Jay Feaster has no idea what he’s doing



I have already been critical of the whole Jay Feaster situation, and vociferously so. I don’t think he’s the right guy for the job and I don’t think the Flames looked hard enough to find someone who would be. They simply picked the closest guy with experience, etc.

But now I’m really worried, because he might be worse than I thought.

There can, to be fair, be very little assailing of the No. 13 pick being used on Sven Bartschi (or is it Baertschi?), except that I have referred to him as Sven Butenschon several times, which in and of itself is borderline unforgivable. But he’s a good player who was projected to go right around when the Flames took him, and that’s all well and good. I don’t know if we should necessarily be thanking our lucky stars that this selection was made, but it’s good enough, and given Feaster’s drafting record (see also: horrifying) it’s gotta be considered a win.

But the rest of the weekend was a… hmm, what’s the term? A series of missteps? A slew of disasters? A fiery pit of eternal torment untouched by human reason or sentient thought?

Yes, that last one will do nicely. Honestly, what in the bleeding hell was that?

The best place to start, one supposes, is with the apparent intent of the Flames’ strategy this weekend. The plan, maybe, was threefold: to shed salary, get younger and keep Jarome Iginla happy.

So let’s look at the way Feaster felt he should start shedding salary commitments. He traded Robyn Regehr, which is a thing that I’m theoretically cool with. After all, he’s over 31, not quite the same player he used to be and signed for the next two seasons at $4ish million per. If you’re going to start a rebuild, that’s the kind of player you ship out. He has some perceived value and likely wouldn’t be around for when the crop of prospects the Flames want to stockpile really come into their own. That’s fine then.

But when I heard Feaster had asked him to waive his no-movement clause to go to Buffalo, I was a little perplexed. Surely the Flames wouldn’t be able to wrangle a strong roster player from them for Regehr, given that there aren’t many you’d want to start a rebuild around (at least not that they’d part with). Ditto the farm system. What, many wondered, could the return possibly be?

We soon had our answer, but with even more good news: Feaster had convinced the Sabres to also take Ales Kotalik off their hands (based on Darcy Regier’s laughable idea that the forward could contribute in any meaningful way at the NHL level). Good news! A little over $7 million in salary moved out of town.

Oh but what’s that? He had to throw in a 2012 second-round pick to get the Kotalik portion pushed through? Well that’s odd. Calgary, if it really wants to rebuild, should be getting a whole bunch of those, not giving them away, especially because it is very likely to be a pick that’s fairly high. What a strange decision.

And what of the return? Surely with all that included, it would be substantial, right? Wrong again. Chris Butler, a 24-year-old who spent much of last season as a healthy scratch behind Craig Rivet and Mike Weber, and Paul Byron, who is 22 and a little underwhelming, but who the organization expects is close to being able to contribute at the NHL. Butler, by the way, is an as-yet-unsigned restricted free agent.

But hey, at least they’re younger.

If you do want to go with a youth movemen, and maybe this is just me talking crazy, how, exactly, does it behoove you to sign a 31-year-old guy with an injury history to a five-year deal that comes with — YOU GUESSED IT — a no-movement clause?

The Tanguay contract is at least in some way an attempt to keep Jarome Iginla from hanging himself when the team has 13 wins in December, but really Jay, a no-movement clause? Didn’t we learn a horrible lesson about those in any of the previous 10 the organization has given out like Halloween candy to anyone who’s scored more than two goals for the team? No, apparently not.

But fine, Iginla seems to have forged some sort of Conroy-esque chemistry with Tanguay who’s got loads more skill on his worst day than Connie ever did. And the cap hit is not unreasonable, at least based on this past year.

Cap flexibility, all of a sudden, has understandly become the name of the game, and the Flames have a little of it, with which Feaster says he will address "the team’s needs."

The problem with this is that it’s a tacit endorsement of the team as one that doesn’t REALLY need a rebuild. If you’re spending to the cap, which is something Calgary clearly plans to do, then you’re aiming to make the playoffs, which is not in any way conducive to getting younger, rebuilding the system and planning to make things really start to happen in three or four years. I think I might’ve said before that the post-Christmas run this team went on was maybe the worst thing that could have happened to it, both because it pushed them to 13th in the draft instead of what could have easily been a top-10 pick, and because it deluded people into thinking, as Alex Tanguay told Steinberg yesterday, they could have really competed in the playoffs, if only they’d made it.

This is, obviously, not the case. It’s just not realistic.

Then of course there’s the absolutely, positively insane mindset that went into pursuing but thankfully not (yet) acquiring Ryan Smyth. I don’t feel as though I need to explain to you how phenomenally stupid such a move would be, because there’s no way that acquiring Smyth does anything to address the team’s supposed needs. Of which it has become clear that no one quite knows what they are.

It’s been very odd watching Feaster operate since taking over as GM. He says he doesn’t want to give out NMCs any more, but he’s 2 for 2 now. He says he doesn’t want to trade away picks any more, but he just dumped a second rounder rather than sit on a bad contract for a single season.

Therefore, we can surmise that Feaster either isn’t allowed or doesn’t know what he wants to do. And that’s no way to run a franchise.

The Feater Era is in full swing, and so far it’s been a complete dud.

  • MC Hockey

    You’re being too harsh on Feaster. Apparently, he’s being told to clean up Sutter’s mess and dump salary. Constrained by all those no-movement clauses, and unpalatable contracts, he takes what little option he has.

    Other GMs aren’t stupid. They require real return on trades. Buffalo is where Kotalik had success, and management there has more reason to like him. There’s probably no better deal out there, than to throw in the 2nd round pick. Sad but true.

    “From 1990 to 1999, about one-quarter of the players selected in the second round turned into NHL career players.”

    Given that, you can get a better player for $3M than you can by holding onto the pick. And, you don’t have to wait for him to develop.

    Tanguay is a gamble, to be sure, but he comes at a reasonable price, and he plays well with Iggy. Many don’t.

    • Vintage Flame

      I don’t think it’s just the pick-it’s what we’re getting back. The pick is perceived as a deal sweetener, correct? Feaster shouldn’t have had to sweeten that deal.

  • Dr. Nick

    Here is a suggestion to Jay Feaster:

    Buy a copy of NHL ’11 or ’12 or whatever, play the GM mode for the team you want to trade with and try to make the trade you are thinking of to Calgary and if the CPU GM of Calgary rejects your trade emphatically you might want to keep on looking for other options.

  • BrianSheva

    The Flames are not negotiating from a position of strength. I don’t envy Feaster one bit when trying to improve the club’s position vis a vis trades/salary dumps. Calgary has been telegraphing what they want / need to do to start improving their club for some time.

    Personally, i’m waiting to see how the rest of the summer unfolds before condemning the man.

  • mayhemsince1977

    Conspiracy Alert!

    The draft ’11 just proves that Darryl was never fired. He is still running the show from a barn on his farm using his cell phone.

  • For those of you who feel a salary dump was necessary and that Feaster accomplished that goal with this move:

    I understand and respect your decision to side with King/Feaster. But – I will offer you this.

    Say – it was possible – in a perfect world, to both get rid of salary AND get a return.

    Is this something that might interest you?

    Trading Robyn Regehr for peanuts is unfathomable regardless of Kotalik’s involvement. Giving up a pick to get this done is even worse. If they really wanted to just ditch salary they would have stashed Kotalik in the minors and traded Regehr for a large return. (No less than a 1st and prospect). That’s what any self-respecting GM would have shot for.

    Even including Kotalik (a serviceable player who’s contract with 1 year remaining has now become manageable) – the return should have been no less than a high pick and prospect.

    This is a terrible trade regardless of it’s intention. Stop drinking the kool-aid and start facing reality.

      • icedawg_42

        I dunno- I think you’ll still have a hard time convincing anyone who watches him regularily that he’s not a top end shut down guy – even still. One dimension….ok, if that dimension is “shut down the other teams best goal scorers” – absolutely!!! I really dont get why people judge defensemen on how many points they get. That shouldnt be their job. The only thing that watered down his value is the Kotalik contract. Personally I would have taken a first pick for Reggie, and swallowed Kotalik for another year.

  • I personally do not mind the Regehr trade. Us, as fans of this fair team, are always frustrated with the management and how they overvalue players. Maybe we should take a step back and realize that our players are not ‘gods’ in the eyes of other teams. What did we give up? An aging defender who is starting to be injury-prone, and a total lump in Kotalik.
    This is the perfect time for the younger group to show us what they are made of, and to inject some youth into our lineup. Be patient!!

  • Jeff Lebowski

    I totally disagree with the author. Feaster has done quite an admirable job given the circumstances he inheireted.
    * Regehr deal: Fans love him and see him as extremely valuable to the team. However what is his value in dollars (not other players). If Robyn were a UFA this year what would he bag? My position is not $4M. Look at the Dmen who make that much money and the market will tell you what $4M should net. If he is overvalued in relation to the market then move him. The story of the players Calgary got in return is not measured by the stats. There are mitigating factors that shape those stats. Take Gio for example, based on his early stats (pts, gp, toi etc) would that be an indicator of what type of player he would become? Point is, the story is up close and personal not just a review of stats.
    *As for the picks, take a look at any team’s draft classes. How many actually play in the NHL? Draft picks are just assests, like players (Byron). However I concede a 2nd rounder might be a more valuble asset than Byron.
    Feaster is changing the franchise. I like what he is putting a premium on (in terms of type of player he wants). To buy time for those players to develop he has to keep whatever offensive players he does have re: Tanguay.
    He is undoing the unworkable salaries and terrible drafting (premium was put on grit and defensive players) of years gone by.
    It’s not that the other teams want to help out either, when he says the Buffalo offer was the best he had I believe him.

  • Dr. Nick

    One of my prevailing feelings regarding the Regehr trade, besides the almost unanimous feeling of suckitude, is it almost feels like the Phaneuf trade. While these players obviously had faults as all players do, it seems like our GMs didn’t look hard enough to get the best return. I remember some GM saying that they didn’t know that Phaneuf was on the market when he got traded and I wonder if this was the same with Regehr. GMs can obviously say that that was the best offer out there but really… was it?

  • Gange

    Anyone who doesn’t call Jarome elite is high. He has been consistently in the top 10.

    I’m not sure what qualifies for elite if that doesn’t.

    If he hit the open market the lineup would be around the corner

    • Mitts

      If you are merely looking at points, yes, he can still be considered “elite”. IMO, he finishes in the red in scoring chances and Corsi too often to still be considered a top-10 guy in the league. He is still very good, yes. He just can’t carry a team like a Kesler or Toews or Crosby anymore.

      Don’t get me wrong-being born in 91, my first memory of hockey is Jarome and the rest of the boys in the 96 playoffs-he’s all I’ve ever known as a hockey fan and it pains me to say what I did in the first paragraph.

      • Vintage Flame

        jazzy… WTH are you talking about?
        I can’t believe you would even put Kesler in the same mouthful of spit as Toews or Crosby.. and even Iggy.

        Those three are the epitome of heart and determination.. born leaders and respected by players of all teams around the league.

        NO ONE respects Kesler except Alex Burrows cause Ryan lets him chew on his fingers in the shower! This guy has no idea what heart is all about. he showed that in the finals.

        I think Kesler is a good talent but there is a damn good reason he is not the captain of Van. Sedin [whichever one it is] was a lousy choice for captain, but he was still a better option than Kesler. Would I take Kesler on the Flames? Absolutely! Would he ever be the captain or the leading scorer on MY team.. Not a FREAKING chance!

        • icedawg_42

          I’m not saying anything about the quality of the person, or how much of a douche he is-even though he is an awful dude. The math the past 2-3 years says he has the same kind of impact on ice as Crosby and Toews do for their respective teams.

          Leadership is a lot different from performance. I hate Kesler with the fire of 100000000 suns, but I would take him on my team because he drives the puck in the right direction all the time.

          Once again: I am only comparing the on-ice underlying numbers, nothing more.

          • Vintage Flame

            Understood, and like I said I would have him on my team as well, but you are comparing apples to oranges. Kesler’s underlying numbers are skewed if you are comparing them to Iginla.

            Iggy is a 1st line player that ALWAYS draws the oppositions top defensive pairing and checkers. Kesler is a 2nd line forward and is spared that opposition, because they are reserved for playing against the Sedins. I guarantee you if you take the Sedins off that team and put Kessler on the #1 line, his number drop dramatically and he wouldn’t be fit to hold Iggy’s jock.

          • Mitts

            Kesler was the one taking on the toughies last year, and he had similar underlying stats. The Sedins minutes are so soft I could sleep on them, ahah. He’s capable of doing what Iggy does, and can do it better at this point in his career-at least in the underlying numbers.

  • Gange

    It is WAY too early to say this. I would bet that he has not made an autonomous decision yet.

    Do I like the Regehr deal? Not really. I REALLY like Regehr as a player and a person. It’s hard to see him go for almost nothing. As much as Tanguay has a long term it’s a decent cap hit that makes Jarome worth this money.

    There is more to come. Before you ring the panic bell you may want to wait for a full off season.

    • But at what cost? just one more season of marginal mediocre team? One more year off Iggy. Not trying to harp or be argumentative here,but the article staying on topic is close to true as you get without being slapped in the face. The Flame need to start building up prospects and high end picks. Iggys still an elite talent and worthy of 2 first round picks according to the Kessle trade. Kipper can get a high end first as well. Karlson(sorry if I spelled that wrong)is just about ready.

      Flames have (from what I’ve read and heard) a very limited prospect pool. realistically wont be any better at the UFA pool, as most players want to come to a team that’s established. That panic bell is about to ring load!

      • Vintage Flame

        I agree with you on the Flames need to rebuild, but you can’t say Iggy is the foundation of that rebuild. He is the foundation of this team, and as an elite player, he is the PERFECT player and Captain to be here to mentor guys like Howse and Baertschi, and maybe even Horak [Remember we have him too!!]

        As for Karlsson.. No way dude. Karlsson is in NO WAY ready to be our number 1 goalie. I like the Tower, but as a back up. I’m glad they got him for cheap. and I hope he can take some of the load off Kipper. But it’s a far cry playing say 25-30 games than playing 60-70. No way this kid is ready for that, and I would question if he ever would be. He’s 27 and still has a lot to learn on the game. I think Malarchuck will be a great coach for him… And if the season goes as bad as it seems or worse, at least Clint can show us all how to cut our throats. [Too soon??.. Sorry]

      • Dr. Nick

        It is unrealistic to think ANY team in the NHL would give up 2 first round picks for Iginla. Burke gave up 2 first rounders , in the (mistaken) belief that he would be swapping middling first rounders for Kessel, not a bad trade in his mind, given that Kessel was young, has the prime of his career in front of him, and had scored 30plus goals in the NHL already. It was a “bird in the hand is worth two in the crapshoot that is the draft” theory. Iggy, on the other hand, is on the far side of a Hall of Fame career, slowing, expensive and not the sort of player a team with potentially valuable picks (that is, an out the playoffs team such as the Flames)
        would want. Home town fans tend to overvalue their aging stars, believing that there is some kind of crazy flea market where you can swap your dented, rusting VW Rabbits for brand new Porsche Boxters. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Mike Milbury and Phil Esposito are no longer available to be fleeced on a regular basis. Every GM nowadays has at least some smart guys around them.Rebuilds have to be slow, patient and there is still no guarantee of anything. Be prepared for a lot of long, cold, frustrating winter nights, my friend.

        • It’s not unrealistic to get a couple 1st for Iggy. If Carter is worth an 8th overall pick plus a prospect, then I’m sure Iggy can get a 1st one year, plus a 1st the year after, much the same as Boston did. I’m not a Flames fan so by no means am I overvaluing Iggy….Look If the Oilers can get a 1st round pick + a prospect for Dustin Penner then the Flames can get two 1st for sure.Your right in that there are no guarantees with a rebuild, but i can guarantee it being a lot longer if they don’t.

          @ Vintage Flame

          Thanks for the heads up on Karlson. I have to disagree on Iggy. You are right that he is still an elite player, a great captain and from all accounts a decent person, but Still being the key word. what about next year? his stock is as high as it gets right now, one more year is still one more year older. get something good now I say.

          • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

            Carter is a 26 year old stud with his best years in front of him. Iggy is a long in the tooth 34 year old with a lot of mileage on his frame and his best years behind him. Recent trades for first rounders are almost always for younger players (Penner(28) Richards(26) Kessel(23), or are inconsequential (Kaberle for 30th overall pick). I can’t think of a grizzled veteran being traded for a top ten pick and trading for lower picks is a total crapshoot(remember Oilers traded Ryan Smyth to Long Island for what amounted to 3 first round picks which turned out to be Robert Nilson, Ryan O’Mara and Alex Plante.)My point is there is no quick fix for the rebuild and Flames fans are being overly optimistic if they think flipping Iggy and Kipper will kickstart it. The return on Regehr is pretty reflective of what the market will bear. The Oilers may have been a laughing stock for the past few years, but right now there is a helluva lot more hope up the QE2 than down south

  • icedawg_42

    I’m glad to see that I wasn’t just missing something. I tried every angle to figure out why the Flames want Ryan Smyth. It would almost have been better for the Flames if they’d kept falling away from the playoffs instead of missing it in the last week. The front office doesn’t seem to really believe a rebuild is necessary.

    Is it just a matter of not wanting to accept that Iginla is an asset instead of their future cup-winning captain? I’m curious to get Flames fans’ opinions.

    • icedawg_42

      Though Iggy still contributes at a very high level – there’s no argument that he’s slipped below “elite” – I think the “let Iggy retire a Flame” argument is mostly sentimental at this point – and to be clear, I’ll be the flag bearer at that parade. I wouldnt think he’ll be a first liner for the duration of his contract, but for the fact that there’s no real high end talent knocking on the door. (just my humble opinion – Iggy is, and remains my hero)

      • Vintage Flame

        How do you not still call Iggy “elite”? Over the past 5 years Iginla ranks 3rd in NHL scoring. Despite the unsubstantiated ravings of a few Oiler fans on Twitter, there is not a single team that would not take Iggy if given the chance. Add to that the fact that Iggy has played on less than substantial teams, bordering on out right incompetence and Iggy exemplifies what makes a player truly “elite”.

        Not trying to be arguementative because you and I have discussed this for the better part of two seasons now and I know you’re a big fan of his. But I disagree whole-heartedly that he is not still an elite player.

      • icedawg_42

        I agree on every point. Personally, I think there are very few teams in the league for whom Iggy isn’t on the first line, at least for the time being. I’d still put him in the elite category.

        That’s exactly why he’s worth more as a tradeable asset than he is as a skater for the Flames. Of course, this is ONLY if it’s time to rebuild. Feaster’s moving Regher says it is. The Tanguay extension and no hint of moving Iginla says it’s not.

        Even supposing Tangs is a leader/mentor type, there’s no high end talent for him to help learn to be a pro at this point. Unless the Flames get primo picks and prospects for Iggy, they’re not winning the cup before he retires.

        Along with the original author, I’m baffled.

  • Bucknuck

    I was feeling pretty prickly about Tambellini being absolutely useless up the highway in Edmonton, but after reading this article I feel a little bit better.

    But only a little bit.

    At least Calgary management hasn’t traded away their heart and soul. The day Iginla leaves town is also nosedive time for the Flames IMO. It happened in Edmonton when Ryan Smyth left town and I think the same thing would happen here.

  • Mitts

    I disagree, Regher is obviously getting on in age, he put some hard miles on and has bad knees, this is fact, for an already somewhat slow d-man, he has not got much mileage left on him. We need to get rid of salary and obv Kotalik is dead money, we lost one 2nd round pick, no need to exaggerate by saying “Calgary, if it really wants to rebuild, should be getting a whole bunch of those, not giving them away, especially because it is very likely to be a pick that’s fairly high. What a strange decision.” We are not Rebuilding, we are restocking a depleted farm system which had been stocked with slow big players. We are infusing our lineup with youth, we do not have to completely tear down the team Edmonton style. Detroit never rebuilds but continues to develop their youth and assimilate them into the lineup. I think Jay is trying to implement something similar..

    Let’s not forget we finished,I believe 25w,11L, 9OTL since Jay took over, and yet everyone has already written us off as not making the playoffs again. There is a different vibe around the team now, I expect we will make the playoffs and although initially irritated by Jay’s trades I understand them.

    • MC Hockey

      Agree heartily with your comments Mitts. All these guys on here ARE overvaluing a slow, aging, not-suited-to-today’s-NHL guy in Regehr and to get rid of Kotalik is amazing…gives us roon to pursue some talent like Leino, Laich, or perhaps a D-man in free agency. But some guys don’t get the business side of things obviously! Plus the return in Butler is decent and will be easy to re-sign (as his options are nearly nil as an RFA) plus Byron is a skilled, very young prospect who is small but plays with grit and heart and was loved by Buffalo fans in his short stint coming up from Portland Pirates of AHL. The vibe around Flames IS much better with Feaster as he forced Brent to change his sour-puss attitude and then the players responded with a great second half. All you guys need to re-examine your negative opinions about Feaster and think more about the big picture.

    • Mitts

      We should be “rebuilding” or going for it-Regehr trade suggests one, Tanguay deal suggests another. This is not a good team. That record after Jay took over was due to percentages evening out.

      • Mitts

        I’m sorry but this makes no sense, at least the percentages evening out part. There is no set amount of games you are going to win a season, just because you lost say 60% of games in first half of season means you are going to rebound in the 2nd half. Luck plays a very small part, like bad bounces etc..The team played better in the second half, there was a reported “darkness” so to speak, lifted when Sutter left, watch clips of when we scored, no smiles, just fist bump and skate to the bench half the time, as if scoring is not meant to be pleasure but purely an expectation, and no joy derived from it. This was not all encompassing but to me it was obviously there. Second half of season guys started to have fun, loosen up, and play better and I believe closer to our potential. We are not a team that is sub playoff standard, but we had been playing like that before Jay took over. IMO

        • Mitts

          PDO is a stat that is roughly equivalent to luck-shooting% plus sv%. The median is 1000. Collectively, in early January, the PDO of the team was sub-1000. After the “turnaround”, it was above 1000. That is a balancing of percentages. Maybe there was a mental effect, yes-but not to the tune of a point% of .650. Rarely do teams play above or below their true talent level-you get maybe one a year. This year, it was CHI. Last year, COL.

        • icedawg_42

          yeah, some of their past picks have to be envied – to be honest with you though, I think those days are over…I think detroit benefitted from targetting largely unexplored markets – there’s no way that Pavel Datsyuk doesnt go top 10 in 2012. That age class is almost gone now, I truthfully expect Detroit to start a slow decline any time now (i know, i know, everyone says that) ..but I dont think they can stock the cupboards like they used to…like it or not, in the cap era, your top end players are the high skilled ones graduating from major junior – Grassroots hockey has never been more emphatic on skill.

    • Mitts

      Terrible. You can count the amount of NHL-ready prospects on one finger (TJ Brodie). As for guys who may play in the NHL, you have Bouma, Nemisz, Wahl and Reinhart right now. The first two guys have a ceiling as high-end 3rd liners, the second two as high-end second liners. The rest of the people the Flames currently control are all tweeners or AHL lifers.

  • First Name Unidentified

    And to those who keep saying that Feaster created $7 mill in cap space, please wake up. $3.5 mill gone for Tanguay, made an offer to Babchuk (really?), needs to re-sign a couple more. And guess what, The space is wiped out and our team didnt really get any better, got worse for that matter.

    • Mitts

      Absolutely. I know RCN’s thrown around Wisnewski’s name at a cap hit of 3.5 million-that makes me look at Regehr’s 4 million and laugh. Wisnewski is barely qualified to hold Regehr’s jock.

      So, yeah, we got “cap flexibility” but we also are now in a position where 1. the team won’t/can’t do anything with that flexibility and will be appreciably worse or 2. will end up spending that money on a UFA who’s getting close to 30 and will probably be nowhere near as good as the guy they just got rid of.

  • First Name Unidentified

    I second what Justin said.

    I’m still outraged. No matter what, I’ll always be a Flames fan. But i think it’s time to find an exciting, promising team in the NHL to follow and cheer for because my beloved team is on a path of self-destruction.

    I’m pretty high on the Bruins right now. And love what Holmgren has done in Philly in a matter of an hour on Thursday.

  • Mitts

    If you do want to go with a youth movement, and maybe this is just me talking crazy, how, exactly, does it behoove you to sign a 31-year-old guy with an injury history to a five-year deal that comes with — YOU GUESSED IT — a no-movement clause?

    This is my main problem with what Feaster has done and continues to do-he thinks the team is a playoff team, yet he gets rid of a very good asset that would help the team make the playoffs (for minimal return) under the pretense of “youth” and then tries to fill the 7 million dollars of cap space he just opened up with 10 million dollars of 31 and 36 year old.

    I just don’t see how anyone can logically defend the three major actions he’s taken this week when looked at in concert with one another.

    • icedawg_42

      HAHA – you just wanted to be first.

      Bob – TITLE OF THE YEAR!!!

      I’ll be a LITTLE more positive about the draft pick – by all accounts Beaeeaeaeartschi has good offensive upside, and terrific work ethic so I’ll give him benefit of the doubt – but make no mistake, I still wanted McNeill very badly, and I think that Chicago hit a home run with him – he’ll fit into that culture very very well. I like a 3.5 million dollar cap hit for Tanguay – but at 3 years with NO NTC. – that idea would definitely have been a “hometown discount” – but frankly, if Tanguay isnt willing to take that for a situation he KNOWS will be the best he’ll get, then so be it. God help us on the blueline – Wisniewski? 4+ million I think…For the record everyone, I think the Flames should have waited out the 3 nasty contracts (Hagman Kotalik Sarich) – EVEN if they dont bury any of them – and taken another highish pick next year.