Flames To Make Moves?
With a recent rash of injuries, the Calgary Flames may be looking to get active over the next 9 days leading up to the trade deadline. However, GM Darryl Sutter is not a big believer in acquiring rental players, and without a lot of cap room in coming seasons, the Flames may be put into a tough spot heading into D-day. The Flames were likely just looking to tinker before injuries to W Rene Bourque (high ankle sprain, indefinite), C Daymond Langkow (bruised hand, day-to-day) and D Mark Giordano (upper body, day-to-day). Although only Bourque is expected to miss significant time, the Flames may look at more than just depth moves at this point. F Matthew Lombardi’s name keeps coming up, as it seems he has yet to reach his full potential, but has a relatively cheap price tag and has been playing his best hockey of the season in recent weeks. The Flames may look at moving him to bolster their lineup. Buffalo, Montreal, Carolina, Atlanta, NY Islanders & Columbus are a few teams rumoured to be interested. Aside from him, the Flames aren’t likely to part with a lot of players currently on their roster (at least ones with much value). Prospects F Mikael Backlund, F Greg Nemisz, D Matt Pelech, D John Negrin & G Leland Irving could always be used as bait however.
A 2nd line center and/or a strong puck-moving defenceman, along with a veteran depth forward (and defenseman perhaps) as well as a backup goalie may all be on their wish.
Mark Spector of sportsnet.ca reports: “If Florida decides they can’t sign D Jay Bouwmeester (UFA), Calgary will be hot in pursuit. If not, UFA D Derek Morris will be targeted. They would be all over D Chris Pronger (1 year, $6.25 M) or UFA D Scott Niedermayer if they hit the open market. Flames GM Darryl Sutter may also shore up with a backup ‘tender at the deadline, as long as he can get one for a later round pick.”
Here’s some other names that have been rumored AND/OR I would have interest in:
F Colby Armstrong (1.2, RFA) – good, young role player; would fit in great in Sutterville (played for Brent Sutter in Red Deer).
F Tim Connolly (2.9, UFA) – talented pivot when healthy; intriguing possibility if price is right.
F Olli Jokinen (5.25, 1 more yr.) – played for Coach Keenan in Florida; has always been linked to Flames in rumors.
F Nathan Horton (4.0, 4 more yrs.) – also played for Keenan in Florida; rumoured to be available earlier this season.
F Niklas Hagman (3.0, 3 more yrs.) – another Keenan-Florida connection, not sure if their relationship was a good one though.
F Mark Recchi (1.5, UFA) – veteran depth with boatloads of experience.
F Ryan Smyth (6.25, 3 more yrs.) – has no-trade clause; Flames had interest when Smyth was an UFA, salary likely too much.
F Bill Guerin (4.5, UFA) – played for Keenan in Boston; excellent secondary scoring, grit & leadership.
F Chris Neil (1.1, UFA) – went to ’07 finals with Sens; gritty role player would be upgrade on Andre Roy.
F Tuomo Ruutu (2.25, RFA) – gritty Finn may provide secondary scoring; still has some up-side (played for Brian Sutter in Chicago).
D Filip Kuba (3.0, UFA) – with recent trade in Ott, Sen’s may hold on to offensive blue-liner.
D Brendan Witt (3.0, 2 more yrs.) – physical stay-at-home d-man; could replace what Warrener brought in ’04 Cup run).
D Nick Boynton (2.95, UFA) – see above.
D Bryan Allen (2.9, 3 more yrs.) – more wishful thinking on my part than anything, I don’t think the Panthers are looking to move Allen.
As for the backup goalie position, the Flames could stand pat with Curtis McElhinney, but may look to add a veteran instead to strengthen themselves in case of injury to Kipper (an injury of any length would likely cripple the team). Calgary was rumored to be looking at Martin Gerber earlier this season, and may take a look at him should the Sens put him on re-entry waivers (Gerber has gone to the finals 3 times as a backup with Anahiem, Carolina & Ottawa). Mikael Tellqvist (Pho), Craig Anderson (Fla), Manny Legace (Det), Kevin Weekes/Scott Clemmensen (NJ), Andrew Raycroft/Peter Budaj (Col) would be some possibilities to look at. Also Ray Emery’s name has popped up, although he would have to clear waivers first.