Flames Garbage Bag Day - Jarome Turns Down the Heat on Trade Talk

This day is almost always the same old, same old. Players almost universally express a will to return to the Flames. Express disappointment in missing the playoffs etc etc.

What is a little notable about today is that Jay Feaster postponed the GM scrum to tomorrow. It usually happens the same day, not always, but usually. If he says something of note, I'll extrapolate on it tomorrow. I'd like to hear him announce a change of direction. I'd like to hear a clear message to the fans that the Flames are considering all options.

Jarome was a little casual, for him anyway, in his post-game interview in the final game of the season. Some of his comments got the Main Stream Media rolling. They got me rolling as well and if you have listened extremely closely to Jarome over the years, you noticed it as well. He is extremely articulate and extremely adept at deflecting and adjusting his message with great care. Saying a lot, without really saying too much.

After the Ducks game he was casual enough to get some articles flowing out there. He mentioned the strength of the young Flames players and also clearly stated he did not want to be part of a rebuilding Flames. A implied crossroads at least between himself and the Flames.

  • Lanny McDonald came out endorsing a move for Iggy. (QMI)
  • Eric Francis, of course, got into the mix. (Calgary Sun)
  • Iginla's comment on not being interested in being on a rebuilding Flames got coverage by Sportsnet
  • George Johnson tapped into the mood in Calgary that is parting the Red C this year Calgary Herald
  • Vicki Hall noted it as well, as the headline hit the National Post
  • Steve MacFarlane of the Sun and on and on…

Jarome is very adept at handling the media. In fact he may be one of the best in the NHL at it. He took advantage of garbage bag day to get back on familiar point and cool off the trade rumors, he accidentally stirred up.

This Herald articles pretty much sums it up. A successful player interview, is when nothing of note is really said and Iginla was back in pure diplomatic form with his garbage bag day interview.

Other players and their parting comments after the jump

  • Blair Jones is going RFA this year and hopes to return. One of Feaster's wins this year in dealing Brendan Mikkelson for him, Jones had good jump this season and certainly did not look out of place on the lower lines. His parting quote from today.

"Well it’s out of my hands now," Jones said. "I hope I did enough to earn a deal for next season but it’s up to management and coaches."

"I’m just going to take some time for a little bit and get back and training hard for next year." ~ Blair Jones - April 9th, 2012

  • Lance Bouma is under contract for next year and like a lot of the Flames young players, did not look out of place on NHL ice. It is pretty easy to see him taking a 4th line role for next season.

"I want to be a full-time NHL player. I don’t want to be in the minors at all any more. That’s why I have to work hard this summer. I can’t take anything for granted. I can’t think I’ve made the team, and I have a spot." ~ Lance Bouma - April 9th, 2012.

  • TJ Brodie is definitely one of the positives of the year for the Flames. He wasn't even really expected to make the team out of camp and he did. He had a very good rookie season. He is under contract for next year and a lock to be on the Flames blue line next season, at least in the bottom pairing.
  • Lee Stempniak gave the usual exit interview, speaking well of the organization, expressing a will to come back but I got the impression Stempy will test the market. If Iginla is moved, Stempy may become a more priority signing as RW but it really is a case of dominos and ultimately it all rests on a change of direction for the Flames.

Moving Jarome will have an impact on the line-up and really at this point in time it is hard to speculate either way on peripheral players without knowing what will happen to the traditional core.

  • Cory Sarich expressed the expected desire to stay. Long time Flames player, strong community involvement, roots if you will but there is no denying the drop-off in his play. The fact he spent a good chunk of the start of the season as a healthy scratch after being displaced in the line-up by a rising TJ Brodie and Derek Smith.

It may come down to a value signing for Sarich, if he is willing to take a significant pay cut he may get himself onto the roster on a one year deal. It is a coin toss at this point.

"I love Calgary," he said. "It’s home for me. If they were interested, I think we would have a really serious discussion. We’ll see what happens.

"You want to go where you’re wanted. I think that’s huge. That’s what makes a good fit. I’m not sure what’s going to happen moving forward. There haven’t been a lot of indications.

~ Cory Sarich - April 9, 2012

  • Jay Bouwmeester is off to the world hockey championships. Jay just does not give a great interview, obviously taking a lot of time to carefully think through his answers. He has had a lot of these interviews and I can not imagine they get any easier for him.
  • Tom Kostopoulos expressed a strong desire to return to Calgary, even above the normal we usually hear. Kosto did not have a bad season but on a team of Vets that did not step up for the third straight season for the playoffs, it is hard to see him hang onto his spot with younger players waiting in the wings.
  • David Moss is a player I am not going to count out of a re-signing. He is a career Flame, he has played a role and the Flames know him well. It was a tough season for him on the injury front and I think the Flames are the kind of organization that will take him back. It may be a one year deal and it may not be for top dollar but it will give him a chance to enter UFA in the future on a higher note.
  • Mike Cammalleri - I found his exit interview interesting. He bristled at the thought of Iginla being moved which actually surprised me a little. Cammy is a smart guy generally speaking, hockey savvy and from the moment the trade was announced I thought how well that would work in a post Iggy era. It was a good trade for a lot of reasons.

Cammy is overpaid like Jay Bouwmeester but it made a lot of sense if Iginla is moved out along with his 7 million. Cammy's high contract becomes easier to handle and he can play either Wing, hence he could slot into the RW on the top line to take Tang's slick passes.

Cammy is also a very articulate and well spoken player, a voice you can see able to replace at least a component of Iginla with the press. His work ethic is legendary and he would be a good mentor for young players and he is 5 years younger than Jarome. Am I the only one who thought this when the Cammy trade occured?

Mike Cammalleri clearly did not consider himself as part of the Flames without Iginla, although he acknowledges and appears enthusiastic about taking on more of a leadership role.

"I’m a Jarome Iginla fan," Cammalleri said. "He’s one of my closest friends. And in spite of that, I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he brings as a teammate, a leader and a hockey player.

"So, I’m not really interested in speaking on those terms."

"I appreciate a leadership role," he said. "I think I can add a lot in a leadership role. I would like to add that leadership role alongside him and other guys. ~ Mike Cammalleri - April 09, 2012.

  • Olli Jokinen - Was clear in his exit interview that he wants to stay in Calgary. The Flames could probably sign him on a good value deal BUT Olli was clear that at this stage of his career he is expecting a contract that will take him to the end of his career.

That is a reasonable expectation BUT Olli like Jarome may just find himself on a team that is headed in a different direction. One that may be looking to go younger. That isn't his fault. He has done to the best of his ability what has been asked of him and he has performed adequately.

In a UFA market that is very short on Centers the Flames just may not be able to reasonably match what is out there for Olli. Olli will turn 34 next season and on a Flames team looking for a youth injection and with other Veteran players like Alex Tanguay and Mike Cammalleri does he fit?

"We haven’t discussed anything and this is not the place to discuss that anyways. Time will tell," Jokinen said.

"I think I’m not old enough not to say I want one-year deal and go year by year. I think I still have a lot of years left. Like I say, last time I think about my contract status was two years ago in July and haven’t thought about it since then." ~ Olli Jokinen - April 9, 2012

Matt Stajan - expressed frustration at missing the playoffs and there is very little talk of moving Stajan, not that there isn't desire but there simply will not be any return. Stajan is also another reason why Olli Jokinen may get the short end of the stick this off-season.

The Flames do not really have a shortage of 3rd or 4th line Centers, it is the top 6 where the issue exists. With Mikael Backlund playing tougher minutes this year, one can anticipate him entering into the top 6 and Stajan remains as a viable C to play these roles.

Conclusion

None really for today. It was garbage bag day, all the usual was said. This off-season could potentially be one of the most interesting ones in a long time for the Flames.

Everything is on hold now at this point until we hear Jay Feaster's comments tomorrow.

Really the movement to rebuild is becoming a semantic one. Whether you call it rebuild and mean a gutting of the team to the ground like the Oilers. Whether you mean a turning over of a couple of the long-time core players or whether rebuild means what very well may naturally happen this year in Calgary.

Jay Feaster is not in the same position this year. He was actually much more limited in what he could do last off-season but this year the team by simple virtue of contracts expiring can see the exit of half the team. How many players he chooses to re-sign will be indicative of change.

The word "rebuild" is going to stick in his throat but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and it looks like a duck, well it is a duck not matter what you call it and to me when you move out the old Sutter core players and continue to inject youth, isn't it a structured rebuild / reload to get younger and stronger for the future? No matter what you want to call it...

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