The L.A. Kings' fans may not like it, but the success of the current Calgary Flames can be traced back to the hiring of the Kings' current coach Darryl Sutter as coach of the Flames in 2002 by then Flames GM Craig Button.
Sutter coached the Flames through the 2005-2006 season, but it is his work as Calgary's GM starting in April, 2003 that must be recognized as laying the foundation for this current Calgary Edifice.
Sutter has obviously gone on to great things with the Kings but of the 27 current Flames (including injured) he is responsible for 6 of them.
|Darryl Sutter||2003/04/11 to 2010/12/28||6|
2010/12/28 to 2013/12/12
2013/12/12 to 2014/04/28
2014/04/28 to Present
Darryl Sutter - The Escavator
All strong Edifices need a strong foundation and started this one with the Flames' Norris candidate, Mark Giordano. Incredibly Sutter signed Giordano as a Free Agent twice for the Flames.
Giordano played for the Owen Sound Attack in junior for 2 years but despite his 32 goals, 65 assists for 97 points with 171 PIM in 133 games he went undrafted. That's where the Sutter & Giordano 3 Act Play began.
Act I - Sutter jumps in and signs Giordano out of junior in July, 2004.
Act II - Giordano only plays 55 games with Flames in 3 years and goes to KHL for 1 year. Sutter jumps in again and signs the free agent when he returns in July, 2008.
Act III - On October 30, 2010 (just 2 months before he resigned as GM) and 9 months before Giordano can become an UFA, Sutter signs him to a 5 year $20.1 million contract that was criticized by many at the time.
If leaving behind a Norris candidate was not enough, Sutter made sure Giordano's had a solid defense partner, as it was Sutter who grabbed T.J. Brodie with the 114th pick in the 2008 draft.
And the remaining Darryl Sutterisms; Curtis Glencross was signed as a UFA in July, 2008 and he has now played almost 400 games for the Flames, averaging 18 minutes a game over the last 4 years. Draft picks, Backlund (2007/1/24), Bouma (2008/3/78) and Ferlan (2010/5/133) were drafted by you know who.
Jay Feaster - The Builder
99 is obviously famous in Alberta, ironically it is also the number of days Feaster lasted under Burke.
When the man who publically ridiculed a trade you made with him gets hired as your new boss you know your days are numbered. In September, 2013, Brian Burke, the man who self proclaimed he stole Dion Phaneuf from the Flames for the Leafs was hired as President of the Flames and immediately Feaster's exit clock started ticking.
Feaster has left his indelible mark on the Flames whether or not Burke or Flames fans want to acknowledge it.
Defense - 2nd Pair & more - Calgary's current 2nd Defense Pairing was obtained by Feaster at little cost. Dennis Wideman coming off an 82 game season with the Caps (11 goals, 35 assists, 46 pts., 23:54 TOI) was obtained in June, 2012 for a 5th round pick and Jordan Henry who at 28 has not played a game in the NHL. Kris Russell was obtained for a 5th round pick straight up in July,2013 from St. Louis. Then in November, 2013 just before his firing Feaster got Ladislav Smid as his 5th Defenseman also for little in return.
Centre - Strength down the middle & the Wing - Sean Monahan was drafted by Feaster, Josh Jooris was signed as a College UFA by Feaster. The name Joe Colborne may have been whispered in Feaster's ear, but to his credit he only gave up a 4th round pick for him. Sam Bennett was probably a Flame no matter who was GM and adds to this depth. Lest we forget the wing, Feaster signed Jiri Hudler to a 4 year contract and last year in his first year with 54 pts. he was 3 off his career best. This year he is flying with 26 pts. in 27 games.
Goal - Out of Nowhere - Karri Rammo had spent 4 years in the KHL when Feaster got him in the Bourque/Cammalleri trade. In his first year last season in 40 games he was 2.65 GAA & .911 SV% and has improved this year to 2.37 & .917 SV%.
Coach - Oh yeah, Stanley Cup Winning Coach Bob Hartley was hired by Feaster.
Brad Treliving - The Happy Buyer
Treliving walks into his new position like a new home owner who has their New Home Warranty in his pocket. As long as he doesn't negate the warranty, i.e. go against Burke Code of Conduct, he will be there a while.
Prior to hiring Treliving, Burke claimed he would do extensive interviewing, and then Burke being Burke, he hired Treliving and boasted that there wasn't anyone else he wanted to talk to. Fact of the matter is, that Treliving without any GM experience and having only worked for the less than successful Coyotes might not have been invited to any of the interviews by any of the other 6 teams that had GM openings.
Burke's GM Code of Conduct is pretty simple, it states:
1. Truculence, Truculence, Truculence,
2. Players he had before are real good, get them,
3. US College Experience is invaluable,
4. Drafting Goalies is a Waste of Time
5. All of the above where possible.
Treliving's early Roster Moves adhere to Burke's Code of Conduct almost shamelessly.
Did we say Truculence times 3, like in Deryk Engelland, Brandon Bollig and Trevor Gillies (the latter two undrafted).
Engelland in 256 NHL games has 13 goals and 336 PIM to go along with his 338 games in the AHL where he scored 14 goals and 611 PIM.
Bollig has 7 goals in his 150 NHL games to go with 232 PIM, down from his AHL production in 146 games, 13 goals and 442 PIM.
And then there is Trevor Gillies who was signed by Burke to Adirondack in January, 2014, invited to Calgary's camp by Treviling this fall. Gillies in 380 AHL games has 8 goals and 1,536 PIM to go with his ECHL 1 goal in 217 games with 1,048 PIM. This year by mid October he was already suspended 12 games in the AHL for slamming a player's head into the ice. Gillies made his debut in the NHL in 2005-2006 for Burke's Ducks, in his only game he had 21 PIM. It took him until 2009-2010 to resurface with the Islanders and over 2 years in 56 games he had 2 goals and 240 PIM.
Treliving did a Code of Conduct Double Dip when he signed for Ducks Goalie Jonas Hiller, who was a free agent goalie signing by Burke in Anaheim (Reminiscent of J.S. Giguere following Burke from Anaheim to Toronto).
FUELING THE FLAMES / Hot Stove 2014/12/06
That leaves 3 players attributed to Treliving; Mason Raymond, Raphael Diaz and Sam Bennett.
Raymond, although not linked directly to Burke, did go to U.S. College (did we mention Bollig did as well) and he was drafted by Burke's sole GM offspring, Dave Nonis, shortly after Burke left Vancouver. Coincidentally Nonis had Raymond as a UFA in Toronto last season.
The drafting of Bennett is very much a Burke type move and he would probably been in Calgary if it was Feaster, Burke or Treliving drafting. So that leaves us with Raphael Diaz and Brad Treliving we will acknowledge that.
Brian Burke - Real Estate Agent
Teams and organizations need to be sold to their fans and sponsors and the Calgary Flames have Burke as their pitch man. Like the Real Estate Agent who thinks you should be honoured to accept his deal, Burke thinks other GMs and players should jump at his terms. Only Burke knows for sure why he couldn't get any deals done at the Trade Deadline despite his proclaimed willingness to take on salary, and only Burke knows for sure why Cammalleri did not sign despite Burke's public negotiating. But the plain fact is, roster wise they did not improve under his GM tenure.