In Defense of Jay Feaster…Sort Of



Henry Ford once said that customers were free to buy a car in any colour they wanted – so long as it was black.

This approach to buyer’s choice is somewhat analogous to the options faced by Jay Feaster in the Iginla trade. There was really only one option in the end and Feaster had be content with it, because Ray Shero wasn’t going to offer more than he felt he had to and Jarome Iginla had made the decision that he wanted to go to Pittsburgh.

Iginla was a highly-coveted asset by several teams, reportedly Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Pittsburgh. He had a No Trade Clause on his contract and from the very beginning no trade was going to happen unless Jarome Iginla wanted it to. Iginla was also the most valuable asset the Flames have had to trade in a generation, the fan sentiment ran deep and the clock was ticking. Bruce Arther has an article up recently outlining some of the drama here.

Hands Tied

Jay Feaster was never really in a position of strength. In fact, he was quickly relegated to the role of facilitator, a match-maker just trying to get the two parties together and taking a small commission fee for his effort.

Opposing GMs knew this and they knew that if they were in negotiations that it was likely that Iginla had okay’d a trade to their desitination, thereby limiting the number of open buyers.

Kent had a good article up prior to the trade that outlined the potential trade packages of those teams according to their local media members. Faced with that, and the impending unrestricted free agent Iginla would become this July, no GM appeared willing to offer up the proverbial king’s ransom Feaster had requested (reportedly a 1st round pick, a roster player and a good prospect). Instead the best offer reportedly came from the Bruins – that being Khokhlachev, Bartkowski and a 1st round draft pick that Chiarelli later confirmed was guaranteed and not conditional.

All in all, that wouldn’t be that bad a return when weighed against the eventual winner’s bid.

Hanowski, Agostino and a 1st round pick became the return for Iginla and the Flames book of genesis geneologies (Nilsson begat Nieuwendyk who begat Iginla…) has likely stopped at Jarome.

Feaster has an underwhelming track record in trading assets, and it should be remembered that he never really had the upper hand in these trade negotiations at any point. He had to trade the most important Flame in franchise history, everybody knew it, and the player decided which team he wanted to go to. There are no gentleman’s rules in NHL management anymore. Ray Shero knew he could get Iginla at a low cost to his team and he refused to overpay.

Feaster is now left trying to sell off the remaining assets of the Flames who can undoubtedly see the writing on the wall and know that a rebuild is coming, in spite of what Feaster or anyone else in management says to the contrary.

Take ’em To the Pawn Shop

Those assets include Michael Cammalleri, Jay Bouwmeester, Miikka Kiprusoff and perhaps even Alex Tanguay. With the exception of Bouwmeester (on account of age, an extra year remaining on his contract and the paucity of top defensemen available by trade) they are all of lesser value than Iginla. Three have clauses that limit their trade options and the fourth (Kipper) has, for all intents and purposes, put an ad hoc one into place.

Feaster and John Weisbrod have also been adamant that they will not pursue a traditional rebuild and as such are likely to place a priority on receiving prospects or roster players in trade returns over draft picks. This isn’t to say that picks won’t be included or requested, but rather that the majority of their focus in requesting assets will be spent on warm bodies coming back.

A draft pick is something of a nebulous asset to many GMs at this time of year because the value is delayed relative to real player assets, and as such can have a diminished value to a buying team outside of a top-5 pick (which are almost never dealt). A player or prospect is someone into whom a team has invested time and energy, and who may be useful for a playoff run and therefore may be held at a premium at the trade deadline.

If Jay Feaster attempts to trade Jay Bouwmeester he is immediately behind the proveribal 8-ball. Bouwmeester has a prohibitive cap hit for next year, when the cap is set to drop. Bouwmeester also has a NTC, so any interested GM will know that Feaster is in a position of weakness and will attempt to exploit it.

This isn’t to say that Feaster is going to sell off the remainder of the Flames tradeable assets this season and get routinely taken to the woodshed, but instead one needs to recognize that the Iginla deal may be a benchmark of achievable player values for this season. Bouwmeester may be worth more by trade, but it is unlikely to be to such an extent as to make the Iginla trade any more palatable.

In order to maximise the return on a player like Jay Bouwmeester the Flames would be best to get him to waive his NTC to a number of teams in advance, agree to retain up to 50% of the salary cap hit for this season and next, and then prioritize the asset types for return. Focus on one type of asset, be it picks or prospects, and limit the range of return in order to attain the greater quality. The Flames need to make Bouwmeester the most desireable asset on the market for the teams feeling the pressure to keep pace with the Penguins.

I’m not going to go into specifics about what the returns for these players could be. Prior to Wednesday I would never have guessed that Iginla would be moved for the package Feaster received. But I do think that there are times to move players, and this may not be the best time to shop players like Cammalleri, Bouwmeester or others.

The blood is in the water around the Flames. Feaster would be best served to be patient at this point and let the scales balance out a little more in his favour.

  • beloch

    It is hard to assess Feaster given the purported interference of King and Edwards.

    To be honest, I am not sure why we ever hear anything from KK. I am not sure of his exact title, nor do I care to investigate, but I can’t think of another hockey exec equivalent to him talking publicly about stuff. To my mind his position should be dealing with internal and business issues, not commenting in the media.

    Too bad we didn’t cut him loose and get JD.

    • beloch

      I wouldn’t be surprised that the next GM gets the title of President of Hockey Ops as well. We might hate it. And it might not be the best fit. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see Burke names GM and President of Hockey Operations for the Flames in the next two weeks.

      • beloch

        I don’t pay tons of attention to Burke’s track record, but to my mind Van, Anaheim, and T.O. never suffered such a precipitous decline under Burke. Could he be any worse? Most of the roster in Toronto must have been put in place by Burke, and he won a cup in Anaheim and put together a lot of the current roster. Vancouver during his tenure also became pretty good.

        I think Feaster has been undermined and had a relatively short tenure to have an impact. If him getting turfed meant KK too and a wholesale change, I wouldn’t mind too much. Maybe a raw deal for Feaster in the D Sutter aftermath and ownership/ KK interference, but tough crap.

        • beloch

          I wouldn’t hate it if Burke was the guy. One of the better horse traders out their I would be much more confident if he was trading our bigger pieces. He also has a track record of fixing three teams. He is gruff, but Calgary is used to that. Doesn’t bother me.

          My only problem is that I didn’t like him all that much in Toronto. He is dead against the ‘rebuild’ model so that is more of the same. I would hate to find that we trade our top draft picks to try and build around players like Kessel and Phaneuf. I would much prefer to be patient and build around players like Seguin and Hamilton.

          But Burke might be the best option. Certainly better then the King/Feaster combo we have now.

  • beloch

    Friedman had an interesting article recently. Midway through it said that the good organizations always look to be running well. Despite what is happening under the hood. Then he pointed out that the Flames organization can’t do anything without controversy. O’Reilly, Iginla, Kipper, the list goes on.

    Plus, Ken King said numerous times in a recent interview that the organization missed their assessment on the Flames to start the last few seasons. They thought they had a competitive team and they now realize they aren’t even close.

    All of that points to Feaster.

    You can point out every individual transaction if you want but it doesn’t change the results. We were a win now organization constantly losing. And despite our fragile state we are plagued by controversy.

    Fans that want to believe will use detail to misrepresent fact. Forest through the trees and all of that stuff.

    But really, how could it be any worse then it is now? What has Feaster done to make our current situation better? And does anyone really trust him to be the guy to trade the remaining top assets?

    If the guy isn’t on the way out then we are in serious trouble.

  • beloch

    I agree that if Jbo gets traded then the time is now. He looks good, everybody wants a piece like him. He doesn’t get hurt so I’d be all over sending him out even though it’s going to mean a major hole on the team. We just signed Tspoon though so maybe he’ll get a call up when his playoffs are over

  • beloch

    @ chillout

    Wow. Wouldn’t that be something. It does make you wonder if they wouldn’t consider adding a piece, and Tanguay would be a real fit. It would help Jarome as much as anything. I think his contract will prevent it, though.

    I really feel the best time to trade J-bo is now. He is enjoying his best season since his Florida days. The chances of the Flames being any better next year are minimal, so I can’t see him having an even better season. His desire to re-sign here sounds non-existent. As far as waiting until the draft because we would have more trade partners, I disagree. With his NTC, he will only waive to go to a contender anyway. Any team that thinks they are a contender in June thinks they are a contender today.

  • beloch

    The truth is that Feaster didn’t trade Iginla away. He rented him out for a 16 game period during which every win only makes the Flames’ first round pick worse. The Flames aren’t even bothering to pick a new captain because everyone knows Iginla will be back next season.

    This set the ballpark price, which is “low” compared to what Feaster would have gotten if Iginla was signed to even just one more full season. Should Feaster have traded Iginla last year or the year before? The return would have been much bigger and the Flames last two picks would likely have been a bit higher. Additionally, the picks/prospects would be 1-2 years closer to ready. Still, that’s 20/20 hindsight. That’s the price of not knowing when your team is beat.

    Given the ballpark this trade had to take place in, Feaster might have gotten a slightly better deal if Iginla wasn’t dead set on going to the Pitt. However, the ballpark was built out of stone before this season started.

    If you guys are going to crucify Feaster, at least get his sins right! This return is the price of “going for it” instead of starting the rebuild at a more optimal time. Few teams go into rebuilds gracefully and, surprise surprise, the Flames are no different. Whether that’s Feaster’s fault or the owners is a whole other kettle of fish entirely!

    • prendrefeu

      Who is everyone? Most pundits think there’s no chance he comes back. From TSN to SN, to Duhatscheck to Francis to HNIC.

      Personally, I think the ONLY chance he comes back is if he wins the Cups THIS summer. Even then, 50/50 at best.

  • BurningSensation

    Flames would be better off trading Bouwmeester in the off season before draft. There would be a bigger market for the high cap hit he’s got but the problem with that he still gets to pick & choose where he goes. I know his dad & I can guarantee you he won’t be going to back to a Florida type team anytime soon!

  • BurningSensation

    In fairness to Feaster, whom i never liked as an AG or GM IGGYGATE was a no win situation. Logically the management team should have recognized the true scenario 2 years ago and began a slow calculated re load. At that time the aging assets were attractive to multiple suitors.

    Personally i would have dealt everyone of the 30 something gang acquired youth and depth and created a new identity for this now pathetic group of over the hill primadonnas.

    Moving forward today I would ask every single player to waive their clauses. Glenx must be attracting some nice offers, as in my eyes he is what every serious contending team drools over. jaybo and gio could fetch a fine return but in going forward you might need to keep both, tangs and cammi can both shopped imediately.

  • Wizard22

    Feaster may have rebuilt the scouting department but are any of his picks in the NHL. A little early to call it a success. The Flames didn’t even have a functioning farm team till Sutter got it going.

  • Fantastic comments well thought out.

    If trading cammy can get us a late first, the habs deal is definitely a win. Also hanowski is a pending free agent come august 15 I believe,if he tests the waters that should roll every head down from Edwards.

    I hope we use the fact our ownership is able to eat parts of these salaries as I see this as a real asset to maximise the returns this trade deadline.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I find it funny how perception of the Boston package has changed. Like its a good offer now.

    It is the same thing we got from the Pens. Khokhlachev I like but I also like Hanowski. That’s a wash.

    Agostini is much better than Bartkowski in the long run.

    The 1sts are a wash.

    Pretending that Feaster got boned in not getting the Boston package is revisionist history. They are both weak packages and exactly what you’ll get for an old, expensive winger.

  • DieHard

    I wonder if the Flames will start/continue to chase after whales over the summer. What they need is a top3 pick this year and next and maybe the one after as well.

  • BurningSensation

    We are letting Feaster off too easily. Dallas got a solid defensive prospect for Morrow (also a rental) which is more than we got for Iginla. The Sabres also got a 2nd round pick for Leopold and they are looking to trade Reagher for more than we got for him a few years ago. The other GMs know Calgary is dysfunctional and/or inept and are moving in for the kill.

    Sutter continues to haunt us as he recommended Feaster as his successor and Ken King/ ownership are too stupid to know any better.

      • jeremywilhelm

        Only a year younger and a UFA. But yes I agree, comparing packages is silliness.

        Joe Morrow is an ok prospect. But he has been benched several times in the AHL and is a mess in his own zone. He is by no means the Pens best D prospect.

        • BurningSensation

          That’s what I get for trusting what I read on the interwebs.

          I rechecked with CapGeek (where I should have gone in the first place, sigh), and you are correct.

          That said, Morrow just turned 34 (in Jan) and Iggy turns 36 this summer, so split the difference and call it two years younger.

          No excuse for not getting the contract length right though.

  • Feaster > Sutter.

    Goons aside (both guys have a knack for signing a couple), he’s done a better job filling spots & grabbing prospects.


    Compared to Sutter:
    I can’t even think of any more, but I know it sucks.

    We’re headed in the right direction. It ain’t perfect, but it’s better.

  • BurningSensation

    Wow, the nattering nabobs of negativity are out in force today!

    I think it is EASY to defend Feaster (especially compared to Sutter).

    – Traded Regehr-Kotalik-2nd for Butler-Byron. Massive salary dump in Kotalik, another massive salary dump in Regehr (who is clearly broken down and not a top pairing guy anymore), and a 2nd for a useful, young, mid-bottom pair defenseman, and a guy who adds depth to the farm team.

    – Signed Jiri Hudler. Arguably the Flames best forward this year, and if he brings with him even a sliver of the culture he was steeped in in Detroit he’ll help rebuild the locker room too.

    – Signed Roman Cervenka. We got a useful top 9 skill forward. Cost us nothing but his contract. Pure win.

    – Rebuilt the scouting department. It is not an accident that the best three Flames drafts of the last ten years are the last three drafts. Baertschi, Gaudreau, Brossoit, Gillies, etc.

    – The Erixon trade. As I recall there were whiners here KILLING Feaster for having to trade Erixon. Gosh, all we got back was Horak (a useful depth center), Granlund, and Wotherspoon. Erixon isn’t even with the Rangers anymore.

    – Bringing in Weisbrod and Chris Snow. Remember when Sutter would draft a slow skating D-man coming off a knee-injury – in the 1st rnd? Or take a slow skating power forward just because he was a Western boy? We aren’t throwing away picks at Matt Pelech’s and Kris Chucko’s anymore.

    – Trading down to get Jankowski + Seiloff. The Sabers drafted a nice 3rd line center, whereas we took a potential 1st line pivot and the 2nd coming of Denis Gauthier (minus the propensity for kneeing the opposition).

    – Trading Bourque for Cammalleri. I haven’t heard anyone suggest that we didn’t murder the Habs in that deal. It brought in more skill, made us younger, and brought back a guy who wanted to be here.

    – Signing O’Reilly. Feaster showed that he understands the Flames weaknesses (young skill players, especially at center), and went out to recitfy it. The offer forced Colorado (a conference rival) to match a contract that chokes their cap-space – and more importantly, their internal budget. I don’t buy for a second that the league would have forced O’Reilly onto waivers, when nobody (I mean NOBODY, not the agent, not the Colorado GM, not rival GMs, not the media, and certainly not the fans here at FN) had the faintest clue that that was the case. Again, Feaster showed balls in addressing the teams needs and was not cowed by the old-school agreements to not poach another teams RFA’s.

    Does trading Iginla hurt? Yeah. Deep in the soul. But I think he got the best return anybody could have, and I kinda like the fact it totally pisses off Chiarelli. Feaster isn’t doing this to be part of the old-boys club, and if it ruffles the Boston GM’s feathers (or Colorado’s with O’Reilly), I say ‘Good’.

    Lastly, I’m going to bet that one of either Hanowski or Agostino pans out as a regular 2nd line NHL winger. Both guys are absolutely on fire right now in the NCAA playoffs, and I for one look forward to seeing what they bring to the table.

    • McRib

      “Lastly, I’m going to bet that one of either Hanowski or Agostino pans out as a regular 2nd line NHL winger. Both guys are absolutely on fire right now in the NCAA playoffs, and I for one look forward to seeing what they bring to the table.”

      After St. Cloud’s win today both Hanowski and Agostino are moving on to the Final Four!!! Leading their teams past much more hyped prospects and teams gets them big points in my books!!!

      As for the people saying Hanowski might test the Free Agent waters… I highly doubt we have trouble inking him to an entry level deal. Only two much more celebrated prospects Schultz and Wheeler in recent memory have walked on teams. Look at it from Hanowski’s perspective a few days ago his rights were held by a team with a much deeper system in the eastern conference. He is now a Top. 10 Prospect with us and is much closer to Minnesota in Calgary.

      • McRib

        Thanks for the updates McRib. I’m hoping Weisbrod’s background pays off in this instance. Admittedly, there’s a fair degree in difference of opinion on these 2 prospects.

    • Wizard22

      Some I agree with. Here’s what I don’t:

      Hudler – maybe so, but that just speaks to how bad the Flames are. He’s been exceedingly average and the Flames had to over pay for it. Ditto Wideman. Adequate, but hardly earth shaking.

      Cervenka – agreed. However, selling him as a center was either idiotic or ignorant. Not the player’s fault, but typical of how Jay does stuff.

      Janko – he may or may not work out, I’ve never knocked the player. But he’s the type of pick you take when you have a deep crop of prospects. There were a few other consensus picks far closer to stepping in than a 5 year project.

      Seiloff – let’s wait and see as well. The homers on here love to proclaim whoever the current crop of prospects are as studs all the time.

      ROR – give me a break. If the CBA had been around for years and was easy to read/understand I’d get not checking with the NHL.

      Because it was brand new and vague, that’s all the more reason to check with the NHL. Not doing so is arrogant and inept.

      Oh, another good reason – before you commit 10M, a 1st and a 3rd, do your homework. And it’s the NHL’s interpretation that matters, not Feaster’s.

      I was not against getting the actual player, but have to admit, those adamantly against it were right. I thought the Flames would go over he cliff next season. I was wrong, it was this season.

      ROR is not worth a top 5 pick in the draft this year.

      Erixon – the issue was in letting it go that long. That’s why I don’t blame Feaster for the Iginla trade – it was out of his hands. But Erixon should’ve been signed or moved way before he was. Bad management skills. Ditto for not making Iginla sign off on those 4 teams unless you buy the conspiracy version that the other 3 were just camouflage to drive the price up. I don’t, but nobody really knows the truth, so I’ll give that a pass.

      NCAA is 2 steps under the NHL. I hope Weisbrods’ background means some insight on these guys and they become regulars as well.

      Just happy that Iginla is gone so that meaningful change can actually happen.

      • RexLibris

        I agree with you on your take of Hudler and Wideman. It is easy to look big when you stand in a crowd of small people.

        With Cervenka, we are again in agreement. Though I disagree with the perception that he was a low-risk signing. It isn’t low-risk to pin the season on a centre corps that boasts a converted RW (Cammalleri) and a European FA who has never played a game in North America and does not regularly play the middle position overseas. It was either a bald-faced lie or a monumental misunderstanding of what should be an elementary hockey decision based on position.

        Jankowski, again agreed. As I said at the time of the draft, they are playing the slots with their rent money. You don’t gamble on a long-term high-risk project when you’ve only got one pick and virtually no blue-chip prospects in the cupboard. You cannot afford a miss on this.

        The O’Reilly signing was a massive blunder. Even with the addition of O’Reilly, take a close look at the team and tell me if he alone would be worth the three wins it would take to move out of a very lucrative draft position. So, we more or less agree here as well, except that I think the offer in and of itself was ill-advised for the team based on an objective assessment of their total assets.

        The Erixon mixup really did screw over the Flames. Perhaps Feaster was still getting up to speed (that was basically a few months after taking over, if I recall correctly). But that being said, the Oilers just threw away a very useful potential prospect in Tobias Reider for a likely 4th line plug because they believed they would be unable to sign him. They got far less than the Flames did, albeit for a lesser talent, but at least they got out in front of the issue.

        NCAA prospects are tricky to determine. Usually, the rule of three applies when looking at prospects from a similar background. In this case you have Jankowski, Hanowski and Agostino. The safest bet, based on history, is to suggest that one makes the NHL as a regular, another becomes a cup-of-coffee kind of guy, and the third never materializes as solid professional player. Feel free to disagree, but the advice an investment advisor would give you is: plan for a conservative return and have a plan in place to manage any windfalls.

        BTW, thanks for being a regular contributor here on FN. I really do enjoy reading your take on things.

        • Captain Ron

          I have to disagree with your Jankowski comments. There are virtually no sure things in any draft and saying that drafting janko was stupid because there were other sure fire picks. I just can’t agree with that, you can draft all the “nhl ready…ish” guys you want but most of those guys are physically mature and have already hit their ceilings and don’t move on or only play a handful of games. There is no can’t miss in most drafts. You always try to take the best player you see regardless of how long it takes to develop a player. There are no quick fixes for the flames through the draft and in 5 years if you pass on players you wanted to pick and didn’t because someone could step into a 4th line role today well then you’ll be kicking yourself. Even the top 3 picks in a draft aren’t sure things for greatness. Just saying that prospects can’t even be close to being judged yet till they either get to the big show or fail out. Do you think you would have gotten Eberle if he was judged a can’t miss? No how many players before him in the draft are going to go nowhere? K I just looked and that was a pretty good draft year but still…he’s way above most of the guys on that list.

    • the forgotten man

      Maybe I am old fashioned but most executives, in well run organizations, are judged on results. Since Feaster joined the Flames in July 2010 they have steadily gotten worse…even more damning is the complete lack of Feasters read on his own team…laughably we have gone from Jay saying we will win the division, to making the playoffs, and now to a rebuild or whatever semantics Jay wants to call it. It’s the NHL JAY, not kabuki theatre.

      Your valiant defense of Feaster reads like one of those real polished, effusive resumes but no real world results/accomplishments to show for it.

      I hope to God we can do better than this.

  • CDB

    Well said @RKD. Flames fans are delusional. These guys aren’t the 2004 versions of themselves. Any fans interested in buying my 2002 truck? You can give me it’s value in 2002 and just ignore the fact it’s depreciated over the past 11 years

  • CDB

    @ Sincity1976

    I am with you 100%

    It is obvious that we weren’t bargaining from a strong position in the Iginla soap opera, but Feaster didn’t have to make the water so muddy in his negotiations with Boston. He is in over his head.

    We acquired what will be pick #28-30 as the centerpiece of this trade. If the standings were frozen, and the draft were held today, the Habs would pick #33 overall. This with the pick we tossed at them to take Bourque. Feaster had to see that the pick was going to be relatively early in the 2nd round of a deep draft.

    Trading away picks, and Feaster has been as bad, if not worse, than Darryl, is a lot like buying a round of drinks for the whole bar at last call, and putting it on your credit card. Painless at the time, but the day comes sooner than you’d think that you have to pony up and pay.

    My vote is to fire Jay Feaster, 35 seconds after you fire Ken King.

    • supra steve

      “If the standings were frozen, and the draft were held today, the Habs would pick #33 overall. This with the pick we tossed at them to take Bourque. Feaster had to see that the pick was going to be relatively early in the 2nd round of a deep draft.”

      If the Flames end up with a servicable starting goaltender (Ramo) and Cammi (or whatever he gets them in trade) and rid themselves of Bourque at the same time, then giving up that 2nd may not end up seeming like such a steep price. Agreed, it would be nice to have that asset, but the return and the subtraction (Bourque) may just end up being worth it.

  • RKD

    Hanowski, Agostino and a 1st round pick became the return for Iginla and the Flames book of genesis geneologies (Nilsson begat Nieuwendyk who begat Iginla…) has likely stopped at Jarome, maybe but I still have a lot of hope that Sven Baertschi could be the next one. Give Baertschi time and he has the potential to be dynamite.

    Look at Nazem Kadri in Toronto, he toiled and toiled in the AHL before finally being able to break through and now he is paying big dividends for the Maple Leafs. First Leaf to score back to back hat tricks since Wendel Clark did 20 years ago.

    As for Feaster, yes he could have done a better job in many facets. However, no GM is willing to give up guys like Saad, Frolik, Depres, Bennett, Maata, etc. for a rental. Feaster could have waited until the tradeline but still get nothing for Jarome. Then he would have had to wait until the draft where Jarome could still have said no. My guess is Feaster wanted to get something and finish the deal sooner than later. We were dreaming when Feaster traded Reggie last season to Buffalo, people were thinking Luke Kassian or Tyler Myers as return. Not even close, we got Butler and Byron. We must face reality both Reg and Iggy were in their 30s when they were dealt. It’s not like trading Richards or Carter. The ROR was a fiasco, but even the Avs were unaware their own player played in Europe during the lockout. At least Feaster tried to get ROR and Richards, something Darryl wouldn’t do.

  • CDB

    I continue to be amazed that anybody ever thought that the Flames were going to get a good return on Iginla as a rental. We got about what I thought we would get. Possibly a bit better. This isn’t even remotely on Feaster. This is on the Flames ownership for not trading Iggy 2-3 years ago.

    Why would a GM give away blue chip prospects and picks for 19 games (and a playoff run) of a 35 year old Iginla (having lost a step or 2), with no guarantee that he is going to re-sign long term? Add in the fact that Iginla had a no trade clause and the GMs *KNEW* that they were only bidding against 2-3 other teams? It makes ZERO sense for anybody to be disappointed in the return on Iginla. What was Feaster going to do? Walk away from the table because he didn’t like the offers? He had absolutely no leverage. Just be glad that he didn’t block the trade (a la Sundin) and then walk away this summer with no return at all.

    The return on Bouwmeester should be better since he is much younger, has a year left on his contract, is finally playing well, and plays a position that is in high demand around the league.

  • Big Ell

    I agree with your article. But after the Iginla fiasco I have lost complete confidence in Feaster and the organization, depending on who is to blame here. Watching Ken King on Sportsnet agree that they probably should have got Iggy to sign something to confirm he would take a trade to the four teams he listed, was crushing. How could management, making the biggest move in possibly the history of the organization not plan for this? They should of been in their offices, planning for every single possibe scenario. And getting Iginla to sign to a sheet confirming he would go to four teams listed should of been something that was done.

    It seems all to often that we outrage with initial reaction to Feasters moves, then over the next couple days try to defend them. I think we do this because we are fans of the team and desperately want to see the bright side of anything the Flames do. The Oreilly deal was horrendous and made the Flames look inept. This Iginla deal is probably worse. In Feasters time as GM, there is only two moves in which my initial reaction was postive, the Cammelari trade and Erixon trade. The rest of the signings (Wideman, Hudler) and trades (Regeher) I didn’t agree with at the time and still look like long term poor, patch the sinking boat type of decisions to me.

    Somethings just don’t fit. I have no idea what happens in the Flames offices, whose pulling the strings and whose responsible for mistake after mistake. We all know the rumours of Ken King and Murray Edwards intrusions. But until I see solid evidence (other than idiot Mike Keenan spouting off on how he got fired by Edwards and not Sutter) I have to believe Feaster is responsible. Feaster has never fit with the Flames to me, much like Keenan didn’t. In the same way, when D Sutter became coach back in 02-03, it just did seem to fit.

    If I am in charge, I would only allow Feaster to make one more deal if it is completely obvious that the trade has been won. He would then be fired right after the deadline. Make Weisbrod interim and a hunt for an entire new management team would take place.

    Elliott Friedman wrote the following and I completely agree:

    “But I’m a big believer that the best organizations work like the perfect machine. No matter what happens, no matter what curveball life throws at them, they adjust almost seamlessly. You might be working like crazy behind the scenes, but, in the public eye, it’s all cool.

    That’s not happening in southern Alberta. Nothing seems to occur without controversy or confusion. You can’t have that, especially now.”

  • Pretty tough to defend Feaster at this point IMO. Questionable returns on Regehr and Iginla. Mistakes in evaluating the potential of the team each season, including guaranteeing the fans a playoff spot a season ago. The O’Reilly fiasco. The Boston fiasco. Building a soft team. Going into a season without 4C. The list goes on.

    Whether a better GM could have got a better return on Iginla is unknown. But Feaster’s resume since taking on the role of GM for the Flames is a very poor one.

    • CDB

      I am far from the president of the feaster fan club. But what did people expect for Iginla and regher? Feaster had basically two legitimate offers for him. Iginla only really wanted to go to Pittsburgh. So he had to pull the trigger. Shero isn’t an idiot. He offered what he had to and not a penny more. Ya it’s an underwhelming return. He was also trading a 36 year old winger, $7MM cap hit, with 9 goals who is a UFA after this year. Put aside all he has done IN THE PAST. That doesn’t mean a thing to Pittsburgh. value an asset on what it’s worth today. Not the warm fuzzy memories you have from 9 years ago on a playoff run.

      Rick Nash, in the prime of his career, locked into a contract, was only worth two 3rd liners, a first and a prospect.

      As for regher? He’s making 4 million and getting scratched in buffalo. They’re desperate to get rid of him. He’s old and overpaid. Butler is a serviceable 5/6 defenceman. Byron isn’t looking promising but if you think their were people lining up to take Regher you’re dreaming. He’s old,slow, and a terrible puck mover who has been on the decline since 2006 when they lessened obstruction . A liability in the quicker, younger more skilled NHL. The problem with the deal is we had to give up a second rounder to get rid of Kotalik (thanks Darryl). Hardly feasters fault.

      Flames fans have to stop making fantasy trades in EA Sports video games. The reason the flames aren’t good is that their top end players aren’t worth nearly what fans think they are because they are not that good. Both players had NMC, were past their prime, on expensive deals and in Iggys case a pending UFA. The market is set by GM of teams a player is wiling to go to. And let’s face it, we’re not talking about trading all-star elite players. If they were so good, Calgary wouldn’t suck

    • Reggie has been pretty rubbish in Buffalo as far as I know. We dumped him at a great time right before a steep decline. Also, getting them to take Kotalik too was like a god damned magic trick. I don’t think the return or moving him was a mistake.

      ROR was almost a catastrophe though, and full blame to flames brass for missing it.

      Iggy has and deserved a NTC, and is a rental. The return was underwhelming, but given the almost forgone destination with the Pens, it was tough to play hardball.