Intercepted Emails – A bit of Confusion



Occasionally at Flames Nation we will intercept some email correspondence into and out of the Scotiabank Saddledome. This is one of those times.

Hi Sven,

You’ve been doing a great job in Penticton so far (Joni Ortio not so much) and I wanted to say thanks. You’ve really been creating a lot of chances, and it’s really encouraging to see a player who’s Flames property under the age of 27 actually play like he wants a job in the NHL one day. Very refreshing. Like a tall, cool glass of milk with a nice afternoon snack of cookies.

But that’s not the reason I’m writing. I’m writing because I was looking over some draft notes the other day and noticed something. Your name is Sven Bärtschi. And well, I’m just a little worried. The problem here is twofold:

1) The little dot things over the A in your last name alone will cost us a fortune and I need that money to pursue both big-name free agents and dinner.

2) You play in the WHL, right? In Portland, Oregon? In the United States? That’s why we drafted you. Then it turns out you’re SWISS? Outrageous. Especially because, as far as our scouting department can tell, you’re not skilled in making either chocolate or cheese. That’s even worse.

To the latter point, I would also add that since finding out about it, I’ve been doing one heck of a job distracting the media, the local fans, and this one mumbly guy that keeps calling my office (and telling me that he is being quite honest) from the fact that you’re from Sweden or whatever. I thought your first name was "Steven" when we drafted you, and that the Central Scouting info was just full of typos. Incidentally, that’s the same reason why we also took that tiny Gaudreau kid. Why would the CALGARY FLAMES draft an AMERICAN who’s FIVE-FOOT-SIX otherwise?

Anyway, if you could stop listening to weird European dance music in the dressing room when the media show up, that’d be great. Don’t want to arouse any more suspicion than we already have. We’re also sending down some cowboy boots and Curtis Glencross is gonna show you how to ride a horse. If anyone asks, you grew up in Strathcona.

I know it’s a bit of an inconvenience — especially because we’ll also be asking you to start moving hay bales out in front of the Saddledome during the season — but we’re just starting out getting the team in order again and, well, we don’t want to rock the boat too much. If you could do all that, you’d really be helping the organization. Believe me, that dotty A is gonna be more trouble than Khabibulin on a bender. Habit and precedence demands the Flames draft nothing but good ol’ prairie boys so you understand my conundrum. In fact (and you didn’t hear this from me), your future ability to crack the Flames roster will be directly moderated by your willingness to affect a western farm boy pose. So start working on that accent Sve…er…Steven. And let’s stick with that "Baertschi" spelling for your sweater.



  • Dr. Nick

    I really don’t know why people are continually bashing Jay Feaster as being stupid and fat. While Jay may not have been the GM that built the entire Stanley Cup team, he was the assistant GM for Tampa from 1998 to 2002 and his actions for the team would have had an influence on the team that hoisted the Cup in 2004. Also, where do people get the idea that he is stupid? This man is lawyer, which means about 7 years of post-secondary education, which is more than probably 99% of the arm chair GMs out there, plus he is the GM of an NHL hockey team and makes more money than most people see in a lifetime. That doesn’t sound like a stupid guy to me. As for his on ice decisions, no one here knows why he makes the decisions he does and yes he hasn’t made moves like George McPhee this summer, but he didn’t exactly have a team like McPhee’s either. I for one will give him at least a year before I start to question his decisions and I think next Trade Deadline and and the next off season will prove what kind of GM Jay Feaster is.

    As for the fat jokes, it’s been played over and over again and frankly it’s time to call it quits. It is no wonder people who are overweight have low self esteem when the world is full of idiots who don’t know when to keep their big yaps shut.

    • Feaster probably isn’t dumb if he graduated from Georgetown Law School with honours. However, being smart in one capacity doesn’t mean that you are smart in all capacities. Obviously he has enough hockey acumen to make it to the GM position. That, in and of itself, doesn’t mean he’ll be good at it (see Waddell, Don and McLean, Doug).

      Some of his moves as a GM both here and in Tampa were questionable. As a public figure you are going to get some shots taken at you in the name of humour. This blog isn’t supposed to be a textbook analysis at all times. TLP is trying to have a little fun with this.

      Sutter wasn’t “dumb” either but he made some dumb moves and we made fun of him too.

      If you don’t find it funny, that’s your prerogative. That said, I don’t know if this is the right place to cure societal ills.

    • RexLibris

      Hey I agree with pretty much what you have said. My opinion will be much more set after this year. That said, you sound very upset and offended about the shots at his appearance & so on. Relax dude. Yes Feaster is a smart boy, yes he makes way more$$$$ than we ever hope to & he’s smart enough to know that as well. When you are in the public & make that kind of coin, who gives a rats ass. Bash me all you want, just buy tickets & merchandise. Pay me 7 figures per year & you can make fun of my big nose, my mullet or whatever, all you want. Like General Patton said, “All Glory is Fleeting” especially in the what have you done for me lately world of hockey.

  • RexLibris

    I was trying to picture Sutter’s face, Darryl that is, when the Flames were drafting guys like Gaudreau. Sven I don’t think is as much of a reach, after all Sutter drafted Backlund and Erixon and traded for Kiprusoff and apparently had a bit of a man-crush on Jokinen. That being said, the Flames under Sutter tended to place a premium on Western Canadian boys with more grit than flash, drafting them ahead of where they ought to have been taken.

    Some of this Feaster talk reminds me of the abuse Danny Maciocia got here in Edmonton, because he didn’t look like a football guy he mustn’t really be very good at it. Of course that turned out to be correct, but I don’t think it was because of his looks. Flames fans had best hope that Feaster isn’t a Maciocia-esque GM or you’ll be looking at about five years of your life you never get back.

  • RexLibris

    Have to say, I’ve never been a fan of Feaster. He’s a business guy not a hockey guy which is the problem. I think you do need the guy at the top (GM) to be a hockey guy with business acumen. To say he’s smart because he graduated from Georgetown, is like JFJ (John Ferguson Jr) is smart because he graduated from Providence. Just read Jay’s bio, got into hockey because some guy at his law firm assigned him to take care of the account that included the Hershey Bears. This Sven guy (still cant believe they drafted a guy named Sven) has got to prove that his size is nothing. Sure he’s played good but that only gets you so far. Feaster isn’t a scout and the Flames scouting staff is considered to be one of the worst. I do think that he is a stop gap waiting for Jim Nill to be available. (Next year)

  • RexLibris

    I understand Flames fans wanting to replace Feaster with Nill, I think there are fans in about 20 NHL cities who would love to have Nill instead of whomever it is they have right now. But Nill has a pretty sweet deal in Detroit and a very good working relationship with the owner and staff. Many people here talk about ownership interfering with some decisions and that Ken King is more involved than perhaps he ought to be, so as I see it, there would have to be more than a few changes first before someone like Nill would choose to come to Calgary and many other franchises would be bending over backwards to accomodate him.

    Look on the bright side, Sutter could have hired Doug McLean or Mike Milbury as his assistant GM.

    • Karasu89

      Yes Rex you’re right about 20 other cities wanting Nill. He has a “non negotiable” clause until next year and does have a sweet deal. But dont you think a guy from Hanna would eventually want a shot at running the show? Yes I do believe this is Kings last year as well (think he’ll ride off in the sunset looking for “new” opportunities). A guy who is known for his drafting and developing abilities is what the Flames need. As i’ve said before, when you can talk to him, back up the truck and say “take what you want”.

      McLean or Milbury would have been worse. Of course who honestly believes Sutter ‘really’ hired Feaster? And do you think that either of those guys would have been given the reins?