Jay Feaster has no idea what he's doing

Ryan Lambert
June 25 2011 05:43PM

 

 

I have already been critical of the whole Jay Feaster situation, and vociferously so. I don't think he's the right guy for the job and I don't think the Flames looked hard enough to find someone who would be. They simply picked the closest guy with experience, etc.

But now I'm really worried, because he might be worse than I thought.

There can, to be fair, be very little assailing of the No. 13 pick being used on Sven Bartschi (or is it Baertschi?), except that I have referred to him as Sven Butenschon several times, which in and of itself is borderline unforgivable. But he's a good player who was projected to go right around when the Flames took him, and that's all well and good. I don't know if we should necessarily be thanking our lucky stars that this selection was made, but it's good enough, and given Feaster's drafting record (see also: horrifying) it's gotta be considered a win.

But the rest of the weekend was a... hmm, what's the term? A series of missteps? A slew of disasters? A fiery pit of eternal torment untouched by human reason or sentient thought?

Yes, that last one will do nicely. Honestly, what in the bleeding hell was that?

The best place to start, one supposes, is with the apparent intent of the Flames' strategy this weekend. The plan, maybe, was threefold: to shed salary, get younger and keep Jarome Iginla happy.

So let's look at the way Feaster felt he should start shedding salary commitments. He traded Robyn Regehr, which is a thing that I'm theoretically cool with. After all, he's over 31, not quite the same player he used to be and signed for the next two seasons at $4ish million per. If you're going to start a rebuild, that's the kind of player you ship out. He has some perceived value and likely wouldn't be around for when the crop of prospects the Flames want to stockpile really come into their own. That's fine then.

But when I heard Feaster had asked him to waive his no-movement clause to go to Buffalo, I was a little perplexed. Surely the Flames wouldn't be able to wrangle a strong roster player from them for Regehr, given that there aren't many you'd want to start a rebuild around (at least not that they'd part with). Ditto the farm system. What, many wondered, could the return possibly be?

We soon had our answer, but with even more good news: Feaster had convinced the Sabres to also take Ales Kotalik off their hands (based on Darcy Regier's laughable idea that the forward could contribute in any meaningful way at the NHL level). Good news! A little over $7 million in salary moved out of town.

Oh but what's that? He had to throw in a 2012 second-round pick to get the Kotalik portion pushed through? Well that's odd. Calgary, if it really wants to rebuild, should be getting a whole bunch of those, not giving them away, especially because it is very likely to be a pick that's fairly high. What a strange decision.

And what of the return? Surely with all that included, it would be substantial, right? Wrong again. Chris Butler, a 24-year-old who spent much of last season as a healthy scratch behind Craig Rivet and Mike Weber, and Paul Byron, who is 22 and a little underwhelming, but who the organization expects is close to being able to contribute at the NHL. Butler, by the way, is an as-yet-unsigned restricted free agent.

But hey, at least they're younger.

If you do want to go with a youth movemen, and maybe this is just me talking crazy, how, exactly, does it behoove you to sign a 31-year-old guy with an injury history to a five-year deal that comes with — YOU GUESSED IT — a no-movement clause?

The Tanguay contract is at least in some way an attempt to keep Jarome Iginla from hanging himself when the team has 13 wins in December, but really Jay, a no-movement clause? Didn't we learn a horrible lesson about those in any of the previous 10 the organization has given out like Halloween candy to anyone who's scored more than two goals for the team? No, apparently not.

But fine, Iginla seems to have forged some sort of Conroy-esque chemistry with Tanguay who's got loads more skill on his worst day than Connie ever did. And the cap hit is not unreasonable, at least based on this past year.

Cap flexibility, all of a sudden, has understandly become the name of the game, and the Flames have a little of it, with which Feaster says he will address "the team's needs."

The problem with this is that it's a tacit endorsement of the team as one that doesn't REALLY need a rebuild. If you're spending to the cap, which is something Calgary clearly plans to do, then you're aiming to make the playoffs, which is not in any way conducive to getting younger, rebuilding the system and planning to make things really start to happen in three or four years. I think I might've said before that the post-Christmas run this team went on was maybe the worst thing that could have happened to it, both because it pushed them to 13th in the draft instead of what could have easily been a top-10 pick, and because it deluded people into thinking, as Alex Tanguay told Steinberg yesterday, they could have really competed in the playoffs, if only they'd made it.

This is, obviously, not the case. It's just not realistic.

Then of course there's the absolutely, positively insane mindset that went into pursuing but thankfully not (yet) acquiring Ryan Smyth. I don't feel as though I need to explain to you how phenomenally stupid such a move would be, because there's no way that acquiring Smyth does anything to address the team's supposed needs. Of which it has become clear that no one quite knows what they are.

It's been very odd watching Feaster operate since taking over as GM. He says he doesn't want to give out NMCs any more, but he's 2 for 2 now. He says he doesn't want to trade away picks any more, but he just dumped a second rounder rather than sit on a bad contract for a single season.

Therefore, we can surmise that Feaster either isn't allowed or doesn't know what he wants to do. And that's no way to run a franchise.

The Feater Era is in full swing, and so far it's been a complete dud.

686dfac3780611cb7acad6ce5166c6c1
Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Gange
June 25 2011, 07:29PM
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Anyone who doesn't call Jarome elite is high. He has been consistently in the top 10.

I'm not sure what qualifies for elite if that doesn't.

If he hit the open market the lineup would be around the corner

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#2 BBQSAUCE
June 25 2011, 07:52PM
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GM = Ken King/ Pro bullshietter / Conrad Black

Asst GM = Jay Feaster/ Lawyer / Cookie Monster

Fans = Bamboozled!! /

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#3 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 09:04PM
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wienerboo wrote:

It is no secret that he probably has the worst knees in hockey. Just a matter of time before he goes down.

Better to dump a contract early, than too late.

Second point: I agree. But you want to get optimal return for said contract, not that that crap.

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#4 joey joe joe jr shabadoo
June 26 2011, 02:52AM
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Ryan,

honest question;

how do you expect Jay Feaster/the Flames not to give out a NMC to any free agent of consequence? After all, lets not pretend it is anything it is not, this is Calgary Alberta. It is not Chicago, LA, SJ, one of three teams in NY, Montreal, or any other cosmopolitan city.....it is a prarie town in the middle of Canada with harsh winters and a dormant urban life. Unfortunatley NTC/NMC's are and will be the norm for this organization moving forward. like it or not, the NMC ship has sailed. If you expect the Flames to suddenly change that philosophy, they would have to go scorched earth. And considering the Flames have a roster full of NMC's that would be about a 1/2 decade long pursuit, at least.

also, what exactly did you expect the Flames would recieve in a trade where they were able to move out 7 million & two players with NMC's? Please, I would like to know what Feaster 'should' have done.

It would seem to me that the Flames are headed in another direction, which to my memory is what flames fans were clamoring for, and unfortunatley the reality is, it is not going to all be pretty. The flames are going to have to concentrate on moving undesirable contracts and relying on their 'ahem' scouting staff to find a player or two every year to fill the voids.

Also, I'm sure if Feaster was able to convince Dave Tallon to take RR for the No 3 pick overall it would've happened. Unfortunately that didn't happen, niether did any of the other fantasy's flames fans ussualy dream up.

If you expect a change in the organization's philosophy (which I think most do).....buckle up, it might take a few years. So please save the unecessary whinning for Calgary Puck. Feaster's been on the job for (6?) monthes he deserves a little more than that before the lynch mob starts forming.

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#5 Mitts
June 25 2011, 06:23PM
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I disagree, Regher is obviously getting on in age, he put some hard miles on and has bad knees, this is fact, for an already somewhat slow d-man, he has not got much mileage left on him. We need to get rid of salary and obv Kotalik is dead money, we lost one 2nd round pick, no need to exaggerate by saying "Calgary, if it really wants to rebuild, should be getting a whole bunch of those, not giving them away, especially because it is very likely to be a pick that's fairly high. What a strange decision." We are not Rebuilding, we are restocking a depleted farm system which had been stocked with slow big players. We are infusing our lineup with youth, we do not have to completely tear down the team Edmonton style. Detroit never rebuilds but continues to develop their youth and assimilate them into the lineup. I think Jay is trying to implement something similar..

Let's not forget we finished,I believe 25w,11L, 9OTL since Jay took over, and yet everyone has already written us off as not making the playoffs again. There is a different vibe around the team now, I expect we will make the playoffs and although initially irritated by Jay's trades I understand them.

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#6 Bucknuck
June 25 2011, 06:25PM
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I was feeling pretty prickly about Tambellini being absolutely useless up the highway in Edmonton, but after reading this article I feel a little bit better.

But only a little bit.

At least Calgary management hasn't traded away their heart and soul. The day Iginla leaves town is also nosedive time for the Flames IMO. It happened in Edmonton when Ryan Smyth left town and I think the same thing would happen here.

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#7 Vintage Flame
June 25 2011, 07:16PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

Though Iggy still contributes at a very high level - there's no argument that he's slipped below "elite" - I think the "let Iggy retire a Flame" argument is mostly sentimental at this point - and to be clear, I'll be the flag bearer at that parade. I wouldnt think he'll be a first liner for the duration of his contract, but for the fact that there's no real high end talent knocking on the door. (just my humble opinion - Iggy is, and remains my hero)

How do you not still call Iggy "elite"? Over the past 5 years Iginla ranks 3rd in NHL scoring. Despite the unsubstantiated ravings of a few Oiler fans on Twitter, there is not a single team that would not take Iggy if given the chance. Add to that the fact that Iggy has played on less than substantial teams, bordering on out right incompetence and Iggy exemplifies what makes a player truly "elite".

Not trying to be arguementative because you and I have discussed this for the better part of two seasons now and I know you're a big fan of his. But I disagree whole-heartedly that he is not still an elite player.

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#8 Gange
June 25 2011, 07:26PM
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It is WAY too early to say this. I would bet that he has not made an autonomous decision yet.

Do I like the Regehr deal? Not really. I REALLY like Regehr as a player and a person. It's hard to see him go for almost nothing. As much as Tanguay has a long term it's a decent cap hit that makes Jarome worth this money.

There is more to come. Before you ring the panic bell you may want to wait for a full off season.

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#9 BBQSAUCE
June 25 2011, 07:59PM
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At least we dont have to see Staios mug NO MO!!! and pouty kotalik, hope fully we can sweep stajan down to abby and all go on a bender!!!

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#10 Jeff Lebowski
June 25 2011, 08:05PM
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I totally disagree with the author. Feaster has done quite an admirable job given the circumstances he inheireted. * Regehr deal: Fans love him and see him as extremely valuable to the team. However what is his value in dollars (not other players). If Robyn were a UFA this year what would he bag? My position is not $4M. Look at the Dmen who make that much money and the market will tell you what $4M should net. If he is overvalued in relation to the market then move him. The story of the players Calgary got in return is not measured by the stats. There are mitigating factors that shape those stats. Take Gio for example, based on his early stats (pts, gp, toi etc) would that be an indicator of what type of player he would become? Point is, the story is up close and personal not just a review of stats. *As for the picks, take a look at any team's draft classes. How many actually play in the NHL? Draft picks are just assests, like players (Byron). However I concede a 2nd rounder might be a more valuble asset than Byron. Feaster is changing the franchise. I like what he is putting a premium on (in terms of type of player he wants). To buy time for those players to develop he has to keep whatever offensive players he does have re: Tanguay. He is undoing the unworkable salaries and terrible drafting (premium was put on grit and defensive players) of years gone by. It's not that the other teams want to help out either, when he says the Buffalo offer was the best he had I believe him.

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#11 RossCreekNation
June 25 2011, 08:06PM
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2004 Flames V. Canucks game 7 on ESPN Classics right now. 1-0 Flames with 3 min. left in the 2nd. Awesome!

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#12 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 08:14PM
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Gange wrote:

Anyone who doesn't call Jarome elite is high. He has been consistently in the top 10.

I'm not sure what qualifies for elite if that doesn't.

If he hit the open market the lineup would be around the corner

If you are merely looking at points, yes, he can still be considered "elite". IMO, he finishes in the red in scoring chances and Corsi too often to still be considered a top-10 guy in the league. He is still very good, yes. He just can't carry a team like a Kesler or Toews or Crosby anymore.

Don't get me wrong-being born in 91, my first memory of hockey is Jarome and the rest of the boys in the 96 playoffs-he's all I've ever known as a hockey fan and it pains me to say what I did in the first paragraph.

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#13 mslepp
June 25 2011, 08:16PM
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For those of you who feel a salary dump was necessary and that Feaster accomplished that goal with this move:

I understand and respect your decision to side with King/Feaster. But - I will offer you this.

Say - it was possible - in a perfect world, to both get rid of salary AND get a return.

Is this something that might interest you?

Trading Robyn Regehr for peanuts is unfathomable regardless of Kotalik's involvement. Giving up a pick to get this done is even worse. If they really wanted to just ditch salary they would have stashed Kotalik in the minors and traded Regehr for a large return. (No less than a 1st and prospect). That's what any self-respecting GM would have shot for.

Even including Kotalik (a serviceable player who's contract with 1 year remaining has now become manageable) - the return should have been no less than a high pick and prospect.

This is a terrible trade regardless of it's intention. Stop drinking the kool-aid and start facing reality.

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#14 wienerboo
June 25 2011, 08:26PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

He's missed 15 games in the last 5 seasons. That is not "starting to be injury prone".

It is no secret that he probably has the worst knees in hockey. Just a matter of time before he goes down.

Better to dump a contract early, than too late.

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#15 mayhemsince1977
June 25 2011, 08:31PM
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Conspiracy Alert!

The draft '11 just proves that Darryl was never fired. He is still running the show from a barn on his farm using his cell phone.

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#16 BrianSheva
June 25 2011, 08:41PM
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The Flames are not negotiating from a position of strength. I don't envy Feaster one bit when trying to improve the club's position vis a vis trades/salary dumps. Calgary has been telegraphing what they want / need to do to start improving their club for some time.

Personally, i'm waiting to see how the rest of the summer unfolds before condemning the man.

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#17 Dr. Nick
June 25 2011, 08:51PM
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Here is a suggestion to Jay Feaster:

Buy a copy of NHL '11 or '12 or whatever, play the GM mode for the team you want to trade with and try to make the trade you are thinking of to Calgary and if the CPU GM of Calgary rejects your trade emphatically you might want to keep on looking for other options.

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#18 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 09:26PM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

jazzy... WTH are you talking about? I can't believe you would even put Kesler in the same mouthful of spit as Toews or Crosby.. and even Iggy.

Those three are the epitome of heart and determination.. born leaders and respected by players of all teams around the league.

NO ONE respects Kesler except Alex Burrows cause Ryan lets him chew on his fingers in the shower! This guy has no idea what heart is all about. he showed that in the finals.

I think Kesler is a good talent but there is a damn good reason he is not the captain of Van. Sedin [whichever one it is] was a lousy choice for captain, but he was still a better option than Kesler. Would I take Kesler on the Flames? Absolutely! Would he ever be the captain or the leading scorer on MY team.. Not a FREAKING chance!

I'm not saying anything about the quality of the person, or how much of a douche he is-even though he is an awful dude. The math the past 2-3 years says he has the same kind of impact on ice as Crosby and Toews do for their respective teams.

Leadership is a lot different from performance. I hate Kesler with the fire of 100000000 suns, but I would take him on my team because he drives the puck in the right direction all the time.

Once again: I am only comparing the on-ice underlying numbers, nothing more.

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#19 Chris
June 25 2011, 09:41PM
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You're being too harsh on Feaster. Apparently, he's being told to clean up Sutter's mess and dump salary. Constrained by all those no-movement clauses, and unpalatable contracts, he takes what little option he has.

Other GMs aren't stupid. They require real return on trades. Buffalo is where Kotalik had success, and management there has more reason to like him. There's probably no better deal out there, than to throw in the 2nd round pick. Sad but true.

"From 1990 to 1999, about one-quarter of the players selected in the second round turned into NHL career players." http://proicehockey.about.com/od/prospects/f/draft_success.htm

Given that, you can get a better player for $3M than you can by holding onto the pick. And, you don't have to wait for him to develop.

Tanguay is a gamble, to be sure, but he comes at a reasonable price, and he plays well with Iggy. Many don't.

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#20 Casey
June 25 2011, 11:10PM
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Sure, Regehr has a role. I like Regehr and I'm not psyched that he is gone. But I'm pretty sure the entire league knew that Calgary was trying to move him so they had lots of time to make competitive offers.

You honestly think that they would have rejected an offer that included a first round pick?

Your comment about stashing Kotalik is easy for you to say. Do you have $3M laying around to pay him in the AHL? I'm guessing that is a last resort.

I'm not judging Regehr on his points, but the league wide salaries sure do. At $4M he is an expensive stay-at-home defenseman.

Every time we make a trade, the armchair GM's come out of the woodwork and berate somebody for not getting enough. As though they were standing beside the Fax machine and reading the offers as they rolled in. *WE HAVE NO IDEA* how the 29 other GM's valued Robyn Regehr. Based on the return that Feaster was able to get, it would appear that they don't value him as much as many Flames fans would like to believe.

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#21 Ian D
June 25 2011, 11:52PM
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I think Mr. Lambert needs to relax. Darryl left a lot of immovable objects in the roster. Jay just pried two loose. I commend him for that. Tanguay is pretty decent value for money and the NTC still allows 10 teams so not quite as bad. The Smyth thing might have just been used as a bluff in the negotiations with Tanguay. This is going to take some time for more opportunities like Buffalo to make room for quality prospects/nhlers and get rid of other "hope like hell" signings Darryl made. I understand this team is really a B, sometimes C, team but I would rather not suck as hard as the Oil in order to replenish the cupboards. It is more fun watching a team compete for playoffs and I don't think the only way to the cup is a complete rebuild. It can be done incrementally. The Canucks for one have shown that.

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#22 Sincity1976
June 26 2011, 12:10AM
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You guys are the advanced stat experts. And I could be out to lunch. But Butler seems okay based on my review of it.

Even in a 5/6 roll he seemed to be in similar circumstances to Sarich and Gio. Unlike Calgary who pretty much buried Bou/Regher BUF seems to share the load across their D.

(Aside: I wonder if Sutter will do the same with Regher out. I also wonder if that will help Bouwmeester's offence)

He seemed to do decent enough given his circumstances.

The most telling stat to me was that he moved from 5/6 minutes regular season to pretty much leading BUF in minutes played EV and short handed in the playoffs. He was right with Myers in minutes played, and ahead of everyone else.

Some of that has to do with the lack of depth on the BUF blue line. But he had clearly earned some trust there. BUF has a pretty decent PK as well.

Can't say much about Byron except that he managed some pretty decent scoring at a pro-level despite his small size. Much better scoring then any other Flames prospect in the AHL, though Byron was on a high powered team.

The point? Is the return as bad as we are making it out to be? The number 2 pick had nothing to do with Regher. That was about Kotalik. It was Regher for Butler, Byron, and a few million in cap space. Is that really that bad?

Better yet, is a young NHL ready d-man and a proven pro scoring prospect (both with potential) any worse then getting a number one pick that could turn into nothing in? We might be being a bit harsh on the return.

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#23 Colin
June 26 2011, 12:28AM
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@icedawg_42

Butler was averaging 23 minutes of Ice Time in Buffalos opening round playoff loss. If he can translate those kinda minutes to the flames I can see him as a #4 guy, moves ahead of Carson, and probably deserves a better shot at 4.

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#24 Derzie
June 26 2011, 09:50AM
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Do this math:

I'll give you an upper 1/3 in the league shutdown guy and an all-star AHL player AND my early 2nd round pick next year for 2 guys that probably will never play in the NHL. Does this make any sense at all from a hockey perspective? No! So this is strictly a money deal. Great. So now try this: I have age problems and I'm up against the cap. I've already given up an early 2nd rounder and now I spend most of my new found cap space on securing a guy who ONLY plays well when paired with our Hall of Fame winger and is worth a whole lot less anywhere else. Oh and with the rest of the money we are looking at a retirement age hero of our provincial rival who should retire but wants somebody to pay his salary when he comes back home. This my friends is DISASTROUS. No other way to look at it.

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#25 Sincity1976
June 26 2011, 11:25AM
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Derzie wrote:

Do this math:

I'll give you an upper 1/3 in the league shutdown guy and an all-star AHL player AND my early 2nd round pick next year for 2 guys that probably will never play in the NHL. Does this make any sense at all from a hockey perspective? No! So this is strictly a money deal. Great. So now try this: I have age problems and I'm up against the cap. I've already given up an early 2nd rounder and now I spend most of my new found cap space on securing a guy who ONLY plays well when paired with our Hall of Fame winger and is worth a whole lot less anywhere else. Oh and with the rest of the money we are looking at a retirement age hero of our provincial rival who should retire but want somebody to pay his salary when he comes back home. This my friends is a DISASTROUS. No other way to look at it.

Really? Regher is an upper 1/3 shut down guy? Not anymore. He can still play the tough minutes, but not to the same effect as he once could.

Kotalik and his 3-million dollar contract is an all-star AHL player now? Wow, didn't know. Now I am really annoyed we trade Alice Fricken Kotalik.

2 guys that will never play in the NHL? Considering both already have, with one playing most of the past 2-seasons in the NHL that seems a bit of a stretch

Tanguay only plays well with Iginla? The guy had one bad season in Tampa. He has played well in Montreal, Colorado, and Calgary. Which is every other team he has ever played for.

And we aren't signing Smyth.

Less coffee, more soak time.

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#26 Subversive
June 26 2011, 11:33AM
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I tend to agree with pretty much all of this, except what seems to be your assumption that you need to plan to suck for 3-4 years while you "rebuild". I think that is just plain wrong.

One thing everyone seems to be overlooking is that the Flames will presumably have a full year of Daymond Langkow healthy this season, and that makes them a hell of a lot better instantly. If they make any decent FA signings this year (I'm thinking players like the Nigel Dawes signing from a couple years back, low cost, high upside) I actually think a playoff berth is not out of the question this coming season.

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#27 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 05:57PM
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I haven't read the article yet, but I unequivocally agree with your thesis.

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#28 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 06:05PM
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If you do want to go with a youth movement, and maybe this is just me talking crazy, how, exactly, does it behoove you to sign a 31-year-old guy with an injury history to a five-year deal that comes with — YOU GUESSED IT — a no-movement clause?

This is my main problem with what Feaster has done and continues to do-he thinks the team is a playoff team, yet he gets rid of a very good asset that would help the team make the playoffs (for minimal return) under the pretense of "youth" and then tries to fill the 7 million dollars of cap space he just opened up with 10 million dollars of 31 and 36 year old.

I just don't see how anyone can logically defend the three major actions he's taken this week when looked at in concert with one another.

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#29 First Name Unidentified
June 25 2011, 06:06PM
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I second what Justin said.

I'm still outraged. No matter what, I'll always be a Flames fan. But i think it's time to find an exciting, promising team in the NHL to follow and cheer for because my beloved team is on a path of self-destruction.

I'm pretty high on the Bruins right now. And love what Holmgren has done in Philly in a matter of an hour on Thursday.

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#30 First Name Unidentified
June 25 2011, 06:10PM
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And to those who keep saying that Feaster created $7 mill in cap space, please wake up. $3.5 mill gone for Tanguay, made an offer to Babchuk (really?), needs to re-sign a couple more. And guess what, The space is wiped out and our team didnt really get any better, got worse for that matter.

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#31 Walter Sobchak
June 25 2011, 06:17PM
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Interesting read, when you put it that way Ryan the Flames sound like there in deep!

what kind of prospect do the Flames have?

I don't think you have to worry about Sven Bartschi.

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#32 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 06:19PM
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First Name Unidentified wrote:

And to those who keep saying that Feaster created $7 mill in cap space, please wake up. $3.5 mill gone for Tanguay, made an offer to Babchuk (really?), needs to re-sign a couple more. And guess what, The space is wiped out and our team didnt really get any better, got worse for that matter.

Absolutely. I know RCN's thrown around Wisnewski's name at a cap hit of 3.5 million-that makes me look at Regehr's 4 million and laugh. Wisnewski is barely qualified to hold Regehr's jock.

So, yeah, we got "cap flexibility" but we also are now in a position where 1. the team won't/can't do anything with that flexibility and will be appreciably worse or 2. will end up spending that money on a UFA who's getting close to 30 and will probably be nowhere near as good as the guy they just got rid of.

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#33 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 06:22PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Interesting read, when you put it that way Ryan the Flames sound like there in deep!

what kind of prospect do the Flames have?

I don't think you have to worry about Sven Bartschi.

Terrible. You can count the amount of NHL-ready prospects on one finger (TJ Brodie). As for guys who may play in the NHL, you have Bouma, Nemisz, Wahl and Reinhart right now. The first two guys have a ceiling as high-end 3rd liners, the second two as high-end second liners. The rest of the people the Flames currently control are all tweeners or AHL lifers.

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#34 icedawg_42
June 25 2011, 06:25PM
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@Justin Azevedo

HAHA - you just wanted to be first.

Bob - TITLE OF THE YEAR!!!

I'll be a LITTLE more positive about the draft pick - by all accounts Beaeeaeaeartschi has good offensive upside, and terrific work ethic so I'll give him benefit of the doubt - but make no mistake, I still wanted McNeill very badly, and I think that Chicago hit a home run with him - he'll fit into that culture very very well. I like a 3.5 million dollar cap hit for Tanguay - but at 3 years with NO NTC. - that idea would definitely have been a "hometown discount" - but frankly, if Tanguay isnt willing to take that for a situation he KNOWS will be the best he'll get, then so be it. God help us on the blueline - Wisniewski? 4+ million I think...For the record everyone, I think the Flames should have waited out the 3 nasty contracts (Hagman Kotalik Sarich) - EVEN if they dont bury any of them - and taken another highish pick next year.

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#35 icedawg_42
June 25 2011, 06:27PM
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@Mitts

Our veteran talent doesn't compare on any level with the veteran talent on the Detroit Red Wings.

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#36 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 06:29PM
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Mitts wrote:

I disagree, Regher is obviously getting on in age, he put some hard miles on and has bad knees, this is fact, for an already somewhat slow d-man, he has not got much mileage left on him. We need to get rid of salary and obv Kotalik is dead money, we lost one 2nd round pick, no need to exaggerate by saying "Calgary, if it really wants to rebuild, should be getting a whole bunch of those, not giving them away, especially because it is very likely to be a pick that's fairly high. What a strange decision." We are not Rebuilding, we are restocking a depleted farm system which had been stocked with slow big players. We are infusing our lineup with youth, we do not have to completely tear down the team Edmonton style. Detroit never rebuilds but continues to develop their youth and assimilate them into the lineup. I think Jay is trying to implement something similar..

Let's not forget we finished,I believe 25w,11L, 9OTL since Jay took over, and yet everyone has already written us off as not making the playoffs again. There is a different vibe around the team now, I expect we will make the playoffs and although initially irritated by Jay's trades I understand them.

We should be "rebuilding" or going for it-Regehr trade suggests one, Tanguay deal suggests another. This is not a good team. That record after Jay took over was due to percentages evening out.

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#37 Mitts
June 25 2011, 06:31PM
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@icedawg_42

Yeah, agreed, without a doubt but I never compared our talent to theirs, only their way of developing it.

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#38 WheresYourTowel
June 25 2011, 06:33PM
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I'm glad to see that I wasn't just missing something. I tried every angle to figure out why the Flames want Ryan Smyth. It would almost have been better for the Flames if they'd kept falling away from the playoffs instead of missing it in the last week. The front office doesn't seem to really believe a rebuild is necessary.

Is it just a matter of not wanting to accept that Iginla is an asset instead of their future cup-winning captain? I'm curious to get Flames fans' opinions.

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#39 icedawg_42
June 25 2011, 06:36PM
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@Mitts

yeah, some of their past picks have to be envied - to be honest with you though, I think those days are over...I think detroit benefitted from targetting largely unexplored markets - there's no way that Pavel Datsyuk doesnt go top 10 in 2012. That age class is almost gone now, I truthfully expect Detroit to start a slow decline any time now (i know, i know, everyone says that) ..but I dont think they can stock the cupboards like they used to...like it or not, in the cap era, your top end players are the high skilled ones graduating from major junior - Grassroots hockey has never been more emphatic on skill.

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#40 icedawg_42
June 25 2011, 06:38PM
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@WheresYourTowel

Though Iggy still contributes at a very high level - there's no argument that he's slipped below "elite" - I think the "let Iggy retire a Flame" argument is mostly sentimental at this point - and to be clear, I'll be the flag bearer at that parade. I wouldnt think he'll be a first liner for the duration of his contract, but for the fact that there's no real high end talent knocking on the door. (just my humble opinion - Iggy is, and remains my hero)

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#41 Mitts
June 25 2011, 06:43PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

We should be "rebuilding" or going for it-Regehr trade suggests one, Tanguay deal suggests another. This is not a good team. That record after Jay took over was due to percentages evening out.

I'm sorry but this makes no sense, at least the percentages evening out part. There is no set amount of games you are going to win a season, just because you lost say 60% of games in first half of season means you are going to rebound in the 2nd half. Luck plays a very small part, like bad bounces etc..The team played better in the second half, there was a reported "darkness" so to speak, lifted when Sutter left, watch clips of when we scored, no smiles, just fist bump and skate to the bench half the time, as if scoring is not meant to be pleasure but purely an expectation, and no joy derived from it. This was not all encompassing but to me it was obviously there. Second half of season guys started to have fun, loosen up, and play better and I believe closer to our potential. We are not a team that is sub playoff standard, but we had been playing like that before Jay took over. IMO

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#42 WheresYourTowel
June 25 2011, 06:50PM
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icedawg_42 wrote:

Though Iggy still contributes at a very high level - there's no argument that he's slipped below "elite" - I think the "let Iggy retire a Flame" argument is mostly sentimental at this point - and to be clear, I'll be the flag bearer at that parade. I wouldnt think he'll be a first liner for the duration of his contract, but for the fact that there's no real high end talent knocking on the door. (just my humble opinion - Iggy is, and remains my hero)

I agree on every point. Personally, I think there are very few teams in the league for whom Iggy isn't on the first line, at least for the time being. I'd still put him in the elite category.

That's exactly why he's worth more as a tradeable asset than he is as a skater for the Flames. Of course, this is ONLY if it's time to rebuild. Feaster's moving Regher says it is. The Tanguay extension and no hint of moving Iginla says it's not.

Even supposing Tangs is a leader/mentor type, there's no high end talent for him to help learn to be a pro at this point. Unless the Flames get primo picks and prospects for Iggy, they're not winning the cup before he retires.

Along with the original author, I'm baffled.

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#43 RossCreekNation
June 25 2011, 07:36PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

Absolutely. I know RCN's thrown around Wisnewski's name at a cap hit of 3.5 million-that makes me look at Regehr's 4 million and laugh. Wisnewski is barely qualified to hold Regehr's jock.

So, yeah, we got "cap flexibility" but we also are now in a position where 1. the team won't/can't do anything with that flexibility and will be appreciably worse or 2. will end up spending that money on a UFA who's getting close to 30 and will probably be nowhere near as good as the guy they just got rid of.

In fairness, my plan to throw Regehr's money at Wisniewski was based around getting a legit prospect and/or Buffalo's 16th overall pick... or Wisniewski AND a pick and/or prospect instead of just Regehr.

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#44 Walter Sobchak
June 25 2011, 07:37PM
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@Gange

But at what cost? just one more season of marginal mediocre team? One more year off Iggy. Not trying to harp or be argumentative here,but the article staying on topic is close to true as you get without being slapped in the face. The Flame need to start building up prospects and high end picks. Iggys still an elite talent and worthy of 2 first round picks according to the Kessle trade. Kipper can get a high end first as well. Karlson(sorry if I spelled that wrong)is just about ready.

Flames have (from what I've read and heard) a very limited prospect pool. realistically wont be any better at the UFA pool, as most players want to come to a team that's established. That panic bell is about to ring load!

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#45 Dr. Nick
June 25 2011, 07:47PM
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One of my prevailing feelings regarding the Regehr trade, besides the almost unanimous feeling of suckitude, is it almost feels like the Phaneuf trade. While these players obviously had faults as all players do, it seems like our GMs didn't look hard enough to get the best return. I remember some GM saying that they didn't know that Phaneuf was on the market when he got traded and I wonder if this was the same with Regehr. GMs can obviously say that that was the best offer out there but really... was it?

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#46 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 08:01PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

In fairness, my plan to throw Regehr's money at Wisniewski was based around getting a legit prospect and/or Buffalo's 16th overall pick... or Wisniewski AND a pick and/or prospect instead of just Regehr.

Oh, no-I wasn't condemning you. Just pointing out that our available options aren't...up to par.

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#47 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 08:07PM
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@Mitts

PDO is a stat that is roughly equivalent to luck-shooting% plus sv%. The median is 1000. Collectively, in early January, the PDO of the team was sub-1000. After the "turnaround", it was above 1000. That is a balancing of percentages. Maybe there was a mental effect, yes-but not to the tune of a point% of .650. Rarely do teams play above or below their true talent level-you get maybe one a year. This year, it was CHI. Last year, COL.

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#48 wienerboo
June 25 2011, 08:10PM
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I personally do not mind the Regehr trade. Us, as fans of this fair team, are always frustrated with the management and how they overvalue players. Maybe we should take a step back and realize that our players are not 'gods' in the eyes of other teams. What did we give up? An aging defender who is starting to be injury-prone, and a total lump in Kotalik. This is the perfect time for the younger group to show us what they are made of, and to inject some youth into our lineup. Be patient!!

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#49 Justin Azevedo
June 25 2011, 08:15PM
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@wienerboo

He's missed 15 games in the last 5 seasons. That is not "starting to be injury prone".

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#50 dougtheslug
June 25 2011, 09:16PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

But at what cost? just one more season of marginal mediocre team? One more year off Iggy. Not trying to harp or be argumentative here,but the article staying on topic is close to true as you get without being slapped in the face. The Flame need to start building up prospects and high end picks. Iggys still an elite talent and worthy of 2 first round picks according to the Kessle trade. Kipper can get a high end first as well. Karlson(sorry if I spelled that wrong)is just about ready.

Flames have (from what I've read and heard) a very limited prospect pool. realistically wont be any better at the UFA pool, as most players want to come to a team that's established. That panic bell is about to ring load!

It is unrealistic to think ANY team in the NHL would give up 2 first round picks for Iginla. Burke gave up 2 first rounders , in the (mistaken) belief that he would be swapping middling first rounders for Kessel, not a bad trade in his mind, given that Kessel was young, has the prime of his career in front of him, and had scored 30plus goals in the NHL already. It was a "bird in the hand is worth two in the crapshoot that is the draft" theory. Iggy, on the other hand, is on the far side of a Hall of Fame career, slowing, expensive and not the sort of player a team with potentially valuable picks (that is, an out the playoffs team such as the Flames) would want. Home town fans tend to overvalue their aging stars, believing that there is some kind of crazy flea market where you can swap your dented, rusting VW Rabbits for brand new Porsche Boxters. It just doesn't happen anymore. Mike Milbury and Phil Esposito are no longer available to be fleeced on a regular basis. Every GM nowadays has at least some smart guys around them.Rebuilds have to be slow, patient and there is still no guarantee of anything. Be prepared for a lot of long, cold, frustrating winter nights, my friend.

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