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Not making plans for Nigel

Nigel Dawes (#15) no longer fits into the future plans of the Calgary Flames despite his 14 goals
Nigel Dawes (#15) no longer fits into the future plans of the Calgary Flames despite his 14 goals
Leah Hennel, Calgary Herald

“I have an opinion just like you” – Darryl Sutter

Riddle me this. How can a 25-year old forward who had a productive 14-goal, 32-point season and proved, on occasion, that he could be a formidable force on the ice not be worthy of fitting into the future plans for his employer? How can a 14-goal player not even be worthy enough to be dangled as trade bait?

That is the question on the minds of many Calgary Flame fans this morning when it was revealed the club had placed Nigel Dawes on waivers with the intent of buying out his contract, scheduled to cost the team less than a million dollars next season.

It’s true that Dawes scored only one goal in the final eight games of the season – games that determined the club’s post-season fate - but if that were the criteria used as a deciding factor in keeping or releasing, half the Flames club would be facing the exit sign. He was defensively responsible and made contributions on the powerplay. However with only 18 penalty minutes and a reputation for being reluctant to drop the mitts, he failed to hit the radar on the rugged registry.

Maybe it’s just me, but I would have thought a player still in his developing years with two 14-goal NHL seasons on his resume would be considered a bargain at $850,000 a season. If no team claims him and he fails to generate interest as an unrestricted free agent, there is obviously more to the story than the statistics on the score sheet

Instead of retaining Dawes, Calgary was signed free agent Alex Tanguay to a $1.7 million deal with a no trade clause tacked on in case Sutter gets a case of the shakes and unloads half the team like he did last season.

Tanguay is still a talented playmaker who delivers the puck with precision and enjoyed his finest moments as a NHL professional while wearing the flaming “C” on his chest. If he can get the puck to Jarome Iginla and generate offense, this is a signing that will prove beneficial to both sides.

In a minor move, Calgary nabbed forward Logan MacMillan as well as a contingent 7th round draft choice in 2013 form the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Jason Jaffray and a contingent 7th round draft choice in 2013.



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