VOICE OF THE NATION - TOOTHLESS AGRESSION

Vintage Flame
February 28 2012 09:41AM

 

We all sat and watched as Jay Feaster made what we thought was a shot across the bow of this team,  and specifically the vets that lead it. It was somewhat cathartic to hear him be so indicative and precise that many of us don't even recall what happened in the third period of that game against Phoenix. It didn't matter anymore because according to Jay and all his intellectual honesty, it was apparent that finally change was coming as the players looked to be forcing Feaster's hand and he was going to be active on Deadline Day.

THE EXPECTATIONS...

Jay seemed quite adamant about unless the attitude changed with this team, and its leaders, that there were going to have to be some changes. Well that night they blew a 2 goal lead, and in the next game, against Philly, they blew a three goal lead. So how drastic did the change need to be for management to follow through on their promise, threat, or whatever it is you want to call it? It didn't get any better last night against the Blues. Now St. Louis is an elite team in every sense of the term, so it wasn't likely that the guys in red were coming out with a "W" tonight, but when the Flames went up 1-0, it wasn't a sense of optimism but rather when was the collapse going to happen, and how big of a lead could Calgary lose to this team?

Deadline day came and went without a single move made from Flames management. In fact rather than Feaster moving one of the numerous pending free agents, he instead signed Tim Jackman to a two year extension. That's nothing against Jackman as, despite his unimpressive season this year, he has been a relatively effective player for the Flames on the fourth line. However, the lack of activity left many if not all Flames fans wondering what exactly Feaster's rant was really was all about.

The day was destined for disaster for a frustrated fan armed with a little bit of hope from the second period rant. When there was no deal announced, Flames fans everywhere could feel their blood boiling and by the time 1:00 pm rolled around in Calgary, fans were losing it all over the city. However, did we read more into what Feaster had said in order to quell our own fury, did we misinterpret what he was actually saying? Possible on both counts I believe.

PERCEPTION vs. REALITY

A fans wish to see make an impact deal doesn't always translate into reality. The truth of the matter is that we don't really know what the communication between management and the players consists of. We see no trades as no activity and that just simply is not logical.

When Feaster addressed the media, he did say that the Flames were involved in a few deals, but it was the other team that backed out in those scenarios. Can we instantly vilify the management for not being able to strong arm other teams into a deal they just simply don't want to do. And to that matter, can we really blame them for not accepting these deals? When we spend the entire season trying to find the fastest routes out of town, does it seem reasonable that we also get to illustrate the map as to where they end up? It takes two teams to make a deal work. Why are we so one one sided in the blame game?

That being said, I do find it tough to accept that there wasn't at least one deal that was even somewhat reasonable. What was the full intent or was there even an attempt to move the likes of Sarich or Hannan. We heard there was interest expressed in Jackman, so what was the reasoning for signing him over trading him?

THE CRUX...

The truth of the matter is that we as a fan-base are not privy to the inner workings of this team, no matter how much we cheer for them, or how hard we yell at them. It just isn't in the cards for us, nor will it ever be. We may be the source that pays their salaries, but it should not give us an over-inflated sense of entitlement.

I realize that during these times, it's hard and it's frustrating to remain a fan, I get that - but we also seem to be losing sight of what we all pretty much agreed upon way back in training camp. It was discussed in length that this team was going to be severely handcuffed by its situation with contracts and the number of NTC or NMC's. Is it because the Flames are so close to a playoff position that they really don't deserve, or the frustration that this team just seems like it will never change?

I don't have an answer as to why the fans feel like they do, but I can speak as to how I feel about the day. As a fan, I too am frustrated that there wasn't some degree of change to talk about and to find new hope in. I have remained as optimistic as I can, but even I have my limits. Maybe the silver lining here is that Feaster showed everyone this mythical intellectual honesty by demonstrating that he was committed to not just make a deal for the sake of making one and saving face about a rant on television.

He also stayed true to the fact that he's not prepared to mortgage the future of this team for a rental solution. We know the guys that were available yesterday; some of them like Nash, were just not even possible. The ones that we all thought might have been a good fit here might not have been available with the Flames limited resources. It's always fun to go window shopping but sooner or later you have to have the cash to buy the bling. When you go after a franchise changing player, there is no lay-away plan.

There is also another thing I'm grateful for that came from the lack of movement yesterday. The prospects in Europe, US College, Abbotsford and the CHL have shown us that the cupboards aren't nearly as bare as people have said. I'm grateful that Feaster didn't give up on guys like Bärtschi, Reinhart, Ferland, Arnold and Gaudreau, before they were ever given the chance! Take that Erixon...

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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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#1 Bean-counting cowboy
February 28 2012, 12:21PM
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RexLibris wrote:

I had written out this awesome response, and then lost it (it had sparkles and bikinis and a sabretooth tiger riding a harley!). ARRRRGH. I blame VF, he's probably got my responses limited to 140 characters or less. ;-)

Anyway, If I were a Flames fan I would be worried about the following:

1.) Iginla has been called out several times and his leadership and influence appear to be a detriment to the roster at this time (speculation, but I have seen this opinion raised here several times by several sources, so I'm not totally alone on this one). If this is his reputation then if he stays the Flames risk his influence on the new prospects being detrimental. And if he is traded then the concern is that other GMs in the league are aware of this and thus his trade value is suddenly limited.

2.) Feaster has repeatedly talked about intellectual honesty and trying to win this season and yet L.A. acquired Carter for a price that the Flames could easily have matched or even beaten. While Carter may or may not have been good for the team in the long term, the discrepancy between Feaster's words and actions are alarming. Either he is being dishonest with himself or the fan base. I suspect that he is caught in a tug-of-war between ownership and his own management decisions.

3.) If Feaster feels that the answers are a.) the re-signing of Jackman to a respectable contract extension b.) the hinted-at re-signing of Jokinen in the next few months c.) the plan to pursue big-name free agents in Suter and Parise who have both stated they have no interest in going to a western team with little or no immediate Cup aspirations and d.) the exploitation of a fan base's excitement over a young prospect (Baertschi) by promoting him directly to the NHL out of junior (I'm guessing, but it is a possibility) in order to distract from the other glaring issues within the roster....then I have to ask - what was the question?

Minnesota, Anaheim, L.A. and Phoenix all made moves to improve their team and/or depth. By comparison Calgary's inactivity speaks to a deeper malaise within the organization.

While it seems a plus that Feaster didn't trade a 1st round pick or a prospect, he did move 2nd round picks earlier this season (twice) and he has already traded a prospect. I don't know that being thankful for your GM doing nothing because then, at least, he can't do anything bad, is a healthy indication of the future of this team as it stands today.

Your comments on Iginla are spot on. I think more and more of the fanbase are starting to realize it.

Jim Playfair's comments on the Fan helped solidify something I had been told by one of the Sutter brothers (not Brent or Darryl) in a face to face half hour conversation I had with him after bumping into him at a convenience store.

Iginla does coast and lacks motivation quite regularly. I think the term he used was "lazy".

In my view he has become quite comfortable with his surroundings in Calgary & I think he might actually fear the unknown of going to a team where he doesn't call the shots, isn't the captain & face of the franchise & could get benched or called out by - heaven forbid - Ownership! for lazy play.

I don't like to say it because it was Iggy that made me a Flames fan - but emotion should not be allowed to make franchise - altering decisions.

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#2 jakeryley
February 28 2012, 10:26AM
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My frustration stems from a few things over the last few days.

1) "We believe the answers are still in that dressing room" 2) "We like our team" 3) If we are to trust Jay Feaster and management - Iginla, Kiprusoff, Bouwmeester, Glencross, Giordano, Cammalleri won't be traded and Olli Jokinen will be re-signed.

If the "we" of the management team actually believes that the answers are in that dressing room, we're all screwed as fans of this organization. I'm not sure how they can justify that belief anymore, and I'm not sure how they can say that they like this team. To say you like this team is to say you're content with a loser. How can any responsible management team simply ignore 3 years of COMPLETE failure?

If management really won't trade any of the players in that "core" that I listed above, and Olli Jokinen does get re-signed...well, how the hell can management justify icing a nearly identical team next season? Oh, is it because Sven Baertschi will (likely) be in the lineup? Is that the wonder cure?

This organization won't see a (direct) dollar of mine until they're willing to change this hockey team, and in a very drastic way. Right now it looks like they fully intend on being a salary-cap team that will ride out its elderly superstars until they're paying 65 million + for a 30th place team and are the punchline of the entire league (...and who are we kidding, we already are).

The hockey team that the Calgary Flames organization puts on the ice is an embarrassment to this city. (and strictly the on-ice product, I'm not considering all the good they do for the community as part of this)

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#3 jonny
February 28 2012, 11:03AM
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@RexLibris

@Rex

"when the GM, or the coach, call out the team and demand a higher level of performance (one that they have, in the past, shown) the team has, this season, not only failed to produce but actually appeared to push back against that message."

Well put. After removing this many coaches and core players deemed to be a problem in the room, the problems remain. I wonder if Iggy's leadership and attitude are keeping this team from stepping up. He's great with the media and the community, and he's a great ambassador for the city, but one wonders if he holds to much sway in a room that needs some hunger. Perpetual mediocrity may be the cost of having Iggy as the face of the franchise, and maybe they're willing to gamble on that, hoping for a low playoff seed and a miracle run.

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#4 RexLibris
February 28 2012, 11:48AM
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@jonny

I had written out this awesome response, and then lost it (it had sparkles and bikinis and a sabretooth tiger riding a harley!). ARRRRGH. I blame VF, he's probably got my responses limited to 140 characters or less. ;-)

Anyway, If I were a Flames fan I would be worried about the following:

1.) Iginla has been called out several times and his leadership and influence appear to be a detriment to the roster at this time (speculation, but I have seen this opinion raised here several times by several sources, so I'm not totally alone on this one). If this is his reputation then if he stays the Flames risk his influence on the new prospects being detrimental. And if he is traded then the concern is that other GMs in the league are aware of this and thus his trade value is suddenly limited.

2.) Feaster has repeatedly talked about intellectual honesty and trying to win this season and yet L.A. acquired Carter for a price that the Flames could easily have matched or even beaten. While Carter may or may not have been good for the team in the long term, the discrepancy between Feaster's words and actions are alarming. Either he is being dishonest with himself or the fan base. I suspect that he is caught in a tug-of-war between ownership and his own management decisions.

3.) If Feaster feels that the answers are a.) the re-signing of Jackman to a respectable contract extension b.) the hinted-at re-signing of Jokinen in the next few months c.) the plan to pursue big-name free agents in Suter and Parise who have both stated they have no interest in going to a western team with little or no immediate Cup aspirations and d.) the exploitation of a fan base's excitement over a young prospect (Baertschi) by promoting him directly to the NHL out of junior (I'm guessing, but it is a possibility) in order to distract from the other glaring issues within the roster....then I have to ask - what was the question?

Minnesota, Anaheim, L.A. and Phoenix all made moves to improve their team and/or depth. By comparison Calgary's inactivity speaks to a deeper malaise within the organization.

While it seems a plus that Feaster didn't trade a 1st round pick or a prospect, he did move 2nd round picks earlier this season (twice) and he has already traded a prospect. I don't know that being thankful for your GM doing nothing because then, at least, he can't do anything bad, is a healthy indication of the future of this team as it stands today.

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#5 RexLibris
February 28 2012, 01:50PM
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@ChinookArch

Good comments. I like the rant and I like your take on the team reflecting some aspect of the Calgary society. Edmontonians have often said the same thing about expecting a good work ethic and strong play from the team, even if the skill and talent isn't always there. Sports teams often provide a sense of reflection on civic personality (which doesn't say much for the city of Philadelphia).

Back in 2004-2008 when the boom was going full bore and Calgary was building rapidly I remember commenting to a few people that I wondered if, once Edmonton got it's collective head out of some places best not mentioned, and once some devoted leaders came on the scene (Mandel, Katz, as examples) if there would come a day when Calgarians would "wake up" and wonder how on earth all that good fortune and success had seemed to pass them by while Edmonton appeared to have come out of nowhere.

The city is building a new team, a new hockey arena, has a new Art Gallery, several new library branches planned, a new Royal Alberta Museum planned, and is expanding its LRT network. Your description of your civic sense is a polar opposite to the general feeling here in Edmonton.

Okay, now I'm not saying this because I'm looking for a brawl here, but history has shown, repeatedly, that cultures and societies, civilizations even, that have enjoyed periods of unparalleled success often enter a kind of ennui or inertia that slowly eats away at the motivations that brought about that success. Rome is a lazy example, but you can find the same thing in many of the collapsed cultures of Central America (exceptions for outside conquest), late Victorian England, and even modern North America. The hardest thing to do when things are going well, is to keep working hard.

(I'm not extending this to include the actual City of Calgary. The city has been, and appears set to remain, a vibrant place with culture, arts, education, industry and leisure to rival any similarly sized municipality in North America. Minus the freezing winters)

Things were going swimmingly for the Flames from 2004 through to 2008. By 2009 there were some cracks in the foundation and rather than address the issue, everybody was told to Keep Calm and Carry On. Sometimes it takes a kick in the jewels to figure out that you need to change. The Oilers, and Edmonton as a whole, got it in the late 2000s (Souray, Nylander, Pronger, several companies leaving town, civic leaders befuddled about the crumbling infrastructure, etc) and thankfully the people were in place to make the changes necessary.

The same will happen in Calgary. That is a given. Pain is inevitable, frustration is to be expected. What has yet to be determined for the Flames is the "how" and the "how long".

One thing I would like to add, though, is that anyone who says that the Saddledome won't have anyone in the seats if the Flames tank it and go into a scorched-earth rebuild must not have a very high opinion of Calgary's hockey fans.

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#6 Flames - Keep Believin'
February 28 2012, 02:28PM
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I have always enjoyed reading the articles and comments on this site. Sometimes they get a little naggy but I think there is a broad representation of the fan base that comes here for a little info and insight although twitter seems to have taken over in regards to feeding the info appetite.

Anyways I just want to provide a few thoughts based on the article and the recent comments.

The comment that comes out loud and clear to me is that management won't make a big change to the current ideology as long the building is sold out every game and there is a waiting list for season tickets.

I'm trying to keep believin' but the current coaching and management structure makes it difficult.

I've been a fan for a long time. Managed to get some playoff tickets during the last cup run only to walk down the red mile stunned with the rest after Tampa Bay snuck out the cup.

I decided to take the plunge and get some season tickets... only at that time there was a waiting list a mile long. So I took my place in line.

Then the next year the Flames realized they could charge each of the people waiting in line and to compensate them include a couple of nose bleed tickets to lees popular games. So i waited in line, paying for my 'right' to buy season tickets until the day came that i was offered my two season tickets. The 'right' to go to every game and pay out more money - way more money- than i had managed to sock away for this occasion. Luckily they had a payment plan so I could somehow justify the cost to myself and my wife.

Then when the renewal came I decided to continue on because I didn't want to miss out on having my tickets for what could be the next big run. But after watching all these games over the last couple of years it has become quite apparent that the atmosphere in the old 'dome has quieted down and the paying customers are settling back into a routine of coming to the game but chatting through most of it or sitting for a period or two but leaving pretty early because why would anyone want to sit for an hour in the 'dome traffic jam after another 3-1 loss.

I am not sure what it will take for the owners, management, coaches and players to realize that everything is not okay in Flames land.

They say the same thing into the camera and the single biggest thing that disappoints me is the complete lack of emotion and effort being put forth by this batch of Calgary Flames - from top to bottom.

As Kent mentioned on twitter the renewal packages came out this week with a deadline of March 15 to sign up or give up your tickets.

I'm not going to renew my 2 seasons tickets for next year. The financial investment is pretty damn big to have to keep walking out of the dome saying 'I wish they would have just pushed back a bit more/tried a bit harder/showed some emotion...'

Probably won't make a difference to the owners but maybe if they had more people leave than are in the old waiting list... Sorry for the rambling post.

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#7 RexLibris
February 28 2012, 10:00AM
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I don't know that being thankful for inactivity from your GM, at this point and with this group, is the best indicator of fan support or faith.

I agree that from a fan's perspective breathing a sigh of relief at seeing the club prospect depth chart at the very least undamaged a day after the deadline is understandable.

That being said, I also believe that Feaster has already done some damage to the future of the Flames organization and their depth chart in the fact that he has traded away two 2nd round picks in consecutive years as well as a half-decent forward prospect in Patrick Holland (currently 62gp, 23-72-95). I know when the Cammalleri trade happened it was largely argued that those 2nd round picks could easily be recouped at the trade deadline or the draft.

I had my reservations about that theory.

Yesterday's inactivity, like you've said, doesn't necessarily mean that Feaster was incapable of recovering some draft picks, but certainly implies that he was unable to find a willing dance partner. That is not a good sign.

I know this has been raised before, but I am wondering if it will come to the fore again after this season: when the GM, or the coach, call out the team and demand a higher level of performance (one that they have, in the past, shown) the team has, this season, not only failed to produce but actually appeared to push back against that message.

If that is a sentiment that Flames fans share, then the debate perhaps should be whether or not the team can trade away the assets that have created that culture. And perhaps that reputation is known throughout the league and is limiting Feaster's ability to find a trade partner.

Anyway, good article and I like your perspective of not having inside information and trying to draw conclusions as a fan without all the facts.

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#8 Graham
February 28 2012, 10:10AM
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Feaster's mantra that this team is good enough to win now is highly suspect. If the Flames real wanted to make a push for the playoffs they needed to add at the deadline. This might have been a mix of moving some UFA's and adding at key position's like center. It's likely that the UFA would not have returned enough for the key pieces, so if you really want to win now, you have to in part mortgage your future.

Without adding pieces, it is highly unlikely that this team will make the playoffs. In this scenario, Feaster missed a huge opportunity to sell pieces into what was clearly a sellers market.

This club is paralyzed at the top, we have been drifting for years with no true vision, no true leadership, and hope is fading. This team can not even decide on an identify.

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#9 negrilcowboy
February 28 2012, 10:18AM
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feaster says they are good enough right now, hey we gotta believe it. afterall if it wasnt for 34 we would be worse than 30 th, so ya we are a true contender. jay says so.

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#10 Quicksilver ballet
February 28 2012, 11:25AM
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Not sure why but i have some empathy for Flames nation. Get used to a whole lot of words with little or no meaning for the next 4 yrs. As someone who's witnessed it first hand at the north end of the QE2 alleyway. Whatever words pass through Feasters lips over the next 4 yrs, are simply wishful thinking. Hoping and wishing out loud to coddle the corporate fanbase for the forseeable future.

Feaster mentioned he was fooled once already, how can he reasonably respond to being fooled a second time with whats happened in the last week in Calgary?

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#11 Bean-counting cowboy
February 28 2012, 11:54AM
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One would think that mediocrity in perpetuity combined with "intellectual honesty" would have to one day give way to an eventual change in direction - even if the owners are still making money. I mean it eventually happened with the Leafs & that team makes all kinds a dough even through bad years - yet I feel the Flames ownership is not even that smart or comitted to change.

My fear is it will go on much to long before the Flames ownership does anything. Sometimes having multiple owners can be a bad thing, as there may be differing views amongst them. I don't know this to be the case in Calgary, but look at Mark Cuban for example - the guy wanted the Mavericks to win no matter what & he did what was necessary to build a winning team.

Nothing will significantly change until Iginla is removed from this franchise whether by trade, free agency or retirment. I think current ownership is committed to never moving him (or Kipper) and it will be the downfall of this franchise for what could be upwards of a decade.

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#12 Sobueno
February 28 2012, 12:42PM
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Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

Your comments on Iginla are spot on. I think more and more of the fanbase are starting to realize it.

Jim Playfair's comments on the Fan helped solidify something I had been told by one of the Sutter brothers (not Brent or Darryl) in a face to face half hour conversation I had with him after bumping into him at a convenience store.

Iginla does coast and lacks motivation quite regularly. I think the term he used was "lazy".

In my view he has become quite comfortable with his surroundings in Calgary & I think he might actually fear the unknown of going to a team where he doesn't call the shots, isn't the captain & face of the franchise & could get benched or called out by - heaven forbid - Ownership! for lazy play.

I don't like to say it because it was Iggy that made me a Flames fan - but emotion should not be allowed to make franchise - altering decisions.

In regards to the Iginla situation, I often wonder about some of the players that had previously been traded due to supposed problems in the locker room, and whether the real root of the problem is someone still present (ie. Iginla).

We all know the swinging door of coaches we've been through, and the continued lackadaisical attitude of the team. Isn't team leadership also responsible for the overall level of player motivation? We've had coaches come and go, but the same Captain throughout it all.

Then we have players such as Phaneuf and Regehr who held leadership roles in the locker room traded away from the team, with Phaneuf now wearing the 'C' out in Toronto. Obviously there are other legitimate arguments for trading these players (Phaneuf underachieving/overrated, Regehr getting old and slowing down), but I definitely do wonder if there was more to it behind the scenes. Both Phaneuf and Reggie are the type of individuals who seem they wouldn't hesitate calling out the captain himself if he is not playing or leading as he should.

Maybe this is all a little conspiracy theory-ish, but ver the last few years Iggy's on-ice play has been sporadic at best. Then these several sources citing him being a "lazy" player, comfortable, etc., and then we see the individuals who likely wouldn't have hesitated to call him out in the locker room traded away.

I also can imagine Iggy would be the one player on this team with the necessary sway with ownership, being the face of the franchise and all, to not be shipped out of town for this type of play and attitude. Completely speculation on my part, but with some of the things we hear from "behind the scenes" and then the coaching and personnel moves that have been made, there's certainly some level of evidence for this whole idea.

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#13 ChinookArch
February 28 2012, 01:06PM
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VF, you have captured my feelings of this team perfectly.

You asked the question, "I don't have an answer as to why the fans feel like they do, but I can speak as to how I feel about the day".

I'll speak for myself, but expect many feel the same way. Calgary (and Alberta in general) can be characterized as young, confident and vibrant. A place known to consistently 'punch above its weight', and perform at the highest level. Calgarians would like to see a team that better reflects what we see in ourselves - hard working people, that deliver results. Calgary's hockey team is another matter. The Calgary Flames are old, slow and a consistent under-performer. We simply don't see, or refuse to accept that this team examplifies what Calgary is about.

Fans were looking for management to do what this group of players has consistently not done. Management and the ownership group was suppose to deliver a glimmer of hope. A hope for a better tomorrow and for a reason to embrace this team as a success story. Give me the speedy, energetic, hardworking workers of 2004 anyday, over this un-inspiring group of individuals! At least the 2004 team was a better reflection of what the city sees in itself.

Rant over.

On a personal note, enjoy your personal and family time in Mexico.

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#14 Emir
February 28 2012, 02:25PM
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I'm not upset about the lack of movement at the deadline, I questioned what movement we would see at all. The reality is that we had no extra parts we could afford to move. We have injured players and a short of making a proper roster. We have already traded our expendable assets. Our only assets available were the few prospects and a first round pick. Any trade we make would have been complete garbage.

I just wonder what do we see in the off season. I really am tired of the lack of heart the team shows and want change. Our team has had no identity for 3 years and enough of that garbage.

So overall i'm glad feaster made no moves. However I will not feel the same way if this roster has the same "core" going into August.

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#15 Bean-counting cowboy
February 28 2012, 02:45PM
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Flames - Keep Believin' wrote:

I have always enjoyed reading the articles and comments on this site. Sometimes they get a little naggy but I think there is a broad representation of the fan base that comes here for a little info and insight although twitter seems to have taken over in regards to feeding the info appetite.

Anyways I just want to provide a few thoughts based on the article and the recent comments.

The comment that comes out loud and clear to me is that management won't make a big change to the current ideology as long the building is sold out every game and there is a waiting list for season tickets.

I'm trying to keep believin' but the current coaching and management structure makes it difficult.

I've been a fan for a long time. Managed to get some playoff tickets during the last cup run only to walk down the red mile stunned with the rest after Tampa Bay snuck out the cup.

I decided to take the plunge and get some season tickets... only at that time there was a waiting list a mile long. So I took my place in line.

Then the next year the Flames realized they could charge each of the people waiting in line and to compensate them include a couple of nose bleed tickets to lees popular games. So i waited in line, paying for my 'right' to buy season tickets until the day came that i was offered my two season tickets. The 'right' to go to every game and pay out more money - way more money- than i had managed to sock away for this occasion. Luckily they had a payment plan so I could somehow justify the cost to myself and my wife.

Then when the renewal came I decided to continue on because I didn't want to miss out on having my tickets for what could be the next big run. But after watching all these games over the last couple of years it has become quite apparent that the atmosphere in the old 'dome has quieted down and the paying customers are settling back into a routine of coming to the game but chatting through most of it or sitting for a period or two but leaving pretty early because why would anyone want to sit for an hour in the 'dome traffic jam after another 3-1 loss.

I am not sure what it will take for the owners, management, coaches and players to realize that everything is not okay in Flames land.

They say the same thing into the camera and the single biggest thing that disappoints me is the complete lack of emotion and effort being put forth by this batch of Calgary Flames - from top to bottom.

As Kent mentioned on twitter the renewal packages came out this week with a deadline of March 15 to sign up or give up your tickets.

I'm not going to renew my 2 seasons tickets for next year. The financial investment is pretty damn big to have to keep walking out of the dome saying 'I wish they would have just pushed back a bit more/tried a bit harder/showed some emotion...'

Probably won't make a difference to the owners but maybe if they had more people leave than are in the old waiting list... Sorry for the rambling post.

I think you need to change your screen name.

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#16 everton fc
February 28 2012, 03:17PM
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Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

Your comments on Iginla are spot on. I think more and more of the fanbase are starting to realize it.

Jim Playfair's comments on the Fan helped solidify something I had been told by one of the Sutter brothers (not Brent or Darryl) in a face to face half hour conversation I had with him after bumping into him at a convenience store.

Iginla does coast and lacks motivation quite regularly. I think the term he used was "lazy".

In my view he has become quite comfortable with his surroundings in Calgary & I think he might actually fear the unknown of going to a team where he doesn't call the shots, isn't the captain & face of the franchise & could get benched or called out by - heaven forbid - Ownership! for lazy play.

I don't like to say it because it was Iggy that made me a Flames fan - but emotion should not be allowed to make franchise - altering decisions.

Regehr was the another voice in the room. And so was Conroy. Regehr's was the voice that most-likely cost Keenan his job. I've also heard Keenan himself say Phaneuf and Regehr couldn't be in the same dressing room.

Seems we have a lot of contrasting personalities in the room over the years. This, to me, is poor planning. You have to find guys that "fit" the chemistry of the room. Unless the room has no chemistry... ??

Regher also had supportive words for Playfair. I remember him saying this after Keenan got canned... And I've heard Regehr and Iginla didn't get along... Shouting matches...

Make you wonder, hey? To me, a good coach, a good GM, a good organization, does it's best to put together a group of guys who can actually get along and work together. A good coach gets buy-in. Look at Tippett. Babcock. Hitchcock, at least w/the Blues right now.. Others...

Our room seems toxic. Who are the leaders? To me, Jokinen shows more on-ice leadership than most. Ditto Jackman. And Kostopoulos. These guys come to play every evening. Every shift.

But who controls the room?

Wouldn't Conroy be able to shed some light on this for the executive?

This team has no killer instinct. Simple as that. And a captian should do anything he can to lead the team, to inspire the team...

Iginla is not like Messier. Yzerman. Sakic. They were great leaders. Ditto Lidstrom. And Niedermayer.

A captain like Wendell Clark would never let a group like this fold.

Great teams have a room full of leaders, lead by the captain. Who else is a leader in our room? Regehr's gone. Dion, if he was actually a leader, is gone... Who leads?? No one stands out, do they? Other than the three above I mentioned, and that's on the ice. Along w/Kipper.

Who leads in the room?? Who????

And if they don't buy into Sutter/Lowery/Hartsburg/et al... Than something has to give. Someone has to go. Or multiple "someones".

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#17 Bob in the Abbey
February 28 2012, 03:17PM
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Just curious if anyone that trolls this site has ever sent Ken King an e-mail? Good luck getting through to the owners, but it's not hard to send an irate letter to King. Just go to the Flames website and follow the links.

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#18 kevin r
February 28 2012, 03:23PM
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Hey VF! Sitting in Los Cabos drinking heavily and still in disbelief we did absolutely nothing yesterday. WTF!

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#19 Monaertchi
February 28 2012, 03:23PM
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@Flames - Keep Believin'

King justifies the players and coaches by saying that the "real" fans must be happy because the season ticekts are not only sold out but there is even a waiting list for them.

His logic seems to work, but I think it is false logic.

I think the season ticket holders, and wait-listers, keep their tickets so that they'll have them for the next, presumably inevitable, cup run. I think that if the team doesn't get better soon, ticekt holders will start to give up on that inevitability.

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#20 Redd3vil
February 28 2012, 03:32PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

feaster says they are good enough right now, hey we gotta believe it. afterall if it wasnt for 34 we would be worse than 30 th, so ya we are a true contender. jay says so.

i think we're contending for the last spot in line in the mens room

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#21 loudogYYC
February 28 2012, 04:14PM
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@everton fc

I agree entirely. Let's not forget that the first and only trade in history between the Flames and Coilers, was bringing in Staios for Johnson and a 3rd (!) because the locker room needed "veteran leadership".

When one of the oldest teams in the league needs a mid season infusion of veteran leadership, there's definitely something wrong.

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#22 KetchupKid
February 28 2012, 06:45PM
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I'm definitely not upset about the lack of movement at the deadline. I'm upset (in hindsight) at Feaster's comments. It's just bad parenting. I don't know if a GM should EVER be threatening his team on national television, but it goes without saying that circumstances must be pretty dire and he'd better follow through with his threats. What happens if he does it next year? Flames fans and players will roll their eyes and change the channel.

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#23 Caleb
February 28 2012, 08:25PM
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KetchupKid wrote:

I'm definitely not upset about the lack of movement at the deadline. I'm upset (in hindsight) at Feaster's comments. It's just bad parenting. I don't know if a GM should EVER be threatening his team on national television, but it goes without saying that circumstances must be pretty dire and he'd better follow through with his threats. What happens if he does it next year? Flames fans and players will roll their eyes and change the channel.

this is what I been telling people too, I understand that there likely wasn't much Feaster could do to make a move but he still have do something.

Take for example Sarich. How long has media/fans written him off for, saying to trade him or that his contract would not be renewed come the end of the year. Now if I am Sarich what do I have to play for. I have been a healthy scratch for half the year and know I'm going to be moving in the summer. Is there really anything he can do in the last 20 games to make more money? Would the Flames truly miss him in the lineup with Babchuck or even someone from abbotsford replacing him? So trade him, even if the value coming back is low, because letting him go in July means you are getting nothing for him.

Feaster says the team is good enough as it is to make it.

The are bottom 5 in goals, bottom 3 in even strength goals bottom 3 in shots per game last in faceoff % and finally last in hits at home

You would think that he would want to try and improve somewhere here? Maybe it was too expensive to get goals, but in reality the Cammalleri trade helps that out. Finding someone to win faceoffs and or throw the body around shouldnt have been that hard. Feaster should have been able to get some mid round draft picks. Not that Columbus would have made the trade but if you put Sarich and Hannan for Pahlsson it would appear the jackets are getting the better of the trade.

I honestly don't think Feaster wanted to make any moves, he probably took calls but never made any himself. As much as the players can and should be blamed for their recent performance, if the team misses the playoffs, the fault will be completely on Feaster's shoulders just because his comments.

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#24 Derzie
February 28 2012, 08:43PM
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Read this stream as a non-fan. It is a profile of the Flames. You see the same poster (Accounting Cowboy)show extreme displeasure with the Flames and then chastise someone for taking stand by not renewing season tix. Huh? The owners respond to the money. Period. It's why Toronto sucks in perpetuity. No reason to change. A real fan would stand up for their team (the hockey part of the Flames) by refusing to fill the owners pockets. We need not fret that any of the players or owners will suffer any hardship (as we take the C-Train to our day jobs). You tell the players to get off their ass and show some moxy. Well we should too. Stay away in droves. Communicate to the team and stay away from the dome or anything that pays the owners. What else can you do? The internet is full of idle complaints. Oh, and it is clear that Feaster is a lame duck. We know for sure that King and his band of billionaires are the real problem. They enable Jarome's comfort as it makes them rich. Jay is caught in the middle. All he has been given is leeway with spare parts like Jackman.

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#25 Bean-counting cowboy
February 28 2012, 09:21PM
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@Derzie

My comment @ Flames - Keep Believin' was not chastising him for not renewing his season tix. Not sure how you got that out of "you should change your screen name" ?? I completely agree with where he was coming from - hence my own previous rant.

I just found humour in the contrast between his screen name & the bleak Flames outlook he was portraying (ie. a perpetual believer may never doubt the team's ability to make the playoffs, etc.) My comment was meant to be funny. However as a bean-counter, I'll admit I've never really been goot at it - obviously.

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#26 Captain Ron
February 29 2012, 01:15AM
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Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

My comment @ Flames - Keep Believin' was not chastising him for not renewing his season tix. Not sure how you got that out of "you should change your screen name" ?? I completely agree with where he was coming from - hence my own previous rant.

I just found humour in the contrast between his screen name & the bleak Flames outlook he was portraying (ie. a perpetual believer may never doubt the team's ability to make the playoffs, etc.) My comment was meant to be funny. However as a bean-counter, I'll admit I've never really been goot at it - obviously.

I caught your humour right away and laughed like hell at your comment. Thats funny stuff.

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#27 Captain Ron
February 29 2012, 01:24AM
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everton fc wrote:

Regehr was the another voice in the room. And so was Conroy. Regehr's was the voice that most-likely cost Keenan his job. I've also heard Keenan himself say Phaneuf and Regehr couldn't be in the same dressing room.

Seems we have a lot of contrasting personalities in the room over the years. This, to me, is poor planning. You have to find guys that "fit" the chemistry of the room. Unless the room has no chemistry... ??

Regher also had supportive words for Playfair. I remember him saying this after Keenan got canned... And I've heard Regehr and Iginla didn't get along... Shouting matches...

Make you wonder, hey? To me, a good coach, a good GM, a good organization, does it's best to put together a group of guys who can actually get along and work together. A good coach gets buy-in. Look at Tippett. Babcock. Hitchcock, at least w/the Blues right now.. Others...

Our room seems toxic. Who are the leaders? To me, Jokinen shows more on-ice leadership than most. Ditto Jackman. And Kostopoulos. These guys come to play every evening. Every shift.

But who controls the room?

Wouldn't Conroy be able to shed some light on this for the executive?

This team has no killer instinct. Simple as that. And a captian should do anything he can to lead the team, to inspire the team...

Iginla is not like Messier. Yzerman. Sakic. They were great leaders. Ditto Lidstrom. And Niedermayer.

A captain like Wendell Clark would never let a group like this fold.

Great teams have a room full of leaders, lead by the captain. Who else is a leader in our room? Regehr's gone. Dion, if he was actually a leader, is gone... Who leads?? No one stands out, do they? Other than the three above I mentioned, and that's on the ice. Along w/Kipper.

Who leads in the room?? Who????

And if they don't buy into Sutter/Lowery/Hartsburg/et al... Than something has to give. Someone has to go. Or multiple "someones".

Everton fc, Your assumtions regarding Regehr and some of the goings on are pretty accurate. Especially on Keenan and Phaneuf. He didn't like Keenan and had little respect for him from what I could gather. Not so much on Jarome. I spent a day with him at a golf tournament and he was very engaging when asked a question. A really enjoyable time actually. If anything I would say that he is a better leader than Jarome to some extent but keeping Jarome on the team is a hell of a lot better for the bottom line $$$$$ speaking.

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#28 the-wolf
February 29 2012, 07:45AM
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Here's my problem with it all:

Too many fans and especially the MSM are allowing the Flames to frame the argument.

The Fan for 2 days is going on and on about, "you can't just give away players, you can't just give them away, you can't, you can't!!!!"

Fact 1: Calgary is not a legit Cup contender and more than likely not even a legit 8th seed playoff contender.

Fact 2: Their 2 franchise players are 34 years old.

Fact 3: Owners refuse a rebuild.

Fact 4: Ownership has a mandate to win now.

Ergo, one would think that given Facts 1-4, the team would do whatever is necessary to add pieces, whatever the cost to the future, in order to make a run for this season and next season, before Kipper and Iginla turn 36.

Apparently not.

It's not fair to say there are no pieces to move in order to make a run. There are still top prospects and 1st round picks. Is it ideal to move them? No, but see above.

So, the team says the following:

- will not trade Iginla, Kipper, Joker, Glenx (more than likely)

- will not move any pieces of the future.

Than they come out and say there were no deals to be made and that offers weren't high enoough.

Really???!!!!!

You mean, the unwillingness to move any top players, top picks or top prospects meant no other teams were willing to give us anything of value???!!!!!!

WOW!!!!! WHAT A FREAKIN' REVELATION!!!!!!!!!!

Intellectual honesty, indeed. The MSM in this city need to stop allowing the team to frame the argument. To get value, you have to give up value.

Instead we stand pat with out 2 'pillars' turning 35 next year. But we won't add for one last run. And we won't rebuild either.

Stupid.

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#29 the-wolf
February 29 2012, 08:03AM
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People are sheep. As soon as it becomes trendy to start ditching season tickets, it'll happen in droves.

Iginla is the epitome of someone who wants to be a Big Fish in a Little Pond.

Comparing him to guys like Sakic and Yzerman is an insult to them. Iginla cares more about his comfort factor than winning a Cup.

He's become too comfortable for too long. The team has allowed a player to become bigger than the team and the team is too damn scared to admit it.

The MSM love him because he steps up and does interviews and has a nice smile.

Soon, the Flaming 'C' at centre ice will be replaced with Iggy's face.

I give you, the Calgary IGINLAS!!!!

I've come to despise my own team.

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#30 RexLibris
February 29 2012, 10:21AM
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@the-wolf

The Flames will rebuild. And I think many fans here are correct when they say that the team won't do it in a scorched-earth style.

Unfortunately I am beginning to think that, if this team stays on it's current trajectory, they won't rebuild by selling off assets because they, in the end, won't have any assets to sell.

Iginla doesn't appear as though he is likely to be moved. That may change this summer or definitively at next season's deadline (knock on wood there is a next season). Kiprusoff might be the only valuable and age-appropriate asset the Flames could trade away if they move in that direction. Cammalleri and Tanguay may be trade pieces, but my guess is that they would be kept, along with Olli Jokinen, to create at least one forward line that could play a decent level of competition. Bouwmeester is a difficult piece to trade because of his contract size and NTC. Giordano is likely a piece you would want to hang on to. That leaves you with very few assets to move.

The rebuild will likely happen because the Flames appear, outside of some free agent signings and some rebound seasons from their forwards (as well as improved roster health), to be in a decline. And they do not have such lofty heights from which to fall that it would take long to hit bottom.

Arguably the biggest fear a Flames fan ought to have in the immediate future is a fear of continued mediocrity. Both fortunately and unfortunately, that does not appear to be a distinct possibility.

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#31 PrairieStew
February 29 2012, 10:44AM
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The lesson here - it is really hard to win in the NHL. 30 teams with a salary cap, free agency that more often a big gamble rather than a solution ( see: Bryzgalov, Ilya) , to say nothing about the crapshoot that is the 18 year old draft. Sometimes it is just bad luck. Take 2004 pick Kris Chucko and compare him to his junior linemate Travis Zajac. Chucko's concussion problems ended his career before it got going. Imagine if Chucko had turned out as good as Zajac? How about 2000 first rounder Brent Krahn, who also was plagued with injuries - if he had developed into a solid NHL goalie, Kipper would have some respite. What if Calgary had drafted Matt Niskanen rather than Matt Pelech in 2005 ? Its not incompetence, there is some luck involved.

2 summers ago, after the post Olympic meltdown I advocated a complete blowup, Kipper, Regehr, Langkow and possibly Iginla if you could get proven assets. My rationale at that time was that the prospect cupboard was bare and the best players were over 30. Nothing really happened and the Flames started poorly but ended playing well, but not well enough to make the playoffs. A year later and those assets had declined a bit leading to the trades last summer.

I thought Feaster did a fine job of managing his dollars, getting the team younger, without decimating this seasons chances. Horak and Granlund for Erixon who wasn't going to sign, Smith in, Hagman out for Comeau. The 2 young guys for Regehr, Stempniak for Langkow based on dollars alone was a good move, but hindsight says you might have got more for both if you had moved them earlier (caveat Langkow's neck injury)

Yes, his rant on Sportsnet looks a little silly, only because most execs generally give vanilla interviews. I like the fact that he was PO'ed. I am sure he got lots of lowball offers as a result of his tirade. Good on him for not accepting them.

No this team will not win the Cup, I think we knew that 3 years ago. They still could make the playoffs though. Last season they were in a playoff position when Moss and Morrisson went down with injuries. I know their numbers aren't big, but Moss, Stempniak and Backlund would make a huge difference for this team right now.

If they were further out and healthy, a full sale mode could have been on and prospects might have been garnered for Sarich, Hannan, Moss, Stempniak,Kostopolous and Jackman. But to even move one or two guys and then miss the playoffs by a slim margin - I don't think that would have sat well with anyone.

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#32 the-wolf
February 29 2012, 11:14AM
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@PrairieStew - while there is an element of luck involved in the draft, there's a reason some teams consistently perform better than others.

Proper scouting would've determined that Zajac was making Chucko tick and not the other way around, to use your example.

A proper development system is also a major factor and equally as important as the actual draft. Most players won't just make it on their own 'cause they're good enough. They need resources, mentoring, systems, coaching, patience - lots goes into it. Flames are just coming around to that reality now.

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#33 Caleb
March 01 2012, 12:21AM
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@the-wolf

With Chucko, he was ranked top 20 by Central Scouting, Sutter never went off the board with him.

This could be said about most draft picks, how well they progress has nothing to do with hockey skill.

I think the Flames have done a lot more with the prospects once in the organization. The prospects tournament should give the team a better idea of where the players can improve. Also if you look back, there was never a chance for a prospect to even make the team in a training camp, the roster was already set with veterans. It really shouldn't surprise anyone that the future is looking better after a couple years of this already.

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#34 the-wolf
March 01 2012, 06:13AM
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Caleb wrote:

With Chucko, he was ranked top 20 by Central Scouting, Sutter never went off the board with him.

This could be said about most draft picks, how well they progress has nothing to do with hockey skill.

I think the Flames have done a lot more with the prospects once in the organization. The prospects tournament should give the team a better idea of where the players can improve. Also if you look back, there was never a chance for a prospect to even make the team in a training camp, the roster was already set with veterans. It really shouldn't surprise anyone that the future is looking better after a couple years of this already.

I agree with most of this as it echoes what I stated, except for this part: "how well they progress has nothing to do with hockey skill."

Beg to differ. In Chucko's case he was far too slow for the NHL. His hockey IQ was also not top notch. In these 2 regards, he was below Zajac in terms of potential. But he was big and could shoot and Sutter liked that.

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#35 Caleb
March 01 2012, 04:36PM
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the-wolf wrote:

I agree with most of this as it echoes what I stated, except for this part: "how well they progress has nothing to do with hockey skill."

Beg to differ. In Chucko's case he was far too slow for the NHL. His hockey IQ was also not top notch. In these 2 regards, he was below Zajac in terms of potential. But he was big and could shoot and Sutter liked that.

What I meant is that you can't teach speed, you can't teach size, some players have harder shots than others... etc.

If the players could teach those skills, then Chara wouldn't be winning the hardest shot every year. Each player can improve in certain areas but they have a personal cap on it. As hard as someone like Stajan works on his shot, is it even going to be close to the hardest in the league? No!

Just because someone gets drafted in the first round doesnt mean they are ready for the nhl. How many players need to bulk up, put on size, to play effectively. Having a hard shot isn't going to help them in the gym.

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