Time For Darryl Sutter to Be Shown The Door

David WestContributor IMarch 1, 2010

VANCOUVER - APRIL 8: Head coach Darryl Sutter of the Calgary Flames looks on before the game against the Vancouver Canucks at General Motors Place on April 8, 2006 in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver defeated Calgary 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

For the past year Darryl Sutter has been the topic of a number of NHL headlines, not one for which he should be proud. In the last 12 months he has transformed a Cup-contending Flames squad, into a club struggling to find an identity, now featuring 6 different forwards than it did at the start of the year. Flames fans are calling for his imminent departure - and it's not hard to see why. 

Surprising and unwarranted signings and trades have had Cowtown shaking their heads for a long time. Here is a run-down of Sutter's recent 'handy-work':

On March 4, 2009, the Calgary Flames announced a trade that would see them receive Olli Jokinen in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes. In an attempt to put his team 'over the top', Sutter acquired a player that was most known for his unimpressive streak of 799 regular season games player without seeing a single minute of action in the post-season. Would his underachieving be a thing of the past? Flames fans had hope. They hoped, they hoped, and they continued to hope into the 09-10 season. 

Less than a year later, after a 'surprisingly' (cough cough) slow start to the 09-10 season, Jokinen was packaged away in a questionable deal to the New York Rangers, in exchange for perennial under-achiever Chris Higgins, as well as a player that had racked up significant 'frequent flyer press box miles' under the tutelage of John Tortorella, in Ales Kotalik. Essentially then, Sutter managed to trade away a first round draft pick, Brandon Prust (who was later re-acquired), and speedy winger Matthew Lombardi in exchange for Higgins and Kotalik. A useless trade? I think so.

Perhaps topping this deal was Sutter's attempt to 'shake-up' his team near the halfway point in the 09-10 season. And what better way to blow up his underachieving team than to make a blockbuster deal with perhaps the most underachieving team in the NHL; the Toronto Maple Laughs. It was a trade that Toronto fans cried tears of happiness over, and one that Flames fans would soon cry tears of sheer 'what the F&$%' over. 

In exchange for a once thought cornerstone of the Flames franchise in Dion Phaneuf, Sutter acquired a quartet of players that each have their own 'special' way of being more useless than the other.  

Matt Stajan: A first line centre? No. A second line centre? No. A centre for Jarome Iginla? Yes. After signing Stajan to a four year contract worth $3.5 million a year, does Darryl Sutter SERIOUSLY think that Matt Stajan, the man who couldn't even be a quality number one centre on the Leafs, is the Flames top line centre of the future? Wow. 

Niklas Hagman: Twenty goal scorer? Yes. Other team player attributes? No. This player is more invisible in a hockey game than Casper the Friendly Ghost, and, dare I say it, Matt Stajan. 

Ian White: Quality defenseman? Yes. Joining Frodo on his quest in the Lord of the Rings as a fellow hobbit? Yes. Have fun signing him to anything less than $3 million a year after this season, Darryl. 

Jamal Mayers: A nice guy? Yes. Should he be in the NHL? No. Enough said. 

Without even having to discuss his obscene signing of Daymond 'Greybeard' Langkow to $4.5 million a year deal for four years, and without having to touch on his team's inability last year to field a complete line-up for a number of games due to cap-space issues, it is exceedingly obvious that Darryl Sutter needs to be shown the door. Or should we let him trade Jarome Iginla first?