First off...it's old. It's got to be at least a month old. We heard about it early, early November, so it had to have been percolating before that.
Which is why we laugh at all the hullabaloo that has been going around the local since last night.
Elliot Friedman wrote on his blog essentially that the administration of the Flames wanted to trade Iginla. He used the words 'clearly want to trade Iginla'. You don't use the words 'clearly' when you are a serious (in the hockey journalist sense of the word) news person unless you actually have a source who is trusted who has told you something. So this story has been out there since who knows when.
The particulars we have heard, as we posted on our twitter (follow us!), are: Brayden Schenn, a 1st rounder, and Thomas Hickey, but the 'Hickey' player in the trade is fluid. We have also heard that the deal would be a package one, involving Jarome and possibly Glencross, and may involve the Flames taking back money (ie an older player) as well.
That package isn't a good one, in our opinion. Schenn is a centre who is listed at 6 feet tall, which means he is shorter than that, and listed at 200 pounds, which means he weighs less than that. He is too small. And Jarome could play in this league at 19. So far, it appears that Schenn cannot. If we are trading Jarome for a guy who can be a cornerstone of a franchise for 10 years, we would prefer it not be an undersized player that hockeyfutures projects as a second line centre.
What makes this package worse is the fact that we have not heard about a competing one. Is this another situation where Darryl is negotiating with one party to his detriment?
Here is what we know, we think: If administration wants to move Jarome, it is because they can see the situation as clearly as we can. Not only that, but it also a tactic acknowledgement by administration that the losing cannot continue if they hope to continue charging some of the leagues highest prices, and fund a new building. Trading Jarome allows them to free up money, get prospects that were not drafted by the Calgary Flames (ie good ones), and also get a draft pick.
The rub is this: After last season, the team was done. That means that to most people, it was clear the team was bad, and a drastic influx of talent was needed. The team should have fired Darryl Sutter, and Brent Sutter as well. The team should have brought in management with a different vision, because it was clear (and being made manifestly more clear by the day) that Sutters current vision of the Flames was/is not a winning vision. If they were seriously thinking about trading Jarome Iginla, the trade should have been made this summer, after the GM had been shown the door.
Ownership wanted to fire Sutter from what we have heard, but were given an ultimatum by Ken King. Who the fuck is Ken King? Honestly, we hate to break it to Murray Edwards, but a inebriated retard could make money for this franchise. Ken King is nothing special. Anyone can sell a Kipper jersey in this city. But for some reason, ownership got spooked at Ken Kings ultimatum, and decided to not fire Darryl. Instead, they moved him up to a corner office where his damage could be mitigated, and they hired a lawyer named Jay Feaster to act as defacto GM.
More damaging, though, is they allowed the King/Sutter team (with the implication being Feaster signed off on the moves) one last kick at the can. They were allowed to maintain payroll, and the high spending Flames chose not to jettison expensive players who didn't (or don't) live up to the value their contracts imply. They instead chose to batton down the hatches and head straight for the iceberg. They resigned Olli Jokinen because everyone in the world save Langkow knew that Langkow was done. This was a bad decision because Olli Jokinen cannot play effectively against the other teams big lines, which was essentially what Langkows role was. Instead of getting Jarome an actual talent to play with, they chose to resign Tanguay off the scrap heap.
And look what happened. The team allowed Darryl to ice a roster that had been proven ineffective a year before, and shock of all shocks, it appears to be ineffective this year as well. The fans have noticed, and management is panicking and contemplating making a franchise changing deal in the middle of the season. That's just stupid. The only leverage the team has in making this trade now in the season is that they can play out the timeline and hope LA gets desperate. But LA is 12-4 and doesn't seem to be in that great a need of trading for a $7 million dollar winger with 3 goals to his name.
It's almost like when the Silver Fox left this city, he took all the competent management with him.
Anyways, it's very simple. Ownership screwed up. They gave this hockey operations staff one year (we think two, to be honest) too many. It's stupid to us that they would pretend to care about what the fans think of the team now when only a few months ago Ken King was royally proclaiming that there was no problem because they were selling season tickets. Upper management has been given damn near, what? 03-04. the lockout, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08, 08-09, 09-10, and now 10-11, that is 7 years and some 16 games to build a sustainable, winning team, and all Darryl has done is make moves that were designed to win in the short term (all the draft picks traded away), and those moves have bust. He also signed a group of players to contracts that take them well into their 30's. That's fine, or it would be if they had been able to sustain their level of play, which some did and some didn't, but then he gave them all NMC/NTC's. That pretty much meant that he married the players, and the marriage hasn't worked out. That usually calls for a divorce.
The only defence we can think of for ownerships dereliction of duty is that Darryl had screwed the roster up so much (see our post yesterday to see the gridlock this club faces next year) that they decided to just keep him on until his bad contracts expire. But if that is the case why is he going to be allowed to move Jarome?
It makes no sense. From the outside looking in, it looks like a house divided. Ownership thinks trading Jarome may help the club but hurt ticket sales. They also want to clear out administration but are afraid to lose Ken King if they do. Administration is stupid, so that explains why they are doing what they are doing. Jarome may be loyal to the city and Flames, but he isn't about to risk his legacy by being the party that initiates the trade. Darryl isn't about to admit he isn't very good at building elite teams. So we have a Mexican standoff. And so it appears, again, for all the world that the Calgary Flames are an organization that is drifting at sea.
Do you want these people behind the trigger of a Jarome trade? Even if Jarome comes out today and says he wants out because the team is shit, then you still don't just go out and make a trade. You shop him around, you get multiple offers, you wait until closer to trade deadline to see if someone panics, and then you fire Sutter and Feaster and hire an adult to come in and make the trade.
This mess was created by Murray Edwards and his inability to not be intimidated by King and Sutter. So we place the blame for this mess of a season and the panic moves it will probably induce on him.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.