TSN: Craig Button gives his thoughts on if the Calgary Flames could be thinking of rebuilding as they sit near the bottom of the league in the early part of the season.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
“I think the Calgary Flames absolutely have to look at rebuilding their team. Now to what extent they want to go is up to them.
Last year after they made the big trade with the (Matthew) Tkachuk and losing (Johnny) Gaudreau, I thought it was a Stanley Cup-caliber team. Clearly, that wasn’t the case.
Then we saw all the change in the offseason and I thought okay, there’d be a nice little reset here. Well, you got a team that’s wallowing at the bottom of the Western Conference. Craig Conroy the GM is trying to reach out, trying to get players to sign long-term. Now all of that has been put on hold.
But what does that tell you? It tells me that the team is not good enough. And are you going to commit the players that are not going to be here for a significant part of success, whenever that may be, because it doesn’t appear that that is in the near future, or even in the midterm future.
So I think for the Flames that have to clearly evaluate a rebuild plan, because where do you want to be? Do you want to be in the mushy middle? Do you want to be in that 7 – 11 group where really you go nowhere and you don’t really fall to an area where you can make a significant step ahead in the years to come.
So I think the time has come. (Nikita) Zadorov has for a trade. We know they have lots of looming unrestricted free agents. So for the Calgary Flames, as difficult as it may be, I think that this is the right path for them to take right now because the evidence has become overwhelming despite belief, mine included, that the team was better than that.
So the time is right now to explore the opportunity and what options position you best to get this rebuild under course. And doing that will help the team be successful in the future because the future for success right now isn’t there for the Flames.”
TSN: Craig Button when asked if the Calgary Flames should go through a full rebuild.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
Cory Woron: “I’m joined now by our director of scouting Craig Button, and Craig, there was a bit of buzz around the Calgary Flames heading into this season. There was a new head coach and a new feeling of optimism around the team but with is two wins in the last 10 games, they are closer to the league basement than a playoff spot right now. So is it time for a full rebuild in Calgary?
Button: “I don’t know about full but I think they have to evaluate where they’re headed. And to me last year, everybody talks about a good team that just missed the playoffs. Massive changes in the offseason in the manager’s office and behind the bench.
And now there was a renewed hope that this team was capable of doing a lot of positive things. I think the evidence has been pretty clear, not only on the ice with the record, but also now with the edict that they’re not going to start talking or continue talking to players about extensions.
So what does that tell you? That tells you that the Flames don’t have a lot of confidence in this group. That they really have to take a long hard look at this story about saying where are we? And where are, they are they’re at the bottom. Like where can they get to, the mushy middle, kind of nowhere?
So I think it’s prudent upon the Calgary Flames to look at it. Darren Dreger called it a renovation. We call it a full rebuild. Bottom line is, is I think that they have to look at retooling this team and retooling this group. You have unrestricted free agents. There’s a market out there for them to three defense and Elias Lindholm for sure.
And now Craig Conroy can focus his sights on what it means going forward. Now, whether that’s a two-year retool or a four-year retool, that is something that has to be determined. But I think what has become very clear is that the Calgary Flames are not a contender. If you want to continue with a group of players that have shown you they’re not a contender, shame on you.