Iginla and Bouwmeester Trades Are a Good Start for the Calgary Flames

Jim FlanneryAnalyst IApril 3, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09:  Mikael Backlund #11 of the Calgary Flames skates in for the puck against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on March 9, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

In less than a week, the Calgary Flames have moved two of their biggest names—and biggest salaries.

Jarome Iginla was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins just a few days ago and yesterday they traded defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to the St. Louis Blues.

This is a good start.

The Flames have not been competitive in years and they continue to show that they are too old and too lacking in skilled athletes to make an impact in the NHL's Western Conference.

Continuing to languish near the very bottom of the conference standings is abundant evidence that this team simply can't compete and letting go of two of the more prominent members of the team won't change that.

In fact, the best thing GM Jay Feaster could do for the Flames is move a few more guys in the next few hours before the trade deadline.

No one over the age of 30 should be safe.

Word is that Miikka Kiprusoff is the next on the block, as the Toronto Maple Leafs have apparently entered negotiations with the 36-year-old goaltender.

If they can get another high draft pick in exchange for their long-time netminder, that'll finally put the Flames in a position to develop a competitive team for the future.

If Calgary could also find a new home for Alex Tanguay—one of the few remaining veterans who has some real value right now—that could bring the team yet another high draft pick and maybe also a prospect or two.



And if Feaster can move middle-of-the-pack performers like Steve Begin, Tim Jackman and Corey Sarich—all on the wrong side of 30—the Flames will finally free up some space and playing time for developing youngsters like Mikael Backlund, Blake Comeau and TJ Brodie, who all need more ice time to reach their potential.

In the meantime, the solid corps of talent that remains—Jiri Hudler, Curtis Glencross, Lee Stempniak, Mark Giordano—should be able to hold down the fort and keep things from getting much more embarrassing while the kids get up to speed.

The fact of the matter for the Calgary Flames is that this current fire sale is long overdue and should have happened a couple of years ago.

Had management come to accept the reality of the team's competitiveness (or lack thereof) when it became clear this was not a team that could challenge for the Stanley Cup, it wouldn't be in the unenviable position of having to blow things up now.

But this is the bed the organization has made for itself. That means Feaster needs to make sweeping changes and finish what he has now started.


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