The Godfather has a new post out (here), thankfully devoid of 'trade White for Crosby' talk, which was appreciated. But it got us here thinking about the roster. Specifically, about next years roster.
Caveats a-plenty. Who knows what the cap number is for next year, who knows if this roster stays intact past trade deadline (if you want to read someone who will indulge your 'Flames are a good team' fantasy, you should probably be reading the Kool-Aid over at Calgarypuck), ect. We're assuming, Dear Reader, that you can figure out the holes on your own.
Anyways, the numbers all come from capgeek. 2011/2012 Flames, how it do?
And that's the dirty.
Do you see where we are going with this? Kent rightly points out that Ian White is an asset that may have value, he is a free agent at years end, he doesn't really make the team win, so he should be traded, if possible. Agree, agree, agree. You can look at the chart, even if we want the midget, we can't afford him unless he signs for a million dollars, which probably won't happen (then again, the way he's playing...).
We are being conservative with our projections about the cap, because that's what you do when you plan for the future. But with that conservative estimate of a $60 million dollar cap, the team has around $4 million dollars in cap space, and needs to buy two defencemen, and a backup goalie, before it even begins to upgrade the roster. We don't think you can trade Ian White for anything of value (ie: a scoring forward), because the team, as currently stands, simply can't afford it.
The Flames can't afford it unless some of the current players on the roster are moved out. Now there are some ways to make capspace, and Langkow is probably going to be leaned on by the organization to retire, which may free up $4.5 million dollars in capspace. That would really help. But beyond that...is anyone trading for Kotalik?
It may be a moot point. The Flames have 11 players with a NTC/NMC, and Mr. Kotalik happens to own one. Everyone on the blueline has one, the goalie has one, so the easiest players to trade will be found in the forwards. Of the group of forwards without protection, Jackman, Moss, and Backlund are probably not going anywhere. Ivanans sucks, so trade him if you can but we don't think that's realistic. So that leaves you Meyers, who is a replacement level player who has a minimum value contract, and Hagman, who is a hard worker, but makes $3 million dollars a year.
Fuck, do you see the problem here? We are talking about getting rid of useful players to make up capspace that's being wasted on garbage like Kotalik. This is not how a good team is suppose to be run. This would be a moot point if the Flames had any talented EL contracts or rookies that could play and balance out the cap allocation, but...
The real problem with this team is that it isn't that talented, and it is locked in with the same group of mortals for next year (the 2011/2012 year in question). How can you upgrade the roster if 11 of the 17 signed players have NMC/NTC's? If 11 of the 17 are good players, then it is less of a concern. But they aren't.
We are willing to listen to the nostalgia that exists regarding Langkow. We liked him as a player, too. But if he misses this season, he is done. But the ball is in his court. He should retire; who knows if he will. If he retires, the Flames would get the $4.5 million in cap space (that is currently allocated to Langkow) back, and breathing room with it. If he doesn't, then he has to prove he can play, and at 35 years old and having missed a full season of hockey, we are doubters. Or, if he isn't healthy, the Flames go through another year of paying for Langkow to rehab (and having it cost against the cap).
But even if Langkow retires, and we get the $4.5 million with the $4 million in cap space (or more) the team currently has on the books, what is the team going to do? Cap space is only valuable if you have valuable players to use it on. Go ahead and look, is there anyone out there who is coming in and saving the franchise?
Yeah, we see Semin and Richards. You think they are going to fit in the cap here? And then we have to resign Glencross, add two depth defenceman, and a backup goalie who isn't complete shit? Good fucking luck with that.
Look, here is what it is. The defence looks set, the goalie is set provided he doesn't demand a trade, and the teams problem is the forward corps, which Darryl Sutter's fetish for NMC/NTC's have pretty much set. There are no easy answers here. Not even rebuild. But the forwards do need to be upgraded.
Maybe the answer is to trade J Blow-over-the-legal-limit. You can quibble with us in the comments, but we see Langkow, Kotalik, Jokinen, as the forwards that need to be moved out. You know our position on Jarome, but in all honesty, you really don't want to trade him when he is at the bottom of his value arc, do you?
What a mess. All we crave is assets that have liquidity to them. And some goals.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.