Whoa there, Calgary. Go easy on the reins, and don't go shootin' yerself in the foot.
It's hard to tell just how many actual fans want to see Jarome Iginla gone. These days, it seems the majority of the media have already pulled the trigger, even though they have no right to put their finger on it.
Let's take a deep breath, and look at the reality of the Flames' predicament.
They missed the playoffs because they didn't score enough.
Okay, fine. What else seems to be the problem?
The cupboards are bare, the farm is starving, and the jerry can is dry.
All right, great. How badly did they miss the playoffs?
By one position. Hmm, doesn't sound like it's time to blow the whole thing up.
Vancouver missed the playoffs twice in the last five years, and they didn't ditch Luongo or trade the Sedins. They won the division this year, again, for the third time in four years.
They say the Flames have problems scoring goals, and their core is another year older. So, the solution is to ditch the only perrenial 30-goal scorer they have? For what, prospects?
So they can try to contend in what, four years, when Kipper is 37? Doesn't make much sense to me.
Let's look at the coaching staff.
Brent Sutter and Co. were brought in to alter a team that finished 23rd last season in goals against. This year, they're fourth.
Mission accomplished. Defense was great.
How was the goaltending? Miikka earned his money. No arguments there.
But the Flames are dead last in goals for, which is horrendous. Their power play was putrid. For some reason they stink in the faceoff circle, even though Brent Sutter was one of the best in his day.
So, there are obviously issues that need to be addressed. But here's the deal: They can be taken care of.
There is no reason the Flames can't bounce back in October—like Vancouver has done repeatedly—by tweaking their system, working hard, and addressing their problems.
Let's get it through our heads. This is not a rebuild.
This is tweaking, and the reason it is tweaking is because the team is comprised of good hockey players.
Yes, the drafting has been dismal. When first-line centers are rare and also the organization's priority, why they would pick Dion Phaneuf over Ryan Getzlaf, I will never understand.
Getzlaf has surprised no one. He was stellar as the captain of the Calgary Hitmen, so they couldn't have missed him. Imagine him going to the corners and feeding Jarome on a nightly basis.
I could cry. But I digress.
Would you be pleased if the Flames had drafted Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, or Jay Bouwmeester?
Well, they didn't have to, because Darryl scooped them all for next to nothing. So what's the difference? They're on the team, and the team is good.
It's just not winning enough at the moment. When I say "enough," let's be clear—a 40-win season is not terrible.
I know this is a hard sell, especially when the Flames are scoring an average of one goal per game down the stretch.
But under these circumstances, burning your best player is not the answer.
Iginla has a no-trade clause anyway, so at the end of the day, it's his call.
I just hope, for everyone's sake—the fans, the city, and the franchise—that the media doesn't drive into him a desire to go.