I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet but if you don't start your list early no one gets you anything good.
1) Jarome Iginla.
Like most X-mas lists, I started out with my long shot, hoping Santa will somehow manage to pull off a Christmas miracle. Paul "Santa" Holmgren would really have to crunch the numbers to figure out how to fit Iggy's $7 million cap hit in all our mess. But no worries, The Flames' management are not the sharpest tools in the NHL toolbox. I could see a big package deal for Iginla being done. Flames did that last year with Dion Phaneuf. Scott Hartnell, Michael Leighton, and Daniel Carcillo (Just shy of 6 million in salary) for Jarome Iginla. Fantasies huh? Alright throw in the Flyers' 1st, I don't think the end of the 1st round this year will be anything good anyway.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="410" caption="Iginla could bring some hardware to Philly"][/caption]
Why would the Flyers or the Flame do this deal? Despite the numbers Iggy is (not) putting up this year, he still is a force. His veteran presence and leadership would be a perfect addition to our offense to replace Gagne's. Not to mention the man is probably the only player in the NHL who is a Flyer without donning an orange-and-black jersey. He scores, passes, leads, fights, kills penalties, crashes the net, pulls moves--it's a thing of beauty. The Flames management (the Sutter brothers who are GM and coach) are not getting along with Jarome. Jarome's argument probably revolves around being stuck with mediocre talent for the past 10 years. Well, this fight has been pretty public and Iginla's moving is the easiest way to resolve the dispute. It is clearly affecting Calgary's game.
2) Sergei Bobrovsky to get a shutout.
Is it that hard, Flyers' defense? Is it? Every game he has played in, the team's defense has not allowed him to sustain his first ever NHL shutout. They just do not allow it, they tip in the other team's shots or leave a man unmarked back door. It's ten minutes left to go in the third and I am yelling at the screen, "PLEASE! PLEASE!" But, alas, they can not hear me. Painful, painful stuff but one of these days he is bound to get it.
3) Claude Giroux to be an All-Star.
The ballots were clearly made before the season started. It is every year. It's easy to see because the people on the ballot are the guys who were on the ballot the year before, and the year before that. And of course there are a few guys who have not even played this year, or haven't played well.
This year they left off Claude Giroux. The Flyers, however, managed to get Richards, Carter and Briere on the list for forwards. But in all honesty, Giroux deserves it more than Carter. Giroux averages just over a point per game. How is he not on the list? He does everything right. So please vote for Giroux as a write-in. Just like I know some of you voted for Ron Paul in '08. Remember you can vote as many times as you want, multiple times a day. So vote, or you will be stuck with the same old, same old guys in the All-Star game.
4) Erik Gustafsson gets a few games up with the big club.
Gustafsson impressed me greatly this pre-season. His poise and puck moving skills are hard to forget. But seeing how he is number 9 on the Flyers D chart and down with the Phantoms it might not be until next August that we see him. But I am hoping that a trade of one of the extra defenseman will move him up for a few games to give the big guys a rest down the stretch. I am a sucker for a good young defensemen. Hell, I'll take mediocre. Where's Bartulis?
5) The Flyers beat Western Conference's heavy hitters.
Teams in the East do not scare me. I know the Flyers can beat all of them in a 7 game series. (Confident much?) But it is the West coast teams that do. The West is tougher and more talented than the East this year, the Flyers have not beat a Western Conference team in a 7 game series in how long? Never. When they go out there on road trips they usually do not fare too well. Last year they got slapped around out there a few games. If they want to really be the best they have to beat the best of the West...in a 7 game series...in the Stanley Cup Finals. Before they can do that, they have to beat that league in the regular season. Getting confidence there will surely help if they make it to the Finals for the second straight year.
So there it is, my simple wish list for this year. I am a man of quality not quantity. I really am not asking for too much, am I?
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