Nystrom ready to jump ship

No news is bad news down at the Dome these days as Calgary Flames ownership is apparently struggling with deciding who will attempt to lead the team out of this mess.

Regardless of who is saddled with trying to steer the club through a minefield of bad contracts, an aging core and few prospects without the aid of draft picks, the news is actually about to get worse for the club.
Eric Nystrom , who was the hardest working and arguably one of the best Flames down the stretch this year, is destined for greener pastures.

Word is several teams will be in line to help the grinding fourth-liner double his $775,000 stipend on the open market July 1 when he’s sure to bolt for greener pastures.

Given the Flames bloated payroll, the club obviously can’t afford to bid on the penalty killer for more money than David Moss or Curtis Glencross make.

The fact Team USA pinned an ‘A’ to his chest in Germany at the world championships speaks to the fact an increasing number of hockey people believe Nystrom is capable of much more than the Flames allowed him to exhibit.

His most likely destination is Long Island, where Eric grew up watching his father Bob become a local legend.

While some Dome observers might scoff at his departure, Nystrom was one of the few heart and soul players left on a team that used to be known for its work ethic.

Wait, it gets worse.

Dion Phaneuf’s $950,000 substitute, Ian White , is also likely on the move as insiders say his arbitration award is expected to be around $3.5 million — a luxury the club can’t afford unless at least one other pricy contract is shipped out.

The club will have little choice but to accept the arbitrator’s decision and immediately trade him, meaning two of the club’s only bright lights over the final month will likely be distant memories next fall.