Not that I want to get into the habit of responding to every blog out there, but there is a post on Flamesnation I would like to comment on. I'd do it on their comment boards, but, really, that wouldnt be in Domebeers style.
Dion: a star draft pick, homegrown kid, a hockey player who had been getting 'Sutterized' for what seemed his entire life. Big hits, big shots, big plays. The sky seemed to be the limit for the brash young man.
Things soured, or whatever. I dont want to go down there, I will be writing all day. Ill tell you my opinion. The kid can skate, and I think thats the hardest thing to do, for me, at least, when you play hockey. I value that commodity. Sutter does too, apparently, because he backed up the money truck for J-Blow. I think the kid is also stupid, which is a sin. He had been playing hockey his entire life, and he didnt seem to have any creativity. He had what worked for him in junior, and that was about it. He didnt seem to improve during his time here, which suggests to me that the kid was not coachable.
I think he had talent, but he didnt have a head. That made him scoutable and allowed the opposition to neutralize him. He wasnt coachable, and on a team that had a lot of players on it who were in need of coaching (ie: the players like Boyd et al who we have to use because we are (or where) spending all the cap space on a few 'top end' guys) that caused problems, with the room and with leadership and all that ish.
If the guys that were going to say something to Dion in practice were free agent veterans, I think it is safe to say that leadership issues exist on the team. I dont know who 'The Man' is in that locker room, or if this team has had one since Warrener left. I think thats clearly an issue.
As to the the losing streak and the issues and the rumours coming out? Yeah, sure, maybe. But there have been personality issues apparent with this team for a long time. Last year, we had Reggie calling out the coach, and there were reports that even the 'dont say anything critical of the team' radio guys had to acknowledge about a split in the locker room over offense/defense. The issues in this locker room have been here for some time. How many coaches in how many years?
One more point on the media: There is a reason that there are crazy rumours flying around, and it is because the media in this town has a long habit, going back to the 80's, of protecting this team. The fans cant trust the local media. On top of this the local media doesnt even attempt to protend they arent anything more than organs of the teams marketing department. I dont mean to shock anybody, but with the internet you can go see what sport radio is like in other parts of the world. Some local guys actually have the balls to call the GM out for wasted draft picks and terrible free agent contracts. I understand that they are afraid if they are critical of the Flames the organization will freeze them out, but if they want to call themselves journalists and not salesman, I think the tone needs to change.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.