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To rebuild or not to rebuild? That’s Calgary’s question

Apr 2, 2012, 8:01 AM EST

Jarome Iginla Getty Images

The Calgary Flames will miss the playoffs for the third straight season, but it’s not like they’re in year three of some five-year plan to make the postseason and win the Stanley Cup. Although they haven’t been traded away their future in an ultimately futile attempt to make the playoffs, the Flames’ front office has also resisted the notion that they need to blow up the team and start over. They bulk every time the idea of trading Jarome Iginla comes up. However, at what point should they decide that it’s no longer worthwhile to stay the course?

Of course, from the players’ perspective, the idea of blowing up the team and rebuilding it isn’t particularly appealing.

“As a player, you never want to believe the answers aren’t in the room,” said Mark Giordano. “It’s tough because at times we’ve shown we can be a really good hockey team, and be a team that battles with good teams and is right there. But, at times we haven’t.”

At times almost any team looks like a contender. Throughout a season every team has hot and cold streaks and while it’s true that Calgary had their chances to make the postseason, they never looked like more than a team that could just barely squeeze in. Maybe its fine for the front office to roll the dice on a team like this in the short run, but it’s not a long-term strategy, especially when the core players of their team in Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff are entering the twilight years of their careers.

  1. babar61 - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    If they were smart they would rebuild. Have a fire sale and trade iginla. It is like they are too proud or something to do it. I am sure they will “reload” and shoot for a 8th seed next year. It’s a shame, Iginla deserves a shot at a cup.

  2. tmoore4075 - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Rebuild. I don’t think there is another option. This teams keeps fading.

    • davebabychreturns - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      Sure there is, they can drag their feet and finish 10-12th in the conference with the same (or a similar) group of aging vets next year.. and the year after that.

      The good thing is that no matter where they finish every season puts them a year further away from Darryl Sutter’s mismanagement of that franchise, and ticks another year off the deals of a few players they need to part ways with; however if they keep signing awful contract extensions (NMC for Anton Babchuk?!) and don’t draft and develop significantly better than they have over the past five years then it won’t mean much.

  3. firstandonlywarning - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Why rebuild when you can spin your wheels for 20 years?

    –Leaf Fan

  4. andidee15 - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    It’s in Calgary’s best interests to start rebuilding ASAP. Their division isn’t going to get any easier – the Avs and Oilers already have a lot of up-and-coming talent, the Canucks aren’t going away for another few years at least, and if realignment goes through, the California teams will join the mix. If Calgary keeps doing what it’s doing, there’s no way they’ll be able to compete in that environment.

    As much as I understand team loyalty, it’s probably to the point where moving players like Iginla for picks is beneficial for everyone. Iggy deserves a shot at the Cup and Flames fans deserve a shot at a team with a future. The longer they wait, the less value their aging players will have and the longer the rebuild will take.

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