Friday, January 15, 2010
ken king / darryl sutter Q & A: postgame ;)
moments after arriving at flames central, it occurred to me that a really great question for ken king would be, "please explain why this venue has been open for over two years and brad mccrimmon's name is still spelled incorrectly over his 4'x3' photo in the second floor gallery." buuut since i'm not one for public speaking (and i was secretly still holding out hope that the amber-hued liquid courage would allow me to approach the mic and ask the more important salary cap question), i opted to simply mention the mis-spelling to peter hanlon as i passed him enroute to the bar. he seemed slightly surprised and amused by the error ("mcrimmon"), and noted that SOMEONE should have spotted it earlier, considering its proximety to the men's room.... as i returned to my table, with a pint of lager in each hand (one for me and one for my pops), he inquired with a smile, "double fisting?" hahaha.... what an awesome conversationalist for the head of the communications department.... ;)
while i feared the majority of questions aimed at the flames' bigwigs would be in the vein of "are the flames awesome or REALLY awesome ?" there were actually only a handful of soft lobs. the straight hardball queries were largely met with misdirection by heir sutter, and candor by sir king. there seemed a lot of questions about the proposed new arena (they'd like to break ground in 3-5 years, and for it to be a "technically superb building"), and there was a lot of backpatting about providing a first class product, quality of players on and off the ice etc.etc.etc....
- classic darryl sutter smoke and mirrors when asked about dion's on-ice play, "he's making progress," he said, and followed it up with some textbook crap about how he doesn't look at the individual, he looks at the group and that they're very young and experience isn't what he'd like it to be (*shudder* i think he said that when leopold came back) and that sarich is the eldest blueliner at 31. see how smoothly he did that ? you thought we were talking about phaneuf.... ;) later, someone asked if there had ever been talk of moving dion to the wing and daz essentially admitted it was a failed mike keenan experiment and, "quite honestly," NO... he did call dion a "semi-rover," though, and i quite like that title....
- the "quite honestly" count, fyi, topped out at five. yeah, it surprised me too !!!! kindof like those telus ads, i imagined there would be so many more.... ;)
-more misdirection on backlund's progress, that he's still making the adjustment (i call bullshit on this but whatever) and that he could be playing in the NHL right now on 7 or 8 teams. uh hunh.
- when asked about re-signing jokinen and bourque (seperate questions but i'll address them here together), it felt like he was tiptoeing quite lightly where olli was concerned and was far more stern and concise when discussing how bourque is a player he'd like to get signed ASAP. realistically, the answer to "will you try to get a deal done with jokinen ?" CAN ONLY be answered in the affirmative: let's face it, it's january and the dude is running a team that's just barely mid-season. only bryan murray would be dumb enough to answer "we don't really want him back, no." darryl DID suggest that there was no way in hell olli'd be getting a similar pay rate, though, so i think that's all we can hope for at this juncture....
- a couple of funny ones: someone mentioned that he'd been trying to figure out how many draft picks we've got this summer but couldn't find the info online. darryl cut the guy off and blurted out, "six: two thirds, four, five, six, seven... six." another dude inquired why we have a foghorn after a goal at the 'dome when we're so far away from a large body of water and ken king (without missing a beat) replied, "well you gotta have it loud enough so they can hear it in vancouver !" ....pure awesomeness. ;)
- not really surprising but i guess i'd never really thought about it: greg nemisz's nickname is nemo. this, of course, came during a rundown of how full our prospect cupboard is and how well we've drafted (especially, ken king pointed out, since the highest draft pick under darryl sutter was tenth overall.... ken and darryl actually mentioned that stat twice which annoyed me to no end since dion was drafted fucking ninth).
-"as long as jarome plays for this team, he's the face of the franchise." d. sutter.
- somebody actually asked if the change in goalie coaches is a factor in kipper's turnaround (and that somebody was not me). daz more or less dodged it but pointed out that noodles and kipps are buddies, and that mclennan offers a different prep style. or something like that... whatever that means.
- i knew it would happen, and was pretty happy when it did. :) while ken king pretty much ignored the query on whether macinnis or nieuwendyk's numbers would be retired, he gave a fairly straight-up answer on #14. the president and GM both laughed heartily when the question was asked (i bet they had money on it coming up) and king offered, "i'll give you my answer instead of darryl's." he went on to suggest that it's "not important" what fleury says in the media ("he needs to do what he needs to do"), and that the flames were proud to have given him the opportunity to come back and retire as an active player. regarding his banner in the rafters, king suggested that "at some point he'll get it." this statement is as close to a "yes" as i've ever imagined....
and finally, the coup: after the q&a, both ken and darryl kicked around taking photos and shaking hands. while i don't think i could have actually socked him with the cap question (i wanted to but i'm just not that tough), i did want to know about the maritime stats guy.... so i asked daz my question; is he still employed and has he come up with anything noteworthy.... daz starts telling me about moneyball and how there's tons of stats available on the net. i re-pose the question, "but is there like one guy who looks at specific stuff... does this maritimes guy exist ?"
"and he's on the payroll ?"
"and has he found anything of use ?"
i clapped my hand on the back of his shoulder, grinned, and offered "...ah, and you wouldn't tell me if he did..."
and darryl sutter laughed....