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Feaster: Flames intend to compete for playoff spot

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TSN.ca Staff
1/13/2012 8:37:54 PM
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Flames general manager Jay Feaster is sending a clear message to Calgary hockey fans.

After asserting all year long that the club has no intention of dealing captain Jarome Iginla and instigating a rebuild, Thursday night's acquisition of Michael Cammalleri from the Montreal Canadiens hammered the point home.

The Flames intend to compete for the playoffs this season.

"We're serious about making the playoffs and being a team that can win in the playoffs," Feaster told TSN's That's Hockey. "This is a franchise that has no interest in rebuilding or blowing [it] up or any of those things."

To add to that prediction, Feaster was quick to eliminate any thoughts that the team might consider shopping captain Jarome Iginla.

"The goal is to have him finish his career as a member of the Calgary Flames."

When pressed for a prediction, Feaster commented that he could see the team finishing as high as fifth or sixth in the Western Conference.

Sitting three points out in a crowded battle for Western Conference playoff berths, the Flames brought Cammalleri in to bolster their scoring.

Feaster's declaration comes after the team has rattled off three straight wins, closing the gap on a playoff spot.

As for the Cammalleri acquisition, Feaster believes he'll bring passion to the team's dressing room.

"He's a great guy on the power play and he had a career year here and our fan base absolutely loves him," Feaster said. "I love the emotion and the passion that he brings to the game."

Feaster added that he's not worried about the comments the forward made shortly before being dealt out of Montreal.

"Every once in a while, somebody with that kind of passion and emotion says something that stirs the pot or is controversial or gets people's noses out of joint," Feaster said. "I'm willing to live with that if the trade-off is that he is as passionate as he is."

Cammalleri, 30, has scored nine goals and 22 points this season.

In his lone previous season as a member of the Flames in 2008-09, Cammalleri posted career-highs in goals (39) and points (83).

Those stats have his new Flames teammates excited to have him back in the room.

"He's probably one of the best power play forwards in the league," said Flames forward Tom Kostopoulos. "[He brings] a lot of offence, a lot of leadership and he wants to win."

Flames head coach Brent Sutter, however, was quick to temper expectations.

"Because something's worked in the past as far as playing with certain individuals [goes] doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be a good fit now," he said. "That was two, three years ago."

Sutter was optimistic about Cammalleri's offensive capabilities but showed more concern with getting him to fit into the team's system.

"It doesn't always work out that way," Sutter said. "Whatever the best fit is, that's what it's going to be: whatever's best for our hockey team."

 

Jarome Iginla, Michael Cammalleri (Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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