Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Matt Stajans Leadership Starting To Rub Off


Calgary (Domebeers.com) - 26 games into the NHL regular season, it is safe to say that the Calgary Flames are not a gutsy hockey team.

Sundays loss to the Vancouver Canucks, occurring at a time when the fanbase was looking for reasons to believe, drove home the point that club President Ken King and GM Jay Feaster have built a team with an impressive lack of character.

The Flames are not only doing what it takes to lose on the ice. They are also proving to be a soft as snails group full of that disappointing characteristic that would allow a team to muster only two shots on goal in the final 40 minutes of what could be called the biggest game of their season.

"It all starts with Stajan. He is a real big leader for us in this locker room," offered head coach Brent Sutter.

"He really does inspire the teams play."

In his second year of a four year, $14 million dollar contract, Matt Stajan is finally starting to find his voice, and embrace his role as a locker room leader.

"He's real unprofessional about everything," 22-year-old forward Mikael Backlund said. "He doesn't work very hard in the weight room. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen him in there, but I don't go too often, myself. He doesn't really put in the extra work on the ice, either. He kind of just sits and mopes in his stall. He talks about Mats Sundin a lot, and how Mats used to make him lug his luggage around. He wasn't very good at that either, apparently."

"It's good to see. It's good to have a player like that, where, at my age, I can look and see what it takes to make it in this league."

It's obvious that Stajans lack of work ethic, preparation, and leadership are catching on with more people than just the younger players on the team. Jarome Iginla, who recorded 86 points in 82 games last season, is on pace to set his lowest shot total ever, and is currently projected to score just 20 goals if he continues at his current pace.

"Stajan is a big part it, for sure. He's not a good leader. You could tell as soon as he got in the room," captain Jarome Iginla said. "He's a guy who has played in three playoff games and has never been close to playing in the Stanley Cup finals. He hasn't been through it and he doesn't know what it takes to win."

"He has actually helped Jay (Bouwmeester) to fit in."

When told of what Iginla had said about Jay Bouwmeester and Matt Stajans relationship, Jay Bouwmeester declined to comment, citing "people make me nervous" before he uncomfortably looked around the room and calling for his mother.

While accolades from teammates are always a point of pride for an athlete, the fact that Stajans lack of intangibles are rubbing off on his teammates can be seen in the stat sheet, as well. The Flames are currently ranked 27th in the league in face-offs won, and are 2nd in the league in face-offs lost. They rank 27th in the league in terms of hits delivered, are 14th in the league in blocked shots, 24th in power-play success rate, 24th in shots taken per game, 26th in the league in terms of shoot out winning percentage, and sport the leagues 24th lowest win percentage when leading after the first period. But perhaps most indicative of Stajans influence is the fact that the Flames are ranked 19th in the league for total number of penalties committed.

"We really couldn't be achieving the lack of success without him," offered Flames GM Jay Feaster. "He really hasn't done anything for this club."

Since being acquired by the Flames, Stajan hasn't played in a number of scenarios and he also has not played big minutes. Head coach Brent Sutter has shown a tremendous lack of trust in Stajan.

"You couldn't ask for a better player who fits in with our organization," Sutter said. "He turns the puck over on both ends of the ice, is on the receiving end of big hits in the neutral zone, and doesn't really play well defensively. He doesn't have much offensive skill, either."

"Like I said, a perfect fit for our organization. We are just thrilled to have him."

Matt Stajan has 9 goals and 51 points in 123 games with the Flames spread over portions of three seasons. He is currently on pace to score zero goals this year, while averaging 10:44 of ice time.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.


  1. Perhaps he could be traded for garry leeman, or a three legged dog... then shoot the dog.
    I hear the locker room quota for bags of pucks has been met.

  2. DB I think you raise a good point here. This team doesn't have a lot of players on the roster that have won/gone deep in the playoffs. Iginla and Tanguay and who else? Hannan?

  3. IDK, Im only slightly with that argument. You are not a winner until you are, and all that.

    Teams problems probably have more to do with not having anyone under the age of 25 years old who are considered elite for the position they play, than with the current players not having won anything.

  4. DB,

    Speaking of elite talent under 25...what fucking cliff did Backlund fall off of?? I know he had the finger/hand injury, but it is not like he had his shoulder or knee re-constructed.

    Either the Org was once again over-selling another high draft pick for PR reasons, or more likely, this organization is destroying another talent at the "fetal" stage.

    Seriously, this Org is poison for 95% of the forwards (signed or drafted) that come here - besides Iginla, who else have they developed in the last 20 years??

    I'm fucking serious DB...You, me, King Jafi and Angela would have a better track record over 20 years and we have no fucking idea what we are doing. Even a broken clock is right 2 times a day.

    Everything circles back to the hidden rot that is this franchise - even 100 million in salary cap space this summer couldn't fix the stupidity/incompetence that is the Flames.

    Somebody hand-cuff Edwards to sell the team to Brett J. Wilson who can hire Lanny to blow the whole fucking thing up and rebuild from the ashes...it can't get any worse than it is now.

  5. @forgotten man

    I've always said it. But they rushed Backlund onto the roster and absolutely stunted his development. There was so many injuries at the time and so little depth on the farm that Daz had no choice...and the rest is history. He's pretty much screwed now because the big squad is not fit for development in the least. He needs more time in Abby IMO, but that will never fly with his agent or him for that matter. The org may screw Horak as well in the same regards.

  6. Oh yeah...

    That Stajan is so hot right now, Stajan.

  7. -DB I think you raise a good point here. This team doesn't have a lot of players on the roster that have won/gone deep in the playoffs. Iginla and Tanguay and who else? Hannan?-
    Tanguay- 1 cup win, 55% in playoff series(can thank the Avs for these inflated numbers), 0.60 ppg in playoffs, 0.18gpg in playoffs.
    Iginla- 0 cups, 33% in playoff series (38% if first cup of coffee not inc) 0.91ppg in playoffs. 0.51gpg in playoffs,
    Yeah... Safe to say this team has no playoff leadership whatsoever. One cup run riding stellar team defense and kipper at his best and this org and fan base decided it had a perennial powerhouse... Its actually embarrassing that it took this long for most fans to realize this team is mediocre at best... Little has changed since '04, except that the results since have been the best we could reasonably accept... If we were being honest with ourselves.

  8. Ha!

    Well, to be fair, Jarome, Kipper, Reggie were under 30, the new CBA made Calgary a team that could spend with the best of them, the cup run brought the sales that would allow them to spend up to the cap...I don't think it is insane of the fanbase to have expected a winner.

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