April 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve let my vitriol towards Darryl out in little bits and spurts this season, mostly after the deadline, but I think it’s time to get comprehensive on this bitch.

I think there are 4 main problems with Darryl as GM, here’s an overview.  I’ll go a lot more indepth after the current awards series is over.

1. Micromanaging

If you watch the decisions made by coaches these past few years (benching Juice, putting Tanguay in a checking role, starting Toskala at absurd times) it’s clear that he likes to put his hands where they don’t belong. For a man who’s supposed to manage the hockey operations as a whole, he spends far too much time making decisions that the coaches, who see these players every day, are aware are completely moronic. Especially when he seems to largely ignore player development as a result.

2. Inability to Understand the Salary Cap

Just look at the team next year: aging D who are overpaid (Staios and Sarich), long term high-ish paying contract to Stajan (a marginal second liner) when both Backlund and Langkow are here and neither are 1st line  centers either, and constantly signing players who’ve just passed their prime at their prime value instead of players yet to come into it at a cheaper cost (Bourque being the exception).

3. Too Much Leeway

Dear Ken King,

When you give someone an “infinite contract”, you are basically saying “Go wild!” and handing them a bottle of tequila. And while Darryl seems like more of a port guy, he’s clearly gone wild

4. “Win Now At All Costs” Attitude

This basically ropes everything together. He thinks he knows what’s best on the ice, so instead of letting the coach fully implement a system, he hamstrings him by forcing decisions upon him. He trades futures for players that are just barely producing this season and will only cripple us capwise the next. He has no regard for tomorrow, and barely understands today.

Furthermore, Darryl Sutter has alienated a vast majority of the media, refuses to admit mistakes to the point of lying, and treats players horribly (remember the Andrew Ference fiasco?). He rarely makes an outside hire, choosing instead to hire his siblings as scouts, coaches, and most likely caterers. People who fail (Playfair) are inevitably given a lower job rather than that job being given to someone who deserves it. I understand loyalty, but it rarely applies to Sutter’s players (hypocrisy) and in this case prevents new blood from entering the organization.

Sutter has run things into the ground. Time for a change, I think.


The NW Division Norris Nominees

April 6, 2010 3 comments

The next part of our ongoing NW award series is the Norris trophy.  This trophy, named in honor of a manipulative horrible team owner back in the day is given every year to the best defenseman, since they have so much in common.  Here are the nominees, remember, red ones are mine and blue ones are Justin’s.  For voting this time, I’m putting in a poll (and I’ll add one to the Jack Adams post too).

1. Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames

Arik: Justin wanted to put J-Bow out there for the Flames, but some of his nominations in both this and other categories will overrule mine, and here mine overrules his. Because I’m right. Giordano may not eat up minutes like Bouwmeester does, but he’s been hitting good numbers lately, and unlike Bouwmeester actually seems to be a driving force in the game. He gets pretty cushy ice time, but he takes advantage of it too. Plus- Italian!

2. Christian Erhoff, Vancouver Canucks

Justin: Who the hell else was I gonna put here? Willie Mitchell? The only things that guy is good at are getting cut with skates and KO’d by Iggy. Back to Erhoff-dude’s had a pretty good offensive season, with 43 points and 42 penalty minutes in 79 games.

3. Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild

Justin: Yeah, he’s hurt a ton, but when he is healthy, he is a quality defender who sees the other team’s best players regularly. He also is able to play on the PP, although his stats don’t exactly show it. However, he’s the best D-man Minnesota has, and I’m much too lazy to look up actual advanced stats like Arik. Also, he played for Canada in 2008 at the World Championships, and he was named the tournament’s best defenseman. 18 points in 45 games this year, and he kinda looks like a horse.

4. The Kyles (Cumiskey and Quincey), Colorado Avalanche

Arik: Both guys have been unsung Colorado heroes this year. Quincey, because he plays some of the hardest competition on the Avs while only 42% of the draws he’s on the ice for are in the offensive zone, and Cumiskey because he’s the only d-man playing more from defensive draws than offensive ones that has a positive relative corsi. He also is a little bit jobbed by the bounces, unlike every other Avalanche player not named Paul Stastny, with an on ice SV% of .907.

5. Sheldon Souray, Edmonton Oilers

Arik: Our only unanimous choice here (and I almost threw my weight behind Aaron Johnson), Souray’s season will best be remembered by breaking his hand right before the trade deadline, causing much hilarity. I feel like that’s a fitting metaphor for the Oiler’s season.

Justin: Don’t forget: breaking that hand led to an infection, which ended his season and thus his trade value was zero! So now Edmonton has to live with the 5 Million they paid him for at least another season. So, I guess the Flames trading for Staios was, like, an apology for Jarome pwning him. It all makes sense now!

Now that you’ve been informed, forget that information and vote below!

A Brief Look at NTC’s/NMC’s

March 30, 2010 4 comments

A lot of talk around the Saddlesphere the past couple days has revolved around Jarome Iginla. Trades, captaincy, all of that good stuff. (In the interest of disclosure, Iggy has always been my favorite player and I will defend him to the death.) This then brought on a FanPost on Matchsticks and Gasoline from LawrenceS on trading Iggy. While it’s fun to debate about this stuff, the reality is that he has a large contract, which limits the amount of teams he can play for, and a NMC, which pretty much ensures he isn’t going anywhere. Rarely do players actually waive a NMC/NTC, especially when said player does not want to leave. With that, let’s look the Flames’ players with NTC’s and NMC’s:

Read more…

Oh Captain, No Captain

March 29, 2010 11 comments

This stems from a conversation I had on Twitter with RossCreek of FlamesNation the other day after the rumor of King, Sutter and Sutter being fired in lieu of Nicholson, Yzerman and coach to be later named surfaced on CBC. (Random aside: to me CBC is Cambridge Brewing Company, a crappy brew bar in Cambridge. Canadians tell me it’s a TV station.  Looks like CBS is getting pirated on the *puts sunglasses on* high Cs. YEEEAAAAAAHHHH)

Annnnnyways, we started discussing coaching styles, and whether Brent’s coaching was the problem.  As I mentioned in my last snark filled post, I’m not entirely sure the bizarre decisions are his fault one way or another, but those are not the coaching we’re referring to.  We’re referring to the “hardass I’m a dinosaur and probably fat also my name is Ken Hitchcock” coach vs. the “fun light-hearted cuddly bunny” coach.

RossCreek was saying it’s time for a change in styles to a softie, since clearly Keenan and Sutter aren’t getting through to the team.  I am thoroughly of the opinion that at the end of the day, it shouldn’t make a difference.  Why? 

  1. These are grown men.  I can understand you’ll want a more “fun” coach on a really young team (like the St. Louis Blues or NY Islanders), but on a team like Calgary where the age skew is closer to 30 than 20, it shouldn’t matter. The team should be able to be professional, show up, work hard, play the game hard, and go home.  They’re not kids growing up still.  This is not their first rodeo.
  2. The coach shouldn’t fit a mold.  He should adapt.  And I think Brent has done that.  There’s been times where he’s yelled, there’s been times where they’ve had a fun day in Toronto.  But the key is never rewarding mediocrity.  If things are just going poorly with bad bounces, take their minds off the game.  But don’t give them fun times for just being apathetic.  And Brent hasn’t done that.  I mean, could you be a fluffy bunny coach if your team gave up five goals to goddamn Boston?
  3. The problem is a lack of effort, not skill nor understanding of the game. The players skate around listlessly, except for the odd game or period where someone reminds them that effort is involved.  A coach can only do so much leadership since he’s in a suit behind the bench.  Real leadership comes from the players.  The number of times this year I’ve seen Iggy skate bored around a scrum with Calgary players getting roughed up is ridiculous.  If you wear the C, you are the leadership on the team.  You are the heart, soul, and backbone of the time.  If you don’t have the drive, the passion, and the integrity, take it off.  This is my main point, let me expound:

I’ve mentioned before that I played high level volleyball (AA and AAA) when I was younger, and provided my hand recovers, I’ll hopefully get back to it.  My experience with the coach was not that he was our leader.  He taught us, yes.  Corrected my form when digging, or laying out for a pancake.  But he didn’t make me play harder because of what he said or did.  He was there to coach, not lead. 
I wasn’t the leader either, being good enough to be scouted doesn’t mean I was a natural leader in addition to a natural libero.  No, an outside hitter was our captain, and he was a damn good one.  He wasn’t the best player in the game, or at his position, or even at his particular strengths.  But he knew when to yell at us, when to give us a pat on the back, and when to applaud us.  He played with his heart, and made us want to. 

My point is, leadership didn’t come from the coach, or the best player.  It came from the best leader.  Right now, I don’t see Iggy as the best leader on the ice.  I hardly see any players worthy of being called a leader on the Flames based on their presence off and on the ice except for maybe Great American Eric Nystrom. 

Maybe it’s time to take the C away. Whether we give it to someone more worthy right away, or hold on to it until someone truly steps up (a la Sharks this year), I don’t know. But to me, the coaching is not the problem. The lack of on-ice leadership is.  I love Iggy, I do. But if he can’t play heart and soul anymore, find someone who can and will.

7 Questions of Interest and Intrigue! (As Named by the Esteemed Kent)

March 18, 2010 7 comments

The first true guest episode blog here is by Hit The Post’s walkinvisible. A lady with lots of Gio love, she’s definitely worth a read and regular visit at her place.

1.) Starting with the draft last year, and given what we knew at the time, would you have traded for Bouwmeester’s rights and signed him?

anybody who ever pays attention to knows that i can’t effin’ stand jordan leopold.  not to say he wasn’t good back in the day but now he’s a step behind and a total liability.  i had no problems with sutter picking him up on deadline day one year ago (we were bleeding defencemen and we got leopold for the proverbial sack of pucks —-i should say for ryan wilson, but we all know that a good prospect will never amount to anything here in calgary), and i had even less trouble with sutter sending him on to florida for the rights to an elite defenseman.  signing JayBouw was obviously a no-brainer and his contract seemed (at the time) decent value.

2.) How would you have drafted? Would you trade down so you could sign Brent Sutter? Or would you stick at the higher position and draft Schroeder?
i honestly believe brent was brought in to sort out dion, and thus i think darryl was doing the right thing.  WAY too early to tell on returns from 2009 but i really don’t think i would’ve picked up yet another effing defenseman.

3.) Would you have targeted anyone else in the offseason, or attempted to trade anyone else in the offseason?
dan boyle. anze kopitar. grant clitsome.  oh, you’re being SERIOUS ?  uh, i was pretty happy with freddan getting picked up and prust coming back, and i honestly believe daz did well in dumping the vandermeer/primeau deals [y’know, the contracts that he penned].  i probably would’ve gotten out of the olli deal earlier, if possible, and brought in a bonafide goalscorer. y’know, no biggie.

4.) Would you still make the Phaneuf trade? If no, would you trade him for something else? Would you trade him earlier or later or in the season?
100% i would have made the trade.  i would’ve preferred to trade him for boyle, kopitar, or clitsome (clitsome+, +, +) but, again, i presume you’re being serious….. market value on dion could not have been great, i presume he asked for a trade, and the team was on a 9 game losing streak…. ie: i like ian white, i’ve always liked stajan, and hagman is serviceable.  hell, i’d keep mayers on too if he took a pay cut.  if he was honestly happy in calgary and we spent those 9 games at 5-4, i would have held onto him till season’s end and dealt him before his NTC kicked in.

5.) If the Flames had a 9 game losing streak, what ritual would you perform to regain the favor of the hockey gods?
it would involve bertuzzi, goats, and lots and lots of blood.

6.) Two more left: Would you have been a buyer or seller at the trade deadline this year (given that the performance up til that point was exactly the same)?
seller.  carolina looks exciting for next year:  lots of room, lots of picks, and lots of UFA ‘canes in playoff cities….

7.) What is the best sort of puppy?
a cat that can do tricks.

(Editor’s note: kittens become cats and are clearly inferior to dogs and puppies. While I agree with walkinvisible on many points, she is clearly in the wrong here)

Fun Time Fridays: Temporarily Renamed

March 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Because this was a horrible week to be a Flames fan (I’m still mad about THE GREAT TRADE DEADLINE TRAVESTY as well as the 4-0 loss) Fun Time Fridays is being temporarily renamed F You Friday, in honor of Achewood.

So, here we go:

F you (Flames Centric)…

…Darryl Sutter for trading our earliest draft pick next year.  I mean, sure you have lots of time to think about the 4th rounders you’ll waste, but was it worth it?

…Calgary Flames for getting shutout in an embarrassing fashion.

…Darryl Sutter for trading with the Oilers (and getting fleeced no less- the pick should’ve been coming TO us)

…Steve Tambellini for enabling Darryl Sutter to trade with you.  But good job on ruining the Oilers at least.

F You (League-Wide edition)…

…Phoenix for stealing Wolski for almost nothing while we trade crap for more crap.

…every team that scored a goal this week

…Gary Bettman for making us go from no trapezoid, no touch icing, and awesome hockey all around to having to watch players killing themselves chasing after the puck while the goalie just watches impotently

…Lapierre for such an awful hit on Nichol last night

…refs in that game who didn’t do shit about that hit either.

Thank You (There’s always positive things, I think)…

…Greg Wyshynski for quoting this lovely blog on Puck Daddy

Canada/America for such a fantastic game last Sunday

…beautiful girl who I’m going on a date with tonight for, well, going on a date with me.

…boss, for letting me drive a GV today


Your Flames weekend drinking game

Drink when…

…Steve Staios looks awful

…You hate what’s happened to our cap and draft picks

…You look for something positive and end up sobbing into your drink

…You realize your drink is salty from tears of both sadness and shame

I bid you adieu for the weekend (barring any major events)

Trade Deadline Reaction: The Dead Is Almost Literal This Year

March 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I think Shifty Sutter may have killed off all remaining support by trading for Steve Staios.  And trading Dustin Boyd (who was serviceable) for a 4th round pick.  And trading McElhinney for another former Leaf.

Seriously though, is he trying to lose his job?  This is just awful.  Terrible.  What did we need solved today?

1. Cap space issues for the future.

2. We have way too many forwards.

3. We needed a legitimate backup.

And what did we actually fix?

1. We got rid of McE’s MASSIVE salary for next year.  And by massive I mean negligible.  We also added a $2.7M d-man in Staios who’s signed for next year.  So no, no we did not free up cap space for any decent acquisitions this summer.

2. We traded Dustin Boyd for a pick.  Yay…now instead of 16 forwards we only have 15 forwards!  What a solution Daz!

3. So remember that guy who let in a rink long shot?  That guy that every Leaf fan hates?  He’s only been the butt of every Leafs joke this year.  Remember how he was a throw-in in the Jason Blake trade?  We actively traded for him.

In summary, here is a list of 5 people I think would’ve done a better job than Sutter today:

1. Doug MacLean

2. That one guy who makes those low budget car commercials

3. Any random Oilers fan.

4. John Ferguson Jr.

5. Eklund.

I need alcohol.  I’ll see you post-hangover.