This is what happens when I decide to take a little vacation. I go away for a few days, and Darryl Sutter goes insane.
OK, maybe “insane” is the wrong word. But I fear that while I was away from my post, the Flames GM developed Alzheimer’s.
For evidence, I compare Mr. Sutter’s behaviour with that of senior citizens I have encountered who are suffering from senile dementia (bear with me, I was a Psych major in a previous life):
- Senile old guys forget things they’ve already done, and do them again, blissfully unaware.
- Senile old guys can’t keep track of which year it is.
- Senile old guys see the faces of the children of their old friends and mistake them for their old friends, having lost track of what year it is or how much time has passed.
- Senile old guys get grumpy and defensive when you suggest to them that they’ve lost their freakin’ minds.
- Senile old guys drop their pants in public – and you want to laugh, even though it’s sad.
How many of these did Sutter do in the past couple of weeks? Pretty much all of them. (Well, I believe the pants-dropping was more figurative than literal, but still.)
Bad enough that the guy drafts the unremarkable sons of two former Flames, clearly under the delusion that these guys are their fathers rather than a couple of likely career minor-leaguers. Bad enough that he then trades for yet another unremarkable son of a former Flame (Logan MacMillan, son of Bob, in case you missed it), who already has a head start on that unremarkable minor-league career.
Then the guy who already made a zillion questionable roster moves in the past year made two more in the free-agent frenzy that will solidify his legend as a hockey executive who didn’t just go off the deep end, he did a double-gainer triple-twisting belly flop into it. With no trunks on. (Again with the pants.)
Signing Alex Tanguay – a guy he eagerly traded for four years ago as the solution to Calgary’s chronic scoring problems, then just as eagerly traded away two years ago as a soft underperformer, and now has again eagerly re-signed as the solution to Calgary’s chronic scoring problems (see forgetfulness and lack of sense of time, above) – was bad enough. At least he came cheap, after spending the past year impressing absolutely no one in Tampa Bay.
But, seriously, OLLI JOKINEN?
The story on Jokinen is almost identical to Tanguay, except the time frame was shorter (acquired in March 2009, dumped in February 2010, re-signed in July 2010), the excitement when he was first acquired more extreme, the disppointment in his play more bitter, and the re-signing last week much, much more perplexing.
Jokinen was already Darryl Sutter’s single biggest failure as a GM. He traded away a quality centre and a first-round draft pick to get him. He scored just 17 goals in 84 games while here, while a promising team sank into oblivion with him playing a leading role. Then Sutter traded him away for worse than nothing – he got saddled with the fat, useless contract of fat, useless Ales Kotalik for his troubles, but got nothing else save a few games out of Chris Higgins, and also lost useful tough-guy Brandon Prust in the exchange.
But now, he makes things worse – yes, you can do worse than the above, and Sutter found a way – by actually bringing this deadwood back into the dressing room. Did he forget all that other stuff? Did he not realize what an unmitigated disater Jokinen has been for the Flames on every level imaginable? Did he really think this was a good idea?
The result of this signing is that while Sutter stubbornly defends his decision, the entire hockey world is laughing at him. Not even behind his back. The NHL needed this – they haven’t had a GM to ridicule on this level since Mike Milbury “retired” to go into broadcasting. Shit, Sutter is making Milbury look like freakin’ Sam Pollack.
The former most boneheaded GM in the history of the Flames, Doug Risebrough, should send Sutter a Christmas card and a bottle of sctoch this year. Finally, someone has come along to make Flames fans more pissed off than the Doug Gilmour trade.
Please, someone fire this wingnut before he trades for Nick Fotiu’s daughter and re-signs Gary Leeman.
A few years ago, Sutter could do no wrong in the eyes of Flames faithful. He had led the team from the hinterlands to the Stanley Cup finals. Sure, he made a few bad moves since then - poor drafts, poor free-agent signings, trades that didn’t pan out, gave up on some decent young players too soon – but for the longest time, the fans gave him a free pass. “Darryl has a plan, he knows what he’s doing, he’s got something up his sleeve, he’s a shrewd one,” people said.
Well, now it’s clear he’s got nothing up his sleeve. He’s not shrewd. He has no plan. The guy is out of ideas, out of thoughts. And so he’s recycling old ones. Bad ones. Dumb ones. And then standing up and trying to sell us all on the idea that this all makes sense.
Hey, you loony-tunes emperor – you have no clothes. We can see your wiener. And we’re laughing, even though it’s sad.