And so it begins. The ineptitude and managerial ridiculousness that made the Calgary Flames an irrelevant bottom dweller in the late 1990s and early 2000s is back in full effect. And I've come to the conclusion that it didn't just arrive over night, it's been brewing for years, it was just shrouded in playoff appearances. But Flames fans, do not kid yourself, this organization is about as Mickey Mouse as it gets today and the trade of Tim Erixon is clear cut evidence that it is.
I've restrained myself over the last weeks to come on htp and draft up my assessment of the Flames hiring Jay Feaster as full time GM. My opinion on the matter is very simple and does not need to be elaborated on. It's a horrible hire and one that will set the franchise back for years to come. Feaster's hiring, qualifications, pros (not many at all) and cons, have been well documented by htp's friends over at FlamesNation so I won't be chiming in with my take. But I will say this, there is a reason the guy couldn't get a hockey job in the years after he was let go by the Lightning. Curious what he was doing during that time, read this. It speaks for itself.
Anyways, I'm digressing...in my opinion the recent (forced) trade of Tim Erixon speaks volumes to who's currently running the Flames organization. It is an absolute vote of no confidence in Feaster in Ken King in Craig Conroy in whoever else you want to insert here. And yes it comes off as arrogant and egotistical from a young Swedish prospect who hasn't proved anything beyond some solid play in the WJC. But you can't take away the fact that his father played in the NHL and is well aware of how things run in NHL front offices. Had Erixon's circle of advisors (if I may call them that) really believe the Flames organization was going in the right direction they wouldn't have requested what they did. In the end, its not like Calgary is some dreaded place to play...the reason Erixon didn't want to sign with the Flames was because of his lack of confidence in the people that run the team.
Unfortunately, this is what Flames fans have to deal with. It's not going to get better anytime soon either. Just wait and see, Butter will get the axe next season when the team falls flat on its face; because for years the organization has been addressing their problems bottom up instead of top down. And I'll be the first to admit it, I was critical of Darryl Sutter but I'm starting to wonder just how many decisions he was really making and just how much was dictated to him, from the hiring of scouts and coaches to scouting and contracts. (Don't take that statement as some sort of backtracking, I am still laying a lot of the blame for the Flames' shortcomings on Daz.) We probably will never know, but we have to deduce things based on what has happened since. I've heard the rumors that Steve Yzerman turned down the GM job last year and if true, it's telling. I see them hire Jay Feaster (of all people) as an AGM when the GM is clearly on thin ice. I see them drag Feaster along as "acting" GM and then make him full time GM the same day they make Craig Conroy some sort of AGM. Then a few weeks into the job, Feaster can't lock up Erixon because Erixon doesn't want to play for them. If that's not a vote of no confidence I don't know what is. But think about it...if you were Erixon...would you want to begin your career with this organization? Think about it...