there's really no way around it, now. the flames are going to be a different team down the stretch and we'll find out in the next weeks if that means outgoing players as well as incoming (trades/call-ups).
with gio done for the forseeable future (*sniff*), vandermeer solidifies his spot on the blueline next to dion, which cannot possibly be any more slopply of a pairing than it was on saturday against the greasers. the two were halfway decent together at the start of the year, so let's hope keenan finds a way to either massage him into that spot or straight up change the pairings. this would, of course, put pardy back with phaneuf: not ideal but probably better until vandy gets his game back...
what keeps me up at night is the "what ifs" on D if someone else goes down. the obvious first response is to re-call anders eriksson, who has admittedly put up really good numbers in the QC. the numbers don't fool me, though. the dude is not positionally sound enough to play on a "defense first" style NHL squad, and i think it would be a total disaster. it's possible that rhettro's ride on IR is closer to over than we think, and with such little time left this year, i presume that would make him the seventh guy in the eyes of his sutterness.
trade talk also increased when word came out that gio had undergone season-ending shoulder surgery, and the buzz on picking up a bouwmeester or a leopold started a-fresh yesterday.
my opinion ? with negrin and aulie comin' down the pipe, and with the "adam pardy experiment" looking like a total success, i say let's re-call brett palin, AHL allstar, instead of making big roster moves for rental players. let's bring palin up TODAY. right now, in fact. where's a phone... ? let's get that guy on a plane outta moline and have him start practicing immediately with the big club. let's give him a week or so to acclimatise, then start rotating out the #6 guy (vandermeer, pardy) to give him some gametime. the future is now. let's see how deep the cupboards are...
and finally, your daily clutterbuck indignity:
cal clutterbuck used to hold the title of "best name in hockey" but lost it last week upon discovery of cbj prospect john vigilante.... sucker.