Friday, August 27, 2010

Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award


It's Friday, and that means just one thing: 100 guns, 200 clips, heading to New York, New York.

What? Huh? Oh, that's right. It is also that time of the week when we present the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award (the RTPIC)!

Where to start? Let's go with a nonsports to sports spectrum. Remember when a lot of really stupid bank managers thought that housing priced could never go down, bet the bank (literally) on such an idiotic notion, and then lost everything? Remember when, because they are politically connected, the stupid bank managers managed to get bailed out? Remember how this move kept the stupid bank managers in control of the assets they had mismanaged? Yeah...turns out that keeping unscrupulous, stupid people running the banks wasn't that great of an idea. When a bank that has been (wrongly) called 'systematically important' and 'too big to fail' is using the same accounting tricks that banks in China use when they want to cook their numbers, it isn't a very healthy sign for the banking system in general, we think. While we are on the subject of 'fake assets', we have to bring to your attention the curious situation of strippers protesting the construction of a church. On a scale of 1 to awesome, this is clearly awesome. The strippers are mad that the church congregants protest the bar where the strippers work. And as the good book says, 'Do Unto Others...'. Sticking with the bizarre, a 'ghost hunter', looking for 'ghost trains' got his brains smashed out when he was hit by a real train. Yeah, nothing much more we need to add to that. Oh...The CBA is so jacked that the league is about to lose one of it's marquee players to a joke league that operates out of Siberia...which is nice. And the players union still can't convince Donald Fehr to sign on to their sinking ship.

This weeks winner of the Roman Turek Profile In Courage Award: Man Eaters.



Seriously...was everyone in the '80's high? Like all the fucking time?

Usually when we hear 'man-eaters' we get excited. A chance to get used, abused, and then tossed away like Antti Niemi is our idea of a good, wholesome fun.

But in this case we are just...what's the word? We are scared, confused, and intrigued all at the same time. Very much like how Andrew Walker feels when he watches Victoria's Secret commercials. Or Phaneuf before a book.

You kind of have to feel sad, though, for some of these women. Past their prime, desperately holding on, moving from team to team in the hopes of capturing some of that magic feeling from their youth. There is a word for this type of behavior. That word is 'Shaquille'.

You know what? Five girls, seemingly strung out, don't know where they are. Singing vaguely as a team, we guess, but it really looking more like five individuals. Reminds us a lot of the BC Lions starting O-Line.

Anyways, Man Eaters, you all right. And for being so accommodating, you win this week's Roman Tureks Profile In Courage Award. 

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thoughts On Executive Vice President

We have been talking about Darryl, Jay, and Le Michel. We have been talking about the change in titles and (you would think) responsibilities. We have speculated that this is Darryl's last year with the organization. But our talk may have been all wrong.

Darryl Sutter got the fancy new title of Executive Vice President, which in most business's would be translated as 'Head Marketer', but as Darryl is the guy holding that position for the Flames, we know it isn't that. What is it?

Well, he isn't the Head Marketer, that is Ken King's, President, job. So we think the basic arrangement has been flipped, and probably because Darryl isn't a 'titles' guy. The President will be the Head Marketer, and the Executive Vice President (oh it sounds sooo regal) will be Head Of Hockey Operations.

What does this mean?

Let's leave Ken aside for now. He sells a lot of jerseys, he sells a lot of tickets, he sells a lot of advertisements. He is probably the most successful Flame on the roster.

Let's look at the hockey side. This is how we suspect the structure goes now. Darryl is at the top, Jay below, then the scouts. Breaking news, we know, but this means something. The something that this means is that Darryl does indeed have a lifetime contract.

Why do we make that leap? Well, because we just happened to notice that Darryl was removed from the public firing line and moved to the ultimate corporate position. Executive Vice President? Really? What duties does that include? Anybody know? Anybody?

And that was exactly the point of the move. You may have noticed that over the end of the season and the long, long offseason, Darryl wasn't that popular a guy among the fans, the press, the people. Obviously, employing someone your paying customers tend to despise is not good for business. What to do? Easy. Give the guy a new title, promote him, and give him a job with nebulous responsibilities.

It really is quite stunning, if you take time to think about it. Darryl Sutter was brought here to coach the team, and he immediately became, with all due respect to Mr. Iginla, the face of the franchise. The next year, Sutter became the GM of the team and the coach. Nobody really seemed to be that mad at the move, and why would they? Sutter had come in and had gotten the team, a shitty, shitty team, to play .500 hockey. It was largely understood that the uptick in play to end the 02-03 was because of Darryl's coaching. Nobody thought twice about concentrating the levers of power in his hands for the following season.

The results from that year speak for themselves. The Flames trade for Miikka (and Ville, Dome Beers favourite) and the team goes to the Stanley Cup finals. 'In Sutter We Trust' was born. Darryl could have run for Mayor, and he would have won. The guy could do no wrong.

And the team embraced it. Darryl was around. He did radio, he did TV, he talked to the print guys. Although Jarome wore the ' C ' and Kipper had the hottest selling jersey, the real captain, the real fan favourite, was Sutter.

In short, Sutter sold. We would bet the guy didn't pay for a round of golf, dinner, or cow semen for those two years.

Look at the situation now. Darryl Sutter is poison. The team hired Jay Feaster, who was the GM of the hated Tampa Bay Lightning, to come in and basically do press conferences for the team (it sure as hell wasn't for his ability to manage salaries in a cap world). In other words, Darryl has been removed from his role as face of the franchise, face of Calgary Flame hockey. The team still wants him around, just not around anybody.

The fall from grace is stunning. But the response from the organization is also telling. Instead of giving in to the calls for Sutter's head, they kept him on. They hired Jay to be the visible face of the front office. The media raises questions about the scouting? Michel Goulet is a Hall of Famer. That brings credibility. Jarome's giving interviews from a golf course, as the cemented face of the franchise. Sutter who?

It is honestly a masterful stroke of marketing genius. The organization is all in with Darryl. They bring in the players he wants, the coaches he wants, the scouts he wants. It's Darryl's fiefdom. But the organization also recognizes just how bad that situation is for the optics. So what do they do? They put him in the corner office in the wing of the building nobody goes to, on the floor of the building you need a key to access. Nebulous Executive Vice President.

Darryl Sutter gets to maintain his fiefdom, and the organization gets to enjoy the praise of having done something. The fans are happy because they believe (falsely) Darryl isn't running things anymore. The media is happy because they think they got a scalp.

But make no mistake, Darryl is still running the show. Jay and Michel are insulation, period. The move takes away the storylines about Darryl because, hey, who signed that guy, Jay or Sutter?

The media already hates Darryl because he treats them with the respect they deserve. They will probably play up Jay, as a way to take shots at Sutter's ego. We predict that that is exactly what the Flames want. From their perspective the more the people hear about Goulet or Feaster and the less they hear about Sutter, the better.

And now he is safely ensconced in a protected position of power. Lifetime contracts are real nice.

Anyways, follow us on twitter.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick Hits

Prairie Oystrers

Rob Kerr is talking about the Le Michel Goulet hiring, and he is correctly highlighting the sentence that most glossed over: 'reports directly to Jay Feaster.'

Good on Kerr. Usually the FAN gets a lot of flack because they tend to gloss over any uncomfortable fact if it pertains to the Flames. Honestly, their coverage of the team during the nine game losing streak is pretty much all the evidence we need to make our point. But we dap when dap is called for, and Kerr jumping on our meme, that this moves signals that Sutter is being put out for pasture, was refreshing to hear.

The Kid

Not to keep rehashing the radio, but something else Mr. Kerr said bothered us, and we feel we need to talk about it. It pertains to the hockey club, obviously, and its roster. Kerr said something to the effect of the following: The organization took, and is taking, a lot of heat over it's inability to develop talent. Because that 'noise' (don't you love marketing terms?) is out there, the team had better have The Kid make the club.

With all due respect to Mr. Kerr, that is retarded.

The Kid should make the club because it would make everybody's tummy feel better? Why don't you just shoot the fucking horse now? We are trying to win games in the NHL. The NHL isn't a video game, it isn't a fantasy league. The NHL is where the best players in the world play, and if you are adding players to your NHL roster it had better be because they can play and contribute to wins at the highest level of hockey.

The Kid has played in 23 NHL games. He has one goal. One. That's quite the phenom we have.

Now we know what you're thinking. Why not add Backs? We aren't making the playoffs anyways.

This is also stupid. Sutter has built a team that has to make the playoffs. It is full of vets, which means it should be full of professionals. If this crew can't crack 8th place, it's over. The goodwill the team has built since 04 will be gone. The organization will have to fire everybody involved, save Jay Feaster (unfortunately). If Jarome doesn't want his ass traded, if the organization doesn't want to lose Kipper to a trade demand, they have to make the playoffs, at the very least. Icing minor leaguers to play minutes because the media is crying for it won't help that goal.

And people are pinning for a rookie to come and be the white knight? It's fucking insane. How many centres are on the roster? Langs, Connie, Stajan (sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little) and Olli ' The Second Coming' Jokinen. Does anybody honestly believe that Conroy isn't making the team? So unless the Flames plan on icing 5 lines this year, we don't really see where The Kid is going to play.

The wing? Really? Hagman, Kotalik, Jarome, Tangs, Glencross, Moss...top three lines look pretty full to me. We just brought in two free agents to play the wings on the 4th line...so yeah, unless Sutter can get a fellow GM to lose nine games in a row so he gets desperate and trades for Kotalik, we don't really see where The Kid is going to play. And even if you do get rid of Kotalik, do you really want Backs playing on the wing?

Again, this is the NHL. It isn't the developmental league. If you ice players who can't play because you drafted them high, or because the media is demanding it, you won't be in a position to make NHL rosters pretty soon.

Cap Circumvention

Garry Bettman doesn't like people using the loopholes he left in his CBA. Ilya taught us all that. Cap circumvention is a terrible blight on the NHL. So why is Garry allowing Chicago to loan the stupid Huet contract to the Swedish league?

That move was made for one reason: To lower the cap hit of that contract. That's cap circumvention, is it not?

Really, think about it: What was wrong with Ilya's contract? The drop off of the value in the final years. So what if they had structured the contract with no drop off. Let's say they awarded Ilya a 17 year 100 million dollar contract, where he makes 5.88 million (roughly) every year. Nothing wrong with that contract, right?

But here's the thing. Secretly, with a wink wink, Ilya has agreed that in the years 35-44, he is going to go the KHL. The team would still owe him the money left on the contract, but that cap hit goes away for years 35-44.

Cap circumvented.

This loophole needs to close, and we don't care that this effects the Flames in particular with regards to Kotalik. It needs to close, or all loopholes need to remain open. Without getting too much into political philosophy, what the NHL has now is the Rule of Man, as opposed to the Rule of Law. Countries that run by ad-hoc rules don't last. Organizations that do the same also don't. How can they? The actors involved don't know where the dictator is going to move the goal posts to next.

Hilarious

Sheldon Souray...putting the Coil in Coiler's.

Furthermore, I think Carthage should be destroyed...err, Loubardias should be fired.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Life and Times of Harvey the Hound: Vol. 2

More! With bigger guns! Hotter fire! More explosive explosions! DeathHammer is back with another installment of Hound heroics.

The Life and Times of Harvey the Hound...reading it is like hearing the voice James Earl Jones, only you hear it with your eyes.

...

By DeathHammer

BUZZZZZ!!!!

The second period ended, and it was going to be a hell of a 3rd. Jarome had already done his work, scoring a hat trick against arch nemesis Nikolai Khabibulin; Fans were smart enough to distract him with dollar bills. Pax Comunista’s cannot resist the money of the free. Everything was as usual, but that's when it all went wrong.

Harvey was wandering through the concourse checking out post game prospects, when a filthy drunk, old white haired oiler fan, bulled over a helpless, innocent young flames fan. The scum just laughed. And that's when it happened. Harvey started to stare at nothing as he was brought back, back to a time when he wasn’t the best damn mascot in the NHL (whose constant poon pounding of Marilyn Monroe was truly what killed her).

….

It was a violent night. Thunder and lightning dominated, with rain and hail trying to do its best to catch-up. Harvey was driving one of his many pimp mobiles, trying to get back to his wife, and new born. With ‘6 day’s on the road’ blasting on 1060AM, Harvey knew it would only be a matter of time before he’d be home.

That’s when his car stopped. ‘WTF’ he thought to himself, as he got out to get a flash light out of his trunk. When it popped open, Harvey was in shock. All he saw was the bloodied corpse of his best friend Youppi. He had a bullet in the back of his head, and a note that was attached with a knife through his heart. With his hand shaking harder then Al Macinnis going an hour without a drink, Harvey reached out and grabbed the note. All it said was "RUN", in blood red.

Harvey took a couple of steps back, when all of a sudden…

BOOM!!!

A lightning bolt had struck the Hounds car, cremating Youppi, and creating one bad ass explosion at the same time. Harvey was in complete shock but knew he had to get back home, so he could see his family, and figure all this madness out. He wasn’t that far away after all.

An hour into his journey, Harvey was going well. He used what just happened to keep this mind off the malicious weather. He kept going over it in his head. 'RUN'. What did that mean?

And that’s when he noticed the high beams. Some sort of car was coming down the road. 'Help is here' he thought to himself. But as the car got closer, and closer, something didn’t feel right. All he could hear were not the thunder and lightning, or rain and hail, but the words of his fallen friend Youppi, “Le Run Harvey, Le Run Now!” And that’s what he did.

Frantically, the K-9 tried to out run this unrelenting vehicle of Hades. But it caught up.

BAM MOTHERFUCKER!!!

The car drove through him like Danny Heatly had a new best friend to kill. And so Harvey laid there, motionless.

The mysterious car stopped, and this Jack The Ripper type, wearing a large hood, opened up the door. But it was strange. The man couldn’t walk straight, and was stumbling around... drunk, one might say.

“Hound, is that you?!” the man slurred. “I got you, you son of a bitch!”

H-Pound was alive, but was physically unable to fight back. “I'm here to kill you, Hound! To send you and you mascot types a message.” The drunk then took out a large, Jason like machete. “You see, some people like mascots, but where I come from... well where I come from, we hate mascots, boy.”

This sociopath then put his knee on Harvey's chest, and grabbed Harvey's lingua. With one evil swipe, he had removed Harvey's ability to sweat. Yes, he cut our hero's tongue off. "Hahahaha, that's just where we're starting." The executioner raised his arm up, ready to mutilate another part of Harvey when, ... his IPhone 4 rang. The murder couldn't resist but to pick it up.

"Yes, yes, I'm almost done the job. Hey you wanna video phone,... awesome."

The killer took his hook off.

Of course, Harvey thought. Drunk driving, after his tongue, the oiler car flag that I'll mention for the first time right now. The killer, now assassin, was... Craig Mactavish.

"I'll murder Harvey soon, then I'll move on to the next one. We'll rendezvous on top of the Calgary Tower."

The conversation was over, and time was running out for H-Doggy Dog.

Mac-T took out his pistol, and pointed it to the back of Harvey's head. "Too bad you gotta die in such shitty weather..."

"Le I'll remember to tell your loved ones those were your last words!" Youppi announced as shotgun shells ripped through Mac-T's now limp body. "Le are you ok my friend, Mr. Hound?"

"Yes, yes, I'm slowly Hulking up." Harvey then ripped his shirt off, and was totally fine, putting his tongue back on. His tie also became a bandana.

The two friends then walked over to a now begging Mac-T

"Please, please spare me, I'll give you Wayne Gretzky's phone number." The drunk pleaded.

"Ha, we all know the hockey aristocracy never gets prosecuted fully. You only got a year for killing that first chick." Harvey barked. Youppi-Christ and Har-V-D slowly took out their gats, and finished off what a judge should have.

A chill went down both their spines that was more like an aftershock. when they realized that instead of blood, alcohol pour out of Mac-T's useless carcass.

...

"How did you survive, friend?"

"Le, well, Mac-T attacked me, and stuffed me into your trunk. I was dead. But when the lightning hit, it rejuvenated me, and turn me back on. Fuck'en sweet, eh?"

Harvey told Youppi that Mac-T was meeting the kingpin of all this on top of the Calgary Tower, and that there was just enough fuel in the jet packs he saw in Mac-T's car to fly them there.

...

"Let's get ready to land, we're just about there." Harvey said.

"Le, I see him, let's get him!" Youppi replied.

The two hero's landed to confront the "Dr.Claw" like figure.

"You think you can kill mascots, and get away with it!?" The Hound exclaimed. "What is wrong with you!?"

The mysterious figure replied with his back still turned.

"You see boys, I love Edmonton. And therefore I hate everything else, and must make it more like Edmonton. It starts with calling a terrible Flames game, being a vaginal radio host, and yes, killing every mascot, as the mighty Oil do not have one."

With that, he dropped some smoke bombs, and flew off with his own jet pack, yelling SKEEEEEEEEYORE'S the whole way back to Dumpsville.

Harvey knew, it was ALPHA.

"Le hey Harvey, you wanna go to the red mile and use our celebrity to get bar sluts?"

"You know, I think you know me better then I know myself!"

...

"Hey Harvey, Harvey, the periods back on!" Jerrod Rodriguez said, the Flames best damn usher.

"Yah, Yah, I'll be there in a sec."

...

I like the Craig Conroy signing. Now let's get Dean Mcammond, and Shean Donovan, and starting going to work! Our vet'ness can be our competitive advantage.

...

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.