Where do we put the dynamite?
Bryan Wright on Fri, 2012-01-06 12:37
by Bryan Wright
Following every Flames loss, the cries come on twitter, on radio call in shows and in newspaper columns, that it's time to 'blow it up.' Never have the cries been louder than after last night's 9-0 loss to the Boston Bruins; a humiliating defeat that was the team's fifth in a row and ended a dismal seven game road trip. My question is, what prey tell, is there to blow up?
In idea behind the 'blow it up' philosophy is that the current assets could be shed for some solid returns that would help the team improve in the future. The only assets the Flames have right now, are Miikka Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla. If the Flames traded Iginla, they'd have a crappy team without any leader, without any heart and without any identity. If the Flames traded Kiprusoff, they'd be a crappy team without a goalie. So, the return needs to be a substantial one.
The hope is that any trade would return draft picks or prospects, with which the team could build for the future. But, any trade made would most likely be with an upper echelon team, who isn't going to return a very high draft pick. Suddenly, you've traded Iginla for a 25th pick.. Draft picks, save maybe the top ten, are pretty inconsistent returns. Prospects are often a safer bet, but can still be a crap shoot as they haven't been tested in the NHL. The Flames don't want to wake up this time next year and realize they traded Kiprusoff for a third line plug that isn't reaching his potential.
Beyond those two players, there aren't really any assets to shed. The reasons Flames fans don't want Jay Bouwmeester on the team, are the same reasons other GM's don't want him on their team. The Flames don't really have any parts that are going to give them any return, so trading them doesn't do anything to improve the team for today or the future. When you trade in you '84 K-car, you don't get a 2012 BMW back.
Even worse than the cry to 'blow it up' is they idea that the Flames need to 'do what the Oilers are doing.' Do what the Oilers are doing?! The Oilers lose hockey games; that's what they are doing. While they may have a couple of nice young players, they still aren't even close to being a contender, and will miss the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years. The Oilers haven't had two top draft picks because of some grand plan, they've had two top draft picks because they've been consistently awful for a decade.
So where does this leave the Flames? Unfortunately, it looks to be another season of 'wait until next year.' The difference this time around is the Flames have nine unrestricted free agents come July 1st. A true re-build can't begin until the Flames can start to rid themselves of these players. This summer, Jay Feaster has a chance to begin to turn the team around, and truly start building for the future. It will be a long process and will likely mean more losing seasons, but it can't start until the summer. Anything done right now is merely a reaction to last night's loss, and won't do anything to improve the team any time soon.