After missing the playoffs for the third straight year, the Calgary Flames have some serious decisions to make. There are two huge questions on everyone’s mind: Is it time to trade Jarome Iginla? Should the team rebuild?
Fans need to look at the game of hockey as a business, and trades as business transactions. No matter how amazing a player is as a person, if their ability to produce on the ice is not up to par the team needs to make an informed business decision.
Because the Flames don’t have a solid foundation of draft picks, trading core players may be the answer. Core players will generate higher draft picks, and those long term benefits will improve this team tremendously. Iginla’s contract is up at the end of the 2013 season, so trading him before the start of this coming season could beneficial in two ways. The first being that the players coming in would have the time to find chemistry with their teammates beforehand. Second, any draft picks that the Flames would get would have the opportunity to showcase their talent and would give the organization an in depth look as to how
these young players will fit in the future of the hockey club.
Finding young talented goalies, with some valuable NHL experience is something the Flames should be looking at. It may be time to trade the ‘core’, starting with Iginla, Jay Boumeester, and eventually even Miikka Kiprusoff, and start building around the younger guys like Sven Baertschi, Akim Aliu, with added depth from veterans like Michael Cammalleri and Alex Tanguay.
The youth of the team have shown outstanding ability, and no doubt in the future will become valuable assets. It is time to take these young players and turn them into our new core. NHL leaders didn’t become leaders overnight. Their clubs took a chance on them, and they proved that they deserved not only to be there, but to lead. Giving the opportunity to these young players is something the organization needs to be open to, and with that comes the inevitable.
In terms of a rebuild, fans tend to look at the Oilers, wondering how long their rebuild will take. What they should be looking at are teams like Philadelphia, who at one point were the worst team in the league. By changing their core (ie Simon Gagne, Peter Forsberg), adding young depth players, and jumping into the free agent market by signing Danny Briere, Philadelphia is one of the best in the league today.
Rebuilding is a positive thing. Not all rebuilds take years, and with smart moves it may only take a couple more seasons of heartbreak for the team to become a contender again. Starting fresh may be the answer to a new and improved Calgary Flames team.
Let the new era begin.