Keep Hagman for Now!
Niklas Hagman the “Finnish _______” “blank” kind of like his offensive production last year. He had 27 points in 71 games, yet he had 42 points two years previous in 65 games. So I understand fans wanting Niklas and his three million gone ASAP. But I don’t, but don’t mistake this for me being ok with his play last year, salary or declining production.
Anaheim, Nashville, St.Louis and the Islanders, I have heard it all “Hagman is gonna get dealt for a fourth rounder”. Yet he is still on the Flames roster and for good reason. Plus look at his wife, she would look good at the dome!
A fourth round pick is what everyone is saying we have been offered for Hagman, so why is it not a done deal? The answer is simple! Feaster can get more; I know I am crazy right? But why settle for a fourth round pick? We no longer need the cap space, his salary comes off next year and no NHL team is in dire need to add a winger…yet. That’s the key, what does Feaster have to loose letting Hagman come to camp? Not much is right; he will compete hard. If we know one thing about the former 27 goal scorer is that he works hard and will let his presence be known at camp. Having him at camp would be beneficial to push the veterans and make the young guys see how hungry they have to be! Hagman was embarrassed and highly frustrated with his play and numbers last year and will be eager to prove that it was a one off year. Now can he rebound, I am not saying he can and I also know that his season can be repeated and be worse, but for me it is worth the gamble.
Let’s say he has a horrible camp and even Jon Rheault does better than him; we burry his contract or we put him on waivers and if he clears he plays in the AHL. But what if he makes the team or impresses another team who just got an injury to one of its forwards?... His return value may increase with his reasonable 3mill cap hit, plus it gives the Flames a cushion in case we are the team with a serious injury. Let’s go even crazier; what if come March 1st Hagman has 15 goals? Flames are out of the picture and we know we are not resigning him come July 1. Hagman does not have a NTC or a NMC (thank goodness one exists) meaning Feaster can deal him wherever he wants and could potentially get a nice prospect or a second round pick from a playoff team, or perhaps include him in a package deal.
All I am saying is why trade him now? His value is extremely low and as far as I can see we can take the risk and at the least let him provide some added pressure in camp. There will be more options come October 1st than August 10th. Worst case scenario he wears the “Heat” red and he hits UFA with zero compensation for the Flames. Considering we threw a 5th rounder at the Devils for Leblond, losing a fourth on a gamble to get perhaps more or an improved Hagman, seems worth it to me.
Now I know some of you may say “but he will take away from a young guys development” sure but in my opinion so do about 6 other guys considering all the forward depth this team has now. I look at it as healthy competition and I believe Nemisz, Bouma and Howse all need another year of AHL anyway.
My opinion now give me yours!