I can hear the frustration of the Calgary Flames fans as they continue to yell “what is taking Feaster so long?” Well, let me give you a lesson on economics in today cap world. The Flames have a real problem with some bad contracts -- not even bad contracts so much as long contracts.
With the NHLPA collective bargaining agreement up soon, no-one is going to want to take a long term contract on unless it is really in their best interest to do so. The only way the Flames are going to get a team to take Stajan's contract is if the Flames make it worth a team's while to do so.
The problem with that, is that next year draft is very deep, and Jay has already traded his second round pick away in the Regehr deal. That was done so that the Flames could get rid of Kotalik off the books. If it costs a second to get rid of Kotalik, how much would it cost the Flames to get a team to take a $3.5 million multi-year contract in Stajan. The Flames really cannot afford to sell a team that bad of a contract.
The Flames really don’t have much wiggle room here. We don’t have that many assets. In fact, most of the ones we do have are not on the market. You can pretty much take out Gio, Iggy, Tangs, and more than likely, Kipper.
Then there is the Jaybo situation. Do we trade him? Or more to the point, would there be a team that is willing to take his $6.67 million dollar cap hit? The other problem is that he is basically the second-best dman on the team. I hate to say this, but I am predicting Jaybo to have a break-out year. I really feel strongly that he will return to his Panthers numbers. The main reason that I feel so strongly is that Sutter will adjust the system to him.
The options to trade are very limited and I am about to go in a radical direction. By that, I mean the free agent route, and here comes the bombshell -- Alexander Yashin. Bear with me for a second. Yashin is going to be motivated to prove his worth. And really, the Flames won’t have anything to lose, because his cap won’t be huge either. The Flames have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Sutter has the ability to turn careers over like he did with Morrison's. I feel he can do the same thing with Yashin. The Flames really need a number one centre. Yes, they have plenty of them, but none who are can be a number one centre.
Feaster went after Richards for a reason, no matter what he says. He feels we need a number one centre. The Flames may have quantity, but they do not have quality. They really don’t have the assets to pick up a huge player, so their best option may very well be -- gulp -- Alexander Yashin.