In Defense of Jay Feaster...Sort Of

RexLibris
March 31 2013 10:57AM

 

 

Henry Ford once said that customers were free to buy a car in any colour they wanted - so long as it was black.

This approach to buyer's choice is somewhat analogous to the options faced by Jay Feaster in the Iginla trade. There was really only one option in the end and Feaster had be content with it, because Ray Shero wasn't going to offer more than he felt he had to and Jarome Iginla had made the decision that he wanted to go to Pittsburgh.

Iginla was a highly-coveted asset by several teams, reportedly Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Pittsburgh. He had a No Trade Clause on his contract and from the very beginning no trade was going to happen unless Jarome Iginla wanted it to. Iginla was also the most valuable asset the Flames have had to trade in a generation, the fan sentiment ran deep and the clock was ticking. Bruce Arther has an article up recently outlining some of the drama here.

Hands Tied

Jay Feaster was never really in a position of strength. In fact, he was quickly relegated to the role of facilitator, a match-maker just trying to get the two parties together and taking a small commission fee for his effort.

Opposing GMs knew this and they knew that if they were in negotiations that it was likely that Iginla had okay'd a trade to their desitination, thereby limiting the number of open buyers.

Kent had a good article up prior to the trade that outlined the potential trade packages of those teams according to their local media members. Faced with that, and the impending unrestricted free agent Iginla would become this July, no GM appeared willing to offer up the proverbial king's ransom Feaster had requested (reportedly a 1st round pick, a roster player and a good prospect). Instead the best offer reportedly came from the Bruins - that being Khokhlachev, Bartkowski and a 1st round draft pick that Chiarelli later confirmed was guaranteed and not conditional.

All in all, that wouldn't be that bad a return when weighed against the eventual winner's bid.

Hanowski, Agostino and a 1st round pick became the return for Iginla and the Flames book of genesis geneologies (Nilsson begat Nieuwendyk who begat Iginla...) has likely stopped at Jarome.

Feaster has an underwhelming track record in trading assets, and it should be remembered that he never really had the upper hand in these trade negotiations at any point. He had to trade the most important Flame in franchise history, everybody knew it, and the player decided which team he wanted to go to. There are no gentleman's rules in NHL management anymore. Ray Shero knew he could get Iginla at a low cost to his team and he refused to overpay.

Feaster is now left trying to sell off the remaining assets of the Flames who can undoubtedly see the writing on the wall and know that a rebuild is coming, in spite of what Feaster or anyone else in management says to the contrary.

Take 'em To the Pawn Shop

Those assets include Michael Cammalleri, Jay Bouwmeester, Miikka Kiprusoff and perhaps even Alex Tanguay. With the exception of Bouwmeester (on account of age, an extra year remaining on his contract and the paucity of top defensemen available by trade) they are all of lesser value than Iginla. Three have clauses that limit their trade options and the fourth (Kipper) has, for all intents and purposes, put an ad hoc one into place.

Feaster and John Weisbrod have also been adamant that they will not pursue a traditional rebuild and as such are likely to place a priority on receiving prospects or roster players in trade returns over draft picks. This isn't to say that picks won't be included or requested, but rather that the majority of their focus in requesting assets will be spent on warm bodies coming back.

A draft pick is something of a nebulous asset to many GMs at this time of year because the value is delayed relative to real player assets, and as such can have a diminished value to a buying team outside of a top-5 pick (which are almost never dealt). A player or prospect is someone into whom a team has invested time and energy, and who may be useful for a playoff run and therefore may be held at a premium at the trade deadline.

If Jay Feaster attempts to trade Jay Bouwmeester he is immediately behind the proveribal 8-ball. Bouwmeester has a prohibitive cap hit for next year, when the cap is set to drop. Bouwmeester also has a NTC, so any interested GM will know that Feaster is in a position of weakness and will attempt to exploit it.

This isn't to say that Feaster is going to sell off the remainder of the Flames tradeable assets this season and get routinely taken to the woodshed, but instead one needs to recognize that the Iginla deal may be a benchmark of achievable player values for this season. Bouwmeester may be worth more by trade, but it is unlikely to be to such an extent as to make the Iginla trade any more palatable.

In order to maximise the return on a player like Jay Bouwmeester the Flames would be best to get him to waive his NTC to a number of teams in advance, agree to retain up to 50% of the salary cap hit for this season and next, and then prioritize the asset types for return. Focus on one type of asset, be it picks or prospects, and limit the range of return in order to attain the greater quality. The Flames need to make Bouwmeester the most desireable asset on the market for the teams feeling the pressure to keep pace with the Penguins.

I'm not going to go into specifics about what the returns for these players could be. Prior to Wednesday I would never have guessed that Iginla would be moved for the package Feaster received. But I do think that there are times to move players, and this may not be the best time to shop players like Cammalleri, Bouwmeester or others.

The blood is in the water around the Flames. Feaster would be best served to be patient at this point and let the scales balance out a little more in his favour.

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#51 Q
March 31 2013, 04:49PM
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How ironic that Sid is out indefinitely after iggys first game. Guess they won't play together after all. Now that Pitt has 8 mill off the books til he's back, maybe they'll trade for cammi.

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#52 negrilcowboy
March 31 2013, 05:13PM
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Q wrote:

How ironic that Sid is out indefinitely after iggys first game. Guess they won't play together after all. Now that Pitt has 8 mill off the books til he's back, maybe they'll trade for cammi.

its karma biting them in the ass, hnic even brought up the question of how much sidney enticed jayrome to pittsville

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#53 Veggie Dog
March 31 2013, 05:42PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

its karma biting them in the ass, hnic even brought up the question of how much sidney enticed jayrome to pittsville

I don't think it takes tampering to get an aging winger to sign on to a team with two of the best centers in hockey. He has been without a real center all his career, now he has two great ones. I don't think a call from Crosby was heavily influential.

Iggy did similar things for Jokinen and Tanguay I think. No different.

Calling Crosby's injury karma smacks of sour grapes.

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#54 negrilcowboy
March 31 2013, 06:13PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

I don't think it takes tampering to get an aging winger to sign on to a team with two of the best centers in hockey. He has been without a real center all his career, now he has two great ones. I don't think a call from Crosby was heavily influential.

Iggy did similar things for Jokinen and Tanguay I think. No different.

Calling Crosby's injury karma smacks of sour grapes.

relax dude, i was joking around. however sid was a big factor in prince iggy's selection. frankly i dont care what happens its all entertainment.

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#55 Q
March 31 2013, 06:31PM
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@Veggie Dog

I'm fine with the karma suggestion. Personally I think Pitt loses to Chicago anyways. I don't give a rats whether iggy gets a cup either! It's all about our flames and the future. He has loads of cash and can go hide in Jamaica or something every yr when he loses. All I want is stacks of picks!

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#56 A
March 31 2013, 06:36PM
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Thought there would be more trades this weekend! Jays probably sacked out on the couch after cooked ham for Easter and not answering calls! "Get in my belly"

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#57 Emir
March 31 2013, 07:15PM
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I'm more in the side of burning sensation. While the feast hasn't had the best situation, he also hasn't been awful. I actually think jay's best moment was the erixon trade. He was over a barrell but read sathers position well and did good.

and IMO, I'm convinced that chirelli had a Conditional first and after getting screwed over called it unconditional just so the fan base would go after Jay. All of TSN had the deal reported correctly, its not like they messed up on the players involved too right?

as for judging on results, that's accurate, but to an extent. Jay was given the mandate to win with what he had, and not to trade anymore draft picks if possible. When you have a mediocre team and no prospects, you can't exactly go and make any good moves. So your roster stays the same and that's that.

I will say he did do an average job in his tenure so far.

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#58 Derzie
March 31 2013, 07:22PM
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The title says it all. Ask yourself how many times we see the need to come to defense when speaking of Ken Holland or other exemplary GMs? Feaster and King need to go. Nothing positive will happen until they do.

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#59 Sincity1976
March 31 2013, 08:21PM
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@Derzie

Exactly. The fact that we had to have two separate blogs up in the last month with virtually the same title tells you that there is a big problem.

Both have to do with potential gaffes as opposed to the general suckage of the Flames. Which means if you really want to defend Feaster you would need at least a third.

"Defending Jay Feaster: Why it isn't his fault the Flames have been horrible despite assurances from the GM that the team would be competitive".

Seriously people. Your stuck in the weeds and missing the big picture. It is the type of thing only local fans do. They look at the detail until it tells them what they want it to tell them. Its a bad perspective.

Anyone outside of Calgary (and thus out of the weeds) are looking at the results and can tell you we need a new leader in Calgary.

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#60 the-wolf
March 31 2013, 08:43PM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

Exactly. The fact that we had to have two separate blogs up in the last month with virtually the same title tells you that there is a big problem.

Both have to do with potential gaffes as opposed to the general suckage of the Flames. Which means if you really want to defend Feaster you would need at least a third.

"Defending Jay Feaster: Why it isn't his fault the Flames have been horrible despite assurances from the GM that the team would be competitive".

Seriously people. Your stuck in the weeds and missing the big picture. It is the type of thing only local fans do. They look at the detail until it tells them what they want it to tell them. Its a bad perspective.

Anyone outside of Calgary (and thus out of the weeds) are looking at the results and can tell you we need a new leader in Calgary.

Yup

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#61 McRib
March 31 2013, 09:40PM
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@BurningSensation

"Lastly, I'm going to bet that one of either Hanowski or Agostino pans out as a regular 2nd line NHL winger. Both guys are absolutely on fire right now in the NCAA playoffs, and I for one look forward to seeing what they bring to the table."

After St. Cloud's win today both Hanowski and Agostino are moving on to the Final Four!!! Leading their teams past much more hyped prospects and teams gets them big points in my books!!!

As for the people saying Hanowski might test the Free Agent waters... I highly doubt we have trouble inking him to an entry level deal. Only two much more celebrated prospects Schultz and Wheeler in recent memory have walked on teams. Look at it from Hanowski's perspective a few days ago his rights were held by a team with a much deeper system in the eastern conference. He is now a Top. 10 Prospect with us and is much closer to Minnesota in Calgary.

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#62 the-wolf
March 31 2013, 09:51PM
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@McRib

Thanks for the updates McRib. I'm hoping Weisbrod's background pays off in this instance. Admittedly, there's a fair degree in difference of opinion on these 2 prospects.

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#64 the-wolf
March 31 2013, 10:16PM
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@Kevin R

Agreed and with Flames' PR lately being the disaster it is, you can't fire Feaster yet. Wait until end of season-ish.

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#65 Franko J
March 31 2013, 10:21PM
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No matter who the Flames have hired in the past 20 some years as a GM they all have their flaws. The only thing which is in common with Feaster, Sutter, Button, Coates, and Risebrough is they never assembled a strong scouting staff and neglected to develop players. The scouting record speaks for itself.

Interesting enough the owners spends to the cap, pays the coaches and GM well enough, however until Feaster came on board as GM for this organization the scouting staff was grossly understaffed and they had no idea or clue how to develop young talent. I know if I was President of this team I would hire the best hockey operations guy that money can buy and from there the best "bird dogs" as well.

Every GM in the history of this game have had their fair share of mistakes and successes, but in fairness the ones who last longer seem to find a good balance between the two. Right now Feaster is a GM who has inherited a team which have more flaws then he even realizes. Both ownership and management were seriously convinced that nothing was wrong with this team until this season.. Funny how when a player is drafted their is always talk about improvement. Well in the past 20 years has there been improvement from the management side with this team? If fingers are going to be pointed shouldn't ownership be evaluated and scrutinized as well?

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#67 loudogYYC
March 31 2013, 10:51PM
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As much as Rex makes his point in this article, I can't defend Feaster after the moves he's made in the past 20 or so months.

Signing Babchuk and Sarich with a degree of urgency and giving them NTC's was a terrible decision. Spitting out guarantees about playoffs and prospects was stupid and unnecessary, and hiding from the public after what appeared to be a gigantic offer sheet gaffe is just plain weak.

Elliotte Friedman's article on the Iginla trade a few days ago was bang on, Iggy controlled the trade so getting Pittsburghs best in return wasn't gonna happen, but at the same time, this organization can't do anything without controversy or confusion.

Craig Button was a terrible GM, Darryl Sutter was better yet still terrible, and Jay Feaster seems under qualified when compared to these other GM's making real moves and keeping their mouth shut.

Meddling ownership is the bigger problem here, I can't think of a solution for that unfortunately.

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#68 Captain Ron
March 31 2013, 11:24PM
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Good article Rex. The biggest problem I have when evaluating Jay Feaster is that I always find myself wondering how much of the decision making is/was truly his and how much of it is the mandate that has been placed upon him by the owner(s) and/or president.

But admittedly his loose lips and bravado at times have certainly not helped his cause.

Move as many parts as you can between now and the deadline and hope for a top 3 pick at the draft.

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#69 chillout
March 31 2013, 11:35PM
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@RexLibris

I have to disagree with your Jankowski comments. There are virtually no sure things in any draft and saying that drafting janko was stupid because there were other sure fire picks. I just can't agree with that, you can draft all the "nhl ready...ish" guys you want but most of those guys are physically mature and have already hit their ceilings and don't move on or only play a handful of games. There is no can't miss in most drafts. You always try to take the best player you see regardless of how long it takes to develop a player. There are no quick fixes for the flames through the draft and in 5 years if you pass on players you wanted to pick and didn't because someone could step into a 4th line role today well then you'll be kicking yourself. Even the top 3 picks in a draft aren't sure things for greatness. Just saying that prospects can't even be close to being judged yet till they either get to the big show or fail out. Do you think you would have gotten Eberle if he was judged a can't miss? No how many players before him in the draft are going to go nowhere? K I just looked and that was a pretty good draft year but still...he's way above most of the guys on that list.

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#70 the-wolf
April 01 2013, 01:23AM
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@Rex - thanks. Amazes me how some fans on here still view everything with the Flames through rose and gold colored glasses.

That said, I probably disagree about JBo. He's a legit top pairing D who can probably play for another decade and although it would be mistake to trade him as a rental, Flames can afford to wait until the summer if the right offer is not there.

@chilling - I wouldn't call Teravainen 4th line material. While one can argue that no player is a sure thing, that same logic applies to Janko. So why pick the 5 year project then? You cam say Flames liked him best, sure, but that's am awful lot of projection for a team with very few prospects.

That said, I really hope Janko works out and have never knocked him. It's just an odd move for a team in the Flames' situation is all. Then again, Feaster seems to specialize in the odd.

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#71 the-wolf
April 01 2013, 01:25AM
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Captain Ron wrote:

Good article Rex. The biggest problem I have when evaluating Jay Feaster is that I always find myself wondering how much of the decision making is/was truly his and how much of it is the mandate that has been placed upon him by the owner(s) and/or president.

But admittedly his loose lips and bravado at times have certainly not helped his cause.

Move as many parts as you can between now and the deadline and hope for a top 3 pick at the draft.

Yes, same here and agreed if the return is there.

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#72 the-wolf
April 01 2013, 01:27AM
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That said, overall he I give him a failing grade.

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#73 Marcus
April 01 2013, 02:37AM
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I am very impressed with all the great comments on this forum. A true testiment to the writers who attract intelligent hockey buffs.

Leaning towards rationality like most of you, may I suggest for the reality that any team's recent fortunes or miscues are related to historical player aquisition / development management dating back as much or as little as five years.

Judging by the past 5 years, Feaster had ample proof of a horific down trend. He either signed on to an ownership pipe dream or thinks he's a magician. There is probably some truth to both. Either way, I'm sure he's reflecting on his exit interview with Brent. He knew there was no way this team had an opportunity without a rebuild.

Proof is in the pudding, in terms of asset managment for attempting to tread above water, you don't let a valued tough minute munching center walk in Jokinen and throw a hail mary at Cervenka as a notable replacement.

From all optics, Feaster is playing too many narratives while some of which I would be lost in deciphering the lies, from ownership tampering to ineptitude.

I would give all of the above a discerning brow if they think I was allured by any of their lipstick, bubble gum & nonsense that has been trotted out.

It's over and if you think you can have a balance attack into the mod to late rounds in the playoffs, you need at least two super-stars coupled with balance throughout your secondary and depth infrastructure. It's silly how simple it really is.

The most pathetic notion of Feaster is that being a basement dweller for a few seasons like Edmonton is a futule excersize. Edmonton is a great case study of a team that held on to playoff hopes for too long and fell off a cliff. He seems to think that he would have navigated that strategy better. Guess what Edmonton is an example of what not to do while teams like Pitt, Chi, La built sound rosters with all neccesary tangibles. Weren't they the winners of 3 recent cups?

Its blasphemy I tell you. There is merit to submerging for a few intervals like the above teams did, but Feaster may not be a developmental strategist. His trotted out media bravado rests on no correlation to a strategist that needs at 5 years to show results. Clearly he thinks his strategy is fool proof as his brashly articulated forecasting would suggest. Bravo for him if confidence supercedes success. He's shot himself in the foot in terms of my optics. Arrogance and bravado only gets you attention. Sadly without success its just hot air.

I suspect the hot air balloon has already burst and is racing down yo the tundra. Ownership may however grant lenience based on servitude, but alas, all we know is that things are very dysfunctional in Flames land. Until ownership and management have the courage to look in the mirror for the culprits, expect thr mismanagement of assets to continue for at least another 1-3 years. And by then, kiss another 10 years of contention goodbye instead of retooling in 5.

Great blog FN, Cheers.

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#74 HongKongHockeyFan
April 01 2013, 04:41AM
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I have pretty simple solution, his name is Brian Burke.

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#75 Scary Gary
April 01 2013, 08:17AM
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To mix in a bit of good news, the Flames have signed Tyler Wotherspoon to a three-year, $925,000 entry level contract.

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#76 suba steve
April 01 2013, 08:28AM
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@Scary Gary

So, back to what, 49 players under contract?

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#77 Big Ell
April 01 2013, 08:36AM
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@Franko J

"No matter who the Flames have hired in the past 20 some years as a GM they all have their flaws. The only thing which is in common with Feaster, Sutter, Button, Coates, and Risebrough is they never assembled a strong scouting staff and neglected to develop players. The scouting record speaks for itself."

Totally agreed. It sure is painful when you put those five together. My god.

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#78 Rockmorton65
April 01 2013, 08:59AM
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I keep hearing that Feaster NEEDS to make all theses trades before the deadline. I respectfully disagree. He could just as easily move Jaybo, Cammi, etc at the draft instead of rushing to unload them by the deadline. Iggy was the only one we were going to lose. That being said, I think Feaster is in the drivers seat right now (NTC's aside). There are players on the Flames that could help other teams in the playoffs. If he doesn't get the offer he wants, he can just wait until the offseason. The urgency is on the other teams to improve by the deadline. That may drive up the asking price.

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#80 jeremywilhelm
April 01 2013, 09:23AM
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But if they truly believe Jankowski has the highest upside at that point, they made the right choice Rex.

Taking the safe bet is what cause this franchise to be sitting at this point right now. Taking player with limited upside but with a good chance to play in the NHL is no way for a team with no legitimate home runs in 20 years, to buck that trend.

There isn't a single player in the previous 10 picks or after Jankowski that have any high end upside, or upside higher than his.

So that's a moot point really.

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#82 paperbagprince
April 01 2013, 09:36AM
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Feaster on the Iggy options: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson's_choice

I really wonder about Wisebrod sometimes, what is his hard on for NCAA players out of the Boston area. I like the approach, only in part due to the lack of viable options for making up ground within the NHL itself, and/or the lack of teams willing to deal with the org (see: burnt bridges). Are they simply out of other options? or are they on a magic bean hunt? either way, I'm not sold.

Also, Tod Button, how the @#$% does he still have a job??? I mean really??? and a related side note - Is Craig still towing the company line?? it certainly seemed like it during TSN's botched Iggy trade coverage, it was almost embarrassing to watch at times.

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#83 Michael
April 01 2013, 09:47AM
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Doesn't the new CBA allow a team to eat a portion of the contract for a traded player? Back to Rexlibris point, if the Flames ate $1.6 something million of JBo salary for next year, you would have a $5 million d man....That would make JBo much easier to move, and likely produce a better return.

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#84 Glenn
April 01 2013, 09:59AM
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RexLibris wrote:

Don't think I disagreed with you on Bouwmeester. Although there was an article I read just this week looking at the advanced stats, specifically WOWY, on Bouwmeester which found that this season his partners have actually suffered when playing with him.

Giordano has had the upper hand in that category this year, by all accounts.

I think Bouwmeester could have a long career ahead of him, but he needs to be re-cast as a defenseman. He is more of a shut-down player now with a solid 1st pass out of the zone. In many ways he is like a Ryan Whitney with elite skating ability. If Bouwmeester were being paid $5 million I think the Flames could move him in a heartbeat (NTC aside). The $6.8 million against a declining cap, and NTC, saps a considerable amount of value in trade.

Finding the right team to take him and offer up relative value is going to be tricky. A move at the draft may be the best bet where a team can acquire him based on their projected abilities rather than current standings (Philadelphia as an example).

I do agree that there is no hurry to move Jay Bo before the deadline. But, the Flames are in a position to eat some of that cap hit. If they were to consider that, I think there are LOTS of teams interested. We could get a very handsome return right now.

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#85 Kevin R
April 01 2013, 10:34AM
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Rockmorton65 wrote:

I keep hearing that Feaster NEEDS to make all theses trades before the deadline. I respectfully disagree. He could just as easily move Jaybo, Cammi, etc at the draft instead of rushing to unload them by the deadline. Iggy was the only one we were going to lose. That being said, I think Feaster is in the drivers seat right now (NTC's aside). There are players on the Flames that could help other teams in the playoffs. If he doesn't get the offer he wants, he can just wait until the offseason. The urgency is on the other teams to improve by the deadline. That may drive up the asking price.

I respectfully disagree. We are about to formally head down the rebuild path. You need to acquire as many high picks as possible & this is the time you get GM's, even good ones willing to pay prospects & picks for needs for a playoff run. To do nothing would ve absolutely insane.

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#86 Scary Gary
April 01 2013, 10:34AM
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@suba steve

Yep 49. I imagine we'll be moving some contracts for draft picks and prospects by Wednesday.

Comeau, McGrattan, Byron, Begin, McDonald, (Nemisz, Aliu, Irving, Kolanos, etc), and Carson all come off the books at the end of the year. We then have to sign our two new college prospects and Ramo among others.

Man I'd love to get another first rounder and a couple second if we could.

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#88 suba steve
April 01 2013, 11:14AM
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@RexLibris

Agree. How could BOS hold a grudge for missing out on Iggy if they now have a shot at Glencross (who at this point is a better player, in his prime, and on a great contract)?

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#89 Michael
April 01 2013, 11:14AM
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@Scary Gary

Comeau, McGrattan, Byron, Begin, McDonald, (Nemisz, Aliu, Irving, Kolanos, etc), and Carson all come off the books at the end of the year. We then have to sign our two new college prospects and Ramo among others

This looks like an opportunity to drop a number of marginal contracts; McGratton, Byron, Begin, Carson gone for sure, if Kipper retires you might have to keep one of McDonald/Irving short term (insurance), otherwise both gone, Nemisz I might resign for 1 year and try as a fourth liner, but his prospects looks marginal. Aliu and Kolanos, depends on Abbotsford needs.

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#92 shutout
April 01 2013, 12:09PM
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RexLibris wrote:

To begin, I hope nobody here actually believes that I would defend Feaster as a hockey executive beyond this point: he had virtually no say in the Iginla trade, so judge him on his other moves and let this one go.

Somebody earlier mentioned the Flames organization operating in a cloud of controversy these past few years. I'd like to expand on that a little if I may.

Remember the official tweet from the Calgary Flames account last year that said, and I quote: "$10 million over two years for Hemsky is the funniest thing I've heard in a long, long time. I hope it happens. #whatajoke". Then we can add on the comment about referring to the Oilers as wandering in the desert. Or perhaps we can go back to the Darryl Sutter days when the Flames arranged to have a private session for players and family members to receive the H1N1 vaccine ahead of the general public and high-risk individuals.

The Flames as an organization, though not the players necessarily or as any reflection on their fans, have some systemic character issues. For several years now there have been incidences that speak to an intolerable level of arrogance. All of it entirely unearned.

There are problems in this organization, outside of on-ice talent, that one season of losing will not fix. I question whether three or even four would be enough to correct these internal issues.

Good job Rex on hitting the proverbial nail on the head.

If you look back on good teams, good organizations, and especially when the Flames were considered one of the classiest organizations in the league it all flowed down from ownership.

Ilitch and his personality have a huge impact on how the Detroit Red Wings operate as an organization. The original Flames ownership group had that same impact to the Flames. They were happy being hockey fans, the understood that they were great in their respective fields but made sure that they hired hockey people to run the hockey team. They believed that the end goal was to win the Stanley Cup and that was what needed to motivate each and every decision.

Why are the Flames the joke of the league now? Because of the change in ownership. Because of Murray Edwards. I do not doubt that Edwards is a very smart guy, and what he has done with CNRL is very impressive. But the same heavy handed approach that you use in oil and gas companies is not going to work the same in an entertainment industry like the NHL. Owners need to hire the best hockey people possible and then back away and let them work. They can evaluate their progress towards the end goal, but they should never hinder or interfere in the daily operations.

Ken King has a reputation that has few that have worked with him wanting to go back for seconds. He is a hatchet and fire control type of manager that manages with both hands directly in any situation. His hiring would not have been necessary had the ownership not have hired that idiot Bremner to create PR spin for an organization that could not keep up with a poor Canadian dollar. King was needed at the time to fix the donkey show that Bremner and Button had created, but his shelf life is three years tops and the Flames organization would be in much better shape had he been let go of at the end of 2004. Sutter needed some hockey people to help keep him in check and King is not one of those people.

The Flames organization needs King to move upwards or onwards. It needs Edwards to hire a proper hockey person to be the president. And it needs to hire a general manger that does more than talk in circles while achieving nothing.

I am not a big Burke fan. I think that he is smart and bold in what he does. But I also think that he likes to take the credit for work done before him. That said, if he were hired you would know that Edwards has learned his lesson and that at the very least the organization would be moving forward with a hockey basis again.

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