even people like Todd who do not follow the Flames like we do, sees a big time issue the Flames have.
4. Has Brent Sutter done a good enough job with the Flames given what he has or has he not?
Answer: He has and he hasn't. The team is by no means filled with talent but there should be enough there to keep them in contention for a playoff spot which as of now, he hasn't done. If the Flames are sitting around 8th or 9th come February they could make an acquisition or two but that doesn't appear likely to happen.
FJ: Sounds like the Flames have to do with what they have. Which is hard to imagine otherwise due to all the crazy contracts and “NTC, NMC” in players contracts.
5. Will the Flames be a play-off team come April?
Answer: I don't think so, but with Kipper in net you never know, He is more than capable of stealing some games, the only questions is, how many can he steal?
FJ: Hit the nail on the head…Kiprusoff! Once again he has to be border line “not human” to carry this team to the play offs. I still think the Flames have a chance but is an eight place finish worth it? Depends on how you look at it. I want playoffs regardless of what seed!
I hope this gave you a small look from an outside view on the Calgary Flames current situation. I want to thank Todd Cordell for taking the time to answer a couple of questions. I highly suggest you add Todd to your “twitter” followings @ToddCordell. You can also find him at; http://nhltoddcordell.wordpress.com/ Todd gives great insight on everyday NHL happenings and insight to trade rumours.
GO FLAMES GO