Have you ever heard the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer?” Given the Calgary Flames are too close for comfort to the Edmonton Oilers, that saying rings true for any Oilers fan. So it’s worth keeping tabs on what the provincial rivals are up to this off season and given their attempt at re-tooling/re-building their roster, there is quite a bit of noise coming from the Southern Alberta team.
Will Kiprusoff Return?
Let’s begin in goal where Miikka Kiprusoff is still considering retirement according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet via Twitter. The tweet says that Flames GM Jay Feaster spoke with Kiprusoff last week and while no decision has officially been made, the Finnish netminder is still leaning towards hanging up his skates for good.
This is good news for Oilers fans when you consider how many games over the years Kiprusoff has stolen for the Flames despite being out shot and outplayed for most of the game. Should he retire, he’s one guy the Oilers won’t miss.
A Flames Fire Sale
Even though Feaster prefers to call the reshaping of the roster a re-tooling period, it really is an attempt at re-building the Flames from the bottom up. After trading away Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, the club is now ready to move other veteran player including Mike Cammalleri according to the Fourth Period.
The sniper is signed through next season but does carry a hefty $6 million dollar cap hit. There have been whispers that the Flames could use an amnesty buyout on Cammalleri, but moving him and receiving a player in return would obviously be the preferred route for Feaster.
The same holds true for veteran Alex Tanguay who was told at this year’s trade deadline that he won’t be traded and was seen as a valuable asset moving forward. Feaster is said to be listening for offers on both Cammalleri and Tanguay, meaning re-tooling doesn’t apply any longer.
If both players are moved for prospects and/or younger NHL ready players, then the Flames are truly in the midst of a fire sale which in turn leads to a full and revamped re-build.
Meanwhile, from the Flames front office, president Ken King confirmed to the Calgary Herald that he had dinner with Brendan Shanahan and discussed the notion of having the current NHL disciplinarian join the Flames. King wouldn’t confirm if Shanny was on the “short list” nor would he divulge any additional information on what the potential role would entail making the whole situation cloudy at this point.
The Flames are sure to generate much more news between now and the NHL Entry Draft. After that it’ll be interesting to see how Feaster plays the off-season with some difficult decisions to make.
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