In the span of just three days, the Calgary Flames appear primed to become a vastly different team than the one that closed out the 2010-11 season back in April.
Not only has the team dispensed itself of one its longest-serving members in Robyn Regehr and adopted what seems to be a dramatically different mentality towards drafting smaller players, but yesterday Duane Sutter (Director of Player Personnel) was dismissed, bringing the number of Sutters in the organization down to just two.
Before last weekend, Jay Feaster hadn't really shown any indication that his reign as Flames General Manager was going to be much different from the previous regime or that he was really interested in making changes that, on some level, needed to be made. You'll be hard-pressed to find many people who are a fans of the return the Flames received in the Regehr deal, but at the same time, few will disagree that the team desperately needed to increase its cap flexibility going into next season. While ridding themselves of Regehr and adding two unknowns in Chris Butler and Paul Byron may not have been the best way to go about that, you also won't find many people complaining about Ales Kotalik's absence from the Flames' roster next season or about the 2011-12 squad getting a little younger (for the time being, anyhow).
Regardless of the fan base's general attitude towards Feaster and the organization at the moment, the NHL's Free Agency period begins this Friday, meaning even more changes could be ahead for Calgary. In other words: Don't get too comfy, Flames fans.
Links after the jump.
- Kent Wilson and Walkinvisible bid farewell to Robyn Regehr at their respective blogs [Flames Nation] [Hit the Post]
- More announcements from the Flames' camp are on the way this afternoon as the organization prepares to bring in John Weisbrod as Assistant GM and has extended qualifying offers to three RFAs not named Matt Pelech, Gord Baldwin, John Armstrong, or Josh Meyers [Flames.nhl.com]
- Jarome Iginla is happy to have his set-up man Alex Tanguay locked up long-term [Calgary Herald]
- And finally, Pierre McGuire has announced that he is leaving TSN for NBC/Versus. Does this mean the end of the World Juniors Drinking Game? [The National Post]