The Calgary Flames are done! Mark my words if they don’t make drastic changes they will not make playoffs for a second straight season.
The Flames have lost three straight and if the playoffs were to start today they would be out and nowhere near a top 5 draft pick. In a weak draft year like this one coming up, you don’t want to just miss the playoffs; you either want to be in or be in the running for a top 5 pick.
This is the salary cap era and you can’t build a contender through free agency and/or trades; it has to be through the draft.
Look at teams like Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago. Yes they were terrible for several years, but they added several top 10 draft picks and now they are contenders each year.
Now is the time to trade Jarome Iginla. Send him to a young team that is looking to take that next step to being a contender.
Trading Iginla to a team like the Los Angeles Kings or the St. Louis Blues will push them into a Stanley Cup contender status and both those teams are loaded with elite prospects that could start the rebuilding process in Calgary.
The Kings could package together players like Brayden Schenn, Thomas Hickey or Wayne Simmonds while the Blues could send David Perron, Alex Pietrangelo or Vladimir Tarasenko.
The Flames don’t have an elite prospect in their system. Mikael Backlund has a decent offensive upside, but is better suited as a second line two-way center.
Ryan Howse is tearing up the WHL, but at 5’11" can he be an elite player in the NHL?
Just how good is Greg Nemisz? Was he a product of playing with Taylor Hall on a stacked Windsor team or can he score points on his own?
The future does not look bright for the Flames. However trading Iginla and sacrificing a year or two to add top draft picks could change that outlook.
Flames fan are going to grow tired of seeing young stars like Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle playing for their archrival and bringing excitement each night while the old Flames burn out.
Time to burn it to the ground and rebuild.