Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tanguay - a few last thoughts

There are some terrific pieces out there on the departure of Alex Tanguay and it's effects on the Flames roster. Im not going to get into that here, as it's obviously been handled elsewhere. Here's whats rattling around in my skull in the aftermath.

- While, in effect, Tanguay was dealt for Cammalleri, the truth of the matter is Tanguay was actually dealt for a 25th overall pick (while Cammalleri was had for the 17th choice). This is an important distinction to keep in mind. Under slightly different circumstances, the Flames could have left the draft with both on the roster, an outcome that would have been much more preferable - particularly considering the fact that Cammalleri is a more apt replacement for the departing Kristian Huselius.

- The trade seems palatable if one considers the constraints under which Sutter was working: a high-priced player coming off a "poor" season with a NTC isn't the easiest piece to deal. When one considers that the Flames moved their 2nd best ES forward for futures and a bit of cap-space, it becomes a little more grim.

- Sutter has been a mix of good and bad since he started managing the Flames in 04. Or, to be more precise, brutal and brilliant. I see the Tanguay trade - or rather the need for Tanguay to be traded - as disturbing because it smacks of bad decisions bleeding into good ones. It's executive scrambling, as it were. Tanguay was a checker on this club last year because the forward ranks were so thin, despite a relatively robust roster budget. His $5M contract became cap-space fodder because that robust budget is bloated with poor value players. This isn't the Senators dealing Havlat because they simply have too many good players to fit under the cap...the Flames, in direct contrast, are in desperate need of top 6 forwards.

No, this is Calgary moving Tanguay because he was crowded out by the suck. Bad decisions are starting to collect and lay idle on this team; and as they pile up and stagnate, their putrescence is beginning to poison the well, drip by corrupting drip. Dealing good money before bad is a poor management, at least in the long-term. Sutter has the summer to complete the scramble and plug the holes. He may still purge the likes of Warrener and co. However, considering the UFA pool depth, the lack of viable prospects in the Flames system and relatively inflexible cap position, it's a good bet the Flames will be a worse club heading into the season this October.