A GM’s Carol: Prologue

Jay Feaster knew he should have taken Ken Hitchcock’s advice and cut out spicy foods before dinner.
Image courtesy of Dirty Dangle

In a canopt bed, covered in silks sheets, Calgary GM Jay Feaster chuckles to himself while reading Oilers fans get all wound up:

You know what? I look forward to the Battle of Alberta for the next X number of years. If the idea is, ‘Burn it to the ground,’ then Ken can find another manager to do it.

"Oh man, those dummies think they’ll just magically win a Cup after being awful for so long. Not with Tambellini driving hte short bus. Maybe if they had a Cup winning GM like me running things." 

Feaster had almost dozed off when a disembodied voice called out to him and startled him awake, knocking his tray of nachos to the ground.

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“John Ferguson Junior, why do you trouble me?”

“It is required of every GM that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow executives. It is doomed to wander through the world and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared in Toronto, and turned to happiness.”

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“What does that have to do with me?”

“I am here tonight to warn you that you have yet a chance and hope of escaping my fate.”

“Are you kidding? Your team was filled with aging veterans all with no trade clauses, and you traded away all your draft picks, and had no prospects in your system. What can I learn from you?”

“You will be haunted by three spirits”

“Uhh, I’d rather not”

“Without their visits you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first today when the bell tolls One.”

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“Couldn’t I take them all at once and have it over with, John?”

“Expect the second a few hours later, and the third in the afternoon. Look to me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!”

Jay tried to say “Humbug!” but stopped at the first syllable. And being, from the emotion he had undergone, or all the chicken wings he just ate, went straight to bed and fell asleep upon the instant. 

  • RexLibris

    Love this PPP. That makes two literary allusions on a Nation network site in less than a month (Machiavelli). Although I hope your spam-filter is ready for all the hate mail you’ll receive.

    I’ll give Feaster some respect for at least speaking his mind, but too often when boastful comments come from team management and coaching the opposite comes to pass. A couple years ago MacTavish said that when he watched the Oilers practice he could easily see us challenging for the division lead. We drafted 10th that year.

    Perhaps next summer Kent can write a post about Feaster and Parise using excerpts from Melville. Just because I’d love to see a photoshopped image of Feaster crying “From Hell’s heart I stab at thee!”

    • The worst part about management’s bold proclamations is that fans are the ones being beaten over the head with it!

      Like when Maurice stupidly called his last Leafs team the most talented club he had ever coached. Of course he got canned halfway through that year.

      • Vintage Flame

        “The worst part about management’s bold proclamations is that fans are the ones being beaten over the head with it!”

        No kidding.. Why do the fans always bear the brunt of the organizations??

        Simple VF… Cause it’s just easier and more fun that way!

  • RexLibris

    Of course all the GMs play on the heartstrings of the fans because they have us by the proverbial short and curlies. That devotion has long been an argument as to why the Leafs have never progressed: because the fans don’t stop paying money then don’t fix what is so obviously broken. The Oilers played the same game when the EIG owned the team, just as the Flames management sells the fans the “this is our year” line. The only two places that seem to be different are Saskatchewan where the motto during the CFL pre-season is usually “wait ’til next year, then we’ll get ’em!” or Vancouver where the motto seems to be “I don’t acknowledge the Canucks until June”. There is also the exception of the Canadiens whose management team sells the fanbase on what happened a lifetime ago.

    When Paul Maurice talks about the most talented team he has ever coached isn’t that kind of like Stu Grimson telling you about the most beautiful goal he ever scored.

  • MC Hockey

    Funny premise for these articles. I don’t share the negativity of most of the commentators howevfer. Feaster is pragmatic and will do what it takes to change the team. And anyone who thinks NTCs or MNTCs matter have not watched closely as both Regehr and Langkow had them.