Change in Calgary is Likely if Flames Can't Make the Postseason

Steve McSweenSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2010

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 14: Jannik Hansen #36 of the Vancouver Canucks crashes into goalie Vesa Toskala #35 of the Calgary Flames after getting hit by Flames Jay Bouwmeester #4 during the third period of NHL action on March 14, 2010 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

It has truly been a painful season for any fan of the Calgary Flames as they have been more on again-off again than Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer.

For whatever the reason, Darryl Sutter has had a hard time finding the right chemistry in Cowtown, ever since their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003-04.

The result?

It looks as though the Flames will be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Western Conference playoff picture this year.

For argument's sake it is not over yet with 13 games left on the schedule, but the chances of catching the mighty Detroit Red Wings is slim to none.

So now what?

Without a No. 1 pick in this years NHL Entry Draft, the season has been a total whitewash for the club if they don't make the playoffs and fans have to know that change is coming in Calgary—if indeed the wheels do fall off.

Which means everybody from Darryl Sutter to Jarome Iginla isn't safe.

It is unlikely that Sutter would dismiss his brother Brent Sutter from the coaching duties after just one season, and if he did, he would have to step behind the bench himself.

Something that maybe should have been done long ago, as he did guide an average Flames team to their only Cup appearance in twenty years.

That is if he doesn't get let go himself by the upper management in Calgary, because let's face it, Sutter's moves haven't improved the team's play on the ice even though they look better on paper.

It just may be time for a rebuild from the top-down and let a fresh face take the horns in Southern Alberta.

Which also could mean the departure of the franchise's leading scorer in 32-year-old Jarome Iginla. As hard a pill that it may be to swallow, the captain isn't getting any younger, and it is tough to reason paying him $7 million a year with his declining production.

At some point the Flames are going to have to rebuild, they might as well do it quick and rip it off like a band aid, rather than have another five years of mediocrity.

Especially because Iginla is still a player who could gain some interest by a team looking to make a run. On any other club he still is a 40-50 goal player, just not in Calgary, unless they can find a true No. 1 center (which seems harder to find these days than a chocolate bar on the set of the Biggest Loser ).

While there are a lot of good things in Calgary, it seems it doesn't outweigh the problems from within, and for whatever reason nothing is working.

Change is coming.

Who knew that Theoren Fleury's attempt to make the team would have been the highlight of the Flames' season. A season that had such high hopes.

Now the only thing that is left is a glimmer of hope that the Red Wings or the Nashville Predators hit a stumbling block the size of the Great Wall of China and the Flames can win against teams down the stretch that have given them problems all season long.

Like the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

Otherwise, the rebuild will begin, and Calgary fans should start to familiarize themselves with Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, which may just make the Flames' struggles all worth the while.