Sutter staying put...for now
''What we want to do here is put an end to the death watch; to other people's speculation. We move forward.'' – Ken King, CEO and President of the Calgary Flames-
The ‘Death Watch’ he was referring to was that of Darryl Sutter’s relationship with the Calgary Flames organization and whether or not he would be the General Manager of the team for the upcoming 2010-11 campaign.
Amid much speculation that Sutter might be heading out of town following a disappointing season in which the Flames missed the playoffs for the first time in 7 years, it looks as if he will be sticking around, at least for the time being.
As it turns out, my wish of seeing Darryl in the unemployment line will not come true. Despite constructing a team full of second and third line plugs and pushing the Flames right up against the Salary Cap while missing the playoffs entirely, Sutter somehow has escaped the wrath of the employment guillotine.
King also came out and said that Sutter will be issued some much needed help when making decisions going forward. This means bringing in one or two assistant GM’s.
On the short list, according to King, is Kelly Kisio, the Calgary Hitmen GM, who just finished capturing a WHL title. The Hitmen are owned by the Flames and thus Kisio already has a very close relationship with King and the rest of the Flames organization. Kisio is deserving of the promotion as he has never missed the playoffs in the 12 years he has been at the helm of the Hitmen. He has won two championships and made the Eastern Conference Final 4 years in a row and the WHL Final the last two seasons.
Kisio would give Sutter another viewpoint and another set of eyes when making decisions regarding the hockey operations. I like the fit for the Flames and Kisio is clearly cognisant of fresh young talent in the world. I just hope he can force Darryl to budge on his love of the third line grinder.
Case in point, the Flames number one priority this summer when it comes to re-signing players is Eric Nystrom. No disrespect to Nystrom, as I think he is a valuable commodity, but he is not the guy that will push the Flames to the next level. He had 11 goals this year and a third line checker for all intensive purposes.
It is the mindset of the the Flames playing style that must change. As I have stated before, this is no longer a league where ‘dumping and chasing’ and ‘grinding’ pays off. This game is about speed and skill, something the Flames drastically lack.
The Flames also announced that Jarome Iginla would not be traded. This ends months of speculation by resident imbeciles that thought the Flames would actually trade away the heart and soul of the franchise. I am glad I do not have to listen to that nonsense any longer. Iginla can not do it by himself and last year he had little to no help surrounding him which resulted in his worst year since 2005-06.
One of the last things King said today while being interviewed on the FAN960 was that, “We are going to make significant adjustments strategically.”
Let us hope he means it.
On a side note, the Flames record against the two teams in the Cup final this year was 0-4-1 and the Flames were outscored 23-8 in those five games. Once again, speed and skill beats old and slow.
This has been,
Newman on the Flames