Friday, March 30, 2012

Ken King Is The President Of The Flames, The Hitmen, The Roughnecks, And Now The Stampeders.

He is also the GM of the Calgary Flames. I've made this case a million times, but the most crystal example of it was, kinda appropriately as I was talking about it yesterday, the Jay Feaster Heel Turn. Jay Feaster pretty explicitly stated that if the team didn't play better in the games before the trade deadline, he was going to trade people. Specifically he was going to trade 'Veterans'. Funny enough, the team's play did not improve. And then Jay Feaster didn't trade anybody. Hmm.

It kinda looked like he had been slapped down, had his decision vetoed, by his immediate superior, Ken King. Which would essentially make Ken King the de facto GM of the team, as it appears he has final say on player personnel decisions.

Which raises the concern about the way the whole Calgary Sports And Entertainment thang is ran, right?

If you check out the Flames website, they have a page that lists the current management structure of the team. Ken King is listed as the President and CEO. If you go to the Roughnecks site, they list the current management structure too. Ken King, President and CEO. Check out the Hitmen's site, same thing. Ken King, President and CEO. According to this article, Ken King is also going to sit on the Stampeders executive board as well. 

The only front office King doesn't belong to is the Heat's, apparently.

Which is fine and well within his rights. The issue isn't that Ken King wants to be Larry Tanenbaum. The issue is that he also wants to be Brian Burke as well.

 The Oak Ridge Boys can explain it:

Exactly, right? "At best it's only half good. A man can't stock two shelves."

Ken King, if he is going to be on the executive's of all these companies, probably should give up the hat of GM for the hockey team as well. Or, if he wants, he should run the hockey team, and give up his position on the executives of all these other properties.

Let's take a look at what I take to be the current management structure of MLSE. (I say that because there is that whole 'The Teachers Sold Their Stake' thang going on, and also because the management team listed from the Raptors website is slightly different from the Leafs website, and I am going to go with the Leafs website. The difference's concern the makeup of the board of MLSE itself. Raptors. Leafs.)

I made a mistake. King wants to be both Tom Anselmi and Brian Burke. My bad.

If you look, it seems the way the MLSE has it set up is that Brian Burke runs the Leafs completely. Brian Colangelo runs the Raptors completely. Brian Burke is not also on the executive board of Toronto FC and the Marlies. Brian Burke is also not involved in Broadcast and Content, Finance, Ticket Sales, etc.

If Ken King is essentially the CEO of Calgary Flames Sports & Entertainment, it would seem to make sense that he not also be the President of the Flames, the President of the Hitmen, the President of the Roughnecks, and the President of the Stamps. Factor in the fact, illustrated by the Jay Feaster Temper Tantrum, that he doesn't trust the GM of the hockey club and has to act as a supervisor there, it would seem to be an easy case to make that Ken King simple has too much on his plate. FAT JOKE!

As Flames Corp makes its transition to Calgary Flames Sports And Entertainment, I can only hope that the murky management structure that exists now gets cleaned up a bit. Hopefully Ken King can find, or is forced to find, someone he can trust to be President and GM of the hockey team. Hopefully he can find someone he can trust to be President and GM of the Roughnecks, and the same goes for the Hitmen.

Because as it is now, it appears that King is COO, VP of Ticket Sales & Service, Finance, Business Partnerships, Broadcast & Content, People, President & GM of the Flames, President of the Hitmen, President of the Roughnecks, President of the Stampeders, and also the manager of their various bars and restaurant properties.

Which seems like a few hats too many.

From the article detailing the Flames acquisition of the Stamps:

"The Flames will lend their manpower and expertise to “ticket sales, marketing, human resources, promotions,” said King, who was asked if he was going to be involved in any football decisions. He answered no, saying that would be handled by general manager/head coach John Hufnagel, who received a five-year contract extension Thursday. 

Hufnagel insisted “everything is the way it has been,” meaning he has final say in all football-related decisions. That should calm some of the immediate concerns in Calgary; that the Flames have more than enough on their hands trying to fix a hockey team about to miss the playoffs for the third year in a row."

It appears they are going to have Hufnagel be President and GM of the Stamps. I'd like a reporter to man up and ask Ken King if he was going to still be involved in hockey operations, now that he has all these other responsibilities on his plate. I'd like a reporter to ask King if Feaster has final say on hockey decisions. And if he doesn't, why not? Why does Hufnagel get autonomous reign but not Feaster?

I think the answers to those questions would be interesting. But it is Calgary sports media, right? I won't hold my breath.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Feaster Got His Job As GM Of Tampa Bay Because His Predecessor Guaranteed The Club Would Make The Playoffs And It Didn't.

From wiki:

"By mid February as injuries began to mount, it became clear that the Lightning would miss the playoffs and Dudley was fired. The GM had made a preseason guarantee that the team would make the playoffs. His assistant Jay Feaster was named the team's fourth general manager."

Which is all sorts of hilarious because of: (link)

"Still, Feaster isn't afraid of making guarantees. "We'll make the playoffs this year," he said."

Actually, one more hilarious line jumped out up at me from that article:

"Obviously Robyn is a loss, but we do feel good about our blue-line," Feaster said. "We like the group that we have. We feel very, very good about Jay Bouwmeester and Mark Giordano – we think that they're two of the top defencemen in the league."

He felt good about one of the worst bluelines this club has assembled in a quite some time. I mean, seriously. Do I even need to comment?

One last thing: At some point in last nights game, I saw Iggy hanging in the neutral zone waiting for a puck to come out, while the rest of the four guys on the ice were in our zone playing D. That's a pretty big 'fuck you' to Brent Sutter. It's been three years and the guys on the ice don't respect him. What a great coach though, just look at his record coaching junior kids. I mean, get real people.

And Kerr play by play is a bad joke. Hopefully this season spurs the owners of this club to start putting qualified people into positions, and not boot-licking lackeys. But somehow I doubt it.

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

PS Here is a link to a transcript of Feaster's guarantee: The link of the video in that article is dead, though. If anybody has it, post it. In it's place I offer video of someone posted of Feaster's epic kayfabe breaking promo that he dropped to hype up buy rates for trade deadline day.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pre/Post Christmas Record

Last year, there was a lot of talk about how firing Darryl Sutter was the catalytic event that allowed the team to put together win streaks in the post Christmas portion of the 2010-2011 NHL season.

While I was part of the Fire Sutter chorus, it seems a little silly to me to try and link the shooting percentage of a team to the fate of the GM. The team's record was, in my mind, more a product of variance. Without spending all day on it, the team was more talented than the record showed in the first half, and it evened out during the second half.

Of course, the change in atmosphere (?) that supposedly accompanied Sutter's firing may very well had a very drastic effect on the teams ability to win games. You never know; Magic forces are hard to measure.

But lets play along. Ok. I'll pretend that Darryl Sutter's scowl was a hindrance on the team's ability to win games. It should follow that removing that hindrance would therefore provide a benefit to the teams ability to win. It seems to me that the benefit should be a permanent one: Darryl Sutter's scowl has been permanently removed, therefore the benefit one gained from removing the scowl should last forever, or at least until scowls return.

Let's look.

I don't know about you guys, but the record of the Flames in the period of time before Christmas doesn't look all that different in the two years looked at.

Again, one can clearly see from the chart that after Christmas in the 2010-2011 year, the team won more games. The Flames collected 48% of the points available pre-Christmas, and 64% of them post-Christmas. While I am not saying that firing Darryl Sutter had no effect (because, quite frankly, I do not know how magic works) I think it had less of an effect than people make out. And I think that because Darryl Sutter and his bad, record deflating attitude was no longer around the team in the pre-Christmas portion of the 2011-2012 season, and yet the record looks remarkably similar to 2010-2011 pre-Christmas one.

Now the point percentage from the second half of 2011-2012 is not complete as there are 5 games left to play. Lets say the Flames split those games and go 2-2-1. That would change the P% of the second half of 2012 to 64%. In other words, the chances of the team having a pretty similar season to that of last year are pretty good.

Which would seem to suggest to me that firing Darryl Sutter had no actual effect on the teams play at all, regardless of the protestations of the dirt throwers in the local media who didn't like the guy because he didn't treat them like unique snowflakes, in the way Brent and Feaster do.

I don't know why the team doesn't play as well in the first half of the season as it does in the second half. Perhaps the coach of the team isn't able to communicate a sense of urgency to his players, who knows. I just think it has nothing to do with the atmosphere the GM of the club creates. At least it doesn't appear that way.

With that said, a 'Sutter Sucks' chant at the Dome tonight wouldn't, well, suck.

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