SUN Hockey Pool

End goal in mind for Feaster

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

Jay Feaster is braced for it.

The Flames' new assistant general manager is well aware Flames fans will tell him the Tampa Bay Lightning team he was GM of in 2004 didn't deserve the Stanley Cup.

So many in these parts believe Martin Gelinas should have been awarded a goal late in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final series and won't change their opinion.

"I think the second thing (co-owner) Murray Edwards said to me, after 'Hello,' was, 'You know that goal was in.' " Feaster said with a laugh.

"I've covered that ground with Murray.

"I'm hopeful with both the media and Flames, we can move forward."

That depends on whether he has a hand in helping the Flames win a title.

Feaster was hired to be the second set of eyes and experienced sounding board for Darryl Sutter, who exists under a perception as being autocratic.

In Feaster, Sutter and the Flames have a person who owns a Stanley Cup ring and a strong will.

Anybody thinking Feaster will be a yes man just needs to give Google a spin.

When the Flames first acquired Olli Jokinen, Feaster provided some backhanded compliments with a blog for The Hockey News.

He wrote: This post-season we may finally get to see whether Jokinen is worthy of the star treatment afforded him by the media, or whether he is a talented, but somewhat selfish player who cannot carry a team when it counts most.

He also took Dany Heatley to task for demanding a trade from Ottawa to San Jose and Doug Wilson for making the deal.

Feaster also had the conviction to quit the Lightning in 2008, with three years remaining on his contract, and said in a release: "It became apparent to me that this new ownership group did not need my advice or expertise, and I came to the conclusion that it was time to move on."

Eventually move on meant a step back in the NHL hierarchy, although time may prove Sutter has hired his successor.

"When I met for the first time with Darryl, I told him there are not a lot of situations that would have been of interest to me to be an assistant general manager again, having done that and having managed a team," Feaster said.

"Candidly, there are not a lot of general managers I would have wanted to serve in that AGM role, but this organization and the opportunity to work with Darryl, for me, it was a no-brainer."

Sutter contacted Feaster during the Stanley Cup finals.

"Basically, what we were looking for was a partner in hockey, and the search wasn't very long and the process, after talking to Jay, didn't take very long," Sutter said.

"I'm thrilled he's joining us."

It may seem the Flames have gone top heavy, but then again, the Detroit Red Wings have a GM in Ken Holland whose right-hand man, Jim Nill, is on everyone's wish list, while Chicago has Scotty Bowman around for his son, Stanley.

"I think it is important in today's game," Feaster said of having experience around.

"In a lot of organizations, managers are willing to bring in former managers, and maybe they put him in a player development situation or director of pro scouting, that sort of thing, not necessarily that many bring them in and put them in an assistant general manager role.

"You have to have a dynamic and strong personality as a manager to be willing to do that. That's what's exciting to me about this."

He said bringing Bill Barber to the Lightning when he became GM was the "best hire I made."

"Not because I knew Bill and he's a tremendous resource and a great hockey man, but one of the best parts of the experience was Bill was a new set of eyes," he said.

"He was someone coming in with a fresh perspective, without any stake in terms of 'I helped draft this guy' or 'I traded for this player'. It was truly an objective view of where we were in Tampa, and Bill helped us achieve great success.

"That's what I'm hoping I can do."


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