Flames GM will look far and wide for upgrades

Being busy in the National Hockey League’s free-agent market means different things to different teams.

There’s the whole-hog approach, the million-dollar Band-Aids.

For the Calgary Flames, though, it often means pecking away.

Last summer, for instance, they corralled a number of small names. Perhaps no fireworks went off when Derek Smith agreed to a one-year deal. But, by Christmas, the defender had proved to be a capable NHLer. The cost? His relatively modest salary of $700,000. He’s since been extended.

And where were the trumpets on July 7, 2004? The tall headlines? Forget it.

This appeared at the very bottom of a Calgary Herald story that day: “Also inked were Ontario junior D Mark Giordano, Swift Current Broncos LW Davin Heintz, Red Deer Rebels LW Justin Taylor, former Rebels RW Carsen Germyn and former Seattle Thunderbirds C Dustin Johner, a Sylvan Lake product.”

Giordano, as it turned out, evolved into the Flames’ top defender, one of its best leaders, and, in the minds of many, the lone untouchable on the roster. The moral of the story: Do not turn up your nose at any signing, no matter how low-wattage the initial appearance.

So when general manager Jay Feaster crows about sticking his beak into the free-agent ranks of U.S. college players . . . well, why not?

“It hasn’t been as fruitful this year as we would have liked,” Feaster says. “We went hard at some of the high-profile college guys, and were right there pitching to the very end, and we didn’t land some of them. We’re going to continue that process.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Flames+will+look+wide+upgrades/6444580/story.html#ixzz1rpsTIpsg

11 Responses to Flames GM will look far and wide for upgrades

  1. FlamingHomer says:

    Brent Sutter and the Flames parted ways due to a difference of opinion on the future of the club. He was very much wanting a rebuild so it looks like Feaster won't be blowing it up after all. Look for most of the core to remain.

  2. albertateams says:

    I hope not. I still don't think the direction is clear. My opinion is that both Sutter and Feaster favor a rebuild however, ownership is reluctant due to the full houses and the stigma attached with Iginla.

    I still think it going to be an interesting offseason.
  3. reinjosh says:

    I hope its not that.  I've heard rumors that it was more the way Feaster is planning on rebuilding the team rather than it not going into a rebuild. Feaster wants a lot of skill, and doesn't care if that means lots of small players, Sutter wants big, defensively responsible players. 

    I sort of hope its the direction of the rebuild that Sutter didn't agree with, since that would mean an actual rebuild. 

  4. FlamingHomer says:

    If the past draft is any indication that could very well be the case. Feaster certainly did not take size into consideration with his picks. Any time Paul Byron, a small, fast and skilled player was called up, Sutter did not give him much playing time. That shows some difference of opinion right there.

  5. FlamingHomer says:

    That could be very true. Despite the reports, I think ownership has a strong say in whether Iginla stays or not.

  6. FlamingHomer says:

    While I have your attention, I have a question about Ron Wilson. I can't help but notice that a lot of players had career years playing for him. I know he didn't get the team as a whole much success but can he really get the most out of players as it appears?

  7. reinjosh says:

    That's was one of his strongest suits. He was very good at getting players to play well for him. I really think he can. He's a great coach but he has a tendency to throw players under the bus and single them out so it hurts them. 

    Would he be a good fit in Calgary? I don't know. I sort of think he might be. If the team is going with skill over size, he definitely knows how to implement a good run and gun system. 
    As much as I didn't like him, he actually was doing a pretty good job at the start of the season for the LEafs. 
  8. FlamingHomer says:

    That's what I thought I was seeing as well. He isn't on anyone's list of potential replacements for Brent Sutter but I was wondering if he should be.

  9. reinjosh says:

    To be honest, I'm not really sure. He's shown an ability to make teams better in Anaheim, Washington and San Jose. I think he probably deserves another chance. 

    I think he would do best in a place that doesn't have an overbearing media like Toronto. Calgary would be better than Toronto but would it be the best spot for him? I'm not sure. 
  10. nordiques100 says:

    Wilson is too old school to adjust to the new wave of NHL rookies. They're coming in at 18, 19, or 20 years old. 

    He is much better if they've done the nurturing. Like Grabovski for example. Kulemin too to some extent. Reimer as well. A 24 year old rookie. Gunny too. All those guys had pro experience. lots of it in fact. 
    Its Schenn, Kadri, Aulie, etc, those unestablished guys who require a lot of patience and growing pains. He treats them like anyone else. WRONG. you cant do that. its his biggest fault. He simply cant relate to them. 
    these kids. they're sensitive, they are immature, they lack experience, they are just growing. You have to handle with kid gloves. Especially if they're not like a Stamkos or Tavares, mature already. He didnt do that. He was in fact terrible at it. It hurt the organization in my mind. 
    you may think, oh, 20,21 years old, thats only 2-3 years difference from 23-25 year olds, but that maturity is huge. Those experiences are huge. 
    Kadri had what, less than 20 minor pro games and instantaneously it was "he is poor defensively" you dont publically do that to the kid. 
  11. albertateams says:

    Wilson would be a huge mistake.  

    A fresh face is needed. I think Troy Ward has done an absolutely amazing job in Abbotsford, considering the injuries / call ups, there was nights they weren't able to ice a full roster. With limited talent he has the heat in the AHL playoffs. 

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