Craziest shit, Domebeer-aholics.
So your humble Narrator, having caught a pinch of the yellow fever, was downtown Chinatown, scouting talent, when, following some coy geisha's down into an opium den, who did I run into but none other than Sun Tzu, chillin' with his homies, the Jade Dragon crew; chewing on the ladies, Tzu likes geisha's, too.
After several hours of corpulence inside that hedonistic hotbox, Tzu and his green coloured crew agreed to sit down with Dome Beers for an interview, wide ranging as always. Turns out Sun Tzu is a fan of the Flames; he was huge on Rejean Lemelin back in the day. Who knew?
DB: Mr. Tzu, it is a pleasure to be speaking with you. I know you are a very busy man, so I hope we can keep this relatively quick for you.
Sun Tzu: Speed is the essence of victory.
DB: Uhh, yeah, sure. I will be quick then. I'm actually going to start then with some questions about the Flames front office. Recently, it has come to light that Ken King, and Murray Edwards through him, is trying to become more influential in the organizations decision process. King was in the war room at trade deadline day, for example. Also, recent reports imply that he is getting more and more involved in hockey decisions, a realm supposedly administered by Jay Feaster. What do you think about this situation?
Sun Tzu: So there are thee ways in which a civil leadership causes the military trouble. When a civil leadership unaware of the facts tells its armies to advance when it should not, or tells its armies to retreat when it should not, this is called tying up the armies...
DB: ...a critique of the cap management of this team?
Sun Tzu: Silence! When the civil leadership is ignorant of military affairs but shares equally in the government of the armies, the soldiers get confused. When the civil leadership is ignorant of military maneuvers but shares equally in the command of the armies, the soldiers hesitate. Once the armies are confused and hesitant, trouble comes from competitors. This is called taking away victory by deranging the military.
DB: So, not a fan of the overstepping and eradication of the boundaries of leadership, eh?
Sun Tzu: There are routes not to be followed...orders of civilian governments not to be obeyed.
DB: And of course, you would assign Ken King and his marketing team to the category of 'civilian' and Jay Feaster and the hockey operations as the 'military'. Fair enough.
Sun Tzu: In the army, you hear the orders of your generals, you don't hear the commands of the emperor.
DB: Alright, we get it. It's a bad idea to have Ken King making decisions on player personnel when he is also concerned about the teams image in the media and to the fanbase and myriad of other competing interests. We get it! Moving on, I wonder what your thoughts are, in general, about with regards to Ken King and Jay Feaster, the 'generals' (apparently) of the Flames.
Sun Tzu: There are eight kinds of decadence in generalship. First is to be insatiably greedy. Second is to be jealous and envious of the wise and able. Third is to believe slanderers and make friends with the treacherous. Fourth is to assess others without assessing oneself. Fifth is to be hesitant and indecisive. Sixth is to be heavily addicted to sex and wine. Seventh is to be a malicious liar with a cowardly heart. Eighth is to talk wildly, without courtesy.
DB: Umm, ok, not a ringing endorsement. But have you ever thought that it was an act?
Sun Tzu: I have. A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear incompetent. But no, with these guys, what you see is what you get.
DB: Fair enough. If you could name just one, what would be your biggest complaint with the teams leadership?
Sun Tzu: The Way means inducing the people to have the same aim as the leadership, so that they will share death and share life, without fear of danger.
DB: So you think the organization is showing signs of being rudderless, lacking direction; showing an inconsistency with the roster it assembles and its stated message of wanting to compete for a Stanley Cup?
Sun Tzu: Victories of good warriors are not noted for cleverness or bravery. Therefore their victories in battle are not flukes. Their victories are not flukes because they position themselves where they will surely win, prevailing over those who have already lost.
Sun Tzu: Talent, DB. You ever notice that every team out there has some sort of dynamic forward duo? There's probably a reason for that.
DB: That's not a quote from Art Of War...
Sun Tzu: Sorry, DB. I have been smoking opium for the last six hours. Back off.
DB: It's ok. Anyways, speaking of talent, Brad Richards is going to be available to sign through free agency. Would you recommend we sign him? Probably more importantly, do you think he would want to sign here?
Sun Tzu: Well, if the team could fit it under the cap, he would certainly make the team better. However, would he come? What causes opponents to come of their own accord is the prospect of gain. What discourages opponents from coming is the prospect of harm.
DB: So...80 million dollars then?
Sun Tzu: Yeah, it's going to take about that.
The interview doesn't end there. We talked about strategy, coaching, talent acquisition, a whole gambit of topics really. Maybe we will chop them up and air them one day, who knows? As it is, your humble Narrator is feeling the effects of the opium binge and the geisha's. It's time for a nap.Well, after dim sum, of course.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.