So, another trade deadline has come and gone and Flames fans are left licking there scars. Granted we did trade Iggy for a 1st, J-Bo for a potential 1st and got Blake Comeau off of the books (a win in any case) but why does this trade deadline feel so….incomplete?
Whatever way you look at it, this year Flames Fans are reaping the harvest set in motion by Sutter, Keenan, Feaster and (ABOVE ALL OTHERS) Ken King. A Harvest that has not brought us ANY Playoff wins since 2004 and further haven’t translated into a Playoff Berth in the last 3 seasons. This by any standards is completely unacceptable. Why? Because it was within those seasons that Calgary signed a multitude of players with ‘No Trade’ clauses, signed older washed up players to significant deals (Stajan and Comeau) and most of all: traded away our future.
This all can be best represented in the Kipper Saga. While I will not get into the reasons he is choosing to stay here and retire next season (I commend him for it), I will use his situation as a sample of just why Flames Management deserves a complete overhaul. Kipper (like Iggy etc…) had played on this team since the Cup Run, they are icons in this city…and they are also bargaining chips that management could have used to grab up and coming players / draft picks. So you think a 1st rounder and 2 prospects is a good haul for Iggy? Just imagine what Calgary could’ve got for him had they acted sooner…like 2 years sooner? We could be staring at a new superstar in the making here in Cowtown…now we have to wait a whole lot longer.
Now ask the same question: What would Kipper had got us 2 years ago???? That is something that makes my blood boil; not because I am upset that he may retire next year…but that Flames brass KNEW…My gosh THEY KNEW Kipper was most likely going to settle down at 35 and possibly retire / move to Finland to raise a family….YET THEY DID NOTHING…and guess what, now Calgary HAS NOTHING to show for his work. For example if you look at the last icon to leave this city by the name of Joe Nieuwendyk, then you will notice that one of the prospects we got in return was Jerome Iginla…Yup Captain for future Captain. Now Joe was not on the downswing like Iggy is at this point. And in fact led Dallas for a few more years, but you are starting to get the point!
The writing was on the wall to many people who KNOW the sport, KNOW the economics and KNOW the culture. Most fans in this city were jaded to the fact that the Flames would make the playoffs the last 3 years (let alone this year) with the team they had. This was the EXACT same make up of a team that we have had for as long as you can imagine and…SUPRISE we didn’t win.
There is a great saying: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome”. Well Fans of the Flames (including myself) can only hope that people LEARN from the mistakes this Franchise has made in the handling of its star players in playoff-less years because the next decade for this franchise will conceivably be a dark one, and the only thing stopping the franchise from going into complete oblivion is good drafting and trading….But… on second thought, Calgary IS due for a Spring Cleaning…So lets start with Flames Management and the President!!!