Category Archives: Calgary Flames
The Twitterverse, in its constant quest to satiate the ravenous beast, has been alive with Jaromir Jagr conjecture over the past couple of days.
And the degree of possible Calgary Flames’ interest.
Speculation is that once the 40-year-old two-time Stanley Cup winner and ’99 Hart Trophy recipient lapses into unrestricted free agency on July 1, the local heroes will be in there pitching ardent woo, hoping to win his heart and land his decorated but decaying services not only to play a little right wing but as a buffer for incoming countryman Roman Cervenka’s smooth transition to the hurly-burly of the North American game.
General manager Jay Feaster is certainly banking heavily on Cervenka, splashing $3.75 million on a one-year deal for the Czech-born sniper. He scored 54 goals and racked up 100 points over the last two seasons for a Kontinental Hockey League outfit, Avangaard Oomsk, which Jagr used to captain.
There are, naturally, no guarantees that such Russian production is anymore than a cruel tease; will translate into pulsating NHL success. But having Jagr, the greatest-ever Czech to play in the big leagues, here to greet him, the thinking goes, should help Cervenka get over the inevitable initial stage fright and allow him to find his creative groove sooner than later.
The year Cervenka was born, Jagr was busy scoring 82 goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s grown up watching the predatoryNo. 68 shred defences and bamboozle goaltenders.
On the telephone from Montreal late Thursday afternoon, when called to discuss the Gelnias hire, Hartley might’ve unwittingly given a tipoff as to how this all might play out.
“For me,’’ he declared, “looking at Jarome, Giordano, Tanguay, Glencross, Cammalleri, Kiprusoff . . . that’s going to be the core of our team.’’
Now maybe it was nothing more than an honest omission, or the overactive imagination of a scurrilous scribbler, but one prominent name was missing from Hartley’s list. There was no mention of No. 4. Of Jay Bouwmeester. Of a guy whose logged murderous minutes since the day arrived here.
If there’s to be a Regehr scenario unfold for the Flames in Pittsburgh next week, Bouwmeester shapes up as it. Yes, his compensation is wildly out of whack (he’s owned $6.68 million for this season and next), he put up almost as many minuses (minus-21) as points (29) last year and has the standard no-trade clause, but at age 29 when (if?) the 2012-2013 regular-season kicks off, the time seems right.
That persistent Columbus rumour that made the rounds a year ago is floating out there again. Toronto’s been mentioned, too. And despite the stiff tariff, you can wager there are bound to be other suitors willing to overlook certain flaws to secure the services of a player with the motor, the effortless skating prowess, of a Bouwmeester.