Monday, April 25, 2011

Start of the Flames Options

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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fan Opinion~

Interview with @Flames_fan1 (Rebekah) Big time positive Flames fan who may have a tiny crush on Backlund! Rebekah was nice enough to join us for an interview on the Flames current situation. Such a positive fan throughout the entire year, we had to pick her brain and get some answers! Question#1 Let’s go to the big question right off the hop…Should the Flames trade Jarome Iginla in the off-season? Answer: Definitely not! I know a lot of people argue that he would have a better chance of winning a Cup on another team but I disagree. He wants to stay and win here and I think that our team has the ability to do that but we just need to be more consistent. Selfishly, I would have to say that I would not want to play against him or see him wear another jersey. I hope this isn’t true but I think that the Flames would lose some fans if they traded Iggy. I hope he stays and retires here. Question#2 What will Backlund’s role be next season? (Continue to be a part time top 6, or does he become that #1 center?) Answer: I definitely see the Flames giving Backlund a lot more responsibility next year. He has been playing so well this year and has improved so much! I think that having him play with the top line gave him the confidence he needed to show what he is capable of and I can see them getting him ready to be a #1 center. I think next year we’ll see a lot more goals from him and a lot more of his creativity with the puck. Question#3 Who should the Flames re-sign and why (Tanguay, Pardy, Babchuk, Karlsson, Staios and/or Glencross) if any? Answer: Tanguay – He is amazing. He makes really good passes and is really smart with the puck. Tangs and Iggy play so well together. Pardy – While he spent a lot of the season injured, I thought he played well when he did play. I would really like to see him back on the Flames next year because when he’s healthy I think plays well and will only continue to get better! Babchuk – At first I was sceptical of him but he has turned out to be an awesome player! He’s responsible defensively and has great shot from the point! Karlsson – I love his passion. He absolutely hates to be scored on and he shows it. He played very well for us when he was called upon and I think that he is a very reliable back up for Kipper. Glencross – He scored career high goals this year and really responded when he got benched. He plays with a chip in his shoulder and really competes. I would love to see him back with the Flames and hope that he will be more consistent next year. Question#4 Should Feaster be the permanent GM next season? Answer: I think that Feaster did a good job managing the team in the second half. He didn’t do too much, but I think that he will be a good GM for the team. I like that when he got the job he didn’t just decide to blow the whole team up like everyone wanted, but he was very calm and patient. I also like that he shows his excitement when the Flames score and when they win. He has a good relationship with the players and coaches and I think that will make him a great GM. Question#5 Tell us why you are proud to be a Flames fan? Answer: I could probably write a book on why I’m proud to be a Flames fan but I’ll keep it short. I am proud to be a Flames fan because of the passion my team plays with. They, to me, define resilience. I love that they can unite a city. I’m also proud to be a Flames fan because of all the other fans that stand beside me. GO FLAMES GO!!! As you can tell Rebekah is positive and sees a great future for Backlund. I can’t disagree with her wanting to see Tanguay back; he had a great year and helped Iginla show what he can do with some creativeness around him. Now we let the off-season take over and hope that come next season we have an improved team that can get into the playoffs! Thanks again to Rebekah and you should definitely follow this avid fan on twitter at @flames_fan1 if you aren’t already!
Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.