The inevitable managerial move many have expected for some time has finally transpired within the Calgary Flames organization. General manager Jay Feaster was fired today, along with assistant general manager John Wiesbrod, but enough about him.
Feaster has been the subject of mass public scrutiny ever since he signed Colorado Avalanche restricted free-agent Ryan O’Reilly to a two-year contract early last season, despite the player’s need to first clear waivers. The Avs matched the offer-sheet, saving Feaster from further embarrassment, and depriving us from witnessing how the Flames would’ve rectified that mishap.
Feaster was also held publicly accountable for somewhat botching the Jarome Iginla trade fiasco that took place a few days prior to the 2013 NHL trade deadline. It was reported, at the time, that the Flames had traded their longtime captain and franchise icon to the Boston Bruins for a respectable package of assets. We waited in anticipation for Feaster to announce the trade after the Flames finished their game that night. When Feaster finally took to the dais, he explained that the Bruins deal had fallen through and Iginla would be joining the Pittsburgh Penguins, for what was, and still is, perceived as a lesser return than the Bruins were offering. Iginla – who had a No-Trade – was in full control of the situation, but it didn’t look good on Feaster nonetheless (as was hinted today).
Insert Brian Burke (the man I once saw at an ACC held Paul McCartney concert) who was hired by the Calgary Flames in early September 2013, and given the position Director of Hockey Operations. In his premiere presser with the Flames organization Burke defended Feaster and promoted the notion that the two would work in unison (not that he had any other way to handle it then). The charade is finally over, and today, Burke was chief of the firing squad – Feaster the victim. Burke is always quotable, thus, in his press conference regarding Feaster’s dismissal he gave us some candid commentary. When asked why he chose to fire Jay Feaster, he told media:
“There’s only two ways to answer that question. One way is to duck it. And the other way is to throw rocks at someone. I think the general manager’s job consists of a certain number of discrete and very distinct tasks. One is putting the staff together. One is trades, and there are three kinds of trades. There are futures trades, there are standard trades, and then there’s salary trades – deadline trades. You can go back and evaluate those deals. And you can reach your own conclusion whether we received full value in those deals. You can evaluate our drafts and see whether we did the best we could do in those drafts. Obviously, I reached the conclusion that we hadn’t.”
Burke himself, is a seasoned NHL general manager, however, he stated today that it is not his intention to assume that role long-term with the Flames; therefore, the search is underway for a new GM to replace Feaster. Burke told media that the next GM of the Calgary Flames will likely be a “young” guy:
“Either a young guy with great promise and maybe some experience, or just a young star that hasn’t been given a chance.”
Some joked about Brian Burke’s decision to fire Feaster now, despite his self-imposed team trade freeze meant to endure the Christmas season – a standard that apparently does not apply to management staff.