Flames just need some tweaking, says embattled GM Darryl Sutter

Darryl Sutter received a vote of confidence last week from his boss, Ken King.

The pronouncement from the team president apparently meant little to the embattled general manager of the Calgary Flames.

“Ken came out and said that, but it wasn’t important for me to have that publicly,” Sutter said Monday before embarking for the National Hockey League general manager meetings. “It’s more important what happens internally.”

And just what is happening internally over at the Saddledome as the Flames wrap up their post-mortem of a season gone wrong and prepare for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft?

“We were all disappointed that we didn’t make the playoffs,” Sutter said. “We had a better record than Philadelphia or Montreal. We could just as easily be sitting here talking and be in the same situation as Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia, of course, is playing for a Stanley Cup against the Chicago Blackhawks.

“If you make the playoffs, it’s anybody’s game,” Sutter said. “That’s what the cap is about. There’s a fine line between being a playoff team and not being one.”

Flames fans, as a whole, are a despondent bunch these days due to the failure of their team to qualify for the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Some Calgary supporters demanded that everyone with the last name of Sutter be fired. Others wanted captain Jarome Iginla , 32, shipped off to restock the talent cupboard with young studs.

“For us being a playoff team every year, everybody started taking it for granted a little bit,” Sutter said. “It’s not that simple.”

Once considered untouchable in this town, Sutter has absorbed a barrage of media criticism over everything from his management style to the dearth of prospects on the farm team.