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The Flames are terrific on paper except for one thing. They don't have a decent center to play between Iginla and Tanguay. Is Daymond Langkow the answer here? Ask any Flames fan and they will tell you that he isn't. Langkow was not good enough to spark Iginla last season. He finished the season with 59 points in 82 games. He was given time on the top line and didn't make the best of it in my opinion.
The Flames need something more. Cue the recent rumors involving a trade with New Jersey for Scott Gomez. Is this likely? I say it's vaguely possible. Gomez would be an amazing fit between Iginla and Tanguay. Devil's GM Lou Lamoriello needs to clear a fair bit of salary space to get under the cap. He has made statements that he wanted Gomez to be a Devil this coming season but a GM 'saying something' doesn't mean he's telling the absolute truth. So could Gomez become a Flame?
My opinion is 'I doubt it', for a few reasons.
For one, Lamoriello would ask alot for Gomez, and I have a feeling that one of his demands would be Dion Phaneuf. There's no way that Flames' GM Darryl Sutter will part with his Calder Trophy candidate.
Second, there isn't enough expendable players on the Flames' roster to give up for Gomez that: a) Lamoriello would desire, b) provide enough room under the cap to fit Gomez's $5 million contract in Calgary. The Flames are approaching the cap already as it is.
Who would Lamoriello have as a number one center if he gave up Gomez? John Madden? Zach Parise? Maybe, but Lou won't sacrifice the Devils' position either. And Sutter won't compromise the Flames' core.
The Devils are in salary hell, but you'd have to think that Lou is trying to flog Alex Mogilny and Vlad Malakhov, not Gomez to make room for Brian Gionta's contract. But who will take them?
I expect a last minute rash decision by Lamoriello to get under the cap just before the season starts.
The Flames cannot afford another big salary without compromising DEPTH. So I would expect them to trade for a cheaper, more skilled center for the top line without giving up alot, or sign a free agent like Jason Allison or Yanic Perrault (oh no).