My beloved Calgary Flames had another short post-season, and it is starting to get old in the Stampede city.
Since their run to the Stanley Cup before the last season, the Flames have not gone beyond the first round of the playoffs.
Everyone is wondering the same thing I am wondering: why?
Is it a coaching problem?
I mean Jim Playfair was the head coach for one season and it did not work.
Mike Keenan, who was recently fired after two seasons, could not get this team any further than Playfair.
Keenan's way of handling his team might not have been the best, but there is something to be said about how the general manager Darryl Sutter mismanaged the salary cap this year.
Maybe it is a managing problem?
In the last 10 games of the season, the Flames were bitten hard by a rash of injuries, forcing the team to play with only 15 skaters and two goalies.
Why did the Flames only dressed 15 players?
That's because there is a rule that says that injured players' salary will count against the salary cap in the last nine games of the regular season.
Acquiring Olli Jokinen was supposed to help the Flames get over that first round bump.
That's nice, but there was a price to pay for that, and it was not to forfeit room against the cap this season.
It also means that the Calgary Flames have already $46.833 million dollars for next season, on only 15 players!
The salary cap is going to go down next season from $56 million to somewhere around $52 million dollars.
So Darryl Sutter has roughly six million dollars available to find: a backup goalie, a defense men, and three forwards.
So how is the next team expected to be better than the one that lost to the Chicago Blackhawks?
How do you replace a goal scorer like Mike Camalleri?
I just don't see how the 2009-2010 Flames team will be better unless there are some big moves.
This means touching the core players of this team; a core that Sutter himself said needed to be better.
Touching the core is something I am convinced Sutter won't. He is old school and it's unfortunately not the way it's done anymore.
It is time for a fresh start in Calgary. The Flames need a new approach to the game because obviously the old way of doing things is simply not cutting it anymore.
With all due respect Mr. Sutter, you should be fired unless you start thinking outside the box.