At his age, he shouldnt be finished yet. The one year layoff seems to have been particularly hard on the older players. My hope would be that he comes to the Flames, and he is rejuvenated. If so, he would provide the team with a lot of leadership and character, as was mentioned before. If he was, he would not be the first guy (Simon for example) to make changes and revive their career.
Now it'll be a Roenick vs. Friesen comparison for what we got or could of had. Roenick will bring more points to Phoenix but Friesen will bring less chaos to the dressing room and better defensive play.
All in all Sutter tried his best. Great work though on setting Friesen up as the fall back plan and getting him signed.