We can't stay away.
Ken King said, at that famous press conference from last year, that there was no problem with the team because 98% of the season ticket holders renewed, or something. Several months later, Darryl Sutter is fired, a direct acknowledgement of the problem that wasn't there because 98% of the season ticket holders renewed. It therefore seems likely to us that season ticket holders came through big time for us and got Darryl's scalp.
This points to the obvious truth: the Flames are about money. Specifically, taking yours. We won't discount their talk about winning, but let's be frank about the situation. This team wasn't good at the beginning of the year. It was far more likely for it to not make the playoffs than it was to make the playoffs. Yet Darryl wasn't fired, and he wasn't fired because season ticket sales hadn't suffered. Ken King smelled the coffee and rightly concluded that wasn't going to be the case this year. Ken King then had a decision to make: He could stick by Darryl, and let him try to dig his way out of this mess (disregard the first rule of holes), actually live the loyalty rhetoric he chooses to use, or he could do the quick and easy thing, and sacrifice Sutter to the god of Sales on the altar of fan satisfaction.
Don't get us wrong, we are fans. Fire Darryl! In Sutter We Trust only lasts as long as the team has goodwill on the balance sheet. When that was pissed away, the skeptics found themselves as the possessors of the Voice, and with it could set the Narrative and the Environment. Sutter never adapted to the changed climate. You cannot trade for Ales Kotalik when the fans are panicked and don't trust you. Even if it had panned out. Can't do it. That type of move requires the goodwill that Sutter no longer had, and it requires skeptics (or TSN) to keep quiet, something they wouldn't do anymore. Last season Sutters moves where under the microscope. He needed to be conservative and prudent, and instead he drank the Milskey and went gambling. And he crapped out.
And you know what, he would have been able to get away with it in 2006. Back then he still had rope. But all these years later, with all the rope he had been given, he had tied around his neck a pretty nice noose. He still would be here, today, if Ken King hadn't been forced to push the chair out from underneath him. The only people who could have forced Ken to have done that are the season ticket holders. The advertising contracts, the broadcast rights, those are already sold for years. The only pressure base the man can feel is the season ticket holders, and they came through. You guys fired Darryl. You guys finally got Caesar Dictator. Et tu, Season Ticket Holders?
So the next time you hear about how you, the Calgary season ticket holders, the Calgary fans, are Toronto West, kindly punch the purveyor of that nonsense in the face. The Flames care most about making money. Darryl was becoming a hindrance to that goal, so Darryl was canned. The arrogance and hubris of the organization that was on full display at that season ending news conference is now replaced with a contrite countenance. That's because you, the fans, threatened their sales, threatened 98% renewal, and Ken King and the Flames, all things considered, would dearly like to keep your money. Good on you guys for threatening to take your business elsewhere.
We are terrified of Feaster. We should give him a chance, but look at it from our perspective. Brad Richards for Mike Smith and a few other players who don't play for Tampa anymore. You can sit there and talk all you want about how he was forced into that trade. Bullshit. He may have been forced into a trade, but he wasn't forced into that one.
Feaster had been charged with getting rid of Richards contract. Instead of getting rid of that contract for draft picks so he could choose his own prospects, he instead traded the man to Dallas for a goalie prospect who had played 44 games in the NHL and had a save percentage of about .910. He traded Brad Richards for a back up goalie. He didn't have to do that, he could have traded him to other teams. There are plenty of big money teams in the NHL who would have taken on the contract. He chose Dallas, and he chose Mike Smith. That's on him.
So we are scared, because we don't want to see Jarome traded for Semyon Varlamov and a fourth round pick.
And one more thing. If Feaster really felt that strongly about not trading Brad Richards period, he should have resigned. Because to us it comes off as Cover Your Ass more than anything, his mea culpa's about his time in Tampa. If he thought what he was doing was wrong, he should have done the moral thing, hell, the Man thing, and resigned. The fact that he didn't, we think, is telling.
Jody Shelley sucker punches everyone on Vancouver and the Canucks do nothing about it? They aignt making it past the second round.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.