A Roger Millions blog on Sportsnet has now reached the radio, turning the “maybe the guy hasn’t signed after all” hoopla into a multiple media event. I know Millions, he’s a straight shooter and not one to make things up to garner attention, but I still have my doubts.
Either way, I don’t care.
If the four year 20 million dollar contract that we were hearing towards the end of the season was realistic, I think it’s safe to say Sutter should walk away should the Langkow camp be balking.
Perhaps it’s Sutter backing up on term? Paring down on dollars? Refusing a no trade clause?
The Flames are no doubt in tough when it comes to center icemen next year, an they certainly don’t have the budget space to go out and perform a splashy upgrade. With Craig Conroy both unsigned and getting on in years, and Matthew Lombardi failing to seize the day this past campaign they can hardly look to Michael Backlund as the saviour at age 19. That would be silly.
Still, a no go with Langkow would provide the team roughly $5 million they thought they had ear marked allowing them to make somewhat of a splash on July 1st. But will this player be better than the guy that’s getting away? The cupboard looks pretty bare when it comes to quality centers that can fill Langkow’s shoes.
Should be interesting.
A week tonight the NHL Entry Draft kicks off, which means we are less than a week from that classic Sutter state of the union we see every year, leaving hockey fans to guess and what he does or doesn’t say.
There are rumours of buyouts in the works in Calgary, a first for that tool since the new inception of the new CBA if true. Rhett Warrener? Anders Eriksson? or a bigger fish in Adrian Aucoin? Either way he needs some room on the blueline.
I can’t see Sutter going into July 1st with his hands cuffed when it comes to salary space, so expect a move to shed some salary or at very least realign his roster with more balance.
As to who you can expect to see drafted; that’s any one’s guess but clearly it won’t be a goaltender. Russians are still up in the air because of the transfer agreement, but Sutter showed last year he isn’t Euro shy so really the table is wide open, but expect a forward with skill.
And let history be a lesson, if Sutter claims they will be quiet, stay near your television and laptop.