It's still early in the summer, so who knows what the Calgary Flames will do come July 1st. However, as of right now, this blogger has an idea of what Darryl's plan is.
With many free agents still left to sign, there is no way of predicting how well the Flames will fare during the regular season.
This is our team as of June 25, 2008:
1st Line : Cammalleri Langkow Iginla
This is actually a pretty good top unit. Cammalleri has said that he is excited to play on the team and that he has experience on the wing, leading to speculation that he might not center Jarome Iginla, since Langkow is rumored to be making 5.5 mill a year (waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much). If Cammalleri matches his 2006-2007 campaign, this top unit alone would probably combine for 100+ goals (30 from Cammaleri, 30 from Langkow, 40 from Iginla)
2nd Line Assumption: We resign Nolan
2nd Line: Nystrom Lombardi Nolan
This is a terrible second line. My eyes actually bleed when I look at this. Nystrom is a good player, but he's a 3rd, 4th line energy guy. Lombardi plays the PK well, has a ton of speed but has no hands and actually isn't very good in all honesty. I think it's the hit he took from Hatcher in the playoffs. I hate Hatcher. Lombardi reminds me of an upgraded version of Shaun Donavan. I dunno if that's a complement or not. Nolan is a good guy, tough, physical, can score timely goals as he scored in the playoffs ... he's just getting up there. Combined, last year they scored 33 goals. OUch. Who knows, maybe they will click.
3rd Line Assumption: We keep Conroy for cheap because Conroy loves Calgary and we love Conroy. Also, we're definitely signing Tucker in the offseason. There is no way Sutter won't do this
Moss Conroy Darcy Tucker
I wish Conroy still had his magic, but he's getting old. So is Tucker. Moss isn't very good. I'm sobbing inside. This line will score a combined 20 goals max. I still love Conroy though. Maybe he'll go on the top line for a bit with Cammalleri since they've played together. That way Nolan or Tucker have Langkow to center them.
Marcus Nilson Wayne Primeau ????
*Points gun to face*
As a hypothetical situation, lets say our defense stays the same and they play the same as last year. Kippersoff plays a bit better, just because he had such an awful year.
What does this tell us?
Our team is awful. Absolutely awful. This is a 30 win team simply because Kippersoff will steal a couple and Iginla's amazingness will carry us through some games.
Our four readers must be asking "you just dissed your entire team Hal, how are you so optimistic?"
Well my friends, it's because our only competition is the Flordia Panthers and the Atlanta Thrashers. Their teams are so bad I think it would lose to Japan.
Florida just traded their only offensive star away from a couple mediocre D men.
Thrashers pretty much have Colby Armstrong and Kolvachuck to carry their team ... actually come to think of it, Thrashers are awful. Calgary's gonna have a hard time competing with them ...
The LA Kings are also pretty terrible. That's another team to worry about ... I really didn't think this through as I was writing.
Now you must be asking "Compete for what Hal? All these teams you've mentioned won't make the playoffs"
AND NOW TO UNVEIL DARRYL'S MASTER PLAN!!!!!
Darryl is constructing a terrible NHL team so that we are the last place in the NHL and can win the first overall pick for the 2009 NHL draft. Then, the Calgary Flames pick up .... wait for it ...
He is projected to be the #1 overall pick. Outscoring Gretzky as a 16 year old. Considered a phenom. He would finally allow Flames fans to hope for something more than an early playoff exit.
We'll see what happens on July 1st. But if our team doesn't improve, the 2008-2009 season will be known as Fan Tanking!
GO TAVARES GO