Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Shocking" News: Darryl Sutter Steps Down

Okay, fine, it's not the least bit shocking. It was just a matter of time before the baffling moves Sutter's made over the past couple season would get him ousted from Calgary. Puck Daddy has a solid summary of the situation, Matchsticks & Gasoline will have the fan reaction, and Flames.com has the official word.

After squandering the best years of Kiprusoff and Iginla, getting a random assortment of Maple Leafs' castoffs for former wunderkind Dion Phaneuf, and bringing back Olli Jokinen in free agency, it's a wonder Sutter lasted as long as he did. His main issue, it seems, is that he never quite figured out that the Flames needed to rebuild. Instead of picking up prospects and draft picks for Phaneuf, he got a couple impending free agents. Instead of moving salary in trades to create flexibility under the cap, he bafflingly traded for Ales Kotalik and his terrible contract and handed out No Movement Clauses like they were Chick tracts. Combine that with a terrible prospect pool and the future is bleak for the Flames organization.

Jay Feaster will move offices as he drops the "Assistant" from his title and takes over for Darryl Sutter. Feaster has a Stanley Cup on his resumé after his Tampa Bay Lightning won in 2004, but he's stepping into a brutal situation. The Flames have most of the salary cap already tied up for next season and Feaster will have to be clever with trades in order to free up the capspace and prepare the team for rebuilding. The Iginla trade rumours have already been flying and this won't quiet them down any time soon.

Quite frankly, I welcome a return to respectability from the Flames. They have been the Canucks' primary antagonist over the years with many epic playoff battles and bad blood. As much as the Blackhawks have been labeled the Canucks' main rival, it's not a true rivalry until victories have gone both ways and, thus far, the Blackhawks don't have any reason to see the Canucks as a rival. For me, the Flames will always be that team, that hated team that I want the Canucks to beat. If the Flames aren't a legitimate threat, there's no drama in their match-ups. If the Flames sit at the bottom of the Northwest Division, then who cares if the Canucks beat them?

24 comments:

  1. it's weird I'm hating Edmonton and their self entitled fans with a passion, hoping their new rebuild has the same barren fruits of the Nasluyear buts( lots of excitement but no postseason results... Ever). but all I can feel for Calgary is pity.

    I want them to be better. I want to hate them again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's it exactly! I'm fine with Edmonton being terrible forever, but I want Calgary to be a contender again so I can truly enjoy it when the Canucks beat them. Every win against the Flames right now is hollow.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's hollower than Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man, and that's the hollowest you can get!

    This make me laugh, but it's a sad laughter, like when a clown dies of pneumonia.

    ReplyDelete
  4. this should have happened soooooo long ago. i dont think jay feaster is the best replacement but its the flames so maybe thats a good thing :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's still up for debate how good a GM Jay Feaster is. He stepped into a pretty nice situation in Tampa before they won the Cup, then was their GM as they tumbled into awfulness, but the ownership situation was a mess. It's difficult to tell what he can claim credit for and what was his fault.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sutter's greatest problem was always going after players based on their skill and talent. That sounds weird, but it's a problem because he did so instead of going after what his team needed. He was also really impatient with development of players, which hurt their prospect pool significantly.

    It's like, the man handled free agency the way you're supposed to handle early-round drafting -- going for the best player available. When the Flames needed a playmaker to play with Iginla, he acquired sniper Michael Cammalleri. When they needed someone to get Cammalleri and Iginla the puck, he traded away budding playmaker Matthew Lombardi for shoot-first star center Olli Jokinen. The Iginla-Jokinen-Cammalleri line had no playmaker, and all three forwards' first instinct was to shoot. It seems Sutter didn't see the problem.

    Then he went after Jay Bouwmeester for no better reason than that everyone wanted him. Really, the Flames already had guys expected to move the puck in Phaneuf and Leopold, and Mark Giordano was growing in the role as well. JayBo didn't improve the power play because they didn't need him. All the while, they still never had a playmaking center to play with Iginla.

    It's sad when you consider the number of players that were out there that were smaller names but better fits. Sutter just sort of refused to fill the needs.

    ReplyDelete
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