All Things Flaming C
by Scooter Kelly on 04/05/12 at 10:20 PM ET
As my aged and wise mother once coined “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all! Well all ye Flames brethren have plenty to say, but very little that can be construed as nice. The 2-4-4 string of turds the crimson brothers have put together has shown us what we probably all knew before the season started….they are a long way from being serious contenders, and I dare say, the passage to greatness is gonna be rife with pitfalls and Indian Jones-style rolling rocks.
Let us reflect upon what we have encountered in 2011-12. Training camp had Feaster and company shed salary, remove some more D-Sutz guys and get the team younger and more economically prudent. The quality of play was shabby, but we all knew it was the start of the season. Those points don’t matter at all. Ahem…The team continued to improve, however marginally, and their 2nd period woes that crippled them mightily to start the season were slowly beginning to fade. The GM went out and let the hockey world know that sometimes people should think about what they’re gonna say, think about it again, and then not say it. He exemplified this thought process in error as he guaranteed the Flames would make the playoffs. Perhaps he should have guaranteed that his team would piss off their fans like never before, near playoff time. That would have been gutsy and correct.
Since 1980, when the Flames came to Calgary, there has never been this kind of backlash from the fans from their team’s play. Such abysmal effort/results recently that noone has any concrete fixes for. You can hear the sofa lounger experts call into the Fan 960 with their opinions and their angst but noone knows what the team needs to do. I certainly don’t. Let’s hope that Svensational Sven can score 30-50 and restore our faith in the scouting department and give us something to talk about that isn’t negative. Maybe NCAA juggernauts Bill Arnold and John Gaudreau can step in from Boston College and give the team some spark. At 5 ‘6”, 141 lbs., let’s hope Mr. Gaudreau has a couple years to grow….there is a little promise on the horizon.
Should the Flames deal Kipper and/or Jarome? It’s not gonna happen. If it does, it screams of either letting them win elsewhere or desperation. Sadly, Jarome’s successes on the scoresheet dictate the team’s collective achievement and he was nowhere to be found at the most recent crunch time. At least we know the effort is always there. The results morphed the fans to a sallow former shell of themselves and the frustration rained down from the nosebleeds. The hopes were never very high, but they were so close to possibly getting into playoff contention. The 16 overtime and shootout losses, most in the NHL, derailed them completely. What a disaster…(Counting to 10….) There we go, deep breath.
Moving on-The Flames have $46.5 Million tied up going into next season. Olli Jokinen, Lee-Stemp, David Moss, Tom Kostopolous, Cory Sarich and Scott Hannan are all UFA’s. Comeau, Blair Jones and Twitter expert Michael Backlund are all Restricted Free Agents. That’s 9 potential openings and $18M of cap space. Like a kid at a candy store, Calgary always likes to spend all their change, regardless of how good it is for them. Does the team need 5-6 muckers and grinders? Blake Comeau was a cheap acquisition with 24 snipes and 46 points a season ago on the Isle. 14 points this year can pretty much give him the chance to go elsewhere. David Moss was the flavor-of-the-week for about a minute this season. He’s big, nice and really friendly to the opposition. He and Jay-Bo can vie for Mr. Congeniality. While on the topic of #4… People…he’s not going to become a rough-and-tumble character that is going to drop the mitts…he’s been the same player since he was 16. 30 minutes of svelte skating and minimal grit. Enjoy through 2013-14. Back to the UFA’s/RFA’s: Kostopolous? Do they need him? Blair Jones? Younger, better faceoff man and little bit of a shit disturber. And now to Michael Backlund of 1st line fame, in the preseason. Does Feaster give a big F-U to the Flames management of old and let him walk? He’s certainly young and still with potential. We’ll see. And finally, Olli Jokinen…it may be time to bid him adieu and give him a nice parting gift on his way out, though nothing should surprise us.
As for Sarich and Hannan - Cory Sarich proved to be solid and a big time hitter as per usual and anchored the physical elements of the team. Scott Hannan was a very reliable, welcome addition to the defense corps. Where do these two fine gent`s future`s lie? Many want a complete makeover but it seems if you have 5 good games you get rewarded with an extension. See: Derek Smith, Henrik Karlsson, Tim Jackman (studly mandingo), and Anton Babchuk. Maybe the time is now for new blood. The problem is that the answers are very hard to seek out and management does not take input from the experts…like myself. It shall indeed be an interesting summer.
Congrats to Jarome on his milestones of 500 g-notes and 1000 points. It is too bad your friends could not have helped you a little more in search of a playoff berth.
Thanks for your time- Go Flames Go,
Scooter Beers (Yes, it is time to enjoy some of those tasty treats)
PS- Flames wins over Vancouver and Anaheim gives them 90 points. BFD.
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