Even before the trading season began, it couldn’t have been easy to be a player for the Calgary Flames. Now, it gets even tougher.
The Flames are one of the punchlines of professional sports at the moment. Their roster is essentially a dumpster fire that general manager Jay Feaster is responsible for lighting. And that was before they traded Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester prior to the trade deadline.
Now this is a team that has entered an unofficial rebuilding period, though Feaster refuses to call it that. This is the point at which it has to be difficult for the Flames to show up, mentally, on a nightly basis. Luckily, there are players that are there to help pick up some of the leadership that was left by the multiple players traded prior to the deadline. One of those players is Matt Stajan.
The Flames have dropped four of their last five and are coming off of an absolute drubbing, at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. Stajan responded to the recent stretch with a call for improvement:
You guys think we just sit in here and put our head down and go home,” Stajan said. “Trust me, we talk about it. Last night wasn’t acceptable. We talked about it. The last few games haven’t been acceptable. It’s on us to change it. Talk as much as you want, we said what needs to be said and now it’s on us to turn it around.
Stajan is sixth on the team in points, with 21 on the season, including five goals and 16 assists. He’s one of the few Flames players on the positive side of the plus/minus department, sitting at a plus-5 on the season.
You always have to appreciate a player telling it how it is and showing that type of leadership, especially with a team going through as much as the Flames are. With this, Stajan may have thrown his name into the captaincy discussion that is sure to be a hot topic over the course of the summer.