Monday, February 01, 2010


Flames Game (Brand New) Day

I'd like to be excited about tonight's game -- first game of the rest of the season and all, see if Stajan and White are any good (not too worried about Hagman), etc.

But this Kotalik thing is hanging like a dark cloud. In a rather stunning development, the MSM, bloggers, and commenters seem to be unanimous that acquiring Ales Kotalik makes no goddamn sense whatsoever.

The only thing close to a defense of Sutter I've seen was Puck Daddy Hisself last night: a 1998-era "Since Olli's leaving you might as well get something for him" argument that I couldn't disagree with more. I dislike Jokinen a LOT -- I often recall an old Cosh 'joke' about once being ready to shoot Igor Ulanov and bill Igor's parents for the ammunition -- but there's no way that Kotalik + Higgins is a big upgrade over Jokinen + Prust for the remainder of this season.

And as for the two seasons after this one, well,

[$5.5M cap space] >>>[ $2.5M cap space] + [Healthy Scratch on one of the few teams that has as much trouble scoring as Calgary]

So anyway, uh, Go Flames!


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Furthermore, Peter Loubardias should be fired.

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White has a reputation for not saying quite the right things all the time, but he's been a steadily improved player for some time. I think this is pretty much his peak level, although I suppose he could surprise. Guy is a very heads up player, you won't catch him with his head down with the puck a whole lot.

Stajan will leave you a little underwhelmed. He's a very quiet type of guy that doesn't get your attention but just does his job. Decent on face-offs, defensively, and offensively. Basically an excellent all round 3rd line centre to a decent 2nd line pivot.

Hagman is Hagman since his days in Dallas. I sure hope Calgary can resign White and Stajan for decent contracts and keep them with Hagman to take the sting of losing Phaneuf off a bit. Otherwise at least resign White to a decent contract and grab an Ilya.

It seems Sutter pulls the trigger too quickly or without enough thought each year. That Jokinen trade was just ghastly, and Matt Lombardi was a real favourite of mines. Speed to burn, defensive acumen and ability, and some offence tossed in. Worlds more useful than Jokinen is, and considering his performance in Phoenix before the trade the warning signs were there.

About the only trade he ever made (short of the magic 04 run deadline) that I liked was the swap of Leopold for Tangauy. Sutter likes to give up too many draft picks though.

On the other spectrum you have a Tambellini type, that ultimately gets nothing done. I thought the Cole trade was inspired, but then he goes and trades the 2nd for rental magic beans and negates the net positives.

Maybe if we fuse Sutter and Tambellini together we'd get something semi-useful. Whatever, I hope both Sutter and Tambelini make me eat crow by pulling off a stunning trade deadline and Summer, to make both their teams competitive powerhouses in the near future with sustain. Always was better when both teams were strong and balanced. Everyone wants to see Ali and Foreman, no one really wants Boxcar Joe and Lefty the Hobo in the corner alley.

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