Thursday, February 28, 2013

Avalanche Match Offer Sheet



During the first period of the Flames vs Avalanche game, the Avs announced they have matched the Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet.

A bold move by Feaster but one that will not result in a young centre man coming to Calgary. Now we wait to see what else Feaster may have planned. 

Feaster find a center


A Thursday that started with the Flames making a trade; Piskula for McGrattan followed by Feaster throwing an offer sheet at Ryan O’Reilly. Oh, and Ryan O’Reilly accepted the two year offer sheet. As a result the Colorado Avalanche have seven days to match the deal. It is a two year offer, 5 million the first year and 6.5 million the second year.

If the Avalanche do not match the offer, the Flames would give up their 1st round and 3rd pick. Depending on where you think the Flames will finish this season, the compensation is very reasonable to acquire a 22yr old established center. Also, if the Avs match the offer, they will not be able to trade Ryan O’Reilly for one year. Avalanche had expressed that Ryan’s days in Colorado were numbered…

O’Reilly registered 55 points in 81 games last year with the Avalanche.

Clearly this is Feaster trying to address a dire need and what better way than to go after a young center that will fill a massive hole for years to come.

Now we wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Amnesty Clause

It is never too early to plan ahead and the Flames should preparing for two issues right now. The first is The Amnesty Clause, a interesting new clause put in the new CBA. It gives the Flames a couple of options they wouldn't have otherwise. Should they use it, and if so, who should they use it on?

This is intertwined with whether or not they should re-sign Iginla, and of course which direction the team is intending to go next season. This will be answered by the trade deadline depending on whether the Flames are in the hunt or not. For example, if they are within 4 or 6 points of a playoff spot, I really do not expect team to send their Captain packing.  But of course if they are long out of the race, that is a whole new ball of wax. Seriously, is there a real need to keep Iggy if they are out of the playoffs? Why not trade the captain and his $7 million for cap relief in the off season? If the Flames decide to go this route, they may very well take advantage of the Amnesty Clause and do some buyouts.

Let's see; if I was Jay Feaster and decided to use the Amnesty Clause, who would I trade? I will mention the most obvious options for the buyouts.  Iginla is not an option, being an RFA at the end of the season.

1. Mike Cammalleri

Mike has been playing very well, arguably on the best line of late. So far, he has 5 goals and 8 assists, which projects his season at 13 goals and 21 assists. That would not be not that bad, rounding off to $461,000 a goal. His 13 assists work out to be rounded off to $285,714 an assist. Now strictly financially, that is not too impressive, but you have to look at his other values. Cammy is a +-3. The team is a minus 8 at the time I started writing the blog, putting them 26th in the League. He has one more year on his contract, making the buyout more economical. In reality, I really don't think the Flames will use this option.  Use Cammy as trade bait or to build the team around for next season.

2. Jiri Hudler

At the beginning of the season, Jiri was one of the best forwards on the team, coming up with big play after big play. So far, Jiri has 4 goals and 6 assists this season, which projects his season totals to be 11 goals and 16 assists. Which rounds off to $363,636 a goal.  His assists round off to $640,000 an assist. To me, Jiri has been the best
forward on the team most games. I would never consider him a option. He also has 3 more years of $4 million a year cap hit, making it an expensive buy-out proposition.

3. Matt Stajan

At the beginning of the season, I will be honest, I thought he would be a perfect option for a buyout. But of late, Matt has been one of the best forwards on the team. On one side, he is financially very friendly towards a buyout with only one more year at $3.5 million per season. His stats are 3 goals and 6 assists, which projects out to be 8 goals and 16 assists. Which rounding off, works out to be $437,500 a goal. His assists work out to be $218,750 dollars an assist. Matt is one of the best penalty killers on the team, and has been outstanding in this area. Again, at the beginning of the year I would said he as good as gone; right now, though, it is a lot harder.

4. Alex Tanguay

Alex is the best play maker on the team, there is no doubting that. His $3.5 million cap hit is quite cap friendly for his contribution to the team. He also has three more years after this season, making it a rather expensive buyout. So far, he has 6 goals and 10 assists, which projects his season to 16 goals and 27 assists, making him the top point getter on the team. His goals work out to be rounded off $583,333 a goal. His assists turn out to be the best bargain at $129,629 an assist. Alex leads the team in so many ways. With how happy I am with his play, there is no way he gets bought out. Unfortunately he may be a piece in the rebuilding process if the Flames go that route.

5. Curtis Glencross

Curtis has curbed his antics this season and has become more mature. His stats are 7 goals (which I think leads the team) and 4 assists (which does not lead the team) His season totals are projected to be 19 goals and 11 assists. His goals work out to be $131,578 a goal, which is the best bargain per goal. His assists turn out to $227,272 an assist, which is one of the best totals again. Curtis also has 2 more years at $2.5 million per season. Again, I would keep Curtis as a piece to do a rebuild around. The only way he goes is by his asking.

5. Lee Stempniak

Lee has been a very pleasant surprise this season. He has done extremely well with Cammy and Glencross. This season so far he has 5 goals and 7 assists. That projects out to be 13 goals and 19 assists.  It works out to be $285,083 a goal. His assists is the best bargain now at $75,021 an assist, which beat Tanguay's total. Stemp also has 2 more seasons at a $1.4 cap hit, which is one of the best in the League. That should answer your question on what I think.

Now on to the best options on using the Amnesty Clause on defense:

1. Jay Bouwmeester

Jay has been the best defenceman on the team this season. He has rarely been caught of position this season. Judging on his play, I would never consider it.  Now judging on his cap, which is $6.68 million this season, may be he is an option. His points so far this season are 3 goals and 7 assist.  That works out to 8 goals and 19 assists for the season. Which works out to be $835,000 a goal. His assist totals turn out to be $351,578 dollars an assist. The only factor that says he is a candidate, is the fact that if the Flames want to clear his $6.68 million cap, he may very well be easier to trade.

2. Dennis Wideman

It is not very likely that the Flames would use this option, as Denis has three more years at $5.25 million a season. Denis has been a inspirational leader on this team all season. His offensive totals so far 3 goals  7 assists, which projects to be 8 goals and 19 assists, the same as Jbo.  That works out to be $656,250 per goal. His assists work out to be $276,315 an assist. Which makes him a bargain compared to Jbo. No way do the Flames use Dennis as a buyout. Too expensive of an option.

3.  Mark Giordano

Mark has struggled this season. He has not been the strongest of late. His season totals are 1 goal and 2 assists.  A projected 3 goals and 5 assists for the season, which is really disappointing for Mark.  I am sure he will improve. Right now he is costing $1.3 a goal and $804,000 an assist. Mark has been solid defensively. He might be a good candidate for a trade. As a buyout, he still has a little over $4 million for the next three years.  I am not so sure the Flames would eat that much money in a buyout.

4. Anton Babchuk

Just buy him out already. Seriously, he has only played 2 games and scored 1 assist. Either use him and see what he can do, trade him, or buy him out. His projected totals would be 0 goals and 3 assists this season. Making him $2.0 million per goal and $667,000 an assist. Easy buyout.

In my opinion, the best buyout options are Jbo and Babchuk.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Flames MAKE A TRADE...

Flames make small trade with the Flyers.

Monday afternoon the Flames sent Mitch Wahl, former second round pick to Philladelphia for 26 year old winger Mike Testwuide.

Testwuide has been struggling in the AHL this year but brings some physical play. Mike Testwuide was never drafted and has yet to play an NHL game. However, he has seen some success in the AHL as the 6’3” winger did score 18 goals with the Adirondack in 2011.

Simply put, Wahl never fit in to the Flames organization. This is a trade to add some depth to the Heat. Perhaps Mike Testwuide can benefit with a fresh start and regain his aggressive game with the Heat.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

As I write this blog, I dread watching the Flames game as they host the Kings tonight. The main reason is because they are the most frustrating team in the league.

They continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. The difference is there is no Kipper to bail them out. To make it  worse, even when Kipper was there, he was not bailing out this team. With shaky goal tending and all the mis-cues this team is making, who is really surprised they are simply bad every second game.

It would not be so comical if this was a new problem. Year after year, forwards not skating; defense pitching in at the wrong times; players giving up half-way through the game. This team continues to take time off; in fact, if they worked in a office, they would be fired for taking too many coffee breaks. Or maybe shabby work, messy work area, and mass confusion.

The Flames are changing lines constantly, in complete disarray.  They remind me of a dysfunctional family; no-one knows their roles, they are running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

The leaders are leading this team in the wrong direction. There are new leaders on this team in Hudler, Wideman, and Cervenka. They lead by by example, trying to cut down on the coffee breaks. What bothers me the most are the silly penalties received out of pure laziness, hooking instead of taking that extra stride. And the selfish ones -- the refs always catch the second one, so stop hitting back.

As long as the players take the easy way out, they will not have success. As long as there is mass confusion, they will not have success.  As long as there is coffee breaks, they will not have success. As long as there is no success... <sigh> I will continue to dread watching these games.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Iggy, Iggy, where art thou?

So there has been a lot of calling out our Captain. The main problem I have is that he has not played with his heart. I can forgive the slumps and the mistakes, but cannot forgive the lackluster effort of this team. As captain of this team, Iggy has to lead by example.

I am not even worried about his numbers. He does not have to lead this by numbers;  we have other players: Hudler, Cervenka, Stempniak, and Glencross. He does not have to hit everyone in sight; we have
Jackman, Jones, Sarich, and Begin to fill that role. He does not even have to be be our fastest skater; we  have Glencross or Comeau to do that.

So what do we need from our leader? We need his heart. The Flames need him do his job. Iggy of late has been invisible. We need to see the Captain show some emotion.  Previously, whenever we needed a play or a hit, a shift, or the big goal, Iggy would be the one to do it.  Lately he has been a no-show sometimes and has played well at others. He just has to be there all the time.

The Flames have been guilty of not putting teams away.  We have to bury chances and put the teams away. If the Flames want in, they have to bring the heart back in. The leaders have to lead and the followers will follow. Paging Mr. Iginla!

This and that:

Kipper is gone for at least two more weeks. The Flames are showing us why they claimed MacDonald, a move which gives us 49 player contracts. We have four goalies and 8 dmen; both numbers are rather high. So what happens next?  Here are my wishes.  (Only my personal thoughts, not inside info.)

1. Simply please pick up a Center. The Flames are a little weak up the middle. My preference would be Brassard from the Jackets. 

2. Get a winger with some grit. We need a ***** disturber. Someone to get the stars off their game. We need a player like Prust who will go to the limit for his teammates.

So there is my wish list. What is yours?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Joey MacDonalad -- What could it mean?

Joey MacDonalad -- What could it mean?

Most people seem to think there is a trade coming. I am not necessarily of the same opinion. The waiver claim of the Red Wing vet seems odd, and it begs the question: "Is Kipper's injury long-term?"  The Flames have denied again and again that the injury is serious, but why else would they sign MacDonald?

I understand that people have jumped to the conclusion that there must be a deal in the works, but think -- in reality, what assets are the Flames really willing to trade to get some value? Their assets are slim, outside Iggy, Gio, Kipper, JBo, and Glencross.  And the only way one of those players are going, is if the Flames are giving up this season.  I think it is a tad early to do that.

Unless the Flames are willing to trade Sven or Brodie, upon which I would personally lead a mob to the 'dome, the only other players to consider are: 
  • Tangs, who would bring a decent return, but he has been the best forward on the team, 
  • Cammy, but no-one would be willing to take that contract on, and 
  • Lee Stempniak, but without him the Flames would not have any offense at all; taking his 5 goals away would lead to the Flames losing every game for the rest of the season.
On the defense, the Flames have 8 roster spots, a tad too many; but again, the problem is that four of them are pretty much untouchable, There is no way the Flames should be willing to part with Wideman, JBo, Brodie, or Gio. The defense is the foundation of this team; we can't just trade the top four. Even though we have a very strong top four, our depth in the system is... well... weak.  Sarich is a soldier of epic proportions. Smith is adequate at best. These players could get us mid-level picks or mid-level prospects. The best asset we have seems to be Chris Butler, who I feel is a solid young stay-home dman who still has tons of potential. Chris could get use a solid third line centre who would be a number 2 centre on this team,

Packaging Butler with one of the untouchables may very well get us a 2 line centre, but the problem is that we would still  have 4 goalies, which really leads me to think that the Kipper situation is more serious than people think. Unless the Flames are shopping Butler and Irving as a package.  Right now, who would be willing take a gamble on Irving, who is the last year of his contract and has not proven himself?

As I am writing this, TSN Bob McKenzie is tweeting that Kippper is skating and if all goes well he could play on Wednesday. Which begs another question: "What does that mean to Irving's position? Can the Flames actually be giving up on him after 2 games?" There are many questions. People are waiting, but it does not necessarily mean that there is a trade imminent.

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.