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.


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.