Back to the Future?
Marty: "Oh, this is heavy, Doc. I mean, it's like I was just here yesterday."
Doc: "You were here yesterday, Marty, you were."
Remember this? When Marty and the Doc were forced to go back to 1955 to steal back the ‘Grey’s Sports Almanac’ from young Biff so that he wouldn’t become rich and powerful and eventually kill Marty’s Dad George and marry Marty’s Mom Lorraine. Marty was experiencing a bit of deja-vu as he was back re-living November 12th, 1955 but, this time, from a different angle.
Well I have this sneaking suspicion that Olli Jokinen will probably have a very similar reaction when he touches down in Calgary for training camp in September. A guy that was, for all intensive purposes, booed out of this city for not living up to his potential has been brought back for another kick at the can.
Deja-vu? It sure feels like it.
This time though, he has a ‘no trade clause’ and is signed for two years at $3 million, not the $5.25 million he was making previously. What can we expect from him this year or better yet what SHOULD we expect of him this year?
His point totals have been falling, and falling fast since his 91 point total in 2006-07 (71 in 08’, 57 in 09’, and 50 last season).
So, should we be happy if he gets 15 goals or should we be angry until he scores 30? He scored only 15 last year, which was pretty much half of what he had the previous year. He is set to be centering the number one line again with Iginla and Tanguay, yet he does posses front line talent anymore.
He has gone from being a guy who was counted on every night to be ‘The Guy’ in south Florida to being a second rate centerman with the Flames; a team laden with second rate centermen.
They have Stajan and Langkow who are not number one guys.
Backlund is quite possibly the Flames only hope for a number one center, barring any trade that would bring one to the city.
On a side note, putting Backlund up there with the big boys might be risky, but then again it might be a way bigger risk to stick him into a 3rd line checker role where his development would sputter. Just like Boyd, just like Lombardi, just like Kobasew, we could be on the verge of watching another potential star in the Flames system get blockaded behind older washed up stars who Sutter thinks will save the franchise from yet another disappointing and frustrating season.
In the end I realize that this topic has been bandied about more times than Brett Favre has retired, yet I just still can’t believe it’s a reality.
I just feel like I am about to watch the same Olli Jokinen stick handle up the ice like a 10 year tyke player, out of control and no sense direction, and fire the puck wide or lose it in the corner.
Same Olli Jokinen. Just a slightly different angle.
This is heavy Doc.
Maybe it has something to do with the earth’s gravitational pull?
NOTE: Away from the whole Jokinen debate I would like to point out the three players at the Heritage Classic gala last Wednesday; Staios, Sarich and Glencross. Sarich has been talked about as a potential trade target given his large contract. Staios will have a tough time making this team and might be pushed into the minors. Glencross is the only player who I see actually being on the team come mid February. Maybe this is a signal from the team instilling confidence in these specific players. Then again, I am probably over thinking a very meaningless press conference where these players were simply the most accessible.