The Calgary Flames made a pair of moves in the past week, both of which were not entirely unexpected.
???It has been a disappointing season,??? says Marco Shane at a media availability yesterday morning. ???We expected better things from our young core, but it just didn???t seem to...click.???
The rookie General Manager had a unique task of taking on a vacant position that no one was touching with a 30-foot pole, after The Incident ?? which lead to the vacancy in the EHEC. Shane has been on record several times stating that his first order of business was a top-to-down investigation of the organization he was taking over and ???weed out??? any problem employees.
???This season has nothing to do with that,??? says Shane. ???When I took over, I sat down with Pete (DeBoer) and we figured out how we wanted to take this program. We identified a young core of players that we wanted to build around and we are going forward with that in mind.???
Shane made a pair of moves with the trade deadline looming, moving goalie Chris Gibson and Defenseman Josh Thrower to San Jose for two prospects and a third -round pick in the upcoming draft. The Calgary GM followed that up by moving Nico Hischier to Pittsburgh for Jesperi Kotkaniemi and another third-round pick.
???I mean, mathematically we aren???t cooked, but logically we are,??? Shane says ???with the signing of (Jaroslav Pavelka) we had a swath of goaltenders in the system. Gibby was on an expiring contract, so we made the deal that was fair for him and for the two teams involved.???
Chris Gibson has had a tough season, winning only 15 games in 48 starts with a GAA of 3.34. Moving to a defensively responsible San Jose team could be a fresh start for Gibson, going into free agency.
???In Coco (Kotkaniemi) we get speed, a little more size, but also some cost certainty. We hated the idea of moving Nico, but it was what was required to make the deal work.???
Calgary is expected to make a few more moves in the coming days and weeks, with veteran Milan Lucic out for 4-6 weeks, and the aforementioned embarrassment of goalie riches.
???We will see,??? says Shane, coyly. ???There is no sense in making a move for the sake of making one, if it???s going to alter our program going forward. No one is untouchable.???
When asked about a full-on rebuild, Shane remained resolute. ???I would hesitate to use that term. Maybe a re-tool...there are still games left to make that assessment.???
Either way, Cowtown is stampeding out of control, but Flames fans feel confident with Shane at the reins.