Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thanks To The STH's, Other Stuff

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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reign of Error

Alternative titles: Welcome to the Errordome, By the Time I get to Error-zona

(Get it? Darryl was a 'Public Enemy'? You are too funny, DB)

To be quite honest (which will be Darryl's lasting legacy, besides Stajan), we wanted to go on vacation from this here old blog for like a week. Then the guillotine was dropped on our Prairie Green Incorruptible (we read history, you should too), and nary a Patriot could be found who didn't show up to the Champ de Mars to see the Sutter's severed head paraded on a pike.

We are Patriots too, and so we did indeed have to vacate our vacation, short our sabbatical, to take in the beautifully violent visage. As Thomas Jefferson once said, the tree of Liberty, from time to time, must be refreshed with the blood of Tyrants and Patriots. And as it pertains to the Calgary Flames, Darryl was both.

So rejoice, dance, and drink deep, fellow Patriots, fellow fans. The leader of the Sans-'clue'lottes, the head priest of clutch and grab, defence first, the trap, the architect of an almost two year campaign of 'Institutional Error' (quibble, but Cammo should have been resigned, and the crazy only multiplied from there), was finally removed from his position of power by his fellow members on The Committee For Public Safety (you don't know how badly we wanted to go with the French for that), notably one Ken King.

And while the good patriots will hold parties and dance in their flesh coloured drawers, it is prudent to ponder: What next?

Looking back on our good French Patriots, we see what two years of Terror in their case, or Error in ours, can do to civic fabric. For the French, 'flesh coloured drawers' represents a nation exhaling. And in the gust of wind and turbulence that is unleashed when a great nation exhales, institutions are shaken to the ground, cultural touchstones destroyed, monuments are toppled. The great gust destroys, but in it's destruction it also creates more room to breathe. For the French, what came next was Napoleon, the toppling of European feudal tradition, and total war. What came next was not a return to the Bourbons but a complete rejection of it. What came next was not a return of the Ancient Regime, but it's total destruction.

Fellow Patriots, we worry about what comes next for our Flames. When Darryl's head was removed from it's basket and held up by Ken King for us all to see, it was not the Danton-esque vein ("Show my head to the people, it is worth seeing") but rather in a melancholy, tragic way. Ken King mourned for Darryl, and demanded we all did too. Mr. King feels we robbed him of a Patriot, he stands against us. He is an 'ami du roi'. And he is dangerous because of it, because he controls who ascends to the throne.

Ken King names Fat Feaster to replace the Tyrant. Fat Feaster, by his own admission, has a lot of respect and admiration for Darryl. Fat Feaster, by his own admission, thinks Darryl's strategy of 'from the net out' is a sound one. From his own admission, he feels that the coaches Darryl has assembled, who play defensive, trap hockey, are good coaches. Fat Feaster maintains the state lie about making the playoffs.

Have we simply replaced one dinosaur with another smoother talking one? Have we replaced Darryl to continue going in his direction? Is it simply PR? Or if it is not, to what lengths is Fat Feaster willing to go to prove he is not a foot soldier of the Bourbons?

Be prepared, fellow Patriots. Gusts of exhaled breath, as we said, topple monuments. The monuments on this team, Kipper, Reggie, Iggy, best test their foundation. And the man we have placed in charge of it all once traded Brad Richards for Mike Smith.

On the timing of the whole thing: Yeah, we don't get it either. At least we don't get why they allowed Sutter another offseason. Misplaced loyalty mixed in with some mercy, we imagine. But Sutter had to be fired before January. The work and preparation needed for a trade deadline couldn't be put off much longer than it has been, and with the Winter Classic coming up, the organization didn't want all the media stories being about how Sutter had ruined the team, and why wasn't he fired yet, or his brother, ect. The organization wants the Winter Classic to be about the Winter Classic, and that would not have been the case had Sutter been employed when it came around.

But yeah, why they waited until December when it should have taken place last April (if not seasons sooner) is beyond us. Ken King weaseled out of answering the question at the press conference.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired. Feaster, too. We had forgotten that they axed some of the scouts in the summer. Time for Tod Button and the rest of the Sutters to go as well.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

And That Ruins That Plan

Fuck, the moment we go on vacation Darryl gets fired. Too funny.

We aren't here to hate on the man now that he is gone. Darryl should have been fired, at the very least, at the end of last season, if not at the end of the season before. That's not on Darryl, that is on Ken King and Murray Edwards.

Darryl did a lot for this franchise, bringing back its legitimacy, both in the local market and across the league. He took the team from being a 70 point one to a 90 point one. We thank him for that, and we will always thank the man for reigniting the fan base with the magical Cup run of 2003-2004.

But the man went crazy. He was like one of those Chinese Emperors who drank mercury and lost his mind. Kotalik? Stajan? Ivanans? And that's just this year. That is us not even talking about Keenan or Joseph or Marchment or all the traded draft picks.

He had to go, but at the end of the day, he wasn't the only one who has to go. His brother continues to bench rookies, even though the team is last place. Ken King, the link between the owners and Darryl, still has a job, probably because Darryl doesn't right now. King gave Darryl the cover to do what he wanted, so he has blood on his hands, too. The owners, at the end of the day, kept the man in power too long, which has set this franchise back at least two years. So they have some blame for this as well.

Jay Feaster is a terrible person to have running the team. The owners cheaped out when they hired him, and if they keep him in the position it is most certainly because they are cheaping out again. Feaster didn't build the team in Tampa that won the cup, because none of the key players on that team were acquired by him. He is an idiot who has a worse draft record than Darryl.

This team needs someone serious to come in. Bob Gainey, that sort of thing.

The question is whether Feaster has a mandate from ownership to make the playoffs this year. Will Feaster go out and make a panic trade at the deadline to grasp eighth? We hope not.

From the release:

“We will move forward under a new administration with Jay leading our hockey operations as Acting General Manager,” said King. “For the remainder of this season, Jay will be provided the opportunity to evaluate the team from the GM’s chair and build a long term plan. We believe that while we continue to compete for a playoff position this season, this period will provide both the organization and Jay time to decide on critical future decisions.

Fuck no. They think they are still competing for a playoff position? Hopefully that's a lie. The other shit, about how Feaster is going to build the long term plan, ect. suggests that they may hire the guy. Fuck, that would be a terrible move. Feaster thought Mike Smith was a legit goalie for Aunt Jemima's sake!

We think this story deserves some thought, but right now, to be honest, we want to go skating.

Oh yeah, while we are firing people, how about we fire Stajan?

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

Off Till New Years

We will be closing shop until after New Years. We are bastards for doing it, we know, but we are doing it nonetheless. During our time off we are going to work on a few bits here and thee. We will of course maintain our macroview of the Flames, along with our microview bitching (like why is a last place team benching the rookie centre?).

Good luck to all the Domebeer-aholics in their endeavours in the new year. And a special thanks to all of you Domebeer-aholics for coming here to read our...musings. It wouldn't be worth doing it without you all, and we appreciate your support and the time that you spend here very much.

We may update this space if we have anything to add to the noise level before New Years, but we wouldn't be looking for it.

Hot girl? Sure!

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.