The Calgary Flames have decided to stand by both Jarome Iginla and Darryl Sutter, demonstrating their belief in the core of the team. Calgary Flames president Ken King made sure that anyone doubting the safety of the team’s captain and general manager knew that he was standing behind both of his team’s components.
There will be some changes in the overall way the team operates, however, and Sutter will be given one or two hands in running the hockey operations of the organization. It’s expected that this means that the long vacant position of assistant GM will finally be filled, giving the players an “alternative hockey voice” with which to work.
Many have considered the Flames to be Sutter’s team and have struggled with the notion of the GM having so much absolute control. It looks like King’s been listening, at least partially, to the criticism. The calvary is on the way to Calgary’s management structure.
Calgary Hitmen general manager Kelly Kisio is being considered as one of the front-runners for the assistant GM position, as his work with the Hitmen has been exemplary thus far.
According to King, Sutter’s job was never in jeopardy. “We weren’t vascillating on whether or not to keep Darryl,” said King.
King deserves a small round of applause for standing by Sutter, but the heat will really be on when the next season gets underway. The Flames must make the playoffs for King’s decision to look anything less than stupid and, I would imagine, for Sutter’s job to be safe. King is showing his GM an awful lot of good faith here. Let’s just hope it pays off.
Sutter has his work cut out for him and will have to live with a number of bad choices. His club is at the top of the cap, for instance, and lacks a solid centreman. It also has no top 60 picks in the draft and lacks prospects, so it’s hard for fans to have much hope for the upcoming year.
The first order of business will be to start offloading some salary. Then, some youth along the blueline will be helpful. The absence of Dion Phaneuf will be felt for a while and the trade to get rid of him in order to turn the Flames into the Leafs of the West doesn’t look so hot. It’s up to Sutter to repair things and to return some semblance of the 2004 Flames to this hockey club.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.