What’s Next?


I intentionally held off posting for a while after the Flames were eliminated last Thursday. I didn’t want to be embarrassed later by making some ridiculous, emotional suggestions of blowing the whole thing up and rebuilding.

To be honest, I’m already a little sick of hearing that we should trade Iginla. The chances of getting somebody to replace his scoring ability and his charisma and his contributions off the ice are virtually nil. Eric Francis from the Calgary Sun sums up my feeling exactly;

“…the cries to trade Jarome Iginla are both irrational and based largely on emotion. The Calgary Flames missed the playoffs because of the team’s inability to score. So what sort of logic suggests the answer is to trade away your perennial scoring leader?

Despite faltering down the stretch to punctuate an admittedly off-year, only 15 players scored more goals than Iginla’s 32 this year — that despite the fact every team in the league aims solely to shut down Iginla to beat Calgary.

No worries though folks — even if Iginla waved his no-trade clause, these community-minded owners won’t allow anyone as valuable, popular or as wholesome as Iginla to be traded anytime soon. All that said, he needs an attitude adjustment as the apparent stalemate between the captain and the coach can’t continue.”

OK, so let’s address that and then stop all this ridiculous “trade Iginla” garbage. Actually, it’s beyond ridiculous. It’s flat-out stupid.

Equally stupid are the suggestions that we should “get a #1 center for Iggy”. Perhaps the notion isn’t stupid but the idea that it’s an easy thing to accomplish sure is. How many of those guys are there? Maybe 10 on earth, and the teams that have them sure aren’t going to give them up. What would it take to get Joe Thornton? Or Crosby? I wish people would think before they speak. It’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

There was another article in the Sun’s post-mortem today that relied on information the infamous “un-named source” on the inside. Apparently, Darryl Sutter has long outworn his welcome with everybody he works with. He will not listen to anybody (including Brent), and is known to be a humourless, unfriendly SOB who isn’t afraid to belittle and/or dismiss everyone who speaks to him. Exactly like the guy who shows up at every news conference. At least he’s genuine.

The source also stated that the Dion Phaneuf trade was done without consulting Brent Sutter. He was notified at the last possible moment just like everybody else. That’s not cool.

As more and more of these reports surface, it’s seeming like Darryl Sutter has to go. He’s created a hell of a mess. Somebody suggested Steve Yzerman might be tapped for the job. That’s a pretty exciting prospect. He did a fine job with Team Canada, and I suspect he has a pretty healthy relationship with Iginla.

Regarding the mess created by Darryl Sutter (big salaries, no high draft picks, very little in the system, keeping Jokinen instead of Cammy, etc.); It seems everybody has forgotten that the Cup run in ’04 was done with a bunch of cast-offs and 3rd liners. It’s not about stacking the team with salaries and superstars. It’s about assembling a group of guys who genuinely like each other and allowing them to have some fun playing the game. That might be just as challenging as getting the big names, but at least it’s cheap and if you make a mistake it doesn’t cost the team for the next several seasons (e.g. Jokinen).

While it’s disappointing that the Flames season ended Saturday, it should also be noted that the sun still rose on Sunday. I’m trying to get outraged, but since I have zero personal stake in the team I’m having a hard time reaching an acceptable level of angst. For those directly employed by the Flames, I guess it’s a business and this year the business didn’t meet expectations. But to me, it’s still just a game. I’ll be back in October cheering for my team.