Via the NHL
Feaster’s short tenure in Calgary is over. A commentere recently asked for an overview of Jay’s notable dealings during his time in the big chair. That struck me as a worthwhile endeavour, so here it is.
I’m not going to bother including minor (i.e., things that include players who are replacement-level or worse) deals or smaller transactions unless it’s actually a win or loss. There’s so much blurring at the margins that it’s just not worth spilling digital ink over, especially when the deals don’t really have an impact one way or another. So, if you don’t see a specific move, assume that’s why.
Traded a 7th rounder (later traded to San Jose) for Fredrik Modin. The least of assets, but an asset nonetheless – and all for a 36-year-old guy who was worse than useless in the 4 or so games he played. Loss.
Traded Tim Erixon and a 5th rounder (Shane McColgan) for Roman Horak, Markus Granlund and Tyler Wotherspoon. An impossible situation for Feaster, and he got a damn good return in retrospect. I believe Wotherspoon, Horak and Granlund are all going to be better than replacement level, and Erixon still hasn’t cracked Columbus’ blue line (although I’m still bullish on his top-4 potential). Even in a vacuum, this looks like it’s pretty close to being a win for the Flames, but given the circumstances it’s a cinch. Win.
Traded Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik and a 2nd rounder (Jake McCabe) for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. Given that it’s been two years and I think it’s safe to say this trade was terrible. The Flames essentially lost a 2nd rounder because of three million dollars, give or take. That’s not good asset management. Both of the players the Flames were sent back are, at best, going to be marginally better than replacement level. All of that plus the fact that after a year and a half of supposedly being garbage in Buffalo, the Sabres still got two 2nd round picks for him – which, in my opinion, is more than the original return. I want to be clear that I blame the whole organization for this, not just Feaster – but that doesn’t change the result. Loss.
Picked up Blake Comeau off of waivers. Free. It was a really good risk at the time and I was fully supportive of it. They got a 3rd liner for a season and a half for cheap. Win.
Traded Daymond Langkow for Lee Stempniak. The Flames lost a good possession centre (even though he missed almost the entire year before with that neck injury) but gained a good possession winger who is seven years younger. Win.
Traded Brendan Mikkelsson for Blair Jones. The Flames got a guy who can serviceably play in the NHL and they only had to give up an AHL defenseman. Win.
Traded a 5th rounder (Graham Black) for Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Same deal as Modin. Loss.
Traded Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and Zach Fucale for Mike Cammalleri, Karri Rämö and Ryan Culkin. Bourque for Cammalleri hasn’t even been close – Bourque has scored at a .31PPG rate, while Cammalleri has more than doubled that with a .69PPG rate. Culkin and Holland are both low-percentage picks, and Karri Rämö has already saved more NHL shots than Fucale ever will. Win.
Traded Jarome Iginla for Ben Hanowski, Kenny Agostino and Morgan Klimchuk. The Flames got two low-upside players and a lottery chip for their second biggest trade piece. Not enough, even with Iginla’s NMC and cap hit. This can’t be considered an all-out loss, though, as Klimchuk still has the potential to be an impact player and it was a rather difficult situation to begin with. Push.
Traded Jay Bouwmeester for Mark Cundari, Reto Berra and Emilé Poirier. Unlike the Iginla deal, this was not a difficult situation. Bouwmeester was having his best season since he was a member of the Panthers and he was signed for another year. The trade was made even more puzzling when the Flames neglected to use the salary retention benefits afforded to them by the new CBA. Plus – Detroit’s rumoured package was vastly superior. The Flames received a goalie who is likely replacement level, a defenseman who is likely replacement level, and Poirier. Loss.
Traded a 4th round pick (Michael Downing) for Corban Knight. I am a big fan of Knight and I think he’ll be the team’s 3rd line centre next year. Meanwhile, that fourth round pick likely won’t turn into anything because, you know, Florida. Win.
Traded Cory Sarich and Alex Tanguay for Shane O’Brien and David Jones. The Flames basically traded a good bottom pairing possession defender for a bad bottom pairing possession defender who was also signed for another year. Jones and Tanguay are both ineffective in their own ways and their contracts are basically identical. Loss.
Traded a 5th rounder (in 2014) for Kris Russell. Although he was freely available on waivers a couple days earlier, Feaster didn’t want to take on a contract with arbitration rights even though Russell is now going to be a UFA this summer. Luckily for Feaster, Russell seems like a top-4 defenseman when deployed correctly and has added a significant amount of offense at the same time. Win.
Traded a conditional 3rd or 4th round pick (in 2014) for Joe Colborne. Marginal asset for a centre prospect with a little upside. What differentiates Modin/Letourneau-Leblond (losses) and Knight/Colborne (wins) is simple: we don’t know what Colborne and Knight will turn into. We already knew with the other two. Win.
Traded Laurent Brossoit and Roman Horak for Ladislav Smid and Olivier Roy. On one hand, Calgary got the only NHLer in the deal, and he is a guy who (before this season) has been a legit top-4 man. On the other, Smid might be on the decline and Horak has possession-centre upside. I need to see where Smid is at the end of the season. Push.
Signed Curtis Glencross to a 4-year, $10.2 million contract. A very team-friendly deal that included a NMC (whoops) but kept around one of Calgary’s best forwards in his prime years (27-31). Glencross has far outperformed this deal. Win.
Signed Alex Tanguay to a 5-year, $17.5 million contract. Tanguay’s deal was a toxic asset the second it was signed. The dollar figure was fine but the length of the contract – which takes him until his 36-year-old season – was two years too much. Eventually, instead of being a trade-deadline UFA asset, he was traded for David Jones (see above). Loss.
Signed Anton Babchuk to a 2-year, $5 million contract. Kent called this whole situation a significant test for Feaster based on how unsustainable Babchuk’s scoring was. Feaster failed the test. Babchuk watched more games from the press box during this contract than he played, because he sucks. Loss.
Signed Lee Stempniak to a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. Stempniak has far outperformed his contract thus far and is one of the team’s best wingers. It’s likely that next season he will provide more production than his price tag suggests he will. Win.
Signed Cory Sarich to a 2-year, $4 million contract. This was a contract that didn’t need to be signed, considering the Flames’ defensive depth chart at the time. Eventually, he was shipped off for a worse version of himself. Loss.
Signed Dennis Wideman to a 5-year, $26.25 million contract. The term still worries me a little but Wideman has been pretty close to full value for the dollar figure in the last year and a bit. It remains to be seen what happens when he is 34 and making this much, so I can’t say it’s a win. Push.
Signed Jiri Hudler to a 4-year, $16 million contract. I thought it might have been a year too long at the time, but he’s the team’s leading scorer and even if he does finish out the contract in Calgary he’ll still be good enough that the contract won’t be bad. Win.
Signed Ryan O’Reiliy to a 2-year, $10 million offer sheet. The less said about this, the better. Feaster is lucky that Greg Sherman’s incompetence outpaced his own in this situation. Loss.
Signed TJ Brodie to a 2-year, $4.25 million contract. Kent and I were some of the many voices that wanted a long term deal in place for Brodie this past summer, and his play this season has shown that he’s going to be very expensive come 2015. The contract itself isn’t bad, but the resulting situation the Flames will have to deal with has the potential to be. Push.
2011 Draft – Baertschi, Granlund, Wotherspoon, Gaudreau, Brossoit. This may honestly go down as one of the best drafts the Flames have ever had. There may be three top-6 forwards, a top-4 defenseman and a 1A goalie in those five selections – at worst, I expect at least three of these guys to be legit NHLers. Win.
2012 Draft – Jankowski, Sieloff, Gillies, Kulak, Culkin, Gordon, DeBlouw. This draft? Not so much. Trading away from Girgensons, Hertl (both of whom are playing top-6 minutes in the NHL) and Teräväinen (scoring at a top-6 pace in a men’s league), Jankowski hasn’t really been scoring and certainly isn’t developing the way I would want him to, Sieloff can’t get on the ice, Kulak has had legal issues, Gordon still struggles with skating and DeBlouw seems to be regressing a little this year. Kulak and Culkin could turn into something, and I expect Gillies to one day start 50+ games – but that’s about it. Loss.
2013 Draft – Monahan, Poirier, Klimchuk, Kanzig, Roy, Harrison, Rafikov, Gilmour. They had to hit on the first three picks – and they did. I really like the Roy pick, and the last three are your standard 7th round guys. Kanzig, however – I just can’t shake the feeling that that was a hugely wasted opportunity to get a guy like Lipon, Subban, Bjorkstrand, Cammaratta or a whole mess of other players that have a better chance to make the NHL. Win.
First off, I was kind of stunned how many moves Feaster made that were of little to no significance, but I am sure that’s consistent across the league. Still – 29 events of significance in three years doesn’t seem huge.
The issue here is that of the five biggest deals/signings, only one was a win (Cammalleri). That, plus the ROR debacle, was enough for Burke to turf Feaster. It would have been enough for me, too. Hell, the ROR situation alone was an immediately fireable offence. Feaster didn’t do himself any favours as GM, and ultimately you can’t keep a job managing the way he did.
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