Does the Langkow trade make sense for the Flames?

GLENDALE AZ - OCTOBER 21: Lee Stempniak is coming to Calgary. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Some sentimentality may be affecting me as I pen this but at the end of the day the Langkow trade is a good move. I see the logic of it. 

Langkow is another part of the old Sutter core. I was personally looking forward to seeing him play this year. His play last season looked good to me but it was far too small a sample size of games to judge. Langkow is that two-way player that all teams need. He is no Ryan Kesler but he filled that role. 

 

Bottom line - Daymond Langkow was a hard working, consistent player and a leader who did the non-splashy but necessary work a team needs done on the ice. Was he overpaid? Maybe slightly for the last few years but when he signed his contract it was definitely market value at the time. 


After the jump I take on a Flames Nation article that I didn't see eye to eye on and offer up a quick list of why this move makes sense. 

Ryan Lambert of Flames Nation took great offense to the Langkow trade in his article but I am not sure if it is justified to go bashing away at Feaster on this one. Seems like a pretty strong statement when you come out swinging with this. 

The problem I have — as any observer of the Calgary Flames, partial or impartial,  with a brain should — with the Daymond Langkow trade is that it quite literally doesn't make any sense from any angle.

Ryan Lambert (Flames Nation)

 Really? That bad? Realllllyyyyy?

 

Without even half thinking about it I can rattle off at least a half dozen reasons why it does make sense. 

 

(1) A Cap move for BOTH teams

The expense of Langkow's contract is something the Coyotes needed to reach the Cap floor and they got a pretty consistent and reliable player for those mandatory dollars.

For the Flames it clears more Cap room and continues house cleaning from the Darryl Sutter era.

So to spell this out the Coyotes need to take on Cap for next season and the Flames are looking to create Cap room which is exactly what the trade does. 

(2) Flexibility at the upcoming trade deadline

With more Cap room comes more flexibility at the trade deadline. Scribes like Lambert may break into evil maniacal laughter at the very mention of the Flames being in the playoffs next season but this is clearly the goal. 

If they are on the bubble it may allow them to make a big trade to acquire that player or players to take them into the playoffs. 

(3) The Flames have a surplus of NHL centers

 

Surely I can't be the only person that saw the writing on the wall here after Brendan Morrison was re-signed?

 

Matt Stajan, Olli Jokinen, Mikael Backlund, Brendan Morrison, Daymond Langkow; all centers and all of whom are fairly slotted into the top 9. One of the five was either going to shift to Wing or get moved. It turned out to be Langkow getting moved to Phoenix. 

 

Makes sense to me and really no one should be surprised. 

 

(4) Check one off for the Youth movement

 

In a small sense anyway. This move exchanges an older player for a younger one. Langkow turns 35 in September Stempniak is 28. This is part of the pattern we are starting to see of older established players going for younger ones. (ie Regehr for Butler etc)

 

(5) The RW gets an injection

 

After Iginla, the Flames do not have a strong natural RW. Stempniak fills that RW hole after Iginla on the 2nd line. Stempniak did play top 6 last year. 

 

(6) Contract year for Stempniak

 

It never hurts to have a player in his contract year because he will be well motivated to perform and there is no commitment past the upcoming season - flexibility.

 

(7) Moves a NMC off the roster

 

Remember how everyone hates how the Flames have too many of these NMCs / NTCs - well they have one less now.

 

(8) Past quasi-chemistry

 

Reunites an old productive line from the 2008 Maple Leafs  (Hagman - Stajan - Stempniak) - granted this may not be much to jump up and down about but these three players were on a line together and did show some chemistry as a Leafs 1st / 2nd line at one point.

 

I expect Sutter will try the pairing at least a few times next season to see how it goes. 

 

(9) Solid 2nd and 3rd lines. 

 

The Flames will now have basically two interchangeable lines in strength. The distinction between the 2nd and 3rd line this upcoming season should be very thin. No matter how you interchange the players at each position, the 2nd is not significantly stronger than the 3rd. Plus there will be a player pushing hard from the 4th line to enter the 2-3 lines. 

 

Morrision illustrated he can play well on the first line and Backlund did not look out of place there either. The only center that likely will not see time with Iggy and Tangs is Jokinen who certainly everyone in creation can see has very little chemistry with them and Stajan who has a mountain to climb before he earns time at the number 1 line. 

 

After that you see a very flexible and interchangeable set of forwards. The OMG line of Olli, Moss and Glencross was out-scoring the 1st line for a solid stretch until Moss took his injury. Hagman and Stajan will be knocking on the door all season to get into the top 9. 

 

Tanguay - (Backlund) - Iginla

 

Bourque - (Morrision) - Stempniak

 

Glencross - Jokinen - Moss

 

Hagman - Stajan - Jackman

 

Not a bad set of forward depth - no real super stars aside from Iginla but pretty strong down the line.

__________

 

Well that is 9 reasons, I am already well past half a dozen without even thinking about it that hard. 

 

Conclusion

 

I personally am not part of the burn it to the ground and rebuild it through the draft crowd. In fact I am probably one of the perspectives that is not exactly thrilled about seeing Langks leave. I liked him a lot as a player and for the critical and thankless work he did on the Flames.

 

But from a neutral eye you still have to see the facts. Langkow turns 35 in a few weeks, he is an older player and an expensive one at that on a 4.5 million Cap hit. 

 

It is a fair question to ask which team will benefit the most from this trade. Langkow may bounce fully back and prove himself to be one of those ageless wonders or he may not. Many Flames fans still think of Langkow in his prime and imagine him playing next season just like he did in the past - will he?

 

Lee Stempniak may emerge with a career season and truly strengthen the Flames right side every time Jarome isn't on the ice or he may not.

 

Time will tell but one thing I do know, this move is not senseless, it does make sense from several angles for the Flames.

 

Jay Feaster can be bashed but this move is not one I would pick as one of his brainless ones. He is revealing a pattern to me. 

 

He is trading older players for younger ones and he is signing older players to shorter terms and for good prices. Will it all work out at the bottom line with a playoff team this season? Time will tell

 

At the bottom line I prefer getting something for Langkow now then nothing at the trade deadline if he doesn't emerge to have his game back this season, which is definitely a possibility for any 35 year old player, never mind one that took an injury a year ago that many thought was career ending. 

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