Flames add skill; Sign Roman Cervenka

 

Today, the Calgary Flames made a move towards a more skilled team – something they haven’t been for quite some time – in signing Roman Cervenka, a 26-year-old Czech Republic native who has played in the KHL for the past two seasons with Omsk, the same club that Kari Ramo plays for. The Flames acquired the rights to Ramo in the Bourque-Cammalleri trade.

Cervenka was being courted by quite a few NHL teams, yet he chose the Flames as his preferred destination. The contract he signed could be worth as much as $3.775 million for one year, with a base salary of $825,000, a $92,500 salary bonus, and potential $2.85 million in performance bonuses.

Cervenka’s stats with Omsk are pretty decent:

 

 2010-2011  Avangard Omsk  KHL 51 31 30 61 56 |  Playoffs 12 5 4 9
   Czech Republic EHT  EHT 9 3 3 6 8 |             
   Czech Republic  WC 9 4 6 10 4 |             
   Czech Republic (all)  International 21 9 10 19 12 |             
 2011-2012  Avangard Omsk  KHL 54 23 16 39 18 |  Playoffs 20 11 10 21
   Czech Republic EHT  EHT 3 2 0 2 0 |             
   Czech Republic (all)  International - - - - - |             

His 22 points in 20 playoff games was tops in the KHL. He’s played in numerous world championships for the Czech Republic, and played in the Vancouver Olympics. He is highly skilled and a type of player the Flames don’t have.

 

 

Feaster said: “Our scouts in Europe identified him as someone who could slot into our top six forward group and play in the NHL as a top two line centre.  John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe. We made an aggressive pitch to convince him that Calgary was the perfect place for him to start his NHL career, and we are extremely pleased Roman agreed. We look forward to welcoming him to the Flames and our great city.”

I like the signing. It’s different than anything the Flames have tried in recent years. And it sends a message to a lot of the UFA’s currently on the Flames roster.  They want Cervenka to be a top 6 forward, and he is a centerman.

So, Olli Jokinen, start looking elsewhere. Your days are pretty well over in this city. David Moss, there’s the door.

Not to say that Cervenka will be the best thing since sliced bread, but it should strike people as a change in thinking. Feaster said this team has to be more skilled, and that’s why he brought in Cervenka. Well, you can’t really disagree with him as the Flames might be the least “skilled” team in the entire league.

For years, the team has been filled with western farm boys who only know how to grind, grind, and grind some more. Cervenka represents the new age, I believe, of the Calgary Flames.

And he is still young. At 26, he is just now coming into his prime.

The Flames have money to spend. The risk is very low in this situation, with the reward potential very high.

Good move Jay.

Follow me on Twitter: @TCLNewman

 

2 Comments

saneopinion's picture

I like it too (see blog) I do think they'll re-sign Jokinen though (again in my blog) good write up!

Derrick Newman's picture

Yeah, I dont know about Jokinen. Maybe Im just hoping they dont sign him and Im trying to be blind the fact that this team will finish between 9th and 12th for the fourth season in a row....sigh

Down the middle with Cervenka, Backlund, Horak, and maybe Bouma on your 4th line? Young, yes. But I think it would be pretty energetic. Backlund needs top 6 minutes to be productive in my mind and he deserves a shot. The injury last season really took a toll on him and I think people are jumping the gun on the guy