Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Projecting 2013-2014 Cap Situations

So Flamesnation ran a story the other day about 'The Flames Pending Cap Problem' and it got me thinking about what the rest of the league will look like when hockey finally starts again in the 2013-2014 season.

The word is that the League wants the salary cap in that year to be ~60 million, so that is the number I chose to use as the cap ceiling for that year.

Drum roll please.


And that is what we get. Purdy, aignt it?

You can take from this chart what you will. I'm gonna comment on some things that peak my interest.

The first thing I noticed, being a huge 'trade for PK Subban' guy, is that the Canadiens are over the 60 million dollar cap for 2013-2014 before free agency even starts (or before they sign PK). If you were to look closer into the Canadiens, you would see that not only are they over the cap, the contracts they have on their books could hardly be considered 'good value' ones. Getting out of that cap hell is going to require some magic. If we can't get PK, maybe we can get Max?

The problem the Flames have is they don't really have any cheap talent they could send over to the Canadiens as compensation. Which brings me to another thing I wanted to comment on: teams that do have some cheap young talent might be able to do very well when teams have to shed contracts. And I don't even mean 'talent' by 'talent', I just mean 'replacement level'. Because there is no way a team that has to get down to the cap will be in a position to bargain for good players from the team they are trying to send salary too.

Actually then, maybe the Flames can swing a trade. Montreal likes short players, so maybe Horak and Byron can be used to get us something. Who knows.

Anyway, enough with my PK fantasy. The other thing I noticed is that the teams that are going to have huge cap space room are also the teams that don't tend to spend to the cap ceiling anyway. The top 5 teams with the most cap space will be: 1) Islanders 2) St Louis 3) New Jersey 4) Anaheim 5) Phoenix. Of those teams, four of them are teams we know to have some sort of financial hardship (and the team I am excluding is the Islanders simply because Wang could spend but chooses not to).

Which brings me to this idea: I'd like to see in the new CBA the ability to trade cap space between teams. I think it's a good idea for everyone involved. The owners who are in it to win it (as the kids say) will be able to put a better product on the ice, owners that want to play cheaply will be given an avenue to do so while being able to stockpile cheap talent (or whatever they exchange for the cap space), and the players union would benefit because cap space that would have gone unused will instead be used on player salaries.

(The only downside of this would be that it rich teams would bid up player salaries and then the owners would have to lock the players out again to police themselves. Again (He says half jokingly).)

Whatevs, yo. That's the chart and it's tots cray cray. (I've run out of things to say)

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bob Hartley Will Not Brook Your Moneyball Witchery


Flamesnation has an interview with Coach Bob Hartley up.

Things seem to be going about as you'd expect them to go. Then the interviewer asks Coach Hartley 'bout dem dang ol' fancy statistics:

 "
MC: With Flamesnation.ca, a lot of folks there and associated sites, and quite a lot of other hockey sites look at things like Moneyball and advanced statistics in baseball and of course a lot of them were created in hockey, including going back to a guy like Jim Corsi who was an assistant coach in Buffalo. Are the Flames taking a hard look at this area, are you able to say?
BH: Personally I never go on blogs, not a big computer guy. I never look at salaries. I have no aspirations of being a general manager or anything like that, I want to coach. For me there is no dollar signs on the towels, no dollar signs on their jerseys, I will make the decisions based on who is going to make us win. For me, that is my only priority.
MC: Some of the statistics are like a proxy for how many scoring chances do you create, etc.
BH: Personally I never go on money, I never discuss money with players, that is the second floor (GM and scouting offices). I know what you mean, since the baseball thing and Oakland. But I do know what you mean, but for me, the only things I look at is the scoreboard and the standings.
                                                                                                                               "          
Coach Hartley heard the word 'moneyball' and he shit his pants. Just started scrambling, same way that kid in elementary school who has clearly  been playing with his Tamagochi for the last 45 minutes (and you fucking knew that Mr. Smithson you cheesedick) does when called up to solve math problems on the chalkboard.

Maybe he just doesn't know what the fuck 'Moneyball' is, but like, had heard about it, so he thought that he should know what it is? So he fakes an answer, because he feels he should have one, because he knows 'Moneyball' is a bonafide fucking thing, but he really has no clue what the shit it is?

The lulz part, is of course, the answer to the second question. The interviewer asks a question about stats and how the coaching staff will use them, and he gets a completely nonsensical answer about not caring about the players salaries back from the coach; The interviewer decides to give it a second shot, ask his question about stats again, and just to make sure nothing gets lost in translation (MONEYBALL? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN DERP?) he keeps it very simple. Statistics.  Proxy for scoring. You down?

And Hartley fucking botches again! Asked pretty damned explicitly if he has ever heard of people using stats that attempt to serve as a proxy for scoring chance generation, he starts squawking about player salaries again. What the shit.

Quote Hartley, upon being asked about statistics that measure scoring chance generation responds, tellingly, with "I know what you mean, since the baseball thing and Oakland. But I do know what you mean..."

No motherfucker, you actually have no fucking clue about 'what you mean'. You're still nursing a burning erection over the word 'Moneyball'!

Like I said, yo, it scrambled his brain.

(To be fair, it seems clear based on his answers that he thinks 'Moneyball' is about winning with cheap players. Lulz.)

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Need A November Post

I'm kicking shit around, like what I wanna write about.

Probably gonna remain mixed. Serious and Un-Serious. We've been skewing towards pure cynicism when it comes to the local squad, and that aignt healthy for anyone. Gets your humours out of wack, as the old Greeks would say.

Anyways, I'm going to be grouchy due to the American election for the next week. You'll have to bear with me.

Naw...Naw...I deleted what I had written. Who cares? My two cents are my two cents.

But I will drop this chart. You can read between the lines.


Study this chart. Learn it. Tattoo it to your inner thigh.

I had a Flames related angle to this but it escapes me now. Probably something to do with the building.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Huge, Gigantic, Leviathan Game Changing Announcement

I'll donate dinner in return for the release of ladies phone numbers.

#Trumpin
...

Alright that wasn't nice. We should make up for it. Hmm... you wanna see a smoking hot Italian supermodel?

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Of course our content is affected by being a rights holder. Never denied that. Freely admitted that on the air."

So sayeth 'journalist' Pat Steinberg, host of the FAN960's afternoon radio show.

He tweeted it out. I'd link to it but he has since deleted the tweet.

*Update*: reader sent in a screen cap of the since deleted tweet.






Heh. Baited by the Rubbertrout.

My question: Shouldn't the FAN960 be forced to play that 'This is a paid advertisement' disclaimer whenever the Big Show comes on?

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

From The Mailbag: Tales Of Intrepid Journalism

Reader writes in with a story:

So I'm listening to Steinberg and the abortion on the way home tonight because they are interviewing Neidermayer about being inducted into the Canadian sports HOF. They both make a big deal about how they HAD to ask him about his views on the lockout because it was their job as journalists. At the end of the interview, with nary a lockout question, who should show up but good old Ken King. Scared to ask a player's view of the lockout?  Methinks so.

First things first. RTPIC for starting the story with a 'So'. When I see that shit, I need to call the doctor. It's gonna be more than four hours.

Second, I didn't hear the interview myself and it is not up on their audio on demand, at least when I checked. I'm going by what the reader says happened.

Third, well, if you're a reader of the site, you know what third is. I don't want to repeat it for the millionth time, but it bears repeating. Ken King has his tentacles in everything, and I don't think that, to borrow a phrase from the empathy farting current POTUS, is optimal.

To be even clearer: The organization wouldn't have to be so obsessed with message control if it was run properly.

But let's get off my particular white whale and back to the story as presented. I think it's... just delicious that Steinberg and...what would you call Bryn? He's kind of like a sidekicks sidekick...would make a stink about their journalistic duties when a) they have knowingly spent their entire careers at the FAN960 being shills for the company that pays the bills, the Flames management, b) have on more than one occasion referred to themselves not as 'journalists' but as 'reporters' (I didn't spend my 5th year at college at J-School so I don't get the distinction either) and in the past have acted like this difference makes their salesman antics ok, and c) have in the past said that they pre-screen their questions with their guests to make sure they pass a 'good decorum' test (recall the Giordano interview where Steinberg admitted, ON AIR OF ALL PLACES(!) that they gave the Flames organization a list of the questions they were gonna ask Giordano as a condition for the interview itself.)

What makes the whole scene buttery good, of course, is that after "they both make a big deal about how they HAD to ask him about his views on the lockout because it was their job as journalists" they, of course, don't. 

Lulz. They really respect that audience of theirs, don't they? 


Ken King showing up at the end of the interview, if the hearsay is to be believed and I see no reason why it shouldn't be because it fits the narrative I've been building (wink), is just so Manchurian cherry on top. I wonder if he explicitly told the hosts that they shouldn't be asking a players opinion on the lockout, or if they have been so well trained down at the station that his mere presence inhibits their behavior. 

My guess is that is the latter. 


The point of this whole rant is 'What Is The Point'. As in, What Is The Point of listening, if what you get is pre-screened, pre-approved agit-prop? You may think I am being crazy or anal or whatever, but you should at least understand that the currency of a news organization, even if it is only sports news, is in it's ability to convince the audience that it is conveying actual news, and not propaganda. If people just wanted prop, they can go to the Flames homepage, for instance. 


People know the difference between salesmen and journalists  When they see people call themselves journalists and then act like salesman, it cheapens the brand. People notice. Check out what happened to Newsweek. 


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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Almond Milk

A poem...

Almond Milk.

No. It's ok. Almond Milk.

What? I don't mean anything by it. Almond Milk.

I'm sure it is completely normal.

Almond Milk.

~fin


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The CNN Dials Dipped Down When Marriage Was Brought Up

On of my favorite things to do as a writer is to start sentences with the word 'So'. So with that said...

So I was watching the debates the other day... (And now that that is out of the way...). 

There is a stuff to talk about. I don't want to talk about stuff. I want to talk about the CNN dials, and specifically how they reacted to a particular question. 

During the debate 'the youth' came up as a topic. The topic was actually about gun control, but the guys on the stage spun it into a question about 'the youth'. While discussing 'the youth' Mitt Romney said something that I think is entirely correct, normal, mainstream, within the pale, all of that. And yet, if you were watching on CNN, where they had the morons, err, undecided voters hooked up to dials that measured their responses to what the candidates said, you'd have thought Mitt Romney threatened to eat someones dog. 

You see, the CNN voters turned their dials down when Mitt Romney was talking about marriage, and raising kids in a stable household. They boo'ed marriage. They boo'ed marriage as a vehicle in which to raise children. And I was at home, weeping for the Republic. 

"The Roman Republic fell, not because of the ambition of Caesar or Augustus, but because it had already long ceased to be in any real sense a republic at all. When the sturdy Roman plebeian, who lived by his own labor, who voted without reward according to his own convictions, and who with his fellows formed in war the terrible Roman legion, had been changed into an idle creature who craved nothing in life save the gratification of a thirst for vapid excitement, who was fed by the state, and directly or indirectly sold his vote to the highest bidder, then the end of the republic was at hand, and nothing could save it. The laws were the same as they had been, but the people behind the laws had changed, and so the laws counted for nothing." 
- President Theodore Roosevelt


Maybe I'm just old fashioned. But I thought it was really disturbing. It bothered me enough to post about it, at least. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Obama, Ken King, And Framing.

Like I suspect many of you did, I watched the United States Presidential Debates last night. Like I suspect many of you did, I chalked up the decision to Romney.

Many people are now, the day after, giving their opinions as to why they think Romney won. They are also giving their opinions as to why Obama lost; it depends, like so many things, on ones perspective.

My two cents have as much diminished value as any in these days of QEternity. I think Team Obama thought that this Mitt Romney character was really the caricature they had tried to make him out to be, so they were dismissive of how much an adversary he could be. In other words, I think they scouted poorly. I also think that at some point Team Obama internalized all the nice and flowery things that were said about their mans rhetorical ability, and at some level thought that all they had to do to win was to show up because of the 'talent' difference.

But I think there is another reason that Obama lost the debate, and I think the way he talked, the way he used language during the debate, gave the game away.

Obama lost the debate partly because of style, and partly because of preparedness, and partly because of Romney's own competencies, but he also lost the debate because his ideas are being rejected. And while I don't know that for sure, I think I am right, because I think the candidate acknowledged that as well when he employed the rhetorical technique called 'Framing'.

Framing is essentially when you take an idea that will hurt you if you state it plainly, and try to 'frame' it in a way that so that it doesn't sound like it is such a bad idea. It is pretty much lying, but we are too polite to call it that, so we call it 'framing'.

For an example: At one point during the debate, Obama said he wanted more centralized planning of the economy. Except he didn't say it like that, because to say it like that is a vote killer in America. Instead of calling for increased centralized planning, Obama called for more 'economic patriotism'.

(I will leave it to the reader to figure out why calling central planning 'economic patriotism', in America, where the principle of limited government is enshrined in the constitution, is boneheaded. Or maybe I won't.)

There were numerous examples of Obama employing framing throughout this debate as a way to blunt the backlash his support for unpopular positions would bring. He described taking $716 billion dollars out of one of the government medical plans as 'saving from', not 'taking from'. As in he is going to 'save from' medicare $716 billion dollars.

As in your wife 'saved from' the bank account the amount of money it cost to buy her heels.

This is a classic example of framing. Obama knows taking $716 billion dollars from the program is not a winning message politically. Instead of adopting a more popular stance, he employs rhetoric to try and bamboozle the electorate.

Because he chose to do so, because he chose as his main debate weapon the rhetorical tool of 'Framing', is why I say he lost the debate because his ideas are being rejected. He knows this too, which is why he chose to frame his ideas in language designed to shield the intent of his ideas.

If you are pushing an unpopular position, you have two options: You can switch your position to one more in agreement to the electorate, or you can try to 'frame' your unpopular ideas in a way that makes them more marketable to the electorate.

But by choosing to frame, at some level one has had to level with themselves about the unpopularity of the position. One would not need to frame a winning idea.

Now why are we talking Presidential politics and message framing on what was at one time a hockey blog?

Because of Ken King.

The Flames President was recently on an Edmonton area radio show discussing the situation of the arena in that city. Not surprisingly he seemed to endorse the idea that the city of Edmonton should give the owner of the Oilers anything he demanded. But what got my attention was the way Ken King chose to 'frame' his argument.

(Link to the article here)

In fact, why don't I let the man explain it himself:
"This isn't about wealthy people, and it isn't about giving money to rich people to build buildings and do their business." (King) adds, "This is about community assests (SIC), and we should all be exceedingly greatful (SIC) for the Daryl Katz's and the ownership groups in markets (like Edmonton)."  - Ken King
 (Two spelling mistakes in a 'news organizations' article? Really?)

Do you see what the man did there?

The issue is actually about 'wealthy people' and 'giving money to rich people to build buildings and do their business'. But Ken King knows that asking for taxpayer dollars for 'wealthy people' to 'build buildings and do their business' is a losing proposition. In a place where the provincial government is under heat for its profligate spending, and the city is constantly crying about not having enough money because it spent all the money it had on bike paths or foot bridges or art for water treatment facilities, asking for more taxpayer money for superfluous things is probably not a winner.

But he also knows the people of Alberta like Alberta, and the people of Calgary particularly like Calgary. So the issue is framed accordingly. It is no longer about giving a private businessman unfair advantages through access to the same lending rates a municipality enjoys, but rather it is about whether or not you, Citizen, actually like your city, and whether you, Citizen, are willing to step up to the plate and deliver your city a community asset.

I find it all Orwellian. Love is hate, peace is war. Spending is investing. Private business is a public asset.

It's called message framing. It really should be called lying. 

I hope the people of Calgary are aware enough to see through this ploy, and I suspect they are. If you believe the NHL, there are only a few places that hockey makes money. Calgary is one of them. With an old building. If the Flames want to a new building to open up and enhance revenue streams, that is fine. But I don't see how that is a community issue, and I don't understand the justification for public dollars.

Mind you, I don't see the justification for the use of public dollars for a lot of what our public dollars are used for.

Oh yeah, vote buying. Sorry, I framed that badly. I meant civic responsibility. 

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

...And We Are Done.


Hey guys.

Since I went dark, I've been getting emails about coming back. It made me feel good to know that people appreciated my prose. I want to get that out. I was sincerely touched by the sentiment. Selfishly, it made me feel good to know that some people liked my writing. I view myself as a hack; that some of you saw me as possessing some modicum of talent makes my chest swell. 

But I also didn't get any six figure offers to come back. And to continue to do this for free, I have to have some higher reason to do so. 

The reason I have done it for so long is, as cheesy as this sounds, is the love I have for the Flames. I was born in Calgary. Calgary is therefore my team. It's that hood loyalty, holmes. 

But the people currently running the Flames...I can't get with any longer. Murray Edwards and his pet Ken King have run this franchise into the ground. They are small men with small, entirely conventional visions; Men who don't wish for glory, but rather for profit. Men who don't see the fans as people unto which they should deliver a winning product, but rather as people from whom they can extract dollars.

I can no longer provide these people with even the small amount of oxygen my writing gives them. I refuse to be Maple Leafed. I'm not playing along anymore. 

Through my writings on the Flames, I think it is fair to say I have shown the media in Calgary to be cowards; Pat Stienboring admitting that he needs to have his questions vetted by the Flames before they make a player available to him for an interview, that he is fine with it, and that he lets some PR stooge in the Flames front office basically give him an approved list of questions to ask in an interview is a clear illustration of the principle. That corporate tool Macfarlane's article, where he literally wrote "Who Cares" as a defence to someone like Ken King, who has zero qualifications to be running a hockey team, running the hockey team, was a spit in the eye of the people paying attention. But that is the attitude of the media. They like being able to schmooze and go to free hockey games, so they report what they are told, and respond with 'How high?' when told to jump. 

I'm not going to do their job for them any longer. If they want to be boot licking propaganda peddlers in the day (and bitch to me about having to do it at night) that's their business. I'm not playing anymore.

Jay Feaster responding to the question of 'Why don't you rebuild?' with 'I think it's funny that the people calling for rebuild have no skin in the game' says it all. Again, these people don't care about anything but milking the fans for more money. And I'm not going to help keep people interested. 

Ken King is the GM of the team. He is because he doesn't mind letting Murray Edwards play with his toy. The media didn't make that clear. I did. Without access. It was that obvious. And yet you still have the useful idiots in this city who battle against this revelation. I've given you the rhetorical tools to take on these...tools. You don't need me, anymore. And I'm not going to keep wasting my time with the sheep. 

There is no better illustration of the disgrace that cronyism has brought to this franchise than the fact Rob Kerr calls the Flames games. 

Why am I wasting my time with a franchise that lets Rob Kerr call their televised games? That let's Matt Stajan wear the jersey? How can I respect a team that doesn't respect itself?

I can't. And so, I'm done. 

I'm not going to be the opposing voice anymore. If you guys are happy buying expensive tickets to go eat stale popcorn, drink overpriced beer and watch bad, boring hockey, power to you. But I'm done with it. It isn't cute to me.

When the Flames come on TV, I'm going to my outdoor rink to actually play hockey. It's more enjoyable. 

In short, I have better shit to do than waste my time with a loser. When the Flames do what is necessary to win, IE: when the Flames bring in some people to the front office who know what they are doing, I'll be interested again. 

But this current path? This doing enough to be 10th - 7th? Nope. Not for me. 

Now before I go, I do want to shout out to the people I did meet through blogging. I never expected to make any friends out of this, but I did. The world is a wacky place. I think you guys know who are. Thanks for everything. 

I'll probably keep the twitter up as a release. And I'll probably be back this way again, as I do like writing, and I know the password to this place. But for now, I'm done. 

Let's remember the good times: Domebeer-aholics, we did get Loubardias fired. We can always enjoy that scalp.

Furthermore...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Did Jay Bouwmeester Ask To Be Traded?

I'm sure we have all read it. But from the Johnson article:
On the telephone from Montreal late Thursday afternoon, when called to discuss the Gelnias (SIC) hire, Hartley might’ve unwittingly given a tipoff as to how this all might play out.
“For me,’’ he declared, “looking at Jarome, Giordano, Tanguay, Glencross, Cammalleri, Kiprusoff . . . that’s going to be the core of our team.’’
Now maybe it was nothing more than an honest omission, or the overactive imagination of a scurrilous scribbler, but one prominent name was missing from Hartley’s list. There was no mention of No. 4. Of Jay Bouwmeester.
Which would be news, I think.

I mean, we all hate the big pussy, but he is also one of the better defensive players on the team. That probably speaks to the level of talent on the teams blueline, but it is what it is.

Who is going to play those minutes? Right? And everything you hear about the cap is that it is going to be SEVENTY MILLION MOTHERFUCKING DOLLARS G!

Like...this team is prepared to go with the dead weight of Stajan and Babchuk, but can't afford to carry Bouwmeester on its books?

I don't get that. Like I said, the Flames have shit for defence. They, like every other team in the NHL, could certainly use a player who has shown he is capable of logging minutes against real NHLers. And Bouwmeester's presence isn't blocking the development of anybody...

Do you think he asked to be traded? Because I think Jay Bouwmeester has asked to be traded.

The problem with Jay Bouwmeester...well, there are many problems with Jay Bouwmeester, but most of them have to do with perceptual things. Like, because he doesn't hit, or score, or give interviews, people think he doesn't give a shit. He certainly projects an 'I don't give a shit' aka 'Meh' vibe. But that isn't the hockey problem with Bouwmeester. The hockey problem with Bouwmeester is that he eats up a lot of cap-space.

Thing is, the Flames have plenty of cap-space. They are sitting at around 20 million dollars in cap-space according to Cap Geek. You know what they don't have? Players who can fucking defend properly. They were using But7er on the top pairing last year, for Whalen's sake. It's amazing Bouwmeester wasn't a minus 82, if you think about it like that.

So, I mean, I don't get why they would trade the guy by choice. If they have an offer on the table that is good, like a swap of NHL players, Bouwmeester for a forward, for instance, then yeah, I can see that. But to trade Bouwmeester for cap space for a chance to try and land some free agents who might consider coming here...doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Unless, of course, he asked for a trade.

Edmonton? I'm praying to Whalen that he asked to be traded to Edmonton.
...

I saw on Flamesnation that there is noise the team has also put Backlund on the trading block.

To me, this is the same shit as the Bouwmeester thang. Why would the Flames trade a guy when he is at his lowest point in terms of value, when they have nobody in their system who they can plug into his spot?

Now I don't think Backlund has asked to be traded, (although who knows) which is kinda even more...the word Wilson used was 'disconcerting', and exactly, right?

Maybe the team does intend to trade players who have shown they can play minutes in the NHL for...dreams? I guess?

Could you imagine? And yet, I think we all could. Like, asking people to believe the team is being run poorly isn't that much of a stretch.

In a way, I guess I am raising the possibilty that Jay Bouwmeester has asked for a trade as a way to cope. Because, honestly, the thought that the people steering The Good Ship Flames would think they could trade Jay Bouwmeester without having any assurances they could then fill that newly created hole is terrifying.

Now that I think about it, that would be my objection. Not that they are trading Bouwmeester, but that they are trading Bouwmeester at the draft, and not after July 1, when the team would be operating in a safer environment, I think, to make that trade.

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

Happy Juneteenth!

Pictures from the civil war that feature black troops... yeah, I dig that shit.

Anyways, some I like:


Glory. I like this picture because it depicts glory.


If I remember correctlty, the troops in front of the school are all free men, and are all volunteers.


I actually own this picture, like the photo of it. Or a reproduction at least. What I find cool about it is, of course, the black officer. 

And just for something different, some pictures from the Canadian military:


Freedom, man. Gotta love it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Too Nice Man

I was writing yesterday, and then I looked out my window.

Fuck this shit, manno.

You know what I did? I got up and went outside. I got my ball on, holmes. Just like the Pac-Man do.

So what I am trying to say is that this whole blog thang is going to get infrequent during the summer. 

Anyways, the Kings won the Cup. Let's hear it for bad team mates like Carter and Richards, and let's just hope the Flames acquire some in Semin and Radulov this offseason.

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


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fixed Flames Street Crew Picture

I don't know how long the Flames have had their 'Street Crew', but I discovered their existence this afternoon.

I discovered them on twitter. And if you click their twitter, you will see something wrong with the profile picture they are using.

As you are no doubt aware, we here at Dome Beers are nothing if not good Samaritans. And in that spirit, we decided to take it on ourselves and fix their profile picture for them. Free of charge, because we roll like that.

So without further ado, we would like to present the fixed Flames Street Crew picture:


There. Much better, don't you think? More accurate this way.

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

Moustache Open Thread

Adam Henrique, during his CBC post game interview, gave all credit to the power of the moustache.

More on this story as it develops...
...

Slutty Wednesdays > Handsome Tuesdays.

Although I have to say, if that picture that the paper uses is an indication of the 'slutty' gear these girls are wearing to protest, I am extremely disappointed. Because short and tank tops were normal gear for the girls to rock when I was in highscool.

I was expecting heels, at the very least.
...

Nancy Pelosi can see dead people.

One of her many talents. And to you people who say 'what talent' just stop right there. You have to have skill to preside over off the worst electoral defeat the Democrats have suffered in decades. It doesn't just happen, you know.
...

Scott Walker won his election by 7% and people wrote newspaper headlines saying he had 'survived' his recall.

Just silly.

Did Obama 'survive' his election? Because he won with a margin of what, 7% too IIRC. I believe they were calling the Obama victory a 'mandate'.

Fun times.

If you haven't bought your Romney shares at InTrade, I would maybe start thinking about it. Also, If you are in the investor class, do you buy in July or August in anticipation of the Romney electoral win stock market rally?

Because if you needed a weatherman to tell you which way the wind was blowing, you just got it.
...

Simmers Moustache:

...

Only four?

What happened, LA? You used to know how to riot. 
...

Two good reasons to go to Deadspin.

Reminded me of the behind the bench action in the Phoenix series. 

You know what I am talking about.
...

Assad...

Man, I don't even know. He's doing much worse shit than the fool in Libya was doing, and the world went in and shot that guy.

I know the standard line is "well the people who take over may be worse" but so what? The people who took over in Egypt are going to be more destabilizing to the region than Mubarak ever was, and the world didn't bat a fucking eye. The people who took over in Libya are Islamists, and the world didn't seem to have a problem with that.

Are Syrians worth less as humans than other people? I don't think so. Yet the 'concerned world community' is certainly acting like they are. And it's despicable.

More people were crying out over some stupid publicity stunt centered around a tiny Ugandan rebel than they are over a modern states use of its modern mechanized army against it's own citizens.

Hilrod had this to say:

“The regime-sponsored violence that we witnessed again in Hama yesterday is simply unconscionable,” she said in Turkey. “Assad has doubled down on his brutality and duplicity, and Syria will not, cannot be peaceful, stable or certainly democratic until Assad goes.”

To which I say: Then go fucking remove him. With a 50 tonne bomb.
...

On the lighter side of things... Lambo trucks are gangsta.

...

Kelly Kelly quit wrestling, gang!

Now where am I going to get my soft-core porn fix?

New York high schools, I guess.
...

Bob Hartley continues to say the right things.

I was not a fan of this hiring at all, but I have to say, everything he has said so far, I am... well, I don't know if I am buying yet, but I certainly appreciate what he is selling.

Of course, I also fully expect to see the Flames play very safe, low event hockey. I'll believe what the team is saying about 'up-tempo' and 'safe is death' when I see it.
...

Glen Healy is fucking insufferable.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day


"As Canadians we inherit military characteristics which were feared by the enemy in the last Great War. They will be still more feared before this war terminates." -- General H.D.G. Crerar

God bless all who served, and all who serve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Did You Know That Roger Millions Reported That The Flames Will Not Be A Cap Team Next Year?

Yesterday, Roger Millions 'tweeted' that the Flames would no longer be a 'cap team'.

This is big news. If it is true, that is. Which means it probably behooves the people who get paid to cover the team and provide information on the team to the news hungry fans of that team, to, I don't know, maybe ask someone in the organization if it is true.

If you look at the Calgary Sun's sport page, you find nothing.

If you look at the Calgary Herald's sport page, nada. 

Which is weird, right? You would think that the ink stained would have thought to ask.

I don't even necessarily think they have nefarious reasons for not asking. I think they are lazy, myself. Perhaps they are not bright enough to see a story when it lands in their laps.

But here is the point I wanted to make: Thank Whalen for New Media. Because if I was relying on old media, I would never have heard this story, and you probably wouldn't have, either.

To find news on this story, you know where I had to go? Flamesnation.ca. Which has, truth be told, become probably my number one destination for Flames news.

Because they actually cover the news in a timely fashion.

Could the writers at the Sun or the Herald not have put a quick little thing up? They couldn't use their access to, I don't know, lob the front office a phone call? It's not like Ken King and the Flames were down at the Saddledome, talking to season ticket holders or anything.

OH WAIT! THEY WERE! THEY WERE TOTALLY REACHABLE AND AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT!

I mean...right?
...


To me, 'cap team' means something. It means the team is going to commit money to player salary.

What do I mean by that? Well, When I look at the Flames roster today, I see holes in the top six (and defence. And hey we still don't have a backup!). A 'cap team' would spend money to plug those holes if it didn't have a player in it's system that it could use. A non cap team wouldn't. It would plug a player who is a question mark into that hole, because it doesn't want to spend money, and then live with the results.

So to me, when I hear the Flames are not going to be a cap team, what I hear is that the Flames are going to try and fill their holes with the prospects and minor league players they have on hand.

Which means the team is going to suck.
...

Finally, the reason why I think people should be a little mad at the Flames if this rumor is true is because this is a type of decision that isn't made on the spur of the moment in a week.

If the Flames plan on not being a cap team next year, for CBA reasons or whatever, they knew about this decision for some time. I highly doubt they just decided on it at the beginning of June.

The club didn't tell the season ticket holders about this when they jacked up prices by 5%.

The club has also not said that it will be reducing ticket prices if it reduces it's commitment to salary.

This makes the club look real scummy, in my opinion, provided the rumor is true.
...

I lied about that last finally. This is the last point: If it is true, and the club is not going to be a cap team, can't you just see it being an opening move in Murray Edwards attempt to get the taxpayers to build him a new stadium?

Because I can.

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hartley Wins The Press Conference

I'll link to the FAN960 page in anticipation that they will put a link up to the conference at some point. 

But I think he did very well in his press conference. He sounds good, and makes all the right rhetorical noise.

His claim to have chosen the Flames over the Habs didn't get quite the laughter I am sure Hartley was expecting it would get when he wrote the joke down, but other than that, I think he did very well.

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

Did Front Office Call The Team Mentally Weak?

The news that Bob Hartley is the new Flames head coach just came down the twitter wire. I think my thoughts on the move are known. See last post, etc.

What I wanted to write about, more accurately, what I am going to write about, are comments allegedly made at the STH event that the Flames held the other day.

Now, I was not in attendance myself. So this is all hearsay stuff. Take it with a mine full of salt.

A poster on the Calgary Puck was there, and provided a summary of some of what was said. It's quite a long post, so I am not going to reproduce it. The link is here if you want to look, the poster is named 'United'.

'United' relates something that interests me more than the other stuff that was said, including Feaster supposedly taking shots at Stajan.

Quote 'United':
" Feaster mentioned that hockey operations noticed that the Flames played worse when the big guns were healthy; in fact they had a losing record. Jay attributed this to the team’s poor psychological preparation and said it’s something they are looking in to, as well as having the mental side of the game as a large part of their interview process for the head coach position. Jay singled out that he saw a revived energy in the dressing room when Sven got called up and said that pointed to the mental part – everyone channeling the excitement for Sven and memories of their first game and putting it into their performance."
I am a little concerned our (nominal) GM believes in voodoo.

Maybe, and this could come as a shock to some folks, the Flames 'big guns' aren't all that, you know, big?

I mean, I  suppose that guys who made it into the National Hockey League have psychological problems preparing for regular season games. I suppose they could have faked the moon landing, as well. I suppose that would make me a goofball.

I don't know, gang. The notion that the people who play in the toughest hockey league in the world to get into and stick into are mentally unprepared to play strikes me as silly.

Maybe they know they have a bad team, know how hard they will have to play every game to have a chance to win, and simply say 'fuck it, not worth it over 82'?

Perhaps they had a coach they disliked? Jay certainly points to that possibility when he says that the mental part of the game is a big factor for the new head coach. Implies to me that Brent Sutter wasn't good at 'it', whatever 'it' is.

The other point, about how SVEN reminded all the players about when they got their cherry popped strikes me as a fairy tale told to make the woman and children fans go "awww, cute!"

Apparently Feaster also said something about how the team was both in win now mode and rebuild mode, which means we are in 'try to fool the fanbase that the team has a chance to squeak into the playoffs because we don't want to make the tough decisions' mode. At least Ken King is consistent.

Finally, Feaster also apparently mentioned that the team was surprised and at a lost as to why Comeau did not score 20+ goals this year like he did with the Islanders. If this is true, they should all be fired immediately. If the management doesn't have the ability to see the difference between illusions and reality, then what is the point in employing these people?

Honestly, if you were employed to make decisions on a players ability, and you see Comeau, and you can't smell a rat, then why are you employed to make hockey decisions?

This franchise is in the very best of hands. 10th place next year, gang?

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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bob Hartley; Lulz

So, like, was this the timeline?

- Club needs new coach. Club is looking at a number of candidates. Bob Hartley is one of those candidates.

- Club floats name of Bob Hartley out to the media/public.

- Media/public universally pan the move. Lots of lulzing had at the expense of the Flames.

- Club recoils;  New names are floated out. Notably Mike Sullivan of the Rangers, although there was scuttlebutt about Todd McLellan (who will stay on with San Jose and end said scuttlebutt).

- Media/public like these names a lot more. A lot more.

- Something happens. McLellan is retained, Mike Sullivan has options other than the Flames.

- New names start popping up. Craig Hartsburg is leaked to the media/public.

- Lulzing again ensues.

- After everyone has exhausted their lulz supply on the Craig Hartsburg rumour, Bob Hartley's name is again leaked.

Hmmm....

I do drugs and alcohol, so there is the possibility my brain has some of the events and where they fall in the timeline scrambled, but I think it's pretty ok.

My take is this: The club's front office, after throwing Darryl Sutter under the bus with the charge that he was telling Brent Sutter what lines to play, would like to be able to tell the new coach which lines he should play.

Hence, you get the name Bob Hartley. He is best buds with Feaster, so there is a relationship, and he needs an avenue to get back into the NHL, which means he may be more open to suggestion than other coaches available.

I think the club leaked his name expecting people to be impressed with the choice, given his work in Colorado.

I think people remembered Hartley's work in Atlanta (A club that I think the Flames are starting to resemble more and more). I think people also realize Edwards and King's recent handiwork hasn't been that great. I think people put two and two together, and came to the conclusion the Flames were doing something dumb.
Again. Hence the lulzing.

I think the marketing geniuses who run the Flames were not expecting the reaction they got. I think new names were then leaked to make it look like the club wasn't specifically targeting Jay Feaster's best friend who hadn't had a job in the NHL for five years. And to make the lulzing over Hartley stop.

I think the new names leaked might have been genuinely been pursued but I have no insider knowledge towards that.

I think when the Flames saw that the other names leaked got a very nice reception from the media/public, they swallowed hard. Because they either could not get those coaches or because they wanted Hartley all along.

I think that's why you heard Hartsburg's name subsequently in the rumours. I think the club wanted to put out a name even more lulz than Hartley's, so when (if) they name Hartley the coach, it will look 'better'.

It wouldn't look like they hired Hartley over Sullivan, for instance. It would look like they hired Hartley over Hartsburg.
...

The thang is this, put plainly: I think people don't give the front office the benefit of the doubt anymore. I think they have proven they can make dumb mistakes. I think the people see Bob Hartley and they don't give the move a lot of credit because of the perception that King and Edwards don't really know what they are doing, and are grasping at straws and what is familiar.

I think the club had an opportunity to start rebuilding some of the goodwill they have lost by naming a coach people could get excited about; Bob Hartley isn't that coach. He just isn't.
...

I think the spin, if they hire Hartley, is going to be that they hired a coach who has won a Stanley Cup on a veteran team. The thing is, there is a world of difference between a 'veteran team' and a 'talent laden veteran team'. I think the Colorado teams Hartley coached were essentially big money All-Star teams. The Flames are not. So I won't be buying the spin, myself.

The Atlanta team he coached, one with a couple of legit scorers (with no centres to get them the puck), a capable goal tender, and little else, is closer in talent to the Flames than the Colorado team he coached is (was?). 
...

Hey, DB, who would you have hired? Wickenheiser, obviously.

Besides her? Ron Wilson.

I don't want to be bored to death when I watch hockey. Rob Kerr is going to be calling the games, so you know they will sound boring at the very least. I need them to look exciting if they are going to sound as dull as they will sound with Kerr calling the games. Which means the coach they bring in shouldn't be one who preaches a defensive system.

I don't care about 'low event' vs 'high event' hockey and which gives a better chance to win the Stanley Cup, because as it is now, the Flames don't have enough talent in the forward or defensive ranks to even dream about it. So give me a coach who is gonna let the guys play river hockey. At least it will be exciting and watchable.

Besides, Semin and Radulov are going to want to play run and gun.

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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

On The Flames Search For A Bendable Coach

At the end of the 2012 season the Calgary Flames and their head coach parted ways. Ever since they have been a team without a coach, seemingly without a direction, and a lot of questions.

Who would be the next head coach? What type of system would he employ? Would the new guy be able to relate to the locker room? For that matter, what type of locker room would the new coach be walking into?

Lots of questions, but very little in the way of answers. The hockey team provides the little information it does divulge via baseball metaphor: The team is in the middle innings of the process. 

Names have been leaked through various mediums; Hartley, Sullivan, Ward, Wickenheiser. But of the number of candidates being considered, the team divulges little information besides that the list they have is a manageable one.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, rumours began to circulate about the type of coach the Calgary Flames were looking for. From the mouth of TSN Hockey Insider™ Darren Dreger: The Flames are looking for a coach Murray Edwards and Ken King 'can bend'.

Well, we here at Dome Beers, being the helpers that we are, have put together a list of candidates that we feel meets what has been suggested to be the most important requirement for the job: pliancy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TSN Radio: Flames Are A Joke

(Update: Link to the segment. Click the segment featuring Dreger.) 

Well, they didn't say it out loud like that. They just implied it.

Ok, the scene: Cybulski has a show on the TSNRadio. He has Steve Simmons and Darren Dreger on with him.

They start talking coaching vacancies. Which means they are talking Flames. Sexy.

So DB, what they say?

Well, where to start, because there was so much good stuff.

I don't have a transcript, so all the following is paraphrased.

I wanna start with what concerns me the most, and that is King running hockey operations. Because he totally is, and people aren't indulging in the polite fiction that he isn't anymore.

Paraphrase: "Murray Edwards and Ken King are as hands on as you are ever going to find (in this league), and I don't mean that in a constructive manner."

So not only has DB been on this, now it is confirmed by Bob Mackenzie and Darren Dreger. And King confirmed it himself in that article where Steve MacFarlane let the world know he swallows.

Ken King is the GM of the Flames. Murray Edwards is also the GM. All other opinions will now be mocked terribly, as you would have to be a pom pom waiver to hold a different opinion. There is simply too much evidence to ignore it now.

What else did those TSN Radio guys say? A bunch of ish, mainly on Calgary's head coach search:

1) Feaster has an interview list 10 - 12 candidates deep.

2) Mike Sullivan again mentioned. Dreger also throws out Andy Murray's name. Yes, I hope he was talking about the tennis player, too.

3) They speculated about Dallas Eakins, and if the Flames could even sign him, which would lead to:

4) Hysterical laughter about the prospect that the Flames are actually interviewing Bob Hartley.

5) Steve Simmons goes: "I don't know anybody who has ever said he (Bob Hartley) was a good coach."

6) Ron Wilson gets his name mentioned, which leads to Dreger saying: "Let's be honest, they (King and Edwards) are going to hire someone they can bend."

"Someone they can bend." I think Andrew Walker tweeted this scenario to me a few weeks ago, so at least some people in the media are paying attention. One of the reasons Troy Ward is getting so much consideration, methinks.

7) Even more laughing about how Bob Hartley is getting considered for the job.

And that was about all the airtime the mighty TSN Media Overloads gave to the Flames.

Oh wait. Great line by Simmons on Brent Sutter maybe coaching the Oilers: "Sutter coached Team Canada badly, he had mediocre years in Calgary, didn't make Jersey better...I don't understand the fascination. Is it because he lives an hour away?"

So, to paraphrase my paraphrases: Dreger said that King and Edwards were the most hands on, and not in a good way, 'owners' in the NHL. And they are going to hire a coach who says 'How high?' when they say 'Jump'.

Because, you know, those two know what they are doing. Hockey people, and all that.

So, 10th place again next year, gang? Should be a fun season.

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

I Will Be Happy So Long As The New Coach Puts Iginla On The Point During The PP

Right?

I mean, everyone is getting bogged down in the mud about rookie coach/veteran coach, players coach or hard ass, smooth and sensitive or rough and gruff. But how about, you know, how is the guy going to use the players he has?

So the first guy to say "I'm going to end the stupidity and finally play Jarome on the point during PP's, and I'm going to play Glencross and Backund as my PK guys, and you will never see Blair Jones out on a shoot out ever again so help me Whalen." is the guy I want coaching the team.

I'll give him my double endorsement if he says "Fuck it, I'm putting an end to breaking out along the boards, too. We are going to play big boy hockey and take that shit though the middle of the neutral zone with some motherfucking speed, motherfuckers!"

Right?
...

Just a stray thought. The conventional wisdom holds that hiring a coach with no...weight to him will not be received well by the veteran locker room. A rookie will get ignored, etc.

Well, why not bring someone in that the veterans couldn't 'ignore'?

Why not make Jay Feaster the coach? Or even Ken King?

I don't think it is as crazy as it looks. Those two guys, for whatever reason, seem to be planning another season of the Jarome and Kipper show. Now, the fact that the Jarome and Kipper show has been unable to get the team into the playoffs for the last three years probably means that no established coach wants to come in here and direct the show for a fourth disappointing season. But yet, here we have the front office seemingly quadrupling down on their bad bet.

To me, if King/Feaster feel that quadrupling down on a bad bet is the way to go, I think it is only...just that one of them stand behind the bench this season. It's their clusterpuck of a roster, after all. It's a clusterpuck of a roster the hockey world has been laughing at for at least two seasons now. Isn't about time they take a little responsibility for it?

I think they should man up. Jay Feaster or Ken King should be behind the bench, especially if they choose to hold on to Kipper and Iggy.

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

Friday, May 18, 2012

“He's like John Wayne on the mound. He commands that respect.”

(That quote is from Don Baylor.) 

Kerry Wood. Mark Prior. Dynasty.

And then the Baseball Gods, with an assist from the Lizard Man. And aided by the devilish henchman, Steve Bartman.

Gang, I'm a Cubs fan, and all Cubs fans fell in love with that 03 team. And he was the ass kicking Texan on that club, which made him The Man on the team.

The Man is supposed to be immortal, you know?

I wanna remember the good times.

Kerry Wood once struck out 20 batters in a game.


And here is Kerry Wood cementing himself into Cubs lore.


Damn. I gotta tell you, when that happened, it was over. The Cubs were going to the World Series, baby. The Yankees were old; the Cubs had pitchers who hit home runs. Goats across the world were pissing themselves in fear at the prospects of the grand comeuppance that was about to happen.

Enter Steve Bartman. But as every Cubs fan knows, it was the play immediately after that ripped our hearts out. A routine ground ball is hit to SS. The Cubs have Alex Gonzalez manning the position; Gonzalez had the highest fielding percentage in the MLB of any SS that year. And he drops the ball.

I'm going to cry thinking about it.
...

Here is Kerry Wood's last mound moment. 
...

I've said this many times: There's one other pitcher [besides Kerry] that I recall that on any given day is unhittable—and that was Sandy Koufax. I feel very strongly about that. … Kerry Wood is in that category because of the velocity he throws with. Plus, he has a breaking ball. I know I shouldn't be stacking Kerry Wood up against the great Sandy Koufax, but to me, he is in the Koufax neighborhood.” - Quoteth the Great Ron Santo.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Slovakia?

Slovakia!

Brent Sutter, you know, the guy all who talks politely to media and hence enjoys a reputation falsely inflated like Beyonce's rack, coached an All-Star team to defeat against the vaunted and much feared hockey juggernaut that is the Slovakian national team.

You know, the team featuring Hossa? Marcel Hossa.

Remember when Eric Francis was publicly begging to have Sutter brought back as head coach? Can somebody explain to me what makes Eric Francis a hockey expert of higher quality than, say, the drunk at the bar? Is it his last name? Because I think it is his last name.

Sutter's team took 27 minutes worth of penalties in the third period of a 'playoff' game. But this guy can coach, his allies in the media assure us. The team managed six shots in the first period. But Sutter is a great leader of men, the media says.

What a joke. His team shows up unready to play in a playoff game, registering just six shots in the first period, and then his captain melts down in the third. But Brent Sutter is a good coach.

Whatever.

The silver lining in this is that when you lose as coach as Team Canada, you don't get another kick at the can. And we also don't have to listen to the pom pom waivers defend this guy based on his 'undefeated' record in international play.

I know I am in the minority here, but firing Mike Keenan looks like a huge mistake. I'd bring him back to coach. Bertuzzi isn't on the roster anymore.

But of course I'd try to see if Wickenheiser was available first.
...

UPDATE


Canada losing calls for a sad Merkel.




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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Semin\Cervenka\Radulov


It gets pretty tight. But they could do it.


Did a few things. Semin is slotted in $7 million and Radulov is slotted in at $5 million. The rest of the RFA's are brought back at salaries similar to what they made this year, as none of them really deserve a raise (Backlund at 1.3, Jones at .7, Irving at .6). I also did what every real Flames fan should be demanding, and bought out Matt Stajan.

Now I gotta say, I am not exactly in love with this roster. I would rather Cammo play on the wing where his real plus skill, his shot, would be more of a threat. But besides that one issue, I think the hypothetical forward ranks would be pretty strong. (Assuming, I guess, that the 'top' line would be able to get the puck out of their own zone every once in a while.)

The rest of this hypothetical team has problems. The defence is weak as shit in this configuration, and Kipper would probably have to play 82 games.

Lets start with the goalies first. In short: sucks to be you, Kipper. Actually, in my mind, this area here is one of the ways you can see if the GM of your team is any good or not. A lot of teams seem to be able to get value out of their backups, who they pay less than a million dollars. If your GM isn't able to find value in this range, then you have problems. You either have to overpay for a decent, capable backup (ie: allocate more money to the goalie position) or you lose games. In the Flames case, historically the team has chosen the 'lose games' route.

In the above scenario, Irving is going to be asked to play 20 games. I have no idea if he can do that.

The other issue with this hypothetical team is, of course, the blueline. Because damn, that is one Gwyneth Paltrow (thin ass, get it?) blueline.

I see But7er, Brodie, Smith and Babchuk as bottom pairing defencemen. Giordano runs around a lot, but I will squint, and say him and Bouwmeester are top defencemen. That leaves a gap in the defence of two players. Maybe Brodie and But7er will have big years and continue to develop and improve at the NHL level.

Banking on 'maybe' is a good way to get poor, though.

The other major issue is that with this hypothetical club, there isn't cap room for the team to sign the 13th forward or the 7th defenceman. If the team bought out Babchuk, that would save them 1.67 million dollars. That would create enough room for the team to sign three guys at the NHL minimum contract level. I would try and simply move Babchuk back to Europe to try and not have to pay the buyout, which would give the team more flexibility in the UFA market. But King didn't have the brains to do that with Kotalik, so I won't hold my breath.

So yeah, that is what it is. They could do it if they wanted to, but it would be a tight fit, and the defence, which in my mind is not very good, would stay not very good. The hope would be that the extra firepower up front keeps the puck in the bad guys zone more often than it is in ours.

(Just looking at who is available on the free agent list...I don't know if you could improve the defence enough by going that route. You can improve the offense that way, which is why I 'spent' the money on the forward ranks.)

Now I didn't get into term with the two new additions in Semin and Radulov. I'd go nuts and offer them 5 year pacts. Vodka. It's what's for breakfast.

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

Is This Something?

An article went up on SNET today. Here is the link.

It is about Brent Sutter. But the article is written as a sort of compare and contrast with his time with the Flames. The first line of the thing is: "Brent Sutter has completely moved on."

Hmm. Then, just in case you didn't get it, they hammer smash the reader with this flashing neon sign:
"There's been an undeniable enthusiasm radiating from Canada's coach throughout the IIHF World Hockey Championship -- a job opportunity that came directly on the heels of a mutual decision to part ways with the Calgary Flames last month."
So this article, and the stuff in the article, is going to be about what Sutter finds different about coaching the IIHF team compared to the team he used to coach, the Calgary Flames.

And the quote most people will key on is probably this one:
"With everything that happened there so quickly (it was good) to get away from it and come over and coach a team that's about all the right things. These guys have all jelled together as a team, the leaders are tremendous team guys, it's a talented group, it's a young group with some experience on it that knows how to win."
For fairly obvious reasons. There is a section of the fanbase who thinks the players on this team, and by that I mean Jarome Iginla, do not care about winning, and the lack of 'leadership' is one of the reasons this team loses. Why these people excuse managements inability to build a competitive roster and instead blame the hero of the 2004 Cup run for not scoring 60 goals at the age of 34 is beyond me.

(Sure, I'll be even more blunt, why not. I'm going to bold the important part of the quote I just listed. Before I start, guess how many bolds I will have. Guess where they are going to go. It's easy. Ready?
"With everything that happened there so quickly (it was good) to get away from it and come over and coach a team that's about all the right things. These guys have all jelled together as a team, the leaders are tremendous team guys, it's a talented group, it's a young group with some experience on it that knows how to win."
Did you guess right? Did you have 'It's a talented group with some experience'? If not, you may be Eric Francis.)

For those of us who wonder about the management of this team, and how it is that a team with a future Hall of Fame winger and a Vezina trophy winning goaltender on it has only ever made it out of the first round of the playoffs one time (in the teams current formulation), there is another quote in the article that is a little more...meaty.

Well, it's a quote, and it is some of the author of the article doing some scene setting:
On a number of occasions, he has raved about the experience of working with Hockey Canada's impressive management team, which includes Edmonton Oilers president Kevin Lowe, Toronto Maple Leafs director of hockey operations Dave Nonis and four NHL general managers: Peter Chiarelli (Boston), Steve Yzerman (Tampa), Ken Holland (Detroit) and Doug Armstrong (St. Louis).

"It's been first class all the way," said Sutter. "All of these guys have had success. At some point in time in their career, they've won and they know what it takes. ... There's no insecurity involved -- everything is about trust.

"It's been really good. When you're on good teams and teams that won, those things are huge for you."
This intrigues me. BOMBSHELL ALERT!

First, Kevin Lowe is going to want to have that paragraph frames, because you don't often see his name preceded by the words 'impressive management'. Second, somebody pull Sutter off of the Flames front office. This is what, the second time in as many weeks he has gone and taken a swing at the organization? He's going all Dome Beers with it.

But let's look at that quote: "All of these guys have had success. At some point in time in their career, they've won and they know what it takes. ... There's no insecurity involved -- everything is about trust. It's been really good. When you're on good teams and teams that won, those things are huge for you.". 

I mean, that is big. Hey, who is that guy that keeps pushing the storyline that the Flames have a huge trust deficit within the organization, and that is one of the reasons the club is run so magnificently? Oh right, that would be me. Well, me and Brent Sutter, I guess. But who is counting.

(For the record, to me, the 'There's no insecurity involved' is really, really big. Because we have all heard the rumours of King boasting about how he could be the (titular as opposed to de facto) GM himself, etc. But beyond that, the organization is selling a whole new 'consensus' approach to management. Which I always thought was a little fairy-tale-ish myself, having observed how people operate in offices, especially when prestige and reputation are up for grabs. And the silliness of that notion (or more accurately, the implementation of that notion) seems to be something Brent Sutter, much closer to the situation than I, picked up on too.

Or to put in in another way: After observing Ken King for three years, Kevin Lowe is impressing Brent Sutter.)

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

Friday, May 11, 2012

On The Coaching Rumours


Argh malarg, people. Argh malarg.

So I turn on the radio this morning to hear Dave Rowe talking noise about the following.

1) Troy Ward is being 'strongly' considered for the Flames head coach position.

2) Bob Hartley is being 'strongly' considered for the Flames head coach position.

And then, for whatever reason, I had to start drinking whiskey.

I guess we will start with Ward first.

From my perch a million miles away, and paying very little attention, it appears to me that, quite clearly, Eakins (coach of the Marlies, who the Heat were playing in the playoffs) out-coached Ward badly.

Why do I think this? Besides the Heat going 0/24 on the PP against the Marlies? Because Ward was so frustrated that his team was being shut down by Eakins squad that his big tactical adjustment was to sit the Heat's most dangerous offensive player, Krys Kolanos.

If you don't understand that one either, it means you are lucid.

Now maybe he sat Kolanos because Kolanos was out drinking and partying and raping and murdering before a playoff game. Or maybe Kolanos pointed out that Ward was being out-coached, and was sat for that. I don't know, because the club won't tell us why the head coach scratched Kolanos. All he says is that it was for 'internal reasons'. Which means I have license to speculate, so I don't feel bad about doing so.

But whatever the reason, to me, it doesn't look good on Ward. If Kolanos pulled a Radulov, that means 'the character in the room' that Ward is taking credit for building wasn't all that well built up. If it was because Kolanos was upset with Ward's coaching plan, it means Ward sat a player who could help him win because of ego considerations.

Either way, it doesn't make me want to give a guy who was feeling the pressure in the AHL and acted the way he did the reigns to an NHL team. If he has trouble controlling the room where Kolanos is the 'established guy', what they hell is he going to do when he comes to a room that houses Jarome Iginla?

The other curious move Ward did was not start Irving, the nominal backup for the NHL club, a guy who may end up being the starter if the Flames move Kipper, in these playoffs. Again, I have no idea why, but quotes from Ward seem to indicate Ward is a bit jealous Irving got to the show before he did.

“This year, his development changed and he became the second guy in Calgary at the National Hockey League level. Now he’s getting a little bit of humble pie. And I think that’s great for his development. I think that’s great in life, to get some humble pie.”

Yeah...I don't know why the minor league coach would make the back-up for the NHL squad who needs to play minutes to continue to develop 'eat humble pie' and not give him those said needed minutes. But that's what Ward did. And it should cost him any chance he had of becoming the Flames coach next season.

(Even if Taylor is in cold reality the better goalie, it doesn't matter. Irving needed to play, so the team could further see if they have a guy they should continue investing time and money in or not.)

Ok then, on to Hartley and these rumours that will not die.

WHICH IS CTHULHU LEVELS OF TERRIFYING!

What was it, last week or two weeks ago, that some guy went on twitter and said that Hartley was being interviewed by the Flames to fill the vacant head coach position? And then the hockey world laughed so loud that Feaster was forced to comment on the rumour. Feaster told, I think it was Roger Millions, that the Flames had not interviewed anybody and the rumour was bogus.

We all remember that, because we all remember starting to tie ropes around our necks when we heard Hartley may be coming to coach, and we all remember taking the ropes off when we found out it was a bogus rumour. 

Yeah, well, apparently the rumour is only bogus when people are paying attention. Because when the laughter subsided, according to what Dave Rowe reported on QR77 this morning, the Flames went out and indeed put Hartley on their radars, and will consider him for the position of head coach.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your noose's.

It was only yesterday that Millions wrote an article talking about how the Flames were perceived as a backwater, and no real coaches wanted to work with the team. I think this Hartley rumour pretty much confirms that.

Pro tip, Flames. When you float a trial balloon like 'Maybe we will hire Bob Hartley to coach' and the entire world laughs in your face, you shoot the trail balloon. You do not deflate it for a week, and then float it out again when the papers aren't paying attention because they are covering the Heat's playoff loss.
...

Did you guys notice that Gainey was available for hire? And did you notice the Flames didn't hire him? Even though people like Brent Sutter think the teams management is devoid of people who know what they are doing?

Odd.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Talkin' Million Dollar Man's Article


You will forgive me if it is old news, and it has been discussed already or whatever. I haven't been really paying attention. A quick look at FN showed me nobody had posted on it, but if this is regurgitation, my bad.

Anyway, Roger Millions, my preferred Flames PxP guy, wrote an article for SNET that I found interesting.

Here you go, kids.

The article talks about several things. The main talking point that is getting picked up from what I see is that Calgary 'may not' be an attractive destination for coaching talent. Roger writes:

"Rumours are starting to swirl that Calgary isn't exactly the destination of choice for many coaching candidates."

Which, like, shocking, dude. Rogers then goes on to list some reasons why this may be the case. His reasons listed are pretty reasonable. He lists the three straight years out of the playoffs. He lists the lack of top-tier prospects in the organization (before going on to put over a couple of prospects currently under Flames control).

But then he lists another reasons, and this one is, well, it's about the 'Kenspiracy':

"Then there's the thought -- right or wrong -- that Feaster does not have the autonomy to make a decision unencumbered. The organization is adamant that is not the case, but it won't go away."

The Kenspiracy is mainlining like a that chick from Pulp Fiction. The rumours 'won't go away' for a simple reason: It's true. Feaster does not have the autonomy to make a decision unencumbered. Don't believe me? Ask Bob McKenzie. The owners run the show here.

But that isn't really bombshell material to me, because ol' DB has been pushing that storyline for a few years now. What is bombshellish is what Rogers puts out there next:

"Case and point whispers that on the way out Brent Sutter muttered to confidants that John Weisbrod is the only real shining light in Flames management and that Feaster may be overshadowed. That may simply be sour grapes on Sutter's part then again, perhaps not."

Black Rob. Seriously, wowza. Weisbrod is being looked at as the only shining star in Flames management? Ouch. Because...well, Weisbrod isn't a great manager. (Also, here, here, here)

Which part of the team is more shallow, talent in the centre position, talent on the blueline, or talent in the front office? Don't dwell on it too long, as the question promises to throw the ponderer into a Stajan-esque pit of despair.

What I love about all this speculation is that it points to a problem that isn't easily fixed without bloodshed. The owners don't seem to trust the people they hired to run the team, the people hired to run the team don't trust each other, they don't trust the players brought in, and the players don't trust the players brought it. There seems to be 'group disharmony' going on. Sun Tzu says that is a problem.

(Tzu writes of how this problem of group disharmony was solved in a military camp: When the top aristocrat in the area broke a camp rule that applied to all, the camp commander had the aristocrat executed. When the rest of the people saw that the camp commander would kill his superior for breaking rules that applied to everyone, the rest of the people quickly, (what's the modern term of art?) gelled.)

But it's not all doom and gloom from the Million Dollar Man.

"Finally, in a radio interview this past week Feaster suggested trades are in the offing. This time, Jarome Iginla's name is not among them. However, in spite of his no trade clause Defenceman Jay Bouwmeester may be in play."

This news warms my heart to no end. I hope they send JBlow somewhere nice. Like Siberia. Let's dance!



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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back The Dump Trunk

More Cervenka.

So I was lurking the CP, and someone there found and google translated an article that had been written about Cervenka in some silly non English language called 'European'.

This one right here.

And what I found cute about the article is that Cervenka talks about how the Flames courted him. Did the Flames go sweet and subtle or aloof and hard to get?

Neither, apparently. The Flames pitch woo like Cole Hamels pitches Bryce Harper: 90 miles an hour in your face.

How ever there were negotiations?
It all started over agents. Representatives of Calgary during the playoffs arrived in Russia, so I have seen them too. They told me their vision and I liked it of course. Acted with the greatest interest and quickly.
What is the vision?
They just talk, you'll have everything uhrát itself, but want to give me a chance. They want me to play in two lajnách me to be much on the ice. I am especially pleased to have this early clarity about their future and that I can prepare in peace for the season.
Did you have the NHL and other offers?
We have been in contact with other clubs, but Calgary started first. For me it was very important that you are the only way for me did to Russia. Others probably relied on the fact that I go to the World Cup and that will solve everything there. But I was right after the end of the season to ninety percent of the decisions for Calgary.
That will certainly be perfectly mapped. What do you know about the club and the city you?
About the city do not know much, but I have an overview of the team. I know what players are signed for next season and how they plan for the future.
...
Are you satisfied with the terms of the contract?
As a freshman I could only get two-way, but they offered me the most I could get. But i guess you know that in my case is not about money this year. That amount is $ 3,775,000 including bonuses, which is very difficult to achieve. So in fact the other money.
 So, to translate the translation: Calgary showed up, and made it known pretty early in the process that it wanted to bed Cervenka. Cervenka was flattered that a senior would be so into a freshman like him, that he blushed and blushed hard. Then the Flames broke out the silver tongues, and hyped the kid up about how much action he would get from them. Cervenka must have been horny as all get out at this point, and that's when the Flames went from horseplay to foreplay, and made it rain on the kid.

Strip club romance, kids.

Again, to recap: Promised of ice time and a promise of a specific role with the club. Gee, what could go wrong here?

The other thing to note is that I think this was pretty much the same strategy the team employed on Erixon when it was trying to get him to sign; promise of max available contract, and promises about role and ice time. The main difference seems to be time engaged. In Erixon, the team waited until the last moment to try and sign him, and with Cervenka, the club went in heavy early to get the player they wanted signed.

At least the organization seems to be learning lessons.

I myself am not huge on promising minutes and roles to players who have yet to play a single game in the NHL. Not because I think the Flames will need to honour that commitment, but because if the kid busts and then doesn't get his minutes he is going to pout and I don't think you want unhappy campers in camp.

The other semi-interesting thing which I am sure you all also noticed is that Cervenka seems to be under the impression that this organization actually has plans about what it is doing in the future. Which is a bit of a shock to me, because the organization, to my eyes, has been operating without a plan since they traded Phaneuf.

Is this talk of the Flames organization's 'vision' just some sweet nothings the Flames whispered in Cervenka's ear? Or do you guys think it could actually be a true, honest to Whalen thang?

Actually, one more thing: If the Flames are already deciding the ice time of players, why do they even need to hire a coach? I mean, if Ken King can allocate minutes from the owners box in May, surely he can do it from behind the bench in October.

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