So what do the Calgary Flames do now?
Firing coach Brent Sutter was a no-brainer, given the team’s collapse and his epic late-season blow-up. Assistant coach Dave Lowry departed too, giving the next coach a cleaner slate to work with.
But charting the next course for the franchise isn’t so easy, given the advanced age of cornerstone players Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. Is it time drop the plunger and start over with younger players?
The dearth of impact youngsters makes life tougher for general manager Jay Feaster. There is not much of a base to rebuild upon.
Sutter went 118-90-38 during his three seasons. Should the Flames elect to rebuild, the next coach will find that standard impossible to match. Perhaps Abbotsford Heat coach Troy Ward could get the gig in that scenario.
But if the Flames want to contend as soon as next season, then the job could get interesting. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett could get into play in that scenario, especially of the Coyotes move from Phoenix to Quebec City.
But how can Calgary morph from an also-ran to a contender with an aging team?