Calgary Flames: Who Should Be Blamed for 3rd Straight Postseason Miss?

Delete ThisContributor IApril 18, 2012

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 31: Head coach Brent Sutter of the Calgary Flames watches the action along with Olli Jokinen #13, Jarome Iginla #12 and Curtis Glencross #20 during the second period in NHL action against the Vancouver Canucks on March 31, 2012 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

To answer who it is that should be blamed for the Calgary Flames’ postseason misses is a tough question to answer.

The obvious answer would be to place all the blame on now-former head coach Brent Sutter. He’s been the man in charge for all three recent seasons in which the Flames failed to make the playoffs. But is he really to blame?

Before he became the coach in Calgary, he was the coach of the New Jersey Devils for two years and led them to respectable records and playoff appearances in both years, so that would suggest he isn’t a bad coach. To say that Sutter deserves the blame is to say that the Flames have had all of the right pieces in place, but that certainly isn’t the case.


So Does That Mean the Blame Is on Management?

Jay Feaster is the Flames’ current general manager, but he has only officially held the title for one full season, and that isn’t near long enough to make any drastic changes in the organization. However, perhaps Feaster (or Flames management in general) deciding not to make any big moves is just the problem.

The team has remained very similar in the last few years, and obviously their model isn’t working very well. What is the definition of insanity again?

Feaster has only been through one offseason and two trade deadlines with the Flames now, and how much control he truly has had is still somewhat unclear, so it’s hard to place all the blame on him.

Since only a portion of the blame can be put on management, it leaves only the players.


Are the Players Themselves to Blame?

After all, the product on the ice has the ultimate control over what the outcome of a season is. No matter how much coaches coach and managers manage, the end result is always what’s put out by the players. So is that who the real blame falls on?

It was the players who struggled down the stretch. The players allowed 16 losses in overtime and shootouts on the year.  It wasn’t the coach who dropped the Flames to 24th in goals for in the league—it was the players.

There may be plenty of opinions about who most of the blame should be placed on for the Flames’ latest playoff miss, but one thing agreed upon is that changes need to happen this offseason.