It’s mailbag time once again. As always, your questions are most appreciated. Let’s get right to it.
Adam, I don't know if I am missing something, but I do not understand how Calgary could think they got a good return on the Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester trades. They lost their team captain and a rock-solid top-tier defenseman and only got two late first round draft picks and four “prospects” that did not even crack the top ten for their previous teams in THN’s Future Watch issue. I feel one or two great prospects sounds a lot better than four prospects that will most likely amount to nothing and two first round picks that may as well be second-rounders. Is there logic to the Flames’ madness?
Seth Armas, Ayr, Ont.
At first, the Flames’ trading of Iginla and Bouwmeester felt like a big positive. At least and at last, management and ownership was acknowledging Calgary’s status as a depreciating collective asset. However, after getting a load of the comments GM Jay Feaster made after the trade deadline – specifically, his statement that owner Murray Edwards “expects to be in the playoffs next season” – I’m almost as worried about them as I was when Iginla was still with the organization.
I mean, forget the Flames’ mismanagement of Iginla as a trade chip (the reality is, he should have been dealt years ago) for a moment. Does Edwards honestly believe this team is only one or two moves away from a return to the playoffs? The mind boggles and the funny bone tingles. If Calgary fans were incensed to see this team chase its tail before, they’ll be positively livid to see them embark on another long shot playoff chase without Iginla’s smiling face (and Bouwmeester’s minute-munching on the blueline). At best, they’ll be back in the familiar wasteland of a 10th or 11th place finish in the West, thus robbing them of the chance to build through very high first round draft picks.
It makes no sense to anybody other than Edwards, demonstrating that the reality-proofed bubble he has been living in hasn’t been punctured to the necessary degree. That might change if he were deluged by emails and phone calls from Flames fans and ticket-buyers, but I’m assuming those calls and emails have been pouring in for a few years now and to no avail. Scary times in Calgary.
Adam, did the Minnesota Wild give up too much for Jason Pominville?
Parker Moore, Lakeville, Minn.
Yes, I believe they did – and I thought that was true when I thought Minnesota was “only” giving up prospects Matt Hackett and Johan Larsson. When it emerged that the Wild also would surrender a first and second round pick in the deal, the costliness of the trade went through the roof.
That’s not to say I don’t think Minnesota will benefit from Pominville, a speedy, skilled winger and quiet leader. Indeed, the Wild’s deep pool of NHL prospects allowed GM Chuck Fletcher to make an offer Sabres counterpart Darcy Regier couldn’t refuse. However, let’s not forget Pominville has only one year remaining on his contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Giving up that much for what could amount to 100 games of Pominville in a Wild uniform is too rich for my tastes.
Adam, I've been a lifelong Flyers fan and seeing them struggle this year has been tough. Since the salary cap is set to drop next season, what roster moves do you see being made in the off-season that would improve them for now and the long-term future of the franchise? The Flyers definitely need to cut salary for next season and countless other fans as well as myself think the best way to do that is to buy out Ilya Bryzgalov. What are your thoughts on a Bryzgalov buyout?
Jarred Miller, Casper, Wy.
You submitted this question before the Flyers traded for former Columbus goalie Steve Mason, but his acquisition has increased speculation Philly will amnesty the seven years and $34.5 million that remain on Bryzgalov’s contract after this season.
I’m not so sure that happens and here’s why: for one thing, Mason hasn’t regained the form that won him the 2008-09 Calder Trophy. In the pressure-cooker that is life between the Flyers pipes, I don’t know that anyone can assume he’s a lock to do so in Philly. (He’s also scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer and his monetary demands will factor in to whether or not the team keeps him around.)
But beyond that, an amnesty payoff is nothing to sneeze at, even for an incredibly wealthy man such as Flyers owner Ed Snider. At a two-thirds buyout, we’re talking $23 million to make Bryzgalov go away. Don’t get me wrong – I’d do it, but it’s not my money and I wouldn’t fault Snider if he chose not to.
In any case, the Flyers goalie situation is as muddled after the trade deadline as it was prior to it. There’s just something about this franchise and that position that feels cursed at this stage. And I don’t know that there’s a palatable solution on the immediate horizon.
Hey Adam, with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf recently signing new contracts at $8 million-plus per year, do you think that Nazem Kadri will get a bigger contract?
Bret Himmelman, Halifax, N.S.
No. NO. I wish I could increase the font size to be more emphatic about this. Kadri has improved greatly, but he isn’t in the same class as either Ducks star. At least, not yet. He’ll get a healthy raise on the $1.7 million he earned this season, but as a restricted free agent, he doesn’t have leverage to put himself in that salary range. And although he’s had a breakout season, the truth is it’s really only half of a regular NHL season.
If Kadri gets half of what Perry and Getzlaf got, he should consider himself extremely fortunate. If he gets exactly what the Ducks duo got, Leafs management should be fired at once.
Ask Adam appears Fridays on THN.com. Ask your question on our submission page. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Adam on Twitter at @ProteauType.