Calgary Flames Begin


Maybe Ra’s-Al-Ghul was onto something.

In Batman Begins, the first installment of Christopher Nolan’s magnificently crafted Batman trilogy, Al Ghul was hell bent on destroying Gotham City.

He said: “Gotham's time has come. Like Constantinople or Rome before it the city has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. ...Gotham... must be destroyed.”

Bruce Wayne totally disagreed with Al-Ghul’s stance of breaking a city down to its core in order for it to rise more successfully in its next life.

Bruce Wayne/Batman stood in Al-Ghul’s way for years, until Al-Ghul’s death and eventual daughter’s death too. Batmans simple presence stood in the way.

Iginla’s presence in Calgary, for the last couple years at least, has stood in the way of the Flames from formally rebuilding their franchise, despite being a hero, a legend, amongst mere mortals.  

The Flames are facing their first rebuild since the “Young Guns” era of the late 90s, and desperately need to hit rock bottom in order to re-build properly. Yet, the ownership of the team has given GM Jay Feaster his marching orders by saying, “We expect to be a playoff team next year.”

Well, I hate to say it, but this puts Feaster in a lose-lose situation. The Flames need time to grow their young players. They need to make mistakes. They need to lose. And they will lose a lot if Feaster is able to keep a plethora of young guys in the lineup. Young players will make mistakes. And young players playing together will make a lot of mistakes. But that’s needed at this point. These young players, like Baertschi, Horak, Reinhart, Backlund, and Brodie, will make a lot of mistakes. But, given time to make those mistakes, they will learn and grow – and grow together, forming an actual team and not a mismanaged clusterfuck of over-the-hill veterans and semi-average third line grinders.

But given Flames ownerships mandate, will Feaster go out and salvage young assets in order to make a run at 8th place?  I hope not.

As Al-Ghul so eloquently put it, this team needs to die.

They need to do the opposite of what they have been doing these past 8 years.  They started the purge this season, sending Iginla to Pittsburgh, Bouwmeester to St. Louis and Blake Comeau to Columbus. They need to keep doing so with the likes of Cory Sarich and Matt Stajan. And then there are veterans like Cammalleri, Tanguay, and Glencross. This will be an interesting summer for Feaster as all three players hold some kind of no-move/trade clauses.

I’d say trade Glencross. He will bring back the most and given the summer to negotiate, you have time to negotiate the best deal.

How about this on that I heard from Andrew Walker on the Sportsnet960 The Fan: Trade the Blues first rounder, the Pens First rounder and Glencross for another pick in the top 5.  You give a team like Tampa or Carolina(teams that are looking to win now and not later like the Flames) a player they can slot into their top six and the Flames get fast tracked with two ELITE prospects. Imagine getting both Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Druin? They play on the same line in Halifax and could be scary combo in the big leagues. Much like what Vancouver did to get the Sedin twins back in 1999 – clearly a smart move.

Now I realize this is far-fetched, but if Feaster is under an insane mandate like a 2014 playoff team, then making an aggressive move like this could fast track the process, but fast track it the right way, by loading up on elite young talent. You might not see the playoffs in 2014, but maybe 2015, which is probably two years sooner than you might see it, if you act passively.

Jarome Iginla tried for years to pull this team up by his bootstraps, much like Batman did with Gotham city, fighting off everyone despite having zero help for years.

Batman said it best: “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Iginla stayed in Calgary probably two years too long and by the end of it, fans wanted him traded to bring back assets. Not to say he was a villain, but he stayed too long while the Flames management and owners tried to keep the team afloat despite depreciating assets.

Batman left Gotham once he did all he could, leaving the city to flourish on its own. Iginla left Calgary after trying as hard as he could to bring a cup to Cow Town, leaving it to possibly flourish further down the line.  

I hope Murray Edwards was lying when he said he expects to be a playoff team next year. I really do.

This team needs to be ripped to its core, just as Ra’s Al-Ghul tried to do unsuccessfully to Gotham City.

What’s the saying, “If Gretzky can be traded, than anyone can be traded.”

Well, Batman’s gone, and now it’s time to level Calgary to its core.

“Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.”


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