Tuesday, May 15, 2012


It gets pretty tight. But they could do it.

Did a few things. Semin is slotted in $7 million and Radulov is slotted in at $5 million. The rest of the RFA's are brought back at salaries similar to what they made this year, as none of them really deserve a raise (Backlund at 1.3, Jones at .7, Irving at .6). I also did what every real Flames fan should be demanding, and bought out Matt Stajan.

Now I gotta say, I am not exactly in love with this roster. I would rather Cammo play on the wing where his real plus skill, his shot, would be more of a threat. But besides that one issue, I think the hypothetical forward ranks would be pretty strong. (Assuming, I guess, that the 'top' line would be able to get the puck out of their own zone every once in a while.)

The rest of this hypothetical team has problems. The defence is weak as shit in this configuration, and Kipper would probably have to play 82 games.

Lets start with the goalies first. In short: sucks to be you, Kipper. Actually, in my mind, this area here is one of the ways you can see if the GM of your team is any good or not. A lot of teams seem to be able to get value out of their backups, who they pay less than a million dollars. If your GM isn't able to find value in this range, then you have problems. You either have to overpay for a decent, capable backup (ie: allocate more money to the goalie position) or you lose games. In the Flames case, historically the team has chosen the 'lose games' route.

In the above scenario, Irving is going to be asked to play 20 games. I have no idea if he can do that.

The other issue with this hypothetical team is, of course, the blueline. Because damn, that is one Gwyneth Paltrow (thin ass, get it?) blueline.

I see But7er, Brodie, Smith and Babchuk as bottom pairing defencemen. Giordano runs around a lot, but I will squint, and say him and Bouwmeester are top defencemen. That leaves a gap in the defence of two players. Maybe Brodie and But7er will have big years and continue to develop and improve at the NHL level.

Banking on 'maybe' is a good way to get poor, though.

The other major issue is that with this hypothetical club, there isn't cap room for the team to sign the 13th forward or the 7th defenceman. If the team bought out Babchuk, that would save them 1.67 million dollars. That would create enough room for the team to sign three guys at the NHL minimum contract level. I would try and simply move Babchuk back to Europe to try and not have to pay the buyout, which would give the team more flexibility in the UFA market. But King didn't have the brains to do that with Kotalik, so I won't hold my breath.

So yeah, that is what it is. They could do it if they wanted to, but it would be a tight fit, and the defence, which in my mind is not very good, would stay not very good. The hope would be that the extra firepower up front keeps the puck in the bad guys zone more often than it is in ours.

(Just looking at who is available on the free agent list...I don't know if you could improve the defence enough by going that route. You can improve the offense that way, which is why I 'spent' the money on the forward ranks.)

Now I didn't get into term with the two new additions in Semin and Radulov. I'd go nuts and offer them 5 year pacts. Vodka. It's what's for breakfast.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.