As I watch the playoffs unfold and follow the success of the Nashville Predators, I can’t help but feel jealous and envious of all the fans packing NHL arenas to cheer on their team!
I have been thinking and reading a lot trying to figure out what the Flames can and should do. Needless to say the draft this year is ultra-important although we only have one pick in the top one hundred some interesting options seem to be available:
First thing is: What do you do with Glencross and could you get a draft pick for his rights? What I know is that Glencross wants “long term” and that is probably the only way the Flames can get him for a discount that could be manageable with the cap. But is Curtis the guy you would want to lock up for 5 years at a price tag over 2 million? If so than trading his rights may not be a solution, but for me that may be the only option. I am not ruling out that he is back next year, but with the limited cap space combined with limited draft picks the Flames should try to trade his rights (if there is interest from several teams) for a potential 3rd pick. And maybe Babchuk falls in this category as well and we could see the Flames move his rights also. Feaster will need to be creative to gain draft picks for this year’s draft if he so desires.
Second item on my agenda is: Who do we draft with the #13 selection? This will be the Flames highest pick since they drafted Phaneuf. First names that come to mind are Zach Phillips from Saint John, Niklas Jensen from Oshawa and Sven Bartschi from Portland. Although I am sure everyone has their pick I like Zach Phillips. A skilled center that can play at both ends of the ice and his biggest asset is his competitive attitude and he can put the puck in the net! I believe if the Flames draft the large centre man, they will have a nice piece for the future. But don’t forget the Flames have Greg Nemisz as a prospect (who in some ways is very similar to Phillips) so maybe Jensen the speedy winger makes more sense.
Third item: Who should we re-sign? This group is simple for me, (Karlsson, Tanguay & Pardy) simply put Tanguay wants to be here and at the price we could get him for you can’t find anyone better. Pardy has a serious shoulder injury and will need serious rehab but for the cheap contract he will receive. He will add some great depth on this team. And Karlsson will allow Irving to finish his development in the AHL and provide a capable backup that the players have full trust in!
Last thing that I wanted to touch up on is the current GM status. Still no decision made but more and more it is looking like Feaster will be the man. Some rumours I have heard are Paul Fenton and Dave Nonis, both are highly capable but I’m not sure the Flames want to pursue either guy with such little time before the draft. I like Feasters positive attitude and his desire to surround himself with quality people. I know his draft history has not been good but with some good hockey people around him he should do just fine.