Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My Christmas List

No deal with Bouwmeester (though I'm not going to stomp my feet if he signs). Pardy for $2.5M over 3 years. Steve Sullivan for ~$2M/yr X 2 or 3 years. Kent Huskins (or thereabouts) for $1.6M over 2 years. Jason Labarbera for 1 or 2 years at under $1M/yr. And a minor trade: Miikka Kiprusoff for Ryan Smyth

Why it Could Happen:
Why it Won't Happen: oh, basically for the same reasons that I'd like it to. Smyth may be a bit overpaid, but he's a hell of a hockey player, always plays against the other team's best, and makes your team better at both ends of the ice. On a shift-to-shift basis, he was the best Avs player in every game of theirs I watched this past season.

Kipper's struggles have been monitored at some length at this site over the past two seasons. Darryl Sutter might be the only guy, along with some true-believing fellow Flames fans, who think he's a good bet to be an above-average goalie going forward.

But maybe if I close my eyes and wish really, really hard....

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Big Day

Item the first: Brent Sutter to leave Devils. Even back before he took the NJD job, I was never on board with the notion that he was a great fit to coach the Flames. It comes down to two semi-related issues:
  1. The success he's achieved in his post-playing career has pretty much always been as the big dog; the guy who makes the final decisions on everything. I was surprised that he took the Devils' job in the first place, given Lamoriello's well-known status as the Ultimate Overlord of everything there short of signing the cheques. I'm not at all sure he wants another position where he's "just the coach".
  2. Yeah, the Flames are turning into a Sutter family business, but Darryl's relatives in the org have roles that are quite specific and out of the spotlight. The coach's job is to do WHATEVER, that one way or another results in regular season and then playoff success. Sometimes, that's going to be odds with the way the GM has planned things. Let's imagine for a second that Brent was coach this past season, and thinks Olli Jokinen is basically crap. Darryl trades for him at the deadline, announcing that the org has been interested in him for years; he only did it because Olli has another year left on his deal; and that he only notified Brent the night before that it was about to happen ("GMs manage, coaches coach"). Does Brent really want to be in this kind of position, where his brother has autonomous license to affect what he thinks he should be doing to succeed? I'm not so sure.

Item the Second: Bankruptcy court to rule on Balsillie bid for Coyotes. The NHL (and/or Gary Bettman, and/or the Board of Governors, make your own distinctions) is specifically asking for a ruling that a court cannot supersede the rules and regulations of the league with respect to transfer of ownership or relocation. The NBA, NFL, and MLB are apparently all supporting the NHL.

This seems to me like a "careful what you ask for" situation. To look at it from another angle, the NHL is asking Judge Redfield to explicitly tell the secured creditors of every team that in reality, what they are is secured** creditors (**subject to a vote of the 30 Governors, who always have their own interests first).

If you're a major lender, then it seems to me that being secured is better than being secured**. If word comes down that what they are is secured**, I don't see how the result -- short, medium, and long-term -- could be anything but more difficult and more expensive financing for pro sports teams. Are the Governors, and the owners in the other leagues, sure they want to call that a Win?

Item the Third: Stanley Cup may be awarded tonight. "Young team with gobs of talent makes finals, gets schooled by veteran & successful franchise, learns what it takes to win, comes back the following season to match up with the same franchise, and takes the final step." As a long-time Flames fan, I've been bored with that narrative for approximately 25 years minus 5 minutes. Accordingly, I thought the most fascinating narrative for these Finals would be a Wings sweep. My second preference is "identical result to previous year", so I'll be rooting for the Wings to wrap it up tonight. The NHL can then save money by continuing to run that Crosby stop-motion TV ad through next season as well.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?