(A Z R here. Before we begin, I just want to note that this article is going to require you to bring some prior knowledge to the table, like most of the posts. Just pointing out that if you come across something you want confirmation of, well, Google is your friend)
Come on people, are you serious? Why boo Dion? Are you kidding me?
Why do we have to justify the urge to boo a thin skinned spoiled brat? Is he going to kill himself if we do? Honestly, that's the feeling you get, isn't it? Brain Burke is out defending him, trying to, we don't know, intimidate people into not booing his precious power play specialist (with a whopping one goal on the season), for the second time of Dion's career as a Leaf. That's not a little odd, not at all. The national media is out in full force with the 'don't boo Dion' because...why? Maybe they think if they have his back he will talk to them more, we don't know.
The fact that there is apparently this blood thirsty mob waiting and wrapping itself up in anxious tension to get a chance to viscerally and verbally tear into Dion's hide...should speak volumes in itself.
If you want to know why we are going to boo Dion on Thursday, it's simple. Regardless of what you read in the newspaper, the assistant general manager of the Calgary Flames is not Fat Feaster. The assistant general manager is a nice gentleman who goes by the name of Jarome Iginla. You may have heard of him. Since the Sutter era began, every major acquisition or trade has been brought to Jarome first, for either his yeah or neah. Do you think they would abandon this pattern when it came to the Dion trade?
Jarome obviously was asked about whether they should move Dion, and Jarome obviously gave his green light. Period, point blank.
There is a lot of rumours and innuendo about why. Who knows. We can't think Darryl Sutter is a habitual liar and then give him the benefit of the doubt as it pertains to that famous press conference where he declared he traded Dion because of locker room issues, right? Sutter was most likely lying to save face. We don't know if Dion was sleeping with other players wives. All we know is that everyone on the team, including the ice girls, had a NTC/NMC. Well, everyone but Dion. And in a year where the club was strong on the blueline, Sutter figured he could trade Dion, who doesn't really, you know, defend, for some scoring. He figured the defence would remain in the top of the league (which it did) because, again, Dion doesn't play effectively in his own zone, the neutral zone, or the oppositions zone, and with the added scoring Sutter would acquire through trading Dion, the team would manage to score enough goals to win enough games to sneak into the playoffs. And Darryl Sutter is a Billy Beane type manager in the fact that he believes that the goal of the game is to just make the playoffs, because once in the playoffs it turns into a crapshoot, and an eighth place team has a shot at a Cup. (acerbically we ask: How many World Series has Billy Beane won?)
It didn't work out, but that's life, right? Now, on it's face, we think the thought process behind the move is sound enough, but because the team had lost like 99 games in a row, and spirits were down, it seemed like a panic move. The smell of panic didn't dissipate when it was learned that Darryl didn't shop Dion around and create a bidding war for his services, but rather dealt with one party, and one party only, Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But was it a panic move? Who is to say? Sutter had a blueline with a 6.5+ Dion on it and a 6.5+ JBlow on it, plus 4+ for Reggie, 3+ for Sarich, a Gio that needed to get his, ect. He had too much money on the blueline for the amount of production it was generating. Something had to bend, and it was pretty obvious the guy who was going to be moved was Dion. Again, no NTC/NMC, and no real improvement in skills in his time here in Calgary. We all knew that Dion was going to get traded. He isn't very good, and not very good defencemen can't be paid 6.5 million dollars (yeah, the Blackhawks have the midget Campbell, but they also have Seabrook and Keith) if you're club is to survive. Especially if you are already overpaying guys like JBlow and Sarich et al, guys who hold NTC/NMC's.
The panic label comes from the timing of the trade. Dion should have been moved in the offseason prior to the 2009-2010 season, or at the conclusion of it. At the very least, he should have been moved only after Sutter talked to every other GM in the league. That's another reason to fire Darryl. Not because he traded Dion, but because he handled the trade so poorly. And this is Trader Darryl we are talking about here!
Look, we really don't think too many Calgary fans are upset over not being able to watch #3 turn the puck over and then not skate back hard. We don't think many of the fans miss Dion trying to kill whoever was standing in front of the net because he can't aim his slapshot. What the people in Calgary are upset about is that they traded Dion for what amounts to be a bunch of shit nothings in Stajan and Hagman. And then Darryl extended them (well, Hagman was already on a contract, Darryl extended Stajan). Stajan and Hagman may be NHLers, but they certainly have proven they are not impact NHLers, and many of the fans feel that if you trade a former top 10 first round draft pick, a former Norris nominee (what a joke that was, eh?), you should get back an impact player. Personally, we would have been happy with the trade if Sutter had let Stajan, White, and Mayers walk at the end of the season, and recouped the cap space so we could sign another impact player. Another reason to fire Darryl.
Look, we will be honest. We don't like Dion, and we know the above seems to point to Darryl as the villain, but really, they both are. Why boo Dion, besides the fact the Captain had no problem trading him? Well, how about the fact that when Dion was first asked about who his leadership influences were, upon being named Captain of the Maple Leafs, he answered with 'Bryan Marchment'? You want to know why we think Dion is a punk? That's why, that's the illustration of punkness right there.
But please, if you are going to boo Dion, whatever your reason, remember to also boo the guy who failed to create a bidding war for #3's services. Save some throat for the 'Fire Darryl' chant.
Hey, with Dion back in town and looking to create a splash, Thursday would be a wonderful time to play Matt Stajan, don't you think?
People, we wanted to write about who is going to come in and replace Darryl Sutter. Obviously Lanny McDonald is the answer, but whenever we write that we get pushback, so we have come up with about four other options that are viable. We will probably go with that Monday...so you will probably have to endure one more Eric Francis piece where he calls for the head of the GM without offering any alternatives. Sorry about that.
And to finish, a lame drinking game.
Dion misses a shot from the point: Drink.
Dion turns the puck over: Drink.
Dion misses a big hit: Drink.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.