Friday, March 7, 2014

Grading the Flames Deadline Day

On a day that Flames fans were waiting weeks or months for, the Flames made two trades at the deadline. Reto Berra was traded to Colorado in exchanged for a 2nd round draft pick in 2014 and Lee Stempniak was traded to Pittsburgh for a 2014 3rd rounder.  What the day might be remembered for is that UFA’s Mike Cammalleri and Chris Butler were not traded before the 3pm EST deadline.

We decided it would be fun to grade Brian Burke’s performance today and give a brief description as to why.

Here is what Dearen thought:

I am giving the Flames and Burke a B-. The second round pick for Berra saved the day. Reality is we had move able assets that will be UFAs come July 1st; and I expected ones like Cammalleri and Butler to be moved. Now the attention will shift to resigning Cammalleri, and with Burke saying that he hopes to be a buyer next deadline; perhaps Cammalleri signs an extension and it begins the turnaround in Calgary.

All in all with how Burke spoke leading up to the trade deadline with comments like "I expect to be busy" and "I am willing to take on salary". I am shocked that Berra and Stempniak were the only two moves. With those two moves we will get the see what we have in Ortio, Granlund and Knight. 

Now the return for Berra (2nd round pick) is fantastic. Perhaps in two years we can be discussing how great of a goalie Berra has become, but today a second round pick for him is a nice haul. Stempniak for a third rounder is what I expected. Nice deal and a great opportunity for a great person in Stempniak.

Overall acquiring two top 90 picks in the 2014 for two expiring contracts is solid considering who was moved.
I am giving the Flames a B-, and the return for Berra is the reason why.

Here are Randy’s thoughts:

Flames = Lames on Deadline Day

My title should give you a hint on what I thought of what Burke did. First of all, let me clarify why I am so upset. You do not buy an asset and then throw said asset out the second story window. That is how I felt about what he did with Cammy.  Cammy wants to win. He told the Flames he is not planning to stay. Burke would have to convince Cammy that the Flames will be a contender. 

Butler, the other notable UFA, is like a kid in a candy store. Butler is so happy to be here. You have to think Burke is drinking the Kool-Aid; so I will give Burke the benefit of the doubt in signing Butler. 

I also give Burke a failing grade for not picking up any bad contracts for the fringe benefit of getting picks. We have all of this cap space, and we are not taking advantage of it. We should have gotten some picks, but we failed to do so. 

On the bright side, we made a couple of great trades. Who would ever have thought that we could get a second rounder for Berra? Liar—I see you with your hand in the air! Yes, that was a great deal for Berra. Well done, Mr. Burke. Lee Stempniak for a third round pick was also good value for a streaky player.  

Overall, I would give Burke a C grade. You just cannot give up an asset without any return. Getting anything would have been better than getting nothing.

As for me:

It’s tough for me to give Burke and the Flames a single grade on today’s moves. On one hand I really expected Mike Cammalleri to get moved. The fact that he is a UFA and there is a possibility the Flames could lose him for nothing is terrible asset management if it comes to that. The same can be said for Chris Butler but obviously not to the same extend.

On the other hand the two trades Brian Burke was able to make were great. It was quite the shock to see Reto Berra get traded period but the fact Burke was able to get a 2nd round pick for him was a great trade. As Dearen said this trade really saves the deadline day in my mind. I wouldn’t have expected that for him even if I thought he was going to get traded. Lee Stempniak landing a 3rd round is also a win in my mind as I would have expected a 3rd or 4th to come back.

Going back to my grade here is why I can’t give just one grade. If the Flames fail to get Cammalleri signed onto a new contract and they lose him to the UFA market then this day gets a D from me. I’ll be very disappointed that he left without anything coming back. Now if they are able to get Mike to re-sign then my grade jumps to a B based on the fact both trades landed higher draft picks than I would have expected.


  1. D-. It was an F until I considered the Berra return. How do you hold on to Cammy?? Even if he could only get you a 3rd round pick. Absolute garbage by Burke.

  2. Any one who says the flames did ok is crazy.


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.