Flames Are One Sutter Down with One to Go

DENVER - NOVEMBER 09: Jarome Iginla  of the Calgary Flames skates against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 9, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Flames defeated the Avalanche 4-2. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Kevin Allen says Calgary’s trade of Brett Sutter, son of GM Darryl Sutter and recent bar fight participant, wasn’t about Brett so much as it was about clearing some of defenseman Ian White’s salary.

Even if Brett wasn’t the main reason for that trade, it’s a great first step for a franchise that is way too tied up in family.

I’ve written about family drama being an issue for the Flames before. Things have not gotten any better.

Darryl’s brother/Flames coach Brent has been unable to get anything out of a poorly-constructed lineup. If Darryl doesn’t take the fall for this, which it seems he most likely will, Brent will.

But even if Darryl falls before Brent, the new GM will eventually want to choose their own coach.

So the failures and successes of the Sutters are still intertwined with each other.

Right now, the Calgary Flames are a perfect storm of tension. They’re unable to win. There are rumors their franchise player is on the trade block. And now, the GM has traded away his son.

If someone’s son isn’t safe from a trade, no one is. The only thing more rattling to players would be if Darryl had traded his son and then fired his brother in the same day — some kind of Western Canada Sutter coup d’etat.

Brent knows how tense his team is and had them playing three-on-three shinny in practice earlier this week.

But I imagine the Brett trade has erased whatever relaxation was gained from the fun practice.

At this point, the only thing that’ll relax the Flames is industrial-strength Valium. It’s bad enough being on a losing team. But a losing team that’s caught in a perpetual family squabble? The Flames must go to bed crying and wake up screaming.

Calgary’s pulled off a successful Sutter-ectomy. If they can execute the procedure one more time, maybe the team can focus more on making the most of an aging roster and less on acting like they’re not trapped at a dysfunctional family dinner.