first of all, i want to apologize personally to ken king on behalf of myself and my bloggy colleagues from hitthepost who attended the season ticket holder's luncheon today and didn't speak up when asked "is there a blogger in the house ?".... people who have met me know that i'm super personable and easygoing, but in a room full of strangers i get painfully self conscious and ridiculously uncomfortable speaking out (the exception to this rule: karaoke'ing kriskross 'jump'...).
put it this way: my alias isn't walkinvisible for nothing.... but i digress
i will also point out to the masses that i don't believe we would've been persecuted by the org for being nerdy bloggers... unless a rep from domebeers had infiltrated the bowels of the 'dome on an offseason wednesday afternoon. part of me thinks kk wanted to know what a real-life blogger looks like (and part of me thinks he'd know exactly which of the 50-or-so folks we were), but he suggested that he was just curious how fast the following information would spread to the world:
there is a chance that the flames will purchase the calgary roughnecks lacrosse team.
[ps: ken ? if you're reading ? feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org ---i'd love to talk to you about having a fulltime flames' blogger/tweeter. i write good reports and would even promise to not swear and i'd TOTALLY use caps] ;)
here are some other things kk touched on, in the order of (my) interest:
1. COACHING STAFF
he talked about the coaching staff evaluations, and how it led to the dismissal of mcgill, cookson, and ("uhhhhhhhh....." king's eyes close... hand goes to forhead....looks to rollie cyr for assistance...) McLENNAN. sorry to say it, noodles, but the org president forgot your name for a sec. OR, alternately, refers to you so often as "noodles" that he couldn't remember your REAL name in a formal setting.... anyhow. not much info on gilly but it sounds like cookson lost his job to some tech savvy "consultant" who will be much better at operating the new fandangled video playback equipment. also, according to king, cookson wants to be an "on-ice" coach so the non-renewal of contract (aka: firing) is really in his best interest... as for mclennan, he was offered another unnamed position with the org that king suggests is not a demotion. i was gonna inquire about it but he probably wouldn't have told us anyways since he touched on the subject in his pre-emptive opening monologue. he did, however, offer the info that noodles has until "the end of the week" to make a decision on the offer. ie: two more days. [my feeling ? he's gone.... and i'm TERRIFIED he'll resurface in vancouver... ] king also noted that they wanted a bigger "veteran coaching presence" behind the bench, which hopefully means it no longer applies to the players. my fingers are crossed for the hiring of former AHL affiliate, lowell loch monsters, assistant tom rowe. natch. ;)
2. FRONT OFFICE
as far as announcing feaster as the official GM of the team, well ---don't hold your breath. they are still "going through the process" to ensure the "right fit." from the sounds of it, they want to announce the "package" in the front office all at once and are still filling in the gaps (this may also include coaching, that was unclear). kk DID suggest that feaster was currently in abbotsford reviewing things there, and that they were allowing him to choose his own people ---such as asst. GM--- which leads me to believe the "acting" title is in name only. i think it's fair to say it's been decided that this is the guy that will run the flames' future. hmph.... king said nothing about his own position, though i don't recall him having "CEO" after "president" in his job title before...?
we were told that offers are out to "more than one" of the UFA players, and that they "want to sign" tangs, glenX & pardy, and that they "like" babs, karlsson & *gasp*staios ---for the right price. he went on about how much the org believes in karlsson & thinks he can take on 22 or-so games, and he also discussed glenny's deal; noting that 29% of his output came during 13 games. while that stat is interesting, more notable is the fact that the org is AWARE of this stat, and the presumption that they're using it to lower glenny's worth. [my feeling ? he's gone.... and i'm TERRIFIED he'll resurface in vancouver... lol]. king admits to the club (*cough*darryl*cough*) having overpaid some contracts, but doesn't mention bouwmeester, stajan, jokinen, bourque, sarich, hagman, kotalik, staios, or ivanans directly. ;)
using the classic businessman runaround model, kk suggests something to the effect of "just because we have room for young players doesn't mean we will have young players on our team." he did seem positive, however, about erixon and brodie, and mentioned them plus nemisz and bouma as the four frontrunners in this capacity. he also suggested "a couple others," though i can't imagine who he's thinking of, unless they feel they want to give jon rheault an actual contract, they're wanting to skip max reinhart straight from the dub, or he's forgotten keith aulie got traded to the leafs for a sack of pucks.
- they're looking at alternate urban sites for a new arena. places they're looking ? "to the north, uhhh, east, and south.... and west." lol. best quote of the day. ;)
- the salary cap should go up next year "by the cost of one of our UFA's salary." obviously that is massively different if we're talking pardy or tanguay but some maths thrown around were "57% of the total of the new USA tv deal divided by 10." or something equally perfectly clear.
- the next new 3rd jersey will be in three years at the earliest
- they're raising the price of beer by 25cents and will experiment with bottom to top pour technology.
- the team will not be going back to PPVs (sorry, nybo) based on inferior production quality.
- coaches grade the players after every game on a 0-5 type scale, and then there was something about these numbers being plotted on a grid. inneresting.
- conny's fitting in "like a glove" in the front office. sounds like he's going hockey ops direction, is a good player-to-mgmt 'go-between,' is dabbling in player scouting, and even looking into puck technology. no doubt doing it all with that big ol' conroy smile on. ;)
- the flames foundation is returning appx 2 mil/yr to the community. kk seemed very excited about a new project that will be announced sometime in the next year or so.
- asked when they're retiring #14, kk suggested the org is moving away from jersey retirement and towards more acknoledgement-type ceremonies. ie: iggy will get retired and fleury won't. that ticks me off.
- per game playoff revenue (lost) is "north of a million, south of two."
- kk discussed traffic concerns around the 'dome on gamenights and revealed the org has hired a traffic consultant to help make improvements. he wouldn't, however, go into detail because "if it doesn't work, we'll look like idiots."
...kindof like the 10/11 season, hunh fellas ?