SUN Hockey Pool

Let's make a deal!

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

No Calgary Flames forward has scored an NHL goal since Feb. 8.

Sure, that may be a little misleading since the Olympic break wiped out two weeks of league play but you get the point.

The Flames also have scored just four goals in their last two games, all from their blueliners.

"Yeah," said snake-bitten Flames forward Tony Amonte, "they've let us know that."

Flames players and management should know one other thing: They're not going to advance far into the playoffs this spring if GM/head coach Darryl Sutter doesn't address his club's woeful offence before the March 9 trade deadline.

Only league also-rans Chicago and Columbus have scored fewer goals than Calgary's 154.

That puts the Flames on pace to score 218 for the season. Since 1996, only one team -- the 2002-03 New Jersey Devils -- has won the Stanley Cup scoring fewer goals (they potted 216 that season). Can the Flames win it all by scoring one or two goals a game? It's possible but the odds are not in their favour.

The onus is on Sutter and Co. to find somebody who'll spark some offence.

The most mentioned candidate is Florida captain Olli Jokinen.

He'd be ideal. He's a big, left-handed shooting centre who can score and set up goals, while checking the opposition.

He also may be capable of igniting Jarome Iginla, who hasn't hit his stride all season and is on pace for an underwhelming 35-goal campaign.

The price tag for Jokinen won't be as exorbitant as other first-line centres, since he's due to become an unrestricted free agent and has reportedly turned down a four-year, $16 million US offer.

Being a rental player wanting to test the market in the summer, Jokinen probably could be acquired for draft picks and/or mid-level prospects. Interest from other teams, notably Ottawa, could drive up that price, however.

If so, there should be many other players on Sutter's 'want' list.

According to some sources, Detroit's Robert Lang, San Jose's Patrick Marleau and Tampa Bay's Brad Richards are all available, but since they're all either facing restricted free agency or signed for another season, they won't come cheaply.

The Flames are more likely to look at players a level below that trio. And that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Toronto's Darcy Tucker could add scoring and act as an agitator, another element Calgary is lacking.

Atlanta's Marc Savard could be lured back to Calgary, where he once enjoyed good chemistry with Iginla. The Islanders' Mark Parrish, a perennial 20-goal scorer, is another intriguing candidate.

The time has come to make a deal.

Otherwise, the march to the final will become a short journey to oblivion.

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WISH LIST

Players who could help the Flames' anemic offence:

- Olli Jokinen: Can score, skate and maybe even help Jarome Iginla become a dominant player again.

- Marc Savard: Skilled, shifty centre.

- Patrick Marleau: A top-rate centre. Big price tag.

- Darcy Tucker: Agitating skills and he's on pace for a 40-goal season.

- Sergei Samsonov: Dynamic left winger appears to have fallen out of favour in Boston.


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