No need for Flames overhaul: Feaster
|Interim General Manager of the Calgary Flames Jay Feaster speaks to the media after the NHL trade deadline at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta on Feb. 28, 2011. (STUART DRYDEN/QMI Agency)
Worried about messing with his team chemistry and not wanting to mortgage the future, Jay Feaster made a couple of middling moves Monday.
Neither the addition of depth winger Fredrik Modin via a trade with Atlanta or eighth defenceman Brett Carson being plucked off waivers will change anything for the playoff drive.
But once the Flames went on an 14-3-3 run to get into post-season contention following a horrible first half, the Flames interim general manager wanted to keep his team assembled for at least another six weeks.
“What this group has accomplished is incredible,” said Feaster shortly after Monday’s NHL trade deadline passed. “My thinking is this group deserves the opportunity to see this thing through.
“That to me is what is most important. It’s fun to be in that locker-room and it’s fun to be in this building. There’s a neat buzz around town, so let’s see what we can do. All you have to do is get in. After that, who knows what happens.”
Citing the Philadelphia Flyers as an example, Feaster stood in front of the assembled media and confidently explained his minor moves and why he didn’t want to blow things up.
The Flyers got into the playoffs on the final day of last season, then marched to the Stanley Cup final.
A big move probably could have been made — such as shipping out soon-to-be free agent Curtis Glencross — but this was a buyer’s market and Feaster didn’t want to pay the high prices teams were looking at in return for established players.
“We could have done a lot of different things if we were prepared to move high draft picks,” Feaster said.
“Some of the prices that were paid — first-round picks or former first-round picks as prospects that are moving … we just felt we wanted to get better now but we didn’t want to take out of the lineup.
“We have to stop the deficit spending. We just can’t keep giving up next year’s (pick) because you never get caught up.
“From that standpoint, we feel good about what we’ve done.”
Feaster didn’t panic when the other Western Conference teams made additions.
The Los Angeles Kings paid a big price to get Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers, sending a first-round pick, a second-round pick and top prospect Colten Teubert back to the City of Champions just to make one offensive addition.
Even with the TV networks and their wall-to-wall coverage analysing mostly minor moves, Feaster for one didn’t feel it necessary to make a major splash to ‘win the deadline.’
Several teams the Flames are fighting with made moves before the deadline day as well, but that didn’t put any pressure on Feaster either.
“All those other teams, God bless them,” Feaster said. “The good part is, other than Minnesota, all those teams we’re fighting with, we get to play.
“That has been our focus: On our team and playing the way we want to play. We will let the chips fall where they may. We like what we’ve done.
“We like this hockey club. I hope this hockey club recognizes we do like them and we do believe in them. That’s why they are all all still together today.”