Well, there you go. Although none of us should be surprised, I was shocked when the news broke. I just did not think that Jagr would choose the Flames. Nothing against the Flames, I just expected him to play in the limelight out east. But, I guess he wanted to play in Canada more than the in the big city. Colour me purple and call me impressed.
Now that he is here, who does he play with him? Does this put Jankowski's future in jeopardy? Sending down Jankowski at the expense of Jagr does not make me a happy camper. Jankowski was fantastic at camp and deserves a spot on the roster.
That being said, what are the lines I would use? In other words, the exact opposite of what the Flames will do.
Not that I like Ferland as a first line, but he is the best of the worst situation. Gaudreau and Monahan have to rebound, and cannot afford another slow start. Ferland has to somehow find a niche in this trio. If he can, the Flames should benefit by finally having a good first line.
If it is not freaking broken, don't freaking fix it. The Flames' best line for most of the season. The three work perfectly with each other. I would not change a thing. Tkachuk the disturber, Frolik the sniper, and Backlund the straw that stirs the drink.
The bottom six are a crap shoot. As far as I am concerned, the only guarantee is that Jagr will be on the third line. I have gone through every combination I could think of, so here it goes.
Bennett is going to be the full beneficiary to the Jagr signing. He is going to be the sniper to go with Jagr. Jagr will find him and Jankowski all night long. I put Jankowski here because he is simply the best forward of the bunch. Based on skill and the fact he has nothing to prove by being sent down to the AHL again.
As much as Bennett wins, Versteeg loses. He is a talented forward with no place to go. Here is hoping he can get some powerplay time, he won't get much ice time on the fourth line. Stajan is the perfect fourth line centre who does everything expected from him. Maybe if Brouwer can rebound, this fourth line will be a good one. I could honestly see Lazar there just as easy as Stajan. Lazar has something to prove. This line could change from game to game.
I am not happy about Andersson being sent down, but I guess it makes sense, being that he is the youngest. He has time; there is no need to rush him. Gillies has a terrific camp. I think next year he will be the backup to Smith. I have no problem with him being sent down.