So I was holding off on the post until something happened with the Free Agency hold off, but there seems to be more consideration going into where players end up than in years past. The time was giving me an opportunity to react to the signing of Olli Jokinen to the Winnipeg Jets, because this is truly the most conflicting signing of the summer, but it’s time to address all the moves the Calgary Flames have made in the past 36 hours.
The first meltdown of the summer came when the Calgary Flames announced that Jiri Hudler would be joining the line up for 4 years, $4 million a year. The 28 year old centerman signed to the team after spending 7 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. Averaging 20 goals a season, Hudler won’t solve the goal scoring problem the Flames are facing, but he will bring a sense of leadership and experience in the playoff the Flames are lacking. My thoughts? I’m not exactly thrilled with this signing. Yes, he’s filling in the goals that the Flames will lose with Joks going to the Jets, but Joks wasn’t helping the problem and Hudler won’t bring more. He’s overpaid for his efforts and the contract should have been only two years. On the plus side, Hudler is still relatively young. Youth for the Calgary Flames is key as their core grows older.
The Flames are also losing some goals with the loss of Olli Jokinen, who signed with the Jets yesterday for 2 years and a total of $9 million, something the Flames would have never offered the recently operated on centerman. For those of you who don’t know, I have a love hate relationship with Jokinen. I love the work he’s done as a Calgary Flame. Really stepped it up and made something of himself after everyone wrote him off. Why did everyone write him off? How about that disastrous attempt at a shoot out in 2010? When he was a New York Ranger. Not exactly my happiest day. There were some hard feelings as I watched the Philadelphia Flyers go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Best of luck to Joks on his new team, I won’t be rooting for you any time soon though.
And the final move has been the signing of Ben Street of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for two years. In his time with the WB/S Penguins, Street has been one to knock pucks in the net and really get the ball rolling for the team. Will Street carry this talent over to the Calgary Flames organization? Only time will tell it seems.
As day three of Free Agency rolls on, the Flames have remained under control. I can only hope as the Calgary Flames move forward, smart decisions are made.
Go Flames Go!