The Flames are 7 points out of a top 5 draft pick position. 7 points.
The team is also 3 points out of a playoff spot. Although if you were to plot this whole thang on a trend line, it certainly would look like the club was testing a bottom after establishing a new ceiling.
It's a bit of a predicament. What does Ken King order Jay Feaster to do?
To me, I think you have to look at it this way: You make the determination about whether or not you think the team is good enough to make the playoffs. If it isn't, you have to make the determination about why it isn't. You then have to determine the cost of what it will take to address the problem(s). If you can afford the price of the solution, I think you go ahead and address the problem(s). But if you can't afford the solution...
I don't know if the Flames are going to win the Stanley Cup this year, (and winning championships should be the goal) but as of now it does not look like the most probable thing in the world. With the roster built around some aging players, notably Iggy and Kipper, does the team have the ability to purchase what it would take to make this team a contender for the Cup this season and the next two?
I don't know if it does. I am not a GM and do not call other GM's, so I could be wrong. But it strikes me that the team essentially has SVEN as prospect bait and that is about it. (I don't think you can sell Backlund as a legit top six prospect anymore, so his value has vaporized.) It has a first round pick (and next year futures, I suppose) to dangle as well. Pretty meager. Could those assets net you the multiple players the club would need to acquire to make it an elite club in the NHL?
Seeing the prices and rumored prices for impact players, it looks doubtful.
To me, the club, first off, needs to get healthy. Because when healthy, I only think it needs to acquire two players. The top six looks like it has five players in it. If you move Cammo to the wing, we would need another centre, and if you keep Cammo at centre, then we need another winger.
The defence is in desperate need of a top guy to play with Bouwmeester. Even when fully healthy, I think the defence looks like Bouwmeester/???? Gio/Brodie But7er/Smith. All those guys are on the soft side to play against. A tougher, defence first guy to play with Bouwmeester would allow Bouwmeester to get more involved in the offense as well.
The club needs a top six centre who can create and distribute, and it needs a tough, defence first blueliner who can play some minutes. Those guys are not cheap. I don't think SVEN and a first gets you both of them, and without both of them, I don't think the club has a shot at a Stanley Cup.
But the goal, according to Jay Feaster's Gaurantee, isn't to win the Cup, it is to make the playoffs.
Now the team has already burned their second and third and fifth round picks this year. If Feaster gets desperate to do something dumb in the name of making 8th, then his only ammunition is SVEN and the first. That scares me. Hopefully the club doesn't move those assets for a rental/depth player.
Other thing, of course, is that Feaster is in a no win situation because, once again, he tried to eat his foot. The rant during intermission followed by a press conference where he recanted made him look like a crazy pregnant lady. Now if he stands pat at the deadline he looks like an idiot, and if he buys at the deadline it looks like he is going against what he says, and is being to do something against his wishes. The only way out is for Feaster to trade Joker, and if he does that, a good chunk of the fanbase will hate him.
Which I find hilarious. What I don't find hilarious is that after the made the Guarantee, which was stupid, he apparently didn't learn any lessons from that episode. Which is disheartening. You would hope, as a fan, that the GM had the ability to learn from his mistakes. Because Feaster made a lot of mistakes in Tampa Bay. And it looks like, from this episode, that Feaster doesn't.
It also looks like he got spanked by Ken King for the comments he made during intermission. If Ken wants the job, why doesn't he just take the title?
Furthermore I think