well, my friends: it seems as though we can stop the sutter(s) dismissal countdown clock at 85 days, since ken king announced that herr sutter ain't goin anywhere (and that means that brent's job is presumably safe and our team is gonna suck into the foreseeable future). yesterday will forever be dubbed "black thursday" by yours truly, cause i honestly think it'll mark the beginning of a brutal and depressing period for my favorite hockey team.
in the past few months, i've often compared my team to the toronto maple leafs (and not because they finished the season comprised of almost 30% former buds players) and i gotta say this is one more step towards that end. i lived in toronto during the john ferguson junior era and i watched him make mis-step after mis-step when it came to trades, drafts, and watching good players depart as UFAs. totally. depressing. and that's what i fear for my team now.
the 2008/2009 season ended with the calgary flames dressing a short bench because of blatant cap mismanagement. while i've heard rumours that this was actually the fault of michael holditch, and not darryl sutter, the fact remains that (by the nhl rulebook) my team should have forfeited those last matches, and likely didn't because bettman would have had to refund a whole lot of season ticket holder money. the fact that nobody got pink slipped following this debacle probably makes dale tallon wanna puke.
the 2009/2010 season was marked by a series of head-scratching trades, by the sutter regime, that were unquestionably the result of a man under pressure. was it the ownership group telling him to make the playoffs at all cost ? possibly.... or was it his own realization that a non-playoff year would totally jeopardize the safety of his own job ?? no doubt.
while i hated the jokinen for lombardi, prust and a first rounder trade on deadline day in march 2009, i can actually somehow give darryl a pass on that one. he clearly hadn't looked at olli's underlying stats, and he obviously hadn't watched him play much, but he really believed that #21 would help his team win. i can also give him a pass on dealing phaneuf for what's starting to look like a very expensive sack of pucks (ian white notwithstanding, though i doubt very highly that ian white will make it through the summer in a flaming C), though i'm definitely concerned by the rumours that darryl hadn't shopped dion around the league, and possibly could've gotten a better deal.... what i cannot (and WILL not) get past is that he traded a young, workable 7th defenseman AND A DRAFT PICK for an overpaid, overaged, underable defenseman with very little to offer for his 2.7 million dollar contract, that further reduces the cap space to sign GOOD players.... oh, and i'm not sure when i'll get past the fact that he gave up on dustin boyd. these two acts are inexcusable and reprehensible in my book, and symbolize why the calgary flames are going to be mediocre at best for the next two to three years (minimum).
JFJ was given five years at the helm of the maple leafs and dug the team into a suitably deep hole in that time. i fear daz will do the same, get canned in the next 365 days, and we'll spend years trying to get out.
i can't even talk about this anymore, i'm too busy trying to decide which eastern conference team to cheer for next year. ps: i hope philly wins the cup for the following reasons:
1. the hossa curse
2. mike richards not just TOUCHING the wales but essentially ASSAULTING it.
3. one word: cooperalls.
see ya more often around these parts as i'm back to unemployed !