People who know me or read my blog, understand that I do not care much for Darryl Sutter and the way he has chosen to run this franchise.
Well, Sutter’s comments on Thursday at the Flames Charity Golf tournament struck a chord with me, as they tend to do.
Before I rant though, let’s start with a good quote from the farmer himself:
"This is going to be the best training camp since I've been here; somebody isn't going to be happy."
He was of course referring to the abundance of players the Flames have signed under one way deals and the negative balance the Flames currently hold in reference to the Salary cap. This was a good statement, albeit a little contrived, but still it lets the players know that no one is necessarily safe.
Then he said this with reference to Jokinen:
"I think the most important thing, regardless of what everyone thinks, No. 1 is the fact he wanted to play here, which is critical in today's world. Wanting to play in a hockey market, a pressure market is not for everybody and he wanted to do that. No. 2 is we missed him after he left. He's a big centreman. What were his numbers, 15 goals and 30 assists or whatever? Well if it was 20 and 30 or 30 and 30 then everybody would have had a different opinion."
Well no S%$T Sutter! If a player performs better than we would have a different opinion on the guy, but the truth is the player has been descending in skill and talent ever since he left south beach; with no sign of returning to prior form. What’s with players taking their talents to south beach anyways?
“You always look at depth by position and that certainly gives us that. Clearly this is the strongest centreman position since I've been here."
Yes the Flames are deep down the middle but the deepness starts once you get past the fact that the Flames do not possess a number one guy, which remains a large problem for this organization.
Let’s look at some relevant examples, shall we?
Chicago, San Jose, Montreal, and Philadephia are the four teams that vied for the Cup last year. Look who occupies the of the middle of their line-ups: Jonathan Toews, Joe Thornton, Scott Gomez, and Mike Richards. All studs in their own right; OK maybe not Gomez but he does have a couple of Cups.
The Flames: Jokinen, Langkow, Conroy, Stajan, Backlund. One is near death, the other might not be able to play, and the remaining three either have played on horrendous teams their entire careers or are too young to remember anything before the turn of the century.
"What a lot of people don't understand is that the cap is something that changes day to day. It's based on 186 days so we'll see how it sorts out."
Once again Sutter belittles the media and public for not knowing the ins and outs of the cap. Come up with a new line Sutter, we have heard this one before! There are others out there who get the cap. Yes it’s complicated, but there is no secret club of mastermind geniuses that hide out in underground dungeons crunching numbers on their TI-83’s while the rest of the world ponders in thought about the complexities of the cap.
The Flames have zero wiggle room as of now which sets up for a competitive camp, which is healthy; the competitive aspect not the lack of cap space
But if Fantasy sports have taught me anything, it is that a bunch of mediocre players never win championships, and the team’s decent players’ skill is wasted on sub-par versions of teams that never make the cut.
*All comments were taken from the Calgary Herald