Random Thoughts - For Feaster This is the Easy Part

Kent Wilson
August 07 2013 12:28PM

 

 

Christian's lengthy defense of Jay Feaster has garnered a lot of comments, but I'd nevertheless like to add a few more here.

I'll start by saying Feaster's tenure is brief enough that the fairest grade we can assign him is "NA", or incomplete. Feaster has only been in the big chair since the middle of 2010 and much of his work was done while struggling beneath the wreckage of Darryl Sutter's descent into madness. Because of the make-up of the team when he took the reins, as well as some budget issues and the recent lock-out, the Calgary Flames have only played about two seasons worth of games during Feaster's watch. That's not a lot of information and opportunity for a manager to work with.

- In regards to the improvement of the Flames prospect depth and quality under Feaster, I'm personally reluctant to assess that a as a sign of management competence. For two reasons:

1.) We don't actually know how good the current crop of prospects is. The hope and hype surrounding kids tends to peak in their draft+1 and draft+2 seasons, because they are still, in many ways, blanks slates upon which fans can project their future hopes. It's only when they start falling at major hurdles like turning pro that grim reality starts to take hold.

It's possible the Flames have a bunch of future NHLers in the pipeline for the first time in a more than decade. It's also possible many of these kids turn out to be replacement level or worse. We won't really know how good the system is for a few years.

2.) Icing a lousy team, trading players for draft picks and stocking the cupboards is the easy part of rebuild. Pretty much anyone in the league can run the ship aground, move stars for futures and then pick quality prospects in the first round. Once the long overdue decision to start fresh was finally made this past season, Calgary's prospect base was going to seemingly improve as a matter of course, whether Jay Feaster or Aaron the equipment boy was running the team. Gathering picks and kids with current assets is the big, obvious first step that any NHL manager takes. It's the operative genesis of a rebuild.

Where things get interesting and where true managerial competence is required is lifting the club out of the basement and making it into a competitor again. As Steve Tambellini ably demonstrated in Edmonton, pretty much anyone can stink and stock the cupboards - it's taking those new assets and forging a winner that is the real test. And so it will be for the Feaster regime as well.

- Perhaps the one area where I can give Feaster and company truly high marks is the 2011 entry draft. Although point number one from above still applies to some degree, the Baertschi draft batch is tracking to be one of the best in a long time for the organization. Sven at 13 overall is probably a big enough win to float any one year, but the Flames also chose Markus Granlund, Tyler Wotherspoon, John Gaudreau and Laurnet Brossoit with their other four picks that June.

Baertschi and Gaudreau are both top-3 prospects in the Flames sytem no matter who you ask, while the rest of the 2011 class all easily slide into the clubs top-15 ranking. That's as consistent and talent-dense a draft performance you're likely to see in the NHL.

Of course, it's entirely possible none of those guys besides Baertschi will make the show for a variety of reasons, but chances are the Flames get at least three regular NHLers out of the five picks from 2011, with the non-trivial possiblity more than one of them will be high impact.

- In contrast, Feaster has made some moves during his time in Calgary that have made me question some of the processes that may be in place in the upper office. The summer that both Brendan Morrison and Anton Babchuk went to free agency I figured both represented a good test of whether Feaster was operating under solid principles. He re-signed both guys, failing the tests.

Neither contract was bad enough to be overly damaging, but it showed that the org either wasn't considering the right data or was satisfied with making superficially plausible signings rather than efficient ones. Even more annoying about the Babchuk contract in particular was the nonsensical inclusion of a NTC and the fact that Feaster;s coach at the time clearly had very little use for the player in question. Brent Sutter stapled Babchuk to the bench more or less from game 1 the following season, which makes me wonder to what degree the management looped in the coaching staff before inking a guy to $5M in guaranteed money.

Feaster failed a similar test last off-season when he re-signed Cory Sarich to a two-year, Babchukian type deal (which has since been deatl to COL). There ave been other red flags: the needless trade for the entirely useless enforcer PL3, acquiring and re-signing McGrattan, the Modin deal, the Richards gambit and attendant insistence that he, Iginla and Tanguay could have been one of the highest scoring trios in the league (an absurd claim, even at the time).

None of those things in isolation or even cumulatively were truly problematic. It's just so much ineffectual flailing around without a meaningful underlying principle or purpose that it makes me wonder just what information management is looking at to inform their decisions (and how they are weighting that info). Sometimes good bets and worthwhile gambles don't work out for whatever reason, but no one really needed the benefit of hindsight to see that most of those decisions probably weren't going to work out. That is: they were obviosuly poor bets from day one.

- Finally, my main concern with Feaster et al is how completely they seemingly misread the quality of the hockey club prior to the ship inevtiably sinking. When Calgary rebounded in 2010-11 after Sutter was dismissed, Feaster had the opportunity to move bodies at the deadline but instead opined that he "owed it to the players to  give them another shot" (not verbatim), which I noted was ill-advised at the time.

Before the Flames sank inexorably to the bottom of the standings this year, there was a lot of Darryl Sutter-type "business as usual" operating from the front office, even though it became clearer with each passing day that the roster had major, intractable flaws and that a drastic change of strategy was needed. Another example: Feaster had the opportunity to move Kiprusoff in the summer of 2012 with the aging 'tender coming off of one his best seasons in recent memory with the corollary being he was a bad bet to replicate that performance. Instead, the club hung on, Kipper's fell on his face, his league wide stock became worthless and the result was a former cornerstone asset being completely drained of value for good purpose whatsoever.

Of course, it's entirely possible (probable?) Feaster was operating under a pretty strict mandate of "compete now, no rebuild" which would have tied his hands significantly. That's the reason I am willing to give the Flames new management group the benefit of the doubt before I start actively condemning them. The events of last season made the rebuild inevitable whatever marching orders Feaster may have had from on high. Darryl's long shadow no longer darkens the roster and the need to "win now" is gone.

It's a clean slate for Feaster et al. We will soon know what they're made of.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Baalzamon
August 07 2013, 01:36PM
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@coachedpotatoe

Craig Button should get an F because his first act was to waive Martin St. Louis.

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#2 Citizen David
August 07 2013, 12:37PM
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This article is perfect. Well done sir.

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#3 Veggie Dog
August 07 2013, 12:58PM
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I only came to say congrats on coining the term "Babchukian". This is my favorite thing I have read on FN in months.

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#4 RexLibris
August 07 2013, 12:55PM
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Very well thought out article.

After I finished reading it there was one question I couldn't help but ask myself.

When Feaster finished his first half-season as GM the general consensus was to give him the following season to put his stamp on the team.

Following that season, this last summer there was another refrain of letting Feaster have this (admittedly abbreviated) season as he had now cleared out most of Darryl Sutter's dead wood and the team was now a reflection of his vision and plan.

In other words, while I agree that the change of direction warrants some patience, it seems that we have uttered these sentiments before.

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#5 Lordmork
August 07 2013, 12:49PM
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Right now, I remain cautiously optimistic about Feaster, because I hope that some of his questionable signings were handed down from management, and that the decision to rebuild means Feaster is now more in control and won't have to make any boneheaded signings. I take the team's lack of activity at free agency to be a good sign of this, and also that I like the look of the trades the team has made during the summer.

I could, of course, be totally wrong about this, but only time will tell.

I think my biggest complaint about Feaster is that he seems inclined to over promise. Best player in draft, best player not in the NHL, best goalie not in the NHL, etc.

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#6 chillout
August 07 2013, 08:06PM
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I love how many of you simply assume that Feaster could have traded Kipper, Jbow and Iggy whenever he wanted.

They did have NTC's at the time and none of them were ready to be moved yet. Plus ownership would have likely told Feaster to go soak his head or get the hell out of town.

Another thing is just because we have tons of cap space does not mean that teams are instantly willing to give up assets for us to eat some of their cap when the season is months away and there is no cap crunch worries just yet.

Feaster has an asset (cap space) that is available for the right price from a team who is in a real bind. just because it hasn't happened yet does not mean it won't.

So you feaster haters should quit putting intentions and words in his mouth and all that and just shut it for a bit and let the guy do his job. annoying how you people assume what his intentions are/where and then call him a bad gm cause he might/should have done a certain thing you think he might have said.

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#7 Derzie
August 07 2013, 12:38PM
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Sound analysis. Right in line with my observations for sure.

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#8 the-wolf
August 07 2013, 02:59PM
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Well balanced article.

Rex makes a great point. We've rest the clock for Feaster before.

My first indictment of him post-rebuild is his failure to utilize the Flames' extra cap space as he had bragged he would. I just don't get how the Flames would think that other teams would let star players or high end youngsters walk for nothing into another team's arms. Consequently, he failed to utilize that same cap space in the Iginla and especially JBo deals.

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#9 Sean Bennett
August 07 2013, 10:01PM
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The Feaster debate doesn`t really rile me up, as I don`t believe his input has been significant since the rebuilding began in earnest. With regards to scouting, he simply rubber-stamps what his scouting department concludes by committee. And as concerns NHL transactions, he has a very narrow parameter within which to work, since it is obvious that ownership wants to constrain spending while wholeheartedly embracing the rebuild.

What he is, however, under-rated at is his ability to manage the numerous bodies in management and scouting, and to vet and nurture talent in the front office. Hence, this excerpt from the Sun:

“The next step in the continued development of Craig Conroy as a front office executive for our hockey club is to get him day-to-day management responsibility in the AHL,” Feaster said in a statement. “Given that we have asked (assistant GM) John Weisbrod to spend more time with our NHL coaches and players this season, as well as see even more NHL games, we believe the opportunity exists to transition Craig further into the hockey operations in Abbotsford.

Thus, from the foregoing, it seems that Weisbrod is slowly but surely being acclimated to the duties of an NHL GM, while Conroy is given a crash-course in ABBy on the intricacies and responsibilities of being an assistant GM.

The on-ice product, evidently, isn`t the only thing being rebuilt in Calgary, as the front office will probably look drastically different in a couple of years.

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#10 schevvy
August 07 2013, 12:49PM
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On the whole Richards thing- saying they (Iggy, Richards, and Tanguay) would all get above 100 points was absolutely insane. When was the last time a whole line got 100 points each? The 80's? If I'm ever in the need of a good laugh I remember that Feaster statement.

We won't be able to really grade the Feater regime for at least another 3 years IMO. This year coming up is going to be rough, and chances are the year after that might be even worse. That's stuff that comes with most rebuilds, and if fans are wanting Feaster gone after a couple bad years following the rebuild declaration then they don't fully understand the situation. Give him 3-4 years. Then judge him.

Just don't take any more ridiculous runs at free agents Feaster. Or make ridiculous proclamations like "Jankowski will be the best player of this draft class in 10 years"

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#11 Sincity1976
August 07 2013, 04:32PM
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Feaster (and the Flames) allowed themselves to be fooled by a late playoff push in 2010/11 season. If the Flames would have started the rebuild that season they would have been trading a 43G/86P Iginla and a Kipper that was young enough to generate a very strong return.

Rather they continued to focus on playing and acquiring veterans and suspended the rebuild until the bottom fell out and we hit rock bottom.

I also shudder to think about how worse off we would be if Feaster actually managed to do some of the things he attempted. The O'Reilly fiasco. The Richards offer. God knows what other futile moves he attempted.

That ignores the media fiasco's (O'Reilly, Iginla/Boston, Kipper won't report, etc) and him constantly putting his foot in his mouth (I am not the guy for a rebuild, guarantee of the playoffs, fool me once, etc).

He is an embarrassment. The Flames refusal to fire him goes along with the constant theme of feet dragging that got us into this position to begin with.

Maybe after three seasons of top picks the Flames will wise up and replace the GM with someone competent. We have been following Edmonton almost step for step so far anyways so we might as well follow them there as well.

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#12 coachedpotatoe
August 07 2013, 01:33PM
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I decided to go down memory lane and look at the history of the Flames GM; Fletcher, Riser, Coates, Button, Sutter and now Feaster. Lets rank them? Fletcher gets between a B+ and an A-(Stanley cup and the best teams we have ever had), Riser D if we are generous(Gilmour trade still stinks), Coates C (caretaker GM), Button D as in did nothing, Sutter C/C-( yes the Stanley cup final and trading for Kipper) but after that he depleted the organization. Now we have Feaster who I have previosly given a B- to based upon his work to date. He has from a tremendous hole seemingly restored the organization depth. The point I want to make is maybe we have had to much upper management and ownership interference in our clubs history. I good GM since they have been here. I'm not sure Scotty could have saved this organization.

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#13 the-wolf
August 07 2013, 03:25PM
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Parallex wrote:

Meh, I was more going off the assumption that Edwards subsequently pulled back the chequebook and that's why the Flames are basically being a floor team this year.

I mean who's writing the cheque to repair the Saddledome post-flood (and did insurance cover every cent of damage repair)? If it's the Flames then I would imagine the cap space as rebuild asset option went out the door with the flood water.

Fair enough. Even before the flooding it seemed as if the owners had taken the stance of "rebuild means less cash spent until such time as needed" which is fair, but then why spout about it? The guy really needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.

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#14 ChinookArch
August 07 2013, 08:27PM
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@chillout

You may want to give Christian's post from yesterday a re-read. I think you'll find that most of the posters were neither fully for or against Feaster as a GM. Most of us are on the fence, and have been equitable in criticizing and complementing Feaster's work.

Frankly, if all a fan sees is all good or all bad where Feasters job is concerned, he is not looking hard enough.

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#15 chillout
August 07 2013, 08:54PM
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I just get annoyed occasionally by the people who don't look at the situation from several angles. Many think he's a bad gm because his hair...and so on and so on. Sure he's done some stupid things, but people have to look at the situation at the time too as well as what every single other gm in the league was doing too.

When we signed babchuk didn't pardy get signed away for like 2mill a year or more. Sure babchuk is terrible but that was a massive overpay for pardy. Defencemen were hard to come by that summer. I could have my timeline mixed up, I didn't look anything up.

Richards...every gm in the league was gunning for him. He was the man that summer, sure now it looks like was lucky we didn't get him but had there not been such a bidding war, he would have been a good player to have at the right price. Feaster would have been just torn apart just as much had he sat on his hands and done nothing at all.

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#16 Sapp Macintosh
August 07 2013, 12:41PM
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I think it is prudent to be hesitant on speculating on things like 'who won the trade' and 'will these draft picks work out?' and prefer to look at the things we do know, like 'is this FA signing a guy that we need and did we pay market value?'

On the things we DO know, I don't think Jay has many particularly positive data points.

Good roundup Kent.

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#17 BurningSensation
August 07 2013, 12:53PM
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"Of course, it's entirely possible (probable?) Feaster was operating under a pretty strict mandate of "compete now, no rebuild" which would have tied his hands significantly. That's the reason I am willing to give the Flames new management group the benefit of the doubt before I start actively condemning them. The events of last season made the rebuild inevitable whatever marching orders Feaster may have had from on high. Darryl's long shadow no longer darkens the roster and the need to "win now" is gone."

I think you have to divide Feaster's reign into two distinct sections; 'Win it all now', where he is tasked with tinkering with the roster at the margins, trying to get younger and more skilled (and out of salary cap hell), and while still holding on to Kipper/Iggy and JBo, and the 'Ok, it really is a rebuild', the state we entered mid-season last year when Kipper was either drowning or hurt, and the Flames were sinking out of sight of the playoffs.

Much of the frustration with Feaster has to do with misunderstanding what the team's direction was when he was making the moves he was making. Signing ROR to an offer sheet when you are in a full rebuild (and your when your 1st rnd pick is likely to be excellent) makes a lot less sense than doing so when you have an aging core you plan to keep into senescence that you are looking to jumpstart with talent ready to step in and make a difference. Ditto for trying to get Richards under contract. Looks ridiculous now, but with a 'win now' mandate it was a more reasonable thing to attempt.

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#18 RKD
August 07 2013, 01:15PM
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I think the criticism is stemming from the fact that a lot of Flames fans are still unhappy about the returns for Iggy and Reggie. Feaster got the team out of salary cap jail, probably went to the owners repeatedly in trying to trade Iginla until they finally agreed early this year or even last December it was time to move on. He's drafted some high end talent who hopefully can project into good players. Project is the key word if they don't pan out they are back at square one. I think the drafting has improved a lot from the Sutter regime.

There is still a problem at the head office, the fact that the organization was looking at guys like Shahanan, Davidson, Nicholson and Yzerman (the last 3 I can't confirm) still tells me they want things run differently and are looking for a different perspective on evaluating talent aside from Conroy, Button and Weisbrod. Ken King is looking to move into another role, he has no hockey IQ and his job is to make money for the Calgary Flames.

Let's see in the next few years how many kids crack the NHL roster and become regulars. Another 3 years out of the post season and that's another 7 year playoff drought.

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#19 T&A4Flames
August 07 2013, 03:09PM
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everton fc wrote:

While not a Feaster fan, I will say the prospects are exciting. For a change!

For me, Feaster's ultimate judgement comes when he signs crazy contracts like the one he offered Brad Richards to get him to come to Calgary. If he continues to entertain these types of moves, he'll fail here.

Sort of related - what about Hartley? Is he the right leader behind the bench!

I think people sometimes forget that Feaster made the Richards offer under the 'win now' mandate.

ROR, he made that offer with the thinking he fills a role of that mid 20 something player that fills a gap.

The mandate has now changed and it appears that he is acting accordingly.

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#20 Bean-counting cowboy
August 07 2013, 03:56PM
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Not sure what to make of Feaster sometimes. Him running his mouth all the time is my biggest turnoff. In my workplace, leadership sessions etc. you learn about EQ - emotional intelligence.

Knowing when to speak and when to refrain is a big component of EQ. How to dance around your particular audience etc.

If he does have a low EQ, makes me question his whole leadership ability and the ability to run the organization. I'm with the Wolf, Rex and others in leaning towards incompetence vs. anywhere in the middle.

He bugs me when he speaks... and acts like he knows more than the public and other 29 GM's in the league.

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#21 coachedpotatoe
August 07 2013, 05:13PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Craig Button should get an F because his first act was to waive Martin St. Louis.

I had forgotten about St Louis and so I would agree with you and downgrade him to an F. How Button keeps a job as a hockey insider I don't know.

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#22 suba steve
August 07 2013, 07:05PM
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I often find myself defending some of Feaster's moves, not because I think he's wonderful, but because a lot of posts are just a little too harsh in discussing him.

I agree with most of this article, Kent. Feaster is a lot less "tight lipped" then I would be in his place, D Sutter had that part of the job down cold. Some signings have confused me Sarich, and McBackup and particularly Babs (who like you stated was in B Sutter's doghouse before the ink was dry, more communication between coach/GM required). Drafting has improved, 2011 earned the GM/scouts a little patience from me in waiting for Janko/Poirier etc.

Good read.

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#23 the-wolf
August 08 2013, 11:10AM
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@Kevin R

I don't disagree. Feaster under a stupid mandate? Absolutely. So was Darryl and he lost his mind because of it. But one can still criticize Darryl's moves as they existed under those paramaters. Ditto for Feaster.

I'm just saying that there's nothing great about any of his moves and he's barely avoided some absolute catastrophes all while continually flapping his gums.

I do credit him with the structure he's brought back to the hockey offices and I think he made out very well in the Erixxon deal though the team as a whole should've had a better read on the situation to begin with.

But one can't just dismiss every poor move he's made by blaming ownership (though I think Edwards & his axe-man KK are idiots when it comes to hockey).

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#24 Parallex
August 07 2013, 12:46PM
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Random question: How much more willing (if at all) are teams to surrender draft picks (1st round draft picks especially) in the next draft as opposed to the upcoming draft (2015 instead of 2014 for example)?

Just wondering if it might make more sense at the deadline for Feaster to try to peddle the assets that he has (Basically Cammy, Stajan, Stempniak and maybe Hudler) for 2015 picks instead of 2014. Maybe try get yourself 2015 1st where you would have gotten 2014 2nds and similerly 2nds where you would have gotten 3rds.

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#25 BurningSensation
August 07 2013, 05:31PM
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Let me add that Button deserves an 'F' for ever considering trading Iginla to Buffalo for Mike Peca.

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#26 Sean Bennett
August 07 2013, 10:10PM
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I guess what I am saying in a long-winded way is that Feater is our de-facto president of hockey operations. GM? Not so much.

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#27 Kevin R
August 08 2013, 08:33AM
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the-wolf wrote:

Well balanced article.

Rex makes a great point. We've rest the clock for Feaster before.

My first indictment of him post-rebuild is his failure to utilize the Flames' extra cap space as he had bragged he would. I just don't get how the Flames would think that other teams would let star players or high end youngsters walk for nothing into another team's arms. Consequently, he failed to utilize that same cap space in the Iginla and especially JBo deals.

I think you & Rex have forgotten some of the events before critcizing Feasters timeline. 1/Dutter got blown away in December/Feaster given interim GM. 2/Butter turned the team around on an incredible winning streak, falling short of the playoffs. 3/Feaster wanted to give the players a chance that they were truly a playoff team, Im sure Iggy had convinced Edwards they were & they wanted to win a Cup in Calgary. Feaster stood behind his coach. Butter was allowed to hire his own assitants. Feaster had to sell Reggie cheap with Kotalik to buy themselves some cap space. 4/Season starts & Flames crapped the bed. Feaster was visibly upset with Butter & many players. Remember that Columbus game. 5/I personally attended a session where King was emphatically declaring that Flames management had no desire to trade Iginla. Guess what, if your boss says you cant do something & you like your job, I guess you dont do it. 6/Lockout time. Which probably made trading Kipper last summer a little difficult.

My point here is that that closet didnt get totally cleaned out until March. If I'm not correct, it took that stinker in LA when many owners were in the pressbox smoozing guests.

So Kent, yes, it's a clean slate because many decisions by Feaster were still in the complete clust &*%@ Dutter/Iggy era. What he does going forward is what we need to focus, evaluate & judge the man by. I'm just so glad we are moving forward.

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#28 TheoForever
August 07 2013, 02:43PM
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There is no GM hated more than Riser. Is there a grade worse than F?

Still makes me angry.

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#29 BurningSensation
August 07 2013, 05:19PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Craig Button should get an F because his first act was to waive Martin St. Louis.

Please also recall that Martin St Louis was passed on by every team in the league when placed on waivers. 30 gms who therefore would need to be fired.

St Louis turning into a perpetual All-Star/MVP candidate has to rank amongst the most incredible sports stories ever. Between him and Kurt Warner going from bagging groceries at his local grocery store to winning a Superbowl it is impossible to invent more unlikely success stories.

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#30 ChinookArch
August 07 2013, 07:35PM
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Babchukian contract - entering into an expensive one-sided contract where the employer will see no direct or indirect benefit from the employee, over the entire term of the contract. Often the contract provides no recourse and the employee may not have to actually work.

Usage: after spending a season on the bench Cory Sarich inexplicably was rewarded with a Babchuckian 2 year, $4M contract with a No Trade Clause.

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#31 jay
August 08 2013, 08:24AM
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Instead of all these articles evaluating Feaster, somebody should do an article of all his famous quotes.

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#32 the-wolf
August 08 2013, 12:23PM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

@Chillout

Of course we could have traded Iginla. He publicly said he would accept a trade if it was in the teams best interest. And if the Flames went to him and said they were going to rebuild he wouldn't have stayed.

There is no defending the organizations reluctance to pull the trigger on a rebuild. How much of that is Feaster vs King vs Edwards I don't know. But I don't think Feaster was some innocent bystander in all of this just dancing to someone else's tune. And if he was then I definitely don't want him as the GM.

Don't believe everything Iginla says. there's more there than meets the eye. He screwed the Flames over more than just with the Boston decline.

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#33 Demetric
August 07 2013, 01:41PM
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Great Read

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#34 Monaertchi Gaudnett
August 07 2013, 03:01PM
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@everton fc

Interesting question about Hartley, he was the coach brought in while still in "Win Now" mode. Can he coach young guys? Does he want to?

My guess is yes to both. Not based on any real hockey coaching knowledge, but the interview he did I think on CBC After Hours in the beginning of the season. He talked about how he got into coaching, the passion he had for teaching, etc... blah, blah.

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#35 Parallex
August 07 2013, 03:15PM
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@the-wolf

Meh, I was more going off the assumption that Edwards subsequently pulled back the chequebook and that's why the Flames are basically being a floor team this year.

I mean who's writing the cheque to repair the Saddledome post-flood (and did insurance cover every cent of damage repair)? If it's the Flames then I would imagine the cap space as rebuild asset option went out the door with the flood water.

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#36 the-wolf
August 07 2013, 03:23PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

His comments didn't mean he was going to by the middle of the summer or even this up coming season. Saving cap space for the next year or 2 seems like a good idea. It's there when there is actually something to spend on.

Too lazt right now to find the quote, but I'm pretty sure the implication was this summer, but your point is valid.

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#37 coachedpotatoe
August 08 2013, 08:14AM
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I just wanted to say that while it is easy to bash Feaster and rank him poorly; how does he compare to other GMs in tenure. So I looked at the teams that made it to the finals, Chicago Bowman since 2009 ( he inherited a core group and has a stack of quality advisers), Boston, Pittsburg, and LA since 2006, and then the other model franchises (in my mind teams that have won Stanley cups and frequently make the playoffs) Detroit, Holland 1997 and NJ and Sweet Lou 1987 ( GM longer than many Flame fans have been alive). My point of this is give the man more than a couple of years before we fire him; keep complaining, stop watching, don't renew season tickets, don't buy stuff if you are unhappy. While I might agree that he has not lived up to the shoes of the GM's above; they were all afforded time or joined their teams on the upswing after all the heavy work was done.

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#38 T&A4Flames
August 07 2013, 03:14PM
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the-wolf wrote:

Well balanced article.

Rex makes a great point. We've rest the clock for Feaster before.

My first indictment of him post-rebuild is his failure to utilize the Flames' extra cap space as he had bragged he would. I just don't get how the Flames would think that other teams would let star players or high end youngsters walk for nothing into another team's arms. Consequently, he failed to utilize that same cap space in the Iginla and especially JBo deals.

His comments didn't mean he was going to by the middle of the summer or even this up coming season. Saving cap space for the next year or 2 seems like a good idea. It's there when there is actually something to spend on.

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#39 bookofloob
August 07 2013, 05:03PM
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to reiterate: perfect article.

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#40 Skuehler
August 07 2013, 07:58PM
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Going into a crazy-last-minute-salvage of a season with a new coach, what other options did they have than to try and roll the dice with what they had. The Flames had some assets last season and they got unlucky at the crucial start of the season. That first game against Chicago was amazing how the Flames completely dominated the best team in the league! Then they were battling themselves midway through - Iggy looking like he knew he was leaving, Kipper AWOL, Baertschi not given a chance, injuries, etc. Once the decision was made they competed with whatever they could throw out on the ice. It was a fiasco of a season, but things could've easily gone the other way and we could've sneaked into the playoffs. No doubt its better things worked out as they did, it forced Feaster's hand and replenished the cupboards. No question the talent is there now...how will the organization foster it and rebuild the team? Its exciting that these kids are coming up together - there is a huge opportunity for a new TEAM mentality to gel here. Maybe they should look at doing something symbolic like tweaking the jerseys or stripping everyone of their numbers and re-assigning numbers with the clear message that this a new team and its no longer about star anchors?

Babchukian - slightly better than Lecavalierian where you get paid tons of money to play for one team against another team who is also paying you tons of money to not play for them, but preferably against them. Love the economics of the NHL. Can you imagine getting paid to work for one company and also get paid by the competition to not work for them?!? Its brilliant

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#41 the-wolf
August 08 2013, 07:05AM
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chillout wrote:

I sure didn't want richards but lots of people did. What I'm saying was he had to try, if you're supposedly going for it you pretty much have to go after the big name free agents right? Otherwise you would look pretty stupid.

While I fully support the notion that Feaster was under a 'win now' mantra, I don't see that as an excuse for every poor move he did. Ditto for Sutter before him. So throwing the most amount of cash at him, more than what NYR offered, was not a bright idea regardless of his marching orders.

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#42 Baalzamon
August 08 2013, 08:21AM
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@Michael

physical physical physical... softest team in the league... easy to play against... blah blah blah.

Want to know who was dead last in the league in hits last season? Chicago.

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#43 Sincity1976
August 08 2013, 11:46AM
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@Chillout

Of course we could have traded Iginla. He publicly said he would accept a trade if it was in the teams best interest. And if the Flames went to him and said they were going to rebuild he wouldn't have stayed.

There is no defending the organizations reluctance to pull the trigger on a rebuild. How much of that is Feaster vs King vs Edwards I don't know. But I don't think Feaster was some innocent bystander in all of this just dancing to someone else's tune. And if he was then I definitely don't want him as the GM.

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#44 MC Hockey
August 08 2013, 09:51PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Very well thought out article.

After I finished reading it there was one question I couldn't help but ask myself.

When Feaster finished his first half-season as GM the general consensus was to give him the following season to put his stamp on the team.

Following that season, this last summer there was another refrain of letting Feaster have this (admittedly abbreviated) season as he had now cleared out most of Darryl Sutter's dead wood and the team was now a reflection of his vision and plan.

In other words, while I agree that the change of direction warrants some patience, it seems that we have uttered these sentiments before.

Go away fancy-Latin-named Oiler fan lol! Just kidding! You're just trying to make Edmonton's failed rebuild look better but them making the playoffs this year and losing in round 1 does not convince me that it was or will be a success! With Feaster and co, there really seems to be a well-considered strategy to stick the cupboards, develop the prospects, and improve the pros as well, where as Edmonton's plan is "pick the big scorers and no role players that are needed". The Ference signing was about 3 years too late in his career, reminds me of Flames getting a past-his-best Staois. Hey your team deserves scrutiny from reasonable Flames fans just like you apparently are a reasonable Oilers fan so don't rip me back for this one!

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#45 SmellOfVictory
August 07 2013, 02:04PM
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I'm pretty excited for this year in terms of draft results. We're going to get a good idea of what most of the 2011 guys (JG excepted since he's doing a third year in post-secondary) can do to jump to the respective next level (NHL full time for Sven, Euro to NA pro for Granlund, and pro from major junior for the other two).

And that's just the main event, with the addition of all of the Flames prospects in the WJC camps and continuing development in their current leagues.

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#46 coachedpotatoe
August 07 2013, 05:13PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

Craig Button should get an F because his first act was to waive Martin St. Louis.

I had forgotten about St Louis and so I would agree with you and downgrade him to an F. How Button keeps a job as a hockey insider I don't know.

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#47 please cancel acct
August 07 2013, 05:44PM
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Parallex wrote:

Meh, I was more going off the assumption that Edwards subsequently pulled back the chequebook and that's why the Flames are basically being a floor team this year.

I mean who's writing the cheque to repair the Saddledome post-flood (and did insurance cover every cent of damage repair)? If it's the Flames then I would imagine the cap space as rebuild asset option went out the door with the flood water.

K King indicated in an interview that damage was covered by insurance and they were given mandate to start ordering replacement material.

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#48 piscera.infada
August 07 2013, 06:05PM
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@please cancel acct

How dare ownership give another mandate!

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#49 Victoria Flames Fan
August 08 2013, 12:44AM
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Hunter Shinkaruk got a goal and an assist today while Emile Poirier only got an assist.

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#50 the-wolf
August 08 2013, 06:15AM
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chillout wrote:

I just get annoyed occasionally by the people who don't look at the situation from several angles. Many think he's a bad gm because his hair...and so on and so on. Sure he's done some stupid things, but people have to look at the situation at the time too as well as what every single other gm in the league was doing too.

When we signed babchuk didn't pardy get signed away for like 2mill a year or more. Sure babchuk is terrible but that was a massive overpay for pardy. Defencemen were hard to come by that summer. I could have my timeline mixed up, I didn't look anything up.

Richards...every gm in the league was gunning for him. He was the man that summer, sure now it looks like was lucky we didn't get him but had there not been such a bidding war, he would have been a good player to have at the right price. Feaster would have been just torn apart just as much had he sat on his hands and done nothing at all.

re: Richards, I disagree. Plenty of people on here were hoping we wouldn't land him and were immediately glad when we didn't.

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