There are moments that serve, for better or worse, as symbols of lines drawn in sand. George Bush and his "Read my lips, no new taxes" is and example of one of those moments. Once he proclaimed, he was forced to maintain.
He didn't. He didn't win re-election.
No list of circumstances explaining why he could not keep his promise will be forthcoming because it is not necessary. He said 'no new taxes'. There were indeed new taxes. Guillotine.
Jay Feaster's famous guarantee was a line in the sand moment. The new GM, in his first officially sanctioned year, guarantees, on multiple occasions and on multiple venues, that his team will make the playoffs (and challenge for the division, but we digress). "Write it down," he tells us.
His team has to make the playoffs.
If one is confused about the moves of the Flames, it is because the lens you are using is wrong. You have to look at it through the lens presented above. He is earnestly trying to make the playoffs. To what should be everyone's bemusement, the organization fired Darryl Sutter for trying to win it all, only to go in the bold new direction of trying to win it all.
The team tried to sign Brad Richards in the offseason. Win now. They then traded Regehr and Langkow not for prospects, but for cheaper NHL players. They brought back Tanguay for a long term. Win now. They resigned Babchuk, which is a win now move (in the fact of what the dream of Babchuk is, 25, 30 points from the point, even though we all know he should not be anywhere near a NHL rink, let alone playing in the games.) Picking up Comeau on waivers, who makes 2.5 million dollars and is a 3rd liner at best, is a win now move.
Even going further back than that, not trading some players at the trade deadline last year was a sign the club was still in win now mood.
This team is in win now mode. The trade for Cammalleri, a fine player, but one who isn't going to fix the teams defence or it's lack of a capable centre that Stajan's 3.5 million cap hit and roster spot represent. But...
The trade allows us, fans, to hope. You may have to squint, but it is there.
Kostopoulos/(Insert centre (Morrison, Byron, Horak, etc)/Jackman
That...that isn't great, but it isn't terrible. You'd like a little more grit in the second line, but you could probably live with this group of forwards. We still think it is missing a centre, because being able to push Backlund down to the third line would make the team a stronger one, but this is ok.
The defence of this team is still the clubs weak spot, however. Jay Feaster has to make the playoffs, and as of today, he still isn't in the dance. Would he risk the ire of the clubs fans by trading a first round pick (or something of future value) for a legitimate top four NHL defenceman? If he did, would the fans respond with ire, or would they get on board with the win now theme?
Some people are saying that Jay Feaster has pushed all in with this move. We don't think he has; But we do think he has pushed enough of his stack in that he is probably compelled to go, at some point, all the way in. At least we think. By making this move now, Feaster still has time, if the team tanks, to sell assets. Or add them if he feels he needs to.
Overall, an interesting move. Last night, King and Feaster didn't trade for just for Cammalleri, they also traded for hope.