Flames Wrap-Up 2013 Season: Hartley and Feaster Quotes

 

 

On Sunday and Monday, the Calgary Flames held court for the media in the final two formal days of media availability of the 2013 hockey season. Most notably, head coach Bob Hartley spoke last on Sunday, while general manager Jay Feaster held an availability earlier today.

Here’s the gist of what those guys spoke about:

BOB HARTLEY

As per usual, Hartley was fairly candid and honest regarding how he felt the team did – particularly during the last few weeks of the season.

– Feels that the club needs to add size and speed, but he’s aware it won’t be easy.

– Won’t need to change coaching philosophy with the departures of some veterans, but noted the need for patience as the younger players grow.

– No timeline for naming a new captain exists.

– Purposefully mixed in rookies and veterans over past two weeks to see how the youngsters learned and how well the veterans helped them learn.

– Excited that T.J. Brodie will get a chance to play at the World Championships and praised his development.

– Also cited Mikael Backlund’s progression this year as a good sign.

– Cited lack of consistency as a problem, as every part of the team’s game weren’t working at the same time.

– Noted he feels the team has a good group of young players pushing for full-time jobs.

– “The draft is almost like buying a lottery ticket. We always think that you always get a winner, but at the same time, it takes time.”

JAY FEASTER

Feaster also was honest about the club, not mincing words regarding where he felt the team fell short. However, he wasn’t all doom and gloom, either.

– Disappointed with the season. It’s unacceptable to miss playoffs for four straight seasons.

– Bright spots: Matt Stajan, Mikael Backlund, T.J. Brodie, Jay Bouwmeester (which led to a good return when he was traded), Joey MacDonald

– Negatives: defensive zone play and goals against, quality of scoring chances against, “frustrating and maddening level of inconsistency from a veteran-laden group" (one of the juicer quotes of the afternoon).

– Thought team’s compete level was good most of the season, even when they got down in games.

– Hasn’t spoken with Kiprusoff, will give him time to think about things and then will have a sit-down with him. They’ve been preparing for a post-Kipper world by adding MacDonald, Reto Berra and Karri Ramo over the past few seasons.

– Mikael Backlund has been invited to join Team Sweden for the Worlds, may be able to do that pending a meeting with Flames doctors (editor update – fractured foot. No go). Reto Berra (Switzerland) will be playing at the Worlds. Confirmed earlier reports that Jiri Hudler (Czech Republic), T.J. Brodie (Canada) and Chris Butler (USA) will also be there.

– Calgary and Abbotsford’s coaches, as well as the hockey ops department, will meet over the next few days to evaluate every player in the organization. After those meetings, Feaster and John Weisbrod will present a plan to team ownership. They won’t be discussing the plan in public.

– Amateur scouts will be meeting in two weeks to refine their list for the draft. Feaster reiterated that the draft is deep in their minds, but that there’s four elite players (and some very good players) at the top. They’re keeping their options open regarding moving picks at the draft, but noted that if they move their own first (the sixth overall pick, pre-lottery), it’d be in an attempt to move up.

– Development camp is July 10-16 at Winsport; Penticton rookie tournament is September 5-9.

– Team’s Needs: size and grit, centers, physical presence on blueline, accelerating “physical development of younger players.”

– Big reason behind bringing in young players down the stretch was to help their physical development over the summer.

– Team will have discussions about amnesty buy-outs to help with a direction change, can’t rule out using it.

– Noted it’s hard to add size and grit in free agency, but cited that the team has resources (first round picks and cap space) that may help.

– Praised the preparedness level of the call-ups and the Abbotsford coaching staff. He noted that the organization isn’t physically big, so that’s a concern. Praised Roman Horak, Max Reinhart, Sven Baertschi, among others, for how they played down the stretch. Noted the team had hoped to get a longer look at Paul Byron, but he got hurt.

– Have had internal conversations about a goaltending plan. Noted he feels Joni Ortio is ready to be a to number-one goalie in the AHL.

– Praised the teaching ability and preparation level of the new coaching staff, but noted that there was very little practice time and the challenges of a shortened training camp and a truncated season.

– Noted that losses may be the result of dressing more young players, but that the expectation has to be that everybody’s trying to win every game. (In other words, the Flames aren’t being told that they should make the playoffs, but that the expectation is that they’re always trying to win each game and trying to make the playoffs.)

– Shared that Stajan attributed his turn-around to the coaching staff having confidence in him, so he had confidence in himself. Noted that Stajan came into camp in great shape, despite having a busy work stoppage due to his role in the NHLPA.

– Also praised Backlund for putting in the work with the coaching staff throughout this season.

– Doesn’t think re-signing Brodie will be an issue. Team believes there are special things ahead for Brodie and that this was his break-out season.

That’s the good folks. Discuss.

 

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Lecavalier could be the definition of a salary dump. Tampa would have to give me their 1st and 2nd in 2013, for me to even consider taking that on. It would cost the Flames $30M over 14 years to buy that out.

    • Captain Ron

      Exactly and the more I thought about it the less appealing it became. Any team who takes that contract on is doing TB a HUGE favor in the process. They would have to pay me A LOT to do it.

  • Captain Ron

    This definately leaves Tampa Bay the possibility of trading down. I think we would be a prime candidate seeing as Feaster is constantly re-iterating the elite talent in the top 4. It’s entirely possible one of the talents he is referring to is Nichuskin. A bit risky for the future of our franchise. I have to think that our two bottom first round picks combined with Stempniak would be quite promising for the #3 pick. Thoughts?

    If not I say we go for Lindholm I suppose, I think we have to take a forward with this pick, I just hope we don’t go really off the board and take somebody like Jankowski. At least we’re not trying to trade down this year. With our last two picks go for at least one defenseman. Looking at the past several drafts I’ve been surprised how many top-talents have come in the mid-late first round. I just hope we don’t mess things up.

  • Scary Gary

    Mckinnon would’ve been great Barkov too but did you guys watch Lindholm a the world juniors? This guy is good!!! You tube his highlights and you’ll see that he might be just as effective as the other 2 guys but evn better defensively. I really hope we pick him so him and Backlund can fill the top 2 centre roles in Ctown

  • Brent G.

    So here’s a complete hypothetical situation…

    If you could trade our 1st and Pitts 1st to TB for their first and have to take on Lecavalier, do you do it? TB is in an unenviable cap position that would be quickly rectified if they could find a trading partner for that albatross. I think to get Barkov I would do it…

    • Captain Ron

      Why would we give them our 6th and possibly 30th pick and then take Lecavalier’s albatross contract from them?

      Isn’t swapping our 6th enough for their 4th and taking Vinny off their hands? Hell I’d even ask them for another pick or player on top of that. If they want to move him their options are going to be few if any to do it and they will have to sweeten the pot to get someone to play ball. They need us more than we need them in this scenario.

      No way do I give them what amounts to a late first for Vinnie boy and bail them out of that awful contract.

      • T&A4Flames

        This is what I was thinking. Taking that garbage contract should be enough to flip TBL’s 1st for STL or I’d even argue, PIT 1st. That is a lot of bad contract to choke on. The 3rd overall and 6th overall might be worth it.

    • That accounts for 2 of our 1st rounders. How does Feaster turn that third 1st rounder of ours into Ryan Miller?

      /sarcasm

      I’m surprised Feaster was that candid. Knowing that he’s lied to basically everybody before, how much of what he says do we trust? He’s probably already had discussions with Darcy Regier on how to obtain Ryan Miller at the draft (“internal goalie discussion”).

      Bummed we didn’t win the lottery, but after playing piss-poor all season, the 5-game win streak should’ve told us a story (Flames luck is next to zero). Expect nothing good when you’re a fan of this franchise.

      I like trading up to get someone, but wouldn’t mind Monahan or Lindholm. NO. FU**ING. GOALIES.

    • BurningSensation

      It’s a bit of pill to swallow having to give up a 2nd 1st AND take Lecavalier’s stinjer of a contract, but it would kill two birds with one stone;

      – Big 2 way pivot who can contribute right now (Lecavalier)

      – Big 2 way pivot who can develop into a true #1 (Barkov)

      I’d do it.

      • Captain Ron

        I hope your kidding us.

        7.7 mill cap hit for 3 years and 30 million dollars for Vinnie and he`s washed up. And then give them 2 firsts on top of that.

        Please tell me your not serious.

        • BurningSensation

          Lecavalier actually has 7 years left on his deal at a $7,727,273 cap hit and he’s paid $10 mil in real dollars for the next 3 years before the back diving begins…. That’s not a bitter pill to swallow, it’s a horse tranquilizer!

        • MWflames

          Well, the only way I would consider Vinny & help Tampa on that contract is we get that 4th over all pick. Thing is, we have cap space up the ying yang, why would we buyout Vinny. Play him, he’s still a better centre than what we have on the team & we will be playing many kids on ELC’s to balance the hit out. Vinny & that 1st for Sarich & our Pitt 1st sounds like a deal worth looking at. Personally, I would like to see if we could get NJ 9th over all for the Pitt 1st & one of our Goalies like Brossoit or Gilles. NJ then could give up that Pitt 1st as their cap penalty to the league.

          • loudogYYC

            Can’t do that. NJ has to give up their own pick and they just announced they’ll use this years, so next year it is.

            All this Lecavalier talk is scary, that contract is almost worse than Luongo’s deal. I doubt Edwards would pay a guy for 14 years to not play here, and there’s no way Vinnie will ever justify his salary for the next 10 or whatever years he has left on the deal.

            If I were Feaster, I’d be talking to Philly about Briere ($6.5M x 2) and to Minny about Heatley ($7.5M x 1). Heck, we can fit them both under our cap and likely trade Heatley at the deadline.

  • Happy we didn’t fall lower than 6th. I guess it’s time to start guessing who teams will take…

    1. Jones COL
    2. Mackinnon FLA
    3. Drouin CAR
    4. Barkov TB
    5. ? NSH
    6. Lindholm or Monahan CAL
    7. I know Edmonton really wants Monahan……..

  • thanks for taking the time to put all this together.

    Re: Captaincy. Why not make Gio and Glenny co-captains?

    Nothing unexpected here. No Ramo for Finland?

    Looking forward to the draft. Hoping my intrigue is warranted.