As the snow falls heavily in Alberta, the Flames and Oilers try hard to stay above the surface.
Let’s face it; professional hockey in this province has been disappointing in the past year. Although, it sounds like in Edmonton they have embraced the re-build and fans seem on board and excited for what is to come. So does that mean the Flames should do the same? I think even if the Flames did, it would be a lot harder than what Edmonton had to do and is currently going through. Simply, because Taylor Hall helps any franchise sell a rebuilding team to any city and their fans. But guys like him, do not come around every draft. Nugent-Hopkins, Couturier and Larsson are nice young players but they will take more time than a Hall or Tavares to produce, and some argue that their ceiling is not as high, although that’s up for debate.
What I am trying to say is that, it will not be as easy even if the Flames commit to a rebuild. Simply put, we will probably not even finish in the bottom five in the NHL this season and be up for the draft lottery. Then you look at the contracts we have, we still need to put up with Kotalik & Jokinen for another year unless a crazy GM takes them or the owners want to waste 6 million in the AHL next season. I guess you can buy them out but they would still take up some salary cap for a few years. Then there is Stajan, he does not fit in and his contract is a scary one that includes a no trade clause. I can continue about other contracts but I am sure you get the drift.
Don’t forget that we do not even know who the GM will be. Feaster is still the acting and his plan still has to be presented and approved. Imagine if the owners and Ken Kings deny his plan and a new search begins for a GM. That would mean this team will sit and possibly let values of their players disappear while they still have value. Than you look at the coming draft and we currently have one selection in the top 60. We need to get a GM in here who can make decision and soon, if it is Feaster than good. If not, the organization better find someone fast!
One person asked me; What if the owners want to just bring in a couple new faces and try again next year, is that possible? Well I guess it’s possible, but why did they let Darryl Sutter go then? He had been doing that exactly for the past 3 years. I believe we are at a state where everyone in the organization realizes we need a change but they just haven’t figured out what that change really is and who is in charge of the change. Let us hope they figure it out soon and we can begin this “change.” Just do not expect it to be as smooth and positive as our rivals to the North of Calgary.