Christmas is right around the corner so it’s time to dole out a few gifts to the Calgary Flames. But despite the spirit of the giveaway season, it won’t be tolerated on the ice.
Craig Conroy: A goal. He hasn’t scored since April.
Miikka Kiprusoff: A gold star. The Finnish stopper has hands-down been Calgary’s MVP this season.
Curtis McElhinney: A semi-regular start. Wasn’t he supposed to start 15-20 games this season so Kiprusoff could be paced? What’s he started, three out of 32?
Jarome Iginla: A first-rate playmaking centre. Now well into the back nine of his career, Iginla would post some fabulous numbers playing with a première pass-first pivot. Someone like the available Jason Spezza.
Nigel Dawes: Daymond Langkow’s defensive awareness.
Rene Bourque: A three-year deal worth $12 million. That’s a 300 percent increase over the $1.35 million he’s getting now, but it’s well warranted. In fact, the Flames would be the happy recipient of a Christmas present like that.
Mark Giordano: Time on the first power play unit with Jay Bouwmeester. With it would come instant league-wide respect as a top-flight defenceman.
Jay Bouwmeester: An added sense of urgency. The poise and calmness are nice, but not always ideal when the alarm bells go off.
Dustin Boyd: Regular duty with scoring wingers to take his game to the next level.
David Moss: See Jay Bouwmeester.
Dion Phaneuf: Another half brain when playing in his own end without the puck.
Curtis Glencross: A week with Rich and Ron Sutter. The style of play is much the same. Maybe osmosis from the Sutter twins would add a bit more grit and consistency.
Olli Jokinen: A playmaking winger. All those good years in Florida came averaging more than four shots on goal per game. Now you’re not even close to three per game.
Cory Sarich: Good health in 2010. The Flames aren’t nearly as tough without you in the lineup.
Robyn Regehr: See Craig Conroy. Actually, it’s no biggee you haven’t scored in 100-plus games. Balancing off a defensively weak partner is a big enough challenge.
Eric Nystrom: Your father Bob’s hands.
Fredrik Sjostrom: Scoring totals like you used to post at the Saddledome (77 points in 63 games with the Hitmen in 2002-03). OK, we’d be happy with a goal every half dozen games or so.