Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Free Agency

Hey, today's Flames Panel is on free agency. More to the point, what are the Flames' options going into the off season? This season might be one of the most interesting off seasons in some time. It seems like Jay is fully committed to the full rebuild. Which begs the question: Do we trust Mr. Feaster to be honest with his commitment. Dearen and I are going to explore this to the best of our knowledge and expertise.

First question:

In a fantasy world, out of all of the free agents, which player would you love to see the Flames sign?


Keep this in mind: I in no way feel the Flames will sign Vincent Lecavalier.  But in my world, Vinny in a Flames sweater would make me smile. For those who do not like a happy ending, just skip to Dearen's answer.  A while ago, the Bolts were in to town to visit the Flames. We went to the practice and went out back to get some autographs. When Vinny came out to the team bus, there were a bunch of people waiting for him. Vinny came over and signed Doug's card. He visited with us, and ever since then, I have had respect for him.  His character and leadership would be ideal for the Flames.  He knows how to win, and to show the young players how to win.  Vinny can still play.  He is still one of the smartest players out there.  He still has the playmaking skills and he would be a great asset.

The reason he is in question is because I just do not think Vinny wants to play here. Not because he hates Calgary, but because he wants to to go to a contender. He wants one more kick at the cat. I am not so sure Feaster really wants to sign him, I think he was just kicking the tires as a matter of courtesy.

Yes, I know Vinny signed in Philly. But I chose to keep my answer, because I would really have liked to see him here. 


David Clarkson

Big body winger with a right handed shot. Tough to play against and can put up solid offensive numbers. Clarkson would be great guy for guys like Baertschi and others to lean on and play alongside with. David will be highly coveted and likely wants to play for a team who can win now. If we can land him, I’d be a happy boy.

I also would like to see Ryan Whitney sign here. I have always liked him and I would like to see him stick it to Edmonton numerous times per year. He’s far better than what Edmonton was squeezing out of him. Derek Roy would also help our young group, wouldn’t mind seeing him join the Flames. But doubt he would come to a rebuilding team.

Second question:

Which player do you think will be the main target?


Mason Raymond

The Flames never drafted a right winger in the first round, which really shocked me. Why didn't they?  I draw the conclusion that they are planning to fix this through free agency. In my opinion, the Flames will stay away from the big names. Therefore the best of the their two free agents is Mr. Raymond.  His strengths are his speed and his all round play.  Mason plays with heart and is a leader. He leads by example.  His stable influence would keep this team competitive through the rough times. And oh yeah, there will be rough times.

Tyler Bozak 

The best playmaking center in the market, Tyler is a thinking man's player.  He always is a play ahead. He is capable of making the big play. One of the worries I have, though, is that he has a tendency of being to cute.   This leads to trouble, as in giveaways in the defensive zone.  But he has tremendous skill, and would rack up the points with a sniper.

Tyler is more than capable of being a point-a-game player. He could be a powerplay specialist and really give the Flames defense men some good one-timers. He needs a sniper to feed. He would fit perfectly with Cammy, who could return to his 37 goal totals with some help.


Feaster stated the team needs help up the middle. Like every year for the past 10+ years the Flames were extremely weak in the centre position. Keeping in mind that the Flames do not want post apex players, centres such as Stephen Weiss, Tyler Bozak, and Valtteri Filppula will be contacted by Feaster and crew. Filppula has had the eye of Feaster on him for some time now. Last year during the off season, his name was linked to many Jay Bouwmeester rumors. Also, he brings skill and has good history with Jiri Hudler. Filppula won 55.4% of his face offs last year, which was also a big area of concern for the Flames. Along with Valtteri, I see the Flames calling local guy Mason Raymond. Raymond has shown in the past that he can put up decent numbers in this league. And with his serious injury behind him now, it could be a good time for a new opportunity with a team who can provide him top 6 minutes.

Feaster also said they want a third pairing defenseman. I think this player comes via a trade, but if I had to choose someone from the UFA crop, I would say Kurtis Foster. We drafted Foster back in 2000 but he never played for the Flames. He’s nothing special but can play the body and provides a big shot on the PP. A third pairing defenseman, who can help the second power play unit and is not a liability with limited ice time.

Last question:

Name the Long shot.  Who is a long shot the Flames will get. Will there be a surprise?


David Clarkson 

I strongly feel the Flames will kick the tires with a power forward. David plays with a chip on his shoulder.  He gets his hands dirty and goes to work. He would get the ugly goals. He would make the opposing defense's and goalie's lives miserable and enjoy doing  it. 

It would make me happy beyond words to get the ex Devil winger. His strength and his grit would help the Flames in leaps and bounds. The main reason I do not see it the Flames getting him is they will have too many big tickets. 


Dare I say Jarome Iginla? Ha, wouldn’t that be something. I am going to go with a smaller name; Jeff Schultz, a serviceable d-man who could fit nicely on the third pairing. Not a sexy or jaw dropping name but it keeps pace with Feaster acquiring “Calgary area” players to come home and play. He’s 6’6 and is only 27 years old. He won’t put up big numbers but provides a physical simple game.

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.