June 30th, 2012 | Posted in Commentary
By: D'Arcy McGrath
Nobody likes a wet blanket.
People get hyped up for certain events in the sporting calendar and Canada Day is certainly one of them with the free agent frenzy, 16 hour news cycles, and teams completely remade with the stroke of a few ball point pens.
It’s a blast. It’s exciting to see your club add a big name … and it adds to a summer to be able to sit on the beach with a cold one and imagine the new line combinations that will be front and center in early October.
But this year? Stay away from tvs and the internet (did I just say that?!) because there just won’t be much to see.
The Flames need a center; badly. They don’t have a top six center that doesn’t come with a wart or caveat.
Roman Cervenka has a nice resume of Euro hockey success but he’s new to Canada, he’s new to small ice surfaces and you’d have to think he’ll need some adjustment time culturally.
Matt Stajan finished the season with a flair, but has he exorcized those confidence demons to the point that he’s ready to take on a second line center role with the production required to hold down that job?
Mike Cammalleri showed he can fill in well up the middle but physically he just doesn’t have the dimensions to play that role on a long term basis.
The more I look at the forwards available I think very little may happen for the Flames tomorrow. If you look at centers it’s depressing, and expanding the list to forwards doesn’t add many exciting names either. Sadly the best option on July 1st is Olli Jokinen and for PR reasons they just can’t go back to that well again (or at least I hope they don’t).
They may do the sandpaper thing (would love to have Prust back), but other than that all I see is a brutal list of forwards. It reminds me a bit of 4 years ago (could be 5) when Drury and Gomez both got boat loads of cash because they were the prettiest girl at a dance full of ugly chicks. Not a good situation.
Someone is going to nab Parise, and someone is going to nab Suter, but the teams that finish second in those races are likely going to “Milbury” and pick up a bridesmaid by way over paying.
With the moves Feaster made this week I think he signs a player tomorrow way down the list and then gets active trading a defenseman for a forward in the top six but that move is unlikely to come tomorrow, and may come closer to camp.
The media jumped on the Flames for signing three of their own yesterday with the suggestion that despite promises of change the team is going straight back to the same players and likely the same result.
However, getting players of value under contract; Cory Sarich is a solid 6th defenseman that brings grit and leadership, Blair Jones is also annoying to play against and can actually win a face off, and Lee Stempniak looks like a supermodel compared to some of the list available tomorrow … just may be a shrewd move as all three would go quickly if they were exposed to the masses.
Change will come later this summer my hockey rabid fans, so stay on the beach and kick your feet up and ignore the hockey world on Canada Day.
You won’t miss much.