The Long Over-Due Trade

To see Jarome Iginla traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins should not come to a surprise to anyone, he deserves to win a Cup and as sad as it is to say, he was not going to win it as a Flame.

To be honest, this trade is long over-due, something that should have happened last year, if not earlier.

I know Jarome held the power and did not want to leave, and how can you blame him. He has spent his entire 16+ seasons as a Flame, has given his heart and soul to this franchise and wanted nothing more than to bring a Cup home to Calgary.

With that, I feel the trade could have also been avoided if the Flames were not mis-managed.

The return for Iginla brought prospects Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski and Pittsburgh’s 2013 1st round draft pick.

Was it enough for the Flames’ franchise player?

I hate accessing a trade merely hours after it has happened especially when I have never seen either player play. I will say my initial reaction of the trade is that it is not enough and the two prospects the Flames received do not seem to have a ton of upside, but other than that, I do not want to dig much deeper at this point.

The bigger question for me is why did it take Flames management so long to figure out the obvious?

Listening to Ken King on the radio this afternoon, he mentioned the Flames have a desire to win but have not come up with the results. He mentioned they have had a lack of prospects and youth, and it is something that needs to be addressed.

It is 2013, the NHL has been a league full of young superstars since 2005, the Flames are eight years behind and it is going to take even longer for Flames management to all of a sudden try to play catch up.

Mike Roger’s mentioned last night that when Jay Feaster took over the Flames franchise, he said that he wanted to change the way the Flames selected prospects.

A good statement to make considering Darryl Sutter loved western players and to broaden your horizons is never a bad thing.

But so far, things seem to be heading in a different yet same direction. Feaster brought John Weisbrod aboard to be the Flames Assistant GM, and as the former pro and collegiate director for the Boston Bruins, Weisbrod’s expertise is no doubt NCAA/collegiate based.

Looking at the Iginla trade, both prospects currently play in the NCAA, last year’s top pick, Mark Jankowski is also playing in the NCAA this season. Go down the list of the Flames top prospects, and there is no doubt another trend is building up (John Gaudreau, Jon Gillies, Matthew DeBlouw…).

Looking around the league, all the top teams are led by young players; it is pointing out the obvious.

Rebuilds, I mean franchise refreshers or whatever the Flames management wants to call it, can be long and devious or they can also be short and quick, if you make the right moves.

Long and devious= Edmonton Oilers

Short and Quick= Montreal Canadiens

So why have the Canadiens been able to turn things around so quickly?

Yes they have two unbelievable YOUNG players to build a team around in Carey Price and P-K Subban, and a couple of rookies who have played extremely well this season. They also have a good mix of veterans led by Captain Brian Gionta and Andrei Markov.

But with the absence of an injured Markov and no Alex Galchenyuk or Brendan Gallagher last season, are the Canadiens really that much better this season?

The Canadiens were battling for the 1st overall draft pick last season and now they are contending for the President’s Trophy.

To me, the biggest change that the Canadiens addressed was upper management.

They were the laughing stock of the league last year, remember Mike Cammalleri being pulled out of a middle of a game to be traded to the Flames?

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson recognized the issue, made the appropriate steps to fix it, including hiring former NHL defensemen Marc Bergevin as his new GM, and now his team is back on track.

It became clear to me watching TSN’s 24CH documentary that has been following the Canadiens this season.

When P-K Subban returned after his contract holdout, there is a clip of him sitting on a bus with Carey Price and even though it is short, they both mention how things have changed around the organization and how much of an impact it has made by their (Subban’s) facial expression.

You can see the clip here (3:00-3:09 second mark to be exact).

The Canadiens are now lead by hockey people in hockey positions and are well on their way to a future of success.

My point and question is when will the Flames do the same?

The Iginla trade is no doubt one of the biggest, if not the biggest story in franchise history, but yet it has come with some baggage of uncertainty around the deal.

With news coming out today from the Boston Bruins and their GM Peter Chiarelli, that at noon yesterday, he was told that the Bruins had won the Iginla sweepstakes.

Now I understand that Iginla held the power in this whole deal with his no-trade/no-movement clause, but if Feaster had not talked to Iginla yet, why would Feaster tell Chiarelli his offer had even been approved and agreed to scratch the players who were part of the deal from their respective teams.

It is not the first time the Flames have/tried to make a move this season that has been followed with backlash. The Ryan O’Reilly debacle was an even bigger bullet dodged, one that should not be forgotten.

The backlash concerns me big time, it is frustrating to hear and be a part of living in this city being a diehard hockey fan.

Feaster and King do not have a rich history of hockey behind their names and the Flames are paying for it.

The Flames need to rebuild, no doubt, but I would be much happier to see them do nothing before the deadline and to re-assess management at the end of the year to finally get the best people in place to make the best possible decisions.

Yes things are changing, especially with the Iginla trade, but overall the message is the same.

It started with the Phaneuf trade and it has gone downhill from there.

When will it stop?



Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon


Derrick Newman's picture

Nick. My man. Hit the nail right on the head. It starts with Ken King too. How he has been able to have an influence over this team is beyond me. I'm in the process of writing something up but have been out of town for the weekend so unfortunately am a little behind but I'll touch on your points. Just wanted to say awesome post buddy. By far your best work to date. Keep it up

NickSymon's picture

Thanks Newman, appreciate it. Times are changing around the Flames and if Iginla can be traded, Ken King can and should be fired.