Here's what I wrote about Darryl Sutter in the summer of 2008.
And here's what I wrote in November of 2008.
So, it's a bit bittersweet that, in March of 2010, my Flames fan bretheren agree with me.
I don't care how many get-rid-of-Vandermeer secret deals Darryl Sutter has in the hopper, today was a joke. And I wish it was the final indication that I was right about the guy but, obviously, things were clear well before the Lombo+1st for Jokinen deal (which is about when WI got over him).
Please don't get me wrong: I HOPE I'm wrong. I hope that Toskala finds his form in his backup role, that Staios turns back the clock and inspires his new teammates with shot-blocking and selfless play while fitting perfectly into the system and that, uh ... well, there's no way the Boyd-for-a-fourth deal goes well, so I'm not even going to try it.
But the, even of those things happen, let's look at this a different way: What could $5.7 million in cap space score you on the open or trade market this summer? Probably a pretty good player, right? But, hey, at least the Flames get Ales Kotalik and Steve Staios next year. They will obviously be better than replacement players at the league minimum.
Two other takes I like: WI's (here) and Kent's (here).
Once again, let me emphasize: Darryl is not the owner of the team, nor its president. He's just a longtime incompetent in the GM's chair allowed to continue by his bosses. Ken King is a corporate/media guy, and Darryl Sutter plays him like a fiddle. If Sutter goes after the season, and King doesn't, I won't expect improvement.
Because I feel like I need to be full in my assessment of recent days, I do like the Stajan signing, I think that money's appropriate for his history and position on the team, and that he'll be a complimentary player going forward, particularly with Conroy on the way out and Backlund looking like a guy who's going to stick around.
But, that's also saying that in relation to the Flames' current personnel situation which, well, is less than optimum given the team's decision on player movment the past two seasons, which has been mostly abysmal.
Lookin' forward to that squeak-in first-round exit that'll save Darryl's job, too. GOOD TIMES.