Out of Money
Eric Duhatschek explains why the Flames played their last game with only 16 skaters:
With three regulars on defence injured and unable to go on the long-term disabled list (Robyn Regehr, Adrian Aucoin and Cory Sarich), the Flames called up two young defencemen from their minor-league affiliate in Quad Cities, Matt Pelech and John Negrin.
Problem is, because they were right against the $56.7-million (U.S.) salary cap, they needed to ship Dustin Boyd and Warren Peters to the minors to make the numbers work.
Accordingly, the Flames went with only 10 forwards playing their second game in two nights — with predictable results…
“That’s part of the cap rules and the system we’re playing in today,” Keenan said. “As a coach, you could never agree with it, but that’s what it is and we’re all aware of it and we’re preparing to deal with [it].”
What exactly is the “it”? The cap rules or Daryl Sutter’s failure to manage them correctly? I’d like to see somebody in the media brace Sutter on this issue. How could this happen? Was he asleep at the switch? Or did he take a reasonable gamble at the trade deadline, a gamble he lost? I thought Sutter was wrong to trade for Jokinen even before this fiasco unfolded. I think it was more wrong today because I think making sure the team has enough money to ice a full team is a fundamental for any GM.
Given that the Flames had a 12 point lead at the deadline, it has to be on Sutter’s head if the Flames lose the division. If they don’t, it merely looks bush league.