While various voices of the Nation have weighed on Sutter’s deadline deals recently, here’s a sampling of other reactions from around the blogosphere.
First, Arik of 4th line blog is unimpressed:
It boggles my mind how awful this year has been for the Flames. Did Ken King kill a puppy and this is karma? Did Jarome Iginla build a house over a Native Canadian (that’s what they’re called right? If not, don’t correct me) burial ground? Does someone on the Flames enjoy George Michael?
You know a guy is mad when he invokes puppycide and George Michael in a single paragraph.
The frank dudes at Domebeers also had some harsh words for Darryl Sutter:
But looking at the numbers, and the paralysis that this franchise could be stuck with, it makes you think that some of the haters are right; It makes you think that GM Sutter really never passed grade 2, and hence, really does not grasp this whole ‘addition’ thing.
Duncan of the long-standing HIt the Post had his doubts about the Flames mangement re-affirmed by Sutter’s deadline activities:
I don’t care how many get-rid-of-Vandermeer secret deals Darryl Sutter has in the hopper, today was a joke. And I wish it was the final indication that I was right about the guy but, obviously, things were clear well before the Lombo+1st for Jokinen deal (which is about when WI got over him).
Moving outside the Flames-centric circle of fanship, Scott Reynolds of the Copper ‘ Blue was…"unimpressed" by Calgary’s trio of swaps:
Three of these four deals are very bad and the one that isn’t is the least consequential.
Giving up Boyd for a fourth round pick seems awful since he’s an RFA and you should be able to get at least a third round pick so long as you’re willing to qualify him at $715,000. I guess the Flames didn’t want to.
That’s right folks. the Flames could have held on to Boyd for the remainder of the year, not qualified him in the summer, and they would have recieved a superior return in the form of compesation than what they got for him out of the Preds.
Jonathan Willis, another Edmonton OIler fan and writer for the Score.com adds to the pile of disapproval. Like me, he reserves the majority of his contempt for the Staios trade:
Sutter saved his worst move for last, however. His divisional rivals in Edmonton have spent a ton of money on some questionable veterans, and one of them was Steve Staios. I like Staios as much as I like any current NHL player; he works hard, he gives his all, and he doesn’t cut any corners. Unfortunately, he’s (at best) a third pairing defenceman at this stage of his career, and his cap hit is $2.7 million both this year and next season as well. Sutter valued him highly enough to surrender a dirt cheap pending free agent in Aaron Johnson along with a third round pick, helping Steve Tambellini salvage what had to that point been a highly disappointing day.
Finally, perhaps the best overall assessment I’ve come across yet was this one by my former blogmate Robert Cleave of Matchsticks and Gasoline. It’s balanced and fair, but also rightly critical. His take on the Boyd swap in particular is right on the money:
I use the phrase asset management a lot, and when situations like the Boyd deal arise, I begin to question whether Sutter, and other GMs of his ilk, actually understand how hard it is to acquire a NHL player from a middle round draft pick. For a player picked in the 4th round, the historical percentage of that pick turning into a big-leaguer is around 9%. Whatever people might think of Dustin Boyd, the Flames traded a player who had beaten the odds in his own way.
So, you have a salary-controlled player at the bottom of the roster who wasn’t that bad at actually playing hockey. He was cheap, would likely continue to be so, and you would own his rights for the next several years. What do you do? I could think of many useful things, even if the team wanted to move him along, but selling him for a low-chance lottery ticket wouldn’t be any of them.
Overall, I think we can safely say the reaction has been mixed. And by "mixed", I of course mean almost completely and uniformly negative. Darryl Sutter, for perhaps the very first time in his tenure here, is fighting an uphill PR battle and it’s one that will be won or lost in the next few weeks.