Numbers game for Flames
Top-six forwards are in seriously short supply on the UFA market, so don’t be surprised if the Flames don’t land somebody that way via free agency. A trade is more likely.
But, if the Flames look to the free-agent pool, Jaromir Jagr’s name has been bandied about, in part to skate alongside his former KHL linemate Roman Cervenka.
Jiri Hudler certainly would be an interesting departure from the normal Flames acquisition, as would Alex Semin. Shane Doan has close ties in the sense he’s good friends with Jarome Iginla and — as the critics would love to point out — not the kind of player the Flames mostly need, read: Younger.
Brad Boyes is a realistic candidate in the sense he can play centre or wing, just turned 30, and shouldn’t be commanding too much after netting just eight goals and 23 points.
As for the gritty, bottom-six forward, there are potential candidates.
Two-time Flames winger Brandon Prust showed everybody he was more than just a scrapper during his time with the New York Rangers, but may be looking for more coin than the Flames would like to dish out.
Jordin Tootoo is going to receive his share of attention, but would fit the bill. Zenon Konopka can scrap and wins all kinds of faceoffs.
What’s becoming more expected is the fallout from the free-agent frenzy.
Jay Bouwmeester has been the subject of trade rumours since before the draft and the Flames could be hoping teams which miss out on the free-agent defencemen up for bids — notably Suter, Garrison and Carle — will see Bouwmeester as a very good consolation prize.
A pie-in-the-sky dream would also include somebody taking on Anton Babchuk and his $2.5 million contract.
A year ago, the Flames surprising took a solid run at reeling in Brad Richards.
We’re not sure they’ll do anything that exciting this time around. But don’t expect it to be quiet enough to completely ignore the excitement of July 1