VOICE OF THE NATION - Bring Out Your Dead

Vintage Flame
November 22 2011 02:24PM

 

 

This is one of the funniest movies known to mankind. The humour is subtle but deliberate and there are more underlying messages than Wilson counts scoring chances in a week’s worth of Flames games. Does this clip remind you of anything or anyone that we talk about often on this site?

It should.

Much like the poor bugger in the clip, teetering on the brink of death, but not quite there, the Calgary Flames have been teetering between wins and losses, but always maintaining the stench of mediocrity, which we all know is a slow painful death.

I'M NOT DEAD YET...

Indeed the Flames are far from finished. It is still early in the season and Calgary is not far enough from the pack to say they can’t make up ground in the standings and turn this thing around before the search and rescue becomes a search and retrieve. However, there is going to have to be something that comes from this team, some spark of life that shows the fan base that this season, this team is worth supporting and fighting for.

If we see John Cleese’s character as Jay Feaster, and the Eric Idle as any willing GM in the NHL, we see that no matter how much the Jay man wants to strike a deal to get rid of some dead weight, there just isn’t a buyer in the market... right now. Why not now? Well the simple explanation is that people just don’t want to take on dead weight, and no matter how good of a job you do with lawyer speak Jay, GM’s can still see the crap all over what you’re offering.

I have no doubt in my mind that Feaster is probably working the phones almost every day, but there is little incentive for a team that is doing well to find any need or value in any Flames player as we speak. When talking about any move the Flames make, the overwhelming factor has to be something that will benefit this team in the future, more than it benefits it at the moment. There is no instant fix, because the Flames cannot trade their marketable players to teams that are in the same state as Calgary, it does them absolutely no good. The Flames can also not trade their marketable players to elite contenders because they simply don’t need them...for now.

YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE...

At the beginning of the year, Feaster and company did their best to convince a sceptical and impatient fan base that the Flames were a better team and, a legit playoff contender. He went so far to call out the skeptics that were advocating a full blown re-build, similar to that of the Edmonton Oilers.

"I'm sorry - Edmonton finished where last year, caller? Want to wager on where we finish relative to Edmonton this year? I'm tired of this question, I'll tell you very honestly. I'm getting a little sour. how many teams... every year, for the last 10 years, five years, eight years, have finished in the bottom five, bottom seven, bottom 10? They've had to pick anywhere from No. 1 to No. 10 year after year after year after year, and they still wander in the desert. And they're no closer to getting out than they were 10 years ago."

Jay might be eating his words this year, and crow will be just the appetizer. Now I’m not saying that the Flames GM was feeding a line to the media and to the fans. I honestly think he believed in what he said then, and probably still does. I believed Jay as well. I liked the bold move, especially when he told the public to ”Write it Down”, when talking about the Flames return to the post-season.

The start of this season has been a polar opposite of Jay’s claims though, and so far his boasts of a head-to-head record with the Oilers is looking like a lot of hot air.

 

 

Will this continue? It’s not likely. The Edmonton Oiler will probably not continue their early trends and will eventually begin to slide in the standings. Is that going to matter to their fan base? Not in the least! They play a very exciting brand of hockey and the fans see what is in store for the organization in the near future. Flames fans on the other hand leave each game feeling more frustrated and filled with more and more contempt. Rather than seeing a not very talented team, giving it their all, and playing exciting hockey, they witness a bunch of stiffs playing through the motions like they don’t really give a damn.

Does this fall on Feaster and/or Sutter? Many of you will say it does, but I don’t agree. This is a problem with the players through and through. I chatted with Pat [Steinberg] on overtime last night and he brought up exhibit ‘A’ on this point. The Flames pathetic powerplay is a Jekyll and Hyde story. The PP that is executed during games is not the system that is being implemented or run in practices. Why not? This is not a fault of the coach, and certainly not the GM. When you run a system over and over again in practice and then when it comes to game time, the players take it upon themselves to implement a different style, the knocks and criticisms have to fall on the players and the leadership.

 

 

You can wait. Flames fans won’t need to wait until next year, after the numerous contracts expire and all that money comes off the cap, but you will need to wait longer than you would like. As the trade deadline approaches, there will be more teams looking to shore up their rosters to make a playoff run. That’s when Calgary will have more leverage in trade scenarios. Teams will then be looking at Calgary for missing pieces to their puzzles, and this is when will most likely see the possible departure of people like Bourque, Moss, Jokinen, Kiprusoff and even Jarome Iginla.

Honestly, don’t expect any tinkering moves, they are a waste of time and resources at this point. As Pat said on overtime, the Flames cannot make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. The only deal we are likely to see happen buzz-wise or sooner-than-later, would be a deal to move Bourque; and that can’t come soon enough. All other assets are pretty much locked until the Flames have some bargaining power.

As for the fan base, we might as well get used to this frustration and aggravation for a while. News is all over twitter right now about the Kyle Turris signing in Phoenix, and with that comes the speculation of where he will now end up. At 2 years and $2.8M combined, I’d like to see the Flames take a shot at him. That being said, Bourque is the only name that comes to mind, and he would be a good fit for the Coyotes, reuniting with Daymond Langkow. On the flip side to that coin is the fact that there are probably a lot of teams interested that have more to offer the Yotes than Calgary does, or is willing to give up; so don’t get to excited.

On the topic of excitement, wouldn’t it be nice if Flames fans could experience this level of excitement over someone in our line-up? Have we ever been THIS excited about anyone??

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Vintage Flame is a Calgary based sports junkie that prefers to call hockey a "religion" rather than an addiction. He believes there are two types of hockey fans. Those who cheer for the Flames, and those who don't understand the sport yet. Follow Vintage_Flame on Twitter
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#51 jeremywilhelm
November 23 2011, 09:54AM
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I'm reqlly happy and impressed that the guys who are really struggling, Iginla, Tanguay and Bourque feel they never need to go to optional skates. Way to buy in you turds.

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#52 RexLibris
November 23 2011, 10:14AM
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@Kevin R

Hey Kevin, Yeah, the Oilers want a top 4 D, and there are some bloggers who say that Tambellini should have traded for one at the start of the year. However, the demands for one and the offer that is often quoted by fans and such are not made by a unanimous group. I agree, we need a top d-man. Do I think that Gagner, Omark and a 2nd round pick would be enough? Maybe, but I don't think that is the right move at this time. I'm not one of those fans who acts like Leafs fans were with Ponikarovsky and Kaberle, Gagner could be good, and he has moments, but he's worth a prospect/project d-man with lots of upside, just like himself. Same with Paajarvi. Moving him now is trading a player with potential for cents on the dollar (isn't it great how easily we commodify living people!) and getting back someone who may only be useful to the team for another year or two. We have top 4 d prospects in our system, but we actually don't have a surplus of large left-wingers available. After Paajarvi, Toni Rajala and Curtis Hamilton are our next best options and they are at least a year to three years away. If we are going to address the D it seems more prudent to work with the depth we have from within and revisit the situation in the summer with free agency.

My guess right now is that Paajarvi becomes a good 2nd to 3rd line winger who can add some depth scoring, draw penalties, and perhaps even expose some 3rd pairing defensemen. He has size, some skill, a great work ethic, he is mind-numbingly fast, and he has been largely injury-free. If those are our expectations of him then why trade him?

The Oilers blogger on Hockeybuzz (sorry for mentioning it here, but it is relevant) argued until he was blue in the face over the summer that the Oilers absolutel must put in an RFA offer sheet on Shea Weber and forfeit 5 first round picks in compensation. I don't think I can adequately express how bad an idea I believe that to be. The blogger is impatient and believes that the team has to try to win a Cup this year or next. Like I said, I strongly disagree.

As for the trade papers that you are faxing over, I'll tell Steve to expect them and we'll have our counter-offer there shortly. I'm thinking a 2nd round pick this year and next, Gagner, Peckham, Omark and Olivier Roy for 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014, Mikael Backlund, and Max Reinhart. =)

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#53 RexLibris
November 23 2011, 10:17AM
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BTW, VF I can't believe it took me this long to mention it, but is this video (one of the finest pieces of film in human history) meant to symbolize Jay Feaster's desperate attempt to move Matt Stajan?

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#54 Kevin R
November 23 2011, 10:46AM
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Hey Rex!:) You are a tough man to deal with. It seems that syndrome of my house is nicer than everyone else's syndrome is widespread:) But I will admit that I was wrong about the Oil dealing the 1st overall to New Jersey or Florida for their #1++ so they could pick Larsson. He's looks good but Nugent-Hopkins looks really really good. I am shocked & I would have to put him in a higher category than Hall. I still think you guys need a step in top 4 dman & pay the price for him. That could be the difference of the playoffs this year or not. Nice game last night BTW.

To ALL CONCERNED: UNder "NO" circumstances do we deal with the friggin leafs. Screw me once(Gilmour) shame on me, screw me twice(Phaneuf) shame on you, screw me 3 times well, you know how I feel.

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#57 T&A4Flames
November 23 2011, 11:49AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I think if you wanted to draw a more accurate analogy between the Flames and Leafs it would be Iggy and Sundin. I think Flames fans are moving towards the opinion that if moving Jarome can help the future of this franchise, especially when his contribution to the present is waning, then we would like to see less of the emotional ties to Iginla and have all parties move on. The longer Iginla stays with this team, the more it hurts his value which hurts the team's chances of trading him for a viable return.

The Leafs held onto Mats for far too long because Mats still wanted to be part of the Leafs re-build or development or whatever... In the end they got nothing when he signed as a free agent with the Canuckle-heads. The last things Flames fans want to see is Iggy do the same thing here.

This is precisely why I would like to see Iggy moved this year. Give him the last 2 years on his contract to go win a cup. Then, hopefully, we can resign him to mentor our kids and retire a Flame and with some luck, win a 2nd cup with the Flames before he's done.

My fear is that if we get nothing for him before the end of his current contract, he will see things as a last chance to get a cup and sign elsewhere, leaving the Flames with nothing.

Now is the BEST time to move him.

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#58 negrilcowboy
November 23 2011, 12:04PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

This is precisely why I would like to see Iggy moved this year. Give him the last 2 years on his contract to go win a cup. Then, hopefully, we can resign him to mentor our kids and retire a Flame and with some luck, win a 2nd cup with the Flames before he's done.

My fear is that if we get nothing for him before the end of his current contract, he will see things as a last chance to get a cup and sign elsewhere, leaving the Flames with nothing.

Now is the BEST time to move him.

the fan 590 toronto was chatting it up this am about iggie becoming another mats suntan and balking any move. kipper to the leafs for reimer,armstrong,colbourne and kadri. iggie to the pens for asham,kennedy and niskanaen. rebuild should start now, hows rainy bork to buffalo for some of the excess forwards ie foligno and kassian. just suggestions and starting points.

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#59 mayhemsince1977
November 23 2011, 12:06PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

I'm reqlly happy and impressed that the guys who are really struggling, Iginla, Tanguay and Bourque feel they never need to go to optional skates. Way to buy in you turds.

I was thinking the same thing. Especially when Sutter is sitting alone watching with the same look on his face as me after my wife says "not tonight, I have a headache."

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#60 Kevin R
November 23 2011, 12:17PM
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@Vintage Flame

VF, could it be possible that what Negrilcowboy heard on Toronto radio talk show the decision has already been made & all we're getting is the same ol same ol party line?

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#62 RexLibris
November 23 2011, 12:57PM
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@Kevin R

Most of the bloggers and media guys here in Edmonton were convinced that it should be Couturier or Larsson even in early June. I was pretty enthused about RNH because of his point increase year over year and I felt that if a medium sized kid could rack up those points on a mediocre team in the D-happy WHL against all those massive defensemen, he'd do just fine here.

He and Hall are just different. Hall is a player who has an impact like Ovechkin (he is not Ovechkin, I am not saying he will become Ovechkin) in that he will often create chances by himself and he is a good player regardless of his linemates. RNH is the kind of player who makes the other 4 guys on the ice with him better. That's what a centre should be and, god willing, it is what he will continue to develop into.

Hey, I'd gladly take a top 4 d-man right now, but not if it means selling our futures. I'm patient. I have no need to see the Oilers go on some long playoff run this year if it means that the management starts changing course mid-stream. I don't want a good team today, I want a great team tomorrow and the day after.

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#63 RexLibris
November 23 2011, 12:59PM
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@Vintage Flame

No way was I going to be the one to compare Sundin and Iginla! But of course that comparison has been in the back of my mind.

Sundin screwed the Leafs and I am kind of surprised that fans there still love him. If he had accepted a trade they could likely be 2 years ahead in their rebuild and knocking on the door alongside LA, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and others.

Yeah, Flames fans should be very worried about Iginla doing the same to their organization.

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#64 RexLibris
November 23 2011, 06:13PM
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Muppets singing a music video for Dion Phaneuf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JQbnPUjmBQ Pretty darn funny and he's played for my two least favourite teams, so that's saying something.

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