The Cat Came Back
Calgary Sun columnist
Three's Company. Again.
Tabby is back and despite the official protestations, Trevor Kidd isn't long for the Calgary Flames.
The team's crease crisis of last season is back, thanks to Calgary's re-acquisition of goalie Rick Tabaracci from Tampa Bay for a fourth round draft choice in 1998.
But it isn't much of a crisis this time -- you can be assured a deal will be made before the summer.
"All this does is make the crease crowded and it doesn't resolve anything -- they have to do something," said an angered and disappointed Kidd yesterday from his summer cottage in northern Ontario.
"There has to be a deal and I guess the finger is pointing at me -- we'll have to wait and see."
The Flames picked up Tabaracci during yesterday's draft, and although GM Al Coates says we shouldn't assume a deal with Kidd is imminent, it's pushing the limits of believability to think the Flames will start next season with the two and Dwayne Roloson.
Both Kidd and Tabaracci believe there'll be another trade.
Roloson said: "Tabby was popular, and that's great that he's back. But it sure looks like they'll make a deal now with me or Kidder.
In Maryland, a vacationing Tabaracci said his return to Calgary is a dream come true.
"This is strange -- but I'm excited.' said Tabaracci who was dealt last season to Tampa Bay for Aaron Gavey.
It may be strange, but it's a coup by Coates who gets credit for getting Tabaracci and Gavey for just a fourth-round draft. You'll remember Tabaracci could have been had for nothing from Calgary on the waiver wire last season.
"This gives us a lot of options with our goaltending situation," said Coates."I absolutely do not have a deal now for (Kidd) or Roloson.
"Initially (Trevor) might feel threatened, but I'll talk to him and I don't think he should read too much into it.
"Our goaltending two seasons ago was excellent with that pair and I know they didn't like it but our job is to win. The team comes first."
And that's why Calgary fans should be excited about this trade. Competition between the pipes can be, and has been, healthy for the team.
Tabaracci, part owner of a Calgary health-food store with several Flames, is looking forward to the challenge of returning to the city where he was a fan favorite. He holds no grudges for being traded.
"l ran into Coatesy in Europe (last month) and we talked, but in my wildest dream I didn't imagine it would have worked out.
"I was never bitter about what happened, I understood it, even though you don't agree.
"I would assume that over the course of the summer, the three-goalie situation will be
resolved one way or another with someone going somewhere else.
"I know both guys (Roloson and Kidd) are free agents, but to be honest, right now I'm just happy to be coming back."
Tabaracci, who became trade material in Tampa with the return from injury of Daren Puppa, was a leader in Calgary.
At $875,000 Cdn, he'll also make substantially less than Kidd, who's up for a new contract -- he made about $1.2 million last season.
"We have lots of time to sort out our goaltending situation and I'm not going to commit one way or another to what we'll do," said Coates.
Something will. of course, be done.
Kidd is feuding with captain Theo Fleury, who suggested the Flames needed better goaltending after last season.
Kidd and Tabaracci didn't get along well as teammates. Roloson won't accept a return to the role of third fiddle.
The Flames also used their second pick to draft hot goaltending prospect Evan Lindsay from Prince Albert.
But don't let those issues distract from the fact this is a good trade, because the Flames have re-established depth in net at virtually no cost.
And now they're in a position to make another trade.
Three's a crowd but not for long.
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