CALGARY (Domebeers) - In a stunning development today, the Calgary Flames opted not to make a franchise shaking deal. Florida Panthers RW Nathan Horton, 25, will not be coming to Calgary. No word yet on the considerations not coming back to Florida.
"A non-deal like this, you know, to be perfectly honest, it's a game changer," said Calgary GM Darryl Sutter. "We like the player not coming back. Good size, good hands. Along with Jarome and Bourquey, we probably would have had the best wingers in the conference."
Calgary's non-aquisition of Horton, who has five consecutive 20 goal seasons under his belt, comes on the heels of a disastrous season that saw a club with Stanley Cup aspirations finish a disappointing 10th place in the Western Conference.
"Obviously, from where we finished last season, we had to get better. Not making this deal does that," said embattled GM Darryl Sutter.
Darryl Sutter certainly has a lot of work in front of him, as he continues to tinker with a team that saw seven new players added to it before the end of the 09-10 season. By not making this trade now, as opposed to not making it in the middle of the season, the GM is hoping to have his team gel by the time the season opener gets under way.
"Look, these guys have families. It's hard for them to travel across the continent and just continue to play. Not doing this deal know gives him plenty of time to adjust."
Under the current CBA, hockey teams must now operate under a salary cap. Calgary is up against it, with $5.8 million dollars in cap space (assuming a $58.8 million dollar salary cap) and just 17 players on the roster. Horton's cap hit would have been $4 million dollars.
"We have a lot to do, and not making this trade right now really puts us into a good position. Teams know we are open for business, and we have players to move. We would have made space for Nathan; it's a good non-trade. Now we can maybe look at shoring the backup position, and we should have a strong team," said Darryl Sutter.
The players not going back to Florida are believed to include centre Matt Stajan, and wingers Niklas Hagman and Ales Kotalik.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.