Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rabble Rabble Rabble

We make fun of one Eric Francis over here, but we have to give some dap to the man. His latest piece, in which he deftly maneuvers Darryl into sticking the sword into his own chest, was pretty good. Seriously, the more Darryl opens his mouth, the deeper his grave is dug, so kudos to Francis for serving the rancher up some Milskey before the interview started.

Honestly, where to start the scalpel into all this Darryl Sutter provided horse shit?

- We had to trade Dion to keep Gio and Bourque

No, no you didn't. Anybody with some experience in finance should be able to inform you that money is fungible. What this means in this context is that money for something can from anywhere you can generate money from. Say you have a rental business. You also have a widget business. You can use money from the widget business to pay bills for your rental business. You don't have to sell the rental business to generate the capital.

Same thing here. Darryl didn't have to trade a guy he signed to an inflated contract years before acquiring either Bourque or Gio to sign Bourque or Gio. It's a stupid suggestion on it's face. Darryl would have had the money to sign Bourque or Gio if he didn't sign Sarich, or JBlow, or extend Iggy, or if he had traded Langkow, or any number of possible combinations of events. What Darryl is really admitting to here is that he mismanaged the salary cap, and because of that he had to then go out and make a trade, not for pure hockey reasons, but for financial reasons. Which, again, SHOULD PROBABLY GET HIS ASS FIRED. People, Tallon did the same thing, really. The only difference is he won a Stanley Cup. And he got fired. It's a joke that Darryl has a job.

- Dion Didn't Want To Play Here

Darryl Sutter no longer gets the benefit of the doubt with us. We think he is lying because we can see his mouth moving. So when he suggests, again, that Dion wanted out (because Darryl didn't make him the captain, or whatever Darryl was suggesting) we tend to take it with a grain of salt. Dion had millions of dollars and a city full of puck bunnies to play with. We highly doubt he hated his time here.

Now, in the Darryl's defence, Dion is a selfish player on the ice, and as more and more stories come out, it appears he may have been selfish in the locker room too. So we can definitely see a situation where some of his teammates didn't like Dion playing here. But that's entirely different. So which is it, Darryl? Because in this interview he implies that Dion wanted out, which Dion and Burke have denied, and that Dion's teammates wanted him out.

Also, can we take a step back for a moment and reflect on the fact that we have a GM who seems to not worry about the future effects of airing out a players dirty laundry in the media? We'd like to be able to sign some good free agents in the future. If they think Darryl is going to rat them out the moment things turn a little sour, that becomes more difficult. WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON DARRYL SHOULD BE OUT LOOKING FOR WORK.

- Darryl Only Talked To One Trade Partner Because Only A Limited Number Of Teams Could Afford Dion

Again, we have to call bullshit on this. First off, most obviously, how do you know if you don't ask? Honestly, you don't know that some owner wouldn't increase payroll to bring in Dion, to generate some buzz for his hockey team, especially if you don't ask. Poor people don't own hockey teams (actually, this is the NHL we are talking about...) which means that there was the potential out there, even for teams that don't spend to the cap, for some owner to step up to the plate and assume Dion's contract. The Senators just committed 5.5 million dollars to the cap, for 3 years, to sign a 36 year old Gonchar. They wouldn't have traded for Dion?

But Darryl doesn't know because Darryl didn't ask. We know he didn't ask because the GM of the Sabres told everyone he didn't ask.

Darryl says in the article (paraphrase): There are about 15 teams in the league that had no chance at Dion because they couldn't afford him.

Fine, even if we accept that presumption (which we don't) that means that there are 15 teams left for Darryl to go out and create a bidding war for Dion with. And he still didn't even do that. WHICH, AGAIN, IS A GOOD REASON THE MAN SHOULD BE OUT OF A J-O-B.

- Matt Stajan Needs To Be Our Daymond Langkow

Yeah, Darryl Sutter said that. Where is RO when you need him, eh? We are tempted to reach out and let him pen a piece on that line alone.

THE FACT DARRYL SUTTER THOUGHT MATT STAJAN COULD REPLICATE DAYMOND LANGKOWS ON ICE EFFECTIVENESS MEANS HE IS UNQUALIFIED FOR THE JOB OF GM OF A NHL TEAM.

We can't state it any more clearly than that. Daymond Langkow plays against good players, and on his career is a plus 82. Matt Stajan is Matt Stajan and is a career 0. How does Sutter keep his job?

- Nik Hagman Is A Top Six Forward

Yeah, on the Islanders.

- Trading Ian White For Badsuck And Two Years, At A Million Dollars, Of Tommy K.

This was, again, a purely financial trade. It was done to save a million dollars. Why did Darryl need to save a million dollars? Was it because his other contracts proved to be so poorly valued? Was it because the NHL doctors were going to green light Kotalicksballs and Darryl was forced to find cap space to play the worst contract in the NHL's (well, besides the Phaneuf one)? No, not at all.

He had to trade Ian White so he could sign Bourque and Gio...
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This is getting more and more embarrassing by the day. You guys ever hear of a cat by the name of Rasputin? He was a sleazy opportunists that managed to worm his way into the Russian Tzars court back in the day. Once there, he promptly began giving the Tzars wife the dicking she was missing and ended up having a big say in matters of state. This wasn't a problem in and of itself, except for the fact that a) Rasputin was fucking crazy and b) it doesn't look good on the Tzar to have the guy who is boning his wife make decisions that affect the state. It was a wholly embarrassing situation both for the Tzar and for Russia.

But you know what? The people around the Tzar couldn't get rid of him. No matter the latest fuckup, Rasputin was safe in his job. It got very frustrating for the Russian court. The Tzars wife, a woman who had a head in the clouds and no anchor in reality, kept Rasputin ensconced in safety, because she was loving the dick (if you are going to talk to me about her freak son, grow the fuck up). The Tzar loved his wife so he was paralyzed to act. He figured he could buy time and ride the situation out, and everything would work out. But obviously it didn't, because why would it?

So you know what happened? One day everyone at the court but the Tzar went Roman Senate on Rasputins ass. They poisoned him, they shot him, and eventually they threw him in a river and drowned his ass. And guess what? Shit improved after, because some mercury swilling huckster wasn't at the levers of state power anymore.

Moral of the story? Crazy people don't get less crazy. The longer they are allowed to stay on, the more damage they do. And the harder it is to get rid of them.

Good story eh, Murray Edwards?
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God Bless King Ralph. Best wishes, get healthy.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired. Especially after saying that Mike Keenan ruined Dion's development by playing him lots of minutes against good competition. That man comes off more daft than Darryl. And we like how Kerr has lots to say about Keenan the moment Keenan leaves the room, but never had anything to say about the man while he was here. Stay classy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We Have To Write About This Punk Again?

(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.
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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?
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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.
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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.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brent Sutter Has This Club On Pace To Give Up 237 Goals

Cards on the table moment here people.

The media in this city have a bad relationship with Darryl. So Darryl is a fuck up.

The media in this city have a good relationship with Brent. So Brent is in no way culpable in the current collapse.

That's bullshit, in our opinion.

It's hard to defend, right? Coaches aren't brought in to teach scoring, they are brought in to teach systems, and every system is designed to prevent goals. You may think we are crazy, but we see offensive production as a product of the GM, and defensive production as a product of the coach. Bare with us.

GM's bring in the talent. Talent is what scores goals. Coaches implement systems. Now, a coaches system can either enhance the amount of shots his team generates, which would affect the offense, but a system also seeks to mitigate shots against, which effects the defence. Very few teams in the NHL run systems that enhance shots for, most run systems that seek to limit shots against. Furthermore, a coach has an obligation to provide his team the best chance to win, that is it is the coaches job to try to hide talent deficiencies. Which means that a coach has a big effect on the game, as he has direct control over how the team plays, and specifically, how the team plays when it doesn't have the puck. Because of the control the coach has over the flow of the game, and the defence is where the coach implements his structure (Brent has said on multiple occasions he lets the players play when they gain the oppositions zone), we feel he has a large amount of influence over the defensive fortunes of the team.

The Calgary Flames, under the batshit crazy leadership of Darryl Sutter... actually, this calls for a spreadsheet.


Do you people see that? Last year, we didn't score enough, but we were great defensively. Darryl was tasked with adding scoring. Guess what, he did. If you extrapolate the data, that works out to about 213 goals over the season. 213 is greater than 201, so Darryl improved the scoring. He did his job.

The defence was set. JBlow, Gio, and Reggie are the defencemen that matter on this team, and those are the same from last year. Dion was on this team last year, so if anything the defence should have improved this year, right? But it hasn't. The defence has gone from the 5th ranked in the league to the 21st ranked in the league. Darryl's responsible for that? Darryl's responsible for giving the team 3 premier-ish defenceman, Brent's responsible for not using them properly. We are on pace to give up 237 goals this year.

Last year we gave up 203 goals to 201 goals for, for a minus 2. This year, with largely the same team (yes we are missing Langs, we know this. Believe us, we are painfully aware) the team is on pace to give up 237 goals to 213 goals for, for a minus 24. That's degree's of magnitude greater than last year.

Tell us why the defensive collapse of a defensive team with a defensive oriented coach isn't that coaches fault, again? Oh, it is? Thank you.

Look, we know he talks to the media guys, and Darryl doesn't, and for some reason, this plays on the presses insecurities (if Johnson can play pop psychologist : "The Darryl Sutter who carries his omnipotence and condescension and (whether he wants to admit it to himself or not) his insecurity room-to-room, door-to-door, a Welcome Wagon of misery." then so can we). That's why nobody is defending Darryl Sutter in the press, and why they are going to the hilt to defend his brother. We think it's bush league. If we also didn't want Darryl fired (he traded for Kotalik people) we would push back on this meme harder. Darryl brought in Bourque, he brought in Tangs, he brought in any number of people. His mistake was trading Dion for people he wasn't able to flip for another star calibre player. But even then, he was able to bring in the depth that the fans of this team were calling for.

His moves didn't work out, we understand that. This team is a bad team. Peter Maher's magical 20 game mark has come and gone, and we are a basement team. Why? The team, media notwithstanding, is scoring goals. If the team had maintained it's defensive prowess from last year, it would be a top team in the league, and a contender for a Stanley Cup. The problem with the Flames is that they give up too many goals. The problem is the defence. Who is responsible for the defence? The coach! Why is nobody talking about this?
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Here is more. The people in the media are calling for Darryl's head, but at the same time pleading with the fans that it isn't Brents fault. What the hell is wrong with these people? When you fire a GM, guess what? You fire the coach he hired, too. Because the coach he hires is a reflection on the GM. These people think a new GM is going to come in here and not fire Brent? What planet are these people on?

We get it. Brent is a personable guy and Darryl isn't. That matters in terms of hockey how, exactly?

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quickly On Fat Feaster

A DB post on a Sunday? While the Steelers are playing?

With all the hullabaloo in this city about the GM and the coach, and the talk that they might both be out so the Calgary Flames can have the privilege of handing over the reigns to Feaster, we thought it would be a prudent time to remind the folks about what a complete disaster that would be.

From TSN (2/26/2008):

After much speculation, the Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to trade one of their 'Big Three' forwards, sending centre Brad Richards and goaltender Johan Holmqvist to the Dallas Stars for goalie Mike Smith, centre Jeff Halpern, winger Jussi Jokinen and a fourth-round pick.

So the genius that is Fat Feaster traded away arguably his best trade chip for an AHL goalie, two pluggers who are currently playing for other teams right now, and a fourth round pick.

You want this guy making the decision on Iggy, Kipper, Reggie, Bourque, et al?

No thanks.

But wait, there is more. Remember when Fat Feaster had to trade the no talent bum Dan Boyle?

From TSN (7/4/2008):

(Boyle) signed a six-year, $40 million extension in February just before the trade deadline and fired some verbal shots at Lightning management on his way out of Tampa Bay.

"I don't have the nicest things to say about the way things happened," Boyle said in a conference call.

"I was misled and disrespected and it really was not the right way to do a lot of things. I don't have actually anything good to say about how this all went down."

That's a good sign, right? Fat Feaster having a player claim that he disrespects and misleads people is a sign of a good GM, right?

Please, let's end this nonsense now. Feaster is not the White Knight. Darryl Sutter may have warts, but he is a better GM than Feaster. If we are firing Sutter for Feaster, that is a step backwards. Feaster burned the Lightnings organization down around him and then jumped ship. That's not the kind of person we should have running the good ship Calgary Flames. Don't bring in a tired, fired retread. Bring in someone new. Bring in a Lanny McDonald to be Club President, and then let him hire a new GM and new coach, if it comes to that.

There are other names out there. We suggest Lanny because of all the synergy. But whoever is brought in to fix this mess, it shouldn't be Fat Feaster. If the ownership is cleaning house, he should go to.