It's not that much of a secret that the people who cover the team are...well, I was going to say dumb, but the proper term might be lazy. Anyone who has followed the team for any length of time will have seen the phenomena where major stories about the Flames are broken by eastern based media. The local reporters just don't like to do much, you know, independent reporting on the team. When is the last time one of them broke a story independently?
So with that said, I think you have to take this list of potential Flame free agent targets for what it is, a leak by the team. They are floating the people they might pursue. I don't know why they need to float it, but the team feels they do.
The list: C Derek Ryan, C Jay Beagle, RW Michael Grabner, RW Ryan Reaves, F Austin Czarnik.
What does that list tell us? The Flames are once again going to dip into the free agent pool, where guys get too much money and too many years, for depth players. Oh joy.
I think, obviously, that that isn't the smartest thing to do. If you need depth, go ahead and sign it off the free agent market, but for the love of all that is beautiful, don't go out and sign them on July 1. Nobody on that list of five should be signed for more than one year. And if we sign them they are going to get three. Just stupid.
To me, I resign Versteeg instead of getting into a bidding war for Cznarnik or Grabner. I like Reaves but I don't think you can have a Reaves on your roster if you have a Brouwer on the roster. And if you buy out Brouwer to give Reaves a contract longer than a year...that would be a dumb move. I don't hate the addition of Derek Ryan, but to me it's a misuse of cap. Jankowski might not get my blood flowing, but he's cheap and I'd run him out as the 3rd centre. Like, I don't know why we are pushing Jankowski down the depth chart by bringing in a free agent when the immediate need on the team is to push Frolik down the depth chart by bringing in a real scoring winger.
Like, if we are bringing in a centre, to me, the quality of the centre should be such that it pushed Backlund down the depth chart. You'd bring in a guy to make Backlund the third centre, which pushes Jankowski to the 4th. You don't bring someone in to push Jankowski down. Again, that's a misuse of cap space in my mind when you still don't have a real winger to play on the top six.
How I see the forwards, or how I would like to see the forwards:
19/11/NEW WINGER (James Neal)
If they sign Ryan I see Versteeg being replaced with 93 and Lazar moves to the wing on the 4th line. The team would still need a winger, the way I see it.
I just don't love that the team's targets seem to be depth guys that they will probably have to give contracts to that will be longer than a year. The whole point of a minor league system in a cap league, to me, is to use it to develop the depth players your team will need so you can go out and spend money on real players.
But it is what it is. I'm not thrilled by this list. Let's hope Treliving has some trick up his sleeve to get a 50+ point winger on to the team.
Furthermore, I think Derek Wills should be fired.