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Flames won’t part ways with GM Darryl Sutter

Image (1) flames4-thumb-250x166-9319.jpg for post 880

Well, color me surprised. Although I really shouldn’t be.

The Calgary Flames held a press conference today, and at a time when nearly everyone in the media was expecting for general manager Darryl Sutter to get the ax, team president Ken King stood by his man.

It wasn’t just a matter of the Flames sticking with Darryl Sutter, it was the reasons and excuses the pair made for the season’s disappointment. Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail has the notes:

Apparently the competition was tough, luck wasn’t on their side and, yes, the best players weren’t the best players and need to return to previous scoring levels. If that happens, the team is poised for a rebound, Sutter suggested.

Sutter revealed that the game plan was to stay competitive, as opposed to adopting a rebuilding program. Nor does Sutter intend to trade away another core player, for salary cap or other reasons. The team’s primary failing, he said, was its poor home record (20-17-4). Fix that and everything else will fall into place.

Let’s see here.

The Flames weren’t exactly horrible the first part of the season, and were certainly competitive in the Western Conference. A couple of trades backfired, and now the team is full of underachieving players that wilted down the stretch when it matters most. Not to mention that the Flames already have $53 million locked up in payroll for next season.

Darryl Sutter is saying his team is still competitive, because they don’t have much choice in the matter. Either they’ll have to trade some major pieces, or just go into next season hoping for a turnaround; he’s already stated that we shouldn’t expect a big trade.

So the general manager makes a series of expensive moves in the offseason and when those aren’t panning out takes the team in a different direction midseason with a number of questionable trades, thus leaving his team handcuffed for the near future. Sounds like a formula for success.