Darren Dreger dropped a bit of a bomb today for Flames fans with his comments on TSN.
Like most teams, the Flames are looking for a Top 6 forward - ideally, a centre. Mikael Backlund and Jay Bouwmeester are among those the Flames would trade. But with two years remaining at a whopping $6.7 million per season, Bouwmeester is going to be a tough sell.
The first part has been suspected and the rebuild camp had its hopes dashed again. Feaster refused at the end of the year to take any player off the table. Kipper's NMC expired this year and speculation abounded of a big move.
No such luck for those wanting a rebuild, it simply isn't going to happen. That wasn't the big part of his comments though, it was what came after.
No newsflash in the Flames never ending quest for a top Centre. The shocker is that Mikael Backlund is on the potential move list.
This simply doesn't work from a lot of angles. Backlund is in the Flames depleted age group of 22-26 and a NHL player with lots of upside. Some speculation that his agent may be pushing hard for a one year deal is possible, in the hold up for signing Backlund.
Can't really see Backlund being traded, mainly because there is no way the Flames will get good value for him. He is the definition of selling low and the Flames can't afford to squander this kind of asset. I would be really surprised if he was moved.
Unless whatever team he is moved to is reading Flames Nation's articles on Backlund and ready to pay a reasonable price.
This suggestion makes even less sense. Jbo is the best Flames defenseman. His contract reduces his trade value and the Flames blue line minus him looks like a team going for a lottery pick not a playoff position. It is a total contradiction to suggest that Jbo is on the block to be traded but Kipper and Iginla are not.
It is possible I guess, his value as a proven D man is there but at quick blush I don't see how the Flames replace him. I did a quick glance through teams and the few where he may be attractive don't have the return to give back unless the Flames are in on Ryan Suter but lets keep it real.
Jay also has a NTC, so the only way to give this credence is if he is asking to be moved.
Some reaction out there was utter shock and disbelief. A 40 year old RW is not exactly the ideal thing for the Flames or is it? He did notch 54 points and although he has clearly slowed down, his hockey sense is there.
With the Flames who knows? There is a couple little pieces that fit the puzzle.
(1) The Flames have money, Jagr has stated he will go UFA - money will matter.
(2) The Cervenka Czech Connection - If the Flames really want to give the Roman Cervenka experiment a solid chance of working they should try to get another Czech on the team. Horak may serve the purpose but no one would be better than Jagr as the ultimate mentor for a young Czech player. Say goodbye to language issues and hello to a smoother cultural adjustment.
(3) Jagr will be short term - one year max deal. That fits for the Flames for the season.
Am I betting it will happen? Absolutely not. Will my head explode if it does, no, not at all. For a Flames team that has already declared a shift to an offensive game, Jagr will bring some of that.