From MOP Squad Sports

Calgary Flames
In Darryl We No Longer Trust!
By GREG HARRIS, MOP Squad Sports CFL Editor
Jul 8, 2008 - 4:18:16 PM

Usually, when I get an email from my father, it's telling me to get a haircut, get a real job, or a combination of the two.  So, I was definitely intrigued this afternoon when I received a message from him with the subject line Fwd: Most Disgusting Signing Ever.

Up until now, I had been busy following CFL football, and hadn't been paying any attention to the NHL off-season.  I knew that the Flames needed to add some scoring to the lineup, but I didn't think they'd sign any big name free agents. However, much to my chagrin, they went and did the unthinkable: they signed Todd fuckin' Bertuzzi!

Even casual hockey fans remember the cheap shot that Bertuzzi gave Colorado's Steve Moore in 2004.  In fact, Bertuzzi pleaded guilty to assault, served a year's probation, and is still facing a civil suit stemming from that incident.  Not too long ago, I lamented the lack of action taken by the NHL against Bertuzzi, in a CFL column, no less.  And I happened to be in the stands when Anaheim came to the Saddledome last December, and made a point of booing Buttuzzi every time he touched the puck.  I wasn't the only one.  Incidentally, I happen to be wearing my 2004 Stanley Cup Championship T-shirt as I received the news of his acquisition, via a forwarded email message originally sent to Flames president Ken King.  In 2004, the Flames beat Vancouver en route to the finals while Bertuzzi watched on TV.  His suspension didn't last beyond that first-round loss, however, and that's never sat well with me.

It hasn't sat well with my dad, either.  The angry, Bertuzzi-related email to King wasn't his first, as he had also forwarded me a message that he sent to Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson right after a Bertuzzi penalty knocked Canada out of contention at the 2006 Olympics.  I agreed with him then, but I'm not so sure that I agree with him now, as he told King that he will no longer be supporting the Flames, and he hopes that they lose every game.  Personally, I don't think I'm able to stop supporting the Flames.  When I cut myself, I bleed Calgary red.  But I am hoping that Bertuzzi suffers a life-threatening, career-ending injury, preferably in the pre-season or in practice.  He's only signed to a one-year contract (worth 1.95 million!) and I don't wanna see him in Calgary beyond that.

As coach/GM, Darryl Sutter was handed the keys to the franchise, not to mention the city, after guiding the Flames to that near-miss in '04.  He took some flack for hiring Mike Keenan last season, which led to another first-round loss and an angry franchise goalie in Miikka Kiprusoff, the man that Keenan loves to hate.  Some had speculated that Keenan would drag Sutter down with him, but the team still made the playoffs, where they were dealt a first-round exit at the hands of San Jose. 

This season, it won't be Keenan driving Sutter outta town; it'll be Bertuzzi.  If the Flames don't make it to the second round and/or T-Bag's involved in another incident, then Darryl needs to be shown the door.  Five years without a playoff series win, plus the addition of two of the most hated men in hockey doesn't look good on anybody's resume.  Granted, Sutter probably has an in with the Red Deer Rebels, or with his brother Brian, an ex-Flames coach now with the New Jersey Devils, but Darryl's definitely gonna want out of the Western Conference if things fall through.  In the meantime, the 2008-09 season is gonna be a looong one to watch.  For the first time since I moved to Toronto, I'm actually glad that I can't catch the Flames on local cable.

CFL Editor Greg Harris can be reached at  He hopes that this will be the last hockey article he has to write.

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