Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hey! Why Don't We Ask Brian Burke About The Shutdown Of The United States Government?

As you all know, the United States Government was recently shutdown due to partisan bickering. You may have heard about it. It is making a lot of news down south.

We don't really understand it though. I mean, all poli-tricks look the same to us. And it is especially difficult to read the political climate and cultural undertones surrounding an event that takes place in a foreign country.

It is for that reason that we here at Dome Beers decided that we should probably ask somebody with some knowledge about these things if they would be willing to clarify the issues for us. So with that said, who better to ask than Brian Burke? I mean, America!

Dome Beers: Brian, the United States government has recently shutdown. What do you make of President Barack Obama's performance during this situation?

Burke: All I’ve seen are flashes of brilliance. And flashes of brilliance are fine if you’re working at a university but they’re not much good to people in an NHL building.

Dome Beers: Hmm. Interesting. The Congress in America is playing a much larger role in this than the President, though, right? What do you think of how Harry Reid is handling the strategy of the shutdown?

Burke: He’s got to learn there’s three zones on the ice surface in this league. I don’t see that he’s learned to play or compete in two of them.

Dome Beers: Very insightful. Switching angles, Brian, what are your thoughts on John Boehner's leadership of the House? Do you think he is being responsible here with his tactics?

Burke: He’s gotta learn there’s a clock in this league, so many minutes in the game, and you’ve got to compete through all of them. And all I see this is a guy focusing on one area, then only sporadically.

Dome Beers: Wise words. As you know, a foreshadow to this event was Senator Cruz and his mini-filibuster. What do you think of the Senator of Texas by way of Calgary?

Burke: I’m not ready to quit on a young kid, not ready to throw him under bus here today. I’m not going to rip him. I think you can tell from my comments that I see big holes and a lack of commitment that’s not going to get him anywhere in my books.

Dome Beers: Thank you for your time, Brian. Greatly appreciate it. You really helped clear things up for us.

Burke: Truculence.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.

**
Quotes stolen from Johnson of the Calgary Herald.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Probably Will Start Writing More After The Draft

Hi guys.

I'm finding it hard to bring the chainsaw out when the situation is fluid the way it is. After the draft I suspect the situation and the team will define itself a little better, and then I can go full H8R again. Or maybe they will draft Barkov and I can swoon.

Time Will Tell Trade Mark.




Monday, May 6, 2013

Thoughts On Calgary Sun's "You Be The Boss" Survey

The Calgary Sun does this "You Be The Boss" 'survey' thing every year.

It's not the greatest of surveys. The questions don't leave a lot of room for nuance in them. Nevertheless it is an interesting exercise, if only as a way to take the temperature of the fanbase at a particular point in time.

If you have been reading me for even a little while, you know that my hobby horse is 'Fire Ken King'. It's been a cause I have been championing for a few years now, as I think he has been a poor shepherd for the club (he meddles in the hockey operations, which would be fine if he had a track record of success in that area, but he doesn't, and as to his ability to run the business, I will say that selling hockey in Calgary is like selling water in the desert, and even then, his ability to do that was greatly enhanced by the Miikka Kiprusoff acquisition and the subsequent (and in hindsight, flukey) run to the Cup finals.)

So imagine my surprise when, while filling out the 'You Be The Boss' survey this year, I saw Ken King had his name included in the survey. 77% of the people who answered the question chose to 'Let him go'. I must be convincing at least some people.

I had to check last year's survey to see who was on the list, and it turns out Ken King was not on the list last year ( http://www.calgarysun.com/2012/04/08/flames-you-be-the-boss-results ), which, again, speaks to the changing perception that the fanbase has of the front office. If I played a little part in it, I am pleased.

Now, what I thought was interesting about the results themselves was that the Ken King question got a very different response from the survey takers than any other question. Generally very few people skipped answering any of the question; the skip rate ranged between 2% - 5%. On the Ken King question, the skip rate was 51%.

Does this mean anything? The fact that the skip rate was so abnormal suggests it means 'something', whether that is a big something or a little something, I really don't know. One theory I am kicking around is that many people either don't know who King is and/or didn't think they knew enough to answer the question, and those that did know the name or felt they knew enough to answer the question wanted him fired (which is interesting). There could probably be other explanations, but look, I will be real: as a pamphleteer peddling in propaganda, I am not really interested in fleshing them out.

Whatever the explanation, I think the very fact King's name is being thrown around when discussing what ails the team is a good thing. The more asses you can put on a hot seat, the better, as we need the front office to start performing.
...

Other thoughts on the survey:

Ya'll aren't as madly in love with Steve Begin's accent as I am, it seems. That hurts, Flames fans, that hurts deep.

Always amused by the votes on the assistant coaches. Because I am sure people have an understanding of their role on the team, and all that (yes I am smirking). The coaching staff generally received ok marks, they all hovered around 80% approval, which I take to mean that the fanbase blames the front office for this season more than they do the coaches (ie: they think the players the front office provided the coaches were not great).

That's generally in line with how I feel about the coaching. I don't think we got the best coaching in the league, but I don't think they took 10 points off the record or anything.

The other thing that made me laugh was the votes on Feaster. Last year Feaster had a 69% approval rating, while this year his approval rating was 50% (with 48% or respondents wanting him gone). At first glance I thought the 50% approval rating was high, considering the O'Reilly fiasco. However, looking back at what he got last year, and a 20% drop is pretty steep. It certainly appears the fanbase is only ready to give him one more year before they demand his head on a pike as well. As well they should.

If anything else caught your eye, leave it in the comments. I didn't really find the 'Burning Questions' all that important or sexy. Again, I think the take away from the survey and the questions is that people think the front office needs to start performing better. I would fire them all, myself, but that's me.

Oh wait! Sun Sports Editor, I have a beef with you: Why didn't you ask about the goal song or the TV broadcast booth in the survey?

Furthermore, I think Ken King should be fired.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hey Calgary Flames Can You Fire Ken King Please?

Please?

Pretty please? With a cherry on top?

...

Quickly, my list of "Things I Would Change", ranked in order of importance.

#1: Goal Song*

#2: TV Broadcast Booth

#3: Beer

#4: Front Office


The front office has sold the fans a bill of goods for several seasons now. I would fire them. Ken King brought in Feaster and friends, who have been a disaster. Firing Feaster and Friends probably is a useless move if King is allowed to stay on and replace them. He's not a great judge of GM's.

Seriously, he is on his third GM now? Button, Darryl, and Feaster. Do most GM's get three coaches? And the scary thing is, of course, the rhetoric kinda hints at that they may be viewing next season as the start of the rebuild. Which probably means Feaster has another three years of rope to hang the franchise with.

Mazel tuv.

Have I talked about 'hope' before? It's based on 'faith', which is based on 'belief'. I you don't have belief, it's hard to have faith, and it's impossible to have hope. I don't believe in the management abilities of the front office. So I don't have any faith in them to turn this ship around in under seven years (which would be 11 years out of the playoffs). So I have no hope. I doubt I'm the only one with this thought process. The consequence of a lack of hope is a that it kills the interest in the team. You could already see that the second half of the season when the Saddledome, although sold out, looked like it was missing a number of people in the stands.

Firing King would mean that you bring in new people (#analysis). New people (with qualifications)? Belief springs up again, which allows us to give the new crew the benefit of the doubt (faith) and the franchise can once again sell 'hope'.

The added, additional benefit? I don't know if you know this, but I am going to tell you a not so secret secret: NHL teams do not like dealing with the Calgary Flames (and not because they drive hard deals, but because they leak trades before they happen, they agree to trades and don't follow through, they overpay free agents, and they offer sheet people in shockingly dumb fashion). If you fired King and his Kronies, that stigma probably goes away as well.

Is this hard to figure out? Let me know if I should go slower.

* On the infamous goal song: I went to the last game of the season, and we stole some pretty sweet seats due to the fact that about 5000 of the fans are indeed true bandwagoners (I mean, it was Kipper's last game at home, potentailly forever, and the fanbase couldn't muster a true sell out. Kinda pathetic.) The lower you go you both get more corporate and more family, and so we were sitting by the latter half of that equation. A Flame scored a goal and the little girl we were sitting by, maybe 5 years old at the max, started signing the goal song.

I hate the goal song. That won't change. But I can sorta see the appeal now I guess. Little girls like it, so their Dad's do, too.

Furthermore I think Ken King should be fired.



Monday, April 22, 2013

About A Week Out Since I Promised To Change The Girls I Still Have Not Done So

(It suddenly becomes apparent why I can't keep a woman long term...)

Lolzipops boys and girls, how ya'll doing?

I hope you are all doing well. As I write this I am staring out a window into the bright sunshine. It's quite pretty. It's also a trap, of course. The sun is out but it's -5 outside. A Calgary mirage, if you will.

...I was going to use that little opening to talk about Iginla, but I can't bring myself too. It seems too harsh. I feel like accusing the guy who spent a decade and a half hear spearheading the team on the ice but off it too of being a mirage might be a step militant, even for me.

However, I can't help but notice the speed in which he has...abandoned the city which embraced him so warmly. 

"Abandoned" is undoubtedly too heavy an adjective to use. Fuck it, I'm using it. I might not have used it had Iginla not smiled his ass off in barely contained excitement at the press conference to announce he was being granted a ticket off the sinking ship, but he did. So I will.

And now the word comes he is selling his relatively newly built home in  Calgary. He didn't even wait until the current NHL season is through. How rude.

There is some neighborhood scuttlebutt around why he is selling the house. If you live in the neighborhood you would have heard it, and if you don't then you may not have. I'm not in the Iginla's circle of friends so I have no idea if the hearsay is true or not, and instead of speculating on it, on something that is essentially ether until it becomes tangible, I will speculate on the motive of the sale based on what is out in the public: Jarome has no plans to re-sign here.

I don't think this particular revelation is shocking, or even news, to most people. I myself was disabused of the notion that Jarome was going to win his Cup in Pittsburgh and re-sign with the hometown team to play out his remaining years when I heard him interviewed by Pittsburgh radio personality Mark Madden, and Madden asked Iginla what it would take to keep him in Pittsburgh, and Jarome replied "It's up to me to play well to convince Shero to keep me."

Not a lot of room for interpretation with that statement, eh?

...

What did I want to write about when I sat down but before I looked out the window...Oh yeah that's right. Some statistics, boieee.

A lot of the shit I talk about here is obvious, and here is another one: Many stats look like they are telling you something, but they incorporate so much data, they aren't really telling you anything.

This is obvious. This is why we don't like ERA or GAA or +/- or .Avg. So why am I talking about this? Mainly as a filter for my own thoughts. I was looking at the stats page on NHL.com because it has two stats that I like. It has the 5-5 for and against stat, and it has the goal differential stat. I have noticed over the years that these stats seem to correlate well with who gets into the playoffs or not, in that teams with positive 5-5 F/A stat and a positive goal differential tend to make the playoffs.

So what, right? These stats don't tell you anything, really. Oh sure, they tell you something: they tell you that a team has a positive goal differential, or they tell you a team has a positive 5-5 F/A, but they don't tell you why, and it is the why that is actually worth anything.

Because once you know why, it is a simple task to figure out how. (The trick, of course, is being intellectually open enough to realized there could be a multitude of variations on the how.)

I've run out of time, I'm afraid. We will have to revisit this topic.

Furthermore, I think Ken King should be fired.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Promise Tonight I Will Change The Girls

I had a rant or something but as I sit here to write it I am totally blanking.

I mean it is what it is. The death march doesn't get my panties wet.

I've been watching more of the games then I thought I would be. I find myself cheering for the team to lose, obviously. Tanguay has been great on that front; if we somehow find a way to catch Colorado the team should pay him Cervenka's bonuses.

Glencross keeps trying to monkey wrench the shit. Someone needs to sit that boy down and have give him a little bit of a talkin' to.

Don't look now but Carolina is making a late charge for the top spot of the loser division as well. And they have Russians.

Gonna be a close thang.

But then what? What comes next? Draft and junk followed by free agency overpay day?

Are any of these events going to be bringing us closer to the promised land?

I've written before how I suspect the front office was putting off rebuilding because they were scared. And I think this year was an example of that. I mean, they spent money going into this year! This team was sold as being better than last years version. Only a couple of points away, they said. Add a few players, they said. And now we are battling for last place.

Someone in the front office made a bad forecast. Thank the fates that they miscalculated so bad we were out of contention before the trade deadline. Now I have been quite vocal about not being a fan of either the Iggy or JBlow trades, however, I do wonder if the team would have made them if we were within one or two points of a playoff position when the trade deadline came around.

That is, I have a bad feeling about the start of the rebuild. I have a bad feeling because I think it was kinda forced upon the front office. I don't think they had the intention of going for the first overall pick of the draft when the season started. And I don't give the guys running the show the benefit of the doubt when it comes to strategic planning, because the last decade happened.

I hope they aren't plotting their course as they walk it, but I operate under the assumption that they are. So far the only defining characteristic we have seen in the admittedly young rebuild is that we are mining the college ranks.

And while scouting talent is awesome and good for them for doing it, I just don't think college players are a giant untapped pool of unexploited talent. Like, they were in the 80's when Fletcher started mining the college systems, but my calender says it is 2013.

What I am trying to say is that I don't see a shortcut. And I don't trust the front office to be able to rebuild without the aid of a shortcut.

So I am terrified. I am terrified that they will approach the draft and free agency in some completely irresponsible and ultimately incomprehensible way. I am terrified they will somehow find a way to fuck it up.

And really, that's probably just from years of condition acquired from being a fan of this team. We probably, most likely, hockey gods willing, will have a top three pick in the draft this year. Those can be fucked up, however, and I wouldn't put it past the Flames. I shudder to think about which one of this years mercenaries they decide to back the dump truck up to, but my real concern is that they trade some of the surplus picks that they have for a bad hockey player on a bad contract.

I'd like to see the club not do that, not because I value late round first rounders all that high, but because my personal preference would be to see the team lose out next year as well.

I'm working on The Dome Beers Unified Theory Of Hockey, and one of my hypothesis is that it takes at least four forwards and two defencemen (and by that I mean of the top 20 guys at the positions in the league) plus a solid to above solid aka elite level goaltender to have a legitimate shot at making a run for the Cup.

I don't think we have any players like that in our system at any level. The easiest way to get those players is to draft them, and the only way to draft them is to draft, usually, at the number one spot. Hence, I'd like to lose next year, and that way we should, Whalen willing, have at least some building blocks in place.

Vive La Mort

Furthermore I Think Ken King Should Be Fired. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Introduction For A History Paper


History, dear Reader, is a peculiar art and a strange science. A school of study of past and very often ancient events conducted by animals who have it in their nature to disagree about how an event freshly born in front of their eyes, in the contemporary moment, unfolded. 

Such a hindrance to our understanding of the universal truth of any event is not to be derided, as it is imprinted on our very being. Since Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, our species has lost the gift of na├»ve ignorance, and instead been cursed with the affliction of curiosity. And any hope of uniformity of opinion for the species was dashed and torn asunder when the Deity, jealously protective of his home in the High Heavens, cursed us with diversity of dialect (and hence culture), at the foot of the Tower of Babel. 

We must accept, therefore, a certain inbred inability to arrive at consensus. Indeed, the events of the Titanomachy show us that even the gods bicker; therefore, what hope does the mortal have at achieving uniformity of thought?

This affliction affects the historian in a cruel way, as it is he who is tasked with sifting through the ancient dust of a not always fossilized past, to find a strand of truth in the archaic abyss, and introduce it to the skeptical light of the modern (contemporary) day. Add this to the species pestiferous preference for the Now over the Then, and we can see another obstacle that impedes the historians ability to glean from the archives true truth: the omnipresent pressure to fit one’s findings into whatever zeitgeistian mold is currently in vogue.

Spirits, being constituted out of the material of the ether, are (probably, but not exclusively, to the benefit of mankind) temporary. The spirits that provide a subliminal skeletal structure to Man’s mental regime change form (and hence the flow of our thoughts) over time and events. Cerebral Standards rise and fall on the battlefields of thought, depending on temporal and temporary circumstance. 

In our current age the secular Standard is raised. Secular issues are thus elevated in their importance, while ecclesiastical episodes wane in theirs, relative our use of them to define the ‘truth’ of an event or set of circumstances. 

It is because of this peculiar phenomenon that, in contemporary times, things that may appear obvious to the people at the time of an event appear to a historian observing the events through musty books and contemporary filters as utterly ridiculous. Because the contemporary viewer is not haunted with the spirit of a particular time, they find it impossible to believe that the people of the particular time were haunted by it either. Secret motives are sought, undercurrents are mapped, and the minutia surrounding an event can be elevated to the central stage of ‘Cause’ in the equation of ‘Cause and Effect’. 

This phenomenon, I submit, dear Reader, is perhaps what is responsible for the stripping away of the importance religion had on the people of France during the Wars of Religion by the modern scholar.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jarome Iginla Will Not Re-Sign With The Flames?

Heard on SNET's 'pre-game'. Eric Francis was being  interviewed by the Millions Dollar Man, and he offered the little nugget of news that Jarome Iginla will not be re-signing with the Calgary Flames.

I hadn't heard that before.

Apparently on the FAN960 morning show they had Nick Kypreos on 'confirmed' the news, also saying that he has heard that Jarome Iginla will not be re-signing with the Flames.

Shit is fucked up, homie.

Ken King's stewardship of the club has been such a disaster that Mr. Calgary Flame, Jarome Iginla, will no longer entertain being a Calgary Flame.

Let that swirl around your dome for a while.

You guys know who Isiah Thomas is, right? I know some of you are hockey shut-ins and don't watch other sports. Isiah Thomas was a Knick legend, and after his playing days were done, was brought back into the organization to run the whole show. He was a disaster. 

How did 'Zeke' get the job of running the Knicks? The owner loved him. How did Zeke keep his job of running the Knicks (into the ground)? The owner loved him.

Because the owner liked the guy, he was able to get away with terrible ROI (for lack of a better term/concept) year after year.

Knick fans were fucked. They had a person who was terrible at running a basketball operation running their basketball operation. The owner loved him so he was never going to get fired for poor performance. The fans of the team were fucked. But then a miracle happened. Isiah Thomas sexually harassed an employee in the Knicks organization. Suddenly the embarrassment became too embarrassing for the owner, and he let Zeke go. The team has performed very well (in relation to where it was) since Zeke has been let go.

Quite honestly, I think the Flame fans find themselves in the same situation. Murray Edwards likes Ken King. Because Murray Edwards likes Ken King, Ken King's performance (or to be more accurate, lack thereof) isn't an issue to him. Flame fans, we are fucked. Pray for a miracle, I guess.

Furthermore I think Ken King should be fired.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Care Bears

I wanted to say some things about the the notion of a team not caring enough as an explanation for a disappointing performance, and why I am so dismissive of it.

I don't dismiss the notion that a player or players or perhaps even an entire team may not give, to summarize the argument, '100% Effort Every Game', and all that statement contains within. I don't dismiss the notion because I understand rosters are filled with human beings. Why I am dismissive of it as an argument as to why the team is losing or not losing is because this particular condition is not specific to the Flames.

Every team, in every league, is undoubtedly guilty of 'not caring' during specific periods of time. Again, they are staffed by human beings.

The thing with human beings, though, is that they respond to the structural markets presented to them. Behavior is shaped by what is possible; the 'Everyone was doing it' rationalization that the human mind is known to generate as a response to the feeling of guilt is a biological affirmation of this argument, if I may. The seemingly habitual creation of economic bubbles is another affirmation. People seek out market inefficiencies in order to exploit them for their benefit; we do it as a species, we do it as communities, we do it as individuals. Because we are human.

If the Flames are 'not caring' at a materially relevant degree greater than the rest of the league it could be because the players collected on the roster have a deep and fundamental flaw to their characters, OR it could be that the market conditions presented to them by their employer permits such behaviour to be indulged in with either a surplus to or neutral effect to the the players 'benefit' (utility?).

I'm hesitant to even bring that up, because a silly person might read that and go 'oh see you believe the team doesn't care' and I don't want that distracting from the real, fundamental reason the team stinks, which is that it isn't overwhelmingly talented at forward, is sloppy and soft defensively  and it is getting bad goaltending. But I do want to point out that if the team truly doesn't care, it would be because the people who run the team allow them not to care.

Furthermore, I think Ken King should be fired.


Monday, March 18, 2013

New Goal Song?

Ladies and gentlemen, the news!

Or rather the potential news, because as of now that is all that it is. Fluff and conjecture; and to grant it the status of concrete reality would be to ridicule fate and tempt an undefeated universe to send down a thunderous fist to crush our hopes and dreams into a thousand miseries. 

We have endured our present and peculiar torture for far too long to see our salvation smashed in front of our eyes while they at the same time behold a visage of sweet salvation. Oh what a ruinous calamity that would be. 

A peacock today, a pillow tomorrow; we shall not strut impetuously while the powers that be still decide our destiny...

But ladies and gentlemen, the news! 

Oh glorious, wonderful news! And while indeed the news is rooted in foundations firmly placed in the ethereal realm that is The Kingdom of Rumour & Conjecture, the observer, in good faith, must hearken,  must indeed exclaim that the words are as sweet as those off the lips of Gabriel: The Calgary Flames may* be getting a new goal song at the end of the year. 

Hallelujah!

But alas, the news falls upon our plebeian ears from the tower and offices of the temporal powers from which the hated goal song emanated. The decree, by its very nature of descending from a secular source rather than an ecclesiastical one, is marked with imperfection: the new goal song may be chosen through...a vote.

So while we rightly celebrate the death of the deplorable and despised goal song, it, apparently, comes at the cost of having to employ the most cumbersome, inelegant, and gruesome of the tools at Man's disposal: Mobocracy. 

I wont lie. I wont try to cover up decay with eucalyptus and lilies  We are a spambot away from getting a Nickelback song as our next goal song. 

The thought chills the soul. 

Solutions? I'm but a simple man, but the obvious one to me is to simply restrict the vote to season ticket holders. I can't guarantee they won't pick something terrible: if you want something I don't think is terrible, you'd have to put me in charge of the People's Committee For The Establishment Of Goal Songs, and I don't think that invitation is coming. I can guarantee that restricting the vote to season ticket holders means that you eliminate the chance that some over zealous Canuck fan hires a legion of Chinese data slaves in Beijing to 'hack' the vote by voting repeatedly for the Nickelback selection that is bound to be one of the choices in a fan vote. 

Also, fiddles. 

*Maybe. Stress maybe. 

Furthermore, what do you guys think I should lobby for next?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Post: On Realignment

THIS IS A GUEST POST BY: P.d0t.

HE PAID ME TO AIR THIS. HE PAID ME IN FLATTERY. I'M EASY LIKE THAT.

MY WORDS END, HIS START... NOW: 



So, how about that realignment? Makes sense, right? Well, no.

Here’s the problem: it’s an attempt to fix a short term problem, with a long term solution. Let me explain.

Detroit wants to be in the east. It makes sense, since Detroit is in the Eastern Time zone. Playing games against conference opponents in the Pacific Time zone really sucks; if the game starts at the typical “7PM local” slot, this means it begins at 10pm in Detroit, and basically none of the Wings fans back home will stay up to watch a game that late on a school night. The same goes for Columbus, but nobody cares about the plight of Columbus because gosh darnit the Detroit Red Wings blah blah Original Six blah blah respect blah blah their “due”, etc.

Columbus is a team that is struggling financially, as well as on-ice. Perhaps some savings on jet fuel costs, as well as bringing in ye olde Eastern Conference superstars more often (Crosby, Ovechkin, et al) might help get butts in the seats. And really, if you can have Washington in the Southeast, you can sure as hell have Columbus there. More to the real point of realignment (of regionally grouped divisions) LOOK AT A GODDAMN MAP.


Some people think you should just throw Detroit into the Southeast Division and replace them with Winnipeg in the Central. Moving Nashville to the Southeast makes more sense geographically,  but also has The Time Zone Problem. Either one is a “quick fix” (which should, in theory, make it a temporary one) that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in a medium- to long-term view. If you’re coming from the other cities in the Southeast, you have to pass closer to Columbus or Pittsburgh to get to Detroit; likewise Central Division teams would have to go past Minnesota to get to Winnipeg. As a quick fix, it’s fine (I guess) but under a little more scrutiny, it’s pretty dumb.

As you might have guessed at this point, I’m in favour of keeping the 6-division setup. With that in mind, let me explain why 4 divisions is a bad idea at this juncture, and particularly with the proposed implementation.


So what’s wrong with this? Well, aside from the odd shape out east (which can be entirely attributed to Philly and Pittsburgh not wanting to break up their division rivalry, plus the hope that putting the Florida teams in with the Canadian ones will attract more snowbirds to fill the arenas down south; like anyone can get a ticket in T.O, amirite?) it at least looks workable. It is a setup based on regionally grouped divisions, and conforms to time zones a lot more than the current setup (which is better for TV viewership).

It’s not the geography that I have a problem with – it’s the math.
30 teams split into 2 conferences of 2 divisions. Could sorta work if you go 15/15 for the conferences. But they didn’t. There are 16 teams in the East and 14 in the West. So if you’re in the West, you have an 8-in-14 chance of being in the playoffs, and making that sweet, sweet playoff cash-ola. In the East, it’s 8-in-16, so if you’re a shitty team, your odds of making the playoffs just got a bit worse.

Not to mention the scheduling. How the hell is that going to work?
We know the league wants to have each team in the league play at least a home-and-home against one another. If you keep that in mind, and try to keep the schedule relatively balanced, the closest I can get is something like, 84 regular season games for Western teams and 86 or 88 games for Eastern. So obviously they are going to do some kind of dickery where you play “Divisional Team X”, 5 times this season, and then it rotates teams over 6 or 7 years. Seriously?

Now, here’s the real reason why this whole thing is short-sighted: expansion.
Suffice it to say, 4 divisions works a lot better for a 32 team league. I’d be more accepting of an alignment like this, if it was clearly in anticipation of a projected/expected expansion. Ohhhh, let’s say… the Quebec Nordiques and Waterloo Blackberries join the league in the next 10 years. And we’ll assume the Coyotes move from Phoenix to Seattle.

Uh oh. That makes 18 teams in the East and still only 14 in the West. Guess what, kids? Methinks Detroit and Columbus will have to get booted back to the West to make it 16/16. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

So what’s the solution? More visual aids!


As you can see, we’re shuffling 4 teams instead of just 2, but we also work towards the goal of getting the divisions more time zone-oriented. Dallas has complained about the travel and TV start times relating to having divisional opponents 2 time zones away; if you add Winnipeg to the Northwest, it doesn’t make sense to keep Vancouver there, for exactly the same reasons. Keep in mind, Detroit has this same gripe about conference opponents, which you play less than those within your division.

This is what we end up with:


So, how about the scheduling? Yes, I’ve put some thought into that too, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
·         84 game regular season
·         6 games against Divisional opponents
·         4 games against one other division in your conference, 2 games against the third division in your conference (alternating every year)
·         2 games against each team in the other conference (home-and-home)

Bam. You’re welcome.

Since the Red Wings fans are gonna be bitching about being stuck in the West still, I drew up a travel plan for their “worst case scenario”; the season where you play 4 games against the Pacific Division. Road trip map!



(And to toot my own horn, the friggin’ NHL didn’t even put this into their initial realignment pitch, prior to the lockout.)

So, what you end up with is a nine-game and a ten-game road trip. After which, you don’t play the Northwest or Pacific teams again all season. Done. Hell, if you play the Anaheim and L.A. games back-to-back on weekends (starting sometime between noon and 4pm) you could even get the hometown TV viewership you want.

There you have it folks, a medium-term solution for a medium-term problem. We got Winnipeg into the West, Columbus into the East, and we fixed some of the travel and time zone problems of the existing 6-division set up. Didn’t even mess with the Northeast or Atlantic divisions at all. Now, what the NHL should do next, is work on a 4-division alignment that actually takes scheduling and expansion into consideration; a long-term solution for a long-term problem.

THEN HE WANTED ME TO ADD AN ADDENDUM:

With the alignment and 84-game scheduling I propose, Detroit would play just over 2/3 (or 4/6) of their games (including home games) in the Eastern Time Zone. By comparison, for Eastern Conference teams (including Columbus) it would work out to 5/6 of their games.

Not too bad.
If you add Central Time Zone teams (i.e. Detroit's divisional rivals, plus Winnipeg and Minnesota) the average increases to just over 5/6, or 9/10 for Eastern Conference teams. Not too shabby.


~Fin

Not Enough Signed My Petition

We got about 105 signatures. Quite frankly I thought we would have more. I'm quite disappointed in you, Flame fans.

To those that signed I wanna say thanks. We fought the good fight. We just don't have the numbers, I guess.

And and flute music you hear? The idiocy continues unabated. Lovecraft reference.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Fire Them All

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2013/03/01/calgary_flames_fortunate_colorado_avalanche_match_ryan_oreilly/

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=417108

O'Reilly would have had to go through waivers to get on the team this year, had Colorado not matched the offer sheet.

Jay Feaster is a lawyer. That is his primary qualification for the job he holds. He is there because he can read, and understand, the CBA. John Weisbrod, English Major, is here because he is supposed to be some sort of CBA guru.

They missed this?

If they missed this, they have no legitimacy. They are there because they are suppose to be able to read and understand the CBA. They failed at that. Why do they still have jobs?

Why do they still have jobs? Honestly? Do any of you have a good reason?

I am prone to blame Ken King, because he hired these people. But if you are Ken King, and these guys come to you with the offer sheet idea, you trust them. You trust they did the due diligence. Because that is what you are paying them for.

And when it comes out, not a day later, that they hadn't? Ken King must be livid. I know I would be. This would cost someone their job if it happened in my office.

These guys have turned the team into a punchline. They should all be fired.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Paper Reading

Reading the paper, yo. These are the things I wanted to comment on.


Randy Sportak sounding the clarion bell about a month before the trade deadline. Which I like, obviously, but would have liked even more last year. The notable thing to take away from the thang is this juicy stat: The  Flames probably need to have 56 points to make the playoffs, and that would require them to go 19-10-4. 

So is it true? Because shit unless the Flames trade for Rudy Gay that aignt happening. 

Last year eighth place team had 95 points. 48/82= ~58% (I'm using the real number not the rounded in the calculations) * 95 = 55.6.  So yeah, 55 or 56 points seems like a reasonable number based on last year (and taking the three year average it is 55.99). 

And Flames currently have 13 points. Not good. So what about this 19-10-4 ish? Well, 48-15=33. 19+10+4 =33. And that indeed equals 55 points. 

We are fucking doomed, homie. 

Can I provide the weary masses any hope? I can try. What Sportak's math depends on is the pace of point accumulation being similar to what is is in a 82 game season. What if it isn't?

Points per game? I'm dumb, so that's what I'm going to go with as a proxy for pace. 09-10 is 95/82 = 1.1585. 10-11 it's 1.1829. In 11-12 it's 1.1585 again. So average that jazz and we get 1.1666. 

Currently (this year) the team occupying eighth place is on a 18/16 = 1.125 pace. If we translate that, I think we get (1.125*48)...54 points. (For those curious, the team is on a 0.8666 pace, good for ~42 points.)

Fuck. 

Good on Sportak for bringing this to our attention. 


George Johnson calls someone with zero points a rocket ship. 

Actually if you can stomach your way past that Johnson calms us all down and reminds us that Cervenka was hit in the throat with a puck last game, which is why he was sat in the third period. You can choose to buy it or not. 

And SVEN is back so Cervenka is getting sat for him, not Aliu. Which makes it easier to swallow.


Odland/Hall get a good quote from the coach:

 “We’re talking about a game of passion that world-class athletes play,” Hartley said. “You need a certain size. I think Akim brings that size.”

Which is exactly the problem. I get it looks bad when the team lets a guy check their goalie. I do believe it speaks to the group dynamic as a whole, and I do think it is reasonable for people to suspect there is something wrong with a team that doesn't stand up for individual teammates. But the real issue is the team is too small. (And they are losing, which could go along way to explaining their bad group dynamic we are all speculating they have.)


Vicki Hall uses GAA, like it's a stat that can convey meaning. 


Odland. Best writer they have on their staff. 

Furthermore I think the genius behind the goal song should be fired. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cervenka Benched For Aliu?

Fire everyone. Why? Read the title of this post. QED.

Seriously...they are benching a guy who can play in the top six for..Akim Aliu.?

They are benching a guy who's contract is up at the end of this year for...Akim Aliu.

If you wanted to write something satrical about the Flames poor roster choices, this would be it, wouldn't it? But its not satire. Its real. Really, really, real.

Someone needs to get Bob Hartley on camera saying "I think taking Cervenka out of the lineup and putting Aliu in the lineup will increase our teams chances of winning." 

I'm sure the problem here is that he thinks its a good idea, but he just hasnt said it out loud yet. I think once he is forced to say it out loud his brain will kick in and he will realize what he is doing is bad.

Maybe Hartley and Feaster are trying to tell us something about their job security. As in, they have enough faith in it they would bench a top six guy for an AHL third liner.

Just amazing.

Furthermore, I think they should all be fired. Im going to stoke out if this is true. Why wont they get O'Reilly?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Regurgitation On Hope

I had intended to write about Rudy Gay and the general situation revolving around the Raptors (hack allegories are fun!) but when I plopped down into my chair an anecdote popped into my mind, and I'll start by sharing that:

Some measure of time ago I had a twitter exchange with (memory fuzzes) Kent Wilson about the difference between the teams of the 90's and the Salary Cap era teams, regarding the level of hope a fan could feel towards the teams chances to win (and by extension, how disappointed a fan in each era could feel about not winning).

My argument was that it was it better to be a fan in the 90's. The team couldn't (or wouldn't) compete with the big money teams for free agents, and as there was no salary cap, big money teams often loaded up on the best available hockey talent. It was difficult to field a team on $30 million dollars that could beat an $80 million dollar one. Because of this the expectation to win could never realistically be entertained, and therefore the fan was inoculated from being too disappointed. (And if the team did happen to catch lightning in a bottle...)

The formulation of No Chance = No Hope = No Worries, if you will.

Contrast that with the situation of the Salary Cap Era. High payrolls means the team has the chance to acquire the best hockey talent available. That in effect translates into hope. There is always the chance to improve. Not only that, but the fans of the Flames find themselves rooting for a big money team, a team that spends close to the cap maximum every year. Now the expectation to win is not only entertained  it is demanded. Far from being inoculated from disappointed, the population is now susceptible.

Chance = Hopes = Worries.

Today, looking at the standings, there are plenty of things to be worried about. The team has more games played then it does points; the team has the second worst goal differential in the West. The team has let in the most goals in the West; The team is 2-6 at home, the worst home record in the West.

The team has a top ten payroll, and it is looking like it will miss the playoffs. Again. So people are worried.

I think what worries people the most, or at least what worries me the most, is the lack of direction. The Flames season is well over a quarter of the way over. The team has flaws; generally it needs centres and it needs a goalie. #34 may come back in time, and start playing well enough, to alleviate us from the latter problem. Backlund could be out until at least mid-March (could be longer) and that translates into 10 - 12 more games without him in the lineup. Over half of the season could be gone, and any realistic chance to make the playoffs could be gone by that time as well.

I think the time for evaluation, if not over, is quickly approaching the terminal deadline. If the team wants to make a push, it's gonna need to bring in some horses from elsewhere, which means dealing draft picks and potentially young prospects. The team is going to have to apply some cost benefit analysis to that scenario to see if the potential to maybe dig its way out of from a hole and make the bottom half of the playoff tournament is worth spending draft picks and young players on.

Or it can go the other way. The team can look itself in the mirror and decide that it maybe has a better chance of missing the playoffs than making it. The team could decide to trade away it's useful pieces (all of the wingers not named SVEN, for an example), restock the cupboard, and lay the foundation of the next iteration of the team.

Either move would represent action. Lack of action in regards to this under performing (remember kids they spend to the cap ceiling) and underwhelming team is killing the hope. And the Flames should realize that eventually lack of hope will lead to lack of ticket sales.

Furthermore, I think Ken King should be fired.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spending

Check it


So...

The guys holding the purse strings have not been holding them very tight. Every single year since 2007, the Flames have been in the top 10 in terms of monies spent on hockey talent compared to their conference (and four times league wide).

The resources to put together a championship quality team have been there. The lack of success cannot be attributed to a lack of resources.

That suggests to me that the people managing the resources provided don`t have a clue as to what they are doing.

There has been a change of GM during the time span this table examines. Just by looking at the table, dear reader, could you point it out?

The management of the team is no good. They have proven they cannot operate efficiently in a cap world. The type of  high spending, low results situation the management has engaged in would get them fired in the real world.

Currently the team is spending the second most out of any team in the Western Conference on hockey talent. It sits in 12th place according to NHL.com, with eight points. The 12 - 15th place teams in the Western Conference all have 8 points.

So...

Talk of rebuild is going to happen, and it should. But the do we want the regime that has overseen this mess to be in charge of fixing it? Do they have any idea how? What gives you any confidence that they do?

(You can argue about whether or not the front office has been reformed since Sutter. You might say that Feaster and company are new voices, whereas I see them as stooges brought in to give sanction to King's meddling. The fact that since Darryl was fired the direction of the team has not changed (the twin philosophies of 'Jarome + Miikka = Cup', and 'Eighth place and then anything can happen') is evidence in my cases favour, I would suggest.)

That's what is most worrisome to me. That the fools who broke this thing will be put in charge of putting it together again.

These are the same people, after all, who don't see the problem with the Flames goal song.

(This post is about me wanting the front office fired so adding the furthermore seems redundant.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I Stopped Writing: How I'm Poking Myself Into Writing Again.

(This post is for me, You'll excuse the indulgence, I trust.)

You may have noticed that I stopped writing.

*waits for celebratory cheering to stop*

Why did I start a blog in the first place?

I've told the origin story before; I didn't like the way the team (and more specifically  management) was being covered in the media, so I started the blog as a way to, I dunno, vent. Vent seems like a word I could use there.

(I wasn't really a writer before; I think I have some talent for it, if I can chest thump, but it was never really something I did, save for school. I was a reader though, so I had a treasure trove of voices to draw upon. That helped.)

Origin stories are often cocktails, they are mixed with parts truth and parts myth. The truth of my origin story is basically that I was bored, and needed a hobby beyond alcohol and drugs.

Most people would have gone out, taken a cooking class, and found a friend. I realize this.

But whatever. I started to blog. And then something crazyballs happened: people started to read it.

Which was a thang. Something I started doing to, basically, not be so bored at home, was giving strangers enjoyment. Not gonna lie, it was a kick. Having an audience was like a drug, mainly because I had never even contemplated having an audience.

(It was very "They like me! They really like me!" and it was cool.)

And what does one do when one takes a hit, and one likes it? One takes another one. Just like that I was addicted. And so I kept writing, I kept going after that hit. But, and my fellow drug users will know this, eventually the hit doesn't produce anything.

I wasn't getting high anymore. The thrill was gone.

What killed it?

Not my audience. If anything, feeling that I 'owed' something to the people who took the time to read the ramblings I put down into the cyber-paper kept me around far longer than I otherwise would have stuck around. My audience, particularly the commenters, was the reason I kept coming back. I've met some of you guys, and I'm better for it.

Which is my way of saying "It's not you. It's me."

I killed it. Or, I guess, the demands on me killed it. I started getting out of my mom's basement. I started playing sports again. I started mucking around the beautiful southern Alberta countryside. I got skates again, and joined a rec league. I got a shotgun and went skeet shooting. In short, I got other hobbies.

But other hobbies in and of themselves would not have precluded me from writing Domebeers. What they did was make a further claim on my time, time which I eventually decided to allocate to other endeavors.

I enrolled in school again to finish a degree I had started a while back but never finished. I had to get my degree so I could finish up my accounting designation courses. Working full time, going to school full time, and then having those other hobbies to get too...yeah, the time for writing pretty much dried up.

As the leisure time dried up, the blog, in my head, turned from a hobby into an obligation. An obligation that didn't pay, and didn't help me pass tests.

So I put it to the side. I needed to find time, and the easiest place to find time was the time I used to write the blog.

Why am I writing this?

I still get emails asking me to write. People who know me in real real life continue to bug me to write. I get tweets asking me to come back. And it sucks.

It sucks because I do like writing. It sucks because I put the blog away (which I enjoyed writing) so I could write academic, scholarly papers to pass a course (which I hate). Putting down something you liked doing to pursue things you don't like doing sucks. And having people ask you to go back to doing the thing you liked doing (but stopped doing to do things that you don't like doing) sucks.

I'm writing this for one: cathartic reasons and two: to try and kick myself back to writing on Domebeers.

I used to write here three or four times a week, and like 1000+ word pieces. I don't really have the time for that anymore, as I decide to finally grow up.

But I probably have the time to write at least once a week (This is me talking myself into writing again). I'm telling you this because I hear if you make your goals public you have a better chance of sticking to them. So I'm doing that. I'm telling you I'm gonna start writing again in the hopes that it will help me start writing again.

Time will tell if the trick works.

Furthermore...