The Calgary Flames have struggled to begin the year with a 3-4-2 record which is beginning to raise questions as to whether or not this is the year the team finally chooses to tear it all down.
Calgary is currently tied for the least amount of points in the Western Conference and if they continue to deliver performances like the 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, decisions will need to be made on the team’s future.
The Flames have been unlucky to begin the year thanks to the injury bug taking a major bite out of the roster. Key players such as Miikka Kiprusoff and Mikael Backlund have been placed on the injured reserve while Michael Cammalleri remains out with a hip flexor injury.
Back-up Leland Irving has done his best trying to replace Calgary’s MVP over the years between the pipes but replacing one of the league’s best goalies is too much to ask for a young player with the injury depleted line-up.
Flame fans need to ask themselves if they realistically think this team could be a Stanley Cup contender. Kiprusoff is no doubt capable of carrying a team to the finals but even if healthy his supporting cast is questionable at best.
If the team choses to trade Kiprusoff there would be a line up of teams looking to acquire his services. Unlike Robert Luongo, the Flames goalie has a much more manageable contract which makes him attractive for teams looking for a goaltender to put them over the top. The return on Kiprusoff would help jumpstart the rebuild in significant fashion as he’d fetch a quality package that’d include draft picks, and top prospects.
Trading Jarome Iginla is another question that’ll resurface if the struggles continue. Iginla has been the definition of class and will go down as Calgary’s greatest player in franchise history regardless of if he finishes his career there. He wouldn’t bring back as much as Kiprusoff in a deal but he’d still acquire a package that would help shave off years on the team’s rebuild.
It’d be similar to a Kiprusoff deal, with the return being prospects and draft picks however at this point in their careers the goalie would have more value than the winger.
Regardless, the potential packages both players could bring the club would give the team a much needed youth movement and help turn things around sooner than later.
At this point, it needs to be something Calgary has to be considering otherwise they risk duplicating the team’s success of recent years.
As everybody knows, it’s impossible to win the Stanley Cup when you routinely finish somewhere between 9th and 11th in the West each and every year.