Darryl Sutter: The Ugly

Darryl Sutter bites his nails

So I go to Las Vegas for a few days, and we find out that nothing is going to change near the top when it comes to the Calgary Flames. So, now that we have some sort of idea as to who’s going to be driving the bus for the upcoming season, it’s a good time to roll out the final of the Darryl Sutter: Good, Bad and Ugly pieces.

We’ve gone through the good moves, and it seemed as if most comments agreed with those choices. The bad moves were reserved for moves that looked okay at the time, but ended up being poor calls from the GM. In the ugly category, things are pretty self explanatory…moves that were awful at the time, and still don’t look any better now. I’ve come up with three. There may be more, who knows. So here we are, the ugliest of them all.

Don’t Call me Alice

Some may say this is far too premature to put in this category, as Ales Kotalik’s time with the Calgary Flames has yet to eclipse 30 games. So, I’ll put this out there knowing that there’s a possibility it could come back to burn me. Who knows, maybe we do see some sort of miraculous turn of events that sees him become an important player on the Flames next season.

But as it looks right now, this one still seems like total nonsense. The player and the fit aside, I don’t know how fans can wrap their head around this one from a Darryl Sutter history standpoint. An underachieving Eastern European forward with work ethic and committment issues? The only one I can think of that seems similar is Kristian Huselius, and to be honest, there were some differences there. Huselius was 27 years old coming off a strong season playing in Finland during the NHL lockout. Kotalik is 31 years old and is now five seasons removed from his career-best numbers.

Then, in his time with the New York Rangers, he was a healthy scratch numerous times before the stretch, and had 14 points in 45 games. The results weren’t much better in 26 games with the Flames, he had just five points. And let’s not forget the fact that it took 24 hours for him to agree to come west. The frustrating thing is, Kotalik has the tools…he has hands, he has size, and he has a shot. But the book on Kotalik is that he’s a fragile player who does not play well at all when there is no confidence.

I just don’t see a fit. At all. So maybe I am going too far by putting this one as "ugly", but I really think it’s going to end up that way.

No Backup Plan

This one annoys me more everytime I think about it. Post lockout, the Calgary Flames have not had a reliable goaltender behind Miikka Kiprusoff. To me, that’s fact. Sure, it could be loosely debated,. but combining Phillipe Sauve, Brian Boucher, Jamie McLennan, Curtis McElhinney, Curtis Joseph and most recently Vesa Toskala, the numbers have been…well, ugly. The combined records of those goalies? 16-22-2. Only two of them have put together records above .500: Vesa Toskala (2-0) and Curtis Joseph (3-2). And to me, those were the only two goalies that you MIGHT be confident in seeing as a fan when you know #34 needs a rest.

However, those two guys played less than a full season combined with the Flames, both coming over mid-season. Joseph was signed after not playing NHL prior to inking a contract in Calgary; Toskala came over from Anaheim at this season’s trade deadline. Take those two away, and you’re looking at a record of 11-20-2.

I understand signing a goalie to a big contract is going to limit what you can do behind the number one guy…and with Miikka Kiprsuoff counting almost $6 mil against the cap per season, it’s going to change what you do. But it’s not as if other teams don’t do the same thing. Vancouver? Well, Luongo makes his money, but Andrew Raycroft showed this season he can handle a backup load, going 9-5-1 and having some Canuck fans wondering if he should be starting some big games down the stretch. Raycrof counted $500 thousand against the cap. The season before, three Canucks backup goalies went 12-14-3 when Luongo was injured.

The year before that, Scott Clemmensen and Kevin Weekes went a combined 32-18-4 in relief of Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. Now, I understand different factors…team, opportunity, etc. Was Curtis McElhinney given the best chance to succeed in Calgary? No probably not. But what you need from your backup goalie is the ability to play regardless of the opportunity they’re given. And Calgary hasn’t started a regular season with that player since the lockout.

Iron Mike

I know there are some who have disagreed with this in the past, and will do so here. But I really do believe the worst move Darryl Sutter has made as General Manager of this team was the hiring of Mike Keenan as Head Coach. The reasoning behind it was sound enough, I guess…a track record of taking good, veteran teams and turning them into Stanley Cup contenders come March and beyond. But the thing with track records is, that track record has to have some recent evidence along with it.

That’s why I didn’t like the move at the time…Keenan was hired in the summer of 2007. When was the last time a team under him made the posteason? 1996. Two dismal seasons in Vancouver; a forgettable year in Boston followed by parts of three seasons with the Panthers. But with a good team assembled, I think we all were willing to see it play out.

And hey, the results in terms of numbers weren’t bad…42 and 46 win seasons. But I really felt there were times in those two seasons where Calgary was not as good as they could have been. I always got the feeling he wasn’t really in control of the team the way a Head Coach should be. Practices were static and sometimes disorganized, and from afar, it seemed few adjustments were made as a season went along. This was especially evident in year two, but was there in the first year as well.

We can talk all we want about "structure" and "system", but I don’t even know if they need to be thrown in here. The one thing I felt was lacking from Keenan’s tenure was accountability, good and bad. His stubborn nature of favoring veteran players over all else sometimes hindered the team. Todd Bertuzzi was not always deserving of top six minutes, yet consistently that was what he saw. His management of Miikka Kiprusoff in net left a lot to be desired in my eyes, even with the previous Ugly Example had something to do with it.

Notice I have not once compared Brent Sutter with Mike Keenan, because I don’t think we have any evidence that says "clearly Sutter is better for this team than Keenan." Many believe that, but Sutter had less results in his first season than Keenan did. But Mike letting players like Bertuzzi, Iginla, Huselius, Cammalleri, Phaneuf or whoever it was roam free came back to bite the Flames down the stretch and in the postseason. And what was Keenan brought in to do? Get this team to an elite playoff level. That never happened, and I felt Calgary wasted two years with their key players in thier primes.

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  • Oyo

    a couple of things:

    while i was never a fan of mike keenan, and i certainly abhorred his recurring decision to give players like bertuzzi undeserved icetime, i disagree with your inference that it was this type of coaching style that “came back to bite the Flames down the stretch and in the postseason.”

    i think the decision by darryl sutter to waste all of the team’s capspace on jokinen on deadline day, forcing the remaining players to pony up ridiculous minutes at season’s end, was what blew the division title and left the flames exhausted for playoffs. the blatant cap mismanagement of 08/09 is BY FAR the ugliest of the darryl sutter sins, in my opinion, coupled with the absence of any admission of fault whatsoever by herr sutter.

    my best guess is that the flames should probably have forfeited those games at the end of the 08/09 season under nhl rule 5.1: Eligible Players – “A team shall be composed of 20 players (18 skaters and two goalkeepers) who shall be under contract to the Club they represent.” at minimum, i believe the team should have been fined. i’m not sure why no action was taken (most likely because the flames lost all but one of those short-rostered matches and cause bettman didn’t want to shine light on the subject) but that was an ENORMOUS gaffe.

    sutter’s other damning moves (unmentioned in your bad/ugly series) were:

    1. snubbing gio’s request for a one-way deal, followed days later by giving anders eriksson a two-year contract.

    2. vandermeer’s 2.3 mil for 3 years.

    3. primeau’s 1.4 mil for 3 years.

    4. trading a vyable, young 7th defenseman AND a draft pick for 2.7 million dollars worth of facepalm.

    5. last, but not least, dealing dion phaneuf without properly shopping him around the league. this one is speculation, but by the sounds of it daz got a single bid outta brian burke and jumped on it. also ? the keith aulie toss-in might look hella foolish in another year or two….

    • All solid and true examples. I had about 5 or 6 different examples, but chose the three that I thought might get the most discussion…as in “Steinberg, you’re an idiot, it should be this” or “how can you put that here when this should be here?” type thing.

      I’m with you on Vandermeer. I know a lot of people thought “what a great move” getting Phoenix to take Vandermeer, but remember, Sutter signed him to that contract and needed to pull a rabbit out of his hat to get rid of it.

      Primeau was signed to a terrible contract…so Sutter got rid of him. But it was one of the worst moves made this season! Primeau and a second rounder for Strahlman, Stuart and a 7th rounder. Really? You had to throw in that second? Presumably for Strahlman right? So you traded him for a 3rd? Mind boggling.

      The Gio one is interesting, because it hasn’t come back to bite him in the ass. Yet. But I’ll say this much WI, because I know we are both Gio lovers (man crush)…it’s no slam dunk that he signs with the team this season. THAT could be ugly.

      • Oyo

        The Gio one is interesting, because it hasn’t come back to bite him in the ass. Yet. But I’ll say this much WI, because I know we are both Gio lovers (man crush)…it’s no slam dunk that he signs with the team this season. THAT could be ugly.

        if i’ve said it once, i’ve said it a thousand times: gio (not unlike dustin boyd) has been given the shaft over and over and over by the sutter administration, and i wouldn’t be surprised for one millisecond if he skipped town at the end of his deal… infact, with the team getting run into the proverbial ground JFJ styles, i would be almost disappointed if he didn’t….

  • Oyo

    ***as an afterthought (cause i obviously didn’t write enough above), the keith aulie comment should actually be #6: terrible asset management. here you could include boyd, lombo/phaneuf (to some extent), and ryan wilson along with aulie.

  • Patti,
    Ken King & Darryl Sutter look to buy another year of the inevitable destiny that lies at their feet. They will both be forced to resign or take new organizational titles. Seeing that they’re both way to classy of people. That being said, where & what is D. Sutter’s plan for the future? Answer winging it year buy year seems to work i.e. 5 straight years of playoffs, but out in last 4 straight.
    To me that is unacceptable. I believe Cal should be cup contenders every year. If you have problems in the organization then fix it right away. No assistant(s) GM since 2006. Why is that? Tod Button is a terrible Director of Scouting. If D.S. is taking advice from this guy, please fire D.S. Lets not sugar coat this pig. It is what it is.
    Yzerman made a good decision not picking the Flames, assuming it was even offered to him. Sutter has no picks in the first two rounds. First pick around 70. How many future Hall of Fame players come from this year’s draft? Taylor Hall is my pick. Seeing he pulls off something special at draft time is Sutter trade mark. Are we the Flames an organization that fixes problems with-in or one that reaches out to solve obvious issues?

    • Are we the Flames an organization that fixes problems with-in or one that reaches out to solve obvious issues?

      That’s a question that kind of sums up the last few years for the Flames. Far too often DS has looked outside to plug holes and thus sacrificing what’s being built from within.

  • Ya I am a d.s. supporter but i do see the flaws in these moves. He was able to move some of the bad ones (ie. vandermeer, primeau. etc) but the one that i did not agree with from the start was the first rounder, lombo and prust for joker. this was what brought the team to its knees last year. Iggy loved playing with cam. couldn’t keep cam cause of that extra year on his contract. Lombo may have wanted out (just a rumour but i may buy into it) and maybe if we do lombo and prust for joker its not as bad. Cause what i often hypothetically think about is that if we would have had our first rounder during the season last year. A) flames would have their pick still which would be nice.(if the season would have still went this way they could have packaged with someone and maybe moved up in the draft b) may have been able to be moved or packaged with someone to get some scoring down the stretch. Also i think that lombo may have done better with brent at the helm and finally had some of success that was thought he would have instead of iron mike playing him in limited mins. How good would the team have looked with lombo and cam in the lineup instead of joker. its hypothetical but i think we would have been the needed 6 points better to make the playoffs and probably could have challenged for the div. but we will never know. good article pat and that is from a darryl supporter

    • He was able to move some of the bad ones (ie. vandermeer, primeau. etc)

      i don’t understand how, a year later, people can still give darryl props for dumping these contracts. marty. friend. kindly recall that those were contracts PENNED BY DARRYL SUTTER. the fact that he got rid of them is kindof sullied by the fact that he was dumb enough to sign them in the first place….

      also, technically, on this list are phaneuf and very possibly stajan and jaybouw.

  • well the jury is still out on stajan and jbo. i think jbo’s offensive numbers will move up and will be closer value to his contract number. stajan is a wild card but i think for the number he is signed for can give good value for that. and yes i know those were penned by darryl. i just think that this team is not as far off as some people believe but we will see. it will depend on what moves are able to be made and if they are the right ones. are they going to be the favorites to win the cup? nope and i understand everyones concerns. i am not saying they are not warranted but that is the great part of these sites and sports in general. we get to debate and discuss our opinion and thoughts about all this. im sure one thing we can probably agree on is, this june and july should be very interesting

  • i just think that this team is not as far off as some people believe but we will see.

    indeed we will… from where i’m sittin’, though, i see a team that lost nine games in a row (and eleven in the month of january) BEFORE picking up five players from the worst team in the league. that’s 30% of the players with a 10/11 pedigree of losing… also, they picked up a guy who was a healthy scratch for weeks. add to those the presumed decline of the captain and starting goaltender (due to age) and it doesn’t sound much like a team that just needs “tweaking” to me…

    ps: pat ? i thought of another ugly darryl sutter move: forcing jokinen and prust to play when they both knew they were getting traded after the game. what an effin’ joke that was. you might remember having taken some calls that night…. 😉

    • ps: pat ? i thought of another ugly darryl sutter move: forcing jokinen and prust to play when they both knew they were getting traded after the game. what an effin’ joke that was. you might remember having taken some calls that night…. 😉

      Yeah, that one was pretty odd…it made for such a weird game, and oh yes, I remember taking calls. An unbelievably awful 3-0 loss coupled with the sad reality of Ales Kotalik joining the team made for a 4 am finish time.

  • A correction: Huselius played in the SEL during the lock-out…and led the league in scoring.

    As for Kotalik, it’s not strictly an issue of what kind of player he is. It’s that his contract is a supremely bad bet. Two more years at $3M per is not a gamble an organization with the sort of cap issues the Flames have should be making. Even if Kotalik somehow rebounds to a 20 goal 60 point player, Sutter will turn out to be lucky, not smart.

    Also, I don’t remember if Staios was included in the “bad” category, but his acquisition belongs here. He’s old, he’s grossly overpaid and the Flames traded assets so the Oilers could dump salary. Also – the Flames already have a lot of NHL defensemen.

    Others I would include: re-signing Primeau for a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal. Ditto for Vandermeer.

    And I see above that wi is ahead of me on some of this stuff.

    • Balthazar

      Kent I totally agree with you. Oilers dumped Kotalik because he was a floater. Rangers gave up on him because he was a floater. I just don’t get Sutter trading for him and his contract. Usually the oilers make bad moves and so does Slats. Why would Sutter trade for somebody these two teams totally gave up on???? Also I’m in shock the King and Sutter are still here. What’s going to change??

      • Why would Sutter trade for somebody these two teams totally gave up on????

        because some of his greatest successes have come in this form (kipper, bourque). unfortunately, the difference is that kippy was a 27 year old unproven goaltender when darryl scooped him, and bourque was a 26 year old…. both were aged enough to be overlooked by other organizations but young enough to improve….

        staios, at 36, and kotalik, at 31, are beyond unlikely to mimic that development.

    • “Even if Kotalik somehow rebounds to a 20 goal 60 point player, Sutter will turn out to be lucky, not smart.”

      Come on Kent, Sutter can do no right in your eyes. He’s lucky if his moves succeed, but he’s basically an idiot when his moves don’t? Or do you just pick and choose to suit your extremely biased, somewhat prejudicial arguementation style?

      • You’re attacking a straw man. I’ve frequently praised Sutter in the past. I supported the Phanuef trade and recently remarked that the Bryan Cameron signing was a good move. I didn’t say “Sutter’s moves”. I said “the Kotalik trade”.

        The point is about taking risks – whether they are smart or not. If a guy playing blackjack hits on 20 and gets an ace for 21, he’s not smart, he’s simply lucky. Would you agree? His move “worked”, but in reality it had a low probability of being successful.

        The same can be said for Kotalik. His history shows him to be a mediocre ES player. He needs favorable circumstances to be effective and even then he doesn’t tend to score a great deal of points. That’s a bad player to pay $3m a year to. He’s also over the age of 30.

        What’s extra funny about your claim of my “extremely biased style” is the fact that I wrote an article defending Kotalik a little while ago: http://flamesnation.ca/2010/5/7/in-modest-defense-of-ales-kotalik

        • First of all, it’s not a stretch that Kotalik will score 20 next year. Secondly, who cares if Kotalik helps score ES or PP goals (given the Flames PP isn’t good).

          Kent, I’m not misrepresenting your work on this site. You frequently take both sides of arguements so you don’t have to be accountable for your opinions (presumably?). Granted, most issues are multi-dimensional, but it wouldn’t hurt you to stick your neck once in a while. The Kotalik issue is prime example. I’m not attacking a “straw man”, I’m attacking (what I perceive as) a “spin artist”.

  • Balthazar

    I’m gonna disagree about Keenan. Sure he played favorites way to much but if not for the entire second line and 3 out of the top 4 d-men all going down to injuries at or around the same time the Flames would have pulled out an extra victory and won the NW division, likely gotten past the first round and Keenan would have still been coaching this year. Sutter has only escaped intense criticism until this year because he’s very good at scapegoating others… he goated Playfair and hired Keenan then goated Keenan and hired Brent. I’m convinced that if Brent’s last name wasn’t “Sutter” he’d be eating the blame this year. For all Keenan’s faults he’d have never thrown the “Energy” line over the boards after an opposition icing call as Brent did with maddening frequency.

    Really, I think the Staois trade belongs in that last “Ugly” spot. Note to Darryl: Other teams are supposed to give YOU draft picks for taking on poor value contracts not the other way around.

  • Balthazar

    @ JF

    My issue with Keenan isn’t in those final weeks of injured bodies… it’s earlier in the season when points count for just as much.

    Losses to Edmonton, Columbus, Tampa , Atlanta, and especially the 8-6 blow-out with Toronto told everone the team wasn’t ready to play. One win (iirc) would have put the Flames into 3rd, dodged the Hawks in the first round and…

    hmm … probably would have saved Keenan’s job. Just as well they lost those or I’d have been screaming about Keenan all year long.

    I can’t prove it, but I trust Keenan was at least aligned with the acquisition of Joker and Bert ahead of time as he’d made deals or coached them before, and drove out talent (admitedly soft talent) in Tanguay and others.

    And he has a goofy moustache.

    They way it is going, unless something miraculous happens this summer/next season,Cap Mis-Management will be the issue he is remembered for, not the 2004 run.

    I also agree with WI the decision to play Joker and Prust ahead of a trade everyoe knew was coming was, if not ugly, pretty douchey.

    • My issue with Keenan was the lack of accountablity. And not just when players weren’t pulling their weight. I felt that when players WERE doing more than expected, they were never rewarded.

      The Tampa and Toronto examples are very, very strong.

  • Balthazar

    I honestly think Keenan was good. Maybe he was disorganized but he needed guys behind him to help and there were none, just the former Sutter “yes” men. I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again, his big error was the trade for Jokinen. Yes many cheered when he came, but I was one of the few who had questions, and hated to see Lombo go. He then tried to “fix” the Jokinen problem with 2 more problems. In my opinion he should have been shown the door simply for that trade. You also forgot, $3M for Hagman, $3.5M for Stajan after less than 10 games (rumor was the Leafs where going to offer him no more than $2.5M). Another error, dealing with the 2 worst teams in the NHL. If you deal with teams like that you take good assets, not just other “guys”. Next year will tell, but I predict we’ll be right back here in 365 days, wondering why Darryl is still around and the team has missed the playoffs for 2 straight years.

  • It has been said, and it isn’t the most impacting of Sutter’s “Ugly” moves, but bringing on Staois is annoying me the most right now. I still can’t fathom why he did it.

    First, I am already sick of listening to our neighbors in the north go on about hosing us. I have tried the na na na na bo bo defense, but it isn’t working so well. And thats it. That is the most intelligent defense we have.

    I mean Staois was a problem contract to them. The kind of guy you just can’t unload. The kind of guy we probably can’t unload this season. And we took him (and his 2.7 million) off their hands. Did we return a problem contract, or at least some salary, in return!?! NO! We gave them a prospect and a pick.

    He seriously broke the “Thou Shall Not Trade With Edmonton” commandment for that. There aren’t enough confessionals in the world for him now. Damned he is.

    If we can’t find the cap space to sign White I will be furious. And how about leaving room for Pelech, Negrin, Seabrook, Pardy, Kronwall ….. to play?

    I have a right handed shot. SIGN ME for 2.7 million a year. Heck, I will play for the league minimum. And I am not 90-years old.


  • I will believe Keenan was bad when somebody else steps up and does better (post lock-out).

    Playfair’s Flames were so-so regular season and were embarrassing in the playoffs. B. Sutter’s team missed the playoffs entirely despite being mostly healthy.

    Keenan had two decent seasons. In his final season we were locked in as the division winners except for a hoard of injuries combined with cap management issues.

    In fact, prior to that string the media (you as well Pat) were debating if the Flames were an “Elite” team like Detroit. Most of the Calgary press felt the answer was yes.

    The final season we lost to Chicago in the playoffs. A great team who had our number all season (and who we never should have been playing against). We had significance injuries and entered the playoffs with zero momentum.

    If Jokinen wasn’t brought on that season (killing us in the cap department) we might be singing a very different tune about Iron Mike.

    We can debate about the methods, but I am much more interested in the results. And he has had the best results post lock-out. Doesn’t belong on the Ugly column in my opinion.

  • The Ales Kotalik deal is by far the ugliest deal on the surface, but I have to admit – the original Jokinen deal is even more grotesque upon further review… and I was all for adding Joker.

    Having said that, lets all take a chill pill and see what he’s got up his sleeve this summer. If we’re sitting here 2 months from now with little to no changes, then let the witch-hunt continue. I refuse to believe this team has all of Sarich, Staios & Kotalik on it come Sept/Oct.

    • I don’t understand why Sutter would trade for those two (Kotalik and Staios), give picks plus cash and then bury them/ buy them out after 1/3 of a season. THAT is ugly. Of course keeping them is even uglier.

      I really think we are stuck with them at least for a while.

      • I never mentioned buyouts or burying specifically. My hope is that they can somehow move Sarich, and perhaps maybe ship Kotalik of to Russia/Europe a la Marcus Nilson & Radim Vrbata.

        And while I agree that it takes a bad GM to sign some of those deals (Vandermeer/Primeau), it takes a good GM to make them disappear like David Copperfield. Just ask Lou Lamoreillo.

        *Could David Copperfield perhaps be a candidate for the next GM* 😉

  • Pat,
    Is there any way of getting the OVERTIME show back on the air during the summer? I’m so board at work. I think your good for Flames fans, I need to vent. Please, please if there’s any way.
    Whhhhat will brother Darryl due next??????

  • aces high

    First off Pat, nice read, and im inpressed with the site. Being new here I have some thoughts that i would like to bring up. I am from Red Deer and I hear a lot of things that float around involving the Sutters, and the Flames in general. First off, I believe this years Draft is going to be very interesting. I am told that Sutter may have the freedom to do anything he wants, meaning that anyone is up for grabs, minus Iggy and Kipper. I think Regher, Langkow, Moss, and Dawes could all be delt. As for the Free Agents, is it possible we could see Lombo back? A sure bet is Colby Armstrong will be a Flame. And rumblings that Regher could go to the Pens for Jordan Staal. One thing, Flames will shed Salary, resigning White, Higgins Yes. Nystrom will head to the Island, Conroy, not sure but I think he sits or retires, as the market for him could be bleak. I think we resign Vesa to backup the kipper, I hear that he injoyed his time as a flame, thinking around the million dollor range. One thing is for certain I think the changes as numerous, and we will see the offence increase in numbers.

    • aces high

      And rumblings that Regher could go to the Pens for Jordan Staal.

      i’d be suitably impressed with daz if he could shake staalzy out of pittsburgh for an aging blueliner with bad knees. at the same time, the current roster can’t afford jordan’s 4mil.

      ie: pipedreamin’.

  • Oyo

    id agree with that stall might be a long shot.
    heard today tho that toronto is waiving kaberle as trade bait…. thoughts on gio for kaberle?? or is there to much upside for gio??

    • Oyo

      thoughts on gio for kaberle??

      don’t get me wrong. i would love to see kaberle in a flaming C, but let’s offer up sarich or STAIOS (or BOTH) and not our best effin’ blueliner.

      here’s my thoughts on gio for kaberle: you’re dead to me.

  • Oyo

    its just funny to me that last season hes in europe and yes hes made a big impact this year and i would agree that he was our best d man this year. it just funny how 1 good season and he is now the untouchable. if hes off next season tho, whooo boy here come the critics.

    (i really hope hes not off next season tho haha)

  • re: gio

    i had a nice chat with tom rowe a few months back and he said that when he coached gio in lowell, anyone with eyes could tell he had all of the tools to be a solid nhl defender. he said that in gio’s first pro year, he was probably the best skater on the ice and had the best “hockey sense” of the team’s defenders. this leads me to believe that darryl sutter completely ignored gio’s potential and wanted to implement his a**backwards “experience over youth” team building philosopy way back in the summer of 2007 (i might point out, AFTER gio played 48 steady games in a flaming C).

    two days after snubbing my boy, sutter signed the thoroughly useless anders eriksson. that’s infuriating to ME, i can just imagine how bad gio wants out from under the thumb of the sutter regime….

  • Oyo

    Can anyone explain to me WHY the Flames would re-sign Higgins? 17 points in 67 games and a -9. 3 points in 12 with the Flames. He’s injury plagued. Sure people say, “He’s a good skater” or “He tries”. Hell, if I were a Flame, I’d give a 110% every shift but my skills would be equal to maybe a Junior B player. If they brought him back, it’s for under $1M.

    • Oyo

      Just made me think of The Simpsons episode where the Flanders’ house was destroyed by a hurricane, the town helped to rebuild his house, but the quality wasn’t good. They said “We have good intentions” with Ned replying “I can’t live on GOOD INTENTIONS!”
      Can the Flames afford “good efforts” and no results?