Will the Flames buy out Matt Stajan?
So with the news that the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to allow each team one compliance buyout starting tomorrow, does this open the door for the Flames to finally rid themselves of Matt Stajan and his inflated contract?
Stajan, for those who don’t remember, was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Dion Phaneuf trade (Darryl Sutter was a wee bit delusional when he pulled this one off). Sutter then signed Stajan seven games into his tenure with the Flames to a ridiculous 4-year $14 million deal.
Stajan will be lucky to even crack the Flames lineup this season and with a cap hit of $3.5 million for the next two years, he looks like the ideal candidate for this accelerated compliance buyout.
The player would first have to clear waivers, but I don’t see any team taking a chance on this guy.
It would free up a good amount of cash for the Flames and allow them a little more flexibility when it comes to the cap and possible trades throughout the season.
It would also mark the end of, quite possibly, the WORST trade (next to the Gilmour trade) in Flames history.
The deal sent Phaneuf, Freddy Sjostrom and Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Laughs for Jamal Mayers, Nik Hagman, Stajan and Ian White.
Yeah, that’s right. The Flames traded their biggest young asset at the time for four plugs, in the best sense of the word. Mayers lasted half a season, Hagman two and half, and White all of 43 games over two seasons.
It set up Sutter’s dismissal as GM and set the franchise back at least a couple years.
Dropping the dead weight that is Stajan would give the Flames nearly $7 million in cap space.
I’d like to think this is a no brainer. The other option would be buying out the $3 million 7th defenceman Anton Babchuk. Unfortunately, Babbers (that’s his nick name...or at least that’s what it should be) is suffering from a bad shoulder which makes him ineligible to be bought out.
The ONE thing that might stop Stajan from packing his bags would be the fact that the Flames center ice position is a little weak and murky at the moment.
Newly acquired KHL standout Roman Cervenka is suffering from blood clots and the timetable is vague on his return. Mikael Backlund is in a make-or-break year it would seem and Alex Tanguay is being moved to centre for the first time since his junior days.
Still, the Flames and GM Jay Feaster must rid themselves of Stajan once and for all and forget this awful trade and signing ever happened. It’s time to move forward without the man who has only scored 17 goals in 164 games with the Flames.
Good-bye Matt Stajan, enjoy your money and enjoy the couch.