May 25, 2012
No quiet time for King
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - So much for Ken King’s quiet vacation.
Rest assured, the Calgary Flames president had plenty to deal with from those involved in the organization even while on holiday, but with the chatter — could be just rumours, could be fact — he’s destined for a position overseeing all of the teams under the Flames umbrella and a different party will be more involved in the Flames on a daily basis, it meant all kinds of harassment from the Stampede City media the last couple of days.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg of commitments King has on a regular basis.
Are there any questions as to why it may very well be a great idea to give King a new post and bring in the likes of John Davidson to serve as team president or vice-president of hockey operations?
The burgeoning Flames empire is pretty much forcing the need for another face to become involved at the upper echelon.
Think about how much the Flames have expanded their holdings since King moved into the hockey club’s president’s office in August 2001.
Back then, the Flames — who were struggling to survive in the Stampede City due to their on-ice struggles and the economics of a Canadian dollar looking more like the peso against the American greenback — were a smaller operation in financial terms and owned the Western Hockey League’s Hitmen.
In the past few years, though, the club has added the National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks to the fold and become the majority owners of the CFL’s Stampeders.
Plus — and this is as big of a venture as any of those others — the Flames are working to have a new arena built. Don’t be shocked if the long-term plan is for a massive complex with a new football stadium.
Throw in the corporate, community and charity commitments involved with being the face and voice for the team’s ownership group, and it’s hard to imagine there being enough hours in a day for one person to do it all.
Therefore, the Flames would be well-served to allow King to concentrate more on the business end of things.
Make no mistake, the current head honcho would still be involved in the Flames. It’s in his blood.
But bringing in a John Davidson-sort to deal more with the hockey club and the aspects that come with it on a daily basis would be a boon to all, including King.
Davidson’s ties to Calgary are as close as can be for a man who’s more known for thriving in the Big Apple — first as a player where he tended goal for the New York Rangers, and then as a broadcaster — so he would slip into the corporate aspects of the job with ease, while knowing the on-ice side of the job.
In St. Louis, Davidson was the face of the franchise when he arrived to the last-place club back in 2006. But in the last couple of years, he’s backed away and let GM Doug Armstrong be the voice of management.
Calgary’s hockey fans don’t need a suit to be front and centre at all times but do expect, and deserve, a strong voice. Likewise, it’s a city which can see through phony bluster, so credibility is a necessity.
Somebody who’s been involved in the game at the truly elite level for 40 years has plenty of cache.
The Flames are headed in a new direction this summer.
It wouldn’t hurt to make more than just a few on-ice and coaching changes to truly move forward.
On Twitter @SUNRandySportak