Flames Release Brent Sutter

Kent Wilson
April 12 2012 03:10PM

 

 

The Calgary Flames announced today that they have decided to go in another direction behind the bench. Assistant coach and former Flame Dave Lowry has also been let go.

From the official release:

“Brent Sutter and I met and discussed a number of issues regarding the hockey team and the future,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “Brent and I explored many options and ultimately determined that it is best to proceed in different directions. Brent is a great person and an excellent hockey coach. On behalf of the Calgary Flames, we sincerely appreciate his hard work, dedication and commitment to our organization, and we wish him every success. We also appreciate the important contributions of Dave Lowry.”

That leaves Craig Hartsburg in place. It's unknown whether he'll step up to be the head honcho or if the club will look for someone else. A lot of attention has being focused on Abbotsford Heat coach Troy Ward recently (he was lavishly praised by Feaster in the press conference the other day), so it's possible he is in line for a promotion.

Over his three seasons here, Brent Sutter never converted me to a full fan of this methods. To some degree I think he was hampered by the tools he was given, but then he also never really diversified his methods or improved the club beyond it's station in any meaningful fashion. In the end, he struck me as an altogether conventional, middle-of-the-road NHL coach.

I guess that means the next guy could certainly be better. He might be worse too.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Gange
April 12 2012, 03:12PM
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In other news the Oilers announce their new coach BRENT SUTTER!

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#2 madcameljockey
April 12 2012, 03:15PM
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I was really frustrated how he forced square pegs into round holes instead of trying to work with the tools he had just a little bit. Case in point - not even knowing Hagman played PK.

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#3 T&A4Flames
April 12 2012, 03:19PM
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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not promote Hartsburg!!

On a positive note, at least they didn't wait all summer to decide.

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#4 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 03:23PM
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@Gange

Gee, that would actually be good for the Oilers.

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#5 Graham
April 12 2012, 03:23PM
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Bad news for a rebuild. Brent said he wanted to coach a team that was:

A) Rebuilding B) Contending

And nothing in-between. He must have heard something he didn't like in his conversations with Feaster.

I bet this is our first clue that Iggy isn't going anywhere, but that's just speculation on my part.

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#6 First Name Unidentified
April 12 2012, 03:25PM
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It doesn't matter who coached this team, as long as Iginla is here we are doomed to mediocrity.

They can hire ANYONE to coach, there will not be any change in this team's attitude as long as the coach killer is here.

I think Brent did a banged up job with the type of players he was given. I would be surprised to hear if anybody here thought the Flames were actually a competent group and would've competed for Lord Stanley's under a different coach.

"You are getting rid of the wrong guy"

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#7 Gange
April 12 2012, 03:27PM
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My one real qualm with Sutter's coaching is his apparent lack of any type of line matching. Trying to separate Iginla from the big time defenders is very much warranted at this point.

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#8 RexLibris
April 12 2012, 03:27PM
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@Graham

That was actually my first thought as well.

I said earlier this week that it seemed like it was shaping into a "him or me" contest between Brent Sutter and Iginla, and perhaps we have at least part of that answer.

Now, on the other hand, while Sutter said he would like to be coaching a team in a rebuild and also a contender (not sure how many of those exist, Brent), perhaps Feaster is leaning towards rebuilding the team and feels that Sutter isn't the man to start that process.

I guess if the Flames hold a press conference in Kelowna this July to announce a contract extension of an unnamed player it'll probably be a pretty good tell of the organization's intended direction.

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#9 Stunner
April 12 2012, 03:28PM
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I agree with Kent, I was never a fan of Brent's methods. He always seemed so stubborn to change his ways and adapt to the team he was given.

I feel he's a great junior coach but an average NHL coach. It's easier to strike fear in 17-19 year olds.

I also agree with T&A4Flames....

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not promote Hartsburg!!

Let the Feaster era begin.

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#10 icedawg_42
April 12 2012, 03:28PM
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Graham wrote:

Bad news for a rebuild. Brent said he wanted to coach a team that was:

A) Rebuilding B) Contending

And nothing in-between. He must have heard something he didn't like in his conversations with Feaster.

I bet this is our first clue that Iggy isn't going anywhere, but that's just speculation on my part.

Yup - im extemely worried about this for the exact reason you've noted. In any case, I don't believe that Sutter was fired. I think it was his decision to leave. We shall see. I STILL say this is going to get worse before it gets better.

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#11 backburner
April 12 2012, 03:28PM
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I could see this coming after Wilson got canned...

I think everyone got tired of the excuse of "Buying into the System"..

I have no problems with Troy Ward, he seems like a good Mentor Coach vs a "all about the system" coach...

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#12 Gange
April 12 2012, 03:30PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

Gee, that would actually be good for the Oilers.

Oh, of that I am sure.

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#13 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 03:31PM
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Gange wrote:

My one real qualm with Sutter's coaching is his apparent lack of any type of line matching. Trying to separate Iginla from the big time defenders is very much warranted at this point.

Sutter did try to line match his first year here. But he's extremely poor at line management, so I think he just gave up at it.

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#14 Gange
April 12 2012, 03:32PM
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backburner wrote:

I could see this coming after Wilson got canned...

I think everyone got tired of the excuse of "Buying into the System"..

I have no problems with Troy Ward, he seems like a good Mentor Coach vs a "all about the system" coach...

I'm not sure about Troy Ward. I don't know enough about him but it seems that Feaster likes him in Abby for now.

Hartsburg might be the guy but I really think they bring up Ward as an associate and bring in someone. Hopefully not Ron Wilson. ;)

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#15 backburner
April 12 2012, 03:33PM
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@RexLibris

I'm pretty sure it means that Feaster, or at least the owners, want Iggy to stick around... so don't let the door hit you on the way out Butter!

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#16 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 03:34PM
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It certainly seems that Iginla "wins" again, driving yet another coach out of dodge.

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#17 skirby09
April 12 2012, 03:34PM
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Best of luck to Sutter. I liked him. I don't think the problems of the team were his. At the same time, moving forward I get the sense that he had lost the room. So this might be best.

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#18 shutout
April 12 2012, 03:36PM
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This means that Iginla will not be traded. There will be not meaningful changes to the culture of the dressing room and the lack of drive and consistency that has plagued this organization will continue for the foreseeable future.

I think that Brent Sutter is a good coach and a smart hockey person. The problem is that as a Sutter he is stubborn and he dug his heels in when it came to his philosophy of how to play hockey. He did not waiver in his beliefs and was often frusterated that the team would not play the way they needed to with consistency. The style of play needed to win was predicated by the players and skill that was at his disposal.

The really sad part of this is that it means that we are looking at another year of mediocrity. Another year where making the playoffs is the only goal of the organization. Another year where players dont have to be uncomfortable about not playing their best.

Another wasted crap year coming up. Feaster will make the fringes younger and will try to sign some big free agents. He might look at trading somebody but in the end it will be prety much the same team. With the same goals. The same leader. And the same results.

The Calgary Flames suck. Murray Edwards sucks as an owner. Ken King sucks as a president. Jay Feaster sucks as a general manager. Stupid organization. Time for apathy to set in.

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#19 Stunner
April 12 2012, 03:36PM
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I also wish the people that keep thinking Iggy is the reason we are so terrible would shut-up.

The guy has given everything to this team with Craig Conroy & Dean McAmmond being his best linemates. Yes that's right Conroy & McAmmond. Not exactly first-line talent.

I will admit his skill has diminished but a coach should realize that and shelter him better. I think he would gladly be like Selanne and play a second-line role if we actually had some talent that could play first-line but we don't.

Also Feaster has probably realized there isn't too much coming back in a trade for a 35-year old RW making 7 million a year. The big trade bait will be Kipper.

Trade for Derek Roy in Buffalo to center Iggy. I hear he and Ruff aren't seeing eye-to-eye.

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#20 suba steve
April 12 2012, 03:36PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

It certainly seems that Iginla "wins" again, driving yet another coach out of dodge.

Guess Iggy IS a "winner" after all. Lord help us.

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#21 backburner
April 12 2012, 03:38PM
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@skirby09

You nailed it.

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#22 backburner
April 12 2012, 03:40PM
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@Stunner

How about Statsny out of Colorado...

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#23 Bill
April 12 2012, 03:42PM
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@Stunner

right, because Tanguay, Cammaleri, Jokinen, and Langkow are all worse than Dean McAmmond. I think its time people stop blaming a "lack of linemates" for iggy's struggles and start looking at the man himself. If this Sutter firing means Iggy is coming back, I'm gonna be pissed.

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#24 The Red Pile
April 12 2012, 03:42PM
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Get use to: "Not Winnin for MacKinnon" Surely someone can put a catchy Saddledome chant to that. Who said Peter Griffin, sorry Feaster doesn't have a plan.

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#25 backburner
April 12 2012, 03:42PM
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@shutout

Chin up lad... we survived the "young guns" era..

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#26 backburner
April 12 2012, 03:44PM
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@Bill

Iggy Struggles?

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#27 shutout
April 12 2012, 03:53PM
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@ Stunner

The whole team is the reason for failure. But Iginla is not sheltered from blame soley because he was the best player on the Flames a dozen years ago. The fact of the matter is that if you are getting paid $7M a year, are wearing the "C", and show that you can still dominate games then you had better be consistent in making a contribution. I would say that almost half the games in the year you do not notice Iginla. That is not acceptable. He needs to be leading the team if he is that great captain everybody talks about, but he does not do that.

The reason that the smart hockey people think that Iginla needs to be traded is that he is a diminishing asset that wont be worth anything if we dont deal him now. The Flames organization is so shallow in talent that we cannot afford to let assets die on the vine without getting a return for them. If we dont change the culture of the dressing room and organization than we are going to be facing the same mediocrity next year.

Iginla has been the playoffs five times in fifteen years. Has won three playoff series in fifteen years. Obviously having Iginla is not the basis for success, because his presence has not brought success to this organization. And please stop with the pleading that Iginla was in Calgary doing some sort of charity work and is equivalent to Mother Theresa. Iginla was paid extremely well for his production, and the fans, city, and organization owe him nothing else.

Change is inevitable. How you cope with change is what seperates that those thrive and survive and those that whither and die. The Flames under Edwards-King-Feaster are going down the path of death and destruction by believing that they can continue to build around a 35 year old former superstar.

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#28 shutout
April 12 2012, 03:59PM
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@ backburner

The young guns era was seven years of missing the playoffs. The retreads era has already missed three years. In this day and age of parity, I have no problem seeing us miss the playoffs for another four years. At least in the young guns era there was some reason for hope and excitement. There was change and young kids and looking for solutions. Now its just shoveling the same crap out with different window dressing year after year. After watching the gong show that this organization has turned into I am already missing the young guns era. As a matter of fact I might go down to the Salvation Army and look for one of those old godfather inspired horsehead jersies. Nothing helps to celebrate the the death of an organization like black.

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#29 non descript
April 12 2012, 04:15PM
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whatever needs to be done to stay the course baby. let er ride. eighth place here we come.

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#30 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 04:15PM
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So, um... if the Rangers get knocked out in the first round, is Torts our new coach?

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#31 FireOnIce
April 12 2012, 04:15PM
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@Gange

Man, if the Flames hire Ron Wilson to be a coach, I'm burning my jersey and sending the ashes in a box to Jay Feaster.

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#32 Graham
April 12 2012, 04:23PM
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I thought that Sutter was a dedicated, extremely hard working coach, but his much vaunted system never seemed a fit for the Flames. He stubbornly (like most Sutters) failed to adjust, missed the playoffs three years in a row, and made it easy for Feaster not to renew his contract.

I wish Sutter and Lowry all the best....

No Hartsburg coronation, lets spend the time and effort to explore the market and find the best candidate. If that's Hartsburg (not my first choice), so be it...

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#33 Colin
April 12 2012, 04:28PM
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Anyone who doesn't see this move as more of the same is fooling themselves. Sutter himself was adamant that he could coach during a rebuild, he even mentioned that word several times during his presser. My guess is King/Edwards didn't like that, neither did Iggy and now he won't be coming back. Iggy is King in Calgary, and now that he got Sutter fired, Iggy will pretty much steamroll over anyone else.

Expect Jokinen back at a stupid contract ANY DAY NOW!

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#34 jeremywilhelm
April 12 2012, 04:31PM
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Not enough ridiculous conclusions are being jumped to on here right now.

WE NEED MOAR CONCLUSSSOINZZZZZ!

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#35 Colin
April 12 2012, 04:32PM
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I am in no way advocating that Sutter was the coach we needed in my post however. He was still a bad coach that couldn't line match, couldn't zone start effectively, and some of his line combinations were odd at the best of times, same thing where he used guys in the lineup.

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#36 Kevin R
April 12 2012, 04:34PM
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Wow these seem to be depressing times in Cowtown. Tuesday I stubbed my toe kicking a post after I heard the Oilers won the lottery. Christ, why cant the Flames ever move up in the draft by even just a little. Oil have a great future & Flames are going the other way & we are going to pass each other so fast we are going to have another 15 years on meaningless BOA.

I'm trying not to get too depressed again reading too much into this & these are thoughts that cross my mind:

1/Brent Sutter just didnt work, time to move on, rebuild or contend, it didnt really matter. Time to turn the page on this one.

2/If we go out & hire a new coach like a Dave Tippett if the stars align & we were to get that lucky, any new coach will get at least a 3 year deal. Anyone really think Troy Ward is going to hang around that long for a coaching position to open up in Calgary. Dont think so & he "will" get poached by another team, maybe even the Oilers. This man has done magic in Abbotsford, players swear by him down there. Feaster loves him, we all want young, up & coming & new blood as opposed to the old Sutterish/Keananish garble we have had for how long now. If we are rebuilding/youth movement we will need this guy here. I have no problem seeing Ward as head coach here.

3/Does this mean Iggy stays. I dont think so. He may be here come fall & not moved until the trade deadline. Speculate all you want about what his return is but if the offers suck as some say, his best value may be as a rental, meaning he will be here for 40-50 games next year. Brent may have told Feaster he has to go this summer. Right there I see irreconcilable differences. Now, would it not be cool if Philly spanks Pitt & upset them in the 1st round. Suddenly, Sid goes to management in Pitt & says, man would it be nice to have Iggy on my line & with Neal on Malkins, what a 1-2 punch that would be. Solution, J Staal to Calgary who suddenly becomes our #1 centre & watch his offensive game flourish once he's out of Malkin & Crosby's shadow. Like I say, I'm trying to wishfully think myself out of my depression I have had the last few days.

Big changes are coming & no way Feaster trys to make out Butter was the reason. They know this whole thing is a start over, this was just the first & most obvious, easiest place to start.

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#37 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 04:41PM
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J. Blows for Pajarvi.

Yay or nay?

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#38 The Red Pile
April 12 2012, 04:46PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Wow these seem to be depressing times in Cowtown. Tuesday I stubbed my toe kicking a post after I heard the Oilers won the lottery. Christ, why cant the Flames ever move up in the draft by even just a little. Oil have a great future & Flames are going the other way & we are going to pass each other so fast we are going to have another 15 years on meaningless BOA.

I'm trying not to get too depressed again reading too much into this & these are thoughts that cross my mind:

1/Brent Sutter just didnt work, time to move on, rebuild or contend, it didnt really matter. Time to turn the page on this one.

2/If we go out & hire a new coach like a Dave Tippett if the stars align & we were to get that lucky, any new coach will get at least a 3 year deal. Anyone really think Troy Ward is going to hang around that long for a coaching position to open up in Calgary. Dont think so & he "will" get poached by another team, maybe even the Oilers. This man has done magic in Abbotsford, players swear by him down there. Feaster loves him, we all want young, up & coming & new blood as opposed to the old Sutterish/Keananish garble we have had for how long now. If we are rebuilding/youth movement we will need this guy here. I have no problem seeing Ward as head coach here.

3/Does this mean Iggy stays. I dont think so. He may be here come fall & not moved until the trade deadline. Speculate all you want about what his return is but if the offers suck as some say, his best value may be as a rental, meaning he will be here for 40-50 games next year. Brent may have told Feaster he has to go this summer. Right there I see irreconcilable differences. Now, would it not be cool if Philly spanks Pitt & upset them in the 1st round. Suddenly, Sid goes to management in Pitt & says, man would it be nice to have Iggy on my line & with Neal on Malkins, what a 1-2 punch that would be. Solution, J Staal to Calgary who suddenly becomes our #1 centre & watch his offensive game flourish once he's out of Malkin & Crosby's shadow. Like I say, I'm trying to wishfully think myself out of my depression I have had the last few days.

Big changes are coming & no way Feaster trys to make out Butter was the reason. They know this whole thing is a start over, this was just the first & most obvious, easiest place to start.

Tippet & Staal? Hmmm, I pictured you as a Kool-Aid drinker not a glue sniffer.

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#39 jeremywilhelm
April 12 2012, 04:46PM
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@kittensandcookies

Don't take this personally, but you are stupid.

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#40 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 04:49PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Don't take this personally, but you are stupid.

Aww shucks. Yeah, I guess that would fleece the Oilers, eh?

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#41 jeremywilhelm
April 12 2012, 04:51PM
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Le sigh......

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#42 Kevin R
April 12 2012, 04:52PM
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The Red Pile wrote:

Tippet & Staal? Hmmm, I pictured you as a Kool-Aid drinker not a glue sniffer.

Hey dude! Cut me some slack, its a been a tough week & now I look out the window to see I will probably have to get the friggin snow shovel out.

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#43 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 04:53PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Le sigh......

Please do tell me how awesome J Blows is.

At this point they might as well bury him in the minors.

Do you watch Flames games, or just listen to the cliched spew the FAN960 says afterwards?

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#44 negrilcowboy
April 12 2012, 05:31PM
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ahhhh the winds of change. the coach is canned, thats how many now? time to get rid of captain caption.gee schucks we need a bounce back season. one freakish playoff run in 15 years and iggy gets the keys to the city.looks like butta fell victim to the calgary icon. mind you, butta's lack of game management skills may have helped. wait til hartsie takes the reins and tries to bag skate these clowns like he did in ottawa.feaster will be searching for a replacement come december.

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#45 Parallex
April 12 2012, 05:34PM
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So this is what multiple joygasims feel like!

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#46 kittensandcookies
April 12 2012, 05:36PM
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@negrilcowboy

I thought the Flames scraped the bottom of the barrel with Keenan but we're going to have Don Cherry as coach at this rate.

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#47 RonR
April 12 2012, 05:39PM
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To me, Troy Ward is the man. He has the Heat currently on an 8-1-2 run, including 5 straight wins. He has done a great job moulding players going nowhere, and straightening them out.

I do suspect though, he will be busy for a bit, because I see them going deep in the AHL Playoffs.

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#48 Mitch2
April 12 2012, 05:51PM
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Bill Barber will probably be named coach.

Feaster never hired B Sutter. D Sutter did.

Feaster had a close relationship with Barber in TB. Barber won the Jack Adams in 2001 and he is currently in scouting in Philly.

I think he would take the job… and it will be a mark of Feaster putting his name on the team…

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#49 Austin
April 12 2012, 05:53PM
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An extremely bad move on the Flames part! Brent knows what he's doing!!!!! If this is the only major change this off season I will be ticked off. I could care less about the coach. Brent Sutter is a great fault and it's not fault that the problems are coming from the room.

I don't want to see both of Kipper and Iggy go. But I definately want to see one of them moved. Seriously, no Edmonton-style rebuild is required, but at least partially rebuild.

Three seasons without the playoffs is unacceptable in a hockey town like Calgary. I also like Feaster but sometimes I think he can be a bit too hesitant. I'm sure that was for good reason at the deadline.

FLAMES DRAFT 2012!!!

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#50 negrilcowboy
April 12 2012, 05:57PM
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kittensandcookies wrote:

I thought the Flames scraped the bottom of the barrel with Keenan but we're going to have Don Cherry as coach at this rate.

grapes wouldn't put up with iggie's selfish play for long. and he would at least entertain you with his antics. associate coach craig hartsburgh will be the new head coach,the remainder of the staff were merely assistant coaches, go figure. hartsie stunk in anaheim, the soo, and ottawa then in everett. has the emotions of a mortician.

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