Flames - Don't rebuild...reload
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02-19-2013, 12:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
I don't think you will ever see a full-blown rebuild in Calgary.
They are 'quietly' rebuilding. Their UFA's have all been players that can be productive for the next 5 years. They have stopped trying to 'win-now' by trading away youth for proven players. They have gotten MUCH younger.
Remember when the Flames' 'core' consisted of a lot of old guys? Well, that has been going down.
Slowly (but surely) the Flames are bringing in guys like Backlund, Brodie, Baertschi and to a lesser extent - Horak. Gio, Wideman, Bouwmeester and Brodie are the 'core' for defencemen now.
The prospect pool is MUCH improved, but still needs MUCH more improvement, yes. Drafting has improved. Development has improved. Flames have been rebuilding their hockey ops department for years now (starting under Darryl Sutter as GM). They are only starting to see return on investment there, but it is coming slowly.
What will the Flames do between now and the trade deadline?
You will NOT see them trade away picks/prospects for older vets to 'win now' if they are in a playoff spot, or close.
If the Flames are out of a playoff spot, you will see Iginla moved (he is not re-signed for a reason). You might see additional pieces like Stempniak, or one of either Giordano or Bouwmeester. Kipper is a 'maybe', but I personally don't think so unless someone makes a great offer - only a season ending injury to a goalie to a team that is solidly labeled a 'contender' would only really make sense. He just isn't worth much to a non-playoff team, and every other team probably has a good goalie that is either better than Kipper, or at the very least, it isn't enough of a weakness to warrant addressing.
These are the only Flames that might be dealt if they are definitely out of a playoff spot (that have at least 'decent' value):
Glencross has a NTC - he left a lot of money on the table to stay in Calgary (has a ranch, always participates in the Stampede, etc). He doesn't want to move - so if he does, he will ask. Flames would not even ask him.
What I personally see happening is the Flames coming up short this year, and trading a few of their vets (including Iginla) before the trading deadline. What you will NOT see is a full-blown 'traditional' rebuild, and what you will definitely not see is the Flames making 'win-now' moves that contenders do trading away futures for 'now players'.
Flames may indeed end up finishing amongst the worst, but I don't think you will see them stay there too long. They are a relatively deep team, but just not enough game-breakers to be successful consistently enough - therefore they are a bubble team.
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