Tank Mode…Where do I sign up?
I have been a Calgary Flames fan since they played in an old barn called The Corral. I have cheered them on through the wonder years of the late 80’s and through the crap years of the 90’s. I watched feverishly as they made a huge run for the Stanley Cup in 2004 (that damn goal was in by the way).
During it all I saw talent come and talent go. Personally I think right now we have the most talent I have ever seen in the Flames system. We have two solid unstoppable lines, a pretty decent third line and a fourth line that you don’t mess with. If there is one area I would concentrate on, it would be goaltending. You don’t win cups without a great experienced goaltender unless you are the Montreal Canadiens with Patrick Roy or the Carolina Hurricanes with Cam Ward. I watched Ward play in Red Deer, he was that good!
This makes me wonder if it would even matter to get another high draft pick. We have all seen what can happen when you have too much talent right Oilers fans! Yet the last few years the topic of ‘Tanking’ has come up for teams near the bottom of the standings. Is tanking legit? Could teams really be throwing games to get a higher pick in the draft?
I have to say a big resounding, YES! How else can you explain teams with so much talent like the Oilers and Flames finishing near the bottom (or on the bottom for you Oilers fans). I have watched a lot of Flames games this season, especially since becoming a writer on this site, and since my wife is an Oilers fan I have also watched a lot of Oilers games. The Oilers have been an exciting team to watch, especially the last few years. The talent is definitely there, in the case of both teams…they just can't win…or don't want to in the latter part of the season.
Sure, tanking these days doesn't guarantee a #1 pick with the lottery setup now. Gambling a few bucks here and there on the lotto in hopes of winning $50 million isn't guaranteed either, yet millions of people do it!
But let's say your a team in 22nd or 23rd place. You are not making the playoffs and depending on previous transactions you may not be set up well for the draft. All of a sudden losing a few games to slide down into a top 5 draft pick doesn't look so bad! What harm could it do? The fans wouldn't even notice since you suck already anyway, or at least appear to.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Flames and always will, and I am going to cheer through every game of the season win or tank…I mean lose. But if losing a few games accidentally on purpose means getting a better shot at Auston Matthews or Rasmus Asplund or even Matthew Tkachuk…sign me up!