Monday, April 18, 2011

More Melodrama

Bitch. bitch, bitch. Whine, whine, whine. We will try to get some more bits out for the summer.

But for now...

Still have not heard Murray Edwards thoughts on his team, it's direction, where he sees the team going from here. Still have not heard Murray Edwards pronounce from on high what the organizations mission statement is, the goals of the organization, or anything like that.

Which is odd.

Ken King is paid by Murray Edwards something. If it is to play vassal, that's ok (it isn't ok), but then we need to hear all of this from Ken King. Which we have not. We haven't even heard from Jay Feaster what he would like to do with this team moving forward, what direction he would like to take the team.

The lack of direction, the lack of leadership, is disconcerting.

Is there confusion in the organization? Does the organization know what it is doing? We think it is a fair question. How many GM's has this organization burned through since 2000? There was Coates, there was Button, there was Darryl, and now Feaster (and maybe someone else new in a week or two). Very roughly, four GM's in 10 years? How many coaches has this organization burned through in that time?

Does the organization know where it wants to go? Does it know how to get there? Or is it simply flailing wildly?

If Murray Edwards just wants to own, and sign cheques, but pay no attention to his team, that's fine. But if he is going to be the abdicator in chief, he needs to higher competent, serious, proper people to look after the organization.

He needs to install a President who won't be bullied around and into bad decisions. Depending on the narrative you believe, either Darryl Sutter had total control over every decision made, which means Ken King is a doormat, or Ken King was also actively involved in every decision Darryl made, which makes him culpable for the idiocy. Either way, it doesn't look good on King, and in fact, makes him look replaceable. Either he is meek and is able to be pushed into making decisions by someone elses force of personality, which means he should be fired, or he has the Matt Stajan, Ales Kotalik, Nik Hagman, Steve Staios (and that's just from this year!) blood on his hands, which means he should be fired. Either way, Lanny McDonald should be doing Kings job right now.

Besides that, Edwards needs to hire a competent GM. Feaster may or may not be that. We here at Dome Beers don`t think he is. We would prefer hiring someone who is hard to get, if that makes any sense (Bob Gainey). At the same time, this organization is in such a whole, if Feaster actually does want to risk ruining his reputation trying to fix this, we might as well let him. We wonder how many serious GM`s would want to take on the risk of failure that this team carries with it (with the blocked salary cap, lack of cheap talent on the farm, etc).

We thought MacFarlane wrote a good article, summing up the situation. We consistently lose to the best teams in the West. We all know this, or should know this. The team needs to get better, and appreciably better.

Here, let me get real with the Domebeer-aholics. A Z R, your humble correspondent, spent $1,400 on Flames tickets this year, and probably another $200 on general swag.

Next year, as it is now, I don`t plan on spending anywhere near that. Why not? Because, currently, there is no hope.

Sports are funny. There is only one winner at the end of the day. Because of this, most sport franchises are in the business of selling hope. Now selling hope is a tricky thing; If you sell too heavily, you corrode the fanbase: selling hope to a fanbase when the team is in a hopeless situation implies that the hope sellers think the fanbase is stupid.

As I see it, it looks like, to me, that the Flames think the ticket holders are stupid. This team was a shitty team at the start of the offseason, everyone knew it, and we were told to shut up because of 97% season ticket holder renewal rate. Then the season plays out, the team predictably misses the playoffs. We are not told about the renewal rates, because Ken King doesn't even feel the need to speak to the media, and the media, happy to have someone in the organization speak to them (Jay Feaster) doesn't even think to ask. How is this team going to get better? Nothing. What is the map for this organization? Where is the plan from how we go from point A to point B? Nothing.

Instead, we get 'Remember the Run', as if that mid season run came against real teams, or was indicative of the teams absolute potential. The implication being that the team is actually close to being a contender, a few tweaks away from leaping out of the pretender category. With all do respect, fuck that shit. I am not paid by the organization to carry its water. I don't have to pretend.

When the team is losing a fan like me, who is diehard, who goes to the games, who runs a fucking blog about them, it's in trouble. And it isn't the losing, but it's how they are losing. It is the bad cap decisions, the bad drafting, keeping Tod Button employed despite the bad drafting, the shitty in-Dome game experience with the terrible music and hackneyed entertainment ideas, the organizations efforts to control the message through force rather than through performance. It's four years to Matt Stajan, in a sentence. It is the fact that them team does not seem serious about winning.

And right now, I'm just looking for signals from the organization that it is getting serious about winning, that it acknowledges the position it is in, it has thought soberly about it, and it has come up with a coherent gameplan about dealing with it. Until I see that, I won't pretend, and I probably won't be buying many tickets.

(Honestly, boring hockey with bad music and bad food isn't that appealing anymore. They would be in trouble if they didn't serve that beer...)

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.


  1. DB,
    What if the plan is to look at someone who is an assistant gm or otherwise engaged with a playoff team? It would be stupid to announce that now while the other person presumably is still under contract or focusing on the playoffs. Silence now doesnt mean that nothing is going on. It may be an indictment of Feaster though. If they wanted him as the legit GM or as something other than a "Plan B" then they would have announced it by now (presumably). If they don't end up hiring someone from a playoff team and they keep fatso then I don't what to think.

  2. Spell check wouldn't go amiss on this piece!!
    So much anger that you're writing went too shit!!

  3. @Anon
    I think you mean your, not you're (you are), and to, not too (also or excessively).

    They sent Cookson and Noodles packing today. I think this means that they are working their way up the ladder from bottom to top, from players to coaches to management. So… management should be next.


  4. Agreed DB...

    As it stands today, this organization is a Farce and becoming more unserious by the day. Even if they are waiting for the playoffs to end to talk to prospective GMs, the last time I looked, Lanny is available and King should have been packing his office during the 2nd period of the Vancouver game. Why the wait...Murray is either incompetent or stupid. Because he is a Billionaire, I will pass on the stupid and go with incompetence (as it pertains to running a Professional Sports Franchise). If King is not relieved, then another year is wasted and hope diminishes further.
    Only the Flames organization can fuck up how to fire people... the firing of Noodles/Cookson is actually quite troubling (not the fact they were fired - cause they needed to be let go) because I read this as if King/Feaster/Butter are all staying then. If new upper managment is intended to be brought in by M.E., then they should be the ones canning the lower level Plebs. Sadly, I see Cookson/Noodles as the most recent Fall Guys for an organization in turmoil. They are this years "97% renewal rate" party line for everything will be "Unicorn Farts and Skittles" this coming season because they are now gone.
    Don't forget though DB, as many Fan 960 callers and some FN posters claim, we are only one (maybe two) signings away from the Cup...I now need to go "whistle past a graveyard" over my lunchbreak.

  5. You learn about people during the bad times.

    We learned that the Hotchkiss/Seaman owner era would strip down to the bare bones to keep the team in town. Murray E is now in bad times, and what we have learned is that the organization has a culture of throwing people under the bus, and not confronting real problems. Hope he doesn't run CNRL like this. 6 coaches, 4GM, 1 prez on the last 10 years. No wonder we can't hire Bob Nicolson, Lanny or Gainey!

  6. @ Forgotten

    Is it possible that Noodles and Cookie were let go because Brent is finally free of The Omnipotent Darryl, and gets to choose his own assitants?
    Brent is going to be around for another year, unless a new GM fires him. GM's likely don't hire assistant coaches, the Head Coach does.
    To me, this situation doesn't say anything about who is staying and who is going, except Brent.


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