Calgary Flames

Sunday Census: Jersey debates, Ol’ Blasty, and Flames coaching

Welcome back to The Sunday Census. Throughout the week, The Win Column will be posing topical and intriguing polls on Twitter (@wincolumnblog) to gauge the fan-base’s stance on pressing issues. Want to make sure your opinion is taken into effect? Vote in the polls, start a debate, and propose alternative suggestions on the polls!

This week, Ryan Popowich, director of marketing for the Flames, was featured in an article outlining the team’s jersey strategy and processes. It was fascinating to see what goes into getting jersey concepts made and approved for use, what the team has considered and may be considering jersey wise in the future, and his thoughts on old legacy jerseys that are no longer in use.

It prompted us to poll the Twitterverse and ask Flames fans which jersey they thought was the franchise’s worst. Out of around 500 respondents, the overwhelming majority of respondents felt that the Western jersey, with “Calgary” written across the chest, was the worst jersey in franchise history. As a proud owner of one of these jerseys, I have to say I agree… partially. That jersey, as Popowich indicated in the article, was very much a compromised jersey. It included a combination of components that different groups of people liked, all put together in an effort to create something that wasn’t necessarily loved by all, but not hated by all. Safe to say that wasn’t really what ended up happening, but one thing gets lost when thinking of the Western jersey.

Personally, the best shoulder patch ever to appear on a Flames jersey actually belonged to this failure of a sweater. It’s where we got the inspiration for our logo at The Win Column, and it features elements that show off the rich history of our city and province. It’s a tremendous patch, and might even be better used as the main logo on a jersey in the future, but it’s definitely a huge redeeming quality of the Western jersey. Still, the jersey as a whole wasn’t great, and it’s probably for the best it’s out of rotation.

I was surprised with how many people actually voted for the current home red jersey as their least favourite. Almost 20% of respondents thought this was the worst in history, and is honestly one of my least favourite ones. The stripes down the side are messy to me, and I’m more a fan of cleaner looks like the retros. If it were up to me, the Flames would wear both retros, the current alternate and the heritage classic threads, as their permanent home and aways. As for a third…

It seems like Ol’ Blasty is the fan favourite for a third jersey. It’s a very unique logo and it’s hard to not look at that horse and immediately think of the Flames, but it does seem dated. Perhaps “evolved Blasty” as was alluded to in the Sportsnet article, is exactly what the team needs going forward? Time will tell.

Lots of people replied to the poll with jerseys that were not in the four options, mostly saying the pedestal jersey from the late ’90s, or the heritage classic jerseys from 2011. Fans are divided on almost every jersey the team has ever worn, but I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: any jersey with a Flaming C is a good jersey.

It’s been quite the run for Flames coach Geoff Ward. With how well his first set of games went as head coach, it was almost a unanimous feeling that the Flames should run with Ward as their head coach for the foreseeable future. The Flames are in a great place to not only make the playoffs for a second straight year, but also win the Pacific Division crown. This opportunity for success is largely due to the team’s performance under Ward who has done a great job righting the ship and putting the team back in a spot to content.

However, with the Vegas Golden Knights surprising the hockey world by firing Gerard Gallant, many Flames fans were drawn to the thought of Gallant behind the Flames bench.

It’s hard not to make the connections either. Gallant is an incredibly successful coach, and steered the Golden Knights to a Stanley Cup final in his first season. He’s a tried and true bench boss, and though he doesn’t have the same coaching style as Ward that seems to have brought the team closer to their expected output, he’s a coach that gets results.

Our second poll asked if Gallant could be a fit with the Flames, and if so where would he fit best?

Still, after winning six of their past eight games and just one point out of first place in the Pacific, the majority of respondents believe the Flames should hire Gallant as head coach. However, the second most selected option was to promote Ward to head coach.

Coaching is tough to evaluate. It’s difficult to predict how the Flames would do with Gallant behind the bench and if he would even be an upgrade over Ward.

I think it’s probably best to give the team some stability and keep Ward as head coach, at least until the end of this season. He’s done a great job getting them back into the race and deserves a shot to go all the way. If the team falters and either misses the postseason or gets bounced in the first round, then maybe it’s time to look into changes all across the board.

As of right now though, it’s Ward’s team and when they come back from the break they’ll need to be ready to go.

Want to be a part of the conversation next time around? Follow us on Twitter @wincolumnblog and be sure to keep a look out for our polls throughout the week.

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