|Credit: David Banks - USA Today Sports|
There's really nothing to worry about going into 2015-16 if you're a Calgarian Flames fan. The smoke that's been hanging over the city over the past week seems to finally be departing, and team-wise, you've got a stellar forward group, an even better back-end, some fantastic coaching, and...
Did you hear that?
The sound of a million Vancouver Canucks defensemen crying out in terror and then being suddenly silenced.
The sound of New Jersey Devils fans cheering wildly.
The sound of... a Goaltending Controversy!
A floorboard creaks. Your spine tingles. A rat scurries by. "Who will get the assignments?" You shudder. "It's messing with me! I just want to get out there!"
What was that?
The door opens. In comes... the man from sector 1B!
He got a new contract! Why did he get a new contract? You were to be the established, number-one guy! It's so unfair! "He should go back to Finland," you think, "and give me a chance!"
The leader summons you both. He tells you to shape up and work your hardest. The one who produces more will be kept.
The other will be released.
But there's two positions open! Why can't you both stay?
The new recruits. They're coming in hot. Three of them. Younger. More energetic. Which one of you two can help them? Which one of you two is holding them back?
One is like Mr. 1B. A foreigner. Finnish. He's had some assignments. Nothing too involving. But he went on a streak - lots of successes - and now, he's not just a threat to his opponents. He's a threat to you - as soon as next year.
Another is the scholar. Went to a good institution. Very smart, studied up, and now he's a legitimate contender. But he's not as proven as the younger Finn - he did just leave school. He'll arrive in a couple of years.
And then there's the wild card. The recent selection. A junior. From the maritimes. Who knows what he'll turn out to be? Could he be out in the field as soon as next year? Or maybe even five years from now? Only he can know.
All of this is very confusing.
How can this be happening? You were the main man for so many years! You used to hate the idea of working in the same facility as those whom you'd always destroyed. But you know, in the back of your mind, that you can succeed here, now. That you can be the first of this facility to defeat your former group in seemingly forever.
And you know that you have all the versatility of a Swiss Army Knife.