Darryl Sutter's Cookie-cutter Comments:
It's another year and already its become clear that Flames fans need to brace for more of the same from Darryl Sutter.
After having quite possibly one of the worst seasons a GM can possibly put together without actually trying to screw up, Sutter is back with the same-old shenanigans.
Late last week an article in the Calgary Herald had Sutter claiming this was to be the "best training camp" the Flames have had and that many youngsters will have a chance to earn spots.
I don't know about the rest of the Flames faithful, but I'm not drinking the kool-aid. Really, Sutter may as well resort to taping WWII style Nazi propaganda videos as his intent in the interview provides much of the same result.
He says that every year. Every year. And what happens, the same vets with the same one-way contracts win their jobs while the youth go back to the AHL and the "competition" at training proves to be just another thing Sutter says to keep the fans appeased.
The fact of the matter is the Flames are too close to the cap and have too many one-way contracts and in order for a youngster to beat out a vet for a roster spot; the Flames are going to have to be able to deal a one-way contract, or dump it in the minors and eat the salary. Anyone see this happening? What are the odds that another team wants to take on the additional salary? Slim to none as there are several good players to be had for the league minimum right now.
I don't think the Flames are doomed, but I do think fans need to know what we're dealing with this season.
Does This Mean Luongo Has to Get a New Mask?:
Well - I don't exactly know what it means if your goalie can't handle the pressure of being captain. But that's clearly the case in Vancouver as Luongo went all drama-queen last season after being given the 'C'.
The dominoes: Many are saying the pressure got to Luongo and he wasn't able to play his game last season. Well, had they just given the Captaincy to the rightful player, Willie Mitchell, that wouldn't have been an issue.
Would it then be fair to say that it's possible the Canucks make it further in the playoffs with a clear-minded Luongo?
And what about this -
Had they given Mitchell the 'C' don't you think he would have re-signed in Vancouver instead of going elsewhere? I sure do.
Regardless, the publicity stunt by the Canucks was a giant fail, but I don't think it impacts this season as the 'Nucks have a couple guys who are more than capable of taking over the C even without Mitchell around.
My choice would be Ryan Kesler but I don't think anyone would argue with the team's best player, Henrik Sedin, either.
Speaking of Publicity Stunts:
I couldn't help but shake my head when I heard the Oilers brought #4 out of retirement for Taylor Hall.
Do they need the publicity? Did Hall play hard ball? (I doubt it)
Kevin Lowe is a poor hockey manager, and we all know that, but why he insists on pounding us over the head with it, I'll never know. Why not throw all of your leverage with a kid out the window before he even steps on the ice for you! Not only that, but it shows no respect to the history of the franchise and Kevin Lowe... but hey, gotta try and get the media's mind off all the other things like the fact that you have a 5 million dollar pylon, you waived your captain essentially banning him to hockey exile and your goalie is going to jail. Whatever works...
And as for Hall.... only one question, wouldn't you want to make your own name for yourself? Or in this case, number? He wore #14 for Canada one year, couldn't he handle not wearing 4?