Should the Flames wave a white flag?
The Calgary Flames snapped a five-game losing streak against the Dallas Stars but the relative lack of activity at the NHL trade deadline leaves the team with a roster that has underperformed all season and sitting outside the playoff spots, a disastrous return for a team built for contention.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Congratulations, Brad Treliving, for making NHL history by making the first brother for brother trade. That's really all he did. That's really it. That's it.
OMAR: But doesn't that say something, though? Like, is that not a white flag? That's how I took it. I don't know. That's how I took it. I took it out of the parachute. Like, we're done.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like, it's just-- I don't know, man. Like, I'm hearing everyone else mention what's going on with their teams. And look, I know the Canucks are confusing. But they at least made some moves happen that like, could help in the future. Ken Holland did something that might actually help his team.
Kyle Dubas, he got two phones, one for the plug, one for the low. And he made moves! Brad Treliving was just like, OK, what can we really do? But also, I can't firmly blame him because the team in front of him is not playing up to standard. And Darryl Sutter--
SAM CHANG: Their issue isn't their roster.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: OK, we all really what the issue probably is.
SAM CHANG: We all know what he should do.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, no, but they're not going to do it! And it's on Darryl Sutter to do the job to get the most out of these players. That's it. But also, his players are also playing at the most, like, the lowest possible confidence they could be at.
SAM CHANG: It's time for the Calgary Flames to lock Darryl Sutter out of the locker room using the laundry baskets.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: [LAUGHS]
OMAR: As of now when you look at the standings--
SAM CHANG: If he's not going to do it on his own, the players have to make the same point the LA Kings did. Like, this man's got to go.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Yeah.
OMAR: Like, right now, Nashville is ahead of Calgary, Nashville who sold, by the way and have three games in hand. Yes, it's only one point. But that's bad. That's bad.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I think the Florida Panthers have more points than-- yep, they do. The Florida Panthers have more points than the Calgary Flames, the Florida Panthers who made that big Jonathan Huberdeau trade in the off season. And they're also probably not going to make the playoffs either.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Yeah, remember what I said before?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, go ahead, Avry.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: I mean, you look at Darryl Sutter. Those old school coaches, they have expiry dates. And when they get to that date, they age like milk. The Darryl Sutter's, the Mike Keenan's, the Mike Crawford's, their style doesn't work in 2023. It doesn't.
OMAR: Yeah, if you're Calgary, you can't just look at your team to evaluate the season. I feel like you have to look at all the what if scenarios. Like, we've talked about so many teams in the Western Conference this year. We've talked about how the West is pretty much like, wide open, how the Pacific division is ripe for the taking, how like teams like Winnipeg have and are currently in a little slump, how Edmonton's had their issues. And Seattle is in a playoff spot in their second year.
And Calgary is not in the playoffs. That's-- yes, you want to focus on your own team, your own locker room, whatever. But that's like a point that you can't ignore. In those end of season meetings, you can't ignore the fact that like, other teams in the division, in the conference faltered. And you couldn't take advantage of that. With the players you have on this roster and with the trades you made last summer, that's a problem. That's a problem. They can't say, no, just a bad year, no. That's an issue that has to be addressed.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know, man. And I'm just really stumped. And I know I'm not a fan of the team. But like, I feel some of the frustration with the underwhelming performances. I really think the last stretch of games just kind of broke them, with Boston and even Toronto and Minnesota as well. And look, no disrespect to Troy Stecher, seems like a nice guy-- Nick Ritchie, seems like a nice guy. I don't think those moves make any bit of a difference.
They might as well have not done anything, if we're really being honest about it. And even then, I don't know if that's the best move. Selling pieces, I wonder if they genuinely tried that. They said they examined all possible opportunities. But I really wonder who bit. I really wonder if there's anyone who's going to give them what they wanted if they were going to go down that route. I don't know. And if you're not going to make a big trade to get a big fish out there, it's not really going to make that much of a difference.
But I also understand withholding draft capital. The Flames were kind of in a position where they couldn't really do all that much, whether they wanted to or not. And they're kind of stuck where they are. And they basically are just saying, OK, you guys have to figure this out. You're going to have to coexist with Darryl Sutter.
He has that extension coming up. And everybody else on the roster, fix it. Do something. But what do you do when you're at your lowest point and there is seemingly no way to get out? Like, what do you do? Do you just hope a lucky break happens? Like, I don't know when that's coming for this team.