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Mysteriosa
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I don't know if anyone read/skimmed/heard about investigative piece on the Arizona Coyotes and their owner Alex Meruelo last week, but it is quite ruthless.

 

https://theathletic.com/2390146/2021/02/16/arizona-coyotes-investigation-toxic/

 

tl;dr (or you don't have a subscription)

 

- The Coyotes haggle every last line item on their expense sheets, fight vendors for every last cent, and use excuses like "who approved that? oh that's a former employee" as a way of annoying vendors out of the full amounts they are owed.

- There's stuff about the labour law violations, not paying employees overtime pay they are owed, etc. 

- There is this anecdote about one of the Coyotes' business executives, Luis Armona, presumably a grown man:

Quote

According to two employees, Armona banged a conference table and shouted: “Free! Free! Free! No one makes money off the Coyotes. They only exist because of us!”

- An anecdote that had been rumored in the past was confirmed: once, the Coyotes players had wanted to order pizza after a game and the comp was denied by the team.

- There is a lot of stuff about culture. For example, employees who call the owner "Alex" are corrected and told to address him as "Mr. Meruelo," as if they're 10.

- Near the end, there is something that hasn't gotten a lot of attention: the NHL denies that the Coyotes are under investigation, but people in the organization are speaking to lawyers from the same firm the NHL hired to investigate the Dale Tallon racist slur allegations. It seems to be over the Coyotes' misappropriating funds that all teams get for things like growing the game in their region/community, hockey diversity initiatives, etc. That money comes from revenue sharing. If Alex Meruelo is using that money for something else, you have to think the other 30 owners are going to demand Gary Bettman come down hard on him.

- Elliotte Friedman, who is a pretty loyal soldier for the NHL, talked on his podcast about why he thinks Alex Meruelo wants to own an NHL team: owning a sports team is the easiest way for someone who's not American First Nation to obtain gambling licenses in the state of Arizona. So, not to win a Stanley Cup or grow hockey in Arizona.

- The Coyotes threatened legal action against the journalist, Katie Strang. The GM, Bill Armstrong, even told her she'd be going to prison! (btw, Katie Strang is one of very few people who "cover sports" that actually qualify as real journalists, in my opinion. ... as in, they go into messy topics to get information the public should know about institutions in sports and aren't afraid of the consequences. Rick Westhead is another I'd put in that category.)

 

Alex Meruelo wanted to buy the Atlanta Hawks in 2011, and the league turned him down because they were not convinced he had the finances to own an NBA team. The NHL is so desperate for someone to be willing to own the Coyotes that they don't really care if that person can run a team up to the standards of the highest professional hockey league in the world.

 

I just don't get why this Arizona project is the hill Gary Bettman wants to die on, other than he's in it too deep with his ego now. It's never seemed viable, but it's been a complete calamity for the last 10 years now. I feel like the reason he says he still isn't considering retirement in his late 60s is because he knows the next commissioner is going to pull the plug on the Coyotes, wihtout the emotional investment only he has in wanting to prove that it can work.

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What fresh hell is this?

 

You are quite right when you say none of our coach hires have been very good.  So what do we do?  We go back in time.  Because that always works out.

 

DARRYL SUTTER???  :dead:

 

 

Calgary beat the Leafs 3-0, which seemed unlikely.  Then we lost 2-1 to them in OT.

 

Then Ottawa beat us 6-1, we won over them 6-3, we lost to them 5-1, then beat them 7-3.    The play by play announcer calls the Flames Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and said we need to stick with Jekyll.  Some days the Flames look totally disinterested in hockey.

 

Then coach Ward was fired and replaced by Sutter?  Someone told me, and I thought they were pulling my leg.  Or it was a different Sutter.

 

Here's the thing.  The Flames owners never spring for a guy who is in demand.  They always go off script.  This time I think we've actually time travelled.

 

If the players need to be treated like high strung pets, he is not going to be the guy.  Are we that desperate?  (don't answer that!  LOL🦡)  At the same time I'm kind of fascinated.  It's like watching Godzilla walk into an arena parking lot and SOMETHING BAD is about to happen.

 

Meanwhile thanks for the Arizona stuff.  One day someone will say "who wanted to re-hire Sutter"  and everyone will say "Who approved that?  Must have been a former employee..."

 

 

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I did not think any coaches would be whacked mid-season this season because of the financial constraints. That's Canada I guess. I suppose Montreal and Calgary both felt changing coaches was their only chance of righting the ship, with how hard it is to make trades, especially with players moving north of the border. Vancouver chose to ride out a calamitous stretch early in the season without making changes, and they're firmly out of the race now, so I doubt there'll be changes there or with the other four Canadian teams whose fates seem close to sealed.

 

I thought Travis Green would end up following Markstrom and Tanev to Calgary. Guess that's out the window now.

 

Darryl Sutter wins a lot at the NHL level, you have to give him that. And he is nothing if not a jolt. But the move is not without risk. There's potential for him to make the situation worse, imo. It's a bit of an experiment. It'll be interesting.

 

wrt the Canadian division, I think we can safely say Toronto is in, and that Ottawa and Vancouver are out. So it's a four-way race for three spots, with Calgary currently on the ouside. It's not too late for them, but they need to start banking wins fast under Sutter.

 

The situation in Vancouver is so bad it's just funny. Jim Benning says he needs two more years for the team to be a "real contender." He's already had seven years! He also says the team lives day-to-day which is terrifying to behold. It's basically admitting that there is no plan. 

 

I can't believe he has been the GM for seven years. They've made the playoffs twice under him and won one round. I think about where I was seven years ago, how much my life has changed, how much the world has changed... and Jim Benning is still running the Canucks, and they still suck.

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:11 AM, RWG said:

Darryl Sutter wins a lot at the NHL level, you have to give him that. And he is nothing if not a jolt. But the move is not without risk. There's potential for him to make the situation worse, imo. It's a bit of an experiment. It'll be interesting.

LOL at interesting.  I notice online a lot of Flames fans think we're going to win the Cup now.  :huh:  :rofl:

I was surprised Montreal ditched their coach.

 

Flames lost against the Oilers 3-2.  Then they lost in the shootout against Ottawa 4-3, after trailing for most of the game.  At least they got a point.  It is interesting seeing the players trying really hard now that they know Sutter is coming.  I'm sure the previous coach finds that really annoying.

 

On 3/6/2021 at 12:11 AM, RWG said:

The situation in Vancouver is so bad it's just funny. Jim Benning says he needs two more years for the team to be a "real contender." He's already had seven years! He also says the team lives day-to-day which is terrifying to behold. It's basically admitting that there is no plan. 

 

I can't believe he has been the GM for seven years. They've made the playoffs twice under him and won one round. I think about where I was seven years ago, how much my life has changed, how much the world has changed... and Jim Benning is still running the Canucks, and they still suck.

There have been times when I thought Vancouver was turning a corner, and then it wasn't.  Ownership must really like not getting anywhere.  How is Benning still there?

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On 3/8/2021 at 3:12 PM, Mysteriosa said:

LOL at interesting.  I notice online a lot of Flames fans think we're going to win the Cup now.  :huh:  :rofl:

I was surprised Montreal ditched their coach.

 

Flames lost against the Oilers 3-2.  Then they lost in the shootout against Ottawa 4-3, after trailing for most of the game.  At least they got a point.  It is interesting seeing the players trying really hard now that they know Sutter is coming.  I'm sure the previous coach finds that really annoying.

 

There have been times when I thought Vancouver was turning a corner, and then it wasn't.  Ownership must really like not getting anywhere.  How is Benning still there?

 

Flames won their first three with Sutter, but are losing 7-1 to Edmonton right now. I guess that's sort of a mixed bag. It's still an uphill climb for them based on the numbers.

 

The Canucks won 6/7 but are playing poorly. Shows you how dumb this sport is. Demko has basically just replaced Markstrom as the MVP. They really can't afford to lose Ian Clark as goalie coach.

 

Technically, they're going to finish tonight a point ahead of Calgary and just two back of Montreal. But Calgary has three games in hand on them and Montreal has four, so it's mostly a mirage. We'll know where they really are after their week off next week (likely in 6th).

 

How has Jim Benning lasted this long? I would love to know. It's probably a combination of a few things. For the first half of his tenure, he was able to claim he inherited a bad situation, and for the last three or so years, he's been able to claim that now he's drafted the players, we're almost there and just have to build the team around them and he just needs a little more time to do that. Even though we are not almost there. I also think Benning is more adept at office politics than you'd think, and from what I've heard, he's ingratiated himself with the owner and his family, who like Benning personally. Traditionally, Canucks GMs have been lawyers with grizzlier personalities: Quinn, Burke, Gillis. Benning is the opposite of that, and I think that's helped him charm certain members of the media, fans, and ownership. Also, while he deserves all the criticism he gets, he admittedly takes it very well. Never hits back. Those other three guys always did and it never benefitted them.

 

I also think ownership is aware that decisions they've made and prevented Benning from doing his job properly, but it's not like that ever stopped them from firing people before.

 

On 3/17/2021 at 6:40 PM, ShortstopVM said:

LMAOOOOOO The Rangers are winning 9-0 right now with an AHL coach! #FPhilly :lmao:

 

I don't know which coach should be more embarrassed: the Flyers coach, Vigneault, who takes the 9-0 L, or the Rangers coach, whose team can win 9-0 with basically no one running the bench.

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On 3/17/2021 at 10:39 PM, RWG said:

Flames won their first three with Sutter, but are losing 7-1 to Edmonton right now. I guess that's sort of a mixed bag. It's still an uphill climb for them based on the numbers.

The press conference Sutter gave when he started was creepy, because he was so happy he actually smiled.

 

Yes, Calgary beat Montreal twice, and Edmonton once.  Then they lost to Edmonton 7-3. 

 

Roadtrip:  Somehow they won over Toronto 4-3, but then lost to Toronto 2-0. 

 

Then lost to Ottawa 2-1 while Ottawa was using their 4th string goalie who was playing his first game!  (amused to see today's newspaper where a sportswriter described in detail what a 4th goalie is).  After the game Andersson messed round with the puck that Ottawa was trying to get for their goalie, and then claimed he didn't know it was a first win puck.  Uh huh.  

 

Today the Ottawa game was 3 pm Calgary time and Calgary lost 3-1.  They look like they forgot everything they ever learnt about hockey!  And they can't score.  I could have watched the whole thing, but I kept wandering away to do other things!  It really was a pathetic effort.  And what is with the weird scheduling?  It's all over the place.

 

On 3/17/2021 at 10:39 PM, RWG said:

I also think ownership is aware that decisions they've made and prevented Benning from doing his job properly, but it's not like that ever stopped them from firing people before.

 

Well ownership is paying the bill, so I guess it depends on how long they want to pay for no results.

On 3/17/2021 at 7:40 PM, ShortstopVM said:

LMAOOOOOO The Rangers are winning 9-0 right now with an AHL coach! #FPhilly :lmao:

Weird and hilarious!  And much much cheaper.

 

Ooo.  Referee got fired.

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/referee-caught-on-open-mic-wanting-to-call-penalty-on-preds-1.5961611

 

The NHL lets so much stuff slide I didn't think a referee could get fired.  I have always kind of wondered if game fixing could be possible like it sometimes has been in soccer.  Make up calls are not unusual at all.  I heard he was retiring in April anyway.

 

Why do they mike them up anyway?  All you get is a lot of huffing and puffing as they chase the play.  The fun stuff is not the kind of thing that can be broadcast in public anyway.  Can you refuse to do a live mike?  Can you sabotage it by swearing till they give up the idea? :P    

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On 3/24/2021 at 7:21 PM, Mysteriosa said:

The press conference Sutter gave when he started was creepy, because he was so happy he actually smiled.

 

Yes, Calgary beat Montreal twice, and Edmonton once.  Then they lost to Edmonton 7-3. 

 

Roadtrip:  Somehow they won over Toronto 4-3, but then lost to Toronto 2-0. 

 

Then lost to Ottawa 2-1 while Ottawa was using their 4th string goalie who was playing his first game!  (amused to see today's newspaper where a sportswriter described in detail what a 4th goalie is).  After the game Andersson messed round with the puck that Ottawa was trying to get for their goalie, and then claimed he didn't know it was a first win puck.  Uh huh.  

 

Today the Ottawa game was 3 pm Calgary time and Calgary lost 3-1.  They look like they forgot everything they ever learnt about hockey!  And they can't score.  I could have watched the whole thing, but I kept wandering away to do other things!  It really was a pathetic effort.  And what is with the weird scheduling?  It's all over the place.

 

 

Well ownership is paying the bill, so I guess it depends on how long they want to pay for no results.

Weird and hilarious!  And much much cheaper.

 

Ooo.  Referee got fired.

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/referee-caught-on-open-mic-wanting-to-call-penalty-on-preds-1.5961611

 

The NHL lets so much stuff slide I didn't think a referee could get fired.  I have always kind of wondered if game fixing could be possible like it sometimes has been in soccer.  Make up calls are not unusual at all.  I heard he was retiring in April anyway.

 

Why do they mike them up anyway?  All you get is a lot of huffing and puffing as they chase the play.  The fun stuff is not the kind of thing that can be broadcast in public anyway.  Can you refuse to do a live mike?  Can you sabotage it by swearing till they give up the idea? :P    

 

Moneypuck had Calgary's chances of making the playoffs at about 22% before tonight's play. I'm guessing the loss to Winnipeg drops them below 20. Come sit with us in the loser's corner.

 

They told us these divisional races would be super exciting, but most of the playoff spots look wrapped up with still a month to go. The four spots are pretty much clinched in the MassMutual East and Scotia North. There is a two-way race between Arizona and St. Louis in the Honda West, and Columbus could catch Chicago in the Discover Central. Otherwise, there's not a lot of playoff races to watch.

 

I think the mics are just so that the game scorers who sit up above in the arena can hear what penalty the ref is calling. And they loop it into the broadcast so viewers can hear the call. I guess Tim Peel forgot to turn off his mic after he made the call.

 

I don't doubt that the NHL sent a very stern memo to all its officials, but it was about making sure their mics are off, not makeup calls.

 

I think the term "makeup call" is used liberally, but if it means calling a weak penalty on a team because you realize you'd just made a mistake calling one on the other team, I actually don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the general pendulum of how games are called. "We called the last one on them so the next one is going to be on you." Or "you had two power plays in the 2nd, so they'll get two in the 3rd." Even awarding more power plays to a team that is carrying the play more -- simply because they are carrying play -- is not the same thing as just enforcing the rulebook. There should be more against the grain penalties imo, and teams that play on the edge more shouldn't have the comfort of knowing they'll still get half the power plays anyways.

 

Also, a penalty on a player who just got called up from the AHL should also be a penalty on Crosby and McDavid.

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On 3/25/2021 at 6:10 PM, ShortstopVM said:

 

Quinn is still out due to COVID protocol, and we're already up 5 6-0 with seventeen minutes left in the second period. :lmao:

 

Pretty neat.

 

The Flames keep losing.  Well we can't fire the coach, we just signed him...  Though maybe if our GM gets fired, our coach could change again?  Heck.

On 3/27/2021 at 12:01 AM, RWG said:

Moneypuck had Calgary's chances of making the playoffs at about 22% before tonight's play. I'm guessing the loss to Winnipeg drops them below 20. Come sit with us in the loser's corner.

 

They told us these divisional races would be super exciting, but most of the playoff spots look wrapped up with still a month to go. The four spots are pretty much clinched in the MassMutual East and Scotia North. There is a two-way race between Arizona and St. Louis in the Honda West, and Columbus could catch Chicago in the Discover Central. Otherwise, there's not a lot of playoff races to watch.

Glug, glug, glug.  🐠

 

Flames lost to Winnipeg 3-2, won over them 4-2, and then lost again yesterday.

I actually forgot the Flames were playing on Monday.  It totally slipped my mind.  Maybe my subconscious was trying to save me from myself, LOL, because they lost to Winnipeg 5-1 and I didn't realize they played until it was Tuesday.  :rofl:

 

Is there lots of space in the loser's corner?  I may have to build a kind of comfy home there.  Hmm, Flames 20th in the league, tied with Vancouver for points.  

 

Things that happened this week:  Sutter called out Gaudreau as needing more energy when reporters wanted to talk about G's upcoming 500th game which he then won;  Giordano called Gaudreau out in an interview as the Flames needing him to be on his game, Gio got played a lot/too much, lines were weird, Flames signed Kuznetsov to an entry level contract, and fans seem to be piling on goalie Markstrom like he's at fault.  I have noticed that the few Flames who were actually still playing OK hockey are losing hope and it is beginning to spiral.  

 

I'm disappointed in the Canadian League.   I thought it would be more interesting and like you said, it's not exactly surprising either.

 

Apparently a referee this week was covering his microphone, so now they're all paranoid.

 

Fun fact I discovered:  Bob Hartley is coaching in the KHL.  Avangard Omsk.  You could say he's been sent to Siberia!  

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On 3/30/2021 at 4:53 PM, Mysteriosa said:

Pretty neat.

 

The Flames keep losing.  Well we can't fire the coach, we just signed him...  Though maybe if our GM gets fired, our coach could change again?  Heck.

Glug, glug, glug.  🐠

 

Flames lost to Winnipeg 3-2, won over them 4-2, and then lost again yesterday.

I actually forgot the Flames were playing on Monday.  It totally slipped my mind.  Maybe my subconscious was trying to save me from myself, LOL, because they lost to Winnipeg 5-1 and I didn't realize they played until it was Tuesday.  :rofl:

 

Is there lots of space in the loser's corner?  I may have to build a kind of comfy home there.  Hmm, Flames 20th in the league, tied with Vancouver for points.  

 

Things that happened this week:  Sutter called out Gaudreau as needing more energy when reporters wanted to talk about G's upcoming 500th game which he then won;  Giordano called Gaudreau out in an interview as the Flames needing him to be on his game, Gio got played a lot/too much, lines were weird, Flames signed Kuznetsov to an entry level contract, and fans seem to be piling on goalie Markstrom like he's at fault.  I have noticed that the few Flames who were actually still playing OK hockey are losing hope and it is beginning to spiral.  

 

I'm disappointed in the Canadian League.   I thought it would be more interesting and like you said, it's not exactly surprising either.

 

Apparently a referee this week was covering his microphone, so now they're all paranoid.

 

Fun fact I discovered:  Bob Hartley is coaching in the KHL.  Avangard Omsk.  You could say he's been sent to Siberia!  

 

It's quite shocking what's happened in Calgary. I think I predicted them to finish 2nd in the conference. Even when it looked like they might be sliding into mediocrity, I didn't think they'd be this bad. They're now in a dead heat with Vancouver for 5th which is frankly a sort of an embarrassing place to be. Tim Micallef described them as a team going through an organization identity crisis.

 

It doesn't seem to me like adding Darryl Sutter to this situation has helped. In the video I saw of him saying that about Gaudreau, there's was an awkward 5-6 seconds of silence after he says it. I get trying to motivate your player by calling him out publicly, but that comment went over like a fart in church. It feels like the end for Gaudreau there is near, but the owners can't be happy with Treliving, missing the playoffs after they spent all that money in the offseason. And what happens to Sutter if Treliving goes? Part of me doesn't think teams should make rash judgements based on this season, because there's so much out of  everyone's control, but how many times can the Flames simply fall short without consequences.

 

The Canucks/Flames game scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed because of positive Covid tests on Vancouver. Gaudette, Hamonic, and a member of the coaching staff have tested positive so far. There will probably be more, given that they went through an entire practice with at least one positive player who hadn't gotten his test results back yet on the ice and in the room. I'm most concerned for Hamonic, as his infant daughter just battled or has a breathing condition.

 

The situation is now inverse from what it was earlier, with the American teams mostly vaccinated and the Canadian teams now at increased risk by the variants.

 

It's been reported that the Canucks have signed Thatcher Demko to a five-year extension worth $25 million. The team hasn't actually announced it, but the owner has tweeted about it saying he's happy, so I guess it's done? It's very odd the way things are operating. The owner seems massively involved. I wish someone would take away his Twitter like they did with Trump.

 

I'm happy we'll have Demko through his prime years. They actually did a good job drafting and developing him. It's a mostly decent contract but signing a goalie to a contract like this is always risky because so few of them are consistently excellent year after year. I'd have 25 year old Demko @ 5x25 than 31 year old Markstrom @ 6x6, I guess.

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14 hours ago, RWG said:

It's quite shocking what's happened in Calgary. I think I predicted them to finish 2nd in the conference. Even when it looked like they might be sliding into mediocrity, I didn't think they'd be this bad. They're now in a dead heat with Vancouver for 5th which is frankly a sort of an embarrassing place to be. Tim Micallef described them as a team going through an organization identity crisis.

Identity crisis is a good description.  Latest theories include Monahan being injured, since he's had lots of wrist surgeries in the past.  Sometimes I think we got rid of all the players who did the small useful stuff, and they were never replaced by anybody.  Also people who brought the fun, like Hamilton.  Maybe more of them need to go to museums, LOL.

 

14 hours ago, RWG said:

It doesn't seem to me like adding Darryl Sutter to this situation has helped. In the video I saw of him saying that about Gaudreau, there's was an awkward 5-6 seconds of silence after he says it. I get trying to motivate your player by calling him out publicly, but that comment went over like a fart in church. It feels like the end for Gaudreau there is near, but the owners can't be happy with Treliving, missing the playoffs after they spent all that money in the offseason. And what happens to Sutter if Treliving goes? Part of me doesn't think teams should make rash judgements based on this season, because there's so much out of  everyone's control, but how many times can the Flames simply fall short without consequences.

It suddenly hit me the other day that if Treliving goes we might switch coaches again, which is part of our problem.  I think Gaudreau could probably use a fresh start.  I didn't think it would end up that way.  None of the core players seem to be very engaged, for whatever reason, and I think that spreads to the other players.  The only veteran player who seems to be interested is Lucic!  

 

14 hours ago, RWG said:

The Canucks/Flames game scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed because of positive Covid tests on Vancouver.

I was a bit surprised they waited until almost the last minute.  I don't understand why Vancouver still went ahead and practiced.  The play by play radio commentator has to drive into Calgary, and he was just about to, when it was cancelled.  Rick Ball who does the tv version said he got the news, got into his dressing gown and had a glass of wine.  

 

I told someone, imagine bad hockey, a break, more bad hockey, another break and then losing.  There.  Saved so much time. 🦡

 

14 hours ago, RWG said:

I'm happy we'll have Demko through his prime years. They actually did a good job drafting and developing him. It's a mostly decent contract but signing a goalie to a contract like this is always risky because so few of them are consistently excellent year after year. I'd have 25 year old Demko @ 5x25 than 31 year old Markstrom @ 6x6, I guess.

I think the Flames have broken Markstrom.  I'm amazed at some of the fans who turned on him in a second.  Like he's going to just drag us to the playoffs single handedly.  And then what?  It's not like he can score for you too.

 

The radio Sportsnet guys were like, hey it's a rebuild, we should get rid of Tanev.  :huh: Then Lou, the colour commentator for the Flames pointed out that he is one of the only good players left.  Um...can't we keep the nice ones?  It's like everyone has forgotten how to construct a decent team.  They just want to buy it straight out of the box, instant results.  If I had to trade people Tanev would be last on the list.  Trade Bennett, he wants to get out of here.  I'd trade Gaudreau because it isn't working out and he's worth something.  He shouldn't just have to dwindle away.

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On 4/2/2021 at 1:09 PM, Mysteriosa said:

I was a bit surprised they waited until almost the last minute.  I don't understand why Vancouver still went ahead and practiced.  The play by play radio commentator has to drive into Calgary, and he was just about to, when it was cancelled.  Rick Ball who does the tv version said he got the news, got into his dressing gown and had a glass of wine.  

In hindsight, it's insane that they identified one positive test on Monday and removed him after he'd been around the rest of the team all day, then had the rest of the team continue normal group activities until Wednesday night. If that's following the NHL's protocols, it's no shocker they've had so many outbreaks.

 

It's up to 16 players now, 3 coaches and one player on the taxi squad. They are testing positive for the Brazilian variant, which is exploding in the Vancouver area right now and is sending young, healthy people to the hospital. According to Pierre LeBrun, it's assumed that every player on the team will test positive. Presumably, all of their partners/children will too. It's just awful.

 

 

It is incredibly alarming that in-shape young men mostly in their 20s are requiring IVs. I just hope everyone and their families get through this, because I could not care less about this season anymore.

 

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:02 PM, RWG said:

In hindsight, it's insane that they identified one positive test on Monday and removed him after he'd been around the rest of the team all day, then had the rest of the team continue normal group activities until Wednesday night. If that's following the NHL's protocols, it's no shocker they've had so many outbreaks.

That's ridiculous.  Why wouldn't the rest of the team be quarantined and then tested, once they knew they had one case, instead of waiting for days?  They very nearly played a game with the Flames as well.  It's pretty substandard.

 

On 4/3/2021 at 10:02 PM, RWG said:

It is incredibly alarming that in-shape young men mostly in their 20s are requiring IVs. I just hope everyone and their families get through this, because I could not care less about this season anymore.

It is very worrying.

 

The Calgary Flames continue to dig their way into the basement.  I had stuff to do so forgot they were playing on Sunday night, then checked the score and Leafs won 4-2.  

 

Tonight the  Oilers vs Montreal went to OT before the Flames started, so I got to see Byron.  

 

I watched some of tonight's game, and Flames briefly tied it and then lost 5-3 to the Leafs again (and TJ Brodie plays for them now, which is kind of annoying).  Spent tons of time in our own zone.  Flames played a different goalie each time as well.  Now part of me wishes we'd just skipped this season, since the team has pretty much disintegrated. 

 

A reporter asked goalie Rittich if he was thinking on Sunday as he played, that it might be his last as a Flame!  Rittich said "stop trying to make up a story".  Ow.

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The Canucks continue to produce positive tests. Virtanen yesterday and Schmidt today, bringing the total to 21 players, 3 coaches, and a support staff member. They haven't had a day where they haven't produced positive tests since Monday, March 29. That the tests are so spread out makes me think more than one exposure event made it through the NHL's ironclad health and safety protocols. An odd thing is that Virtanen wasn't at the rink on the Tuesday when Gaudette's positive test was identified, and Gaudette obviously wasn't there on Wednesday, when Virtanen returned. 

 

There are reports some of the players are doing better, but families of the players have become a concern. Brent Sutter spoke to Eric Francis about Brandon's positive test, and the fact Brandon was very ill and worried he'd infected his pregnant wife and two toddlers. That a lot of these guys have infant children is probably the most concerning aspect.

 

The NHL has already floated the end of next week as a possible date for the Canucks to return to action, and Bill Daly says he still expects the team to complete its entire 56-game schedule. They know next to nothing about this version of the virus, other than it has completely flattened one of their teams. How can they possibly know what shape the players be in by the end of next week, let alone that they'll be able to play at the completely ridiculous pace required to get 19 games in by early May, all the while claiming their main conern is health and safety? And they can't acknowledge that these games, at least the ones remaining against Ottawa and Calgary, are completely meaningless. Can't they just admit their north star is contracts with their broadcasters and money?

 

On 4/6/2021 at 12:40 AM, Mysteriosa said:

That's ridiculous.  Why wouldn't the rest of the team be quarantined and then tested, once they knew they had one case, instead of waiting for days?  They very nearly played a game with the Flames as well.  It's pretty substandard.

 

It is very worrying.

 

The Calgary Flames continue to dig their way into the basement.  I had stuff to do so forgot they were playing on Sunday night, then checked the score and Leafs won 4-2. 

The NHL's Covid protocols are really a compromise, so that they can keep the schedules moving and games on the air while doing the bare minimum to get the stamp of approval from public health. We've been in this pandemic for over a year, and most people inatetely know at this point that Gaudette's positive test should have ended that day's activities and the next day's activities. Thank goodness they  didn't go through with the game against the Flames.

 

A new wrinkle to the story is that Vancouver Coastal Health says the initial positive has been traced to a "known community exposure event," rumored to be at a restaurant. One of the owner's nearby steakhouses was recently shut down by the province because it was linked to a number of positive cases, and it's supposedly a popular hangout for players and their wives. People are putting two and two together. Players aren't supposed to be in restaurants, but the league can't compel their wives to not go. 

 

On 4/6/2021 at 12:40 AM, Mysteriosa said:

The Calgary Flames continue to dig their way into the basement.  I had stuff to do so forgot they were playing on Sunday night, then checked the score and Leafs won 4-2.  

 

Tonight the  Oilers vs Montreal went to OT before the Flames started, so I got to see Byron.  

 

I watched some of tonight's game, and Flames briefly tied it and then lost 5-3 to the Leafs again (and TJ Brodie plays for them now, which is kind of annoying).  Spent tons of time in our own zone.  Flames played a different goalie each time as well.  Now part of me wishes we'd just skipped this season, since the team has pretty much disintegrated. 

 

A reporter asked goalie Rittich if he was thinking on Sunday as he played, that it might be his last as a Flame!  Rittich said "stop trying to make up a story".  Ow.

 

 

Every time I check the box score on a Flames game, I see Markstrom has allowed another five goals on about 30 shots. His save percentage is now down to .901, which is not what the Flames paid for. Granted, I'm not watching the games, so maybe the Flames are giving up a lot of impossible chances. But the Canucks gave up a ton last year too, and Markstrom damn near stopped everything.

 

No playoffs for either of us, it looks like. It looks like Toronto and Montreal might play in the first round... that will be fun I guess.

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On 4/7/2021 at 11:42 PM, RWG said:

There are reports some of the players are doing better, but families of the players have become a concern. Brent Sutter spoke to Eric Francis about Brandon's positive test, and the fact Brandon was very ill and worried he'd infected his pregnant wife and two toddlers. That a lot of these guys have infant children is probably the most concerning aspect.

If I was a player, that is what would bother me most.

 

On 4/7/2021 at 11:42 PM, RWG said:

The NHL has already floated the end of next week as a possible date for the Canucks to return to action, and Bill Daly says he still expects the team to complete its entire 56-game schedule.

Scheduling is not the NHL's speciality.

 

So Flames actually won a game against the Oilers, an unlikely 5-0.  I thought it was because the Oilers were tired, because the NHL just randomly added a game into what was for the Flames about a week long gap.  But turns out they also had a memorial on game day for Colby Cave, a player that died last year.  McDavid was not happy.

 

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/connor-mc-david-blasts-nh-ls-decision-to-schedule-oilers-game-after-colby-cave-memorial-184950119.html

 

 

On 4/7/2021 at 11:42 PM, RWG said:

A new wrinkle to the story is that Vancouver Coastal Health says the initial positive has been traced to a "known community exposure event," rumored to be at a restaurant. One of the owner's nearby steakhouses was recently shut down by the province because it was linked to a number of positive cases, and it's supposedly a popular hangout for players and their wives. People are putting two and two together. Players aren't supposed to be in restaurants, but the league can't compel their wives to not go.

 

The owner's restaurant?    Ow.

 

On 4/7/2021 at 11:42 PM, RWG said:

Every time I check the box score on a Flames game, I see Markstrom has allowed another five goals on about 30 shots. His save percentage is now down to .901, which is not what the Flames paid for. Granted, I'm not watching the games, so maybe the Flames are giving up a lot of impossible chances. But the Canucks gave up a ton last year too, and Markstrom damn near stopped everything.

We broke him.  I sometimes suspect that he might have a little bit of an injury from that time he tried to tackle a Canuck player.

 

Meanwhile two trades yesterday/today, Flames goalie Rittich to the Leafs for a 3rd pick, and Bennett to Florida in return for a 2nd pick and a prospect.  They were both about to be free agents.  Rittich's agent said that he wanted a fresh start when the GM asked if he would re-sign here.  Flames have to pay half his salary.  I'll miss Big Save Dave.  I hope he gets a chance to play more.  Flames play the Leafs tomorrow.

 

Treliving said it isn't like the Flames are just giving up. There are some rampant optimists who think that because there are lots of games with Montreal coming up, that Flames could crawl back into contention.  The odds  of making the playoffs are something like 4%. :P

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Jim Benning said the Canucks probably wouldn't move anyone who got covid at the deadline, because it would be too hard on their families. However, he did trade Adam Gaudette, who everyone knows was patient 0 from going to a restaurant with his wife. The team doctor said no one did anything wrong, and that the only bad actor here was the virus. Benning didn't say otherwise, but he did rip Gaudette and his play. So there's that.

 

They also traded Jordie Benn to Winnipeg for a 6th, and swapped picks with Chicago to get Madison Bowie. Fun fact... I went to the same high school as Jordie Benn. He was a couple years ahead of me.

 

The main storyline with the team continues to be the outbreak. They were scheduled to return to play tonight against Edmonton and tomorrow against Toronto, but the games had to be postponed because the Canucks don't have enough players medically cleared. The original schedule called for 19 games in 31 nights, and it was released a week ago, when the entire team was just recently flattened by the P.1 variant, which by every account was much more brutal than what the others teams have gotten so far. How could they have just assumed that in a week's time, they'd all be good and ready to chase Connor McDavid around for 60 minutes? This is intense cardiovascular activity. When smaller numbers of players on other teams get the virus, they're holding them out of games for weeks to be safe.

 

And the NHL still would have had them scrap together whatever team they could of taxi squad players, the three guys who didn't get it, and the guys who are able to get out of bed I guess, had JT Miller not basically called the whole situation ridiculous yesterday. That finally activated the NHLPA, and the games were bumped. But the league hasn't budged on them needing to finish their 56 games. To satisfy sponsor contracts, it's apparently vital they play them all, even the completely pointless ones. The new schedule likely has them playing the last three games against Calgary while the actual playoffs are going on.

 

 

It's all about money and hubris. Gary Bettman still does not respect this virus or acknowledge the scientific realities of it. If he wants to control the situation and timeline like this, he should have fought the players harder on doing another bubble. If he wants to live in the outside world, he has to live by the virus's rules like the rest of us. It is running rampant in most of the Canadian cities, there is a reasonable chance players could get it and spread it to each other, and if they get sick, they won't be able to play hockey.

 

In other news, some fans raised over $2,000 to fly a banner over the city petitioning for Jim Benning's firing.

 

 

On 4/12/2021 at 7:52 PM, Mysteriosa said:

If I was a player, that is what would bother me most.

 

Scheduling is not the NHL's speciality.

 

So Flames actually won a game against the Oilers, an unlikely 5-0.  I thought it was because the Oilers were tired, because the NHL just randomly added a game into what was for the Flames about a week long gap.  But turns out they also had a memorial on game day for Colby Cave, a player that died last year.  McDavid was not happy.

 

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/connor-mc-david-blasts-nh-ls-decision-to-schedule-oilers-game-after-colby-cave-memorial-184950119.html

 

 

 

The owner's restaurant?    Ow.

 

We broke him.  I sometimes suspect that he might have a little bit of an injury from that time he tried to tackle a Canuck player.

 

Meanwhile two trades yesterday/today, Flames goalie Rittich to the Leafs for a 3rd pick, and Bennett to Florida in return for a 2nd pick and a prospect.  They were both about to be free agents.  Rittich's agent said that he wanted a fresh start when the GM asked if he would re-sign here.  Flames have to pay half his salary.  I'll miss Big Save Dave.  I hope he gets a chance to play more.  Flames play the Leafs tomorrow.

 

Treliving said it isn't like the Flames are just giving up. There are some rampant optimists who think that because there are lots of games with Montreal coming up, that Flames could crawl back into contention.  The odds  of making the playoffs are something like 4%. :P

 

It turned out to be a different restaurant. The odd thing was it happened just a couple days before the province closed indoor dining.

 

I think that's around the time it went downhill for Markstrom, but not because of that. He just looked mentally exhausted. The tackling definitely wasn't characterstic of him. They shouldn't have played him so much early on, although I'm sure he consented or volunteered for it.

 

Darryl Sutter insults his team every single night for some reason. It is sort of respectable how he finds a new insult for his players every time. It is like the Comedy Central Roast of the Calgary Flames emceed by Darryl Sutter.

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On 4/17/2021 at 12:02 AM, RWG said:

But the league hasn't budged on them needing to finish their 56 games. To satisfy sponsor contracts, it's apparently vital they play them all, even the completely pointless ones. The new schedule likely has them playing the last three games against Calgary while the actual playoffs are going on.

All the game schedules have been shuffled again and it gets longer and longer!  Who wants to watch those?  Assuming it eventually warms up (Calgary keeps warming up and then getting snow).

 

On 4/17/2021 at 12:02 AM, RWG said:

In other news, some fans raised over $2,000 to fly a banner over the city petitioning for Jim Benning's firing.

Ha ha ha! Impressive how fast they got the money.

Odd that the article brings up soccer fans doing the same, but hockey fans prefer billboards to planes.  Like when they did it against the team owner  in Ottawa, and the billboard by Flames fans involving Tkachuk, back when he actually played decent hockey.  

 

On 4/17/2021 at 12:02 AM, RWG said:

I think that's around the time it went downhill for Markstrom, but not because of that. He just looked mentally exhausted. The tackling definitely wasn't characterstic of him. They shouldn't have played him so much early on, although I'm sure he consented or volunteered for it.

If he gets injured we're toast.  Zagidulin last played in February and Domingue hasn't played at all (?).   I seem to remember them claiming they weren't going to play Markstrom a ton like in the old days, and then did it anyway.  

 

So Flames decided to try something refreshing and new, called winning.  Unfortunately they always try this when they are just about eliminated.

 

Flames won vs Leafs 3-2, and Rittich was in goal for the Leafs.  Flames radio announcer Derek Wills gloated over Rittich when we won in a way that made us seem incredibly petty.  Perhaps this is the new Flames identity?  What was up with that?

 

Won over Montreal 4-1.  This is when you suspect we could have been winning earlier if we had been interested.  The win actually makes me annoyed, LOL.

 

Then they were tied in the next game against Montreal and they lost 2-1.  Normality reasserts itself.  Montreal Byron making himself a pest.  I miss Mighty Mouse.  

 

Flames got weekend off and play Ottawa next.

On 4/17/2021 at 12:02 AM, RWG said:

Darryl Sutter insults his team every single night for some reason. It is sort of respectable how he finds a new insult for his players every time. It is like the Comedy Central Roast of the Calgary Flames emceed by Darryl Sutter.

I think he is trying to motivate them?   But sometimes I think that he has realized how bad they really are and is taking revenge.  Some of the stuff he says about them is hilariously true.

 

Latest impending scandal is that the new Arena is on hold because the Flames had a list of new demands including $70 million dollars.  Derek Francis said this is part of the usual negotiations, but if the Flames think they can get more from the current tax base they are wrong and can go to Houston and no one will mind.  Wow.  When even the guy who kisses up doesn't like it, you know you've gone too far. 

 

That Holtby save made me incredibly happy.  It's beautiful.  It's Kipper-esque.

 

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On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 PM, Mysteriosa said:

All the game schedules have been shuffled again and it gets longer and longer!  Who wants to watch those?  Assuming it eventually warms up (Calgary keeps warming up and then getting snow).

 

I was listening to the Sportsnet station, and they have a late-morning show that airs in both Vancouver and Calgary, and they kind of jump back and forth between the two teams. It's funny hearing them be like, "going to be 20 and blue skies again in Vancouver this weekend... Calgary, the snow is supposed to stop tomorrow."

 

Seriously, I can't ever remember spring weather as good as the last two weeks. That sucks it recently snowed in Calgary (and Toronto). It should be illegal to snow in April.

 

On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 PM, Mysteriosa said:

Ha ha ha! Impressive how fast they got the money.

Odd that the article brings up soccer fans doing the same, but hockey fans prefer billboards to planes.  Like when they did it against the team owner  in Ottawa, and the billboard by Flames fans involving Tkachuk, back when he actually played decent hockey.  

 

My first thought was, wouldn't a billboard on the highway be both cheaper and more visible? The banner flew over the city the other day. Most people found it funny and some people were mad. I guess the Vancouver fanbase's Jim Benning discourse is kind of mean-spirited. At the same time, he's been the GM a long time and done a pretty poor job.

 

 

He does take criticism well. I'll give him that. Brian Burke would have filed a lawsuit against the organizers.

 

On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 PM, Mysteriosa said:

If he gets injured we're toast.  Zagidulin last played in February and Domingue hasn't played at all (?).   I seem to remember them claiming they weren't going to play Markstrom a ton like in the old days, and then did it anyway.  

 

My guess would be that Markstrom volunteered or insisted on it.

 

On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 PM, Mysteriosa said:

So Flames decided to try something refreshing and new, called winning.  Unfortunately they always try this when they are just about eliminated.

 

Flames won vs Leafs 3-2, and Rittich was in goal for the Leafs.  Flames radio announcer Derek Wills gloated over Rittich when we won in a way that made us seem incredibly petty.  Perhaps this is the new Flames identity?  What was up with that?

 

Won over Montreal 4-1.  This is when you suspect we could have been winning earlier if we had been interested.  The win actually makes me annoyed, LOL.

 

Then they were tied in the next game against Montreal and they lost 2-1.  Normality reasserts itself.  Montreal Byron making himself a pest.  I miss Mighty Mouse.  

 

Flames got weekend off and play Ottawa next.

I think he is trying to motivate them?   But sometimes I think that he has realized how bad they really are and is taking revenge.  Some of the stuff he says about them is hilariously true.

 

I've said the playoff race is over, and it probably is. But Montreal is doing everything in its power to make it interesting. The Canucks' playoff odds tripled from about 6 to 18 percent while they were out with Covid because Montreal and Calgary did nothing but lose during that time. Technically, the Canucks would bump Montreal out of a playoff spot if they won all their games in hand on them, but it's still an extremely tall order.

 

Canucks shockingly won their first two games back against Toronto, 3-2 and 6-3. The first one was all Holtby. They did play hard in the second one. I have to applaud the effort. It's still awkward to watch. They all look and sound awful in their post-game sessions.

 

They lost the next one to Ottawa, because of course.

 

Calgary had a testing scare, but like with Vancouver, the NHL has blown through the stop sign of a single positive test. So the Flames played against another team Friday,  aware that one of their players in practice on Thursday had Covid and practised with it. Hopefully time proves this wrong and there are no further positives, but they are really holding their breath here.

 

On 4/19/2021 at 4:40 PM, Mysteriosa said:

Latest impending scandal is that the new Arena is on hold because the Flames had a list of new demands including $70 million dollars.  Derek Francis said this is part of the usual negotiations, but if the Flames think they can get more from the current tax base they are wrong and can go to Houston and no one will mind.  Wow.  When even the guy who kisses up doesn't like it, you know you've gone too far. 

 

That Holtby save made me incredibly happy.  It's beautiful.  It's Kipper-esque.

 

Is Derek Francis Eric's evil brother? 😛 That's super convenient for them that every deal they agree to with everyone is subject to them being allowed to ask for more money later.

 

Ryan Lambert has made the point that the Flames are responsible for nearly half of the bought-out contracts in the NHL since Brad Treliving has been their GM. (Some of the contracts bought out during this time were Feaster's.) So blank cheques for their GM to flush bad contracts down the toilet to free up cap space, but they  go to the mat for every last taxpayer dollar they can get.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, this happened just now:

 

 

At first glance, this has to be a case of Dolan'ing - where the owner James Dolan is trying to muck things up (see: New York Knicks). 😱

 

However, if there is any truth to this:
 

 

Then I can see why they were fired - you have to have your players' backs - even if it means causing friction with the NHL and the other teams' executives.

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On 4/23/2021 at 11:41 PM, RWG said:

Seriously, I can't ever remember spring weather as good as the last two weeks. That sucks it recently snowed in Calgary (and Toronto). It should be illegal to snow in April.

It's been rain/snowing all day and it's freezing.  It rained yesterday too.  But it was incredibly dry, so we need the moisture.  But I'm fed up of hot/cold/hot/cold.

 

On 4/23/2021 at 11:41 PM, RWG said:

I guess the Vancouver fanbase's Jim Benning discourse is kind of mean-spirited. At the same time, he's been the GM a long time and done a pretty poor job.

 

He does take criticism well. I'll give him that. Brian Burke would have filed a lawsuit against the organizers.

It would feel weird to look up and see there is an aerial hashtag recommending I be fired.  Like, wow.  Maybe I'd have to take a photo.  I mean that might be my moment of fame right there.  A billboard would be better though.  Easier to pose in front of... :camera:

 

On 4/23/2021 at 11:41 PM, RWG said:

Is Derek Francis Eric's evil brother? 😛 That's super convenient for them that every deal they agree to with everyone is subject to them being allowed to ask for more money later.

 

Ryan Lambert has made the point that the Flames are responsible for nearly half of the bought-out contracts in the NHL since Brad Treliving has been their GM. (Some of the contracts bought out during this time were Feaster's.) So blank cheques for their GM to flush bad contracts down the toilet to free up cap space, but they  go to the mat for every last taxpayer dollar they can get.

Oh...:oops:  I was probably thinking of Derek Wills, Flames announcer who keeps being optimistic that they can still make the playoffs in a sickening kind of way.    I would hope there is only one Eric and he doesn't have a twin brother.  What a thought.  Like a horror movie.

 

Every time people say Treliving did a great job I think of all the buy outs for players who sucked.  If I were the one paying, I wouldn't be super happy.

 

Flames just won over Ottawa 6-1. :blink: At this point when they win I actually feel annoyed.  There were so many bad games this season, and now they decide they'll put the effort in.  There's a teeny tiny chance now, something like 0.4%.

 

Meanwhile...Avangard Omsk won the Gagarin Cup in the KHL, with Hartley as coach.  🏆

 

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/southern-alberta-player-helps-win-the-kontinental-hockey-league-s-gagarin-cup-1.5417385

 

Like, it's almost like he knows how to, like,  coach, like, you know?   (I kind of miss his colorful quotes in the news.  I heard someone trying to interview Sutter after a loss and it involved a long incredibly awkward silence while the reporter kept saying his question over and over until he had to give up)

 

On 5/4/2021 at 10:06 AM, ShortstopVM said:

That's it? :unsure: Dude punched Buchnevich in the back of the head while he was lying face-down.

 

I could also talk about how what he did to Panarin, but that doesn't happen if Wilson didn't rabbit punch Buch. 

 

Hmm.  I do not understand why Wilson with his record can't get suspended.  What Wilson did was basically ambush someone who wasn't in any position to fight anybody.  Then officials act all upset at the team comment about him not being suspended, and upset about fighting afterwards.  Anyone could do a better job of policing the NHL.  Pick a random person off the street.  Pick a player from the AHL.  Someone from a book club.  Anybody!  It's sad.

 

I didn't get to see the Rangers game, but the clips were interesting.  The media tried to suggest that fighting does not make a game memorable, but the Flames/Canuck line brawl that involved coaches in the hallway is still a high point of weird hockey magic for me. :closedeyes:

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