The Calgary Flames signed Brendan Morrison today, desperately needing to plug some holes in light of injuries to centres Daymond Langkow and Matt Stajan and wingers David Moss and Ales Kotalik.
Morrison is 35, got dumped by the Vancouver Canucks just hours earlier today and was looking only for a one-way contract, guaranteeing he wouldn’t spend possibly his last season in the minors.
Yes, it’s easy math. At $750,000 for one year, Morrison is a bargain … not much of a cap hit, even though his numbers have dropped severely since his glory days on the Canucks top line with Markus Naslund and One of the Names I Dare Not Speaketh.
He’s a capable centre for the third line, while Olli Jokinen tries to keep the young upstart, Mikael Backlund, at bay for the first-line position.
I just wish the Flames didn’t have to go fishing so early.
It’s still considered ‘training camp,’ since the new 2010-11 season doesn’t start until Thursday.
And yet the Flames can’t go to the bench — the AHL team in Abbotsford — to find an able centre to fill the spot.
It’s troubling that this kind of talent doesn’t exist on the farm, that Backlund was the lone hope to make the jump to the bigs this year … that T.J. Brodie’s feisty play on the blueline is a more-than-pleasant surprise, forcing the Flames brass into some tough decisions in the very near future.
Two players? That’s it?
Yes, we saw great things from Jon Rheault.
But that’s it?
We knew the Flames didn’t have a ton of depth but their inability to ring the bell in Abbotsford ought to serve as a warning sign.
It’s time for general manager to stop trading away draft picks to get aging, B-level stars and start drafting the right way.
Start building this team from the ground up, instead of regurgitating has-beens and other teams’ castoffs.
Declare a five-year plan like Brian Burke did in Toronto, then turnaround and dump some of these guys on some poor unsuspecting sap somewhere else in the league, just like Brian Bur … oh wait. Crap.
Sutter might think the Calgary fan base is content to watch these guys muddle their way to a mediocre finish and a first-round knockout.
But we’re not.
We’d be just as happy to watch the team struggle through a season or two, knowing the Flames are building towards something, instead of making desperate attempts with guys whose glory days are behind them.
Miikka Kiprusoff won’t last forever, you know.
And at least Morrison didn’t get a no-move clause.