Flipping through the Cap Geek listing for the Calgary Flames, it dawned on me that the team is doing something rather strange. Well not strange, but certainly something that is creating panic in me and a few other Flames fans I’m sure. The Calgary Flames have had the opportunity to offer captain Jarome Iginla a contract extension for almost a month now and nothing has been done.
What does the future hold for the beloved captain and the Flames? Is his time up with the Calgary Flames, at the end of next season he will be a free agent and the Flames need to consider what that could mean for the franchise. Is the franchise moving forwards with their captain looking elsewhere or is the franchise moving on with the captain retiring at the end of this contract? Either way, this creates a huge gap in the Flames roster. Not just the output that Iginla has, but a sense of leadership. Not to criticize any of the current roster, but who in that locker room is going to step up when the going gets tough? At 35, there is a chance that Iginla is looking into hanging up his skates within the next season or two, Flames better start preparing for that day. Whether it comes next year because he leaves for another team or in 4 years because he’s ready to retire, the team is going to have big skates to fill.
Looking at the current line up, I would say the Mark Giordano or Mike Cammalleri have the best shot at being the leadership this team will need once Iginla departs. Both are hard nosed members of the Calgary Flames that have the ability to pick the team up even when they are amid a personal slump. It’s not just the high points the captain has to keep things going, it’s all the time and guys like Curtis Glencross get too much in their heads to really ever be useful to the team in a leadership role. And I’m sorry but how many other guys can you see getting to wear the C that are currently on the team? Matt Stajan? Anton Babchuk? I don’t see that happening any time soon. And as for future additions to the team, like Sven Baertschi? Yeah maybe one day, but the Calgary Flames better stop kidding themselves and thinking they have time before Iginla leaves. It could be sooner rather than later. But it seems that they do have a sense of that with the lack of extension offer for Iginla. So what are they doing now? Why aren’t they preparing for this massive hole that is coming? It’s the off season, instead of signing AHLers, why aren’t they going out there looking for someone to step in for Iginla, at least for points.
Whatever the Calgary Flames have going on right now, is putting me in a panic as a fan. There seems to be no long term plan to replace Iginla. Jiri Hudler will be a fine replacement for Olli Jokinen this season, but he’s not picking up the slack for two players. Calgary better get it’s head in the game and start doing something. They’ve already missed out on a good number of free agent this summer and they are going to be stuck rather quickly with the hodge podge line up they’ve put together if they don’t start moving. I’m going to be very annoyed come the start of the season when every other team has managed to piece together a team and the Flames take the ice with very clear holes in their game.
Fix this Calgary. Fix it soon.
Go Flames Go