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Are Darryl Sutter’s Moves Insane?

Posted By Shane Hoopfer On May 21 2010 @ 3:42 pm In Calgary Flames | 1 Comment

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I bring this up as rumors are starting to surface that Kelly Kisio may be named the new Assistant GM of the Calgary Flames once the Calgary Hitmen are finished in the Memorial Cup tournament.

So lets take a look at Darryl Sutter’s moves and see if the definition applies.

Steve Staios for Aaron Johnson and a 3rd round pick.

Analysis: Sutter acquired a #5 or #6 defenseman for a #6 or #7 defenseman and a pick which the Flames don’t have many of, while crippling the Flames’ cap situation further. Unless you believe that Staios is top 4 defenseman, who is not overpaid this one could fall under the category of a head scratcher.

Dustin Boyd for a 4th round pick

Analysis: Here Sutter has dealt a 4th line player who just didn’t fit into Calgary’s plans for a 4th rounder. Well this trade did open up the space to acquire Staios, however it is debatable whether or not a 4th round pick will ever turn into an NHL caliber player. Honestly this one is fine.

Curtis McElhinney for Vesa Toskala

Analysis: The Flames had obviously lost confidence in Curtis. My question would be wouldn’t you have been better off swapping him for a pick and bringing up one of the goalies from the farm that you have burnt picks on in the past? And what were you expecting to get in return other than an inconsistent goaltender? Again I’m failing to see the logic.

Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust for Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins

Analysis: The Flames traded a underachieving forward who came off the books at the end of the year and a heart and soul player who was a reasonable cap hit. In exchange for a underachieving forward with 2 more years on his contract, and a heart and soul player who is a UFA at seasons end. Did Darryl Sutter honestly think that Ales Kotalik was going to suddenly become a 30-40 goal scorer in the wide open offensive system of the Calgary Flames? And Flames fans wouldn’t that $5.25M cap space look good right now? This deal was bloody insane. I can’t say it any better.

Dion Phaneuf, Freddie Sjostrom, and Keith Aulie for Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Ian White, and Jamal Mayers

Analysis: Sutter traded a #1 defenseman, a 4th line forward, and a potential top 4 defenseman, recieving a pair of 2nd line forwards, a top 4 defenseman, and a 4th line forward. I don’t think that moving Dion Phaneuf was avoidable. The question I and others have is did Darryl really shop Dion around that much or did he just take the first reasonable offer that came along? Expecting Stajan and Hagman to be anything other than good second line players is a bit loony. I would argue that Dion Phaneuf could have garnered a much larger return at the trade deadline or in the off season. The kicker for me in this deal is trading Aulie as well, who by all accounts should be an every day NHL’er for the Leafs next season. I have no problem trading Phaneuf, but the return in that trade was no where near enough in my opinion. Borderline Insanity here.

I just wanted to take a look at some of the moves this year and take a good look at them in hindsight. To me an underlying theme to these trades have been Darryl Sutter expecting to get production from sources that have not historically produced said production. In other words Albert Einstein’s definition may not be that far off.

Have a good one!

Follow me on twitter! www.twitter.com/shanehoopfer

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