The Calgary Flames announced Wednesday morning that they inked 25 year old free agent Roman Cervenka to a one year 3.775 million dollar contract.
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-Roman Cervenka is a highly skilled player that is known to have great hands, score goals at a high level, and has played along side some of the worlds elite including Jaromir Jagr. Calgary Flames European scouts believe Cervenka can slot into a top 6 forward on the Flames, and fill the number 2 center role for the club. Roman was recently a member of the KHL's Avangard Omsk, where he receieved the top goal scorers award in the 2010-2011 season. He participated in the KHL all star game, where he recieved the top number of fan votes. Cervenka has played in a few different international events, including his most siginifcant international event with the Czech Republic in the 2005 World Junior Championship, where he won a bronze medal.
-Although it seems like a good signing today, there are a couple of things that concern me. One of the first things that concern me are that when Cervenka put up his most points in a season and won the scoring award in the KHL, he played on the same line as Jaromir Jagr. Since Jagr has left (this season), Cervenka's PPG (points per game) average has dropped significant 0.47, without the hall of fame winger on his side. Although I'm sure the Flames staff looked into this before offering Roman the deal, it does raise a few eye brows and is something that keeps me a tad worried.
-The second concern I have with the deal, is the fact that Roman Cervenka has not played a single game in North America. A few people may feel that the Flames could have used this money elsewhere, with an already NHL proven player. Cervenka has been considered one of the best players outside of the NHL for a couple years now by many. It's a wait and see game now.
Overall I really like the signing. I see a guy who can potentially put up 60 points+ in the NHL. Worst case scenario, he doesn't prove to be what the scouting staff thought he could be and they don't re-up with him after next season. I also wanted to see the Flames walk from Olli Jokinen this off season, and I believe that this signing pretty much has that written in stone now. I think this is a great decison by the organization and is a great example of how to remain competitive while injecting youth and skill. I think it's definitley the right move, and isn't all that risky. With a 1 year term, you can't go wrong.