July 1st is approaching fast and with the current cap space, roughly 7.56 million who should the Flames target? Feaster wants to get younger, faster but be a hard fore-checking team. So who should he add to make sure we do become those?
Flames currently have $35,020,833 committed to forwards
Few UFA Forwards that could interest the Flames:
-Scottie Upshall Previous salary = $2.25mill
Energy guy with scoring abilities, still only 27 years old and has a lot to give. Not afraid to shoot the puck and throw his body around he fits what Calgary can use. Being a right winger he would have to play behind Iginla and Bourque. If Feaster is willing to pay between the 2.5-3mill marks, Upshall could be a nice compliment to the depth of the team. Although I feel 3+ million may be too much for a third liner he does more than that; penalty killing and blocking shots are just a small taste together with his nose for the net that the Flames could benefit from.
-Zenon Konopka Previous salary = $0.600
At 30 years old he may not be a fans choice but look a little deeper and I feel he could bring something. As of right now Stajan is our fourth line center…. Zenon took 1075 face offs and won 57.7% of them. Compare that to the Flames; Besides Jokinen no one took more than 845 face offs and the closest any Flame came to 57.7% success rate was Kotalik at 54.6% & Iginla at 54.0% success rate. The Niagara native plays a nasty rough and tough game, having him play alongside Jackman and maybe Kostopoulos makes my mouth water! Fourth line could be called “death line”, at least we know the effort would be there, and we may win the odd faceoff!
-Niklas Bergfors Previous salary = $0.900mill
The 24 year old was not qualified by Florida and is believed to become a UFA. He has been shopped around lately but do not forget this kid scored 21 goals just two years ago. He has some size and in the right environment can be successful. I doubt Calgary is a place where he wants to go but in my opinion I would give his agent a call. Fits the bill of going younger, skilled and is a decent skater who could benefit off of some real leadership and guidance from guys like Iginla, Jokinen and Langkow. I know he would be considered a “project” and some may say a possible “hindrance” but a short term contract may be flexible option for Feaster with little risk but high possible reward.
-Joel Ward Previous salary = $1.5mill
Ward came to play in the playoffs and his stock has risen and is due for a raise. Joel is the kind of player that very well could get 30 phone calls come July 1st. Every team can use him and the Flames are no different, plus in the past he has done some damage against the Flames. What will his price tag be? No idea but the team that lands him will have a great penalty killer and solid winger that will make your team tougher.
-Jussi Jokinen Previous salary = $ 1.70mill
You want skill and speed? Not to mention the shootout abilities…Jussi is that guy. No he is not related to Olli so relax. Scoring 117 points in his last 151 games Jussi is looking at a raise. His time in Tampa was bad but it looks like he rebounded well in Carolina. Jussi has grown a lot since his Dallas days too and has become more of an all-around player, being a +6 in his last two seasons shows that. As a left winger, a line combo of J. Jokinen-Backlund-Bourque line could work, but at what cost? Jussi will seek a hefty raise and will want a lengthy deal in a city where he could call home, maybe Calgary will be that place if Feaster is willing to throw the dough.