Sutter Has Become the NHL and Media's Punching Bag

This summer it has become very fashionable to rake Sutter over the coals for his trades this past year and free agents signings. Some of the critism is justified, but if you look at the postion the Flames are currently in its hard to argue that this team isn’t better than the one that started last year. Last year the Flames training camp lineup was:

Bourque Jokinen Iginla
Dawes Langkow Moss
Glencross Conroy Sjostrom
Nystrom Boyd Prust

Lundmark Mcgratten

Phaneuf Jay Bo
Reghr Giordano
Sarich Pardy
Kronwall

Kipper
McElhinney

If nothing changes between now and the start of this training camp the lineup is:

Tanguay Jokinen Iginla
Hagman Stajan Bourque
Backlund Langkow Moss
Glencross Stone Jackman

Sutter, Ivanans

Jaybo Giordano
Reghr White*
Sarich Pelech

Staios, Pardy

Kipper
Karlsson

This assumes that White is resigned.

Trades:

The Staios trade was brutal, I just don’t get taking on that contract for another year when there are 2-3 kids that are ready to step up as the 6-7 defenseman let alone for a 3rd plus Aaron Johnson. I wouldn’t have liked hte trade if it was just Johnson for Staios, the cap hit just isn’t worth it.

Dustin Boyd for a 4th rounder. Boyd never really panned out as a Flame a good kid but given the amount of forwards that play a similar game the draft pick is more valuable.

Vesa Toskala from the Ducks: Played well down the stretch for the Flames McElhinney still had a year and was awful for most of the year. Not a Toskala Fan but this trade actually was pretty good for the flames.

Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust for Higgins and Kotalik: Easily Sutters worst trade. Prust is a high energy 4th line guy that played very well. Kotaliks contract just awful. Higgins walks.

Dion Phaneuf, Aulie and Sjostrom to Toronto for Hagman, Stajan, White, Mayers: I would have prefered getting a top line center for Dion, but at the same time Sutter solidified the secound line and got a decent top 4 deman in White. It reduced the amount of money tied up in 5 million plus contracts and delt from an area of strength to shore up a weakness. Its not an ideal trade for the flames but its not the disaster that some make it out to be. The bottom line is Phaneuf had to be traded, I would have liked a bit better return/address the need for a top line center but I have made my peace with the trade. I like Phaneuf and hope he can return to his Norris nomination form in Toronto.

Offseason:

Signed Chris Breen, Stefan Meyer, Bryan Cameron, and Henrik Karlsson, Aquired Logan Mcmillian for Jason Jaffery, signed Tanguay and Joknien, signed Tim Jackman Ryan Stone and Ivanans.

Signed 4 prospects for free. Cameron is one that could develope nicely, but good depth moves to the prospect pool at any rate. I really like the Jaffery for Mcmillan trade that kind of flew under the radar, 29 year old AHL journeyman for a 2007 1st rounder.

Jokinen and Tanguay signings, hardly new blood but given the weak free agent class do provide serviceable inprovements over what they had for cheap short term contracts. I have no problem with the signings. Jackman, Stone and Ivanans provide 4th line depth from the loss of Nystrom, Higgins, Mayers.

Resigned: Cunning, Sutter, Baldwin, Keetly, Chucko, Patterson, Watt and Pelech.

Named Jay Feaster assistant GM. Really like this move Feaster is a good hockey mind that will help Sutter going forward and if this season blows up in Sutter’s face could be a potential replacement. For all that Sutter has done this past year his fate rests on this year. If the Flames miss the playoffs again he’s done. Last offseason hopes were extremly high and most experts had the Flames finishing top 5 in the western conference. This year noone is going topick the flames to finish much higher than 7-10. Maybe it helps and will surprise. To make the playoffs they need bouce back years from Iginla, Jay-bo, Olli, Tangauy and continued developement from Stajan, Bourque, Backlund, White and Giordano. The Flames have the potential to be a real dark horse in the west or once again finish just out of the playoffs. Baring a major injury or two to core guys this team has too much talent to finish in the bottom 5 of the west.


29 Responses to Sutter Has Become the NHL and Media's Punching Bag

  1. reinjosh says:

    When you look at the Dion trade pieces it isn't terrible. A top 6 winger capable of 30 goals, a top 4 defenseman capable of 30 – 40 points, and a top 9 center. But it still wasn't enough especially considering that Hagman fell off badly and the Flames gave up a top 5 prospect as well. I still think Sutter could have got a better deal. Even just a younger package of identical players would have been preferably.

  2. leafy says:

    Every league needs someone to make fun of for comic relief. Like with John Ferguson Jr a few years back.

  3. albertateams says:

    I'm not really worried about Hagman falling off I still think that he's good for 20-30 goals and 20-30 assists. I agree I would have liked the Flames to get more, but at the same time it wasn't as bad as some fans make it out. This deal is along way from determining who got the better deal. If Dion can't recover his old form then it looks better for the flames. I'm not writing off Dion yet but he's in a very similar position as Jay-bo. 6 + million dollar a year defenseman should not put up less than 40 points per year. Both are young coming off of bad seasons and I think both will rebound. It is however possible that they could go the other way. Look at a guy like Redden had some great years then fell off the map. I don't think either one of those guys will, but the possibility still exists.

    The next two years will be critical. If Dion puts up less than 40 points and is worse than a minus 10 his Toronto Honey moon will end very abruptly. (Same for Jay-bo in Calgary).

    The main issue that I have with the trade is that Dion could have brought in that #1 center the Flames have been lacking, the pieces them selves are fine. I just think it was a wasted opportunity. I do like the fact that it reduces Cap exposure from one player to 3 though. I'm not saying that any one of Stajan, White, or Hagman couldn't be a bust but its very unlikely all three will.

    In regards to Aulie, I don't want to say he was a through in but the Flames have a glut of young dman that can fill the 5-6 role (Negrin, Pelech, Baldwin) and Negrin and Pelech are both more NHL ready at this time (this is why the Staios trade is so baffling to me). Aulie might have a little higher ceiling but hes not a top pairing prospect. At the beginning of last year he was behind both of those guys on the depth chart.

    I do agree with a lot of what your saying but a lot of this trade is yet to be determined. 

  4. albertateams says:

    The difference between JFJ and Sutter though is JFJ took a playoff team and turned it into the laughing stock of the league as the team missed the playoffs and massively regressed under his watch. Sutter took a team that had missed the playoffs 7 straight years, and turned them into a club that made the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years. Sutter has a track record of success JFJ had nothing but failure.  I just think the media is a little unfair with Sutter.

  5. DannyLeafs says:

    This Phaneuf trade was all about Phaneuf. The final verdict of this deal will be all about Phaneuf. If Dion can get back to where he was, the Leafs will have done very well. If Dion realizes his full potential, this will be a lopsided deal even if every piece of the trade going the other way realizes the absolute peak of their potential. However, if Dion plays for the duration of his contract  the way he did last year in Calgary, this deal could be a bad one for the Leafs. Personally, I think Dion will rebound quite well. He has all the tools to be great, he showed some positive signs after the trade, and I think he will be motivated to play his best hockey going forward. Even so, this deal isn't the worst trade in history. I think the thing that is hurting Sutter's reputation right now is the perception of making bad move after bad move. Trading UFA's for bad contracts, trading a former building block, signing back players that people had wanted gone. I am not saying he has been as bad as it seems, but when you make 3 or 4 questionable moves in a row, you have to expect some serious backlash.

  6. albertateams says:

    I agree Phaneuf is the key however if the three players traded equal thier career best the next couple of years Hagman 27-14-41, Stajan 19-38-57, and White 13-25-38, then the trade looks pretty good for the Flames. Hagman I think will be a reliable 20-20 guy. Stajan I don't think has realized his full potential he could realistically top out at 65+ points with the right line mates. White for me has the largest up side, he could potentially put up 45+ points and I love the way he plays with Regehr. 

    Dion although his play improved last year after the trade only had 2-8-10 in 26 games which translates to 32 points in 82 games. He must significantly improve those numbers to even begin to justify his 6.5 million contract. His defensive play did improve but hes not a shut down dman. If he doesn't return to around 50 plus points with solid defensive play then its not that great of a deal for TO. I think he will be better this year given a change in scenery, but its a big question mark if he can get back to his previous performance levels. Dion's talent is unquestionable he just needs to get it together between the ears, I sure hope he can because when he was on his game he is a treat to watch. Its going to be interesting to see both Dion and Jay-bo play this year. Both are hugely talented but need to regain previous form to justify their contracts.

    How I disagree in your Sutter assessment is the Dion Phaneuf trade wasn't bad, it could have been better but its OK. The Jokinen trade and Staios trades were bad. The Tanguay and Jokinen signings were good, just really strange. Tanguay and Jokinen improve the Flames and are reasonable short term contracts. When looking at UFA's I don't see a significant upgrade for similar money available. How they occurred (trading then resigning) is odd though. One thing I do respect about Sutter is he doesn't care what others think if he thinks hes improving the team he does it, right or wrong. His job is on the line for this season. 

  7. Kev_Leafs says:

    I agree with pretty much everything that has been said. 

    I just wanted to suggest how difficult it would have been to trade Phaneuf for that 'top line centre' that pretty much half of the teams in the NHL are looking to get a hold of. 

    Stajan – the Leaf's top line centre was involved in the trade – but he's a 2nd line centre at best.

    What top line centre was really available for the flames to get in exchange for Phaneuf making 6.5 million last January?  Marleau, Thorton, Spezza, E. Staal – these guys were not going any where at the time.  If Calgary had held onto Phaneuf, maybe they could have got Spezza this off-season, but there was no way of banking on that Ottawa fans would finally have gotten to Spezza during the playoffs and he thought about being traded.  Brad Richards I think might have been the only one that Calgary could have got their hands on last year, but he's paid even more than Phaneuf, so getting a guy like White to fill the hole on the back end wouldn't have been possible. Maybe Ribiero?  But, who's to say that with Dallas' money situation they felt comfortable taking on 6.5 for the next four years, not to mention they were competing with the Flames for the final playoff spot.

    My point is that genuine top line centres are a rare commodity in the NHL.  I think there are only about 10-15 guys whom you could peg as being such.  Yet most fans clamour that that is the position their GMs should be looking to fill.  Aside from trading for a player making 7+ (which is difficult to do with the cap), the best way to secure a top line centre – in my opinion – is through a team's own prospects.  Or, to take a chance on trading valuable assets for a younger guy – like Brassard, Josefson, Hodgson, B. Schenn – and giving them some time to develop in the hopes that they can take over that top line centre role in a few years.  But teams that are in the 'win-now' mentality can't afford to wait for guys to grow into the position.  For example, a Phaneuf for Josefson trade – ignore cap issues for both teams – wouldn't have help the Flames win in 2010, and likely wouldn't have begun to look good until 2012-13 at the earliest – which is the final contract years for Iginla/Regehr and likely Kipper too.  Whereas Phaneuf for a 2nd line centre, top 4 defencemen, a top six winger, and a checking forward – could have helped them win in 2010.  I'm not saying it was a good or bad trade – it's just obvious that Sutter is in the 'win now' mentality as opposed to building for a cup run in 3 years or so when he can get all his young players hitting stride when his vets' contracts are expiring. 

    I think this will likely be the last year for the Flames to be in the 'win now' mentality, if they don't make the playoffs – not only do I think Sutter is gone, but I think it will be time to move some of the vets for prospects.

    It's too early (having missed the playoffs only once) to start a rebuild, but the following types of trade suggestions entail changing from a 'win now' mentality to building for a championship.

    Iginla (as a centrepiece) for Seguin + Wheeler + Ryder
    or
    Iginla for Bernier + B. Schenn

    Kiprusoff for Coburn + Van Riemsdyk.

    Regehr for Setoguchi

    Now, adding other prospects/picks to those trades to balance it off would be necessary. 

    Boston, I doubt they would like parting with Seguin, but the idea of Iginla for 3 seasons could entice them to consider it.  Ryder/Wheeler would be salary dumps.  I'm sure Boston would rather trade Savard, but Calgary would avoid taking on vets if they're rebuilding.

    LA – need scoring wingers – trading a great prospect (potential #1, likely a solid #2 centre) and one of their two great young goalies could be considered.

    PHI – can afford to lose a defencemen and a young player in order to get great goaltending for the next three-four years.

    SJ needs a tough defencemen.

    These trades would gut Flames fans – but they would have a future #1 centre (Seguin or Schenn with a goalie) to build around, and get a young big minute defencemen (Coburn), a young scoring winger (Setoguchi), and two guys that could become great power forwards (Wheeler + Van Riemsdyk).

    These type of deals won't happen this year, but Iginla/Kipper are more valuable with 3/4 years left on their contracts than 2/3 or 1/2.  So the trade returns could be the highest right now.  But since Sutter is of the 'win-now' mentality, these types of trades won't be considered despite how well positioned the team would be in 3-4 years after making these types of deals.

    Anyway, apologies to Flames fans – I should keep to commenting on my Leafs.

  8. albertateams says:

    I think you pretty much nailed it.

    If the Flames miss the playoffs again this year they will almost certainly go into rebuild mode next offseason with a new GM. At worst they miss the playoffs, and move out aging but productive veterans like Iginla, Kipper, Hagman and Regehr and build around Bourque, Backlund, Giordano, Jay-bo, White and Stajan plus the prospects obtained in deals for the veterans. It would probably mean 2-3 years of missing the playoffs after next year, but would reposition them nicely with Tanguay, Jokinen, Langkow, Sarich all coming off the cap in the next two years. The Fames prospect pool is low but, there are a few bright spots (Nemisz, Backlund, Pelech, Seabrook, Negrin, and Erixon). Overall the direction of the franchise will be determined based on this years performance. Some of those delas may not be possible next summer, but to expect similar returns in terms of prospects is not out of the question.

  9. DannyLeafs says:

    I think the pieces that Calgary got Phaneuf were solid, but unspectacular. My point is if Dion can to the point where he is one of the best all around defensemen in the East, which is quite possible, the Leafs will have made out very well in that deal. That's not to say that it makes Calgary look bad, I don't think he would get back into form without some major changes. It was easier to move Dion then it was to trade several of the players around him, so dealing him made sense.

    Also, I wasn't trying to imply that Sutter made only terrible moves. He made some bad moves, strange moves, and no moves that were obvious wins. How moves look are often influenced by subsequent moves. For instance, I still think that the Kessel deal was a good gamble, however, that move would look so much worse had it been followed up by some questionable moves and no obviously good moves.

    A good example of what I am getting at is Cliff Fletcher's tenure as Interim GM. For the most part he made some bad moves, questionable moves, and two solid, but not spectacular moves. All in all, not a great job. However, because most view the move to trade up and select Schenn as a great move, he is given a passing grade by many, even if that move wasn't exactly turning lead into gold. I think if a GM makes a series of moves, and doesn't really have one very strong move to point to as a complete success, they are judged much more harshly.

  10. albertateams says:

    Yeah I agree with what your saying, but it will take a couple of years to figure out how good of a deal it was. Look back to when Calgary first acquired Olli Jokinen, most of the experts thought the move was great, Lombardi, Prust and 1st to get at the time what was perceived as a first line center and the best player in the deal. Now the deal doesn't look that great for the Flames. The point is time will tell how this deal is evaluated. A lot of the so called experts get these deals wrong all the time as they are infatuated with big name players.

    I see what your saying about Sutter, but people in the media forget that he took the Flames from being a team that perennially missed the playoffs to  a team that has made it 5 out of 6 years.  The difference with Fletcher is he never was GM long enough to really be judged as a success or failure.

  11. nordiques100 says:

    The trade he made with Jokinen and Prust for Kotalik and Higgins was far worse than the Phaneuf trade.

    At least he got players who are still with the team in that trade with Toronto.

    Higgins was useless and is now in Florida. They cant get rid of Kotalik to save cap space and thus will likely send him off to Europe and they brought Jokinen back.

    They'll be ok so long as they can shove Kotalik to Europe, trade Sarich and/or Staios and re-sign White to no more than 3 mil per.

    I think they need a backup goalie. They just pay the price without having a reliable guy back there to support Kiprusoff. And even though he keeps telling us he can play every game, you simply cant. if he makes 60 starts, the Flames will make the playoffs so long as they have a good quality backup.

    If he makes 75 starts and they go with Karlsson who is unproven, they're going to be in trouble.

    at the very least they have to show some trust in Karlsson if he is going to be the true backup. otherwise, they're going to have a worn down goalie who isnt getting any younger.

    i think the Flames should be more consistent if Bouwmeester steps it up and plays with some consistency. He has lots of talent but he has to be way more assertive and take charge of this team on the backend.

    Its strange but Sutter by the looks of it is looking to gather up a bunch of "losers" and hope they can all band together to help the Flames win.

    Stajan, Hagman and White have barely had any playoff experience if at all thanks to playing for the Leafs.

    Jokinen and Bouwmeester came from Florida, a team that has had more recent futility than Toronto.

    Players like Glencross, Bourque, Langkow, Staios, either came from bad teams that are still bad or bad teams that are now good, but were bad when they were there.

    its an interesting choice. i guess he is hoping that these losers can join forces and maybe give that extra to reach a common goal for all.

  12. albertateams says:

    Kotalik will go to Europe, no way he can take the blow to his ego by playing in Abbotsford. Sarich is still a solid Dman when healthy but who knows if he can remain healthy for a whole season. Staios trade is right there with the Kotalik trade, hopefully someone will take him off of the Flames hands.

    I really hope that White doesn't make it to arbitration. Hopefully they can do something like Vancouver did with Raymond and sign him right before the hearing to a reasonable 2-3 year contract. If he makes it to arbitration he could get 3.5 +.

    Karlsson or Keetley will have to play 15-20 games  and be decent. If Kipper goes down then it will be a long season.

    Bouwmeester should bounce back the guy has a ton of talent and hopefully this last year was just an adjustment to a new organization.

    They do have a ton of unproven playoff guys but they still have some of the core from the run to the cup finals. It might be wishful thinking but hopefully having zero expectations will allow the team to gel and have a solid year. I guess the difference coming from a loosing environment is that the guys you mentioned were the key players on the team, in Calgary its still Iginla so as long as they accept their role it really shouldn't matter. Calgary has enough leaders on that team that it wont be a big deal.

    Another big question mark is Langkow. Some people think that his injury could be career threatening. Nobody likes to see a player like him go down but it would free up some cap if he had to go on long term IR or retire.

  13. reinjosh says:

    I think everyone blew up the missing playoffs thing into this huge thing. I have no problem thinking they will make the playoffs this year but if they want compete they need to retool a little.

  14. DannyLeafs says:

    I agree, the media has a "what have you done for me lately" outlook on things. They just look at the past 6 or 7 moves that Sutter has made, and with no obvious wins (I agree that the trades are not able to be evaluated, but there isn't a trade in the bunch that looks right now as if it was a stellar move), and some questionable decisions, the media acts as if it would be unthinkable for him to do anything right. Time will eventually let us know how things pan out.

    My point with Fletcher was simply in evaluating a series of moves. I don't think Sutter's latest series of moves could possibly be bad enough to judge him a failure overall, but with the way the media is, GM's are often evaluated on their last half dozen decisions or so.

    Personally I do think Fletcher was a failure, not because he couldn't be a successful executive in the new NHL, just that he wasn't the right person for the position of interim GM. The Leafs needed a cap savvy exec with a strong drafting background for that role. Not a GM who really didn't have a great grasp of the cap, and who is famously quoted as saying "Draft Shmaft". I just think moves such as the Tucker buyout, the Finger contract, the Stempniak trade,and Hiring a coach just before a new GM takes over, were all very questionable moves considering the cir*****stances, and the Hagman signing and moving up to select Schenn don't really make up for it. Don't get me wrong, Schenn is a good selection, but the Leafs had the 7th overall pick in a fairly deep draft, and were likely to get good value as long as Fletcher didn't do something stupid.

  15. nordiques100 says:

    well that injury must be serious enough to give all that money to stajan and jokinen.

    that's like around 11 mil to their top 3 centres, and they arent the best ones really when you think about it. but shaving off 4 plus mil, even if its in a bad way to injury could help them.

    maybe backlund gets a full time chance. that will be a good thing.

    i think they could still have 3 balanced lines without langkow.

    tanguay-jokinen-iginla
    glencross-stajan-bourque
    hagman-backlund-moss

    they could load up the top 2 lines:

    tanguay-jokinen-iginla
    hagman-stajan-bourque

    they could split up the top trio:

    bourque-stajan-iginla
    hagman-jokinen-tanguay

    so i guess there was ok reasoning to get jokinen. there wasn't much out there and my thinking is, the other former flame available, matt lombardi, didnt want to come back.

  16. leafy says:

    Why are you so much trying to defend Sutter? Are you guys related?

  17. albertateams says:

    I just think that the media and fans have been unfair to him. They quickly forget that he led the team out of 7 years without the playoffs. I don't agree with all the moves but he has earned the right to put his job on the line based on this years success.  

  18. hockey_lover says:

    I would submit that not many people here are related to anyone in the Leafs organization but most here defend the Leafs tooth and nail to most criticisms.

  19. leafy says:

    Absolutely agree, and glad to say I'm not one of those people.

  20. leafy says:

    Okay fair enough, but never forget that the team comes first, not the GM.

    One thing I've learned over the years is it's never a good thing to become attached even to players, let alone coaches or GMS who come and go like laundry.

    I knew a Leaf fan years ago who was so attached to Salming that he hated the Leafs after Salming left. I think that's absurd. Almost as if Salming was more important than the team he was rooting for.

  21. hockey_lover says:

    Its just being an over zealous fan. Sometimes its warranted, sometimes not.

    Some people just cant take any criticism to their team. If I made it sound like it was only Leafs fans (which I feel like I may have done that), its not only them. Every team has those crazy insane fans that thinks their team is the be all, end all. Mind you, I think its retarded but whatever.

  22. albertateams says:

    Don't get me wrong if the Flames fall flat this year and miss the playoffs I will be calling for Sutter to get fired and a new regime take over. I just think given his history with the club he has earned the right to try to bring the Flames back to the post season. If it all blows up then its time for the organization to go in a new direction. 

    I have more of an issue with how the media portrays him as inept given what he has done for this organization.
  23. cam7777 says:

    To their credit, I think Leaf fans are extra defensive since every move they make is criticized a million times over by every analyst in the business, and almost always there is a predominantly negative spin.  Even with the Phaneuf trade, it took less than 48 hours for the first negative stuff to start leaking out, saying things like "he's already on the decline,", and "he was only available because no one can stand him!". 

    It's not surprizing that some calgary fans are finally starting to take over that role.  The media is glad to have another obvious target (as most of them are too lazy to look for legitimate news), as the Toronto bit is getting a bit stale at this point.  Like the Leafs, or hate them, you have to admit, it's not easy being a Leaf fan these days.  You're shit on by 90% of the league's fans outside of Toronto, and the media never stops with their bullshit.

    I'm not excusing the mindless defense stuff, I'm just saying, there is reason for it in some cases.  I'd be extra defensive if I were a Flames fan. 

  24. cam7777 says:

    There are only two things you can heavily criticize Sutter for – 1.) his absolutely horrendous draft record, and 2.) the jokinen/prust for higgins/kotalik trade.  The rest is all pretty minor.  Yea, he let Phaneuf go, but he got a lot back in return.  If those players had identical stats but had come from New Jersey, no one would be doubting the Phaneuf return.  Fact of the matter is that their time spent with a losing franchise tarnished their reputations.

    Still, those two things are very easily judged.  The first shows nearly a decade of absolute failure.  The second shows a staggering lack of understanding for the cap.  So while Sutter's errors have been exaggerated, and certain moves analyzed too deeply, these two prove that Sutter is losing it a little bit.  If he wasn't such a control freak, he would hand over the scouting management to someone younger, who knows what they're doing, and find a capologist who can keep him constantly informed.

  25. albertateams says:

    I agree his draft record is pretty weak, however right now the Flames prospect pool looks as good as it has in the past three years. Its still in the bottom half of the league and outside of Backlund devoid of top  end talent, but there are arguably 4-5 players that are ready to jump into the NHL right now (Backlund, Pelech, Negrin, Sutter, and Armstrong). There are also a few guys that are looking much better after kind of dropping off the raider after they were drafted. Mitch Wahl had a really good year with Spokane. Ryan Howse is another guy that the organization is very high on. The strength of there prospect pool is still there defensive depth.

    He didn't draft Macmillian, Breen, Meyer, and Cameron, but he got all of them for free (Macmillian was trade but for a free agent signing in 29 year old AHL journeyman in Jaffery). 
    It would nice though to have some high end skill in the system though, but it's tough when consistently drafting bottom half of the first round. Still I agree his draft record leaves a lot to be desired.
    What he has been able to do is make moves to bring in late bloomers (Kipper, Bourque, Glencross, Giordano) for virtually nothing. Giordano last year was arguably the Flames 2nd best player behind Kipper (and that includes Iginla). The 
    The Jokinen trade completely agree just awful. 
    Another trade that was horrible was the Staios deal Johnson and a 3rd. Staios contract alone should have had the 3rd coming to Calgary not going the other way. With Negrin, Pardy, and Pelech all NHL ready for the 5-6 defense spots it is just such a bad deal. Staios eats 2.7 in cap and is hindering the development of 3 prospects ready to make the step to the bigs. 
    I agree about the Phanuef trade. It would have been nice to get a top center, but those guys are very difficult to come by these days. One thing people forget is that White and Stajan are still young and should continue to develop. Its not like Phaneuf was traded for guys on the down slop of there career.  
    I don't think its a lack of understanding of the cap as much as just a poor decision. Sutter has actually done pretty well at making moves while being close to the cap (being close to the cap is his making however). To my knowledge he hasn't violated any of the cap provisions or received any discipline from the league for cap violations. Sutter has still only ever bought out one player and for a minimal amount.
    I just find most people in the media are pretty clueless and are like a flock of retarded chickens, they all follow the same stupid opinions without actually being able to form their own opinions based on doing a little research and thinking. The media in general get there predictions wrong as often as the moderately informed fan.
    I really think that Feaster will help Sutter, however not with the draft his draft record may be worse than Sutters.
  26. cam7777 says:

    Yea, but was it not Calgary that had to run with like a 15 man roster or something last year?  I'm exaggerating, but you know what I'm getting at.  Just because he manuevered around the cap doesn't necessarily mean he understands it.  He seems to do what he wants and deal with the consequences later.  Maybe that's just an outsiders view though.

    I guess you could argue that with Staios and Kotalik, he figured the move would propel him into the playoffs, and so no one would ask questions if he had been successful.  Still, that's just short sighted.  To me, it was pretty clear Calgary was not winning the Cup last year, so why sacrifice development to push for the playoffs?  I guess because ownership demanded playoff revenue, but then you have to ask, did Sutter honestly think Kotalik, Higgins and Staios would propel him into 8th?  Its not like he added them for free either, or even with just picks – he lost Jokinen, Prust and Johnson to do it.  In hindsight, that's a downgrade at every position.

    I used to think Sutter really knew what he was doing, and was picking up guys off the radar and then having them break out as Flames.  I was concerned when he traded for Anton Stralman, because I thought we (Leaf fans) must have been missing something in the kid if Sutter thought he was a worthwhile acquisition.  But now, it just looks like Sutter's running out of magic.

    You have to admit, a lot of the criticism is warranted – this past 24 months was pretty much a disaster.  The good news is, most of the problems are easily corrected.  The bad news is that a year from now, Iginla is a year older, and if his productions dips again, his value will be less than it is right now.  I just hope the Flames didn't miss a prime oppurtunity to be bold, and break it all down.  Take it from a Leaf fan – after 2 years of failure, and 2 years of ridiculous media coverage shitting on guys like Regehr, Igina and so on, it might be a lot harder to get good value for these guys than you think.

    Suddenly, Regehr won't be an elite shut-down defensemen, but an aging pylon who many will claim could be replaced easily in free agency.  Iginla won't be Mr.Top-line-for-Team-Canada, but rather, a fading star with a big cap hit and many question marks.  I don't necessarily agree with any of this, I'm just saying, this is the kind of retarded stuff you can expect the media to say all year long if things turn sour.  It won't make Sutter's job any easier.

  27. albertateams says:
    That was two years ago and had to play with one less defenseman / forward for a few games. It was more a product of injuries than anything. I agree he deals with the consequences later. He understands the cap enough to maneuver without penalty. 
    I'm sure that is what he was thinking with Kotalik and Staios, but that sure back fired.    
    I agree that some of the criticism is warranted. Its really only been the past 9 months though that have been pretty questionable. Iginlas value will be pretty much the same next year, he still has some good years ahead of him. I doubt the media turns on Iginla the guy is pure class and deals well with stupid media questions. Regehr is still only 30 so he still has some good years left in the tank. He was really good done the stretch playing with White. If the team doesn't make the playoffs it will be up to the new GM to map out a new direction for the franchise.
  28. cam7777 says:

    Just about the last paragraph – yes, I agree with all of that.  But when faced with making a story out of nothing, the media will start to destroy these guys.  Just wait for the spin doctors to go to work.

  29. hockey_lover says:

    As to the 1st paragraph .. we've spoken about this before so I dont want ot get into a big pissing match.

    I will agree that the media poops all over the Leafs a lot. But from the other perspective, as evidenced by many on this site, many Leafs fans are absolutely ridiculous with their expectations, over biasedness (is that even a word? lol), and just general douchebaggery. Pay close attention .. I didnt say all Leafs fans .. many, particularly on here.  So is it really a surprise that the media poops on them?

    I equate it to the media being a flock of girls and the Leafs being that guy at school who thinks he is ultra cool because he wears his shirts with the collar up. He thinks he is cool but the girls think he is a jackass BECAUSE he thinks he is so cool.

    There are Leafs fans around that think that every Leafs move is amazing. Ive spoken to friends who think that JFJ didnt do a bad job. In fact, one friend who is a Leafs fan said "actually, he made a lot of good moves." Uhhh ok. Fine. When you have a group of people constantly saying stupid crap all the time, someone is eventually going to call them out and just poop on them for the sake of pooping on them.

    Its ironic though that you think all media does this. You have mentioned specifically CBC in the past (at least, if memory serves. If not you, it was someone else on here). I just dont see it. CBC is "all toronto, all the time." Im in Ottawa and every Saturday night, whats on tv? Oh look .. a leafs game. How lovely. Throw up TSN? Uh no .. Raptors games. How quaint. I certainly dont hear THAT much anti Leafs stuff on CBC .. or at least, not to the degree as you seem to hear (if it was you who said CBC in the first place . if it wasnt you, my bad).

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