The Inexcusable Dodged Bullet

What is going on with the Flames management?

Yesterday was a day where it seemed for a couple hours, was going to be a pretty good day for the Flames.

The Flames had an offer sheet accepted by Colorado Avalanche’s RFA Ryan O’Reilly and had a 3-0 lead over the same Aves after the 1st period which one would think was going to be a huge two points heading back to Calgary.

Boy did the mood change fast.

Colorado wasted no time in announcing that they had matched the offer sheet put in by Calgary to keep O’Reilly in the purple, blue and white jersey. That was still during the Flames-Aves game, as the Aves made it official sometime during the second period.

As disappointing as it was to Flames management and fans, the Flames kept their 2013 1st and 3rd round picks that they would have had to give up in compensation for O’Reilly and still had a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.

Then everything started to hit the fan. The Flames blew the 4-2 lead, lost 5-4 in one of the worst third periods in recent seasons and now once again sit in 14th in the West, four points out of a playoff spot.

It was another one step forward and two steps back, same old story for a franchise that is and has been in no man’s land for four consecutive seasons.

Even head coach Bob Hartley admitted in his post-game comments that this team has not changed since last season. ‘I’ve watched many, many games from last year and it seems to be the same song. Defensively, our reads, our fore-checking game, we just stopped playing…’ (Courtesy of

It was tough to watch for everyone involved with the Flames and it has not gotten any better today with news coming out about the details involving the Flames bid to sign O’Reilly.

According to reports, if the Avalanche had not matched the Flames offer for O’Reilly and O’Reilly became a Flame, in order for O’Reilly to play for the Flames, regardless this season or next, he would have had to go through waivers in order to do so.

This is because O’Reilly who had been playing in the KHL, played games for his club in Magnitogorsk, Russia post January 19th which was the opening night of this shortened NHL season.

According to the CBA, only players on a team’s rights list/RFA’s can be signed past that deadline who have played over in Europe, which for Colorado’s case, O’Reilly would fit under.

The Flames on the other hand… what a disaster this could have been and what an embarrassment that this slipped through the cracks.


Chris Johnston from Sportsnet reported the story first; here is the link to his article:

Bob McKenzie explains the situation very well on his twitter feed:


So what now for the Flames?

The move by the Flames and their management to try to go after O’Reilly was not a bad idea. It scares me Jay Feaster called O’Reilly a ‘franchise player’ because to me a franchise player is a Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos type player but O’Reilly fit a glaring hole in the Flames line-up and would have added some youth (O’Reilly is 22 years old), that to me the Flames have needed for a long time.

But now with this latest report about O’Reilly having to pass through waivers in order to put on the flaming C, questions have to be asked what is going on behind closed doors at the Flames office?

How did such a catastrophic rule slip by everyone in the Flames organization?

What would have happened if Colorado did not match the Flames offer and the Flames lost their 1st and 3rd round picks in this year’s draft and more importantly O’Reilly, who would have no questionably been claimed by another team on waivers?

This is absolutely inexcusable for the Flames organization.

I have questioned the Flames management before and this definitely does not help the clause.

To sum it up, I really am lost for words about the situation and after how last night played out; I cannot believe it has gotten to this point.

This is unbelievable and for a mistake like this by any franchise, especially the Flames, who are already in a bubble of confusion, is absolutely inexcusable.

Reports also suggest this waiver rule was missed by everyone and not just the Flames. To me, regardless of that, for the Flames to make such a gutsy move and miss a rule that would have seen them lose their draft picks and O’Reilly in the deal, makes them look the most stupid.

The Flames have not responded to the story yet, which I would assume they will do at some point today.

There could be more to this story and it is going to be very interesting to see what the Flames say about this situation.

Right now the organization looks really bad, but it is only fair to judge the story after hearing from both sides.

I do not like where this is heading and I will not be holding my breath in hopes that there is more to the story than it being a huge mistake.

This could cost some people their jobs.

Stay tuned…



Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon


Derrick Newman's picture

Yeah I can't believe they would miss that rule. It;s called due diligence and it seems lie Flames management is just throwing shit at the wall hoping it will stick. It could end up costing Feaster his job but that's yet to be seen. He says he isnt done so hopefully that doenst mean he isnt done making potential mistakes like this.