The Calgary Flames finally admitted that they’re in rebuild mode on Friday. Apparently they viewed Step 1 as “draft Seth Jones at all costs.”*
The CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Calgary offered its three first-round draft picks to Colorado for the Avalanche’s No. 1 overall choice in the 2013 NHL Draft. (H/T to Lyle Richardson)
Instead, this is how things stand:
Colorado keeps the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Calgary retains its own first-rounder (No. 6 overall), the St. Louis Blues’ first-rounder thanks to the Jay Bouwmeester trade (No. 22 overall) and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ selection via the Jarome Iginla deal (No. 28 overall).
Both franchises suffered through turbulent 2013 seasons, which might explain the thought processes (though the context might make the situation worse if you disagree with one or even both of the general managers).
The Avalanche might just want to keep it simple and grab the guy they view as the best player in the draft, especially with serious front office turnover and all the bad memories of Ryan O’Reilly’s contract negotiations.
Meanwhile, Flames GM Jay Feaster might be feeling the heat to make a splashy move considering the organization’s reluctance to acknowledge a rebuilding phase and today’s news about flirtations with Brendan Shanahan.
It’s not quite the New York Islanders essentially offering their 2012 draft crop to move up and take the Columbus Blue Jackets’ second pick, but fans of the two teams might play the “what if?” game with this rejected offer for years to come.
* – Or Nathan MacKinnon, if that’s who they really wanted.