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02-01-2013, 12:47 PM
Ace Rimmer
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Originally Posted by OurGocIsAnAwesomeGoc View Post
Iginla and Kipper have, what, 2 or 3 more years of being difference makers in them. Kipper may have already started to hit the slide. What is the sense in keeping them when you are, to be realistic, probably not going to make the playoffs this year, and barring something unexpected(and unlikely) happening this summer in free agency, not going to make them next year either?
Actually, I'm advocating trading one or both this year, if the return is right. Iginla could even come back to the Flames next fall. Thing is he's the face of the franchise and is worth as much to the team as a fixture in the community (maybe even more) than as a player on the ice, especially now. Maybe if he wasn't so nice, maybe if he was a jerk, that would be different. Still, nobody in these parts would begrudge him if he desires to try and win a cup somewhere else - and part of that "return" the Flames may seek is not roster related - but rather community goodwill in trading him to a team with a chance to win the Cup.

In prior years, trading either of them would have done nothing except for becoming more of a joke team, and treading water without the possibility of making the playoffs. For what it's worth, having the chance at the playoffs does a lot for a team's mindset then having no chance - and losing that starts to reflect on the team's culture after a while and affects the team mentally going forward.

Originally Posted by OurGocIsAnAwesomeGoc View Post
The Flames have Baertschi and then...several ordinary prospects. Exactly where is the cavalry coming from? What happens when Iginla\Kipper retire? Who is stepping in?
Honestly, this bleak outlook is a significant improvement over the last five years, when the team's top prospect was Eric Nystrom. The Flames have put much more emphasis in drafting players with high hockey IQ, and skill instead of size. As for who is stepping in, you need to look at the high risk/reward picks they've made recently - guys like Gaudreau and Jankowski are complete win/lose prospects - I'd even go as far as saying Gaudreau is a potential star in this league. Max Reinhart is looking better and better as he adjusts to play at the professional level. Even some of the head scratcher trades made by Feaster (acquiring seemingly random pieces like Karri Ramo or Paul Byron)

Originally Posted by OurGocIsAnAwesomeGoc View Post
On the flipside, being a competitively viable team is much more realistic if you flipped Iginla for, to use an example, Beau Bennett or Olli Matta and a first. Kiprusoff to Chicago for Brandon Pirri.
As mentioned, I think you see Iginla traded by the deadline, and maybe sooner if the Flames keep losing. If the team was hell bent on signing him, they'd have made him an extension offer last summer. They're not - which tells me they're taking a wait & see approach. Kipper will be the consolation prize (for lack of a better term) for a team that's trying to get Luongo and fails, or needs a stop gap in goal for a year. I see Chicago as being a potential destination.

Originally Posted by OurGocIsAnAwesomeGoc View Post
See what I'm saying? I think you're operating under the assumption that you could be a "good" team in the time thats left in the career of Iginla. Even if you could be average enough to make the playoffs, making any kind of meaningful cup run is unlikely, so doesn't it make more sense to suck it up and get some true building blocks so you don't end up mired in a rut like the one you've been in, the last 9 years?
The thing is, the Flames have been acquiring those building blocks, and getting better at it. They haven't needed to finish last. They haven't needed to sell off major pieces. This year, I can point to guys like Brodie, Baertschi, Gaudreau, Ramo, and say "here are our building blocks for the future". I couldn't have said that five years ago - when the main building blocks were Eric Nystrom, Kris Chuko, and Matt Pelech. This method of rebuilding isn't going to be as "fast" as what the Oilers experienced. Or the Hawks. Or even the Penguins - even if there was help from the lockout draft lottery. It will be a much slower process here, but at the same time the team can remain competitive and winning some games. It also allows a player who's been with the team for sixteen years to remain with them, and with the community.

Yes, hockey is a business, but some things have intrinsic value - the Flames have determined these values as staying competitive in this league, and retaining the face of the franchise and the community. More importantly the business must cater to its customers - and the customers also value these things.

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