word is coming out that sutter may look to deal our boy lombardi this summer while the gettin's good. sure it's just the calgary sun, but it wouldn't surprise me, just as it wouldn't surprise me to see playfair in his bad suits behind the bench next year.
although i once accepted anything sutter did, as part of a "master plan," it seems to me that this plan might be fatally flawed. sutter seems to want to build a team like the 03/04 flames: a bunch of gritty forwards that have both skill and size --but if you look at the remaining teams gunning for the cup, they all have at least one very skilled 'finesse' line. i'm not sure i feel like tanguay/conroy/iginla is anywhere near as good as heatley/spezza/alfredsson or zetterberg/datsyuk/holmstrom.
the more i think about the way the flames have treated lombardi, the more i think about the way the sens treated spezza in his first few years. jacques martin was not a spezza fan, the same way playfair doesn't seem so keen on lombardi. when bryan murray came into ottawa, he showed some tough love for the young centre --often riding him about his backchecking (or lack thereof) but still applauding his speed and stickwork. we all know that spezza has flourished under murray, was given first line status and has improved in his defensive play along the way. i just hope lombardi is given a similar opportunity to improve, instead of getting dealt for another gritty 3rd liner that we just don't need.
speed and skill is the way of the new NHL. so let's keep our speedy, skilly guys....