Five things: Not a great start

Ryan Lambert
April 05 2013 11:43AM

 

1. The R-Word

The exact quote of what Jay Feaster said the other day in his post-deadline presser doesn't really matter, but what does is how nimbly he moved around use of the word "Rebuild" in describing what it means when Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester and Blake Comeau are traded and it seems for all the world that Miikka Kiprusoff will shuffle off into retirement at the end of this season.

I think he used "retool," and I think he used "getting younger," and I know for sure he used "intellectual honesty" when describing what he lacked in thinking this team was ever going to be any good at all. Darcy Regier also apparently said he didn't want to say "rebuild" to describe the dismantling of his pathetic roster, which by the way was and is still better than Calgary's.

I wonder about the aversion to using the word rebuild, because again, if intellectual honesty is something Feaster is so suddenly all in favor of leaning on, then call it what it is. This is a rebuild, and any rational person watching this team knows it was a long-ass time coming.

And so now everything, from the roster to the entire organizational philosophy, is different. 

2. Bouwmeester gone

I was surprised they actually did this so far out from the deadline, but then they were very intent on keeping his ironman streak intact for some reason. This was, to me, the real sign that they were serious about the rebuild. Stockpiling picks over the last two seasons is one thing, and so too is moving the face of the franchise, but offloading a minutes-eating defenseman who's below 30 and has more time on his deal actually made me say, "Ah yes, this is all really happening now."

Of course, the return they got for him was underwhelming. Moreso than the Iginla trade. Which was itself legendarily underwhelming. The simple fact is that getting two middling prospects with minimal chance of making an impact in the NHL isn't a great return, but I think even Calgary acknowledged that. The real thing that mattered here — and Feaster said as much in the presser — is the first-round pick. So why on earth have it be conditional?

The thing Feaster said was how good the Flames would feel entering this draft, deep as it is, with three first-round picks, but hey buddy, if the Blues don't make the playoffs, you gotta wait until next year. And then you gotta hope they tank hard. Which they probably won't.

So I don't know what the approach is. Assuredly this is the best offer they got for Bouwmeester, and rumors of the Red Wings' interest seemed to be predicated upon not giving up the first, so I suppose you'd rather they got one with the goofy conditions than not at all. But at the same time, you trade your best forward and best defenseman and get two mid-to-late first-round picks and four marginal prospects.

Great stuff.

3. Kiprusoff not

Which I guess brings us to Miikka Kiprusoff, who is still a Calgary Flame mostly because he didn't want to go anywhere what with his new baby and all. I get his reasoning. But when guys are literally being traded while their wife was in labor today, and given that the organization actually realizes it's rebuilding, that excuse doesn't really hold water.

I guess it boils down to the old "This is a business" vs. "These players are people too" argument, and I get that. But Feaster's reasoning — that Kiprusoff did a lot for this organization in the past, and the team would have finished less-than-30th without him the past few years — doesn't hold water. Iginla did a lot for the organization. Theo Fleury did a lot for the organization. They both got moved (though obviously for reasons other than "they're old and bad now," which would have been the motivation for dumping Kiprusoff on the Leafs).

This, I think, lends support to the Mike Keenan espousal of the standing agreement that Kiprusoff will retire at the end of the season, and that might even have been something Feaster hinted at if you wanna read way into some of the comments he made. But with that in mind, don't you just trade him and see what happens? Maybe he doesn't report, ah well. You tried.

But to not do it at all, and then lose him to retirement for the sake of nostalgia seems antithetical to committing to the not-a-rebuild rebuild.

4. Going For It, Part 2

Which brings us to the most insane-o crazy awful development from that Jay Feaster presser. The quote goes like this and is, I swear to god, 1 trillion percent real:

"Murray Edwards told me to have this team in the playoffs next year...that's my marching order."

Good heavens. I can't even begin to imagine what the effort to do that, which assuredly will either allow him to keep his job or, y'know, not do so. Maybe that's why he keeps talking so vehemently about retooling and not rebuilding. Maybe that's why he keeps bringing up cap space as though anyone cares about that beyond him since he's trying not to get fired. It's all so terrible. this team is doomed until Edwards smartens up (not happening) or sells the team (also unlikely). Great stuff outta ownership.

So okay, cap space. Guys who are on the right side of 30 — since Feaster has stated he'd like to get players who are not yet past their prime — whom the Flames might be able to pursue in unrestricted free agency include: Nathan Horton, Clarke MacArthur, Valtteri Filppula, Ian White, David Clarkson, Mason Raymond, Tyler Bozak, and a few other guys you've heard of but probably couldn't tell anyone a thing about their games (Mike Santorelli, Mark Fistric, etc.). Who of those players is a difference-maker that Calgary would want in an effort to make the playoffs? It's a real short list.

We can all agree, I think, that this team is absolutely not making the playoffs next year, even if they sign, say, half of those players. Which they won't because UFA's don't often pick bottom feeders.

5. A gross miscalculation

So maybe we've made a terrible mistake. Not that anyone should have ever trusted Jay Feaster with an NHL team in any way, but believing in him with respect to being able to pursue a rebuild while that garbage is coming down from the top seems unfair. No one could do that job. Not one general manager alive could turn whatever mess this is, sans Iginla, sans Bouwmeester, and get it into the playoffs.

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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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#51 chillout
April 05 2013, 06:34PM
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@FireOnIce

bhahahahaha comparing playing goal to a tech job.....wow that is laughable. I love all you guys who make comments and have never competed at anywhere near a high level in any sport. The thing with teams is that there is more than one guy. Every team that has won the cup recently has done it because of the talents and efforts of many players not just one.

Somehow I don't think you understand the corporate world either. If you'd been one of your company's best employees making them tons of money and right near the end of your career things just weren't going your way and you wanted to retire early. They would probably be just fine with that.

The thing is everybody gets old and some players last longer than others. Maybe Kipper is just tired of the game. he's played more than anybody else the last 7 or 8 years.

Seriously though blaming him for not making the playoffs...are you on crazy pills?

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#52 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 06:52PM
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sincity1976 wrote:

Anyone think Colorado is kicking themselves for matching the O'Reilly offer? They could be sitting pretty with two top 3 picks right now.

Between that offer sheet, the attempt at Richards, etc we are actually pretty fortunate that we aren't worse off.

Thank goodness Kipper sucked this season.

Great points!

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#53 BurningSensation
April 05 2013, 07:17PM
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@the-wolf

@the-wolf "Whatever. You're the type of person who will get behind whatever the company line is."

Simply false. I'm not a fan of the Wideman signing (though I don't think it was terrible), and I have never been a fan of handing out NMCs to everybody (we had 11 of them at one point), I am definitely not a fan of KK and the owners as I think they interfere far too often in hockey decisions that should be left to the GM. On the whole, I think Feaster has done a far better job under his circumstances than dozens of NHL Gms would have in his place.

the-wolf: "Posters are you are exactly why this site has declined. "Oh, that person has a differnt opinion than me, I'd better insult them."

If you can't take the heat...

the-wolf:"Edwards does handcuff his hockey ops in terms of direction."

Totally agree. I've defended Feaster, but you'll note I have never defended KK or Edwards. Well run organizations give their employees autonomy to make decisions and then hold them accountable. If Ken King wants to play GM, he should put himself in the seat.

the-wolf:"Feaster, when he does make moves, tends to screw them up. He's still the one making the trades and saying stupid crap everyone time there's a mike in his face."

I half agree with this. I would defend more than half the moves Feaster has made (including the Iggy/JBo deals), but you won't find me defending his media skills, or public commentary as I think they are uniformly under par.

the-wolf:"I notice btw, that you don't knock the mods when their opinions/articles happen to agree with mine. Why is that?"

Personally, I come here first and foremost to read Kent's posts. Ryan Lambert's I wouldn't miss at all as they are internally inconsistent in logic, BookofLoob's are uniformly good (if backwards looking), and Rex's posts on how he thought the Flames should rebuild were high comedy (signing Scott Gomez! enough said).

the-wolf:"Whatever, your opinions are full of half-truths and faulty logic that's twisted to justify whatever the team is doing regardless of how bad it is."

One area we definitely disagree on is the ROR signing. How did it end up? Colorado matched a poison-pill contract that restricts their cash flow and eats up cap-space and internal budget. Pure win. Yet you (and others) insist that this result is somehow a 'joke' and 'embarrassment'. But it's my logic that is somehow 'twisted'.

the-wolf: "Of course, looking at the results, whether under Feaster or the last 24 years, would support my opinions and not yours. But then, there's that thing called logic again.....better to live in fantasy land."

It's always easier to throw stones than build a house. Cheerleading for tanking and failure is hardly something worth putting on one's pundit resume.

the-wolf:"Sorry if I choose not to be a sycophant. And why you have this OCD need to constantly attack me is weird. And creepy too. I obviously get under your skin. People who don't tow the company line tend to do that with sycophants such as yourself."

Given your vitriol, I'd say this is a classic case of what the egg-heads call 'projection'.

the-wolf: "I mean, what did I really say in my comment that deserved your response?"

Other than your unwaranted blanket negativity about everything Flames related?

the-wolf:" You're just a trash talker. No reasoned argument, just personal attacks on whoever disagees with you. Except the mods because that would require a set of balls which you obviously don't have, other than the ones in your mouth."

Exactly what did I say that was a 'personal attack'? As for the mods, I'll stick my neck out and suggest that aside from feeding the negative nabobs raw meat, I have no idea what the purpose of Ryan Lambert's writing is.

the-wolf:"Seriously, when have you ever been right? What were your predictions under Sutter? I'm sure you were a huge fan. Under Feaster? 1 year ago?"

So now you are attacking me for opinions I haven't even expressed? Who is under whom's skin I wonder? The day he traded Phaneuf for a net sum of Zombie Matt Stajan was the day GM Sutter earned my undying hatred (though I think he is a terrific coach). I also HATED his drafting (Irving, Chucko, Pelech), and think he gutted the team's future while simultaneously shackling us with Ollie 'Sex Panther' Jokinen. But go ahead, and make up whatever fantasy your fevered *cough* brain *cough* comes up with.

the-wolf:"You're continually wrong and the team keeps getting worse and you were against a rebuild (until it happened at it was time to haul the company line) and yet you post like the Feaster is the 2nd coming of Sam Pollock. You're never right and when it's pointed out you attack those who pointed it out."

If you go back and read what I wrote, I was against a 'scorched earth' rebuild, and in particular, I was against trading Iggy. I was, and have been a proponent for gradually retooling the team, a process I saw as starting with the Regehr trade, but felt really started with the hiring of Weisbrod and Chris Snow. I don't like trading Iginla, but I'm not upset with the return we got.

the-wolf:"I've predicted the Flames to be out in the first and to miss the playoffs with exact precision the last several years."

So you predicted they would make the playoffs and not make the playoffs. Pure genius. You should go to Vegas and make a fortune instead of parlaying with me here.

the-wolf:"Along with many other. But you're right and I'm wrong? You're the most useless poster on here.You have about 2 or 3 other posters who ever agree with anything you say."

Consider me the head of counter-insurgency for guarded optimism.

the-wolf:"What "rebuid?" Man, you are stupid. Hudler and Wideman are part of a "rebuid?"

Yes, I'd say so. Hudler and Wideman were brought in their primes (younger and more talented than the guys they replaced). Remember the team is under orders to remain competitive during the rebuild. I'm a huge fan of Hudler in particular (far less so of Wideman), but both were brought in to provide specific elements of Feaster's retooling (a possession driving forward, and a powerplay QB, both of which we lacked).

the -wolf:'The team is never wrong in your books, which is why you always are. CP posters look intelligent next to you."

Actually, I think the team is occasionally (even often) wrong. It's you I think is always wrong.

the-wolf:"Normally I hate the personal insults on here, in fact I just posted on it. But in your case, the gauntlet was thrown."

Have at it.

the-wolf:"BTW you should get that 'burning sensation looked at. It usually indicates a venereal disease."

*Golf clap* Wow. Did you come up with that all by yourself?

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#54 Captain Ron
April 05 2013, 07:17PM
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everton fc wrote:

Jason Botterill, Asst GM with the Pens.

Paul Fenton, Asst GM of the Predators.

Why do you think that bringing in a new GM who is an untested rookie like one of these two would be an improvement over the current GM?

And Brian Burke? Not for me thanks. How would he fit in here? Not very well I'm thinking.

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#55 Reidja
April 06 2013, 02:26AM
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Man, I wish we had landed Davidson. I would rather start at the very top like Lambert said but I also believe this is unlikely. Bring on Burke.

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#56 Scary Gary
April 06 2013, 06:28AM
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Reidja wrote:

Man, I wish we had landed Davidson. I would rather start at the very top like Lambert said but I also believe this is unlikely. Bring on Burke.

Umm no thanks, Burke is precisely the type of relic hockey mind that has passed his expiration date.

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#57 the-wolf
April 06 2013, 11:02AM
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@BurningSensation

I see. You can be negative, but no one else. Basically, you can't stand someone disagreeing with you and when they do you resort to insults.

Whatever, I'll be proven to be right as usual and you'll continue to attack me for it. It's just the price I have to pay.

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#58 chillout
April 06 2013, 11:46AM
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@the-wolf

I think the problem Burning has with you is that you just post negative. You don't really explain any of your comments in a logical way. You just beat your chest and proclaim things like feaster's drafting as bad. Yet the drafting can't really be judged yet just like the prospects we got back in our trades. we'll find out in a couple years if those were actually good trades or not. I'm not a huge fan of feaster but I am willing to give the guy a chance. ROR was bad but nobody in the league knew about what would have happened as several teams had tendered offers to the guy. Anyway I'm getting distracted but maybe just try going with a well thought out, logical argument to your points instead of being all crazy like that gun nut from texas I saw on the Daily show awhile back. Look it up that guy is insane, you don't want to be like that.

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#59 Alt
April 06 2013, 12:27PM
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the-wolf wrote:

I see. You can be negative, but no one else. Basically, you can't stand someone disagreeing with you and when they do you resort to insults.

Whatever, I'll be proven to be right as usual and you'll continue to attack me for it. It's just the price I have to pay.

I'll be proven to be right as usual?

Might want to Google Narsissistic personality trait.

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#60 Alt
April 06 2013, 12:33PM
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Reidja wrote:

Man, I wish we had landed Davidson. I would rather start at the very top like Lambert said but I also believe this is unlikely. Bring on Burke.

Davidson would never accept a position with meddling owners.

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#61 Reidja
April 06 2013, 05:37PM
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@Scary Gary

I don't think so. What was Feaster's date btw? Was he ever good at this?

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#62 the-wolf
April 06 2013, 08:50PM
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chillout wrote:

I think the problem Burning has with you is that you just post negative. You don't really explain any of your comments in a logical way. You just beat your chest and proclaim things like feaster's drafting as bad. Yet the drafting can't really be judged yet just like the prospects we got back in our trades. we'll find out in a couple years if those were actually good trades or not. I'm not a huge fan of feaster but I am willing to give the guy a chance. ROR was bad but nobody in the league knew about what would have happened as several teams had tendered offers to the guy. Anyway I'm getting distracted but maybe just try going with a well thought out, logical argument to your points instead of being all crazy like that gun nut from texas I saw on the Daily show awhile back. Look it up that guy is insane, you don't want to be like that.

I think if you read all of my posts I do usually back it up with reason and logic. Admittedly, sometimes I rant. Also, I do post positive sometimes, though not often. Thanks for a response that doesn't include name calling.

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