After the Flames traded away Alex Tanguay a week ago, a lot of great hockey analysts around these parts have made some great points.
1. Mike Cammalleri is not a replacement for Alex Tanguay.
2. The Flames no longer have a second line
3. This move was made a necessity due to a long line of bad deals
I agree with all these arguments. Firstly, I'd like to admit that I personally advocated for a Tanguay trade after the playoffs. I think MG made a very good point at the time though, that deal away Tanguay and the Flames probably don't even make the playoffs, that without his presence the already paper thin depth of the Flames gets that much thinner, and he was (is) obviously correct.
Look at the mock lineup Matt has put together. Now that is ugly. Matt, I think, is overly optimistic.
Actually, 4th line aside, I don't mind this lineup. Iginla w/ Cammy and DL is a solid #1 line and PP unit; Lombo between RF and Moss should be able to keep the puck going in the right direction as much as the wrong one, and maybe pot a few goals; I definitely prefer Boyd as a centre, and with Gelinas and Nilson on the wings I think that's pretty workable as an ongoing proposition.The first line, as always, is respectable. The second line? Well, I like Lombardi, and Fedotenko provides all Flames fans with some painful memories. But as much I love Moss, he is not a second liner. Neither is Gelinas, or Boyd, or etc. There are no other 2nd liners on that team (theoretical as it is).
I'm happy with the D; my present mindset is that The Warrener is still serviceable as a 3rd-pair guy. Naturally, I'd love it if Pardy or Negrin or Pelech or somebody stepped up in training camp and bumped Eriksson even further down the depth chart.
The defence starts out not bad. Regehr, Phaneuf, even Sarich. But watching Aucoin last year he is no longer a top 4 guy. He's too slow and his decision making has gotten pretty bad. He played 5th highest QOC for Flames defenceman (Phaneuf, Regehr, Eriksson, Sarich were ahead) and did ok, (+/-ON/60 0.94, CORSI 1.4) but I wouldn't be willing to give him much, if any more responsibility. Plus, Eriksson and Warrener are still there.
Darryl Sutter might want to take a cue from one of the most incompetent franchises in sports history. The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken time during the past week and a half to start buying out dead weight. Wellwood - gone. Tucker - gone. Raycroft - gone.
Calgary has a lot of deadwood, and if there's any chance of this team competing this year in any regard, they need to get rid of it.
Darryl Sutter, if you can hear me, buy out these contracts:
Anders Eriksson - $1.5 million
Rhett Warrener - $2.35 million
Wayne Primeau - $1.4 million
Adrian Aucoin - $4.0 million
This will give you room to put together a legitimate lineup.
If the Flames don't buy out at least 2 of these contracts it will be proof that it's finally happened. The Flames are more incompetent than the Leafs.