Darren Dreger has an article up today at TSN saying the Flames ownership is committed to "staying the course" despite the unfortunate position the team currently finds itself in (as well as the resultant public outcry to do something). The comments at the bottom are…predictable.
There might be some wisdom in holding steady, however. Darryl Sutter’s actions last season in response to the club underachieving are an object lesson in how acting in desperation can in fact have detrimental consequences. In his spate of irrationality, Sutter dealt his shiniest bobble for a mediocre return, swapped headaches with the Rangers to ill-effect and then dealt actual assets to the Oilers for the privilege of accepting their Staiosian salary dump.
The Flames, as they are currently built, aren’t in a position to make a drastic change of course. Not without taking a flame-thrower to the roster and management, which is probably a poor strategy in the middle of the season. Calgary has bad money all over it’s roster, an untenable cap position and even it’s most valuable assets have lost some of their luster with the club groping around in the dark. To deal away the anchors, the Flames would have to accept toxic contracts themselves, or at least package draft picks in the deals to sweeten the pot. They’d likely get bent over a barrel in trades involving the big guns; selling low on your best assets means getting pennies on the dollar in return. Or middling Leafs parts, as it were.
At this point in time, the Calgary Flames are what they are – a mediocre team with nominal prospects to improve – and there isn’t a single knee-jerk reaction that is going to materially change their fortunes this season. This isn’t a call to stick with the status quo ad inifinitum of course. Just a word of caution against the raging impulse to "do something…do anything".
The long view is likely to become the proper perspective in short order. The ownership should shut out the sound and fury of the current, on-going struggles of the team and calmly assess what the hell they’re going to do with this mess next off-season.