Guess that disgraceful 9-0 loss in Boston last week didn't change Jay Feaster's mind at all.
Just the opposite, in fact.
Instead of deciding to drop out of the playoff chase, on Thursday night the Calgary GM sacrificed a second-round pick, a prospect and a big chunk of salary cap space to the Montreal Canadiens to bring in slumping scorer Mike Cammalleri.
That's futures and flexibility for help right now. Interesting.
In fact, Cammalleri's first job is to replace the goals lost by including winger Rene Bourque in the deal with Montreal, a player who has been as good a scorer as Cammalleri in recent times.
If Cammalleri can do that, the Flames can be even in the deal, for now. Feaster is banking on the fireplug winger to add energy and enthusiasm, as well, with Bourque's laconic nature one of the reasons Calgary cooled on him.
But giving up a pick, a prospect and cap flexibility to exchange Bourque for Cammalleri, who will be 30 soon?
It's aggressive, for sure. Some might suggest it's the most recent evidence that Calgary is in self-denial over the state of their roster. We already know Jarome Iginla isn't going to be traded for the assets that might generate, and we know the Calgary prospect chart, while it has some prospects, lacks true blue chippers. Certainly there's no heir apparent to Iginla.
Again, this seems so remiscent of what the Maple Leafs were doing in the final years of the Mats Sundin era it's eerie. As of today, the Flames are sitting in 12th in the Western Conference, three points out of eighth, so sure, they could conceivably make the playoffs. But to do what? Beat Chicago or Detroit in the first round?
But Feaster has set his course and isn't deviating. Getting defenceman Mark Giordano back soon will certainly help. But adding salary has complicated the crush on the Flames payroll, with long term injuries supplying the necessary relief to keep Calgary cap compliant.
From a Montreal standpoint, at first blush it's more nonsense from a franchise once known for doing things the right way. Pulling a player off the ice during a game for the purposes of trading him one day after a very public outburst that really wasn't particularly negative?
That's bad business all around. Having the Molson family back in charge was supposed to bring back the glory, not start a new descent.
Acquiring Bourque, by the way, wasn't a bid to address the linguistic issues created by the ham-handed hiring of head coach Randy Cunneyworth. Bourque's from Alberta and only speaks a few words of French.
But he does give the Habs size and some edge - he's been suspended twice this season, and still has one-game left on his current suspension - and Cammalleri wasn't producing.
Bourque is locked up for four more seasons at a reasonable $3.33 million annual cap hit.
Really, despite the outcry for the way in which the Habs are doing business, this wasn't a bad deal at all. Maybe a very good one. All that new cap room means that if the Canadiens wanted to, they could add upwards of $8 million in salaries before the trade deadline.
What's unclear is whether they'd want to do that, or in general, where the Habs are headed. Cammalleri and Jaroslav Halak were the heroes of the run to the conference final three years ago, and neither is in Montreal any more. Montreal is 24th overall, and with their playoff chances dimmer than Calgary, this wouldn't be a bad year to take the hit, sink further and draft high in June.
This is, most believe, a very good draft.
But dumping out of the playoff race isn't what the club is publicly saying, so we'll watch and guess for a while longer.