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Hodgemail: What should be the Calgary Flames' next move?

TSN.ca Staff
11/19/2010 10:30:03 PM
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Last January, the Calgary Flames were floundering and fading out of the Western Conference playoff picture. To shake things up, they traded defenceman Dion Phaneuf to the Maple Leafs - the star name in a monster six-player deal.

While the Flames were giving up the most talented player, one of the four players they received was defenceman Ian White, who, while not as skilled as Phaneuf, was expected to offset the loss with a complete all-around game.

But less than 10 months later, White is off to Carolina along with Brett Sutter - traded for Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos. White was struggling this season, a team-worst minus-10 and the Flames are just 7-9. Only Edmonton has fewer points than Calgary in the Western Conference.

The Flames say it was primarily a salary move. With big dollars already invested in Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr, Cory Sarich and the freshly-inked Mark Giordano, there was no way they would have the dollars to re-sign White.

With one of their biggest trading chips gone and only Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman remaining to show for the Phaneuf deal, coupled with a sluggish start to this campaign, you could argue that the Flames are worse off than they were last January.

Here was Dave's question to you: "Following the Ian White trade, what should be the Calgary Flames' next move?"

And here are the answers that Dave liked best:

"Trading Jarome Iginla would give him a chance to play for a contender and would give the Flames something they haven't had since Darryl Sutter took over - the need and the opportunity to actually rebuild the team." - Jason, Calgary

"They should sit tight and ride the bumpy road. The Sutters especially know you don't just pack up and sell the farm." - Pete, Fort McMurray, AB

"Brett Sutter was a start. Now we have to get rid of two more Sutters." - Angelo, TSN/Facebook

"Call the Leafs and start talking trade. That worked well the last couple of times, right?" - Joe, Toronto

"It's Movember - bring back Lanny McDonald." - Brian, Ottawa

And here is Dave's reply to all:

Don't dither on Iginla.

There are three views of a potential Jarome Iginla trade: Don't do it; don't do it, yet; and do it as fast as you can. I'm at door number three. Never mind that he's the face of the franchise - the franchise needs a new face. Never mind the theory that the trade deadline is the time to get full return for Iggy, or that an Iginla trade means surrender - it would say just the opposite to me if the Flames did it soon. It wouldn't and shouldn't be done easily, but what's the alternative? To hope that the team can be made better with more Ian White trades? Life after Iginla for the Flames, and vice versa, seems inevitable. I'm guessing life will be better for both.

You can also catch the best responses on video on demand right after the broadcast on TSN.ca.

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